Posts

My Lust Experience So Far (Vaguely Described)

Image
"Passivity is the death of theater. I believe plays should be experiences, and those experiences should wake us up, turn us on, and jolt us to a new way of thinking or being in the world." - Joanna Garner

I don't know Joanna. I have heard her name often enough that I swear I know her or have met her, obviously we know the same people and we are both Longhorns which, if you aren't a Longhorn, you won't understand. I think I was asked to design a play of hers once. But I've actually never met her, I don't think. The way my brain works when it comes to people can be so frustrating though, Joanna, if you're reading this and we've met - my apologies. Travis read your artist's statement to me last night and I had to use the above quote for this post.
Last year while involved in The Tension Experience I wrote about both my experiences in it as a participant and also my observations, since I was participating from Minnesota and most of the action was …

Five Things: Notes from "The Cherry Orchard" Tech

Image
1.  Oh The Cherry Orchard. The stars of the show are the dog, Lynn Farrington's costumes, and the seniors who are just doing incredible work in the lead roles. I've been busting my ass and hopefully the lights and projections are keeping up with them. My friend Patrick Lord and I commiserated earlier this week about the insanity of lumping in projection design with any other element and if at any point in this process I'd been ONLY the lighting designer I think I would have slept 50% more. It really makes me question why I purposefully want to be designing more than one element at once. But I do.


2. As soon as I get a moment I need to write and submit a grant application for travel in April to Dublin. I'm incredibly excited about this project, the collaborators I'll be working with and the space we've booked, and as soon as I feel better about publicly sharing details I'll be writing a TON about it and the process of developing it. April will be our worksho…

Only the most iconic sound cue in all of theatre.

Image
Suddenly a distant sound is heard, as if from the sky, the sound of a breaking string...

That is how I have been feeling lately. I keep returning to that sound. Not because I'm about to experience the fall of the Russian empire but because this has been one of the most challenging semesters yet. I feel stretched thin. My first year students have asked me to do a lecture on self-care and how there are only so many hours in a day, and you can't do everything, and I keep thinking I am so not the person for this. Sleep is not a thing right now. Or human relationships for that matter.

But I'm sitting in the production meeting for The Cherry Orchard right now and just heard that sound cue, or the version of it that currently exists. I also just now heard the music that signals the dreams/fugues that I am creating with projections and lighting. I love working with Mike Croswell, the sound designer, and hearing his work has made me want to run home and create. Forget eating forget…

Long ago, there was a strange deception.

Image
I just looked back through emails to confirm it - ten years ago this week we started work on Transformations.


This started as the project that "ruined my life," the grad school assignment from Bob Schmidt that became Rapunzel - Kim Gritzer and I creating performance art in the basement of the Brockett Theatre at UT Austin for the New Works Festival in 2005, which was invited to be performed at the Prague Quadrennial in 2007. And there was a second piece that was an ActLab project, also in 2007, Sleeping Beauty, one of my many attempts to throw art at my lifelong messed up relationship with sleep while simultaneously making some sort of feminist statement. And the freezing cold First Night performance under the bridge.  Then Sarah Mosher added a couple of pieces of her MFA thesis - Snow White and the absolutely stunning Red Riding Hood. All of these pieces centered around Anne Sexton's poetry, which yes, I'm aware has been staged countless times but really, who cares? …

Adventures in Edinburgh: Lula del Ray, Red Bastard, The Kelpies

Image
Manual Cinema - Lula del Ray

I can't explain to you how HAPPY seeing three overhead projectors on stage makes me! I've seen a couple of shows using overhead projectors (and created one for my thesis way way back) but this was just stunning. Manual Cinema is a group out of Chicago, which means I can drive 6 hours to see their work, and I just might do that now that I know it exists. Lula del Ray reminded me of Kid Koala's Nufonia Must Fall - very similar in how the actual *making* of the performance is a part of the performance itself, all musicians and technicians onstage, and the audience can watch the creation of the "movie" on the overhead projectors, just in case they forget they aren't watching a film. Which, if you just watch the screen, you can do. It's beautiful, seamless, and stunning.

Austin people, they are coming to the Long Center, you need to see them.



Red Bastard - Lie With Me

So, it's been a day since I saw Red Bastard's show at the …

Adventures in Edinburgh: Baby Mama, Lies, and Seance

Image
I've been awful about writing and I've seen 15 "shows" or "events" (edited at the end of my trip to show total of 18 shows):

Theatre Conspiracy - Foreign Radical We are Jane Doe/Zanetti Productions - Jane DoeDoughnut Productions - Speaking in TonguesMariah McCarthy - Baby Mama: One Woman's Quest to Give Her Child to Gay PeopleAgent November Productions - Agent November: Major X-Plow ShunMalaprop - BlackCatfishMusketeerOntroerend Goed - LiesBinge Culture - Ancient Shrines and Half TruthsDarkfield - SeanceAuld Reekie's Haunted Underground - Ghost and Torture TourThe Scotch Malt Whisky Society - Dram is Worth a Thousand WordsTidy Carnage - ShameMr and Mrs Clark - (FEAR)Theatre Voliere - EvocationQuote Unquote Collective/Why Not Theatre/Aurora Nova - MouthpieceJoanne Ryan - EggsistentialismManual Cinema - Lula del ReyRed Bastard - Lie With Me

Originally I had wanted to write about everything I saw, but there are of course some things that I just *don'…

Adventures in Edinburgh: Foreign Radical & Transmission Opening

Image
I've been in Edinburgh, Scotland for about a week and a half now - about half my time here is gone. The festival opened yesterday and our show, Transmission, opened today. I'm not going to go into how many pages and scenes and hours of video and number of hikes up Arthur's Seat and broken feet and podcast episodes and renders and Skype meetings and bottles of Scotch and resubmissions of the app to Apple have gone into this. But I feel so fortunate to have been a part of this project and look forward to where we go in the future.


I am in love with this city and this country.

Theatre Conspiracy - Foreign Radical

My first Fringe show was today - I bought a ticket to the performance ofForeign Radical that was right before Transmission's first performance. The description was the only thing I knew about it: "Thirty participants are invited into an intriguing theatrical game exploring security, profiling, privacy and freedom of expression in the age of cybersurveillance.…