Theater

Industrial-Strength Theater

 

Industrial-Strength Theater Merch Shop



Mark Redfield (actor, writer, director), Chris Pfingsten (Producing Director of Baltimore Theatre Project), and Tony Tsendeas (actor, writer, director; teacher at The Baltimore School for the Arts). 


THE HISTORY OF INDUSTRIAL-STRENGTH THEATER

MY SAD FACE

The Industrial-Strength Theater Company was founded in 1984 by Mark Redfield and the late David Stubenrauch. In 1985 they premiered their movement theatre piece “My Sad Face~ A Totalitarian Serio-Comic Dream” adapted by Mark Redfield from a short story by German author Heinrich Böll. It was co-directed and choreographed by Redfield and Tomi Casciero. The piece was, essentially, a live silent film comedy.

 

Anne Watts wrote and performed live music with an ensemble of five other musicians. The acting ensemble was: Redfield, Julie Casselberry, Lewis Shaw, Willie Brooks, Joy Ehrlich, Ray Nedzel, Aaron Tucker, and Kim Dilaplane.

 

MY SAD FACE opened in December of 1985, after a nine-week development and rehearsal process, to sold-out houses and critical acclaim.

 

“…a phantasmagoric feast of imagination that tickles the funny bone … meticulously and exquisitely choreographed by the directors and skillfully executed by the six young actors.”

- The Evening Sun

 

“…we are delighted by a series of images that are both fresh and lucid…Industrial Strength is unique in its combination of stylistic ambition and technical accomplishment."

-The News American

 

 

(Pictured: Mark Redfield, Lewis Shaw, Kim Dilaplane, Willie Brooks, and Julie Casselberry, in the Baltimore Theatre Project production in 1986. Photo by Ken Von Schlagel)

 

ABOUT BALTIMORE THEATRE PROJECT

Baltimore Theatre Project

Baltimore Theatre Project was founded in 1971 by Philip Arnault. The current Producing Director is Chris Pfingsten.

Through-out its history, Baltimore Theatre Project has present exciting, ground-breaking theatre from companies and theatre artists from around the world and across the United States.

Industrial-Strength Theater is excited to once again produce world-class professional theatre at this beloved institution!

Baltimore Theatre Project
45 West Preston Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
TheatreProject.org

 

___________________________

REST IN PEACE CAROL BAISH

Carol Baish
(October 5, 1938-May 3, 2024)

I attended Carol’s funeral on Saturday, May 18th, 2024.

Carol was the first theatre professionals I ever cold-called. For many years she was the Managing Director of Baltimore Theatre Project. I knew the theatre, having attended shows when I was a teenager in the late 70s, and called her while I was an undergrad studying theatre in college, to ask if “the theatre ever thought of having a resident company of actors?”…

Baltimore Theatre Project was founded by Carol’s husband, Philip Arnoult, in 1971. It was an electric, and eclectic, theatre. It embodied, in many ways, Jerzy Grotowski’s ideas of a “poor theatre”. Philip was a firebrand; a force to be reckoned with. Carol, by all outward appearances, was His Girl Friday…

But the day I called her, and spoke to her for the first time (and she generously gave me a lot of time), she gently explained that a resident acting company was not the Theatre Project’s mission. She was caring. Helpful. Supportive. Understanding. All this I felt immediately in our first conversation.

A few years passed, and the first thing that Philip and Carol ever hired me to do was to build a scale model of the building that housed Theatre Project, and incorporate in miniature everything that was to be realized in the planned renovation to modernize Hepsotoph Hall (built in 1895) - the home of Baltimore Theatre Project.

Carol, Philip, and board member Ken Maher came to my house with architect plans, and what they wanted in the model, for they were going to use it in pitch meetings to raise the rest of the money needed. This was 1983 or 1984. I got to work…

A large-scale model of the building. You lifted the roof and saw the new 157 seat auditorium. The lobby and art gallery. You lifted that floor out, and saw the jazz club Ethel’s Place, the wonderful club that singer Ethel Ennis and her husband Earl Arnett planned on the ground floor. Such exciting times. And it all came to be. And it was glorious!

In time, the Theatre Project did infact bring in “resident companies”, and my first theatre company, Industrial Strength Theater, was one. As was my second company, New Century Theater, in the 1990s…

And through the decades, Theatre Project became my unofficial graduate school. And as I got to know Carol, and our friendship grew, I quickly learned what so many others had come to know-

Carol was not simply Philip’s “girl Friday”, she possessed an incredible mind, fierce opinions, and a skill set that was the engine that kept it - the theatre, and the partnership- together. As one got to know this fantastic woman, one learned that her mostly quiet exterior demeanor slyly hid a sharp wit, keen insight, a biting sarcasm, and a giant heart. And she knew how to push Philip’s buttons 😊

They were a dynamic duo, Carol and Philip. Inseparable. Impossible to imagine the one without the other.

I will miss her. In the last few years, when I visited Philip and Carol at their home, she had been valiantly, and fiercely, dancing with an unwanted dance partner- - cancer. That’s what took her from us.

To her family; her sons, grandkids and nieces…to her brother Micheal who is still in Alaska!, my deepest condolences.

To my world-wide theatre family and friends who knew and loved Carol- we know and will always remember her. Funerals are strange reunions. I saw so many friends and colleagues I hadn’t seen in years. So bittersweet…

And to dear Philip- my heart goes out to you. I will be there for you in the days ahead.

Carol was one of the good ones.
♥️

-Mark
May 2024