Flux and FAB Festival - Rain or Shine
Looking for something to do with your rainy Saturday? FAB Festival and Block Party is ON in spite of the dire forecasts. A bunch of the great companies will still be performing on the block, only under various welcoming roofs, and Flux will be reading a scene from our upcoming Angel Eaters Trilogy at 1:40PM at the East 4th Street Theatre (83 E. 4th Street - where we held the Imagination Compact readings). For more information, read below - and hope to see you there!
FAB Festival and Block Party
Featuring Flux and many other wonderful companies including Peculiar Works, La Mama E.T.C, PS 122, New York Theatre Workshop, HorseTrade Theater Group, and many more! Read the full story
Pictures from the Angel Eaters Photo Shoot
Here's a few lovely teaser shots (with bonus text from the plays) from our recent Angel Eaters Trilogy photo shoot. For dates, times and more information, go here.
"Sona' bitch. You know how many ways you can kill a fellow with a rattler? A buncha'. A buncha' ways."-Snake, Rattlers.
(Photo by Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Rebecca McHugh as Melanie, Zack Robidas as Jeremy)
MELANIE: I don't want to put you in danger by telling you the warehouses exist, but you need to know what is going on.
JEREMY: Can I buy you a taco? Just so you eat something?
MELANIE: Yeah, sure.
JEREMY: Really? You want me to get you one? You'll eat it?
MELANIE: Yeah. If I want to die from cancer from the growth hormones like melengestrol that are injected into US cattle. Or develop hermaphroditic featured from the fluorocarbons in the cow's tissues. Jesus, Jer! Why would I eat a flipping taco knowing what I know?
JEREMY: Can I buy you some groceries?
-Melanie and Jeremy, 8 Little Antichrists
"But there was this one little girl with these white, yellow pigtails. Just the brightest little smile you ever saw. You could tell by her face that she was slow. She had that look...And she had a book with pictures of angels in it. And she kept wanting to show me her book. And she was calling all those angels the names of birds." -Mattie, Rattlers
Flux Sunday, September 21st
This last Flux Sunday was the most powerful work we've done since our return from our Annual Retreat. We continued through Ten Black Boxes, Volleygirls, and We Are Burning; and also saw the 1st scene of Jeremy Basescu's brand new play, The Will. The writing and the performances were all at an exciting level, as if Flux Sundays just needed a few weeks back under her belt before she gathered full steam.
Rob Ackerman's fast, funny and heartfelt exploration of a girl's high school volleyball team continued apace; with a string of 5 losses setting our heroines against each other as they try find a way to win. Highlights of this table read included some cross gender casting of Richard Watson as crash and David Crommett as an impassioned Marisol.
THE BLUE FLAME
Aaron Zook's play We Are Burning reached that fire heat that makes a blue flame this Sunday. An unsettling monologue from Prometheus (again excellent work from Crommett) about the glory of our human illusions is followed by the near end of Will and Lucy's troubled relationship, which broke into a gorgeous threnody between Will and the Chorus for an lost love named Beth; Aaron's evocation of Beth's cold lips, simply rendered by Brian Pracht, Isaiah Tanenbaum and Matthew Archambault held our audience in warm hands, until Prometheus pulls the bottom out by announcing our lover's final fate.
Jeremy's new play The Will crackled with two ex-lovers negotiating over an exceedingly unusual will. Richard and Kate Neuman nailed the dance of desire and disgust between these two formidable adversaries, and Jeremy compressed years of relationship into one tight scene. He also admitted to completing his zany president play over the summer, so Fluxers will have to beg him for those now completed pages!
WHATEVER IT IS NOW
Tegan, our political junkie, is looking at the frames of Kennedy's assassination as our ten characters moved through another year of the 60's in my Ten Black Boxes. Highlights included Cotton Wright's wrangling three roles (Martha, Lizzie, and Anisa), Rob's staging of the Beatles invasion, and Carissa Cordes as Marie and Michael Davis as George battling it out for Isaac. Looking through the frames to write this scene was profoundly unsettling...313...
It was a bit of an unsettling day, with the joy of Volleygirls and the lust of The Will battling against the darker premonitions of We Are Burning and the center coming undone in Ten Black Boxes. Only one more Sunday before the Trilogy sweeps all away... Read the full story
Work Begins for the Angel Eaters Trilogy
We are deep into production meetings now, and rapidly approaching the beginning of rehearsals, for our upcoming production of Johnna Adam's trilogy, Angel Eaters. Our team of designers and directors are now trying to figure out how to incarnate three wildly different plays (in repertory!) into one space. For those of you who want to mark your calendars now (and please do, though tix are not yet on sale) read on for the dates and some teaser information about the plays!
A trilogy of plays by
Set Design: Caleb Levengood
Costume Design: Emily DeAngelis
Light Design: Jennifer Rathbone
Sound Design: Asa Wember
Dramaturgy: Kay Mitchell
Wings Theatre, November 3rd-November 22nd
Directed by Jessi D. Hill
Joann, a slow girl growing up poor in 1930's
Featuring: Tiffany Clementi, Ken Glickfeld*, Catherine Porter*, Marnie Schulenburg, Isaiah Tanenabum, Gregory Waller*, Cotton Wright*
Preview: Monday, November 3rd 8PM
Opening: Thursday, November 6th, 8PM
Runs: Saturday, Nov 8th, 15th and 22nd at 1PM; Sunday Nov 9th, Wednesday Nov 12th, Tuesday Nov 18th at 8PM; Friday Nov 14th at 9:30PM; Sunday Nov 16th at 4PM; Friday Nov 21st at 7PM
Directed by Jerry Ruiz
The second play leaps forward to the children of the survivors of Angel Eaters in 1970's
Featuring: Matthew Crosby, David Jackson, Jason Paradine, Amy Lynn Stewart*, Jane Taylor*, Richard B. Watson*, Scott Drummond*, Becky Kelly
Preview: Tuesday, November 4th 8PM
Opening: Friday, November 7th, 7PM
Runs: Saturday, Nov 8th, 15th and 22nd at 4PM; Sunday Nov 9th at 1PM; Monday Nov 10th, Thursday Nov 13th, Sunday Nov 16th, Wednesday Nov 19th at 8PM; Friday Nov 21st at 9:30PM
8 Little Antichrists
Directed by Kelly O'Donnell
Set twenty years in the future, the final play of the trilogy imagines a dystopia where Disney runs jails and Sony clones workers. One of the clone breeders, Mama, has made a literal deal with the devil to bear the 8 Little Antichrists so they can bring about the final war with God. But she needs to bring all 8 to term, and one by one they're dying. So Mama sends some dark angels to track down the last of the angel eaters’ blood, siblings Melanie and Jeremy, so they can raise her brood from the dead. But the siblings join forces with a rogue dark angel and one of Mama's own children to stop the apocalypse and save the world. This wildly imaginative comedy of the apocalypse is also a longing cry for a paradise lost; and the thrilling conclusion to a three play battle between good and evil, and love and loss.
Featuring: Jake Alexander, Candice Holdorf*, Felicia Hudson*, Nora Hummel *, Elise Link, Joe Mathers, Rebecca McHugh, Zack Robidas, August Schulenburg
Preview: Wednesday, November 5th 8PM
Opening: Friday, November 7th, 9:30PM
Runs: Saturday, Nov 8th, 15th and 22nd at 8PM; Sunday Nov 9th at 4PM; Tuesday Nov 11th, Monday Nov 17th, Thursday Nov 20th at 8PM; Friday Nov 14th at 7PM; Sunday Nov 16th at 1PM
The unusual start times is due to the rep nature of the trilogy. All three plays stand on their own, but each deepens the experience of the other. Come on Saturdays and see all 3 shows in order!
Flux Sunday, September 14th
(Photo: Allison Bolah. Pictured l to r: Autumn Horne, August Schulenburg, Heather Cohn, Jane Taylor)
A VOLLEY OF BURNING 60'S
One of the best parts about Flux Sunday (from a playwrights perspective) is the weekly need for pages. You have to bring them every week, and they damn well better be as strong as the actors and directors you hand them to. And with that need as a spur, it's amazing how the pages ride.
And so it was this Sunday, with a plethora of new pages from Rob's Volleygirls, my Ten Black Boxes, and Aaron's We Are Burning. All three seem to be in that lucky place of surging towards unknown destinations, and there were some damn good directors and actors to hand them to.
BUMP SET SPIKE
We continued reading through Volleygirls, tabling a bunch of pages and throwing some juicy Coach, Xavier and Jess scenes on their feet. Coach's love for a game he hates continues to vie with Xavier's precocious passion for my favorite part of this play, and in Zack Calhoon's 2nd Sunday, he embodied both with the help of Jane Taylor as deadly serious athletic director and 1st timer Carissa Cordes as the disciplined team captain Jess who kisses Xavier in spite of herself. Can Flux keep returning the rapid volleys of Ackerman's pages? Tune in next Sunday to find out...
AS FLIES TO WANTON BOYS ARE WE TO THE GODS
Prometheus to be exact, who both suffers the indignities of the Olympians and chronicles those of two human lovers, Will and Lucy, both misbegotten with too much feeling in a world literally on fire. Aaron's play continued apace with great work in David Douglas Smith's subtle portrayal of Will's mysteriously assigned therapist, and Ingrid's delightfully Mom-frazzled Lucy; as well as Richard Watson's increasingly enigmatic Prometheus.
STONE MOUNTAIN OF GEORGIA
Angela Astle drew the daunting task of staging my latest scene of the 60's play Ten Black Boxes. In this scene, the characters we follow year by year are taken over by King's dream speech, and it was scary to turn this sacred text to our own ends. In some places it worked, and in others it jarred; but it worked enough to move forward, thanks in no small part to Jason Paradine's Bobby, Joe Mather's Barry, Kelly O'Donnell's Tegan, Felicia Hudson's Martha and 1st Timer Anthony Willis Jr's George.
And the days go on so the work does too. Read the full story
Other Bodies Post Mortem
So busy have we been with our retreat and prepping for our trilogy, that we never had a chance to properly blog about the process of Other Bodies. Here is a brief round-up:
The most exciting news we've already mentioned: director Heather Cohn's FringeNYC Award!
But there was much else to be proud of and excited by:
1.) The unanimous praise for Vince Nappo's performance as Terry - even when people didn't connect with the play, they always connected with Vince's human and charismatic reading of this very difficult part. Not to mention he's a cribbage lover, and I owe him a game upon his return from Glengarry in Denver.
2.) Leonard Jacobs over at Clyde Fitch not only wrestling with the difficult last third of the play, but actually posting some text from it! I was moved by our post show conversation, and so grateful for this post.
3.) Cat Alder-Josem, our intrepid Stage Manager. A cooler head on a cooler person would be hard to find, and she is going to do great things when she moves to NYC.
4.) A review from Nathaniel Kressen at nytheatre.com that explored the structure of the play in a fascinating way, with my favorite quote being: Time and time again, she (Christina Shipp) shatters and rebuilds the world around us. Nappo is the mirror, and Shipp is the hammer that breaks it.
5.) Christina Shipp's 'Season of Dudes' continued successfully - and just how many actresses could play Bottom, Jeff Matthews and Father Benny? Not too fricking many. Jeff in the airplane, for whatever reason, was my favorite scene in this production...I miss her as him.
6.) NYTR publisher Brook Stowe making my day with this post in his guest stint at Playgoer. When he saw the show, he was kindly enigmatic afterwards, and being one of those rare and good people you never want to disappoint, I spiraled into self-flagellation for failing him as a playwright. Luckily, I am saving some of that torment for the next play...
7.) Michael "Miracle" Davis - when moving from our rehearsal space to the performance venue, we thought we could wheel the set over, only the wheels decided to disagree. Designer Jason Paradine and I then attempted to lift the not-so-light set ourselves, and just as my arms were about to quit, mighty Michael emerged and helped us bring the sucker safely home to CSV. A photographer took a picture of us, and I can only imagine it's posted somewhere in this web of ours with a snappy caption underneath.
8.) Patrick Lee's continued insightful reviewing - he is right about that troublesome second act, but I appreciate him accepting its direction while acknowledging the distance its current manifestation has to go before it is all the way right (if such a destination exists). Patrick is one of my favorite reviewers, and his Just Shows To Go You a daily read.
9.) Well, there's so much more to say - Asa's extraordinary sound design, Jason being Jason, Tiffany and Hannah's tag team on the costumes, Kelly stepping up as an ASM, so many things to be grateful for and learn from that I'll just say THANKS, and caps means I'm serious.
10.) But the biggest thing I (the playwright) have to be grateful for is the chance to fail a little without falling completely. Ultimately, the challenges we faced were of my own creation - too busy with directing Midsummer to properly finish rewriting Other Bodies - and while the designers and actors were remarkable at rolling with the kicks, and I believe it was a good production that mattered to those who wanted to go on its unique journey; I know I could've done better. This play has troubled me more than any play I've written. How lucky am I to be a part of an Ensemble that runs with it anyway, part of a theatre community that is willing to wrestle with a challenging play, part of a country where I can write strange things and have strangers sit with me in the dark and listen.
Thank you to everyone who saw the show, and everyone who made working on it such a joy. Read the full story
Flux Sunday, September 7th
VOLLEYBALL WITH EMERSON
AT our 2008 retreat, one of the highlights was workshopping Rob Ackerman's new play, Call Me Waldo. A father struggling at work and with the near loss of his daughter begins to be possessed by his great ancestor, Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is a heartfelt, funny and surprising play, and we all look forward to seeing how it develops.
(Photo: Allison Bolah, Pictured: Rob Ackerman)
Rob's contribution to our first Flux Sunday back from retreat was something altogether different: a highly theatrical fast and funny plunge into the world of high school girl's volleyball. Paired with my as yet untitled 60's play, and our continued exploration of Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day, it was a great return to Flux Sundays.
SIDE OUT, SIDE IN
We came back from the Retreat eager to bring in some new artists to Flux - folks whose work we'd admired for awhile, and in the madness of Midsummer and Bodies hadn't found time to welcome in. Our read through of the first scenes from Rob's Volley Girls gave us the perfect opportunity to hear newcomer Matthew Archambault eerily nail Coach, a driven volleyball fanatic who would rather lose the right way then win the wrong way. Matt was one of the highlights of our Imagination Compact, and it was great to have him back with Flux.
BRIGHT ROOM CALLED LITTLE POND
At the retreat, we were unable to finish our work on Kushner's fabulous Weimer Republic play, A Bright Room Called Day. And so, we saw two scenes from 2nd act, the Malek-Traum comic communists reduced to a less funny paranoia as fascism eclipses their hopes; and the stunning scene where Baz reveals he had a chance to kill Hitler in a movie theatre, but didn't out of fear of his own dying. These scenes saw lovely work from newcomers Zack Calhoon and Nicole Potter, and the lovely debut of FS regular Nancy Franklin's daughter, Kate Neumann. The highlight of these scenes, however, was Richard "Doc" Watson's portrayal of Baz; at first, coy and funny; and then furiously defending his decision to let Hitler live. I won't forget his confrontation with David Crommet's Husz, saying "I don't want to die" in such way that all our little accommodations to the misuse of power were brought horribly into the room. Kushner's play remains as unfortunately timely as ever.
THAT 60'S PLAY
One of the other big projects of the retreat was the workshopping of my play in development, (working title 10 Black Boxes.) This play follows ten people through the 1960's, each year turning into the next through an interlude of pivotal 60's text that takes over the world of the play. Writing specifically for the various voices of the ensemble, and using some of the theatrical discoveries of Midsummer and Bodies, 10 Black Boxes feels like the next big step in my work a playwright. At this FS, I got to see the strange seduction of Cotton Wright's Anisa by Kelly O'Donnell's Tegan,; the haltingly earnest portrayal of savant Lee by Matthew Murumba; Jason Paradine's Bobby talking down Christina Shipp's Lizzie from the Golden Gate Bridge; and Jay Liebman's charismatic turn as haiku hippie Isaac, winning over Tiffany Clementi's Marie against her better instincts. Heather Cohn staged all the moving parts into a exquisite little motor of a scene, helping me come closer to finding the heart of the play.
All in all...it was good to be back, with glow and the green of Little Pon still lingering. Read the full story
Little Pond Flux Retreat 2008 Pictures
(Photo: Tiffany Clementi)
And above all, there are the rolling, beautiful grounds to lose yourself in for an hour or two...ah, Little Pond! We miss you already. (Hopefully, more posts about what happened at the retreat soon). Read the full story