Summer Spectacular Campers Present "A Wrinkle in Time"
Hippodrome Theatre, June 2017
“We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.” Our Hipp kiddos have been putting their talent to good use this summer as they get ready for their theatrical debut in “A Wrinkle in Time.”
The Hippodrome’s education department is proud to present this beloved adaption of the popular sci-fi novel. Gainesville kids will shine in this special production, demonstrating the theatre skills they’ve developed during their time at our summer camps.
Change Afoot as Huron Playhouse Starts Season
Toledo Blade, June 2016
Nick Hrutkay, the new artistic director of the Huron Playhouse in Huron, Ohio, our state’s oldest continuing summer theater, talks about his job and the Playhouse’s new season.
Q: What is your theater background?
A: I’ve been extremely fortunate to have directed numerous work for Off-Off Broadway, regional, summer stock, and academic theater across the country. My association with the Playhouse began in 2015 when I directed Footloose, the recipient of seven 2015 BroadwayWorld Cleveland Awards, including Best Production of a Musical and Best Director of a Musical.
2015 Broadway World Cleveland Award Winners Announced!
BWW News Desk, January 2016
Votes are cast; polls are closed; and results have been tabulated! This was our biggest year yet! After a record number of voters in more than 70 regions worldwide, BroadwayWorld is very excited to announce the 2015 Cleveland winners! Thanks to all who voted, and huge congratulations to all the winners!
Huron Playhouse Announces 2016 Season
BWW News Desk, January 2016
A Pulitzer Prize award-winning classic musical, a suspenseful stage adaptation from the story that inspired a legendary Hitchcock film, the hysterical recipient of the 2013 Tony award for Best Play, and one of the most popular musical comedies ever written make up the 2016 Huron Playhouse season.
Under the Artistic Direction of Nick Hrutkay, Ohio's oldest continuing summer theatre will open its 68th season on July 5th with A Chorus Line.
Channel 16 WNEP 'The News Station'
Lights Up On Inagural Scranton Fringe Festival
Stacy Lange, October2015
A performing arts festival kicks off Friday night in downtown Scranton. It's the first year for the Scranton Fringe Festival.
The curtain's drawn and the lights are up at the Leonard Theatre on Adams Avenue in Scranton but the seats are empty. That's set to change this weekend as Scranton hosts its first ever Fringe Festival.
A performance of Shakespeare's The Tempest is one of almost 50 theatrical productions in downtown Scranton through Sunday.
City Theatre Announces New Directing Observership Program
BWW News Desk, August 2015
City Theatre has announced the launch of a formal Directing Observership program starting this fall for the 2015-16 season. Through this new initiative, City Theatre aims to support the career development of early-career talent by allowing outstanding emerging directors to interact and work with teams of talented artists from across the nation at a leading regional theatre.
Huron Playhouse is 'holding out for a hero' with their final production of the season
Lori Demres, July 2015
"Footloose the Musical," based on the 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon, opens Tuesday with a cast of community members, staff members and the entire Huron Playhouse company of actors for this season.
“It’s a massive, big spectacle show you won’t see any place else in the area,” director Nick Hrutkay said.
As with most Broadway musicals based on movies, there will be differences, including more new songs, as well as fan favorites such as “Almost Paradise,” “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” “The Girl Gets Around” and, of course, “Footloose.”
“I know there will be expectations and audiences who are familiar with the original film will see some homage and spurts of remnants of the movie," Hrutkay said. "But mostly there is a fresh, very unique take that is visually engaging.”
Visual and Verbal
Review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch at The New Bohemian
Emily O'Donnell, May 2015
The Fringe Festival is a relatively new theater experience in Pittsburgh, showcasing alternative, experimental plays. The festival started in Pittsburgh in 2014, and can also be found popping up in cities around the world where alternative theater fights back against the mainstream. This year, the Fringe Festival offered a familiar name to me amidst their original content: Hedwig. I didn’t have the time (or money) to go to all of the Fringe shows, but I knew that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The show has meant many things to many people over the years, and I won’t go into detail about how long I’ve been a fan or the many ways it changed the lives of both myself, and my friends. It is a familiar story, one that can be echoed by so many fans.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch began onstage in the 1990’s, conceived by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask. Mitchell developed the character of Hedwig over the years, performing in clubs as a rock concert with a backup band: ‘the Angry Inch.’ The show ran off-Broadway in New York City for two years before it evolved into the next form of Hedwig: a feature film that was released in 2001. The film has often been dubbed a ‘rock opera’ in the vein of Rocky Horror and Velvet Goldmine, and the themes of gender fluidity and homosexuality are evident in all three cult films. Hedwig herself is the product of a botched sex change that left her with nothing more than an ‘angry inch’ to work with. This is a topic that is still be shocking to many, perhaps why Hedwig is still on the fringe of mainstream culture, despite nearly twenty years of popularity both on stage and screen.
Pittsburgh Stage Online Magazine
Review: Fringe Festival Rocks the Northside Friday Night
Corey Hawk, May 2015
Hedwig and the Angry Inch succeeds both in humor and in sound. Ryan Borgo does a terrific job of displaying the duality of Hedwig’s confused gender identity, while still maintaining her sass. Borgo tells Hedwig’s tragedy with both parts despair and egotistical whimsy. This creates a sympathetic, yet pompous air for Hedwig fit for her character to a T. Chelsea Bartel, playing Yitzhak, is livid and removed the entire performance, which works perfectly as a foil to the gaudy Hedwig. Both vocalists hit nearly every note and craft a beautiful sonic atmosphere. The band rocks as well, although the small venue combined with the big sound drowns out the lyrics occasionally. The overall tone is informal, Borgo encouraging and at times forcing audience participation. Two high notes are “Sugar Daddy” and (obviously) “Wicked Little Town.” The Angry Inch rocks hard.
Pittsburgh Fringe Festival: Experimental Theatre for Adventurous Audiences
Jennifer Baron, May 2015
Where can you see edgy theater productions inside a German tavern or an eclectic art-house? What began in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland—and is now the world’s largest arts festival—has gone on to spawn an underground theatre movement in 200-plus cities worldwide dubbed Fringe.
For its second annual installment, the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival is presenting a weekend packed with experimental performing arts productions in unconventional venues on the Northside—including restaurants such as Bistro to Go and Max’s Allegheny Tavern and the Mexican War Streets house-turned-art-installation that’s become a beloved local landmark known as Randyland.
Tim Burton Meets Shakespeare in a New Staging of Macbeth
Olivia Clement, December 2014
The Abstract Sentiment Theatre Company will present Macbeth: Tim Burton Meets Shakespeare, an Off-Off Broadway Tim Burton-styled take on the dark tragedy with a condensed script and staged in an asylum.
According to Abstract Sentiment, Shakespeare's famed story will be "set in a wat torn community known as Scotland, at a time when the gears of power are beginning to shift. Families struggle for survival; lords dominate the high-rises and children possess insight and wisdom way beyond their years."
Macbeth: Tim Burton Meets Shakespeare will run from Jan 22-Feb. 1, 2015, at the Alchemical Theatre Laboratory.
Keystone Repertory Theater to Present Sweeney Todd
Matt Spencer, July 2014
Keystone Repertory Theater (KRT), IUP's summer theater, is proud to present SWEENEY TODD the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Attend the tale of SWEENEY TODD, the bloodthirsty musical about a wrongfully imprisoned barber who returns to London ready to seek revenge on those who took everything he loved away from him. With an epic score by Stephen Sondheim and a terrifying book by Hugh Wheeler, this thrilling and wildly popular story will delight horror fans. Directed by KRT Artistic Director Nick Hrutkay (IUP '11), who was at the helm of KRT's other bloody productions MACBETH, EVIL DEAD and BAT BOY.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Alumni Magazine
Keith Boyer, July 2014
Each summer, the campus is home to a number of activities that offer learning opportunities to students from elementary through high school while giving valuable experience to IUP student helpers.
Footlight Players is a summer theater-for-youth program founded in 2004 by theater professor Brian Jones and then-student Zac Campbell ’05. Funded in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the United Way, this four-week day camp culminates in a festival of plays, and campers learn about costume and set design, dance, and play writing along the way. Each summer, several students and alumni assist Nick Hrutkay ’11, producing director (shown working with the cast of Bunnicula: The Musical), and Jones, the executive director, in running the camp. This year’s alumni helpers were Brett Mack ’05, Samantha Fabiani ’11, Kyle Hawk ’14, and Derrick Shane ’14.
Keystone Repertory Theater to Present the Pennsylvania Premiere of Hands On A Hardbody
Matt Spencer, June 2014
IUP's summer theater, Keystone Repertory Theater presents the Pennsylvania Premiere of HANDS ON A HARDBODY.
Under the scorching sun for days on end, nine Texans compete for a brand new truck, with only humor and the American dream to keep them fighting. With a book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Doug Wright and music by Trey Anastasio, of the band Phish and Amanda Green, this show, chock full of small town values, is directed by KRT Artistic Director, Nick Hrutkay (IUP '11).
The Lively Arts News
Footlight Players Brings "The Dream" to the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival
Brian Jones, May 2014
Footlight Players, the youth theater company of the Department of Theater and Dance, performed Shakespeare’s most popular comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at the inaugural Pittsburgh Fringe Festival, May 10–11, 2014.
The production, which was under the direction of Footlight Player’s Producing Director Nick Hrutkay, opened to glowing reviews and won the Producer’s Choice Award from a small selection of honors given out by the Fringe.
"Macbeth" Brings Supernatural to Life This Halloween Season
Indiana Gazette, October 2013
Footlight Players, in association with Keystone Repertory Theater, both service projects of the IUP Department of Theater and Dance and the College of Fine Arts, breathes life into Shakespeare's darkest play, "Macbeth," this Halloween season.
Inspired by FX's "American Horror Story" and Stephen King's "The Shining," this rendition of Shakespeare's darkest tale plays out in IUP's College Lodge secluded by the woods.
Influenced by the supernatural, the corpse of Macbeth and all those caught in his tormented struggle for power are reanimated to repeat their actions "tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow."
The Lively Arts News
Theater Department Receives Grants from National Endowment for the Arts
Brian Jones, October 2012
Footlight Players has received a $10,000 ArtWorks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support its summer youth theater program in 2012-2013. The group also received a $1,000 grant from the United Way, providing funding for four young people who would not otherwise be able to attend the popular youth theater program to attend Footlight at a deeply reduced cost. The grants were received through the IUP Research Institute.
The NEA grant will support the work of program director and IUP alumnus Nick Hrutkay to make Footlight Players even more effective in its outreach to area schools. Beginning in October 2012, Hrutkay will develop, for touring to schools, an adventurous production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. The play will feature IUP students and alumni in the popular enrichment programs.
The Lively Arts News
Student Director Provokes Discussions on Art and Society
Brian Jones, November 2010
IUP senior Theater major Nick Hrutkay's production of "The Shape of Things" concluded the "I Am An Artist" initiative in November 16-18, 2010.
Neil Labute's play served the College of Fine Arts "I Am An Artist" initiative by opening up questions about the role of artists and their creations.
Hrutkay, a recipient of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival recognition for his directing, approached Labute's script with an effective plan that mined it for its gems of insight into art's eternal relationship with big human themes of love and relationhip.
The Lively Arts News
Award-Winning Student Director to Direct "Bat Boy" at IUP
Brian Jones, April 2010
Theater major Nick Hrutkay traveled to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., this month as the Region II representative in directing for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Hrutkay was the only undergraduate student selected from hundereds of schools across the nation for this prestigious honor.
Hrutkay experienced a week of intensive workshops, panel discussions, and presentations, including Libby Appel, forme artistic director of the Orgon Shakespeare Festival.