Tuesday, May 1, 2012



Looking Glass Theatre is holding a talent competition!

The Grand Prize Winner will receive their very own show at Looking Glass Theatre in NYC!  Looking Glass will host the winner's 60-minute show on a date to be decided in July. We will treat the event like one of our own Space Grant productions! We’ll provide our performance space and will help publicize the event. You can invite every agent, casting director and friend/family you’ve ever known (or wanted to know).

The first runner up will be awarded a 10-minute "opening act" before the grand prize winner's show!

Talent of all kinds welcome: singers, musicians, one-person shows, jugglers, dancers (or groups), scenes from plays, poets, spoken word, etc, etc. Performers must be NON-UNION.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 15 from 6-10pm
WHERE: The Mean Fiddler, 266 West 47th Street

WHAT: 3-4 minutes of your best material!

CONTACT: Email benefit.lookingglass@gmail.com with your "act" and any specifics. We’ll give you a performance time and discuss all logistics.

** No entry fee, free admission for performers. **

AND... The winner will be determined by Audience Vote!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Angel Play opens FRIDAY!

Discovering Divinity
Notes from Artistic Director, Justine Lambert
Watching The Angel Play evolve over the last year  I am impressed by the journey.  During the many readings and discussions I have had the honor to be a part of, many aspects of the play have been examined.

Many of them par for the course: relationship, character arc, plot development etc. Bella Poyton (Playwright) and Amanda Thompson (Director) were always aware of what was needed and they were “on it”.  These questions and discussions were invigorating and imaginative.  Seeking new answers to old questions and finding the unique way it all works out in this story by this author with this director … a wonderful journey.

Now that we are in the home stretch (The Angel Play opens FRIDAY!) I’ve been reminded of the truly unique challenge this play poses.  Over the last three weeks, I have seen the director, cast and crew interpret divinity.  Such an exciting creative pickle!  Lighting and sound play a huge part, set and costume are important too.  Acting is key.  I think they’ve done something special. Created a bit of magic, a “trick of the light” both literally and figuratively.  I won’t say it’s a guarantee.  You, the audience, have to be there with them, ready to take the journey, ready to believe in something different.  Sometimes it’s funny and we laugh at how odd and different things seem.  Then if we’re really with them the production takes us to a place where we see something other than the simple humans and set that’s in front of us and are transported to the other.

At the talkback on Friday night after the opening night with the artists, I have a question or two to ask.  I bet you will have many. Hope to see you there!

Justine Lambert
Artistic Director 
Looking Glass Theatre - www.lookingglasstheatrenyc.com 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Notes from Justine: Winter 2011 Writer/Director Forum

Notes from Justine Winter 2011 Writer/Director Forum Rehearsals
WEEK 1 – DECEMBER 1-4: A Time and Place for Everything
What a great time I had on Monday, November 14 observing Forum Week 1 rehearsals!  Each of these shows is about a very specific and very different place and time.  It’s a rare treat to see inspiration coming from these unusual settings.  Each setting (detailed below) creates a world that has its own rules and imperatives.  The clarity of these backdrops helps each story being told to hold us captive and keep us questioning as the plot points are revealed

Written by Jennifer Barclay, Directed by Anais Koivisto
Featuring: Kati Rae Cowardin, Joey Lozada & Thami Moscovici

Set in the not too distant future, The Golden Ticket is about a contest to receive an experience once common but now rare and precious, an uncertain daughter with a mom desperate to give something of her own youth to her child, and a daughter seemingly uncertain of the value of anything…as teens tend to be.

Written by Jan O’Connor, Directed by Estefania Fadul                  
Featuring: Cindy de la Cruz & David Harrell

Oscar, a record keeper for the "cremains" of thousands of unclaimed dead in a large city, is visited by a young woman looking for her long lost love.  An office filled with records, books, organization and…remains- lost remains, unclaimed humanity.  Who could be so uncared for they were not even claimed?  Or was it the lost who choose not to care?
Pedestrian Casualty: Bronx, USA
By Nina Mansfield, Directed by Christina Neubrand     
Featuring: Manny De La Cruz, Shannon Harris, Alexandra Hiotakis, Keenen Jones, Darla Juniper, Josh Mahaffey, Norma Perez-Hernandez & Austin Young

A school teacher.  A student.  A car crash.  The Bronx; high school, teachers who care, students who don’t, or is it the other way around?  Does anyone care?  In fact it’s possible they all care.  Sometimes caring isn’t enough and what’s broken doesn’t get fixed, just more broken.
This is a very strong threesome of plays.  Original ideas told clearly and with sympathy to the human problems at the center of complicated situations.  The three formidable ladies at the helm of these plays have ideas and a clear understanding of the material they are working with.  I am excited to see these plays blossom into full production.
Extra thanks go to this week’s Assistant Directors/Stage Managers Francesca Galbo and Taylor Reynolds for being such a great part of our discussions and helping create smooth transitions throughout the night!  Also what a great treat to have Lighting Designer Ryan Metzler attend the same rehearsals as I did.  Why didn’t we think of that earlier…? Perhaps this could be the beginning of a beautiful policy…
WEEK 2 – DECEMBER 8-11: Strange and Stranger

Watching Week Two’s rehearsals on Monday 11/21 I was struck by all the many many ways humans can be strange, weird, unusual, odd.  There’s flat-out insanity of course, there’s awkwardness that just might be normal but might be quite quirky and there’s the inherent strangeness of lying.  People are so bizarre when they know they aren’t telling the truth aren’t they?  Most of the time we don’t know what is making them act so odd but as an audience we are let into their internal machinations and can enjoy the weirdness.  Of course these three plays also have stories and situations to go along with their odd inhabitants.
Based on the works of William Shakespeare,
Adapted & Directed by Katherine Sommer
Featuring: James Bascomb, Samantha Cains, Kevin Hoffman,
Lilli Stein & Nick Zappetti

This is an exciting mash-up of two great plays by the Bard.  When you put together Ophelia and Lady Macbeth clearly the theme is madness.  It’s fun to see these two ladies take their journeys through sanity and out the other side together.  What do they have in common?  More important in my mind was the question what do these two women need from each other?  Wouldn’t it be a different world if Lady M. could advise Ophelia?  Could the Lady learn to keep herself together if she had the presence of the fair Ophelia to shore her up?  Although it’s a pair of tragedies the result is surprisingly fun.
Written by Elizabeth Swearingen, Directed by Jessy Grossman                     
Featuring: Daniel Blatman, Olivia Boyle & Lesley Noyes

Sweet young love is here.  Or is it?  Um, that’s always the problem at the beginning isn’t it?  Is this real?  Are these feelings going to last?  Does he/she REALLY LIKE ME???  Some of the most eternal questions of life are present in this slice of life.  They may not be the meaning of life or even the answer to why the sky is blue but we’ve all been there and we feel the urgency and importance of that sweet moment keenly with the two young people breaking their fast together for the first time.
Written by Erin Leigh Steiner, Directed by Laura Hirschberg            
Featuring: Rory Kulz & Chanel Thomas
What happens when the one you love is no longer the one you trust?  This is about murder!  Whodunnit?  He said/she said. She says she doesn’t remember and he says it was her… but why? And they love each other so they are going to stick together whatever may come.  But, still, why?  Why would they kill him?  What is the real reason for the tension in this moment?  How could it not be the dead body!?  People can be weird and sometimes the dead body is not the real skeleton in the closet.  What are they really upset about?  Could it be their relationship?  And what are they going to tell the police?
I loved Assistant Director/Stage Manager Caroline Angell’s summation of the evening; An evening of Love and Murder!  Perfect.  I really enjoyed getting to know her through our discussions after each play!
WEEK 3 – DECEMBER 15-18: Brief but Not Slight

This Monday, November 28, I observed the final week of this December Forum.  There are four plays in this one yet the evening stays well below two hours.  Clearly they are short.  Yet while not lengthy these plays are not insubstantial, they address issues of guilt (lots of guilt), loss, betrayal, and the human need for contact.
Written by K. Alexa Mavromatis, Directed by Sarah Simmons
Featuring: Kiley Rothweiler & Anna Drezen

In this piece we see two young girls watching someone.  Over the course of the play we will discover who he is.  We also see the girls’ relationship develop as they learn things about each other they may or may not have known but are only now coming to understand.  Will they find the courage to approach this mystery man?  Should they?
Written by Karin Diann Williams, Directed by Karyn DeYoung    
Featuring: Nathalie Frederick & Kea Trevett
Here again we have two young girls but these two are not friends.  It’s even hard to understand why they are together.  They are different.  One of them is a bit strange but then what teenager isn’t a bit strange?  In the end they are reaching for something.  It might be human connection.  It might be a bit of magic in their lives.  Whatever it is I think they need it.  I hope they find it.
He Says His Name Is John
By Laura Rohrman, Directed by Ashley Scoles
Featuring: Hazen Cuyler, Josiah Laubenstein & Caitlin Morris

A dream apartment seems to be the central issue in this play.  What is wrong with this amazing apartment??  But there may be other things wrong here.  Is this couple as happy as they seem?  What has happened to her job?  And then there’s this guy John, their real estate agent.  But the new neighbor looks just like him…

By Brit Hawkins, Directed by Gretchen Ferris 
Featuring: Kate Dickinson, Billy Roberts and Jodi Savitz

Sometimes you know the difference between right and wrong.  And then you do it anyway.  A classic love triangle.  He is cheating on her, with her.  It’s simple and so is the play but then it’s complicated.  Real human situations are always complicated and so is the play.  On the verge of a stereotype the play sidesteps that completely by being real and making us care.  These people are trying.  They are imperfect and needy and it leads to a mess that can’t be easily swept under the rug.  I particularly enjoy the depiction of a mistress who is not the obvious other woman.  She is her own woman, not an extension of anyone else.
There is a lot of exciting work here.  It doesn’t hang together in any obvious way but when I spoke with the Assistant Directors/Stage Managers Gina Femia and Kitty Lindsey about how they viewed the evening as a whole they had enlightening viewpoints to share.  Gina said that these plays are all in some way about people wanting to be seen and accepted for who they are and Kitty added that in these plays we see people confronting their insecurities and facing the qualities in themselves they are least proud of.  I thank them both for their wonderful insights throughout the evening!
This Forum is going to be an exciting and enlightening trio of evenings!
Justine Lambert
Artistic Director
Looking Glass Theatre - http://www.lookingglasstheatrenyc.com/
Written byJennifer Barclay, Directed by Anais Koivisto
Featuring: Kati Rae Cowardin, Joey Lozada & Thami Moscovici 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Special- CALAMITY JANE!

Friends of Looking Glass Theatre! 
If  you are reading this then you're in for a great deal!

To celebrate the Halloween weekend we are offering a special discount for this weekend (10/29, 10/30):

COME IN COSTUME and get a Special Discount for
Thisweekend only: Adults $10, Kids $5!!!!!

So join us in the Wild Wild West for some wild wild fun!

Justine Lambert
Artistic Director

Read my recent director to director interview - http://www.2amtheatre.com/2011/08/24/spotlight-meet-justine-lambert-director/

Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/LookingGlassNYC
Find us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/LookingGlassTheatreNYC
Follow our blog! http://lookingglasstheatre.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MAGNIFY YOUR DIRECTING- Workshop with Justine Lambert, 10/22

Magnify Your Directing
With Justine Lambert

A directing workshop to put some oomph behind your urges.
Where:  Looking Glass Theatre, 422 West 57th Street
When:   Saturday, October 22, 3:30-6:30pm
You have the creativity, you have the ideas with inspiration to spare, now you just need to implement those ideas with as much passion and conviction as you feel.
This class is an accelerated sketch of what needs to be done.  In three hours we will touch on implementing concepts, crafting the acting to serve your needs while being true to your actors own impulses and telling the story through the lens of your vision.
The class begins with an email exchange in advance to ensure that you are prepared and can get the most out of the class time.  Scenes are assigned for you to read and think about in advance, and our talented Fall 2011 acting interns will be there; ready to work, grow and get to know you and your aesthetic.
Breakdown of activities;  Meet and Greet; Accelerated Viewpoints Workshop; Concept Discussion, initial direction and showing of scenes;  Staging with Viewpoints Workshop; Moderated Scene work; Final Showing;  Wrap Up discussion
Cost:  $20 suggested.  No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
Space is extremely limited, email lookglassjustine@aol.com to reserve your space.
About Justine...
Justine Lambert is the founder and artistic director of Looking Glass Theatre in New York started in 1993.  A recipient of The Lucille Lortel Award for her work with Looking Glass she has been working in theater in NY for over 25 years; directing, writing, acting in and producing dozens of shows, ranging from classical to contemporary, traditional to experimental.  In 2003, she was named one of the top 100 New Yorkers by NY Resident magazine.  Her direction of Three Sisters at Looking Glass won an Off Off Broadway Review Award for Best Production and her Direction of M at Turnip Theatre won her Honorable Mention as Best Director.  From 1989 through 1991, she was co-Artistic Director of Peregrine Theater, a company that produced classics and children’s work in Central Park. http://lookingglasstheatrenyc.com/JustineLambert.html
Justine in the Press (selected quotes):
Blood Sky
"The production is wonderfully directed by Justine Lambert who is obviously gifted at coaching and working with performers.  ~ Hi Drama

Cardboard Moon
"Cardboard Moon is a joyous piece of work. Writer/Director Justine Lambert focuses ... and moves through the story swiftly and efficiently, keeping the audience highly entertained while relating a simple but not insubstantial message." - Washington Square News
"The acting is daring from start to finish.  The play calls for stylized, overblown bits of stage business and for snatches of absurd dialogue, all of which are performed delightfully." - Columbia Spectator
"Works wonderfully ... Lambert draws nice parallels between fantasy and reality, the past and the present, and new and old forms of theater." - TheaterMania.com

The Three Sisters
"Ms. Lambert directed a real dramatic feast against great odds." – OOBR
"...directed by Justine Lambert, has all the profound seriousness inherent in a Chekhov play coupled with all of the palpable energy and vivaciousness of a new theatrical company-a winning combination. Lambert's production has added many small touches to The Three Sisters that go a long way towards winning the audience's heart." - Columbia Spectator

Laodamia: Queen of Epirus
The director "discovered and sucked the passionate marrow of ...an obscure 17th century play.... (the director) and (her) cast are up to the challenge." -TheaterMania.com

Richard III
The production "breathes the enthusiasm and creativity of its cast and director." - The Fordham Observer
"The all-female cast (is) this change...valid? My answer ..was instantly yes." - The Hunter Word
Justine Lambert
Artistic Director
Looking Glass Theatre -

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 http://www.judysheehan.com/. 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! http://tinyurl.com/3audvt7
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 - http://www.lookingglasstheatrenyc.com/

Notes From Justine 10-4-11