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Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective
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Making Theatre That Makes a Difference
Making Theatre That Makes a Difference

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Added photos to Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet presented by Different Strokes PAC.
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Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective opens the first production of their 6th Season, with an all-female production of the iconic Glengarry Glen Ross, by David Mamet. The play runs March 3rd-19th at The Be Be Theatre, and is directed by Steph Hickling Beckman and Sean David Robinson.
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Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective opens the first production of their 6th Season, with an all-female production of the iconic Glengarry Glen Ross, by David Mamet. The play runs March 3rd-19th at The Be Be Theatre, and is directed by Steph Hickling Beckman and Sean David Robinson.

Glengarry Glen Ross has been referred to as “Mamet at his very best”. It is a play about small-time, and fairly desperate sales agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical and illegal acts (lies, flattery, bribery, threats, intimidation, and burglary) to sell undesirable real estate to unwitting prospective buyers. The action in the lives of these agents takes place in and around the sales office during the final two days of an office wide sales contest. Glengarry Glen Ross saw its debut in London in 1983, premiering on Broadway in 1984; it was revived there in 2005 and 2012. Mamet adapted Glengarry Glen Ross, called a masterpiece of American drama, for film release in 1992. With the express permission of Mr. Mamet, Different Strokes’ Performing Arts Collective’s production features an all-female cast.

“Our primary goal in making this casting change is to address the issue of gender, equality, and sexism in the workplace. It is amazing that this is still an issue”, says co-Director, Steph Hickling Beckman, who is also the Company’s Managing Artistic Director. “It was extremely surprising that Mamet, an admitted misogynist around the time he wrote Glengarry Glen Ross, signed off on this project. It seems a consistent and popular opinion that Mamet, in the earlier phases of his career, wrote for men, and specifically against women”.

There’s a reason Mamet populated this world with men, and it isn’t because women can’t be sales people. “Female savagery is completely foreign to us.” says co-Director Sean David Robinson, the man behind the exceedingly attractive notion to produce Glengarry Glen Ross with an entirely female cast. “From the beginning, we were very excited to see how the story would translate to a female perspective; if women could plausibly, exist in this world”. “In 2016, when same-sex marriage is legal, in 50 states, as we near the end of our first black President’s 2nd term in office, and as we prepare for an upcoming Presidential election, which includes a viable female candidate, it is conceivable that the world Mamet created in Glengarry Glen Ross can no longer be perceived as gender-specific. Mamet describes the play as “about a society based on business, a society with only one bottom line: How much money you make”. Over the last few decades, we have seen an increasing number of women entering this business mentality. I thought it would be interesting to address the double standard that exists, both corporately and privately, branding powerful women as bossy, while lauding their male counterparts as ambitious”, says Hickling Beckman, of why she so enthusiastically greenlit the project.

While much of the response to this project has been favorable and supportive, the Company has had their share of nay-sayers. Men and women, who ask ‘why cast women in these roles? It’s a play about men’, ‘No one will buy women in these roles’. “The thing about art”, says Hickling Beckman, in response, “no matter how great, is that it’s provocative nature is exactly what makes it art, and allows a project to be timeless. True art is perspective based. Mamet says: “The job of mass entertainment is to cajole, seduce and flatter consumers to let them know that what they thought was right is right, and that their tastes, and their immediate gratification are of the utmost concern of the purveyor. The job of the artist, on the other hand, is to say, ‘wait a second, to the contrary, everything that we have thought is wrong. Let's re-examine it’. There are occasions when casting against the grain can be a potent tool in theatre. This is one of them. Applying gender edits to a story (even a classic or iconic one) can force audiences out of their comfort zones, pierce the very core of identity and binary in which we participate, and disrupt the notion that women can’t be just as “cut throat”, ruthless, or vulgar, as a man, theoretically.”

Glengarry Glen Ross features: (L-R) Sarah Felmet, Courtney DeGennaro, Christine Eide, Lucia Del Vecchio,Cyd Smith, Danielle King, and Katie Anne Towner.

Tickets are on Sale Now. Early Bird Special: Purchase Tickets online, by March 5th and pay NO FEES

A portion of this Production's proceeds will benefit a Girls on the Run
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The Shape of Things

a play written by  Neil Labute

directed by  Steph Hickling Beckman

Produced by Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective

Want a chance to see Different Strokes! PAC's latest production FREE?  Choose an available slot to work Front of House, then show up at The Be Be Theatre to sell tickets and concessions and You automatically WIN one ticket to see The Shape of Things by Neil Labute, directed by Steph Hickling Beckman. Check our website for a detailed performance schedule http://www.differentstrokespac.org/production/the-shape-of-things/?

Neil LaBute, playwright, explores modern relationships, and the blatant and subtle manipulations and sacrifices it takes to make one work...or not. Two (2) casts provide varying perspectives on love and sacrifice as it relates to beauty, personal body image,  and being artists, yet  maintaining a certain line between art and morality.

In this production of The Shape of Things,  two much different casts, are the catalysts for the exploration of  gender roles and sexual bias in intimate relationships. Evelyn and Adam embark on a relationship that propels shy and principled Adam to go to extraordinary lengths to maintain a relationship with his new found love. In the process, Evelyn's subtle recommendations result in Adam's complete transformation. The Shape of Things is an intense  study of human relationships interestingly coupled with the ethics involved in the relationship of art and life. The Shape of Things begs the questions, where's the line between challenging our partners to grow, and completely reshaping who they are?

See one or both shows on Friday and Saturday nights, running back to back, at 7:30 and 10:00 or have the opportunity to see just one, on Thursday nights. Get your tickets in advance and save big! Advance tickets are $15(for 1) and $25(for both). The At the Door Prices are $18 and $30. Go ahead, see both shows for less than you usually pay for one, then talk among yourselves about the myriad differences in perception!

Check our website for a detailed performance schedule http://www.differentstrokespac.org/production/the-shape-of-things/?

Starring: Nathan Singer, Desmond Zampella (Adam); Meg Hale Brunton, Sam Stewart (Evelyn);. With: Maximillian Koger, Devyn Ray (Phil/Phyll); and Emily Crock, Allen Law (Jenny /Jamie)

September 3-19, 2015 (Thurs. 7:30pm Fri-Sat 7:30pm and 10:00pm ) The Be Be Theatre 20 Commerce St. #avlent  
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Thank you to The Cathedral of All Souls Outreach Ministries for your support through a grant toward supporting the costs of making theatre that bridges racial, ethnic and cultural gaps in Western North Carolina
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Thank you to The Cathedral of All Souls Outreach Ministries for our first grant of 2014! Great people over there. 
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Diana Son's imaginative, moving, and surprising comedy brings audiences -- and her principal characters -- to unexpected places. Callie is holding down a job as a radio traffic reporter when she meets Sara, a mid-westerner who, against the advice of friends and family, has moved to New York, to teach in the Bronx. Both have boyfriends, but as they get to know each other, their shared experiences and sense of humor, they come to understand more of who they are. Spotted in a park late at night during their first kiss, Callie and Sara are singled out, mocked, and assaulted.

The writing of Stop Kiss is unique, for a stage-play, in that the story begins in prologue, and alternates between the past and the present. The playwright's choice to shuttle back and forth in time, between the hospital room, the police station, and the early days of Callie and Sara's friendship, lends a bittersweet quality to even their lightest exchanges.

Stop Kiss is directed by Hope Lake Spragg,

Featuring : Steph Hickling Beckman, Tracey Johnston-Crum, Paul Gallaher, Scott Fisher, Lucia Del Vecchio-Gray, and David Ely
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