Archive for June, 2008

Fight Call

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

We were doing some (late) spring cleaning the other day and we ran across this video of the fight call for 1001.

Bonnie Brady (PSM) runs a fight call where Matt Rauch gets “brained” by Drew Cortese who in turn gets his arm chopped off by Roxanna Hope.  You can hear Jonathan Hova and the lovely Mia Barron commenting in the background.

1001 Fight Call from Asher Richelli on Vimeo.

Gaudeamus Igitur!

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

interstate200708.JPGLast night was the last meeting of 2007-08 Interstate 73.  We missed Ken (we drew a little portrait of him on the piece of paper that Krista is holding).  From left to right: Kara Corthron, Kristen Palmer, Krista Knight (Ken Linin absentia and held by Krista and J), J. Holtham, Andy Bragen. 

We’ll miss these guys.  (And thanks, Krista, for this brilliant brainchild.)

Woman Of The Year

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

The League of American Theatre Women is awarding us the Lortel Award for showing “great creative promise”.  There’s a luncheon today at Sardi’s honoring us, which is quite exciting.  To find out more about it, check this out. 

Beautiful Night

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

rache-molly-and-kara-lynn.jpgWe had a cold reading of Tommy’s Beautiful Night – which is about Leon (we referred to him as “Lev” – ooh) Theremin and his wife Lavinia Williams.  The reading featured Bruce, Alex, Tommy’s friend Nena Mediah (who is a Bat).   And it was pretty great to hear it.

Then, we all went out for our last night in New Haven to good ol’ Sullivan, which during our halcyon times at Yale, used to be called “Cavaugh’s”.  The group split up (shockingly!) into smokers and non-smokers.  Do people actually still smoke?  Apparently, they do.  Seriously.  Lots of smokers at Yale – every other person walking through cross-campus seems to smoke.

beautifulnight.JPGTomorrow is our last day.  We’re also going to have presentations of Brett’s The Revival and Molly’s Firehouse 17. 

Wherein We Speak Icelandic

Friday, June 6th, 2008

actors.jpgAt dinner, Kara (Manning) talked about the difficulties of juggling her freelance gigs as a music journalist and her career as a playwright.  She talked about that rare thing: The ability for an emerging playwright (any writer, really) to focus entirely on her writing without the distractions of deadlines from a paying gig.  It’s tricky.   She kept saying that her time at Yale was a real luxury.  She then expressed concern that no one else would understand what she was talking about — she was worried that she sounded like she was talking “Icelandic”.  Not really.  Her story is all too familiar.  It reminds why this type of residency (any residency really) is so important for writers.  It also reminds us how badly we wish we could fully fund our playwrights and provide them with enough resources – anything! – so that they can just sit down and write, research, do whatever they need to do to move on to the next play, rewrite any play, or just think about a play — to do it all without having to run to that temp job to make ends meet.  Basically, we want to turn our playwrights into trust fund babies. 

We’re organizing the first read-through of Tommy’s newest play (Beautiful Day) tomorrow.  It’s in the evening.  The play looks at the relationship between Leon Theremin and prima ballerina Lavinia Williams, who was a member of the American Negro Ballet.  

And now a word about our fall production…

Of Brief Encounters and Early Nights

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

firehouse-actors.jpgAt an impromptu gathering in Kara-Lynn and Molly’s apartment, we got the run down on everyone’s day.  Kara Manning wrote in her apartment the whole day; she only left for a couple of minutes to buy a salad.  That’s dedication.  We are a bit worried about Brett, though, whom we haven’t seen in over 24 hours.  When we asked him to join the festivities last night, he replied that he couldn’t tear himself away from his computer and was in the middle of a writing spell – he then added that the invitation allayed any neurosis about being left out from residency festivities.

We were going to join the after-gathering at a nearby watering hole called Sullivan’s but general fatigue and age sent us back to our apartments for an early-ish night (10:30 PM – that’s actually late, no?  We thought so.).

Makes The World Go ‘Round

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

cups2.JPGWe woke up to rain, which turned out to be a good thing.  Everyone got a lot of work done.   Twenty pages from Molly, apparently – and, according to Brett,  a productive day in the rehearsal room with Jack and the actors.  The actors in The Revival are actually getting a full day off tomorrow so that Brett can focus on rewrites.  In the meantime, Molly, Kara-Lynn, Terri, John, Teresa and Marguerite are going to explore the very new pages of Firehouse 17.

Kara and Tommy arrived this afternoon.  Tommy’s a bit jet-lagged; he just flew in after cups.JPGtwo and a half weeks in Prague.  We tried to indoctrinate Tommy (and everyone else) into the mysterious ways of Mory’s, but alas T– was too jet-lagged to join us.  Brett also was unable to join us since he’s hard at work on The Revival.  Kara sipped a glass of white wine while we passed around a cup filled with the suspicious libation of assorted colors – she left us before we closed out Mory’s so that she could go write.  And Molly only joined us for the tail-end.  In the meantime, Jack, Caitlin, Alex, Kara-Lynn, Terri, Marguerite, John and Rachel braved the ritual, cups and merriment that accompanies an hour (or two) at Mory’s. 

The Elm City

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

yale.jpgWe tried to twitter our arrival to New Haven.  We wanted to give a minute-by-minute account of our day.  A laundry-list of activities prevented us from writing more than two twitter entries. (“Two twitter…” We don’t like the sound of that.)

We’re back in New Haven for our summer residency.  Most people arrived today. We’re waiting for two playwrights (Kara Manning and Tommy Smith will arrive tomorrow).  In addition to working with Kara and Tommy, we’ve been joined by Molly Rice and Samuel Brett Williams.  This year, we’re also up here with 7 actors (Teresa Lim, Marguerite Stimpson, John Giampetro, Bruce Altman, Caitlin Clouthier, Alex Knox and Carter Gill), 2 directors (Jack Cummings III and Kara-Lynn Vaeni), 1 stage manager (Terri Kohler), 1 dramaturg (Rachel Rusch), and a partridge and a pear tree.  ‘Kidding.  (We’ve been up since 5:00 am, so you’ll excuse the bad pun.)

terri-rachel-molly-kl.jpgBrett, Jack, Bruce, Caitlin, Alex and Carter are going to be working on The Revival, a new play that focuses on the growing popularity of an Evangelical minister not unlike Ted Haggard.

Molly, Kara-Lynn, Teresa, Marguerite, John and Rachel are working on Firehouse 17, a new play inspired by the myth of Persephone that looks at loneliness, love and black coffee.  Terri’s doing double-duty as stage manager for The Revival and Firehouse 17.

 In the meantime, Kara and Tommy are using this purely as a writer’s retreat.  Kara’s focusing on rewrites for her dark dark comedy (when does a dark dark comedy become, uhm, a drama?) Killing Swans and Tommy’s going to be writing his new play Beautiful Day about the life of scientist and electronic music inventor Leon Theremin.  

Busy.  We’re hoping that everyone finds this week helpful.  It’s wonderful to be so close to the start of new projects — The Revival, Firehouse 17 and Beautiful Day are pretty much brand new.  It’s thrilling that these writers have agreed to come up to New Haven to get started (in one way or another) on these new plays.  We’re just here to give them some time and space.  And, hopefully, they’ll have some fun, too.