Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Worlds of Dragons and Snakes

Worlds of Dragons and Snakes!
On Saturday September 24 we held a reading of Dragonslayer, the one woman show that I co-authored with the amazing Judy Sheehan It was so exciting and HELPFUL!  I can’t believe how much work these four talented actresses were able to do in only two rehearsals.  Huge thanks to Shannon Altner, Emily Daly, Arielle Hader, and Hannah Tamminen.

 After the reading there ensued such a lively and helpful discussion with cast, staff and audience that I never wanted it to end.  Perhaps most gratifying for me was the participation of members of our creative community - Robert Gonyo, the artistic director of Co-Op Theatre East, the company in residence at Looking Glass this season, and Looking Glass staff members Aliza Shane, Rose Ginsberg and Erica Nilson.  Knowing that I have a community to lean on for my creative needs is tremendously important to me! 

I learned so many things about our play.  I saw who this young woman we’ve created was, and the audience has made it clear that they want to know more; more about her inner workings and more about who she is.  Who will she be after this play if she survives?  Why does she need the things she needs?  I am excited to continue to explore this character that I’ve come to love and this world I sometimes wish we all lived in.

Check out some clips of my fantastic four working as one:

The following Monday night I had the privilege of sitting in on rehearsal for Calamity Jane Battles the Horrible Hoopsnakes (Written by by E. J. C. Calvert, directed by Jacquelyn Honeybourne and featuringfor the first time.  To my great joy, our preview in Time Out NY Kids came out the very next morning!
Abraham Adams, Gianna Cioffi, Jessica Kelly, David Mangiamele, Monica O’Malley, Katie Proulx and Sarah Pullman)
I greatly enjoyed listening to director Jacquelyn Honeybourne giving notes when I first arrived.  Then after getting the lowdown on set, scenes and snake costumes, the real fun began.  I only saw four scenes run in their entirety, but within them was an encapsulated world - courageous Jane and her mom heading off to make a new life for themselves only to encounter the cowardly (adorable) inhabitants of a town harassed by Hoopsnakes.  

As they try to fit in well enough to be allowed to spend the night something happens…Mom is mom-napped!  But never fear; Calamity Jane is not panicked.  She’s ready, willing and eager to embark on a rescue mission.  She has quite a lot of convincing to do with the Townies however who are quite happy with their cowering ways. 

We also see the other side of the situation.  Mom is in the lair of the snakes.  They have an interesting discussion (yup, discussion with snakes) regarding what Mom has done wrong (in her life or in Hoopersville is not certain yet) and discover things about snakes that you might not guess just by looking at them. 

Whenever I am in a rehearsal room I inevitably learn something, sometimes about theatre (usually), sometimes about life.  Last night I learned something that can be applied to both: snakes are not only scary (they’re a bit scary, that’s a given) they’re also funny.  Slithery, slimy, limbless silliness. 

Justine Lambert
Artistic Director
Looking Glass Theatre -

Notes From Justine 10-4-11

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