PS Who knew glovelette was a word? Too funny.
Remember that time it snowed before Halloween? Oh yeah, that was yesterday. So I started looking for warm things. These ribbed glovelettes are perfect; and I love the color- "vivid poppy." They are like arm-warmers that would allow me to write and be warm in the rehearsal room!
PS Who knew glovelette was a word? Too funny.
Dave Carter and I are both dramaturgs in our third year at Columbia’s MFA Dramaturgy program. He has a background in philosophy, French, and directing, among many other super skills. He is one sharp dramaturg! Dave’s been working as the dramaturg for Columbia's MFA actors’ thesis A Midsummer Night's Dream, which opened this week. Dave generously took the time for this blog-terview to talk about his experience acting as a dramaturg on these projects.
Ellen: What drew you to this project? And how long have you been working on it?
Dave: What drew me to the project originally was my interest in classical theatre. I thoroughly enjoy exploring the complex dramaturgical investigations that come with work on a Shakespeare text. The riches offered in his plays allow for daring choices to any production of his work. As dramaturgs, I believe we are given a role as player of nuance: an artist that is afforded the opportunity to excavate a text, and ideally that excavation can often have little to no restrictions in terms of depth of meaning. And Shakespeare is lauded for his supply of depth. Also, Niky, as director and actor, has excelled in commedia, an art form defined by freedom and restriction; as a person, collaborating with him was also a joy and attraction to the project.
Ellen: Can you give us a seven-word synopsis/blurb of the play? Or perhaps a haiku that acts as a blurb?
Dave: A search for humanity covered by archetypes.
Ellen: How did you function as a dramaturg for each piece? How often were you in the room? What kind of research did you do?
Dave: Before the rehearsal process I was in dialogue with Niky, discussing all manner of psychology and metaphor (over the summer break). I also was charged with assisting the editorial process of the piece in concert with both Niky and a German dramaturg. Once rehearsal began, I was not as needed in the room. I found my absence from the rehearsal most challenging. As a dramaturg, I often find myself in the room for a majority of the process, yet for this piece we all thought that the production needed to grow without any hint of critical obligations. It seemed best for the production to submerge itself in this world of the play, coming up for any assistance from me only when needed.
Ellen: What was the most rewarding and most challenging aspect of the rehearsal process?
Dave: It was challenging to work in what I thought to be a German model of dramaturgy. The play is geared towards a German production in an upcoming international festival held in Germany and as such my work methods varied radically from what I am used to. Essentially, I helped to research the piece and supply research material, though only rarely commenting on the process as a whole. It was illuminating to discover this sort of dramaturgical assistance.
Ellen: What are you up to next? (If it is a project how can we see it?)
Dave: Hopefully I can finish my own thesis now: Henry James and a failed dramaturgy. Though in the immediate future, as literary manager for the Amoralists, I am launching with the company our first play development series: the Amoralab. Our premier is on November 2, with each month thereafter offering opportunities for playwrights to have their works connect with new audiences. Hope to see you there.
Ellen: Merci mille fois to Dave Carter for taking the time to share his thoughts! I already have my ticket. All the cool kids will be there, so you can get yours here.
I cannot believe that I missed this at BAM.
Not sure when it will become available for DVD,
but I cannot wait!
For now I just keep watching the trailer...
"The business of art is to live in the actual present."
This quote is in honor of my first visit to Yale.
I am going there this weekend in order to see this!
I recently blogged about Pumpkinfest.
And I have a new cultural activity to add to the list!
My writers' group, at the brilliant suggestion of Lila Feinberg, took an inspirational, fantastic field trip to Gagosian Gallery. We saw Richard Serra's Junction/Cycle.
It was kind of like going to an urban, autumnal, art maze.
I found the color to be quite a healing, invigorating orange.
Somewhat reminiscent of pumpkins!
I highly recommend going, especially on a rainy day.
My wonderful Madre recently found this sweet chair for me.On the back of the chair, there is a plaque that says:
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Academy of Music
Balcony Box 38 Seat 2
I love it!
My own personal orchestra seat.
(A wail of anguish)
"Oh, Mom, what can you do with the love you feel? Where is there you can take it?"
Medusa returns to the Hairdresser who once sheared the snakes from her scalp and begs him to help raise her winged child. Fifteen years later, Pegasus dreams of scouring the seas, but must first confront his mythical history in this fantastical take on Greek storytelling.
The paragraph above is the blurb for Annah Feinberg’s new play The Beautiful Beautiful Sea Next Door at ArsNova. Annah is one of my favorite fellow theatre friends; she is warm and wonderful, as well as stylish, and oh so smart. She is also getting her MFA in Dramaturgy at Columbia, and in the class behind me, scheduled to graduate 2013. Before she arrived she was paired as my dramaturg buddy; we emailed about exciting grad. school things. Like new highlighters!
I cannot wait to see The Beautiful Beautiful Sea Next Door; I even purchased my ticket in September, and so I sent Annah some questions for this “blog-terview.”
Ellen: What prompted you to create The Beautiful Beautiful Sea Next Door? Was there an initial kernel of an idea that you wanted to explore, or an image, or a question? When did you first start working on the piece?
Annah: This play actually began as an assignment in an undergraduate dramaturgy class. We were supposed to write a ten minute adaptation of a Greek myth, and I chose to riff off a poem entitled "Medusa Cuts Her Hair" by Jean Monahan. The initial iteration was part of what is now part 1, and only included Medusa, the Hairdresser, and Poseidon. Then, I expanded it into a one act to use as one of my writing samples to apply to Columbia. It was during this draft that I realized what was at its core: the conflict between reality and myth. I became obsessed with the ways in which we create our own myths and how much scientific truth really plays into that.
Ellen: How beautiful is "beautiful beautiful"?
Annah: So totally beautiful, especially to Pegasus, who is 15 and has never left the Hairdresser's beachside hut in his entire life. He desperately wants to be a marine biologist but his parents are afraid to confront him with the reality of his destructive, mythical circumstances.
Ellen: Is this the first production of the play? (If not, I'd love to hear about the piece's production history!)
Annah: This is the first production! I've been working on the play with director Barbara Harrison for about a year and a half. She directed a semi-public reading of the one act version in April of 2010, and the positive response from that reading inspired me to expand it. She and I have done a few private readings of the play to further develop it, and had many conversations about it over many many cups of tea.
Ellen: Since you are getting an MFA in Dramaturgy at Columbia right now, I am curious-did you work with a dramaturg on this piece?
Annah: Honestly, I would consider everyone who has been part of our development process to have contributed to the dramaturgy of this play. We had a dramaturg on the first reading, James Stull, who is going to do some dramaturgical consulting on this production. And Barb has really been functioning as a dramaturg on the piece for the past year and a half as well.
Ellen: What have you found most challenging, and most rewarding about the rehearsal process?
Annah: It has been thrilling and terrifying to begin to step away from the piece. I have been doing pretty minimal re-writing during this rehearsal process, since it is so quick, so I really see myself trying to pull myself away from the rehearsal room and let Barb and the glorious actors (Sharina Martin, Nick Lehane, David Sanchez, and Alex C. Ferrill) do their brilliant thing. I really could not be happier with the way things are going. The play has a very specific tone, and the actors are really beginning to grasp it and own it.
Ellen: What are you working on next? How can we see it!?
Annah: I'm working on a couple of other plays right now: NUMISMATICS, which I began working on in Leslie Ayvazian's playwriting class last year at Columbia. It is about coin collecting, obsession, and religiosity. There are songs. I haven't touched it in a little while, but I am planning on picking it up again and working with director Lila Neugebauer to develop it once AntFest is over. I also recently started a new play called WE MUST MEMORIZE THIS BOOK, which I read the first 10 minute of in Inkslingers' [untitled] reading series. I played both parts and sang the song. I had to get really drunk before I could drum up the courage to do that. That play is about siblings and outdated scientific information.
In non-writing land, I run the R&D writers group at The Civilians and am the artistic assistant at LCT3. Also, grad school.
Ellen: Many many thanks to Annah for sharing this with us! Go buy your ticket now! No seriously, stop reading this, go buy it here.