Tag Archives: designer

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: Basil Considine

25 Jun

Basil Considine is a composer-playwright, conductor and musicologist. A native of the Boston area, Basil is currently a resident of Minnesota’s Twin Cities area. His work for the stage and church take him across the United States, and musicological pursuits regularly see him straddling both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. He lived in Mauritius from 2011-2012 to conduct ethnographic research for his doctoral dissertation, Priests, Pirates, Opera Singers, and Slaves: Séga and European Art Music in Mauritius, the Little Paris of the Indian Ocean. He has conducted ethnographic field research on music in Hawaii and Mauritius. Basil has been the Artistic Director of The Really Spicy Opera Company (formerly the Reduced Spice Opera Company of Brookline) since 2006.

 

Meet the Retreatant: Angel Veza

25 Jun

Angel Veza was recently one of two Fight Directors working on Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension at Vagabond Theatre. In addition to being a fight director, Angel is also an actor whose recent credits include: When the Gods Speak (Bostonia Bohemia/Interim Writers), A Dream Play (Heart and Dagger Productions), and Stoops! (Divine Stage Works). She recently served as the Fight Director for From Denmark With Love (Vaquero Playground). Angel graduated from Tufts University and has also trained at the Vampire Cowboys Rabid Vamps Fight Studio in NYC.

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.

Meet the Retreatant: John J King

5 Jul

John J King is part Texan and part Tyrannosaur.

He lives in Boston where he makes plays, art, music, and scares little children who thought dinosaurs were dead.

He has a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Boondocks and an accent from his mama.

Goals include recording a great dance tune, making impossible things from cardboard, and singing in a girl group.

Artistic Mission: to incite in all people wonder and delight at the world.

Meet the Retreatant: Steven Bogart

5 Jul

Steven Bogart is a playwright, director, teacher and visual artist.

He has worked with the likes of Neil Gaiman, James Carroll, Kate Snodgrass and Amanda Palmer. He directed Cabaret at the American Repertory Theater in 2010 and will devise a new piece for the A.R.T. Institute in 2013. He is an Artist-in-Residence at Southern New Hampshire University, adjunct acting professor at Emerson College, and the University of New Orleans. His plays have performed in Boston, NYC, and Chicago. He leads workshops in collaborative playwriting around the state of Massachusetts and has created over 50 workshop theater pieces. In a previous life, He was a high school drama teacher for too many years to mention. He left Lexington High School last year to live more directly as a free-lance artist. He lives with his wife Amory in Maynard, Massachusetts.

Find him on twitter: @StevenBogart

Dramaturg as Arts Advocate / Dramaturgs & Designers

17 Jul

Further follow-up from the LMDA11 conference

As mentioned in an earlier post, one day of the conference proceedings were conducted in a style called Open Space. I took notes for two of the sessions, one of which I led. I promised folks I’d make those notes available, so here they are. Click the titles for the linked google docs. If you can make use of any of these ideas, I offer them freely, and ask only that you let me know how it goes and report back.

1. Dramaturgs in Arts Advocacy: Talking to Policy Makers – Convened by Me

I called this session into being to address an issue particularly close to home: how we in the local theatre community can better advocate for ourselves and our impact with local legislators, policy-makers, and thought leaders. I framed this as a question about how dramaturgs can use the tools that come naturally in our practice to be trailblazers in this realm, but I think the issue is vitally important for all theatre stakeholders. In this set of notes, we lay out some obstacles, questions, and ideas for action. I’m in the midst of writing a larger article on this topic (which I’ll link to this blog once it’s published), as well as aiming to tangibly implement some of the ideas through the StageSource Advocacy Committee, on which I sit.

2. Dramaturgs & Designers: Opportunities for Intersection & Collaboration – Convened by Faedra Carpenter, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland

I attended this session because I’ve long felt there are great untapped possibilites in the dramaturg/designer relationship, especially in connection with new work. For that matter, there’s much to be gained by stronger designer/playwright relationships, especially early on in the creation process. It’s this belief that led us at PwritesCom to create the Freedom Art Theatre Retreat, which will put dramaturgs, playwrights, and designers together in the woods for a week to see what can be made of it. This conference session was interesting, in that it reminded me how often the dramaturg and the designer are in the same boat as jobbed-in independent artists.  I think we could be more effective collaborators and creators if we could jointly acknowledge this fact at the start, as well as move beyond designers seeing dramaturgs primarily as library minions (a not uncommon first impression).

If any readers have further ideas on these two topics, I’d love to hear them. Please respond in the comments section, or contact me directly at pwrites<dot>commons <at> gmail<dot>com

 http://www.ri4arts.org/

Meet the Retreatant: Allie Herryman

21 Jun

Allie is a designer, production manager, and general Jill-of-All-Trades; we’re excited to have her on Retreat!

Alexandra came to Boston in the fall of 2009 to start her MFA at Boston University, and has gone on to a freelance career in production management and the occasional prop and puppet design. She has also built sets, hung lights, driven big trucks through cities, sewn on buttons, built risers, moved chairs and made lots of coffee.

Locally she has worked with Boston Opera Collaborative and Metro Stage Company, and she regularly appears at the Puppet Showplace Theatre as the technician for their quarterly Puppet Slam events.

Before Boston, Alexandra lived in Chicago, where she spent years as the full-time production manager for Silk Road Theatre Project.  She also worked around the city as a stage manager and prop designer for storefront companies Quest Ensemble, Tantalus Theatre, and Porchlight Music Theatre. When not busy behind the stage, she likes to drink coffee and be outside.

Meet the Retreatant: Meron Langsner

21 Jun

Meron joins the Retreat as a designer of stage violence, as well as a playwright. He’s got some dramaturgical practice as well — a real triple-threat!

Meron recently defended his dissertation, Impossible Bodies in Motion: The Representation of Martial Arts on the American Stage, and will be receiving his PhD in Theatre History from Tufts University in late August. He believes himself to be the first doctoral candidate in drama to literally defend his dissertation with a katana.

Meron was one of three writers in the country to be selected for the pilot year of the National New Play Network Emerging Writer Residencies, fulfilling his residency at New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, MA. His plays have been performed around the country and overseas and developed at the Lark New Play Development Center, New
Repertory Theatre, the Last Frontier Theatre Conference (where he later returned as a Featured Artist), and the New England Regional Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival. Publishers of his plays include Smith & Kraus, Applause, and YouthPLAYS.

As a fight director and movement specialist, Meron has composed violence locally for companies such as Merrimack Rep, New Rep, Lyric Stage, Company One, Zeitgeist, Whistler In The Dark, and Opera Boston, and numerous academic venues, as well as in NYC for Ensemble Studio Theatre and Polaris North. Directing credits include the 2006 production of Tonya & Nancy: The Opera at the Zero Arrow Theatre in Cambridge that received international media attention; No Exit at Tufts University; and segments of Susan-Lori Parks 365 Days/365 Plays project for both Yellow Taxi Productions and Zeitgeist Stage. His scholarly work has been published by McFarland, Oxford University Press, Puppetry International, The Fight Master, All About Jewish Theatre, and The Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences;and presented at numerous academic conferences. Last year he was a fellow at Northwestern University’s Performance Studies Summer Institute. Meron has taught at Boston University, Emerson College, New York Film Academy, and Tufts University, where he was the recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Meron holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brandeis and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Meet the Retreatant: Jason E. Weber

21 Jun

Meet Jason, who will be participating in the retreat as a designer and a playwright:

Jason E. Weber is a Boston-based playwright, director, and designer. His recent design credits include Projections for Company One’s production of Susan-Lori Parks’ “The Book of Grace” directed by David F. Wheeler, Sound for Jeffery Hatcher’s “A Picasso,” the World Premiere of Bob Clyman’s “The Exceptionals,” and Joel Drake Johnson’s “Four Places” all directed by Charles Towers at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, where he has been the Lighting and Sound Supervisor for four seasons.

As a director, Jason has worked with North Quincy Community Theatre and will be helming Riverside Theatre Works’ “Our Town” this fall.

Additionally, Jason researches collaborative and community-based theatre, presenting his paper “Creating Together: Defining Approaches to Collaboratively-Generated Devised Theatre” at the 2011 Mid-America Theatre Conference.

He holds a BFA in Theatre from Marietta College and a MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College.