Monday, August 11, 2008

medea music video

Check out the music video for our production of The Medea here!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The L Magazine Review of A Devil Inside!

Theater Review: A Devil InsideFiled Under:

The L's theater reviewer Mary Block went to A Devil Inside. Should you? Possibly.
Will you? Read on.

It takes a talented playwright to make axe murderers, demonic possession and Russian Lit lectures laugh-out-loud funny. Pulitzer-winner David Lindsay-Abaire accomplishes that feat in his new play A Devil Inside, aided by some very committed physical comedians willing to stab themselves in the legs, put themselves through the spin cycle, and get beaten to a bruised and simpering pulp by an invisible Satan. On his 21st birthday, Gene Slater (Sage Seals) is charged with avenging his footless, 400-pound father's death by his laundry-lady mother (Kristin Skye Hoffman), who keeps the disembodied feet preserved in formaldehyde under the stairs. The revenge plot soon entangles Russian Lit prof/modern-day Raskolnikov Carl (an impressive Andrew Harriss), dopey but lovable mechanic Brad (Jake Paque, who is exceptionally funny), cursed and mysterious Lily (Lauren Bahlman), and flighty, romantic Caitlin (Liz White). Be prepared to suspend your disbelief--the dialogue is surreal and metaphysical, and the drama is set in a Lower East Side on the verge of the apocalypse, a sinking Manhattan overrun by garbage and feral dogs. Be prepared for an intimate performance, too--sitting in the front row of the Richmond Shepard means being able to tell what kind of detergent the actors use. (My friend spilled a soda on the floor and we seriously thought one of the actors was going to slip and break a leg.) Huge amounts of spurting blood, a theramin-inflected soundtrack, and actors trading some very bizarre but funny lines ("What's with your eye?" "The devil chewed his way through the back of it") keeps A Devil Inside's audience immersed in its strange, rapturous odyssey 'til the terrible end.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Attention Must Be Paid

This rambled out today and I thought we might have a discussion. There are many different viewpoints as to how much an audience should be considered by the actor. Below is a viewpoint that I hold much of the time:

Actors are trained to "read an audience," to feel the audience and incorporate them into our sphere of attention. They are acutely aware of things like rustling programs, shifting in seats and yawns. Sensing an audience drifting away, the natural inclination is to reach out to them, but this is incorrect. Noticing the audience's deviated attention distracts from the task at hand, the intention being played, and mucks the performance. This disconnect between performer and audience is self perpetuating- a downward, or outward spiral.

So the trained actor at this point shrinks his sphere of attention, concentrates on a smaller area of the room, the stage; then smaller, her scene partner; then smaller, the scene partner's blouse, wonders to herself, "what material is this blouse made from," reaches out and touches it. Suddenly the audience gets quiet and still.

The crowd is now tuned-in to what's happening on stage because the actor is engaged so truly in her task. After a few moments she may begin to feel comfortable and back "on track," the actor expands her sphere of attention once again to include larger portions of the room, and so the audience. Performer and audience are connected once more in the glorious communion of theatre.

Repeat ad infinitum.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Devil Inside Cast!

Gene: Sage Seals
Mrs. Slater: Kristin Skye Hoffman
Carl: Andrew Harriss
Caitlin: Liz White
Brad: Jake Paque
Lily: Lauren Bahlman

Congrats, all!