• Americans from a German perspective

    By Sam Levy on April 25, 2010 at 7:23 PM
    Donmar/Bielefeld

    Alena Smith's play THE SACRIFICES (known as UBER BORD in Germany) was hilariously funny, even to the non-German speakers in the audience. Perfectly cast and directed, too.

    There was a panel this morning about German and American theatre - trends, interests, etc. The Germans seem really interested in the post-Bush era in the United States, and are trying to understand the "change" that has occurred during the first year of the Obama Administration.

  • First Break

    By Sam Levy on April 23, 2010 at 5:05 PM
    Donmar/Bielefeld

    Jason Grote's play "ZIVILISATION (ALL YOU CAN EAT) was a hit this afternoon, as was Branden's show. And Itamar Moses' 15 minute play (whose title is unprintable) had the audience howling with laughter.
     
    During a quick break between shows, it's really interesting to see how much the audience has grown since the last Festival - probably doubled, at least, with a large number of agents and publishers present.  The coverage of the event has grown, too - almost a dozen newspaper articles have appeared in the national and local press since yesterday.
     
    The audience seems to be really interested in American politics - the two "Think Tanks" devoted to the subject are booked out.

  • SPF goes to Germany

    By Sam Levy on April 23, 2010 at 3:11 PM
    Donmar/Bielefeld

    It's Day Two of the Voices of Change Festival in Bielefeld; after the opening night speeches last night,  a production of Thomas Bradshaw's THE BEREAVED (in German), and a drink or two to toast our ability to cheat volcano ash and actually get here, we're about to start a full day of shows. First up, I'll be catching Branden Jacob Jenkins' THE CHANGE (also in German), a couple of plays by Sheila Callaghan and Anne Washburn, and then a musical performance from The Netherlands.
     
    Tomorrow, it's Alena Smith's THE SACRIFICES (which is UBERBORD in German). Sadly, Alena was caught in the flight drama, so she isn't here to see it, but I promise to report - it's the second SPF play to be part of the Festival (Sarah Hammond's GREEN GIRL was produced in 2008).

  • Keep NY on my Desk

    By Nicki Bloom on August 2, 2009 at 6:37 PM
    Performances / New York

    Well I'm back in the depths of an Australian country winter after spending a glorious three and a half weeks in NYC. The run of TENDER went really well, it was great to see how the play shifted in response to the audience over the course of the week. I feel very fortunate to have met the talented and generous people I met in New York, and thanks to the wonders of modern technology we're not so far apart at all. My first New York visitors arrive in a little over four weeks! 

    New York has wormed its way into my heart and I am sure I'll be back in the not-too distant future. I have a special memento from my time in New York on my desk, a gift from one of my actors, a 'New-York-In-An-Apple' and as I look at it I imagine you all peopling the buildings and the streets, and you're there but here, it's then but now, and everything is in order. 

    Thank you for everything. 

  • 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. : )

 

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