Tag Archives: readings

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!

#Selfie First Flight w/ Tim Errickson and Boomerang Theatre Company

Good news world,  got to chat with Tim Errickson about First Flight, Boomerang Theatre Company’s annual festival of new plays.  It’s this week so read up and then get out there and check out some AMAZING PLAYS!!

 

Jen Browne: So something that is super great about Lather Rinse Repeat  is that a lot of playwrights in the group are so much more than playwrights, they’re very often writing, producing, directing, everything and you my friend might be king of the all-arounds working with Boomerang Theatre Company.  Can you tell me a little about where this all began for you and maybe how you’ve seen the company grow over the years?

Tim Errickson: Hardly the king, if you look around our little group. It began for me about 20 years ago when I began my first theatre company after college. I love making theatre, I love the audiences and the work. And I love validating work and encouraging playwrights by producing new plays. For the last 16 years, Boomerang Theatre Company has been my passion project. We’ve produced 55 plays and over 60 new play development readings and workshops. We began like all do, poor and not knowing how to do this work. But we learned and grew and gathered like-minded people.

 

JB: Boomerang breaks its season into three sections or so your website tells me, the third being First Flight, a reading series for new work.  Can you speak to the company’s relationship to new plays and playwrights?

TE: It’s funny, as I think it’s changing. Originally, we did all classics, and then began programming new plays to run along with classics in tandem. As we’ve gotten more established (and maybe as I’ve gotten older too), I love new plays more and more. I think that mystery of producing the new play, the unknown audience response, the unforeseen change in rehearsal, is just so exciting. I really love getting new plays off the page, out of readings and in front of people. And the writer is a huge component of that, because really we are supporting their idea of story and theme. We want them there as much as they can be, and we want them to feel like they have a place to bring work and make it better.

 

JB: Can you break down the details for this year’s festival?

TE: The 2014 First Flight New Play Festival consists of public readings of six new plays in various states of development. We kick off on Wednesday Nov 19th at 7pm and go through Monday Nov 24th at 7pm. All of our readings are at ART/NY, 520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd floor. Readings are always free, but if you’ve got $5 burning a hole in your pocket, we’ll take it and put it to good use.

 

JB: Producing new work can be risky business why is the risk worth it for you?

TE: Yeah, it’s a funny thing…what’s the risk? If you believe in the work, and it expresses your heart and mind, something important and passionate, it’s always going to work on some level. And it can be done expensively or cheaply depending on what you’ve got to work with. So I’m all in. More New Plays!

 

JB: How has producing new work influenced the development of your company and your place in the New York theater landscape?

TE: I think on some level we put our own stamp on things. I hope that people see a play and recognize that it’s a Boomerang play, that it has substance, intelligence, daring use of language, and fearlessness. We apply that to all our projects, but I think it is more obvious in the new plays we choose to develop.

 

JB: Any other tidbits we should know about this year’s Fest or future Boomerang programs?

TE: We just keep trying to grow the festival all the time. Constantly improving it to make it more helpful to the writers, so that their needs are served. We’re excited about this year’s lineup, and hope you’ll come check them out.

This year’s First Flight Festival includes work by Vincent Sessa, Johnna Adams, Michael Aguirre, Adam Kraar, Tim Errickson, Shelley McPherson.   Dates and times for all readings can be found HERE!

Weekly Round-Up 3.6

Mila

Yes.  That’s right.  It’s Mila Golubov week.  It’s March 11th and I found myself skipping down Ludlow St. like a Sochi ice dancer.  I’M THAT EXCITED.  Word on the street was shadow puppetry might be involved.  Do you know what?  It was.

With well-coiffed director Brian Gillespie as our special guest, Mila took us down a dark, robotic noir turn where shadow wolves and bears spoke for the inner nature of the denizens of a kind-of-future.  The play–a kiss before dying battery: a shadow play.  I never thought of androids and film noir together.  Now they’re motherfucking inextricable.  It was future-tastic, con-or-be-conned, and downright stichomythic (Look it up, people).

Notes of note:

  1. Dicks should be Private Dicks
  2. In the continuing, yet unplanned Lather, Rinse, Repeat Continuity Project 2.0, this week’s play was once again linked by total happenstance to the play before it.  This time, by virtue of the delicious and fruity mai tai.
  3. “Then what are we doing here.” “Rubbing parts.”  Didn’t I tell you?  Robosapiens and film noir!  Like Peaches and Herb!
  4. Mike Pitsikoulis basically is a robotic bartender.
  5. Carson Lee basically is the most handsome Dick in every room.

Stay tuned for the next Weekly Round-Up; a very special homecoming for our very own Lauren Ferebee, playing hookey from her residency in South Carolina, to treat us to her newest stack of tremendous.  That puts the happy in a 5:00pm – 9:00m $3 pint happy hour(s) at Local 138.

3.1 Weekly Roundup – Natalie Wilson, The Innkeeper (L’Aubergiste)

We’re back!!!

We started another “Lather” round on Tuesday, February 4. Natalie Wilson presenter her newest full length play, The Inkeeper (L’Aubergiste) and it was a blast.

Here are some observations from the week:

1. #gueststar – One of our lovely members, Lauren Ferebee, was awarded an amazing opportunity to be a artist in residence at Hub-Bub in South Carolina. We already miss her like crazy. But to keep the bed warm (as they say) we came up with a “guest star” spot. Each week we invite an artist we respect and admire to join the group and help provide feedback. Our first guest star, Sergei Burbank, was a total delight. Please check him out at boisterour-eremite.com

Caitlin McEwan and Carolyn Popp star in The Inkeeper

Caitlin McEwan and Carolyn Popp star in The Inkeeper

2. #whysocold – Seriously. What the hell is going on? This winter is unreasonable.

3. #aplacetohangyourhat – All of the members of Lather, Rinse, Repeat rejoiced once we found our new artistic home, Local 138! Each week we get to meet in a cozy back room of a bar with a $3 drink happy hour and a rockin’ fish sandwich & fries next door. It’s an unhealthy heaven, the type of heaven we could all get used to.

Tim Duncheon, Jeremy Wine and Mariah MacCarthy focus on Natalie Wilson's play

Tim Duncheon, Jeremy Wine and Mariah MacCarthy focus on Natalie Wilson’s play

4. #aboyhousewouldmakefartnoises – Natalie wrote the most charming, mystical play about a house with a mind of its own. No one wants to give away the story, but there was a heated debate about the gender, temperament,and ulterior motives of said house. The play also aroused our curiosity regarding ogres, gypsies and whether or not people in small towns have passports. You had to be there. But if this play will only get better from here… trust me, you will see it soon enough.

5. #actorfriends – Thank you to all of the actors who came in to read on a cold winter night: Caitlin McEwan, Carolyn Popp, Ryan George, Cathy Curtin, David Sitler, and Yea Bin Diana Oh.

6. #photos – We decided as a group that we really needed to take photos of each reading. So luckily Tim Errickson followed through. Also, the image at the top is the ACTUAL house that inspired this great play. You can see Natalie and her trusty iPad in the foreground. Ah, the romance of France.

Until next week… keep up the good work!

#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.