WARNING: The opinions expressed below are DEFINITELY those of The CoLab Theatre Company! Learn more at www.colabtheatre.org!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

That Old College Enthusiasm

Parties, rehearsals, studio acting classes, drama history classes, movement classes, run-crew assignments, the drama library, parties, rehearsals, parties, shows, parties.

That was college for me.

I loved it.

But I'm not sorry to not be doing it anymore.

With that said, I've had a lot of reminders lately of what enthusiasm being an undergrad involved in theatre can bring.

I'm taking a Stage Combat class at Tufts this semester (hey it's a job perk, and it's being taught by local fight guy Meron Langsner...so win/win) with 7 undergraduate theatre people. Not all of them are majors, but they've all been involved in productions at Tufts, and they all want to continue pursuing theatre in some way when they graduate. And they just seem SO excited to be in class. They are excited to learn things that will help them on stage, to work with their friends, to just be in class being taught about something they're passionate about. It's an odd thing when you've been away from it for a long period of time, to accept as part of your life again. And it's going to be a tough adjustment: writing a few papers, working with a scene partner, dashing from my office to class...pushups. I mean, I had really put behind me what it meant to take a theatre class. And I don't mean an acting class. That I remember well, and I've done some workshops since graduating, but this class is a different thing. It's about making myself ready to learn not only from my teacher, but also from my classmates, and being happy to add something new to my skill set.

I also went to see a production put up by BU students (or recently graduated alums...I couldn't tell) at Club Oberon. It was a Beatles/Bacchae mash-up set for the club atmosphere. And you know what...it mostly worked. The script had some problems, and there was definitely a fly-by- the-seat-of-your-pants kind of atmosphere...but those kids had charisma, and talent, and just this live-wire energy that made you want to be there. They created this thing from scratch and found the perfect space for it and a good crowd to come out on a Sunday and just PERFORMED for everyone like nothing else mattered in the world. It was just fun to be around, and it sparked that thing in me that made me remember why I chose to go to college for Acting and why I'm still putting myself out there now.

Like I said, since graduating I haven't been at all sorry to be out of college. I am making a life I like for myself and I'm making my own rules on how to be in theatre, but I definitely lost hold of all of the fresh, excited energy I had about myself and myself as a student and potential professional in theatre, and I think that's made it harder for me to accept the things I don't like about the business, or the hard times I find being in the real world. And I'm glad to have the reminders.

So for now, I'm taking a step back into that mindset. The open, excited, do it because you love it mind set that you have to have to make it through 4 (or 5 or 8) years of college theatre. Because it's a way to have fun, take risks, be challenged, and be myself, and what more can you ask for when you make theatre your living?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stuff Theatre People Like: Cultivating Playwrights

Calling All Playwrights!!

BerkshireFringe, which takes place every summer in Great Barrington, MA sent out this statement earlier this month - they are looking to cultivate aspiring, young playwrights? Think you'd like to apply? Check out the info below:

EarlyStages, Bazaar Productions' playwriting program is now accepting applications from all over New England. Any one between the ages of 18 and 26 that resides or attends school in New England is eligible for the program.

About the Program

EarlyStages takes place each summer during The Berkshire Fringe. The program gives three college-aged writers the opportunity to develop an original play under the mentorship of a professional playwright. Once again, Emmy Award-winning writer Laura Maria Censabella will participate as the professional playwright mentor. The program culminates with a professional reading of the young writers' work at The Berkshire Fringe.

Participants must:

Be between the ages of 18 and 26.
Reside in or attend school in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Vermont).

Interested applicants are required to submit at least 20 pages of the play they wish to continue to develop during the program. You will find the complete guidelines for submitting work, the application, and more information about Bazaar Productions and The Berkshire Fringe on our website:

Have questions that this post doesn't answer? Send your queries to Co-Artistic Director of BerkshireFringe, Timothy Ryan Olsen at ryan@berkshirefringe.org.

Happy writings!
- EG

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sweet Success Continued...

Thank you to everyone who supported The CoLab's first ever bake-sale campaign! With the money we raised we will be able to join StageSource, one of our biggest financial goals to date, and put some money away for expenses as we get started producing Dearly Beloved by Brendan Doris Pierce.

We wouldn't have been able to do it without the following people:
Noah Tobin, Sarah Farbo, Mikey DiLoreto, Stacy Fox, Barbara DiGiorlamo, Jake Scaltetro, Coriana Hunt-Schwartz, Lindsay Eagle, Christine Toohey...and many others.

Please support our sponsors!

Independent Drama Society
Glengarry Glen Ross
Now through January 22, 2011
Boston Center for the Arts, Plaza Black Box

11:11 Theatre Company
The Master Forger
January 28 - February 2, 2011
The Factory Theatre

Happy Medium Theatre Company
The Spitting Image
March 23 - April 2, 2011
The Factory Theatre

Flat Earth Theatre Company
The Underpants
April 1 - April 9, 2011

Thanks again to everyone who helped make this first fund-raising campaign a success.

Also, a shout out to Imaginary Beasts for a fun night in Salem with their 2011 Winter Panto Dracula: Re-Vamped. It's definitely worth the trip up with a fun show, a set of performers ready to play and have a good time, and an environment where shouting and heckling are encouraged. Go see it until January 30 at the Griffen Theatre, 7 Lynde Street, Salem MA.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sweet Success

Come help us finish up this round of our Bake-Sale fund raising campaign with Independent Drama Society's production of Glengarry Glen Ross! We'll be hocking cupcakes once again Saturday at 4pm at the Boston Center for the Arts.

About the show!

Glengarry Glen Ross
By: David Mamet
Directed by: Brett Marks

Examine the inner workings of a small real estate firm under a job-threatening sales contest. Drawing from current economic turmoil, the Independent Drama Society revives David Mamet's classic examination of working life and how a harsh economy drives good people to desperate action. Mamet's Tony Award-nominated and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is one that the Washington Post claims "everyone should see."

January 14, 20, 21, & 22 @ 8pm
January 16 @ 3pm
January 15 @ 4pm - CoLab Bake-Sale

$23, $18 Students and Seniors
General Admission

Boston Center of the Arts
The Plaza Black Box Theatre


Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Resolution To Love, A Resolution To Write

I didn't make any resolutions this year. I figured, what would I resolve to do that I'm really willing to follow through with? As I started thinking about things I wanted to change, my mind wandered to think about the things I'm thankful for. I realized that I really don't want that much to change during 2011. Sure, this week I reorganized my entire bedroom, actually cooked dinner, and went to the gym a decent amount but it seems that I'm actually a pretty happy person. So as we move into 2011, I am resolving to thank my friends and family more often for their love and support. I resolve to have more dinner dates and play dates and lazy mornings with my roommates where we make banana pancakes and laugh together. As I thought about how happy my friends make me, I started to think about other things that make me happy.

I did a decent amount of writing in college, but I haven't done much in the last year and a half. It makes me happy and I really miss it. So I'm also resolving to write a scene a week. They might not be long. They might not even be good. But I'll take a prompt or an exercise, and just write. And then I'll post them on this blog. Sound good? Great. Here goes. I resolve to give you, dear readers, some fiction to read along with the opinion and the occasional fact. For my first feat, I've taken some song lyrics and incorporated them into the scene. I've been on a major Counting Crows kick lately so I figured, why not start there? I warn you. My pen (or my typing skillz as it were) is very out of shape. It's not deep, but it's what I've got. It's an homage to my friends that I love so dearly. So here we go. Without further ado, I give you...

A Long December

Lights up on the living room of an apartment. The space is well inhabited, and a tad messy. Newspapers and books are precariously stacked on the coffee table and floor. A calendar showing the month of December is nailed on the wall amid reproductions of famous paintings, some recognizable and some obscure. Twilight creeps in through curtains over a window up left. The rest of the room is pretty dark. The sound of a microwave whirring is heard off stage left. A cell phone rings on the coffee table. COURTNEY, 25, dressed in plaid pajamas bottoms, mismatched socks, and an oversized gray hoodie runs into the room. She grabs for the phone, reads the caller ID, and throws it into the couch, disappointed. COURTNEY exits to the kitchen again. The phone rings several more times, then stops. COURTNEY returns with a microwavable meal in hand. COURTNEY contemplates for a moment and then dials her voicemail, leaving it on speaker as she arranges her microwavable meal.

VOICEOVER: You have one new voice message; you have four saved voice messages. To listen to your messages, press one. (She presses one.) First voice message, received today at 9:21 p.m.

VOICEOVER: Ugh. I always forget how generic your voicemail is. Seriously, girl, you need to rerecord that shit. Anyways, it’s me. Todd. Your best friend. I just thought I’d remind your sweet little ass that I even effin exist since you seem to be ignoring all my calls.

COURTNEY glares at the phone.

TODD: I fully expect to see your face tonight.

COURTNEY: (To the phone) I’m busy.

TODD: Before you start in, you are not busy. You are sitting at home. In your pajamas, watching Gossip Girl reruns, and making a Lean Cuisine.

Glaring at the phone, she reaches for a can of breadcrumbs on the table and starts to pour them on top.

TODD: Putting breadcrumbs on that goddamned mac and cheese is not gonna make it taste real, honey. It’s just going to make it fattening fake cheese. Give it up. Get dressed. Get down here. I’m calling back if I don’t see you in twenty. Love you!

COURTNEY flops down on the couch next to the cell phone. She stares at it, sighs, and throws it at the can, knocking it off the table. The doorbell rings. COURTNEY hops up, hopeful. Tries to adjust her hair and her pajamas but realizes it’s a lost cause and goes to the door anyways. TODD, 25, well groomed in designer labels and a black pea coat enters with flair.

TODD: Honey, I’m home.

COURTNEY: (Retreating to the couch.) I thought I had twenty minutes.

TODD: Well, I was going to stand in your hallway for twenty minutes and wait for you to get dressed, but I thought it was trashy to drink this straight from the bottle. (He brandishes a bottle of champagne.)

COURTNEY: (Flopping down on the couch and shoveling her mac and cheese into her mouth defiantly.) Go away!

TODD: Oh, Boo, you are a mess.

COURTNEY: Not helping. Go away, Todd.

TODD: Don’t think so. You need to come out. Come see people. This place would make anyone depressed.

COURTNEY: I’m fine, okay? I’m not thrilled with the situation but I’m not depressed. I just need some time to get over it.

TODD: Your hair isn’t washed.

COURTNEY: Thanks, Mom.

TODD: You didn’t go to work today.

COURTNEY: How do you know that?

TODD stares at her smugly.

COURTNEY: (Starts to smile.) Oh my god. Benny?! I knew you two were going to hook up. I knew it! If you get married, I’m so your maid of honor.

TODD: Back it up, honey. The only thing he’s hooking me up with is information. About you.

COURTNEY: You make it sound like you’re James Bond or something. All you had to do is send one text.

TODD: Just looking out for you. Call me your fairy godmother.

COURTNEY: I’ll call you a fairy all right.

TODD: Ouch. That was harsh. Good thing I have my magic shields up or I would’ve been offended.

COURTNEY: I’m sorry, Todd. I’m sorry. I –

TODD: Baby, coming from you, I am so not offended.

COURTNEY: God, this is so screwed up.

TODD: It’s been a long December, kiddo.

COURTNEY: No kidding.

TODD: (Pause.) You wanna vent?

COURTNEY: Haven’t I done enough of that?

TODD: Eh, I don’t mind. I’m a little buzzed already. Here. (Hands her the bottle.) You start chatting. I’ll get the glasses. (Exits to the kitchen.)

COURTNEY: You really don’t have to do this. (She picks up her phone.)

TODD: (Offstage.) Put down your phone!

COURTNEY: Go back to your party.

TODD: (Entering with two champagne flutes.) Fairy godmother, remember? It’s my job to get your ready for the ball. Then I can get trashed and make bad decisions. (While she is talking, he pops the cork and pours two glasses. He sips from his but she leaves hers untouched on the table throughout.)

COURTNEY: Fine. What do you want from me? I’m miserable. I’m sitting home alone on New Year’s Eve.

TODD: Were sitting home alone. Now you’ve got a date. Get dressed. Everyone is expecting us.

COURTNEY: I can’t show my face at that party.

TODD: It’s the hair that I’m concerned with, not your face.


TODD: It’s fine. Grunge will probably be in again in 2011. You’re ahead of the curve. Continue.

COURTNEY: I got dumped!

TODD: We’ve all been dumped.

COURTNEY: Not like this. This is…

TODD: I know.

COURTNEY: I keep waiting for the apology call.

TODD: Stop.

COURTNEY: Stop obsessing because he’ll come to his senses or stop because he’s never going to call? (Pause.) I thought you were him. At the door before. I just thought, maybe… God, there were no romantic gestures while we were dating why would there be now? He’s not going to call, is he?

TODD: I don’t know, Boo. I’m not him. I wouldn’t get my hopes up though.

COURTNEY: That’s encouraging.

TODD: You didn’t let me finish. Your hopes aren’t worth it. Hope on something good. Something special. Don’t hope on Adam.

COURTNEY: All I want is Adam.

TODD: Not what you need though. Okay, Court. It’s midnight somewhere.

COURTNEY: (Looking at her phone.) It’s 9:30.

TODD: It’s midnight thirty somewhere. Time for a resolution.


TODD: (Standing, holding his glass in his hand.) I, Courtney James –


TODD: I, Courtney James.

COURTNEY: I, Courtney James.

TODD: Resolve to live 2011 for me. Not for some boy, not even my fabo best friend, Todd Silver.

COURTNEY: Resolve to live 2011 for me. Even though I’m being fed these lines by my lamo best friend, Todd Silver.

TODD: Ugh. How long have we been friends?

COURTNEY: How long ago was third grade?

TODD: Exactly. We’ve seen a lot of breakups together. And we always get through them. After awhile we even laugh at them. Mostly mine, I’ll admit, but seriously how many of these do you think we’ve been through?

COURTNEY: Too many.

TODD: Remember my first broken heart?

COURTNEY: I don’t want to play this game. (She takes a sip of champagne.)

TODD: Lauren Engel. Fourth grade.

COURTNEY: She broke up with you because you told her stirrup pants were out. Little did we know, that was you coming out.

TODD: I was devastated! But, yes, that was a huge flashing, glittery sign right there. Too bad no one pointed it out to Lauren.

COURTNEY: (Laughing.) Whatever, I ran into her when I was home for Thanksgiving. Girl still can’t dress herself.

TODD: See. Sixteen years later and we’re still laughing. Darren Reynolds, eighth grade.

COURTNEY: Oh god. I still maintain that I broke up with him!

TODD: I will admit that you ran out of Seven Minutes in Heaven first, however, I vividly remember him telling Scottie whats-his-face to tell me to tell you that it was over!

COURTNEY: I had too much orange soda. Should have peed before I went in. He had Dorito breath anyways. Oh god. Remember Sam Langley?

TODD: Do I remember Sam Langley? Honey, we ate more pints of ice cream that week than ever before. This (he motions up and down at her current state) is nothing compared to Sam Langley.

COURTNEY: Ah! It was right before prom and I so almost didn’t fit into that dress afterwards.

TODD: Oh, shut up. We both looked fierce that night.

COURTNEY: And here we are, almost 2011. You’re still my date and I’m still a sobbing mess. We’ve just graduated from Ben and Jerry’s. (She raises her glass to him and drains it.)

TODD: No tears tonight.

COURTNEY: Should’ve shown up around four.

TODD: Good. We’ve gotten it out for the day. Now, you’ve got exactly seven minutes to find something shiny to wear before we head out for the night. Go. Move.

COURTNEY: Todd, I really appreciate the cheering up, but I’m really not in the mood. You won’t have any fun with me –

TODD: Court. We’ve been friends for more than half our lives. We’ve been through it all. Bad breakups. Your parents’ divorce. The two months my dad couldn’t sit at the same dinner table as me because I brought a boyfriend home from college. I don’t care about tonight. We can sit on this goddamned couch in your ugly sweatshirt and celebrate it together. I care about you and I hate seeing you like this. I love you too fucking much to let you be alone right now. And not because it’s New Year’s but because you’re hurting. But if tonight’s for starting fresh, I wanna start fresh together. Okay?

COURTNEY lunges at him for a bear hug before he can even get the last words out. They stay like this in silence for a few moments.

COURTNEY: I love you.

TODD: Love you back.

COURTNEY: Who would’ve thought the only man in my life to really love me doesn’t even like women?

TODD: To be fair, I like you. I just don’t want to do you.

COURTNEY: (Standing up.) Okay.

TODD: Okay?

COURTNEY: If you’re actually my fairy godmother, you’ll find something in that closet to dress me in for tonight. (TODD raises an eyebrow at her.) What? You love New Year’s Eve. I’m not going to let you harp on this for the next sixteen years as the night we sat on my couch and ate cold mac and cheese.

TODD: Fake mac and cheese.

COURTNEY: Go. 2011 is in two hours.

TODD: (Grabbing his champagne flute.) To 2011, may it bring us both new beginnings…

COURTNEY: Maybe this year will be better than the last.

TODD: I think it should.

They toast.


Friday, January 7, 2011

As American as Apple Pie

Happy Friday, we are off to a busy start to the year here at the CoLab! Over the next three days we will be running 3 bake-sale fundraisers and workshopping the play that we hope will be our first full production!

But in order to get that production off the ground we are engaging the need to raise funds and using cookies to do it.Our second gracious Bake-Sale host this weekend is Flat Earth Theatre Company with their production of Edward Albee's classic The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?.

About the play:

The Goat

When Martin, a distinguished and successful architect, is forced to confess a sordid affair to his family, the consequences could have the power to destroy his ideal life, and the lives of his wife and teenage son. Martin is left to reflect on the very nature of love, and the outer limits of conventional morality, as he bears excruciating witness to the shattering of his world. From the acclaimed playwright whose other credits include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Zoo Story, The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? paints an agonizing portrait of an American family on the brink of collapse, posing the question, "what does it truly mean to love?"

Directed by: Melissa Cogswell
Featuring: David Policar, Janet Ferreri, Erin Gilligan, and Bill Barnert

Tickets and Show Info:

January 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, and 15th at 8 PM,
January 9th at 2 PM. - CoLab Bake-Sale!

All shows presented at the Arsenal Center for the Arts Black Box, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown. Tickets are $15 if purchased in advance, $20 at the door. Students pay $10 at the door with valid ID. January 13th's performance with be "pay-what you-can" at the door. Purchase tickets online, or call (800) 838-3006.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake

Happy new year, blogosphere! Who's ready to jump back in to theatre going?

This weekend we will be hosting 3 more bake-sale fundraisers at 2 fantastic shows.

Our first host is Happy Medium Theatre Company at The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel.

The old, converted vegetable shop where Tillie lives is more like a madhouse than a home. Tillie’s mother, Beatrice, is bitter and cruel, yet desperate for her daughters’ love. Her sister, Ruth, suffers epileptic fits and sneaks cigarettes every chance she gets. In the midst of chaos, Tillie struggles to keep her focus and dreams alive. Tillie–keeper of rabbits, dreamer of atoms, true believer in life, hope, and the effect of gamma rays on man-in-the-moon marigolds.

This is HMT's 2nd offering of the season, directed by Lizette Marie Morris (11:11's poe: a fever dream) featuring Caitlyn Conley, Kathryn Lynch, Cassandra Meyer, and Christina Malanga.
We will be selling home-baked goodies as well as concessions snacks and drinks at the 4pm matinee and 8pm evening performances on Saturday January 8!

Come support two theatre companies with one ticket and participate in our bake sale.


Tickets can be purchased in advance at:

or in person at the box office!

Online Advance Pricing: Adults - $16.00 Students/Seniors - $14.00
Walk-up Pricing: Adults - $20.00 Students/Seniors - $17.00


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The (Theatre) People Vs. Kindle Culture

I took myself out to breakfast yesterday. As a single diner, I chose to sit at the counter of the restaurant, ordered some eggs and coffee, and took out a novel. As the waitress cleared my plate, she commented, "I'm impressed you're reading an actual book. Everyone in here has a Kindle. I'm not sure I've seen someone reading a real book in months." We briefly conversed on her's son's Christmas wish list of assorted electronics (she ended up get her 10 year old a phone that included the mp3 player, the phone, AND the video camera he wanted - problem solved) and the craziness of the world's dependence on electronic devices.

Now, I understand the convenience of the Kindle. If I'm George Clooney's character in Up in the Air, I'm absolutely going to own one of those babies. But, I'm not. And even if I was, I love to hold a book. I love flipping the pages, I love the smell, the weight, the feel, the nervousness I get when the cover gets dog eared. I love writing notes in the margins. I love placing it on my shelf when I've finished, ready to pick it up again when the mood strikes. Collecting books is a way of gauging my intellect, my journey through the world of literature, I display them as proudly as I display my writing awards from 3rd grade and my college diploma. (Plus, you can let someone borrow a a real book - how cool is that? Right!?) Which gets me to thinking, why are we moving away from actual, physical novels to the electronic kind? Is it that we find them inaccessible? Bulky? And what does that say about us? Most of us are NOT traveling so often that we can't pick up a paperback. Come on, people.

And if the Kindle is stomping all over print culture, is that the fate of the theatre? Will Blu Rays and blockbuster films eventually run us over? What is happening to us? Why can't we relate to things in person any more? What's wrong with books and live theatre? Like Kenny, I've been watching quite a lot of Slings and Arrows lately and a lot of the characters are battling the same thing - why do we find live theatre not accessible? Why can't we just watch people relate on stage? Theatre is not boring. It's beautiful. I'm not sure if this post has turned into a rant or drawn any conclusions, but these questions have been eating at me for the past 24 hours. And I've yet to find answers. I'm not really one for New Year's Resolutions but I'll say this, I pledge to keep asking these questions in hopes that the continued conversation will help me get some peace.

Oh, and of course, I won't be buying a Kindle in the next 361 days.

- E