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
Exit the King
Stunning 'Exit' by
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
Jack is one of the most articulate,
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
Tara Kayton; Producer and actor
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.
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.
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,
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).”
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).”
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.
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
As You Like It
and Voice of the
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
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
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
Stutzin, Bee Arts
editor. Modesto Bee,
April 30, 2002).”
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Hosted a poetry reading by local poet co-operative Licensed Fools to celebrate National Poetry
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
Co-produced Visiting Mr. Green with Insight Productions and the Stanislaus County chapter
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
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.