Sam White on Fox 2 News Detroit, 2012

Shakespeare in Detroit on Fox 2 News Detroit, 2013

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thank you Team SiD

 A couple of weeks back I gathered in a room with 500 people, including the 39 other professionals who are a part of the 2014 Crain's Detroit Business' 40 Under 40 class. It was all very exciting as we all celebrated one another. I felt really blessed -- as an artist -- to be recognized with other industries from technology and sports to medical and design.

It makes me incredibly happy to see that people are beginning to realize that there is a business to art and the creative industry is as important to a thriving, healthy city as any other industries.

I believe that any success that I have had is because of the people in my life who have helped me. I am a powerful woman, but there is no way Shakespeare in Detroit could have had the year it had, without the support of everyone from the actors who have been in our shows and the directors who have shared their talents to the people who have donated everything from their hard-earned money to their time to us. I thank everyone who has made this year as epic as it has been. I call you Team SiD because the only way Shakespeare in Detroit can become a world-class Shakespeare company -- comparable to great companies like Strat Fest, RSC and The Globe -- is with a large group of people from this community and other areas who believe, as I do, that a job may bring someone to a city, but the arts will keep them here. The experience will keep people in Detroit.

Detroit has always been a city of innovation and an industrial epicenter. This city changed the way the world moved -- from Henry Ford to the Supremes -- and I sincerely believe that was only the beginning for our great city. I look forward to watching how the story of Detroit unfolds in my lifetime and I hope that Shakespeare in Detroit will be a part of the fabric of its rebirth as we turn this chapter.

My heart is completely filled when I think of all the awesome opportunities that have been presented to me because of Shakespeare in Detroit. It's incredible to think that an idea that lived in my head is now alive and breathing and creating.

I am so excited as we gear up for our next show, "King Lear." I hope you guys tune into my podcast to learn more about that production opening on April 9, 2015! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shakespeareindetroit

It is my dream that you will continue this journey with me, with Shakespeare in Detroit and the town that was once mostly known for motors and music, will also become a destination for those who love Shakespeare, those who love art and those who want to see our great city thrive.

xo

~ Sam


Friday, October 24, 2014

Michigan Opera Theatre’s Elektra is a bloody good time

Michigan Opera Theatre’s fall 2014 season opened with Richards Strauss’ German-language opera, “Elektra.” The horror-filled one-act performance was disturbingly wonderful to watch with the award-winning vocals of soprano Christine Goerke.
Photo by John Grigaitis

Elektra is grieving the loss of her father who was murdered by her lusty mother and her lover. She seeks revenge and begs her sister, Chrysothemis, to help her. This role is played by soprano Jennifer Check whose runs and vibratos are lovely and sweet and a great contrast to Goerke’s Elektra and all her glorious grit.  

Goerke leaves her soul on stage giving a vocal and physical performance that could exhaust a diva of a much lesser grade. As beautiful as her voice is, her endurance is even more admirable and she has the acting chops to handle such a challenging role. Even before she opens her mouth, you feel her pain from the slant of her brow to the thrust of her jaw. She is truly wonderful to watch.

The role of the sisters’ mother, Klytaemnestra, is played by mezzo-soprano Jill Grove who makes it very easy to dislike her character with her strong performance as the villain in “Elektra.” She plays bad so good. Grove, like Goerke, delivers on the acting in addition to the singing. You don’t have to read the subtitles to know her role in the story. Her body, her voice and everything in between give you the entire context to understand.  

Photo by John Grigaitis

The cast also includes German Bass-baritone Thomas Gazheli as Orest and Canadian tenor, Richard Margison as Aegisth.

“Elektra” is one of those operas that resonates with every age group from 18 to 80 because of its youthful energy but still maintains the structure and dynamic of a classic libretto. The way MOT has opened up the context so that it is accessible to every audience is to be admired. The acting by the performers in this production make it easily understood whether you have been attending the opera your entire life or are viewing it for the first time. Not to mention, the bloody setting – including a set that spews blood – is perfect for this time of year with Halloween just around the corner.

MOT is only presenting four performances of this emotionally charged opera – the two closing shows are this weekend. As horrific as this murderous tale is, it would be more horrifying for Detroit audiences to miss this show.

The opera is directed by Nicholas Muni with Maestro Steven Mercurio at the podium.

“Elektra” is playing this Saturday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 26 at 2:30 p.m. at the Detroit Opera House located at 1526 Broadway in downtown Detroit. Tickets are $25 to $128. Visit www.MichiganOpera.org or call 313.237.SING for more information.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Oh, how I remember sweet, sweet September



September was an amazing month. I got to see Oprah at the Life You Want Tour (no, I didn't meet her...not yet), and I gave a TED talk.

I love TED talks. Folks like Malcolm Gladwell and Elizabeth Gilbert have given talks that have made me think deeper and inspired my own passions.

TEDx Detroit was at the Detroit Opera House this year. The home of one of my idols, David Dichiera -- Founder and Artistic Director of the Michigan Opera Theatre. So when I was asked to give a talk at TEDx Detroit about my baby, Shakespeare in Detroit, and in that location, I was floored. I was so excited.

It was by far my favorite moment this year. I was able to introduce "King Lear" with one of my favorite actors, Peter Knox, to an audience that was there with the intention to receive and give good energy. I was intoxicated with all the love I felt in that moment from the attentive audience. And it felt like divine order that I would give a talk in that space, at this time.

Thank you Detroit for having my back on this journey with The Bard.



As I said in my talk, I am living, breathing proof that dreams come true. I thank everyone who has helped me go further than my dreams. I feel the momentum.

I am excited for the future.

(P.s. Shakespeare in Detroit will present "King Lear" in April 2015).

xo


Crain's Detroit Business, 40 Under 40 class of 2014

I am so excited to share that I made Crain's Detroit Business' 40 Under 40 list for 2014!

How exciting to have a creative entity -- a theatre company --  honored with so many awesome professional innovators.

It warms my heart as an artist to have Crain's understand and celebrate the arts with other businesses in the community.

I am thrilled. I am grateful. And I can't wait to meet the rest of my awesome class next month for the celebration at MGM Detroit!

Cheers.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Shakespeare in Detroit kicks off its second season with a splash

After a successful inaugural season, Shakespeare in Detroit plans to keep their momentum going by opening their second season with “The Tempest.” Audience members will experience magic with Shakespeare's magician, Prospera, in the comfort of the Marlene Boll Theater inside the YMCA Detroit.

“The Tempest” chronicles the story of Prospera, a magician, who has been living on a primitive island with her daughter for the past 12 years. The play opens with a tempest caused by Prospera to attack the ship carrying the man that initially betrayed and exiled her to the island. Following the shipwreck, the play chronicles each character’s experiences ashore.

Returning audience members of Shakespeare in Detroit will recognize a few familiar faces from previous shows as well as new faces that have recently joined the Detroit-based company. “The Tempest” is directed by Chris Mick with costumes by Kate Nelson and set design by Cal Schwartz.

Showtimes for “The Tempest” are Saturday, September 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, September 21 at 2 p.m. at 1401 Broadway St, Detroit, Michigan 48226. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door (if available) for $25 per ticket.

If you would like more information please find Shakespeare in Detroit on Facebook and signup for updates at ShakespeareinDetroit.com. For questions about Shakespeare in Detroit’s upcoming season please contact teamshakespeareindetroit@gmail.com.

About Shakespeare in Detroit
Shakespeare in Detroit is a site-specific Shakespeare company that performs in the places where people live, work and play by creating high-quality theater. Shakespeare in Detroit debuted its first show in 2013 to an audience of more than 500 people for a performance of "Othello." Six months later the company performed "Antony and Cleopatra" to a nearly sold-out audience at Recycle Here, as well as an 800 person audience in New Center Park for the company’s summer show "A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Shakespeare in Detroit is committed to bringing unique experiences to the city’s – and surrounding area – residents.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TEDx Detroit meets Shakespeare in Detroit

I am so excited to share that I will be speaking at TEDx Detroit on September 30th!

It's a dream come true for someone like me who loves public speaking, is a HUGE fan of TED talks and the fact that it is taking place at the Detroit Opera House, home of one of my idols, David DiChiera,  makes it that much sweeter.

Learn more about this awesome event and register to attend here: http://www.tedxdetroit.com/ .

More details about my talk, soon.

I am so humbled and grateful for the all the beautiful blessings this year. Incredible!

xo

 ~Sam

Blog Archive

Clip from my performance at The Detroit Shoppe in May 2011

Sam White Singing "Abie Baby" in HAIR

Me (Sam White) Hosting John Heffron's comedy show in Ann Arbor, MI

Me Circa '05 Performing "Big Spender" with some other ladies

Sam White Singing "White Boys" in HAIR

Performing Stand-up in Chicago

"I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good"