It was a fantastic first day of rehearsal in New York. We are on the third floor of the Gowanus Arts Building in Brooklyn, a wonderfully weird old building with mosaic tile floors and oddly uneven stairs. Marion Williams, the set & costume designer was there to present her scenic design in the form of a beautiful model that recreates BCT impressively well, especially considering that she’s never been there. It features a large crate of objects, each of them important, suspended from the center truss. From this crate the pieces of the story are retrieved and revealed, many of them are Andy’s actual possessions, brought to rehearsal today in a well-worn suitcase. Andy read the most recent version of the script and we spent some time discussing the recurrence of antithetical yet coexistent truths: the play is about Nepal and yet the play is not about Nepal, it’s about all places; the “opposite thing can always be true.” I can’t wait for all of you to experience this story. Andy is a magnificent storyteller and the characters he creates in Namaste Man, are not only memorable but powerful.
I just got off the phone with actor and dear friend Justin Ness (THE DAZZLE, VALPARAISO), who, in addition to putting me up in his spare bedroom for the week, will be joining me for a couple of shows. All my tickets are booked:
When I had the unbelievable fortune of meeting Edward Albee last year, he told me that this stripped down version of the Thornton Wilder classic, directed by David Cromer, was the best thing running in New York.
A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE
The newest play from wonderfully twisted mind of Martin McDonagh (THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN, THE PILLOWMAN) is his first to be set in America. I’d be going even if it didn’t star Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell.
A modern twist on the Oedipus story by Craig Wright (THE PAVILION) at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. I have admired Rattlestick from afar (40 World Premieres in 15 years) but have never seen their work.
VENUS IN FUR
This quirky new drama from David Ives (ALL IN THE TIMING) has become a huge hit off-broadway and it’s already on the short list of BCT possibilities. It’s about theater auditions and sadomasochism.
I can’t wait.
BCT resident stage manager, Kristy J. Martin; sound designer, Peter John Still and I will be headed to New York City this weekend for six days of rehearsal with Andrew Weems and Davis McCallum on NAMASTE MAN. I am going to use this blog to keep you updated about an exciting week of of theater. I’ll be spending days in the rehearsal room and nights on Broadway and off, seeing as much new theater as I can.
I am currently working on one of the most exciting aspects of my job: play selection, choosing titles for the 2010 5X5 Reading Series as well as BCT’s 10|11 Season. Tom & Joe (Willmorth & Golden) are working on a new play that will take a slot in each. I am really excited about BECKY SHAW by Gina Gionfriddo as a reading, Rajiv Joseph’s newest play, GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES, is fantastic; and I am hoping that the budget will allow for EURYDICE to be resurrected for the Spring of 2011.
I met one of the greats last Thursday. Through an odd set of circumstances, just a few days after I applied for the rights to produce Edward Albee’s AT HOME AT THE ZOO as part of BCT’s 09|10 Season, it was announced that Mr. Albee would be speaking in Boise as a last minute replacement for Joan Didion. Then the real thrill came, when Paul Schaeffer, the director of The Cabin, invited me to join a small group, including Albee, for dinner before he spoke. A once in a lifetime opportunity for sure: Sushi and conversation about theater with America’s greatest living playwright. I am inspired.
I am back at BCT today after a ridiculously short trip to New York. I landed at LaGuardia on Friday night, saw four shows in two days and got up at 4:30 (2:30 MDT) this morning to fly home in time for the 5X5 Reading tonight. I’m exhausted but it was worth it. I saw some great friends and some great shows. I hope to write a bit more here in the coming days about the plays I saw and my current project: selecting BCT’s 09|10 Season.
Now that BCT’s 08|09 Main-Stage Season is over, it’s time to focus on three important projects.
First, will be the finalization of the 09|10 season. In addition to the new play Tom & Joe are writing for a World Premiere in April 2010, we are looking at some very exciting shows that will bring a few thrills and even more laughs to all of us. I am headed to New York in about 10 days to see at least one of the shows being considered.
Second, is the launch of the 09|10 Membership Campaign. Look for it in April. Members, if you don’t know, are the generous people who make personal contributions to the operations of BCT. Our Members are a amazing group of people, without whom the work we do would be impossible. There will be at least two new aspects of Membership for 09|10: the ability to make donations through BCTheater.org and a new $5 Member level. That’s right, you will be able to become part of the BCT Family with a donation of just five bucks!
Finally, the Spring continues with the last three plays in the 15th Annual 5X5 Reading Series. The next reading is just two weeks away and it will be a special one. Boise native, Dano Madden, will be back in his hometown to share one his newest scripts, BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN SOLDIER. This will be the third Dano Madden play to be read in the 5X5 Series.
So, there is a lot going on at BCT right now. Thanks for checking out the Blog and I’ll see you at the theater.
What became the final full production of BCT’s 08|09 Season closed on Saturday night with another full house. I HAVE BEFORE ME A REMARKABLE DOCUMENT GIVEN TO ME BY A YOUNG LADY FROM RWANDA was a beautiful show and I was sad to see it go. But it was great, in the midst of a tough season, to have every performance in the last week of the run sell out. The combination of tickets from the New Year|New Deal Sale, the comps we distributed in the refugee community (thanks Futura Corporation & Bank of the Cascades!) and Subscribers using there EURYDICE tickets to bring friends or family to the show, made for a very exciting run. We have a 5X5 reading tonight (THE SQUIRREL By Alex Moggridge) which should be a lot of fun. And then, it’s time to get to work on planning the next big steps in BCT’s future. I will be selecting the shows for the 09|10 Season over the next few weeks. The only piece set so far is a World Premiere from Tom Willmorth & Joe Golden scheduled for Spring of 2010. In the meantime BCT will be ramping up it’s presence on the Web with new activity here as well as on Twitter, Facebook and eventually a network with exclusive video content just for BCT Members!
I love that Dana Oland at The Statesman loved GOD’S EAR. What I love even more is that the extra plug in today paper calls Tracy Sunderland’s performance a tour-de-force. I couldn’t agree more. When I saw this play the first time in New York a year and a half ago, the idea that excited me most about producing it at BCT was seeing Tracy play Mel. If you are an aspiring actor or just someone who appreciates great acting in Boise, Idaho (or anywhere close) and you want to see an actor at the top of her game. Get down to BCT this weekend and watch Tracy shine.