Tag Archives: 2012

Artist Updates: A Tidal Wave of Awesome

28 Jun

This summer, I reached out to past Freedom Art Retreat participants with the following prompt:

“Tell me one awesome thing you’ve recently done, or about to do.”

The responses are overwhelming in their variety, and I’m excited to share them with you…

Meron Langsner: Three playwriting things: Over Here will be in the NY Fringe Festival, The Devil’s Own Game will have a workshop reading with Turn To Flesh Productions in NYC, and Legacies is being developed through One Bird Productions. (As an aside, fellow Retreatant Angel Veza is likely to be involved in Legacies). I also recently had my play, Bystander 9/11 included in a major documentary theatre anthology published by Bloomsbury.

Lia Romeo: My play Reality won the HotCity Theatre New Play Contest last summer, and I am looking forward to the world premiere in St Louis this fall!

Nina Louise Morrison: I’m a new member of Project: Project and Accomplice Writers Group, and I was a 2014 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist.  I’ll be writing for The Mad Dash on July 12th.

Emily Kaye Lazzaro: I had a small role in Olive Kitteridge, which will air on HBO some time this year. Also I’m in Boston Public Works and we will be producing my new play Three next spring. Just finished the first draft and it’s coming together really nicely!

Corianna Moffatt: I devised and completed an oral history project, called The Impossible Questions Tour, spanning eleven states and gathered over 50 interviews about people’s personal philosophies on life, love, and loss.

Phil Berman: I’m running a Kickstarter to record my first album!! The album features songwriting from the last five years, many of them performed/tinkered at Freedom Art, fully orchestrated by Somerville guitarist/producer Brendan Burns.

Steve Bogart: Devised two theater pieces, Interference, and Lunar labyrinth with Retreat alums John King, Phil Berman, April Ranger, and Corianna Moffatt, that performed at the Oberon.

Amanda Coffin: This past year I served as the Artistic Intern at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, MD, did some great new-play dramaturgy/directing work with the DC based company Field Trip Theatre, and served as Dramaturg for the Plimoth Players, the Shakespeare Theatre Troupe at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA.  In the fall I’ll be attending Villanova University to receive my MA in Theatre.

Jason Weber: I recently completed phase one of an ongoing practice-based research project in collaboration with a post-doc researcher at Yale (Mary Isbell) where we worked with students to explore the theatre rehearsal process aboard 19th century warships. We performed phase one aboard U.S.S. Constitution for an audience of museum staff and historians and are currently looking at phase two which will involve an expanded script for a public metatheatrical presentation.

Allie Herryman: I’m the managing director at Open Hand Theater. That’s amazing enough considering where I was at retreat.
But just for fun I’ll add that I also got to invent and propose to the staff some new programming for the theater for the fall, and everything I made up was accepted for implementation (!!!)

Colleen Hughes: My play Directive 47 will have a staged reading as part of Fresh Ink Theatre’s Ink Spots reading series this fall.

Barbara Whitney: Just finished up my first year as chair of the theatre dept at cambridge school of weston! Maybe now I’ll get to some of them other projects.

Peter Staley: Just wrapped up my role as Producer and Actor in the world premiere of The Brink of Us, by Delaney Britt Brewer, in Brooklyn this past spring, supported in part by the fantastic New Georges, an Off Off Broadway company specializing in new works by female playwrights with female directors.

April Ranger: Just had two poems published in a rad anthology called Courage: Daring Poems For Gutsy Girls, and I am currently booking myself a Northwest Poetry Tour for the fall!

Lenelle Moïse: As some of you already know, my book, Haiti Glass, is here. I’ve been touring the U.S. and Canada sharing selections, live. Enjoy the book trailer!

Basil Considine: My comic opera The Frat Party is appearing in the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival, mixing a team of Boston-area opera professionals with local talent.

Amy Brooks: In July, I will return to West Virginia to serve as the Humanities Director for the Contemporary American Theater Festival. 

Rosa Nagle: I’m self-producing my play October in October, 2015, at the Broadmoor Sanctuary in Natick, MA, with help from the Massachusetts Audubon Society. 

Keith Trickett: I am once again acting this summer as Lancaster in Theatre@First’s production of Henry IV.  

Alison Ruth: This fall I’m moving to Iowa City to start an MFA in dramaturgy at the University of Iowa!

Morgan Goldstein: I recently worked as the dramaturg for a year-long development project Sean Graney’s play All Our Tragic through the Radcliffe Institute, and as the dramaturg and line producer for a reading of Sextet by Tommy Smith.

 

Meet the Retreatant: Phil Berman

20 Jul

Phil Berman is thrilled to return to the Freedom Art Retreat after interning with the 10 incredible retreatants from last year.

Phil makes theater in the Boston area: acting with Moonbox Productions and Puppet Showplace Theatre; dramaturging shows and managing the literary department for Company One; and creating puppets, plays, and music for Free Hands, a company founded with retreatants from last year.

His plays include “The Last Confession of the Virgin Maria,” directed by Corianna Moffatt at Boston University, and “The Three Blessed Brothers,” produced by Free Hands last June, designed by Allie Herryman.

Meet the Retreatant: Lenelle Moïse

20 Jul

Lenelle Moïse creates jazz-infused, rhythmic performance texts about Haitian-American identity and the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, memory and magic. Her two-act comedy, Merit, won the 2012 Ruby Prize for women of color playwrights. She also wrote, composed and co-starred in the critically-acclaimed drama, Expatriate, which launched Off-Broadway at the Culture Project. Moïse was the fifth Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, the 2012 Visiting Performing Artist in African & African Diaspora Studies at UT Austin, the 2011 Artist in Residence in Performance Studies at Northwestern University and a 2010 Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival Fellow. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Smith College (2004). Her work has been published in several anthologies including Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution.

Check out Lenelle’s website, which is packed with awesome content., and watch some of her work, HERE.

Meet the Retreatant: Barbara Whitney

11 Jul

For someone who regularly finds her wallet in the freezer, bakes challah at 3 am, sleep crafts, and occasionally eats a sandwich in the shower, you know, just for fun, Barbara Whitney is a model of sanity. A model of sanity who is really struggling with writing this bio. She’s ‘turged, directed, devised, performed, puppeteered, production managed, and taught at a variety of places around the world – from Carnegie Hall to Chicago’s South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade to under a tree in Bangkok. She spent years touring internationally and causing a theatrical ruckus domestically and is proud to have made a living as a freelance artist for 13 years. For the past 4 years she’s been a high school theater teacher where she encourages students to think of themselves as vast beings who exercise curiosity in the out-of-the-ordinary. And who embrace looking like an idiot, and say please and thank you. She is much less of a hippy than this bio makes her sound and, for the skeptics, has a legitimate theatrical resume with credentials and stuff that she’s happy to share if they’re happy to turn their clothes inside out to confuse the fairies. Mainstream is often interesting and worthwhile but the edges are where things happen.

 

Meet the Retreatant: Peter Staley

11 Jul

Peter Staley is an actor and dramaturg entering his senior year with the Theater Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is working towards a BA in Performance and Dramaturgy. His passions include, but are not limited to: equality, making lists, pretending to understand wine, and attempting to learn every language (at least a little bit). Peter is a lifelong resident of the Boston area, and thus has the city to thank for his exciting artistic upbringing (while most boys his age might have been seen cheering along at a Red Sox game, he was busy attending such classics as Cats and Jesus Christ Superstar). As his passion for theater and expression blossomed, he dove into the artistic community as a staff member at Saint Joseph’s Summer Theater, a local youth theater in his native town of Needham. Upon seeing just how beautiful a product can come from a group of inspired and passionate young artists, he understood at once the power and importance of the arts. As an artist, Peter endeavors use theater to discover and explore truths new and old in the fascinating world around him, and to continue asking questions through art. His education has only affirmed his understanding of the power that theater has to promote change and understanding, and has him more excited than ever to graduate into the ranks of professional Boston artists. Peter’s most recent theatrical roles include A Little Night Music (Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm), Cabaret (Clifford Bradshaw), For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls (Lawrence), and dramaturg for the UMass Theatre Guild. After graduation, Peter looks forward to throwing himself into the beautiful and diverse world of Boston theater (perhaps literally, depending on the traffic).

Meet the Retreatant: April Ranger

11 Jul

April Ranger is a poet and a playwright. While pursuing a B.A. in Theatre from Emerson College she discovered the weekly open mic and poetry slam at the Cantab Lounge and began writing poems for performance. April was selected three times to perform as a member of Boston Cantab’s National Poetry Slam Team and twice as their Individual Representative. She has completed multiple short-leg national tours with fellow poet Carrie Rudzinski, and has performed her poems at venues ranging from The Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan to a warehouse in Detroit to an art gallery in Roslyn, Washington. Her poems have appeared in Off The Coast and Muzzle.
Her ten-minute play Frabjous Day premiered at the Boston Theatre Marathon in 2008 and was later produced by Caffeine Theatre in Chicago. Those Still Living, produced at the 2011 Boston Theatre Marathon, was originally conceived while studying at the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive. In 2010, Whistler in the Dark theatre company adapted a selection of her poems into a theatrical piece entitled The Last Flame Left. April recently returned to Boston from a four-month sojourn to her roots in Maine to complete a full-length play, The Mouth of Jordan. She loves to ride her bicycle through all the various neighborhoods and nature spots in Boston.

Check out her mad skillz, right HERE.

Meet the Retreatant: Julie Saltman

6 Jul

A Beantown girl born and bred, Julie Saltman grew up in Needham, Mass., and was a Boston Children’s Theatre kid starting at the age of six. She was accepted to the Walnut Hill School for the Arts acting program, but when, at age 11, she saw the dress rehearsal for Julie Taymor’s The King Stag at the American Repertory Theatre, she knew backstage was the place for her. Julie’s been there ever since.

After completing her undergrad work at Carnegie Mellon University, she headed straight down the block to her favorite position at Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Costume shop credits range from all over the country, including stints at the Arena Stage and San Diego Repertory Theatre.
Julie returned to Boston for grad school at Brandeis University. She also returned to BCT for a season as an adult—repayment for how much that program had done for her as a child. Her internship toward her master’s degree was completed at WGBH when Zoom was revived (things do come full circle!). In 2005, armed with her master’s degree in costume design, Julie hit the ground running. Her several Broadway shows include Lestat, High Fidelity, and most recently, working for the producers of Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. Julie’s favorite costuming experience, however, was Twelfth Night at New York’s Shakespeare in the Park. She has designed two Off-Off Broadway shows as well. Film credits include Disney’s Enchanted (Susan Sarandon’s costume), Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, and several independent films. But no matter where she is or where she’ll go, Boston will always be her true home.