Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wrapping up my 14/48 weekend

The early show is in the books and it's another solid outing. Keri Healey's play is my favorite tonight. It's such a wonderful little piece. Allison Strickland and Joe Zavadil (this week's Mazen award winner) are terrific together. And the show ends on such a great note, with Sara Porkalob joining the band for 'Rehab.'

I've been a huge fan of 14/48 since I first discovered it four years ago, and I'm only more infatuated after having seen everything from behind the scenes. This is an amazing group of people. I can't recommend volunteering highly enough. They've built such a fabulous community around the festival, and it is endlessly fascinating to see it all come together.

See you outdoors this summer!

Over Indulgence - Visual Art

Here are the works on display (and for sale) from our visual artists tonight.

Company Meeting Quotable Quotes

Quotable quote - "Thank you to all of you artists. You guys are awesome. We do this because of you. If you guys were awful, we would stop!" -Megan Ahiers


Also Quotable quote -
"And if you're feeling tired because it's been two really long days and we aren't paying you anything other than pasta... what do you do?" - Megan Ahiers


8:00PM show is sold out. Tickets still available for 10:30PM. See you at the theatre.

Where will the 14/48 artists be next?

The team at 14/48 is a talented and in demand bunch. If you would like to see more, here is a rundown of some of their upcoming projects.

Scott Ward Abernethy - King Lear at Seattle Shakespeare Company

Marianna de Fazio - Diana Of Dobson's at Taproot Theatre

Joe Ivy - Truth Like The Sun at Book-It Repertory

Lisa Viertel - The Coffee Table and Endangered Species Project

Ben Burris - The Boy At The Edge Of Everything at Seattle Children's Theatre

Trick Danneker - The Boy At The Edge Of Everything at Seattle Children's Theatre

Kate Witt - Third at ArtsWest

Marty Mukhalian - Third at ArtsWest

Chris Shea - The 39 Steps at Mt. Baker Theatre

Emma Bamford - 14/48 Leicester

Jennifer Jasper - Family Affair at The Jewelbox

Hana Lass - The Importance Of Being Earnest - Seattle Shakespeare Company

Sydney Tucker - A Little Burlesque at The Jewelbox

Darius Pierce - A Pidgeon And A Boy at Jewish Theatre Collaberative

Opal Peachey - Seattle Vice at ACT and Cavalier & Clay at Book-It Repertory

The more you know...

This is the kind of thing that always fascinates me. There is a reference in Zoe Fitzgerald's play, and I thought it sounded familiar. A quick trip to the Google turns up this wikipedia page. It's a nice easter egg to include Mother Antoina when a fictionalized account would have been fine.

Ticket Update!

The 8:00 show is a hot ticket tonight. As I type this, there are only 18 seats left. So, if you want one, buy now! If that sells out, or you are of the night owl persuasion, there are still plenty of tickets for the 10:30. It's going to be a great show. See you there!

Saturday Tech - Act 2

Stage crew takes advantage of the bonus time to pre-set show #5, and the band takes advantage by rehearsing their transition into intermission, an out of intermission into act 2. And show #5 cast shows up.

Show #5
Hana starts by pushing the furniture around to get it just right. Next we start aiming lights at the furniture and people in front of the furniture. As Hana examines the 'looks', she asks "is this the living room?" Light board responds "yes". And after a beat, the light board inquires, "Is it good? Are we living?"
Stage is set. Hana sends actors to places for top of show. Band starts intro music. Alyssa Byer helps out with additional step unit added to the ramp in front of the stage. First moment of the show established, we skip forward to the next cue. Again, hard to tell the story line... but the band outros with (possibly inappropriate) pop song!
Sergeant Woosters All Man Band
Photo: Omar Willey

Show #6
Show 6 cast shows up swords drawn. They work through some stage combat moves, and everyone sets up for top of show. The band brings us into the scene with jaunty pirate music as promised. We work through a bunch of sound and light cues within the first few minutes of the show and then skip along cue to cue. Light board runs a pirate to zombie transition once more for good measure, and we're ready to move on to the last piece for the evening.

Show #7
Zoe Fitzgerald set her play in the break between the 8pm and 10:30pm show last night. Consequently, this cast is wearing what they wore in their shows yesterday. I bet that made it easy for the costumers! But what this also brings with it, is a repeat special guest performance by Sara Porkalob with the band. If you were here for Yellow Hair's musical debut yesterday - you won't want to miss this reunion with the band!
Luxury of not having too many other cues - this show gets to run all the way from top to bottom, uninterrupted, as light board fine tunes the looks. And we rock out into the night with Yellow Hair bringing us to a glorious close.

End of Tech.  Time for dinner, followed by company meeting at 7pm.

Saturday Tech - Act 1

While the director meeting was still running a little behind, folks at tech have decided to forge ahead with show #1 anyway. Band is just returning from a break as well. We are now ready for top of show.

Show #1
Melissa Fenwick sporting a witch hat
Photo: Agastya Kohli
Halloween show. We start with scary noises and kids run up on stage. As the actors figure out spacing (a little "kid stage combat" action to figure out), lighting designers are cooking up a pretty cool full moon on the cyc. I see witch hats, and I hear wonder woman! Pretty high energy transition at the end of the show. Band is rocking as always!

Show #2
The transition into this show is a bit of a challenge, and the stage crew would like to run it in transition lights. However the light board was busy writing the next cue. After a little wait, we're underway. The stage crew is bringing on not just the furniture, but even the actors! Getting the stage set for this show, and then transitioning into #3 is quite involved. I'm hesitating to tell you more - so you may be awed by the crew when you see them in action tonight.

Show #3
The band transitions, we skip through cue to cue. This show will coin a new verb - very seasonably appropriate (hint NFL Championship weekend). And I can only imagine how the football manic crowd this weekend will react to this show. (hint hashtag Louder!) Also, I can't help but ponder on this playwright's outlook on the subject matter, given the negative connotations of our theme 'over indulgence'. But the band will bring the house DOWN with this outro. Hashtag Crowd-Pleaser.

Show 4 cast in tech rehearsal
Photo: Omar Willey
Show #4
Nina sorts out who takes what out between the cast and the crew. John Langs steps up to the band with his actors and starts working on what they can, while the crew and light board finish up on their transition tasks. The band plays a beautiful riff to underscore these scenes. John runs his tech like a military commander (no different that yesterday). He came with a list of problems he wanted to solve, and he pushes through, working with band, lights, and stage crew, and and when they become available. Looking forward to seeing this one when they run the whole show.

Intermission! And we're a few minutes ahead of schedule!

More Saturday Rehearsals

We just finished our rounds of rehearsal visits and the last two shows are quite different. From Kery Healey we have 'Atlas Movers', directed by John Langs. It looks like you will be heading off to intermission with your heart strings having just been tugged. It's a wonderful little play about the future that may be, framed by deliveries, boxes, and a well meaning mother.

That comes right after your funny-bone has been kicked by Peggy Platt and Lisa Koch's 'The Program'. There is much less subtlety here, as Andy Jensen guides us through the funny side of addiction. Yes, there is one. This is also a show that comes with a big reveal that will get a huge reaction. It also features a Carl Sagan joke that I dig.

Craft in Progress

"What are you building?"

"Oh, just some rigging for a pirate ship!"

Suzi Tucker cutting up some wood for the pirate ship rigging
Photo: Agastya Kohli

Art in progress

Saturday will bring seven new projects from the visual artists. Brian and Roy are both back at the theatre to finish their pieces. Here's a look at where Brian's canvas currently stands.

Take one for the team!

The 14/48 designers stop at nothing to make the show look just right!

PATP: The Virgin and the Veteran

This weekend's cast features two recent PATP, UW graduates - Scott Ward Abernethy (virgin actor) and Marianna de Fazio (veteran actor).

We saw Scott as Francis - a patient recovering from serious war time trauma, mumbling "Lights Out", in Zoe Fitzgerald's Good Night. Tonight, he's cast opposite Danielle Daggerty in the evening's only two hander - Courtney Meaker's Shorty Says Goodbye

Marianna played the half "feeble", half scheming sister in Erin Stewart's Mr. and Mrs. Hargrove on Friday, surprising and awing the audience with her subtle but crisp transformation from the 'feeble' to the 'scheming'. Tonight, she features in No Apologies by Jennifer Jasper, who had one of the most poignant plays of Friday night.

Over lunch, yours truly caught up with these two.

AK: Even as a virgin actor, you must have come in with an impression of what 14/48 will be like. How accurate was it? How prepared (or not) did you feel?

Marianna and Scott right after lunch
Photo: Agastya Kohli
Scott: Actually, I organized a speed theatre festival in undergrad, and so I was very familiar with the basic structure.

AK: And as a veteran, was there something that still surprised you Marianna?

Marianna: My last 14/48 was outdoors... so the venue makes a huge difference. Indoors is quite different - easier and more focused. Other than that, this 14/48 has move along similar lines as the last one.

Scott: The biggest surprise really, is the realization of how random things can be. Yesterday, I was a part of a serious piece - not funny or rambunctious at at all.  And I had just three lines. Today, I'm in a two-hander, with sword fights, and eight different dialects, and all kinds of physical acting. The other big surprise was how many people in the theatre community I don't really know. I've been working in Seattle right after I graduated from PATP, but I walked into the room and at best, maybe I knew a quarter of the people.

Marianna: And what a great gift it is to the community that 14/48 provides. Allowing people from different 'circles' within the theatre community to overlap and interact with one another, building connections and fostering relationships.

AK: Would you be interested in returning as a part of any of the other 14/48 disciplines?

Scott: Yes! I would be very interested in writing and directing. And I'm very interested in Musical 14/48 too!

AK: Has the process on Saturday been different from what it was like on Friday?

Scott: Well, the play I'm in today is very different. Yesterday, I had three lines to learn, so I had a lot of free time to work on making my character as fun and interesting as I could make it. Today is a very different day just in terms of the size of the role and what is required.

Marianna: Working with a different director changes the process a little. Yesterday we worked on the piece with relatively small breaks. Today we're pacing ourselves a lot better. Taking time off to learn lines, and regathering periodically to work on the piece together. Today feels a lot more relaxed than yesterday, with the comfort of experience under our belts.

AK: What's next for you two?

Scott: I'll be doing King Lear with Seattle Shakes.

Marianna: And I'm doing Diana of Dobson’s at Taproot Theatre.

AK: Break a leg!

Disclaimer - These conversations were not recorded. The interviews above are paraphrased. But I hope I've captured the essence of what these artists wanted to share with all of you.

Early Impressions from Show #5 and #6

Jennifer Jasper has a beautiful, sweet touching piece in Etymology last night. Today she has written a play called No Apologies, being directed by Hana Lass, featuring Marianna de Fazio, Marty Mukhalian and Cody Smith. In my three minutes of eavesdropping, it sounded like a play about a couple (played by Cody and Marty) struggling to raise their daughter (Marianna) with a value system they believe in. Given the theme of 'over indulgence', something tells me the value system might be a little... unorthodox.

Hana, Marianna and Cody during first (or second) read through.
Photo: Agastya Kohli
Down in the Lower Falls Lobby, Scott Abernethy and Danielle Daggerty are working on their two-hander, written by Courtney Meaker, directed by Stan Shields. There are pirates, and there are zombies. Stan requested the band to start the show with "jaunty pirate music". Lighting designers are looking for some ship rigging gobos. They were not optimistic on having any zombie gobos, unfortunately. More about this show during tech, I am sure!

Scott and Danielle, during 'table work'
Photo: Agastya Kohli

Rehearsals from Saturday

I've checked in on a few of the rehearsals this morning and the evening is shaping up to be very fun. David Schmader's 'Macrophages' finds worlds colliding in the realm of plastic surgery and body modification, and the recovery process that follows. This one presents a couple particular problems for the design team in creating the set, costuming the actors, and getting them to and from the stage. It will be interesting to see what this one ends up looking like.

It also again shows just how cool the 14/48 band is. When presented  with the possibility of 'a particular, very not Enya, artist' being covered by Enya, the response from the band was 'I love that!'

Erin Stewart's 'Atomic' takes us back to Halloween as kids. And, more specifically, just how mean and nasty kids can be. It lacks the blood of last weekend, but makes up for it with pee. The show also has rather involved blocking, which came to light when I heard 'We're only on page 1!?'

'Whatever Gets You Through The Night' from Zoe Fitzgerald goes backstage at the theatre and brought my favorite exchange of the day as Lisa Viertel asked about tracking where her bourbon is. Charles Smith replied that it should just be in her hand the whole time. That gets you a long way down the path where this one is headed. There was also discussion of the possibility of a number of cameos.

And on another band note... last night's performance of 'Last Dance' by Sara Porkalob went over so well that she's been invited back. She'll be closing out the night with another performace. Without spoiling the song I'll just say that constantly carrying around your bourbon is a solid clue.

Design Team Needs Your Help

Michael Mowery is looking for help in locating these items. If you can help, please let us know.

Football Dilemma

Go Hawks!
It is no big surprise that there is at least one play tonight with a strong football/Seahawks theme. What is very intriguing (especially as I have not read the play, nor do I have full context of the conversation I am overhearing) that there are some very funny football references being discussed by the stage management and lighting crew. I don't want to give it away - as it may be a very funny moment in the show... but they are talking about literally changing the light cues that you will see, based on certain "calls" that the actors will make from stage. Change the play at the line? Playwrights were told to leave the huddle!

Erin Stewart - Friday v. Saturday

I sat down with the lovely Erin Stewart to talk about her 14/48 experience, and our conversation drifted towards how Friday compared with Saturday.

She was able to go to bed by 5am Friday morning, and stayed up till 6am on Saturday. In the grand scheme of things, I'd say that's about the same.

"It was tough both nights", she said. "I thought both these themes were pretty broad, and I didn't have an idea right away for either night. On both nights I had two plays going. Switching back and forth between the two plays, not sure which one I was going to go with."
Erin Stewart, either before or after writing the play.
Photo: Agastya Kohli

"How different were they?"

"The ones on Friday were similar. They were both heightened, and stylized. But the other play on Saturday was actually quite different from what I went with. I was trying 'over indulgence' in a different way. I kept going back and forth. But every time I went to it, I was like... naah..."

"How did you know which play was going to win out, and when did you know?"

"Well, I had more pages for this one."

"So, the longer play won? Both nights?"

"Basically, yes! But I'm happy with it." Erin exclaimed.

I asked her if she had any thoughts about Keni Cohen picking her script both days, and what it was like to work with Keni.

"Yeah, isn't that weird? That happened to me three or so years  back at OTB as well! I'd never worked with Keni before. Yesterday, I wanted to make sure I was able to communicate my brand of comedy. I wanted that to come through. I was confident he'd get the play, but I wanted to give him as much information as I could, before I walked away from the process completely. Today, I feel much better about it. The cast just read the play, and they're laughing, and enjoying the script already. So I feel good!"

Well Ms. Stewart, you succeeded in delivering a creepy, but funny crowd-pleaser on Friday. Marianna de Fazio, Sydney Tucker and Joe Ivy gave great performances under Keni Cohen's direction. We can't wait to see what 'Over Indulgence' Saturday will bring.

Disclaimer - I didn't record the conversation with Erin... so the above is all paraphrased. But I hope I've captured the essence of what Erin wanted to share with all of you.

Breakfast and Coincidences

As expected, a lot calmer energy abounds in the room today as people go through the familiar patterns of playwrights talking to directors, actors catching up and grabbing a bite to eat, exchanging compliments and horror stories. Looks like people got sufficient sleep, but there is no denying, everyone could use a couple of extra hours.

Keni Cohen and Erin Stewart talk about the play
Photo: Agastya Kohli
Three of the playwright/director pairs are repeats of yesterday. Keni Cohen picked Erin Stewart's script again, Andy Jensen drew Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt again, and Charles Smith will be directing Zoe Fitzgerald's play - who by the way, wrote play #7 for yesterday, and for tonight!

Additionally, Keni picked Sydney Tucker as one of her actors, just as Andy Jensen picked Katie Driscoll again. So Katie and Sydney will be working with the same writer/director teams as they did yesterday.

Some other statistical fun facts - John Langs, who directed the smallest cast yesterday, has one of the two 5 handers. Sara Porkalob, who was in play #1 yesterday is in play #7 tonight.

Once again, the actors, writers and directors have left after the actor draw, and the designers continue to make lists and discuss options. We'll stop by a little later and see what fun things they're working on today.

The Saturday Lineup

Friday night at 14/48 was fantastic. How will Saturday stack up? Will things get really weird when the writers tackle 'Overindulgence'? That all remains to be seen, but here is the lineup that will answer those questions in less than ten hours.

Writer - Erin Stewart
Director - Keni Cohen
Actors - Darius Pierce, Ryan Spickard, Melissa Fenwick, Sydney Tucker

Writer - David Schmader
Director - Anthony Winkler
Actors - Emma Bamford, Alyson Bedford, John Farrage

The Program
Writers - Lisa Koch & Peggy Platt
Director - Andy Jensen
Actors - Katie Driscoll, Kate Witt, Jesica Avellone, Sam Read

Atlas Movers
Writer - Keri Healey
Director - John Langs
Actors - Opal Peachey, Allison Strickland, Rachel Sedwick, Joe Zavadil, Chris Shea

No Apologies
Writer - Jennifer Jasper
Director - Hana Lass
Actors - Marianna de Fazio, Marty Mukhalian, Cody Smith,

Shorty Says Goodbye
Writer - Courtney Meaker
Director - Stan Shields
Actors - Danielle Daggerty, Scott Ward Abernethy

Whatever Gets You Through The Night
Writer - Zoe Fitzgerald
Director - Charles Smith
Actors - Sara Porkalob, Lisa Viertel, Trick Danneker, Ben Burris, Joe Ivy

Here we go Saturday

The writers and directors are meeting over their plays now, and it looks like Friday was so good the 14/48 gods are trying to recreate it. Three of the pairings will be the same as yesterday - Erin Stewart and Keni Cohen, Peggy Platt, Lisa Koch, and Andy Jensen, and Zoe Fitzgerald and Charles Smith. Zoe and Charles even find themselves in the same slot, closing the night. Your other pairings are David Schmader and Anthony Winkler, Keri Healey and John Langs, Jennifer Jasper and Hana Lass, and Courtney Meaker and Stan Shields.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Best Friday Night Ever?

The energy in the room for our 7pm company meeting was unbelievable. The cast was roaring, and ready to go. We have a great slate of plays, that opened to an audience that matched, amplified, and returned the energy the cast sent towards them.

First show is done, 10:30 show coming up! If you missed it, you potentially missed one of the best Friday nights at 14/48! Learn from your mistakes, and make plans to be here tomorrow.

This is blogger 2 of 2, signing off. See you in the morning. For some Over Indulgence!

Saturday's Theme


See you there!

Visual Last Stand

As you may be aware, this month's 14/48 now has a visual art component to it as well. Here are the pictures created (and available for purchase) on the theme Last Stand.

Libby Barnard checks out the art in the Upper Falls Lobby.

Hashtag Designers Rock!

Maggie Lee was out on the last run for the designers while dinner was being served. And to make sure she doesn't miss out on the yummy food, they saved her a plate! How amazing are our designers!?

Maggie shows off the armor that protected her food.
Photo: Agastya Kohli

The Most Important People

The most important people of the night - the ushers - are here! Because if it wasn't for the ushers to help the audience find their way into the theatre, 8:00PM would be just another rehearsal!

Yay ushers! And yay all our volunteers!

Action shot of David, David and Catherine folding programs
Photo: Agastya Kohli

Fourth time's a charm

One of the difficulties with trying to keep track of seven different groups rehearsing is the timing. They are all running on their own schedules and scattered throughout the building. I tried to catch a rehearsal of Zoe Fitzgerald's "Good Night" three different times, and every time they were on a break.

I finally caught it when they ran through tech, and holy smokes... This is a wonderful thing. Charles Smith directs Allison Strickland, Danielle Daggerty, Scott Ward Abernethy, Sam Read, and John Farrage. The scene with Read and Farrage is fantastic. What a great way to close out the show.

There are still tickets available and tonight is going to be a great night. Hope to see you there!

Tech Rehearsal for Act 2

Show #5
Tech crew works through some light issues - end of intermission, transitioning into show 5 as actors get in place. Lighting makes the looks cleaner, and Hana skips the cast forward towards the end. And the band takes us out in style! Did I mention Sergeant Wooster's All Man Last Stand Band sounds great?
Justin Huertas and his cello
Photo: Omar Willey

Show #6
As we get started with this show's tech, we're back on schedule. The cast loves the couch. Actors start finding their spacing while Keni adjusts the furniture on the stage. Lights wants to see the final look for some fine tuning.

Back to top of show, and Mark Siano and Doug Willott are having way too much fun singing 'Let's Get it On'. Cross fade to Mr. Huertas' sweet cello. No internal light cues. Keni works the sounds cues with the band. Wow - Marianna has the fastest stage cross. The girl can hustle! And we transition to show #7 with an A Capella outro, that the band is having WAY TOO MUCH fun with!

Show #7
Transition has been worked out. Charles starts a pow wow with the band. Once that's done, actors have been cued. We'll run the whole show to the end of play. Another somber, poignant piece. Not your usual seventh play. But it features oatmeal cookies!

End of Tech! Band takes us out on the cello, as Allison Strickland half yells out "14/48". Time for dinner. Next up - 7:00PM company meeting.

People for the ethical treatment of...

David Schmader's "E.R.P", directed by Hana Lass, presents a problem for the blog. It's hilarious, but I can't tell you why. Not to be cryptic, but it would totally kill the big reveal. What starts as a non-descript job interview for a man and a woman, (Opal Peachey and Ryan Spickard) takes a bizarre turn after the interviewers (Marty Mukhalian and Alyson Bedford) reveal just what it is that their company is so ethically concerned about. And it just keeps turning. It is full of great lines, and will definitely be a crowd pleaser.

Tech Rehearsal for Act 1

The directors' meeting ran longer than scheduled, and tech started a few minutes late. But here we go.

Show #1
Andy Jensen instructs the band to start from end of intro music (which by the way has chords that remind me of "It's Business Time" by Flight of the Conchords).

This is a musical, show within a show, with a potential to be political correct in multiple ways. The playwrights showed up this morning with not just a script, but also sheet music. All songs that you've heard before, with lyrics you've never imagined!

Rachel Sedwick in show #1
Photo: Omar Willey
Tech'ing a musical in 20 minutes has it's challenges. But the cast and band are troopers, and make the best of their time. Shift to transition lights, and we go into show #2.

Show #2
Actors are in place, mumbling their lines as the band strums randomly. The director is in discussions with lighting designer, and even though I am sure progress is being made, it seems to the untrained eye that tech has stalled. Show 3 cast has arrived ahead of schedule.

Finally Stan Shields calls out to Lisa Viertel with instructions, while lighting designer continues to talk into the head set. With 7 minutes left in show #2's tech time, we are finally ready to start at the top of the show. The band plays a very Film Noir theme, and the actors take over. A couple of false starts later, we have finally made our way through show #2. This theme of "Last Stand" lends nicely to conflict - doesn't it!?

Show #3
John Langs starts with talking to the band for a few minutes, and then switches to lights. From noir, we switch to game-show theme. We're in a spelling bee.

Sean and Mark work on the sound cues
Photo: Omar Willey
Timing between the band, lights and actors is critical to the structure of this show. During our conversation over lunch John was working on how he will communicate all this information in what he called "a drive by speed" to the band and lights, and I can tell he's driven to get through all the moments critical to story telling before his tech time runs out. John may be a virgin director at 14/48, but his veteran chops are showing.

Hard to get a full sense of this play in this cue-to-cue, but I can tell it has some poignant bits.

Show #4
The band outro's with a spelling bee inspired song and we setup our class room for show #4. The designers have found us some really cool lab equipment. Anthony discusses the top of scene with band and lights. As soon as we get that setup, we skip to the end of the play. Easy tech - no internal cues!


Rehearsals continue...

Tech is under way, but the rehearsals continue all over the building. I've just sat in on two that couldn't be more different. Andy Jensen is directing "Sunday On The Plains With George", by Peggy Platt and Lisa Koch. This is the 14/48 musical, and it's crazy. Do not arrive late to the show. You don't want to miss this one.

On a completely different note, you have Jennifer Jasper's "Etymology", directed by John Langs. It's a much simpler affair, beautifully written, charting a relationship with a spelling bee. It's funny at times, and tragic at others. I'm just a little bit in love with it already.

Sergeant Wooster's All Man Band

Flashback to this morning - someone came up to Megan Ahiers and said, "The band has a name."

"What is it?"

"Sergeant Wooster's All Man Last Stand Band."

"Our band is all man?" Megan was taken by surprise.

"Apparently it is... I thought we were missing a couple of ladies last night at the Thursday meeting, but apparently not!" said the person who's voice I didn't recognize, and face I didn't see from a distance.

So a strange anomaly seems to have slipped by... and we have no women in this band. The men sound as magical as we expect a 14/48 band to sound!

Sergeant Wooster's Men
Photo: Omar Willey

Sergeant Wooster's Men
Photo: Omar Willey

Sergeant Wooster's Men
Photo: Omar Willey

Art In Progress

The visual artists have been a very cool addition to 14/48. And like their play counterparts, work continues throughout the day with the deadline looming. Brian Stricklan and Roy Stanton are currently occupying one of the dressing rooms while putting the finishing touches on their additions to the collection.

One For The Thumb!

One of the fun side-stories this weekend involves Doug Willott. He's in the 14/48 band, and this makes him the first person to complete the 14/48 cycle, having tackled all five disciplines. There is no official title for this accomplishment. Megan Ahiers has suggested "The Fister", but it's unclear whether or not that is going to stick... Whatever we call it, it is a remarkable thing for one person to be able to write, direct, act, design, and play in the band. Go Doug!

Even more amazing, Doug did the cycle in five festivals in a row.

Across the Big Pond, in the Big Theatre

Say hello to Darius Pierce (virgin actor) and Emma Bamford (veteran actor).

Emma Bamford and Darius Pierce
Photo: Agastya Kohli

Darius joins 14/48 from Portland, and Emma is a veteran of 14/48 festival held in Leicester, England. These two out-of-towners are the cast of the only two-hander show, Jennifer Jasper's Etymology directed by virgin director John Langs.

Here is a mini-interview as Emma had her lunch.

AK: What is the biggest difference between 14/48 in UK and here?
Emma: There are a lot more strange accents here.
AK: Please elaborate.
Emma: There are too many varied accents that I feel bombarded by. I can't tell where someone is from by just listening to them.
AK: What else?
Emma: Everything here is bigger. More people, bigger space, bigger theatre. Plus we didn't have food provided in Licester. That's great!
AK: What is one thing you enjoyed about 14/48 in England, that is missing here?
Emma: I knew more people there. So that was nice. I feel more like an outsider here.
AK: Par for the coarse wouldn't you say?
Emma: Yes of course. And it's not bad... but it is different.
AK: What's the one thing here that you like (other than food and more space) that you missed in UK?
Emma: Our director - he's so fantastic!

Who? John Langs? He's a virgin! He couldn't possibly know what he's doing! (I kid of course).

So I decided to seek out Mr. Langs and talk to him.

AK: How's the virgin experience coming along?
John: Its's great! I have a great cast and I'm enjoying the play.
AK: How's life in general?
Virgin director John Langs
Photo: Agastya Kohli

John: Good. Busy. We have to learn to pace ourselves you know? Like this job - there is so much exciting work that I'm doing at ACT these days. But there are times when after a whole day of work, you realize that you've not done anything to grow as an artist. For example, marketing - it's so exciting. I've never done any marketing. So I get sucked towards things like that. But if you're not looking at the core, and just the wrapper... you have to be careful.
AK: How's 14/48 different?
John: In so many ways. It distills what we do as artists into one day, and allows you to focus on the 'periscope down' stuff. Because it doesn't matter how pretty you can make your presentation... if you're not present and connected with the heart of it, what's the point? This experience is really about the heart of the play, as you don't have time for distractions.

Thanks John and Emma!

Disclaimer - I wasn't recording the conversations... so the above interviews are paraphrased. But I hope I've captured the essence of what these artists wanted to share with all of you.

Images from Lunch

Friday's crew takes a break to refuel and relax just for a bit. Actors with scripts in hand, mumbling lines as they start to get off book, directors looking at the day's schedule, planning their afternoons as they enjoy their salads and sandwiches.

Round of applause for our kitchen volunteers for
a great lunch spread.
Photo: Agastya Kohli

Front page of Sara Porkalob's script
Photo: Agastya Kohli

Sam Read finds a quiet corner to work on his lines
Photo: Agastya Kohli

There Will be (not as much) Blood

"We need a Seahawks blanket", said one of the designers.

"There should be no problem finding one of those this weekend", said everyone else at the table.

"Yes, but will people be willing to lend it to us?"
Anthony Winkler directs Trick Danneker
and Jesica Avellone along with the rest of the cast.
Photo: Agastya Kohli

"There is no blood in this show - shouldn't be a problem!" Gary Menendez declared in a reference to the "Blood and Corpse" Saturday night last weekend.

"Says who?" said the rest of the table.

The Uprising by Courtney Meaker is all set to end the first half with a bang. No pun intended. The props/set-list includes a gun, school furniture, backpack, students, biology lab equipment, and blood. While you may think this is a show about "another shooting at a high school"... it isn't that sort of a shooting.

Anthony Winkler directs Melissa Fenwick, Jesica Avellone, Trick Danneker, Cody Smith and Ben Burris in this explosive piece!

Rehearsals everywhere.

The various groups are now scattered all over the ACT building, from the basement to the 8th floor, with design, sound, and lighting people roaming back and forth to get everything in order as we hit 3 hours to tech.

The random casting draw has worked splendidly for Stan Shields, working on Keri Healey's noir 'Curtains!'.  Talking with Lisa Viertel and Kate Witt, they couldn't be happier with their team. After the first read through they were set on who everyone was going to be. Witt and Chris Shea have that midwestern earnestness, and Viertel... well, let's just say that there may be a bit of a bonus for Kitten fans. It seems Miss Viertel's Principal may have what you would call Matron-esque attributes.

Stopping in at rehearsal for Mr. & Mrs. Hargrove, the farce is getting ramped up as they work toward, 'Less romantic, more frantic!' As they rerun a scene, this is looking like a hilarious stop in the second half of tonight's schedule.

I am very curious to see more of Zoe Fitzgerald's 'Good Night'. I arrived right as they headed off to break, but Charles Smith has described it as a sweet little play that is not your typical play seven.

Maggie Lee's Shopping List

"Look at it - it's so boring! The only semi-exciting thing on this list is dry ice!"

Maggie Lee's shopping list
Photo: Agastya Kohli

Maggie Lee - one of the three runners for today's designers is looking for a bigger challenge.

The 14/48 Gods May be Strong with this One

Before the Thursday night meeting started, people were mingling, saying hello to old and new friends. Marianna de Fazio (veteran actor) bumped into Keni Cohen (virgin director). After exchanging their names, Marianna said to Keni, "You look familiar. I wonder where I've seen you before."
Joe Ivy reads his lines as Marianna de Fazio looks on.
Photo: Agastya Kohli

"You look familiar too." Keni responded with the second half of a conversation that so many theatre people have had before, and will repeat in the future. He then continued, "Where did you go to high school?" with a chuckle at the statistical impossibility of them being at the same high school at the same time.

"Are you a writer?"

"No", he replied, "I'll be directing."

"Oh, you might direct me then", she said, "I'll be acting!"

"I very likely might! Perhaps that's why you look so familiar. Perhaps we've already worked together."

Marianna had a confused look on her face. She would have remembered Keni, if they had worked together in the past.

"In the sense that the future has already been determined!", Keni explained, picking up on the visual cue of confusion.

How very new age and in sync with the universe! Almost poetic.

Skip forward to this morning as Marianna and I were making our way through the Convention Center parking garage, pulling her actor suitcase along.

"Are you going to the theatre?" A voice called at us from behind.

"Yes we are!" we both replied in near unison.

"May I follow you? I don't really know where I'm going", the gentleman requested.

"Please! Come with us - we're almost there", I replied and slowed down for him to catch up, as we walked through the doors into the Convention Center.

"Hi, I'm Marianna", she said, "I'm an actor. And you?"

"I'm Joe. Also actor."

"That's Agastya. He'll be blogging" She completed the introductions on my behalf.

Keni Cohen directs Sydney Tucker
Photo: Agastya Kohli
Skip forward again to the Actors draw, and sure enough Keni pulls Marianna's name out of the jar containing women's names, and then pull out Joe Ivy's name from the jar with men's name. These three recently acquainted artists will spend their day along with Sydney Tucker, working on Erin Stewart's play Mr. and Mrs. Hargrove.

Yes, it could just be a coincidence. But so many of us know - there are very few coincidences at 14/48. And a lot is determined by the 14/48 Gods, who seem to be smiling on this group today. Indeed Mr. Cohen. The future had already been determined, and you seemed to have glimpsed it last night.