Touchstone Theatre to Debut Solo, Ensemble Works with FRESH VOICES
The Fresh Voices showcase returns to Touchstone Theatre on June 2 and 3, 2017. This annual event is a celebration of new theatre, featuring original works-in-progress by the 2016-17 Touchstone Apprentices, Sabrina DeWeerdt and Joe Ferraro. The evening is composed of three original works-in-progress: two solo pieces and one ensemble work.
Touchstone's Apprenticeship Program annually selects emerging and transitioning artists to study within the company and learn about life in a professional ensemble theatre. Their work touches every aspect of the company and includes acting, stage management, playwriting, teaching, prop making, and more. Over the past sixteen years, Touchstone has graduated nearly 70 theatre artists from its program with more than a decade of Fresh Voices productions produced. Past apprentices have gone on to start their own theatre companies, continued their work as playwrights, designers, actors, teaching artists, and contributed to the field of original theatre at large locally and abroad.
"Fresh Voices is one of our season favorites," says Emma Ackerman, Touchstone Ensemble Member and apprentice coordinator. "We look forward to it every year, and our regular audiences do, too; it's inspiring to see each class of apprentices spread their wings and take off under their own creative power."
This year, apprentice Sabrina's DeWeerdt's solo creation is entitled "ArtBot" and features a newly-created character Doctor Calhoon, the genius behind the AI: Project Gemini, who is hosting a public sneak preview of her latest creation: ArtBot, the first robot programmed to make art. Apprentice Joe Ferraro's original solo work is called "One Day at a Time", which follows a unique story of addiction and redemption focusing on the past, the present, and the pushing forward.
"Sabrina and I are really lucky to be able to share our first-ever solo pieces," says Ferraro. "And it's been a fun challenge to combine our different styles for the group piece," adds DeWeerdt.
For their collaborative work, the two apprentices are creating a clown piece, which is a style of theatre Touchstone often utilizes for its annual holiday show Christmas City Follies; this past season DeWeerdt created a clown character Little Yellow as part of the show. Ferraro is no stranger comedy either; he also appeared in Follies and regularly performs with the improv group The Associated Mess.
Touchstone's season is sponsored locally by season sponsors First Generation and RCN. WDIY provides media sponsorship and Working Dog Press provides print sponsorship.
Fresh Voices runs June 2 and 3, 2017, 8:00 pm at Touchstone Theatre. There will also be a post-show reception on the 2nd and a talk-back with the apprentices on the 3rd. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Will at the door, with a suggested donation of $10 or can be purchased in advance for $10, available at (610) 867-1689 or www.touchstone.org.
Celebrating thirty-six years, Touchstone Theatre produces and presents both original and classic productions, with a dedication to the renewal of theatre as a vital art form. Touchstone works to foster collaboration on a local and national level through educational and youth empowerment programs, using theatre as a community-building tool. Visit www.touchstone.org for more information.