Thursday, March 14, 2013
Saturday, February 18, 2012
HOT DOG: It's strange being a human being - after you enjoy all those wild things - then what??? There must be more to life than this!!!
[Hot Dog wanders into a Christian discussion group]
CHRISTIAN MAN: Welcome - there's just one thing that separates man from animal -
HOT DOG: He's speaking to me!
CHRISTIAN MAN: Animals can eat and think and communicate to a degree - just as man does - but they can't worship!
HOT DOG: Worship? What's that?
CHRISTIAN MAN: Animals just aren't capable of faith!
HOT DOG: Faith???
CHRISTIAN MAN: And without faith man becomes an animal!"
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Post-show dialogues begin this Thursday and continue every Thursday and Friday following the performance of Eric Pfeffinger's ACCIDENTAL RAPTURE through February 18.
See you at 16th Street!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
We talked about spoken word and poetry. And is there a difference. She said "it's poetry if it has art in it." She said she liked Amiri Baraka saying: "I'm not interested in writing sonnets or sestinas or anything. Only poems." and then he adds: "If a poem has got to be a sonnet, it's certainly let me know. (Though I doubt it.)"
We talked about audience engagement because when I saw Louder Than a Bomb we were encouraged to make noise, give props, snap, clap, say "ye-ah". The performers were doin' it. The audience was doin' it. And she said it's all about giving permission.
Actor Malcolm Callan talked about when he was going to shows as a teen and the band saying: "We are the band. And you are the band. What are you gonna do to participate?"
I guess it's all about asking the question. Giving permission. Turning up the lights maybe just a touch.
We will see what happens in the experiment that is "poetry as theater."
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
"It's not that I didn't want children. It's that I never had the urge to have them. It just wasn't there. I never thought about it. When I was in my 20's and friends were starting to get married and then to have babies, I was always a little surprised--"Really? You're having a baby?!"--I had a hard time picturing my high-school pals as parents--probably because I couldn't picture myself as a parent. I still felt like such a kid.
When I got to my early thirties, most of my friends were married and starting families. I was less surprised at each new toddler that showed up at barbecues and pool parties, but I still didn't think about my so-called biological clock. Children simply were not on my radar. Once, when a single woman I knew confided that she couldn't believe she was still unmarried and childless, I was struck at how sure she was that she would have been a wife and mother by now. I mentioned the conversation to another friend, and related my astonishment at how let-down this woman had felt--parenthood had seemed, to her, a natural course of events, and somehow it hadn't happened. My friend let me know that most people felt that way. Most people grew up wanting to get married and have a family. I was stunned.
I took up the conversation with other friends, and yes, it seemed that nearly everyone I knew had always known that they would have children--even when they were children themselves. As a child, I always saw myself as alone in adulthood--of course, I always saw myself saving a busload of orphans from plunging over a cliff, or curing cancer, or opening a speech with, "I'd like to thank the Academy...", but I never had a motherhood fantasy. My Walter Mitty daydreams didn't include a vision of myself as a mother.
Looking back--I'm glad I didn't have kids. As a young adult, I had my own issues to work out, and taking on a helpless, dependent child would quite simply have been a disaster. I am sure of that. My brothers and sisters gave me a dozen nieces and nephews, each of whom I adore and absolutely cherish. Having them in my life has been an absolute joy, and I wonder sometimes what my life would have been like with kids at the center of it, but other than that curiosity, I don't feel a void in my life. Being a mom wasn't for me, and I knew that. It was a certainty that I've held all my life, and I don't regret it. I rarely tell people, though--it makes most folks uncomfortable."
Rosie Newton is an actress and writer. You may have seen her in Teatro Vista's OUR LADY OF THE UNDERPASS at 16th Street. Interestingly enough, she played the woman who was heartbroken over the fact that she was childless.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Earlier tonight, the cast of Rebecca Gilman’s The Crowd You’re In With (Crowd), the next play going up at 16th Street Theater, did it’s first stumble through of the show. A stumble through is exactly what it sounds like. The actors start at the beginning of the show and stumble their way through to the end, without stopping, and without shame. They have a notion of their blocking (the movement their characters makes on the stage), they have their lines memorized, more or less (mostly less), and they try their best to do the show without causing injury to self or others or embarrassment to the playwright.
(Pictured cast members Skyler Schrempp and Joan Kohn with Brad Harbaugh.)
Stumble throughs are often angst ridden experiences for the actors. Moments of the play they thought they had down suddenly go up in flames. Whole chunks of memorized lines simply vanish. The actor’s desire to go slow and not force anything crashes up against the performers desire never to suck, and often the result is ugly. Nevertheless, as bad as a stumble through can be, it is a necessary step in the evolution of a play – a right of passage the artists must go through. Crowd director, Anish Jethmalani, said doing the stumble through is like assembling the skeleton, from which we can then hang the meat.
With those words in mind we took to the stage tonight…and the results were not bad. Nobody crashed into anyone else, the lines were said mostly in the order they were written and by the characters to whom they belong. And for those moments I was not on stage, I sat in the audience and watched, and I was transported into the world of this play as if I were an audience member seeing it on its opening night. It was wonderful.
Of course the set needs to be finished and the props need to be assembled and the costumes finalized, and many moments need tightening up to meet the director’s and the playwright’s visions. However, even in this stumble through – there was a living, breathing play that was lovely to behold. I’ve experienced that before in rehearsals, where I am able to step back and experience it the way the audience will…just rarely this early in the process. It’s a special cast, with a great production crew, and I think it’s going to be a very good show.
That’s not something I say or feel about every show. The truth is, like parents who secretly like one kid more than another, actors have favorites too. Sometimes we don’t know a show is good until it’s in front of an audience…but sometimes there is no denying that what’s taking place in rehearsal is something special. This is one of those times. Of course, no play is complete until the audience is there…and I can already feel my fellow actors itching for that connection with you; for someone to tell this story too, and from whom we will learn what is really important.
Still, what does it all mean? It means that instead of waiting until the show opens to invite friends and family to see the show (after we’ve had a chance to work out the kinks). I’m going to invite them now. Let alone the fact that the topic is one everyone can relate to on some level, I think this play is going to be a hopping good time. The only downside of this production, that I can see, is the limited number of seats. If you’re thinking of coming, my advice would be to get your tickets early…before every last seat in the house is sold to a friend or family member of the performers. If they have the same feeling about this show that I do, they are going to be inviting everyone they know to come see it. The old theater adage is “Bad final dress rehearsal, good opening night.” I might add another. “Not a terrible stumble through, very good play.”
Written by Brad Harbaugh. Brad plays Dan in 16th Street's upcoming THE CROWD YOU'RE IN WITH starting July 7. He also happens to be married to Julie Ganey (the blond dentist) in our winter production DENTAL SOCIETY MIDWINTER MEETING.