THE SKRIKER is a production of Henry Ford Community College’s Virtual Theatricality Lab. The VTL is dedicated to forging the live performance technologies of the 21st century and beyond. Astounding new media innovations are redefining the nature of live performance. Technologies such as digital video, stereoscopic 3D projection, and real time virtual reality environmental navigation software are available for use by serious theatrical artists. The VTL exists to nurture the daring creative visions of performers, designers, and technicians who will embrace the multidimensional technological performance arena of the New Age of theater production.
THE HUMAN CAST
The Skriker: LAURA MC CALLUM
Lily: CARLA G. BANKS
Josie, (Lily's Sister) Lily’s Great Granddaughter: DEVONA MOORE
Man With Bucket, Man With No Chest: MIKE COCHRAN
Girl With Telescope, Dead Child, Beach Girl, Lost Girl, Lily's Great Great Granddaughter: LENA AL-HANOOTI
Passerby: RACHEL CAPRARO
Businessman: JEREMIAH DEVLIN-RULLE
Family Man, Businessman: CHRISTOPHER CALL
Family Man, Businessman: BRANDON GRANTZ
Underworld Denizens (Human Souls Captured By The Skriker): JEREMIAH DEVLIN-RUELLE, CARLA G. BANKS, DEVONA MOORE, CHRISTOPHER CALL, MICHAEL COCHRAN, LENA AL-HANOOTI, BRANDON GRANTZ
THE DIGITAL CAST
(In Order of Appearance)
The Fairy Skriker: HUGH DUNEGHY*, LAURA MCCALLUM
The Kelpie: ERIC GREEN
Yallery Brown: JOSH MULKA
The Green Lady: TESS ULREY, DEVONA MOORE
The Bogle: CHRIS CALL
The Spriggan: ERIC GREEN
The Brownie: LENA AL-HANOOTI
The Black Dog: BRIAN JOHNSON
Jennie Greenteeth: CHRIS CALL, GERRY DZUIBLINSKI
Rawheadandbloodybones: MIKE COCHRAN
Director/Sound Designer/Special and Magical Effects Designer: George Popovich
Chief Engineer, Director of Photography: E. Alan Contino
Creature and Digital Scene Design: Chris Dozier, John Wilson
Mo-Cap Technologist and Post-Production Animation: Brian Johnson
Stage Scenic Design: Nick Riley
Dialect Coach, Properties Designer: Gerry Dzuibinski
Lighting Design: Chris Bremer
Choreographer: Tess Ulrey
Scenic Artist/Costume Designer: Judy Fletcher
Man With No Chest Illusion: Bill and Maggie Freitag, Creative Intelligence
Assistant Properties Designer: Laura McCallum
Assistant Dialect Coach: Paul Meier
3D Words, Opening Monologue: Ron Labbe, Studio 3D
Makeup Design: George Popovich, Devona Moore, Laura McCallum
Assistant Costume Design: Devona Moore
"News" Video Compilation and Editing: George Popovich
Stage Technical Director: Gerry Dzuiblinski
Stage Manager: Josh Mulka
Video Technical Operators: Nick Kabrovich, Matt Votruba, Mark Rinn
Light Board Operator, Production Assistant: Kristen Mercer Sound Operator: D' Angelo Glover
Deck Captain, Shift Crew, FX Crew: Chris Call
Slide Controller, FX Captain, Shift Crew: Brandon Grantz
Prop Master, Shift Crew, FX Crew: Jeremiah Devlin-Rulle
Master Carpenter: Kristen Gribbin
Assistant Carpenters: Shawn Lipscomb, Laura McCallum, Chris Bremer, Jeremiah Devlin-Rulle, Nicholas Mondelli, Gerry Dzuiblinski, Diamond Williams, Mandy Robinson
Assistant Painters: Jeremiah Devlin-Rulle, Mandy Robinson, Diamond Williams, Cindy Gergely, Laura McCallum, Shawn Lipscomb
Stage Electricians: Diamond Williams, Gerry Dzuiblnski, Mike Cavallero
Production Assistant: Nicole McComb
Properties Construction: Jeremiah Devlin-Ruelle, Gerry Dzuiblinski, Mandy Robinson, Laura McCallum, Kimberly Hines
Dresser, Costume Manager, Shift Crew, Production Assistant: Briana Jenkins
Dresser, Costume Manager: Lena Al-Hanooti
Archival Video Camera Operator: Nick Kabrovich
Program Printing: HFCC Graphics
Program Typist: George Popovich
Box Office/Ushers: Cast and Crew, Theater Students
Publicity: George Popovich
Stage Technical Direction Consultant: Majd Murad
ABOUT THE PLAY
Late in Caryl Churchill’s play, the title character, the Skriker–"a shape-shifter and death portent, ancient and damaged"–is trying hard to seduce Lily, the young woman whose love she so desperately needs. In an attempt to get through to her she says:
"Have you noticed the large number of meteorological phenomena lately? Earthquakes. Volcanoes. Drought. Apocalyptic meteorological phenomena. The increase of sickness. It was always possible to think, whatever your personal problem, there’s always nature. Spring will return even if it’s without me. Nobody loves me but at least it’s a sunny day. This has been a comfort to people as long as they’ve existed. But it’s not available anymore. Sorry. Nobody loves me and the sun’s going to kill me. Spring will return and nothing will grow. Some people might feel concerned about that. But it makes me feel important. I’m going to be around when the world as we know it ends. I’m going to witness unprecedented catastrophe. I like a pileup on the motorway. I like the kind of war we’ve been having lately. I like snuff movies. But this is going to be the big one."
When she started speaking, this angry and malevolent faerie did not intend to reveal so much; her rage gets the better of her. But what she says here is at the heart of the play. The earth is sick; human beings have brought on its fatal illness; and nature is about to get even. Nowadays, Nature likes a snuff film.
Churchill wrote this play in 1993; it premiered at the National Theater in London in 1994. In it she draws heavily on British folklore and mythology. The Skriker, "not a major spirit, but a spirit," is hungry for the love and respect human beings once extended to the faerie world–the mysterious creatures and spirits of the earth who for tens of thousands of years personified mankind’s understanding of nature. Goblins, Spriggans, Bogles, Elves, Fairies, Brownies–both helpful and dangerous–represented man’s more organic, and more ancient connection to the world: a way of understanding an existence in which it was imperative to live in balance with nature, to treat every element of the landscape with caution, respect, and more than a little fear.
The last vestige of that way of looking at the world perished with the Industrial Revolution. Respect has been replaced with arrogance, caution with foolhardiness, a wise sense of balance with a prodigal destruction of the irreplaceable. The world, with its swelling population, dwindling resources, and stifling poisons is hurtling toward catastrophe. The Skriker, a sick but ferocious representative of an older understanding, re-emerges from the underworld, determined to strike back at the bringers of this global disease: human beings. At her back follow other ancient creatures, equally damaged and equally out of place, but just as determined to avenge a savaged planet. What the Skriker wants, so she says, is a human baby, ostensibly a means of bringing a revival of the ancient powers of Faerie. But what she’s really after, or at least so Churchill implies, is the eradication of the human future. After the next mass extinction, whether by means of a good-sized asteroid or self-induced, the planet would renew itself in a mere few million years: the blink of an eye, in geologic time.
You will likely leave the theatre feeling there were parts of this play you didn't understand. The play is deliberately abstract, indirect and dense. It is written and presented in a fragmented fashion. It is not necessary that you comprehend everything to appreciate the show. Much of the show is aimed at creating a feeling of mystery, wonder, and dread. We hope that our acting performances and visual approach will accomplish that.
When Caryl Churchill tells a fairy tale, it’s not likely to conclude with happily ever after. In THE SKRIKER, the author of CLOUD 9, TOP GIRLS and MAD FOREST takes a surreal character extrapolated from English folklore and brings it into the present to deliver a disturbing message about a world out of balance.
The Skriker’s guises include (among others) an old crone, a pretty fairy and a female psychotic sexual hustler. The Skriker seeks to avenge its unsettled spirit by insinuating itself into the lives to two impressionable young women: one is pregnant and the other in a psych ward for killing her baby.
“I was certainly wanting to write a play about damage -- damage to nature and damage to people, both which there’s plenty of about,” the press-shy playwright told THE NEW YORK TIMES in 1996. “To that extent, I was writing a play about England now. Where this didn’t come from was any desire to write an escape into the airy-fairy.”
In its initial run at the Royal National Theatre and in the 1996 production at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre, reviews were largely laudatory while stressing that THE SKRIKER is a thick and challenging work. “Caryl Churchill’s astonishing new work is hardly a source of comfort,” critic Ben Brantley wrote in THE NEW YORK TIMES, describing the play as “a toxic variation on A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT’S DREAM.” Everything in THE SKRIKER, even language, seems to be mutating.
Keep your glasses on. Keep your head straight.
Interspersed throughout the scenes are various appearances of the creatures. We have not altered the play. It is presented essentially as written. The creatures are shown to exist in a dimension gateway between our world and theirs. There is no attempt to present the creatures as "Real," but as elements of fantasy. Sometimes they influence human events, sometimes, they just observe, and “hang out” in the irreality between their world and ours. Interspersed through the play are various characters (Man With Bucket, Passerby, Girl With Telescope, etc) that in some way are influenced by the creatures and can see them, usually because they have sought out the creatures through magical means. These characters drift in and out of the play.
Casting: The play is written so that one actress plays all the various incarnations of The Skriker such as The Mental patient, The Derelict Woman, The Woman in the Pub, The Pretend Fairy, The Child In the Park, etc. We have elected to portray the underworld fairy version of The Skriker With Motion Capture (Performed principally by Hugh Duneghy) and the human incarnations of The Skriker by one actress (Laura McCallum). We show two “possessions:” to establish the convention that The Skriker is “borrowing” human bodies and then rely upon the skills of the actress to portray the various incarnations of The Skriker, rather than attempt to portray the variety of characters through physical illusionistic means. Additionally, you will hear the Skriker use a variety of accents from The British Isles, including Cockney, Hampshire, Liverpool, and Yorkshire. It is hoped that this convention will further distinguish the Skriker’s various characters.
The creatures, including the actual (fairy) appearance of the Skriker, are not seen by most humans, but exist in the dimension gateway between humans and the underworld. Once in awhile, through extraordinary means, (girl with telescope, man with cloth and bucket) it is possible for a human to get a glimpse of a creature's true appearance, but not often. Some humans fall prey to the creatures' temptations and can actually interact with them, but only after being tempted and succumbing to temptation. The Skriker is careful not to reveal her true appearance to anyone. This is why she appears as a human version of a fairy in scene 13. Likewise, in the underworld, it is a "humanized," corporeal version of the Skriker Josie sees and the captured human souls of the underworld put on the celebration, and the ugly, hideous creatures remain unseen by Josie.
The major impetus for the scenic design of THE SKRIKER is German Expressionism, probably best exemplified in the film THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI. German Expressionism was a stage painting technique that found its way into films. As the Nazis rose to power, many German theater artists and film artists fled Germany and made their way into Hollywood. Expressionism found its way into the Universal horror films of the 1930s and and it has remained a major artistic approach until this day. The distorted and angled lines of expressionism are meant to depict a world that is askew and out of control and we believe this is appropriate to the universe created by Ms. Churchill for THE SKRIKER. The scenery of the everyday world is presented in Black and White (actually a "bluish noir") to depict the drabness of the everyday world and also to maintain the integrity of its roots (CALIGARI). The creatures and underworld, however, are presented in color, to set them apart from the "real" world and to make them enticing and attractive.
All images are original to this production. The images are in stereoscopic 3D. A left and a right eye view is created via imaging programs and outputted through polarized projectors. Glasses polarized at different angles for the left and right eye are worn by the audience. The glasses force the eyes to maintain separate left and right eye views, thus creating the illusion of depth in 3 dimensions.
The Time: The present. The Place: In and around London, England.
Scene 1……………………………………………..The Underworld
While the play is about the two sisters and their encounters with The Skriker, it is also about the condition of our world. Various references are made in the play to war, global warming, and a host of other negative influences that plague our planet. A brief video montage of network news from the past nine months opens the show and reinforces this. The Skriker appears and briefly torments the human souls she has seduced and imprisoned in the underworld. What follows is a very long monologue written in a poetic, surreal style. this monologue may confuse you. For insight we offer an analysis by critic Christian Nagy:
"The very first scene of the play is an extremely long monologue spoken by the Skriker, which at first sight resembles a senseless pile of words put together haphazardly. All the same, after a while the words miraculously begin to form a meaning, however obscure and impalpable.
Churchill’s play is a fairly traditional one in the sense that the initial speech of the Skriker retains the function of a prologue. A good prologue creates the atmosphere of the oncoming play, puts the spectator or the reader in a mood in which they are able to tune into the plot and the lives of the characters to be presented. It often refers to the events to come; sometimes it turns to the audience with some request or another. Similarly, the Skriker’s monologue is able to create the strange, half-rational, half-irrational aura of the scenes to come.
The unhindered flow of the words addresses the readers’ subconscious rather than their conscious, rational mind; one feels, by means of a mysterious sixth sense, rather than knows the exact meaning of what the Skriker is speaking about. By the end of the speech, therefore, we have seemingly unstructured clusters of information about a young girl who is in trouble now, (“may day, she cries,”) and about an unnamed baby (“put my hand to the baby”). Besides the function of creating a strong sense of atmosphere, the above extracts retain another role from the traditional prologue: they also refer to the main points of the action. “May day, she cries,” says the Skriker and she presumably speaks about Josie, who, having murdered her baby, is in a mental hospital at the beginning of the play. Josie does not actually use the well-known radio signal of planes and ships in danger, but she is clearly in danger due not only to her murderous act but to the disquieting presence of the Skriker as well. The baby without a name is Josie’s daughter who had been killed before she could be baptised.
The initial monologue of the fairy has also a significant role of characterizing the Skriker herself in at least two ways. In the first place the way it is rendered is very much like a speech of a shaman in trance, which only the initiates can understand. The shaman, who is connected with transcendental forces, brings his tribesmen a message from the world beyond, and the Skriker’s uncontrolled string of free associations based on puns, alliterations, homophones, and rhymes has a similar effect. The uneasy feeling that we do not understand it, yet it might have a coherent meaning, gives the speech an air of other-worldliness and suggests that its speaker is not of our familiar material world.
The speech contains several references to persons, objects, concepts and literary pieces, which are more or less significant parts of the Western, and especially of the English-speaking world. They are sometimes fairly explicit, sometimes distorted, or even carefully concealed; yet a lot of them can be detected. There is an extremely complex reference to the Devil in the following sequence:
“Out of her pinkle lippety loppety, out of her mouthtrap, out came my secreted garden flower of my youth and beauty and the beast is six six six o’clock in the morning becomes electric stormy petrel bomb.”
The biblical allusion to the Book of Revelation is woven into a net of other allusions: the “secreted garden,” Eden, is inseparably connected to an allusion to a figure of speech “the flower of my youth,” which again is partly a constructive element of the cliché that follows “youth and beauty.” “Beauty” is put together with “beast” and thus forms a reference to the legend of the beauty and the beast. Among the wide variety of cultural allusions there are further biblical ones, for example the one to the story of the fall in the Book of Genesis and “eat the one forbidden fruit,” or the one to the seven angels and their trumpets in the Book of Revelation. Another layer of allusions is the one made to literary pieces: “everything gone with the window cleaner” includes the title of Margaret Mitchell’s famous best-seller, Gone With the Wind, another well-known title is concealed in “wail whale moby dictated the outcome into the garden maudlin," Herman Melville’s Moby Dick or the White Whale. The sequence “what can the matternhorn piping down the valley” hides a part of a line from William Blake’s Introduction to the Songs of Innocence.
Such a delicate net of cultural references suggests that the Skriker is not an ordinary person, not even an ordinary fairy. She has pre-eminently the English, in a wider sense, the whole of Western culture in her unconscious, and now she lets it pour out, lets it come to the surface. The clearly recognisable references are but the tip of the iceberg, what is below in the depth is everything made, every word uttered or written, every legend conceived, the sum of all human beings dead or alive. Probably the closest relative of such profundity is Carl Gustav Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious, which contains in each individual an obscure and secret corner of archetypes, ancient memories and fears. If the idea of such a relationship holds water, the style of the Skriker’s speech can be characterised by the term “stream of the collective unconscious” and is organised in a surrealistic way by the ocean of the common cultural memories of humankind.”
Or, to look at it in a simpler way: this is the Skriker’s language; it is “Skrikerese.”
Scene 2……………………………………………..A Mental Hospital
Lily, who is pregnant, visits her sister Josie. Josie is in a mental hospital for killing her child. The Skriker appears and possesses a female mental patient.
Scene 3……………………………………………..A Street
A derelict woman is possessed by the Skriker. The Skriker causes Lily to cough up coins.
Scene 4…………………………………………….. A Pub
The Spriggan appears and reacts to movies playing on a TV in the pub. The Skriker, (in another human incarnation) tries to understand how a TV works.
Scene 5…………………………………………….. A Street
Josie discovers the Skriker has punished her: toads come out of Josie’s mouth.
Scene 6……………………………………………..A Room
The Skriker appears as a sham fairy and produces a shower of flowers for Lily.
Scene 7……………………………………………..A Park
The Skriker appears as a small child and attempts to manipulate Lily. Josie, aware of the Skriker’s tricks, attacks the Skriker.
Scene 8……………………………………………..The Underworld
The Skriker transports Josie to The Underworld. Rather than the torture of human souls displayed in scene 1, Josie is “treated” to a feast attended by the captured human souls being pressed into service as banquet guests.” An underworld captive possessing no entrails is humiliated.
Scene 9……………………………………………..A Park
Josie’s journey into the underworld occurs in an instant of our time and Josie finds herself back in the park as in Scene 7.
Scene 10…………………………………………….A Room
Lily and Josie are in their London Flat. Lily has had her baby. Josie advances the idea that Lily’s baby may be a changeling. According to Celtic Legends, fairies would steal human babies and leave a fairy child (changeling) in their place.
Scene 11…………………………………………….A Kitchen (The London Flat)
The Skriker appears as a sexual hustler and further attempts to seduce Lily.
Scene 12…………………………………………….A Room
The Skriker appears in the guise of Marie, a friend of Lily’s.
Scene 13…………………………………………….A Mental Hospital
Lily confronts the Skriker in the form of an old woman. Lily embraces the Skriker with her heart and soul. The Skriker has won.
Scene 14…………………………………………….A Dark Place: a hundred years later
Lily is transported into the future where she sees her daughter and great granddaughter. She takes a piece of food from her great-granddaughter and the Skriker's victory is complete.
Special Thanks to The Technology Improvement Fund Committee, Dr. Lynn Hensel, Rick Goward, Ron Labbe, Bill Freitag, Sandro Sylvestri, HFCC Voice and Data Technicians, Judy March, Henry Morgan, Brian Johnson, and Mousepad Computers.
1. The Fairy Skriker: The Oxford English Dictionary reveals the secret, claiming that there exists a verb ‘to skrike' which means “to utter a shrill harsh cry; to screak.” The Skriker then is the one who screaks, a “screaker.” Unlike some other members of the company from the Underworld, such as the Kelpie, which is a water-spirit or demon in Lowland Scottish folklore, or the Bogle, which is a phantom or specter of the night causing fright, the Skriker is not a traditional figure of British folklore, it is rather Churchill's own artistic invention. The remaining creatures are taken from traditional English, Irish, and Scottish folklore.
2. Yallery Brown: The name of a malicious fairy in England. His appearance is extremely ugly and wrinkled, with long hair and a beard.
3. Black Dog: Creatures, which typically resemble black dogs though it is also often used as a generic term for canine apparitions of other colors and types.
4. Kelpie: In old Scotland, the Kelpie is a treacherous water devil who lurks in lakes and rivers. It usually assumes the shape of a young horse.
5. Green Lady: Green Ladies have power to change their forms at will. A Green Lady may sometimes deceive a traveler by appearing before him in the form of his lady-love, and, after speaking to him for a time, turn away with mocking laughter and vanish from sight. Perhaps, too, she may appear as a dog, and torment shepherds by driving their sheep hither and thither in wild confusion. Each Green Lady lives alone in a solitary place, either below a river or waterfall or in a green knoll, a forest, or a deep ravine. One is rarely seen in daytime. The Green Lady wanders about in the dusk of late evening, in moonlight, or in darkness. She is ever a deceiver, and woe to the traveler who has not the knowledge how to overcome her spells, for she may drown him at a river ford or lead him over the edge of a precipice. It is difficult to fight against her, for if she asks a man what weapon he has, and he names it, she can, by working magic, make the weapon quite harmless.
6. Jennie Greenteeth: A water spirit who lurks in swamps, bogs, and slow-moving rivers. She hides in shallow, murky water with her head half-submerged like a frog and looks for unwary children to drown and devour.
7. The Bogle: A freakish spirit, who delights rather to perplex and frighten humankind than either to serve or seriously to hurt humans. He is like a mischievous type of Brownie. He is exactly the same as the poltergeist in his activities and habits. He is an evil-natured goblin who tortures liars and murderers. He haunts crossroads at night and likes to trick merchants. and travelers.
8. Brownie: The best known of the industrious domestic hobgoblins. The Brownie's land is over all the North of England and up into the highlands of Scotland. The Brownie is small, ragged and shaggy. Some say he has a nose so small as to be hardly more than two nostrils. The most gentle of the creatures. Many Brownies can be taught to clean and do domestic chores.
9. Spriggan: Ghosts of giants, which haunted megaliths and standing stones, guarding the treasure buried there. They could swell to a huge grotesque shape or shrink to a small size. They were to blame for all kinds of disasters, such as falling buildings, bad weather or lost children.
10. Rawheadandbloodybones: A specter that frightens children. One of the most evil of the border goblins. It lives on ancient battlefields and in the ruins of fortresses, castles, and, towers. Once a cruel and violent human, its offenses against the world of Faerie condemned it to the underworld where it was first made immortal and then flayed alive. Its pain never ceases and it vents his rage against whatever human beings fall into its hands by tearing them in pieces and eating them alive.
This production utilizes motion capture. A motion capture suit is capable of transferring the movements of a live actor to a digital puppet. The creatures were created in Lightwave 3D, a digital modeling program. They were then imported into the motion capture program, Motion Builder, for use by actors equipped with motion capture suits. Motion capture is the technique used in Peter Jackson's KING KONG to create the giant ape. Motion capture has also been used in hundreds of other films.
This is the second production of HFCC’s Virtual Theatricality Lab. The first production was THE TEMPEST (2003). THE TEMPEST was presented again in January 2004 at The Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival at Illinois State University.
The purpose of THE TEMPEST was to explore the creation of Virtual Reality for use in a live theater environment. Full documentation of THE TEMPEST (including a video) can be found at: http://www.hfcctheater.com.
After THE TEMPEST, it was decided that The Virtual Theatricality Lab would take “the next step,” but no one was sure what the next step was. There are several elements that comprise a theatrical production: the actor, the space, the audience, and the script. After examining THE TEMPEST, the element which seemed to be lacking in THE TEMPEST was a direct emphasis on the actor. While the interactive aspect of the production did provide some outlet for actors’ creativity, the overall scenic approach, although VR, did not involve the actors to a great extent. It was for this reason the VTL Lab decided to explore the area of motion capture.
HFCC's Technology Improvement Fund Committee generously granted The Virtual Theatricality Lab a grant to explore Motion Capture in live performance situations.
HUGH DUNEGHY (Motion Capture Skriker) has appeared professionally in local television commercials. He has trained with the Detroit Repertory Theater, HFCC Theater Arts, and has appeared in the Plowshares Theater Company's production of MUTE BONE and the Matrix Theater's production of THE AMBASSADOR. He hopes to act in films and continue his stage work.
LAURA MCCALLUM (Human Skriker) is an HFCC Theater Arts major. Laura has appeared in our productions of THE KENTUCKY CYCLE (Margaret Rowan, Mother Jones), ARABIAN NIGHTS (Sis 2, Merchant, Bird, Fatima) and THE WIZ (The Wiz). Laura plans to attend Columbia College in Chicago.
DEVONA MOORE (Josie) is an HFCC Theater Arts major and has been seen in our productions of THE WIZ, (Lion) and DISLOCATIONS (Lila Penningworth), THE KENTUCKY CYCLE (Sureta Biggs, Sallie Biggs) and TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS (Narrator). She plans to become a professional actress and singer.
CARLA G. BANKS (Lily) is an HFCC Theater Arts major. She has taken a wide variety of HFCC Theater Arts classes. She plans to become a professional actress.
MICHAEL COCHRAN (Man With Cloth and Bucket, various roles) has appeared on the HFCC stage in THE GAME, I BET YOUR LIFE, COMMEDIA AMERICANA, PEER GYNT, THE TEMPEST and TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS. He is an HFCC Alumni and is currently attending Bowling Green State University and is majoring in Theater. He plans to move to Los Angeles or New York and pursue a film career.
LENA AL-HANOOTI (Girl with Telescope, various roles) is an HFCC Theater Arts major and has appeared in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, VISIT TO A SMALL PLANET and TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS. She plans to major in Theater at Roosevelt University or Detroit Mercy.
JEREMIAH DEVLIN-RULLE (Underworld Dweller, various roles) is a graduate of Second City Detroit’s beginning program, has taken classes at the Improve Inferno in Ann Arbor, is a graduate of Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, and is currently enrolled in the Telecommunications and Theater program at HFCC. Jeremiah has appeared in UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE as Rusty O’Brien and has appeared in a variety of short films for school projects and awards competitions. He is a member of the international Thespian Society. He plans to obtain a B.A. in applied sciences in radio and television.
CHRISTOPHER CALL (Underworld Dweller, various roles) is a classically trained pianist and has appeared in the lead role in HFCC’s DISLOCATIONS. Chris was also on the stage crew for THE WIZ. He is currently an HFCC Theater Arts major.
BRANDON GRANTZ (Underworld Dweller, various roles) was involved in HFCC's production of THE WIZ and played Reggie in HFCC'S NEW PLAYWRIGHT'S WORKSHOP'S production of 24 HOURS TO LIVE and Joe in the workshop's production of DISLOCATIONS. He is currently an HFCC Theater Arts major. Brandon appeared in a short film over the summer. He played the lead male, Detective Vincent Hoffman in 1023 STAND BY. He is also in negotiations for another short film called THE MARIONETTE KILLER.
RACHAEL CAPRARO (Passerby) Currently Rachel earns a living in day care where she is a professional storybook reader, bubble blower, and play dough sculptor. Theater being her passion, however, she spends a great deal of time as an Assistant Director to Carol Ann Black, artistic director and founder of ShowBiz Kidz and ShowBiz Starz theatrical training programs for children and teens. She has worked on everything from Shakespeare (ROMEO AND JULIET and A MIDSUMER NIGHT’S DREAM) to musicals (CINDERELLA, LI’L ABNER, WEST SIDE STORY, SHE LOVES ME.) Some of her favorite straight shows include THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE and THE HOBBIT, both of which include fantasy characters, which are of special interest and delight to Rachel. She has also assisted in teaching many acting classes and workshops including Auditioning, Stage Makeup, Radio Drama, and Theater Games. Recently Rachel has appeared on stage in shows with Big Girl Productions, her favorite role being Lady Olivia in TWELFTH NIGHT.
GEORGE POPOVICH (Director) was born in Monterey, California. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the California State University and a Secondary Teaching Credential and Community College Teaching Credential from the California State University. He received an M.A. in Directing from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in Theater from the Ohio State University. He has taught secondary school full-time in California, Ohio, and Texas and University and Community College in California, Texas, Ohio and Michigan.
He is a graduate of South Coast Repertory Acting Conservatory, which won a Tony award for best regional theater in the United States in 1988. While in California, Popovich founded the Tustin Theater Guild, a professional acting company. He directed professionally in California at The Cabrillo Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, and The Sandcastle Players.
He has been the Director of Theater Arts at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan for the last 21 years. Popovich developed the Associate Arts Degree in Theater at HFCC and founded THE NEW PLAYWRIGHT'S WORKSHOP in 1996, which produces new plays by Michigan playwrights each spring. Popovich's productions of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, MACBETH, THE GRAPES OF WRATH, and THE TEMPEST, have been honored by the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival. He has directed over 400 productions at the college, professional, and community theater levels and has designed scenery, lights, costumes, makeup, special effects, and sound for over 220 productions. He is the Director of HFCC's Virtual Theatricality Lab. Dr. Popovich is a member of the Association for Theater in Higher Education.
Popovich has taught Acting I, II, III and IV, Directing, Theater History, Public Speaking, Film Genres, Film History and Criticism, Technical Theater and Advanced Technical Theater, Theatrical Production and Advanced Theatrical Production, Experimental Theater, One Act Play Production, Stage Makeup, Virtual Reality in Theatrical Production, Theater Appreciation, and Honors Directed Study at HFCC.
Locally, Popovich has been recognized in newspaper editorials and feature articles. In 1993, he received The Dearborn Mayor's Arts Council Award for best Performer/Artist and in 1995 he was inducted into The Dearborn Theater Hall of Fame. His productions have won over 35 Press and Guide Entertainment awards, including 3 awards for best director and awards for best sound design, best non-musical, best musical, best special effects, best makeup, best lighting, and best technical director.
Popovich's articles on film, performance theory, and digital theater have appeared in many scholarly journals and his essay on the advanced theoretical applications of computer-generated theatrical scenery was included in THEATER IN CYBERSPACE, a book of critical essays. His dissertation on modern science fiction films serves as a reference work for scholars in the United States and in Europe . His inter-disciplinary course "Science Fiction and Horror Films" is one of the most popular course offerings in the Fine Arts Department.
Popovich' virtual reality production of THE TEMPEST was a regional winner at The Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival at Illinois State University, January 2004.
E. ALAN CONTINO (Chief Engineer, Director of Photography) completed his first animated short film when he was just 12 years old. Alan had already begun studying electrical engineering, specializing in digital video and audio technology by the time he was 15, and was a featured cable television producer and director for local origination programming on several different cable broadcast systems around the metro Detroit area.
Alan began regularly engineering live television studios when he was 19 years old, making him the youngest broadcast engineer in America. He now has more than 50 screen credits in motion picture and television productions, including an experimental feature film he wrote, produced & directed, KILL JOI. With more than 17 years of professional experience, Alan has become Chief Executive Officer/Producer & a Senior Partner with Delirium Films.
Delirium Films, formed in 1996, relies on Alan's expertise to stay on the cutting edge of motion picture engineering. Alan has never given up his love for technology and is contracted part time as Chief Engineer for the Virtual Theatricality Laboratory at Henry Ford Community College Theater.
CHRISTOPHER A. DOZIER (Digital Creature and Scenic Design) completed his first professional design production for Davita Inc. at the age of 21, after returning from Franklin and Marshall College, where he achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Immediately after graduation, he moved to Florida where he attended the Digital Arts and Visual Effects School to learn visual effects for film and broadcast. Since his graduation, he has offered support in many ways to the faculty through tutoring, assistance with motion capture acting, and educational production. Since 2004, Chris has worked as a full-time freelance artist using his traditional and digital art for graphic design, commercial, and motion picture visual effects. In the summer of 2005, Chris worked as a production designer alongside producer Lee Stringer on a short entitled NASA SEALS, created by the DAVE graduate community. In that same year, he managed graphic design for two EP releases by Domination Records artists Eddie Meeks and Cadence, as well as animation for an advertisement for Royal Concrete Construction Inc. Currently he is in visual effects production of Jon Gress' first feature film IANUNNAKI as well as BLOOM by Dan Measel, both dated for 2007 release.
JOHN WILSON (Digital Creature and Scenic Design) is an original founding member of HFCC's VIRTUAL THEATRICALITY LAB. John was heavily involved in the computer imagery aspects of HFCC's THE TEMPEST. Immediately after graduation from HFCC, he moved to Florida where he attended the Digital Arts and Visual Effects School, located on the production lots of UNIVERSAL STUDIOS to learn visual effects for film and broadcast. He currently lives in Florida and is a freelance digital effects artist.
BRIAN JOHNSON (Mo-Cap technologist and Post-Production Animation and Processes) is a Detroit native. He has a B.F.A. degree in Broadcast Arts and Animation from San Francisco State University. He has been an artist and animator since the age of 10 and has served as a full-time CG and stop-motion artist on television and films for the past 10 years. He completed the internship program at LucasArts ILM and has worked on numerous feature films and commercials. He is currently producing and animating a 3D stereo adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s THE BLACK CAT, using traditional stop motion animation with CG environments.
GERRY DZUIBLINSKI, (Stage Technical Director) a Detroit native, studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before transferring to Antioch College to obtain his BA in Communications and Growth Environments. There he studied theatre, psychology, video production and visual art. He spent his senior year at the London, England extension campus, where he studied movement, improvisation and technical theatre at the Cockpit Theatre. Returning to Detroit, he taught theatre and mathematics at an alternative high school for two years before forming his own 501(c) 3 production company, the Experimental Performing Arts Association, of which he is still the Artistic Director. He wrote, co-wrote and adapted material for several one and two person shows, which he toured through the seven state Midwest region and Canada. His work with the EPAA has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan and Detroit Arts Councils and the Southeast Michigan Community Foundation. He has taught drama to elementary and high school students, and in the mental health system.
In 1989 he began teaching and directing at Henry Ford Community College. In 1990 he became the Director of the Theatre for Young Audiences program, which annually brings Wayne County Elementary school students to the campus. He recently expanded the program to two weeks of matinees, and three weekends for families, and brought high school students to campus to see Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT. He received his MA in Directing from Antioch University in 1992, which included study with Marcel Marceau. In 1996 he became Technical Director and resident designer. He is the faculty liaison to the Honors Program, and has taught 20 different classes on campus, including Honors Great Works: Dramatic Literature. He often supervises the New Playwright’s Workshop, in which he premiered an original work, WHEN THE LIONS ROARS. He has also adapted A CHRISTMAS CAROL and PINOCCHIO for the Theatre for Young Audiences program, and translated and adapted Moliere’s SCAPINO. He has won awards for Best Production, Technical Direction, Scenic, Lighting, Makeup and Props Design. He has served as adjunct faculty at Wayne State University, University of Detroit-Mercy, and both Casablancas and Powers Talent and Modeling. He is listed in Marquis’ WHO'S WHO, by the International Biographical Centre and in the WHO’S WHO OF AMERICAN TEACHERS. He is on the Michigan Board of Directors of a tri-state Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Center. He has worked professionally as director, actor, adaptor, designer and stage manager.
JOSHUA MULKA (Stage Manager) attended Dearborn High School and appeared in FATHER OF THE BRIDE and FAME. He plans to double major in history and theater at Wayne State. He studied technical theater at HFCC and was sound operator for THE WIZ and NEW PLAYWRIGHT’S WORKSHOP 2006.
MARK RINN (Video Technician) is a film/video major who has taken several telecommunications classes at HFCC. Mark participated in the Gary Glaser documentary film STRANDED AT THE CORNER and has written, produced, directed, and edited his own horror film, THE DEMON’S PLAYTIME. He is presently completing an Associate’s degree in Multimedia Design. Mark wishes to become a director of horror films.
NICHOLAS RILEY (Physical Set Design) is currently studying Theatrical Design at the University of Michigan. He has worked for several years in both academic and professional settings in the areas of scenic and properties carpentry and as an electrician in addition to the field of design. Most recently he served as the Assistant Technical Director for the U of M Department of Theatre’s production of THE LARAMIE PROJECT and as Lighting Designer for the Musical Theatre Department’s production of COMPANY. From 2000-2003 he worked as a research and development assistant in HFCC’s Virtual Theatricality Lab, working on pre-production aspects for the VTL’s first production, THE TEMPEST, as well as being involved in the production both locally and for the version staged at the regional American College Theatre Festival.
JUDITH FLETCHER-BARBER (Scenic Artist and Costume Designer) is the resident costume designer at HFCC Theater Arts. Besides teaching Costume, Acting, and Makeup classes, she has directed several plays for HFCC Theater and won several local entertainment awards
CHRIS BREMER (Lighting Designer) is the HFCC Theater Arts shop foreman. In addition to his technical theater duties, Mr. Bremer has appeared in several HFCC Theater Arts productions.Back To Top
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