Myra Klarman Photography families / seniors / headshots

Pioneer Theatre Guild: Ragtime (Publicity Shoot)

Pioneer Theatre Guild: Ragtime (Publicity Shoot) | Standing (l-r): Father (Andrew Nazzaro-Cole), Younger Brother (Jordan McKay), Evelyn Nesbit (Piper Friend), Tateh (Hank Miller), Emma Goldman (Becca Shipan), and Coalhouse Walker, Jr. (Tre Brown). Seated: Mother (Karina Stribley) and Sarah (Sina Webster).
Standing (l-r): Father (Andrew Nazzaro-Cole), Younger Brother (Jordan McKay), Evelyn Nesbit (Piper Friend), Tateh (Hank Miller), Emma Goldman (Becca Shipan), and Coalhouse Walker, Jr. (Tre Brown). Seated: Mother (Karina Stribley) and Sarah (Sina Webster).

I’m often apprehensive when taking large group portraits — positioning each person so the group has visual coherence, working quickly so no one loses patience, and getting everyone to face the camera at the same time (preferably with their eyes open). But no matter what I do, there always seem to be some people who are unable, or unwilling, to sit still.

Just this past week, I had to travel back to the early 1900s to do a publicity photo. And I was shocked that even back then — what with all that Victorian, stiff-upper-lip stuff — the folks I met couldn’t seem to muster the self-control to cooperate for a decent portrait. Given the photographic technology of the day, I figured they’d be well accustomed to holding still for an entire minute to allow the film to be properly exposed. “Just do that standard ‘zombie-in-a-heavily-starched-collar look,’ which you all do so well.”

Well, the super-sultry supermodel Evelyn Nesbit had no interest whatsoever in doing the zombie thing. She saw this publicity photo as an opportunity to strut her famously seductive pose, and she grabbed it. Next, this guy — introduced to me as Younger Brother — started ogling Ms. Nesbitt like he’d never seen a woman before. And don’t get me started on that anarcha-feminist Emma Goldman — does she actually think she’s at one of her rallies?

* * *

The concept for the Ragtime publicity photo was producer Susan Hurwitz's idea, and it’s brilliant — especially the twist of having a few choice characters acting out. I did have concerns about pulling this off, but in the end I had no reason to worry — the cast and crew made everything easy for me.

The final image was given “ye olde daguerreotype / PhotoChop” treatment, including requisite scratches, dust, and vignette. Part of Tateh’s beard was actually “shorn” from Mandy Patinkin’s own chin (he played Tateh in the movie version of Ragtime).

Thanks to the costumers, hair and make-up artists, lighting crew members, cast members, and the production team for their efforts and expertise. I couldn't be happier with the results.

And I can’t wait for opening night!


  • Adults: $15
  • Students/Seniors/PHS Staff: $10

Assigned seating goes on sale on October 24 at General admission seating on sale at the door.
All performances will be in Schreiber Auditorium at Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High School.

Performance Schedule

  • Saturday, November 3 @ 7:30pm
  • Sunday, November 4 @ 2pm matinee
  • Friday, November 9 @ 7:30pm
  • Saturday, November 10 @ 7:30pm
  • Sunday, November 11 @ 2pm matinee

More info here.

See also:



Once again you nailed it. This is fabulous Myra!

#1 Kathy Lloyd

I LOVE this photo and blog entry, and of course I love the kids IN the photo. Can’t wait to see them, either. Clare’s playing music in the pit, and is smitten with the score. So, all signs point to another theatrical coup for Pioneer High. Yes, I’m throwing salt over shoulder and knocking on wood as I say it. Bases covered.

#2 Amy Higgins

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Photo of Myra Klarman
About Myra Klarman

I’m a professional photographer specializing in studio and lifestyle portraits of children, families, high school seniors, and performing artists. I live in Ann Arbor with my husband, Rich, and our 13-year-old son, Max. Learn more about my portrait and headshot services at Myra Klarman Photography.

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