Tag Archive for: theatre

It’s Spring!

2013 Summer Theatre Camp 4.jpg

“The world is shaped by two things – stories told and the memories they leave behind.” – Vera Nazarian

Celebrating the Present | Planning for the Future | Honoring the Past

Our dreams include the continuation of theatre classes and programs such as Reader’s Theatre, Theatre By the Book, and The 24 Hour Plays, plus the new Connections through History and Storytelling, beginning this summer.  

Become part of our family!  Become a Member of the Miners Foundry for as little as $5 a month.  Additional benefits for joining before May 31, 2016.

Find yourself at the Foundry in 2016!

Theater By The Book Returns With The Thriller SLEUTH – Wednesday, May 22

Theater by the Book, a series of informal play readings for the community co-presented by Sierra Stages and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, returns Wednesday, May 22 with a reading of the Tony Award-winning play Sleuth, directed by Susan Mason and featuring local actors Jeffrey Mason and Danny McCammon.

“We kicked off the “Theater by the Book” series in April with a reading/singing of a children’s musical Stone Soup which has a musical score by Ken Hardin, Artistic Director of InConcert Sierra,” explains Peter Mason, board member of Sierra Stages. “We expected about fifty audience members, but had over one hundred and fifty in the attendance.  The feedback on the show was overwhelmingly positive.”

Sleuth has all the ingredients of a top-class thriller – a plot whose twists and turns are breathtakingly audacious and fiendishly cunning; suspense and excitement galore; and a brilliant parody of the Agatha Christie country-house thriller.  Written in 1970 by Anthony Shaffer the play is set in the English manor house of Andrew Wyke, an immensely successful mystery writer, played by Mason.  Wyke’s home reflects his obsession with the inventions and deceptions of fiction and his fascination with games and game-playing. He lures his wife’s lover, Milo Tindle played by McCammon, to the house and convinces him to stage a robbery of her jewelry, a proposal that sets off a chain of events that leaves the audience trying to decipher where Wyke’s imagination ends and reality begins.

“I love Sleuth.  It is fun, interesting, and rarely ever done because of the production challenges,” explains Susan on why she suggested the play for the series. “The play reads very well and I’m interested in the creative process of reworking a familiar play in a way that is new to me and the audience.  Plus it was a great opportunity to work with my husband again.”

Susan grew up in Grass Valley and met Jeffrey while performing in a production of Oliver! at the Nevada Theatre in 1976.  Since then the two have worked together in over thirty shows and lived throughout California and Oregon.  The Mason’s threw themselves back in to local theatre two years ago after Jeffrey retired from teaching theatre arts at the university level.  Most recently, Susan directed Assassins for Sierra Stages and Alice in Wonderland for Quest Theatreworks and acted in Sierra Stages’ production Death of a Salesman, while Jeffrey has directed The Music Man and Death of a Salesman for Sierra Stages. Both also participated in the popular 24 Hour Plays produced by Sands Hall at the Miners Foundry.

“My love of theatre comes from my love of dramatic literature,” explains Susan.  “There is so much good literature out there, you can’t run out of good material.  I also love watching the audience see something come alive in person.”

Also in the cast is seasoned actor Danny McCammon. McCammon has performed in numerous local productions, including Sierra Stages’ Assassins and CATS’ Journey to the West. He also performs in the Best Friends Club Sketch Comedy Group, and will be seen in Sierra Stages’ summer production of the musical Avenue Q at the Nevada Theatre.

The Theater By the Book readings are FREE (with a $10 suggested donation). Each reading is on a Wednesday evening – doors open at 7 and the reading begins at 7:30.

“We thought it was important that the play readings be free, but we are also asking for a suggested contribution of $10 to cover royalties for each play and the promotion and fixed costs for the Foundry,” says Peter Mason.  “Although not designed as a fund raising event (after all, admission is free), any proceeds from the series will go to the Miners Foundry and Sierra Stages, which are both 501(c)(3) organizations with a goal to provide cultural activities for our community.”

The rest of the play reading series will be entertaining as well, with a wide variety of plays: Sleuth will be followed with a comedy (Lettice and Lovage), a drama (The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds), a sprawling historical epic with music (Zoot Suit) and one reading to be announced. Jeffrey Mason will direct the Peter Shaffer comedy Lettice and Lovage the third installment of Theater By the Book on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at the Miners Foundry.


Get Floored – Miners Foundry New Wood Floor Campaign

For the past year, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center has been hard at work quietly raising funds for a new wooden floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall, one of the two great halls. With the help and support of private donors, businesses, Nevada City, Nevada County and the Nevada City Chamber Commerce they have raised 70% of the total amount needed. With just three weeks remaining before breaking ground on January 28, the Miners Foundry is reaching out to help make this much needed facility improvement a reality for the community to use and enjoy for generations to come.

“A wooden dance floor will allow the Foundry to produce Swing, Ballroom, Salsa and Blues dance events without making excuses about dancing on cement. It’s a big step in the improvement of the Miners Foundry,” says Paul Emery, a local promoter who has produced music and theatrical events at the Miners Foundry.

Located in the heart of downtown Nevada City, the Miners Foundry is a California Registered Historic Landmark. The building retains the character of the Gold Rush days with its rough-hewn beams, iron doors, and antique fixtures and furnishings. From its earliest days as a machine shop that spawned such modern marvels as the Pelton Wheel which would go on to revolutionize hydroelectricity to the fabrication of steel that was used in the Liberty Ships of World War II to its current use as Nevada County’s premiere cultural arts and community center, the Miners Foundry has and continues to play an integral role in the story of Nevada County, and ourselves.

“Charles Woods and David Osborn had a magnificent and brilliant vision which they made a reality; to create a cultural center for Nevada County from the ruins of a once bustling but ultimately derelict industrial building which once served the mines,” said Paul Matson, board member of the Miners Foundry and friend of the late partners, Osborn/Woods. “Today what was then the American Victorian Museum is alive and well while actively fulfilling that original mission, in what is now known as the Miners Foundry.”

In 2009, the Miners Foundry brought together community members, organizers and leaders for a strategic planning session. During the meeting the floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall, along with a new sound system, stage, curtains, and kitchen, were all identified as areas that needed improvement. Since then, these areas with the exception of the floor have been updated. A new floor would beautify the hall by lightening the room and improving acoustics. It would attract more music events that involve dancing. It would also provide an elegant space for dinner dances, night-club-style events and dinner theatre. Rental business for daytime uses such as exercise, yoga and dance classes would expand dramatically.

Last year the Miners Foundry hosted over 400 events and nearly 50,000 people, local and out-of-town, visited to either attend a rock concert, theatrical production or reading, non-profit or school fundraiser, private party, wedding, or just to admire the historic mining relics and the Foundry’s famous stone walls.

Young’s Carpet One has been selected as the contractor for the job. The scope of the floor project includes sealing and leveling the existing concrete floor, and then installing a premium hardwood floor. Donors of a certain level will have their name or the name of their choice permanently imprinted on the new wood floor.

“Like many non-profit arts venues, only 40% of the buildings operating costs are covered through rental income,” explains Gretchen Bond, Executive Director. “The remainder comes from Foundry-presented events, annual memberships, fundraising events, grants and donations. Individuals and businesses that choose to support the Foundry make an enormous difference and insure the legacy of this great building.”

Hurry!  Donations of any amount are welcome.  There is a deadline of January 26th for those who donate $1,000 or more and will have the name of their choice imprinted on the floor.

To make a tax-deductible donation you can do so online here or simply call (530) 265-5040. You can also mail in your donation to Miners Foundry, attn: Osborn/Woods Hall Floor, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA, 95959. For questions or additional information please contact Gretchen Bond at (530) 265-5040 or [email protected]

Truth in Acting Workshop with Sandra Rockman ~ Winter 2013 Series

Sandra Rockman

Whether you harbor a secret desire to perform or you are already active with area companies, Sandra will guide you to a richer level of awareness and ability to inhabit your character on stage.  Class sizes will be limited and pre-registration is required.  Three class options will be offered, beginning January 7, 2013.  The series will run for 9 weeks and is $180.00 for the series.

Three class options are available:
Mondays 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Tuesdays 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.

Sandra Rockman has been involved with the local theater scene since 1978.  She is an actress and playwright, and has directed more than 25 productions, including the classic “Our Town”, recently at the Nevada Theatre.  Fore more information about these and other workshops, as well as private consults for all writing and/or theatrical projects, call (530) 265-6514 or email [email protected] .

This workshop has been co-sponsored by the Miners Foundry Cultural Center.   The Mission of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational and social activities.   The Foundry is a non profit organization, proud to support other area non profits such as Utah’s Place / Hospitality House of Western Nevada County.



Tag Archive for: theatre

San Francisco Mime Troupe



Paul Emery Music and the Miners Foundry will present the San Francisco Mime Troupe in an outdoor twilight concert on Friday, August 28, 2015.  The San Francisco Mime Troupe will open their 56th Season with “Freedomland”, written by Michael Gene Sullivan with music and lyrics by Ira Marlowe.  Doors open at 6:45 p.m., music begins at 7:00 p.m., and the show is at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $20 and are available online, by phone or in person at the Miners Foundry, or in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.  Ticketing fees may apply.

The San Francisco Mime Troupe creates and produces socially relevant theatre of the highest professional quality and performs it before the broadest possible audience. SFMT makes sense of the headlines by identifying the forces shaping our lives and dramatizing the operation of these giant forces in small, close-up stories that make audiences feel the impact of political events on personal life.

A door is blown off its hinges!  Into a blasted room of scarred walls and shattered windows, armed with M-16s, America’s bravest duck and dodge for cover, finally training their deadly gun sights on… an old black man watching TV on his couch?  This isn’t Baghdad or Kandahar, it’s home, and for ex-Black Panther Malcolm Haywood, it’s just another wrong door police raid in the War on Drugs.  So of course Malcolm is horrified when the grandson he’s tried to protect, Nathaniel, returns from serving in Afghanistan only to find another war zone at home, and one where young Black men like Nathaniel are in the cross hairs!  Meanwhile, the Mayor and the Police Chief – one desperate for votes, the other desperate to fund his militarized police force – ramp up the fear (and their shiny new tank) to fight the newest drug threat to America.  Worse than weed, meth, coke, crack, or crank, it’s… SNORF!!  And of course, the SNORF trade is centered in the darkest part of town.

Are the police of out control?  What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?  Is Malcolm’s neighbor Lluis (an undocumented immigrant) actually a SNORF-lord?  And can Malcolm convince his grandson that it’s safer to re-up and fight overseas than to try to survive here at home, in Freedomland?



Youth Theatre Class


This Beginning/Intermediate class is designed to develop creativity, inspire appreciation and understanding for the dramatic arts, and establish life long communication skills in a small group setting with individualized attention. (maximum 12 students)
(10 classes: Mondays 3:45 PM – 5:15 PM, $200.00)

Class Dates

February: 27; March: 6, 20, 27, April: 3,17, 24, May: 1,8,15


At the completion of this course, students will be able to:
• Demonstrate how body language and facial expression affect communication.
• Demonstrate basic vocal techniques, including projection, diction, and expression
• Define basic terms used in theatre including the actors basic tools.
• Develop a character(s) and perform in a final class showcase combining all the skills
learned in the class.
• Use their learned skills to audition for a future local play or musical if desired.

Class Description

This weekly class is for students already passionate about theatre to further refine their skills, and for new students curious about the performing arts in theatre. Experienced actors gain  confidence and expertise as they become leaders in the class. Beginning actors learn from their peers and have an opportunity to develop the craft in a group with support from their peers. The class involves singing, musical theatre dancing, and acting. Acting is taught thru weekly instruction in musical theater where all students are engaged in learning choreography and lyrics from Broadway songs appropriate for youth ages 8 – 13. Students naturally learn about the actor’s tools of face, body, and voice as they learn material that involves the whole group in ensemble  production numbers, and solo songs that students perform together that can later be used as solo audition pieces. Students will also participate in “mini plays” developed from familiar stories and poems that encourage correct use of the voice and body to express character. At the end of the last class, students will perform a short showcase for family and friends.

Teacher Requests

• Attendance to all classes (especially the last class) is very important as
choreography and blocking build each week towards the final showcase
performance. A missing actor is challenging to the group. In the case of minor
illness (no fever), I encourage the student to come and watch as opposed to
staying home. This supports the integrity of the ensemble and continuity of
performing arts.
• Please wear comfortable clothes that you can move and dance in. girls wear
shorts or tight under skirts
• Wear tennis shoes or dance shoes (jazz or ballet only). Please no sandals,
platforms, slip-ons, or boots. Shoes should tie onto the feet or have an elastic
band to hold them securely
• Bring water.
• arrive 5 minutes early.
* If space allows, younger children will be admitted to the class with pervious experience.

Dinah Smith


Dinah Smith (Teacher/Coach, Choreographer/Director, Actor) With a BA in Theatre, a Masters in Education, and a California Certificated Teacher, Dinah has been involved in the Entertainment Industry and Theatre Arts Education since the early 1970’s as a teacher, director, choreographer and performer on stage, in film, and on TV. She has worked professionally with children’s and community theaters throughout the Western United States. Locally, she has worked with Sierra Stages, LeGacy, Paul Emery, Sandra Rockman, Lake Wildwood, Center Stage Dance, Quest Theatre Works, Nugget Fringe Festival, CATS, and Placer Community Theatre. Dinah has taught Youth Theatre Classes and camps at The Center For The Arts, Colfax Elementary, Yuba River Charter School, The Miners Foundry, and Grass Valley Charter School. She directed the highly acclaimed holiday family drama, Sonja Weissman and The Miracle Play, featuring 9 local youth ages 10 – 16 with a supporting adult cast, December 2014 and 2013, both at The Off Center Stage.

The Roommate

Sierra Stages and the Miners Foundry will present The Roommate on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.  The Roommate, written by Jen Silverman and directed by Sharon Winegar, is the next installment of Theater By the Book, a series of informal play readings for the community.

This dark comedy follows Sharon, a middle-aged divorcee, who invites a roommate into her Iowa home. Robyn, also middle-aged and starting over, needs a place to hide out for awhile. As Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets, she discovers a deep-seated desire to transform her own life. This play reveals what it takes to re-route your life and what happens when the wheels fall off.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m.  Admission is free with a $10 suggested donation.  Advance tickets are available online, in person or by phone at the Miners Foundry, or at the door.

Sierra Stages is a community theater which enriches the cultural life of Nevada County by providing high quality, affordable and accessible performances for everyone. Among our goals is to create an ongoing and viable community theater in the Grass Valley and Nevada City area.

The Moors


Sierra Stages and the Miners Foundry will present The Moors on Wednesday, January 22 at 7:30pm.  Written by Jen Silverman and directed by Laura LeBleu, The Moors is the next installment of Theater By the Book, a series of informal play readings for the community.

Two sisters (and a melancholy mastiff) live in a ruinous old house on the bleak and fog-enshrouded English moors, dreaming of love and power. When a hapless governess (and a crash-prone moor-hen) arrive out of nowhere, lies are unmasked, loyalties shift, and all are set on a strange and dangerous path until finally – someone reaches the breaking point! ​A mysterious, menacing, and savagely funny mash-up – as though the Brönte Sisters had been dropped into a comedic production of a play by Samuel Beckett.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. 

Admission is free with a $10 suggested donation

Sierra Stages is a community theater which enriches the cultural life of Nevada County by providing high quality, affordable and accessible performances for everyone. Among our goals is to create an ongoing and viable community theater in the Grass Valley and Nevada City area.




Outside Mullingar

Sierra Stages and the Miners Foundry will present Outside Mullingar on Wednesday, February 12 at 7:30pm.  Written by John Patrick Shanley and directed by Sands Hall, Outside Mullingar is the next installment of Theater By the Book, a series of informal play readings for the community.

Anthony has spent his entire life on a cattle farm in rural Ireland, a state of affairs that—due to his painful shyness—suits him well. Rosemary lives right next door, determined to have him, watching the years slip away. With Anthony’s father threatening to disinherit him and a land feud simmering between their families, Rosemary has every reason to fear romantic catastrophe. But then, in this very Irish story with a surprising depth of poetic passion, these yearning, eccentric souls fight their way towards solid ground and some kind of happiness. Their journey is heartbreaking, funny, and ultimately deeply moving. Outside Mullingar is a compassionate, delightful work about how it’s never too late to take a chance on love.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. 

Admission is free with a $10 suggested donation

Sierra Stages is a community theater which enriches the cultural life of Nevada County by providing high quality, affordable and accessible performances for everyone. Among our goals is to create an ongoing and viable community theater in the Grass Valley and Nevada City area.