Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ready to Rock and Roll

"If your energy is low or you're feeling tired, RAISE THE FUCKING STAKES!"

14/48 In One Photo

From Play 4 - sums up the weekend.

Tonight's drink special is...

The Trial by Fire featuring Seattle Distilling Vodka, ginger beer, and sriracha. 

Let us put our spice on your tongue.  (You know you want it.)

Friday Night Recap

Matt Richter greets the crowd with panache.
Now that the dust has settled and we're working on new plays for tonight's show, there's time for a recap of the shows from last night. 

#1  The night started with Pamela Hobart-Carter's play, But New Thoughts Appear In Our Minds, directed by Maria Glanz.  This story of freedom and complacency was a thought-provoking way to start the evening.

 Jocelyn Maher, Sydney Tucker, Melissa Fenwick and Deniece Bleha in But New Thoughts Appear In Our Minds 

#2  I kept hearing about a fish song and penises yesterday.  It all made sense (well, sort of) when I saw Scot Auguston's hilarious play, Candiru Means I Love You, directed by Peter A. Jacobs.  It all begins with the line, "You have a fish living in your willy," and ends with "Go with your superstition, it's your banana stand."  If you saw the play, you'll know whether science or "ancient wisdom" saved the day.  If you weren't here, well, I'm sorry that you don't have that ditty they were singing stuck in your head too.

Heather Gautschi, Jaryl Draper, Alex Matthews, Adria La Morticella (as both fish and penis)

#3  A couple fighting an endless, unresolvable battle and their dog that just wants to play was the topic of Olive Juice by Courtney Meaker.  Director Kathryn van Meter followed the GO BIG OR GO HOME mantra on this piece that the irresistible dog played by Brian D. Simmons going out into the audience to retrieve the ball.  Steven G. Sterne and Mik Kuhlman were convincing as a couple whose relationship seemed held together by tension.

Brian D. Simmons, Steve G. Sterne, and Mik Kulman
#4  The Tukwila 500 by Bret Fetzer and Juliet Waller Pruzan was a raucous race. Director Peter Dylan O'Connor did an ace job staging the confusion of this race of the heart where, "It depends on what race you're trying to win."  All brought to life by the talented cast comprised of Patrick Allcorn, Bradford Farwell, Elicia Wickstead, Imogen Love, Emma J. Bamford.

#5  Virgin playwright Jennifer Dice brought the hilarity to the top of the second act with Three Girl Pile-Up.  Directed by Beth Peterson and featuring the talents of Cody Smith, Jim Jewell (twerking), JakeYnzunza, and Joe Zavadil, this play explored the dark world of suburban pageant princesses and the fathers who manically support their girls while tearing the other girls down, because, competition.

Cody Smith, Joe Zavadil, Jake Ynunza, and Jim Jewell "supporting" their pageant daughters.

#6 Jerry Kraft brought us Sand Script exploring the complexity of relationships when two couples end up stranded on a deserted island.  One couple, both therapists, are trying to "save" the marriage of the less educated other couple.  This play, directed by Virgin Director Jen Moon, was a fantastic exploration of classism, among other things.

Shawn Law, Meg McLynn,  Kevin Bordi, and Jesica Avellone

#7 Let's Talk About Monica by Becky Bruhn was a backyard BBQ thriller involving one dead suburban housewife, her journal, her ex-husband and her emotionally-repressed neighbors.  We never did find out if she was murdered by her husband but we do know who she was sleeping with.  Ace direction by Ali el-Gasseir had the cast bringing some big choices and perfect timing by cast members   Gin Hammond, Lori Lee Haener, Scott Abernethy, Andy Jensen, and Ryan Spickard.

So now you know what happened last night.  Come out and see what we've cooked up for tonight.  I've heard tell of wombs, witches and whimsy.

 (Fabulous photos by Joe Iano)

Directors' Meeting

In the middle of the day, directors take a break from their casts and convene with the tech/design team. Each director talks through the show - noting spacing, blocking, prop and lighting elements - with the team so that potential issues can be identified and resolved in time for tech (20 minutes for each show) to run smoothly.
Tonight's festival is heavy on the technical excitement: there's some mountain climbing, breakaway glass, etc., but the most technically demanding show is the one involving the large uterus costumes.

While the directors are working, the band is tightening up (and they are killing it).

Troy Lund

Mazen Award recipient Jason Anderson

Design Work

From the meeting I watched, it seems this is a demanding day for the design team - but knowing them, the results will be amazing. Here are some of the props they're fabricating:

-multiple gas/lighter fluid cans
-vampire stake
-multiple uterine sacs the size of entire humans with controllable baby bodies (plus umbilical cord)
-small mutant cactus
-an entire spaceship

(I'm especially excited about the uterine sacs. Maybe that's just me.)

Play 7: New Experiences

 Jerry Kraft's play, "Five Before", is a wonderful piece with which to end tonight's festival. Five people about to get pushed into an entirely different sphere of existence confront their very different feelings about what they're about to experience. I don't want to spoil the surprise - but Five Before is a thought-provoking exploration of our purpose as humans, while also featuring hilarious banter, some very exciting and distinctive costumes, and a ridiculously relevant opera pun.

The cast starts blocking.

Ladies and Gentleman, the 14/48 Band

Mazen Award-winner Jason Anderson, Kyle Thompson and Jerin Falkner

Kyle Thompson, Jerin Falkner, and Katie Driscoll

Katie Driscoll and Mariko Kita

Jerin Falkner, Katie Driscoll, and Mariko Kita

If you think the band was smokin' last night, check it tonight. 

I might have been heard saying that I could use a blood transfusion for energy earlier but every time I walk by the band, I get a boost.  They are taking "Trial by Fire" to a whole new level.

(Photos by Joe Iano)

Play 5: Journey Through Space

Play 5, "Celestial Walkabout", is a poignant display of the sacrifices you'll make for your family. In 2163, a girl takes a tour of all the planets to Pluto on her 13th birthday - it's a traditional Jewish custom, her parents inform her - unaware of the real reason they've sent her on the trip.
Meg McLynn, Jim Jewell, Steven G. Sterne, and Heather Gautschi receive notes from director Maria Glanz.

Jim Jewell cuts an imposing figure.
Though it is really moving, there are definitely moments of levity (and also a huge prop spaceship). Choice quote: "We would like to present you with a beautiful Martian succulent." "Jimmy grows them in his greenhouse."     

Play 4: Outdoor Theater

Play 4, "We Would Like to Thank 4Culture", is taking using the space to a whole new level. Unfolding in real time, the play tracks an outdoor production of Joan of Arc gone terribly wrong. As the characters' rehearsal unfolds, the chaos leads to a Christina Aguilera cover, a shower of Frisbees, a dogfight, potentially kazoos, a stylized monologue (resembling interpretive dance) performed by two men as the conflicting sides of Joan of Arc's consciousness, and more - as Imogen Love's character notes, "That's theater in the park for you!"
Choice quote from the show: "You know, Joan of Arc -" "Yes, God?" "I never asked you, what is your preferred pronoun?"
Beth Peterson directs Imogen Love, Sydney Tucker, and Gin Hammond (not pictured: Kevin Bordi and Jake Ynzunza).

14/48 haiku

Junior blogger, Gigi Varriano, wrote this haiku about 14/48 this morning.  Ace photographer, Joe Iano, found the perfection photo to accompany it.

Virgin Director, Jen Moon, embodying the spirit of 14/48

fourteen forty eight
runs smooth, but chaotic too.
actors, writers, staff...

The Audience

Photo credit:  Joe Iano

I sat across from Pamela Hobart-Carter and Peter Dylan O'Connor to eat breakfast and said, "Please excuse me while I eavesdrop for potential blog quotes." 

They smiled and went back to work.  I was interrupted so I didn't really hear anything juicy but a bit later, Pamela looked up and said, "Thank you, Kymberlee, I think you helped me clarify something in the play." 

I said, "I'm not sure how my presence helped with that, but I'm delighted."

She said, "There's something about the awareness of an audience that makes a difference."

So there you have it.  That's why we do this.  For you, dear audience.  Come hither and see what we're making for you.

Trial By Fire

Ali el-Gasseir is thrilled by the cast he's drawn!

Beth Peterson draws her cast members.
 The sun is (thankfully) beaming down on this weekend's second round of premiere plays - this time with the theme Trial By Fire. Seven new shows have been written and cast, and are well on their way to tonight's performance.

The Dock
by Becky Bruhn

Directed by Ali el-Gasseir

Andy Jensen
Patrick Allcorn
Shawn Law
Cody Smith

The Office Witch
by Jennifer Dice

Directed by Peter A. Jacobs

Mik Kuhlman
Ryan Spickard
Alex Matthews
Jesica Avellone

Pamela Hobart Carter

Directed by Peter Dylan O'Connor

Jocelyn Maher
Deniece Bleha
Emma J. Bamford
Adria La Morticella

We Would Like to Thank 4Culture
by Scot Augustson

Directed by Beth Peterson

Imogen Love
Sydney Tucker
Gin Hammond
Kevin Bordi
Jake Ynzunza

Celestial Walkabout
by Juliet Waller Pruzan and Bret Fetzer

Directed by Maria Glanz

Heather Gautschi
Meg McLynn
Steven G. Sterne
Jim Jewell

Against My Better Judgement
by Courtney Meaker

Directed by Jen Moon

Melissa Fenwick
Scott Abernethy
Joe Zavadil

Five Before
by Jerry Kraft

Directed by Kathryn Van Meter

Elicia Wickstead
Lori Lee Haener
Brian D. Simmons
Brad Farwell
Jaryl Draper

Friday, August 15, 2014

Come and Get It!

The kitchen crew is busy making everyone dinner and tech is happening.   Everything is still dry (yay!) and the Jerry Manning Beer Garden is stocked with Hilliards Beer.  Among the many curious things we've heard today:

"You're giving me the whole penis bit."
It's 2.5 hours until show time, people.  Come and get it.

Here are some shots from the day by the fabulous Joe Iano: 

Guest Bloggers Livvie and Gigi interview JJ

Photo by Joe Iano

Today, we had two junior bloggers, Livvie Jewell and Gigi Varriano, taking photos and interviewing.  Here's an interview they did with veteran actor Jim Jewell:

Q:  How long have you been doing 14/48?
A:  About 15 years.  I think 1999 was my first festival.

Q:  What do you think the hardest job would be?
A:  Probably managing the lights and sound.

Q:  What's your favorite thing to do?
A:  Hmmm, that's a tough one.  Running the kitchen, actually.

Q:  Okay, and to top it off, what's your favorite color?
A:  Um, blue I guess. 

A couple of photos from the grrls:

14/48 Band rehearsing

The beloved Cone of Destiny.

48 Hours of Yes

photo by Joe Iano

At last night's meeting, when asked, "Why 14/48?" someone said,

"It's 48 hours of YES!"

So far, I've seen/heard these yeses:
The perfect cartwheel.
An irresistible dog.
Some very awkward dancing.
Sweet jams from the 14/48 Band.
Joe Zavadil giving his walrus impression with Red Vines.
John Bradshaw's delicious cookies.
A quorum of  patient, talented people.
A song about a fish that lives in an unexpected place (don't try to guess, just come see for yourself).
A hardworking crew keeping it all together.
"Two pairs of fishnets, iridescent body paint and a pair of sweat pants."
(and a cuddle)

Say YES.  Come join us.

joy and pain, sunshine and DRY SEATS

And that means a dry stage for the actors and dry seats for your butt.  Tonight at 8:00 or 10:30.

Here's proof:

This dry seat is waiting for your butt.

This stage is dry at the moment.  Word on the street is that one of the plays will wet it once more.
The actors and fed and are rehearsing like crazy in the warm, dry air.  A favorite quote from director,  Jen Moon:
"She really just wants to slap you up side the head."

The band is tight.

You know you want some of this.

(Photos by Kymberlee della Luce)

Where's Jodi-Paul?

He's not around this weekend but it seems that Shawnmarie Stanton found him.  I'm not gonna say who told me to post this but his initials are JJ.

Friday's Draw

Kathryn Van Meter is pleased with the actors she's drawn.

Seven plays for the theme "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"  have been written and cast.

But New Thoughts Appear In Our Minds

by Pamela Hobart Carter

Director:  Maria Glanz

Melissa Fenwick
Sydney Tucker
Jocelyn Maher
Deniece Bleha

Candiru Means I Love You
by Scot Auguston

Director Peter A. Jacobs

Adria La Morticella
Heather Gautschi
Alex Matthews
Jaryl Draper

Olive Juice
by Courtney Meaker

Director:  Kathryn van Meter

Steven G. Sterne
Brian D. Simmons
Mik Kuhlman

The Tukwila 500
by Bret Fetzer and Juliet Waller Pruzan

Director:  Peter Dylan O'Connor

Patrick Allcorn
Bradford Farwell
Elicia Wickstead
Imogen Love
Emma J. Bamford

Three Girl Pile-Up
by Jennifer Dice

Director:  Beth Peterson

Cody Smith
Jim Jewell
Jake Ynzunza
Joe Zavadil

Sand Script
by Jerry Kraft

Director:  Jen Moon

Jesica Avellone
Kevin Bordi
Shawn Law
Meg McLynn

Let's Talk About Monica
by Becky Bruhn

Director:  Ali el-Gasseir

Gin Hammond
Lori Lee Haener
Scott Abernethy
Andy Jensen
Ryan Spickard

Everyone is busy getting ready to wildly entertain you including the clouds which are currently squeezing out their last drops. 

Rehearsal happening in the lobby of the Seattle Rep

Kathryn Van Meter gets ready to direct he actors.

 Do you have your tickets? 

(Photos by Joe Iano)

Words of Wisdom: From Veterans to Virgins

As expected, the seasoned 14/48 veterans had lots of valuable advice to give first-time participants. Here's some of the wisdom they shared tonight:

To Writers:
1.) Make sure every actor has something to do (e.g. "don't write a goddamn corpse into your show" (Shawn Belyea)).
2.) The more words you want spoken out loud, the fewer you should put on each page.
3.) Consciously use the space you're given to your advantage - "let your limitations be your inspiration" (Shawn Law).
4.) It's always great if you have something to say.

To Directors:
1.) Trust your actors: cast quickly. The unconventional casting spawned from randomly assigned actors is part of the beauty of the festival.
2.) Use your tech time wisely.
3.) Communicate with your designers early.
4.) "The band is not your jukebox" (mentioned by a band member).
5.) It's your responsibility to meet time constraints - "that twelve-minute run-through isn't going to tighten up (Shawn Belyea).
6.) Product over process - now is not the time for two-hour viewpointing.
7.) "Make your playwrights happy and your actors safe" (Shawn Law).

To Actors:
1.) Let go of your ego.
2.) Communicate your needs to your director.
3.) Learn your lines early.
4.) "Nourish yourselves - it'll help you think!"

To Musicians:
1.) Grab the audience's attention at the top of each act.
2.) Use the microphone.

To Designers:
1.) Get everything done by tech rehearsal so the performers have a chance to work with them.
2.) Prioritize effectively.

and a bonus:
"Nothing creates tension onstage like a water balloon" (Shawn Belyea).

Shawn Belyea demonstrates the power of the water balloon.

Shawn teaches participants the difference between garbage and recycling ("Where does your beer can go?")

Shawn demonstrates the possibilities of the outdoor space.