Sunday, September 25, 2011

Two Weeks Down

Week two of rehearsal: complete. This week we had another lovely visit from Josh Browns for our third and final Suzuki workshop, and we started delving into the language of the Stones. We have, as foretold by the mystic prophesy of rehearsal schedule, moved and grooved our way through the Second Movement, and are now ready for the epic conclusion of this three part play.

On the schedule for next week is the Third Movement. This may not seem as exciting as, say, a week of dancing and Suzuki, but believe you me, it is! The end of the play is something we haven't seen hide nor tail of since the read through. Who can remember how it ends!?

What did we learn this week?

  • Making a list of what we learned is super fun: I'm making it a weekend tradition!
  • Tricycles are not built for adults
  • String houses don't just take time, they also take patience, and a whole heck of a lot of imagination
  • Suitcases can be stylish, and fun to sit in!
Stones strike a pose
Suitcases are comfy!
Orpheus writes another letter to Eurydice
He's growing, can't you tell?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

One Week Down

Week one of rehearsal is over! Granted, half of the week was filled with read-throughs and workshops, but that doesn't mean there was any less work being done. We've danced and played through the First Movement (Eurydice doesn't have acts, like other, more pedestrian plays) and are ready to forge ahead!

On the schedule for next week is Day Three of Suzuki training (which means rocking it out to, and with, the Stones), slogging through the Second Movement, and straight on till morning. I mean straight on to the Third Movement.

What did we learn this week? Let's make a list:

  • The Jitterbug isn't hard. It's just slightly more complicated than your average macarena. Especially when you have lines.
  • Suzuki is hard. But it's a really good workout, it connects you to you core, and it becomes art when Paul Kuhn does it (I type with a metaphorical gun to my head).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Suzuki Blog Postponed

Yesterday was Suzuki Training: Day 2. You'll notice that there wasn't a blog post following the events of Suzuki Training: Day 1. That's because we were all exhausted and could barely move, let alone blog, for three days. When we came back yesterday we'd all but forgotten just how intense the training had been. That being said, we have another training session next Tuesday, and as I'm still too tired to blog, please enjoy the wonderful photo below and look back here next week for a full account of Suzuki Training: Days 1-3.

Stones learn Suzuki

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Swinging on the East Coast

It's hard to dance by yourself. But when Sarah Ruhl sets down a stage direction that isn't physically and conceptually impossible, it's hard not to make the effort. So while Orpheus and Eurydice (Steve and Tessa) dance the Jitterbug at their wedding, Eurydice’s Father (Paul) parallels them, and dances alone in the underworld.

That being said, learning the Jitterbug by yourself is, well, kind of pointless. For both leader and follower. It’s neigh impossible to learn how to follow without the guiding hand of a leader, and equally difficult to lead with no one following. There are nuances that one can only learn through doing the deed properly. And that, my friends, is how a stage manager gets roped into learning how to dance.

I’m not complaining. I know that’s what it sounds like. In fact, I shouldn’t even say I was roped into this. I was, and still am, rather excited to say I know a dance other than the Hand Jive.

That being said, The Jitterbug, which is in the Swing family and closely related to the Lindy, isn’t that difficult if you have a little rhythm in you. Or an excellent teacher. Enter Colleen Hughes, dance teacher extraordinaire. In ten minutes Colleen had the four of us doing the basics; in an hour we had a routine. A few fancy moves in our back pockets, and we were set to go.

Colleen shows Steve and Tessa the Rock Step

Steve and Tessa do the Jitterbug

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Curio poster by Elizabeth Gallagher

Notes from a Stone

Just got back from my first rehearsal of Eurydice and boy are my arms tired (because I flew). Anyway, thing about Eurydice is that it's based on an old story called "How Orpheus got his Groove Back." Now this story has been told by many different people through many different ages. Ovid told it, Virgil told it, Aaron Spelling told it, all the greats have put their grimy mitts on this tale. The Version we're doing is by Sarah Ruhl, who wrote other plays like Cleaning the House and De Parking Meter in de City.

However, as a public service to all you loyal blog readers, I have gone into the Curio archives, and unearthed a dusty old version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It’s written in Latin by a man named Bolognius Halatocia. Now I don’t know Latin, but I have an old Wheelock’s Latin textbook in my basement, so I’m going to try to do my best to translate it into modern English. Here goes:

“So there was this dude-brah, a total stud right? This dude-man fell in love with a beautiful mystery lady. Dude-guy said to mystery lady, ‘hey yo, wanna have a son or something?’ Mystery lady was all like, ‘here’s the deal, I got a lot of irons on the fire, but I guess I’ll give you a son or something.’ So they shack up for a while, but they mystery lady gets the wanderlust and leaves dude-fellah, with the baby. The baby’s a son, and he’s named Orpheus Dorpheus, but everyone calls him Orphy-poo. So Orphy-poo grows up the regular way, but one day he’s all, ‘yo pops, where’s my mama?’ And dude-dude, not wanting to make the kid feel bad told Orphy-poo, ‘You’re mother was a magical music lady, so you should be a magical music lady too… only the boy kind… a musical man we call them sometimes.’

And so Orphy-poo learned all about music and stuff. He wrote all the great songs of the time, “Cherry Pie,” “Ave Maria,” and Hank Williams’s “I’ll Never Make it Outta this World Alive.” Then one day he met this super hot lady. He saw her and literally said, ‘Wowza!’ [Translation note: He said ‘wowza’ in Latin, but really it would have been Greek.] He said, ‘hey, nice lady, with the hair and the legs and things! Wanna maybe go out some time, with the dating and the smooching?’ And she, her name happened to be Eurydice, agreed. They dated for a while, and things were going great. They were gonna get married, but then Eurydice went walking in a meadow without any shoes on, and she stepped on snake. The snake, being justifiably peeved, bit the lady, and poisoned her to death. So she was dead, which was a major bummer.

Orphy-poo didn’t want to be married to a dead woman, so he wrote the saddest song in the world. He played it all day everyday, until finally Pluto, the cartoon dog god of the underworld, said to him, ‘Hey guy! Cut that out, you’re bumming everyone out with that jam! I’ll make you a deal, if you can walk an arbitrary distance without looking back at your foxy lady wife, then you can have her. But the catch is that you gotta chill it with that sad song stuff… go back to playing ragtime jams!’ I probably forgot to mention that Orphy-poo used to play wicked good ragtime jams. So Orpheus Dorpheus said he’d be down with the deal, and got to the starting line. He was supposed to walk four hundred steps before turning around, but he miscounted and only walked three hundred and ninety nine steps before turning around. So Eurydice was doomed to eternal death again. Orpheus was bummed out, and joined a Screamo band called “The Thrashing Maenads.” He screamed so hard one concert that his body just straight up exploded into bits. His skull was found by a fan, and she buried it at the foot of Olympus Mans, that big mountain on Mars, because it turned out that she was a Martian. And they all lived happily ever after, except for all the dead ones. The end.”

So that’s the original version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. You should come see our production to see how the versions differ.


Harry Slack, Big Stone

Season Seven Starts

Yesterday started the new year.

Well, that's not entirely true. I mean, the calendar year starts January 1st. The Chinese New Year is generally late January, early February, depending on the seasons. The school year starts in September, or mid-August if your university bound. The Fiscal Year can start whenever you'd like it to. Personal years start the day a person is born, preferably marked with candles, cake, and gifts.

Yesterday started the new year of (capital t, spelled with an re) Theatre.

Well, that's not entirely true either. Designers and directors have been in constant communication since the season was chosen. Casting was made. A lot of work went on in the off-season, to start the on-season on time.

Summer has ended, and the new season is rolling in. What does that mean? A full year of theatre-y goodness starts now. We'll run through an action packed, four show season, hit a benefit featuring some new, workshopped pieces, fit in two semesters of after school classes, and end the whole shebang off with a month of summer camp.

So where does that leave us? It's Tuesday. Monday started the rehearsal process for Eurydice, our first show in the official Curio season.

Here on the Curio Blog you'll find the back stage scoop; all the stuff that should have made it to the director's cut. Straight from the rehearsal room, I'll be posting stories and interesting tidbits about the ongoing, behind-the-scenes work that you, the audience, never see. From read-through to dress, with  workshops and more, we'll have it all.

So sit back, relax, grab your popcorn and soda. A laugh track will be provided upon request.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Curio Theatre's Philly Fringe production of Lord Of The Flies opened last night. It was an exciting evening in Clark Park. This stage version of William Goldings book was performed Free to the public for over 500 audience members. The cast was outstanding in their portrayals of these British school boys stranded on an deserted island without adults.

The production starts before sunset, and uses primarily natural lighting effects. As the boys descend into madness and savagery, the sun sets upon them, and the darkness swallows them whole. It will be playing for three more evenings, September 7th, 8th and 9th at 7pm.You don't want to miss this! Bring a picnic and blanket.

Come see this bloody show and get in touch with your inner beast!

(Photo by Tessa Kuhn)