Flux's 4th Annual Retreat - Round up

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 Leave a Comment

(Photo: Candice Holdorf. Pictured: Cotton Wright, Jake Alexander)

It wasn't all fun and games - behind Jake and Cotton are walls covered in Core and Aesthetic Values, Organizational Flow Charts, Departmental Responsibilities, and more. But it was also fun, and games.

And in that spirit, Heather suggested an open thread for all who were there to weigh-in on their favorite parts (and make suggestions for future retreat improvements).

To jog your memory, the days looked like this:

Sunday, 8/23: Set-up
Monday, 8/24:
4 Member Sessions - Core Values, Aesthetic Values, Timeline, Circles of Flux
Tuesday, 8/25: 4 Member Sessions - Strategic Planning, Org Flow Chart, What Are We Not Talking About, Cool Ideas
Wednesday, 8/26: Plays - The Lesser Seductions of History (workshop) by August Schulenburg and Incendiary by Adam Szymkowicz (reading)
Thursday, 8/27: Plays - The Why Overhead (reading) by Adam Szymkowicz, Crimes (workshop) by Erin Browne, and Cloud Tectonics (reading) by Jose Rivera
Friday, 8/28: Plays - Moving Statues (workshop) by Corey Ann Haydu and Menders (workshop) by Erin Browne
Saturday, 8/29: Plays - Ajax in Iraq (reading) by Ellen McLaughlin, Lickspittles, Buttonholers and Damned Pernicious Go-Betweens (workshop) by Johnna Adams, and Troilus and Cressida (reading) by William Shakespeare
Sunday, 8/30: Break-down

That list, of course, does not feature the bonfires, documentaries, Family Feud, ball games, Battlestars, and brownies that made up the befores, afters, and in-betweens of a whirlwind week. ALL of that is fair game - what worked? What didn't? What will you remember most?

And THANK YOU to Bill, Bridget and Anisa for their amazing hospitality at Little Pond - any company looking for a retreat could not find a better place.

So get your posts ready - and game on!
(Photo: Candice Holdorf. Pictured: Michael Davis, Matthew Murumba)


  • WT George said:  

    It is a constant inspiration to me to see the purity and courage of your artistic mission, the compassion and consideration that is such a key element of the Flux creative culture, the intelligence and dilligence you bring to everything you do.
    Flux, to my eyes, is a beautiful and powerful creative team, without question; your success is real, it is now, it is inevitable.
    I am so happy that I can look forward to seeing your production of Gus's new play and deeply grateful that you have chosen to nest here, at Little Pond, these past four summers.

  • TMC said:  

    Best retreat yet! The first two days were intense but in such a productive, rewarding way. The whole retreat was the perfect balance of work and play. I look forward every year to our retreat and especially being at Little Pond. The atmosphere is so relaxing, yet energizing (ooh opposites, one of our aesthetic values), quiet, yet full of sounds of nature, creativity and life. I always enjoy the sense of family we create when sitting around the dinner table. We really have something special going on in Flux and I am grateful that I am part of it. Thank you to all who came out to share one of my favorite events of the year.

  • Heather said:  

    I echo Gus' and Tiffany's comments thanking everyone who participated, and agree it was the best retreat yet. And, many many thanks to Bill for his unyielding generosity and kindness as our host at Little Pond.

    I feel incredibly fortunate that we were able to gather the entire cast of Lesser Seductions for a full day workshop, and am eager to begin the rehearsal process. Also, thanks to all who read Cloud Tectonics - it was such a treat to hear it again after so many years, and I was quite pleased with the positive response.

    Only complaint - that pond toad was really loud at night. "endangered toads..." not so much. :)

  • August Schulenburg said:  

    Bill, thank you - I am so hoping that we can see Walden and Tempest.

    Some favorite moments day by day-
    Monday: The Circles of Flux theme song
    Tuesday: Candice in the hammock of truth
    Wednesday: All of us silent listening to the I Have A Dream speech
    Thursday: Zack's Tony in Crimes "Quiet, everyone!" as Brian battled the wasp
    Friday: Washing down my love of Menders with some local corn (thanks, Ken!)
    Saturday: Erin's Josephine saying how much she loved he go-between
    Sunday: Tiffany flaunting her victory in Gin Rummy

    So many good memories...not easy to be back yet.

  • Matthew Archambault said:  

    The retreat was an absolute joy.

    Little pond was gorgeous...such an amazing area. I went jogging Wednesday morning and happened upon a herd (flock?) of turkeys running through the trails. The campfire site was gorgeous, and the lodging was the perfect size to fit the ever-changing gathering of Fluxers. Big, big thanks to Bill for the obvious love and care you have for Little Pond and Flux!

    My favorite thing about the retreat was the opportunity to get to know the ensemble (members and non-) better. There's just no way to get so many people together for so long in New York...so savvy of Flux to have started this tradition so many years ago. There's no doubt that the sense of community I feel at Flux Sundays and public readings owe something to these retreats. I can't speak enough to the love, support, creative energy, talent, patience, drive, humor, intelligence, and organization of the Flux Family. I'm honored to be involved.

    The plays. Oh, the plays! I could have stayed another week and read 3 plays a day by Flux-associated playwrights. Sure, staying another week would have meant I'd be out of a job, and Tiffany and Candice had probably done enough cooking for a while...but the plays were so, so good. Each playwright's work (Gus, Erin, Corey, Adam, Johnna...am I missing anyone?) is so inspiring/exciting. I loved bringing the plays to life during our many readings over the course of the week.

    And of course, we had fun at night. I've made a personal pledge that next year, I will not start Family Feud past midnight...it didn't seem that loud on television!

    Anyway...I could go on, but...I'd like to thank all you members for all the hard work you do. The retreat was a really great time, personally and artistically. I'm so proud of you, not only in the way that 'I'm an actor who will continue to support your work,' but also in the way that 'you are my friends, and I wish you continued success.'

  • Matthew Murumba said:  

    Favorite moments:
    + Roadtrip – getting to drive up with Erin, Cotton and B-Pracht aka “RAzzel”…and all of them making fun of me for saying “man there are a lot of plants down here” (I know I’m a city kid and all but I was referring to plants of the “manufacturing” persuasion not those of a “leafy green” disposition…of course no one believed me)

    + Getting to play detective in Crimes (consistently, one of my favorite things about Flux is jumping in and putting something on its feet)

    + The list of 15 outfits Shipp had managed to "slip into" in like 4 days (as in “oh this old thang”)

    + Cotton’s warmup (I tried not to like it but that didn’t work…Tiffany…FYI…you were definitely the weakest link)

    + Pretty much everything else...

    Flux has to be one of the most thoughtful companies out there right now. It really takes a ton of work and commitment and it’s definitely an impressive thing to see in action (all the lists and planning on the walls etc). It can only mean big things for the company in the future. You guys got a special thing going and I always enjoy getting to spend a little time around it all.