SITI diary/blog Nov 11-17 cafe variations adventure in seattle

Akiko Aizawa's picture

Time flies…  I’m sorry for the delay of diary/blog entry.

sun. nov. 17  The sky was so beautiful on the flight back to NYC.  This week started a bit heavy hearted, thinking of the people of The Philippines.  When this kind of event happens, my heart aches.  And looking around, I notice that some of my friends are facing to really difficult situation.  I should reduce my complaining about small things.

Shout out for Kelly, Megan C. and Barney for their teaching marathon.  Thank you!  

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Ok, now, back to monday, 11-11

Conservatory week 9 began with suzuki training by Ellen’s guidance.  Kicked my ass!  I’ve been doing this training these 27 years but it still tells me something tangible each time.  Then, I lead the viewpoints class.  Today’s theme was “working on the specific agenda” in each improvisation session.  Loved their minds’ flexibility, sense of humor and rigor.  In the afternoon, I observed the scene study class lead by GM.  This class has been a new world for me since my theatre training is just suzuki & viewpoints.  By only observing, my mirror neuron fired like crazy and actually it became really helpful to tackle our show Cafe Variations at Jones Playhouse in Seattle which is a lovely and very intimate space with 210 seats. I’m learning from the conservatory artists & my mates in a new way.  How lucky I am!  

tuesday,  nov. 12 

The Cafe Variations team traveled to Seattle while Ellen and Barney taught the core training in the morning, Kelly taught the Creating class in the afternoon for the conservatory.  Later I was fortunate to watch the video of this class’s compositions inspired by Rothko paintings.  In the land of abstract, their work was filled with warmness but also with danger, and edgy beauty.  Loved them.  Then, I had a very nice/cheap dinner at the greek restaurant with my colleagues.  Ready for the long day tomorrow.

wednesday, nov. 13 

09:30- lead the suzuki workshop with Leon & Stephen @Hutchinson Hall, University of Washington, with 23 students & professor Jeffrey Frace, who is a long friend of SITI, trained with us before and toured around nationally in 3 productions.  It was a great pleasure to meet with his students.  When we entered the beautiful studio with wooden floor, high ceiling and natural light, I smiled to see several students were practicing some movements by themselves prior to the class.  It was a joy to meet young, energetic theater artists in the west coast who speak the same training language.  I thought of our artists in the east coast.  Afterwards we had a great conversation with Jeffrey at lunch Agora, then Coffee VITA.  Yes, Seattle is a serious city about the coffee.

19:00-  rehearsal @Jones Playhouse.  Gathered and hugged each other with our trustworthy production team; Brian, Sunny & Muttt.  Then, cast walked around on the stage, in the audience seats, examining the space.  We ended up, moved tables more upstage, changed many of entrances & spacing, and tweaked dance a bit.  

23:00 A glass of red wine with Ellen and Deb at the hotel lobby. 

thu. nov. 14 ~ sat. nov. 16

Anne came in!  Rehearsal, tech, training ourselves and then, four shows.  I really liked doing this particular show in the intimate setting, sharing the space with audience and felt them literally near.  Thank you to Luan, Sylvie, Megan H’s family, Al’s parents, Jess S. & her students for coming.  I learned more about acting from the thrilling chemistry between new Henry (GM) & Tilly (Deb), dramatic/funny fight between Edith (Ellen) & Andrew (Leon) and Peter (Stephen)’s endless, passionate, rapid talk.  

During the performing dates, I had Pho 3 times. I was addicted.  There were tons of Pho restaurants around the university, but Than Brothers was super.  

After closing, Michelle M. Witt, Executive Director of Meany Hall / Artistic Director of World Series invited us for a champagne toast at the theatre lobby.  Lovely.  I heard that she had begun to consider CV for UW World Series when she saw excerpts at APAP in January.  I remember that day.  We did 10 minutes sequence at the City Center, then rushed out from the building to JFK airport by van to fly to North Carolina for A Rite premier.  I thought it was 2 or 3 years ago…  Well, this year 2013 goes really really fast.  Wait… if the time went faster than my brain, should I feel January like last week!???


Anyway, it’s getting very chilly here in New York.  How about your place?  Please take care.

much love,

akiko