Tag Archives: Actors

Weekly Round-Up – Annie and the Fat Man

Gina FemiaIt’s the return of the weekly round-up and what a fabulous return it shall be.   Tuesday, October 6, Gina Femia brought us Annie and the Fat Man, a charming and engaging new play featuring a fabulous array of wonderful, layered characters.  Gina also packed in a amazing group of actors last night, Maki Borden, Stacey Raymond, Kyle Carter, and Erin Chung , keep your eyes peeled for anything remotely connected to these fabulous actors as there will be no regrets.

Things to know from Tuesday!

  1. We welcomed back a few LRR playwrights who had been inactive in previous cycles, Tim Errickson and Mila Golubov we missed your voices in the room, so glad to have you back! Reunited and it feels soo good. 
  2.  As a collective we feel that Kyle Carter would triumph in a one-man show where he portrays all three sisters in Chekhov‘s Three Sisters. (This will be news to Kyle)
  3. When our playwright powers combine it only takes us about two tries to notice a room has been redecorated.
  4. Gina Femia can write some killer stage directions, poetic even.
  5. No matter how small a balcony is, it’s still a balcony, and presumably outside, so we’ll take it okay, we’ll take it, even if it the only view is of the building right next door.

That’s about it, we came, we drank, we heard a great play, met some new actor types, and went off into the night dreaming of next Tuesday when Isaac Rathbone brings in a new play for us to digest.

Monthly Wash Issue V

BEHOLD! It’s Issue V of the Monthly Wash.  It’s been awhile we know but it certainly has been worth the wait! We’ve got some super #newplays on the horizon many of which will be presented in dark air conditioned theaters so get your tickets and get your chill on with some icy cool theatre.

FROM GINA FEMIA | THE VIOLET SISTERS and SUPER, OR, HOW CLARK GRAVES LEARNED TO FLY

Image credit: Freddy Padilla

Image credit: Freddy Padilla

Watch as Gina Femia doubles down on this month’s wash.  She’s got two plays on the starting block all just within a few days of each other!

Part of New York Madness’ Inaugural MadLab, first up, The Violet Sisters.  Following Pam who comes home to attend her father’s funeral in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, only to be greeted by an angry sister, a dilapidated house and a past she can’t escape.

If you missed this awesome play at LRR’s full length festival Soap Gets in Your Eyes, here’s your chance for redemption.  The MadLab production is directed by Michele Travis and stars Romy Nordlinger and Stacey Raymond.

Rolling out next is March Forth Productions presentation of Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly.  The play examines the shrinking of the middle class as seen through the eyes of a typical American Family –The Graves. Intercut with scenes from Clark’s comic book world, this play explores the increasing hunger crisis as it spreads across America, asking the questions How do we learn to Fly?  And what does it really mean to be Super?the increasing hunger crisis as it spreads across America, asking the questions How do we learn to Fly? and What does it really mean to be Super?Dot cannot stop picking her skin, Father Samuel has gotten mean and Clark –well, Clark is trying to be everyone’s hero, including his new girlfriend, Laney.

Both of these events are FREE! FREE! FREE! Details for both are below!

The Violet Sisters | Thursday, July 2 at 8:00 pm | IRT Theater (154 Christopher Street) | RESERVE HERE

Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly | July 6th at 7:30 pm | Under St. Mark’s (94 St. Mark’s Place) |No reservation needed just show up!


FROM NATALIE WILSON | IN TRANSIT

Montréal Skyline

Happy Canada Day! From July 29th – August 2nd Natalie Wilson’s short play IN TRANSIT — originally developed for LRR’s short forms series “Now Boarding J/K! #fml #delayed” — will be featured in the New Play Development Showcase of New Plays in Montreal, Canada this summer! The workshop is part of the annual ATHE (Association for Theater In Higher Education) conference. Natalie will be working with an esteemed international team of collaborators, including director Andrea Grapko, dramaturg Julia Listengarten, scenographer Tali Ariav, and actors Leah Roy and Cindy Gendrich.

You can’t get tickets to this one folks but you can wish Natalie luck on her journey north of the border!


OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

There’s only a few more days left for f*ckfest at The Brick curated by our own Mariah MacCarthy | Tim Erickson has two shows running The Firebird at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and Cymbeline | Satelite member Lauren Ferebee is doing some Scrappy Shakespeare down in Spartanburg, SC | Matt Barbot’s play BOLDLY GO is part of The Navigators Theater Company’s Lift-Off Series

That’s it for now, more to come in August, there’s always more to come!

lather rinse repeat_logo_timd

Weekly Round Up-March 10

Playwright Jeremy Wine

Playwright Jeremy Wine

LRR lathered it up once again on March 10th with the latest installation of Jeremy Wine’s play PROXIMITY. An obsessive female scientist, a charmingly adorable sandwich delivery guy, the ghost (or is it?) of Nikola Tesla and the actual Richard Hoolbrooke find themselves in a deep-secret military lab in Dayton, Ohio in 1995 — all with the end game of stopping the nefarious Slobadan Milosevic. Is this a play or a way cool new Showtime series?

I learned many things while listening to Jeremy’s witty and wise words — delivered beautifully by repeat offenders Carson Lee and Jeremy Halpern (plus our own Amanda Keating):
  1. Gorgonzola isn’t just a kind of cheese. It’s also a video game. Apparently a cool one with a weird moral twist.
  2. Nikola Tesla was from Yugoslavia. And he would probably have a strong opinion about the Bosnian conflict of the mid-90s.
  3. Reclusive female scientists are indubitably more dramatically interesting than male scientists.
  4. Sandwich delivery guys can be remarkably charming. (At least when Jeremy writes them.)
  5. Roast beef and ham sandwiches are a thing. (At least in Jeremy’s play.)
  6. If you need to get rid of Gina, just talk about politics.
  7. Jen B can’t wait for watermelon and feta.
We all can’t wait to hear what happens next when Jeremy brings this back for our May play festival, Soap Gets In Your Eyes!
Thanks to Natalie Wilson for bringing us this fabulous Weekly Round-Up!
LRR is taking this week off but all will return to normal next Tuesday when newest member Matt Barbot steps up to the plate for the first time!
Hope everybody has a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

The Monthly Wash Issue 1

Lather Rinse Repeat Logo

Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwrights are some of the busiest people in this schtinkin’ town full of schtinkin’ busy people.  Aside from all the happenings they host together there’s a slew of happenings of their own design happening seemingly ALL. THE. TIME.  We thought rather than keeping all of these delightful events to ourselves we might share them with you, the world, via THE MONTHLY WASH.  Let us help YOU stay abreast to everything Lather, Rinse, Repeat and keep you as busy as the LRR gang throughout the month!

FROM GINA FEMIA | SUPER, OR, HOW CLARK GRAVES LEARNED TO FLY

So, first on the list is a very exciting FREE reading from our newest member Gina Femia.  She’s got a new play in the works, Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly  and we think it sounds well…super.

Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly is about the shrinking of the middle class as seen through the eyes of a typical American Family – The Graves. Father Samuel has lost his once  thriving construction business, forcing the family to downsize significantly. Each member is coping with their personal loss of power differently; Mother Mary is addicted to scratch-off lotto tickets, sister Dot cannot stop picking her skin, Father Samuel has gotten mean and Clark – well, Clark is trying to be everyone’s hero, including his new girlfriend, Laney. When Laney’s dreams of running away begin to seem like they’ll become a reality, Clark must choose between his family and his chance at happiness. Intercut with scenes from Clark’s comic book world, Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly explores the increasing hunger crisis as it spreads across America, asking the questions How do we learn to Fly? and What does it really mean to be Super?

Sunday, February 8, 7pm | Drama Bookshop, 240 W. 40th Street


Photo credit: Mitch Dean

Photo credit: Mitch Dean

FROM JEN BROWNE | THE ORPHEUS VARIATIONS W/ THE DECONSTRUCTIVE THEATRE PROJECT                                                                                                                                 

Fun fact, on top of being a LRR playwright, Jen Browne is an ensemble member with The Deconstructive Theatre project and this week they opened the first of ten encore performances of their show The Orpheus Variations.  Inspired by the Orpheus myth and the neuroscience of memory, The Deconstructive Theatre Project’s critically and audience acclaimed performance collides cinema, radio play, and theatre vocabularies into an art-house film created and screened in real time.

Straight from their sold out run at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival you have until February 14th to check out what Time Out NY calls a, a multimedia fantasia. 

Check out the trailer and purchase special $20 tickets HERE.

 February 4-February 14| Theatre at the 14th Street Y located at 344 East 14th Street


FROM MARIAH MACCARTHY AND ISAAC RATHBONE |NEW YORK CITY INDIE THEATRE ONE-MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL                                                                                               

The One-Minute Play Festival and the New Ohio Theatre have created a dynamic partnership for The 1st New York City Indie Theatre One-minute Play Festival – with part of the proceeds to benefit Indie Theatre Now and the New Ohio’s new play and artist residency programming.

The festival consists of one-minute plays by nearly 50 established and emerging playwrights who identify as part of the downtown or indie theatre community, prompted by #1MPF’s unique playmaking process and LRR is totally representing with plays by Mariah MacCarthy and Isaac Rathbone.  You can also see work from some of our favorite LRR Friends, Diana Oh, Kevin R. Free and Leta Tremblay.

Get your tickets HERE

 February 17, 18, and 19, 8pm | The New Ohio Theater


 

AND speaking of LRR Friends how about you check out the work of some of our REPEAT OFFENDERS, the actors and directors we work with and love the most.

FROM HEATHER LEE ROGERS | THE CHURCH OF WHY NOT w/ THEATRE 167                                                                                                                                                                               

Inspired by the very place in which it’s performed, The Church of Why Not brings together believers and skeptics, activists and addicts, seekers and lost souls.  Some need food, some crave connection others come for help with taxes, tutoring or a Bar Mitzvah.  Conceived and directed by Ari Laura Kreith; collaboratively written by Camillo Andres Almonacid, Jenny Lyn Bader and J. Stephen Brantley featuring a diverse ensemble of 18 actors and some music.

Tickets are just $18 and can be purchased HERE

February 20-March 15 | West End Theater, Church of St Paul & St Andrew, 263 West 86th , 2nd fl 


 

We hope to see you out there and tune in next month for more from the Lather, Rinse, Repeat gang in THE MONTHLY WASH!

#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.