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A&E NOTES: Horvath leaves Playhouse, FEmn Fest and more


Horvath leaves Duluth Playhouse staff

The Duluth Playhouse’s longtime children’s theater and education program director has left her position for a job she likened to a different kind of casting than she has done on the local stage.

Kate Horvath, who was on staff at the theater for a decade, will be a project manager at Salmela Talent — a locally based executive recruiting firm.

“It’s like casting for people who wear suits,” said Horvath earlier this week. “It’s an offer I couldn’t turn down. It provided opportunities for me to learn and grow in business acumen and do things that will make me a better leader in the future.”

There was an open house at the Playhouse last week, where her co-workers and former students gathered to eat cupcakes and celebrate Horvath.

“I’d be lying if I said it isn’t heartbreaking to leave my students,” she said. “Putting that aside for now is the hardest part. This week has been overwhelming in terms of love and support. I’ve been ugly-crying for more than a week.”

Horvath’s final production was “The Lion King Jr.,” which played in March and was the largest show she had staged: four months of planning, a cast and crew of more than 50 mostly high school aged kids, and a fleet of DIYers who handmade costumes in the style of the Broadway production of the award-winning musical.

Horvath said she will remain involved with the local theater community. She said she is on a few boards at the Playhouse and will be auditioning for shows.

“I’m sure I’ll direct children’s theater again,” she said.

FEmn Fest launches

The organizers behind a feminist festival will host a launch party for the first-year event from 6-9 p.m. June 8 at the Zeitgeist Arts Atrium. There will be merch, food, a chance to get involved and music by Maddy Siiter and Jerree Small.

FEmn Fest, which is Sept. 15-17 in Wrenshall, is a festival composed of and run by women, fem and/or non-binary identified and feminist allies. There will be music, art, films, workshops, education and connections.

UMD announces next theater season

The University of Minnesota Duluth's next theater season includes the tribulations of a super-smart spider, a musical mix of fairy tales and more.

The lineup:

• "Antigone" by Sophocles, translated by Don Taylor directed by Jenna Soleo-Shanks (Opens Sept. 18): A modern translation of an ancient tragedy that rings contemporary.

• "Noises Off" by Michael Frayn directed by Kate Ufema (Opens Nov. 2): A small theater company just can't get anything right.

• UMD Dance Concert: "In a Jazz Way" directed by Rebecca Katz Harwood (opens Nov. 30): A mix of jazz dance.

• "Charlotte's Web" based on the story by E.B. White dramatized by Joseph Robinette directed by Tom Isbell (opens Feb. 1, 2018): Wilbur the pig's neck is on the line and only a super-smart spider can save him.

• "These Shining Lives" by Melanie Marnich directed by William Payne (opens March 1, 2018): A Duluth-raised playwright tells a love story/docudrama about strong women fighting for a safe workplace in the Depression Era.

• "Into the Woods" by Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine and directed by Ann Bergeron (opens April 12, 2018): Characters from fairy tales collide in this story set in the dark woods.

Test ballet school

The School of the Minnesota Ballet is hosting its Summer Sampler starting at 10 a.m. Saturday — a chance to test out its six-week summer classes in a casual way at the Depot. The summer term runs from June 12-July 28 and includes the Student Summer Showcase on July 28.

The guest instructors are Karl von Rabenau, who is on staff at the Milwaukee Ballet School and works with Milwaukee Ballet II as a principal faculty member; Marco Carreon, a faculty member at California State University Dominguez Hills; and Igor Burlak, formerly of the Minnesota Ballet, who is on staff at Boston Ballet School.

Summer Sampler schedule

• 10 a.m.: Creative Movement (ages 3-5)

• 10:30 a.m.: Pre-ballet (ages 6-7)

• 11 a.m.: Ballet technique (ages 8-10)

• 11:30 a.m.: Ballet technique (ages 11-adult)

• Noon: Beginning tap (ages 10+)

• 12:30 p.m.: Jazz (ages 12-adult)

• 1 p.m.: Modern (ages 12-adult)