Directors Lab West applications due March 6

I used to be on their Steering Committee and it’s a great opportunity for Stage Directors and Choreographers:
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Presenting The 16th Annual

Directors Lab West
in association with the Pasadena Playhouse,
and the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society

Directors Lab West brings together dedicated emerging and mid-career theatre directors and choreographers with master artists for an eight-day long intensive Saturday, May 23 through Saturday, May 30, 2015, enabling them to inspire each other to dream and create the future of American Theatre.
 
The deadline to submit the application is Friday, March 6, 2015 at 5 pm PST.

Apply online now at directorslabwest.com.

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What is Directors Lab West?
The Lab is a week-long summer intensive for stage directors and choreographers. Part conference, part workshop, part focused discussion, all theatre, all directing and all fun! The wellspring of the Lab is to provide a place for directors to meet and exchange ideas.

When is Directors Lab West
May 23 to May 30, 2015 with events scheduled from 10 am until 10 pm that you won’t want to miss.

Where is Directors Lab West?  
For the majority of the years of Directors Lab West, The Pasadena Playhouse in the historic California State Theatre has been and continues to be our dedicated and supportive partner, but we also hold sessions at a variety of theaters in and around Los Angeles.

Who can attend Directors Lab West?  
By application only, the Lab is open to directors and choreographers committed to the art and creation of theatre. (Note: The Lab is not open to students or those planning to return to school. It is designed for emerging directors who are working professionals, who have finished their studies. And studies are not required—many Lab directors are working directors who have never gone to college.)

Who has presented at Directors Lab West?  
The list is long, but here is a sampling… Sheldon Epps (Pasadena Playhouse), Des MacAnuff (La Jolla Playhouse), Michael Ritchie (Center Theatre Group), Anne Cattaneo (Lincoln Center Theater), Jack O’Brien (The Old  Globe), Martin Benson (South Coast Rep), Tim Dang (East West Players), David Ira Goldstein (Arizona Theatre Company), Andrew Barnicle (Laguna Playhouse), Erik Ehn (CalArts), Stephen Wadsworth (Director), John Bowab (Director), Kay Cole (Choreographer), David Lee (Director), Mark Medoff (Playwright), Randy Newman (Composer), Jose Rivera (Playwright), George Furth (Playwright), Richard Thomas (Actor), Eddie Levi Lee (Actor/Playwright), Charlayne Woodard (Actor/Playwright), Tonya Pinkins (Actor), Henry Winkler (Actor), Ming Cho Lee (Scenic Designer), plus many more.

How much does Directors Lab West cost?  
Participation in the Lab is FREE thanks to the generous support of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, partners like the Pasadena Playhouse and all the artists, who donate their time and share their talents each year’s Lab participants.

How do I apply for Directors Lab West?  
Apply online at directorslabwest.com.

When Do I Apply for Directors Lab West
Now! Applications must be received by March 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

Have additional questions about Directors Lab West?  
Email us at info@directorslabwest.com

Relevance & Empathy: Ligature Marks at Theatre Unleashed

I always consider my experience with art in terms of Relevance & Empathy, two words that are thrown around culture but rarely examined in detail.

“I feel like you had to be there.”

That is how my husband describes his non-emotional reaction to Andy Warhol. He understands Warhol’s place in art history and why he was revolutionary at the time, but he doesn’t feel anything when faced with Campbell’s Soup paintings.

That’s my reaction to a lot of classical plays, and even recent writers like Stoppard and Sam Shepard. I appreciate and enjoy them; often my brain is stimulated. I just rarely feel much that applies to my life at that very moment, or my future. (There are a handful of exceptions, as always, but I can only think of one, and it’s a film.)

New plays, especially ones that are set in an apartment, often miss the mark with me as well.

I want to be rattled by a play. I want to leave thinking about my life, my neighbor’s life, my cousin in Boston’s life, my son’s life, my boss’s life…..in a new play or adaptation, I want to leave with a perspective I did not have before entering the theater. I want to think more deeply about people and the world and how we all affect each other. I want to spend an evening in a way that directly affects my decision making in the future. Not that there’s anything wrong with a good old escapist comedy or anything; I like those too. I personally don’t see them as often.

With the very recent exception of E.M. Lewis’s The Gun Show, I haven’t felt simultaneously thrilled, revolted, and moved in…..years?

Mac Rogers did that to me. Twice already in 2015.

First with Viral at the Bootleg Theater/Moving Arts and then Ligature Marks, his 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival piece now playing (with new cast and director) at Theatre Unleashed.

It’s hard to discuss it without giving away the very parts of his storytelling which made me go “Oh holy shit, this is NOT what I expected.”Ligature Marks

It left me as fucked up and oddly resolved as the characters in the play felt (otherwise known as empathy).

It gave me insight into a trope I typically despise: dependent relationships, especially when the female looks to be the more dependent one.

Since VIRAL last month, it made me want a different local theater to produce a different Mac Rogers play every single month so I can get my relevance and empathy fix. I would even buy a subscription to it.

I’d say that’s a win.

http://www.theatreunleashed.org for tickets and more information.

 

REDCAT and KPCC’s The Frame present: Hearing Latino voices in contemporary culture

I’ll be live tweeting this talk and can take questions via @cindymariej .

REDCAT and KPCC’s The Frame present: Hearing Latino voices in contemporary culture

Tuesday, March 3, 8:30 – 10:00pm
Location
  • REDCAT
  • 631 West 2nd Street
  • Los Angeles, CA 90012
LACMA symmetry

Diana Lee/flickr via Creative Commons

The LACMA itself is a work of art

Buy tickets now

Even as Latino communities have long been essential parts of our society and culture, it seems that only recently national marketers and political pollsters have noticed that one-sixth of the U.S. population is of Latino or Hispanic heritage. Or that the United States is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, trailing only Mexico.

This is 
old news in California, where Latinos constitute nearly 40 percent, and yet the demographic group remains vastly underrepresented in many sectors—including arts and culture institutions. Why
 is this the case and what can be done about it?

These questions are considered by a distinguished panel of artists and cultural leaders that includes filmmaker Rodrigo García (Albert Nobbs,
 Nine Lives), LACMA Associate Curator Rita Gonzalez (Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement), writer Jeff Chang (Who We Be: The Colorization of America), Center Theatre Group Associate Artistic Director Diane Rodriguez, and will be moderated by CalArts President Steven D. Lavine. 

The Road to Show Boat is Paved with…Intentions….

Originally posted on fairyprincessdiaries:

The Fairy Princess did some “Activist-ing’, she did.

Normally, she writes about productions and they are generally in a different town or somewhere where to get involved in the physical aspects of protesting, she would have to jump a plane.

Sadly though, right here in New York City, the National Asian Artists Project, has decided to do an All Asian American production of Show Boat.

Yes, this Show Boat.

At this point, everyone knows which Show Boat we are talking about – the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein classic,  Show Boat, which deals with the divide between the Caucasian and African Americans Post- Civil War in the Deep South.

Duh_duh_duh

Show Boat is a show that, in TFP’s opinion, is not one that can be done by APIs with any sense of dignity or sense of history, or, well…sense.

In fact, if one is to do this show without…

View original 2,704 more words

My History with Half Lives

Follow along with me tomorrow night as I see the opening night of Half LifeI’m always interested in what REDCAT offers, but this story hits close to my creative home. From their press release:

Weaving together narrative and abstract modes of storytelling, Half Life explores the psychological fallout of global disaster, and how it affects our emotions and imaginations. It’s story centers around two women who literally and figuratively live on opposite sides of the world. When an unknown cataclysmic force disrupts both of their lives, each is compelled to embark on a journey to locate its source.

I have a history with shows about nuclear fallout. From 2004-2011, much of my life was consumed by one project, Voices From Chornobyl. During those years, it had been presented in both the US and the UK to raise money and awareness of the nuclear accident (inspired by Svetlana Alexievich‘s interviews). Its companion piece Voices From Chornobyl Jr. premiered and won Best of 2011 Fringe.

I found the experience both fascinating and frustrating, to bring ‘awareness’ to a time in history when the Ukrainian people’s lives changed forever, and so few of us had any clue (so few of them, for that matter). I stuck with the project because of my complete ignorance before reading Alexievich’s book. Then in 2011 at the 25th anniversary events, Fukushima happened and it seemed almost too immediate, too relevant for our times. I scheduled talkbacks to explain the difference between the two accidents and fallout, so we could feel the impact of Chernobyl but not make our audiences run out and buy iodine.

So I’m interested to see how this project attacks its subject.

All the info is below. Follow my experience on twitter, Facebook & instagram

REDCAT Presents the World Premiere of
Half Life
The newest work from Los Angeles Multimedia Collective
Cloud Eye Control

Thursday, January 15, 2015 to Sunday, January 18, 2015

NOTE: They sold out the entire weekend and so added a Saturday matinee at 4 p.m. on January 17th.


Photo Courtesy the Artist.

(Los Angeles, CA) — REDCAT, CalArts’ Downtown Center for Contemporary Arts, presents the World Premiere of Half Life, the newest work by Los Angeles multimedia ensemble Cloud Eye ControlThursday, January 15 to Sunday, January 18, 2015.

Cloud Eye Control was formed in 2006 by the Los Angeles based trio of animator and media artist Miwa Matreyek; composer, writer, and performer Anna Oxygen (Anna Huff); and theater director Chi-wang Yang, all known internationally for their stunning work individually and as a multimedia collective.

A deeply expressive lamentation of fierce urgency, the latest multimedia production from Cloud Eye Control is an imagistic, visceral work inspired by the nervous fear felt in the wake the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. It features Cloud Eye Control’s signature hybrid performance style that mixes projected animation, live performance, and a live soundtrack of original electronic music.

Cloud Eye Control transforms the stage into an imaginative landscape with several customized, moveable screens full of lush animations where live actors interact in the layered space to create imaginative and odd encounters between the virtual and the physical. The original score, sung by the performers with a live band, brings a rock concert dynamism to the moody and atmospheric world.

Cloud Eye Control’s Half Life is part of a continued supportive relationship with REDCAT. Cloud Eye Control’sUnder Polaris, anepic journey across a vast arctic expanse was co-commissioned and premiered by REDCAT in 2009. The piece went on to tour nationally and internationally, to Chile and France, and helped establish Cloud Eye Control as “transcendently spectacular theater” – Los Angeles Times.

In 2014 REDCAT presented Cloud Eye Control member Miwa Matreyek’s magical, visually rich fusion of intricate video animation and solo performance to sold out audiences that were left spellbound.

More on Cloud Eye Control can be found at their website, http://cloudeyecontrol.com

Artist bios:

Miwa Matreyek is an internationally recognized animator, designer, and multimedia artist based in Los Angeles. She creates animated short films as well as live works that integrate animation, performance, and video installation. Arriving to animation from a background in collage, her work explores how animation transforms when it is combined with body, both physically in her performance pieces, as well as a composited video element in her short films. Her work has been shown internationally at animation/film festivals, theater festivals, performance festivals, as well as art galleries, science museums, tech conferences, universities, and more.http://www.semihemisphere.com

Anna Oxygen is the stage name of multi-media artist, composer and performer Anna Huff. She has extensively toured Europe and the United States performing musical and interactive performance pieces. She has released several albums of electronic and acoustic music, most recently This is an Exercise on indie label Kill Rock Stars. Her performance and video work has been presented at PS1 MOMA Contemporary, The Seattle Art Museum, LACMA (LA), NYU, The Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena), The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and the Rohsska Museet in Gothenburg, Sweden among others. http://www.annaoxygen.com

Chi-wang Yang is a Los Angeles-based director of theater and performance. Whether in the form of plays, operas, concerts or installation; his work is physical, experimental, and collaborative. He is committed to expanding notions of identity and theatrical form and to exploring the unstable intersections of body, narrative and technology. His work has been presented at theaters and galleries internationally, including REDCAT, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Havana International Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe. Recent directorial projects include They Are Dying Out, by Peter Handke, and The Closest Farthest Away/La Entrañable Lejanía, a groundbreaking international collaboration between American and Cuban artists.http://mysteriously.org

“Magical…unlike anything you’ve seen before… transcendently spectacular theater” —Los Angeles Times

Cloud Eye Control: Half Life

Thursday, January 15–Saturday, January 17, 8:30 p.m. and
Sunday, January 18, 3:00p.m.

NOTE: They sold out the entire weekend and so added a Saturday matinee at 4 p.m. on January 17th.

Tickets: $16-$25
Location: REDCAT | 631 West 2nd St. Los Angeles, CA 90012

For more information call the REDCAT Box Office at 213-237-2800
Or visit: http://www.redcat.org/event/cloud-eye-control-half-life

Half Life is produced with Los Angeles Performance Practice, and was made possible in part by a creative residency with the CalArts Center for New Performance.

Half Life is funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project with lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the LEF Foundation; and The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

New England Foundation for the Arts

What I Care About This Week

*In case you need background on the Boko Haram attacks….

…that reportedly killed 2,000 civilans. I certainly did. Read on The Root.

*This gets to the point I try to hammer into clients….

….one person’s perspective or use of social media does not speak for their entire generation. Read An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media

 *NASA is a world leader in global warming research, but for how long?

*Trigger warning (rape and sexual harassment, stalking):

A YA author asked for sightly less than minimum wage…

…to write a sequel for her fans who wanted it, after the publisher passed on the book.
For daring to ask for money for her work (all $10 pledges received a copy of the book when finished) she received rape threats (which triggered memories of her own past rape) and was emailed photos of her home among other harassment.

Her response: “Jealousy rots and corrupts your creative soul and feeding your social media presence by hunting out controversy, feeding the flames, and then pretending you are simply fostering discussion is poisonous and empty. You create nothing but spite in a world that is already full of it and in desperate need of kindness.” Read her full response.

Audience Building: Part Three – How to Find and Build New Audiences

This post was originally published in Ms in the Biz on October 23, 2014


SocratesThis is the third in a series of
Audience Building articles, where I go into depth on the sticking points, the places where I see people take short cuts but are actually quite vital.

This is how to find and build new audiences, not just promoting without annoying your family and friends. Everyone has to actively attract and sustain new people in order to grow their audience.

I practically plastered last month’s article with the cautionary tale of making your first (and subsequent) contact with potential audience conversational, not promotional, so this month I will spend some time explaining the difference. For if you skip this part of your audience building endeavors, you may as well not start. An example:

I once received a tweet that at first glance was an example of excellent targeting; a musical troupe invited me to their Hollywood Fringe Festival show for families. I was impressed that they had found me (I had only recently started looking for shows my son can attend), and the invite tweet was pretty straightforward. However, that festival has its own hashtag (#hff14) and when I clicked on it, the account had sent the same exact tweet to basically everyone who used the hashtag, only a fraction of whom were interested in family-friendly programming. So what at first appeared to be a successful example of audience development turned out to be nothing short of spam. I didn’t see their show, and actually blocked their account. Life is too short for spamming twitter accounts (or auto-posts from Facebook, but that’s another article).

They were spamming in an old-fashioned sense of the word (same text to multiple people with no prior relationship), but clear promotion is just as easy to spot on a network created to be social. Twitter works for audience development when it’s conversational. News outlets can get away with simply blasting headlines, and any twitter account certainly wants to share its own news and links as well as others. When handling the first contact for a potential audience member you’ve found, however, you must start with a light touch. Start by showing interest in them, not drawing attention to you. The good news is that you accomplish this every day. Sometimes in 140 characters, even if you don’t realize it: You talk to people. You talk to people with no agenda of your own except to have a nice, engaging, sometimes enlightening or entertaining conversation (I hope). It works in a similar way on twitter.

For the sake of continuity in this series, I will use twitter as an example. Most of these techniques can easily translate to other platforms, though you should always understand why you are on a platform and whether your target audience actually uses it (discussed in Part 1).

Once you find the people that are part of your target (potential) audience, how to initiate contact? It should be something along these lines:

  • A response to something they tweet
  • A share of one of their blogs, or website, with a reason why you like it or think it’s worthwhile (and tag the author)
  • A re-tweet with a reason why you like their tweet or think it’s worthwhile
  • A hello and introduction to another twitter account with same interests or mission
  • Simply a hello with a short note why you’re following them (but do not send the same or similar tweet to multiple people at the same time. It looks shabby, as described above.)

At the same time that you’re seeking out and engaging in conversation with these folks, be sure your own timeline reflects the mutual interest. Following on the fairy tale theme of Part 2, while you retweet links from fairy tale bloggers and begin to interact with them, you should also tweet on the topic. Easy ways to do this are to discuss Once Upon a Time, or the web series The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy, or the book/Broadway musical Peter and the Starcatcher, or Neil Gaiman’s new illustrated Hansel and Gretel. There is no lack of cool things to share on the topic of fairy tales nowadays, and if you are truly passionate about the subject of your work, you should have no trouble finding fun ways to engage people. Begin with what drew you to your passion in the first place.

Just be yourself. Share links that associate you with how you want to be known. If you can engage people enough to share, they will help you build your audience as your process moves along.

Michael Stephens of the Vsauce You Tube channel articulated why people share (emphasis mine).

“Everyone wants to express themselves….but they also do it with knowledge: the things theyknow about the stuff they like. I’ve noticed that the most operative motive behind someone sharing one of my videos, promoting me by word of mouth, isn’t so much about me, as it is about them. Hey! Look what I found. I like this. I am like this. Whenever you share anything, a few of the attributes of that thing reflect back onto you. So I find that the best ways to gain attentive listeners is not to be who your audience wants you to be, but instead make, and say, and do things, that allow your audience to be who they want to be.”

(Remember that these can also be Facebook shares, Pins, etc – the important detail is be sure your target is notified of your action. )

Some examples of how not to begin contact:

  • Asking them to donate to your crowdfunding campaign
  • Asking them to read your link (unless directly related to a question they asked)
  • Telling them about your work, product, show, etc
  • Asking for a Retweet (some celebrities do this but most have personal policies regarding the practice.)

See a pattern? Begin the conversation with someone new as if you have no agenda. You are simply people who have mutual interests and may want to discuss them with each other. After you have a relationship established (and this is more than just one genuine tweet or back and forth, it is weeks and sometimes months), you can lead them to your work. The best case scenario is that your conversation interests them enough to check your twitter profile which, as discussed in our first article, has the link to your work in its bio. Then they follow you, read your tweets in their timeline and become interested in your work on their own, via your own personality and discreet tweets to your own links.

That is your first point of contact with all potential audience members (yes, every single one individually. Welcome to the new age of audience building. It requires patience, time and a genuine passion for what you do). You can even learn quite a bit about your audience while you engage with them – which brings us to Step 4, and what you can find here next month.

I practice what I preach pretty regularly @cindymariej . Check me out there and ask questions!