Thursday, August 30, 2007

T.B.A. PDX 2007


I am SOOO excited for T.B.A. I went last year for the first time and really loved the intensity of the festival. I am really looking forward to seeing Nature Theater of Oklahoma again. Last year we got into the final performance and had to sit on the floor in the front row. A little bit about Nature Theater of Oklahoma pulled from the TBA booklet: "Nature Theater of Oklahoma is a New York-based performance group under the direction of Pavol Liska and Kelly Cooper. The ensemble strives to create an unsettling live situation that demands total presence from everyone in the room. Using ready made materials, found space, overheard speech, and observed gesture, and through extreme formal manipulation and superhuman effort, they seek to effect a shift in the perception of everyday reality that extends beyond the site of performance and into the world in which we live." AMAZING...right? The performance is 4 hours long and you get a soda and a about bang for you buck! (

The next group I'm so excited about is Elevator Repair Service. I haven't seen this group before by they are reading The Great Gatsby out loud. From the T.B.A. handbook: "Six hours long and with a cast of 13, Gatz is by far ERS' most ambitious endeavor yet. Not a stage adaptation of Fitzgerald's novel but a verbatim reading of the entire book, accomplished by the staff of a small office in the midst of their increasingly bewildered business operations." (

Other things I am looking forward to:

Mammalian Diving Reflex: Haircuts by Children (Toronto-bases performance company, who will ask you to trust children to cut your hair. )

Zoe Scofield & Juniper Shuey: The devil you know is better than the devil you don't (their performance explores adolescent group dynamics)

Kassys: KOMMER (Amsterdam-based theater company focusing on displaying the beauty of humane success and failure)

tEEth: Norman and Happy (Portland-based company...yeah P-Town! dance group who are exploring division between one's conscious and subconscious)

Charlotte Vanden Eynde & Kurt Vandendriessche: Map Me (naked Belgians using their bodies like a canvas and exploring the hidden physical and emotional aspects)

Taylor Mac: The BE(A)ST of Taylor Mac (He has sequins on his face and creates solo performances borrowing from different perfromative art forms)

The Suicide Kings: In spite of Everything (hip-hop theater...enough said)

And ALL of the events at The Works looks amazing (seriously just go to them all because it's always a fun time) and so do the Art exhibits. But being a theater person, the devised and performance based groups are what interest me most.

Check out more at:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What I did for JAW

JAW, Just Add Water: A Playwrights Festival has long passed, but I find myself thinking about it today as we prepare for our artistic retreat. It is my favorite time of year and we are already brainstorming to make it better than ever again this year.

My job is organizing all the scripts that are submitted to the festival. I make sure the reading committee is on task and up to date on all the new scripts. This year we had 116 scripts submitted to the festival and from that we narrowed it down to 4 main stage and 3 for the studio. Once the festival starts, I am in charge of making sure everyone has a copy of the script and getting any re-writes to the appropriate people. Copying is what I’m all about. In fact, for our Commission! Commission! Fundraising event I was affectionately named “The Copy Queen”. For that speedy event, I stood at the copy machine all night and copied the scripts. I then had my helpers get them to the actors, directors and stage managers. Once that was complete, I had to copy the evening’s program. This year it was all drama drama drama because the copy machine decided to stop working just as I had received the program from the graphic designer. I was seriously sweating bullets. I had 25 people around the copy machine all staring at me as I scanned one page at a time of the single sided program trying to make it double sided and so it would fold correctly. I figured it out just in time and had the 25 on lookers fold the programs and pass them out to our audience, who was waiting for the show to start.

Among my other jobs for the week, I was the child wrangler for the young actor in Marie Antoinette, Troy. I was responsible for his whereabouts while he was at the theater and answering any questions he might have with the script and the process. Troy, is a fabulous young actor. I was so impressed that this was his first professional theater job. He was always on time, was actively listening during rehearsal and felt comfortable asking questions and offering suggestions to the group. He’s one of the most grown up 10 year old I know! In fact, we were so impressed with him; he is going to be in our upcoming production of A Christmas Carol.

This year we also had fabulous new t-shirts and I ordered them and coordinated selling them during our Theatre Fair. Dawn was also a big help with this. And when Dawn or Kelsey needed help I was there to lend a helping hand. JAW is my favorite time of the year, not only because of its artistic importance, but also because of how it brings the strengths of our artistic department together. We work hard and it is well worth the lack of sleep.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hello World

I have to say that the idea to start a blog never occurred to me or even interested me. I didn't know what I would say and why the world would listen. But I have recently been inspired by the Mr. Mead Hunter a.k.a. Dr. Fun. He has fabulous things to say and I always enjoy reading his thoughts.

Also, I read a gazillion scripts and see a million plays a year and thought this could be a fun way of reporting on them. I hope it will help me to remember things I liked and help me discuss and write about them better. here it goes...