Clemente Brothers take over Summer Shows at Desert Stages
They say talent runs in the family. Nowhere is this truer than in the Clemente family of entertainers.
Mark C. Alan and Jean-Paoul Clemente are a pair of immensely talented brothers who have spent a lifetime performing and directing on and off the stage. Mark directed the hit Biloxi Blues, which is currently playing in Scottsdale Desert Stages Actor's Café, and Jean-Paoul (or "JP" as he is known among friends) is in rehearsals directing the upcoming Mainstage show Cabaret, which opens on July 11th.
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, their journey into the performing arts started when their older sister took them to the film The Sound of Music. The family home was already filled with art and music however this fueled the fire for theater and stage work. Jean-Paoul's natural ability for dance and movement led him to apprentice The Milwaukee Ballet and The American Ballet companies. It was there he began to hone his skills as a musical theater artist and joined his brother Mark as an actor. Both brothers went on to study at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and were part of the Professional Theater Training Program at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Like many, the beautiful weather and snow free winters brought them to Scottsdale, AZ and began work in the vibrant theater scene. Mark has directed 8 shows in the Actor's Café at Scottsdale Desert Stages and received an ariZoni Award nomination for best choreography for Nunsense A-Men.
The Clemente brothers have collaborated on numerous projects in various positions. From West Side Story, Guys, and Dolls, and the famed Man Of La Mancha, and most recently Mark and Jean-Pauol directed and choreographed the hit Pippin! Mark has a love of straight plays as well and directed hits such as The Miracle Worker, On Golden Pond, and last summer's sold out smash The Mousetrap, the brother's always bounce ideas and get each other's opinion because they trust each other's judgment and creative input. "We work in partnership and true collaboration, even when directing separate shows, we bounce ideas of each other," states Mark. With all their local success they have both remained humble and grounded in an industry that can jade a person's prespective. They both realize and appreciate their gifts and always try to give back by casting local and up-and-coming actors who otherwise may not be given a chance. Jean-Paoul' s most valuable lesson that he learned and teaches to a new generation of performs is "Always grow and learn as an Artist, be curious of the world around you, participate in that world and then create."
Biloxi Blues is currently running in the Actor's Café every weekend through August 10th. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.
Cabaret opens on July 11th on the Mainstage and runs every weekend through August 10th. Show times are Friday and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Saturday and Sundays at 2pm.
Story By: Virginia Olivieri
About Desert Stages Theatre. A bustling community playhouse, Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale, Ariz., is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3, founded in 1995, and delivers performances year round. Four show schedules occur throughout the year: Actor's Café performances in the intimate, proscenium-style 65-seat theatre; Mainstage Series in Cullity Hall, an inventive 140-seat theatre-in-the-round; On Stage Children's Series for ages 3-19, and Next Stage Series for 12-19, both also performed in Cullity Hall. DST also operates a theatrical academy (Center Stage, among many other classes), regularly hosts talent shows (Show Your Stuff) and offers a variety of music, dance and other classes open to the community. DST is led by co-founder, executive director and artistic director, Laurie Cullity. Additional co-founders are Joan Thompson and the late Gerry Cullity. Included in each DST season are children's productions of original scripts, musical scores and lyrics by co-founder Cullity whose works are still relished eight years after his passing. Desert Stages has developed thousands of thespians, young and old, many with compelling personal stories of triumph and major stage success, all of who perform at DST for the pure love of the theatre.