Tuesday, March 31, 2009

love from L.A.

Just heard that needtheater's production of Fatboy out in Los Angeles picked up three L.A. Weekly Theater awards.

Congrats to Ian Forrester for direction, Alexander Wells for Male Lead and the entire company for Comedy Ensemble.

Missed the MMMQ yesterday, next week will have to be a humdinger.

Friday, March 27, 2009

today is world theatre day

World Theatre Day message by Augusto Boal:

All human societies are “spectacular*” in their daily life and produce “spectacles” at special moments. They are “spectacular” as a form of social organization and produce “spectacles” like the one you have come to see.

Even if one is unaware of it, human relationships are structured in a theatrical way. The use of space, body language, choice of words and voice modulation, the confrontation of ideas and passions, everything that we demonstrate on the stage, we live in our lives. We are theatre!

Weddings and funerals are “spectacles”, but so, also, are daily rituals so familiar that we are not conscious of this. Occasions of pomp and circumstance, but also the morning coffee, the exchanged good-mornings, timid love and storms of passion, a senate session or a diplomatic meeting - all is theatre.

One of the main functions of our art is to make people sensitive to the “spectacles” of daily life in which the actors are their own spectators, performances in which the stage and the stalls coincide. We are all artists. By doing theatre, we learn to see what is obvious but what we usually can’t see because we are only used to looking at it. What is familiar to us becomes unseen: doing theatre throws light on the stage of daily life.

Last September, we were surprised by a theatrical revelation: we, who thought that we were living in a safe world, despite wars, genocide, slaughter and torture which certainly exist, but far from us in remote and wild places. We, who were living in security with our money invested in some respectable bank or in some honest trader’s hands in the stock exchange were told that this money did not exist, that it was virtual, a fictitious invention by some economists who were not fictitious at all and neither reliable nor respectable. Everything was just bad theatre, a dark plot in which a few people won a lot and many people lost all. Some politicians from rich countries held secret meetings in which they found some magic solutions. And we, the victims of their decisions, have remained spectators in the last row of the balcony.

Twenty years ago, I staged Racine’s Ph├Ędre in Rio de Janeiro. The stage setting was poor: cow skins on the ground, bamboos around. Before each presentation, I used to say to my actors: “The fiction we created day by day is over. When you cross those bamboos, none of you will have the right to lie. Theatre is the Hidden Truth”.

When we look beyond appearances, we see oppressors and oppressed people, in all societies, ethnic groups, genders, social classes and casts; we see an unfair and cruel world. We have to create another world because we know it is possible. But it is up to us to build this other world with our hands and by acting on the stage and in our own life.

Participate in the “spectacle” which is about to begin and once you are back home, with your friends act your own plays and look at what you were never able to see: that which is obvious. Theatre is not just an event; it is a way of life!

We are all actors: being a citizen is not living in society, it is changing it.

- Augusto Boal

Thursday, March 26, 2009

L.A. weekly awards

Monday night Fatboy is up for six awards, thanks to Matt Wells, Ian Forrester and a kick-ass cast and design team.

Way to go, kids. Hope it's a good night for you.

Meantime, I'm just kicking around the old museum, shuffling paper and trying to find my way into two impending projects.

Day by day, step by step, word by word.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

good news and a good night

A resolution composed by the Community Board Arts Task Force that was the result of the CB 1-5 Public Forum on small theatre in NYC & a March 10 Arts Task Force meeting, passed unanimously last evening by Community Board 3, paving the way for other Community Boards to use this language to adopt similar resolutions.

The community board can now bring the resolution to elected officials, requesting further support.

I was there representing the League of Independent Theater to speak in support of the resolution, as was Shay Gines from the NYITA Foundation (and a fellow LIT board member).

Thanks are due to Paul Nagle and Paul Bartlett on this, well done, gentlemen.

It's a first step, but it's the right road to be walking on.

After the CB3 meeting Walsh and I booked up to Center Stage to catch the end of the first Get lit with LIT event, an informal Q and A and meet and greet with Robert Zukerman from NYSCA hosted by Leonard Jacobs (yet another LIT board member).

Robert was informative and hilarious. Never heard someone from NYSCA tell a group of theater artists to simply "fuck that noise" when bullshitting on a grant application. A good reminder that human beings read those applications and not some faceless "panel".

Thanks to Leonard, Robert and Jennifer Conley Darling, our new Managing Director for putting it all together.

It's looking like a good spring coming.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

zukerman tonight

Come talk with Robert Zukerman and have a cheap drink at Center Stage tonight, doors open at 7:00. LIT members get in free, for non-members its a mere five bucks. It's the first get lit with LIT event, hosted by the inimitable Leonard Jacobs.

Rose and Ann win again.

It's Main Street Eyes and it's got to be some kind of a record.

Monday, March 23, 2009

city mouse?

Back from a solid week out in the country, Sunday to Sunday.

Walking across town on 23rd Street yesterday afternoon I got a good mainline injection of that Rat City high, face after face appearing in front of you and then gone only to be replaced by another life, another universe, another stranger pushing his way through the world.

And then last night out with friends at a Thai restaurant in the neighborhood, all very artsy/Manhattan/chic.

But I'll tell you. A week out in the quiet, a week seeing maybe one other human a day.

Half of me some days is ready to jump ship and swim to the shore of America.

We're listening to the great Iggy Pop this morning at the Museum. For a free two day pass to the Poconos, what kind of eyes are extolled on the second track of Brick by Brick?

Are they:

1. Faraway Eyes

2. Wild Devil Eyes

3. Angel Eyes

4. Main Street Eyes

or

5. The Eyes of Laura Mars?

Winners get to run in the woods, losers get stuck on the subway.

Friday, March 20, 2009

get lit with LIT

The first installment of Get lit with LIT! is here:

Get lit with LIT! A Monthly Cocktail Salon hosted by LITNY board member Leonard Jacobs. Each month the League will invite an important VIP from our sector to join our membership for cocktails and intimate question and answers.

Our first guest will be Robert Zuckerman, Theatre Program Director, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and will be held at:

Center Stage - 48 West 21 Street, 4th Floor, Buzzer 401

TUESDAY March 24th. Doors open at 7pm.

Free admission for Members and $5.00 for non-members.

Come on down.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

rain day

Pouring down out here in the mountains.

Had to make a fire this morning with wet wood, as I forgot to cover the woodpile last night.

Nothing to it, just takes patience and a hell of a lot of cardboard.

Catching up on a myriad of projects today, household and otherwise.

R.I.P. Natasha Richardson. Met her once when Walsh did a staged reading with her years ago, seemed like a very nice woman.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

anniversary

It was a year ago today that Walsh pulled the Fireball Trick and earned the moniker Spitfire McGee.

A hard year, but she's healing beautifully.

Thanks all, again, for the support and love.

Couldn't have done it without you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

celtic pride

Today the land of Beckett, Joyce, Behan and Synge is honored by rivers of green beer and vomit.

Always a proud day when your heritage is reduced to crowds of drunken people in leprechaun hats.

Ann and Heather ace the MMMQ and Rose gets the secret bonus question right.

Can't stop that Rose.

Careful out there today, it's Amateur Hour all day long.

Monday, March 16, 2009

back to it

Spent a great week down in Philly working with Peter Clerke and Melanie Stewart on a Jekyll and Hyde inspired piece for next fall. Pete works with benchtours, a Scottish theater company and Mel is a director/choreographer down in Philadelphia. I've known Pete for awhile, we met up in Edinburgh years ago, but never worked with him before. I spent most of the week in the back of the room observing and taking notes as I'm the designated text guy for the project.

Pete does a lot of work with neutral masks and I hadn't seen some of the techniques he was working with. Always amazing how much power and presence those exercises can create in such a short time.

It's Monday, so here's your MMMQ.

It's 70s punk time again here at the Museum, so answer me this:

Which of the following bands are not English?

1. 999

2. The Buzzcocks

3. Generation X

4. X

Name the Yanks and collect the big bonus prize.

Friday, March 06, 2009

soul samurai

Caught it last night.

Very funny stuff, indeed.

Everyone was great but for my money keep an eye out for a young actor named Jon Hoche.

The style is so way over the top that everyone onstage is committed to making big choices, but this guy stands out there all night making GINORMOUS choices to the point that I started helplessly giggling every time I looked at him.

I'm down in Philly all next week working on a collaboration with a director from Scotland. We're starting with Dr. Jekyl and Mr Hyde and seeing where it takes us. May be going deep, so posting may be light here.

We'll see what happens.

Good weekend to all.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

R.I.P. Horton Foote

92 years old and still working.

May we all be so blessed.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

everything comes to light

This from the Times today:

In an Oct. 23, 2001, memo, John C. Yoo, then a Justice Department lawyer, explained how Mr. Bush could ignore the Fourth Amendment and the Posse Comitatus Act and deploy the military within the United States in “anti-terrorist operations.” In the same memo, Mr. Yoo argued that Mr. Bush could also suspend First Amendment rights to free speech and a free press.

On March 13, 2002, Jay Bybee, the head of the office at the time, wrote that Mr. Bush could ignore the Geneva Conventions and the anti-torture treaty. Mr. Bybee, who now has a lifetime seat as a judge on a federal court, said Mr. Bush was free to send prisoners to countries known to employ torture — a practice known as extraordinary rendition — as long as there was no agreement to do the torturing.


And note that Bybee has "a lifetime seat as a judge".

Dark days, kids.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

charas/el bohio

Eight years later and the fight is still going on.

Now that's what I call tenacity.

City Councilmember, Rosie Mendez, has called for a Press Conference for March 9, 5:30 PM on the 10th Street Side of former Charas / El Bohio, Old PS 64.

This from the press release:

Since Landmark Designation, the capstones of the dormers on the 10th St Side have been destroyed. Tarps inadequate to the weather were put over the raw brick, and these have been ripped and completely open to the rain and snow for two seasons.

Letters have been written by Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to the current owner, encouraging the owner to make repairs, but the owner has done nothing. LPC has imposed no fines.

LPS must take action, as it has elsewhere but inexplicably not here, to repair the willful damage to a landmark structure crucial to our community.


Rosie slipped, but Ann was there to pick her up and share the coconut love, along with those sailin' shoes.

Monday, March 02, 2009

nor'easter

Eight to ten inches and they're digging us out here.

And I thought we were home-free.

MMMQ, in deference to the centigrade:

Lowell George's classic Cold, Cold, Cold first appeared on which Little Feat album?

1. Sailin' Shoes

2. Little Feat

3. Waiting for Columbus

4. Let it Roll

Winners get a peach or a pear or a coconut, losers stay cold.