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Professional Portfolio: Jack Souza

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  1. 1. Portfolio Jack Lehman Souza
  2. 2. Actor
  3. 3. Lion in Winter He sees a play as a fluid work, and continues to refine it until the last performance. His approach is always collaborative, and his relaxed, easy manner inspires actors to be better than their natural talents might warrant. . . I have rarely seen anyone with better instincts and vision. . . I have worked with many fine directors, actors, and set designers. I have never seen these talents combined to such a degree in one person as in Jack Souza. I would be happy to work with him under any circumstance. Jenni Abbott; Actor, Eleanor of Aquitaine LION-HEARTED WINNER FOR PROSPECT THEATER PROJECT Modesto Bee, November 21, 2005
  4. 4. Exit the King Stunning 'Exit' by Prospect Friday, February 13, 2009 Prospect Theater Project's powerful staging is the best work the company has produced in many months. . . Jack Souza, Prospect's founding artistic director, delivers a tour-de-force performance in the title role, skillfully employing everything he has in his actor's tool bag.
  5. 5. Titus Andronicus Jack is one of the most articulate, accomplished actor/director/designer I have ever had the pleasure to work with. In the first play I produced Off-Off Broadway in New York, Jack’s skill and breadth of theatrical knowledge, together with his easy going manner made him an asset in every aspect of this production. I’m only sorry he left New York to return home to California. Tara Kayton; Producer and actor (Lavinia)—Titus Andronicus.
  6. 6. SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER MESOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME “We are fortunate to have Prospect Theater company in our community. . . Just watching“We are fortunate to have Prospect Theater company in our community. . . Just watching Jack Souza perform in any play is a joy. . . “Jack Souza perform in any play is a joy. . . “ Margaret Sue Leaman in a letter to theMargaret Sue Leaman in a letter to the Editor, Modesto Bee,Editor, Modesto Bee, December 6, 2007.
  7. 7. As You Like It LISA MILLEGAN; BEE ARTS WRITER; June 27, 2007 The Shakespeare comedy features one of Modesto's most respected actors in a whopping three roles. Jack Souza, the founding artistic director of Prospect Theater Project, not only creates distinct, engaging characters but sings folk songs with other cast members and accompanies himself on the guitar. His best part is Jacques, the melancholy aristocrat who delivers the famed monologue "All the world's a stage … and one man in his time plays many parts." Souza's rendition is well-paced, thoughtful and poignant.
  8. 8. Reviews Faith Healer “Souza, one of the region's best actors . . . plays Frank with more skill and assurance than ever. Going eye to eye with viewers in the small theater, he uses his voice, hands, eyes and postures with economy and meaning . . . (Leo Stutzin, Bee Arts editor. Modesto Bee, February 2, 1995).” The Real Thing “Prospect Theater Project's staging of Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" is the real thing: theater raised to the level of art in Modesto . . . Although Henry is clearly the pivotal character -- Jack Souza plays his narrow emotive range with sardonic charm and maturity -- it is one the production's triumphs that Henry comes through as just one personality among seven in an exquisitely balanced ensemble . . . You couldn't ask for a better-balanced team on a local stage, or for portrayals that are more distinct in performance . . . Souza also directed (Leo Stutzin, Bee Arts editor. Modesto Bee, April 30, 2002).” A Christmas Carol “Souza's work would be well worth the time and effort even if it were only to be astonished at the memory required for two hours of dialogue involving more than a dozen characterizations. But Souza, barefoot and wearing a formal evening jacket, is superb in vocally transforming himself . . . Using tone and pacing and lighting, Souza takes the audience on Scrooge's journey from a needy, lonely boy to a cynical, miserly, miserable old man . . . Souza and Scrooge succeed admirably in taking the audience into the abyss and then to heights of redemption and sweet resolve (Roger Hoskins, Bee Entertainment writer. Modesto Bee, November 27, 2002).”
  9. 9. Reviews Richard II “Shakespearean productions with the power, pathos and intelligence of the current "Richard II," which opened Friday at Carnegie Arts Center, are anything but standard. Its glory lies in three sublime performances, delivered with deep reverence for the language of this most poetic of Shakespearean texts and with comparable concern for the human and political dynamics revealed through that language. The characters shaped by Patricia O'Donnell, Jack Souza and Jere O'Donnell cut to the essence of the story with precision and expose it with clarity. For the trio, the venture carried immense risks . . . As actors and directors, they have to be as widely respected as anyone in the region. With "Richard," though, Souza and the O'Donnells took a shot at doing it all . . . They directed it and are playing all its roles: 15 named characters, plus "various lords.” Trying such a feat takes brass. Pulling it off, as they have done, takes a skill that approaches genius . . . Souza's central role is Bolingbroke . . . He creates a sympathetic figure, driven solely by a quest for justice. The interpretation is persuasive, even though history and many stage interpreters treat Henry as an ambitious schemer. Most notable among Souza's other fine characterizations is John of Gaunt whose "This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England..." remains one of Shakespeare's most enduring expressions of nationalist fervor. Souza endows him with dignity to match his passion (Leo Stutzin, Bee Arts editor. Modesto Bee, February 9, 1999).”
  10. 10. Designer
  11. 11. Titus Andronicus A lot of the design work for Titus was conceived before a venue was chosen. Even after The ArcLight was selected as the performance space, the core design concept remained true: Evoke location without encumbering the movement of the play with complicated set changes, maximize the impact of the violence inherent in the play by balancing what is witnessed by the audience with what is actually seen and guide the audience’s focus, principally, through the application of light and shadow.
  12. 12. Lion in Winter My primary concerns in designing Lion in Winter were creating a set that could suggest a variety of locations within the castle but also worked within the limited space available at Prospect. I wanted the play to unfold fluidly, without interruptions that come with set changes. Although all the action occurs within Chinon, I also wanted to suggest a sense of the cold, wintery world outside. I knew, too that I wanted the play to look like an oil painting, a Rembrandt or Caravaggio; saturated in color with lots of chiaroscuro.
  13. 13. As You Like It and Voice of the Prairie Murphys Creek Theatre presented an outdoor venue that had to function in both daylight and moonlight. The plays were both set in an imagined rural American past. We wanted to build onto a portion of an existing structure a set that would work for both plays, offer alternately expansive and intimate playing areas and, as I like to do, offer a fluidity that would allow scenes to flow seamlessly into one another.
  14. 14. Arts Advocate
  15. 15. Founding Artistic Director Prospect Theater Project “It's a testimonial to the determination of artistic director Jack Souza and his friends in PTP to do things right, instantly establishing an institutional character rather than simply indulging their affection for the stage (Leo Stutzin, Bee Arts editor. Modesto Bee, May 1, 2001).” “. . . at long last Modesto has a theater whose work can consistently be called professional (Leo Stutzin, Bee Arts editor. Modesto Bee, April 30, 2002).” Our Mission To develop and present new and unconventional as well as traditional work in the theater arts; to encourage innovative alternatives to the community’s performing arts repertory of dance, opera and musical theater; to promote collaborations of community theater artists with working professionals; to promote working relationships with regional theaters in adjoining areas; and to reach out to the community through educational activities and multicultural experiences that specifically serve the interests of a culturally diverse and increasingly urban population.
  16. 16. MAKING IT HAPPEN; 25 TO WATCH IN MODESTO'S ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SCENE September 24, 2006 Scene writers Marijke Rowland and Lisa Millegan talked to some of Modesto's top arts and entertainment movers and shakers, then asked them to gather at the State Theatre for photos with Bee photographer Debbie Noda. Meet the 25 people and couples who organize concerts, coordinate art shows, direct plays and build arts programs from the ground up. Get to know them -- and maybe get involved yourself.
  17. 17. Students' rejected art on display at Modesto theater Modesto Bee; February 04, 2009 Prospect Theater Project is showing five paintings and drawings pulled by the [Mistlin] gallery for perceived depictions of violence, gang symbols, and other illegal, inappropriate or sexual activities. The art was created by four Advanced Placement students from Central Valley High School in Ceres, who say their work was misinterpreted and shows nothing of the kind. Jack Souza, Prospect's founding artistic director . . . said it was wrong of the gallery to censor the art. "Whatever the content of the work they produced, it's a reflection of the world we're living in," Souza said.
  18. 18. When I founded Prospect Theater Project in 2001, I was determined to make its resources available to other regional artists. In addition to our gallery space which featured the work of local artists, painters and photographers, PTP also… Co-produced Christopher Durang’s Baby with the Bathwater with Modesto Civic Theater. Hosted An Evening with William Shakespeare featuring visiting English actor Daniel Foley. Hosted reading and book-signing by local poet Gillian Wegener. Co-sponsored the tri-lingual production of La Mujer Que Cayõ del Cielo directed by Marcos Contreras. Hosted a poetry reading by local poet co-operative Licensed Fools to celebrate National Poetry Month. Sponsored the monthly Poetry Slam with Slam-on-Rye. This partnership includes an annual “Slam Invitational” held off-site. Sponsored our annual playwriting competition to feature new, unproduced work by regional playwrights.. Co-produced Visiting Mr. Green with Insight Productions and the Stanislaus County chapter of GLSSN. Hosted a series of poetry workshops with the local community college to commemorate National Poetry Month. Hosted Talking with Angels featuring Bay Area performer Shelley Mitchell. Hosted In Spite of Everything with Berkeley spoken word trio, The Suicide Kings. Co-sponsored an evening of music and poetry to benefit the Beyer High School Academic Decathlon team.
  19. 19. Educator What his Humanities and Shakespeare students say: Jack is awesome. Took in the summer and he made it fun. More interested in letting you think and express your opinion than hearing himself and his opinions. Watched Troy and read interesting stories that were fun but challenged you intellectually. Definitely a rage against the machine guy. Made reading Shakespeare very inviting and interesting. Looked forward to going every week. Souza is the best teacher I have had at JC. Class is easy, as long as you read. The readings are a good amt, but not difficult . . . show up early to class just to hear him talk, you wont regret it. He is a very good teacher, and listener. Good teacher and I think he was pretty interesting!! It was a really fun class! This class was my favorite at MJC so far. Warning: do not take this class if you do not like to read . . . Mr. Souza is awesome.