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“Both Tanna [his wife Tanna Herr, producer/director] and I have film backgrounds, as well, hers more extensive than mine, and we thought we could have an incubator for young filmmakers, too. And then these filmmakers could work with this troupe of young actors.”. The performers’ age range is 13 to 18. “We felt like, if you look at the world right now, the people who are doing the most films, whether they be professional or not, are teenagers. There are so many ways to shoot a film now that you just have to get together and do it. With the YouTube phenomenon and all of that, there’s so much going on. And the people doing the most theater are also teenagers. Yet they seem to be under-represented. They’re either doing adult work, where they’re playing adults, or they’re just making films on their own and the quality is undirected and not necessarily great. So we thought we’d put all of those pieces together and see if we could improve it.”.
Last summer the company mounted a production of “Footloose” in San Jose, “The kids came up to us gamba dance shoes covent garden afterward and asked if we could please do something year-round, Tanna and I had been bandying that about for a while, So when they asked, we felt now might be the time.”, A Theatre Near U is ready to unveil the world premiere of “Body of Water,” written by Kienitz, at Southside Theater, Fort Mason Center, beginning with a preview today, Utilizing the indie-rock of recording artist Jim Walker, a longtime Kienitz friend, the musical drama depicts a group of teens hiding in an isolated mountain cabin to elude the horrors of a civil war..
The cast of 14 includes students from Palo Alto High School, Gunn, Terman Junior High, and from Campbell and Los Gatos schools. The band and crew is also made up of local students. The cast must sing and dance, as well as act. Kienitz says, “Most of these teens, we have directed or taught before at different venues. Kids we have not worked with before were recommended to us.”. Kienitz says of writing the play, “We want the kids to play kids. So we had to create a scenario where there wouldn’t be adult characters. That ends up being difficult in a lot of ways, but we worked it out. The show is a combination of ‘Breakfast Club’ and ‘Lord of the Flies.’ Doing a high school show, you kind of have to touch on those teen angst years and what they’re feeling. And that’s different than often is felt, in the rest of your life. Also you have to have a dramatic setting that touches what they’re going through.”.
Kienitz says, “You may have been the wallflower in high school or you might have been the superstar, the most popular kid, But in light of that, you still go through the same process, the same steps, That translates into most cultures, All in all, this is a story about leaving the nest, about growing up and leaving home, and how that’s difficult, but also gamba dance shoes covent garden freeing.”, Herr grew up in Palo Alto and earned a degree at UCLA’s department of Theatre Arts, She completed the American Film Institute’s masters directing program, She has acted in films and television with such luminaries as Michael J, Fox, Martin Sheen and Andy Griffith, She has appeared in and directed many stage productions, as well..
Kienitz, a Southern California native, studied at UCLA and then joined the Grove Shakespeare Company. He has appeared on screen with Jack Lemmon, Carrie Fisher, William H. Macy and Kevin Bacon. He has written plays, screenplays and L.A. Times articles, as well as a gardening book, “The Year I Ate My Yard.”. The couple moved to the Bay Area in 2007, feeling that the school system here would be better for their kids than what they had found in Pasadena. Since the move, Herr has directed about 45 productions for schools around the Bay Area. So Herr and Kienitz have gotten to know many of the Peninsula’s gifted young performers.
Kienitz says, “In L.A., everything was so focused on films, When you did theater, a lot of the artists were more concerned with what industry people were going to be in the audience than they were with the project itself, There’s more purity here, in the Bay Area, People do theater to do theater, and not so much to see if they can get gamba dance shoes covent garden a film deal out of it, That changes the equation a lot, It changes how the audience responds, It changes how the actors dedicate themselves, It’s really quite nice, And that goes from little kids on.”..
With A Theatre Near U, Kienitz hopes to provide teens with something close to a professional experience. “We’re trying to give them a different type of approach. None of them had workshopped a play from the very beginning. We wrote a whole draft and around Christmas time, threw it away. They had memorized a great portion of it and been working on it. But we threw it away and said, ‘This just didn’t get off on the right foot. So we’re starting over.’ That was a shock to them. Yet that happens all the time in theater.
“We chose Fort Mason because we love Sam Shepard and the Magic Theatre, They’re right across the hall, We want the kids to have the experience of performing in an adult theater, not a community center or something of that ilk, We want them to start understanding what’s ahead for them, gamba dance shoes covent garden if they want to pursue this professionally.”, Kienitz and Herr co-directed the production of “Body of Water.” Kienitz says, “She is the madwoman producer, just insanely talented in that regard, And I do sets and writing, So we divide the heavy-lifting jobs, And then we sit together and kibitz over the directing, Luckily, we’ve worked together and seen every production together for the last 25 years, so we have an ability to talk shorthand and see eye-to-eye pretty quickly, “This past year has been of of the most gratifying of my artistic life,” says Kienitz, 53, a Palo Alto resident..