Sunday, September 9, 2012

The unicorn peed

That is all I have to say. More photos coming, but thats all I have for 14/48 outdoors, folks. Fantastic work everyone!

See you in January!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Intermission of the 10:30 and the audience is going wild for this one. The actors are getting a little antsy, and there are definitely some additions since the 8pm.

Photos photos photos

There will be more coming, I promise! From photographer extraordinaire Ian Johnston:

 They're rehearsing, I promise.

Show stealer!

Rockin' out to the Spice Girls

'nuff said.

The unicorn pees on Ashley.

The dance moves they taught everyone for curtain call.

Act Two

<p>The band's brilliant original song "Self Help" with Chuck Leggett solo kicks us off.</p>
<p>Show #5 - Blank Because Blank by Jim Lapan directed by Shawn Law:

One of my favorites of the night. Two older sisters are fighting while their baby sister (a show-stealing Marianna de Fazio) plays in the pool. The fight eventually turns into bonding over difficulties in their young lives. Touching, funny, and rockin' dance moves. Way to go, band. The crowd enjoyed this one a lot.

Show #6 - Yoga, a Man's Relaxation Technique by Scott Herman directed by Rachel Delmar:

Destined to go down in 14/48 history, this.might be the first ever one-hander. Technically a two-hander, but Virgin actor Matt Gilbert has all the lines. And he's in a dance belt and leotard. Keith and Matt are rocking this one, and the audience is enjoying it. Photos of this show will be used as blackmail.

Show #7 - Time Sweepers by Matt Smith directed by Darian Kindle:

Henrietta the Homemaker is trying to win Miss Homemaker: Universe Edition. Then her future self arrives to warn her against winning. Then her even more future self arrives. And then her childhood imaginary friend unicorn. In the end, it all comes down to the unicorn trying to pee all over the stage. Yup. A fabulous end to the evening.

And that's all she wrote for 8pm. Well done all around, it is a very strong slate of shows. Let's do it again in less than an hour!

Act One

The band opens with "I get by with a little help from myself"... Well done, 14/48 band. Jodi-Paul gives a warm welcome, and it starts raining! For the first time in almost two months. The whole crew of staff and volunteers springs into action to move tents and make this happen. Self Help!

Show #1 - Face Program by K. Brian Neel directed by Jake Groshong:

The eyes, ears, lips, and nose of a fourteen year old boy are ready for a date, but skin hasn't shown up. They have to jump in and cover for him, and comedy chaos ensues. Jake and his boys take a hard show and (with a little improv) knock it out of the park. The crowd loves it. The rain is gone. There are techies running, not sure what that is about. All seems ok. Looks like they are putting weights on the projection screen.

Show #2 - Skin in the Game by Brendan Healy directed by Andy Jensen:

Heather Gautschi and Nick Edward want a life coah, they've got one in Michael Patten but he acts more like a sports coach. The couple starts working through their issues until Heather's character's dramatic revelation brings things to an end. Good comedy with a bittersweet ending. The audience is into it.

Show #3 - The Future King Bluckmore by Kelleen Conway-Blanchard directed by David Gassner:

This show makes so much more sense now that I've seen it in full. A deadpan comedy about a seriously dysfunctional medieval royal family. It's hard to describe much more than that. Some outrageous one-liners, such as "Impregnate me, you mutton chop." This cast is pretty much perfect for these roles. The crowd is eating it up. Nice sword fight!

Show #4 - For the Girls by Joy McCullough-Carranza directed by Rob Raas-Berquist:

Timely social commentary about double standards for women, especially by other women. Teenagers hating on the actress that cheated on their favorite actor, Hollywood agents talking about dropping that same actress, because girls now hate her, and elevating the director she cheated with. Not a total downer, it has humor all the way through, and the audience is getting it.

Intermission! Great show so far.

Almost ready!

The actors are nervous, the crowd is large, the band is ready to rock. It's almost time for the first show of the second night of the first ever 14/48 outdoors!

7 o'clock company meeting

A lot of energy in the room. Actors are running lines, directors are giving last minute notes, and everyone is giving Gilbert a hug.

Stage Manager Dani reminds everyone to be careful with the mics. And check your props!

Project! But save your voice.

Strike details have been set. Curtain call choreography, courtesy of Tim Hyland, is being taught.

PDOC and Shawn say some moving words about dreams coming true, there may be tears in the room, and then EBF reminds everyone that we have to clean up, and fairly quickly, tonight.

First show is opening night energy! Second show is closing night energy!

Let's do this!

Overheard at 14/48

"Can you get the rest of his mohawk? He lost it."

"So pretty much wait 'til she stops peeing?"

"I don't have your diaper yet."

"The only thing we can't set is the human baby."

Tech Run #7 - Time Sweepers

Our final show of the evening comes from Matt Smith, directed by Darian Lindle. We're watching the Miss Homemaker: Universe Edition pageant, when things start to go awry - time travel and unicorns are involved. They start with a cue-to-cue. They run out of time for a full run.

Some really brilliant costumes and props from the design team. Keira McDonald's unicorn suit is a triumph - but will it pee?

With that, the band rocks out into curtain call music, and we're done with tech. Everyone is off to grab some dinner before the company meeting at 7.

Tech Run #6 - Yoga, the Manly Art of Relaxation

This is today's most infamous play - Scott Herman's two-hander where Virgin actor Matt Gilbert is the only one with lines. He plays a yoga instructor leading Keith Dahlgren's character through a very macho-man-inspired yoga routine. Virgin director Rachel Delmar has tried to keep it simple to help Matt focus on lines, but there are a couple of nice sound effects from the band. Because we're pressed for time, they don't get a full run. If Matt and Keith can nail it tonight, it's going to be a funny one. The tech crew starts working the transition into Show #7.

Tech Run #5 - Blank Because Blank

The band runs through their kick-ass original song "Self Help," and we're ready to go with the top of act two. Jim Lapan's piece features Marianna de Fazio as a one-year old baby, and Allison Standley and Amy Hill as her two older sisters. Sweet and moving, with some fun music and choreography. They basically move right into a full run. Shawn Law has done a good job directing this one. Everything goes off more or less without a hitch, and after some fantastic Spice Girls from the all-man-band, we're off to show #6!

(Side note: 10 points to Jim Lapan for the Chuck Leggett reference, and 10 points to Amy Hill for getting the Chuck Leggett reference line both days)

More photos by Ian Johnston

 Teen heartthrob Daniel Whitfield.

Tech Run #4 - For The Girls

The intro music to For The Girls is Justin Bieber's Baby, complete with some dance moves from Chuck Leggett and Tim Moore. Not to be missed, I promise you.

A poster of Nick Edwards as teen heartthrob Daniel Whitfield features prominently on the set of Joy McCullough-Carranza's piece which will round out act one. I haven't seen much of this piece yet today despite my best efforts, so I can't tell you much about it until they run. They're working through a couple of sound cues.

They start a full run, and we're watching a slumber party/meeting of the Daniel Whitfield Fan Club side-by-side with a meeting between a couple of Hollywood agents. This show is social commentary based on the recent Kristen Stewart "scandal." They wrap up, and we're teching intermission.

Tech Run #3 - The Future King Bluckmore

We've reached our first wacky piece of the night. Kelleen Conway-Blanchard has written a deadpan period piece about a royal family. Some of the best one-liners of the night are to be found in this one. David Gassner looks like he's been having fun with it all day.

The design team pulled off some nice set pieces for this one. Well done, rock stars. There are several internal music cues (and some nice period music from the band), and after working through those, David forgoes his last 5 minutes which puts us just about back on schedule.

Tech Run #2 - Skin in the Game

We're running a couple minutes behind, but the transition into show #2 goes pretty smoothly.

Brendan Healy's contribution for today is about a couple trying to work out some issues with their life coach, who in turn is coaching them like athletes. A comic piece with some depth, guided soundly by Andy Jensen.

A couple cues with the band, and they start a full run. Michael Patten breaks a clipboard. A couple tweaks here and there, and we're good. 

(Your blogger might be a little distracted for the next 3 hours as the Husky game has started... I'll do my best.)

Tech Run #1 - Face Program

The band has disappeared, so tech is a bit delayed in getting started. They return from who knows where, and we're ready for show #1! 

In this piece by K. Brian Neel (Mazen winner!), our four intrepid actors make up the face of a 14-year old boy going on his first date. The perfect group of guys got this piece, and they are nailing it from what I've seen so far. Jake Groshong has done a great job staging this one.

After perfecting a radio montage and a couple of sound cues with the band, they run from the top. A little rough, but they're ready for tonight.

We're off and running, transitioning directly into show #2.

Director's meeting

It sounds like there are no major issues. We're moving along very quickly. The band is rocking out a very eclectic set of songs. I've heard Gotye, the Spice Girls, a madrigal, and more. They also appear to be learning some dances. There are actors monkeying around all over the set. Tech is imminent.

Virgin director Rachel Delmar is taking a nap.

Shawn Law is blowing up a kiddy pool.

Amy Hill and Allison Standley are choreographing a dance to the Spice Girls.

Stacey Bush is playing with swords.

Almost time for the directors meeting...

Random observations

Unicorns. Kazoos. Time travel. All at 14/48? Try all in a single show.

The band is dancing to Justin Bieber.

Another pass by Face Program, now on its feet, and I've got a slightly better idea of what's happening. Can't wait to see the finished product.

Scott Herman's two man yoga play might not be totally family friendly. But definitely funny. Welcome to 14/48 outdoors.

Designers are scattering. Folks are starting to take breaks, run lines, and mentally prepare for the afternoon. Alex Samuels is almost ready to serve a delicious lunch.


A smattering of photos from the morning, by photographer Ian Johnston

Director draw!

Our mascot for the weekend

Actor Draw

You know you want him

Nick Edwards is wandering around shirtless. Apparently a photoshoot in the fountain happened, and he got soaked for the second day in a row. That's his lot this weekend.

Another show with a character who doesn't speak, is there a theme going on? 

Deep thoughts from the design team: "Chocolate is funnier because it looks like poop."

Can't wait for the band outro for Shawn's show!

Matt Smith's show has recorded their play for a time capsule. Now they are listening to themselves. Sounds good!

Wandering Around

Virgin actor Matt Gilbert comes up to me with a panicked look. He's in the two hander, and apparently the other character has no lines...

I'm listening to Face Program run lines and I have no idea what is happening. Very difficult rhythms and text. They're going to have fun memorizing this. Why does Jason Sharp have a French accent?

From The Future King Bluckmore: "I'll have dry toast and an enema."

I think the writers have kicked it up a notch today.

Cast lists!

Show #1 - Face Program by K. Brian Neel, directed by Jake Groshong, 4m:

Jason Sharp, Mike Dooly, Sam Hagen, Rob Jones

Show #2 - Skin in the Game by Brendan Healy, directed by Andy Jensen, 2m, 1w:

Michael Patten, Nick Edwards, Heather Gautschi

Show #3 - The Future King Bluckmore by Kelleen Conway-Blanchard, directed by David Gassner, 2m, 2w:

Melissa Fenwick, Alyssa Bostwick, Joe Zavadil, Raymond Williams

Show #4 - For the Girls by Joy McCullough-Carranza, directed by Rob Raas-Berquist, 2m, 3w:

Patrick Allcorn, Daniel Chercover, Shermona Mitchell, Shawnmarie Stanton, Danielle Daggerty

Show #5 - Blank Because Blank by Jim Lapan, directed by Shawn Law, 3w:

Allison Standley, Marianna de Fazio, Amy Hill

Show #6 - Yoga, the Manly Art of Relaxation by Scott Herman, directed by Rachel Delmar, 2m:

Keith Dahlgren, Matthew Gilbert

Show #7 - Time Sweepers by Matt Smith, directed by Darian Lindle, 4w:

Ashley Bagwell, Cynthia Whalen, Keira McDonald, Colleen Robertson, Christine Marie Brown

Crisis averted

Artist liaisons EBF and Shawn Belyea have figured things out, and we're back on. Cast lists coming shortly.

Actor Draw

Actor draw! Shawn congratulates all on yesterday, and encourages everyone to swing for the fences tonight.

Things are wonky with the cans... men are being pulled out of the women can. "It's a mess."

We've paused the draw to figure it out.

First Impressions

From the designers: We need a unicorn puppet that pees. And a shriveled hand. My suggestion to shrivel yesterday's hand is met with silence. That's why I'm a blogger, not a designer.

From the directors: David Gassner needs a sword fight choreographed - and there's more than one fight choreographer among our design team. They rock. So much.

There are two repeat writer/director pairs: Matt Smith and Darian Lindle; K. Brian Neel (Mazen!) and Jake Groshong.

Actor draw coming up shortly...

This is your blogger for the day signing on. It's a beautiful morning at Seattle Center. The sun is shining, directors and writers are chatting, designers are reading scripts, actors are (slowly...) trickling in. There's coffee, there's laughter, it's all good.

Day Two

Good morning campers! Let's roll.

Random pictures

Allison Standley, ladies and gentlemen.

Followed by the delightful sight of Christine Marie Brown smashing Nick Edwards in the face with a water balloon in the early water balloon trials, as director Shawn Law looks on.  'Cause these things gotta be done.  For science.  And theater.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Act 2

Act 2 opens with a rocking orginal song, with Sir Charles Leggett on harmonica.

Show #5, The Short Sale by Jim Lapan, directed by Rachel Delmar: I think Sam Hagen is playing Jim Lapan himself. This play is a history of the boom and bust of Puget Sound real estate, told through the eyes of one couple and their loan officer. Outstanding props again from our rock star designers. A powerful show.

Show #6, Finders Keepers by Brendan Healy, directed by Shawn Law: The two-hander. Christine Marie Brown is throwing water balloons at Nick Edwards! It's a fast-forward highlight/lowlight reel of their relationship. Clever, sweet, moving. My favorite of the night.

Show #7, The Music in Motion by Kelleen Conway-Blanchard, directed by Andy Jensen: "Glenn with two Ns, like gunnery and innards" is my favorite line of the night, but there are quite a few gems in this one. Shermona Mitchell, Patrick Allcorn, and Colleen Robertson are rapping and singing their way through a school assembly about drugs and safe sex. Melissa Fenwick is the horribly unfit teacher and Daniel Chercover is a misfit student. A great way to end the evening.

And that's all she wrote for night one! An outstanding slate of shows. Heavy on comedy, which is perfect for the outdoor setting. Great use of the space from everyone,and no sound issues that I could hear. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings on the topic of Self Help!

Talk to you all bright and early tomorrow morning! Get some sleep.


A very respectable audience for the Friday 10:30. And the band gets us off and rolling!

Jodi-Paul is preaching his usual spectacular sermon on how amazing 14/48 is. Everybody looks surprisingly unfrazzled, I must say. Can't wait to see how tomorrow goes.

Show #1 (I'm working without the set list here, so forgive the lack of titles and directors): A crisp comedy about fairy godmother/father training in fairytale land. Matt Gilbert is adorable in fairy wings. Michael Patten is sporting a delightful British accent. Clever use of the trees that make up part of the set. Great work all around.

Show #2 (the names are projected on a screen... So I'm an idiot), Everything is Hard by Matt Smith, directed by Darian Lindle: Rock band Everything is Hard is falling apart. Mutiny from three-handed musician Donna. Drama between the lead singer and the manager. A classic Matt Smith comedy, with great participation by the band.

Show #3, White Night by K. Brian Neel (Mazen winner!), directed by Jake Groshong: A gunshot makes for a tense start to this one. It's about a cult, so we quickly move into funny territory. Three women left behind after the salvation, three different reactions to the death of their great leader. A very dark ending. Nicely done, Mr. Mazen.

Show #4, The Only Band That Mattered by Scott Herman, directed by David Gassner: Brilliant skee ball prop from the design team. Hilarious costumes are really adding to this one. Parents and daughter watch a flashback about the parent's youth trying to see The Clash in concert. It gets amazingly awkward, followed by a very sweet ending. Nice work all!


<p>Just ran into Mazen award winner K. Brian Neel, on his way to write a play on the theme Self Help!</p>
<p>This is Patrick, just arriving for the 10:30 rendition (closing night energy!) and taking over from Mr. John Allis. I've got my phone so I may do a bit of color commentary from the back if the mood.strikes.

Tomorrow's Theme!

Tonight's first show went off beautifully!

And we have our theme for tomorrow!

Playwrights, have a hell of a night taking on the theme: "SELF HELP"

If you missed the 8 o'clock show we're doing it all over again at 10:30!

With that I'm off for the night. Tomorrow you'll be in the capable hands of Patrick Lennon, blogging correspondent. Fingers crossed I can make show-time as well. If so I'll plan to post my own take on the night too.

'Night all! And good work team!

It's Almost Time!

We've just had our all-call meeting, we're just half an hour to show-time!

It's not likely I'll be able to blog during the show. Typically they hide me away in a sound booth where I can type away. But tonight we have no booth.

So expect me back after the show to post tomorrow's theme, potentially with some thoughts on the 8 o'clock performance.

Of course ideally you'll just be here, cut out this middle-man.

Tech Run #7 - The Music in Motion

Kelleen Conway Blanchard's The Music in Motion is a comedic running-down of the cheesy high school abstinence/anti-obesity/don't-do-drugs assembly. Comprised mostly of song and dance, the play makes a caricature of that which is already pretty much a caricature of itself, a ritual ripe for having holes punched in it.

With that most of us are off to dinner. The band is having a talk-though, folks are making final tweaks to their productions, and we're half an hour away from the all-call meeting. Ergo, things are about to get real.

I'll be back in a bit. Looking forward to seeing y'all here tonight.

Again, More Pics!

Another Round of Pics from Ian

Tech Run #6 - Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers, like two prior plays of our evening, plays with time, a guided walk through the complete arc of a relationship. Our two-hander for the night, written by Brendan Healy, it runs from stages of courtship, amorous obsession, petty squabbling, and well beyond. It's a very complete ten-minute play, tender and moving. The largely dialogue-driven text is managed beautifully by actors Christine Marie Brown and Nick Edward, who had a lot of memorizing to do. Shawn Law's direction makes full and surprising use of the space.

Six down, one to go!

Tech #5 - The Short Sale

Jim Lapan's Short Sale is a chronological tour of the PNW housing market, describing some of the impetuses for many of the sweeping changes we've seen over the last decade and personalizing the struggles they've imposed on many individuals. We witness the particular toils and frustrations of a John Q. Homebuyer-type, haplessly caught up in the mess. It's relatable, it's a little sad, it's a little educational, it remains hopeful.

More Tech Pics!

Tech Run #4 - The Only Band that Mattered

It's gearing up to be a pretty music-heavy lineup of ten-minute plays. The Only Band that Mattered puts a man and woman in a timewarp, showing them at once as a skee-ball playing pair of lusty punks and as a buttoned-down married couple, years later. Their daughter, bearing witness to her parents' walk down memory lane, has a difficult time comprehending the disconnect between who mom and dad were and who she perceives them to be.

With that we take five, having reached intermission. Four down, three to go!

Tech Pics

Tech Run #3 - White Night

Mazen-winner K. Bryan Neel's script offers a pronounced tonal shift in the evening. Our third offering is set on the eerie compound of an extreme cult, where a proselytizing leader's grip on the minds of his obedient followers has come to a head, igniting tragedy. The resultant, high-stakes situation upon which the play focuses succeeds in being believable and complicated without being particularly rushed. Brevity is among the playwright's tools. It's a very good ten-minute script.

We're now 3-for-3, as White Nights went through a complete run.

More Rehearsal Photos!

Tech Run #2 - Everything is Hard

Everything is Hard is a nostalgic, good-natured jab at the pervasively depressive pop music of the nineteen-nineties. In it a famous rock band, Everything is Hard, attempts to reconcile the comfortableness of their lives with the misery their music celebrates, which they must embody.

Like the prior play, Everything is Hard worked initially through particulars with the band before successfully completing a complete run of the production. We're on time and 2-for-2.

Tech Run #1 - Ask the Trees

Joy McCullough-Carranza's script imagines a world in which fairy godparents must jockey and compete for professional stations, undergo educations in fairy-hood, and contend with hierarchies of social politics. Fairies are having their mettle tested in a rigorous and unexpected manner.

Director Rob Raas-Berquist drilled for the first half of tech mostly on audio cues, working with the 14/48 band. With transitions gone over the ensemble hustled through a full run of the play, top to bottom. Consensus seems to be that Ask the Trees is about ready to run.

Directors Meeting

I just sat in on the entirety of the directors meeting, which clipped along at such a pace as to end with five minutes to spare. When asked at the top of the conversation how the day had gone up to that point the seven skippers replied assuringly, 'Good, real good, right on schedule, right on point.'

And right on time, chairs just arrived by forklift.

In two minutes we begin tech runs. I'll endeavor to get myself into such a position as to be able to comment on each run in turn.

Coming Out of Lunch

This is my third weekend blogging for the 14/48 in the last year-and-a-half, my prior two goes being at ToJ and ACT respectively. As we conclude lunch, and design team runners return with their arms full, and I begin to hear talk of tech, something that continues to occur to me is how very different today is than any of my previous '48s. Mainly it's a spatial thing. Actors, directors, designers, and volunteers alike are--many of them--working side-by-side in an expansive, open, outdoor area. This as opposed to retiring for much of the day to get things done in relative solitude, behind the closed doors of designated rooms.
There are three ensembles utilizing the stage space right now, which is beyond unusual. I've never seen that at a 14/48. Generally most ensembles don't get to see the stage till tech. That's a welcome convenience for many, I'm sure, and the sunshine is probably doing people some good as well. So the atmosphere out here, to my humble discernment, is of contented-yet-eager diligence.

A Selection of Rehearsal Photos by Ian Johnston