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.
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.
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!