Saturday, June 29, 2013

Closing Night Energy

"You're deflowered when I say you're deflowered!" - Jody-Paul Wooster

Half Hour Call

I can not wait to see these shows in their full glory before the best audience in town.  Break some legs, then break some hearts.


come let it enter you

I just found out that tonight's band is called "The Broad Strokers"

Play #7 is just as, um, shocking as I was told.

Sun-drenched raspberries fresh from David Mills garden and melt-in-your-mouth cookies  from John Bradshaw are being savored on the tongues of a hungry, lusty crew.

Kegs are being brought in for the afterparty.

A wave of eros and chaos has entered the theater like a sirocco.

This is happening:

I think it's safe to say we're not in Sheboygan, Wisconsin anymore.

You really should be here tonight at 8:00 or 10:30 and let the energy fill you up with a great a WHOOSH !(how's that for a little onomatopoeia?)


14 Reasons That You Should Come to 14/48 Tonight

I'm making a list, all internet journalism-style. These are not the only reasons. I could probably write 1,400 but THERE'S NO TIME! Feel free to add your own.
  1. Your new favorite band, The Broad Strokers, is even better than yesterday's new favorite band Raccoons in Heat. 
  2. A Goddess of Destruction channeling Judge Judy.
  3. Two words: parallel universes.
  4. Totally gratuitous girl-on-girl action.
  5. You want know how to smile like the Mona Lisa.
  6. You know that Miracle Max and Valerie are the perfect couple.
  7. Seven, seven, seven, seven, seven, seven.
  8. You will learn the dire consequences of recreational sex. So educational.
  9. I'm out of words to describe how the design team has outdone themselves.
  10. You want to be able to tell your grandchildren (or your sister's grandchildren if you're not into procreation) that YOU WERE THERE.
  11. These artists aren't just working out of their comfort zones; they are being thrown out of their comfort zones.
  12. At 11:00 this morning, I was already seeing committed performances when these actors had 9 whole hours before opening night to keep getting better.
  13. The gods demand it.
  14. Last night a lot of the artists talked about doing something new. Tonight they are talking about stretching themselves. I'm not sure, but I think these are different things. This show isn't just the adrenaline of doing a bunch of scary things in a short amount of time, they are pushing the limits of their very best selves. 


Tech is also the first time that I'm seeing Play #6 Oscar Clyde Denman by Jennifer Jasper. The band starts in with a loopy carnival-esque Pop Goes the Weasel. Hey, and I'm getting a run of this one too. Go, Alyson Soma! I am loving the hell out of these directors. 

A square is taped out on the floor. This play is weird and twisted in a completely different way than Jennifer's offering from yesterday. Totally different topic and style, but still disturbing, OCD personified. 

Wow, this is blowing me away. A lot of these plays are blowing me away. 

and there's a troll

Virgin Designer Katie Driscoll gave me some challenging words to use in my blog posts this weekend.  I've already managed to use rhododendron (our state flower), shower curtain and now I can use poop (sort of). 

I am not going to tell you which play this is from.  You'll have to come out tonight to find out for yourself but this is a line from one of the plays tonight. 

"I have to shit too."

Meanwhile, Erin Pike is looking hot as hell in tech and there's a troll.

torsion and wet panties

Dear Diary,

We have reached that place of torsion that happens in the theatre.  Everything is coming together but only through an immense amount of hard work, cooperation and details, details, details.

I feel a little diffuse while everyone else is extremely focused.  I see women on stage with dresses as red as a rhododendron on Mother's Day.  There are a lot of women in this show, eighteen of them, in fact.  There is a play about Goddesses called "The Ceremony" by Kate Jaeger and one called "The Importance of Beauty" by John Farrage.  There's a woman in the sound booth, two women bloggers, three female playwrights...women everywhere.  While it might seem tangential, I find it heartening.  These are strong women.  Passionate women.  Talented women.  Extraordinary women.  (The men are extraordinary as well, I assure you.)

Speaking of extraordinary men, ever-so-talented Virgin actor Mark Waldstein stopped by to chat while I was typing this to tell me that he's feeling pretty tired and beat up.  He's in play #7 Kids. Today. by Nik Perleros, which is already been touted as the Play That Will Shock You.  He said it will likely do more than make my blush.  Color me intrigued!

I decided to paste some random quotes, pictures I took and a little haiku with some snippets of today into my diary so I won't forget this experience.)

"My cat's a big hit on glee."

"Out on "fucking playwright""

"I spent time in an insane asylum."

"A chain of buttholes."

Director Agastya Kohli directs his actors for Brandon Jepson's play Hot Tub

  "Jane Lynch gets my panties wet."

"She's what's noble about women."

Justin Alley directs Daniel Wood in John Farrage's play The Importance of Beauty

i believe in love
devil is in the details
just delectable!



PS, Stage Manager Danielle French just asked me how blogging is going.  It felt nice to be asked and all I could say is "It's just so much fun." It most truly is.

How Did I Not Notice This?

There is a human-sized cat condo onstage!!!  Fucking brilliant.

A Sweet Breath of Surrealism

I'm visiting Play #2, Alfred by Holly Arsenault, at tech and I'm lucky that director Maria Glanz is trying for a run through.

We've got a lovely opening image that reminds me of Magritte. Simple and strikingly beautiful before the actors even start speaking. The play has a simple-complex feeling. Haunting. Surreal. A little bit sweet. A little bit dark. I'm excited to what the next two hours of time will do to it, because I'm already fascinated. I'm starting to see how two hours changes everything in the whole 14/48 timescale universe.

(By the way, Director Maria Glanz is sweet as pie, but when people are talking backstage and neither the SM nor the band [on mic] can get them to shut up, you really want Maria's lungs on your side.)

Right to the Edge and Over

Until now, I've been missing the timing on sitting in on a rehearsal of Nic Perelos' Kids. Today. After talking to Mark Waldstein at lunch, I knew that I couldn't miss this one. Mark called this the show to end them all. "Like, right to the edge before they close us down."

Director Julia Griffin wins the undying love of her cast by promising an hour break so they can take a nap if they can just get through a couple more run-throughs. Oh, but the director's meeting is coming up! Change of plans: I get to watch them work the part there they take all their clothes off. Hello, Show 7!

"After all three of you are out of the womb, I don't give a fuck what happens to the blanket," she tells them after working out some naughty business, and she's off to the meeting.

I keep watching as the cast does a run through. Oh, there is lots of naughty business. Really naughty business. Really hilarious, ridiculous and really naughty business. And then there are the consequences. Immediate consequence. Three of them. And then...oh, god.  I think you need to see this for yourself.

And I think I've seen enough to make me blush.

a cold beer on a hot day

I talked earlier about the things that fuel 14/48 but forgot to mention the beer because I don't drink it.  It must be mentioned.  The tapping of the keg is an important part of the tradition.  I asked steering committee member Peter Dylan O'Connor to explain it much better than I could.

because, beer

Speaking of Toad Buttholes

Now I'm seeing butthole of toad in action in Brandon Jepson's Hot Tub (Play #5).  Apparently, they are locally sourced.

Libby Barnard (who has been working miracles all day) comes in with another prop and we stop to oooooh and aaaaaah.  These people deserve all they love they're getting. It's a sparkle-y pool cleaner net thingy that was a wire coat hanger about 10 minutes ago. "She's a wizard, and you can blog that!"  And I do.

Agastya Kohli and his cast are getting loopy. I don't know if they're just overtired (hello, day 2) or if it's just that you can't talk about toad buttholes for very long without going to some pretty goofy places.

The line "which mountain?" is cracking us up because one the characters is a witch.  Get it? Get?  

Ok, maybe I'm getting loopy too. 

getting off high atop a ladder (and a couch)

Dear Diary,

I just finished lunch and I'm back here in the coolness of the theater.  With the taste of vegan salad with peanut sauce still in my mouth, I sit here marveling at the sensual experience of this theatre experience.  I can hear the box office crew chatting and busily preparing for the show that is going to be starting in less than four hours.  The band is sounding so phenomenal, they are distracting me.  So much talent!

The sounds of hammers pounding, drills drilling and saws buzzing are adding their own texture to the music.   Maggie Lee, one of our sound directors...

(More distraction:  Get Off by Prince is up in the house as I type this..."23 positions in a one night stand..."  squirrel!)

...where was I?  Oh yes.  Maggie asks me to stand in a particular spot on the stage so she could adjust the lights.  While I was standing there, I asked the guy drilling what he was doing.

"Making a couch," he replied nonchalantly.  

"Like you do," I said, remembering the portal of shower-curtain like glittery awesomeness that I mentioned earlier.  Turns out his name is Banton and he's no virgin.  He's been banging away on the design team for quite some time.

While I was chatting with him, Maggie was atop a high ladder, helping me find my light.  I think that's what everyone at 14/48 does best:  Help each other find their light.  It's fucking beautiful.

From the land of 1000 crushes and deflowering,


PS, If you're stalking me and peeping into my diary, you should totally come to the shows tonight at 8:00 or 10:30.  You will be altered in the most wonderful way.

Cauldron/Hot Tub will also be a Fence and a Rock

...and that's how you design and build seven shows in less than 12 hours. Word out there is that costumes are having an easier day than yesterday, but set is much more demanding. 

Everyone here has been so tolerant of this blogger walking into their rehearsals and eavesdropping on their lunch conversations for good sound bits. This 14/48 blog is a pretty sweet gig; so much is going down that I'm never without something to share. But it's hardest to check in with the designers because they are just that busy. Or maybe because they have power tools and I want to stay on their good side.  

I just passed Mazen Roy Stanton in the hallway and asked him how his day was going.  His response:  "Interesting." And then he disappeared into a rehearsal room. 

On the other hand, to present an actor with a jar of Cheerios tied with a red ribbon and say, "Here are your toad buttholes" must be kind of fun. And it sure makes an actor pretty damn happy. 

have you seen this cat?

Urgent:  Lost Cat (for real)

Paul Shipp, one of our intrepid chefs this weekend, awakened today to discover that the cat he was caring for had slipped of the window last night.  He soldiered on and came to make us food so we're doing what we can to try to help find the cat using the power of social media.

No picture, unfortunately, but if you live in Seattle's North Seattle Bitterlake neighborhood, you may have seen him.  He is a s 12 year-old black and white cat named Tux. He was last seen at 137th and Linden.  His owner's name is Mary and you can reach her at 206-861-6328 if you see Tux.

14/48 is all about community and looking out for one another.  Thanks for being part of ours. *meow*

devil. details. underwear.

Talking with Virgin Design Team member Doug Willott about costumes, details, and underwear.

Urgent Band Update!

Right now, at this moment, the band is learning Carmina-fucking-Barana.

Salsa cookies!
Windmill cookies!
They'll give you gonorrhea! 

P.S. The gonorrhea is sustained.

Cancel your plans and be here tonight. Unless your plans are already to be here tonight.  In that case, simply gloat because this is going to be legendary.

from the danger zone

A little behind the scenes in the danger zone of the shop.  People are always trying to keep me away from power tools (for good reason).  Fortunately, there are people who know how to use them because they make cool things like TELEPHONE BOOTHS IN ONE DAY and magical balloon-laden glitter portals like this one featured in John Farrage's play Kings last night:

Photo by Joe Iano Photography
I am DYING to see what they come up with tonight!  Come out to the show at 8:00 or 10:30, get your Pride on and see what these fabulous artists have been creating for you in a handful of hours on a hot, sticky Saturday in Seattle.

A side note:  While I'm typing this in the dark, cool theater, the band is sounding amazing singing something that sounds like Latin.  I think I might have heard the word "gonorrhea". 

Three Characters In Search of an Author

This is Ian Bell's second night working on play by Dave Clapper, which will once again go into slot #3: My Cat from Hell. A band member stop by just as we're talking about trading blow jobs for a tech element of the play. Go figure. Ian hums a showbiz closing riff that he wants to close the show and is met with a blank stare. I'm confident the band will figure it out, even without the exchange of sexual favors.

This play is so meta. The actors are playing actors who are playing other characters and writing/improvising a script as Ian and the cast work through Dave's script trying to figure out when they are actors and when they are characters and now I'm confused. The characters start trashing the playwright and consider rebellion.  Its Three Characters in Search of an Author, with references to Night 1 plays and past 14/48 masterpiece Once Upon a Time in a Litterbox.

It's a wild, creative room and everyone is throwing out ideas and interpretations. Oh my god, there is a pink furry monstrosity in the corner and I think this is the cat costume that the designers were talking about this morning. Holy hell. This. is. good.

Hanging out with Goddesses

The costumer is visiting the rehearsal for Play #1 The Ceremony by Kate Jaeger so the room is full of partly naked ladies. Linda Clemon-Karp tells Jillian Vashro, "Oh, I would totally fall in love with you in that." They talk about bras, digress to some girl talk about breastfeeding and bra size, and eventually decide that they characters will be dressed up, but wearing tennis shoes, to be removed in preparation of a ritual. I haven't heard a word of the play yet, but I'm already getting a sense of what may be coming: sisters, a hike, and a Goddess.

Director Debra Pralle is ready to get blocking and they rearrange the space. She's excited to be in a larger room today. She maps the space and shows her actors their initial blocking on a white board, football play style. The actors leap right into action and keep going when lighting designer Maggie Lee stops by. They are already putting down their scripts here and there.

They stop to talk about what is the exact way to bow and talk to a Goddess of Destruction. Are we headed for an apocalypse?

at the intersection of altruism and misanthropy

These are the guys that are feeding us.  Just before dinner last night, they were utterly exhausted and still rallying to bring food.  This crew is hungry and more food was needed so plans were made to rush out and get more.  They made sure there were plenty of vegetables, tofu for the vegans and a bit of comfort food for everyone.  It was hot and the ice kept miraculously appearing in the bowl and the coolers.

They were back at it this morning in full force with a huge spread of breakfast goodness.

There is a deep level of generosity of spirit here with a  wee sprinkling of misanthropic neurosis.  It's pure perfection and the outcome takes the awesomeness factor up to 11.

(Also, there's Mackelmore and the Black Keys to keep them company while they toil on our behalf)

What I'm noticing here at 14/48 is that the entire experience is fueled with altruism.  Well, that and Ezelle's fried chicken.

Following Your Muse

Justin Alley is casting for play #4 The Importance of Beauty, noting that John Farrage has written a play where the actors can mold to the characters so he's listening to a few combinations. This morning, the playwright couldn't hide how excited he was about his second night effort.  His Show 7 draw for Friday night demanded a spectacle; last night he wrote a play about the nature of art and beauty.

As the read ends, playwright and director agree. Justin falls in love with the casting. Everyone in the room obviously has a ton of respect for this work. This unbridled enthusiasm is one of the things I'm leaning to love about 14/48. 

And just when I'm getting introspective, rehearsal is interrupted again. Rebecca Davis notes a sudden smell of gas (not that kind) and we check in with the artist liaison team to make sure that we're not all about to expire for our art. 

And since we're on a schedule, the director's meeting with the band. Oooh, they're talking accordion!  This makes me very happy. 

a little sticky the morning after

Dear Diary,

I woke up disheveled and a little sore and sticky this morning.  I feel more vulnerable and somehow more grown up all at the same time.

I'm not a virgin anymore.  None of us are.  We're all a little disheveled and wearing little, secrets smiles. 

It's Pride weekend and the vibe of many of the plays last night had that resonance.  There was a feeling of not holding back and of letting things out of the closet.  I will write a bit more about that later but for now,  I will just say that today started with Joe Zavadil offering me Monkey Bread

When he asked me what I thought about it this wonder of sticky sweetness, I could only blush a little and mumble, "It's like an orgasm in my mouth."

And so begins day two.  The Devil is in the details.

With a sigh of delight and anticipation,


The Devil is in the Details

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, Cats and Dogs, here is your Saturday night Artist Roster!

Act 1
Play 1: The Ceremony by Kate Jaeger
Directed by Debra Pralle
Cast: Caitlin Frances, Jillian Vashro, Linda Clemon-Karp, Sydney Andrews

Play 2: Alfred by Holly Arsenault
Directed by Maria Glanz
Cast: Amelia Meckler, Wonder Russell, Sam Read

Play 3: My Cat from Hell by Dave Clapper
Directed by Ian Bell
Cast: Shellie Shulkin, Hannah Schnabel, Catherine Kettrick

Play 4: The Importance of Beauty by John Farrage
Directed by Justin Alley
Cast: David Nail, Daniel Wood, Rebecca M. Davis, Emily Grogan

Act 2
Play 5:  Hot Tub by Brandon Jepson
Directed by Agastya Kohli
Cast: Cody Smith, Erin Pike, Meaghan Halverson, Zach Adair

Play 6:  Oscar Clyde Denman by Jennifer Jasper
Directed by Allyson Soma
Cast: Rachel Glass, Rob MacGregor

Play 7: Kids. Today. by Nik Perleros
Directed by Julia Griffin

Cast: Mark Waldstein, Sydney Tucker, Sandra Ponce, Ashley Marshall, Hannah Mootz

Let's go make some plays!

Designers Say the Darnest Things

"They have to be soaking wet."

"Do we have that cat costume?"  "Is it Charles Bronson's talking cat?  I mean, that cat specifically?"

"How does she kill him?  She's magic?"  A few seconds later. "Oh."

"You'd have to have so many toads to get a significant amount of buttholes."

"I saw some cow ears with horns."

"What if we build the cauldron and then flip things over to make it a hot tub?"

Good Morning, Sexy

A casual check of my Facebook feed this morning saw three 14/48 Playwrights bragging that they had submitted their plays in the neighborhood of 1 a.m., while one claimed to have only written half a page at that point.

Right now, shortly after 9, everything is written and playwrights are meeting with directors. A couple familiar couplings and a bunch of new teams are hashing it out. The designers are mostly silently reading through the scripts, with occasional interjections: "Let's make everything glitter."  The few actors who are early to arrive are looking for a cool spot and starting on breakfast.  At least two of them told me that last night left them exhausted and HUNGRY and give me a list of everything that they ate when they got home last night. This just makes me feel better about my own peach and nutella sandwich.

Friday, June 28, 2013

wrong in the most delicious way

Dear Diary,

I have so much to tell you.  I saw so many things tonight.  So many wrong things (but wrong in the most delicious way) and so many wonders!   My crush from earlier has been replaced by the newly crowned Drag Queen from Play #7.

I'm a little wiped out but I decided I have to stay for the next show which starts in 20 minutes.  I had a nice chat with Jodi-Paul a few minutes and go tell him how fabulous this experience has been.  I told him it's a beautiful thing and it is. 

I'll write more when I get home and I'm all snuggled in bed with my teddy bear.  For now, I'll say that there is lobby full of people who are waiting for the seven plays that will not disappoint. 

The writers are on their way home ready to write 7 more plays for tomorrow.




Rewind to Act 2

I had to get that theme out right away, but here's a quick rundown of Act 2:

After a brilliantly creepy end of the first half, the audience was ready to laugh and Thank you for Holding by Kate Jaeger gives them what they want. Just the pauses between the lines in this show is enough to crack me up.

Next we meet A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory by Holly Arsenault where an awkward encounter turns into inter-species romance.  Love wins again!

Finally, Kings by John Farrage is just the ticket for closing show on Pride weekend.  The 5-woman cast struts their stuff in a drag competition and the air is thick with innuendo.

The actors in the green room have agreed,  "Let's do it again!"  Say, at 10:30?  Is that good for you?

And your Saturday Night Theme is...

The Devil is in the Details!

Take a bow, writers, and then go home and make another play!

Go Act I, Man!

Our story so far....

When the band appears, the audience knows what's going to happen.  They break into a countrified Like A Virgin and the show is on.

In Butter and Sugar by Nik Perleros, a burlesque Paula "Double" Dean in drag turns into an anthem to love.  Bye, bye, DOMA!  And the things that Sam Read does with a wooden spoon!

Love shows up again The Hobo, the Werewolf and the Girl Next Door by Brandon Jepson when we travel from Cincinnati to London and back to find a lost love once misdirected.  The tech team has built one half of a

Wedding Day by Dave Clapper opens up after a wedding gone horribly wrong. It's funny and sad and then funny again and damn, I'm crying.

And Spoiled by Jennifer Jasper is...twisted.  Just twisted.

The second half is coming.  And you can still see the show at 10:30!

cherry poppin' haiku

the excitement mounts
like a bride on his husband
soon, virgins no more

In Which the Virgins Learn Another 14/48 Tradition



We're getting a 5 minute call for the company meeting, which means that it's your 65 minute call to get your butt over here for the 8:00 show.  It's hot outside, but this show is going to be HOTT and you do not want to miss it.

Notes from Second Act Tech

Show #5 is getting a run through.  This play gives me the giggles. And it just got an "awwww" from someone in the band.

Show #6 is setting up. A prop crashes to the floor and smashes. The band works a cue that makes me fall in love with them all over again. I haven't seen this show yet either, but I've overheard people saying that the casting might just be perfect: Mark Waldstein as a fish and Rebecca Davis as a bear.

Show #7. Remember that advice to Designers yesterday, that thing about one great set piece making a whole show?  I think we have that set piece.  Oh, and the costumes!  Halfway through tech, said groovy set piece crashes to the ground, but the actors are ok and the run goes on. Sandbags to the rescue.

it's a little like sex

Dear Diary,

It's only three hours to show time.  Tech is still happening.  Kitchen crew is exhausted after serving us all day.  Costumes are on.  Lights are coming up and going down.  The band, formed just last night, is making music and adding all kinds of chromatic splendor to the pieces.

I was talking to Stan Lippman, a crew member who recently moved up to Seattle from Tuscon.  He said he's enjoying all watching how it all comes together and I concur.  He was asking how I know what to say on the blog and when to stop.  I told him I have been trying to tell people what happens and what they might not otherwise know.  As for when to stop, it's a little like sex, I guess.  I stop when I feel finished then I rest a bit and come back for more (I didn't say that Stan.  I hope he isn't reading my diary.)

I asked some of the design team about their experiences.  The virgins like Roy Stanton mentioned being very grateful for the experts like Michael Mowery.  There is a stunning amount of work in this process.  Things are being built in these handful of hours, costumes are pulled together and props gathered.  I have been keeping myself from peeking in on the shop because I want to be surprised tonight.

I want you people reading my diary to be surprised a bit too but before I skedaddle off to dinner, I'll tell you that I am currently watching a fish and a bear onstage.  I also noticed that one of the actors shaved his beard for his play.

Sometimes it's more fun when it's shaved.



The Bench is Approved!

We're starting tech for Show #3.  I missed this one when I was making my rounds this morning.  It's a little quieter than the first two. It's also a simpler tech show, or maybe just differently complicated, giving the band a breather and putting Lighting Designer Maggie Lee through her paces. Actors actually get to start a run and  their director has time to tell them how well they're doing. 

When Director Ian Bell is asked how long the show is, he responds, "Hour and a half, not counting the dream ballet."

And we're moving on to Show #4.  Ooh!  I missed this one too and I heard that it's hilarious! And a bit cringe-y, too, I find. In a good way. Director Julia Griffin is totally on top of this show, running the 20 minute tech like a champ.  

"You'll see what's about to happen and its totally gross," she tells the band when asking for a little bit of musical underscoring.

Oh. It is. And that's all I'm gonna say. Good thing intermission is coming up, because you're going to need a drink.

The 20 Minute Tech

I think this might be the scariest part of the day for a Virgin Director. (I know I would be terrified.) So far, these people have been unflappable, but some of these shows are complicated. Some of them have actual scenes with actual transitions.  Things are moving on this stage. A lot can happen in 10 minutes.

"How much time do I have?"  10 minutes...5 minutes...2 minutes.
On to the next show.

The delightful rumor about the saw is true!

this is how this is done

Okay, the Director's meeting was just too overwhelming for me and my fellow Blogess, Rebecca Goldberg, has that covered so I left.  I was given a bunch of fabulous pictures from yesterday by our spectacular photographer Joe Iano so I thought I was take a few minutes to celebrate what happens behind the scenes.

It takes a lot of people to make this happen.  In fact, last night, this is how many people were here as artists and volunteers.  Yeah, that's right, we nearly fill up the theater.

The many faces of 14/48.

View from the sound booth.

Badges for the Virgin weekend participants.  SO many people to make this happen!

Producers Shawn Belyea and Jodi-Paul Wooster-Brown

As I wander around the Erickson, trying to decide what to tell you about, I think about how Shawn Belyea and Megan Ahiers seem to be everywhere, answering questions, making things happen, and always smiling and offering encouragement.  You hear, "Good job," and "thank you," a lot around here.  I haven't seen anyone who acts important.  Decisive, yes.  Important, no.  It's a necessity in the theatre world to be a little bossy sometimes.  Feelings can't be managed but there is a pervasive feeling of goodwill and respect here.  There isn't time to take things personally, everyone is very present, very focused and very collaborative from the front office to the band to the kitchen. 

We now have 4.5 hours until show time and tech is happening.  The band sounds cohesive. There's a guy on stage in a flirty skirt with some really great socks (that Brandon Ryan helped me noticed when he stopped by) and the energy is high.

Last night at the meeting, Shawn told us to "Take care of ourselves and each other."  That is happening.  People are asking for what they need and giving what they can.  This is what equality feels like.

This seems like a good model for living right here:  Risk-taking, respect, care and collaboration. 

This is how this is done.

How Do you Recognize a 14/48 Band Member?

When she gets a protein bar out of her bag, she sings about it.

And it sounds good.


Things We Learn at the Director's Meeting

Director roll call is happening and now the kick ass Stage Management team of Dani French and Jason Harber is all business. We go through set, sound, and light cues show-by-show. Designers are here listening for any surprises and crew volunteers are getting their first taste of what they'll be doing tonight.

The reaction to Justin Alley's choice of opening music for Show #1: "Fascinating."

"It's gotta be the perfect bench."

Oh, something creepy is happening in Show #4!  I like creepy.

"It's a 7-minute play!"  "Mine's 5 and a half."  "Really?"  "Actually, no."

Lots of kissing and sunsets in this show.  And here I thought it was all about underwear.

"We'll go into a military march."  "Of course we will."

We walk through the tech process and the meeting is over.

i'm willing to shave it if you want

Dear Diary,

I'm back.  I took a break to eat some lunch.  There was a brief moment of calm and an odd sort of quiet as we stuffed our faces.  Soon, the Green Room was full and we were all on top of each other eating, laughing and sharing stories. 

There was a lot of talk about how things were coming along and things that needed to be tweaked.  With only seven hours until showtime, everyone is showing some noticeable signs of stress.  Manageable stress but stress just the same.  I feel for the design team as they try to find costumes for roles that were just assigned a couple of  hours before.  Katie Driscoll, who is used to being on the stage, said she is finding the job really hard but fun.

I heard one of the actors say, "I'm willing to shave it if you want.  I mean, I like my beard but if it needs to go, it's cool."

Dedication like that is everywhere.  We're steeped in it here.  It's inspiring.  Not a shiftless soul in the house.

I got to help Rebecca M. Davis run lines after lunch.  I was the fish.  

New Haiku for you (using some words I was given for fun):

no pastille needed
running on adrenaline
so perspicacious!
Now only FIVE hours until showtime.

exes and ohs,


PS, I'm a little heartbroken to know that my crush is married!  Just my luck!

Something Else that You Should Know

In at least one of these seven shows, clothing will be shed.

After the frantic lunchtime activity, it seems really quiet around here. But that's only if you're not looking too closely. The costume shop is empty, but only because the costumers are whizzing through the hallways, just short of running, as tech approaches.  Walking past the rehearsal rooms, glancing in the open doors, I see shows coming together. What used to be lines on a page at 11:00 a.m., are ringing out with confidence at 2:30 p.m. Unfocused movement turns into choreography.  Things have gotten serious.

Friendly Reminder

If you're coming to the show tonight....Wait. Let me start over.

When you come to the show tonight, remember that it's Pride weekend and you're on Capitol Hill so plan for plenty of parking time. Or, jeez, take the bus or something.

Damn. That Band Sounds Good.

Just thought you'd want to know.


Lunch time and people are eating sandwiches and debriefing.  About their shows.  About their fears.

Caitlin Francis says she's not worried unless her ass is hanging out.

It's great to see the nervous energy of the unknown that everyone had before actor draw turn into that focused energy of dealing with the reality.

Lunch is Not Ready Yet!

The heroic kitchen staff has 10 more minutes and they are moving at fast speed, shooing away some actors who have started vulturing around the kitchen.

Kissing Music

When I first stopped by rehearsal for Play #5, the cast had split up to work on learning their lines and now they're back stumbling through off-book.

"We're had the script for hours," quips Ashley Marshall when Erin Pike misses a line.

This one looks sweet; two call center workers crush on each other and get bad relationship advice from, well, I don't know...their subconsciouses?  subconsciousii? society? evil angels? There is a lot of laughter in the room.

The cast is getting the rhythm of this one...overlapping dialogue, interjections, and lines in unison. And then they make a big discovery:

 "There should be kissing music!"

The design team makes a delivery of a special set piece and the cheering from cast and director Maria Glanz tells me that something really fun is going to happen here. The cast heads out to the stage to get a sense of how this ordinary object made extraordinary is going to work in the larger space.

fish beer and other Sweentastic things I've overheard

"You're going to be straddling her, because that makes the most sense."

"Some occasions call for the big guns."

"I stopped being mad at you at least four beers ago."

"Pardon me.  I tend to speak in metaphors."

"You graduated from frou frou drinks to fish beer. I call it that because it always has a fish on it." 

"The third from the bottom "Fuck you" on page two."

"Just be here in this moment."

"The gay bars will be filled with things like that tonight."

Some of these are Sweentastic comments are lines from the plays and some are just random comments.  You'll have to come out to the show tonight at 8:00 or 10:30 to find out which is which.   :-)

This is where you will be tonight.  Come fill up these seats with your sexy seats.  :-)

Ready for Anything, Except Being a Man

The cast and director for Play #7 are hovered around a tablet watching videos of drag kings. Director Alyson Soma lets me know that they're in the information gathering phase of their crazy, quick, crazy-quick process.

"It's all about the boxers.  We've learned something here."

This is the second rehearsal that I've sat in where there was been protracted discussion of underwear, so this week's costume designers have really lucked out. The cast splits into pairs and solos working on bits of choreography and learning songs and (gasp) monologues. One cast member reaches down the front of her pants and produces a pair of socks. Their director moves among them looking at what they're working on, having small discussions, offering praise, and moving on. 

This is the one that will end the night and the audience is getting the big finish that they deserve.  Be there at 8 or 10:30 tonight.  Or might want to see it twice.

A Love Story?

Earlier this morning, I told Play #2 Director Agastya Kohli that I can't hear the title of this play without thinking of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He agreed that it's got that vibe. He told me that Brandon Jepson's play would also touch on the DOMA issue that's been in the news this week. Um, ok?

As he and his cast are putting the play through a quick analysis right now, he's talking about childhood and holding onto the past while society moves forward and now I'm getting the connection. The cast asks intelligent actor-y questions. "We'll let you build that backstory for yourself in the next 20 minutes...GO!"

As their read-through begins, I'm getting a lot of quick shifting of scenes, with each of the actors playing multiple characters. It's kind of silly and kind of dark and I don't know what is going on, but I'm charmed. Can not wait to see this one tonight.

lurking in play # 4

Dear Diary,

I was given permission to lurk.  I didn't want to creep out my new crush too much so I wandered away from the band and over to the rehearsal room for play #4, written by Jennifer Jasper and featuring Rob MacGregor, David Nail, Caitlin Francis and Hannah Schnabel and directed by Julia Griffin.

I hear something about "breastfeeding on the left tittie".   (The blocking is hilarious on this!)

I also just heard the director say, "You know, she could probably eat your soul in a minute."

I don't know where this is going but it's kind of awesome.  (The audience might need a squeegee to wipe off the "ewww" after this but come on, that's why we like it, isn't it?)

Hearts and Flowers,


PS, Somehow the bassoon is factoring into this play.  What?

Foreplay and The Muppet Show

Play #1 is getting a visit from the design team and there is a lot of underwear talk. (Zach Adair does not know his bra size.)  I'm getting a sexy, burlesque vibe, featuring a public figure who's been in the news a lot this week.  Director Justin Alley tells his actors,"Look at Me I'm Kind of Naked is only interesting for about 10 seconds." There is talk of foreplay and The Muppet Show and I never thought I'd ever write that sentence, like ever.

The designers move on and playwright Nic Perleros leaves his play in good hands and tells them, "Take it and make it way better than I could."

So far, All Virgins weekend is looking Seeeeeeexxxyyyy.

dear diary, i have a crush on this guy...

the band revs up

Dear Diary,

I have a huge crush on this guy named Tim Moore and will do anything he tells me, including making my blog posts like diary entries.  ;-)

Tim is here helping out the band as they warm up and get going.  I'm seeing singers doing vocal warm ups and hearing tuning going on.  I hear C, D, G, E, C, D, G, E...while the strings play along.

The sheer variety of music they are preparing for us is just fantastic.  If you want to know WHAT they're playing, you'll have to come to the show tonight.  What?  I'm already letting you read my diary.  A girl needs to have a few secrets!

I will tell you this:  I overheard Erin Bryn Fetridge saying, "There will be a lot of strutting and hot, sexy numbers."

That's all for now.

(insert swirly autograph with a little heart at the end.)

Sorry, I Thought That Would Help

And your Friday night line up is....

Act 1
Play 1:  Butter and Sugar by Nik Perleros
Directed by Justin Alley
Cast: Zach Adair, Sam Read, Jillian Vashro, Meaghan Halverson  

Play 2:  The Hobo, the Werewolf, and the Girl Next Door by Brandon Jepson
Directed by Agastya Kholi
Cast: Shellie Shulkin, Catherine Kettrick, Sandra Ponce

Play 3: Wedding Day by Dave Clapper
Directed by Ian Bell.
Cast:  Rachel Glass, Sydney Tucker, Hannah Mootz

Play 4:  Spoiled by Jennifer Jasper
Directed by Julia Griffin
Cast:  David Nail, Rob MacGregor, Caitlin Frances, Hannah Schnabel

Act 2

Play 5:  Thank you for holding by Kate Jaeger
Directed by Maria Glanz
Cast: Ashley Marshall, Erin Pike, Cody Smith, Daniel Wood

Play 6:  A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory by Holly Arsenault
Directed by Deb Pralle
Cast:  Mark Waldstein, Rebecca M. Davis

Play 7:  Kings by John Farrage
Directed by Alyson Soma

Cast: Amelia Meckler, Sydney Andrews, Linda Clemon-Karp, Emily Grogan, Wonder Russell

Overheard at 14/48

"I've got lines to learn and I don't even know what they are yet."

twisted things

 The pulchritudinous Jim Jewell, shown here making French toast for the crew, had this to say about 14/48:

"We do more twisted things before 10:00 am than most people do in a lifetime."

As I type this, I am watching Julia Griffin, a Virgin director this weekend, pulling her cast out of the infamous Tom Selleck and Farah Fawcett cans.  I overheard her in the Green Room saying, "This script is so fucked up!  I love it."

Drinking in twisted, fucked up things done by immensely talented people is precisely why I'm here this weekend.

Join me tonight at 8:00 or 10:30.  You can get your tickets here:  give me twisted things!.

(You can also just show up and hope for the best.)

The Morning Before

Actors are drifting into the theater. Intense conversations between writers and directors are happening all over the place.  I'm trying to eavesdrop on the designer meeting while my laptop is firing up, but all I  hear is something about mustaches.  Actor draw happening in about 20 minutes...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wish You Were Here

When I left the theater 45 minutes ago, things were winding down and shots were being downed. This Virgin Blogger was feeling just a bit overwhelmed...there are so many more things I wanted to say but it all happened so quickly (and brevity ain't never been the soul of my wit).  So here are just a few more things that you really wish you'd seen tonight:

  • When the designers were called up to the stage, Erin Fetridge did the worm.
  • A certain playwright may or may not have been attempting to stack the deck with themes of his or her choosing.  My favorite: There will be Blood.
  • There is a delightful rumor that a member of the band plays the saw.
  • Roy Stanton's honest, emotional response to winning the Mazen award actually made me a bit teary in an Oscar-acceptance speech sort of way.  Congratulations, Roy!
  • That legendary 14/48 spirit of risk and generosity is already in the air. I've heard people talk about it but tonight I felt it and I already want more. This thing is like a drug, people.

If you miss anything tomorrow, you'll have only yourself to blame.  Get your tickets now.


We know the theme, the beer is flowing and the Virgins are ready.  Here is a little peek:

The fabulous Rebecca M. Davis tells us about how she's "technically" a Virgin:

Our humble Mazen award winner, Roy Stanton, tells us about how he's feeling:

Never been to a show?  Come out and be a virgin audience member tomorrow and Saturday  8:00 and 10:30

Seven Shell Shocked Playwrights Are Slowly Heading Out the Door

The Virgin John Farrage drew Play 7 (with five women) and admits to being terrified.  He says that he has a germ of an idea. He mutters something about crows and is on his way.

The Virgin Holly Arsenault, also terrified, has no idea whatsoever what she's going to do yet, but is sticking with the advice that she's given in the past.  And I paraphrase: it's not all up to you to make it a good play. It's easy to get perfectionist, especially under these heightened circumstances, but just go home and do the work." (Ok, Holly really said that so much more eloquently than I did.) 

The Virgin Kate Jaeger is "scared poopless" and says she has too many ideas. She's been advised to go with her first one and she's eager for the band meeting to wrap up so that she give her friend a ride and get crackin'. And she may have spilled beer on her boob.  (I feel ya, my large-chested sister!) 

Now git to work!

And tonight's theme is...

Oh my gosh, things are happening so quickly!

Tonight seven writers will write seven plays on the theme:

Sorry, I Thought that Would Help.

Good luck, playwrights!

And the Mazen award winner is....

Every 14/48 weekend, one Veteran participant is awarded a bottle of scotch, 7 shot glasses, and a whole lot of love.  And this weekend's Mazen is....

(Virgin Designer) ROY STANTON!

Roy gives a moving speech about how "14/48 means more to me than any other acting gig that I've ever  had in this town...Let's fucking kick some ass."

that's the sound of my hymen breaking

I'm sitting here at the Erickson watching Shawn Belyea setting up the playground to make sure it's safe for the hard games to come. Right now, the virgins, or "fresh meat" are all being introduced and rushed along. Seeing all the faces peeking out to say hello and watching the beer get sloshed onto the stage is like seeing an enormous piƱata of goodness spilling out and creating excitement.

As I sit here trying to listen and type, I feel a little nervous and vulnerable. I hope I'll do well and capture the moments well. I hope I won't be exhausted. I can only imagine how the virgin talent must feel right now! Creating 7 fully-staged plays in 24 hours is not an easy feat. I am stunned by what they create each time and you will be too when you come see these plays this weekend. 

In the spirit of risk-taking and collaboration, I asked some people to give me words to sprinkle into my blog posts this weekend. You'll see them in italics. If it's your word, feel free to leave a comment and say, "Hey!" (Thanks for playing with me.)

First quote of the night from the lovely Erin Bryn Fetridge: "You don't have to pay the higher price if you flash your boobs." (It is what you think.)

From Shawn: "I whacked my thing." (It's not what you think.)

From Tim Hyland: "Be courageous. Be honest."

 While they are talking about all the rules and tips for success, I'll write a little haiku for you:
virgins everywhere
the sound of cherries popping
go big or go home!

A Guide to your De-flowering

There is powerpoint.  Swanky.  The Steering Committee is introduced.  The group of Virgins learns--and very quickly embraces--the tradition of booing anyone who's missing the meeting.  And now the Virgin Writers, the Designers, the Directors, Band Members, and Actors step to the stage and introduce themselves.  The actors find their light, like, immediately and the ladies outnumber the gentlemen by more than 2 to 1, just like your last audition.

Shawn Belyea (gently) walks everyone through the schedule and logistics for the weekend and offers a Guide to your De-flowering.

Playwright wisdom:  The more of your words you want heard, the fewer you should put on the page.

(Ok, crap, the powerpoint is going all wonky...and we're back.)

Director wisdom:  Product not Process (leave the Viewpoints at home, people) and give your actors a break.

Actor wisdom: Embrace your role, stay hydrated, and learn yer lines!  And go (big, truthful, etc.) or go home.

Band wisdom: Be the band you are, not the band you saw last week.  Anything can be an instrument.

Designer wisdom:  Get everything done by tech.  One great prop or costume can make the whole show.

And let's make a play...or seven.


Touched for the Very First Time

We're here.  Beer is happening. The nerves are happening, but you can tell these are the good nerves.  Everyone who tells me how terrified they are has a giant smile on their face.

"Sit Down, Virgins!"  

And the Artists Meeting begins!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Evening, Peter Dylan O'Connor - a personal retrospective and other thoughts about 14/48

I think this was our first time together 2 years ago.

As I woke up this morning Oh-so-slowly and thought about the events of the weekend I came to the same conclusion I ALWAYS come to after 14/48. "I am WAY too old to keep doing this but WAY too young to stop!"
This weekend's Kamikaze was a different beast for me. I saw every show 2 times. Now I'm not saying that I don't see every show or part of every show usually but I don't always see them with as much focus as I did this weekend as a blogger. It was nice. People kind of leave you alone unless they're trying to say funny things in your general vicinity in hopes that you'll quote them. It was refreshing to watch the shows with a new perspective. I never tire of the enthusiasm, love and camaraderie that fills the theater at each and every festival. Thank you all for letting me witness it in a whole new way.

That said, I did spend a few minutes in the A.L. office with my friend and fellow Steering Committee member Peter Dylan O'Connor. I wanted to do a little interview piece and I asked him some basic questions about how long he'd been with the festival, how he felt about it's growth and where he'd like to see it in 5 years.
But I realize this morning that those aren't the things I want to write about. I want to write specifically about what a kind and generous person Peter is (or PDO'C as he is known to some).
I participated in my first 14/48 in 1998? at the old ConWorks. I took a 10 year hiatus and ran a restaurant. Soon after selling it I ended up doing my first 14/48 fest in 10 years. I knew Peter peripherally; only in a "Hey, how's your piece going? TOTES! FETRIDGE!"
Soon after that I was generously invited (or rather strong armed my way in) by Shawn and the SC to become a SC member. I was excited and thrilled to be part of the driving force of an organization that had created some of the closest and longest relationships I've had as a adult. An opportunity to be part of this exclusive group.
Boy was I wrong. I was welcomed with not a fair amount of joking and jibes but more so with kindness and inclusion. This is no exclusive club. And one of the very first people who drove that home for me was Peter. He has always been quick with a kind word and genuine smile. If I had what I feared was a stupid question he'd answer it without a hint of sarcasm. No matter how busy he is he looks you in the eye. The occasional slap on the ass to help moral has picked me up on more than one occasion. Peter will help with anything if he's got a moment; even when he doesn't. I'm grateful to know him and I know there are multitudes of you who feel the same way.
I also want to mention the 14/48 Steering Committee in general*. They make our time as participating artists/volunteers/staff at the fest feel supported and not only welcomed but enthusiastically received. I'm not sure that the amount of work they do behind the scenes will ever be known; mostly because they don't advertise it. The festival is and always has been about the spirit of community and collaboration. Each one of them brings a skill set to the mix that without which there would be an obvious void difficult to fill. I'm grateful to be a part of this fine group of people.
*removing myself from this missive as I was a blogger this weekend and not "officially" participating as a SC member.
Thank you for a great Kamikaze weekend of 14/48. I loved blogging and I hope you'll remember me fondly as I butcher your favorite song next weekend as a Virgin in the band.
Much love, Totes.
+Dangerpants Photography

Thank You

Waking up with a smile this morning (and at noon, thank you very much) and thinking of the love I have for my Seattle theater community filled me with heaps of joy that's hard to describe. I'll attempt to if you'll excuse the slight digression.

Six years ago I went to Burning Man for the first time. If you've never gone, it's hard to understand from a simple explanation of 'it's a big party in the middle of a desert.' If you've heard about it, you may think it's just a big hippie fest, which it can be, but it's so much more than that. I made connections that became friendships and many of those friendships morphed into family. It changed my life. I'd lived in Seattle a little more than decade by then and never really felt family in that way before. I'd found my first community and it was glorious.

Though I moved to Seattle thinking 'I'M GOING TO DO THEATER HERE!', as someone who may have less a gift for acting than those I've come to know and admire, I channeled my organization skills and got into production instead. Having been part of two fringe companies and stage managed for many others, it took 14/48 to make me realize I had another community in which I was included. Sure theater can be fraught with ego and drama and conflicting personalities all in the name of art, but now, when I'm part of smaller productions post-14/48 with any of those participating artists, I notice a stronger camaraderie that seems to compound and extend further to the next play and the next.

Maybe it's just networking, but I'd like to think it's more than that. Non-theater types sometimes don't understand how we memorize 'all those lines', so maybe working in theater isn't always a relatable passion. But if you appreciate any kind of art, you can see how those of us who are used to the 'normal' four to six week rehearsal process and as many performances a week for minimal pay might jump at the chance to create something that pushes us further as artists than we're used to. And it ain't gonna be the same tomorrow so we may say we're tired or smelly or nervous, but being apart of 14/48 is never boring. 

It's the glow on a writer's face when she watches her play at the 8pm show for the first time and at the end, she's beaming with content that it went well. It's the pats on her back from her friends around her saying it was wonderful. It's the tap of the keg! It's the 7pm meeting when Megan or Peter asks us what we do when we're dragging and feeling like we can't possibly find the energy and we all reply, "Raise the fucking stakes!" And it's the wonderful gadgets and gizmos the design team creates that get seen or used for only a moment like a space gun or a shadow dinosaur or when James Venturini walked into the green room with 'space boots' for Alyssa Keene and she shouted, "I FUCKING LOVE YOU!" It's all the work the kitchen staff does to keep us well fed and hydrated because that's super necessary! It's curtain call for everyone involved as those of us who get to watch from the audience run down to stand with our fellow artists and take our bow and know we did this together. It's never ever going to be recreated or duplicated again exactly as we just did it. It's incredibly special.

I'm filled with gratitude to the Steering Committee for everything they do, for allowing me to document this weekend and asking me to be apart of next's in the design crew. I'm grateful to every artist I got to play with this weekend in every discipline who brought their gifts to the table and shared them generously. I admire you all so greatly and am so humbled to be apart of this staggeringly inspiring community. Thank you. Truly.

Post-Fest Thoughts

I personally could not have asked for a better 14/48: Kamikaze weekend. Being a virgin actor scared the hell out of me, but the 14/48 gods were smiling. Two great scripts, two amazing and supportive casts, one damn fine director twice.

But, it was the side conversations during and after that really struck me, and one idea in particular. Virgin playwright Mik Kuhlman said her goal when writing was to give the actors a really great experience. Virgin band member Jose Amador, speaking of his many veteran directing experiences, said his goal is to make the playwright happy. Every actor I spoke with talked about focusing on supporting one another, making sure their castmates had a good experience. Nobody foregrounded their own needs, or worried what the audience would think.

And, it isn't because we are all perfectly selfless artists or because we don't care about the audience. It's because the 14/48 process is built on trust, and artists realize they have have the freedom to give everything to one another because they trust that they will be supported as well. It doesn't have to be asked for, because it will be given. And the audience? We have all come to understand that if we forget about them and pour our genuine love and energy into the work, the audience will be rewarded.

I have heard at least one local artist publicly proclaim that 14/48 is no longer risky, and this weekend is the perfect illustration for why that is bullshit. The risk of failure was staggeringly high. The terror in the eyes of virgin playwrights and directors and actors was real. But, 14/48 has nurtured a community that can consistently spin risk into gold, and shared risk into community.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A different view of 1983

What struck me at the 8pm show was how great it was that the 12 year old girl was played by a very pregnant Beth Raas-Bergquist. What strikes me at the 10pm show is how it touches on the very desire that sometimes we wish we could have a do-over. To make right the wrongs we were so certain about and give ourselves a chance to be the person we hoped and thought we might be....

8pm 2nd Half!

The Gillettes enter a la Esther Williams and some symbolic synchronized swimming! And fancy swimming caps. The boys come in to complement them and finish the song. Adorbs.

Play #5 - Beautiful, Brains, Tinder
A campfire, a couple and another friend.. and just a nice, simple bit of love between all of them, even if somewhat secretly. A hotdog to the face fight.. weird but funny.. and some astrology to go with it. Cute.

Play # 6 - The Space Between
Unexpected casting - for what was intended to be a romantic couple, but when I was discussing it during the day with the playwright, Mik Kuhlman, she said it suddenly made it more universal. And seeing it live finally, I have to agree. Point A and Point B - and how to get from one to the other. To me it was about trust and expectation - that people don't always do things in the way you'd like them to, but in their own way, even if that's way more complicated than it should be. And then they get distracted, let you down. They may get there, but do you put your faith in them again? So well done and so simple. At the end, just these little moments had me welled up a little. (I was sitting next to Mik during this. After it was over, she was a little overwhelmed.).

Play # 7 - Buongiorno, Principessa!
Fighting marionettes and a very sweet Tim Moore emotional over his puppets. And a bit of evil embedded..

Very solid Saturday night everyone! Great pace! Great scripts! I'm excited for our closing show! Let's bring it!

8pm Madness! 1st half!

Ok, I wasn't wrong quite. For 80 degrees outside, you showed up! Mostly full house! And here we go!

The Gillettes come out to start the show - a la Mad Men - and then they get down and dirty to Nate B's rapping. Hot stuff.

The Gillettes starting the show off right.
Play #1 - The Unquiet Mind
I couldn't even type during that one. I couldn't take my eyes off this show. A man's brain always going - his phone, bed, alarm clock all have things to say to him - as does every other inanimate object throughout his day. I was told there was actually very little dialogue in the script so just about everything the cast said was created during rehearsal. It was just all kinds of fucking awesome all around. I especially enjoyed the different voices each actor employed when creating a new object. Hilarious and fantastic!

Play #2 - Journey to 1983
There are so many great things about this one. Beth Raas-Bergquist plays a child - this is unnerving because she's a) seven months pregnant and b) she does a cartwheel twice as well. Teri Lazarra is sitting behind me and goes, 'Oooooh noooo..' til Beth completed it. Whoo! There are also shadow dinosaurs! And Rachel Atkins' own prop invention, a holster full of stars, which is amaze balls! And there are father issues - which kinda kills me personally, but I love the level of emotion Alyssa and Jeff bring to it so quickly. So touching. 

Play #3 - Cut Your Teeth
A dentist and his new client and an oddly weighted medical chair that Jonah and Cole handled very well when it fell forward unexpectedly. Among other things they 'handled'.. ahem. Hot, sweet and funny.

Also? The band sounds hella tight. Annie Jantzer's voice is seriously butter. Goddamn..

Play #4 - Coming Soon to a Theater Near You
Yes! Sly Stallone and Chris Walken in a buddy action film! LOVE! And a pterodactyl! Sam Hagen's French accent slays me. And chicken and waffles! Yes!

Great first half! That's intermission!

Coming Soon.... Stallone and Walken

Sly Stallone and Chris Walken. Occam's Razor.
A summer blockbuster.
84 Producers, Directed by Michael Bay.
Tap dancing, chickens and mumbling.
For Your Consideration.

Journey to 1993 or why is that 12 year old pregnant?

The only thing I can say is I adore Beth Raas-Bergquist who is very pregnant, cast as a young girl in this show and also just did a cartwheel across the stage. That's commitment.

The play with no words..

Susanna Burney has taken Dawson Nichols minimalist script and created a frame work for the vocal and physical talents of Shawn Belyea, Troy Lund, Nick Edwards and K. Brian Neel to really shine. You'd never know the day began with not a small bit of trepidation on everyone's part.
Also, Troy Lund used Nick Edwards as a human towel and he was surprisingly absorbent.
Did I mention that all the men are in suits. Niiiiice work designers. What? I'm just a simple peasant blogger. I take it where I can get it.

The View from the Booth

I gave Ashely Bagwell my seat because DAMN the house is FULL!!!!
Jodi's on stage giving the speech that gets the audience primed for evening.
Pull with Joy blah, blah, blah and the audience eats it up. He always nails it.
He mentions that the 14/48 band is dead and there are gasps!
The ladies of the band enter from the house with the refrain of "I Like Big Butts".
And now....without further adieu, The Gillettes.

Yawwn.. Oh! House Is Open Bitches!

The 14/48 gobo is like a beacon in the night to the artists in this fest
(or something symbolic like that..)
For the love of all that's good and holy.. WE ARE DOING THIS SHIT AGAIN!

The set pieces are bigger tonight, the audience is trickling in not rushing the stage like yesterday. I mean it's been 80 degrees all damn day. In Seattle! In June! Unheard of! So we get it. Not everyone wants to spend their summer day in a dark theater (like us sick bastards).. but I'm telling you.. that sun will set! Oh YES it will and you should be HERE, because tonight will be even better than last night because that's just what happens. The stakes have been raised!

We have pregnant ladies playing children! There is talk of a time machine! An appearance by Sly Stallone! And, for the love of Pete, Shawn found our 14/48 gobo! Phew!

It has been a pretty mellow weekend from what I saw of everyone's nerves. These are veterans. They've been there, done that. Multiple times! Maybe not in the discipline they pulled, but I really never saw fear in anyone's eyes. The playwrights knocked it out, the designers found the right bits and pieces and created props, sets, and costumes, the band scored original fucking music for chrissakes, the actors found their moments and motivation (alcohol, please..), and the directors found their vision. TWICE!

And after the second show, we celebrate this amazing and talented group of artists within this magical theater community with our own closing night party. And we drink! And then we do this all again next weekend! Dude!

The Mazen Award - topped with a swim cap because why not.

7:47 and I've found my perch

I chose the last row tonight instead of the booth. Stage Manager Dani Franich is so kind to me and says that I'm not in her way but I kind of know I am.
There is sweet girl in front of me with red hair sitting with her dad. I only realize after they move to sit closer to the stage that it's Alyson Scadron Branner's little girl. Seriously, that girl has a glow you can see for a mile.
It's a beautiful night and people are filtering in slowly.  I see familiar faces, friends and fellow actors all saying hello, hugging and heading to the bar. No one seems to be unfamiliar with the institution that is 14/48.
I'm excited for the Band's first number. What will they be called tonight? I don't know but I do know there are old timey swimmimin caps involved and some synchronization which I was privy to earlier in rehearsal. Needless to say a swimming pool may be too much to hope for but I've seen some amazing things here at 14/48 over the years.
Yeah, we're gonna hold for a minute or 5 as people continue to stream in.
Supermoon, do your thing.

A scattering of images to titillate and entice....

These are just a few of the amazing pictures from Ian Johnston of +Dangerpants Photography   

Lunch, Hugs and Tears.

Jonah Von Spreecken just offered me cheese. Some people will do anything to get mentioned on the blog.
Mazen Award Winner Erin Stewart just referred to her A-MAZEN ass.
Only at lunch. and dinner. and all the time.
Lorilee Haener twisted her ankle yesterday. I asked her how it felt today. Sadly she's going to have to have it amputated after the show, and dance number.
Aimee and Ian have a very quick and intense conversation about?
People are hungry and smiling.
Tim Moore looks dashing in tank top and suspenders.
I ask Virgin actor Jim Jewell how it's going. "Great! I've already been smacked in the face multiple times by a hot dog". Seems about right.

So it's about 3 hours later. I had to go home and make sure the dog hadn't sold the house.
But I'm back in the kitchen for dinner and I just got attacked by hugs from the Wooster-Brown/Rawley kids. It started well enough but ended up with crying as these things often do. I don't regret it though. I'll state that for the record. Did I mention everyone is hopped up on John Bradshaw cookies?
41 minutes til the 7pm meeting.  More cookies to be eaten and hugs to be had. Not a bad way to start the night.

Celebrity Sightings!

I foresee Troy Fishnaller winning tonight's 14/48 for his Christopher Walken impression. Like kazoos, Chris Walken impressions are never not funny. True story. And thus, Ashley Bagwell may tie for the win since he wrote the play. You're in for some seriously hilarious shit tonight bitches.

Behind The Scenes

I wander to the costume shop and find Rachel Atkins and Andrew McMasters, part of our design team. Andrew runs off to do designer-y things and Rachel stays to talk with me a bit.

I ask her what the weirdest request was so far today, which takes her a minute..

"Oh! The 'evil hat' and the Christopher Walken wig!" I'm intrigued! "The most fun has been the marionette dolls and all their accessories. Because that's been like dressing a bunch of big Barbie dolls.. I got their bows and their ribbons and their petticoats!" She's very wide-eyed and smiley as she says this. She's fuckin cute.

I ask her if things have gone quicker today. "Yeah, nothing was like the Restoration England piece yesterday. That one was really tough. And also we know more of what we're doing today."

Yesterday before the 8pm show I ran into Andrew in the kitchen/break room and asked how he felt about the day and if he had any advice because I was designing next week.

"Pretty good. Part of the difficulty is we only had about four hours and at least half of that we were trying to figure out where things were and what we had to work with. And if we didn't have it, where were we going to get it. So I think tomorrow will be a lot smoother. And if you're around, just make a note of where things are. It'll save you a lot of time."

Right. Ok. Done.

I relay this to Katie Driscoll who's volunteering and working hard with Teri and Alex as part of our kitchen staff who'll also be designing with me next week (I'm super excited about this. She's awesome AND funny.). She mentioned she'd talked with Gerard Menendez, our genius designer's, Gary, genius brother, who twice came very close to finishing requested set pieces and both were nixed during tech. His advice was not to get too attached to anything. Clearly. We'll have channel our zen energy I assume. Check back next week to see if we accomplish that.

I have nothing funny to end this with. This is how serious design is, people!

Look! Gary is making something amazing!

So is Michael Mowery! 
And Ron Darling is helping even though he's part of run crew! Amazing!

James Venturini hard at work LOOK! Is that a rocket?!

And Katherine Wolverton has been one of our runners which is way helpful!


Our trusty, hardworking photographer, Ian Johnston, needs a little shuteye too.
After lunch, the energy seems to slow down for some, everyone is digesting and fighting a little sleepiness. But by Saturday, that tired feeling is exponential. Yours truly, though really only constantly sitting in front of my laptop, is feeling the affects of two early mornings and all day observations/interactions.. and let's be honest, not nearly enough drinking, or so I've been told that's my problem by Megan Ahiers and Peter Dylan O'Connor. I had this idea of bringing the makings for mimosas and just as quickly, forgot. Yeah. I'm ON it today. Not.

After my dessert of TWO John Bradshaw cookies (don't think that's all I'm having, people.. he brought BOXES of that shit and I'm gonna get all up in those brownies I haven't had yet.) I couldn't fight it any longer and wandered to the lobby for a cat nap on the couch.

Not as easy, or comfortable, as you'd expect since the lobby isn't closed off from the mainstage and the stage is where the band is rehearsing. And I'm not complaining! Everyone is certainly tired enough to fall asleep standing up and I got in at least 20 good minutes, which is enough to keep me going. But I started a trend. Next one down was actor, Nick Edwards, on the tiny, tiny love seat across from me and when I noticed him, I insisted he trade since he's taller than me (everyone is, really), but he was like, "Whatever. I'm going to sleep!" announcing it like it was a challenge. Though when Danielle Franich, our super adorable stage manager walked by us, he asked her if she wouldn't mind being the big spoon so he could fall asleep quicker. Nice try.

Then Ian, our photographer, sat next to me and pretty immediately was out, and lastly, our busy little Tweeter, Rachel Delmar, fell victim to the sleeps too. "My phone is charging! I can't do anything right now, I swear!" she justifies.

Rachel Delmar, our social media maven, crashes midday. 
No need, girl. We all get it.

Alex Samuels, our lead in the kitchen, takes a well-deserved snooze.
But gah! It's 3pm! Onward ho! Director's meeting! Now now now!