So much has happened in the YEAR since I last posted.
It's hard to know how to encapsulate it all in one, succinct blog post.
I'll use lots of pictures to try to make it interesting.
First off, I started teaching full time at Ring Mountain Day School in Marin.
I taught K-8 drama AND art and directed the all-school play. It was (and is) an incredibly rewarding and educational experience with some of the best colleagues on the face of the planet. Mostly because they still want to work with me after being introduced to my Kansas childhood delicacy, Beer Butt Chicken (I was told that's the proper way to talk about it in polite company), and my interpretive dance skills.
I blame all my lack of "keeping up" with outside life on that.
In Art-Land...Wonderful Things are Shaping Up.
I'll be producing "dark is a different beast" this fall with my playwright-producing collective 6NewPlays. Some of you may be thinking..."Wait a minute...didn't we hear a whole lot about this piece already?" And yes...I made a short film of segments of the script and that film got into a couple film festivals and you can even watch the whole film here if you'd like. However...I've always wanted to produce the whole play and I still was interested in the initial idea of using wearable kinetic sculpture to create the machine of the piece.
Enter, China Tamblyn.
China and I know each other from working with youth theater. After a few years of producing kids' shows, we realized we really liked each other on a personal level. And then I found out China is this bad-ass welder/sculptor/artist and I approached her about working together on something. She read a couple scripts and liked "dark." We applied for and got the Theater Bay Area CA$H Grant (whoop whooop). 6NewPlays had already received an organization-wide grant from the Venturous Fund that will help fund my piece. The wonderful Puffin Foundation West, who first funded this project back in 2012, has also offered additional support. And you will probably be hit up soon with a Kickstarter campaign. So--it's for real!
I couldn't be more excited about the creative team that is shaping up. I won't post anything official until I've got it all down in writing, but let's just say, I feel like I'm going to be in heaven, surrounded by a bunch of amazing artists.
One of whom, is Heather Helinsky, from GPTC....
Have I ever Mentioned how much i love gPTC??
Ahh...my beloved annual spring sojourn to Omaha. This year I was fortunate enough to work alongside Heather as she dramaturged Bonnie Metzgar's play (in which I performed). Watching Heather support and guide her playwrights through a process is like watching a doula in the delivery room (which I have never done, but I'm imagining). So I asked Heather to help me fine-tune "dark." I feel so lucky to have her on board for this production.
GPTC was again, filled with amazing work. Despite a nasty bout of strep throat (that allowed me to experience the compassion of the Charles Drew Health Center in Omaha), I had an awesome week.
I produced the 6th Annual Fringe Night in this amazing old theater, 40th Street Theater.
The building was purchased by a couple as an expansion to their instrument repair shop. As they started doing renovations, they discovered the history of a theater dating from the early 20th Century. (We're talking rooms full of artifacts that have been perfectly sealed away for 75 years!) They began to preserve it and are now opening it up to various artists in the community.
I wanted to perform a piece about the San Quentin execution chamber.
I asked if they had a gurney.
They had 4.
This one is from a 1935 psychiatric hospital with matching lamp.*
I feel so lucky I got to produce my 6th Fringe Night in this amazing space. And have so many old pals perform amazing new work there.
And finally...i shot another film (Kinda)
Somewhere in the spring, I did a one-day film shoot. It was a continuation of the Nero piece I've been working on for a while. Kim was coming into town. Dave was here. Aidan hadn't moved to L.A. The time was right. Even if it felt like there was no time. I needed this new footage shot and lit by a professional. There was no other time we could do it.
Now for the time to go through the footage and continue the editing....
*Some numbers and dates may not be exactly right. Don't fact-check me please. Also, all photos from Fringe are taken by Tom Grady, who is his own kind of hero of GPTC.