What's the Story

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I am writing today in West Fulton, New York in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. I am close to finishing a new book of essays entitled What’s the Story.  The book is made up of eleven chapters, each with a one-word title:

SITIParis2013 #3

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SITIParis2013 #2 Ellen&Bondo

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SITIParis2013 a daily Ellen&Bondo

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Chaos

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Our capacity to tolerate error depends upon our capacity to tolerate emotion.
(Irna Gadd)

In 1974 I moved to New York City with the dream of making a life in the theater but first I had to find gainful employment to support my passions.  Here are some of my many day jobs:  Collecting overdue payments from the clients of a bottled water company, teaching theater to adolescents at the United Nations International School after-school program, analyzing expenses for a Wall Street brokerage firm and leading theater workshops in a halfway house for schizophrenics. Each job provided a window into a particular social, political or economic world. Each window taught me valuable lessons about how to be a better theater director.  I mostly learned through my own errors. After many mistakes of presumption and conjecture, I eventually learned to abandon my own carefully premeditated plans, slow down and listen, really listen to what was happening, and then adjust. I learned the necessity of giving up control in order to ride the wave that was already in motion.

this is a trailer for A RITE

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#ARite daily #3 final reh. before Bard Summer Scape

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A Rite rehearsal for Bard Summer Scape

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Heat

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Successful theater requires a combination of technique, content and passion.  Like a three legged milking stool, if one of the legs is missing, the entire enterprise collapses.  No one cares about the content of an endeavor without the ingredient of the artist’s requisite passion for the material as well as the craft or technique to express it articulately.  Similarly, without having something to say and a point of view, neither passion nor technique is sufficient. 

What is passion and how can it be cultivated?  Brazilian theater director Augusto Boal, inspired by the ideas of Lope de Vega, insisted that, “Theatre is the passionate combat of two human beings on a platform.” He proposed that passion is a feeling for someone or something, or an idea that we prize more highly than our own life.  Clearly Mr. Boal was a passionate Latin American with high ideals.

Daily #4 SITIsummer13

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