Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Stage

Director Karla Hartley talks juggling two plays on opposite sides of bay

Take a look at the roster of plays going on in Tampa Bay right now, and one name inevitably keeps popping up: Karla Hartley.

The producing artistic director of Stageworks Theatre in Tampa has been one busy woman, recently directing Stageworks' production of The Sugar Bean Sisters, then heading into simultaneous jobs directing God of Carnage at American Stage in St. Petersburg and Inventing Van Gogh at Jobsite Theater in Tampa, open now through Aug. 3 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

Hartley is a longtime stalwart on the local theater scene and is no stranger to juggling multiple jobs at once. This period, she said, has been energizing but intense.

"I feel sorry for my family," said Hartley, 44. "I'm not as young as I used to be."

To direct both plays, she regularly worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on God of Carnage, then hopped on the Howard Frankland Bridge to Tampa to work from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Inventing Van Gogh, a more high-concept work about "what is false, what is real, what is forgery, what is truth," she said.

Hartley became an independent artist in 2009 after leaving a job with the Straz Center. She had gotten used to juggling multiple jobs at once out of necessity.

"You know how the arts are," she said. "You take anything and everything because you're afraid there's a drought coming. I ended up overbooking a lot. I don't consider myself overbooked now."

American Stage, she said, is one of the few local companies that can afford to hold rehearsals during the day, making it possible to direct two plays at once. Although the performances overlap, she doesn't go to every performance after opening night, trusting the actors are where they need to be by then.

The experience of switching rapidly from one show to the other has been a good tool sharpener, she said, a way to separate her directorial mind from the traps of each piece and come back fresh the next day.

God of Carnage is driving and forceful but also subtle in ways," she said. "Inventing Van Gogh is poetic and lyrical and nonlinear. It has actually been kind of interesting. They're so different."

Comments
Jobsite Theater wants to challenge audiences with an adaptation of ‘1984’

Jobsite Theater wants to challenge audiences with an adaptation of ‘1984’

TAMPANow is as good a time as any, since there is no great time to take a deep dark look into the apocalypse of humanity.But history rewards those brave enough to try, from Nostradamus to George Orwell, who are looking more and more like the same bre...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Performances, songwriting get ‘Waitress’ from serviceable to filling — plus, there’s actually pie

Performances, songwriting get ‘Waitress’ from serviceable to filling — plus, there’s actually pie

TAMPA — A lonely and changeable sky illuminates the top of the stage through most of Waitress, running this week at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. The neon lettering of Joe’s Diner reflects days and nights that don’t differ en...
Published: 04/25/18
Jobsite cues up ‘1984,’ ‘50 Shades’ parody’s Danielle Trzcinski premieres ‘Little Black Dress’

Jobsite cues up ‘1984,’ ‘50 Shades’ parody’s Danielle Trzcinski premieres ‘Little Black Dress’

MINISTRY OF JOBSITE: 1984When selecting an adaptation for George Orwell’s 1984 (there have been a few of them), Jobsite Theater had to strike the most controversial one off the list. That version by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan ran for 125 perfor...
Published: 04/25/18
Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

ST. PETERSBURG — Without question, Mel Brooks’ The Producers carved a more indelible mark than most of the musicals in the entire genre of throwaway musicals it parodied.The creator of Get Smart and Blazing Saddles not only co-wrote the adaptation of...
Published: 04/23/18
The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Florida Orchestra puts another exclamation point on its 50th season with Verdi’s Requiem, this weekend’s concert series, a major presentation of an iconic work. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem debuted in 1874 but took on a new layer of signif...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

ST. PETERSBURG — In the coming season, Freefall Theatre is rolling out a world premiere, a different take on Christmas, a sharp comedy and a recent work by Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage. The theme for the 2018-2019 season, "A Brighter Tomorrow," color...
Published: 04/19/18
Desi Oakley savors pie making in ‘Waitress,’ orchestra does Verdi’s Requiem

Desi Oakley savors pie making in ‘Waitress,’ orchestra does Verdi’s Requiem

HEAD WAITRESS: DESI OAKLEYThe blue collar mother who drives the plot of Waitress never thought she could win a pie-making contest, let alone start a business."She doesn’t even have the capacity to understand that she could do this," said Desi Oakley,...
Published: 04/18/18
American Stage sets the table for a splashy park musical ‘The Producers’

American Stage sets the table for a splashy park musical ‘The Producers’

ST. PETERSBURG ­— Think early evening, daylight saving version. The earth turning away, light fading in Demens Landing Park — everywhere except the stage, which is trying its best to resurrect midday. "It looks like New York City at nigh...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Brooksville’s Live Oak Theatre presents ‘ReUnKnighted,’ a medieval misadventure

Brooksville’s Live Oak Theatre presents ‘ReUnKnighted,’ a medieval misadventure

BROOKSVILLE — How about a story about two knights who gain their knighthood, lose it, then gain it back, only to lose it again?That was the concept Kyle Marra pitched nearly three years ago to Randi Olsen, founder and creative director for the Live O...
Published: 04/17/18
Bilingual ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ shines a light on brutal regime

Bilingual ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ shines a light on brutal regime

TAMPA — Tampa made its cigars with indispensable help from Cuban immigrants. Today, 22 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin, as defined by the U.S. Census. The Tampa Bay area has increasingly and proudly defined itself as a thriving perfor...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/18/18