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Did You Know…

Category: Aht News

The BTC production of "The Maids" by Jean GenetDid you know that The Burbage Theater Company (BTC) has been producing stage plays for a year now?  This group, based in Providence, RI, uses various locations around the state for their productions. They have been quite prolific and successful in their first year.  Like many new theater companies, the core group met each other in college (RIC).  They decided their theatrical talents needed more of an outlet than could be provided for them within the given constraints on campus, especially for their own original work, and seldom seen theatrical works.

The mission of the BTC (from their website) is to “perform classical and modern works; ranging from the absurd to the contemporary, that are prone to stimulating discussion not only about content, but the means of conveyance and the creative process; plays that are culturally and psychologically relevant to the audience they play to.”  The core members of the troupe are Alex Duckworth, Valerie Westgate, Jeffrey Church, Andrew Iacovelli, Nina Genatossio and Kelli Noonan. The BTC calls on other area actors when they need an expanded cast.

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5th Annual Ahtspot’s Open Call – Providence 2010

Category: Aht News, Site News
Boston’s Ahtspot Open Call was a huge success! We had a great turn out and plenty of people got cast in projects. You can check out pictures of our members at the event below as well as additional photos!

With the great success of the Boston Ahtspot Open Call, we are looking forward to June 21st where we will be holding the Providence Ahtspot Open Call. Now in it’s fifth year, this is an event we have been looking forward to for some time! Make sure to come check it out.

The Providence Ahtspot Open Call will be held as it always is at the fabulous Tazza Cafe at 250 Westminster St. in downcity Providence, RI. This is the place it all began 5 years ago! Show starts at 7:00pm and sign ups begin at 6:00pm. Hope to see everyone there!

Click this link for additional details to this years event.

Ahtspot’s 5th Annual Open Call Boston

OUT TO ROCKY POINT: Memories and fun for Everyone

Category: Aht News

The old Rocky Point Amusement Park in Warwick, RI has officially been closed since 1995. However, it holds so much meaning and memories for the people of Rhode Island, they simply cannot let it go. There has been a great deal of debate, legal wrangling, and voices raised regarding the issue of the use of the land that once housed the bustling, very popular, amusement park. The Rocky Point Foundation ( is a non-profit formed to help save the land for use by the public for recreation, as most residents believe it should be.

Out to Rocky Point, an original play by Lenny Schwartz is the latest homage to the wonderful memories and good times had by all who visited Rocky Point and rode the Flume, the Music Express, or the Tilt-A-Whirl. Or perhaps you are lucky enough to remember sitting at the long tables at the Shore Dining Hall eating clam cakes and chowder with your family.

For this production, Daydream Theatre Company is using many original items from Rocky Point Park. There are signs on loan from Trinity Rep, a Skyliner chair from filmmaker David Bettencourt (“You Must Be This Tall”), and a House of Horrors ride car from the Warwick Recreation Department’s Thayer Arena.

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2009 Ahtspot Open Calls

Category: Aht News

2009 was a great year for Ahtspot, with two Open calls in two cities, Both Danbury, CT & Providence, RI. I could tell you how much fun it was, or you could see for yourself! Check out the video or pictures below. If you missed the event, we hope to see you at one of them next year!

Ahtspot’s 4th Annual Open Call Providence

Ahtspot’s Open Call @ The Film Industry Mixer

A Taste of Broccoli

Category: Aht News

Always on the lookout for new artistic experiences in my life, I recently checked out a theatrical presentation called a “Monologue Show”. It sounded interesting, even though I wasn’t exactly sure what it was.

The experience resulted in an explosion of creative discovery for me. A dozen actors sat in a semi-circle of chairs on a blank stage at the back of the new bookstore, Book by Book, at Hope Artiste Village. Kevin Broccoli, the creative force behind the show introduced each actor before they delivered their monologue. Each was a character with a particular problem or very strong point of view. No costumes or set pieces were needed. The quality of both the talent and the material leapt off the stage as each actor stepped forward and inhabited their character.

Just as a sampling, the parade of inner thoughts included a dog owner who detailed, with mixed emotions, the distinct personalities and quirks of each of her pets. A passionate, jilted lover gave his ex “what for” when he came crawling back one more time. A distraught sister gave a chilling twist on filial love to her sibling.

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Waiting for Danny DeVito

Category: Aht News

Providence filmmaker Nick Albanese is waiting. Sort of.

On the one hand, Danny DeVito could return his calls and text messages at any moment — which is the subject of Albanese’s new YouTube documentary series, “Waiting for Danny DeVito” In the meantime, he writes, produces, directs, acts, and performs stand-up comedy. “I’m like a one-man studio….I love it.

Albanese is no fanboy — he actually met DeVito back in 2004, when Albanese was a limo driver. He helped move one of DeVito’s daughters into Brown University, and made such a favorable impression that Devito requested he return and help move in the other daughter. “At the time, I gave him cassettes of stuff I’d done, but looking back…I’m better now than I was before….I wish he could see my stuff now.

DeVito wasn’t put off at all — he began calling Albanese for information about Providence.”He’d call me, and ask me where to find this in Providence, ‘Where could I find this…?’” With DeVito’s number in hand, and a rapport already established, Albanese got in the habit of sharing his good news with DeVito — or, at least, with DeVito’s voicemail. “I would call him once in a while…’Merry Christmas,’… always, the machine. And then, finally… in the summer of ’07, I was filming ‘Bread, Butter & Bullets‘, and I got into [Showtime's] ‘Brotherhood’ It was a great, great summer. We were editing, we had episode one or two [of BB&B] on YouTube, and I called him….I know I’m gonna get the machine, I’ll just leave a message. But he answered.” He told him about BB&B — Read the rest of this entry »

Fun for All at 3rd Annual Open Call!

Category: Aht News, Site News
This year’s 3rd Ahtspot Annual Open Call was one of the best ever! The talent was strong and the crowd was electric. This year’s event was hosted by Melissa Bowler and John Ring and they kept the party moving. See below for some pictures from the event. (Please note that we do not have pictures of every performer as our camera ran out of batteries, sorry.)

Tazza Cafe before we let people in:
Check out all the pictures of Ahtspot clients on the wall!
Melissa and John got the party started and kept it going strong!!!
John is also doubling as a waiter…
and modeling cool Ahtspot T-Shirts
and thinking hard with Melissa on stage.
David and Mike tell us all about the 48 Hour Film Project Providence.
This year David and Mike got to do the stringing and people did get strung!
Debbie Condit gets hit first.
Frank Budelman gets hit and keeps going!
Mark Fogarty reads from the V-Day monolouges, but goes over time as usual. (3 years running!)
Others got strung too!
Jonathan Jacobs had to perform through all of the silly string mess!
John pushes through the mess too.
Many Ahtspot members came out to perform!
(Not all pictured due to above listed camera malfunction, sorry.)
And many more…
The crowd was awesome and even Anne from LDICasting was there doing some scouting for the upcoming Brotherhood and Prince of Providence! Check out the rest of the party pictures below. And if you missed this year’s event, make sure to come down next year. It has been proven to be an event not to be missed!

More to Worcester (Part 2)

Category: Aht News

Although I was only at the Park Hill Gallery for one day, I was flooded with appreciation for the color and diversity of inspiration that I felt there.  The variety of artwork was amazing.

The other artist I met that day isSumiyoDavid‘s wife.  When I came upon the part of the gallery that displayed Sumiyo’s paintings, I felt transported to another place.  This series of paintings reflects Sumiyo’s impressions of places in Japan where she grew up.  Many Buddhist and Shinto images are depicted in her large, spiritually freeing conceptual abstracts that are painted with joyous, child-like brushstrokes.

Nature is a central theme with gushing waterfalls (created by a storm in the mountains) and over-grown greenery as if life itself is pushing up through the dirt.  Sumiyo and David Wackell’s daughter Yula can be seen playing somewhere within each location – lush gardens, sacred temples, even gated graveyards.  Each canvas is huge and painted with abandon as if no boundary exists.

It is not unusual for an artist to include someone inspirational in his or her lives within their paintings.  One of my personal, favorite artists of all time is Salvador Dali – who always included his wife prominently in his paintings.  The image of five-year-old Yula lends an additional persistence of life feeling to Sumiyo’s paintings.

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Much More to Worcester Than Weather (Part 1)

Category: Aht News

For most New Englanders, Worcester is thought to be nearly on the edge of the universe in western Massachusetts, and has the worst weather in New England.  We are wrong on both counts.  The absolute worst weather in New England is at the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and Worcester is much closer to central Massachusetts, not western.

The point is, we can be dead wrong in our perception of places. Although Worcester does sometimes have odd weather – In 1954 the deadliest tornado in New England’s history killed 94 people there – Worcester has been quietly growing a vibrant and rich arts community that is ready to literally jump out of the woodwork and surprise people.

One glowing and growing gem in Worcester is The Park Hill Gallery.  It stands unobtrusively on Rte. 9 in a small wood frame house. It is co-owned and managed by David Wackell and David Maki.  I made a day trip up to The Park Hill Gallery to meet with David and SumiyoWackell and view their work.  I was truly amazed at the breadth of work and high level of creative talent displayed in the small, but welcoming space.

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I Survived The 48HR Film Project!

Category: Aht News

I am a screenwriter. I am over 40 and have experienced just about everything life can throw at you, including near-death. But I have never experienced anything like the 48-hour film project. I joined a team out of Providence, RI. We were assigned a prop, a line of dialog, a character, and a genre.

Without compensation except for really good food and camaraderie, we voluntarily threw ourselves into a marathon of under-the-gun creativity, driving all over the state, sleep-deprived decision making, trusting people we’d just met like life-long buddies, and attempting to overcome technical difficulties far beyond what any of us anticipated.

We shot some great stuff, but were down to the wire. 7:30pm was the deadline for films to be submitted, and it was 7:05pm. The cast and crew had worked hard, people stayed sharp beyond all reason, we had a great script (they kept telling me). We got locked out of buildings, threw a fully clothed person into the ocean, and even lost our team leader for a period of time.  I mean, we really lost her. We couldn’t find her anywhere. But she surfaced at last.

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