[11/29/04 - 12:00 AM]
A Rare Look Inside Heart of Theatre Biz Airs Only on Trio in December

[via press release from Trio]


Featuring Gillian Anderson, Dame Judi Dench and Henry Goodman, Three-Part Series Unveils the Triumph and Terror of The Stage

NEW YORK -- November 29, 2004 -- The adrenaline rush of landing that key role. The months of rehearsal. The play closing in one night. TRIO, pop, culture, tv, offers a warts-and-all, behind-the- scenes look at "the legitimate theater," from the nightmare of opening night, and the undying passion of the actors, authors and producers, to the sobering odds of success in Theatre Biz, a three-part series airing December 5, it was announced by Lauren Zalaznick, President, TRIO.

"Theater lovers will devour this insider's look at the passion, intensity and, in some cases, lunacy faced by those who make the stage their lives, commented Ms. Zalaznick. You will certainly walk away with a better understanding of what goes into the art of theater after watching this entertaining and comprehensive series."

Theatre Biz premieres on TRIO on Sunday, December 5 at 9:00 p.m., ET/PT. in three one-hour programs.

Seven out of 10 shows lose money. Two break even. One makes a profit. Theatre Biz opens the series with that rather pessimistic, but realistic look at the often heartbreaking work of producing plays and musicals. Using the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London's West End as a model, the first episode of the series delves into "First Night" or opening night, arguably the most stressful event in the life of a theatre production. Actors Dame Judi Dench, Henry Goodman and Gillian Anderson offer their opinions on the subject. The episode also follows theater impresario Arnold Crook over several months, including an adventure on New York's Broadway premiere of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom starring Whoopi Goldberg.

Alternative theater is covered in the second episode, which explores the famed Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Of the 1200 shows that run at the festival each year, perhaps three will be selected for a West End run. Theatre Biz follows one such production, Bill Shakespeare's Italian Job. A year in development, the play suffers a catalogue of woes on its way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the biggest theatrical shop window in the world. With the producers heavily in debt and the cast deferring their wages in the hopes of big opportunities later on, it all comes down to two things: press night and public reaction.

The final episode follows two drama school graduates undergoing the ordeal of their final year presentation and beyond. After three years of training, they have three terrifying minutes on stage in a West End theater to impress a hard-nosed audience of agents and casting directors invited to spot 'the next big thing.' Over the following months it is revealed whether or not they are to become successful professional actors in an unforgiving industry where only 6% of actors work all year round and earn less than $18,000 a year.

Theatre Biz is produced and directed by Gina Newson and Jeremy Newson of Freelance Film Partners, Ltd. in London.

TRIO is an entertainment cable television channel reflecting pop culture TV: film, music, fashion, television and stage in its programming. TRIO is available to over 20 million households via digital cable and satellite services. For more information about TRIO, visit www.triotv.com or call 1-877-GET-TRIO.

TRIO is a program service of NBC Universal Cable, a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.

  [november 2004]  

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