• Learning

    By Ken Urban on July 31, 2009 at 8:21 PM
    Performances / Life

    I have learned so much from the SPF experience about my play. Things that you cannot learn from a reading. The problem with readings is that have a maximalist aesthetic: they require more. Since there are no visuals, they require more lines to communicate emotion and story. And since there is so little rehearsal for a reading, the actors cannot communicate that much non-verbally, especially not from behind those music stands. But plays in production have a minimalist aesthetic: so much is communicated from a look or a piece of blocking. What the SPF experience did is reconnect me to the play and to allow me to cut it down to its core. I see the play on stage again, not through the prism of a reading. As a result, I have a much better script and most important, I know now what I have. Now I just need someone to produce it. : )

  • The Land Down Under

    By Rick Viede on July 27, 2009 at 2:33 PM
    New York / Life

    I’m missing you guys- by god I had the time of my life. I’m having that bizarre experience (re)discovering that I just don’t connect very deeply to Australians and Australian culture, which is something I definitely did not find in NY where meeting people and creating felt so easy! What a bizarre exp of NY, everybody comments on how hard it is! Proof that I should (and will) be living there. Fingers crossed some major funding comes my way cos I’ll jiump on a plane and move there!

  • Happy and Sad

    By Ken Urban on July 25, 2009 at 3:33 PM
    Performances / New York / Life

    Well, The Happy Sad is open and and I couldn't have predicted the overwhelming positive responses that the show has gotten. It was a crazy few days leading up to opening night. I did a major rewrite of a scene on Friday, the set threw us a few curveballs during tech, and Trip and I realized that The Happy Sad is a big big show. The shows keep getting better and like all of us SPF playwrights (I imagine) I am really hoping the show has a longer second life. I am been amazed at how much older audiences like the play. I also hear that subscribers are scared of sex and frank material. But the folks who have come to see Happy Sad have not had that reaction. I watch in the audience every night I can and see how engaged they are. I haven't seen the show for the past two nights because I had to go to Williamstown for a reading and to receive the Weissberger Prize (another big highlight of the summer). I can't wait for the final three shows. I know the actors will have grown even more confident in their roles. Right now, despite  the exhaustion and this summer cold from hell, I am very happy. Come Sunday after we close, I can tell I am going to be very sad. 

  • Really ... Only One Week Left?

    By Sam Brahms on July 24, 2009 at 12:24 PM
    Rehearsals / Performances / Life

    A long, long time ago, our intern coordinator turned to us and said, "Right when you are ready for this festival to be over, it will be."  I remember thinking, why would I want it to end?  What have we signed up for that she is saying this to us?  As an intern, I felt like my first week was spent publicizing the festival, my second week brought me to rehearsals for my assigned show WHORE (Loved telling everyone the name).  I loved every minute of it, but yeah, I was still aware of how time was passing.  If you asked me then, I would have actually been able to tell you the day of the week, the date, that I had slept the night before, but once we moved across the street, into our theater, I don't know if it's because I never saw windows and daylight again, or if it's just that you end up feeling like you'd get more sleep on a cot in the green room instead of going home, but time just began to fly by.

  • Whats in a name?

    By Maggie Raymond on July 20, 2009 at 11:53 PM
    Rehearsals / New York / Life

    I was back home in Wisconsin when I was assigned my SPF Production piece, and to my surprise and excitement...I was assigned to a show titled WHORE. Always fun to say blatantly to people inquiring about my summer plans until my little grandmother wanted to know...PANIC!... before I knew it I blurted that I would be working on a quaint coming of age tale called...Lady of the Night : ) The title, in your face, raw and real, has provided the amazing cast and crew a plethora of stories exchanged most times during rehearsal, always leaving us in stiches and with smiles. From riding the sub with props and papers labeled WHORE, leaving our homes in the morning with "off to the office" goodbyes like "I'm whoring it up today," to totes bag's given to us all by our fabulous Line Producers on closing that read I WHORE NY this show has always kept us entertained and constantly flirting with inappropriate situations we meet with grins and explanations to follow.  


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