Read-through

This week, we had our first read-through of the show.  What a sensation to see these characters alive and hear them aloud where there was only dry paper and ink before!  Working in our favor, we have a determined Ruby, a bitter Lois, a heartbreakingly earnest Henry, a set-chewing Martin, a hilariously clueless Suzie,  wily Lulu and a layered leading man in Tad.  We also had the opportunity to meet our graphics designer face-to-face and put the entire publicity team in the room together.  We’re gaining momentum!

Women You’ve Never Heard Of: Part V

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Miller in Adolf Hitler’s private bath.

 

Elizabeth ‘Lee’ Miller’s life literally revolved around a camera. Vogue founder Conde Nast put her in front of one at the age of nineteen, after rescuing her from the path of an oncoming car. She worked as a model for two years, and in 1928 became the first live person to appear in an ad for a feminine hygiene product. This was scandalous at the time, and eventually led to the end of her modeling career. Undeterred, Lee decided to step around to the other side of the camera.

She went to Paris, and apprenticed herself to photographer Man Ray, and soon mastered the art – many pictures originally attributed to Ray were actually taken by Miller. While in France, Lee participated avidly in the surrealist movement, and befriended the likes of Pablo Picasso, and Jean Cocteau. She continued to produce photographic art until World War II, when she shifted her focus to photojournalism. Lee landed in Europe less than a month after D-Day, and went on to document such historical episodes as the first use of napalm, and the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps.

Today’s Proud Kate: Lee Miller

Women You’ve Never Heard Of: Part IV

Tired of the torture chambers that masqueraded as women’s undergarments at the turn of the 20th century, Mary Phelps Jacob armed herself with two bits of silk and a pink ribbon, and set out to crush the corset.  In 1914, she patented the “backless brassiere,”  setting  new standards for comfort and style in women’s clothing.  The invention was especially popular among female laborers in the factories of World War I, who needed undergarments that were light, comfortable and practical.  It was also a big hit with the U.S. Government, who needed the metal used in corsets to construct battleships.

Mary was a pioneer in literature as well as fashion.  While living in Paris in the 1920s, she founded The Black Sun Press with husband Harry Crosby.  Together, they published the works of such up-and-coming luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Kay Boyle, and James Joyce.  After Crosby’s death in 1929, she expanded Black Sun, and continued publishing until she herself died in 1970.

For her tenacity, refinement, and ingenuity we salute Mary Phelps Jacob: today’s Proud Kate.

The show is cast!

Jackie and I saw a lot of talented actors this weekend and came out of the audition process with an outstanding ensemble.  Please welcome our company of actors:  Kelly Amshoff, Travis Barnhart, Dane Halvorson, Cindy Henkin, Shane Michael Murphy and Claire Winkleblack.  Learn more about them on our Cast page (coming soon!).

Audition Announcement

ProudKate Theatre Project at Profiles Theatre is holding auditions for The Ruby Sunrise by Rinne Groff during the morning and evening of Saturday, April 14th and the afternoon of Sunday, April 15th.  We are looking for four actors: three males and one female.

The Ruby Sunrise follows the story of a grease-stained tomboy who is currently living her aunt’s barn whose aptitude for science leads her to create the first prototype of the television. When Ruby’s invention literally blows up, and the play flashes from her life in 1927 Indiana to her daughter Lulu’s life in 1952 New York City, the Golden Age of television. Overall, the play examines the dashed dreams and tarnished ideals of two generations of spirited Midwestern women.
CHARACTERS:
Aunt Lois/Ethel (30-60yrs): This character appears in Act I as Ruby’s Aunt Lois, a bitter woman drowning her broken heart in homemade alcohol, and in Act II as Ethel, a swaggering, sage-like, grande-dame of an actress.
Martin (30-60yrs): A big shot television producer who know how to play the game and frankly thinks that time is money; he has an eye for talent and not much gets past him.
Henry (18-25yrs): An agricultural college student and boarder of Ruby’s aunt.  He’s sweet on Ruby, but he struggles to become as important to her as her invention.  He’s also in awe of her intelligence, in spite of his traditional impression that women should remain simply domestic.
Tad (20-30yrs): An appealing television writer who takes pride in his work being high-quality during a time when the silver screen was still defining itself, battling between cheap sensation and depth. Living and working during the red scare, he doesn’t know exactly where he stands or how far he’ll go to preserve the quality of his art and ideas.
Please submit electronic headshot and resume to workwithproudkate@gmail.com.  Sides and information about location will be sent when audition is scheduled.

Women You’ve Never Heard Of: Part III

There was only one female director in Hollywood in the 1940s.

She made a name for herself acting in films with Humphrey Bogart. When she turned down a role, the studio suspended her from other acting gigs.  She and her husband formed their own production company, and she began directing.  She went on to direct just under a dozen feature films, and two decades worth of television episodes.  Read more.

She was also the very first gal to direct a film noir – and everyone should get a chance to see The Hitchhiker.

Today’s Proud Kate: Ida Lupino

Women You’ve Never Heard Of: Part 1

A good friend of ours was recently speaking with a representative from the NU Women’s Center about Ruby Sunrise, and the conversation came around to the real inventor of the cotton gin.  Did you know that although Eli Whitneyreceived a patent for a cotton gin, Catherine Greene is said to have posed both the problem and the basic idea to Whitney? When his first model, fitted with wooden teeth, didn’t work well, Whitney nearly gave up on the project.  It was Catherine Greene that proposed the substitution of wire to catch the cotton seeds. Determination, innovation and ingenuity!

Catherine Green: today’s Proud Kate.