Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #16--Samuel H. Perwin

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 0 comments

What is The Imagination Compact?


History with Flux: Dream Project participant, in Jose Rivera's Sueño
1. What Shakespeare role would you like to play next?
I haven't done a tragedy in a while - I'd really love to do MacDuff in The Scottish Play, Laertes in Hamlet, or Tybalt in R&J - I like supporting roles. I've also been looking at Orsino and Malvolio in Twelfth Night - one of the big comedies I've never done. I'm also grooming myself for Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew.
2. What Shakespeare role would you like to play that no one will ever cast you in?
Ya know, randomly, I've always wanted to play Romeo, but that will just NEVER happen unless they cast a 5'11" Juliet (I'm 6'4"). Henry V is a dream role, but somehow, no one ever thinks I'm right for it. Maybe because I'm not blond (every Hal I've ever seen has been blond, inexplicably). My audition monologue is Don Armado from Love's Labor's Lost. That would be fun, but I think he's supposed to be like 50+...so maybe I've got a while to wait.
3. Describe the best Shakespeare production you've seen.
I saw a wonderful production of Taming of the Shrew when I was working at Interlochen Arts Camp. It was very period faithful, but just full of energy. They had jugglers and acrobats come on during scene changes, and they used every inch of the stage - tons of levels. The whole thing was so much fun.
4. If you had to date one of the Midsummer lovers, who would you date and why?
Oh, the Romantic in me wants to say Lysander, but Demetrius is the better catch.
5. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "flux"?
Change. The good kind.
6. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
Colorful playmates - and most of my friends :)
7. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when the DeLorean reached 88mph, what do you think would happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble got theatre up to 88mph?
Only the shadow knows...wait, wrong reference. Great Scott!
8. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now, I'll just have to do without my _______"
Underwear.
9. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against your will, what animal would you be and why?
An octopus. So I'd really hope someone would place me in the water.
10. Which would win in a fight - the forest of Midsummer or the forest of Arden?
Arden, no question. That forest is fierce.
11. How many licks does it take...?
Ask Lil Kim...
12. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or William Kemp?
Burbage - because I see him getting wasted then standing on a barstool reciting Lear. It would be awesome.
13. If we could compact your imagination, what color would it be and why?
Blueish-green - with flecks of red and purple. So basically like some kind aquatic lizard. Hot.
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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #15--Christian Rummel



What is The Imagination Compact?

And how can I learn more about Flux's Midsummer?

1. What Shakespeare role would you like to play next? RICHARD OF GLOUCESTER (henry vi)

2. What Shakespeare role would you like to play that no one will ever cast you in? DON ARMADO

3. Describe the best Shakespeare production you've seen. A PRODUCTION OF HAMLET STARRING MARK RYLANCE--THE BEST SEEMINGLY EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKER OF VERSE I'VE EVER SEEN.

4. If you had to date one of the Midsummer lovers, who would you date and why? NONE OF THEM REALLY APPEAL...I'D RATHER DATE HIPPOLYTA.

2. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "flux"? AEON FLUX, THE ANIMATED SHOW

3. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters? I PREFER THE DANGEROUS TYPES.

4. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when the DeLorean reached 88mph, what do you think would happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble got theatre up to 88mph? UM, FLAMING TIRE TRACKS ON THE AUDIENCE'S BRAINS?

5. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now, I'll just have to do without my _______" DIGNITY.

6. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against your will, what animal would you be and why? I'D NEVER BE AN ANIMAL AGAINST MY WILL. I'D LOVE TO BE A GORILLA, BECAUSE THEY'RE INCREDIBLY GENTLE BUT CAN STILL RIP YOUR ARMS OFF IF THEY FEEL SO INCLINED.

7. Which would win in a fight - the forest ofMidsummer or the forest of Arden? ARDEN WOULDN'T STAND A CHANCE. (BUT BIRNHAM WOOD COULD KICK BOTH THEIR ASSES.)

8. How many licks does it take...? JUST ONE IF YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT.

9. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or William Kemp? OH, KEMP FOR SURE; BURBAGE IS A WINDBAG.

10. If we could compact your imagination, what color would it be and why? BLACK, LIKE MY SOUL. BECAUSE MY SOUL IS BLACK.

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #14--Susan Louise O'Connor



What is the Imagination Compact?

And how can I learn more about Flux's Midsummer?

1. What Shakespeare role would you like to play next? ophelia

2. What Shakespeare role would you like to play that no one will ever cast you in? iago

3. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "flux"? a kite

4. How many licks does it take...? 503, b/c that' just enough and not too many

5. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or William Kemp? Richard Burbage (he's still single right?)

BIOGRAPHY

*OFF-BROADWAY*: Marion Bridge and Apostasy, Urban Stages Theatre; Walk Two Moons, Lucille Lortel Theatre; Never Swim Alone, Soho Playhouse; See Bob Run, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; Indoor/Outdoor, Daryl Roth Theatre; Sherlock Holmes (The Early Years), St. Clements; St.Scarlet, Women's Expressive Theater, Inc.; Nerve, Packawallop Productions. *REGIONAL*: A Sleeping Country, Cincinnati Playhouse; Indoor/Outdoor, Portland Stage Co.; What the Butler Saw, Huntington Theatre Company; Wonder of theWorld, Barrington Stage Company. *TELEVISION & FILM*: Law & Order:Criminal Intent, Nate the Great, The Flying Scissors, Acts of Worship, The Franklin Abraham, The Day My Towers Fell and Parallel Passage. Winner of the New York International Fringe Festival's best actor award for the one-woman show, Take. Two-time nominee for the Innovative Theatre Awards and winner for lead actress in Packawallop Production's The Silent Concerto. Ms. O'Connor is a member of the The Essentials and Packawallop Prod.

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #13--Brian MacInnis Smallwood


1. What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
Twelth Night (of the Living Dead...)
2. What is your favorite line of text?
"If music be the food of love, play on."
3. Does Shakespeare influence your writing at all?
Very much so, in fact my newest work is a mistaken identity play that was dually inspired by a performer and Shakespeare's comedies.
4. If you had to date one of the Midsummer lovers, whom would you date and why?
Helena, because her face is one letter away from launching a thousandships.
5. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "flux"?
Capacitor. MARTY! NOTE: Just read the later question, and I don't feel so special anymore.
6. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
Tricksters. Remember the "Banana Fana Fo Fana" song? Try Puck.
7. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when the DeLoreanreached 88mph, what do you think would happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble gottheatre up to 88mph?
I see Equity problems and really quick shows.
8. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now, I'll just have to do without my _______"
Integrity.
9. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against your will, what animal would you be and why?
If it's against my will, and they're trying to mess with me, they'd probably turn me into a snake. I hate snakes.
10. Which would win in a fight - the forest of Midsummer or the forest of Arden?
DeForrest Kelley.
11. How many licks does it take...?
I actually tried this out on a tootsiepop. 365. From the wide side.
12. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or William Kemp?
I'd rather spill a beer on Burbage and say it was Kemp.
13. If we could compact your imagination, what color would it be and why?
Brown. Whenever you take a whole bunch of colors and mix them together, they turn brown. Stupid color theory applied to non-linear thinking!
BIOGRAPHY
Brian MacInnis Smallwood is most known for his recent adaptation, "Twelfth Night of the Living Dead" produced by the Impetuous Theater Group. Brian has also worked closely with Flux Member Joseph Mathers to produce 2 short films ("Style Guide" & "Discontinued") and a short play the Swim Shorts festival entitled "Der Eisbar". Beyond that, Brian's latest piece "The Wedding Play" will be put up at the 14th Street Theater this July. Brian sincerely hopes....OK, I'm gonna drop the whole third person thing. We all think "Hey, someone wrote this guy's bio for him! He must be great!" But the reality is in Off-Off Broadway and Independent Theater, most people write their own bios. Now that you know it's me, I can also say thanks for coming to support Flux: they're great people with the right idea.
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Flux's 2008 Benefit Pictures!

Nearly 100 people packed The White Rabbit on April 14th to help Flux raise money for our upcoming production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Here are a few pics from the event, all courtesy of photo wizard, Isaiah Tanebaum.



Jason Paradine and Christina Shipp make some people happy with our great raffle prizes.



Imagination Compact director Kate Marks shows off a few good moves.



Gus Schulenburg shows off a few...
um...
moves.










Jason and Heather Cohn get a little McGivor with the difficult lighting and film conditions.






Good food...









...good friends...













....good times! Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #12--Kristen Palmer

What is The Imagination Compact?


1. What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
For comedies - I think Twelfth Night and for tragedies probably Hamlet. but these change when I see good productions.

2. What is your favorite line of text?
"With a hey and a ho and a heynonino."

3. Does Shakespeare influence your writing at all?
Hard not to, for him and all the studying they had me do. I went to school in the U.K.and from what I remember, Shakespeare & his contemporaries - folks whoradically re-worked him (Berkoff & Marowitz) - are about the only texts we got into deeply.

BIOGRAPHY
Kristen Palmer is a Brooklyn-based Playwright. Her plays include LOCAL STORY, produced by Overlap Productions (NYC), Four of Us Productions (LA), and Madcap Players (Washington DC); DEPARTURES produced by Blue Coyote Theatre Group (NYC); and ALL THE GIRLS LOVE BOBBY KENNEDY, presented by Six Figures Theatre Company (NYC) and Marist College (Poughkeepsie). She is an Alumnus of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, a member of P73's writing group, a New Georges Associate Artist and the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis.
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Congratulations to our Raffle Winners!

Monday, April 21, 2008 0 comments

Thank you to everyone who came out on April 14th to support us at the benefit party and thanks to everyone who purchased a raffle ticket. Also, many thanks to everyone who donated items for the raffle. We are happy to report that this benefit was the most successful one ever for Flux. It would not have been possible without your generous support.

Congratulations to our lucky raffle winners!

Stephen Siderow and Saskia Scholtes: Play Collection AND tickets to The Daily Show
Barbara Rubin: Watson Adventures scavenger hunt package
Brian Pracht: Importance of Being Earnest tickets AND Little Flower of East Orange tickets
Anja: Play Collection
Sean Downey: "Sound and the Fury" tickets
Sam Reiff-Pasarew: 5 Day Gym Pass
Jim Chu: Signed collection of Adam Szymkowicz plays
Jen Cleary: Pool Cue #1
Garrett Cronin: Webcam
Luis Cobo: Vitamin water AND the NECKLACE
Carissa Cordes : Devin Tavern gift certificate
Kate Walat: The PIT improv class
Brad Tyler: Pool cue #2
Michael Rubinstein: Play Collection Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #11--Joe Mathers

Saturday, April 19, 2008 0 comments

What is The Imagination Compact?
How can I learn more about Flux's Midsummer?

Joe Mathers

Playwright, The Fairies, April 28th

Previous Flux History: Founding Member of Flux, roles include Siles in Rue, light design for Life is a Dream, Jesus design for Riding the Bull, and playing Fibber in the upcoming 8 Little Antichrists

1. What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
Much Ado About Nothing - For me, it's the perfect mix
of wit, humor, romance and evil. That wedding scene is
one of the most brutal things I've ever read/seen/performed/directed.

2. What is your favorite line of text?
"Hang him, Jack! Come, we'll in here;
tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner."
Hugh Rebeck (2nd Musician) in Romeo and Juliet.

3. Does Shakespeare influence your writing at all?
I speak english. That's like asking if Dante influenced an
Italian writer.

4. If you had to date one of the Midsummer lovers,
whom would you date and why?
If I had to date one of the lovers, I'd date the shorter one. I'm not a
tall guy.

5. What is the first thing you think of when you
hear the word "flux"?
Solder and welding.

6. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
Dangerous playmates.

7. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible
when the DeLorean reached 88mph, what do you
think would happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble got theatre
up to 88mph?
At 88 mph, the core membership of the Flux Theatre Ensemble
would generate maybe 5.5 million joules of inertial energy.
I'm no physicist but the possibility of FTL travel from 5.5 million
joules seems way out of reach. The Delorian's Flux Capacitor was
powered by a small fission reactor, not just inertial energy.
So, if the ensemble were to get me oh, I don't know... say...
5.3 kg of 239 PU, encased in magnesium sand, I could
definitely put on one hell of a show. Minimum safe distance for the
performance would be about 12 miles. But I'm no physicist.

8. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now, I'll just have to
do without my _______"
histories of the golden age of piracy.

9. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against your will, what
animal would you be and why?
A mountain ram; sometimes I'm just banging my head
into things and I can't discern why.

10. Which would win in a fight - the forest of Midsummer or the forest of
Arden?
Arden had an organized military force hanging around
in it with a fertility god. Midsummer's forest had a
bunch of poncy Athenians and some faeries.
You do the math.

11. How many licks does it take...?
About 83, but they have to be done right. And if you're busy counting
we'll never get there.

12. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage
or William Kemp?
Burbage. Yeah, Kempe was the funny guy but I feel like
he'd be "on" the whole time, dancing around and crap,
and that would get exhausting. Plus,
Burbage would be good for a couple of rounds, you know?

10. If we could compact your imagination, what color would it be
and why?
My imagination would be dark bluish green. My imagination has a way of
taking things as they are and covering them in stuff usually reserved for
H.P. Lovecraft. Most people don't even know what I'm talking about half of
the time. It's OK. I don't mind.
Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #10--Erin Browne

What is The Imagination Compact?
How can I learn more about Flux's Midsummer?

Erin Browne


Playwright, The Fairies, April 28th

Previous Flux History: Plays developed at Flux Sunday include Narrator 1 and Trying.

1. What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
Measure for Measure


2. Does Shakespeare influence your writing at all?

Yes. Constantly. Unfortunately.


3. If you had to date one of the Midsummer lovers,
whom would you date and why?

Helena, because she is obsessive and usually humble.


4. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?

Colorful tricksters and dangerous playmates


5. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible
when the DeLorean reached 88mph,

what do you think would happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble
got theatre up to 88mph?

Um, you guys are nerds.


6.If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against your will,
what animal would
you be?
I would want to be a giraffe but I'd probably end as a lemur.
Neither is bad. I like
them both.

7. Which would win in a fight - the forest of Midsummer
or the forest of Arden?

Birnam Wood could kick both of their asses!


8. How many licks does it take....
Oh, you guys.....You don't really want me to answer that.

9. If we could compact your imagination, what color would it be and why?
Blue because it's the best color.
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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #9--Katherine Burger

What is The Imagination Compact?
How can I learn more about Flux's Midsummer?

Katherine Burger

Playwright, The Fairies, April 28th

Previous Flux History: At Flux Sunday, developed plays include Ah, Batvia! and Texas Toast.

1. What is your favorite Shakeapeare play?
Probably Hamlet.

2. What is your favorite line of Shakespeare's?
Hard to choose, but my favorite stage direction is:
Exuent, chased by a bear.

3. Is your writing influenced by Shakespeare's?
I hope so.

4. What do you think of when you hear the word 'Flux'?
FLUX connotes continuous motion and change to me,
so I think of a river,
constantly changing, always moving forward.
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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #9--Josh Adler

What is The Imagination Compact?
How can I learn more about Flux's Midsummer?

Josh Adler

Actor, The Fairies, April 28th

1. What Shakespeare role would you like to play next?
Bottom

2.  What Shakespeare role would you like to play that no one
will ever cast you in?

Mercutio

3. Describe the best Shakespeare production you've seen.
In my mind Horatio.

4. If you had to date one of the Midsummer lovers,
who would you date and why?
Hermia- if she looked that sweet in high school,
she must be one tart bowl of sherbet now!

5. What is the first thing you think of
when you hear the word "flux"?

"They found me. I don't know how, but they found me!"

6. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
More like feeding Gizmo after midnight.

7. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when the
DeLorean reached 88mph, what do you think would
happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble got theatre up to 88mph?
We'd finally make the Biff Theatre Ensemble
eat the horse manure they deserve.

8. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now,
I'll just have to do
without my...
Blockish Grutnols

9. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against your will,
what animal
would you be and why?
I won't be lured into picking on that poor poor Britney
Spears on this one. Although...

10. Which would win in a fight - the forest of Midsummer
or the forest of Arden?

Tolkien's Ents trump all.

11. How many licks does it take...?
Go ask that Hermia chick- she knows.

12. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage
or William Kemp?

At least Kemp would buy me a round or two!

13. If we could compact your imagination, what color would it be
and why?

Grape. I like grape snocones.
Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #8--Sara Meyer

What is The Imagination Compact?
How can I learn more about Flux's Midsummer?

Sara Mayer


Actor, The Fairies, April 28th


1. What Shakespeare role would you like to play next?
Imogen

2. What Shakespeare role would you like to play that no one
will ever
cast you in?
Iago or Hamlet

3. Describe the best Shakespeare production you've seen.
I don't know about best. But the last one that got me truly excited
and on the edge of my seat was the RSC's production of MacBeth
this past summer - one of the most
gratifyingly-heart-pounding productions I've ever seen.

4. If you had to date one of the
Midsummer lovers, who would you date and why?
Can I pick Titania? She's so the hottest in the play...

5. What is the first thing you think of
when you hear the word "flux"?

Flux Capacitor. "It's what makes time travel possible"!
"Roads? Where we're going...we don't need roads!"

6. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
Why's it always gotta be either or?

7. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when the
DeLorean reached 88mph, what do you think would happen
if Flux Theatre Ensemble
got theatre up to 88mph?
Wow, we were on the same wavelength with question 2 there, huh?!


8. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now, I'll
just have to do without my _______"
Dignity.


9. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal
against your will, what animal would you be and why?

an angry ferret


10. Which would win in a fight - the forest of Midsummer
or the forest of Arden?
Which one has the Whomping Tree?


11. How many licks does it take...?
Depends on how the night is going...


12. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or
William Kemp?
Kemp - everybody loves a funny guy.


13. If we could compact your imagination, what color would
it be and why?
Rainbow sherbet - it's the yummiest.
Read the full story

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Flux Sunday, Apil 13th

ALL THE LITTLE BREAK THROUGHS
While much of the dialogue in the theatrosphere justly involves revolutionary change, it is often little incremental break throughs that give me the most pleasure. Flux Sunday regularly reveals such break throughs - the right actor, the right director, the right role - and some new unconsidered possibility opens up. The picture here is Brian Pracht from our 2007 retreat at Little Pond, working on his play The Misogynist. And at this last Flux Sunday, he gave a performance in Dog Show that revealed possibilities new to me - of Brian as a performer, of David Ian Lee as a writer, Jeremy Basescu as a director, and of that strange pride we sometimes have in our biggest mistakes.

CALLING CQ:
We began with Jeremy's new comedy, Calling CQ, about a President who is obsessed, perhaps justifiably, with an imminent Martian invasion. Highlights of this round table reading included Richard Watson's right wing reporter Storm and Jane Taylor's no nonsense paper editor Ruth.

BIRD HOUSE:
We then had the pleasure of returning to Kate Marks antic comedy Bird House. One thing we have learned about this wildly inventive play - if you think too much about it, the play sags; but if you just live absolutely in each individual moment, the audience will follow you down the strangest journeys. Returning to the play was reigning Bird House champion Nancy Franklin as Rita, with a comically committed performance by Felicia Hudson as the militant Myra. The best line reading of the day, however, belonged to Katherine Burger's "breakfast is so cruel and I never want to have it again".

DOG SHOW:
We continued through the second half of the second scene of Dog Show, where husband and wife team Candice and Frank are seducing, encouraging and/or destroying Frank's high school buddy, Edward. This scene featured the aforementioned Brian's reveal that he may have raped a girl in college; and the nuances of disgust, denial, power and pride ran beautifully through his subtle performance.

DEAR CHINA:
As a welcome appetizer to the upcoming Imagination Compact, Joe Mathers staged Rob Ackerman's riff on Quince, Dear China. This hilarious and tender portrayal of 3 techies building a window display for a hardware store is lit up by the characters' shared love of stories; and Ken Glickfeld found the touching human heart as Quince, a playwright who gets a little embarrassed by how much he loves writing plays.

TEXAS TOAST:
Andrew and Claire's marriage has been falling under increasing distress due to dislocation, childlessness, but above all, Andrew's indiscretion with a prostitute in Thailand. The secret of that indiscretion is gleefully revealed by Sally, the wife of Andrew's boss. Spurned as a friend by the high-minded Claire, Sally's revenge plunges their marriage into literal darkness. Kate's delicate direction and Kelly O'Donnell's gleeful Saly were among the highlights of this dark patch in this beautiful play.

Only one more Sunday before we break for Midsummer! Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #7--Maria Portman kelly

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 0 comments

What is The Imagination Compact?
How can I learn more about Flux's Midsummer?


Maria Portman Kelly


Actor, The Lovers, May 5th

Flux History: Played 'Fairy Quickly' in the legendary Monmouth Wives of Windsor with Jason and Gus


1. What Shakespeare role would you like to play next?  
Juliet. I think the window is closing. . .
2. What Shakespeare role would you like to play
that no one will ever cast
you in?
I hope it's not Juliet, so I'll go with Cleopatra.
At 5'2" I don't think anyone would
describe me as an Amazon.
3. Describe the best Shakespeare production
you've seen.

The first that comes to mind is the RSC's recent
*King Lear*.Every member of the ensemble--from
spear-carrier #4 to Sir Ian McKellen in the title role
--was remarkably rigorous in their specificity of
action and displayed a consummate understanding of
the heart and mind of the play.
4. If you had to date one of the Midsummer lovers,
who would you date and
why?
Lysander. He's the dreamboat underdog.
5. What is the first thing you think of when
you hear the word "flux"?

Continuous change, like the flow of the tide.
6. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
I don't think those traits are mutually exclusive.
7. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible
when the DeLorean reached
88mph, what do you
think would happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble
got theatre
up to 88mph?
This question confuses me.
Maybe I shouldn't admit that.
8. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to
go back now, I'll just have to
do without my _______"
Umbrella.
9. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal
against your will, what
animal would you be and why?
Well, I'd love to be a fish or a bird, so if the
transformation were against my will I'd probably
end up being something like a cockroach.
10. Which would win in a fight - the forest
of Midsummer or the forest of
Arden?
I think magic would win every time.
11. How many licks does it take...?
A good question. Let's find out.
One... two-HOO... three..* (crunch sound effect)*
Three!
12. Would you rather have a beer with
Richard Burbage or William Kemp?

Burbage. He'd more likely pick up the tab.
13. If we could compact your imagination,
what color would it be and
why?
Green. It's bright but serene.
And environmentally conscious.
Read the full story

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A Midspring Day's Photo Shoot

Saturday, April 12, 2008 0 comments

How can I learn more about Flux's Midsummer?
And how can I support it?

Here are a few delights for your viewing pleasure from our photo shoot for A Midsummer Night's Dream - more to come! (All photos courtesy of Isaiah Tanenbaum)

Nitya Vidyasagar as Puck
Jake Alexander as Lysander, Amy Fitts as Hermia, Brian Pracht as Demetrius, Candice Holdorf as Helena
Hannah Rose Peck as Cobweb, Caitlin Kinsella as Mustardseed, Tiffany Clementi as Peaseblossom
Nick Monroy as Snout
Michael Davis as Oberon and Nitya Vidyasagar as Puck
Christina Shipp as Bottom
Isaiah Tanenbaum as Flute, Christina as Bottom, David Douglas Smith as Snug
Michael Davis as Oberon, King of Shadows
Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #7--Keith Elijah Fasciani


What is The Imagination Compact?
And how can I support it while partying with Flux?

Keith Elijah Fasciani

Actor, The Lovers, May 5th

Flux History: Regular Flux Sunday participant

1. What Shakespeare role would you like to play next?
Maybe Hotspur. I'd like to do one of those bad-ass history/war plays.

2. What Shakespeare role would you like to play that no one
will ever cast
you in?
Not sure. I can be pretty convincing.

3. Describe the best Shakespeare production you've seen.
Hard to single out. But I did see a marathon of all the Henry's
at a church downtown once; quite a while ago. It was an
all day and night theater experience and it rocked.
The sets, the choreography and the intensity of
the actors all blended together to create a universe
that was mesmerizing.

4. If you had to date one of the Midsummer lovers, who would
you date and
why?
I don't know if you consider her of the lover's, but for me,
there is no one hotter than Titania. She's magical,
she can sing, and she's got like four other fairies-in-waiting
to assist in her doting. That's hot.

5. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the
word "flux"?

Doctor Emmit Brown and his DeLorean.

6. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
A little of both please.

7. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when the
DeLorean reached
88mph, what do you think would happen
if Flux Theatre Ensemble got theatre
up to 88mph?
You ever see '*Vice Versa' *with Judge Rheinhold and Fred Savage?

8. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now,
I'll just have to
do without my _______"
Better Judgement

6. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against
your will, what
animal would you be and why?
panther. they're cool.

7. Which would win in a fight - the forest of Midsummer or
the forest of
Arden?
Midsummer all-the-way. Scantily clad fairies with magic and
prowess beats em' out any day of the week.

8. How many licks does it take...?
a couple good ones

9. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or
William Kemp?

Burbage

10. If we could compact your imagination, what color
would it be and why?

I think it'd be a mix of purple, silver and red. Why not?
Read the full story

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Michael Davis--Thawed for Your Pleasure

Friday, April 11, 2008 0 comments

Michael Davis in Flux's Life is a Dream

I know Associate Member Michael Davis as a fine actor and a wonderful friend, but tonight I had the chance to see him as a director for the new musical comedy Chuck and Ginger Babcock are Thawed for Your Pleasure. The evening features a "famous" duet team (the aforementioned Chuck and Ginger) who were cryogenically frozen in the '60's as part of a sponsored publicity stunt experiment by "Lucky Stiff" Cigarettes. With the advent of cancer and the decline of the cigarette industry, the duet had to be unfrozen prematurely (due to lack of funding) and now, once again, they grace the stage to bring us the songs of the "Rat Pack" era.

This little gem of a musical is a lovely valentine to the gorgeous standards of yester-year---and yet these two performers (Michael Leedy and Melissa Cruz) bring an honest and immediate voice to these tunes. They proceed to tell us the history of their meeting, marriage and hardships, all through these wonderful songs. And the musical direction and composition of Aya Kato (who also plays Chie, the piano player) is something jazz fans don't want to miss--she is hilarious and wonderful!

As for Mike D, I had no idea he was a man of this many talents! The direction is almost effortless, as the singing duo move comically from one hit to the next--all while hitting every note. The pace is fun and fast and the timing is sharp and right on the spot. The show only runs two more nights: Saturday, April 12 at 10pm and Sunday, April 13 at 8pm at the Sage Theatre in Midtown, so hurry fast, before this little play goes back to the freezer! Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #6--Rob Ackerman


What is The Imagination Compact?
And how can I support it while partying with Flux?

Rob Ackerman

Playwright, The Mechanicals "Quince", May 19

History with Flux: Regular Contributor to Flux Sunday, where Flux explored his play Icarus of Ohio

1. What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
Hamlet, because it's one of the greatest dramas ever written and it's still a mess.

2. What is your favorite line of text?
"I know a bank where the wild thyme grows." Okay, that's not my real favorite, but it's from Midsummer. Oberon practices sensory magic with herbs, flowers and the life force at its fullest. I like that.

3. Does Shakespeare influence your writing at all?
Yes. Always. Any playwright who says otherwise is not telling the truth. Shakespeare said everything and did everything, and the rest of us are standing naked in the moonlight trying to say it and do it again.

4. If you had to date one of the Midsummer lovers, whom would you date and why?
Hermia. Helena. Love potion would be required.

5. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "flux"?
Flight.

6. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
Yes.

7. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when the DeLorean reached 88mph, what do you think would happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble got theatre up to 88mph?
My head would probably explode.

8. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now, I'll just have to do without my _______"
Coconut.

9. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against your will, what animal would you be and why?
A lightening bug. Because you get to be both airborne and phosphorescent. Duh.

10. Which would win in a fight - the forest of Midsummer or the forest of Arden?
Arden. And it would be ardent. Like mud wrestling.

11. How many licks does it take...?
Lots.

12. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or William Kemp?
Kemp. Kemp's a clown. With Burbage, you'd wish you were sober.

13. If we could compact your imagination, what color would it be and why?
Red. Fire. Not something I can control. Read the full story

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Flux Sunday, April 6th

Monday, April 7, 2008 0 comments

SUBMARINE TEXT

One of the joys of writing on a regular basis for a regular group of actors is when you write for a specific voice and that voice nails the part exactly. That little thrill was mine when Rebecca McHugh read a part named, well, Becca, in my short play contribution to this Sunday's Flux.
And as her scene partner Zack Robidas noticed in our end of day feedback session, this was a Sunday of subtext (and as playwright Jeremy Basescu voiced, full of one of subtext's primary colors, guilt).

ONEIDA, OR THE PUBLIC SUBTEXT OF DESIRE
We first read two more scenes from Johnna Adams' Oneida, Servants of Motion. Set in a historically real utopian community in the 1850's, the play has beautifully rendered the struggle inherent in making private matters public business. This religious communal society shares everything, including marriage; and the strain of making that private act a shared ritual has woven throughout all the scenes we've seen thus far. This Sunday, the charismatic founder Noyes holds a communal criticism of his sexual favorite Tirzah, both because her romantic preference for Edward goes against the grain of the community's sexual sharing, and because he wants her private heart to love him most. A very private scene followed this, where Mary, still hurt from the death of her newborn child, buries a doll she burnt to punish a child. The subtext of desire, and desire's bastard child guilt, began in these scenes and continued throughout the day's work.

SIMPLE, OR ANYTHING BUT
We then read three scenes from Jaime Robert Carrillo's Simple, a play about the impossibility of connection for Perry, the play's protagonist. Told in a theatrically alienating way, this Sunday's scenes opened Perry up through a series of comically heartbreaking letters he writes to a sports coach, a political candidate, his father, and an ex-lover. An uneasy laughter broke the tension as this lonely man tried to find any kind of companionship.

BIRD HOUSE, OR YES AND
A refreshing break was taken from the guilt submarine of Sunday the 6th with Kate Marks' Bird House. Syl has left Louisy and the Bright Side to right wrongs on the Lop Side, where War Wolves abound and family pictures are blown by hot winds over barren lands. Syl wrestles with Myra, a child-like tyrant who claims to be the Sarge Ant of the Lop, as Louisy attempts to befriend Myra's caretaker Rita. A great note about this play came out of the feedback session - this is a play of 'yes, ands'; the improv term used to describe the practice of agreeing to whatever your scene partner says, no matter how outlandish. This 'yes,and' energy stirs the play into a whimsical frenzy, undercut throughout with moments of longing and darkness.

TEXAS TOAST, OR WHATEVER YOU SAY, DON'T SAY ANYTHING
The dueling marriages of Claire and Andrew (well meaning east coast liberals failing to have children) versus Sally and Bo (shamelessly vital spiritually christian socially darwin texans) deepens as Andrew relies more and more on the memory of Mai (an underage Thai prostitute his boss Bo gave him as a 'gift') to survive the loss of desire towards his wife; and Sally becomes ever more frustrated by her inability to win over Claire as a friend. Really lovely work from director Kate and her cast of David Ian lee as Andrew, Elise Link as Sally, Greg Waller as Bo, and the especially Amy Fitts as Claire. The tension of the unsaid is growing nearly unbearable...I hope it lasts.

CALLING CQ, OR NO MORE MISTER MEAN GUY
After the domestic war of A Wonderful Wife, Jeremy Basescu's new play Calling CQ seems to be the national comedy of the presidency. President Clifford Quotidien careens about his office, teasing the secret service and befuddling a reporter with tales of a Martian invasion. Whether CQ's zaniness is real, or a red herring for a real invasion, or both; we will have to tune in next week to discover. This and Bird House both offered refreshing doses of comedy to the otherwise dramatic day of work.

SIX BEERS IN, OR SUBLINGS
My aforementioned contribution Six Beers In foreshadowed the sibling rivalry of our November production of 8 Little Antichrists by casting Zack Robidas and Rebecca McHugh as brother and sister. With Isaiah directing and acting, this dream team was a little gift to myself, as the three of them navigated the uncertain waters between a brother and sister many years estranged. Subtle subtext siblings, sigh. This short set in a bar was written for Blue Box's Sticky series - we'll see if they decide to pick it up!

DOG SHOW, OR SUBTEXT OF A CERTAIN PITCH
Though we can't hear pitches that dogs can, we sure can hear them barking; and though Frank can't follow the strange sudden connection between his wife Candice and old high school bud Edward, he doesn't miss the barking. When Candice and Edward talk at a level to high or subtle for the bullish Frank, he responds by staking his turf in less elegant prose. While we only made it half way through this scene from David Ian Lee's new play, great work by new friend Anna Kull and Brian Pracht gave the scene an irresistable sexual (and subtextual) tension.

So there it was...a Sunday with a little guilt, a lot of subtext, and a few shots of pure silliness. There's probably a church joke there somewhere, but I'll leave it to others to make. Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #5, Caitlin Kinsella

What is the Imagination Compact?
And how can I support it while partying with Flux?

Caitlin Kinsella


Actor,
The Mechanicals, May 19th

Flux History: Flux Retreat 2007, representative Flux roles (Belle Walker, Myra, Sally) Mustardseed in Midsummer (Upcoming)

1. What Shakespeare role would you like to play next?
Phoebe in As You Like It.
2. What Shakespeare role would you like to play that no one
will ever cast you in?

Falstaff.
3. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the
word "flux"?

flexing my muscles
4. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
definetly tricksters...badass
5. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when
the DeLorean reached 88mph,
what do you think would
happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble got theatre
up to 88mph?

the world would be wonderful
6. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now,
I'll just have to do
without my _______"
ironing board
7. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against
your will, what animal
would you be and why?
a hedgehog- they are feisty and prickly and cute
8. Which would win in a fight - the forest of Midsummer or
the forest of Arden?

MIDSUMMER, BABY! ARDEN IS GOIN DOWN!
9. How many licks does it take...?
approx. 1800
10. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or
William Kemp?

The Burb. I feel like he could drink many people under the table.
11. If we could compact your imagination, what color would it be
and why?

Golden. My thoughts are PRICELESS! haha
Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #4 - Amlin Gray

Friday, April 4, 2008 1 comments

What is the Imagination Compact?
And how can I support it while partying with Flux?

Amlin Gray


Playwright, Philostrate, May 12th

History with Flux: Wrote a scene for Flux's Dream Chain project in 2007

Favorite Shakespeare Play:
TWELFTH KING HENRY LEAR THE FOURTH, PRINCE OF DENMARK

Favorite Shakespeare Line of Text:
"Civet is of a baser birth than tar, the very uncleanly flux of a cat."

Does Shakespeare influence your writing?
Tony Kushner says that Goethe only re-read Shakespeare one month of the year; otherwise he'd break his pen in despair with a "Why bother?" I should try one DAY, and that day the twenty-ninth of February. Or maybe the thirtieth. Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #3, Drew Valins

Thursday, April 3, 2008 0 comments

What is the Imagination Compact?
And how can I support it while partying with Flux?

Drew Valins

Actor, The Mechanicals, May 19th

Flux History: Segismundo and others in The Dream Chain, Have Another #2, many Flux Sunday roles

1. What Shakespeare role would you like to play next?
Hotspur
2. What Shakespeare role would you like to play that no one will ever cast you in?
I'd like to play Russell Crowe in Gladiator. Does that count?
3. Describe the best Shakespeare production you've seen.
Macbeth at Juilliard, 2005...sh, wasn't so much the whole production as much as the performance of one Oscar Isaac- pure and grounded, yet light as a feather- playing Macbeth..
4. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "flux"?
Fux.
5. Fairies: colorful playmates or dangerous tricksters?
Bizarre creatures that appear when on mushrooms. Could be good or bad, depending on the set and setting. They can only be communicated with via Andrew Weil.
6. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when the DeLorean reached 88mph, what do you think would happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble got theatre up to 88mph?
Michael J. Fox would appear on a skateboard with Huey Lewis and the News dangling from his asshole. They'd beat up the bad guys and kiss the curlie q girls and then have chocolate malts in the malt shop..
7. Complete this sentence: "It's too late to go back now, I'll just have to do without my______"
Certainties
8. If a capricious fairy turned you into an animal against your will, what animal would you be and why?
A freshwater salmon, so I could revel in beautiful rolling rivers and babbling streams all the live long day.
9. How many licks does it take...?
To take down that bully Kevin Turtle that picked on me in 7th grade. Probably only one; the guy was like 2.4 feet tall. What ever was my problem?
10. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or William Kemp?
William , who would provide the hemp.
11. If we could compact your imagination, what color would it be and why?
Black:it just feels very powerful to me. Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #2, Bekah Brunsetter

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 0 comments

What is the Imagination Compact?
And how can I support it while partying with Flux?

Bekah Brunsetter
Playwright, Bottom, May 19th

Flux History: Previously dazzled Flux with her play I Used to Write on Walls

Favorite Shakespeare Play: Titus Andronicus -
I think it's like a
weird contemporary fairy tale -
of DEATH. Muahhh.
Favorite Line of Text: From Sonnet 29 I think:
...For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That I scorn to change my state with kings.'
Does Shakespeare influence your writing?
When I was a really profound seventh grader,
writing really profound unrequited love poems,
I was a big fan of reading his sonnets by pen
light. I think what every writer learns from
Shakespeare is the the power of universal truth -
it's crazy how timely his plays remain to
be, because he is always so truthful.
If you could date any of the Midsummer Characters,
who would it be
and why?
Definitely Puck. He is that emo waifish hipster
every gal secretly wants to have a moment with
in some dark corner of Barcade.


Bio
Bekah Brunstetter hails from North Carolina. She received her BA in
Theater with an Honors Thesis in Fiction Writing from UNC Chapel Hill
in 2004. As of May, she proudly holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from
The New School for Drama. Her Plays have been read and staged by The
Rattlestick Playwright’s theater, Centenary Stage, NYU’s HotINK
Festival of New Plays, Canada’s NEXTFEST, The Alliance Theater, SPF,
The Emerging Artists’ Theatre, Boston Theater Works, Working Mans
Clothes Productions, Manhattan Theatre Source, the Kennedy Center
American College Theater Festival, Old Vic New Voices, the Soho Think
tank, and in venues such as the Ohio Theater, the Atlantic, and
Galapagos Art Space. Her works have been honored by the Cherry Lane
Mentorship Program (nominee), The Jane Chambers Student Playwriting
Award, The Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival, KCACTF,
Actor’s Theater of Louisville, and the Alliance Theater. Her play To
Nineveh received Six New York Innovative Theatre Awards in September
2006, including Best New Full Length Play. Her play Sick won the 2006
Samuel French Short Play Competition. Most recently, she was honored
as a finalist for the Alliance Theater’s Kendeda graduate
playwriting award for her play Green. She was a semi-finalist for the
2007 O’Neill Playwright’s Conference, and the 2007 Princess Grace
Award. A founding member of Working Man’s Clothes Productions, she
currently serves as its Director of New Play Development. Her plays
are published by Playscripts, Inc;, Samuel French, United Stages and
Smith & Krauss. She is a contributing member of Working Man’s
Clothes Productions, Old Vic New Voices. the Dramatist’s Guild and
the Playwright’s Center. She is proudly the most recent addition to
the Ars Nova Play Group. Brunstetter is currently working on a self-
commissioned commission for Brunstetter, Inc. about Elephant
violence. For a ‘living,’ she inspects furnished apartments and
fixes temperamental microwaves. She lives in Williamsburg with her
bikes, Roberta and Tony, and her cat, the Baby Kitty.
Read the full story

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Photos from Food:Soul


The two Jasons (Paradine and Grote)

Captive Audience

The cast of This Storm is What We Call Progress



Read the full story

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Imagination Compact Artists Reveal #1, Adam Szymkowicz

What is the Imagination Compact?
And how can I support it while partying with Flux?

Adam
Szymkowicz
Playwright, Puck, April 28th

History with Flux:
Food:Soul: December '07 staged reading of Adam's Pretty Theft
Dream Project: First scene of The Dream Chain
Have Another: A scene from Open Minds
Flux Sundays: Herbie, Poet of the Wild West; Never Again; Open Minds; The Forbidden Play

Questions:
1. What is your favorite play of Shakespeare's? Midsummer
2. What is your favorite line of text? "Lord, what fools these mortals be."
3. Does Shakespeare influence your writing at all? Sure.

4. If the Flux Capacitor made time travel possible when the DeLorean reached 88mph, what do you think would happen if Flux Theatre Ensemble got theatre up to 88mph?
We would go back to 1955 when theater still mattered.
9. Would you rather have a beer with Richard Burbage or William Kemp? Gus Schulenburg Read the full story

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Food:Soul #2, This Storm Is What We Call Progress

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 0 comments

“A Klee painting named ‘Angelus Novus’ shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one perceives the angel of history. His face is towards the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one catastrophe, which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”
-Walter Benjamin

Last Sunday, Flux had our second potluck play reading series, Food:Soul. The featured play was Jason Grote's This Storm Is What We Call Progress, directed by Kelly O'Donnell and featuring Flux Members Candice Holdorf (Rue, Sueno, upcoming Midsummer and 8 Little Antichrists) and Jake Alexander (Life is a Dream, Sueno, upcoming Midsummer and 8 Little Antichrists), as well as Jane Taylor (upcoming Rattlers), Will Ditterline (Rue, Riding the Bull, dir. Wake to Dream), and Ellen McLaughlin. It was a rare night of food, theatre and community.

I first encountered Jason's work by reading his play 1001, which overwhelmed me, and is now deservedly being produced all over, including last year's production at p73. Storm is the play he wrote before 1001, and carries some similarities, most notably in expanding the emotional life of a central relationship into wider social, political and religious power structures. In 1001, the attraction within the hate between East and West, the desire within the hegemony of Orientalism, the transformation of cultural narrative into actual history, the loss of self in
the consummation with the Other, the death in sex; all of these grand ideas are grounded in the relationship between Alan, a Jew from New Jersey, and Dahna, a Palestinian-American from Brooklyn. These themes all become linked to the choices of Alan and Dahna and their comic-mythic counterparts, Shahriyar and Scheherazade; so that when, at the end of the play, Alan is given the choice by a djinn to give up his relationship with Dahna in return for the thousands of lives just lost in a horrific terrorist attack; his personal choice cannot help but inexorably reverberate with meaning through those larger themes.

(And after a paragraph that heavy, it is important to note that all of the above is deftly kept alight by a vaudevillian delight in exposing every grand gesture as a theatrically comic trick.)

In Storm, the central relationship is between Adam (Jake Alexander), a half-Irish half-Jewish struggling New York actor in his 20's; and Lily (Candice Holdorf), a 30 year old former pet photographer studying Kabbalah with the mysterious Woman With Silver Skin (Ellen McLaughlin). The vaudeville here is literally supplied by Valter and Channah, Yiddish ghosts who may or may not be standing in for Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt.

As with 1001, many larger themes regarding the culpability (and possibility) of individual freedom within larger totalitarian structures (in this case, messianic Judaism) and the impossibility of balancing the need for power against the cost of power, are incarnated in the human sweat, blood, and body odor of Adam and Lily's romance.

On the one hand, when Adam bursts in on Lily's Kabbalist training at the exact moment she is mentioning the messiah, Adam can be assumed to possibly be just that (as it turns out, he may just be the father of that. But that's a Sephirot for another time). But on the other, he is also simply a half-rate actor stumbling early into a recording session.

When the Woman describes sensing the blood rushing into Adam's penis when he sees Lily, she absolutely has divine powers of perception; and she also is a wise woman with her eyes open. When Adam and Lily have sex, his head becomes the sun and she unzips his chest and to reveal the sky; and, it is also the first time Adam's had sex with someone he loves. When Lily fears where there relationship will go, she fears it they way anyone fears new love; and she also fears leading Adam to ritual sacrifice.

In other words, the mundane and the divine co-exist in the every moment of this play because they are the same thing. Upon our little rituals of accommadation hang the rituals of power, unseen because we do not want to see them.

When Adam moves on from Lily to become the Woman's disciple, Lily's death is both real and also the loss of that first flush of love when that other person is the only world. Her resurrection is both literal magic and also the moving on of the relationship even after that first flush is gone.

When Woman rips out Adam's tongue to give him a new one, his gift to speak a new language is both raw divine power, and the shock any real teacher gives you when their ideas forever expand your world. His inability to communicate or function in the old world is both because he is separated by his new found power; and because he is simply a convert.

And finally, when Adam and Lily have the choice to slaughter each other; it is both a ritual act to bring about the messiah, and the lashing out of lovers falling out of love.

At the end of the play, Adam is given a lesson in power and love by Channah and Valter, who are both his grandparents, and also famous philosophers. Channah tells a story of her relationship with someone like Heidegger, the brilliant philosopher who fell under the Nazi spell. She says, although she never wanted to see him again, that he was redeemable. She refused to condemn him. She, who had been powerless, refused to use that power when it was finally hers. As Valter says, "Power is poison./But also not to have power is poison".

With that contradiction, they send him back to the moment of choosing whether or not to slaughter Lily. He chooses differently this time. This time, he neither goes mad nor rules the world with a cruel omnipotence. The disappointed lovers just go their separate ways.

There are two more rituals in this plays of rituals. First, Adam and Lily meet years later, and play out the little ritual of having moved on from someone who once meant so much. Then, Valter and Channah are reunited to dance, and Channah says "Only let us continue thinking, hard, together, unto eternity. Let us follow truth into her lair and coax her out and not domesticate her but let her make us more wild. Let us dance".

This Storm Is What We Call Progress is a play of truth that must be coaxed out, and once out, cannot be domesticated. It is a play where the renunciation of power means terrible disappointment, mediocrity, even death; it is also a play where the seizing of power means ecstasy, madness, and the murder of others. It is a play where the little rituals of life may be the way we survive the renunciation of power; and they may be the way true power is revealed to us; and they may also be the way we avoid taking responsibility for the power we have. It is a play about the terrible loss of a real teacher/parent; it is also a play about the danger of following a teacher/parent too closely. It is a play about the meaninglessness of thinking about life; it is also a play about how life is so powerfully shaped by thought.

It is a play where a boy who is also a book decides to kill the only woman he's ever loved; and it is also a play where he doesn't.

There is a fascinating quote by Susan Sontag regarding Walter Benjamin (thanks, wikipedia), one of the patron Yiddish ghosts of Storm. Writing on Benjamin's style, she says it is as if each sentence "had to say everything, before the inward gaze of total concentration dissolved the subject before his eyes", a style of writing Sontag called "freeze-frame baroque." Sontag writes that "his major essays seem to end just in time, before they self-destruct." Somehow, that feels like apt praise for This Storm Is What We Call Progress (if, in fact, it is a fit form of praise to examine the work of so allusive a playwright by alluding to another writer talking about another writer's work. Oh boy, that sentence just made my head tap dance like a Yiddish ghost...)

The performances were very exciting, especially given our limited rehearsal time. Ellen wore the power of the Woman with lightly, finding the humor and human tenderness in her almost facist grandeur. Jake nailed the particular rhythm of Adam (almost a vaudeville naturalism) and Candice found a guarded and vulnerable curiosity in Lily. Will and Jane gave the break-up scene between Valter and Channah a surprisingly resonant emotional punch. Michael Davis reading stage directions had a big a part as anyone (this was a very visual play) and brought a playful energy to the vivid imagery. Kelly's direction emphasized the clarity of story telling and human connection.

What I will remember most of all:

Jake's Beastie Boy answering message and American Shylock cowboy voice
Candice's 'no' when asked out on a date
Jane's relish of the text in her first monologue
Will's farewell to Channah
Ellen's "This time do it right!"
Gretchen's amazing contributions to the food!

And much more. Thanks to EVERYONE who took the time to join us for this exciting night of theatre, including the theatre companies who sent a friend or two: New York Theatre Workshop, Stages on the Sound, Core Theatre, Impetuous Theater Group, Packawallop, Coffee Cup, Intentional Theatre, Ateh Group, Blue Box, New Mummers, Crosstown Playwrights, and Godlight. Food:Soul is not only an opportunity for Flux to work on a play we're passionate about, but to share that work and break some bread with the wider New York theatre community.

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful night, and a special thanks to Jason for his play. For those in DC, be sure to check out Rorschach's production in June of this year! Read the full story

The Imagination Compact

The Imagination Compact

“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,

Are of imagination all compact”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream


April 28, May 5, May 12, May 19 all at 8PM
The 4th St Theatre
83 East Fourth St
Between 2nd and 3rd Aves

Following on the success of last year's exploration of La Vida Es Sueno, The Dream Project; Flux brings you the prelude to our June 2008 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Imagination Compact. Inspired by the quote above, The Imagination Compact is a series of staged readings of short plays riffing on the characters of Midsummer.

Divided into four nights, each evening will focus on one of the four worlds of the play: The Lovers, The Lunatics (the mechanicals), the Poets (the royals), and the Fairies. This project will challenge our traditional notions of the play and channel Shakespeare’s vision of transformation through contemporary voices.


APRIL 28TH: THE FAIRIES
DIRECTOR: Jaime Robert Carrillo
PLAYWRIGHTS: Erin Browne, Adam Szymkowicz, Joe Mathers, Katherine Burger
ACTORS: Aaron Zook, Cotton Wright, Jeffrey Glaser, Josh Adler, Sara Mayer, Jake Alexander, Autumn Horne, Ivory Aquino


MAY 5TH: THE LOVERS
DIRECTOR: Scott Ebersold
PLAYWRIGHTS: Kristen Palmer, Mac Rogers, Brian Smallwood, Josh Sohn
ACTORS: Maria Portman Kelly, Keith Elijah Fasciani, Samuel H. Perwin, Kitty Lindsay,
Polly Lee, Susan Louise O'Connor, David Ian Lee, Charlotte Graham


MAY 12TH: THE ROYALS
DIRECTOR: Kate Marks
PLAYWRIGHTS: Amlin Gray, August Schulenburg, Liz Duffy Adams, Jeff Lewonczyk
ACTORS: Elise Link, Kelly O'Donnell, Tatiana Gomberg, Elena Chang, Will Ellis, Anthony Wills Jr, Kelli Holsopple


MAY 19TH: THE MECHANICALS
DIRECTOR: Angela Aastle
PLAYWRIGHTS: Brian Pracht, Rob Ackerman, Jeremy Basescu, Bekah Brunstetter
ACTORS: Matthew Archambault, Caitlin Kinsella, Thomas DelPizzo, Andrew Valins, Katrina Foy, Erin McCarson, Christina Vargas, Connie Hall


In addition, all four nights will feature an evolving devised work based on the themes of Midsummer from Melissa Fendell's company, The Anthropologists, featuring Jean Goto, Sarah Lemp, Liz Maestri, Jennifer Moses, Jennifer Perrotta, Katy Rubin and Sonja Sweeney; stage managed by Dave Kelly.

Stay tuned for updates, and for candid and comic interviews with some of the artistic personnel!

Read the full story