Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Notes From Justine- Spring 2011 Writer/Director Forum, Week 2

Notes from Justine
Forum Rehearsal 5/23/11 -
Challenges as Playthings

Dance and Shakespeare; these are the challenges the directors of Week 2 have taken on. These challenges also prove to be lovely toys to play with, adding multiple dimensions to a week of light uplifting fun.

Written by Yasmine Beverly Rana, directed by Christina Neubrand
Featuring Mike Holt, Tess Howsam , Anthony Perrelli & Jeffrey Walker

Close embraces, open embraces, and embellishments follow three couples through the complicated circle of dance and love.

This is practically a dance piece and yet it tells its story through dialogue seamlessly interwoven with the movement. The characters almost never sit still. It’s a simple story of a girl at a dance waiting to be asked. Why do women still feel we have to wait to be asked? I guess that’s a discussion for another time… This woman clearly feels she must wait for a man to request her company. She’s here to dance and so are the men who do indeed ask her. But are they looking for something else? Are they looking for more? She herself seems to be looking for more but it’s not necessarily the same more. She’s seeking depth, human connection, someone like herself, interested in more. We are rooting for her. I want her to find that something…or maybe even someone more.

Written by William Shakespeare, adapted and directed by Dana Dobreva.
Featuring Kevin Bunge, Michael DeSantis , Charlie Gorrilla, Robert Klein, Amie Lytle, Greg McGoon, Jacob Mondry, Rebecca Nerz, Elliot Wadsworth & Jillian Walker

The Hollywood Remix…

Twelfth Night is a favorite of the gender-bending comedies penned by the Bard, and it’s clear why; this play has all the tricks! A woman in love with a woman she thinks is a man, a man in love with a woman he thinks is a man, mistaken identity, drunkenness, debauchery and Beyonce. What? Yup Beyonce is making an appearance. It’s a modern setting and pop music abounds. You know the story right? Viola is shipwrecked and thinks her twin brother is dead (he’s not). She dresses as a guy and goes to work for Orsino (Why? Dunno, I’ve only seen it twelve times so c’mon.) Orsino sends Viola to court Olivia for him. Olivia falls for Viola (dressed as a boy, remember). Sebastian the missing brother shows up, gets mistaken for Viola, gets in a fight then marries (!?!) Olivia who thinks he is Viola. Immediately upon discovery that his male servant is a female Orsino proposes to Viola who has been pining for him the whole time. Meanwhile Olivia’s relatives are cavorting with and playing pranks on the help. And then there’s the fool. Forget Lucy, I love Will!

As I was leaving the theatre I had the opportunity to chat briefly with Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Karyn DeYoung about her experience working on these two very different productions. She observed (forgive me if the quote is imprecise) “I’ve realized they’re the same play.” In discussion it became clear that she has come to see both shows as “relationship plays.” It’s certainly true that the human connections or lack thereof are the focus in each. The universality of that need is expressed uniquely in both plays. Thanks so much Karyn for sharing a part of your experience with me and for all your hard work!

Week Two of the Spring 2011 Writer/Director Forum opens on June 9. I can’t wait to see these plays in performance. This should prove to be a joyful romp through relationship confusions. Can’t wait!

Justine Lambert
Founding Artistic Director

1 comment:

  1. Rehearsals really took off after your visit, Justine! We're really looking forward to putting up our production!