Master Class

Sponsored by

  • The Allegro Fund of The Dayton Foundation
  • The Richard A. and Mary T. Whitney Fund for the Arts
  • Two Friends
  • Bill and Jackie Lockwood
  • Rob and Leesa Comparin
  • Jack and Maryann Bernstein

Master Class

by Terrence McNally
featuring Mierka Girten as “Maria Callas”

directed by Scott Stoney

June 9 - 26, 2016

One of the opera world’s greatest legends takes center stage as Maria Callas gives three aspiring singers a rough introduction to the reality of performing. During a series of master classes, this controversial personality—now in the twilight of her career—remains fearless as she looks back upon her life—the triumphs and heartbreaks, the egos and ambitions, the glories and the scandals. This Tony Award-winning drama presents a revealing look at a commanding diva and the sacrifice for art.

Run time: 2 hours, 10 minutes including intermission

Sponsored by

  • The Allegro Fund of The Dayton Foundation
  • The Richard A. and Mary T. Whitney Fund for the Arts
  • Two Friends
  • Bill and Jackie Lockwood
  • Rob and Leesa Comparin
  • Jack and Maryann Bernstein

Creative Team

Terrence McNally • Playwright

Mr. McNally was awarded the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He is the winner of Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and his books for the musicals Ragtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman. In 2010, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presented Terrence McNally’s Nights at the Opera, a three-play festival of his work. His other plays include Mothers and Sons; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; A Perfect Ganesh; Corpus Christi; The Ritz; It’s Only A Play; The Lisbon Traviata; Some Men; The Stendhal Syndrome; Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone?; Bad Habits; Deuce; Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams; Unusual Acts of Devotion; Next; Sweet Eros; Witness and his first play, And Things That Go Bump in the Night; which was produced on Broadway in 1964. He has written the librettos for the musicals Catch Me If You Can, The Full Monty, A Man of No Importance, The Rink and The Visit and the opera Dead Man Walking. He won an Emmy Award for Best Drama with his teleplay, Andre’s Mother. He wrote the screenplays for Frankie and Johnny, Love! Valour! Compassion! and The Ritz. Among his many awards are a Citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Play, four Drama Desk Awards, three Hull-Warriner Best Play Awards from the Dramatists Guild, two Obies, two Lortel Awards and two Guggenheim Fellowships.

Scott Stoney+ • Director

Scott Stoney+ • Director

Scott is very grateful to have spent his theatre career (over 45 years) bouncing back and forth between acting and directing. His directing credits include Crowns (an absolute joy to work with friend and fellow artist, Debbie Blunden-Diggs); Torch Song Trilogy; Caroline, or Change; Next to Normal at the Victoria Theatre; August: Osage County in collaboration with Wright State University; Mame as Associate Director with Director Kevin Moore and Alice in Wonderland for Zoot Theatre Company. Most recently he dramatized and directed a narrative to accompany The Music of Downton Abbey for the Bach Society of Dayton. Scott has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District and is in the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.

Sean Michael Flowers+ • Music Director

Sean Michael Flowers+ • Music Director

Sean is thrilled to move from behind the scenes to on the stage for Master Class. A Resident Artist of The Human Race, Dayton audiences will best know his work as a music director on past HRTC productions such as The Full Monty, Avenue Q, and Bat Boy, as a vocal director for the Best of Broadway and Guys and Dolls concerts with the Dayton Philharmonic, and as a composer for the musicals Prometheus Dreams, The Trimble Wars, and Guarding Gold Street, and the plays Family Shots and The Retreat from Moscow. Sincerest thanks to Scott for this incredible opportunity.

Scott J. Kimmins • Scenic Designer

This is Scott’s 19th season as the Technical Director for The Human Race Theatre Company where he has built over 140 productions for The Loft stage as well as the Victoria Theatre. His 17 designs for The Loft include: the world premieres of Family Shots and Under a Red Moon, as well as The Santaland Diaries, Torch Song Trilogy, Band Geeks!, Ordinary Days, Brother Wolf, The Wonder Bread Years, Children of Eden, Forever Plaid and Copenhagen, which received a DayTony Award for Excellence in Set Design. Scott also designed The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Bent and A Man Haunted at Wright State University where he attended school for 5 years in the Design/Production Program. Other design credits include Tuesdays with Morrie at the Victoria Theatre, The Infernal Machine for Sinclair College, Yellowman for Dream Keepers and Bunk Bed Brothers for Sweetwood Productions, also on the Victoria Theatre stage in 2005.

Hyun Sook Kim • Costume Designer

Hyun Sook Kim is a long experienced professional costume designer and university professor. She is an internationally recognized costume designer in New York, Toronto, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Beijing. She has designed costumes in various genres and styles. Many of her designs have been seen in large-scale theatres such as the National Theatre of Korea, Seoul Arts Center, Wellington Michael Fowler Centre, Melbourne State Theatre, etc. Her design for the musical The Last Empress has been presented at the Lincoln Center in NYC, at the Kodak Theatre and the Schubert Theatre in LA, and at the Hummingbird Center in Toronto, as well as in London’s West End. Recently, Kim has designed costumes for “A Dream of Red Pavilions” at NYC and received wonderful reviews from many NY critics. Kim’s costume designs have been displayed in Prague Quadrennial, World Stage Design, ‘Costume at the Turn of the Century 1990-2015’ in Moscow, Russia.

John Rensel+ • Lighting Designer

John is the long-term Resident Lighting Designer for The Human Race Theatre Company, Muse Machine, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Pops series and Dayton Opera Association. He also serves as the long-time Technical Director for the Fraze Pavilion and has provided technical advance production coordination, lighting designs, automation programming and performance operation services for many artists and productions that have visited that venue. John also has a diverse dance lighting background, having provided lighting designs and technical production services for many years to The Dayton Ballet and Dayton Contemporary Dance Co. John’s national credits included a lighting design package for a National Touring Production of the Elton John/Tim Rice collaboration Aida. Some of his most recent local credits include all the designs for the 2015-16 Human Race Theatre Company’s season at the Loft Theatre; Muse Machine’s productions at the Victoria Theatre and the Dayton Opera Association’s 2015-16 season at the Schuster Center. John freely admits that he often loses his copies of the shows’ scripts.

Jay Brunner • Sound Designer

Jay is a HRTC veteran, working on The Glass Menagerie; The Santaland Diaries; The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical; Family Shots; Mame; Play It by Heart; Fiddler on the Roof; Next to Normal; Avenue Q; and Red-Blooded, All-American Man as Sound Designer/Conductor/Co-Music Director/Guitarist/Arranger (take your pick). Jay has designed sound/incidental music for countless voiceovers, regional commercials, radio spots, training videos, collegiate theatre projects, marching bands, clubs, and organizations. He owns/runs a professional recording studio, Ardmore Underground with his wife, professional actor/voice-over artist Christine Brunner. Jay performs and records with local groups Uncle Daddy and the Family Secret, Adagio Blue and 21 Ghosts.

Kristin A. Sutter* • Stage Manager

Kristin is an Ohio native and graduate of Wright State University. Previous HRTC credits: Avenue Q; Race; Lombardi; Band Geeks!; Caroline, or Change. National Tours: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Sweet Charity. Regional: Footloose, Dames at Sea, The Fantasticks, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Godspell, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (WV Public Theatre); Crazy for You, Bonnie & Clyde (Ocean Professional Theatre Co.). New York: The Servant of Two Masters (Sonnet Rep), Love Quirks. Other: Grease (Reno, NV), Ring of Fire (Laguna Beach, CA), Buddy (Ontario, Canada). Many thanks to family and friends for supporting my adventures. Rave on!

Cast

Mierka Girten* • Maria Callas

Mierka Girten* • Maria Callas

Mierka is an ensemble member/casting director at Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theatre where she has been seen in over thirteen productions. She is elated to return to The Human Race, having performed in Baby, Little Shop of Horrors, Six Women with Braindeath, Bus Stop, and Beehive. She has worked with Steppenwolf, Goodman, The Hypocrites, Rivendell, Porchlight, Apple Tree, Strawdog, Circle Theatre, American Blues, Mary-Arrchie, Live Bait, and Roadworks. She performed in the Off-Broadway production of Mistakes Were Made alongside Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, and toured nationally with The Secret Garden. Voiceovers include national broadcasts and web commercials. Mierka is a winner of the 3Arts Award.

Sean Michael Flowers+ • Emmanuel Weinstock

Sean Michael Flowers+ • Emmanuel Weinstock

Sean is thrilled to move from behind the scenes to on the stage for Master Class. A Resident Artist of The Human Race, Dayton audiences will best know his work as a music director on past HRTC productions such as The Full Monty, Avenue Q, and Bat Boy, as a vocal director for the Best of Broadway and Guys and Dolls concerts with the Dayton Philharmonic, and as a composer for the musicals Prometheus Dreams, The Trimble Wars, and Guarding Gold Street, and the plays Family Shots and The Retreat from Moscow. Sincerest thanks to Scott for this incredible opportunity.

Blake Friedman • Anthony Candolino

Blake Friedman • Anthony Candolino

“The glorious tenor, Blake Friedman” (The Berkshire Edge) with a “silken and strong” (Tampa Bay Times), “fresh lyric tenor” (Opera News Online), sings with “tenderness, delicacy and a sense of emotional sympathy” (The Berkshire Edge). He is the current Resident Tenor for American Opera Projects’ Composer and the Voice Symposium and has appeared as Tenor Soloist in Liebeslieder Walzer with New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center, Theo Van Gogh in Van Gogh’s Ear with Ensemble for the Romantic Century, and Il Conte Almaviva in Barbiere di Siviglia with St. Pete Opera. Mr. Friedman holds a Master’s and Professional Studies Diploma from Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor’s from The Eastman School of Music.

Cassi Mikat • Sharon Graham

Cassi Mikat • Sharon Graham

Cassi is thrilled to be returning to The Human Race Theatre Company for the third time after being a part of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Jazz Quartet) and The Full Monty (Swing). Cassi is a recent graduate of the Wright State University Musical Theatre Program. Regional and university credits include Sondheim on Sondheim (Barbara Cook track), Les Misérables (Madame Thenardier), Into the Woods (Florinda), South Pacific (Lead Nurse), Harvey (Betty Chumley), and Sweeney Todd (Ensemble). She has also sung in concert with Tony Award-winner Leslie Uggams. Thanks to Scott, Sean and The Human Race!

Jeremy Carlisle Parker • Sophie De Palma

Jeremy Carlisle Parker • Sophie De Palma

Jeremy most recently reprised the role of Louise Seger in Always…Patsy Cline with The Palace Theater in Wisconsin. Other recent credits include Louise Seger and Alice Beineke in Cortland Repertory Theatre’s productions of Always…Patsy Cline and The Addams Family, respectively. She can be seen in the role of Dorothy in the Academy Award-nominated film Carol, directed by Mr. Todd Haynes. She is a student of Mr. Joey Bates and resides in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and is a native of Dayton.

Scott Stoney+* • Stagehand

Scott Stoney+* • Stagehand

Scott is very grateful to have spent his theatre career (over 45 years) bouncing back and forth between acting and directing. His directing credits include Crowns (an absolute joy to work with friend and fellow artist, Debbie Blunden-Diggs); Torch Song Trilogy; Caroline, or Change; Next to Normal at the Victoria Theatre; August: Osage County in collaboration with Wright State University; Mame as Associate Director with Director Kevin Moore and Alice in Wonderland for Zoot Theatre Company. Most recently he dramatized and directed a narrative to accompany The Music of Downton Abbey for the Bach Society of Dayton. Scott has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District and is in the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.