breakinglight11: (CT photoshoot 1)

Hold Thy Peace's fall 2013 production was Hamlet, directed by the lovely and talented Sam LeVangie, went up this past weekend, and I was very proud of them. They did a great job with very challenging material, and I couldn't believe how many talented people came together in that cast. It's so amazing to see how far Hold Thy Peace has come-- when I was in undergrad, it was very much the bastard stepchild of the Brandeis theater group, but now it seems to have completely moved past the old conflicts. Even the school respects it more, as is demonstrated by the three thousand dollar budget it got to put on the show. It makes me really proud and happy, as Hold Thy Peace was such an important part of my life.

The set was really gorgeous; designed by Ryan Kacani, they made a castle backdrop with beautiful faux stained glass windows, and the lighting effects for the ghosts were subtle and beautiful. [ profile] niobien's recent intensive technical experience really showed as she stepped into Bernie's shoes as the new technical director. I loved Sam's vision for the show. Simply put, she has Horatio be a ghost that only Hamlet could see, and as other characters died, they joined the ranks of ghosts haunting the prince, chipping at his sanity, and silently foretelling his doom. Played by Aaron Fischer, he became a solemn Cassandra figure, understated in comparison to the intensity around him. Ryan played Claudius as a charismatic politician with an air of the ends justifying the means, his confidence designed to smooth over a crumbling inner state. His scene with Claudius's confessional monologue was one of the strongest scenes in the show. And of course there was Alex Davis as Hamlet, one of the most talented undergrads I've ever seen at Brandeis, whose tremendous ability to command a stage with his presence makes him absolutely mesmerizing. It was overall a wonderful cast, and I'm amazed to see multiple strong leading men in HTP for the first time.

I took this picture of Alex and Frances, the two Hamlets of HTP. Very different portrayals in all possible ways, and both amazing for different reasons. I like this little bit of history. :-)

The show also brought up a lot of memories. As you may recall, I directed the first production of Hamlet HTP ever put up, back in November of 2007. I was very proud of that show, and I think we did a very good job overall, despite struggling to find good people to be involved and so few resources for production. Honestly I was happy enough with my idea behind that show that I'd love to recreate it now that I'm more developed as a director. But at the same time it's become something that's a bit difficult to think about. It was a project that Jared was very deeply involved with, and I can't think about that play without having to think about him.

Cut for bitching and whining. )

I'll just have to figure out some way to separate the two. For well or for ill, one thing I've always been good at is distancing myself from memories. They don't necessarily stick to me-- I tend to reframe them as narratives and hold onto them that way, rather than maintain mental snapshots or videos of the moments --and that's made me good at keeping what I want to keep and moving past what I don't. Hopefully I will be able to keep this from tainting the memory of something I should really be proud of.

breakinglight11: (CT photoshoot 1)
I'm pleased to report that Watch City Players' Shakespeare in the park piece, A Midsummer Night's Tempest, went off well. We performed it yesterday just before the concert series that Waltham sponsored on the commons, and despite the myriad annoyances inherent in performing in an outside space with few formal audience rules, we sallied forth bravely with our performance. I was so proud of everyone involved. [ profile] crearespero and [ profile] dendron_ges cut together a very clever edit of Shakespeare's two fairy plays, The Tempest and Midsummer, and Frances shouldered the administrative and creative burdens of directing. What I liked best about our piece was that it had both a humor to it and a "cool" factor, complete with broad, illustrative action so that the story could be carried even if you didn't get the words. We were told to aim our piece at kids, so that was a real success, especially when some little cuties in the audience came up to us and eagerly asked us questions. That was really gratifying. And of course, I love this cast, which also included the lovely and lovely to work with actors [ profile] katiescarlett29, [ profile] iagotolycus, Charlotte, and Nick. I think we impressed the Waltham Arts Council, and brought a little Shakespeare to people who might not have been otherwise familiar.

I would someday like to do full versions of the two plays that incorporate some of elements we developed here. I loved Frances's interpretation of Ariel as a spirit of chaos and even of frolic, but with a lurking danger beneath-- that it may have had something to do with the death of Sycorax, and its rapport with Prospero came from some combination of a true respectful connection and enough raw power to keep it under control. Frances and [ profile] nennivian sang much of the poetry to original music that Frances composed herself, and the dance and movement that they did to accompany it captured that way dance has of giving an extra layer of meaning to the poetry of the speech. I aspire to choreography like that. And finally, I really dug the version of Puck I did here. We called him "Bro Puck," as he was all heart and guts and loins with no brain, a distinctly masculine presence, a kind of chaos that rolled around like a happy dumb wrecking ball without a drop of malice behind it. It made for some really funny stage business for me to do, and I would love to play this version of the character in the full play sometime. 
breakinglight11: (Bowing Fool)
I have had two cool theater-related things occur in my life recently which I would now like to share. First of all, I am proud to announce that Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure has been nominated for five annual DASH awards by EMACT, the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters. They are as follows:

Best Supporting Actor, Play - Stephen Turner (Dr. Watson)
Best Set Design - Tom Powers
Best Costume Design - Donna Roessler
Best Stage Management - Harry Manuel
Best Play

Except that Dr. Watson is clearly a lead and not a supporting character, this is cool, especially because I've been told these are the most awards for a single show that the TCAN Players have ever been up for. All our nominees are very deserving, but I'm especially proud of the Best Play nod, as our final product was pretty damn good.


Now for the second bit of cool news. As you may have noticed, I put up an announcement about how DREAM, the reimagined Midsummer I'm going to be playing Helena in, still needed a few more actors. I will now have the privilege to be playing across Plesser as Demetrius and Nick Martucci as Peter Quince. I've never gotten to interact much with Plesser onstage, so I'm super excited about that. I also like the changing up of roles-- the first time we did this show, he was Lysander and I was Puck. In Charlotte's Liquid Latex dance, he was Bottom and I was Titania. Now we're Demetrius and Helena. And I understand that this will be Nick's triumphant return to theater after focusing on film for a long time, as well as his first Shakespearean role. Unfortunately there were other talented friends who were not selected, who I will very much miss working with, but I am glad for those who did get in.
breakinglight11: (Tired Fool)

Remember how I'm going to play Helena in a reimagined version of A Midsummer Night's Dream? Well, according to StageSource we still need a few more actors for meaningful roles! If you are interested in being in a show with me that will have an intense month-long evening rehearsal process during August and several shows after, here's your chance! Here's what the posting stays:

Casting a few final roles in DREAM on Saturday July 7th. Please send headshot and resume to for an appointment. Prep a short classical monologue. Roles available are:

Male - Demetrius, Oberon
Female - Titania
Either - Quince

Please note: we would love to see a Demetrius who is under 5'5" but will consider actors of all heights!


breakinglight11: (Puck 5)
The morning before the first Saturday Holmes show, I went to an audition in a tiny theater in Burlington for a production called DREAM, a slightly redited and reimagined version of Midsummer. I was not really feeling it at the time, I was still a little off from the previous night's migraine, but I already had an appointment, so I went. My default female Shakespearean audition monologue these days happens to be Helena's "how happy some o'er other some must be." I know some consider it gauche to try out with a piece from the show at hand. It has the possibility to come off as angling for a particular role, which I know kind of irks me as a director. If you want to be something in particular, just ask me to consider you for it, okay? Don't try to sneak it in like you want me to think it's my idea. Don't try to manipulate me; I'm the director, I manipulate you. Anyway. I had no brain to prepare anything else, so in with Helena I went. I actually thought I did pretty well, considering I wasn't feeling my best, and promptly forgot about it because of Sherlock consuming my brain.

Got an e-mail a few days later from the director saying she liked my audition and hoped to use me, but that she needed to work out the age ranges of the couples. I was slightly surprised by that-- I was just paired romantically with men older than me in Holmes and that worked fine, and as for younger, well, how much younger could you get than me and still be going to auditions without your mom to drive you? So I didn't hear anything for a while-- again, too consumed by Holmes to much care --until on a whim last night I shot the director an e-mail wondering if she'd made any progress on the cast. I got the response this morning, and discovered that she has asked me to play of all characters Helena, the very part I auditioned with. 

I was pleased to accept. It's a good part and a fun one. I never expected [ profile] katiescarlett29and I to share a role! I look forward to being a needy, histrionic mess. And the director asked me not to cut my hair this summer so they can make it look really big and create the illusion of height. She did ask me on my way out of the audition how tall I was, a relevant question for a Helena, and admittedly at five-four I am not quite the "tall personage" called for in the script. Physically I am more a short, dark Hermia-type. And here I was looking forward to chopping it all off in a fit of pique. Apparently I am fated to elaborate product-laden updos in the service of theater. I hope I look like a rock star from the 80s. It'll help give me the whole crazy ex vibe. I imagine the whole experience will be quite different from my last turn in Midsummer, where I spent most of my time crawling around like a forest critter and watching people while they slept.


You may recall that creepy thing sneaking up on Bottom, played to perfection by [ profile] morethings5, is me as Puck several years ago. And hey, guess this whole "Phoebe playing women" thing is catching on! This makes cisgendered role number three for me, and only my second Shakespearean woman after Cordelia.

The rehearsal schedule is short and intense, basically running for the month of August. We are to come with already off-book and go, just like we did with To Think of Nothing. That suits me, as I'll get a little over a month to relax and not worry where my next theater fix is coming from. The performances should be at the end of the month or just after.

All that remains, I am told, is to find me a Demetrius. Apparently they don't have one yet. The director said she wants someone short-- whether that means "short for a man" or "shorter than you, Phoebe" I'm not sure --and to send anyone her way who might want to try out. She's going to be hearing people on July 7th, probably at the same little theater in Burlington where I auditioned, so if any of you vertically efficient gentlemen wish to have the experience of me with huge hair clinging to your leg, I can hook you up with the details.
breakinglight11: (Cool Fool)

Woke up yesterday with a sore throat. There seems to be a number of illnesses running around right now, so I could have gotten something worse, but I am not thrilled to have anything making speaking uncomfortable with Intercon tomorrow. I am medicating with tea, and if it's still painful tomorrow, I am going to buy a bottle of Chloraseptic to spray down my throat. The stuff isn't good for the voice but it's worth it to enjoy the biggest weekend of my year.

I am almost entirely packed, just a few things that I'm still using remain. The only major chore left is to cook the dishes I'm going to pack to take with us so we won't have to depend on restaurants. I haven't decided whether I should do it today or tomorrow afternoon before we leave, I guess it depends on how much else I get done. Tonight the priority is get dinner made in time for Jared and I to eat before we go over to see the opening night of Titus.

I've been to a couple dress rehearsals, and it is a very funny show. Last night was the Naked Tech, or the final cue-to-cue where the cast runs through their marks in their underwear trying to make as much fun of the show and blow off as much steam as possible. I'm really happy that this tradition has endured and has made so many participants happy. It's part of what makes HTP so much fun to be a part of and cements people's affection for and desire to participate in the club. Last night's Naked Tech was really hilarious, and a good time was had by all, old timer and newcomer alike. It's actually getting to the point where the club is made up of more than just a small core of devoted actors and coming to be considered as an audition option for a larger-growing pool of Brandeis actors. It's taken years to get to that point, but I think it's finally happening, and it makes me really glad. There used to be so much bad blood between the groups for no good reason at all, and it means a lot to see how much progress has been made.
breakinglight11: (Puck)
Both of my games at Festival, The Stand and Paranoia, have now filled. The Stand will be interesting because this time it seemed I was getting a lot of female players, so in order to accommodate them I opened up a few neutral slots. Now I have thirteen men and twelve women to play seventeen male and nine female characters, which is more skewed to the female than either of the previous runs were. If any of these lovely ladies are willing to be cross cast that will make everything a snap, but if not enough of them are, I will have to consider what currently male characters I can gender swap. Given the setting and historical time period, it's a pretty gendered game, and while there are plenty of people stepping outside of their proscribed roles, it's usually pretty significant to their plot. Still, that should actually be a fun and interesting challenge should the need arise. Festival looks to be a good con overall; it's a good roster of games at this point, and they're almost all completely full. Well done, [ profile] ninja_report, for making this happen!

Build for the current HTP show, Titus Andronicus, has begun. Though the show is still several weeks off, their unfortunately early performance dates mean there is no show in the theater before them, so they were able to move in and get started. I hope the extra time proves to be of benefit to them. I went by the last couple days to lend a hand here and there where I could. I really enjoy helping with build week. With work and school I spend so much time doing mental, sedentary work that my body craves a chance to pit itself against physical work of some kind. And It's not often that I get a chance to build things. Carpentry is one of the many things I'd love to learn if it weren't something that required a significant money and space investment, so it's nice to have an outlet every now and then to experience it. And I like the challenge to my body to do that kind of work.
breakinglight11: (Joker Phoebe 2)
At last, at last, tonight is opening night of Merely Players. It's been a great process, light and easy as theatrical endeavors go, where our intrepid band or actors and techies have wended their merry way to this fun and funny one-act we are proud to present to you tonight. We performed it for our waitstaff yesterday, and I am pleased that they were just the test audience I was hoping for. They laughed in all the right places and helped the actors figure out just where the pauses belonged, and drew so much energy just from hearing them. It's a perfect little light morsel of theater, short, sweet, and very funny.

As a text, it's not an important piece of theatrical writing. But it translates to the stage extremely well, particularly when you block it with as much humor as we did. And I like how it has meaning on multiple levels. I think it's a pretty clever spoof of the nature of theatrical collaboration, the broad, clearly defined characters clueing you into their significance even if you're not intimately familiar with the conventions of the theater. It's also a pretty good entree into the building of Shakespeare performance. I did a decent job of switching seamlessly between the plain English original text and the borrowed snatches of Shakespeare, again not requiring any deep understanding to get what's going on. And thirdly, the show is in many ways a love letter to Hold Thy Peace, making reference to our inside jokes and our long history together. The club's meant an enormous amount to me, and this piece is kind of my tribute. I joked that perhaps one day, God willing, Merely Players will become a staple of high school theater groups competing in one-act festivals. There are worse things one's writing could become.

We go up in Schwartz Auditorium at Brandeis University. Doors open at 7:15 so that snacks and drinks may be purchased beforehand. Show begins at 8. I look forward to seeing you there! 
breakinglight11: (Mad Fool)
Had a lovely evening discussing matters for Merely Players with members of the cast, and generally having a nice time shooting the shit. In the course of it a certain joke Lenny cracked recently came up, regarding her culpability in a certain costar unexpectedly vacating the typical performance space. We believe we should put on a T-shirt. In reference to those conspiracy-theory meme shirts, I have generated this design.

Or would it be funnier as "Gloucester was pushed"? Opinions, please!

Love to Jonathan, whom we talked of glowingly all night long, love to Lenny, the brilliant company who made the joke, and love to Hold Thy Peace, which has given us fabulous stories and good friends to recount them with. <3
breakinglight11: (Bowing Fool)
“All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.” —Jacques, As You Like It, II.ii.139-166

Meet the Walking Shadows, a ragtag little troupe of Shakespearean actors as they struggle to revitalize a company that has seen better days! Come join us for this fun and funny Shakespeare revue that intersperses scenes from the Bard's most famous work with original comedic material poking fun at the nature of performing in a troupe and working together to make theater.

Seating is cabaret-style, with drinks and snacks available for purchase! All proceeds benefit future productions of Hold Thy Peace. Cash only, please.

Two nights only!
November 11th at 8PM
November 12th at 8PM

in Schwartz Auditorium at Brandeis University

Runtime: ~1 hour

Admission is free, donations gladly accepted

CORNELIA, the Director - Stephanie Karol (Goneril, Helena, Mark Antony, Thalia, Duchess of Gloucester)
SYLVIA, the Ingenue - Gabrielle Geller (Lady Capulet, Portia, Hermione)
DIONYZA, the Diva - April Farmer (Regan, Nurse, Decius, Shepherd)
MALCOLM, the Lead - Ben Federlin (Montano, King Lewis of France)
ORLANDO, the Lover - Andrew Prentice (Lord Montague, Cleomenes, Roderigo, Edward of York)
ARCITE, the Fool - Lenny Somervell (Edgar, Theseus, Autolycus, Iago)
VALERIA, the First Chorus - Jenna Schlags (Oswald, Mamilius, Emilia)
CRESSIDA, the Second Chorus - Emma Lieberman (Perdita, Bianca, Lady Bona)
CHARMIAN, the Third Chorus - Miriam Goldman (Brabantia)
AUDREY, the Stage Manager - Carolyn Daitch
Waitresses - Caitlin Partridge (Juliet, Casca, Euphrosyne, Camilla, Desdemona, Margaret) and Charlotte Oswald (Hippolyta, Selene, Duchess of Venice, Duke of Gloucester)
Bartender - Jonathan Plesser (Albany, Lysander, Friar Lawrence, Julius Caesar, Damon, Polixenes, Othello, Duke of Suffolk)

Writer, Director, Costume Designer - Phoebe Roberts
Stage Manager, Technical Designer - Bernie Gabin
Producer, Research Assistant - Stephanie Karol
Hair and Makeup Artist, Choreography Assistant - Rachel Feldman
Choreography Assistant - Carolyn Daitch
breakinglight11: (Cavalier Fool)

Here is your official invitation to Hold Thy Peace's next main stage show, Margaret: A Tiger's Heart, a cutting together of Shakespeare's Henry VI plays and Richard III threads that center around Margaret, a French princess who was prominent in the War of the Roses. I hear the costuming was thrown together a week before the show. Don't you want to see how that mess came out? ;-)

Directed by Dave Benger
Assistant Directed by Jenna Schlags and Lenny Somervell
Produced by Jonathan Plesser and Yoni Bronstein
Staged Manged by Elena Livak

Starring such familiar names as:
Caitlin Patridge as Margaret
Jonathan Plesser as Suffolk and Prince Edward
Charlotte Oswald as the Duke of Gloucester
Stephanie Karol as the Duchess of Gloucester
Andrew Prentice as Edward of York
Emma Lieberman as Lady Bona

Thursday, Oct 21st- 8PM
Friday, Oct 22nd- 8PM
Saturday, Oct 22nd- 8PM
Sunday, Oct 23rd - 2 PM

In the Shapiro Campus Center Theater

Tickets are free, donations gladly accepted
breakinglight11: (Femme Fatale)
So Margaret lost their lead costumer due to unfortunate family circumstances a little while ago, leaving them just with two assistants who are eager to help but don't really know anything about costuming. Margaret is less than two weeks out from performance, and is kind of in a bind, so I told Plesser that if there was nobody else by Monday night, he could give me a call and I'd see that it got done. I was going about my business Monday wondering if they were going to need me, half-hoping they'd call because I like helping out, half-hoping they wouldn't because it's not like I don't have anything else to do. But a little after 9:30 I got the buzz, and was asked to come to the theater to hear what was needed. Amusingly, I found myself thinking, "Suit up. We're going in." It's important to me that things go well for HTP, so it's good to be able to help ensure that in a small way.

While I believe I can do a good job with this, it's not going to be my best work ever. I am going off of the designs of the old lead and prioritizing the effort to give Dave what he wants, so my personal costuming theory is not going to come in very much. I believe in normal circumstances that every costume needs to be chosen to work with every other costume, particularly when it comes to color. Color choices should all be coordinated with each other, and I like it best when they all can have meaning. Mostly here I'm just going for getting the right styling and ensuring that the characters are dressed differently enough that the audience can remember who they are. The aesthetic is military, and I have seen more than a few shows with a military look where everyone is dressed the same (UNIFORMS, ANYONE?) and gets lost in a sea of olive-drab and a cloud of camo. Gah, camo especially can give you an effective like a herd of zebras, where the patterns blend into one another and predators have a hard time seeing where one zebra begins and the next ends. Audiences, particularly with a show that's not so easy to understand, tend to like it when they can say, "Oh, it's the guy in the green coat again. I remember him." Otherwise, you get a lot of, "Who's that dude again?"
breakinglight11: (Cavalier Fool)
After a great deal of wrangling, adapting, and making hard decisions, with the release of the Margaret list I was able to nail down the cast of Merely Players. Our ragtag but intrepid troupe The Walking Shadows shall be portrayed as follows:

Cornelia, the Director - Stephanie Karol
Sylvia, the Ingenue - Gabrielle Geller
Dionyza, the Diva - April Farmer
Malcolm, the Lead - Ben Federlin
Orlando, the Lover - Andrew Prentice
Arcite, the Fool - Lenny Somervell
Valeria, the First Chorus - Jenna Schlags
Cressida, the Second Chorus - Emma Lieberman
Charmian, the Third Chorus - Miriam Goldman
Audrey, the Stage Manager - Carolyn Daitch

As always, I had more people than I could use, which meant some talented, awesome actors could not be cast. And since I'd made a promise to prioritize those with smaller roles or no roles in Margaret, or even those that weren't booked up by other shows, that meant certain poeple who I would normally leap to work with could not be chosen in fairness to the stated mission. *sigh* Let it not be said that I am not a woman of my word, even when it requires me to make some cuts that pain me. It was really important to me to do right by the club, and I feel like I can say that I did.

Looking at the complete list, it strikes me how little overlap there is with this list with those of the previous shows I've directed. To Think of Nothing had three actors in common with Hamlet, probably the three that struck me the most with their particular abilities, while this show has none. There's only one actor from To Think of Nothing in it, though not for lack of trying. Much as I miss them, it does kind of make me feel good that I was able to use a number of people tried out for To Think of Nothing that I wasn't able to cast that time, not for their lack of talent, but just because I didn't have room. I assured them once that I still though they were worthy in my estimation even though I had no parts for them, and it's kind of nice to be able to make good on that assurance now. And it's good to work with new people, to vary up your theatrical experience. It may help me improve and grow as a director.

The first read through is tonight. As I did for To Think of Nothing, I plan on cooking dinner for all those lovely souls who will be contributing their time and effort to act out this play. I think it's a nice way to start off the working relationship. Got to win goodwill from your actors straight off, and God knows if you feed those creatures you've won their loyalty for life.
breakinglight11: (Puck 4)

I've always liked this image for some twisted reason. In a kinky way I like the bizarre way my body looks with the ace bandage crisscrossing my chest and changing my shape. It was taken by Jordi Goodman during Romeo and Juliet tech week, when I was playing Paris. Part of my pre-show ritual when playing men (which is often for me) is to walk around in just the ace bandage I use to bind down my breasts. It's hard to explain exactly what this does for me, but I guess it's a weird way of acknowledging my femininity and then dismissing it in order to fully take on the male persona I will be playing. For me, I think it's the exposed midriff contrasting with the rest of my appearence. I feel like my midriff is one of the most attractive parts of my body, so when it's exposed I feel like my normal feminine self. But when I'm bound up it's like I've put on a different skin, taken on a different shape, a male one that I want to settle into before I dress it in its costume. Though in my regular life I feel naturally traditionally feminine in most ways, and am pretty secure in that notion, I like sometimes stepping into masculine headspace. This is part of the way I transition into feeling more manly. A lot of girls can't play men because they don't like the implication that they can be unfeminine enough to make a believable man, but maybe this ritual is how I avoid that. You can see my sexy girl belly is still there, but the rest of me is different, reformed into something almost like a man.

There's something kinky about this image, something transgressive that appeals to me. I am fascinated by how flat I look here, strong flat stomach muscles beneath a flat bound-up chest, going down into hips flattened by the cut of my slacks. I also like the suggestion of constraint; not only is my chest bound, even the way I hold myself looks tightly contained and carefully controlled. I remember when I was in Love's Labor's Lost how fixated some of my castmates were on how uncomfortable it must have been; some seemed even slightly creeped out by it. To some apparently this is something kind of twisted. But to me, it's part of changing how I feel in order to feel like the different thing I'm trying to become. Maybe I like this image because of how it shows that process, of becoming that other thing. Maybe I like how different I look from how I normally see myself; I've always enjoyed becoming someone totally different from me. Or maybe it's that very juxtaposition I mentioned before, of constrained, reshaped torso and squared-off man trousers that I put on as markers of masculinity with my beloved midriff that I associate so strongly with appealing femininity. There's some complicated weirdness going on here, and I can't quite put my finger on what it is that appeals so much to me, but all I'm sure of is that something here I find very, very cool. Just out of curiosity, do I look at all masculine to anyone else's eye? Or do I just look like a skinny girl with an ace bandage around her chest?

I call this image "Man of the Theater." I like the pun of the title. I would be a man of the theater if I were a man, since I participate in the making of it. But also, I'm not really a man, so my being a man IS theater. And since I'm not really a man, it's only through the theater that I can be a man at all.

Perhaps sometime, if someone with any facility with a camera wants to, I'd like to reshoot this image a little more deliberately. Maybe do a series of myself in man pants, with my hair slicked, and my breasts flattened out by an ace bandage, where I actively try to look as masculine as possible that way. It might make an interesting study, as I'm so fascinated by the image it produces.
breakinglight11: (Cavalier Fool)
I totally forgot to mention this, even though it's cool news and it happened a while ago now. Jared is going to be in a production of As You Like It! He will be playing Oliver, the wicked older brother of the hero Orlando who initially betrays his brother but ultimately learns the error of his ways. The production is being put on by Theatre@First, a well-regarded local company whom I first became aware of when I saw [ profile] oakenguy in their awesome Shaken Up Shakespeare show, a pastiche of pieces by the Bard and reinterpretations thereof. To make it even cooler, [ profile] usernamenumber is also in this show, playing Touchstone the fool, probably my favorite character in this play. I have a soft spot for fools, you know. :-) I think he'll be really great at it, which makes me even more excited to see it.

This is pretty cool because this marks Jared's first role with a company other than Hold Thy Peace. It makes me really happy for him that what he learned working with HTP got him to the point where he could audition for a Shakespeare play for a director who didn't know him and sufficiently impress that person enough to earn a part. The show will be going up September 8th through 11th, at 8PM the first three nights and a 3PM matinee on Sunday, at Seven Hills Park. I am planning on attending all the performances if I can, and would love to get a group together to go support Jared and Brad. HTPers, you in particular I'd love to bring along. So mark your calendars now and come out with me to see our lovely and talented friends. :-)
breakinglight11: (Cordelia)
During a rare break I had between classes during residency week, I wandered around the area near to Porter Square and discovered a really neat little vintage shop called Raspberry Beret. I can never resist a thrift store, so I had to go in and look around. I discovered in my rummaging a lovely cream-colored dress with gold brocade-like detailing that had the good fortune to come in my size. So, for about thirteen dollars, I got to take this pretty thing home. Here is a picture of it on me.

I really like this dress. I love the details, like the shape of the bust, the way it joins in the center almost like a bow, the band at the waist, and the halter styling, with big long ties that join behind the neck. Here is a closeup of the bodice.

I also think I like it because it reminds me of the white dress I wore as Cordelia. It too was made of a sort of brocaded fabric, though all in white, with a close-fitting bodice and a skirt that came out in fullness at the waist, and the same sort of halter back. It was a costume from the Brandeis theater department found by Marissa, a complete mess of safety pins and lousy snaps, but its design was lovely and I loved wearing it. There aren't many pictures of me in it, and the few that exist have it covered by a black shawl to hide its imperfections, but maybe this will give you an idea of the similarity.

I like it so much that I was seriously tempted to wear it to the wedding I went to on Sunday, but did not because wearing white/ivory/cream would be a huge gaucherie unless the bride specifically says it's okay. Still, I found myself wondering what she would be wearing despite my better instincts. And of course she showed up in a a very sharp suit with a brown tie and a green shirt (matching that of the groom, I might add.) I should have known. Still, it would not have been classy to wear it. So yesterday, [ profile] morethings5 was kind enough to ask me to sit for him to sketch me, giving me a chance both to have my vanity flattered (I love being his model!) and to wear my new pretty thing that probably won't get to come out and play all that often. Thanks, Jonathan! A pleasure as always, and your company was of course lovely.

The only thing I'm not sure I like about it is the little fluffy trim made of some kind of netting attached along the bottom of the skirt. It may compromise the elegance of the rest of the dress for me, so I'm considering removing it. Still, Jared likes it, and doing that means I might ruin the really nice blind hem it's got going. Not sure I could put it back in so neatly and cleanly. Maybe I'll leave it, I haven't decided yet. But overall I really love the dress, and hope there's some event or play or larp I get to wear it for in the near future.
breakinglight11: (Cool Fool)
Despite missing Jared, this was a pleasant, low-key weekend. Saturday I went with Bernie to see [ profile] usernamenumber in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and that was a lot of fun. The show was set in the sixties, complete with a conflict by ultra-hippie Lysander (brilliantly and hilariously played by Brad) and the square Demetrius and Egeus, and all the fairy magic seemingly boiled down to the effects of various psychedelic drugs. It actually worked quite well, particularly skewing Lysander that way, and made for a really funny setup with lots of fun performances. Brad was amazing as always, taking on his first Shakespeare role with energy and great physical embodiment of the role. I also was pleasantly surprised to see that the director and the portrayer of Theseus and Oberon was Ron Lacey, the gentleman who played Ferdinand in the production of Love's Labor's Lost I was in last summer, an actor I admire and who apparently is quite clever behind the scenes as well. While occasionally I found the blocking a bit frenetic, making it a bit tough for the dialogue to come through clearly and with nuance, I thought they did a great job transplanting the play into their new context and a great job making a fun show of it. I gather this is a new troupe, and if they continue to put on Shakespeare, I would love to audition for them myself. Brad has kindly agreed to keep me informed, so that could be a fun possible theater opportunity in the coming days.
breakinglight11: (Sad Fool)

Well, neither Jared nor I got into Comedy of Errors. I'm kind of annoyed, but we're more bemused than bothered, because we seriously doubt that a small community theater got many better Shakespearean actors than the two of us. It's probably because we had a lot of conflicts written down on our forms. If that's the case, I have to roll my eyes, because we probably had fewer than HTP has to work with on average, and it never interferes with learning the show. Ah, well. I guess that's what you get when you get too sure of yourself. It's been a while since either of us didn't get into a show we tried out for, so we'll just have to take this as a humility lesson and move on. The major issue here is that was supposed to be a large part of our plan for the next several months, and that leaves a pretty big gap. I did really want to be acting again. I guess some rethinking is in order.

breakinglight11: (Unsteady Fool)

As is typical of me, since I had some empty time ahead of me, by seeking some endeavors and amusements I have already set to overfill it. So now is the time when I choose my projects and stick to them, rather than collecting a million and feeling overwhelmed.

So. Tuesday I had my Gazebo Players Comedy of Errors audition. You will recall that this is the company I did Love's Labor's Lost with the previous summer. This time Jared and I went out together, and though we have not yet heard back, there is a reasonably high likelihood of both of us getting in. In my fantasy I will get Dromio of Syracuse (the Dromio I haven't already played) and he will get Antipholus of Ephesus, as those two interact the most, so we will get to use our knack for portraying a master-servant relationship that is interesting, close, and relatable. At any rate, if we indeed get in, we will be rehearsing for a show from the near future until the first weekend of August. A SHOW would then be committment number one, mostly of the time variety.

Also, as I have mentioned, I am rededicating myself to the work of playwrighting this summer. This will be supported and indeed mandated when I begin grad school for it the last week of June. I have already begun work on a piece meant to be after the style of Shakespeare called Justinian and Theodora, telling the meeting and early life together of the two Byzantine rulers. So committment number two will be PLAYWRIGHTING, as a larger part of completing my requirements for grad school.

Thirdly, I am becoming more and more interested in learning how to sew. The more I read about it, the more I dream of doing it myself. My mom has said she will even send up her sewing machine so I will have the proper tools to practice with. Though I know I will have to start with easy stuff like any beginner, already I am fantastizing about making all the interesting costume pieces I currently lack. So committment number thre will be learning SEWING, as I think it's about time.

Those will be my primary projects over the next few months. Though of course there will be time for socializing and entertaining and fun things like that, I will have to decline to take on any other significant endeavors. For example, that means I will not work seriously on any new larps for the time being. Anything else will have to be of the extremely casual variety, that will not take away focus from these three things.

breakinglight11: (Puck)

So I had my audition for the Actors' Shaksespeare Project. Hard to say how I did. I was nervous and I couldn't tell if it showed. I probably could have stood to do more preparation, but I just didn't have the time with everything else going on. So I can't really gauge how well I did, especially since I don't know what they were looking for or how I compared. I used Helena's "How happy some o'er other some" monologue from Midsummer mostly because I like it and I already had it mostly memorized.

I'm probably not getting in, I know that. Still, I guess it's good that I tried. Now what I need to do is forget all about it, so I'm not worrying or disappointed when they don't call me back. And, hey, if by some miracle they do, then it will be a pleasant surprise.


breakinglight11: (Default)

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