Brandeis theater arts faculty power ‘The New Electric Ballroom’

Gloucester Stage production is directed by and stars Brandeis professors

Photo/Gary Ng, courtesy of Gloucester Stage

Adrianne Krstansky, left, and Marya Lowry, right, in "The New Electric Ballroom."

The production of "The New Electric Ballroom" at Gloucester Stage has received glowing reviews, and it should be no surprise, considering it's directed by and stars Brandeis theater arts faculty.

Robert Walsh, associate professor of the practice of theater arts, is the interim artistic director at Gloucester Stage and is directing the play, while Marya Lowry, associate professor of theater arts, plays Clara, and Adrianne Krstansky, the Barbara Sherman '54 and Malcolm L. Sherman Director of Theater Arts, performs the role of Ada.

The Obie-winning play, written by Enda Walsh, is a dark comedy that challenges the audience with its dialogue and leaves a lasting impression. For the faculty involved in the production, the play challenges them, too, and offers an opportunity to expand their teaching repertoire.

"I really feel acting is something people have to figure out for themselves, but being professionally active gives me more tools to act as a guide for students," Krstansky said. "Every professional experience requires different tools, so the more experiences I have the more tools I have at my disposal."

As interim artistic director, Walsh oversees most of the creative decisions at Gloucester Stage. Being a practitioner means Walsh stays sharp and pushes his boundaries. He took a unique directing process with "The New Electric Ballroom" by relying more heavily on input from the actors and encouraging everyone involved in the production to be a stakeholder, he said.

"It really requires me to be on my game, I have to continue to be a seeker of learning myself," Walsh said.  "I'm constantly giving feedback and coaching, but how much can I embrace feedback of myself?"

"The New Electric Ballroom" runs until Aug. 15. More information about the play can be found on the Gloucester Stage website, and reviews from the Boston Globe and WBUR’s the Artery. To see what other Brandeis arts faculty have been up to this summer, check out this list of summer performances and exhibitions.

Categories: Arts

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