Saturday, August 8, 2009

Observation #6

Rehearsal 5-5:30pm - Ordinary People by Josef Krebs, directed by Linda Lombardi

Well, this is it. This is the last show I'm going to be able to observe. I'm missing one. And even this one, I almost missed. I knock on the door of their rehearsal space and hear "come in" but when I poke my head in, there's no one there. Then I hear "hello" from behind me and Michael Patten is standing behind the door loading up his bag. I ask what they're doing, tell him that I want to watch them. He says they'll be in tech in a few minutes. So, I catch only their tech rehearsal. Tech rehearsal isn't a great time to get a feel for a piece because the actors are often standing in the lights to make sure they're seen, waiting for set pieces to be marked, holding for music cues, holding for prop placement. But this one doesn't have a lot of that stuff and therefore fewer interruptions. So, I get to see the whole thing and it's delightful! Michael Patten and Charles Smith play an adorable couple getting ready for a trip. Linda Lombardi really is letting go of it now. She does tell them to put the suitcases down in a different place. But that's it. These boys are ready to go! And we're all ready for dinner. See you in the theatre!

Becky

The glory of Tech.

You know what the best thing about tech rehearsals at 14/48?

There's no time for anyone to be an asshole. Everyone is cooperating and listening to one another...no diva acts from any side here. That's the running theme...there is simply no time to incorporate your ego in these things.

Also, to anyone who works a 14/48 in their lifetime: Take five minutes out of your schedule to watch another shows' tech. I guarantee that you will see magic happen.

Observation #5

Rehearsal 4:15-5pm When I Slip Out To Play by Carl Sander, directed by Tim Hyland

I heard Annette Toutonghi say earlier today that she "had a poem". Now I find out what she meant by that. I catch tech rehearsal for this show and it is in verse - all of it. I'm in awe of the courage and the craft that went into writing this show and in awe of what Annette, R. Hamilton Wright and Shawn Law are doing with this. It's childhood creepy. It's sexy Disney. It's apocalytic lullaby. I go back with them to the dressing room/rehearsal room and watch while Tim works with them on the rhythm, words, and meaning. Poems in theatre are difficult for the actors, I think. The language is so specific and intentional and when it rhymes, you really can't replace a word. It's interesting to watch them work in minute detail on each word - land or place, paws or toes, we ten or ten we. Unlike all the other pieces I watched rehearse today, I get to hear this one all the way through, several times. These three actors are wonderful - I've seen each of them in many things. And what a treat to watch Tim lovingly (yes, I do mean lovingly but I hope that doesn't sound weird) direct them. He is their audience of one, has been all day. There are signs here of a director starting to let the actors own the script, the performance. This is the type of little jewel that is so delightful to see at 14/48. I'm running out of time! I head out to find the two shows I've missed!

Becky

Observation #4

Rehearsal 3-3:30pm - Just Drink It by Paul Mullin, directed by Brian Faker

Brian has decided not to go back to his rehearsal space at the Rep so his cast is at On the Boards trying to find a corner in which to rehearse. This is how it happens that Tracy Hyland and Connor Toms are practicing a sex scene on the floor up against a couch in the food hallway. They have to be quieted for the director's meeting but it's clearly a fabulous scene! Then Andromeda Dunker follows the script while they run lines. This is an interesting scene that I look forward to seeing in the context of the entire play. Brian interrupts the line running to call the rest of the cast (Alyssa Keene and Heather Persinger) over to sit on the floor in front of the food bar. He puts a manila envelope on the ground and starts to draw on it. He has apparently rethought a bunch of stuff - taking the action on the stage back to a much more minimal thing. There is a bed (mais oui!) and images projected on the screen. Everyone seems good with this idea of simplification. There's a lot of nodding. The band will be playing one of my favorite songs, Man on the Moon. Throughout this time, people are walking through the cast to get to the restrooms and the kitchen. Brian and the cast then look for a place that they can perch and practice. The problem is, there really isn't anywhere and for about 10 minutes I follow them through the building looking for space. They finally go into a little closed-in lobby area on the bottom floor. Regretfully, it's too small for me to join them. It's also going to be warm in that space. I know people make it work at 14/48. I know this. But, if this is where more magic is going to be created, I'm going to miss it.

Becky

Someone says...

Someone says, "Still Life: Smoking Man with Cookies" and we look up and Alex Samuels is putting his cigarette out before he comes in with his arms full of cookies. He says, "John Bradshaw rocks!" Apparently John is responsible for the cookies - which means, he really does rock!

Someone says, "Have you heard there's a play with gay werewolves." "No, seriously?" "Yeah, just an ordinary gay couple but, you know, werewolves."

Someone says, "This is the worst support group I've ever been in!"

Someone says, "Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, my antibiotic prescription ran out this morning and now I'm on Vicodin. Basically, I'll be high for the rest of the show." (the "someone" is our Stage Manager, Lou!!)

Someone says, "I don't care which music it is. Well, not true, I do care it's just that I'm bankrupt in ideas in that department right now."

Someone says, "They're just rehearsing their orgasm."

Someone says, "What's state of the superhero, fairy, and bear costumes?" "Done."

Becky

Everybody's working for the weekend

Well, no, not technically, but that's the song that the band is rehearsing right now. A big shout out must be given to Jason Harber, who's sitting in on the band for tonight's show. He, as well the rest of them, sound fantastic, as always. Random Question: Has there been any time that the band has not sounded fantastic? Money's on it has never happened.

PDO'C just walked through the lobby, sighed "Jesus Fuckin' Christ..." and left. Erin Kraft, the only other person in the room, deadpanned: "Day Two."

Jim Jewell reports that things are going well on the food end but "we're exhausted." At least there is no more coordinating and organizing and ordering. All they have to do for dinner is get the food and hope the actors eat it. There will not be any problem there.

The lobby is a pretty damn cool place to hang out because you can get a steady stream of the most random apropros of nothing. For instance, Hana Lass just entered and is running over a cute little dance for show number five, A Whole Mess of Badgers. That, or she really just has a dance in her heart, and needs to let it out.

Lou Butler just entered, looking for a missing director for the directors meeting. "Oh, it's just you," she said, noticing me. "Just?" I replied, in mock pain. "Especially," she corrected. Can you tell she's worked with actors before?

And now I've heard everybody's working for the weekend 10 times, and I think it's safe to say it is now stuck in everyone's head. Time, methinks, to find another nook to lurk in.

Observation #3

Rehearsal 11:30am-12:15pm Hansani Safari by Heidi Heimarck, directed by Andy Jensen

Once again, without having the official schedule in hand, I suspect this is Heidi's piece... and it is. And, once again, I can't exactly explain how I know but there's something about Heidi's writing that is poetic and specific and embraces the mystery of the world. And this is a mysterious piece. They are well into the process, the actors are even speaking whole lines without looking at their script, and it takes me awhile to understand exactly what I'm hearing. It's real dialogue. There's something really happening here with three of the actors, Patrick Allcorn, Scott Plusquellec, and Allison Strickland. But there's also a presence on stage that is not human played by Ben Gonio. Andy steps into the center of them to talk about the space and the staging. He is a kenetic, energized, positive director. He does a stomping, tap-dancing move when he comes up with a cool idea. He likes hearing actor input. He talks to Patrick about his physical presence and his voice and how strong it is. He praises Allison for her choice to deliver her lines matter-of-factly. Scott plays with the humor of his character and makes me laugh. Ben suggests a fluttery movement for his character. Even without completely understanding it, I get goosebumps, and once I've watched long enough to understand it, I'm entranced. My car is already in danger of getting a ticket and I have to run out and move it. I'd rather stay and see this piece develop.

Becky

Observation #2

Rehearsal 10:45-11:30am - A Whole Mess of Badgers by Kelleen Conway-Blanchard, directed by Erin Kraft

I'm familiar with several of this weekend's writers so, even though I'm not sure whose script is being rehearsed in the lobby area (there's no playwright there), I am certain within a few lines that it is Kelleen's. I can't tell you exactly how I know. It's the rhythm of her language, her word choices, the nature of the people she imagines. Her humor sneaks up your leg and bites you - she makes you laugh and suffer in the same moment. The characters are deeply disturbing and absolutely hilarious. And when the new character comes onto stage you think, oh here is Normal coming to intrude on Weird but NO - this is Weirder coming to take Weird to another level. I deeply admire that choice she makes. The actors (Seanjohn Walsh, Chris Maslen, and Hana Lass) are moving slowly through the script. I love the collaborative process happening in this room. Erin stops them often bringing movements or subtext or ideas to them. And they incorporate them naturally, generously. One of the great things about Kelleen's writing is that you can say a line in a whole bunch of different ways and it's still funny. Chris reads the lines differently each time. Still funny. Seanjohn is absolutely adorable and can't stop saying what is a very funny line (in context), "Cotton." Hana moves away from herself and into her character with an ease that is heartstopping to me. I don't want to intrude, I wish I could be completely invisible, but I keep laughing. I try to stop. Truly. But I can't help laughing. I have to DRAG myself away from the rehearsal.

Becky

Grilled Cheese Sammiches and Grape Laffy Taffy for lunch.

Washed down with some refreshing Mountain Dew...and some carrots, cause we're on a diet. Preserving the tool, folks.

Michael and Katie are in a quandry. They're looking for some moondust. Do you have any? Has anyone been? Does anyone have ideas? They just nixed an idea where a large beach ball would play the moon. Apparently, you can't papier mache something and expect it to not be wet by tech.

Remember, your limitations are your inspiration!

Charles Smith (not just a Veteran of veterans, but a Mazen award winner) apparently tempted the 14/48 gods by openly hoping that he didn't get a two person show - he's never been in one before. Well, guess the hell what, Charles? You just drew a two-person play this morning...Physical and irrefutable proof that the 14/48 gods will not be fucked around with lightly. Fortunately for Charles, it's only a four page script about werewolves. And sex? It's very possible that I misheard that, but it's more probable that I did not.


Observation #1

Rehearsal 10-10:45am - Wilderness by Moll Frothingham directed by Basil Harris

I stayed in the back of the studio theatre as everyone left the morning meeting so I could be innocuous as I observe rehearsal. Basil invites actors into the circle. Playwright Moll is in the circle, as well - this is her last few minutes in the 14/48 room before she heads home to sleep. When she comes back, the creation will be complete. This is a fun piece - young hikers in the wilderness. They read the script through - Alyson Scadron Branner, Mike Dooly, Jodi-Paul Wooster, Rebecca Olson. Basil is listening and says he likes the casting as is. They talk about being an adolescent. That feeling of little problems feeling like they're life or death. Basil talks to each actor about his or her character. "Bitchy is just always an option for you." "You don't stand too close but you're positioning yourself for her." Basil is very funny, irreverant, and yet purposeful. It seems to me that Moll is very happy with the read-through. She heads home. Jodi-Paul is yellow highlighting his script and accidentally highlights someone else's lines. They joke that Jodi-Paul can just do the whole script. "I got it!" he says. Basil gets them up on their feet immediately - there is plenty of space to do that. They talk about hiking boots, backpacks, the feeling when you really don't want to keep hiking but everyone else is going so you have to just keep going. They are already having fun with it. They're already trying out movements that add to the story, that tell the story. I'm realizing how early that happens - sans costume, sans props, sans music - relationships are forming between the characters, traits are becoming apparent, it's already happening. And I'm realizing that I've watched long enough, there are six other rehearsals to go to. And there is no innocuous way to leave that theatre space - I'm disruptive as I creak down the stairs. I remember that the observer naturally impacts that which she observes. It vaguely worries me.

Becky

Where does the magic come from?

The magic of 14/48 is born in rehearsals. Somewhere between the time the writers deliver the script to the directors and the time the actors walk onto stage, magic has been created and I really want to see it. I want to see that moment when, like the rubbed lamp, the play starts tingling, blinking, moving of its own accord. So, I'm going to spend the entire day watching, watching rehearsal, looking for the magic.

Becky

And it is in this blog where I shall tempt the 14/48 Gods.

There was some low-key mumblings and grumblings at the artists meeting this past Thursday -- primarily from the most veterany of the 14/48 veterans -- about the gods of 14/48, and how they do not appreciate being tempted by the artists.

Inquiring about the nature of how one would tempt the 14/48 gods, I got this response: It pretty much happens when a naive virgin (or a possibly drunk/suicidal veteran) prefaces a sentence with: "I sure hope this specific thing doesn't happen today."

As in, "I sure hope I don't have to play a nun who likes getting naked and sodomized in her bathtub by the Norse god Oden." Oh what, you actually said that? Well put on your showercap and lube up, Anabel Mae, cause Paul Mullin just wrote a play about that exact same thing, and guess what? Your name just got called in the actor draw.

...And this is a roundabout way of saying I got to thinking earlier today, how could I tempt the 14/48 gods?

... ...

So, hey!!

You know what I hope not happens to me today? I sure hope I don't come across a sleeping or napping actor, sometime after dinner and frightfully close to the Places call. I hope I don't then, at that moment, grab them calmly but forcefully and frantically whisper to them: "What are you doing??!! Your show is on in one minute!!!"

(I furthermore plan to hope to not spend the rest of the evening avoiding said actor, and subsequent kick and/or punch in the taint.)

The Haps at the Rep

It's no secret that in this incarnation of 14/48, the plays that rehearse at the Rep are the red-headed stepchildren of the group. You know what I'm talking about: "It'd be so much easier to love you if it weren't for those hideous freckles."

It's like a five block walk over there!! Hey pal, I'm here to see a theatre festival, not join a gym.

But anyway, bitching aside, it is pretty awesome of the Rep to let 14/48 take over a couple of rehearsal spaces for two weekends in a row.

In one rehearsal space, Brian Faker is directing a piece by Paul Mullin. With four women and one man. The name of the piece is called Just Drink It. I didn't stay to watch much (they were still talking costumes and tech anyway) because I have a feeling I would like to be surprised by this one. Possessing the filthy mind that I do, I had several immediate ideas as to what It was...so that invariably means that the play probably won't be as dirty as I hope it will be, but I can hope. Which is what I will do.

A short walk down, Nick Garrison and the Cut crew were already on their feet, or rather, sitting at their desks. It would appear that this play is set in the worst, most boring job in world. So you'll either find it really funny or really not funny and painful, like a searing stab wound right in your abdomen. (It's the feeling you feel every day when you work at a boring desk job.) Methinks Vince Delaney may have experience working in those places, because the dialogue was spot on.

The stage direction of the day goes to Mr. Garrison, who instructed Betsy Schwartz to give a line reading at the paper cutter a tiny bit more "retarded coyness."

How sweet. Reminds me of the movie Radio with Cuba Gooding Jr.

What does a typical 14/48 day look like?

Daily Schedule:

8:00 AM: Writer's Deadline (plays must be emailed in by this time)

8:30 AM - 1030 AM: Breakfast is available

9:00 AM: Writer and Director call, Plays are drawn

9:45 AM: Actor Call

10:00 AM Actor Draw, rehearsals begin

10:30 AM: Band is called

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM: Lunch is served

3:00 PM: Director's Meeting

3:30 PM - 6:00 PM: Tech Rehearsals

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Dinner is served

7:00 PM: All company meeting

8:00 PM: First show

10:30 PM: Second show

12:30 AM: Party (Saturdays only)

(A gentle reminder) that the word of the day

Is YES!

As in, there isn't any time in this process to say no.

(Unless you're Brian Faker.)


Saturday Morning Energy

Saturday mornings at 14/48 have a unique kind of energy. One play down, one to go. Coming off of the experience of last night - gearing up for a new challenge tonight. A little exhaustion. Some coffee and danish. Nerves. Congratulations. It's exciting.

This is an energetic group. Much more raucous than last weekend. Louder. More heckling. Teasing. It fills the small theatre.

I hear Brian Faker discussing (I think) the play he's directing. Someone is saying "Treat it like for colored girls who considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf..." "Yeah," says Brian, "how I would treat that play? That's exactly how I'll treat this."

Someone tells Mark Boeker that his line from last night was the favorite. Mark repeats the line. They all repeat the line. A brief revisit before moving on.

Paul Mullin is here with his very young son. He says the writing went well last night. He looks exhausted. He and Brian Faker are talking about how boring but necessary read-throughs are. "Like sex," one of them jokes. Paul's son asks "What's sex?" Paul ducks it. Brian answers it "It's how babies are made." I wait to hear what's next. Silence. Then, "How is it spelled?"

Mike Dooley is a 14/48 virgin. Shawn Belyea says, "Hey Mike, it's going down in history that your first line in your first play of your first 14/48 was I want you to come in my mouth."

I love eavesdropping.

Becky

Joining mid-weekend

Becky checking in at the Saturday morning meeting. I'll be blogging the day, joining Alex and taking over for Meghan.

Weekend Two, Night Two Lineup!!! (Now with Actors!!)

14/48 Weekend Two, Night Two

Theme: Walk on the Wild Side

ACT ONE

Hasani Safari by Heidi Heimarck, directed by Andy Jensen
Starring Patrick Allcorn, Scott Plusquellec, Ben Gonio, and Allison Strickland

When I Slip Out to Play by Carl Sander, directed by Tim Hyland
Starring R. Hamilton Wright, Shawn Law, and Annette Toutonghi

Wilderness by Moll Frothingham, directed by Basil Harris
Starring Mike Dooly, Jodi-Paul Wooster, Rebecca Olson, and Alyson Scadron Branner

Just Drink It by Paul Mullin, directed by Brian Faker
Starring Connor Toms, Tracy Hyland, Alyssa Keene, Heather Persinger, and Andromeda Dunker.

INTERMISSION

ACT TWO

A Whole Mess Of Badgers by Kelleen Conway-Blanchard, directed by Erin Kraft
Starring Seanjohn Walsh, Chris Maslen, and Hana Lass

Ordinary People by Josef Krebs, directed by Linda Lombardi
Starring Mike Patten and Charles Smith

Cut by Vincent Delaney, directed by Nick Garrison
Starring Doug Willott, Mark Boeker, John Farrage, Pat Sibley, Kathryn Van Meter, and Betsy Schwartz.

Let's Give a Huge, HUGE Shout Out to Therese Diekhans

Midway during the 8PM show last night, Therese Diekhans and Alyson Scadron Branner took a nasty spill on one of the platforms during their fight scene in their show, Sharing Witness.
They were able to make it (quite flawlessly) through the rest of the first show and, courtesy of some re-blocking, the second show as well.

Unfortunately though, Therese will be sitting out of tonight's plays.

Alyssa Keene will be taking her place for tonight's show.

If you see Therese in the near future, be sure to commend her for making it through the night. It really was something else. WE LOVE YOU, THERESE DIEKHANS!!!!

The Morning Scoop!!

Wanna know what your bill will look like tonight?


Andy Jensen will be directing Heidi Heimarck's Hasani Safari

Tim Hyland will be directing Carl Sander's When I Slip Out to Play

Basil Harris will be directing Moll Frothingham's Wilderness

Brian Faker will be directing Paul Mullin's Just Drink It

Erin Kraft will be directing Kelleen Conway-Blanchard's A Whole Mess of Badgers

Linda Lombardi will be directing Josef Krebs' Ordinary People

Nick Garrison will be directing Vincent Delaney's Cut


OVERHEARD:

Tim Hyland (script in hand): "Carl, what the hell is this?"

Carl Sander (laughing a bit sadly): "I have no idea..."

IMPRESSIONS:

Vince Delaney draws the final play two nights in a row? Lucky Bastard.
Kelleen's play will probably not involve the Wisconsin Badgers football team.
I'm hoping we got Mary Tyler Moore to make an appearance in Krebs' play.
I initially misread Carl Sander's play as When I Slip It Out to Play. Which would have been fun. Or maybe not.
Expect to see a lot of animal abstract work tonight. Call it an educated guess.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Good Night awesome team!

I had a super fun day blogging with Alex the Adorable. First show of the night was a hoot and they are already doing it again! Me? I am home. I am signing off a little sadly so I can do lots of other work tommorrow. But I will be there to see what happens at 8pm and maybe send along some more pictures and stories that didn't make it on the blog today!

Hope your kitchens are all on fire tomorrow 14/48 ers!

Theme for Night 2

Walk on the Wild Side.


Nice!!

And Peggy Shall Greet You...


And Miss Peggy will greet you!

Holy crap! The day is gone. Gone daddy gone. People are racing around putting stuff away, audience is arriving. 24 hours ago people were just chillin, drinkin beer. We had NO SHOW! And the show is opening now just over 1/2 and hour. WHAT?

One more story for now...
Last night I spoke with Peggy Gannon. Her name tag still said Veteran and she deserves it for sure. But this weekend Peggy is entering a new role. She is the official 14/48 greeter this weekend. This a special position at 14/48 usually filled by Mr. Matthew Richter. Their job is to introduce the whole 14/48 concept at the beginning of the night. With the band they are the team that really set the tone. 14/48 feels more like a rock show that theater sometimes.

So Peggy is your greeter. Which MEANS, she is now a Virgin for the weekend. WOO HOO!
I talked with her about how she was feeling going into this new realm. And well...
It was super awesome.
She said " I just, I just F&*king LOVE 14/48 SOOOOOO much. Soooo much. I want to introduce all the people who are new to 14/48 to the magic that is. Cuz it is really magic. And to remind people who have been here before just HOW magic it is."
She also said the Matt told her that the best advice he had is to just do the speech so well you get someone in the audience to sleep with you.
While here hubby in the cast might not be down with it, I am sure the whole audience will want to, she is amazing!

I also asked her what she was afraid of. After thinking she said "OH! I just don't want to forget the theme!" (Apparently this has happened) then she gasped "OH MY GOD! What is the theme, I can't remember the theme!" Three of us were standing there. None of us could remember it.

In case she forgets...
It is "Danger in Group Work"
TEAR IT UP PEGGY AND ALL THE 14/48 TEAM! WE LOVE YOU!!!!

The Artists Meeting: It's Your Last Chance to Flee

But no one is doing that tonight. They're all manning up and getting ready to perform the shit out of these plays.

A few more thank you's to our many volunteers in the kitchen and to those who helped out with the door, the band, the OTB staff...EVERYONE.

Louise is giving a few housecleaning notes where to enter, where to exit.

Make sure to step on the platforms DS the right way, or you'll receive a nasty surprise.

There is a surprise at the end of the Play 7.

I note that Meghan is blogging this at the same time. You may very well be receiving two super similar posts, kids.

If you're in the Skinner room, be sure to quiet.

If you weren't able to get dinner, Jim went down and got some more. So if you've already eaten, don't go back for seconds until everyone has had some!!

Hey you know what? There are two shows tonight. Please don't leave after the first one.

Stage exits have priority over stage entrances.

Everyone, return your props and costumes for the evenings shows!

Go Big or Home. If you can't run with the big dogs, get the fuck off the porch. If your kitchen's not on fire, light it!

And then, this old chestnut. 8PM show: Opening night energy!!! 1030PM show: Closing night energy!!

Tech finale

#7 "Six Months In"
Oh my god I am hungry. They are eating food from Boom Noodle out there. Dear god I want to go get some of it.
Tech.
Yes.
I am here.
Oh DUDE. And by DUDE I mean DUDES!!!
6 of em. And this is a play about pregnancy. But I am not going to fully clarify so as to not ruin the surprise.
But the small actor notes and physical stuff it already cracking me up.
Director Linda Lombardi is just having them walk through their blocking, no lines, just finding their way around the stage.

A collective OH!!!!! Poor baby.
The guys are not in costume yet. I am really looking forward to see it though.
Are you intrigued yet?

SING ALONG!!!

Dude. Get your tickets.
The dudes want you to.
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/66720

And I want noodles. I am going to get the now from the awesome kithchen volunteers.

A big, wet, sloppy THANK YOU Kiss to Boom Noodle...

...For supplying this evenings food. It looks, smells and tastes absolutely fantastic.

Are you a Seattle restaurateur? Have you ever been interested in giving back to your artistic community? Then help 14/48 by donating your food to feed dozens of starving theatre artists. Philanthropy is a pretty damned good way to feel good about yourself, and it's a fantastic way to get the word out about your restaurant.

Send an email to sponsor@1448fest.com if you'd be interested in donating to future 14/48s.

Tech keeps going...

# 6 "Death Lives"
I am very curious about this one. They have these amazing lamp creations they are wearing that you totally have to see.
I have not seen to many freaked out actors so far but this crew is stressin. They have some monologue action to memorize and Heidi writes very cool and VERY specific funny language. I had to run to the ladies during the 4th tech, and ran through the upstairs lobby at On The Boards were they were rehearsing. The were still busting in out and the room had the hot sweaty actor steaminess to it. (I am sure it will be aired out by the time you come, don't worry) I see Virgin actor Connor Toms and my earlier interaction with him at lunch makes sense now. I tried to ask him how he was doing while he was gathering his food at the sandwich bar and he looked at my like this...He tried to speak but just sort of moved his jaw slowly up and down while he blinked and tried to stab a piece of turkey with a fork. Then he said "umm... I... I am just feeling kind of overwhelmed right now.
But he looks like he is doing ok at tech. Hang in there Connor!

The lights in the show are really cool. Some time had to be spent to get the balance between the very small amount of light the actors had (they had to carry if with them) and the light the band needs to do it's job. This is super cool and creepy in here right now.
Yum.

HOLY CRAP I CAN'T STAND IT

I'm still at work, but I want to be with you, 14/48! Tell me you'll wait for me.

Still tech!

#5 "Sharing Witness"
Dude. I looked a way for a couple minutes and it had gone crazy up there! So much violence! Killer! As in awesome. But also as in kill.
Paul Mullin brought the dark and twisted. But I didn't get to hear much of the actual text so I have not idea what this is about. Really can't wait to find out.
You can't wait either.
But you have too.
Get your tickets NOW! I mean it.
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/66720

Ooooo oooo! They are doing the final thing (can't tell you)
Lou shouts- "We are time, I will give you 60 seconds."
They do the thing.
Someone who just came in says "OH SH*T!"
Want to know what happens? See above and get a ticket!

I just saw Therese Diekhans kill a bitch.

Only at 14/48.

More tech from Meghan...

#3 "Fingered"
Simple tech show. This group is mostly just using their tech to get a run through in. Really, I can't say much more on this this blog cuz it is some dirty dirty funny stuff. But reread the title.
Then I will leave you a blank space for your mind to wander....
......
.....
.....
.....
.....
.....
.....
.....
.....
.....
......
....
....
.....
.....
.....
8 MINUTES! (that means they have 8 minutes of tech left.)
This runs so tight they have to give 8, 5 and 3 minute warnings.
Hmmmm. Considering the title of the play, maybe I should rethink how I phrased that last sentence?
Naw. It stays.
Damn! They finished with 5 minutes left. So they are just fine tuning so band and scene change stuff.

#4 "Life Skills"
This is the show that I watched rehearsal for this morning. Oh look, yay! Some coveralls from Vrooommm! found a new life.
Director Brian Faker is trying to get the light super tight. The took a couple times to get the top cue but it is wicked awesome.
Oh dear! Sweet Virgin Doug Willot is up there and he is all scary and sh*t! Oh Dougy, what happened to you?
Right. Acting. Got it. Sorry. He scared me.
Virgin Actor Mike Dooly is looking seriously crazy pants over there too.
Brian is doing a nice job of prioritizing what he needs to look at in tech. No full run of this show, but they seem to be pretty ready.
Tech is ending, Brian calls out "My actors! How scared are you?!!"

However scared they are, I am sure the are all ready to follow the advice of Mazen award winner Basil Harris and "F&$% your fear!"

Tech Adventures

Sitting right behind fellow blogger Meghan...we're both dueling for the hot scoop here at Tech, and I think she is pretty uniformly beating my ass. Show number four, "Life Skills," set in a prison, is up now and I'd like to know what prison coordinates their jumpsuits as well as this one does -- Doug Willott, the guard, is in blue, and then Michael Patten is in a rich orange, John Farrage in a light yellow, and Mike Dooly in a clear white ("What, did you get arrested painting a house?")

Jesus, I can't get enough of the band. Leslie Law singing "We're Not Gonna Take it Anymore"? Brilliant.

I'm sorry WHAT?

You don't have your tickets yet?
Not smart.
Really.
Not.
Smart.
We are not even halfway through tech and this is clearly already going to be worth dragging your but down here just for the first two.
Get it together people. Buy you tickets now.
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/66720

TECH!

Show #1"Mazen"
I just walked into the beginning of tech.
Each show gets something like 17 minutes to tech. They have 8 left. They are trying to start back up and Actor Shawn Law seems frustrated by some false starts.
"Let's do it a 2 count instead of a bump! One more time" Director Tim Hyland seems cool and in charge. He is moving between adjusting is actors and giving notes to the tech team seemlessly. But they have 3 minutes to work the last sound cue with the band. The next cast is already hovering...
Awesome creepy music? CHECK!
Wow! These end lights are cool!
Done. Tim thanks stage manager Lou Butler and the band and we are on to #2.

Show #2 Human Progress
Totally different use of stage and set, cool. Tech includes lots of band effects at top and big old section of projections. Sweet. How did that all get done? It is only 3:58!
Looks like Ray Gonzalez is here. I heard people discussing when we would have him earlier. I am not sure what his job is tonight must find out.
Lot's of sound to coordinate with the band. Love it. Sound is always live at 14/48, the band not only provides music, but all the effects too. It is freakin awesome and really adds to the event. Got it, Ray is crew tonight. Alex and I are discussing how he such a good actor. But tonight, he is all in backstage mode. So many awesome people volunteering to make this happen! An iconic 14/48 object is a prop in this how too. It is related to pulling the theme. Nice.
Show two tech done at 4:13.

Random updates

Someone asks Annette Toutonghi how she is doing as she walks by.
"Monologues." Nuff said.

Leslie from the band says they made a ROCKIN original song for the opening and she gets to do some Celtic keening.
Sweet.

Update from Ross Whippo, On The Boards Rep-
No one vomited in the trash can today.
But a door handle did break off and I had to replace it with string.

Some directors meeting quotes-
How's that weed coming?
We are making bellies as we speak.
I have NO idea how many crew people I have.
That stage door only has a loop now not a handle (note update from Ross above)

Nooks and Crannies

Walk around On the Boards, and in five minutes, I saw roughly 50 people working on 50 separate things, all striving together for one goal. (I tried to make that sound inspiring, and while it is - it totally is -) I feel as though my fingers failed me. But anyhoo,

In one nook, several volunteers were folding freshly copied programs for tonight's show. In another cranny, designer Banton Foster was diligently working on some prop related project.

And the place is just crawling with actors, nervously pacing back and forth trying to remember their lines. I have absolutely no idea as to why this is, because when in doubt, I always follow this primo advice from seasoned pro Ron Albertson (Fred Willard), courtesy of Waiting for Guffman: "If there's an empty space, just fill it with a line, that's what I like to do. Even if it's from another show."

Jason Harber accidentally sat on the papier mache 'die' that looks like an acting block but is really not -- without spilling his beer....Good man.

Louise Butler was leading the Director's meeting in the downstairs lobby where the directors are airing out any last concerns before we go into tech. The designers are still searching for a few props...They'll be jetting to the Thrift store to buy things they couldn't get at the various theatres around town.

Quote from Tim Hyland: "No more fun!"

I ran into Hana Lass, one of the actors in Josef Krebs' wordy Human Progress. Noting the complexity of the dialogue in rehearsals, I asked her how her lines were coming along...noting I'd keep it confidential "Oh no, you can post this," she responded, "I want to strangle Josef Krebs."

As a reminder, there are two shows tonight at 8 and 10:30, and we are located at On The Boards in Queen Anne, 100 Roy Street. If you didn't know that by now, though, well, what is wrong with you? Honestly.

Tech is looming, and you probably should GET YOUR TICKETS HERE. (How was that for a segue?)

The Virgin Updates

Ok pictures are taking too long to upload, slowing me down. You only get words for awhile now...

Ok back. I had to take a break to play with Harvey the 14/48 baby. I couldn't help myself.
Also I may have ADD.

Back to Virgins!
Want to see them as they were last night? Go to-
http://1448fest.blogspot.com/2009/08/virgin-profiles.html

Moll Frothingham (Writer)
I check in Moll right after one of her actors is thanking her for giving them fun stuff to do. Moll is beaming, that is exactly what she was most worried about coming through on.
GO MOLL!
Now really. Go Moll. Go take a nap. You have been up all freakin night and you have to be back to do this again soon.
Oh dear. She is already back. She says the nap is just not happening. She has some yummy lunch and then goes home to try again for the sleep...

Rebecca Olsen
This girl is HAPPY! She said she has an amazing cast, and is just loving it. As of lunch time, she said they had plenty of time. She was over in the corner with her cast mate. And there was lots of nodding, excited gestures and the conversation was something like "Yeah Yeah Yeah! OH! Yeah! I KNOW!" as they figured out some character stuff. Rock.

Ahren Buhman
I can't seem to really catch him. Designers are like quicksilver slipping through my fingers. I caught a shot of him getting lighting directions from Tim Hyland. They went something like this- "It should be like, SCUUUUUKUUUUU PYOUUUUUUOOOOEEE PTCHKUYOUOW SHHHCUUCHCCHK!" What Ahren hears in his head? Need gels and gobos.
Then he disappears. I follow him down hallways for awhile to get a good quote but he is off. His stuff has to be ready by the 3:30 tech and he is wiggin a little on programming it all.

Erin Kraft
Feels good. They figured out the style. Halfway through rehearsal they thought it was one thing then it decided to be something else.
Did she have ideas I ask? " I DID!" she squeals with delight!

Hannah Schnabel
Gave her permission to go raid Live Girls! theater. She too is off and running. I think she is still alive. I got a text that said "I want to STRANGLE Joseph Krebbs right now!" Watch play #2 to see what drove our costumer to violence

Doug Willot
Doing good overall. He say's his director is super detailed and works line by line (Brian Faker) and it is intense but good. However apparantly John Farrage, one of his fellow actors is being a TOTAL DIVA*. He didn't have to have Doug grab him by the shirt because he might rip it and it was HIS shirt. WAAHHH WAHHHH. Big baby.
Also, they were still blocking the show, lunch was almost over and John was all "I CAN'T GET HOME AND I CAN'T GET ANY FOOD!!!" Cry me a river buddy...

*note. I may be going to hell for posting that as John is one of he sweetest people you will ever work with. Ever. But it did happen. But he is not really a diva. But he could play one. He is rad like that.

An update sent at 8:16 AM by Heidi Heimarck

Posted at 2:53 PM because I forgot to check my email until right now.


Subject: Themes don't kill -- people do.

Posh! Bosh!

Themes don't kill, they challenge.

Perhaps, knowing this, we were steadfastedly and stubbornly challenged by an Ubu-vet to not rely on quick frivolity, but to dig deeper - yes, into our very souls, both comic and tragic - and to meet the theme with a "bring it on m-f-er!".


Very nice. How Henry V of you, Heidi :-)

Hannah Schnabel is back with a veritable fuckton of costumes.

14/48 Virgin Hannah Schnabel, who is serving as the costume designer for this weekend, just came back with several large piles of clothes, some from Live Girls (the pile with all the weird stuff), and some from 14/48 Actor Annette Toutonghi. Safe to say we've got enough pieces to costume the next 3 14/48's.

We're ramping up to tech, and things are starting to get more hectic as the tech aspects are beginning to merge with the shows.

Update, the vase Katie was working on with is going to be a pot vase. A makeshift pot vase. I had three guesses as to what is was going to be. While I cannot say I was right, I also cannot say I was surprised.

It's going to be an interesting night.

14/48 a love story

Joshua Sliwa our Photographer

and Andromeda Dunker (actor play 1)Met at at 14/48.
6 months later got engaged at a 14/48.
They have been married for 5 years.
They are up from LA to do 14/48 together.
Sweet sweet magic.

Luuuurking

To steal an idea from Meghan (who is rocking it today!) I thought I'd lurk in the downstairs lobby (which seems to be where we all conglomerate)

Right outside the door, Super Volunteer Katie Hansen is outside fashioning a vase made of the greenery outside the building.

Spotted (briefly) power-napping: Scott Plusquellec and Annette Toutonghi. Apparently, in order to nap here, your last name must be really hard to spell.

Don't eat the rinds of the watermelon stew, or your stool will thicken. That according to Seanjohn Walsh, who I'd assume is full of these antidotes.

Meghan Arnette has now accidentally said 'anal leakage' in the lobby 10 times. I don't know when you cross the line between 'accidentally' and 'intentionally,' but it's safe to say she totally has.

Quotable quote from Therese Diekhans: "You know, I can never remember Laura Kenny's name.....except for now."

John Farrage spilled a little bit of soda on the floor. Don't worry, I made him clean it up. I am aware of the good I do.

Jim Jewell, our wonderful Kitchen volunteer for the weekend, is making grilled sandwiches and the artists are RAVING about them.

Lines, Lines, Lines. People are memorizing their lines.

I don't think anyone has any concept of how freaking fast this thing moves until you actually do it. Directors meeting in 50 minutes, tech begins in 80.

Impressions before lunch.

After peering into all seven rehearsals this morning, there seems to be a nice balance between all the shows. A lot of comedy, a lot of introspection, and some eerie, moving pieces. The playwrights all took the theme and ran with it in different directions. It's amazing to me how over these three days (so far) there have been no blatant similarities between pieces.

It looks as though there are twice the amount (at least) of designers that were here last weekend, and this looks to be a good thing, as the demands seem to be MUCH more heavier that last weekends. They easily have have the biggest challenge out of anyone.

Another thing that is amazing to watch is the progression the band makes while rehearsing. They'll start out with little riffs and before you know it, they've got fully realized songs that bridge the gap between shows seamlessly. There are a thousand miracles that happen over the weekend, and this might be the one that impresses me the most.

Lunch is currently being served, and there is a bunch of fresh fruit and sandwiches and pretty much anything you could want. I take it back...the biggest miracle of the weekend is the seemingly neverending buffet of (delicious) food.

If these plays were Haikus,

They would sound like this:

Play 1: Mazen by Carl Sander

Basil Harris -- your
kitchen fire hath inspir'd a
play called Mazen -- proud?

Play 2: Human Progess by Josef Krebs

Tricky wordplay's a-
foot in this bureacracy
riddled play. Thanks, Krebs.

Play 3: Fingered by Kelleen Conway-Blanchard

"37 times
is a fuckload of fing'ring."
Too true, Ms. Blanchard.

Play 4: Life Skills by Moll Frothingham

Faker directs beats
With surgeon like precision...
Comedy is hard!

Play 5: Sharing Witness by Paul Mullin

One line impression:
History of Violence
meets Ingmar Bergman.....?.....?..???

Play 6: Death Lives by Heidi Heimarck

Eerily somber
mood here, peruse recent news;
art imitates life.

Play 7: Six Months In by Vincent Delaney

Gonio, Wright, Walsh,
Allcorn, Maslen...all pregnant.
Anyone surprised?

A quiet moment?

I step out into the lobby, food area for a little break. There is so much going on everywhere that I am starting to get really get overwhelmed trying to catch it all.

I pop into the kitchen for some hot water and get the food scoop. Jim Jewell is going to be making GRILLED sandwiches. But he says the real score it Boom Noodle is providing dinner. How sweet is that? Special thanks to Alex Samuels for hooking that up.

Megan Ahiers is the volunteer coordinator for the weekend. She has run by me 4 times in the last 5 minutes or so trying to get nametags, rearrange volunteer schedules, run to the store.
She is on the phone now helping Ahren the lighting designer find out if he has access to gels or gobos. A fresh volunteer is following her too. One volunteer has swine flu and won't be coming. WTF?

But it is ok more people are jumping in. Zoey Belyea has just shown up to help out wherever. Peter hands over the job of doing the program cuz she did such great job last week.
She is laughing as she tells me about her embarrassing typo last week (BTW BOO! I CAN'T GET PICTURES TO LOAD WITH THE WIFI!!!!) when she misspelled actor Trick Dannecker as TICK Dannecker. I start to joke about it within earshot of Peter and she gives me a shut up look of death. So I am just blogging it now. HEE!

Everyone so often designers and runners flash through. They are all on the run, I don't think I will get many words from them till the show is up. Pregnancy tummies are going to be an issue. Katie Hudson tells me about some costume project that includes cardboard, coat hangers and flashlights. But she is off to make the fake weed now.
There is five entrances to the room and I feel like I am watching a live farce(in the best possible way) with people popping in and out and zooming by.

The lobby is quiet for a couple minutes at a time and our security guard (can't leave the doors open here) for this shift, Doug, is reading a book.

(BOO! no picture AGAIN!)

I is the Time Travelers Wife. He notes that he is not afraid to read a girly book. (I love guys that end up working around theater)
He has an important, though probably a little boring and thankless job. There are people giving up tons of time all over the place to do all the unsexy work of making the beast of a festival happen. He does note though that "people keep showing up expecting me to know stuff. Virgin. I just watch the door."

I can hear the band through the ceiling sounding awesome.

Gary Menendez, the ANGEL of the 14/48 design team is now over in the corner on his cell hashing out who is now getting the weed, going to Theater Schmeater, Value Village etc. Trying to make sure he gets the bases covered. (again no f'in picture!!) He leaves then comes barreling back down the hall with a sorting of grunting happy humming song. "Checking them off! One at at time!" he tells me as he runs by.

Brian's actors are popping out to take a break right now. The have not gotten the play on it's feet yet, but Mike Dooly is really happy with what he gets to do. I ask John Farrage if he has any good stuff to share. "I get to say tits!"

They are gone. I chat with Moll (more in the Virgin updates soon)

Gary runs through again talking to someone about lamps with spinny necks. Hey warns to not get to many though. Only a $25 budget per show!
Katie is back and wadding up paper into giant bags. What is really supposed to be in there?
COME TONIGHT TO FIND OUT!!!!

Yeah. No quiet moments. That is not the 14/48 way.

First hour of rehearsal

I decide to hang out for the beginning of rehearsal in the studio theater at OTB. The combo of Virgin Writer Moll and NOTORIOUS veteran Brian Faker sounds fun.

Brian's first words "Picture if you will prison"

He is explaining how he does this-
Pass it out, parts you probably are not going to play.
Just read it. No acting.
Get every world right.
See what it is.

He is explaining how he will be staging it small to start in the space they are working in and how he is COMPLETELY PISSED OFF at how the stage is set up. (noted last night as well.)

As they read Brian notes words that people say that are notes in the script, things that are all in capitols.
They actors are holding back ALOT to just read the play. I think I see their actor brains exploding out of their heads with the strain of NOT acting it as they read it. All the adrenaline of the draw and then sitting down and holding back all that energy. Ouch.

The design team comes in. Brian tells them something about the drawing being wrong or something? I am not clear. He wants to play it all in one area I think. Continuation of his general dissatisfaction with the stage set up. I think this will not be the last time we hear about this from him.

He sets his costume priories. Besides uniforms he REALLY needs a billy club and a hat.
Brian goes ahead and casts it while he is chatting with costumer Hannah.
He is giving Ahren VERY specific lighting needs. 30 minutes in and he is already showing the designers where on the set everything is going to happen. His brain is going so fast I think smoke is coming out of his ears. DAMN! I never know that much this early! Design team has what they need for now and takes off with the promise to check back in an hour or so.

Doug Willot (Virgin Actor) asks Brian about if he should do something (missed what his thought was)
"Actually just learn your lines and do what I tell you"
Chuckles from everyone.
He is kidding. Sort of.
"No actually..." he talks about how he will be relying on their ideas/improv skills as the "get this thing going" but he wants people to make sure they do they lines.

They start reading again. With their real parts now, and acting is in on!
Moll is laughing right away.
Brian busts out laughing.
This is a KILLER cast, I can tell already. It is awesome to watch them jump right in, they are totally milking this comedy already.

But what will Brian say when they get to the end?

Second read done-
Brian asks "Any questions?"
John Farrage has a small character question. No one else does yet. Brian shifts the casting of two characters.
He asks if Moll has anything to add. Not yet.
Some discussion of what a shiv is. Sharp weapon like a knife. Mike Dooly adds that he he "watched the F%$& out of Lock up" so he knows all about it. Shivs could be made out of anything. Even paper. Juicy.

Third read now-
It's getting bigger. Snort laughs now. Actors are shifting around in their chairs more as they read. Leaning in. Taking bigger breaths. Focusing on each other more.
Director and writer are CLEARLY loving it. It is going to be really funning.
They are done with this read and discussing again. They start talking about the ugly stuff under the funny.
"As ruthless as you can make yourselves, it's gonna be pretty funny when..." (I can't tell you what happens, that would ruin it.)
This seems like a really perfect group for this piece.

Brian does a quick check in on the personal needs of the actors. Parking? Babies to take care of? He wants to make sure they have time for their lines etc. They are going over the plans for the day. He hopes to back off from them after tech so they can do what they need to do.

Few more big picture notes from Brian-
Line perfect is critical. Don't improvise the lines. Not only will it piss him off but it won't be a good service to the play. It is funny as it is.

I am going to have to leave soon so I can be surprised tonight, this is a fun one! DON'T MISS IT!!!

observations from the draw

Yay! The real photographer is here! Here he is, camera's blazin. Get ready for some much better pictures soon...

The actor drew begins. This is when it starts to really get loud.
Tim Hyland is sitting next to me grinning at his selection of actors.
Lots of Woo Hooing as directors draw their actors. This will be their family for the next 12 and 1/2 hours.

Basil gives Peter a big hug a big hug as he heads up for his draw. I told you. So much love!

Linda is drawing her 6 men. Everyone knows were they are going and who they are with. Break. The chaos begins....

Tonight's Lineup!!!!

14/48 Weekend Two, Night One

Theme: Danger in Group Work

ACT ONE

Mazen by Carl Sander, directed by Tim Hyland
Starring Andromeda Dunker, Rebecca Olson, Shawn Law, and Jodi-Paul Wooster

Human Progress by Josef Krebs, directed by Erin Kraft
Starring Betsy Schwartz, Hana Lass, and Pat Sibley

Fingered by Kelleen Conway-Blanchard, directed by Nick Garrison
Starring Allison Strickland and Tracy Hyland

Life Skills by Moll Frothingham, directed by Brian Faker
Starring Kathryn Van Meter, John Farrage, Doug Willott, Michael Patten, and Mike Dooly

INTERMISSION

ACT TWO

Sharing Witness by Paul Mullin, directed by Andy Jensen
Starring Charles Smith, Mark Boeker, Therese Diekhans, and Alyson Scadron Branner

Death Lives by Heidi Heimarck, directed by Basil Harris
Starring Annette Toutonghi, Heather Persinger, and Connor Toms

Six Months In by Vincent Delaney, directed by Linda Lombardi
Starring Patrick Allcorn, R. Hamilton Wright, Scott Plusquellec, Seanjohn Walsh, Ben Gonio, and Chris Maslen

the buzz gets louder

Nick Garrison (sophmore director, long time 14/48 actor) says his play by Kelleen is "F&*%ing hysterical." He can't wait to see which 2 actresses he gets.
He is sitting with Charles Smith who promised last nigh, in the interests of "set your kitchen on fire" that he would just yell at Nick all day if he got into his show. (to keep Nick on his toes)
Looks like it won't be today. Sad, I was looking forward to seeing that go down.

Someone up in the back say's "I was peeing before he even said anything." Not sure what that is referring too. But 14/48 has made me pee my pants about 47 times in the past so I understand.

Charles says "I just want this to get started, I have lines to memorize and I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE!!"

It is time almost 30 actors are about to learn what the day will hold...

Mid draw period

Mmmm.. Bagel. The staff here takes such good care of everyone.

OMG! Heidi(writer) is talking to Basil (director) about monologues.
There are monologues. She did say she ignored the advice. They are probably awesome juicy monologues so I am sure her actor will have fun. Take your Ginko Biloba actors!

Downloaded song for Linda that she didn't know, she is listening on my computer while Vincent and I hum along.

I take a moment to check in with Erin to ask about all the complicated stuff her writer Josef was talking about.
"It is this deliciously Byzantiine committee on human progress" " I am just trying to figure out how stylized to make it. Does it live in the world of Brecht's or Parks and Recreation"

Actors are starting to show up.

Shawn Law walks in and tells me how he was pitching the show to his coffee shop peeps. He was trying to convince them "This is not your Grandma's theater". Could be a new 14/48 slogan. My grandma was pretty hard core though, I think she would have been game but, no, this in not the standard old stuff idea so many people have of theater. This is punk rock theater.

Your draw for this morning

Faker has Frothingham
Lombardi has Delaney
Jensen has Mullin
Harris/Jorgensen has Heimarck
Kraft has Krebs
Hyland has Sander
Garrison has Blanchard

Actors arrive in 30 minutes. Actor draw at 10.

director draw

The director draw just happened. It is really calm and quiet her right now. You would never know how much insanity is about to explode....

First observations-
Writer Paul Mullin says he cheated. WHAT? Paul is a known for his grand ability to stir controversy but he won't tell me HOW he cheated. Did he really? What did he do?

Heidi is peeling an egg waiting for her director. He is late, but he is Mazen award winner Basil Harris, so he should be worth it. She fakes a nervous picture for me ("I am an actress") but she does not really seem worried. She is old school 14/48.

Vincent chatting with Linda- discussing the type of humor, how sincere it should be. Humming a song for her that now one else but me knows.
Linda "I just keep thinking about "DON'T EVER shake a baby!"
Hmmmmm...
Something about when they are due... Didn't he get the 6 men? Sounds like lots of baby stuff. ROCK! Men and babies, I am excited...
Basil walks in late. Yes it was his babies fault.
Yes Basil. Blame a toddler. Is that Mazen award going to his head? "But I love you!" he calls as he heads to find Heidi. Oh you golden haired cad! I love ya too!

Moll is sitting waiting for Brian Faker who has gone off to read her play. She asks "is this normal?" She is actually twiddling her thumbs looking intense.
I ask her what she is thinking. Yes she is worried about what the director is thinking about as she waits.

Erin K in corner starting with questions Andy recommended last night "What is important to you"

Brian returns to talk to Moll- "I have no questions."
Then they start chatting about the play and now he starts to note "I am confused about..." something about the shift at the end of the play, who, how. Did not catch it exactly. Seems he does have questions.

Overheard from Linda "Just return the baby after the 8pm show"

Joseph is talking to Erin "if you do the math on it..." "80% prefer san serif" I can't hear him enough to really figure out what the play is about...

I am hungry. I need to go eat some of those rockin' potato pancakes. So nice. More soon.

Updates from Kelleen Blanchard and Josef Krebs:

Receieved this email from Kelleen at 1:42 AM:

The Fricken' theme was balls. No offence. It made me cry a little. But, I think what came about is pretty decent. It's hard to write about group work with just two women. But, after a fair amount of whining and wringing of hands I managed to squeeze out a little something. Hopefully, the cast is awesome and the Director is funny. See ya'll tomorrow.

And then this lone, simple text from Josef at 4:44 AM:

I like Carl Sander again.

Otherwise, a pretty lonely night in terms of converstaion from the playwrights. My fear is that the theme killed them. I guess we'll see in an hour or so.

Good Morning 14/48

It is about to begin.
It is a gray summer morning, cold and still out. But as the rest of Seattle showers, grabs some coffee and gets ready for what they do every day, somewhere 14/48 staff is getting ready feed the hords of theater makers and volunteers that are about to converge upon On The Boards to turn the 7 scripts that were crafted in the dark last night by our intrepid team of writers. Others are nervous, hoping the scripts all made it into the inbox or are on the way so they can be printed and distributed to designers and be ready for the 9am director draw (directors draw there plays at random). The writers have till 8am to get them in. 22 minutes from now as I type this. Hopefully they were done hours ago and managed to sleep a bit, because they will be meeting with the directors that draw their play in just over an hour.
I wonder how this 14/48 Virgin faired last night?


This is Virgin Writer Mr. Vincent Delaney onstage last night as he ponders how he is going to keep 6 MEN busy for a 10 minute play. He drew the largest cast and the last play of the night. I am so excited to see what he created for them!

He seemed up for the challenge as he high-fived Steering Committe member Peter Dylan O'Conner...Vincent Delaney, did you heed the call of Basil and set your kitchen on fire last night?
See http://1448fest.blogspot.com/2009/08/some-words-from-legend.html
if you don't know what the heck I am talking about...

Reunions

While 14/48 always has great new people, it is also like a giant Seattle/Northwest theater family reunion.
I witnessed many happy hugs like Tim Hyland and Peggy Gannon greeting each other as they arrived-
And sweet scenes like John Farrage and Shawn Law hanging before the meeting-
Awwwww.
Adorable.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Virgin Profiles

14/48 has a policy of always making sure at least 25% of the artists are "virgins".
This time honored tradition of throwing these innocents into the artistic volcano, ensures that the gods of 14/48 bless us with a bounty of fresh artistic blood to feast upon. Artists may be "revirginized" periodically by jumping into a new area. Some virgins have never done 14/48 ever in their life, but some may have acted in 7 shows, but never directed. By offering themselves up to partake in another discipline they can claim back their virginity for a brief 48 hours.

I checked in with a few virgins at the thursday meeting to see how they were entering into the octopus like hands of 14/48...

Virgin Profile #1
Rebecca Olson- Virgin ActorShe looks so innocent and sweet!
Looking forward to- "The spontaneity"
Worst fear/nightmare- "Nothing. Is that bad?"

Virgin Profile #2
Doug Willot-Virgin Actor
One of the few water drinkers I found. Will this healthy attitude last?
Looking forward to- "fear" "excitement of the pressure"
Worst fear/nightmare- "to end up in something mediocre" "would prefer a train wreck to that"

Virgin Profile #3
Ahren Buhman-Virgin Designer (I believe lights)
Note the giant sh*t eating grin, the name tag all askew, the huge beer. Can this joyous boy truly understand yet what he is entering into? Only time will tell.
Looking forward to- "Find out what this thing is. What happens? What really goes on during 14/48?"
Worst Fear/Nightmare- "ummm.... uh.... ummm... nothing really? WOO HOO!!!"
Then he posed for this picture...
Virgin Profile #4
Hannah Schnabel-Virgin Designer (Costumes)
Our virgins are not like your virgins. Oh baby. This saucy gal called to me as I got there like some sort of sexy beer siren...
Looking forward to- "being able to be as crazy as possible, no holds barred"
Worst Fear/Nightmare- "total mental breakdown from designing 14 shows in 2 days" possible breakdown scenarios imagined "crying... barfing... fist fights"

Virgin Profile #5
Erin Kraft-Revirginized as a Director (Veteran Actor)
No directors this weekend are true, never done it before Virgins. But we will honor the revirginization process and include the lovely Miss Kraft. She clearly understands the wisdom of hiding with her bear for she spends the next day answering 1000 questions. She is saving herself.
Most Looking forward to- "not being able to plan"
Worst Fear/Nightmare- "that I won't have any ideas"

Virgin Profile #6
Moll Frothingham-Virgin PlaywrightSadly I was not able to find any Virgin Writers early in the evening. This dear virgin had already been informed she but a few hours really to write a play on "Danger in Group Work" her course was set, she drew her actors and slot in the evening. Note the slightly worried expression seeping up from her brave smile...
Looking forward to- "Community"
Worst Fear/Nightmare- "Oh, I don't want to think about that" (true, unfair question post draw...) But then she added "the pressure to make everyone look good" (the writers are charged with giving EVERYONE something great to do for the day, EEK!)

Initial thoughts from Heidi Heimarck, 14/48 Playwright.

Nothing like a theme that really makes more sense in a made-up language "Dangerine Groopevork". See? Easy-peasy. "Danger in Group Work" is... much more difficult. I think you understand now that I pointed it out.

However, I am writing. It seems to be inspired by the brief moment of some news bit I saw earlier today about some guy who either killed himself or others or both --- but they had some YouTube videos of him. I found that poignant and lonely-sounding.

Since I'm in POSITION 6 - (6th play of the evening) it might be nice to just forget humor. I say No to humor. :-O However, you never really know until it's done.

Back to the play -

Initial thoughts from Josef Krebs,

14/48 playwright.

(in response to a text that said "do you know what you're writing about yet?")

"Thought about health care committee meeting. But that's pretty static and boring. Also thinking about contruction workers erecting something, but that's clichi [sic] (EDITOR'S NOTE: Am thrilled to be using the word [sic]). Need a way to deliver a sense of failure while giving the stage some action. That's tough with this theme. First thoughts: fuck Carl Sander."

Some Words from a Legend

A legend of 14/48.
Basil Harris.
He can direct, act, write all while playing base and diapering his child.
(That last part might be a lie.)

He is the most recent addition to a line of warriors who have forged 14 plays in 48 hours 4 times a year for CENTURIES!
(or 11 or 12 years...)

He talks of 14/48 as an event that sets the stage for the battle for your creative mind against the evil minions of "eh....ok", "whatever" and "i don't really want to". And against fear.
"F*#k your fear!" say Basil.

Sharing a deeply personal story of a raging fire where he bravely saved his daughter (then went back in to close the windows for some mysterious reason) , Basil was able to share his new found understanding of how the human mind behaves in an emergency...
"There is no time to be afraid."

14/48 puts you in a state of theater emergency.

Direct from the man himself...




Hear hear Mr. Harris.
14/48 team, the gauntlet has been thrown down...

Oh hello there!

It's me Meghan! I am new to the blogging of 14/48 and I am so excited! However, I did not have permission to post officially till after the meeting. So watch for tons of pictures and notes from the kickoff meeting before I go to bed. While I was snapping shots and chatting with hot actors, Alex was on his laptop doing all the hard work of getting the minute by minute action out to you.

Look how hard he is working! I predict those cute little fingertips will be bleeding by lunch tomorrow....

And now, The THEME for night one.

The ice cream cone has spoken, and it says:

"Danger in Group Work" courtesy of Carl Sander.

Swingers party! Swingers party! Swingers party! I dare you all.

Your Mazen Award Winner for the Second Weekend.

The Mazen is awarded to veteran participants of 14/48, for their contribution to the spirit of risk-taking and camaraderie embodied in our process.

And the Mazen for Weekend 2 goes to Basil Harris.

Instant standing ovation.

"As your new king...(laughter)...I get ten minutes or less. You're right, I have been wondering why the fuck I haven't got this. I'm like Susan Lucci."

Artists Meeting PART TWO THE REVENGE

We're all here, we're all meeting, and what is Shawn Belyea talkin 'bout? Hint: It rhymes with this:

But a short recap anyhoo: Hurray for On the Boards, give them respeck', Parking still sucks, watch the cord to the computer damnit!, Josef Krebs is the winner of biggest applause during the introductions, and Shawn flew through the introduction this week. Kudos. This week's group of actors seem to be bigger purveyors of beer. Belyea just made Bob Wright get him one, btw. He handled it with class and panache though, as one does.

Therese Diekhans wants to know where the beer is at the Rep. Good question. (But the answer is NOT THERE.)

And speaking of beer one more time, I just took advantage of Moll Frothingham's virginity. First time I've ever said that. 'Bout a girl.

Oh, and another about beer and drunkeness: If you're feeling drunk and loud, stay the fuck inside. You'll wake up the airline pilots.


A message...FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!!

I don't know about you, but when a ghost tells me to do something, I do it.

Just a few more hours...

Until Weekend Two of 14/48 kicks off with the Artists Meeting...and we'll be well on our way to another weekend of real theater real fast.

In celebration, I recommend you get your tickets For Friday's and Saturday's shows....

HERE


So go. Get them. Now! John Hughes would have wanted it that way.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Almost time to do it again

Show one is DONE!  People- it was awesome.  Such a great group of plays.  This audience had such a sweet time and the 10:30 audience isn't even gonna know what hit them.  My sides hurt from laughing so hard.  

Congratulations to the cast and crew and all the people who made this weekend happen.  Thanks for letting me bring you the word.  

-Megan Ahiers

Showtime

It was 7:30pm, 30 minutes til showtime.  I was sent to Bartells to buy as many large red markers as I could.  I did.  I came back.  15  minutes til showtime.  With red markers, I help two women make a huge beer can costume to be worn by Chuck Leggett in the first show.  We did.  Ladies and gentleman, that is 14/48.  

Showtime.  I hope you are here.  Or that you are planning to be here for the 10:30 show.  I mean, who doesn't want to see Chuck Leggett in a huge beer can costume?  

7:00 Meeting

All the actors, directors, crew, band, designers, and a few writers are all assembled in the theatre for the final meeting before the shows tonight.

The feeling in the room is very electric.  People are tired and nervous and excited and hot.  Everyone knows that the show is in an hour and this is why they are here.  They are about to make this happen.  And you can see it.  Come to On the Boards tonight at 8:00 or 10:30.  Seriously.  You won't be disappointed.  

On a side note: the stinky smell in the elevator has been identified: puke.  Apparently, someone last night puked in a garbage can (we think it was an audience member) and when the cleaning crew was taking out the garbage, the bag exploded in the elevator.  Hence: smelly elevator.  Seriously smelly.  Think about this heat.

Director Thoughts.

I decided to try and find all the directors to get some insights from them.  Most were very busy but they were all very willing to talk to me.  I asked them to tell me (in one word) how they were feeling right at that moment and also one word to describe their show.  Here you go.

Show #1: "Inanimacy" directed by M. Elizabeth Eller
Feeling: Hopeful Show: Fucktastic

Show #2: "Funerals" directed by Mik Kuhlman
Feeling: Great Show: Sweet

Show #3: "Mr. Jibbers" directed by Tyrone Brown
Feeling: Good Show: Puppetry

Show #4: "We're From Ohio" directed by Aimee Bruneau
Feeling: Torn Show: Sticky

Show #5: "Calling the Marker" directed by Scott Francis
Feeling: Great Show: Enjoyable

Show #6: "Great Expectations" directed by Makaela Pollock
Feeling: Sweaty Show: Spunky

Show #7: "Mr. McGregor's Garden" directed by Katjana Vadeboncoeur
Feeling: Awesome Show: Fucked

Now who doesn't want to see these shows?  

Spray Me.

I just had an actor in a speedo ask me to spray his ass with bronzer.  He couldn't reach.  I obliged.  

Lessons Learned

Here are some things I have learned this weekend:

MJ Sieber (playwright) doesn't ever sleep.  

Stage Managers need pants with pockets.

Ryan Higgins (actor) is very flexible.

Beer is better cold.

Alyssa Keene (band) knows how to play a lot of different instruments.  

There are so many people willing to do thankless jobs just for the chance to be involved in this festival.

Salo (band) cuts his sandwiched into quarters and doesn't eat the crusts.

Even people in Texas read this blog.

Chuck Leggett (actor) is very convincing as a can of beer.

On the Boards is a great host for 14/48.

Tyrone Brown (director) ate a whole angel food cake on his bus ride home last night.

There is no reason to not love this festival.

All of these people have been chosen for a reason.

YES.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we are in store for an awesome evening of theatre.  You need to be here.  Get you tickets now.  8:00 pm and 10:30 pm at On the Boards.  Buy your tickets here.  

I need a beer.

I decided that I needed a beer.  Here is a little of what went on during my quest for beer:

There were quite a few actors talking to themselves in corners.  Rehearsing lines?  Probably.  Chanting a mantra to find their center?  Maybe.  

Actors and crew members found a sprinkler right outside and they are running through it, fully dressed.  

Dilemma: we are out of beer cups.

Problem solved: I found some beer cups.

One tech ending, another beginning.  

I passed by a discussion about whether or not a girl's swimsuit bottoms would be okay as a stand-in for a speedo.  

I have now acquired my beer.  


TECH!

We are in the middle of tech.  It's crazy.  Quick, short breakdown, by discipline:

Actors: onstage, then off, starting lines, interrupted, starting over.  moving here, moving back.  half in costume, half not.  some might be in costume, but it might be their own clothes.  hard to say.  

Band: playing michael jackson's thriller, stopping.  playing the kazoo.  making up a funeral dirge on the spot.  its beautiful.  now playing nirvana.  now being asked to participate in the play.  sure.  

Directors: trying to be efficient.  trying to watch their time. trying to tell the band, stage manager, crew, lighting designer, board operator, and their actors exactly what their vision is. trying not to be vague.  sounding very vague.  trusting that it will happen.  learning to let go.

Stage Manager: yelling out time.  saying yes.  saying i can do that.  yelling out time again.  keeping people focused.  writing lots of notes.  being awesome.

Light Board Operator and Designer: pushing lots of buttons.  lights up.  lights down.  different lights now.  they are red.  now they are blue.  is that what you want?  what do you need?  going dark. 

Crew: masking sets.  moving props.  moving platforms.  moving them back.  and tim hyland is wearing a headlamp.  i don't know if its necessary, but he insists it is.  

I'm with the band.

Everyone involved in the festival works their butts off.  Seriously.  It would be difficult to say that one group of people has a harder job than another.  But one group who would definitely be in contention for "hardest workers" would be the 14/48 band.  

These musicians are amazing.  They show up in the morning, read the scripts for the seven shows, and then get to work.  Emissaries are sent to each director to see what their vision is for music and then they report back to each other and make that happen.  

They are in charge of pre-show music, transition music, all sound effects for all shows (foley style), all underscoring the directors request, as well as an intermission song and an outro song.  PLUS, they are encouraged to write and score an original song based on the theme and have it awesome by 8pm tonight.  AND THEY DO IT.  (I have been informed that they do have an original song for tonight, written by Jason Anderson and Alyssa Keene).  So, when you are watching the show tonight (at 8pm or 10:30pm) don't forget to pay a little special attention to the band-back in the corner there.  They are the first ones onstage and the last ones off.  

I caught up with the drummer, Ron Carnell, while he was on a rare break (sorry Ron, if you would have rather relaxed than have me ask you questions).  This is Ron's 13th time doing 14/48.  That is a lot.  But once you see him work, its totally obvious why.  He says that today is a music heavy day, but he doesn't seem worried.  I am impressed by how relaxed he is.  In fact, the band always looks relaxed.  Maybe that's why musicians are so cool.  Confidence.    

Mistakes Happen, Part 2

At lunch time, I found myself with the cast of the play that had the numbers mix-up this morning.  Were they nervous about the mistake?  Were they mad that they were in that situation?  Were there tears?

Nope.

They all agreed that they were a little wary about what the day would hold for them, but agreed that once they talked to the writer and director and read the script, they knew they would be fine and that they would make it happen.  In fact, they all seemed really excited about their show and they didn't need much prompting to talk all about it.  In fact, they stopped talking to me and started laughing and talking amongst themselves about stuff they discovered in the script and funny things that were happening and how much fun they were having.  Two of the women were even laughing because they both thought that the mistake meant there was an extra actor and they both offered to bow out.  Not because they didn't want to be in 14/48 today, but because that's just what you do.  

Need Some Krazy Glue 14/48?

Because your online Summer Festival ticket sales record just got broke! And the show doesn't even start for another 4 hours.

BOOM! How do you like me now?

Thanks to all of you for your continued support of 14/48. Now go enjoy the sun.

Get your tickets here!

Mistakes Happen

In any situation that is formed around this kind of organized chaos, there are bound to be mistakes, mess-ups, errors.  This morning was no exception.  During the actor draw, we discovered that when the writers were given their assignments, there was a mix-up and the wrong number of men and women were written.  The last play of the evening was written for (and supposed to have) 3 men and 2 women, but when that director went to draw... the numbers didn't match up.  The names left were 4 women and 1 man.  
So...  what do you do?  Well, first, you do what anyone would: laugh nervously.  Most of the people in the room did.  I did.  And then I waited for some serious freaking out to happen.  But no one freaked out.  Sure, there was some nervousness, but the director, writer, and producer got together, the rest of the casts were dismissed to start their days, and within five minutes, the situation was resolved.  
I tried to eavesdrop on the conversation between the artists and mostly heard things like, "We can figure it out"  "I'm not really concerned"  "I'm sure they can do it" "We'll make it work" and "You can do whatever you need."  I was shocked and impressed.  This is the kind of attitude that makes this festival work.  This is why these artists have been chosen to be here.  And this is why you should come see the shows tonight.  I guarantee that at 8pm this evening, you would never know.  Except that I just told you.

Rehearsal Pictures

Rehearsal for "We're From Ohio" by Chris Haddad
Rehearsal for "Mr. McGregor's Garden" by Rachel Atkins
Rehearsal for "Calling the Marker" by Jim Jewell
Rehearsal for "Great Expectations" by Darian Lindle

Rehearsal for "Mr. Jibbers" by Erin Stewart
Rehearsal for "Funerals" by Becky Bruhn
Rehearsal for "Inanimacy" by MJ Sieber