Danielle Kelly

Danielle Kelly
Danielle Kelly

Southern Oregon University Theatre Arts graduate, Danielle Kelly, is now performing with the Paul Schmeling Trio Monday nights at Martino’s, as well as acting in film and theater. One afternoon, we mulled over the nature of performance, jazz and theater while lunching on Martino’s minestrone.

DK: I’m feeling creatively fulfilled. I feel really fortunate to be in a band that gigs quite often and has a solid, steady show. It’s incredibly special. I’ve decided against moving to a bigger city for the moment. Ashland has something very special because you can do whatever you want.

EH: How is working in music, especially jazz, different than working in theater?

DK: Musicians and actors are the same sort of species, but it is very different. Music is so immediate; a song is a shorter story; the process is a lot quicker. When you get to performance, people can come and listen, then tune in and out of the music, be really captured by a song or get up and dance to it. It takes a little more attention to take in a theater performance. A play is a lot bigger production.

With theater, the rehearsal is more intensive and scripted and planned. The structure of what you do is different. Theater takes rehearsals every night. You start from the script, and, “what’s my body going to do?” And, “where am I going to go when I say this line? How do I say it when?” Stopping and pausing for the audience here, and collaborating and playing off other people. It’s a lot more involved.

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Eve Smyth and Kate Sullivan

Eve Smyth
Eve Smyth
Kate Sullivan
Kate Sullivan

Ashland Children’s Theatre, formerly with Oregon Stage Works, is now on its own and has found a new home at the DanceSpace in Ashland. Founded in 2004 by directors Eve Smyth and Kate Sullivan, Ashland Children’s Theatre is offering summer camps for young people ages 4-17 along with theater camps throughout the year. We visited by a cozy fire at Eve’s pristine cottage.

KS: Landing in the DanceSpace, which is a great performance space, has been a good fit.

ES: We feel really welcomed there. It is on that row where there’s Dance Works and Le Cirque, and it’s like the kids’ own”…

KS: It is kind of a kids alley.

ES: We’re bringing a whole bunch of different elements for them to get a taste of: improvisation games, puppets, stage combat and some Shakespeare. There are new friends to be made and all of that good camp stuff. We’ve actually scheduled everything into 2012.

KS: Our summer camp begins with a TeenProv class, all teens and all improvisation, with Eve. There’s a Showcase at the end.

ES: We follow that with Imagination Travelers and Spontaneous Superstars, which are almost like a theater sampler plate or potpourri.

KS: Our pièce de résistance is our teen Mystery Theatre. Within two weeks we give a performance.

ES: A film noir-style comedy.

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