Introducing: This Is Art Composer Laura Intravia!

"I'm super excited about the project and really looking forward to working with such super talented people!" - Laura Intravia. Ditto, Laura!

One of the many exciting aspects of working on This Is Art is the ability to assemble a creative team that can perfectly execute mine and Anne’s vision for the show, and have a great time while doing it. Anne and I were ecstatic to recently announce a new addition to the team: Laura Intravia. Laura is the official This Is Art composer, and she will be writing all the original music and scoring for the show. Not only is Laura an exceptionally talented musician, she’s a perfect fit for the This Is Art team, and I’m here to tell you why.

Come with me, if you will, on a journey back in time. It’s the summer of 2008. Laura Intravia, a student at Ithaca college studying vocal performance and competition, has entered the Masquerade talent show/costume contest at Otakon in Baltimore. I am sitting on my couch in Manhattan watching Paprika while this goes on, as many of my friends are busy attending Otakon without me this year, but that’s neither here nor there.

All I can say is this: Laura walks on that stage in her Link costume, and magic happens. And, of course, that magic later appears on YouTube for the rest of the world to see.

Nine months later, Tommy Tallarico discovers the video of Laura’s Flute Link performance on Youtube and invites her to be a part of Video Games Live, touring the world while performing some of the most iconic video games music of our time in front of hundreds of thousands of audience members across 47 cities.

The year is 2009 when Laura joins the VGL tour, which is also the year I snag tickets to see Video Games Live at the Beacon Theater in New York City. I take my seat at the Beacon totally expecting the Warcraft segment to be my favorite, but Flute Link blows me away with her talent and, of course, the unique aspect of her performance. When I leave the theater, it’s the Flute Link segment, plus her unexpected vocal abilities in some of the other segments, that have me raving.

Fast forward to the year 2011. Anne and I are cast in the Beautiful Soup Theater Collective‘s production of Alice Au Pays Des Merveilles at the SoHo Playhouse. Halfway through rehearsals we learn that “Beautiful Soup,” the one musical number of the show, is being written by composer Laura Intravia.

Laura as Flute Link

Laura as Flute Link

I’m sure you all can picture the total nerd freakout I had when I realized that I was going to be singing music written by Flute Link.

I finally met Laura when she came to see Alice. Of course, it’s always nice when you find out that someone of whom you’re a fan is also a totally cool, incredibly nice person; Laura is and was both of those things.

So when Anne and I lost our original composer and were tasked with finding a new composer for the show – and quickly, too! – Laura immediately came to mind for both of us. Working with her during Alice had been great, we were both fans of her work, and she shares so many passions that Anne and I share – passions that went into the making of all the other aspects of This Is Art and deserved a place in its music, too. Besides, Laura’s unique career is the perfect example of an artist using new media to share their art with the world. From the beginning, This Is Art has sought to widen the community of artists in the world of new media, and Laura is definitely an inspirational figure for that community.

We approached Laura about composing for us and she hopped on the project at full speed. Now, as the calendar quickly approaches our production dates in October, we are working with Laura to put together the musical numbers of the show. I have to say, it’s incredibly thrilling to have your work come to life through the eyes of a collaborative artist. Hearing Laura’s musical demos has inspired an exhilarating new excitement in us. More than ever, Anne and I can’t wait to get This Is Art off the page and on its feet. Now, thanks to Laura, the musical piece of the puzzle is solved, and we’re that much closer to making it happen!

We’ll try and keep you posted about musical-related developments as we head into production, without giving too many surprises away! Meanwhile, check back here to learn more about our recent additions to the This Is Art team!

You can find out more about Laura by visiting her website!

 

Emily Floyd
@emilythespoon
@followthisisart
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Celebrating Our Cast

This Is Art is about what it takes to make art happen. Our cast lives that story every single day. We want to celebrate their successes, give you a taste of their current projects, and tell you how you can see their work.

When cast member Christopher Ruth was approached about playing a show at The Duplex in NYC by fellow Boston Conservatory alum, Morgan Pate, he was offered a rare opportunity to bring his guitar out of his bedroom and play in front of a live crowd. Their first show was titled A Jew, A Gentile, and a Guitar. That show cemented a creative relationship between Chris and Morgan and they have continued to cover songs and imbue them with a new personal twist ever since. Wednesday May 18th, they are playing their first official show under their new band name, Shepherd’s Crook. You can join them at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC and cheer them on! The show starts at 7PM and the cover charge is $8. For a taste of what’s in store, check out their cover of “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” by Paula Cole.

Chad Miller is about to head off to the premiere of the independent film, An Ordinary Family, at the LA Film Festival.

An Ordinary Family is a surprisingly humorous drama that follows two brothers dealing with their conflict of belief over homosexuality and their own personal baggage in a story that asks the simple question; “At the end of the day, are we still family?” The film begins as the annual family reunion gets rocky when Seth arrives with his new boyfriend. No one bats an eye except his brother Thomas, a married man of the cloth, in this fresh, bittersweet exploration of frayed family ties. ~www.anordinaryfamily.com

Chad plays Seth’s boyfriend, William. He told me that the show had a very unusual process. The whole cast lived together during the shoot, becoming more comfortable with each other both as actors and as their characters. At the outset of the project, they started with the basic story outline and script, but before each day of shooting, the cast met with the Director, Mike Akel, Writer, Matt Patterson, and Assistant Director, Melissa Dalley. They discussed the story and collaboratively offered lines of dialogue that they felt would move them through the events of each scene. Once the cameras started rolling, the cast improvised, experimented, and developed these scenes into what has become a very organic feeling film, from what I can tell based on their trailer. They are premiering the film on June 19th at the LA Film Festival, so if you’re on the west coast, get your passes to the festival or purchase an individual ticket for as little as $12! You can follow the film on Twitter and keep up with them on Facebook as well.

 

AN ORDINARY FAMILY – Official Film Trailer! from Matt Patterson on Vimeo.

Emily Floyd and I have been rehearsing for ALICE AU PAYS DES MERVEILLES, a new Beautiful Soup Theatre Collective production based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, written and directed by Steven MacCasland, and playing Off Broadway at The Soho Playhouse June 1-5. Emily first began working with Steven and Beautiful Soup in their production of Hamlet, in which she understudied Ophelia. She was also featured in their production of the new musical, Crossing Brooklyn.

Steven wrote ALICE AU PAYS DES MERVEILLES with Emily in mind for the title role, which is always a great honor as an actor. He was holding a reading and needed more actors, so Emily asked if I would like to participate. I was delighted to join in and support her. We had recently performed together in Alice LIVE at the Rabbit Hole with Box Full of Wasps Theatre Collective and I was very familiar with Lewis Carroll’s world. Unlike that production which focused on deconstructing Wonderland for an adult audience, Steven’s Wonderland is refreshingly close to the book and just begging to be staged. When he cast the show, Steven asked me to be a part of it based on the reading, and I happily accepted. We began the process with a workshop on Viewpoints, a technique for composition using movement and gesture that was developed by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau in the 1970’s. Throughout the rehearsal process, we have used Viewpoints to block the show and it has created a very interesting world that relies on theatrical rules we have imposed on the space, the imaginative performances of the actors, and minimal use of stage props and costumes. Emily is charming and whimsical in the role of Alice, and I will be featured the Gryphon, which I must say is riotous fun to explore.

Buy tickets and $5 of every ticket will be donated to Project Night Night, which provides “Shelter Kids” with tools to enhance their literacy and packages of essentials to help them take the best possible care of themselves. Plus if enough people come to see the show, we may get an extended run!

So get out there and see some great work by the cast of This Is Art!

Anne Richmond
@annerichmond
@followthisisart
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