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

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

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.

Music, Pulling Strings, Insula

MUSIC
I was psyched to finally arrange a date to play an acoustic set at Baker’s Taproom II in Barryville, NY.  It’s a place near and dear to my heart, and they have the best pizza I’ve had anywhere (Chicago & NYC have nothin’ on this place!).

I played two 40-minute sets, with an even mix of original songs and relatively obscure covers.  It was so great to get my feet wet playing music live again.  I”ve been playing and writing, but much of my focus lately has been on theatre, so it’s great to break in those calluses again and rebuild hand and finger strength!  I’m looking forward to lining up more winter dates and really getting back into the groove.  Cannot wait to do some more writing!

PULLING STRINGS – Middletown, NY Oct 20
Here comes the world premiere of our new production, PULLING STRINGS!  We’ll be performing one night only at Orange Hall in Middletown, NY.  We had a phenomenal preview work-in-progressing showing a few weeks back, and we’ve had time to tweak, edit, and polish to create an even stronger show.

More dates are in the works to tour this sizzling gem of a production, and I have no doubt whatsoever that we will knock the socks off of every audience we perform for–it’s a show like none other!  More details to come as developments continue.

INSULA – Montclair State University
It is with great pride that I am assisting Kari Margolis with a brand spanking new piece of devised work with BFA students at Montclair State University to be performed at the L. Howard Fox Theatre.  The new piece, titled INSULA, will delve into the various metaphorical and literal islands we as humanity create and have created for ourselves and for others throughout the ages.  Islands of myth and legend clash with those of modern technological isolation to create a rich human collage of emotion, history, dilemma, and discovery.

The work is being built from the ground up, with the BFA students offering a strong artistic voice to unearth imagery and story under the ever brilliant guidance of Kari Margolis and myself.  Other members of the MB ADAPTORS Company are popping in to assist and inspire, and not only are we creating some phenomenal work, but the experience itself is so empowering and enriching for the students.  I really think projects like this are invaluable for young artists in their formative training.  Where else does one get to don the hats of actor, playwright, and collaborator with a world class theatre company in such a supportive, nurturing, and educational environment?

Kudos and thanks to Montclair for supporting this amazing endeavor!

The show itself will open Thursday, November 29th and continue through Saturday night with another run the following Thurs-Sat.  You can purchase tickets HERE!

Overdue Update: PULLING STRINGS, Teaching, and more

Holy overdue update, Batman!  So much to recap.

A scene from MB ADAPTOR’S newest production, PULLING STRINGS (photo by Jim Moore)

PULLING STRINGS
Two years of hard work is finally culminating as we polish the imaginative powerhouse of a production we call PULLING STRINGS.  As a creative endeavor, it has been incredibly artistically fulfilling.  I have been challenged and inspired in all of the ways I could hope for as a working artist.  Every moment of this show is packed with imagery, metaphor, emotion, and subtext.  We perform final work-in-progress showing as part of NACL’s Deep Space series in September, and then make our debut in Middletown, New York in October (more details to follow).  If you are in the area, come and experience the wonder of a show like nothing you have ever seen before.  I feel so lucky to be part of such a spectacular ensemble of artists (Jalyn Knobloch, Gregory G. Schott, Tania Liberata, Jonathan Beller, and Helen Buron.)  Of course I owe so much to my director and mentor, Kari Margolis and her brilliant partner, Tony Brown.

Workshops
I have had the great pleasure to assist Master Teacher Kari Margolis at a number of high profile Master Classes.  As I mentioned in my last post, in April, I was there to assist at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, DC, where we worked with a group of finalists from across the country.  This was my second year bringing the Margolis Method to the artists at the KCACTF.  I also sat in on a panel to discuss devised work as the Festival continues to develop an arena for this type of work at the regional festivals.  Very enlightening and very inspiring.

In June, I accompanied Kari to NYC, where we taught at the Actor’s Movement Studio’s 2012 Summer Intensive.  Janice Orlandi, who runs the studio, is such an exuberant, supportive force.  It was a great weekend for me as a teacher, given the reins to lead the group at times throughout the workshop.

Margolis Method 2012 Professor Certification
We had our second annual Professor Certification course at the beginning of the summer, and boy was it an inspiration.  Professors from colleges and universities across the country–and two from Canada–assembled to learn exercises, concepts, and creative structures to incorporate into their classes.  There is nothing like being in the presence of professional theater educators discussing craft.  I sense the flow of theater shifting, and I truly believe it is the coming age of actor-centered theatre.  It all starts with the educators.  If we spread the word and help to create empowered artists, the whole paradigm of theatre will and must change.

Music
Been picking up my guitar lately.  Here’s a snippet of a song I was working on (which is now finished).  I’ll record the full song soon and post it.  Enjoy!

 

 

So many updates!

Where to begin? Well the most recent exciting news is that I just assisted Master Teacher Kari Margolis teach a workshop at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.  As always it was great to be a part of the national festival, and the actors we worked with were all spectacular.

My focus this winter and spring have been working on two major projects.  First, I’ve been continuing to collaborate as a Company Member with the MB ADAPTORS on our newest production, Dreamscape I: Pulling Strings.  It’s rich with metaphor, imagery, questions, and unique, evolving characters.  Right now we’re aiming to perform in the fall.  More details to come.

The second big project has been to help develop the Margolis Method Professor Certification Level II, which equips university and college professors with a deeper understanding of Margolis Method principles and more exercises to incorporate into their existing syllabuses.   We have professors coming to attend both the Level I and Level II workshops this summer, and as faculty at the Center, I cannot wait to work with this diverse group of professionals!

More updates to come with more information!

Margolis Method Professor Certification Level I & The Summer Intensive

Wow this summer is flying by like I cannot believe!

We had an enormously successful launch of our Margolis Method Professor Certification Level I program in June. I was thrilled to take part in facilitating this new program as faculty here at the Margolis Method Center. Level I Certification equipped a group of eager and inspiring Theatre Education professionals with concepts, exercises, and improv structures to incorporate into their existing syllabuses at their universities and colleges.

The Center’s Summer Intensive followed right on the heels of the Professor Certification, and we’re currently two weeks into the summer session. It has been phenomenal. As usual, the students joining us in the studio are immensely generous, hard working, and creative. It should prove to be yet another mind blowing summer, and I’m thrilled to be teaching my first classes in one hour Practice sessions where we focus on breaking down exercises for a microscopic exploration of their mechanics and principles.