Putin On Ice Reviews

Photo by Britt Olsen-Ecker

Not gonna lie, it’s a pretty cool moment when a show you’ve worked on gets reviewed by the Washington Post. Check out their review and others:

Putin On Ice at Single Carrot Theatre

Thanks to Philip Arnoult, shortly after landing in Baltimore I stumbled into an opportunity to contribute to the rehearsal process of a new show. Putin On Ice, written by Lola B. Pierson and directed by Yury Urnov, is a wild romp of a piece and I couldn’t be happier to be jumping into such a creative and ambitious project, even as my graduate studies kick off. I’m helping the actors find greater specificity in physicality, gesture, gait, and in creating rhythmical and poetic relationships in various scenes throughout the piece.

From the website:

Everything that happens on stage is a lie. Created in collaboration by The Acme Corporation and Single Carrot Theatre, this spectacle is a fantastical new portrait of Vladimir Putin. This ostentatious piece blends counterfeit ancient texts, falsified scientific data, and manipulated video evidence to create something entirely new and thrillingly strange. Putin is elevated from man to myth, stretching through time to become more deity than dictator. You are free to leave at any time. World premiere.

September 14 – October 7
PWYC Previews: September 12 & 13
Thursdays – Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 3pm

 

Creative Research: On Fairytales and Madness

Over the course of the Margolis Method Conservatory Program, I had the opportunity to delve into some creative research with the artists present. I was interested in themes of madness, paranoia, delusion, and escapism, and chose to garner text from Alice in WonderlandPeter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz (all stories involving an escape to a magical world) as well as quotes and text by writers like Anais Nin and Sylvia Plath. We explored various physical and dramatic limitations to create different ensemble relationships of unity, disconnection, and isolation. Here are a few snaps of some of the images and scenes we created. Huge thanks to the actors that participated for their generosity and creativity!

Pictures: Elisenda Bassas, Anna DeMers, Angela Kiser, Jackie McCoy

Margolis Method Center Conservatory 2017

The summer flew by with a group of amazing artists and transitioned into an inspiring, focused period as we kicked off our inaugural 12-Week Conservatory Program. I had the pleasure of working with some highly disciplined artists on advanced training and creation. Each artist developed and worked on a personal creative project as part of the Conservatory, with a public showing at the end of the Program. Each artist grew immensely over the course of the Conservatory, and the icing on the cake was the incredible response they received upon presenting their projects to an audience at the Center.

While the Conservatory is done for now, the studio still resonates with each artist’s energy and creativity!

Overtime: Men at Work at Schenectady, NY

Well we closed Overtime: Men at Work to amazing response and multiple full houses. The cast and crew were phenomenal and I couldn’t be prouder. Here are some images from the piece:

Overtime: Men at Work Press Release

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2017
SCCC Presents
The Unnerving Office Adventures of Three Hapless Pencil Pushers

Overtime: Men At Work opens April 27th and runs through the 29th and May 4th & 5th at Proctor’s Theatre (In the “Underground”). Conceived and Directed by Jonathan Beller and Jarod Hanson and created through a collaborative workshopped process, Overtime: Men At Work is a corporate rollercoaster ride through the typical office cubicle, where every looming deadline seems to come quicker than the one before.

Three desperate desk workers struggle to meet the demands of the office space rat race. Can they climb the corporate ladder, or will they lose their footing and slip, rung by rung, to the depths of depravity? Navigating their way through the monotony of the workday, these everymen face stark questions about their goals, motivations, scruples, and camaraderie.

Overtime: Men At Work explores issues relating to workplace gender roles and capitalist exploitation, and themes of thwarted ambition, individuality, disillusionment, and the American Dream-Turned-Nightmare. It’s a surreal romp with familiar iconography, quirky comedy, and the troubling undercurrent of the struggles of the working everyman.

Dates: April 27-29; May 4 & 5
Times: All shows 8pm (1 hr running time)
Location: Proctor’s Theatre in the “Underground”
Tickets should be reserved by calling 518-346-6204

HEADSHOT! Project at Millikin University

I’m incredibly proud to have spent the month of September as Assistant Director for MIllikin University’s production of HEADSHOT!. The MB ADAPTORS Company spent a solid six weeks developing the show as part of a creative residency, and the students and faculty were incredible in the support and generosity of spirit. The show has had many iterations with smaller and larger casts, and this iteration inspired us to add entirely new groups of characters to the mix. A manic emcee strung out on Hollywood glamour makes her appearance throughout the show alongside spirits of the fame factory and the omnipresent  “mission control” stage management band armed with musical instruments. Existing material was expanded and redeveloped, and many new images and scenes were crafted with the collaboration of the Millikin artists themselves. The experience was tremendously fulfilling and I’m so grateful to Kari Margolis, Tony Brown, MB ADAPTORS Company, and of course Millikin University for making this phenomenal experience possible.

Summer Session 2016

Summer Session at the Margolis Method Center Int’l wrapped up with amazing growth in the entire group of artists–myself included! A mix of new and returning artists made for an exciting experience of challenges, breakthroughs, and inspiration. As a teacher, I always welcome questions from fresh eyes to clarify concepts and principles, as well as thoughts from seasoned artists to dig deeper into an exercise or structure.

Summer may be wrapping up but fall will be full of work with Millikin University as well as Margolis Method Online Learning, so stay tuned!

INSULA, Music

“Alone” Scene from INSULA
photo: Mike Peters

INSULA – Kennedy Center Region II American College Theatre Festival
As I mentioned in a previous post, I got my feet wet in the realm of directing as assistant director to Kari Margolis as we took on creating an original devised piece with BFA Acting students at Montclair State University.  Inspired by the physical theatre space given to us at Montclair, INSULA developed organically into an awe-inspiring work of physical poetry as we explored the concept of islands, both metaphorical and literal.  We pulled from personal feelings of isolation, literary islands such as Avalon, Never Never Land, and sites from The Odyssey to create a living, breathing dreamscape of morphing stories and images.

Well, it is with great pride that I can announce that the show has been selected to perform at the Kennedy Center Region II American College Theatre Festival, held this year at Towson University.

Of course, I started this draft weeks ago and now that I am getting back to it, we leave for Towson TODAY!  From what I understand, we open the festival tomorrow morning with a performance at 9am and perform again later at 3pm.  We hope to seriously blow the minds of our audiences!

Music
I had a busy December with more gigs at Bakers Taproom II.  I cannot say enough great things about the place.  The food is spectacular, the clientele is friendly, and they have a seasonal rotation of great beer on tap.  They were decked out for the holiday season, and I had a great time honing my chops with sets of originals, cover, and I sprinkled in some holiday tunes to celebrate the festivities.  I snapped some video of a gig, but there is so much crowd audio with spiky levels I’m not sure how much of it is usable.  Still, if I can clean something up, I’ll post it.

I have a lot of projects on the table for 2013, and am so excited!  Working on a lot of new music and I’ll be posting clips of songs in progress as they get ironed out.