I'm thrilled to announce that the play based on my blog, Type What Now, is headed to the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival (August 14-31, 2015).
Read here for more information!
And click here to learn about my director! (Spoiler alert: I love him.)
well, 2014 is almost in the books.
I can't say i'm devastated.
on a personal level, it wasn't exactly the best year i've ever had.
so much so that it's been easy to overlook some of the greater things that happened this year. on a professional level, it's actually been pretty exciting.
my newest theater company, This Is Not A Theatre Company, premiered two new works - Pool Play and A Serious Banquet. We recorded a pod play, Ferry Play, which is in development for release in 2015. And we are currently workshopping our next piece, Readymade Cabaret. Not bad for a single year.
In the meantime, my Philly-based theater company, Murmuration Theater, is in development for our next piece, Breakdown. We're alls et to premiere a short play at the 2015 Nice N Fresh series.
so....while on a certain level it is with great joy that I kiss 2014 goodbye, I'm deeply grateful for the professional activities that have proved such a welcome distraction from personal challenges.
wishing you and yours a happy and HEALTHY 2015.
so thrilled to be four shows deep into This Is Not A Theatre Company's run of A Serious Banquet. We've already got a review in, and they're loving it! This is a performance that challenges a lot of people's understandings of the conventions of performance, and not just from an immersive/non-immersive standpoint. In fact, what we're doing is slightly revolutionary when it comes to traditional narrative structure. One of my great college "revelation" moments (don't we all have 'em??) was reading for the first time about "feminist" structure, and learning that ALL narrative doesn't necessarily have to follow the conventional route of rising action-->climax-->denouement. That you can actually create something special and amazing without caving to the norm. Little did I know that just a few (ok...slightly more than a few...) years later, I'd be part of a company making theater that defied these standards!
I'm very proud of this show, and if you have an interest in art, cubism, theatrical structure, history, poetry, food, or booze, you should come. Buy tickets!
On April 20th, 2014, This Is Not A Theatre Company restaged two of Allen Kaprow's Happenings as part of the exhibit "Allen Kaprow. Other Ways" at the Fundacio Antoni Tapies in Barcelona. Kaprow, a performance artist known for developing the concept of a 'happening' in the 1950s and 60s, described it as "A game, an adventure, a number of activities engaged in by participants for the sake of playing...events that, simply put, happen." The participatory and interactive nature of a 'happening' ensures that each one is a totally unique theatrical/performance experience that cannot be recreated.
This Is Not A Theatre Company staged two of Kaprow's happenings - Toothbrushing Piece ("performed privately with friends") and Pose ("Carrying chairs through the city. Sitting down here and there. Photographed. Pix left on the spot. Going on")
Nothing like brushing your teeth with your director and sitting in the middle of a trafficky NYC street.
Check out the images.
two words: beach. balls.
check out last night's curtain call, below:
why do we make theater?
ugh, who's we? dumb question.
why do I make theater? is, i guess, the question i really have any authority to answer. but just as it amazes me to see all of my peers/friends/collaborators fearlessly giving of themselves with the art (theater) they create on a daily basis, so am I, frankly, a bit baffled that it's something I have such a thirst to do.
at my worst moments, I worry that I do it for the praise. but that can't be true, because frankly, for every piece of praise, there's two to three pieces of criticism to follow. the ratio is not 1:1. For every person who is ready to make themselves vulnerable and share something precious with an audience of strangers or semi-strangers, there are four who are ready to jump in at the last second and tell them what they did wrong, or what wasn't as "interesting" or "accessible" or "fun".
If i'm doing this for the praise, frankly, if any of us are doing this for the praise, we were woefully misinformed on how much praise to expect. yes, when praise comes, when genuine praise comes, its amazing. but more likely, it's going to hurt like hell. More likely than praise is a "fearless" (and fuck you, that is not fearlessness) reviewer is going to "tell it like it is" (and really, that's not fearlessness) by offering a dismissive "eh" from the sidelines, all respect for us and how much of ourselves we put into this aside. If I wanted praise, I chose the wrong career. I should have been a... hmmm...not sure, actually. I was always pretty good at math in high school. maybe i could have been a mathlete for praise.
but I don't really do it "for me", either. if i wanted to do things "for me" I would write super bad, self-indulgent poetry in a notebook and never show it to anyone. I would try and draw. it would be bad, but i would keep it to myself and secretly call myself a genius. And there would be no one to contradict that so... art for me.
But i don't do that kind of art. I chose a kind of art that in its very definition involves exchange. sharing. giving. there is no theater without an audience and so, there is no theater without you. the person i made this (play/scene/musical/one act/10 minute) for. you're why i do it. not me. i want to give something to you; in fact, i get high off of giving something to you. off of handing you a strange, hopefully beautiful maybe upsetting, hopefully interesting and provocative and fun and entertaining and maybe painful but hopefully a good or important kind of painful THING.
here again, is a baffling revelation. i do theater in order to give something desperately precious to someone i maybe don't know. with absolutely no idea about what they'll think. on the one hand: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME. WHY WOULD I/WE CHOOSE TO DO THAT. that is SUREFIRE grounds to have these things i made destroyed, criticized, rejected.
but on the other hand... when the risk pays off? it is magic. it is, as i mentioned, a high like i have never before chased. when i give it and you GET it, or are intrigued, thoughtful, curious, interested... when it delights you, or scares you in all the right ways, or makes you think or feel or focus: that is beautiful. that is art. that is the absolute best about what it means to be a human condensed into one perfect moment: connection. that is a second that validates a lifetime of work. that is rightness.
and so, we do it. we share it. we put thousands of hours into projects and then, trembling, hand them out to you, hoping beyond all measure that you take them from us. and knowing, full while, that there will be some who don't. who ignore, reject, dismiss, cooly decide "i didn't like it" without considering what it was about it that you didn't like, and what that means. because we know, if even one of you gets it, feels it, or bothers to think about and explore what confused or upset you, what delighted or intrigued you, well...then. that's good. and right. and art. and fuck, it's worth it.
what a fabulous first weekend of Pool Play. We played to full houses both Saturday and Sunday, and it was a genuine pleasure to share this strange, joyful little play with the world. The actors were INCREDIBLE, braving injury and illness to act their damn hearts out, and the audience was receptive to everything we threw at them. a real "this is why I do this" kind of moment.
I am so so excited to have 4 more weekends to share Pool Play with everyone! If you missed us opening weekend, I do hope you'll join us for one of our 8 additional performances!!
Check out that awesome audience shot from opening night - don't they look thrilled??
Buy tickets now!!!
NBD, just in Time Out....
So excited to share the following preview for Pool Play by Jonathan Mandell at New York Theatre. Erin gave a great interview with Jonathan, and not just because she said such dang nice things about me!!
Hope to see you in February!!