Archives for: July 2008, 12
As I wrote here yesterday, I'm at the O'Neill Theater Center this week, participating in the National Critics Institute. If you're seeing this, it means that my assumption was right - I don't have Internet access this weekend. So, that means no news articles here until late Sunday or first thing Monday morning (I'm scheduled to get in around 10:30 Sunday night).
I did write up a few news stories that should pop up here over the weekend, so that there isn't total desolation on the site, but you'll have to wait a while for the usual assemblage of news coverage from around the country and the U.K.
Thanks for understanding. Hope you have a great weekend!
In just over a month, the Boulder International Fringe Festival gets underway, featuring 70 artists performing in some 14 venues over the course of 20 days.
One of the "big" names in this year's Festival - which will run August 14-25, is John Hefner, estranged cousin to a someone described in press materials as "certain international icon." In John Hefner's The Hefner Monologues, he grapples with the question of "how one makes a name for oneself when someone else already has?" In this piece, that debuted at the 2nd Annual Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C., this hefner shares stories about love, loss, public nudity, traffic court, and finding an identity in a world where "Hef" is a household name.
Not all of the other participants have names as easily recognizable, but there are some fascinating choices in the theater lineup at the Boulder Fringe, including God(s), created by The Octopus League, which hails from Naropa University and LISPA’s Lecoq based physical theater program. The group explores a whole body approach to theatrical storytelling, and in God(s), their 6th original work, the company has created an epic tale of ancient and modern Greek myth in Zeus and Hermes walk the earth, bringing tidings of hospitality and destruction.
From the U.K., will come Jimmy Hogg, who scored a success in Boulder in 2006 with Curriculum Vitae, For his 2008 appearance, Hogg offers A Brief History of Petty Crime, in which he exposes his life of petty crime while detouring on plenty of tangents. Hogg's work has been honored with Best of Fringe awards in Toronto (2007), Minnesota (2007, 2006), and San Francisco (2006).
The other theater pieces in the Boulder Fringe this year ranges from shows like In Mocking Disregard: The Burlesque Extravaganza, which promises to be an evening of titillation and delight; to Pedro and the Captain, which is described as "a chilling psychological study of torture and its effects on both detainee and interrogator."
For further information about the Festival, visit www.boulderfringe.com
TheatreFIRST Artistic Director Clive Chafer has announced his resignation after more than 14 years at the helm of one of the East Bay’s most notable small theatre companies. TheatreFIRST’s Board of Directors is now in final discussions with Chafer’s successor and expects to announce their selection soon. “I’m enormously proud of what we’ve achieved in that time,” said Chafer. “The board is deeply indebted to Clive's leadership, energy, and vision over the past fourteen years,” said Christine Dover, President.
Since its debut production 14 years ago of Manuel Puig’s Under a Mantle of Stars, TheatreFIRST has since staged many Bay Area and U.S. premieres, from works by accomplished playwrights like David Hare, to newer playwrights like Stephen Brown, whose Future Me was a huge success for the company this year. Particularly notable premieres directed by Chafer range from Dennis Potter’s adults-as-children fable Blue Remembered Hills to the docudrama of Robin Soans’ The Arab-Israeli Cookbook. Chafer also directed two David Hare works: Via Dolorosa, which chronicles Hare's trip to the Middle East, and A Map of the World, which pits a V.S. Naipaul-like author against UNESCO at a conference of developing nations.
During Chafer's tenure TheatreFIRST received such awards as the GOLDIE (Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery) Award for Theater, and the East Bay Express named TheatreFIRST the Best Small Theatre Company and Place for Actors of Color to Find Work.
“This has been a great ride,” said Chafer. “I feel we have accomplished a huge amount, despite never having a theatre space to call home for more than a year or two at a time. I’m deeply indebted to all the people who have supported us in our work. At the risk of sounding trite, none of it would have been possible without them. I know they will be delighted by what they see TheatreFIRST do in the future, and I’m sure they will be keen to continue supporting the company as it expands and moves up. These are exciting times for all of us.”
In the meantime, the company is planning an October 18th event to celebrate TheatreFIRST’s 15th Anniversary of producing provocative plays on international themes, and to introduce the new leadership to the company’s supporters and friends. The evening will include a staged reading of a play being considered for production next season in a new space in Oakland’s Uptown Arts District that the company is currently in negotiations to lease.
For more information about TheatreFIRST visit: www.theatrefirst.com
For early August, the Brick Theatre in Williamsburg will be home both a revival and a new play: Richard Foreman's Harry in Love, a comedy once slated for Broadway by the artist best known for his abstract theater pieces, and The Spell, a new play by Ian W. Hill, which explores, according to press notes, "whether violence can ever be justified, and if so, what limits are there and where does it end?"
Foreman's comedy, once slated for Broadway as a vehicle for Vincent Gardenia, centers on a big, neurotic, unnerved and unnerving man who believes his wife, Hilda, is planning to cheat on him (and he seems to be right). His response: drug her coffee and keep her knocked out until her paramour goes away. The plan works about as well as should be expected and, over several days, a number of people – the paramour, a doctor, Hilda’s brother, and an “innocent” bystander - are sucked into Harry's manic, snowballing energy as it becomes an eventual avalanche of (hysterically funny) psychosis.
In "Spell," an American woman who considers herself a patriot has committed a horrible, murderous, terrorist act on US soil as an act of protest and, she hopes, revolution against the United States Government, which she believes no longer represents the law, people, and Constitution of the USA. She finds herself in a room where she is questioned for days by a man and a woman—who may, in fact be the same person and who could be either a medical doctor or a military general. As she is interrogated, her mind, which may or may not be sane, reinterprets her surroundings into a chorus of voices—witches, revolutionaries, bossmen, old boyfriends, fragments of herself—arguing over the validity of her violent actions while at the same time trying to deny that the monstrous act has ever occurred, or that she could be capable of such a thing, and trying to reveal her beliefs while at the same time keeping her true self a deep secret.
Both plays will be directed by Hill, who has created 56 stage productions since 1997 with his company Gemini CollisionWorks, including works by Richard Foreman, T.S. Eliot, Clive Barker, Mac Wellman, Ronald Tavel, Jeff Goode, Mark Spitz, and Edward D. Wood, Jr., as well a s several original plays. As a designer (light, sound, projections, sets) and technical/artistic consultant he has worked with many other stage artists and theatres for almost 20 years, and he is currently the technical director of The Brick.
Harry in Love and The Spell will run in repertory at the Brick Theater (575 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn) July 31 - August 24. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased by calling 212-352-3101. For further information , visit: www.bricktheater.com.