Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Performance’ Category

Opentoe Peepshow Salon #13

Hello, lovers & friends! I’d like to invite you to Opentoe Peepshow Salon on Sunday, February 2nd, where I’ll be sharing more of my work. There’s a whole lineup of talented queer artists performing that afternoon. (And you should still have time to get home and catch the Super Bowl if that’s your thing.) Check out the Facebook event page for more information on who else will be there. You can find the basic event details below.

Opentoe Peepshow Salon #13
Branded Saloon
603 Vanderbilt Avenue, BK 11238
Doors at 2:30pm, Show at 3pm
(They sell out, so come early!)
$3-$10, but no one turned away due to lack of funds

Also, check out the event graphic below but ignore the time listed. The show this month’s at 3pm!

OTP-poster_web

SUBMERGE

The secret’s out — I’m back in Brooklyn quite valiantly braving the cold! As always the seasons have passed in a veritable whirlwind. This fall I had the pleasure of participating in Needing It: Solo Performance & Queer Community, a workshop series led by the ever-charming Dan Fishback at BAX. Yes, there was a final performance associated with that class, but I couldn’t tell you about because it wasn’t open to the public! (No more secrets. I swear.)

But worry not! I have a performance coming up soon that is TOTALLY open to the public and you should TOTALLY come. SUBMERGE features an amazing lineup of super-talented artists in one evening at the Bowery Poetry Club. It’s just $5 to get in and it’s going to be excellent.

So if you haven’t already, please check out the Facebook event page and let us know you’re coming. Because I want to see you. Yes, you. And you. All the pertinent details are below for easy reference. Put it on your calendar. I’ll see you on the 23rd!

SUBMERGE: Dissent & Decadence from New York’s Artistic Undergrounds
Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
Monday, December 23rd at 7pm
Admission $5

Terminals

Mauricio Both, Jacqueline Coombs, and Yukiko Kato: a Few Founding Members of Monkey Tomorrow

Here in London I’ve come to the end of my second term of postgraduate study at Central School of Speech & Drama. It’s been a challenging term full of collaboration, experimentation, agitation, and documentation. And in a little under a week’s time I’ll be flying out of Heathrow to be reunited with my beloved New York City and Texas. But before I get into my return to the USA, let me tell you what I’ve been up to.

As part of my course, I became a founding member of an 11 person performance group. We called ourselves Monkey Tomorrow. For nine weeks we worked together, experimenting with company structure and theatrical conventions. Our aim was to tell old stories in new ways. This involved the use of lots of projection and giant sheets of paper. (See above for photographic evidence of  the epic nature of our paper.) My role in the group was member of the playwriting team (there were three of us) and editor of the script. And let me tell you something. I learned a lot.

I learned that collaboratively writing dialogue for a play can be excruciating! (Seriously, just run a google search looking for tips for collaboratively writing a play. There are none!) I also learned that although we may not always be aware of them, most artists have set working methods. And folding other people into those working methods can be a real challenge.

The members of Monkey Tomorrow represent no fewer than 8 separate nations. We speak no fewer than 7 different languages. And of course our artistic backgrounds are as diverse as we are. In our company we had to learn how to build bridges to span innumerable communication gaps. We were not always successful.

But I will say this: through our company we were able to create new worlds through explorations of text, movement, and technology. I think it’s accurate to say that none of will ever forget the time when we were known as Monkey Tomorrow, when we struggled to understand one another and the art that we long to create. We’re all hardworking, talented artists. Every member has my utmost respect. And as we move on to other projects, I am grateful to each and every cheeky monkey.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

So what’s next?

Well, as I mentioned before, I’ll be coming back to the United States. (For a visit! I’m not done with this program just yet.) I’ll be spending a few days in Texas visiting family and just over two weeks in New York City relaxing and renewing contacts. I’m looking forward to seeing some of my old and new collaborators back in the States! And let’s be real. I’m also looking forward to pizza, enchiladas, and Blue Bell Ice Cream.

There’s a lot on the horizon. Stay tuned for news about the Postgraduate Research Conference at Central School of Speech & Drama, the continued development of my writing workshop series, and work that will take me South of the Border. It’s an exciting world, y’all! I’m ready to see more of it.

Photo by Azure D. Osborne-Lee

Sycorax, a Postmortem

 SYCORAX has closed and I am now preparing myself to take on the rest of my summer. But first, I believe a little reflection is called for.

My time with the Weird Sisters Collective in Austin, TX was a good one. In the sweltering Texas heat I took on the role of a lifetime. For those of you who didn’t get a chance to see the show, I played both Sycorax, healer of Algiers, and her son Caliban. The sometimes suave, sometimes gruff Caliban made appearances in both the pre-show performance of an excerpt of the Tempest and in the epilogue of SYCORAX.

Working collaboratively together, we built SYCORAX from a lean script and some bolts of fabric into a dynamic peformance experience. The process of moving from rehearsal to opening was documented by a visiting scholar, Ann Pleiss Morris, who will be including an account of the show in a chapter of her forthcoming dissertation. I think that I can speak for all of us when I say that the more time that we spent working with the collective, the more we felt invested and (dare I say it?) loved.

Each of the performances, with their audiences of varying sizes, was unique, each show having its own energy, its own life. SYCORAX was a truly engaging and thought-provoking performance experience, not just for me, but for the critics as well. If you want to know what the reviewers had to say about SYCORAX and the Weird Sisters Collective, check out the links at the bottom of this post.

Overall, I have to share with you all that I am not sad to be leaving Sycorax behind, because something tells me that this will not the last that I see of her. Stay tuned, folks. Sycorax will live on, and I’ll let you know more about it just as soon as I get the details myself. In the meanwhile, my people, stay cool.

The Austinist’s review.
The Examiner’s review.
Austin Live Theatre’s review.

Photo by Ann Pleiss Morris

Sycorax

You’ll all be happy to know that I’ve made it safely to Texas. This past weekend I temporarily bid New York City farewell and boarded a plane to Houston, TX where I spent but a short two days. Then it was on to Austin, TX, where I am now enjoying my director’s lovely home. Rehearsals for Sycorax have begun and I’m here now to give you all the juicy details that you’ve all been clamoring for. So, without further ado, I bring you the official press release for Sycorax!

Sycorax

A Play by Susan Gayle Todd

8 Performances June 17-20 & 24-27 at up and coming Austin theater the Gemini Playhouse at 5214 Burleson Road, Austin, TX. Tickets to be sold on a sliding scale, pay what you will.  Refreshments will also be available.  Don’t miss this great opportunity to see this amazing new work at Austin’s newest theater venue!

The Weird Sisters are proud to be performing an original work by one of our founding members, Susan Gayle Todd.  Though the play is a departure from our rollicking comedies of the last few years, we are still working with our collaborative method, sharing ideas, techniques, and jobs.  We are looking forward to sharing this powerful work with a new audience.

Sexuality.  Power.  Oppression.  Magic.  It’s a take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest that you’ve never seen – feminist theater at its most incendiary.  An original work written and collaboratively directed by co-founder, Susan Todd, The Weird Sisters Women’s Theater Collective performs Sycorax beginning in June at the Gemini Playhouse in South Austin.

Austin’s favorite all-woman troupe’s sixth annual production features New York’s
Azure D. Osborne-Lee as Sycorax, a healer of Algiers who rises to prominence through her arts – and through her relationship with the enigmatic spirit, Ariel.  When a catastrophic storm destroys Algiers, Sycorax is blamed.  Stripped of her power and her lover, she is cast out and later marooned to become the “witch” of the isle from The Tempest.

Fresh Fruit Playhouse

For my New York City followers, I’ve got good news! You’ve got an opportunity to see me perform at the Fresh Fruit Playhouse at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe on Tuesday, May 25th at 7pm. The Fresh Fruit Playhouse is a short play competition where playwrights get a chance to showcase their 10 minute (or less) plays and compete for a $100 prize. Tickets are $10 and are available online now at http://www.nuyorican.org.

UNCERTAINTIES by Aurin Squire
Directed by Karen Dabney
Featuring: Terell C. Richardson, Azure D. Osborne-Lee, and Oliverio Vega
Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe
236 East 3rd Street, between Avenues B & C
Tuesday, May25, 2010 @ 7pm

Photo by Flickr user Michael Cavén

Improv(e)ment

Next week I’ll be exploring a new form of dramatic improvisation in an Interactive Performance Workshop led by Jeff Wirth and produced by Shea Elmore of Ignited States Production Company. In this workshop I’ll be learning to perform in a StoryBox, an interactive performance stage in which the performers and inter-actors cooperatively become creators of stories. The workshop will last four days and will culminate in a closed StoryBox-style performance on day five. I’m excited to add some new tools to my improvisational toolbox (toolbox supplied in large part by the good folks at ComedySportz Houston), and to meet new people who are passionate about creating new work.

Check out what Ignited States is all about at their website: http://www.ignitedstates.com/mission.html.

Haven’t ever experienced ComedySportz? Remedy it: http://www.comedysportz.com

I’m Feeling Weird!

I’m here to let you know that I will be joining the Weird Sisters Collective of Austin, Texas (yeehaw!) in their upcoming production of Susan Gayle Todd’s SYCORAX. The Weird Sisters are a rocking group of women who are dedicated to promoting women in the arts. They do so by producing all female productions of both classical and new work.

SYCORAX is a brilliant prequel to Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST and is guaranteed to have you leaving the theatre moved both intellectually and emotionally. I first saw it in 2008 at The University of Texas at Austin in the Cohen New Works Festival, and I was blown away. Naturally, I was thrilled and honored when Susan (Dr. Todd to her students) asked me to come to Austin to play the titular role.

I participated in the first reading of the play tonight with the Weirds via Skype, and then had an amazing discussion afterwards about the  issues surrounding race, gender, and sexuality that the show brings up with Margaux, one of the show’s deliciously Weird dramaturgs. Rehearsals for the show officially begin at the end of May and SYCORAX will run the last two weekends of June in Austin, TX. Not to worry! I will let you know the moment I have more information about how you can get your tickets. In the meantime, check out the Weird Sisters Collective’s website. You’ll be glad you did. http://weirdsisterscollective.com/

CROOKED PARTS at Brooklyn Arts Exchange

I am excited to announce that an excerpt from my one-act play Crooked Parts will be featured this weekend at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) on January 8th and 9th. Crooked Parts is being directed by Andre Lancaster, assistant directed by Terell C. Richardson, and produced by Freedom Train Productions. Tickets are available now on the BAX website. See below for more information.

Black and White: Performing the Personal/Political
An evening of art and activism curated by Jesse Phillips-Fein featuring:
– Jesse Phillips-Fein
– Trebien Pollard
– Chelsea Michel Gregory
– Azure D. Osborne-Lee
followed by a moderated discussion led by YaliniDream, and guest panelist Andre Lancaster, Artistic and Managing Director of Freedom Train Productions.

January 8th & 9th, 8pm
Brooklyn Arts Exchange
421 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
http://bax.org

Admission:
In advance/online:
$12 General
$7 Low-Income

At the Door: (30 minutes before showtime)
$15 General
$8 Low-Income

I hope to see you there!