Director Shorts: Jeremy Bloom
In between the longer, in-depth interviews with NYC’s Indie Directors, I’ve decided to include some “shorts.” So lighter, shorter interviews to whet your appetite! Here’s the gist: I ask a few questions via email, they reply, then I send follow up questions. Then they get to ask me a question!
My first interviewee for “DirectorShorts” is Jeremy Bloom. Jeremy enjoys working with new playwrights and with new music, Jeremy directs his original adaptations including La Boheme (Spoken), Peter-Wendy (Dark), and Leaves of Grass (Nude). No idea is too un-theatrical, and the more visually exciting, the better. No form is too theatrical, but the more emotionally grounded, the better. You can learn more about him here. CP: Hello Jeremy! Thank you for being part of the inaugural DirectorSpeak off-shoot: DirectorShorts! You get to set the tone for this series – I hope you’re up for the challenge!
JB: Me, too! I’m sure it will be great. I’m ready, so fire away!
CP: Excellent, let’s jump right in. Was there any one incident or point in your life that convinced you that directing was what you wanted to do?
JB: Yes, indeed. It was in 1989, when I saw a a gardening cart behind my grandparents’ house and thought “that should be a stage.” We could wheel it around, and it created an elevated platform anywhere we wanted.
Read more here: http://catlander.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/director-shorts-jeremy-bloom/
Seamus Mulcahy, left, and John Patrick Doherty "Billy Witch."
Lust, Longing and Lanyards: Ah, Camp
‘Billy Witch,’ Onstage in Queens
By ANDY WEBSTER
Published: November 13, 2012
In his gleeful romp “Billy Witch,” Gregory S. Moss (“punkplay”) takes familiar ingredients of high school horror — summer camp, a lake, a forest, ghost stories — and hurls them into a whirlwind of comic sexual awakening.
The audience at the Astoria Performing Arts Center gathers before a curtain to meet Counselor Becky (Dawn Luebbe) and Counselor James (Nicholas Urda) and hear opening remarks from the camp’s imperious director, P D Lockwood (John Patrick Doherty). Then we are admitted to Camp Blue Triangle, nicely rendered in Tim Brown’s tree-laden set. (Chris Barlow, the sound designer, provides unobtrusively effective cricket chirps and owl hoots.)
The campers include the 14-year-old Oliver (Seamus Mulcahy), a shy outsider seeking to change his life. Change certainly arrives, thanks to puberty, not to mention Oliver’s fair-weather friend Arden (a petulant and amusing Eric Bryant), a boy of drastically arbitrary moods and sexual preferences; the mysterious Kid (Andy Phelan), who strikes a bargain with Oliver; Sandy (Liz Wisan), a garrulous gossip and flirt; and Miranda (Aimee Howard), a shy girl with eyes (and tentacles) for Oliver. We also learn about Billy Witch, a camper who in 1982 vanished in suspicious circumstances and has haunted the premises ever since.
As directed by Erik Pearson, the show pursues strange tangents — Lockwood’s comically terrifying lecture about women, the counselors’ unsettling arts-and-crafts presentation on the preparation and meaning of God’s-eyes— but doesn’t lag. (Nor does the buoyant cast.) And you may never again see the first tentative kiss of adolescence exchanged between a boy and a bespectacled she-squid.
“Billy Witch” continues through Saturday at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent Street, at 30th Road, Astoria, Queens; (866) 811-4111, apacny.org.
Spare Times: For Children, for July 13-19
By LAUREL GRAEBER
Published: July 12, 2012
‘Everything About School (Almost)’ (Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday through Thursday) It’s not too early to think about school, especially when it’s done with singing, dancing and humor. That’s certainly true in this musical revival from Tada! Youth Theater, with a book by Eric Rockwell and a score and lyrics by Mr. Rockwell and a variety of writers. The subjects touched on include gym class, cafeteria food and young love, as the characters progress from second grade through high school. (Through Aug. 4.) Fridays, and Tuesdays through Thursdays, at noon and 2 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 4 p.m. The noon shows this Friday and Tuesday are sold out, as are both Thursday shows. Tada! Theater, 15 West 28th Street, Manhattan, (212) 252-1619, Ext. 128, tadatheater.com; $15; $8 for 16 and under; $25 and $15 for premium seats.
Summer in the City: Theater Edition
Here is our list of must-see off-Broadway shows!
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Amanda Mactas
New York City is known for its spectacular Broadway shows. But you can get equally stunning and entertaining shows without the hefty price tag and the hustle and bustle of the theatre district. Check out these must see off-Broadway shows!
The Flower Thief: Presented by Horse Trade Theater Group and The Fire This Time Festival, this play, written by Pia Wilson, is one to see. The story centers around Clark, who is grieving over the loss of his twin brother and is clinging to nature's promise of renewal. Clark turns to stealing flowers as everything else around him slowly wilts. This show, directed by Heidi Grumelot, will run August 2-19 at The Red Room at 8pm. Tickets are available here for $18.
Probation: Repertorio Espanol presents the New York premiere of Yoshvani Medina's Probation at Gramercy Arts Theater. The show will be be presented in Spanish with subtitles via in-seat Simultext Captioning System. The play is a timely story about compromising moral values in order to get rich quick. A Cuban man brings a friend's son to the US and the boy takes a job as the director of a medical clinic after trying out hard labor. However, his world turns upside when he gets arrested by the FBI on charges of Medicaid fraud. Tickets are on sale here for $27 and the show runs from July 12th until September 27th.
The Change Season: Sink or Swim puts on quite a show with both David Auburn's Proof and Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband at The Connelly Theater. Performances go from July 5th-July 29th. In both shows, the characters are living a life of illusion and lies. Women in each show must look inside themselves and realize that they must change the way they view themselves and others in order to move forward. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased here.
King Kong: Horse Trade Theater group presents RadioTheatre in the only live on stage performance of King Kong...ever! We all know the story of the giant gorilla who climbs the Empire State Building, so no need to explain it to you. This great adventure uses a cast of fabulous storytellers, and original orchestral score, and a bundle of sound effects to bring the story to life. Tickets are $35 and available here; the show takes place at the 45th Street Theater beginning August 1st.
Chess: This special concert to benefit The Actor's Fund, will be performed one night only on July 30th at 7:30pm. Robert Cuccioli, Natascia Diaz, and Drew Sarich will be starring in the show, which takes place at LaGuardia Arts at Lincoln Center. The show follows a love story set against an international chess championship between American and Russian players, inspired by the 1972 match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. Tickets are $67.50 for general admission of $128.50 for reserved seating. They can be purchased here.
Le Prince et le Pauvre: Otherwise known as The Prince and the Pauper, this show, put on by CETM and Cutter Productions, in association with the Midtown International Theater Festival, will be showing the New York premiere of this classic story at the June Havoc Theatre. The show will be presented in French with supertitles and an encore in English for three performances only, July 27-29th. The story follows a young prince and a pauper who decide to switch places. The show is being directed by Gaelle Pouliquen and $18 tickets can be purchased here.
My Mind is Like an Open Meadow: 59E59 Theaters and Hand2Mouth Theatre bring you the New York premiere of Erin Leddy's show. The writer lived with her grandmother for a year in 2001 and recorded her memoirs...the product is this show, in which the audio of the elderly actress comes to life and journeys between two generations of theater performers. The show goes from August 1st until August 19th. Tickets are $25 and available here.
CAPTAIN CRASH vs THE ZZORGWOMEN- CHAPTERS 5 & 6
The Science Fiction Rock Musical
Book and lyrics by DAVE PIERCE
Music by STEVE HAMMOND, RICK JONES, and WESTON GAVIN
Choreographed by ROBERTA RAYMOND
Directed by RICHMOND SHEPARD
STARTING JUNE 20TH AT THE RICHMOND SHEPARD THEATRE
OPENING NIGHT IS THURSDAY, JUNE 28 AT 8 P.M.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT 212-684-2690
Like the Saturday afternoon movie serials of the 30’s and 40’s, the show starts with the end of Chapter 4: Captain Crash, his beautiful secretary Dulla, his sidekick Swede and The Professor are trapped and about to be killed by the Snakepeople. Somehow, they miraculously escape.
Their ship is hit by a meteor shower, and they crash-land on the planet Zzorg, where the population is all women. They are caught in the nefarious schemes and traps of these voracious women. Will they escape? Will they succumb to the malevolent schemes of The Zzorgs and their beautiful King? Will Captain Crash continue fighting evil throughout the galaxy?
Come and see the show, with its singing, dancing, gymnastic Zzorgwomen, and the staunchest, most Patriotic, American Hero in The Galaxy.
CAPTAIN CRASH plays the following regular schedule:
Wednesdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $20 and are now available at 212-684-2690 or ½ hour prior to performance at the theater.
Running Time: 2 hours
The production features costume design by Justine Rivera, lighting design by Brett Maughan, and sound design by Samm Vella.
Prison Dancer: The Show Based on Viral YouTube Sensation
The dancing inmates of Cebu come alive on stage.
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Amanda Mactas
The New York Musical Theatre Festival and Prison Dancer Live, LLC. are bringing the show Prison Dancer to a theater near you! The show, written by Romeo Candido and Carmen De Jesus and directed by Jenn Rapp, will be showing at St. Clement's from July 20th until July 28th. The show follows the lives of eight Filipino maximum-security prisoners, whose lives are changed when a video of their dance-based rehab program goes viral on YouTube. The dark prison suddenly finds itself in the spotlight and these hardcore criminals are given a second chance. Furthermore, the show is inspired by a true story! Tickets are $20 and available for purchase here. Check out the performance schedule below:
Friday, Jul 20th, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, Jul 22nd, 2012 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, Jul 22nd, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Friday, Jul 27th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Saturday, Jul 28th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Saturday, Jul 28th, 2012 at 9:00 pm
See the real Dancing Inmates of Cebu breaking it down to MJ in this video!
Dancing Inmates of Cebu - Thriller
2011 New York IT Award Winners Announced
By Angela Mitchell, About.com Guide
September 20, 2011
On Monday, September 19, the 2011 New York Innovative Theatre (IT) Award winners were announced in a ceremony hosted by Harrison Greenbaum at Cooper Union's Great Hall, located at 51 Astor Place in New York. Award recipients included a wealth of theatrical talents, including honors for Robert Patrick (Artistic Achievement Award), Horse Trade Theater Group (the Ellen Stewart Award), Flux Theatre Ensemble (the Caffe Cino Fellowship Award), and Laura Schlachtmeyer, who was recognized with the award for Outstanding Stage Manager.
The 2011 New York IT Awards also included a wealth of honors for additional ensembles, shows, performers and technicians. Among the many deserving nominees and winners, the one that intrigues me most is Manhattan Theatre Source'sThings at the Doorstep (the winner for Outstanding Solo Performance, for Nat Cassidy), with a theatrical adaptation of Lovecraft that I'd absolutely love to see onstage simply because I'd want to see how they brought the world of such an expansive horror writer into the relatively intimate confines of the stage -- it makes for a wonderful creative challenge. (And yeah, then I would be afraid. A lot.)
To learn more about the New York Innovative Theatre Awards, visit their website athttp://www.nyitawards.com. Meanwhile, you'll find my complete list of nominees and winners here. Congrats to all the nominees and winners alike!
Photo: Courtesy of Manhattan Theatre Source
“And the winner is…” If you were a nominee for the 2011 New York Innovative Theatre Awards those words can send chills and quivers as you await that all important NAME. And if that name is yours — !!! For the 4th year, nytheatre.com polled the winners to find out how they took the news. We asked three questions: (1)What was the absolute first thought you had when you heard them call your name? (2)Who was the first person you called/emailed to tell that you won? (3)What does this award signify or mean to you personally? Here are the answers in the order we received them.
JONATHAN BLITSTEIN - Outstanding Original Full-Length Script
Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times)
First Thought: At first I really thought it was someone else’s name. It was hard to hear in the auditorium, and then everyone sitting next to me was screaming and cheering, and I looked to the producer of the play, Brian Miskell, and he had this grin on his face that was like: “Dude, it was totally, totally worth every tough day of putting on that show”. And I was still pretty much convinced it wasn’t real, even when I was walking to the stage.
First Called: I had my cellphone on me at the show, and I sent a text right away to my family, and then I texted my co-founding members of Lesser America, Nate Miller and Laura Ramadei, who were in Keep Your Baggage. Daniel Abeles, our other co-founder was also nominated for best featured actor, and was there with me.
Award Means: I think the NYIT community/foundation, and the indie theater audience are the power-plant lighting up theater in New York City. To be recognized by them is a tremendous honor. I’m just humbled and delighted. On a personal career level, I hope this means that someday somehow I’ll get my play published, so more people can check it out. I’m
hopeful. I’m also thrilled to follow in the footsteps of writers like Bekah Brunstetter and Crystal Skillman!
NICK PAGLINO - Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role
An Impending Rupture of the Belly
First Thought: My first reaction was quite literally, “I’m pretty sure John Glover just said my name, and if he didn’t and I’m just imagining it, I’m going to look really horrible walking up to that stage right now.” My immediate next thought was, “Okay, he did say my name, and I can’t believe John Glover just said my name.”
First Called: I texted my brother who lives in Michigan and is a huge sports fan. His response to my text was “Congratulations man! Are you seeing this Giants game right now?”
Award Means: The work that the Off-Off Broadway community does truly is a “labor of love,” and often times slips under the general radar of the public. To have an organization like The NYIT Awards recognize the work that we do is such a refreshing affirmation that our efforts are noticed and appreciated. So to me, the award (and the entire awards ceremony) really symbolizes the strength of the Off-Off Broadway community.
DEANNA MCGOVERN – Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role
An Impending Rupture of the Belly
First Thought: There was definitely a little bit of a delay in my head-for it to register that Jay O’Sanders had just called my name. My cast mates and friends that were sitting with me all jumped up and starting cheering and hugging me, so that made it sink in. My very close 2nd thought was- “Crap! I didn’t prepare anything to say”. It was truly a surprise.
First Called: It was definitely my parents. They were watching the live stream at home in Dayton, OH and they immediately sent me a really beautiful message. And like an idiot, I didn’t thank them during my acceptance, so… Thank you Mom and Dad for everything, literally! I love you.
Award Means: It means so much to be recognized by your community and peers, in whatever field you are in. But after living and working as an artist in NYC for almost 6 years, I think it’s safe to say, being recognized by your theatre community, in this city, is an incredible honor. It makes the great parts of it even greater and the tough parts of it totally worth the struggle.
KRISTEN VAUGHAN – Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role
First Thought: My very first thought was “Okay, that’s me.” I was in the unusual position of being nominated alongside one of my very best friends – Heather Cunningham. Heather is a wonderful actor and also the Artistic Director and Producer of Retro Productions, a company to which I belong and because of which I received the nom and award. Heather and I
were nominated for the same show! And I’m not saying I’m unhappy (please… my award sits on the bookshelf, and I’m not sure when I’ll stop smiling at it), but honestly, in that first moment, I think I wanted, and was most prepared to hear Heather’s name.
First Called: I got a picture of me and the award and emailed it to Ursula, my MOM.
Award Means: Over the years, Retro has had a lot of nominations. This is our first WIN! I’m thrilled to have been responsible for my part in that. Personally, the award makes me want to work all the harder, to continue to be the best actor I can be. When I smile at it in the morning it says (in a very distinguished voice) “Keep going.”
CHRISTINE O’GRADY – Outstanding Choreography/Movement
The Drowsy Chaperone
First Thought: Susan Lucci no more!! I was excited!
First Call: My fiance. He’s on tour so wasn’t with me.
Award Means: It’s so nice to be recognized for my work Off-Off Broadway, where I’ve met some amazing collaborators who I continue to LOVE working with. For each of the times I’ve been nominated, it’s been a project in which my work has been clarified, deepened, and brought to life by the great people in the room–directors, actors, and designers. The group effort is so important to me, and The Drowsy Chaperone was just that!
BARB KIELHOFER – Outstanding Production of a Play
Balm in Gilead
First Thought: I thought I had heard wrong. We had been nominated for quite a few awards throughout the night and each time they said a name other thanBalm in Gilead, so when it finally was us I was so stunned I thought that I had misheard. It wasn’t until I saw my cast leap to their feet and start cheering that I realized we had won. It was a total out of body experience. I know our director Peter Jensen had the same experience because we shared this sort of blank, stunned look before we made our way to the podium.
First Call: My mom. She had been watching the entire show online from her home in New Mexico. The first thing she said to me was “you looked beautiful, and I saw John Patrick Shanley kiss you.” It was so sweet because she isn’t computer savvy so I know it was a big deal for her to watch online. She even live chatted with Aaron and Doug!
Award Means: For me it represents all the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in Balm. The Outstanding Production Award is a crowning achievement at the end of a rewarding and magical experience.
LESLIE KINCAID BURBY – Outstanding Director
First Thought: My first thought was, “No Way!!”. I was so in awe of the many talents nominated that I had completely convinced myself that there was no way I would win the award. I was thrilled!
First Called: I called my sons Henry (15) and Adam (12) as soon as the event was over. They were super excited and apparently Adam started rolling around on the floor and cheering. They promised me they would stay up until I got home and we would have a “big party”. However, I did gently tell them they had to go to bed and we’d celebrate the next night, which we did.
Award Means: This award meets a tremendous amount to me. It’s the first time I’ve received a major acknowledgement of my work in the many years I’ve been in the business of theatre. I know we all need to believe in ourselves, but it can feel pretty lonely sometimes. Being a director sometimes means you have to be the “bad guy”, and shoulder a lot of responsibility whatever problems the production runs into. This can be exhausting and overwhelming. It is a really lovely vote of confidence to receive this kind of tangible support from one’s colleagues. It is helping me recharge my creative batteries already!
DAVID DARROW – Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role
First Thought: Woohoo!…oh God, I have to go up there and talk…
First Called: My girlfriend who was sitting next to me tweeted it before I even got back to my seat…so I didn’t have to call anyone!
Award Means: It’s the perfect ending to an incredible process. I learned so much working on The Revival. I’m thrilled the show had such an impact on our audiences.
NAT CASSIDY – Outstanding Solo Performance
Things At The Doorstep: An Evening of Horror Based on the Works of H.P. Lovecraft
First Thought: “Dammit. I have no idea what I’m going to s– … wait, are they playing ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ for Solo Performance? That is awesome.”
First Call: Given the speed our damned social media move, I don’t think I actually told ANYBODY. By the time I got back to my seat, I had text messages and Facebook posts galore. Perhaps I’ll open a phonebook at random (they still make those, right?) and call the first number I point to, just so I can have the pleasure of actually telling somebody.
Award Means: It’s a huge, huge honor – and, frankly, I was happy just to be nominated. This was the first solo show I’d ever done and it was a really, really, really weird, challenging, personal show that actually pissed a fair amount of people off (cf., our Village Voice review). But the fact that so manyother people came along for the ride and enjoyed it was so incredibly gratifying and amazing, and now to somehow have an award for such a crazy experience is close to absurd (and on my birthday week, no less). So it signifies to me that, no matter how insane they might seem, taking risks is always worth it, and every now and then you might get a 5-pound aluminum something to show for it. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all who came and voted. (And thanks to all that came and walked out, too – you were actually more of an important element than you could ever have known.)
The Hive and the cell
A Theasy Interview with The Hive's Artistic Director and co-founder, Matthew A.J. Gregory, the cell's Artistic Director, Kira Simring, and the cell's Founding Artistic Director, Nancy Manocherianby Molly Marinik
This summer, The Hive and the cell join forces to present “The Summer of Lust,” which includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bad Evidence playing in rep through July. The bill might encompass one old play and one new play, but both fit under the subhead “smoldering portraits of contemporary relationships.” Insert sexy cat noise here.
We sent some questions to The Hive’s Artistic Director and co-founder, Matthew A.J. Gregory (who is also directing Midsummer), to the cell’s Artistic Director, Kira Simring (who is also directing Bad Evidence), and to the cell’s Founding Artistic Director, Nancy Manocherian, to learn more about the joint endeavor. Here’s what they had to say.
THEASY: What are your missions? What are your companies all about?
NANCY: the cell’s mission is to incubate and present new works of art. We are an artist run arts organization dedicated to creating opportunities for artists in all disciplines by providing a nurturing space for individual and collaborative work among the many diverse artists who work in our space.
MATT: The Hive’s mission is about breaking down the traditional theatre hierarchy and empowering all of the artists involved to collaborate on a level playing field. We aren’t at all top down as a company. It’s truly a collective, where actors feel free to make suggestions and to work with set designers on scenery, and a lighting designer can feel comfortable in making a suggestion to an actor about a moment they are playing on stage. While many of our members fall into traditional disciplines, there aren’t the kind of rigid boundaries between roles as there often is in other theatrical endeavors. The Hive firmly believes that if we get the right artists in a room together, someone involved will have the creative solution to any problem that comes along. It is the second half of our mission, “building and serving the community through play,” that I think makes the Hive unique however. We believe in play in every sense of the word, and we are all about our community. We don’t just produce plays, we also host bar nights of drinking and merriment, themed one-night events, and a variety of other programming that falls outside of traditional theatre. Play is the unifying factor in all that we do, for audiences and for ourselves. We want audiences and artists alike to use plays and play as a way to grow into an ever enlarging community.
**Read the rest of the article here**