Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bil - Talkin' 'Bout Conrad

Annelise Lawson has gone above and beyond in her understudy duties with this show. Not only has she memorized all the lines for Conrad, she's memorized ALL THE LINES.  She can reenact the entire show all by herself, Dario Fo style.  It's kind of amazing.

I've never had an understudy before, and I really didn't like the idea of telling someone okay, this is how I do it, try and mimic me the best you can.  So Annelise and I did a little bit more of sharing the character creation.  And since she's going on for me while I sit on my couch with tissues up my nose and a ton of vitamin C sources at arm's length, I thought I'd take this time to post a video made from a rehearsal we had, with audio clips of a conversation Annelise and I had recorded on an old-school cassette tape, talking about our experiences learning to act like a child.  Check it out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bil - Soon, babies, soon...

Well! What a tornado of activity...this poor, poor company blog has been put aside while we work on actual activities in the real world. Since the wedding of Jeremy & Anna, the cast of "The Devilish Children" (and assorted Dream Theatre technicians...meaning, of course, Giau Truong) have created quite possibly the most beautiful and haunting lobby for the theatre, as well as the biggest and most literal set Dream Theatre has ever seen. It's strikingly beautiful as a run-down children's theatre stage, complete with wings and a backdrop that look like they've been rotting there for centuries. It all started off so pretty, but these artsy types have really just utterly destroyed it. It's really something.

Personally, I've been meaning to post a recorded conversation between myself and Annelise, since we've sort of been developing the character of Conrad together. It's a really cool recording (on a real cassette tape, just like the previous century) but I wanted to get some footage of a rehearsal placed over the audio, and sadly I haven't been able to make the time yet. But I fully intend to have it this week, before we open--

That's right, Thursday is our glorious opening. "The Devilish Children and the Civilizing Process" opens this Thursday. Our children have gone from roguish clowns to sweet innocent children and back again throughout the last week or so of rehearsals, which would ordinarily make one pause and worry that maybe we're not ready. But Thursday is a long way off, and our cast is so in tune with each other lately that I can't help but feel excited.

Straight up excited. Not at all worried.

I simply cannot wait to start showing this play to our audiences. It's hilarious and horrifying and achingly endearing all at once.

Major props, by the way, to our newest company member, Annelise Lawson, who is responsible for a huge portion of the pretty paint jobs inside the theatre. She is not only an incredibly talented artist and performer, but she's the type of person who's always learning. She currently has a marketing internship with a very well-reputed opera company and she takes classes at night. She's all over this damn town. Keep your eyes on this one, critics and audiences, she'll steal your fucking heart.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

John - The Wedding

A wedding is a solemn ceremony, but it is also a theatrical event, and today Dream Theatre boasted a packed house as Anna Weiler and Jeremy Menekseoglu were married on stage.

I was surprised to learn, upon arrival, that Dream Theatre company members were being asked to stand on stage during the ceremony. I've never "stood up" for someone's wedding before, but I was honored to do so.

Anna had written her vows in truly charming rhyme. Jeremy's vows were a short story about how he fell in love with her.

After the ceremony, came the toasts, and the toasts just kept coming, most of them stunningly heartfelt.

Their hands were united, and the crowd was delighted.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Annelise - gettin' devilish

So, for the past couple of weeks, we've been building our set and cleaning the space.  It's been an involved process.  Tonight, I found myself getting a little, well, loopy.

At one point later in the evening, Jeremy pretended to come at me with a rusty screwdriver.  Now, generally, I'm afraid of being stabbed, so I backed off (in an over-excited way, I'll admit).  The reaction was odd enough that I was come at again and again, and again and again I over-reacted. As my reaction got more and more exaggerated, I found the whole situation funnier and funnier, to the point where the screwdriver only had to be picked up for me to collapse (literally) in a fit of laughter and shrieks. 

My point? Looking back on the event, it seems a lot like something from the world of the Devilish Children.  After spending enough time with a small group of people, my fear of stabbing became a game.  I realized that the kinder's enjoyment of Little Karl's misery is not always sadistic; they've spent so long in their own little world that everything new has the potential to become a joke. Even fear is funny.

Friday, October 1, 2010

John - Playing in the Dark

We started tonight with the dialog fragments exercise - which I'm bad at. Actors just start speaking lines from the play to each other - not necessarily their own lines - not necessarily addressed to the usual recipient. I heard all the basic relationships played out, and all the key moments in the play visited at least once. But not in sequence.

I think I'd like to sit in on a fragments exercise for a play I don't know. Then I would amuse myself trying to reconstruct the plot. It would be like taking a shredded letter and piecing it together.

From the fragments the cast spontaneously morphed into a full rehearsal of the play - in the dark. Well, not completely. We all had little flashlights. And there was a candle. So there was light a-plenty, in fact. It was the fastest, most fluid version of the play I've seen so far.

You sometimes hear, from theater people, that the real fun is in rehearsal. Perhaps it's because so much of the original creativity takes place there. Yes, there's often moment-to-moment creativity during a play's performance. But during rehearsal you see the big leaps take place before your eyes, which is always a pleasing surprise.