Friends, I am SO EXCITED to announce that tickets are now on sale for Pool Play, a brand new play (in a pool!) Check out our nifty blerb below:
This is Not a Theatre Company Presents...
Conceived and Directed by Erin Mee
Original Text by Jessie Bear
with original contributions by Charles Mee and Jeanine T. Abraham
Jeanine T. Abraham, Shawn Chua, Ashley Wren Collins, Erika Marit Iverson, Michael Lorz, Lily Narbonne, Alex Pagels, Ali Kennedy Scott
Join us at the edge of the pool with your feet in the water (yes! in the water!) and enjoy: synchronized swimming, an existential boatman, songs, a snarky fish, and an exploration of America's long, joyful and complicated relationship with the swimming pool.
We have tickets on sale right now!!!
This piece stems from a collaboration that's created a BRAND SPANKIN' NEW THEATER COMPANY! Check us out at thisisnotatheatrecompany.com
Just finished an amazing week of workshopping A Serious Banquet, the play I am working on with Erin Mee (have you liked our Facebook Page yet?! You should. You'll hear all the latest on what we're up to) This piece has been the result of Erin's limitless imagination and capacity to see theater in everything. And what a job she's done.
What is A Serious Banquet? in 1908, a 26-year old Pablo Picasso bought a painting at a garage sale. It was being sold for the cost of the canvas, with the idea that it was so worthless, the buyer could at least paint over it to reuse the canvas. But Picasso liked it. So much that he tracked down the painter, Henri Rousseau (at the time, a 64-year old retired Toll Collector), and designed a dinner party in his honor. This party grew into legend. Who was there? Gertrude Stein, of course, and her lover Alice B Toklas. Picasso girlfriend and oft-muse Fernande Olivier, the poet Andre Salmon, the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, a very, very drunk Marie Laurencin, Picasso's best buddy George Braque... pretty much some of history's most brilliant artists, gathered in a room, celebrating being young ('cept Rousseau...) and drunk and poor and loving every minute of it.
A Serious Banquet is a love letter to that party, it's a restaging but not a reenactment - part immersive theater, part dinner party, part the experience of being dropped into a piece of cubist art. I like to think that I co-authored this script with Pablo, George, Andre, and Gertrude. Well, and the rest of the team, of course.
And what a team we had. So many amazing actors, one hell of a directorial consultant and the baddest ass sound designer who created this cubist party. It was a total blast, and I couldn't be prouder of the Serious Banquet we created. Up next for this show: a full staging, probably in June! Please join us then!
It was an intense week, but we culminated with a very successful showing at New York Theatre Workshop tonight! Tomorrow, day off, then Wednesday we start the Pool Play!
We are fully cast for our Pool Play by Charles Mee and me, Jessie Bear!
Here is a photo of our gorgeous "set".
Come check us out on February 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and March 1, 7, 8 at Waterside Plaza.
Ali Kennedy Scott, Lily Narbonne, Alex Pagels, Jeanine T. Abraham, Shawn Chua Ming Ren, Michael Lorz, Ashley Wren Collins, and Erika Marit Iverson.
i had one of those moments today where you look around and realize that, despite all your worries, all the suck, all the crap you slog through for days and days, your life is actually happening.
and it's awesome.
we had a fantastic day working on a preliminary recording for the pod play. to be honest, it raised about a million more questions than i ever knew needed to be asked for a project like this (because, let's face it - who's worked on a play for an iPod meant to be listened to in a site specific location before?), but it felt amazing to finally be in the room and getting things moving. and what a pool of talent we had to work with!!
speaking of POOLS.... (see what i did there? WRITING folks...) tomorrow are the auditions for the pool play. i am VERY excited for this - apparently we have a ton of people coming, and I must admit, i am ever-so-slightly nervous about this. thank god I am not a director - because casting decisions are wholly intimidating to me. but thankfully, that is not my purview! instead, I get to show up and help to get this party started.
simply put, i feel very grateful and psyched. and those are totally wonderful feelings.
i am especially excited to share the following call for auditions for a Play in a Pool(!) that I am developing with Erin Mee. It will feature text by myself and Charles Mee (!!) (still feels unbelievable to type that out…)
Makeshift closed today.
It was amazing.
Hundreds of people came. They seemed to like it. The team was incredible.
We got one lovely review. Another ever-so-slightly less so. (Only slightly. Seems about right, right?)
People said wonderful things. The audiences were incredibly generous.
And mostly, we made a show. We took nothing and made something. We started with ideas and they became words and we added some geniuses (a director, a lighting designer, a sound designer/composer, a set/costume designer, a stage manager, a technical director) and we put up a fucking play.
I hope you'll indulge me this bout of utter sentimentalism, but I wrote a little something. It's short. And plus, I feel like one's allowed sentimentalism at times of utter, perfect joy, right?
When it's all over and the world has been dismantled, carefully, fabrics wrapped up and 2x4s returned to their brethren in a workshop. When furniture has been driven away in U-HAULs, costumes returned to racks, props thrown into trashcans, basements, storage bins. When the words have retreated to the script, nothing more, again, than dashes and curves across the page. When thoughts turn to money, sleep, and memories of moments already lost to time. When it's all over, you're left feeling full and empty at the same time - too packed with that elusive, impermanent, ever-fleeting sense of self to appreciate its perfection, and yet aching, desperate for more, forever, an endless supply, of this magical drug which is capable of giving you the one thing we were put on this p
buy a hundred tickets each to see makeshift so i can quit my job and write plays forever k thanx.
which just means...I get to feel totally freaked out 24/7 that people aren't going to buy tickets!! (oh, pre-show anxiety...how I know you well...)
show us some facebook love!
Today was a blast. A total blast. In a rare blast-from-the-past type moment, I got to spend the day ACTING, something I haven't done in kind of a while. Every time I act, I sort of figure it's the last time I'll ever act, and then life proves me wrong. Life is kind of marvelous that way.
I used to want to be an actor. I did it in college, but I went to an insane, liberal, quaker, crazy college that did all sorts of strange, interesting, fabulous shows that made it very easy and fun to be an actor. (Stuff like this, and this and this). When I got out of school, two things happened.
First, in the interest of earning money and like, having an apartment and junk, I stopped doing theater. For a bit. No acting, no playwriting. I found that while I really missed acting, I couldn't live without playwrighting. UGH, it's puke-a-licious to type something as earnest as that, but it was the plain truth.
Second, I realized how hard actors have it.
You actors have it really, really, really hard! You work hard as hell, you spend 99% of your time auditioning, usually in direct competition with 50 other people who are just as great and just as anxious to work, and then, when you do land roles, you're charged with executing a play or a show that, you know, you didn't come up with! A vision that's not your own. You have lines to memorize and blocking and all that crap. And at the end of a day a director can look at all your hard work and pronounce it "not good enough" or "not there yet" or "not the right direction."
And so you do it again. And you work even harder. And you make very little money and you often have very little stability. It's a hard fucking life. So I just want to take this moment, on behalf of all the writers out there, to thank you actors for everything you do. I have been so fucking blown away by New York City actors. You're all so damn talented and nice and beautiful to look at. It's inspiring to work with you, to write for you and to watch you bring my crap to life. I once had a teacher who said you should always write plays FOR specific actors. Ideally ones you have crushes on. That's not hard. I am in love with all of you - with your talent and your energy and your enthusiasm.
To get to work among you, as an actor today, was totally delightful. It felt so cool to be "in the trenches" with "real" actors. It was like being a kid who gets to stay up real late because mom and dad aren't home. So thank you, and thank you to Jacqui Friedman, the incredible playwright (with a much more professional website than mine!) who wrote the truly badass play Cosmo Girls that I got to read in today. Jacqui developed the play in a class I shared with her at Tisch, so I sort of snuck in at the beginning reading the role I read today in class workshops. I think I read it so loudly and claimed it so instantly that I sort of left her no choice but to cast me today. Lucky me. What fun I had. It is amazing to be a part of a community so alive as the New York Theater scene.
When it came time to find someone to design the awesome poster for Makeshift, I knew to look no further than my dear, dear friend Sebastian, who also happens to be an exceptional graphic designer. We are in love with the final poster he made for us, but the truth is, he made so many other awesome ones that it felt like a shame to keep them hidden away! With his permission, I wanted to share with you some of his amazing proposals!