Thursday, June 2, 2011

Notes From Justine- Spring 2011 Writer/Director Forum, Week 3

Notes from Justine
Forum Rehearsal 5/31
/11 -More Relationships and So Much More

I ended last week talking about how Assistant Director/Stage Manager Karyn DeYoung saw both of the Week Two plays as relationship plays…behold this week starts off with every artist in the room referring to the first two of these wonderfully diverse offerings as “relationship plays!”

Written by Jane Miller, directed by Abigail Strange
Featuring Tyler Gattoni & Bethany McNamara

How long are you willing to wait?

This show is about a young couple on a subway platform. First there’s banter. They seem happy, cute, if quirky. Then Rosy wants to play a game to pass the time, Max is reluctant. Why, we wonder? Does he dislike games, silliness? Is he easily embarrassed? There doesn’t seem to be anyone else waiting for the train at this time of night. Why not indulge her? When he finally gives in to her wheedling it turns out the game is a little scary. It also turns out her motives weren’t so simple. She knows her boyfriend’s issues and has chosen this moment to bring them up. This seemingly happy relationship may be in peril just as the train finally begins to pull into the station…

Written by Mary Flanagan, directed by Gretchen Ferris
Featuring Rob Getz, Elyssa Mersdorf & Emilio Paul Tirado

When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it. ~ Yogi Berra

Back In the Box starts with a couple and a complication. This play takes us farther into the workings of a dysfunctional relationship. Helen is clearly unhappy. We don’t always know why as we watch her journey towards escape. What is she escaping from? Is it spousal abuse or cruelty of some kind? Not precisely. The issues here are subtle. There is indeed something wrong- too much of a good thing, perhaps. Love turned to need, dependence turned to obsession. I find myself hoping Helen’s journey will be a smooth one after the blackout.

Written and directed by Laura Hirschberg
Featuring Emily Daly, Arielle Hader, Timothy Mele & Kevin Russo.

Prometheus brings the spark of inspiration to man. Is it worth it? Come play with fire.

I am inspired and delighted to discover that our talented director Laura Hirschberg is also an impressive talent as a playwright! Fire Thief is full of complex ideas that unfold with wit and clarity.

What a difference. And yet I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the importance of relationships here too. Of course in Fire Thief they are relationships between gods. The fire Prometheus steals is the fire of inspiration. He steals it to bestow it upon his own favorite creation: mankind. Of course in doing so he incurs the wrath of the Gods but more importantly be betrays two people (well, gods) he loves. His journey of self discovery includes allowing an unusual relationship to grow; the one between himself and his creation. If he can love us mere mortals for more than just our finer traits (such as theatre I’d venture) perhaps he can survive what’s coming to him.

Big thanks to Assistant Directors/Stage Managers Jessy Grossman and Sarah Outhwaite. They were a delight to work with. Full of insight and ideas, they were an integral part of our discussion throughout the evening.

Week Three of the Spring 2011 Writer/Director Forum opens on June 16. I’m excited to see this thought provoking, wit filled grouping of three with all the finishing touches!

Justine Lambert
Founding Artistic Director

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