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Jacob's House Response: Michael Roderick, BroadwayWorld

Friday, May 28, 2010 6 comments

(Photo: Justin Hoch at jhoch.com. Pictured: Jessica Angleskhan)

How did we miss this? Producer Michael Roderick wrote about Jacob's House as part of his Triple Threat Roundup on BroadwayWorld. Along with shout outs for Maeutic's Barrier Island (aka, the show I'm going to kick myself most for missing) and (new to me) Active Theatre Company's Magnetic North, Michael has good things to say about our now (boohoo) closed show.

Here is a favorite:
The show is executed with such clearness and simplicity thanks to the direction of Kelly O' Donnell who does an amazing job of moving us in and out of the characters' memories. O'Donnell gets top notch performances out of her actors and handles the show with an amazing sensitivity that only a director who understands ensemble can achieve.
Michael sees and creates more theatre than almost anyone, so we're especially thrilled to be included in this roundup.

And...if you agree with his positive prognosis, VOTE FOR US for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards. Audience vote counts for 25% of our total score, so your vote really does count, and with your help, we were nominated for 7 awards for The Angel Eaters Trilogy. Help us get back to the ceremonies!

And whether you liked the play or didn't, please do share your thoughts with us here in the audience thread. Read the full story

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Divine Reckonings Artists Reveal #18: Will Ellis

Saturday, May 22, 2010 0 comments

What is Jacob's House?
What is ForePlay: Divine Reckonings?

Will Ellis
Actor, ForePlay: Divine Reckonings

Previous Flux Experience
ForePlay: Imagination Compact


Do you have a favorite Bible character?
My favorite Bible character is Joseph.

Are you blessed?
I feel extremely blessed. Humbly speaking.

If you were wrestling an angel, what moves would you use?

Wrestling move? Probably the sleeper-hold.

What would you do for more life?

For more life I’d probably have twins.

What's the weirdest thing in your parents' attic?

A ghost is probably the weirdest “thing” in my parent’s attic.

What is your prior experience with the Old Testament?

I read it. A lot. What a great romance, God and His people.

If you believe in a deity or deities, what kind do you believe in?

I believe in the Messiah.

Anything else coming up for you that Flux readers should know about?

Nothing in the near future, but I’d love to be on Nurse Jackie and/or White Collar. Be watching.

Will Ellis - NYC: Ask Someone Else, God (Looking Glass), Twelfth Night (T. Schreiber), Odyssey, Spring’s Awakening, The Fall (Looking Glass - IT Award nomination), The Other End, Macbeth, Rock of Ages. Regional: Hamlet, A Vampire Tale, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Portfolio Awards), The Foreigner, Laughter on the 23rd Floor.

Read the full story

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Divine Reckonings Artists Reveal #17: Fengar Gael

What is Jacob's House?
What is ForePlay: Divine Reckonings?

Fengar Gael
Playwright, ForePlay: Divine Reckonings

Previous Flux Experience
A fan of Flux Sundays where actors have scenes from my perversions-in-progress: BEGGAR AT THE FEAST, THE USHER'S BALL, and THE GALLERIST.


Do
you have a favorite Bible character?
Goliath and Lot's curious wife.

Are you blessed?

Every day, every hour, by every soul I encounter.

If you were wrestling an angel, what moves would you use?
Plucking the wing-feathers, stealing them for myself and fleeing the scene.

What would you do for more life?
Nothing. It's a devil's baragain and I'm hoping for an eternity in paradise (ha!).

What's the weirdest thing in your parents' attic?
My father's collection of gold painted wishbones from all the chickens and turkeys he's devoured.

What is your prior experience with the Old Testament?
My father forced my brothers and me to have regular readings on Sundays which induced a perpetual state of suppressed laughter.

If you believe in a deity or deities, what kind do you believe in?
No deities, but I do believe in the divinity of all creatures.

Anything else coming up for you that Flux readers should know about?

A production of a play that was read at some of the Flux Sundays called THE USHER'S BALL by CAP 21 (Collaborative Arts Project 21) at the Shop Theatre (18 West 18th Street), from May 6 through May 27th, directed by Michael Barakiva, with Lawrence Arancio, Jennifer Joan Thompson, Curzon Dobell, Linda Larson, Bonnie Black, Gene Gilette, Michael Hicks, Stephen Bel Davies, Nick Ciangrogna, Jake Green, Adam Covalt, and Ronan Babbitt.

Fengar Gael is a recipient of a playwriting fellowship from the California Arts Council, the Craig Noel Award for Devil Dog Six, the Playwrights First Award for Opaline, and commissions from South Coast Repertory, New Jersey Repertory, InterAct, and the National New Play Network for Soul on Vinyl. Her play, The Usher’s Ball, will be produced at CAP 21 in New York beginning May 6th.
Read the full story

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Jacob's House Review: Doug Strassler, OffOffOnline

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 0 comments

(Photo: Justin Hoch at jhoch.com. Pictured: Zack Calhoon, Anthony Wills Jr.)

Doug Strassler's review for OffOffOnline is up, and while he has reservations about the play, he recommends the production (and shouldn't you take his advice, oh reader?) Doug is another critic highly valued by Flux, with Jacob's House his third review of our work.

Several of Doug's criticism's of the play itself mirror Aaron's, including the belief the play could improve with future rewrites. After Aaron's review, I took several long hard looks at the play, to see how much I agreed with some of his more interesting criticisms, and I've come to believe the plays works in exactly the way it wants to; it's just some audience members and critics wish it worked differently.

For those who connect with the epic arc, episodic structure, and past/present mirroring, the play works well, and from critics, strangers, and some of the toughest opinions of my inner circle, the play is a favorite. On the other hand, for not only Aaron and Doug (and James) but several of my favorite playwright friends, the ambitions of the play diffuse its power.

But the play is finished because I've seen it work well with very different audiences, and whatever flaws exist are as much a catalyst of the play's vitality as its strengths.

For favorite quotes, I simply love this take on director Kelly O'Donnell's work:
"O’Donnell proves to be a visionary, able to stage the historic and modern day scenes around each other without confusing temporal perspective."
Hear, hear. So, read the whole thing here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here. Read the full story

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Jacob's House Review: Patricia Contino, Flavorpill

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 0 comments

(Photo: Justin Hoch at jhoch.com. Pictured: Matthew Archambault, Kelli Dawn Holsopple)

Flavorpill's review is out, and it is short but happily sweet! My favorite quote is easy, as the final two lines have it:
"Combining a dysfunctional family with old-time religion and mythic America makes for rich metaphors and juicy theatre. Flux wrestled outside forces and won."
So, read the whole review here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here. Read the full story

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Divine Reckonings Artists Reveal #16:
Ingrid Nordstrom

Monday, May 17, 2010 0 comments

What is Jacob's House?
What is ForePlay: Divine Reckonings?

Ingrid Nordstrom
Actor, ForePlay

Previous Flux Experience: Anisa Hansen in The Lesser Seductions of History; Dramaturgy for A Midsummer Night's Dream and Other Bodies; Have Another: We Are Burning



Do you have a favorite Bible character?
I think Judith is my favorite. Partially because she inspired Artemisia Gentileschi and consequently Howard Barker.

Are you blessed?
Indeed.

If you were wrestling an angel, what moves would you use?
I would go medieval, and use my wicked logic skills to shrink it down to the size of a pin head, and have it dance till it was all tuckered out.

What would you do for more life?
Jeez, I don't think I want more life, really. Too lonely once the loved ones are gone. I would love to STAY healthy for most of my life and to die standing up. But I think I would do just about anything for wisdom. Damn that snake with his shiny apple!

What's the weirdest thing in your parents' attic?
I don't know... Homemade Crossbow? Is that weird? We have some gold teeth lying around from my Grandpa's medicine pouch from WWI, yes, the first one.

What is your prior experience with the Old Testament?
What a funny way to phrase that question! I went to bible school and what not in the Lutheran Church, but I think most of my exposure actually came from Europe and the art, or that is what made it really fascinating for me.

If you believe in a deity or deities, what kind do you believe in?
The kind that "would dance". It would be nice to think that there is some reason that life exists at all. It is strange and wonderful and it would be cool if there was something that could appreciate it as a whole, and it would be super awesome if at the end of this particular life, I could somehow be involved in that knowledge.

Anything else coming up for you that Flux readers should know about?
Just working on working.

Ingrid Nordstrom hails from the small Scandinavian nation of Minnesota. She studied Theater and Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin: Eau Claire, spent a bit of time in Europe "finding herself", and finished her training at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School's 2 Year Conservatory Program in NYC. Now she acts. Read the full story

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Jacob's House Review: Laurence Klavan, The Jewish Daily Forward

(Photo: Justin Hoch @ jhoch.com. Pictured: Jane Lincoln Taylor)

Every once in a awhile, you actually come close to that perfect review you wrote in your head to calm your nerves and help you sleep; it's positive, of course, but more importantly, it makes you feel the whole of the play has been fully felt, and a measure of it set down right.

Such a review is Laurence Klavan's take for The Jewish Daily Forward. I'm especially grateful that he connected with Dinah's final monologue, which is at the heart of what the play is really about.

I'm also thrilled by the note about Kia Rogers lighting magic, which builds subtly throughout the play to create the several last haunting moments.

And as far as favorite quotes go, this closing paragraph ranks very high up:
Replacement in the Bible often has tragic consequences, but those for the Flux Ensemble are happier. For one thing, it’s prevented the ensemble from producing “J.B.,” a play that read today is an intermittently powerful but self-serious and probably unplayable 1950s chestnut. And there’s another play to which a favorable comparison can be made: “Enron.” The multimillion-dollar extravaganza that quickly closed on Broadway also purported to expose American corruption in a fantastical style, only to emerge as obvious and inflated. To anyone willing to travel downtown, climb four flights and sweat a little, the intrepid “Jacob’s House” will say more with a lot less about the American idea.
This review is a long happy exhale after the white-knuckle process of putting this play up.

So, read the whole review here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here. Read the full story

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Jacob's House Review: The Happiest Medium

Sunday, May 16, 2010 0 comments

(Photo: Justin Hoch at jhoch.com. Pictured: Jane Lincoln Taylor, Zack Calhoon, Bianca LaVerne Jones, Anthony Wills Jr.)
In a recession, value counts more than ever, so the good folks over at The Happiest Medium have come up with a great idea - two reviews for the price of one! With their new feature, 4 cents, two reviewers see the same play and then go back and forth, old school Siskel & Ebert style.

Into this arena step Karen Tortora-Lee and Antonio Minino. Karen's thoughts count a lot with us, as this is her sixth Flux show, after the Trilogy, Pretty Theft, and The Lesser Seductions of History. This was Antonio's first Flux show, but as one of the esteemed producers over at Maeutic Theatre Works, currently producing Barrier Island, we were thrilled he was able to attend and opine.

Enough build-up: their reviews are up, and both are happily positive. As befits a review with two reviewers, I will offer two teaser quotes instead of one:

"The secret to Flux’s success — as I’ve seen time and time again, but illustrated so beautifully in Jacob’s House — is how all the arms of talent reach out and clasp each other so firmly."

"This is a well-focused generational play that studies the complexities of one single family during a time of exposed emotional gashes, and after all the greed, muck, jealousy and memories are cleaned off, the blood is thicker than any little old house"
So read the whole thing here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here Read the full story

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Divine Reckonings Artists Reveal #15:
Matthew Murumba

Saturday, May 15, 2010 1 comments

What is Jacob's House?
What is ForePlay: Divine Reckonings?
Matthew Murumba
Actor, ForePlay

Previous Flux Experience: A Midsummer Night's Dream, ForePlay (Divine Reckonings and Poetic Larceny), Food:Soul (Lickspittles, Buttonholers, and Damn Pernicious Go-Betweens), Have Another (The Will), 4th Annual Retreat at Little Pond, Flux Sundays

Do you have a favorite Bible character?
Starts with "M" ends with "atthew"

Are you blessed?
yes...though I have a habit of forgetting that I am

If you were wrestling an angel, what moves would you use?
"sweep the leg"...probably wouldn't be that effective but ever since I saw karate kid I've always wanted to do that

What's the weirdest thing in your parents' attic?
a family of four with an annoying dog (its an apartment build)

Anything else coming up for you that Flux readers should know about?
everything happens for a reason...for real...it true

Bio: In addition to loving being part of the Flux family, Matthew is a Member of the theater film collective Stage 13 (www.stage13.com) where he also serves on the Board of Directors. He was born in Melbourne, Australia and his parents are from Uganda if you can believe that. Read the full story

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Jacob's House Response: James Comtois, Jamespeak

Friday, May 14, 2010 1 comments

(Photo: Justin Hoch at jhoch.com. Pictured: Jessica Angleskhan, Zack Calhoon, Jane Lincoln Taylor)

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for, New Hampshire's favorite son James Comtois weighs in on Jacob's House! And how can you top this for an opener?
"Flux Theatre Ensemble's latest production, Jacob's House, is an Americanized retelling of the Old Testament story of Jacob. It's at times fun, confusing, thought-provoking, frustrating, touching, muddled, and cathartic."
He goes on from there, offering well thought out criticism about the layers of complexity in the first act, and praise for the design and performances through out. It's the kind of detailed response any playwright and producer wishes for from a fellow playwright/producer. I hope to reply to some of these strong questions he raises later, but for now, just heed his parting words and get your tix!
"Jacob’s House makes for a night of compelling and fascinating theatre. It deals with a man blessed with fortune and long life, and shows the after-effects and consequences those gifts have on him and his family."
Read the whole thing here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here. Read the full story

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Jacob's House Artists Reveal #4:
Matthew Archambault

Thursday, May 13, 2010 13 comments

What is Jacob's House?
What is ForePlay: Divine Reckonings?


Matthew Archambault
Actor, Jacob's House

Productions - Jacob in Jacob's House (Schulenburg); Barry Tanner in The Lesser Seductions of History (Schulenburg). Staged Readings - Coach Jim Brindell in Volleygirls (Ackerman). Foreplays - Will & Quince in The Imagination Compact: The Mechanicals (Pracht & Ackerman). Have Anothers - Doctor Hargraves Moss in Opaline (Gael). 36 Flux Sundays, starting September 7th, 2008.

Do you have a favorite Bible character?
Not really...I have bad associations with my Christian past...

Are you blessed?
I consider myself very lucky. My duty is to be ready for those moments when opportunity presents itself.

If you were wrestling an angel, what moves would you use?
First, confusion. I'd try some bizarre stuff that would throw the angel off guard...then, at it's most uncomfortable/off-base, I'd strike quickly, directly, hoping to end the fight fast. That'd probably be a blow to the head with something heavy and blunt nearby.

What would you do for more life?
I'd do a lot of things!

What's the weirdest thing in your parents' attic?
I spoke to my father a couple days ago, and he told me he has a musical in the attic that he wrote when he was in college up there! He used 'popular songs from the day,' and has mixed feelings about whether or not he wants to find it...

What is your prior experience with the Old Testament?
I went to Monsigneur Clarke for first and second grade. My early memory of learning about the Bible is leaning over to a boy sitting on the floor next to me and saying, 'You don't really believe this, do you??" He was terrified at question...and I knew then I was in a minority. Now I feel that maybe I'm not really in the minority...there's a lot of self-deception going on when it comes to religion.

If you believe in a deity or deities, what kind do you believe in?
Why can't folks be happy with the beings we have?

Anything else coming up for you that Flux readers should know about?
My hostile takeover of Flux Theatre Ensemble, planned for early Fall, 2012.

Matthew Archambault has worked with The Mortals, Columbia Rep, Brooklyn on Foot, Wayside Theatre, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Roxy Regional Theatre, Theatre at Monmouth, and Monomoy Theatre, among others. Read the full story

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Jacob's House Review: Toby Thelin, Theatre Knights (&Daze)

(Photo: Justin Hoch at jhoch.com. Pictured: Jessica Angleskhan, Zack Calhoon, Isaiah Tanenbaum)
Flux is very lucky: we have now developed a relationship with critics and artist-bloggers that stretches over multiple shows to create a shared body of call and response. Toby Thelin has now seen 6 Flux shows - from the 3 plays of the Angel Eaters Trilogy, to Pretty Theft and The Lesser Seductions of History, and now to Jacob's House.

This kind of long term relationship is critical (pun sadly intended) to a young company, because it allows us to better gauge the external perception of our progress. So an excerpted comment like this...
"This is a company where the core members are comfortable enough with each other to really take risks, pushing themselves and each other to attain greater performances...The acting in this company tends to keep getting better with each successive production, and that’s not a bad trait to have...Isaiah Tanenbaum frankly surprised me in his role as the Lawyer/Messenger; Isaiah has consistently delivered solid, well-thought out performances, but in this one he goes above and beyond, inhabiting the skin of his character to an almost frightening extent, truly a joy to watch."
...is truly gratifying to read - creating an artistic home where our community of artists and audience push each other is exactly what Flux is about.

Toby goes on to offer some insightful criticism regarding the complexity of the play; in particular, the number and treatment of the secondary characters. I'm curious if others had this experience - I tried to create vivid, full-bodied roles even for single-scene characters - but it may be that extending that intensity to secondary characters clouds the overall focus of the play. This is something Aaron mentioned in his review, as well; so I look forward to seeing if this is a common response to the play.

Toby ends on this happy note:
"As in all Flux Theater Ensemble productions, there is a whole lotta love in Jacob’s House. When that love is combined with the careful craft and growing talent of this remarkable company, the end result is well worth experiencing."
So take his advice, read the whole thing here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here. Read the full story

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Jacob's House Review: Martin Denton, nytheatre.com

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 0 comments

(Photo: Justin Hoch at jhoch.com. Pictured: Tiffany Clementi, Matthew Archambault)
At long last nytheatre.com's Martin Denton attended a Flux show! We've been wooing him for a long time, and as readers of this blog know, we're big fans of all he does for our theatre community.

I'm thrilled that Matthew Archambault, Zack Calhoon, Jane Taylor, Jason Paradine, and Kelly O'Donnell are singled out for praise, and am fascinated by the question Martin ends the review on:
"I found myself thinking hard about the differences between being chosen by God to found a nation, as the Bible tells us Jacob was, and deciding more or less on your own that God sanctions all your actions, as this American Jacob seems to do. "
Is this a question you found yourself asking? For me, it seems clear that our American Jacob has a direct, personal relationship with a divine force of uncertain origin and intent; first, through the conduit of his mother, Rebecca; and later, through his three direct encounters with the Messenger. This divinity clearly wants him to take America as his own, but to what end is unknown; and how to morally interpret this sanction, and Jacob's wavering course in carrying out, is left open ended.

Regardless, I was thrilled to have Martin and Rochelle at last in our audience. So, read the whole thing here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here. Read the full story

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Divine Reckonings Artists Reveal #14:
Daryl Lathon

Monday, May 10, 2010 1 comments

What is Jacob's House?
What is ForePlay:Divine Reckonings?



Daryl Lathon
Actor, ForePlay

Previous Flux Experience: First timer (but we loved him in Willy-Nilly and Infectious Opportunity!)

Do you have a favorite Bible character? No

Are you blessed? To a certain extent. I live in America.

If you were wrestling an angel, what moves would you use? I practiced Judo earlier in my life. I'd probably whip out a couple of old moves.

What would you do for more life? No idea.

What's the weirdest thing in your parents' attic? Nothing. They don't have an attic.

What is your prior experience with the Old Testament? Reading it. Listening to sermons inspired by it.


Anything else coming up for you that Flux readers should know about? Not that I'm aware of.

Daryl Lathon’s regional credits include HENRY V, CORIOLANUS, KING LEAR (dir: Michael Kahn), A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM (dir: Joe Calarco), MASTER CLASS, and DEATH OF A SALESMAN His New York credits include REVENGER’S TRAGEDY (dir. Jesse Berger), DEAD RECKONING (dir. Jesse Berger) VOLUME OF SMOKE (wr. Clay Mcleod Chapman, dir. Isaac Butler) IN PUBLIC, ROMEO AND JULIET, and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Pearl Theatre Company). Read the full story

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ForePlay: An Awesome God

Sunday, May 9, 2010 1 comments

Your final chance for a little ForePlay!

ForePlay: DIVINE RECKONINGS goes out with a bang for its fourth and final installment...

An Awesome God

Monday, May 10th, 7:00pm

380 Broadway @ White St, (2 blocks South of Canal) 4th Floor

Plays by: Erin Browne, Fengar Gael, Mac Rogers, & Crystal Skillman

Directed by: Michael Davis

Featuring: Will Ellis, Daryl Lathon, Nick Monroy, Ingrid Nordstrom, Chandra Thomas, & Cotton Wright
An Awesome God focuses on The Creation Story and The Rebellion of Korah


Learn more about ForePlay, and the read interviews with the artists involved,

by clicking here!
Read the full story

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Divine Reckonings Artists Reveal #13:
Christine Evans

What is Jacob's House?
What is ForePlay:Divine Reckonings?



Christine Evans
Playwright, ForePlay

Previous Flux Experience: none! I am a flux virgin



Do you have a favorite Bible character?
The Ass

Are you blessed?
Yes, but not always in uplifting ways.

If you were wrestling an angel, what moves would you use?
They would reveal themselves at 4 a.m. in a cold sweat.

What would you do for more life?
I need to figure out rainy Sunday afternoons first.

What's the weirdest thing in your parents' attic?
My parents.

What is your prior experience with the Old Testament?
Dusty hotel rooms and terrifying dreams.

If you believe in a deity or deities, what kind do you believe in?
The Fates, the Furies, the shimmer of light in between everyday things.

Anything else coming up for you that Flux readers should know about?
Check news link on my website: http://www.christine-evans-playwright.com

Playwright Christine Evans' recent productions include the award-winningTrojan Barbie at the A.R.T. (2009) and Weightless at Perishable Theatre. She is an Australian Fulbright Alumna, lives in Providence, RI and was brought up by secular ex-Catholics in three different countries.

Read the full story

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Divine Reckonings Artists Reveal #12:
Candice Holdorf

Saturday, May 8, 2010 0 comments

What is Jacob's House?
What is ForePlay:Divine Reckonings?



Candice Holdorf
Actor, ForePlay

Previous Flux Experience: Founding Member of Flux. Marketing Director 2006-2008. Mainstage Shows: One in The Lesser Seductions of History, Waitress/Ballerina in Pretty Theft, Claudia in 8 Little Antichrists, Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Chuck in Rue. Food:Soul: Lily in This Storm is What We Call Progress. Have Another: Angel Juice. ForePlay: Rosaura in Sueno. Stage Manager for the 2005 production of Riding the Bull. Flux Sundays: Too many to count. Original Coffee Goddess.

Do you have a favorite Bible character? Delilah and Jezebel shook the patriarchy to the core...gotta love that. Jesus was pretty hot too...

Are you blessed? Every day I wake up to the beauty that is is a blessing--everything else is just icing on the cake.

If you were wrestling an angel, what moves would you use? My powers of seduction, most notably my hypnotic eye gaze...

What would you do for more life? More life?!?! I've barely got this figured out! I'll be back many times over, don't worry about that...

What's the weirdest thing in your parents' attic? I plead the fifth.

What is your prior experience with the Old Testament? Read it a lot as a pre-teen. Has some really cool parables, poetry and allegorical tales. Also has a lot of reworked stories that have completely eliminated the majority of women's roles in the shaping of history. I'm all for bringing back the feminine divine, baby!!!

If you believe in a deity or deities, what kind do you believe in? I believe we are all expressions of divinity...that there is no one old white dude outside of us, but that we are all gods and goddesses. And if we stripped away our ego shells for just a moment and stepped into the mysterious realm of no past and no future, we might finally experience that connection with holy greatness that we scramble for our whole lives and thus evolve and ascend to a higher dimension of existence.

Anything else coming up for you that Flux readers should know about? My film, An Affirmative Act, premieres at the Hoboken International Film Festival on June 4. I play Terri Succi, a lesbian woman living as a man so she can marry her lover and adopt a baby. When her ruse is discovered, she is arrested for fraud and gets involved in a dangerous legal battle for her rights and her life. www.anaffirmativeact.com I will also be in Haiti April 4-11 as a volunteer relief worker with Hands on Disaster Response www.hodr.org And of course I will be returning to Burning Man this year ;-)

Candice Holdorf is an alumna of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (Stella Adler). Favorite theatrical roles outside of Flux include: Referee in Never Swim Alone (Intentional Theatre), Margot Wendice in Dial M For Murder (Cortland Rep) and Jill in Conference Room A (Kids with Guns). She also helped create and recently toured colleges with 36:24:36, a performance piece based on the writers' and performers' histories of eating disorders. 36:24:36 first premiered at the 2007 NY Fringe Festival. Her latest role is as Terry Succi in the upcoming film An Affirmative Act, premiering June 4 at the Hoboken International Film Festival. Read the full story

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Drama Desk Nomination For Elizabeth Rhodes!

Everyone at Flux is thrilled by the announcement that our Jacob's House sound designer, Elizabeth Rhodes, was nominated for a Drama Desk for her work on John Ball's In the Heat of the Night.

Congratulations, Betsy! You rock! Read the full story

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Jacob's House Review: Aaron Riccio, That Sounds Cool

(Photo: Justin Hoch @ jhoch.com. Pictured: Matthew Archambault)
A mixed but fascinating review of Jacob's House is up from Aaron Riccio at That Sounds Cool. Readers of this blog know that Aaron is one of my favorite reviewers, so I take his criticisms seriously. Read the whole thing here.

First, the good stuff: I'm thrilled that Isaiah Tanenbaum's and Matthew Archambault's performances are singled out for praise, and gratified that Aaron connected with the chess/death scene of the second act.

Now, the bad: the thought of Tamar being a creation of shreds and patches is unsettling for me, as I deeply care for and connect with her journey. To me, her word play and comic energy are simply weapons she uses to achieve her beloved father's blessing; and her deepening relationship to Dinah is one of my favorite subtle arcs of the play. But I will live with Aaron's critique of her a little longer - sometimes my attachment to the characters as they exist in my body can blind me to the weakness of their execution on stage.

But the most unsettling is this phrase: "and it's certainly better than nothing, especially for the actors who are given a chance to showcase their skills." From the moment we began this unusual process, this question was always with me - is it better to risk this play, whatever it will be, or give up the field entirely? The question is especially piercing, because it involves the energy of so many other people than myself. And maybe it would have been better to give up the field and done nothing.

And this simple question has a trap door within it, that I think all of us as artists feel deeply - does our work mean enough to the world to merit doing, or would we be better off serving life a different way?

Because I love life, am grateful for every unlikely second of it, and I want to give back as much beauty and meaning as I can. And so I'm always asking myself if there is a better way to do so than writing plays, which, if the world's uncertain response to date is any judge, may not be the right gift.

Because it's not (as Aaron speculates) the children of Jacob that I connect with most - it is Jacob himself, who says:
"I’ve been hungry that way, and not just for food. I’ve been hungry for a lot of things, not knowing if I would ever be full. And then some things in you starve and die, and other things just keep starving and can’t die. And so I think there’s no such thing as right or wrong, there’s just hungry or full. I want to be full, you know?"
Other things just keep starving and can't die - the longing to have my plays matter to life is such a thing in me, a starving that can't die. And so even as I wonder about other paths to meaning, that hunger says don't let go.

Something too much of this...read the whole thing here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here. Read the full story

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Jacob's House Review: Will Kenton, Cultural Capitol

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 0 comments

(Photo: Justin hoch @ jhoch.com. Pictured: Tiffany Clementi, Bianca LaVerne Jones, Kelli Dawn Holsopple)

Readers of this blog know I love juxtaposition, so you can imagine my excitement reading Will Kenton's review at Cultural Capitol, which sparks our Jacob's House not only against a similarly themed play; but a wider frame of culture and religion. In a fascinating turn, he uses the Walter Benjamin quote that inspired Jason Grote's This Storm Is What We Call Progress, the play that was our second Food:Soul.

While I can't speak to his take of Wide Eyed Productions' Noah's Arkansas, not having seen the play and liking through acquaintance their AD and playwright; I am very grateful for a review that holds passages like this:
Mr. Schulenburg accurately captures the ambiguity of Jacob’s achievement as the third and most important patriarch of Israel: he is both the founder and the original sinner, the parvenu and carpetbagger who gave rise to the twelve tribes; he is the kind of guy who cracks a whole lot of eggs to make his self-aggrandizing omelette.
I'm also happy he connected with the Laban scene and Bianca's great work in that difficult swath of text (nearly a play within the play, our Laban).

So, read the whole thing here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here. Read the full story

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Divine Reckonings Artists Reveal #11:
Chandra Thomas

What is Jacob's House?
What is ForePlay:Divine Reckonings?


Chandra Thomas
Actor, ForePlay

Previous Flux Experience: i've been a part of a table reading with Flux before (Ajax in Iraq) - excited to be a part of this ForePlay.



Do you have a favorite Bible character?
(perhaps cheesy but the truth!) Jesus.

Are you blessed?
Absolutely, fully and without question.

What would you do for more life?
Only do things that i thoroughly enjoy regardless of any necessary sacrifices.

What's the weirdest thing in your parents' attic?
My parents no longer have an attic as they remodeled their house. But, when i was superyoung, there was attic space in my little brother’s room. Because we were small enough to walk into the attic space, my brother and i used to play in there with a random of assortment of my dad’s discarded tools, puppets made out of garbage bags and newspaper, toy cars and headless Barbie knockoff dolls.

What is your prior experience with the Old Testament?
Have read much of it—but recently i’ve been impressed that i still remember many of the books in order after being made to learn them when i was a child. i went to synagogue quite a bit during my early teen years and the language sounded so much more musical than it did when read in church.

Anything else coming up for you that Flux readers should know about?
Will be appearing on an upcoming episode of “The Good Wife” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. Currently in rehearsals for a workshop production of my original solo show, a rhyme for the UNDERground. Details at www.NYchandra.com.

chandra thomas works as an actor/writer/producer based in New York City. Prior theatre performances include new and classic plays in New York and regionally. chandra also works in film and television. She is the co-founder of viBe Theater Experience, a non-profit, performing-arts education organization empowering teenage girls. More info at www.NYchandra.com.


Read the full story

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Audience Response To Jacob's House

Monday, May 3, 2010 7 comments

So for The Lesser Seductions of History, we had an audience feedback thread that was one of the highlights of the process. The nearly 20 comments left gave me great insight in how the play was being received, particularly with the fraught character of ONE.

I'd love to try this again for Jacob's House, so please, if you saw the play, let us know what you thought in the comment field below.

A few rules of the game: this is a safe space, so while criticism is welcome, snark and hostility are not. A good rule of thumb is simply to keep to things you'd feel comfortable saying face to face. While you can choose to post as anonymous, we encourage you to take ownership of your thoughts.

Thank you, and see you at the theatre! Read the full story

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Jacob's House Review: Wendy Caster, Show Showdown

(Photo: Justin Hoch @ jhoch.com. Pictured: Matthew Archamabult, Anthony Wills Jr.)

Our first review is out! Wendy Caster is first in over at Show Showdown. I'm thrilled the review is a positive one, especially as I have a (hopefully unjustified and kind of silly) sense of foreboding about the reviewers who attended last night. I like how she tracked the reveal of the characters' long lives - I spent a lot of time in rehearsal fine tuning how that part of the story was told.

Favorite quote:
"The characters are complex, the story is compelling, and the language ranges from good to gorgeous."
So read the whole review here, then get your tickets, and after you've seen the show, please share your thoughts here. Read the full story

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nytheatrecast Interview - Jacob's House

Sunday, May 2, 2010 0 comments

(Photo by Justin Hoch @ jhoch.com. Pictured: Tiffany Clementi, Bianca LaVerne Jones)

I had a blast talking with fellow word-slinger Matthew Freeman as part of nytheatrecast's playwrights talking to playwrights series. Listen to us gab the light fantastic here.

Saturday night's performance was our most vocally responsive yet, really connecting with the comedy of the play in a satisfying way. Sunday night (tonight!) is our last night with the $11 discounted tickets, so use the code MANIFEST, and hopefully we'll see you tonight! Read the full story

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Backstage Interview - Jacob's House

Saturday, May 1, 2010 0 comments

(Photo by Justin Hoch @ jhoch.com. Pictured: Isaiah Tanenbaum, Kelli Dawn Holsopple)

My interview with Alice Wade of Backstage is up, and shes does a great job of crafting the narrative of events that lead to Jacob's House. Read the whole thing here.

Last night we opened to a sold out house, and after these crazy 68 days, I found out the play does, in fact, work. Huzzah and a deep exhale.

And it was interesting to juxtapose the experience of the play with the house packed to the slightly under half full audience of preview. At preview, the show played well, but it didn't quite transport the audience the way it did last night. It continually amazes me what an impact the audience has on our experience of a play, and how a certain critical mass needs to be present for a play's alchemy to work.

So now, with the play up and working and with lots of room to grow, our job becomes convincing the on-the-fence folks to make time to see it, to achieve that critical mass for every show.

So please, take advantage of our opening $11 discount ticket offer with the code MANIFEST, and hopefully I'll see you at the theatre tonight or Sunday night! Read the full story