Thursday, March 29, 2007

Has King Hedley's Time Come?

Reverend Bruce Wall in Roxbury has issued a memorandum to tourists: "Don't Come To Boston." His reason is clear to anyone following the latest news; the murder rate is getting way out of hand in some areas of the city.

Curtis Sliwa of the Guardian Angels has decided to come and offer assistance, and though some residents and city officials have reservations about the Guardian Angels, (including Reverend Wall and our Police Commissioner,) there is also a universal acknowledgement that we may need all the help we can get.

Adrian Walker has a column outlining it here.

Signature Theatre in New York is currently running a revival of August Wilson's King Hedley II, and the critics seem to be much more taken with it than they were upon its first Broadway arrival.

John Heilpren, (who did praise on the occasion of its premiere,) writes in the Observer:

Its power resides in ecstatic visions and parables that pour from the gut of a disenfranchised people; its howl of black grief and chronicles of death foretold are terrible to witness.

I saw King Hedley II at a preview performance at Seattle Rep in 2000, sitting a few rows in front of the playwright and the director, (the late Marion Mclinton.) Before we went in, August Wilson went down the line and shook our hands.
The play takes place in 1985, (around the time Sliwa's Angels were gaining strength,) but Wilson's indictment of the "ritualistic" cycle of violence that poverty breeds premiered on regional stages while this nation was still flying high on the boom of the late 90's, (for all intents and purposes,) and its Broadway bow took place months before 9/11.

In neighborhoods in Boston crime is up and so are murder rates since the Huntington premiered Hedley, and I think it may be time for another local production.
New Artist Live Work Space:

A positive development for the arts in Chelsea, MA.

Now, if we can just get more of these intiatives for actual theatre space and rehearsal space.
Melinda Lopez's Latest

Local Playwright Melinda Lopez's Sonia Flew was a big hit here in town and has played the Regional circuit from Florida to Los Angeles.

On April 19th, her newest work Alexandros will receive a reading at the Huntington's Breaking Ground series.

You can read about Breaking Ground at the Huntington Blog, along with the news that Ms. Lopez will be playing Demeter in Noah Haidle's Persephone which is opening this month as well.

I am thinking of posting links to some of the better theatre company blogs on my blogroll. Organizational blogs, however, always smack of just a bit of corporate sheen to me.

The Huntington Blog, and the blog at Actor's Shakespeare Project, both have their advantages. The Huntington Blog gives you great backstage photos and details about the mechanics of load-ins, etc. While Actors Shakespeare gives you an insight into processes and textual issues confronting directors and actors in dealing with the Bard.

Wired magazine has a great article this month on the idea of corporate blogs or vlogs with regards to transparency. While the piece by Fred Volgelstein demonstrates how a corporate bohemoth like Microsoft has opened up in these areas, (especially with its Channel 9 initiative,) the article also reveals a complex PR and messaging movement behind every step:

But its efforts to be transparent go only so far. Someone at Microsoft
unintentionally emailed me the confidential dossier the company keeps on reporters writing stories about it (presumably a common practice among big corporations). My file ran to 5,500 words and included all the angles I had been pursuing (along with suggested responses to my questions), the people outside the company they thought I had talked to, detailed background on Wired and how it has covered Microsoft, and notes on me and my interviewing style. "We need to reinforce with Fred that these efforts [Channels 9 and 10] are a natural extension of the company's DNA," the file reads. "Microsoft has been using a wide variety of communications mechanisms to reach out to developers since the days of yore (to read entire memo
click here). This is simply the latest manifestation of those efforts." The irony is thick. While working with me on a story about its newfound openness, Microsoft and its PR agency were furiously scurrying behind the scenes to control the message. One thing about transparency is clear: It's harder than it looks.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

SOCRATES :Come, tell me the kind of mind you have; it's important that I know this, that I may order my batteries against you in the right fashion.

STREPSIADES : Eh, what! in the name of the gods, are you
purposing to assault
me then?

SOCRATES : No. I only wish to ask you some questions. Have you any memory?

STREPSIADES: That depends: if anything is owed me, my memory is excellent,
but if I owe, alas! I have none whatever.

- Aristophanes, Clouds

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

On Balancing Rachel

Mr Excitement News has a post about New Rep's choice to balance their production of My Name is Rachel Corrie with another piece.

You can read Mr. Excitement's take here.

One quote:

What could have been a cause for celebration--a production of Rachel Corrie right in the backyard of Dershowitz/Brandeis--shows up here only as bet-hedging.
Brustein Is Back

This week's New Republic has a refreshing surprise...Robert Brustein's huge review of the Stoppard Trilogy Coast of Utopia.

Eric Bentley once rattled the theater world by conceiving of the playwright as thinker. I wonder what he would call Tom Stoppard--the playwright as teaching assistant? Shaw added prefaces to his published plays, Pirandello included "premises," Strindberg gave us forewords, and Brecht a "Little Organon." Stoppard provides reading lists...

The question is, how successfully has the playwright converted his research into viable dramatic action? Having now completed the entire eight-and-a-half-hour course and bibliography, I suggest that you study the syllabus, do the assigned reading, and bag the lectures.
New Rep To Stage Rachel Corrie

The Globe has the rundown of the New Rep's schedule for next year. Which includes the play, My Name is Rachel Corrie, which was the subject of more than a few blogosphere discussions last year when New York Theatre Workshop cancelled/postponed production.

The rest of the season includes A Streetcar Named Desire and several musicals including a summer show.

Rachel Corrie will play in the Downstairs space at New Rep. If you haven't been there, I suggest you check it out. I have been twice this year, for Thom Pain, and this past weekend for White People.

White People is still playing through this weekend, and if you don't have plans you should go for the inspiration of three really great performances, and Diego Arcineagas' seamless direction. Both of these play out on a great set by J. Michael Griggs. (A teacher of mine a number of years ago.)

These elements combine to make a production that is somewhat better than the play itself. But the play is crafted with care, and with only a few instances of characters articulating a poetry, which, seems a little hard to believe is coming out of their mouths. And the play will make you think.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Reading Tomorrow

Tomorrow, if you are free, I would like to invite you to drop in to see the reading of a new full length I am working on. It is at the Footlight Club in Jamaica Plain at 2:00PM. It is free.

This is a new series of readings the Boston Playwrights Network is doing. They are trying to concentrate on helping writers in the developmental phase of writing a full length play. Here is a page with more info.

I am going first:

AMAZONOMACHY, by Art Hennessey
Directed by Jonathon Myers

Salesman Darren is settling into marriage with his performance artist wife. But the United States seems to have other plans, along with orders to report to FortBragg. As their secrets and memories invade their dreams and their apartment, it is clear that the honeymoon is over, and their future, like it or not, is beginning.

Playwright Bio:
Art Hennessey is a Co-Artistic Director of Essayons Theatre Company and he is a playwright, actor and director in Boston. His play I Go Solo was nominated by the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) for Best New Play in 2003, and Art was also part of the playwriting team for Europhochylus, MA which was also nominated for an IRNE for Best New Play in 2004.

Brett Cramp
Amanda Good Hennessey
Ben Lambert
Frank MacDonald
Floyd Richardson
Irina Salimov
Mary Ann Trulli

It has been a great experience working with Jon Myers and rehearsing the reading with this great cast. I have been able to make changes and also map out some larger questions.

The feedback I get on Saturday should help me even more.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Rep and Rick Lombardo Getting Known

Bill W. and Dr. Bob, a play about the founding of AA premiered here in Boston at the New Repertory Theatre directed by Rick Lombardo.

The Globe has a story about how the play is getting rather popular in New York City. Apparently AA members from around the US are travelling to see the show.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Correction and Apology

In a post on the decreasing of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's schedule, I mentioned the salary of Josiah Spaulding. I got that information from the 2005 Tax Returns for the Wang Center.

I also classified his salary as "ever increasing. "

I have since received information that Mr. Spaulding has taken a significant pay cut.

I have added this correction to the original post. And I apologize to Mr. Spaulding.

And after I just made a big deal about making bold statements. Uhg. Egg removal from my face will commence now.

By the way, my challenge still stands: Donate to Commonwealth Shakespeare, now. We have relatively few major theatrical events in this town. This does not have to do with whether or not you always like the productions, (I don't,) this has to do with a major theatre event, with a high level of technical proficiency to which hundreds of thousands of people come over the years, many of them non-theatregoers.

I know people who never go to theatre, but who bring the kids to the common for the show every year. There is an importance to this and it is generational.

Just give em' ten dollars if you can.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

At It Again

Now, I am all for world premieres, and I am all for critics and reviewers praising companies for their daring in presenting them . But Jenna Scherer of the Weekly Dig is starting to drive me nuts with the broad strokes with which she paints the theatre scene.

"But I have to give Company One props for presenting a World Premiere, it is something most boston troupes wouldn't dare to attempt."

I love Company One, and I always think there should be more world premieres...but (in the words of Rob Cordry on the Daily Show,) Come On!

Even the Huntington Theatre Company, a major regional theatre, presents at least one World Premiere a year. And there are small companies in Boston who do nothing but World Premieres

In the next month 11:11 , Up You Mighty Race and Theatre Offensive are just a few local companies presenting world premieres.

On a comment on this blog, Jenna indicated that she needs to make bold statements while she is learning the scene here. There is nothing wrong with making bold statements, you just have to know that you are making one when you do.

In order to praise Company One, you don't have kick the rest of the scene in the crotch.
"When I left the politicians, I went to the poets; tragic, dithyrambic, and all sorts. And there, I said to myself, you will be detected; now you will find out that you are more ignorant than they are. Accordingly, I took them some of the most elaborate passages in their own writings, and asked what was the meaning of them - thinking that they would teach me something. Will you believe me? I am almost ashamed to speak of this, but still I must say that there is hardly a person present who would not have talked better abouttheir poetry than they did themselves. That showed me in an instant that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners or soothsayers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them. And the poets appeared to me to be much in the same case; and I further observed that upon the strength of their poetry they believed themselves to be the wisest of men in other things in which they were not wise. So I departed, conceiving myself to be superior to them for the same reason that I was superior to the politicians."

-Socrates in Plato's Apology (Translated by Benjamin Jowett)

Friday, March 16, 2007

What is a Draft?

Once, I posed this question in a playwriting network to which I belong:

What is considered a draft?

We hear anecdotes of how such and such a playwright wrote 20 drafts of this or that play before it finally was produced.

But I have always wondered what is the difference between a draft as compared to say..a revision, (that might not even be the right term.) This probably boils down to personal opinion, but I would like to hear what people think. How much change to a play constitutes a "draft?"

I had an informal reading of a play I am working on a couple of weeks ago, and I have rewritten the play based on my own observations at that reading combined with the valuable feedback I received. I have a more formal reading set up for March 24th and we are having rehearsals this weekend for that reading.

Last night, I sent out the copy we will use for the rehearsals, and as I reviewed it I saw that while it is essentially the same play, I did make a some significant changes. Here are just some of them:

1. An opening monologue that the protaganist speaks to the audience has been cut and/or distributed througout the play.

2. One significant character has been removed and some of his attributes and dialogue have been folded into another character.

3. A scene has been completely cut.

4. A minor character has been completely eliminated along with whole scene in which he appeared.

5. Dialogue and beats have been tightened throughout.

Looking at the play last night, I am tempted to call this a new Draft, but would that be accurate? It is the same play, with the same arc, just tighter, more focused and trimmed down. The structure has been altered a little, but is this a revision more than a draft?

Not a super important question, but I thought I would throw it out there.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Well, Well, Well...

"This looks like some fucked-up downtown shit!"

That is a line spoken by one of the supporting characters in Lisa Kron's Well, now playing at the Huntington Theatre. He speaks these lines as the conceit of Kron's big-hearted work comes apart, literally and figuratively, leaving the stage hiply disheveled.

However, one thing I have always noticed about the more well-known solo performers like Mike Daisey, Lisa Kron, Spalding Grey, etc, is that they disarm you immediately with just how unpretentious they are. It is similar to reaction many people have when they first experience Blue Man Group. After a few minutes, one realizes, "Hey, these people aren't here to talk down to me, and they aren't at all like the parodies of performance art I see all the time."

I felt that way with Kron's 2.5 Minute Ride, and then again last night at Well. In this play, Kron is out to have a good time with herself, her profession, her family and with the audience. There is not a pretensious bone or blood vessel in the entire enterprise. It is "Well," as Kron would say.

Even some of the "unexpected" forces of antagonism seem less than threatening. And for all of the fun she has with terms and words and their multiple meanings, there is a surprising lack of irony.

Kron's play is admirable, and I had a good time, but I was always aware of the fact that on another night, when my mood might be different, I might have aggressively disliked it. It is a highly constructed and contained play, about how life isn't constructed or contained. The fun part is that Kron knows this and says so right from the start. But this is also the frustrating part. As Kron's play starts to take on all the conventions of the well-made play and all of the downtown cliches of performance art and Pirandello (by way of Rupert Holmes,) the set-up becomes a little too much for the punchline.

On another night, I may have found myself longing for some of that f**d up downtown shit.

On a more technical note, I thought the biggest hurdle for Kron's playful nature was crossing the gulf created by being in a big house like the Huntington's mainstage at the Boston University Theatre. This is an important lifeline for this work and it had a tendency to fall into the chasm at times.

Side Note: An eerie thing happened during the performance. A gentleman got up from his seat and walked to the back of the theatre, near where I was sitting. As he walked through the threshold to the lobby, he collapsed or fell. The noise was enough to cause some heads to turn and through the swinging door to the lobby I could see the front of house staff rushing to assist.

Considering Lisa Kron's central questions in this work, (health and wellness,) it was a little disturbing to see it actually played out so realistically about 15 feet away from me.
Hitherto I had immensely underrated the difficulties of my idle trade; now I recognized that it demanded nothing short of my whole powers cultivated to the utmost, and exerted with the same prodigality as if I were speaking for a great party or for thenation at large on the floor of the Capitol. No talent or attainment could come amiss; everything, indeed, was requisite,--wide observation, varied knowledge, deep thoughts, and sparkling ones; pathos and levity, and a mixture of both, like sunshine in a raindrop; lofty imagination, veiling itself in the garb of common life; and the practised art which alone could render these gifts, and more than these, available. Not that I ever hoped to be thus qualified. But my despair was no ignoble one; for, knowing the impossibility of satisfying myself, even should the world be satisfied, I did my best to overcome it; investigated the causes of every defect; and strove, with patient stubbornness, to remove them in the next attempt. It is one of my few sources of pride, that, ridiculous as the object was, I followed it up with the firmness and energy of a man.

I manufactured a great variety of plots and skeletons of tales, and kept them ready for use, leaving the filling up to the inspiration of the moment; though I cannot remember ever to have told a tale which did not vary considerably from my preconceived idea, and acquire a novelty of aspect as often as I repeated it. Oddly enough,my success was generally in proportion to the difference between the conception and accomplishment. I provided two or more commencements and catastrophes to many of the tales,--a happy expedient, suggested by the double sets of sleeves and trimmings which diversified the suits in Sir Piercy Shafton's wardrobe. But my best efforts had a unity, a wholeness, and a separate character that did not admit of this sort of mechanism.

- Passages from a Relinquished Work by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sage Advice

I am directing a piece in an upcoming New Play Festival. I was looking over the guidelines, which they sent out to directors and playwrights, and I thought I would post this paragraph which seems like a pretty sane and level-headed view of how playwrights and directors should work in this type of an environment. (The italics and capitals are their emphasis.)

Regarding Playwrights – VERY IMPORTANT, READ THIS CAREFULLYA focus of the festival and a hallmark of our success have been to highlight the work of local playwrights of extraordinary talent. They are welcome to come to rehearsal and you should contact them early in the process to have a dialogue about their piece. Normally this tends to be informative and intriguing. However, you may hold some rehearsal without them if you feel you need some time alone with actors. The roles of playwright and director are held with deep respect at our Company. THIS CANNOT BE STATED MORE EMPHATICALLY. Playwrights should not direct actors, do line-readings, mandate blocking, etc. By the same token, directors should never change a line or stage direction in the script without permission of the playwright, and should not seek to alter the overall message or appeal of the play in any way. Please treat Playwrights with the utmost respect and kindness. If a conflict arises at any time, please contact me immediately so that we can clarify parameters and clear the air with professionalism. Theatre is by nature a collaborative and nurturing art, however, it should also be treated as a professional one with clear roles for all involved, so that everyone is respected.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lady in the Water - On Failing to Fail

I watched M. Night Shyamalan's supposed catastrophe this past weekend and I was underwhelmed at its failure.

In the aftermath of the movie's premiere much was discussed about M. Night's monstrous ego, including juicy details which are compiled in a book about the whole messy production.

Lady in the Water met with hostile reactions from not only movie critics, but also fans of M. Night's previous outings. And it tanked at the box office.

Viewing the film now, (with my expectations extremely lowered,) it is not so horrible, but the reception it received is more than understandable. The film has no real center and it is technically confusing. Without its superior cinematography and the full engagement of lead actor Paul Giamatti, the movie would more than likely be laughable. But with all the resources of a major hollywood release at its disposal this Lady is able to tread water just an inch ahead of drowning.

There is something strangely watchable about the film. Perhaps there are so many expectations raised by its opening sequence. (We will skip the ridiculous drawings that lay out a mythical story before the opening credits. Watership Down did it much better, and tied it into its ending.) Giamatti's handyman visits various quirky people in the apartment apartment building and vague suggestions of some mysterious "splashings" in the complex pool are tossed off.

However, just as you start to settle in ...bam... the eponymous Lady shows up and starts spewing out the plot, literally. This happens a couple of other times during the film as well. We don't know who these people are, why they are important, etc, until they are suddenly slammed/shoe-horned into the plot mechanisms.

This an elaboration/simplification of the themes of Shyamalan's Signs. In his first films, M. Night did well not to highlight the randomness of his plot devices. These randomly generated story elements, (masquerading as actual story craftsmanship,) served him much better in Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, although even in Unbreakable he started to reach towards making his ridiculous, slap-dash, rear-view revelations somehow appear "meaningful."

In Lady in the Water, Shyamalan goes all out, basically proclaiming his "make it up as you go along" method to be deep mythmaking.

You may be surprised then to hear me say that I wished there was more of it. More specifically, I wish Shamalyn hadn't created such a wimp of a disaster. With all of these resources, (Paul Giamatti, great cinematography, Bill Irwin, Jeff Wright and cast of multi-ethnic supporting characters,) why didn't he just go for the gusto and create a massively indulgent failure?

Terry Teachout often prays:" If it can't be good, please let it be short," but I found myself wondering what a juicy treasure Shyamalan would have left if he had made an almost three hour epic about this apartment complex, adding subplots and allowing maybe a half hour to forty minutes till we get to see the Lady.

More monsters, more myths, more of Bob Balaban!

The wunderkind Shyamalan missed his chance if you ask me, and after The Village and Lady he may not get the chance again.

I mean if you are going to make a film about a mythical woman in an apartment complex swimming pool, who is coming to save the world by inspiring a young writer to write a book that will be the equivalent of the Bible and who is ...wait for it...played by YOU, then at least make the movie everything you would expect from such a ego.

He needs to take a few lessons from Oliver Stone who keeps tinkering through DVD release after DVD release of his Alexander.

Come on M. Night! If you are going to bomb, bomb big, bomb sloppy, bomb Heaven's Gate big!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

America's Next Top Avante Garde Hero!

The search is on for the top spot at a theatrical mecca and this competition is going to be HOT!

We have assembled a fierce panel of judges. (Including Anne Bogart, the vivacious Viewpoints Vixen.) And we are scouring the country to find the next leading innovator for the theatre.

The winner will get an almost 200k salary package and a two year contract as the face of the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA. And with all the prestige and guest lecture cache of a Harvard affiliation.

But this isn't going to be easy. You can't just rely on your reputation, or your aesthetic vision. This next hero has got to WORK IT!
In our avante garde gauntlet even the most talented directors can find that they have got to work well with others, own the cocktail circuit, and....get ASSES in the SEATS. That's what I'm talkin' about!

As Anne Bogart says to the Globe:

I will say one thing though. I wonder if the model of a Joe Papp,
meaning a producer who is in love with art, as opposed to a director who is involved more in their own work as an artist than in producing might be a better way to go. Is there a young Joe Papp around? But that’s just me wondering."

That's the standard contestants. Are you up for the challenge!

Next week, tune in as we watch our most introverted artists attend a cocktail party on Nantucket. And this isn't just about admiring the view. They've got to get donations out of this polo-clad crew. And wait till we spring this on our contestants...

They are not allowed to say that it is for educational outreach!

The winning team flies back to Boston on the CitiGroup Jet, and then they hop a ride back to Cambridge in Governor Patrick's new Deville ... while the losers take the slow ferry to Hyannis and the Plymouth-Brockton bus up to South Station.

Stay tuned America!

(Thanks to Geoff Edgers for the reporting on the ART!)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fort Devens

My tactical military intelligence training was conducted at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, but up until just a little bit before I was assigned there, most people in my MOS would go to Devens in Massachusetts. In the MI Linguist community there are many people I know who were stationed there for training.

A few years back I went there with one of these people. The barracks were abandoned, with the grass growing out of control everywhere. Some of these old white buildings may have been WWII era.

Jeffrey Sweet has a play opening in Chicago about a famous case at Fort Devens during WWII. Court-Martial at Fort Devens is playing at the Victory in Chicago.

Do Critics Know What's At Steak?

As George Hunka and Scott Walters trade a few quotes about Comedy and Tragedy, I was wondering how often critics could possibly confuse the two and end up rendering a judgement that could mislead reviewers. If they do, they better be careful!

From the food world comes the story of a restaraunt critic named LaBan, who wrote about a "miserably tough and fatty strip steak," he had at a restaraunt named Chops. It seems like a pretty normal thing for a reviewer to point out. But there's more, (from the Philly Inquirer:)

That's right, there is a libel suit pending in court about the matter. There is at least a ten minute play that could be made out of such a litigious situation.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Midsummer Night's Dream Deferred?

(Correction and apology: In the below post I said that Josiah Spaulding has received an "ever increasing salary." Not true. I have received information that he has recently taken a significant pay cut.)

Over the last couple of days we have received news of the abbreviated Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's run of Midsummer.

While the city is citing their renovations of Boston Common as the major reason, Geoff Edgers in the Globe reported that the new sponsor, Citicorp, has decided that the schedule may perpetually be shortened to cut costs:

Josiah A. Spaulding Jr. , president and CEO of the Citi Center, said last year's 18-show run of "The Taming of the Shrew" was too big and, at more than $800,000, cost too much to produce. He couldn't raise enough money to offset those costs last year, he said.

"It's still $500,000 of free Shakespeare," said Spaulding yesterday by phone of this summer's production.

It's funny that Josiah Spaulding should use that 500K number since, rounded down, it is the amount of his yearly salary. Yes, Spaulding is quite famous for making comments about the costs of artistic endeavours while collecting an ever increasing paycheck for his administrative skills. ($504,000 as of 2005 according to the Wang Tax Returns.)

The Commonwealth Shakespeare productions are major cultural events that draws over 100,000 people to see free Shakespeare. That a President and CEO of a major non-profit, (who is supposedly worth 500 large,) cannot raise the money to offset the costs of a production which is taken advantage of by all ends of the social strata, is something that bears looking into.

Not to mention, as the article points out, Citigroup, paid millions for the naming rights.

Yes, part of me is terrified that they will start to go to some type of paid seating structure where we wait in lines.

And if you think I am picking on Mr. Spaulding, I will admit that I see my own culpability and I just made a small donation to Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. And if you are reading this, I encourage you to do the same.

Unless, of course, you want to start seeing this type of thing.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Did You Send Me that Egg-cel Spreadsheet?!

I got to work with my wife and some friends of ours on a commercial a couple of days ago.

You know, just your average commercial about people in an office and...oh yeah...there was something a little different about us.

That's my wife getting made up on the right.

And on the left here, I am getting some last minute ear adjustments by Erik Rodenhiser, the mastermind of the commercial and the owner of The Griffen Theater in Salem, MA.

And at right, I am in full corporate dress with a co-worker at Rabbit Central.

Ahh the life of an actor! I had a great time and the commercial should be pretty enjoyable. Everybody was fun to work with and I was happy with how I did. I am usually pretty confident on stage, but on film I am usually a little more self-aware.

I felt fine though and wasn't distracted by the bright lights, hot rabbit suit, and trying to type with huge rabbit mittens on. And I got to work with my favorite bunny! For what more could I ask?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

"Thanks for the the Rehearse-for-frees"

The Weekly Dig has uncovered a little more about the MIT crackdown on local theatre companies using 50 Vassar Street as a squatters rehearsal hall.

Still unknown to everybody, at least those who I have spoken to, is the identity of the group who literally ruined a great thing.

The article ends on a semi-positive note:

MIT spokeswoman Patti Richards says that while the university scheduling office works mainly with officially sponsored groups and events, the university sometimes lends space to local community groups.

“It might be that had they let the powers that be know about it, there might have been some arrangement made,” she says. “I think we’d be sympathetic if a request came through some official channel.”

Notice how carefully the words are placed in the last paragraph. Ms. Richards is nice to suggest this, but my direct experience with these types of things, (and I am not talking about MIT specifically,) is that while they are "sympathetic," they are also very clear: No. And understandably, as there are issues of liability, insurances, etc.

Glad to see the Way Players are mentioned. They are a talented group of fun people and we gave them use of our tiny space as a stop-gap till they found someplace where they could simulate their actual stage size.

(As a side note, in case anybody at the Dig reads this... Why does the Weekly Dig take so long to load pages?)