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    Among the performing techniques Sampson is

    Among the performing techniques Sampson is already on top of, undoubtedly thanks in part to director Karen Mack, is mixing the serious tunes with the comic. Of the yukkers, Mary Liz McNamara's "Haiku" was a standout, as was "Apathetic Man" (Marcy Heisler-Zina Goldrich). Where Sampson needs to concentrate now ...

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    America: Land of the Free Theatre Events

    A number of free events are springing up throughout May and June.

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    The Merchant of Venice

    Shepard Sobel, artistic director of the Pearl Theatre Company, has staged a clear, swift, uncluttered, professionally acted production of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice."

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    "River" Runs Through NBR

    "Mystic River," Clint Eastwood's film version of the Dennis Lehane novel of shattered youth and strained friendships, was the National Board of Review's choice for best film of 2003. The NBR is the first of the movie awards to be dispensed. Sean Penn was named best actor for ...

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    Light Sensitive

    "Light Sensitive," presented by Theatre District at the Cast Theatre, 804 N. El Centro, Hollywood. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Nov. 5-Dec. 18. $15. (323) 957-2343.

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    Pilot Casters Call for Lynch, Shaw, Pressly, Barone

    In the latest round of pilot castings, John Carroll Lynch has been tapped to star in Jerry Bruckheimer's drama pilot for CBS, "American Crime."

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    Hip-Hop Theater Benefit

    This Wednesday night, Malik Yoba ("New York Undercover") will host "A Night of Hip-Hop Theater," a evening of exciting performances benefiting the Hip-Hop Theater Festival.

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    SAG's Pisano Is Touring Branches and Gaining Insight

    Two months ago, when Robert Pisano took the reigns as the Screen Actors Guild's new national executive director and first chief executive officer, he made it clear he wanted to hit the road and meet the members face-to-face at SAG branches nationwide. Since then he's combined the beginnings ...

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    Director Arthur Penn to Receive Filmmaking Award

    Arthur Penn, director of such legendary films as Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker, and Alice's Restaurant, will be honored with The Joseph L. Mankiewicz Excellence in Filmmaking Award at the fourth annual Director's View Film Festival (DVFF).

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    Canadian Director Found, Dazed and Confused

    Authorities have located Terry Costa, the director of a Canadian theatre troupe who came to New York last month and never returned home, prompting a police investigation and widespread fears for his safety.