Category Archives: On Stage

Multi-week Round-up With Side of Tots

Feeling Round Down?  Say no more.  Let’s Round Up.

Procrastinator’s Special:  Several weeks in one.

Week 3: Jeremy Wine and his band of merry Rewrites

Week 3 of our full-length reading cycle continued with a constantly-changing read of Pre-Fabricated Homes, a play about iffy construction, having sex with national parks, and a man curiously called “Jeff”.  Jeremy Wine’s play is the best play ever written in the known world.

Full disclaimer: Jeremy Wine wrote most or all of this.

Week 4: Fearsome Frank, by Tim Duncheon, and his pocket pal, Marbles.

We were whisked away, island to island, to the year 1589.  Fearsome Frank is most likely a true story, or semi-true, but it’s certainly musical and pants-immolatingly funny.  A case of mistaken identity leads inevitably to sword and word play, the immaculate Concepcion, and a spot marked by an X.  It’s a musical with depth.

Ba-dum-dum.

Week 5: Exposing Yourself in Public

The first of several Submission Salons, Lather, Rinse, Repeat’s version of Career Night.  We came, we whiteboarded, we solicited ourselves.  It wasn’t pretty.  We are forming a nice little playwright’s helper system for professional development that will one day be shared with the world at large, solving all of American Theatre’s problems.  And we ate pizza.

Week 6: L’Aubergiste by the always happenin’ Natalie Wilson

This house has a mad crush.  It likes you, Jeanine.  It really, really likes you.  Jeanine.  Sure, Bernadette has been going steady with the house for the past trillion years, but it was a good run.  Jeanine.  This house really digs you, if you know what I mean.

Meanwhile, In a Land Not Unlike This Land…

Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwrights have all kinds of frothy action out there.  Not the least of which:  Caps Lock Theatre’s Pussyfest III: The Reckoning.  This year’s installment features a heady brew of LRR playwrights, including Tim Duncheon, Tim Errickson, Isaac Rathbone, Mila Golubov, Natalie Wilson, Jeremy Wine, and Jen Browne.  The line-up this year is stellar–get your tickets for November 2nd, 3rd, and the 10th or you’ll be THAT PERSON that DIDN’T GO.  Don’t be THAT PERSON.  Buy tickets at THIS PLACE.

This is not a drill.

Furthermore, our most beloved Isaac Rathbone will have his LRR-developed play The Gnome produced at the estimable LORT-tastic Barter Theatre early next year.  That’s a world premiere for those of you keeping score at home.  Many more details to come.

LORTLORTLORTLORTLORTLORTLORTLORT

Next Time, Whether As You Like It Or Not:

Issac “Ike” Rathbone brings in his latest Full-length “Fully” Play for a cast of Seasoned “Salty” Actors to read.  This is about that time of year when we stop showering.  Or maybe that’s just me.  I like art.

Pussyfest III – The Reckoning – LRR Playwright Projects

Pussyfest III- The Reckoning

Yes, it’s the 3RD ANNUAL PUSSYFEST!

BUY TICKETS HERE

Lather Rinse Repeat member, Mariah MacCarthy, presents PUSSYFEST III: The Reckoning, coming to a Judson Memorial Church Gym near you on November 2, 3, and 10. That’s right, PUSSYFEST is expanding to THREE nights this year, y’all!

You can hear the work of Jen Browne, Jeremy Wine, Natalie Wilson, Mila Golubov, Tim Duncheon, Isaac Rathbone and Tim Errickson.

PUSSYFEST, in case you didn’t know, is Caps Lock Theatre’s annual fundraising event where playwrights are paired together with actresses and write a custom-made monologue about the body for that performer. This year we have 139, yes, one hundred and thirty-nine artists involved so far!

NOVEMBER 2

Actors: Writers:

Rivka Borek*…………….Sheila Callaghan
Brandi Bravo…………….Charlotte Miller
Holly Chou……………….Christopher Gabriel Nunez
Katelyn Collins…………Winter Miller
Cathy Curtin*……………….Mac Rogers
Dominique Fishback….Mike Daisey
Yeauxlanda Kay*………Daniel John Kelley
Starr Kirkland…………………Tabia Lau
Turna Mete*……………..Tim Duncheon – LRR
Diana Oh………………..Don Nguyen
Anna Rahn*……………..Joshua Bastian Cole
Heather Lee Rogers….Catya McMullen
Gwen Sisco………………Kevin R. Free
Alisha Spielmann*…….Maggie-Kate Coleman
Sara Thigpen*………….Kristine M. Reyes
Lindsay Melin Torrey*..Eric Dufault
Priti Trivedi………………Alex Borinsky
Raychel Wagner………Kari Bentley-Quinn
Stephanie Willing……..Krista Knight
Rachel Yong……………Enrique Urueta
Kara Young…………………..Tim Errickson – LRR

Directors:

Jill DeArmon
Michael Padden
Anna Strasser
Aimee Todoroff
Megan Weaver

Musical Guest:
Diana Oh is GOING ROGUE
NOVEMBER 3

Actors: Writers:

Shyko Amos*…………………Johnna Adams
Hanna Cheek*………………..Clay McLeod Chapman
Heather E. Cunningham*…Sarah Bernstein
Emily Daly*………………Duncan Pflaster
Jenny Gomez………………..Amina Henry
Megan Hill*……………………Nick Leavens
Anita Holland………………….Nat Cassidy
Layla Khoshnoudi…………..Sarah Todes
Catherine LeFrere*………….Lucy Gillespie
Mariana Newhard…………..Chiara Atik
Colleen O’Connor……………Chisa Hutchinson
Kelley Rae O’Donnell*…….Kathleen Warnock
Hye Yun Park…………………Neil Levi
Cristina Pitter………………….Lisa Huberman
Laura Ramadei………………Lucy Teitler
Diana Stahl……………………Laura Hirschberg
Lilli Stein*………………………Isaac Rathbone – LRR
Jennifer Gordon Thomas…Leah Nanako Winkler
Samantha Fairfield Walsh……………………………Mila Golubov – LRR
Directors:

Jaki Bradley
Liz Carlson
Christopher Diercksen
Molly Marinik
Courtney Ulrich
Musical Guest:
Melissa Lusk
NOVEMBER 10

Actors: Writers:

Amelia Campbell*…………..Natalie Zutter
Becky Byers*………………….Tyler Rivenbark
Jody Christopherson*………Martyna Majok
Michelle Concha…………….Gina Femia
Leah Dietrich…………………Pia Wilson
Louise Flory…………………..Zhu Yi
Kim Gainer*…………………..Clare Barron
Christianne Greiert*…………Emily Peters
Jennifer Harder………………Chris Sullivan
Kana Hatakeyama………….Tinka Jonakova
Homa Hynes………………….J. Stephen Brantley
Susan Louise O’Connor*………………..Natalie Wilson – LRR
Sarah Matteucci……………..Kim Yaged
Briana Packen*………………Jeremy Wine – LRR
Stacey Raymond*…………..Jen Browne – LRR
Heather Robb………………..Jose Rivera
Sydney Mei Ruf-Wong…….Alden Moore
Moira Stone*…………………Jean Marie Keevins
Shannon Marie Sullivan*…Melissa Gordon
Hannah Vaughn……………..Jesse Geguzis
Directors:

Tasha Gordon-Solmon
Lillian Meredith
Kyle Metzger
Kelly O’Donnell
Leta Tremblay
Musical Guest:
Anna/Kate

Associate Producers:
Daniel John Kelley and Sarah Matteucci

MEGA ROUND UP!!!

You’ve read our weekly rounds ups and they were of course entertaining and now we bring you (in a booming echoing voice) MEGA ROUND UP!!!!!!

MEGA ROUND UP!!!!! compiles an entire summer’s worth of happenings, two weeks of long form adventures, and a whole lot of madcapperie in one concise post.  It’s MEGA ROUND UP!!!!

THE BEGINNING:

It all started in June 2014 when Filling the Well: An Artists Retreat took the Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwrights by the hand and led them on an amazing journey at the Dragon’s Egg Studio in Ledyard, CT.   Gorging on healthy, hearty food, sunshine, and inspiration everybody left very full indeed.

SUMMER: A SEASON OF DOING AND THEN DOING MORE

Moving ever deeper into summer, a time when many New Yorkers escape the city, travel, maybe even rest or “chill-out” as the kids sometimes say, but not our LRR playwrights, not at all.   LRR playwrights do not believe in taking it easy.  They laugh at summer vacations.  Their work is their vacation.  When asked what they did on their “summer vacation” here is what some of our playwrights had to say:

Tim Errickson: For my summer vacation I’ve directed the New York premiere of John Patrick Bray’s DONKEY in the Planet Connections Festival, which was nominated for 13 Festival awards, followed by producing A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM in Central Park and LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST in Bryant Park. I also returned to serve on the New York Innovative Theatre Awards Honorary Awards Committee, and am leading NYIT through a six month Board refresh process. Plus I’m getting married at some point.  (and he did, just last week)

Isaac Rathbone: For my summer vacation my play “The Gnome” received a staged reading at Barter Theater’s Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights in Abingdon, VA on 7/8. I attended the festival and met some wonderful people, including the other amazing playwrights associated with the festival. (he also just remounted an amazing play called March of the Bonus Army, if you missed it, well, you missed out, didn’t you)

Lauren Ferebee: For my summer vacation I finished up a six-month residency in South Carolina with a workshop production of my play The Reckless Season (my first round Lather, Rinse, Repeat play).  In July,  I was a juried fellow at the Saltonstall Arts Colony, where I wrote, read and ate delicious food in Ithaca, NY. My play Sexual Geography (third round play for LRR) was selected for March Forth Productions’ Summer Salon in August. As the summer wraps up, I’ll be spending time with family in Dallas and bringing pages in for the brand new Dallas play incubator The Aviary.

Amanda Keating: For my summer vacation I spent a few wonderful weeks out of town workshopping my play GO THAT WAY with the Williams College Summer Theater Lab. Highlights include a) kicking it all day every day with smart, cool, seriously talented students and fellow artists, b) seeing the play on its feet for the first time, and c) eating, hiking, and biking my way through the pastures, farms, and fields of Williamstown MA. Aside from these glorious days of writing and drinking copious amounts of beer in the great outdoors, I sweated my way around the city working my myriad jobs and lamenting my lack of air conditioning. It was a killer summer.

Who’s That Girl?:

Woah, Amanda Keating, who is that?  WELL, if you haven’t been paying attention, Amanda Keating is our newest, shiniest member.  LRR member Lauren Ferebee is off sowing artistic seeds south of the Mason Dixon line and will remain a member at large (#lrr4eva) so we needed another amazing playwright to round out the team.  We held an open call and received an astonishing amount of submissions all of which were really, really fantastic.  So after reading loads of plays and talking it through all signs pointed to Amanda and we couldn’t be more excited to have her!  Keep an out for more from Amanda, a #selfie interview could be on the horizon…..

ALMOST DONE:

Now, to round off this, our first ever MEGA ROUND UP!!! (don’t forget the voice) Let us reflect on the last two weeks of long form plays.

Kicking this cycle off was none other than Mariah MacCarthy, she brought us the beginnings of what will no doubt be an amazeballs play filled with plotting teen girls, a dead dog, magical You Tube videos and thousands and thousands of dollars.  Week two Jen Browne brought in an updated version of a play we’ve seen before that may or may not be about a mermaid, the jury is still out but let’s just say there were a lot of questions about mermaid rules and habits.

THE FUTURE:

The future, oh yes the future holds many things, eight more weeks of brand new plays, new LRR workshops, parties, adventures, and more, literally more and more.   Check in and often, you never know what we’ll be throwing down.  You don’t, you just never know, there may even be another MEGA ROUND UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#selfies 2.9 ACTOR EDITION Isaiah Tanenbaum. (with questions by Jeremy W.)

Isaiah Tanenbaum

On the heels of our psychotically successful night of shorts, Mistakes Were Made: An Evening of Rom-Com and Political Shorts, Jeremy W. gathered mega-talent Isaiah Tanenbaum for a virtual coffee-side firechat.  And thus Selfies 2.9 was borne.

#selfie 2.0  is an interview series where Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwrights interview the actor ensemble for their next night of short plays.  Playwrights have free reign over the questions. The interviewee must then post an actual selfie, because we told them to.

Jeremy W.:  Cyberstalking you has given me the impression you have a solidly developed nerd side.  We’re seeing a embrace of nerdness in our culture; do you think the theatre will sufficiently nerd out?

Isaiah T.: Ack! You’ve discovered my shameful secret! Yes, I’m a huge nerd. I was the kid reading Star Trek books on the school bus, the kid who went to science camp to shoot off rockets, the kid who raced home from his job at the Renaissance Faire to make his weekly online Star Trek roleplaying IRC group (I was a pirate cabin boy and a Betazoid science officer, respectively).

I’m still that nerdy kid, really, so I question whether anything can “sufficiently” nerd out. Nerds are inherent collectors and puzzle-solvers – facts, comics, board games – so there is always an opportunity for more stuff to collect and more puzzles to solve, and that includes theatrical experiences.

I do think, though, that a lot of writers and directors confuse the ephemera of nerd culture – spaceships or robots or comic book action or scientist characters or whatever – for true nerdiness, and it’s totally possible to overdose on that kind of “surface” nerdiness. True nerdy theatre uses these trappings to give the audience a puzzle, an idea, something to chew on. That’s harder than just setting Three Sisters on Mars, but it’s a question of craft, and the end result is simply a Good Play, which there is always, ALWAYS room for. Plenty of playwrights are up to the challenge – Mac Rogers and August Schulenburg come to mind, of course – but I’ve seen more than a few make the “spaceships=nerdy play” mistake. You can do the same with a love story or a crime drama or any other subgenre of narrative, really; just sprinkling a few familiar conventions on top of dull characters and calling it a day. It’s just particularly obvious with “nerdy” plays because the conventions are so in-your-face; when that’s all your play has, it all falls apart pretty quickly.

Jeremy W.:  I’m only just getting to know your acting work, but from what I’ve seen in the readings, from role to role, you innately bring to each character that universal need to be an engaged part of proceedings.  It’s very compelling.  Is that Isaiah coming out or is it a part of your craft?

Isaiah T: That’s really kind of you to say. If there’s anything of Isaiah in there, it’s my kind-of overwhelming personal need to be loved at all times by everyone around me. It’s probably pretty annoying in person but on stage I guess it reads as compelling, so hooray! YOU LOVE ME MY JOB IS DONE.

But seriously, I think it’s back to that nerdy puzzle thing I was talking about before. Why is my character doing X? Solving for X is part of the fun of performing a role. I’ve found that the answer is almost always something like “because another character just did or said Y, for which X is the only response my guy could have in that moment, because he wants Z to happen.” Then of course the director wants something else so I get to decide that, in fact, Q is really the thing I ought to do. But it’s always in response to the other person on the stage, and in the hopes of creating a change in them. This automatically engages me because I’m necessarily aware of what they are doing, and adjusting my responses accordingly. I even do that for monologues; the “other person” is either the audience or some future version of my character, which is to say, me.

This is all probably familiar to other actors who have read Declan Donnellan’s frankly amazing The Actor and the Target. That book was a godsend for me, because I never connected with the emotional sense-memory stuff that my college professor loved. I totally recognize it’s catnip for plenty of amazingly talented actors, but for me, it’s all about objectives and goals and tactics and DOING things. That’s where I live. So The Actor and the Target, combined with Actions: The Actor’s Thesaurus (which is basically a cross-referenced and organized-by-category list of highly specific, active verbs for actors to attach to lines), has formed the core of what I do on stage.

And when all that doesn’t work I just make funny faces.

Jeremy W.:  What is your dream hairstyle?

Isaiah T.: Anything. Literally anything. I like to say that my hair has exactly two styles: short, and jewfro. Mine just grows straight out and I look like The Wolfman, so basically it’s been variations of the Ceasar Cut since high school, and will remain as such forever. I am insanely jealous of people who actually have hair they can do anything with. I would kill for something like David Tenant’s infinitely styleable hair. It can do fun hedgehog! It can do long and mopey! It can get pushed back into a mohawk if for some reason he wants that! It can do whatever he wants! DAMN YOU TENANT.

Jeremy W.:  For those of us who live under rocks, what is it about your company Flux Theatre Ensemble that keeps you guys trucking along?

Isaiah T: Flux is just amazing. I don’t know what my life as a performer would look like if I hadn’t stumbled in on that group of people in 2006 off of a Craigslist ad (no joke, a Craigslist ad). We’ve been around for eight years now, which in Indie Theatre Years is two eternities and a forever. I think that longevity comes down to three highly-interconnected factors:

1) A tight focus on central operating principles we chose for ourselves that we call our Core Values (Joy, Compassion, Collaboration, Creativity, Excellence). We try to hold ourselves to these values in all things we touch, both in our artistic choices and in our producing choices. After everything we do, from full productions to casting calls to e-blasts, we ask ourselves “now, that thing we did, was it Compassionate? If not, how could it be more so?” And so on, down the list. It’s pretty easy to get lost in the day-to-day of making theatre, and even easier to make expedient choices, but having those five touchpoints to come back to keeps you focused and honest, and in the end a process that is more Joyful/Creative/etc is simply going to be more inspiring, rewarding, and enduring.

2) Our incredible community of fellow artists, collaborators, and audience members (many of whom, including more than a few Rinsers, are officially-designated Friends of Flux). Whether serving as box office volunteers, or running a fundraising committee, or offering props and costumes and expertise and shop-space, or just showing up again and again, the community that has grown up around us has helped us punch well above our weight for years. At this point, most of my personal friends are also Friends of Flux (or just lower-case-f friends of Flux), because that’s how close-knit this community is. When you develop that kind of long-term partnership, you don’t ever want to let anyone down.

3) We do a lot of stuff. Like, a lot. This semester, in fact (yes, I still think of my life in semesters), we’ve had or are having a major Flux event every month: The Annual Retreat, Have Another (our readings-in-a-bar series), a SpeakEasy (a kind of townhall for FoFs), next week’s Food:Soul (more staged readings, but with food), the upcoming Family Feud Benefit Party (please come!), and then another Have Another in December. And of course Flux Sundays nearly every week, which is like actor/playwright gym and just loads of fun. It’s kind of impossible not to keep going when there are so many things happening; there’s simply no chance to let the momentum falter.

And these are all related: our Core Values have attracted that community and kept it tight; the community, in turn, helps us run all these events; the events reward the community by giving them chances to perform and enjoy theatre; when we hew to our values they and we are doubly-rewarded, and we’re all moved to create more stuff to share. It’s like a triple-positive feedback loop and it’s kind of stupidly inspiring to be at the center of it.

Jeremy W.:  You seem terribly at home in the theatre in almost every way.  Are you as comfortable doing this work as you appear to be?

Isaiah T.: You are like the sweetest interviewer ever.

On the one hand, yes, I’ve always liked it when people listen to me, and it turns out there’s a whole career where actual adults pay real, actual money to buy a ticket where they just sit and listen to me for an hour or two at a time. That’s crazy!

On the other, though, I’m still a little terrified whenever I get up to do it. What if my fly is undone? What if I flub a line? What if I fuck up my blocking? What if I’m thinking about all that so I’m too in my head and they can see that OH GOD THE EYES THEY SEE EVERYTHING THEY CAN SEE MY SOUL HEEEEEELP.

Living somewhere between that pure joy of attention, and the cold, shivering terror of same, is why I keep coming back even when the rational part of my brain says “you know what, maybe you should get a real job or something.” It’s like the best high ever.

To catch Isaiah and all the #LRRit gang in action you’re too late.  Don’t miss the next one.  Seriously.

#selfies 2.8 ACTOR EDITION Jacob H. (with questions by Tim E.)

Tim E. got  chance to connect with actor Jacob Horstmeier recently,  and all of Jacob’s deepest secrets are revealed in this week’s episode of SELFIES 2.0.

#selfie 2.0  is an interview series where Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwrights interview the actor ensemble for their next night of short plays.  Playwrights have free reign over the questions. The interviewee must then post an actual selfie, because we told them to.

Tim E: Where were you born and raised? What’d you like to do as a kid?

Jacob H: I was born in Madison, WI and raised in Random Lake, WI, a town of about 1500 people.  I have three siblings, two older brothers and one younger sister, and while growing up our favorite pastime was breaking any and all rules our parents left us with for the day.

Tim E: Nice. And how’d that lead into you get into theater and acting?

Jacob H: I was introduced to acting by our local community theatre’s summer production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I was a part of the children’s chorus and after finishing that experience I thought maybe this was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

Tim E: As you’re a native to Madison, I need to know: Favorite picnic salad: Potato, Macaroni, or other?

Jacob H: At the moment, my gut’s telling me potato salad.

Tim E: How did you get connected to LRR? Thru a particular playwright, or thru actor friends?

Jacob H: I got connected to LRR through the lovely Brandon Marianne Lee.  She wrote a short adaptation of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus for the school at Primary Stages’ Detention Series, and I was lucky enough to be a part of her very funny script.

Tim E: And finally, If you could invite any 5 people (living or dead) to a party, who would you invite?

Jacob H: My dinner party: Abraham Lincoln, Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, Christy Brown, Nathaniel Poe and Daniel Day-Lewis

To catch Jacob and all the #LRRit gang in action be sure to keep November 2nd free and clear and Buy tickets for Mistakes Were Made: An Evening of Rom-Com and Political Shorts