Submitted by Ellen Lauren on May 21, 2013 - 2:54am
An early morning after reading the Persians last night. The fog and clouds giving way to a pure light that etches everything with such clarity. The beauty is almost too much, overwhelming to the senses and the soul. A morning drive up into the canyon and down to the Pacific, which is now a color we haven’t seen before.
After the formality, archaic structure and rigor of Aeschylus’ language, we give over today to the wild, unnerving energy of Euripides’ The Bacchae. One has been read at night, sombre and strange. The other will be read midday, while this light outside shines on the white marble, glitters the fountains and herbs, spins the birds into the air.
Sunday was our 3rd and final public reading of the Greeks. We read Euripides’ ION. We arrived at the villa for training at 10:30 a.m. I chose that we would work on the marches, then statues with speaking the “Midsummer” text. We did a 15 minute VP session that was entirely open, then set up the tables to sit and do our rehearsal read.
I am starting this late and will surely not finish until this evening after day 4…but so it goes.
Last night just as I was finishing supper and about to start my section of the daily blog…. the doorbell rang.. or someone knocked….. long conversations and a few drinks later I went to bed my report undone.
but to back up.
Some early memories of our amazing days here.
I had been in LA since late Friday evening having flown here from Windsor Ontario, via Detroit for 2 Saturday meetings (which caused me too miss the GALA).
Members of the SITI company are back at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles to begin our third residency to read and develop a production to be premiered here at the Getty Villa in the summer of 2014. Our production’s of THETROJANWOMAN and ANTIGONE came out of this same generous residency support. This time we are reading 3 plays in a single week with another week to either find other works to consider, or to dive deeper into the choices we have before us: THEPERSIANS, THEBACCHAE, and ION.
Submitted by Ellen Lauren on May 13, 2013 - 9:32pm
Upon beginning our residency of readings at the Getty Villa with GM, J.Ed, Ellen, Kelly, Bondo, Anne, Jessica Hanna 2013.
We are back. Into the blazing sunlight, the heat of the valley where we are staying this go round. Into the scent of eucalyptus and jasmine and car fumes and sea. Today we wove, drove, up the canyon and down it- and just as you reach the other side, there is the ocean stretching endless-and back into the grove of the Getty Villa. My mind is filled with memories, but my body is what really remembers it. And just entering, just that much, I remember the warmth of the marble on our feet at night, the feel of the night getting cooler, the smell of lavender, the taste of the figs we’d snitch- the memories of another time in this extraordinary place when we made Trojan Women. But here, now, again to read these fathomless plays-The Persians, Bacchae, Ion.
Submitted by Anne Bogart on April 8, 2013 - 11:13am
The Buddhists propose that pain is caused by personal attachment to desire. Accordingly, I consciously and vigilantly police my own burning desires in order to live closer to and in harmony with the realities of the unfolding present moment. I try to stay free from what I perceive as a prison of “wanting.”
In public I have often suggested that the word “want” is killing the American Theater. I propose that in rehearsal we employ the word “want” excessively. A director says to an actor, “now I want you to walk downstage,” or an actor asks a director, “is this what you want?” In so speaking I believe that we unconsciously set up parent-children relationships between the director and actors. And I see this manner of speaking as an endemic and a serious spiritual and political problem in our field.
Submitted by Anne Bogart on March 12, 2013 - 12:00am
The subject of the theater is, at its core, community. The nurturing substance of theater is not only the story that the play relates and the manner in which the story is expressed, but it is also the actual event of a particular community gathering together to experience the “rite” of enactment. A “rite” is the performance of a ritual and the theater contains vast amounts of ritual.
In 1987 my dear friend, the actor Henry Stram, was performing the role of Cusins in a production of George Bernard Shaw’s play Major Barbara at Baltimore Center Stage. Towards the end of the rather long and windy third act during a sleepy Sunday matinee, Henry made a crucial mistake. His character had an important plot line about his parentage and his appropriateness to take over the Undershaft Munitions Works. In describing why he should be entitled to run the foundry, Henry misspoke a line from the play and rather than saying “My mother is my father’s deceased wife’s sister; and in this island I am consequently a foundling!” he said instead: “My Father is my brother’s deceased wife’s sister; and in this island I am consequently a foundling.” To his immense surprise, the entire audience, who Henry had until that moment supposed was a sleepy, blue haired mass, gasped loudly, as one, at his slip. And Henry at that moment realized that audiences DO, in fact, listen; that what we say on the stage really does register.
Submitted by Anne Bogart on January 28, 2013 - 11:07am
At the Theater Communications Group Conference in Baltimore in 2009, “Generation Y” representative Nadira Hira bounded onto the stage and announced that she would not be using any PowerPoint in her talk. Hooray. What a relief! After several days of presentations and lectures with endless visual information displayed behind the speakers, I was relieved to be spoken to without technical support and accouterments. Hira went on to explain that her generation is moving away from PowerPoint lectures because they understand the physical intensity of speaking directly to an audience.