Sunday, August 8, 2010

Aaaaaaaand scene. On to the next festival!

That's a wrap, ladies and gentlemen, 14/48 2010 summer festival has come and gone! Missed it? See a glimpse of the process and what you missed here:

We had a great time working hard for awesome audiences. Enormous thanks to our festival host, Theatre Off Jackson, to all of the artists, designers, crew, photographers, bloggers, donors, and especially all of the volunteers who helped make both weekends a great success! See you at ACT for the 14/48 2011 winter festival!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Don't look at me...

Megan Ahiers keeps looking at me like I've done something.

I don't know. I just don't know.

It's not because I'm stoned. I'm not stoned.

I just don't know.

8:00 show will be starting any time now... any time...

And now, a word from Doogie...

December 13, 1992... A mother-son relationship has many stages: unconditional love, animosity, rejection, friendship... It's a lot to go through all in one weekend.

Thank you, Doogie. As Jose Amador said in a 14/48 a few years back, "your words fall on my ears like jelly doughnuts."

Miracles are for suckas'!

What happened at the meeting...

* Erin Stewart walked in wearing something sexy and then hit on Jesus Christ.
* Deb informed people to puke outside if they have to puke. Apparently last weekend we had a puker who missed the toilet... I blame Heather Gautschi.
* Belyea told me to 'Shut the fuck up.'
* Otherwise, the standard 7:00 meeting... clean up your shit and have a good show.

I'm going to get another beer.

7:00 Meeting

Going into the seven o'clock meeting I feel like a pinata filled with pizza, beer, chips, beer and cookies. If a little Mexican boy were to smash me open I would rain down joy... half digested joy.

Belyea just printed something off on the printer... I think it was porn. Or something for the meeting. Or maybe porn which will be shown at the meeting.

Jim Jewell and Alex Samuels are cleaning dishes. Scrubbing those suckers spotless.

Jodi-Paul just SCREAMED. I guess that means the meeting started for what I am coining SCREAMING DAY... let's step in and see what's happening.

Tech - Show 7

Jaime Roberts (director for show 7) is telling the band something. I can only imagine she's telling them to stop getting stone and stealing people's shit.

There are three camping chairs on the stage. Actors are sitting in those chairs and acting. Two of them are wearing bath robes. There have been lots of bath robes today. I don't know, between the bath robes and the screaming I'm about to lose my freakin' 'It's a Miracle' mind.

Oh lord, please tell me Colleen Robertson is wearing a tuba costume tonight. Awww... shit. No, she's only wearing a dress. Maybe if I slip her a twenty she'll put on the tuba costume again.


I may have spoiled a surprise in SHOW 6 by revealing that Patrick Apple-corn is wearing a dress. Disregard. He's not wearing a dress under his bathrobe... no... he's wearing... a chicken suit... yeah... a big chicken suit.
He's definitely not wearing a dress and I definitely didn't spoil anything for you, the viewer at home.

He is, however, eating a corn dog. A big, juicy corn dog with ketchup.

Tech - Show 6

Hahahahahaha... Patrick Apple-corn is in a dress! Now that's funny! There are three things which will trump all other comedy in my book and they are...
* Chimps in human clothing
* Orchestrated farts
* Patrick wearing a dress
Hahaha! The only thing that would make this show better would be a chimp entering in a business suit and Andromeda giving us a symphony of farts.

Speaking of chimps, Jensen just entered the booth.

Nothing but love Jensen... you just happened to enter while I was typing this. Would you like a banana?

Tech - Show 5

Here it is... the show about Elvis and Jesus having sex.

Oh shit. Now they're giving lines to the band. Great - what next? Jesus enters from the aisle? Oh shit... what do you know. Here comes Jesus mother flerging Christ.

Jason and Dante are moving seemlessly through the show.

While I was sitting in the booth, Jason and I came up with a play for tonight called 'Miracle on Ice'. The play begins with the a crack addict in the alley who is recruited to play for the American hockey team in the Olympics at Lake Placid. Shazam... you have a play.

Tech - Show 4

In the booth with Jason and Dante. They are both hard at work making sure we get the technical needs taken care of for all of these fine shows... DAMN! I just heard another person scream! What's with all of the screaming!?!?

Show 4 is a musical and I notice Jose Amador is not on the stage during the songs. Uh oh, someone shot himself in the foot while "singing" Beatle tunes last night.

There's a mic in the booth and Dante is working it. Here are a few Dante mic moments...

"Named Bruce."

"Alright, we can jump to the bottom of the page."

"That's great."

"We're ready."

Oh, I was a little quick to comment... Jose is singing in this show. My apologies, Jose. However, something seems to be missing... the Ringo wig. Bring back the gob-stopping wig, darn it!

Tech - Show 3

I love how everything in this show has signage informing us as to what it is. Police Department, Visitor's Check-In, Holding Cell, Peter Dylan O'Connor, apple... in a moment I've been transported to a different world. Thank you, live theatre!

I need to check with Shawn Belyea, but I think the Visitor's Check-In can get free beer at the bar if it flashes the name badge.

I sure hope they leave the ladder in the middle of the house for when the audience arrives. Damn, I can see the look on everyone's face, "What's this ladder doing in the middle of the flerging house!" Ha, ha... and they should label it ladder.

Tech - Show 2

Great - now Stan Shields has a light special for the end of the show. And where is the special? By the mother, f-ing band. The band is going to take the special right after they eat the strawberry toppings and smoke it back in the alley. Not that I really have a problem, as long as they offer me some.

When I woke up this morning I thought, "Dude, I want to watch some trippy children's show."
Thank you, show two.

Tech - Show 1

Question: If you need to hide strawberry topping during your show, why hide it by the band? I mean, come on, one of them is going to start craving something sweet during the show and I'm putting my money on Banton Foster. Ol' Banton. He'll be elbow deep in the strawberry topping. I don't blame him. I'd be elbow deep in the strawberry topping as well.
All in all, Charles Smith seems to have a good grasp on the technical elements of his piece. I just don't understand hiding the strawberry topping by the band. Call me old fashioned. I just wouldn't do that.

Shot with a Mazen...

Just had a shot of scotch with Mazen winner Peggy Gannon. Yep, she won't be able to stand up by the 10:30 show... this is going to be awesome!

Food Coma/ Earnestness Sets In

After lunch, there has been a mixture of food coma and surge of creativity. Simultaneously. There are naps, and there is screaming. One thing seems not to affect the other. Also, I might just be hallucinating, but it seems as if I have heard the phrase, "poop tree" several times now. But stories are sometimes told best in pictures:

Now they are doing a version of "Thinking Man" by Rodin. As bookends.

Gary Hernandez's surge of after-lunch creativity has led him to start bashing things with a hammer.

I have had the pleasure of listening to the glorious voice of Leslie Law since lunch. Albeit through a wall.

Someone is non-plussed. Or in a food coma.

Another seance circle.


I declare dancing!

I see many liquor bottles behind Paul.

And now, to leave you with a pictoral representation of the earnestness of 14/48. See you all there!

Director's Meeting

SHOW 1 - director Charles Smith - On stage there will be a piece of plastic. There will also be chocolate syrup, pies and an old timey soda fountain employee by the name of Chester.

Andy Jensen, "Chuck, does your pie fight tech have to happen in the theatre?"

SHOW 2 - director Stan 'Loud Voice' Shields - They will need a fabric dirt mound removed at the end of the show. There will also be glitter. Anyone who loves glitter might enjoy Stan's show.

SHOW 3 - director Paul Morgan Stetler - I didn't hear anything Paul said because someone was SCREAMING! Why does 'miracle' mean a shit ton of screaming?

SHOW 4 - director Richard Ziman - Again, I didn't hear what Richard said because there was more SCREAMING! This time from a different room. Great! More miracle screams.

SHOW 5 - director Opal Peachey - Now I got distracted while Deb informed me about what she feels are three of the big miracles - Jesus, Elvis and birth. Now she is gloating because all three are being presented tonight. No doubt there will be a screaming Jesus, a screaming Elvis and a screaming baby. Enough with the SCREAMING!

SHOW 6 - director Andy Jensen - Has requested a lawn chair with corn dogs for Patrick Apple-corn to eat. Awesome! How do you spell art? LAWNCHAIRPATRICKAPPLECORNDOGS.

SHOW 7 - director Jaime Roberts - There are two acts in this show... sweet Jesus dressed as Elvis. We're not going to get out of here until 3am.

SHOW 8 - The show's director steps forward and makes the request for money to get a can of beer at the corner store. What the hell?!?! EIGHT SHOWS!?!? Oh... false alarm. Not a director... just a homeless person.

A moment with Alex Samuels

SLOOP - Hey, Alex! How did lunch go?

ALEX - Seemed to go fine. Jim Jewell's running the kitchen this week. No fires to put out... yet. John Bradshaw made us some awesome cookies like he always does.

SLOOP - What the hell is this about fires? This worries me... how would you handle a fire in this building?

ALEX - I'd probably go to the AL and tell them. Then I'd run like hell. Maybe warn some actors... grab the cookies.

SLOOP - This is the second time you've mentioned Mr. Bradshaw's cookies. Are they "special" cookies. Like "magically special".

ALEX - They are special cookies that make the day at 14/48 even more special... I refuse to go into any more detail. I have too much respect for John Bradshaw.

SLOOP - Thanks, Alex.

ALEX - Actually, if there was a fire it would all work out. This is 14/48 and all works out in the end.

SLOOP - OK... thanks, Alex.

ALEX - Basically my jobs for the day have been keeping people away from the food and going to pick up the pizza at 5pm. And smoking lots of cigarettes... I'm good at that job.

SLOOP - I said, 'Thanks.'

Jose sitting on a couch, Stan talking loudly...

The food trough has cleared out and I noticed veteran actor Jose Amador still sitting on the couch. Jose tried to describe his show to me but the only thing I got was a whole lot of jibber-jabber. Something about music, shooting dogs, making love to eachother... the usual.

With all of the rehearsals literally occuring on top of one another, a person can easily hear virgin director Stan Shields' booming voice. So loud.

What the hell is going on?

This is Chris Bell stepping in for Troy on the ol' blog factory. You'll have to give me a second to collect myself and eat my cheese sandwich.

(Takes a bite of cheese sandwich)

Mmmm... that's some good cheese. Now wash it down with some keg beer.

(Takes a drink of beer)

Much better. Now lets be honest... I have no clue what's going on. Megan Ahiers keeps looking at me like I've done something wrong. Like I should've been here earlier.

I don't know. I just don't know.

It's not because I'm stoned. I'm not stoned.

I just don't know.

Patrick Apple-corn just told me he really likes the show he's in and that it's beautiful. Oh... then why don't you just get a room with show number 6, Patrick... you love sick puppy.

Colleen Robertson: Trapped in a Giant Sphincter?

Need I say more? See what giant golden body part Colleen protrudes from tonight at 8 or 10:30!
My guess; Nostril of doom.

Break time already?

It's lunch already. I'm skeptical that anyone has been working yet, given the inanity of the noises I've been hearing. But let's look at the evidence, shall we?

Exhibit A: Miriah Caine Ware and John Farrage

Exhibit B: Bob Williams

At least Opal Peachey is doing wall sits!

And Buddy Mahoney is hunting dinner, so that's helpful too.

Banton Foster just looks like he's sitting around and playing his guitar. Clearly, that's not work.

Salo has put on a good working face, but closer examination of the picture reveals toddler toys.

actor Andromeda Dunker might be working, or she might just be participating in a staring contest.

Nik Doner and Peter Dylan O'Connor in a pose-off.

The little tiki statue on the desk tells me that Richard Ziman is putting curses on people.

Patrick Allcorn is just hungry- this must be right before lunch break.

I have no idea what Jena Cane and Michelle Chiachiere are doing, but it looks suspiciously like a scene on my bus ride over here this morning.

Aha! I caught you, Jason Anderson. I might not know how to play a guitar, but I'm pretty sure you don't play it with a handi-grip ballpoint pen.

I will now present this evidence to the jury:

14/48 - The Unsung Heroes (or, The Cookieman Cometh)

Jim Jewell chops lettuce in a basement.
Deb Fialkow, over lunch, tells the story of her decision not to go to Walla Walla for her beau's birthday, and for, as she's now mentioned twice, "lake party."
She had been teaching in Leavenworth, and had all of John Bradshaw's Tupperware in her car. See, 'Martyr John' had been planning to go to Leavenworth also, for the aforementioned "lake party", but had come down with the flu. So, instead, he was going to stay in town. But not entirely to rest. He was going to bake for 14/48.
He is the white knight of baking for whatever theater group he shines his light on.
One of his treats this weekend: Crack Merengues (not his name)
Deb decided to stay home for many reasons. All selfless, all in the name of 14/48. She wanted to be here to see the plays, to deliver Bradshaw's crack merengues, to check in with the virgins and see how their first interaction with the great and terrible 14/48 monster, which can shake even the most hardened artists down to their bones. She couldn't bring herself to go on winery tours and have birthday celebrations and LAKE PARTIES. 14/48 needed her.

Jim Jewell and Linda Lombardi!
Thanks for nourishing our bodies so that we can have the energy to nourish our creative spirits!

These guys toil in a makeshift kitchen to feed hundreds of mouths over the weekend, three times a day, and it is a non-stop 48 hours of straight-up, no glory, food prep. Army style, but with better food I think.

Deb Fialkow just brought me a beer. Gotta Go.

Where am I?

Well...I'm awake.

I am thankful that:

- Jaime Roberts is such a rock star and is directing my show!

- My allergic reaction to whatever-it-was last night didn't get any worse.

- I have Dunkin' Donuts coffee at home. If you are from the East Coast, you know that there are certain types of tired that only Dunkin' Donuts coffee can cure.


14/48 provides a wonderous assortment of noises coming from the various rehearsal areas. I am blogging in an upstairs area when I hear "Arthur's Theme", by Christopher Cross, emanating from the floorboards. Once I satisfy myself that it isn't actually the floorboards singing, or a particularly talented colony of Carpenter Ants, or the ghosts of the Wing Luke Asian Art Museum, which formerly occupied this space, I take it upon myself to investigate further. I travel through a labyrinth of production spaces, where Mazen Award winner Gary Menendez sweats over today's list of ridiculous requests for set pieces and Michael Mowrey carries a crate that is to be a Pioneer Wagon to find the theater. Inside, the band prepares. By now, they have moved on, and are rehearsing "Ain't No Sunshine", by the venerable Bill Withers. I think Leslie Law sounds better than you, Bill. No offense.

Here they are folks.
Jason Anderson
Alan Echison
Banton foster
Leslie Law
Michael Owcharuk

Link to Web Album of 14/48 week 2

Photographer Matthew Larson has gotten some beauts. Here they are!

Link to Web Album of 14/48 week 2

Hard at Work!

Okay, I will attempt to be more factual in my captions today. However, as I sit here and hear the Golden Girls theme song coming from one room, and what sounds like a woman giving birth in the other room, I'm not sure there is such a thing as accurate analysis.

Opal Peachey is looking at the script that she will direct. That part of the picture is obvious. What is not obvious is whether her coffee cup is actually at her lips, or just off to the side of her face. Optical illusion, or too little sleep last night?

Richard Ziman is also looking at the script he will direct today. Try to detect the optical illusion in this picture...

Designer Michael Mowery, Costumer Amy Lazert, Designer Dante Olivia Smith, and Director Richard Ziman will come to a conclusion about the show they are working on in a minute. But first, they need to tackle the problem of Amy's coffee thermos. It's purple, and double-decker. I cannot seem to get over it.

Band member Jason Anderson and director Opal Peachey reading things.

MJ Sieber and DW Gibson look on as their actors finally get a sense of what these two are asking them to do. It's interesting to see how they each react to that power.

Paul Morgan Stetler, virgin director, and Aimee Bruneau, virgin writer. I'm pretty old, so it's been a long time since I've seen two virgins come together and make something happen. Quite exciting!

director Andy Jensen has questions for Zoe Fitzgerald, the writer of the script in his hand. She is going to answer him in her sleep.

The anticipation! It makes Opal Peachey positively glow!

Jaime Roberts too!

Annette Toutonghi is thinking something incredibly profound right at this moment. And we will never know what.

Peggy Gannon and Colleen Robertson might be discussing their script. Or they might be gossiping about the ridiculousness of Troy Fischnaller's pants.

By the way, now would be a good time for me to apologize for not knowing the difference between the last name Roberts and the last name Robertson. Colleen is a Robertson, and Jaime is a Roberts.

"This is how you take someone down in one move to the windpipe. Annette? Are you paying attention? This will come in handy some day." Jaime ROBERTS (thank you) instructs Annette Toutonghi and Chris MacDonald in the art of ninja.

Now is a good time to point out that that woman is still giving birth in the other room.

I bet that Brian Claudio-Smith was a good student. Teacher's pet good, even.

In contrast, I bet that Andy Jensen was the kid who did airplane spins in the outfield instead of....being at math class.

Bob Williams doing yoga while studying. Some people are kinetic learners.

I was going to find Jose Amador and ask him what he was thinking during this picture, but I think it's more fun to guess.

THE LINEUP - Saturday 8/7/10 !!!!


Play #1: Manbortion
by Matt Smith
Directed by Charles Smith (no relation)
Performed by Annette Auger
Brian Claudio Smith (no relation/no relation)
Lisa Norman
Joanna Horowitz

Play #2 The Book of Answers
by MJ Sieber and DW Gibson
Directed by Stan Shields
Performed by Miriah Caine Ware
Sylvie Davidson
John Farrage

Play #3 Beyond Grave
by Aimee Bruneau
Directed by Paul Morgan Stetler
Performed by Peter Dylan O'Connor
Nik Doner
Megan Arnette


Play #4 Got a Lot of Mouths to Feed
by Robertson Witmer and Tina La Plant
Directed by Richard Ziman
Performed by Michelle Chiachiere
Buddy Mahoney
Brandon J Simmons (or Troy Fischnaller, you can't tell)
Jena Cane
Jose Amador
Play #5 The Kings
by Rachel Atkins
Directed by Opal Peachy
Performed by Bob Williams
Ahren Buhmann (last night's John Lennon)
Erin Stewart

Play #6 Sunshine
by Zoe Fitzgerald
Directed by Andy Jensen
Performed by Patrick Allcorn
Andromeday Dunker

Play #7 Sunrise, Sunset
by Celene Ramadan
Directed by Jaime Roberts
Performed by Colleen Robertson (who promised not to fuck this up)
Annette Toutonghi

this just might be another miraculous Saturday night at 14/48! Don't miss out. This show will only ever happen tonight.
tickets to tonight's 8 pm and 10:30 pm shows at
more info at

Saturday 8/7 2010 Tonight's Theme in Actioin

The Theme: It's A Miracle!

The Result: A Magical Child Rearing Poop Tree, to name one. Jesus and Elvis at the Final Table at the World Series of Poker, to name another. Mazen Award winner Tina La Plant has co-written a musical with Rob Widmer (The Rob Widmer Accordian School for Girls)"... which captures the spirit and glory of the American Frontier and celebrates the miracle of survival in the face of adversity and,," according to a sleepless Widmer, who then leaves to attend a different rehearsal elsewhere.
Jason Anderson of the band sits prone and alone on a couch pondering the opening song for this evening. (Shows at 8 and 10:30 at Theatre off Jackson. Be there, this won't be one to miss)
We'll see what's going on elsewhere and get back to you soon...


Since I wasn't here yesterday, and I'm not an actor, in order to acquaint myself, I will look at some scenes from yesterday and try to figure out what was happening....

Paul Stettler must be teaching Jodi-Paul Brown-Wooster how to play itsy-bitsy spider.

The band appears to be debating the history of the socialist movement.

Brian Claudio-Smith, John Farrage, and Ahren Buhmann have clearly started a garage band in their parents' basement.

Chris MacDonald is being styled by Lisa Norman. It's hard to get the part just right.

Nik Doner, Michelle Chiachiere and Meghan Arnette (and their pet mouse) are holding a seance over sandwiches. Or blessing the sandwiches. But if you're Catholic, there's not much difference anyway.

Peggy Gannon and Patrick Allcorn are getting married and plotting a bank robbery. It's a good way to start a marriage.

Brandon Simmons and Phillip Endicott re-enact the ancient myth of Dancer and Prancer, the reindeer gods who got lost over the arctic on their way to Canada, and established a new colony of reindeer with nothing but a box of plastic forks.

Colleen Robertson and Annette Auger have just partaken of the kool-aid and are waiting for the spaceship.

Annette Auger and Annette Toutonghi remind Joanna Horowitz that she wore the wrong outfit to Burglar night.

Bob Williams finally found the right outfit to audition for the yellow bear triceratops clapping band.

Jose Amador channels Carol Channing. Of course.

"Great, you stalked me here, didn't you." Says Erin Stewart to Chris MacDonald.

Meghan Arnette tries the old, "I fell and skinned my knee" trick to get out of eating that crap that Michelle Chiachiere calls dinner, but Michelle is on to her.

Peter Dylan O'Connor took a break from acting to call his bookie.

Sylvie Davidson just got made as a spy in India. Not sure how as her outfit is so inconspicuous.

"Oh my god! The wine is gone!" We understand your pain, Mariah Caine Ware.

Buddy Mahoney is trained to kill you in .08 seconds with nothing more than a ballpoint pen.

All Virgins to the Stage is a directive that is either seldom or often seen- according to which industry you work in. Matt Smith, Ahren Buhmann, Stan Shields, Jaime Roberts, and Meghan Arnette may or may not have heard this directive before in another industry.

Tequila shot shadow puppets!

Jaime Roberts, Rob Witmer, and Tina La Plant have a meeting about pretending that they aren't working. For no money.

Phillip Endicott has just been told by Brandon Simmons where the plutonium is. Either that, or Brandon just said something uncharacteristically insane.

To see more pictures from yesterday, go here:

Well, enough pictures of last night. Now it's time to post what's going on today, and perhaps get some actual insider information to weigh against the accuracy of my own assumptions.