Sunday, March 22, 2009

Some of our members...

Just thought people would like to see who is who in our company... Faces are always nice...:) I have written a little blurb about them, but please don't consider them bios. What I write is what I know these people do in Akanda and my opinion about them... Nothing else...You can ask them personally if you want to know more...
So, without further ado, here are some of our members... (More members will be posted once they send me their pictures...!)

JEFF FRITZ: My wonderful and amazingly talented co-creator of Theater Akanda. Without him, Akanda would still be a perculating dream inside my head. I've got much to thank to this person. And all I can say is Thank You. Fritz is also our resident composer. All our non-verbal shows have (and are driven by) original music written by Jeff Fritz. (check out or for some examples of Jeff's music) I believe Jeff will strive to write all the music for our shows in the future (be they non verbal or not), but I'm not sure... So, if you are curious, ask him! Jeff is also our Production Manager and one of our Actors.
His most recent Akanda acting appearence was in Ted Weesner Jr.'s The King Size performed as one of the three finalist plays for the Prague Playwriting Competition at Divadlo Minor in early March 2009. If you are a Prague theatre goer, you may have also heard his original music last in The Prague Playhouse's production of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross performed in January through March 2009 at Divadlo Inspirace. You will definitely see him (and listen to his music) again at this year's Prague Fringe Festival in Akanda's newest production written by Jeff and myself: KATATONIKA. It will be performed at Divadlo Na Pradle. More information to come...

MÉLANIE RADA: That would be me. I am the one who thought up the name Akanda many years ago, so if you have any problems with it, blame me. Personally, I like the name. I am the other Co-Creator of Theater Akanda. I came up with the Akanda method, and now use it every chance I get. Ask about it if you want to know more... I am the company's Lighting Designer as well, and have acted in some of our shows. First and foremost though, I am Akanda's Director. I like it that way.
The last piece I directed was previously mentioned The King Size. My last lighting design extravaganza was in the also previously mentioned play Glengarry Glen Ross. You can see some very cool lighting work I've done in Divadlo Miloco's original ongoing non-verbal play La Machine performed monthly at Divadlo Komedie. (All the live music and crazy sounds are also Jeff Fritz's). I will be directing the completely new and completely original Akanda piece of 50minute Gangster Steampunk extravaganza at the Fringe Festival this May. Yes, that would be Katatatonika. And yes, I will write more about it. As a seperate blog.

JENNIFER SCHURÉ: Is our wonderful and efficiant Production Stage Manager. She is from Germany. This has nothing to do with how efficient she is, but it sounds good. (I by the way, am from Venezuela, and Jeff is from the U.S., in case anyone wanted to know.) It is amazing for me to be able to sit back and relax knowing someone is in charge of running after actors, making sure everything is where it's supposed to be, rehearsal spaces are booked, everyone is informed, etc etc... A stage manager has a very difficult job. Most of the time, the stage manager is left unnoticed. This sucks. I know, I've been one for years... It is also incredibly difficult to find a good S.M. Jenny is one of them. I feel like I have found myself a gem. From Germany. Fortunately, she lives in Prague. If anyone wants to snatch her, beware. I will fight. And I am stronger than I look. Seriously though, Thank you for being with us Jenny!
Jenny's last show she stage managed was The King Size. No props, costumes, or set pieces went missing, no lines were dropped (well, not too many), and the actors were all present and willing to do anything. What more could a director ask for?

ANNA LIT: is one of our resident actresses. She is also our youngest resident actress. By a year. Anna has been working with me for over a year now. I met her in 2008's Prague Playwriting Competition- she was my Stage Manager for The Open Tomb. It was a good show, and she was a good stage manager. A few months later, Jeff and me were creating a short non verbal show for a Halloween festival, and we cast her as our Nurse. She was amazing. Presently, I can safely say Akanda would not be the same without Anna. She is a light in our shows and she is always memorable.
Anna was last seen in The King Size. She will also be soon seen as The Nurse (again) in the upcoming production of KATATONIKA.

ANIČKA ŠIMONOVÁ: Is our other resident actress. She is a year older than Anna. Jeff and me first met Anička in a student film shoot we were all acting in. It was her first time acting, and our first time acting with her. We both decided she was perfect for Akanda, so we hired her. Luckily for us, Anička accepted. When she is not acting for us, she is busy creating amazing works of art. Her latest exhibit was in the lobby of A Studio Rubin. (well, I believe it was her latest... It was the last one I saw.) Her art is just as amazing as her acting talent, so, if you see her name somewhere, make sure to check it out.
Anička was last seen alongside Anna as The Freaky Girl in our short Halloween show Catatonic. She will also soon make a reappearance as Freaky Girl in our new KATATONIKA. Don't miss it!

JIM HIGH: Is our newest addition to Akanda so far. We are proud of him. It also feels good to have an active male resident actor in our crew. I can't actually remember when I first met Jim, but I know I have worked with him a lot since I did. Our entire relationship has been with him on stage and me behind my trusty lighting board though. It will therefore be nice for me to work with High as a director.
Jim was last seen in acclaimed and previously mentioned Glengarry Glen Ross, but if you are a regular Prague English theater goer, you have probably already seen his face in many plays. That is because he is good. Very good. I would dare say excellent even.
It is because of this that I am incredibly proud of saying that you will also be able to see Jim High in this summer's production of KATATONIKA. It will be his first time doing a non-verbal theater production, and my first time directing him. I hope he is as excited as I am concerning this arrangement. Oh, and to avoid any confusion, his picture was taken by Ian Adam Bull.

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