Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Day After

Wowzers. Well I don't know about you, but I woke up at 3. That's right 3pm. Holy cow. What a weekend.

Wanted to take the time to thank the actors, designers, directors, playwrights, volunteers, the steering comittee, and ACT Theater for making this 14/48 as bitchin as it was. I know I had a blast, and I'm pretty damned sure everyone else did too.

That's it for me peeps. See you around the wonderful world of theater.

PEACE!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

10:30?!?!

Holy hip shake of hippos!

10:30 show is about to start. Guess how many beers I've had? First one to guess wins a prize. The prize? Well, there's no prize...but try anyway. 10:30 show....GO!

14/48 Syllables: Signing Off

Alright bitches.
The 8:00 p.m. show has ended and my hip sockets can't wait to get off this damn table.

Thanks for letting me write completely ridiculous reviews in the true, absurd spirit of all things 14/48.
I can confidently say that working under a PRECISE SYLLABLE DEMAND is Writer Hell. I don't know how Shakespeare did it.

The busy weekend comes to a close, the party comes to a start, and it's been swell.
See you next time, Seattle.

Let's get drunk.

E

1st Show Done!

What's it like after the 8pm show? Lots of people relieved and still scared of the 10:30pm. Here's what we got. video

Signing Off

With this post I'm going to separate myself from my computer, to enjoy the ten-thirty show from the comfort of the Falls Theatre.

It's been a pleasure to witness all of the good work that's been done the past few days, and an honor to be invited to participate. Don't be strangers.

J

Review Seven: I Am at War With You

#7) I Am at War With You by Sean Nelson, directed by Wayne Rawley
Featuring: Corey McDaniel, Keira McDonald, Deniece Bleha, Colleen Robertson, Tracy Leigh

Job interview gender fight and unnecessary song.  

I Am at War With You

"At War" starts out as a play about togetherness under pressure, with the suggestion that people applying for positions or jockeying for stations need not necessarily resort to coldness, meanness, distance or cruelty. The point is agreed upon by the four women present, who take the risk of reaching out to one another, defying habit and paradigm. When the lone man in the room is not only unaccepting of the idea but callous and attacking to his kind company the play turns to become a poking fun and attack of misogyny. The womens' initial response is to break the man's ipad, then to force him into a chair to subject him to a quartet, the ladies singing Nina Simone's "Four Women" together in a show of solidarity, concluding the play and the show at large.


Good work, team.


See y'all at ten-thirty, folks.

Review Six: For Love and Love Alone

#6) For Love and Love Alone by Josef Krebs, directed by Nik Perleros
Featuring: Zoey Belyea, Trick Danneker, Mark Fullerton, Amanda Lee Williams

Hollow action flick gets thrown onstage. Tech designs fulfill. 

For Love and Love Alone

"For Love" is a parody of the spy-action spectacle. The word in the booth is "ridiculous," delightfully and intentionally so. While my assessment is somewhat informed by the light operators' murmurings over the thirty-something cues, the crowd was clearly involved and excited throughout. An ambitious and brave approach to theater and a 'spirit of risk-taking' paid off here. Plenty.

Review Five: Universal Corner

#5) Universal Corner by Pattie Miles Van Beuzekom, directed by Stan Shields
Featuring: Scott Nollette, Brandon Felker

Two men navigate a nightclub and find love. Conversational insight on a couple of guys searching for something bigger. Well-intended preciousness. 

Behind the Scenes Shenanigans


TRACY LEIGH (who's in show 7): What show are they in?

JODI-PAUL WOOSTER: Oh we're halfway through show 6.

TRACY: (Expletive!)

JODI-PAUL: I'm messin with you, I'm messin with you.

TRACY: (Hitting Jodi-Paul repeatedly)

Universal Corner

This is a very tender play in which two men, strangers meeting at a club, are driven by mutual attraction to what begins as a flirtation. Something about the goodness of the vibe between them married with the lack of anything for either to lose compels them to speak uncharacteristically candidly about their lives, their demons, their problems, their wants. The honesty with which each approaches the other is enough in the end to breed trust, and to open them to the possibility of a deeper connection.

Friends and Dancing


Two 14/48 friends sharing the experience. Just found out Heather Gautschi, Nick Edwards, myself, and a slew of other performers are gonna be dancing in the club scene for director Stan Shield's piece. Huzzah! I love dancing. I do it alot at the bus stop or at home while the cats awkwardly stare at me. Look for my moves. You'll dig them.

Review Four: Waiting for the Dating Game

#4) Waiting for the Dating Game by Emily Conbere, directed by Erik Van Beuzekom
Featuring: Alyson Scadron Branner, Sylvester Kamara, Teri Lazzara, Adria LaMorticella

Cross-dressed matchmaking show waits for a missing host, random musical number starring Teri Lazzara sweeps the stage with full choreography and rap.

Waiting for The Dating Game

"Waiting" is a look at what might happen if desperate dating show contestants were to be left without a host to see the proceedings along. A bachelorette and three bachelors (a tough, an eccentric businessman, and a perplexing rapper) fumble over what to say or do without the guiding presence of Chuck Woolery. The eventual result is apparently an awkward succession of interviews, followed by a live rap performance. Funny stuff.

Have and Have Not (or Cornucopia)

After dinner tonight Nick Stokes said to me of his play that he might've slipped into his "Beckett register," which I'll corroborate. "Have or Have Not" looks at the concept of ownership, what it means to own, and what's worth owning: As one man is seduced by abundance, the other pursues the value of relationships, of love. So the play poses the question, who of the two 'has?' Who 'has not?'

Review Three: Have and Have Not (or Cornucopia)

#3) Have and Have Not (or Cornucopia) by Nick Stokes, directed by Paul Budraitis
Featuring: Ryan Spickard, Dave Clapper, Jill Snyder-Marr

Minimalist food lust: shallow Beckett simplicity.

Remote Assessment

Susan Stahl's "Remote Assessment" is a dark and gritty look at a military training exercise built on trial by fire, calm under pressure, bravery in the face of danger. What's interesting about the scenario is the realness of the test, the consequences of failure. Where's the line between education and abuse?

The Queen Anne Justice League

Louis Broome's low-brow take on the vigilante hero just went off seamlessly before an enthusiastic crowd. Having not seen the play in costume in tech I was quite missing out on some handy and hilarious design work. This was worth the wait.


What our five heros (well, four heros and a sidekick) have in common is a sense of strange conviction. What makes them a terrible justice league is that not only are their convictions farcically ridiculous (generally pointless), they don't even agree on them. They spend the show first pontificating about whatever weird thing it is that makes them dress in tights and capes, then quickly arrive at fisticuffs over the incompatibility of their beliefs. It all plays out as if in a raunchy, irreverent, seattle-based comic book.


Review Two: Remote Assessment

#2) Remote Assessment by Susan Stahl, directed by Jose Amador
Featuring: Nick Edwards, Amy Hill, Shane Regan, Mik Kuhlman

Military stair-spelunking mission, becomes stagnant.

Time Warp?

My fellow bloggers are in the booth, and I'm popping back and forth from watching and talking to behind the scenes peeps. When I congratulate Heather Gautschi and Evan Whitfield from the first piece, they immediately ask me...

"Was it fast? It felt really fast. Was it 3 min???"

No worries guys. You're solid.

Review One: The Queen Anne Justice League

#1) The Queen Anne Justice League by Louis Broome, directed by Jennifer Jasper
Featuring: Evan Whitfield, Heather Gautschi, Erin Bryn Fetridge, Karen Gruber Ryan, Christine Marie Brown

Boner ball cap and pantyhose testicles attempt to save the suburbs. Nifty Seattle skyline lights up easy dialogue, easy jokes. Not too bad, gang. 

Bring on the Drama

Tonight I'm stationed in the booth beside my fellow blogger, Erin Pike, the 8 o'clock show due to begin in a matter of moments. We'll be live-blogging on this (and perhaps the ten o'clock) show, for your perusal, your elucidation, your enjoyment. Let's go.

Still Straddling, Here I Sit

The original plan (that I review from the house tonight) got shot to hell.
So I'm back in the booth, spread-eagling the tech board and hunched over a bunch of chords. It's real comfy.

If you're just now joining us:

In order to one-up Brendan Kiley's reviews from last week, I will be live-reviewing each show at this evening's 8 p.m. performance: IN 14 OR 48 SYLLABLES.

My cup of "lemonade" is near, the audience is drizzling in... let the madness begin.

Crack the Booze, It's Showtime


Last meeting before we start! Turns out the 14/48 steering committee bought the cast/crew an extra half keg of beer. Hooray! And Andy Jensen bought me a little bottle of Maker's Mark! Hooray! You know what that means? For the next couple hours, my posts are gonna be WAY more clever and witty. After those two hours? Probably a ton of typos and swearing. I is sorry in advance.

You know what that means? It means that the first Saturday performance of 14/48 The World's Quickest Theater Festival is less than an hour away! Holy crap!

8pm is SOLD OUT, but we still gots some room at the 10:30 show


Tech #7, I Am at War With You

The evening's final play spent most of its rehearsal time working a Nina Simone cover, which was quick to become clean and beautiful with the aide of the 14/48 band. Once the number was sufficiently tooled out, director Wayne Rawley moved to the top of the show and said, "we'll get as far as we can get before time runs out," an approach I've seen employed a few times today.


The phrase "I'm at war with you," seems to refer simultaneously to warring over professional opportunities, and to the "war of the sexes." It features some really snappy dialogue and a compelling premise I'm eager to see in full form.


With that, it's time for dinner and I'm a hungry guy. I'll see y'all tonight, when I'll be live-blogging once again. Brace thyself.

Tech #6, For Love and Love Alone

Our "beast of a show" began tech rather late, the bane of having a ton of props and people to manage. This translated to an initial degree of dysfunction in tech, people talking over and interrupting one another, so many questions and concerns needing to be addressed. Hopefully the ambitiousness of the show pays dividends. It really might.


"For Love and Love Alone" is a James Bond-verses-evil-style action/adventure spectacle, replete with military lingo, miscellaneous foreign accents, techie gadgets, nuclear bombs, the works. As tech winds down actors and director seem much, much more at ease, bolstered by having gotten good work done fast.


"That's time!" says our stage-manager as the ensemble wraps tech rehearsal. "You guys are my heros, nicely done!"

Tech: Heavenly #7


Last tech of the day. Ok, ok... admittedly, I missed most of this piece's tech as I wolfed down three plates of pasta and now my insides hurt. Oof.

"I Am at War With You" by Sean Nelson and directed by Wayne Rawley seems to be a show about 4 women singing a song.

Um...yeah.

Oh, come on, give me a break! 3 plates of pasta people! I need to go lie down.

Tech: #6 is a Dick


Well not a TOTAL dick...but apparently...wait for it...

...it has 30 light cues! Holy crapola! That's a lots of light cues for a 10 min piece! Well, if any director can handle a piece such as this, it's Nik Perleros. I mean...he's got the best name EVER! Show #6 "For Love, and Love Alone" by Josef Krebs has been nicknamed "The Beast" and I cannot wait to see this bad boy in action.

Give it up for the 14/48 Band















Tech #5, Universal Corner

For the second time this weekend Patty Miles Van Beuzekom's play is being directed by Mr. Stan Shields. This time it's our evening's two-hander, purportedly to the pleasure of the playwright. Rumor has it Stan has elicited some additional help from other casts (as extras, I understand), but I see no sign of such a thing in tech. We'll see at eight o'clock. In the mean time, Nollette and Felker are killing it.


Though not much of the action of the play was gone over in tech, I gather it revolves around two men courting at a club, or after having met in one. The dialogue is terse, direct, muscular, written in a much earthier register than last night's "Three Ravens." Pretty neat.

Tech: High #5, Dude!


Ahh, good ole crazy lights. Takes me back to my raver days of yore. The Sunshine Kid they called me. No...(sigh) no they didn't, and I BEGGED them to!

Tech for show #5 "Universal Corner" by Pattie Miles Van Beauzekom and directed by Mr. Stan Shields is all about figuring out the lights. It's the 2-hander for this performance. 2 dudes.

That's a tall order. 2 person shows at 14/48 are kind of a head ache for the actors. A lot of times, the line load is WAY more than a regular multiple person piece. But Scott Nollette and Brandon Felker look like they're gonna rock it.

Go dudes, go!

Tech #4, Waiting for The Dating Game

"Waiting for The Dating Game" is Emily Conbere's imagining of what might happen to an episode of The Dating Game if Chuck Woolery were not to show. What would happen if contestants had to invent their own questions and converse without the galvanizing presence of a host? The play pulls a full gender switcheroo, and has a lot of light fun in doing so.


The rhythm of the first half of the show, when in tech, was somewhat stutter-stepping and still in need of some touching-up. As their tech wraps the cast is off to iron out the little remaining wrinkles. This one promises to be a crowd-pleaser.

Tech: #4...For Everyone


So, first, there's this.

And..I think...wait...yeah...I think I just saw Terri Lazarra breakdance.

Ok so play #4 "Waiting for the Dating Game" by Emily Conbere and directed by Erik Van Beuzekom...wow. I mean when I go to theater, there is a list of things that make my experience way better. You know, fun stuff like giraffes, nudity, set pieces made out of hamburgers.

This one has everything...dance, cross dressing, rap music...literally everything! I know, I know...it's crazy awesome

Tech #3, Have and Have Not (or Cornucopia)

Director Paul Budraitis didn't mince words as his tech began, "We're running it all the way through from the top!" He must've communicated thoroughly with the light crew prior, as cues are coming up with general precision, apparently without much trouble. Just little tweaks. He's the most vocal director of the weekend, by my current estimation.


I could tell this was a Nick Stokes play with the first line of dialogue, what I've seen of it something like a fourth-wall-breaking marriage of Mr. Stokes play from last night, "Hold," and "Waiting for Godot." If "Hold" is a contemplation of the concept of holding, this is a contemplation of the concept of having.


"Have and Have Not" abandons its initial "run it all the way through" idea for tech, opting rather to focus on dialing in transitions, which are looking lovely. Really a pretty play in the ways of both words and images, to the credit of both the writer and director. This is really gearing up to be a great night of short plays (even if stress levels may be spiking at the moment--this is the point in the day when that always happens).

Tech: #3...Exactly 3!


The word for the tech of play #3 is...precision.

"Have or Have Not (or Cornucopia)" by Nick Stokes, directed by Paul Budraitis is about bananas...I think. No, I think it's about potatoes. No wait, it's...I give up.

I will say one thing, Budraitis is a directing machine. Super focused. I feel like if a mosquito flew by his face he could grab it with chopsticks

Tech #2, Remote Assessment

The first half of the "Remote Assessment" tech run took place in near total darkness to ambient sounds emanating from the band. This seems to be a spelunking play, as there's been so much wrangling of rope in so much darkness.


Director Jose Amador focuses his energies principally on light transitions, but encounters a little trouble in the form of technical difficulties. He bides his time patiently, speaking one-on-one with one actor, then another, then another.


The "Remote Assessment" team manages to hit all of their transitions, but speaks few words and does little in the way of blocking. With their remaining moments they manage to run maybe half a page of dialogue, which leads me to think (though I promise nothing) there might be a bomb-diffusion going down. I''m looking forward to seeing and writing on it at eight.


In other news, Falls Theatre is much more full of people than it was at this time yesterday. Maybe this is an indication that folks are feeling more comfortable in their respective roles? Might stand to reason.

Tech: #2 For You

Tech for the Jose Amador directed play #2 "Remote Assessment" by Susan Stahl begins with actress Mik Kuhlman climbing over me. My reaction is pictured at right.

I'm hearing a lot of wind, heart beats, ambient noises and...wait. Did band member Annie Jantzer just make a pterodactyl noise? Is this a play about scaling a dinosaur mountain??? Oh I hope so!

Amy Hill, Nick Edwards, and Shane Regan round out the rest of the cast. No run-thru for this one. Just cues. A sad thing, as i am ridiculously curious what this damn thing is about.

Oh yeah...PS: Bout 3.5 hours till the 8pm. Holy hand-bag of hotsauce!


Tech: How Bout We Start With #1?


A novel concept, I know. Tech starts with the cast of "The Queen Anne Justice League" practicing a bitchin' fight. Evan Whitfield, Karen Gruber Ryan, Heather Gautschi, Erin Fetridge, and Christine Marie-Brown play some seriously messed up super heroes.

EVAN: "Are we gonna have lanyards?"
Director JENNIFER JASPER: "Karen will help you get it over your dick."

Hmm.

HEATHER: "Kids need hugs and kisses! And I can't kiss them all!!!"

Tech #1, The Queen Anne Justice League

Getting started a couple minutes behind schedule, tech begins with Louis Broome's, "The Queen Anne Justice League." There's a lot of initial focus on a short choreographed fight sequence, and on coordinating said sequence with the 14/48 band, which makes some non-musical contributions to it. The fight sufficiently gone over, the cast goes on to complete a promising stumble-through of the play in its entirety.

"Justice League" portrays a dysfunctional, euphemism-happy 'crime-fighting league' on a mission to "make Queen Anne more homogenous." The ensemble finishes their run-through with a minute remaining on the clock, putting the 14/48 tech bender back on schedule. Funny fumbling superheroes come through.

Stan Arrived

He made it! Thank god.

Tech Starts Really Fucking Soon, or, WHERE IS STAN?

(Twenty-five minutes, to be exact.)

I am currently a few feet away from the directors meeting.
Stan Shields is not present.
Did he forget?

STAN SHIELDS. STAN SHIELDS. THERE'S A MEETING GOING ON.
Also, tech is really fucking soon. Stan, get your ass over here!


Directors Meet

Three o'clock means the directors' meeting is under way, half hour till tech. In an economical, brass tacks fashion directors are taking turns in order of performance running crew through details pertaining to light, sound, blocking, music, and the kitchen sink. The tomfoolery is at a very low level just now, folks sounding like they're detailing the processes of balancing an equation, not the customary cracking wise.


Word from Nik Perleros, director of the evenings penultimate offering, "For Love and Love Alone," is that his play is tremendously cue- and tech-heavy. For its logistical complexity, "Love Alone," has just been affectionately referred to as "The Beast."


In a few minutes I'll be in the Falls Theatre, beginning the three-and-a-half-hour-long-tech-blog-athon. Expect some thoughts and reflections on the tech run of each show.


The directors' meeting ends with hugs and thanks. Fewer than five hours till show-time.

Interview with Another Virgin


Apparently I can't keep myself away from the virgins.

...

No comment.

Anywho...I got a chance to talk to another 14/48 virgin actor and dear friend, a one Ms. Tracy Leigh.

What's the scariest part of this process?

"Not being in control. Not being able to have a script in my hand before I walk in here. Not being able to have at least a general idea or a kernel of...well I'm gonna fasten on this and have something to work off of. You're just walking in with...you. (laughs) And you get handed whatever you get handed and it's scary."

What's the most exciting part?

"Getting to work will all different kinds of people and seeing how fast they come together and work together and support eachother and encourage eachother. That's really really awesome. The family gets bigger, but also gets tighter at the same time. I love that."

What are you doing tonight?

"I'm doing a Sean Nelson piece? Is that right? Yes. Sean Nelson wrote it and Wayne Rawley's directing it and it's called...it has a title..."

I am at war?

"YES! I Am at War With You! I do the actor thing of...it's not in my lines so I don't have to know it. (laughs)"

And what part are you playing?

"I play Jen, one of four women up for a job interview...and a guy. And we're number seven. So I can't drink...for a long time (sad face) That's the sad part of 14/48 is being responsible!"

Well put.

Meet Your Kitchen Staff: Alex Samuels

Question 1:
What is your middle name?

A: Victor.

Question 2:
What do you do in real life?
A: I am an actor, on the steering committee of 14/48, the casting director for Theater Schmeater, and a waiter at a restaurant in Capitol Hill.

E: Do you like waiting tables? What would you like to be doing?
A: Well I'd like to be retired and living on an island. But I don't hate my job. I like it.

Question 3:
How did you start doing 14/48?
A: I started in the kitchen in the early 2000s, with ConWorks and all that. I was familiar with the food business and I wanted to be a part of it, I think initially I got involved through Shawn Belyea. Eventually I jumped on the steering committee, since I was involved with Schmee I had the ability to bring a lot of virgins in.

Question 4:
What's next?/INSERT PLUG!
A: Nothing, actually. TBA.

Meet Your Kitchen Staff: Gina Malvestuto

Question 1:
What is your middle name?

G: Christine.

Question 2:
What do you do in real life?

G: Work for a coffee company, just starting as a fashion stylist, and I'm about to go back to school to get my Masters in Education so I can teach theater. I'm also a mom.
E: Damn. That's a lot! How old are the kids?
G: 2 and 12.

Question 3:
How did you start doing 14/48?
G: Peter Dylan O'Connor needed volunteers, so I stepped up.

E: How do you know Peter?
G: We've known each other for a long time, we used to perform with Piece of Meat theatre.

Question 4:
What's next?/INSERT PLUG!

G: Collaborating on a piece with Rhonda Sykowski. I will be writing/acting in it, we begin rehearsals in April and it will run in May. Oh, and TPS auditions! I haven't done them in awhile, but now I can do mom monologues!

Do Re...Eagon!

Play #7, Sean Nelson’s “I Am at War With You” directed by Wayne Rawley gets a little bit o’ stage time to rehearse a Nina Simone song. Pretty tune, I'd never heard before. Me thinks that I heard the four ladies were a little bit nervous about busting into song. I gotta say though, watching them practice…the girls have got some pipes and I don’t think they have anything to be nervous about.

Holler ladies…holler for dollars.

Meet Your Kitchen Staff: Katie Driscoll

Question 1:
What is your middle name?

K: Ann.
E: No 'e?'
K: No 'e.'
E: Do you wish you had an 'e?'
K: I would like to be more original, but I would also like my middle name to be Jane.
E: Like KJ?
K: Yeah. Yeah.

Question 2:
What do you do in real life?
K: I'm a manager for a landscaping company. 

E: Seen any crazy shit?
K: Yeah! Couldn't find the house once. We had to part two bushes to see it.

Question 3:
How did you start doing 14/48?
K: I was asked by Shawn Belyea to act [Katie was an actor in last weekend's edition]. I volunteered this weekend in the kitchen because I love it. It's like crack. I need more crack, you know?

Question 4:
What's next?/INSERT PLUG!
K: I just accepted a staff position at Annex Theatre, as Facilities Manager. Other than that, I am waiting for my next chance to hop on stage.

Keep It Simple


There is nothing quite like walking into a theater to find Terri Lazzara rapping about erections and love connections.

I really can't say anything more about that.

Overheard At Lunch: Jose Amador

Jose, on his directorial liberties with Remote Assessment:


"I'm not changing it, I'm just making it different."

Nice Hat?


Designer Cole Hornaday...um...hey man....you got a...um...there's...nevermind.

Food!

What do theater peeps look like when they eat? Well...they look like this!

video

Special Teams: First Impressions

Show #1) The Queen Anne Justice League
Design talk. Heather Gautschi does not understand what a Snuggie is. 
Amy Lazerte says, "It’s like a cape!"
Topic changes to genitals.
Amy: "I’m thinking softballs in pantyhose."
Jennifer Jasper makes swinging testicular motion. 
Amy: "giant penis costume from Open Circle theater-- Who has it? Where is it? Does anyone know?"

Show #2) Remote Assessment
Much discussion of dangerous aerial tactics.
Jose Amador: "let’s take it from the beginning, with you guys repelling in."
Someone mentions base-jumping. 
Jose changes the script: “let’s say spelunking instead of hiking.” 
Amy Hill: "uh. Okay."

Show #3) Have and Have Not (or Cornucopia)
A strange, pause-filled practice featuring fruit.
Dave Clapper: "The audience doesn’t have to see his precious, ever. "
Paul Budraitis: "it’s true. It’s true. There’s this special banana place. A place we all wish we were, all of the time. "
Dave Clapper: “You just gave her your banana.” 
Jill Snyder-Marr asks Paul, “Do I drop the banana or chomp on it or what?”

Show #4) Waiting for the Dating Game
Erik Van Beuzekom says, “It’s just a rhythm thing. Pause here, pause here, pause here. Then we’ll come to the choreography.” 
Teri Lazarra steals scene, breaks out of character, then shouts, "Double underpantser, super gay!" 
Teri: "I want to wear the balls, I want some balls. Just to rehearse with." 
Erik: "can we talk to costumer about getting some balls? Lets have balls for our choreography... we might need two pairs."

Show #5) Universal Corner
A sexy intimate rehearsal,  which is running ahead of schedule. Two gay guys! One an oncologist! 
Brandon Felker: "Why did last night feel like half an hour?" 
Stan Shields: "Because you had twice as many lines." 
Script mentions drugs, cocaine, custody battles, workaholics...

Show #6) For Love and Love Alone
Blocking is a bit scattered. Nik Perleros has a gun and is using it to direct the actors to their spots. He spins it around a few times, showing off some gun tricks.
Nik to cast: "Follow the ninja." I suspect Zoey Belyea to be said ninja. 

Show #7) I Am at War With You
Nina Simone is playing and the ladies sing along. Wayne Rawling is not in the room. Corey McDaniel walks in, sits down, gets up, walks out. 
Ladies rehearse song longer. Is there text? 
Deniece Bleha: "I didn’t know I’d be singing today." She laughs sadly. 
Wayne and Corey re-enter.

Clever

Is it lunchtime? I think it might be.

Crafty directors are taking turns sneaking in some preliminary stage time before tech, having noted the unclaimed-ness of the big ol' Falls theatre.

Big News From the Box Office: More Tickets Available!

The eight o'clock show has been sold out for a couple days. However, in an exciting turn of events, the powers that be have decided to release the thirty standing-room-only tickets for sale. These tickets won't be available for pre-sale, they'll need to be purchased and picked up at the box office. Come early and get yours!

Interview with A Virgin


Rather than make some crack about virgins, I'm gonna take the high road and let it lie. I know, it's unlike me and I feel weird. But alas, on we go!

I had a chance to sit down with the lovely virgin 14/48 actor Adria LaMorticella (which sounds like a delicious cheese and is one of the reasons I like her so much) and how she felt about her very first time last night. (Must...resist...sex...joke.)

What's been the scariest part of this process?
"Scariest part was going last and waiting to go on when everyone else was relieved and finished."

What's the most exciting part?
"As soon as I got out there, the audience was so supportive and fun. I had to rub caro syrup blood all over someone and I got it all in my hair...but that was fun!"

What are you playing tonight?
"I'm playing a DUDE on a dating show. So I've gotten to play my two roles that I think i play most often which is 16 year old girls and men."

Super!


Ok, I might have found what my favorite play of the night is gonna be. Play #1 “The Queen Anne Justice League” by Louis Broome is about freakin’ costumed crime fighters! In Queen Anne!! I LIVE THERE!!!

Thank the gods. I was hoping none of the writers would drop the ball and miss a perfect opportunity for super hero shenanigans. Evan Whitfield just guided his fellow heroes through the various types of fist-bumps.

Well played Sir Whitfield…well played.

Musings on the 14/48 Band

The band just finished arranging a dissonant, jazzy, funeral-march-sounding rendition of The Dating Game theme, something I never thought I'd hear but quite like. They move immediately on to a slap-bass- and beatbox-heavy number before the capable and watchful directorial eyes and ears of Erik Van Beuzekom. He withdraws amped by progress, expressing thanks.


Someone just said, "less than two hours till tech."


I can't believe how quickly time seems to be passing today, and the relative calm of so many people working so hard in such close quarters. There's a lot of composure in the pressure-cooker.


Oop, a Queen cover hits my ear. Just as soon as one task is completed the next beings.

Design Meeting

..., athletic shorts, climbing harnesses, increasing pile of detritus (ideally including a nice, dirty old boot), ratty patched suites with classic lines in greyscale, enormous womens' shoes, bling ($ symbol?), lanyards (overheard, "I got a shitload of lanyards!"), two jets, six missiles, a distributor cap with doodads all over it, fat cigar, eyepatch, ...


A list drawn up, the designers' three runners are off to Ballard, Greenlake, Cap Hill, and various other exotic and exciting destinations. Others prepare to build. And away they go.

Lady Looks Like a Dude...and Other Aerosmith B-sides


Seeing Alyson Scadron-Branner, Adria LaMorticella, and Terri Lazzara pretend to be smelly manly dudes is pretty freakin' delightful. And Sylvester Kamara makes one helluva chick.

"You know, once I get the pink dress and heels on...it's gonna be all good."

Well put, Sly.

Oh yeah, play #4 "Waiting for the Dating Game" by Emily Conbere looks to be my type of silly.



Friday Night, The Second Half

Please forgive the lateness of this post, I stayed at ACT blogging till they kicked me out last night, and then was too locked out of my house to get the following finished and posted from home.


At any rate, the ten-thirty show was packed and tremendous.


HOLD


Nick Stokes' "Hold" is by my interpretation (and it's quite open for interpretation) an abstract look at man-woman relationships and needs, namely the common need to be held.


The three female roles are anthropomorphized natural entities, one the earth, one the sky, one the cosmos. The mystery of a strange box is pondered and discussed in heightened, philosophical, and poetic terms, each of the 'elements' offering a unique take on its importance, value, and sanctity. Naturally, necessarily, it is eventually opened. When a man emerges from the box there develops a shared fascination with him, various yearnings for him, and he expresses an infatuation with each of the entities in turn.


The eventual discovery of the play is that as soon as The Entity is possessed it is corrupted, that the valley filled is no longer a valley (the euphemism must be deliberate). The distances between ourselves and the things we desire and persistent, torturous, and necessary. I think it's a lovely and sad thing to contemplate.


To my surprise, "Hold" was met with emphatic laughter, presumably for an uber-artsy aesthetic that drives it into the realm of parody (though I don't particularly hear this quality in the text). Regardless, Stokes offers some beautiful words, idea and images, and a lovely little play to contemplate.


THE FOURTH WALL KID


Our evening's two-person offering, "Fourth Wall," featured two tour guides at a zoo who, in describing enclosed animals and plants, are quick to project their own qualities, faults, fears, and ambitions. In doing so they reveal too much about themselves to their captive audience, both guides consequently coming off as quirky, neurotic, and delightfully damaged or troubled.


Overhearing one another's strange (terrible) tours, the tour guides cannot resist launching into conversation, wherein each becomes an object of simultaneous interest, irritation, and infatuation to the other. When they, in comedic earnestness, begin to drive at the heart of their differences, they become painfully and simultaneously aware of the overbearing influence of The Human Resources Lady (the playwright), who treats them mutually like pawns, disregards their potentials, subjects them to lives of duress and servitude.


The wall to an animal enclosure is represented by the fourth wall of the theater, the beasts and brutality of the predatory, 'real' human world by the audience. Resolving no longer to be characters in a drama they're suddenly painfully aware they're in, their thoughts and movements plotted, but to become dynamic and empowered people, the two conspire to face the brutality of reality, to penetrate the fourth wall, and in doing so escape the tyranny of the play. Very meta. Very funny. Very good and endearing.


THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO LUKES AT BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL


The last play of the evening, "Two Lukes," concerns five high schoolers rehearsing a Greek tragedy for a class assignment. When one of their classmate/collaborators, Luke, is unable to make rehearsal he sends a friend, also named Luke, to rehearse in his stead. I'm not sure why it's a point of confusion or particular interest for the kids that there is a second Luke at Ballard High School, or why the point is so frequently returned-to. Regardless, we are reminded severally that there are indeed two Lukes at Ballard High School.


The "replacement Luke" is awkward, conventionally nerdy, germaphobic; he possesses all the telling qualities of the high school pariah. He purports to want to rehearse with these other kids, yet doesn't seem to want to be there, and attempts to fabricate excuses to leave almost as soon as he arrives. I'm left with the definite sense with this play that there's something intended in the writing that I didn't catch. Maybe the whole thing was meant to be absurd, but didn't commit enough to the world to come through clearly.


A first high point of the play is the high schoolers' line readings of the tragedy, which are deliciously clunky, mispronounced, insufferable. Some classic and familiar elements of bad theater are put on parade, and poked fun of. It's cringe-inducing and playful.


A second high point is the blood ritual with which the play ends (overt absurdism): Luke becomes overstimulated, passes out, and is ritualistically smeared by his peers with blood. It's a surprise, a visual treat (all the troubleshooting with the lights during tech really paid off), and a head-scratcher.


The sum total of the show: several strong performances onstage, some very clever dialogue (in high school colloquial, of course), some lovely and disturbing visuals, and a bit of a meandering premise.


------


With that I've written at some length about each of Friday's seven shows. I'll be at ACT all day today and late into the night, so do come down and I'll buy you a beer. Or you can buy me one. Or you can just come to the show and the subsequent party and we can not acknowledge one another at all.


More thoughts to come over the course of today, tonight, tomorrow.

Making the Band

Well, the band's already made, but I thought it was a cool title. Is that the show with P Diddy? Hmm...anywho...MUSIC!

It's pretty awesome to watch this super group of musicians figure out what will become...

The SOUNDS of 14/48!

Pretty epic, right? Wonderful things overheard...

"The ringtone's gonna be Air Supply."

"And then we go back to the evil lair."




Jose Amador Talks Shit

A few minutes ago Jose Amador rumbled in and said, "I just got called a dick by the costumer, so the day's off to a good start."

Jose Amador is talkin' some shit.

WHY did he get called a dick?
Well, there are rumors that he changed around all of the gender roles in Sooz Stahl's show... more information to come.

Meet Your Bloggers: Nik Doner

Question 1:
What is your middle name?
N: Elek. 

E: Oh my god. We all have 'E' middle names!
N: It's Hungarian. That's how I roll.

Question 2:
What do you do in real life?
N: I'm an actor and voiceover artist, mainly. I work for a company called Apex Learning, doing voiceover for educational courses and video.

Question 3:
How did you start doing 14/48?
N: I started as an actor two or three years ago. I played Meaghan Arnette's father twice the first weekend. Shawn Belyea invited me, we knew each other from working together at Balagan Theatre.

Question 4:
What's next?/INSERT PLUG!
N: I'll be playing Shockwave in Team of Heroes at Annex Theatre in April. IN TIGHTS!

E: How 14/48 theme appropriate.
N: RIGHT?

One show closes, another one opens

What you missed last night.









Meet Your Bloggers: John E. Allis

Question 1:
What does the 'E.' stand for? As in, what is your middle name?
J: Everett.
E: That's nice.
J: Thank you.

Question 2:
What do you do in real life?
J: Contractor for a foreclosure rehab company. It's depressing. I fancy myself a kitchen guy.
E: As in a kitchen cook? What types of food?
J: Mexican, gourmet sandwiches, burgers, Thai... hopefully I'll be getting back to that. I had to do an eviction the other day.
E: Was it like a Michael Moore documentary?
J: Yes.

Question 3:
How did you start doing 14/48?
J: I wrote for Seattlest, and met Jose Amador who asked me to do it for the first time last summer.

Question 4:
What's next?/INSERT PLUG!
J: I'm writing an adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing for Battle of the Bards at Ghostlight Theatricals, which will perform January 26 and 27.



2 Guys, a Girl, and a Banana


I'm hearing talk of bananas. I'm hearing talk of potatoes, I'm hearing talk of eating people...where the hell am I?!?

Oh...just sitting in on the first read for the Paul Budraitis directed play #3 "Have and Have Not (or Cornucopia)" by Nick Stokes. Actors Dave Clapper, Ryan Spickard, and Jill Snyder are gettin ready to work it.

And Jill is pretty stoked she doesn't have to wear heels tonight. Congrats lady.




An interview with your blogger Erin PIke

Would you like to know more about your humble correspondents? Your bloggers are interviewing your bloggers...


Hey Erin Pike, what's your middle name?:


It starts with an E. That's all she'll say, lest she be stalked.


What do you do in real life?:


Erin works for Starbucks and at the 5th Avenue. She's a company member at Annex, and she interns for Brendan Kiley at The Stranger. "I have ten lives."


How did you start doing 14/48?:


Andy emailed out of the blue, having gotten Erin's name and info from someone at On the Boards with a glowing recommendation. He asked if she'd blog. She said yes.


Plug Something:


Erin will be doing Northwest New Works Festival at On the Boards in June.

Everything's Changing!

Well...that's not true. I'm a liar. Just the title of play #4.

"Waiting for Chuck Woolery" is now titled...

...wait for it...

..."Waiting for the Dating Game"

That's the biggest news of today! Well, not really. I'm sure something else will happen today.

PS: Tracy Leigh was picked last...again. She was crying saying it's been like this all her life. Suck it up, lady! I kid, I love that woman.

Casts!

1. The Queen Anne Justice League, by Louis Broome, directed by Jennifer Jasper


Evan Whitfield, Heather Gautschi, Erin Fetridge, Karen Gruber Ryan, Christine Marie-Brown


2. Remote Assessment, by Susan Stahl, directed by Jose Amador


Amy Hill, Shane Regan, Mik Kuhlman, Nick Edwards


3. Have and Have Not (or Cornucopia), by Nick Stokes, directed by Paul Budraitis


Dave Clapper, Ryan Spickard, Jill Snyder


4. Waiting for The Dating Game, by Emily Conbere, directed by Erik Van Beuzekom


Sylvester Kamara, Alyson Scadron -Branner, Teri Lazzara, Adria LaMorticella


5. Universal Corner, by Patty Miles Van Beuzekom, directed by Stan Shields


Scott Nollette, Brandon Felker


6. For Love and Love Alone, by Josef Krebs, directed by Nik Perleros


Trick Danneker, Zoey Belyea, Mark Fullerton, Amanda Williams


7. I Am at War With You, by Sean Nelson, directed by Wayne Rawley


Corey McDaniel, Keira MacDonald, Colleen Robertson, Tracy Leigh, Deniece Bleha