Saturday, December 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of joining Erika at an event called "Something Rotten - Hamlet Re-Mixed" hosted by Whistler in the Dark and Imaginary Beasts as part of their repertory event that included Tom Stoppard's Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth and Ionesco's Macbett.
Mary-Liz was involved a piece directed by Meron Langsner that was an interpretation of Act V of Hamlet. It involved swords and in the words of the director "Rampant Badassery" of varying kinds. What it did NOT include was Fortinbras. I was waiting for all 10 minutes of the piece just anticipating his arrival. Not only did he not appear in Act V...but he wasn't mentioned in any of the other four acts as well. You would think that somewhere throughout the collective process to bring an interprative version of Hamlet together that SOMEONE would have thought to include the true foil to Hamlet himself.This massive oversight reminded me of the old addage "there are no small parts, only small actors". In attempting to recreate the classic (albeit in a condensed version) the creators of each small piece took very broad strokes.
For such a project as "Something Rotten" it is understandable to me that certain nuances and details get cut to the wayside, but it is interesting that a personality that pervades the play in so many ways can so easily be disposed of.
It has come to my attention that the newest full production, being produced by Psych Drama Company (opening tomorrow 11/30/11) also cuts out Fortinbras. There are other liberties being taken with the script, and cuts and changes have become common place in Shakespeare productions. But what do you cut when you cut a character like Norway? What do you lose in the meaning and understanding of the story, the text, and the playwright's intention? What would happen if you cut Mitch from A Streetcar Named Desire ?
Fortinbras is a device in the play that serves as an antithesis for Hamlet. And for all of our Shakespeare scholars/enthusiasts/actors out there, you know that you can never undervalue antithesis. It is what colors the play, the characters, the text.
His presence in the play prior to act V (through other characters' text) as well as his final speech (see below) also create a context for the action of the play that is undervalued by most producers/directors of the play. Fortinbras provides the reality check that no matter how hard you try or what decisions you make, the final outcome of your life actually has very little to do with you. It puts Hamlet's struggle into stark perspective. Fortinbras, with his threats of invasion and ultimate take-over of Denmark, is a reminder of that. If Hamlet had lived and made different choices, who's to say Fortinbras still wouldn't have won in the end? The presence of this larger force, embodied by this tiny character, has the ability to change the tenor of the play in a major way. Why sacrifice layers of what is considered by some, the best play in the canon, to cut 9 lines of text and one actor from production? Whether or not the young Dane had avenged his father sooner, or with more vigor; whether or not he was mad; if he had chosen love and Ophelia rather than hatred and vengefulness do not change the fact that there are outside forces, larger than yourself, that determine much of how your life turns out. And to highlight that struggle is to highlight the true and universal questions that Hamlet offers to himself and the audience. Without Fortinbras those questions are lost in the senseless deaths of the young men of this play.
So really, just don't cut Fortinbras.
Let four captains
Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have proved most royally: and, for his passage,
The soldiers' music and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies: such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.
Looking forward to the next one:
** Gary Howard is a junior at University of Chicago studying Geopolitics and Theatre
Friday, November 11, 2011
For those of you who are looking for a great sitcom to watch endlessly on DVD as the weather turns cold (sort of), I highly recommend CBS's The Big Bang Theory. And it's not just because one of the lead characters is a Cheesecake Factory working actress with a bunch of humorous and adorkable friends. There's something about the way the characters are so well thought out and executed that draws me in. The show definitely builds on itself (You must watch it from the beginning - it's like Arrested Development or HIMYM) - once you start to understand the recurring jokes, the funnier the show becomes. But what's most enticing about this sitcom, is the sense of ensemble you feel while watching the show. I love thinking about ensembles at work. When I watch reruns of Friends, I often think to myself, those are six lucky people. They get to work day in and day out with a group of people they understand, trust, and excel at their craft with. What could be better?
And that's what I see when I watch Big Bang. This group of friends who goes to work every day to have some fun and make some entertainment. Sometimes when I consider what it's like to work in a medium other than live theatre, I wonder how the actors do it without the audience. I was recently having a debate with someone about whether or not acting for film or acting for theatre are one skill set or two. I am (was?) of the camp that they're two different skill sets (much in the same way that auditioning and acting are two different skill sets). But, Best Friend, I'm beginning to think that I stand corrected. A quiet house is an obstacle for even the most experience actors (and sometimes fatal for those who are just starting out) but it never occurred to me that one could have that same experience on a sitcom where, let's face it, the point is to make us regular folk forget about our humdrum lives, financial issues, and broken hearts and lift our spirits for 30 minutes at a time.
My favorite character is quickly becoming Mayim Bialik's, Amy Farrah-Fowler. (Gee, that name's familiar you say? Well for TGIF fans out there, she was TV's Blossom as a teenager.) Like the members of The CoLab, Mayim (I feel like we're on a first name basis since her status updates appear in my FB news feed), blogs on a regular basis about a number of things, including her stint on Big Bang. And interestingly enough, tv actors HAVE NOT forgotten about the importance of laughter when it comes to camera work, and even more importantly, they haven't forgotten about the importance of trust and ensemble. As she puts it,
"Working alongside two-time Emmy winner Jim Parsons is unlike working with anyone I have shared a stage with. He and I go about our work very similarly, from how we view our characters’ idiosyncrasies, to how we execute them. Jim and I also seem to agree–all of this is unspoken–that no amount of preparation all week can brace you for the lovable beast that is a live studio audience. You can’t really know how to play a scene until you can hear the audience gasping, giggling, laughing, and hesitating; breathing with you as you breathe and feel the nuances of your character. The way the failed seduction/cuddle scene shook down on your TV screens was, for me, different by eons from how it played all week in rehearsal."
And this has definitely got me thinking (once again), that the reason I'm uncomfortable doing film is because I don't understand it. I don't nearly have enough on camera experience to form a judgement about what it's like to act either way. I know that I'm a stage-lover, but if you really have the right scene partner... okay. I'm not sold on it yet. I'm not sure that ANYTHING will replace my love for the instant gratification of audience laughter, pain, confusion but this week I'm considering Mayim's thoughts regarding on screen acting.
If you're interested in reading more I highly recommend the rest of the article which can be found here. And if all you want to do is see that ensemble-audience dynamic first hand, there's plenty of live theatre happening in Boston this weekend. Go enjoy it!
Happy Watching... I mean Weekend, Folks!
Monday, November 7, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
otherwise life is chaos
A year ago I didn't see why the heck I would ever need a smart phone. Let's review the facts:
Occupation: Actress/waitress. No immediate need to return work emails. And plus, I didn't really want them "following me around."
Marital Status: Single. No schedules to match up. No bank accounts to sync. No soccer practice to get to.
Schedule: Perfectly accessible on my wall calendar in my bedroom. Places I needed to be: work, rehearsal, the occasional CoLab meeting.
Other devices: I own a computer and an ipod. I can check my email, go on Facebook, listen to music - all on regular basis! Why would I need a smart phone?
Check, check, check. Everything was taken care of. Why would I need a fancy phone? Six months ago, things started to change. As a company, we started to schedule weekly meetings. (Add one thing to the Google calendar.) I began working a second job. (Read: THANK YOU GOOGLE CALENDAR) And we started pre-production on NOT ONE but TWO shows. (Seriously, Google calendar OVERLOAD.) And I started to miss emails. If I was on a double, I'd head to work around 11 a.m. and sometimes not get home until after midnight. After a twelve hour day, the last thing I wanted to do was make decisions and write out opinions. And so emails weren't responded to in a timely manner. And the company wasn't running at the rate or in the manner we wanted it to.
So in April, I bought a Droid. And it literally changed the way we operated as a small business. Our entire organization runs off of GoogleDocs and Aps. I could access both my personal email and my CoLab email from my phone. Both my calendar and the company Google calendars synced to my phone. I could access all of our Docs. Which meant I could read and edit agendas, drafts of scripts, resumes, etc. I could respond to auditionees for play. and edit details for Dearly Beloved production. And suddenly, there was no question about it. I needed my Droid to run my small business. play. Discovery and Dearly Beloved really would not have gone up without it. The world moves faster every day and today, I think Ferris might say, "If you're not connected you might miss it." I'm not saying I want to be married to my phone. I love it and some days really all I want to do is beat that one pesky level of Angry Birds that I can't get through. And some days I turn off the sound because I really don't need my email following me around for the day. But there are days and times when having a Droid makes my existence as an actress, a producer, a director, and a small business owner possible. And for that, I'm glad I own it. So, thank you, Droid. Thanks for allowing me to leave my computer at home when I travel. Thanks for letting me check the weather when I want to. And thanks for letting me improve CoLab productivity. And now if you'll excuse me, those stupid pigs don't know whats coming.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Now through October 29
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Splatter Paint, Scene Three: The Office
ELLE and BOBBI are seated at high stools around their worktable. ELLE holds a bowl of popcorn. BOBBI has a stack of photos in front of her; she holds them up one by one for ELLE.
ELLE: Crap. (Throws a few pieces of popcorn into her mouth.)
BOBBI: Okay. How about this?
ELLE: Not quite as crap as the last one.
ELLE: Shittiest of them all.
BOBBI: Do you ever like anything you shoot?
ELLE: No. (Tosses a handful of popcorn at BOBBI.) If I was a happy artist I’m not sure I could call myself an artist.
BOBBI: You gotta choose one.
ELLE: They’re all shit.
BOBBI: Even this one?
ELLE: Oh God, put that away.
BOBBI: We have to choose one. Maybe if we go back through –
ELLE: Nooooo. Let’s take a break, okay?
BOBBI: Okay. (Pause. Stares at ELLE. ELLE throws more popcorn at her.)
ELLE: You going to keep staring at me or are you gonna ask?
BOBBI: Ask what?
ELLE: Ask me.
BOBBI: I don’t –
ELLE: Ask me about what you saw yesterday.
BOBBI: Elle, I… I didn’t…
ELLE: I know. But you saw, so ask. Seriously – I don’t mind.
BOBBI: I’d rather not.
ELLE stares at her, obnoxiously chomping on her popcorn. BOBBI gets more and more nervous as her stare bores into her. She tries to busy herself going through the photographs on the table but ELLE never drops her gaze.
BOBBI: It looked very private.
ELLE: It was private. That’s why the door was shut.
BOBBI: (Pause.) I’ve never seen you like that before.
ELLE: Well, that’s because I don’t paint topless in the center of the break room.
BOBBI: That’s not what I meant. That… possessed. No not, possessed – obsessed. No, I… I’ve never seen you look that happy.
ELLE: I wasn’t aware that I look happy when I’m embarrassed.
BOBBI: Before you realized –
BOBBI: You aren’t that absorbed when you work.
ELLE: I photograph Lotus Blossoms and Sun Salutations all day. After awhile, I can only get so excited about it. (BOBBI stares at her. ELLE breaks into fake smile.) I love my job.
BOBBI: And everyone knows it. Why don’t you quit?
ELLE: I can’t quit.
BOBBI: Why? Go take pictures of children in the park, or real lotus blossoms in India, or Orville Redenbacher… something you like.
ELLE: How old are you, Bobbi?
BOBBI: Why not?
ELLE: Tell me how old you are and I’ll tell you.
BOBBI: I’ll tell you how old I am when – you know what? No. This is ridiculous. You hate your life – fix it. Don’t you listen to what they tell you at the end of each class?
ELLE: It’s kind of hard to focus when everyone’s sprinting out the door to avoid the rush.
BOBBI: Take time for yourself – renew, refresh, all that crap? They say it for a reason.
ELLE: Seriously, how old are you? Twenty?
ELLE: Come back to me in five years and tell me how easy it is to change up your life and do something you love. I gave up on that a long time ago. I have bills to pay, a husband, we support each other – I can’t just pick up and leave this job because I’m bored. I think we all have a grace period where we get to figure it out… I didn’t figure it out soon enough. And here I am.
BOBBI: I know that this is impolite, you being wiser and older than me, but I think that’s pathetic.
ELLE: Excuse me?
BOBBI: Pathetic. You looked happy yesterday, Eleanor. Genuinely happy –
ELLE: I’m happy with lots of things.
BOBBI: You spend forty plus hours a week doing something that you hate. That’s so… senseless! So you what, paint on the side to make yourself happier?
ELLE: What’s wrong with that? You think all of the computer analysts and accountants out there do nothing to complement their work lives?
BOBBI: I think that if you have a marketable talent – you shouldn’t use it to do something you loathe.
ELLE: I don’t loathe working here.
BOBBI: Then why do all your photos suck?
ELLE: Excuse me?
BOBBI: If you loved taking these it would show. Those photos suck because you hate taking them – and you know what the sad thing is? If you were any other person, I’d say, “hey that photo isn’t so bad.” But for someone with as much potential as you, these photos are awful. I’ve seen your shows, Elle.
ELLE: I haven’t done a show in years.
BOBBI: I looked you up.
ELLE: (More flattered and shocked than angry.) You looked me up? Where?
BOBBI: The Eveson Gallery has a file on you. I saw your stuff… and it’s really good. And I think you’re wasting, well, pretty much everything by working here.
ELLE: Which collection did you see?
BOBBI: Generational Gaps.
ELLE: (Laughs.) Oh god.
BOBBI: If you even say its crap –
ELLE: No. (Pause.) I know. If possible I try to think about that show least.
BOBBI: It’s your best one.
ELLE: Compared to what?
BOBBI: I looked through all of your stuff – it was the best by far.
ELLE: I was a kid.
BOBBI: Okay, first of all – you’re not that old –
ELLE: I grew up fast.
BOBBI: So that means you block it out?
ELLE: You saw a couple of crappy shows I put together years ago. They’re about stupid emotional crap I was going through at the time. They’re past and they should stay past. (Pause. BOBBI awkwardly stares back at ELLE.)
BOBBI: I saw something I liked as an artist and I thought I’d share. Look, I know I’m just your twenty year old assistant or whatever, but I’ve seen a few photographs in my twenty years and I know what moves me and what doesn’t and those old photographs– they moved me.
ELLE: Lotus postures aren’t supposed to move you. They’re supposed to sell yoga classes.
BOBBI: Then why does it matter if they’re crap or not? Pick one and be done with it.
ELLE: I still have to sell the classes.
BOBBI: So you do care.
ELLE: Bobbi, this is my job. It’s enough – it pays the bills, I usually don’t want to kill the people I work with.
BOBBI: So you care enough – but not too much. Should I be looking at a pie chart or something?
ELLE: Bobbi –
BOBBI: (Mimicking) My job is 40% income, 25.8% standing the assholes I work with, 12.2% the dental benefits, and maybe trying to squeeze in LIKING IT IN THE LAST FIVE PERCENT!?
ELLE is silent.
BOBBI: Tell me you’re happy. Say out loud that you’re happy living this artist’s life of quiet desperation, so quiet in fact that you won’t even admit to yourself that you’re desperate.
ELLE: I am NOT desperate. How dare you –
BOBBI: Then why do you sit behind closed doors and paint pictures of yourself on your lunch break? Why do you come in here in the mornings looking like you’re about to walk to the scaffolding? No one thinks you’re happy Eleanor.
ELLE: I’m happy. I’m fucking happy. Don’t you dare tell me I’m not happy.
BOBBI: Then tell me you are.
ELLE: I’m happy enough.
BOBBI: Oh I’m sorry. I was wrong. You’re not leading a life of quiet desperation, you’re leading a life that’s FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH ADEQUACY!
ELLE: Get out.
BOBBI: (Starts to grab her stuff.) Maybe you should take your own advice. Get out.
ELLE: (Knocks the popcorn bowl violently to the ground.) GET THE HELL OUT.
BOBBI: There. Right there? That’s what I saw when you were painting. You were alive. That painting was alive. It’s not about size or exposure, or the kind of camera you use. It’s about heart. A photo taken with heart. You can take it anywhere, of anything. If you love it, it’ll be the best photo you’ve ever taken. These photos are dead. Call me when you quit.
BOBBI exits and ELEANOR is left standing in the middle of the stage. She throws the collection of photos on the ground in fury. Pauses, stares at them, selects a random three out of the pile, puts them in a manilla envelope, drops it in a box labeled “Final Prints” and walks out.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
I didn’t want this blog to be anything about my thoughts on what acting or theatre should be. My novelty within the entire scene deems those thoughts comical, to me especially. Although I do not consider them insignificant I know they will probably change by the time I am finished writing this blog.
Instead, I want to use this opportunity to share a few lessons that my experiences over the past year have reawakened.
My grandfather, Papa, is ninety years old. He has lived a life that I cannot even begin to fathom. He was a fighter pilot in WWII, was shot down twice (obviously survived), earned nine Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Air Medal with twenty gold stars, and countless other medals. He was the cofounder and president of a college, he married the love of his life, has six children, twenty-four grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren, and the list of achievements goes on.
The root of his successes are the relationships he has been able to build throughout his life. He has performed countless acts of generosity that he will never admit to. He treats everyone he meets with the same kindness and genuine interest. One of my earliest memories is going to Papa’s office and into the back door of one of the college kitchens. He would greet everyone from head chef to dishwasher by name and ask them about specific members of their families (unbeknownst to me he also had a habit of giving spontaneous bonuses to these same employees).
He had a tight knit group of over twelve very close friends. He and my grandmother, Nana, are the only surviving members. Sometimes it is hard to understand why these things happen but I think in this case I can offer an explanation. Throughout his life, and to this day, he has attacked every day with incredible zeal. He has managed to discover the perfect recipe for easy-going ambition. He breathes life and lives without regret. One of his favorite quotes, and one that he uses whether making good time to dinner or sinking a ten foot putt, is “Plan your work, work your plan”. While easy to say, this quote is not as easy to put into practice, though he would make it seem otherwise. When things work out for me and more often when they do not, I think of this quote.
It’s easy to lose track of things when going through the day-to-day grind. Having to meet new people on a weekly basis through my newfound theatre adventures has shown me once again that the smallest action or inaction, whether good or bad, affects someone else. Someone is always watching and listening. Understanding that people will be affected by words and deeds is crucial. It is not always possible to understand it completely but just thinking about it feels like a step in the right direction. It seems whenever I have been in an uncomfortable situation, or a situation that involves choosing words carefully, I try thinking to myself “what would Papa do”. This thought has helped me more than I know and I wish it would always come to mind.
In theatre it has become shockingly clear to me that it is essential to become comfortable with those around you. It is not easy. Embracing awkward moments and taking a risk, with the possibility of making that moment more awkward, is something for which I can thank Papa. He is the king when it comes to interrupting uncomfortable silences. Although I can’t pull off some of his jokes yet (server at a restaurant comes to the table and asks if he wants any dessert, he nods to Nana saying “I have my dessert right here”), it is a continuous learning process which I am currently enjoying.
Getting involved in so many new projects all at once (classes, plays, and other shows) has made me understand the importance of these lessons. “WWPD” finds itself in many aspects of my life and it has become even more apparent over the past year. I am so thankful for it. My point, if there is one, is not to try to influence anyone else but to express how grateful I am that these ideas have once again come to light.
Even if the only thing that is taken from this blog is that Patrick has an unnecessarily large family, I hope this can at least add another ingredient to the pot. For me, right now, I don’t know what kind of a product or result will come of these experiences and thoughts. Right now, I’m happy just enjoying the process.
**This post was written by Patrick Poulin who you can see as Julius in Dearly Beloved opening Friday September 9 running through September 17. Tickets: $11.50 online presale, $13.00 cash only at the door. www.brownpapertickets.com
Friday, August 26, 2011
OK, maybe you don’t, but I should probably lose more than a few.
My point is, that nothing helps you understand your own thought process and its place in the world more than listening to and observing how someone else interprets and interacts with what you’ve created. It gives you remarkable and startling insight into how the world perceives what you say and do. It’s the artistic equivalent of hearing your voice on an answering machine for the first time. Your voice sounds almost foreign to you even though it’s using the same words you did when you left the message and then you’re struck by the fact that this is how the world hears you.
When someone reads what you’ve written out loud for the first time, often, jokes that you thought were obvious were missed; subtext you thought was clear turns out to be muddied; and elements of characterization you thought were unnecessary turn out to be vital. It’s these moments of miscommunication between artists that make it obvious how much collaboration is an intrinsic part of theatre. This collaboration creates a desire to make your intentions clearer for the sake of your collaborators and the work drives you back to your pen, keyboard or hammer and chisel to begin refining your work. Because, thankfully, unlike your voice on an answering machine, you can work to make what you write more like what you heard in your head.
I’d like to thank The CoLab for taking their time with Dearly Beloved and allowing me to hear my words out loud with a plethora of different voices and as many times as was practical. The script would not have been as close to what I imagined without this opportunity.
** This post was written by Brendan Doris-Piece, author of Dearly Beloved premiering at Unity Somerville TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY!
by: Brendan Doris Pierce
Directed by: Erika Geller
September 9, 10, 16, & 17
TICKETS HERE: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/190125
Monday, August 22, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I never wanted to be famous or have the paparazzi follow me. I never wanted to be the new face of Revlon or have my hand prints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. I just knew I wanted to act, but why?
The reasons for it changed throughout the course of my young life. First, it was because I wanted to express myself and seek the attention that I thought I rightfully deserved as a child. Then, it was to become someone else and escape the dreaded problems that were my teen years. Finally, when I attended college as an acting major, I began to realize that there was more to it than that. At this moment in my life, I have come to believe there are two solid reasons that I am drawn to work in the theatre.
*Reason 1: The Cathartic Experience that I have while acting has truly guided me through the struggles of my life.
When was in college, I was cast in a production of Samuel Beckett one acts. My one act was called “Rockaby”, which consisted of an old woman who spent 20 minutes in a rocking chair, just rocking back and forth, listening to a recording of her own voice, before she finally dies. At the beginning of the rehearsal process, I struggled to find those emotions and feelings that a person would go through before the end of their life. But suddenly, I received a phone call from my mother telling me that my father was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Because of my father’s already poor health, we feared that he may not make it through the surgeries and chemo. I couldn’t comprehend losing my father, and due to college and rehearsals for my show, I wouldn’t be able to attend any of his procedures. The guilt, fear, and utter sadness was very overwhelming and the only thing I had to get me through that very difficult time was dying in a chair every night. Without that show, I never would have been able to get through not being able to be there for my father. That role was meant for me at that moment in time. The universe gave me the perfect role to deal with my father’s illness, but also, gave me those struggles to be able to portray one of the most truthful characters I have ever played. I know this because my father surprised me on closing night and sobbed like a child watching his daughter go through the same fears and uncertainties that he faced in the hospital only hours before. Now, my father is cancer free and any time we discuss the play he always says, “How did you possibly know the feelings and thoughts that I had during treatment? But you did because I saw it in that play.”
*Reason 2: Theatre creates “oneness” that sparks an awareness of the world outside of ourselves.
Besides being an acting major, I was a Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution minor. I began a chapter of STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition at BSU, and I knew that I wanted to tie those 2 passions together in some way. So senior year, I produced/directed a play called In Darfur. The play focused on the genocide in the Sudan and all my actors struggled to relate to humans suffering through such an unbelievable crisis. However, by the time the production was ready to open, the actors had all found what they needed to portray their characters truthfully and with great honesty. The key for them was discovering more than their own self-worth, but the awareness of only their essence and connecting that essence with others. Stepping outside ourselves, with only our essence makes all characters and stories tangible.
Upon writing this blog, I found this video of Thandie Newton discussing this idea of “oneness”, much more clearly and eloquently than I. I believe her insight is inspiring to all people, not just performers. And these ideas of catharsis and oneness are the reasons I need to be routed in theatre. They are the reasons that I battle through the grueling audition processes and rejections. Because if I don’t, I fear that I will only get lost in myself and miss the connection to the people and world around me.
This post was written by Alyce Householter. See Alyce as June in our upcoming Dearly Beloved running at Unity Somerville, September 9, 10, 16, and 17. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Hi. I have not posted to a blog before, so this is very exciting.
When Erika told us in rehearsal we would have a chance to post, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. It’s about an ideal theater training center I have; I like talking about ideal situations because you should always be working down from there if you can’t get your ideal situation, not the opposite. Before we go into that however, I’d like to share a definition of community: “a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.” Well, theater communities everywhere have common cultural heritage to some extent, reside near each other, but don’t share much besides the stage and some drinks. That’s where the idea for this center came.
The center would be a place for the whole theater community to convene and train. It would be at a large space obviously, with “ideally” multiple studio rooms for actors, directors, and playwrights to book at no additional cost (there would be a small monthly fee for members just to pay rent and facilities). In the studios, artists could have workshops, staged readings, weekly classes, and if space is open, rehearsals.
Going with the idea that the center would be owned by the community all of the classes would be instructed by community members. I spoke, with my friend, of a Suzuki Method class in which there wasn’t one instructor, but the whole group were instructors for each other. We thought it would redefine the idea of ensemble building in Suzuki. A group would get together, stomp and run around a bit, and express positives and things that need work about each other’s training. The same could be true about Viewpoints; a group of actors can work in a grid until they decide they are done and talk afterwards. All together, it’s about having each others backs and trying to make the person next to you better as well as yourself.
Directors and actors can work together on scene showings, playwrights can have staged readings, actors can practice monologues, future instructors can take the reigns of a class for a day, designers can show their designs, the possibilities are endless if there was a space for the whole community.
The “ideal” once again, is just a place where theater artists can get together and train. I know for myself I can’t afford classes at a studio, or with a great instructor. The funds just aren’t there. This is a way for almost everyone to have access to training. This would be a way to create the tightest knit theater community in the country. But, like I’ve said ten million times by now to myself, it’s just an ideal. Where can we go from here?This post was written by Tony Rios. See him as Morrie in our upcoming world-premiere Dearly Beloved by Brendan Doris-Pierce. Tickets and information at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/190125.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Daniel Bourque is enormously pleased to be directing for the CoLab Theatre. He most recently directed for the F.U.D.G.E. Theatre Company in their One-Act Festival and served as Associate Director on the OperaHub production of The Four Note Opera. His extensive area directing credits include work with the Footlight Club, Another Country Productions and Company One (SlamBoston Series) The Atlantis Playmakers, Turtle Lane Playhouse, Whistler in the Dark, in the Boston Theatre Marathon, for Playwright's Platform and many more. Regional credits include work with Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany NY where he spent two years as Assistant to the Artistic Director/Literary Intern, Stageworks in Hudson NY with the Summerstage Program and as an Assistant Director at the Westport Country Playhouse. A member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, he is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine and a Maine nativeSee Dan's work on Jick and Dane and Love by MJ Halberstadt as part of play.Discovery July 13 & July 15 @ 8pm, Unity Somverville, 6 William St. Somerville MA. All tickets $5 cash at the door. Reservations are still available for Friday's performance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.