Wowsa: Orfeo Group Says It's Over

Orfeo Group at the Elliot Norton Awards.
Orfeo Group at the Elliot Norton Awards in 2009.

One of the more adventurous young groups on the Boston theater scene is calling it quits. The Orfeo Group has been around for five years and already has three Elliot Norton Awards — for "Look Back in Anger," "Love Song," and "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" which they retitled "Complete Wowsa."

Here's some of what they had to say:

It's been 5 years since Orfeo Group began with a little play called Marisol. We started as a few young artists with a story that felt right for the time, for us and for our generation. Since then, we have continued to produce theatrical experiences that resonated with us, from anger to laughter to pride to love.

It is with gratitude and respect that we announce that Orfeo Group is closing up shop and taking a bow. The four core members, Liz Hayes, Daniel Berger-Jones, Georgia Lyman and Risher Reddick, are off to new adventures! We take with us all the wisdom Orfeo has given us and we plan on forging new paths as storytellers and proffesionals of all kinds. It's been 5 years, 5 shows, 3 Norton Awards and hundreds of memories.
Thanks for the experience. We won't forget a moment of it.

Risher Reddick is living in Pittsburgh with his new dog, Charlie, and his new fiance, Sarah. He is busy teaching, writing, directing, making new friends in the Pittsburgh theatre community, and furiously planning his wedding. Maintaining his ties to the Boston area, Risher continues to teach at Emerson College in the Summers and returns to Shakespeare & Company this January to train as a teacher in the Month-Long Intensive. Risher misses his collaborators at Orfeo Group, but he looks to the future with excitement, confident that he and the other members of OG are on to the most meaningful achievements of their lives. He wants to thank everyone who has supported Orfeo Group over the last five years. Orfeo Group could not have existed without you all. Thank You.

Georgia has been happily flirting with tourism since April, working as a guide for Cambrdge Historical Tours. She has also been working steadily on films all fall. She will be seen in January on the Lifetime movie The Makeover sporting a wicked accent and playing opposite Julia Stiles. Most recently she landed a surprise guest role in the completely improvised Larry David movie tentatively called Clear History. She continues her producing career, having worked on the episodic series Blood Rose Rising at Naga during September & October. She just closed her run of critically acclaimed performances for Chesapeake, a one woman show about politics, art and a dog at New Repertory Theater.

Liz continues to teach full-time in the Voice & Speech department at The Boston Conservatory, teaches Shakespeare at The Walnut Hill School and leads the Emerson College Pre-College Acting Studio faculty (teaching Voice & Speech, Acting and Yoga) for five weeks in July/August. Since last appearing on stage in CRIMES OF THE HEART at Gloucester Stage Company in August/September, Liz has also served as the dialect/accent and vocal coach for productions around Boston with Company One, Underground Railway Theater, Whistler in the Dark, and the Huntington Theatre Company. In 2013, she will appear in LUNGS at New Repertory Theatre (February 17th - March 10th) and will then skip town in May/June to appear in the Fiasco Theatre Company's production of INTO THE WOODS at the McCarter Theatre Center.

Daniel has founded a new outlet for performance on the streets of Cambridge. After a tremendously successful first season, his new company, Cambridge Historical Tours, has filled Harvard Square with men in top hats and women in hoop skirts, giving guided tours of the oldest institution of higher learning in the US and the town it grew up in. Look for his guides on the Square, and one may be him! A Ghost Tour and Historical Pub Crawl are also offered at the moment. For more information click here. You can see Daniel next on the Lyric Stage this February/March in Stones in His Pockets and at the BPT with Vaquero Playground in spring of '13 in From Denmark with Love.

Where are our former Orfeo members?
Cristi Miles is happily living in green, rainy Portland OR, where she is currently finishing up becoming a certified Alexander Technique teacher, teaching and working at Portland Playhouse and founding her new company Portland Experimental Theater Ensemble (pete). Oh yeah, and she has the cutest 7 month old girl names Estella.
Gabriel Kuttner is the General Manager of Davis Square Theater, responsible for programming music, theatre and comedy. He will be performing in Fully Committed at New Rep this month and is also teaching incarcerated youth a directing education productions for Actors Shakespeare Project. And most importantly, being a dad.
Caleb Magoon is living in the wilds of Vermont, riding bikes, shredding boards and loving life. He can't wait for a 20 year Orfeo reunion!
Sarah Golden Martin: During her graduate study at Harvard University, she worked as a teaching artist with the Cambridge Performance Project and the Huntington Theatre Company. The more time she spent in schools, the clearer it became to Sarah that she wanted to spend her days teaching full time. Having exited the theater scene some time ago, Sarah now finds plenty of drama in day-to-day life as a full time Special Education ELA and Visual arts teacher. Sarah tries to use the arts and multi-sensory strategies in her teaching as much as possible. She believes the arts are an essential part of cultivating student engagement and appealing to the many different kinds of "smart" there are n the world.

This program aired on December 21, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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Ed Siegel Critic-At-Large
Ed Siegel is critic-at-large for WBUR.



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