How Do You Spell Hope? from Underground Railway Theater
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The last date listed for How Do You Spell Hope? was Sunday March 1, 2009 / 3:00pm.
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Featured review from Goldstar Member
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The acting and staging were very good. I especially liked the use of puppets and pop-up books. The play itself had an important message - the power of reading. However, I felt it was geared more to school groups than to the general public.
The cast features award winning Boston area actors Vincent E. Siders and Ramona Alexander, as well as puppeteer Penny Benson.
Vincent Ernest Siders is a teaching artist for the Huntington Theater Company and Upward Bound at Roxbury Community College, in addition to Underground Railway Theater. Vincent has received two IRNE Awards and the prestigious Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actor. He received Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston 2004 Award for Best Actor and the Boston Globe named him one of the Hottest New Faces in 2005.
Ramona Alexander appeared with Underground Railway Theater for two seasons, portraying Harriet Tubman in _Are You Ready My Sister? _Other productions include _Breath, Boom _(Huntington Theater Company) for which she received an IRNE nomination for Best Supporting Actress with a large company. Currently, she is appearing in Shakespeare NOW!’s production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by David Wheeler. She has also performed with Up You Mighty Race, TheatreZone, Harvard University, Coyote Theater, Zeitgeist Stage Company, Boston Theater Marathon, and Company One.
Puppeteer Penny Benson is currently performing in The Three Cats of Venice, a Behind the Mask Theatre touring production, for which she also created the shadow puppetry and costumes. She has also appeared in the last three Boston Theatre Marathons, at Boston Playwrights Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, and the Devanaughn (Factory Theatre). She is an actor on KidStage at the Boston Childrens’ Museum, an Actor in Residence for Playwrights’ Platform and the winner of the Best Actress award for their 2006 Summer Festival of plays. Penny also teaches acting for Huntington Theatre’s First Act program, and has been a teaching artist for Underground Railway Theater.
Melinda Lopez is a playwright and actress whose Sonia Flew won the Elliot Norton Award for “Best New Play” and the IRNE for “Best Play” and “Best Production.” Sonia Flew has been produced at the Huntington Theatre, among other theatres nationwide, and also broadcast on NPR’s "The Play’s The Thing!” Her play Gary was produced at Boston Playwrights Theatre and Alexandros, a commission from the Laguna Playhouse, had its world premiere May 2008. Other award winning plays include God Smells Like a Roast Pig (Women on Top Festival, Elliot Norton Award- Outstanding Solo Performance), Midnight Sandwich/Medianoche, (Coconut Grove Playhouse), and The Order of Things (CentaStage, Kennedy Center Fund for New Plays). Ms. Lopez was the first recipient of the Charlotte Woolard Award, given by the Kennedy Center to a “promising new voice in American Theatre.” She has appeared on stage in regional theatres across the country, and works in film and radio, in addition to teaching theatre and performance at Wellesley College and playwriting at BU.
Debra Wise is a founding member of Underground Railway Theater, and has served as Artistic Director since 1998. She has been involved in the collaborative creation of over 30 new works, as performer, playwright, director, and/or dramaturge. Wise is also Artistic Co-Director of Catalyst Collaborative@ MIT, a major new initiative pairing theater artists and world-class scientists. Wise has written several plays, including Home is Where; Washed-Up Middle-Aged Women; and States of Grace and has helped create three commissions for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Wise has acted with other theater companies both in New York (original works with Julie Taymor and Elizabeth Swados) and in Boston (The Real Thing and Orson’s Shadow, New Rep; Brooklyn Boy,Trust, Sugan Theatre), and has been a frequent guest artist with The Revels. She is also involved in a number of other arts initiatives, including educational programs.
Speakeasy Stage Co.;
Music for _How Do You Spell Hope? is by Claudio Ragazzi and the design team includes David Fichter (set, puppet design, painting), Steve Lewontin and Marie Christine Ritz (set painting). Composer and guitarist Claudio Ragazzi has been writing award winning music for film (_Next Stop Wonderland, The Blue Diner, Casa de los Babys, Something’s Gotta Give) and television (Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Telemundo, Univision, PBS), scoring hundreds of projects and performing with some of today’s most respected musicians. He has won a regional Emmy and a nomination for a national Emmy, grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, The New England Foundation for the Arts, and The Massachusetts Council for the Arts. His work has been commissioned by the Boston Ballet and New England Conservatory.