William Shakespeare's The Tempest meets Indie Rock at Naropa

Naropa University's MFA Contemporary Performance Program Directed by Stephen Wangh, with music by Gary Grundei

BOULDER, Colo. (September 14, 2011) -- Naropa University's MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance program, now in its eighth year, is presenting an innovative new production of William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Featuring an indie rock score arranged by Gary Grundei, well known for his work with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Tempest is directed by Naropa MFA Associate Artist Stephen Wangh. Mr. Wangh, a well- known director and educator, is the author of An Acrobat of the Heart (Vintage), a highly respected book on psychophysical acting. Mr. Wangh's last production with the Naropa MFA was the extraordinary 2007 rendering of Our Town. Both Mr. Grundei and Mr. Wangh have been associated with Naropa's MFA Program since its inception and the production will be performed by Naropa's MFA Second Year Ensemble.

Two of Mr. Grundei's scores, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, are currently running at the Denver Center Theater Company. Production design is by Ms. Jennifer Hicks (MFA 2006), a long-time member of the Mobius Performance Collective in Boston, Massachusetts, and Ms. Hicks is also founding Director of CHIMERAlab Dance Theater.

The Naropa University MFA Program has attracted both emerging theater artists and seasoned mid-career performers and has accumulated an impressive record of innovative and professional/off-Broadway level productions. These have included original productions such as the 2008 SITI Company's collaboration with the MFA program, 23 Seconds About John Cage; a musical version of The Trojan Women; a Butoh treatment of several Samuel Beckett Plays with guest artist Katsura Kan, Luminous Emptiness (2009); a multimedia adaptation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead; and Celebration Service composed and Directed by Meredith Monk, and most recently, the Fall 2010 powerful rendering of Carol Churchill's Mad Forest, performed in a North Boulder warehouse.

The MFA Program at Naropa aspires to train multidisciplinary performers capable of creating original work or reinterpreting classics; the department has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leading innovator in contemporary theater training.

The production will take place at Naropa University's Performing Arts Center (PAC), 2130 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder, Colorado on Friday, October 7, Saturday, October 8; Saturday, October 15, Sunday October 16; Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22. All performances are at 8:00 p.m. Ticket prices are as follows: General Admission: $15; Non-Naropa students (with ID): $10; Naropa faculty/staff/students/seniors: $7. For tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/192822. For box office information, call 303-245-4798 or send an e-mail to boxoffice@naropa.edu.

STEPHEN WANGH, is a playwright, teacher of acting, has directed plays in New York, Boston, and Austria. The author of 15 plays, we was Associate Writer for The Laramie Project (Emmy nomination 2002) and dramaturge for Moisés Kaufman's Gross Indecency, The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde. He is one of the writers of The People's Temple, (Glickman award: Best play in the Bay Area, 2005). He is currently working with the Band of Toughs on their new play, (re)production. Mr. Wangh is also the author of An Acrobat of the Heart, a physical approach to acting inspired by the work of Jerzy Grotowski, published by Vintage Books in 2000, and a contributing writer of "Acting with the Wisdom of our Bodies," in Training of the American Actor by Arthur Bartow, ed., TCG, 2006. For 25 years he taught acting at the Experimental Theatre Wing of New York University, and he is presently MFA Associate Artist with the Naropa University MFA Acting Contemporary Performance program and at the LaSalle College of Art in Singapore.

GARY GRUNDEI is an award-winning composer, pianist, sound designer, and teacher whose music has been heard at the Kennedy Center, Denver Center, New York Stage and Film, Boulder's Chautauqua Community House, Naropa University, the Boulder International Fringe Festival, Occidental College, the Ohio State University, and various modern dance performances. He has worked with Bill Pullman, Meredith Monk, and Barbara Dilley among others. Currently, his scores for To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer are being performed at the Denver Center Theatre Company. He is the director of the GoldenLotus studio in Lafayette.

About Naropa University

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies.

©