Friday, December 29, 2006

The End of 2006 (Man What a Year!)

As with any good blog, we at Rorschach know that you all expect some sort of year end report. I am a very busy man these days and therefore I don't have time to come up with another series of lies and half truths. Instead I will just throw a lot of press quotes and honors at you and see if anything sticks. If it does stick, I recommend club soda and a rag. Do not rub the stain but instead brush against the grain of the fabric. This also work for cocktail sauce and gravy. If you happen to bleed on something, use your own spit to get the stain out. Other people's spit will not get your blood out, so be sure to only use your own spit. Now on to the accolades:

The Trey Graham and Bob Mondello do a yearly review of everything theater in the last issue of the City Paper. With the exception of Rorschach's second season we have avoided their ire on a fairly consistent basis. I don't think they have ever lavished the kind of love they have this year.

. . .maybe we should just be glad we’ve got the increasingly rangy and invariably stylish Rorschach Theatre staging shoestring productions of everything from hallucinatory modern-day fairytales to Tony Kushner satires to 17th-century Japanese classics—in a converted sanctuary, no less.

Thank you gentlemen and if you want to read the whole year end review from the City Paper go

I feel like we made a new friend in the DCist this year and a critic who seems to on the whole get what we are trying to do in Missy Frederick. As part of Missy's December Theater Preview she listed some of her Christmas wishes and at part of them went out to Rorschach:

1. . . . for small but innovative companies like Rorschach to get Helen Hayes nods this year.

Thank you Missy and I hope we live up to your expectations in the New Year.

Over at Potomac Stages, where Brad Hathaway sees more theater than just about anyone, a group of theater goers gave us our second Usher's Favorite show pick. You may all remember that The Beard of Avon was picked as one of two favorite shows back in November of 2005 along with The Shakespeare Theatre's Comedy of Errors. Well we were honored once again this year to share the Usher's Favorite show with Olney's The Elephant Man for A Bright Room Called Day back in May.

Thank you too everyone who voted for our shows and for the future it would nice not to have to share the honor with little theaters like Olney and The Shakespeare Theatre.

And finally you may all remember back in the fall WUSA Channel 9 was running a popularity contest for the Best Theater in Washington. (A contest that only proves its pointlessness because if you look at the Editor's Pick for Best Theater in DC, they picked The Uptown.) Well as you may also remember we did not win. But we ran a damn good race and I expect you all to be in fighting form when the Post runs the same dog and pony show this summer. What it did do however was give people a chance leave some wonderful comments about Rorschach on WUSA's web site. I have picked a few to share:

"Originality in productions. You never see the same set or sit in the same way from production to production. One doesn't always understand all of their plays, but they are thoughtful and provocative." by Pam Lipscomb

"A willingness to take risks. A collaborative environment. People whose main goal is to tell a story, not just to "make money"-- and they don't take for granted a single penny spent or earned in the process. Creativity and inventiveness that humbles the larger, bigger-budget theatre companies in the area. They genuinely care about the art they are making and the people they are making it with." by Valerie Fenton

"Unique! A great night of entertainment! Rorshach productions leave you thinking and considering the art that you just saw. We attend Rorschach productions as a group of 3 - 6 people and we always leave the theatre with a lively discussion of the show that lasts until we pull into our suburban driveways!" by Tammy Flanagan

"Their choice of radical material from a wide range of periods, styles and geographical areas (e.g., a play adapted from an ancient Chinese puppet show); their choice of plays that often have relevance for the current geo-political situation, without being didactic; and--most important--the visceral acting style and physically expressive staging that they consistently promote in their productions." by Ben Cross

Thank you for coming through everyone in 2006. And remember we are just weeks away from the Opening of our first show of 2007, Rough Magic. Here is to more New Years with Rorschach! Have a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Playwright

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s recent productions include the Off-Broadway run of BASED ON A TOTALLY TRUE STORY at the Manhattan Theatre Club, THE VELVET SKY at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington and DARK MATTERS at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre in New York. Other plays include THE MUCKLE MAN (which received its premiere in Washington at Source Theatre), SAY YOU LOVE SATAN and THE GOLDEN AGE. THE MUCKLE MAN received two Helen Hayes nominations including The Charles MacArthur Award for Best New Play.

Aguirre-Sacasa is the recipient of fellowships from the
Organization of American States, the Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, the Eugene O’Neill Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Award. His work THE MYSTERY PLAYS received the Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays and was presented in England as part of the Old Vic/New Voices series. The world premiere of THE MYSTERY PLAYS, a co-production between Second Stage Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre, won the Connecticut Critics’ Award for Outstanding Play/Production. THE GOLDEN AGE and SAY YOU LOVE SATAN were both nominated for GLAAD Media Awards.

Upcoming projects include GOOD BOYS AND TRUE, a drama set at a prep school; KING OF THE SHADOWS, an urban thriller; commissions for Arena Stage and Second Stage; and THE NIGHT PEOPLE, a horror screenplay for Warner Brothers. For Marvel Comics, he is the Harvey Award-winning writer for THE SENSATIONAL SPIDERMAN and has previously written for THE FANTASTIC FOUR and NIGHTCAWLER.

-From Co-Artistic Director, Randy Baker

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Requisite Rorschach Family Holiday News Letter

Dear Friends, Family and those on our Enemies List:

Happy Winter Solstice everyone! Time for Demeter to say goodbye to Persephone and for all good pagans everywhere to bang pots to make sure the sun comes up in the morning. If that Reference is too literary for you dear friends, you should check out the new web site everyone is talking about Google. It has stuff about everything.

This has been a busy year for our family here at Rorschach. The year started out like it did the year before with Uncle Scott stalking another woman. He had just gotten over his break-up with Aunt Rahaleh last February and seemed to be having a good time working on his model boats, when all of a sudden he started wearing a Japanese Samurai outfit, waving a sword around and saying he was the dread Lord Morataka. He got himself a job watching over some sorority house and started writing some pretty awful poetry. All of this would have been fine if he hadn’t gone on a rampage in downtown Tokyo for 3 nights and destroyed at least thirty blocks of the city. He promises that this year will be different and he is thinking about working on his novel.

Spring came and Brother Grady and Cousin Lindsay had some problems with an apartment they
had rented. It was a sweet place, fireplace, high ceilings and a hard wood floor. The only problem was the neighborhood. There were a lot of street gangs running around with thick guttural accents wearing brown shirts. They beat the crap out of Grady and he decided to hightail it out of there. He asked Lindsay to come with him but she just couldn’t bring herself to leave, the view of the Reichstag was just too good and the rent was cheap. She figures once the expensive condos go up next store the rougher elements of the neighborhood will go up. Gentrification is taking over everywhere I guess.

Summer came and Mom (Jenny) and Cousin Tim decided to build themselves a two story addition to the house. It was so cool, with ramps instead of stairs, a cage for dancing and just being alone and lots of black and orange surfaces. The only problem is these squatters moved in right away and started screwing with the place. One of the women started living in the second floor bed room with a friend and for some reason refused to wear clothes. There were a few complaints but Mom kept insisting it was artfully done. They broke the water pipes and elevator. Put a desert in one of the hallways and in a weird twist of whatchacallit, one of the girls murdered her boyfriend. The strangest thing was the whole building disappeared in about a month and the only thing left was a key chain.

Dad (Randy) married Deb this summer, which I suppose makes her Step-Mom. The ceremony
was fantastic and everyone had a great time. The only bit of strangeness that marred an otherwise fantastic wedding was when Deb constructed a garter belt out of cellophane and made Dad put it on her. I am a traditionalist and think garters should be made out of wax paper and in extreme cases aluminum foil, I don’t hold with these new fangled cellophane garter belts the kids are using. These kids today with their M&Ms, IMing and blogs, make me long for the days when kids would stretch a piece of string between two tin cans and try and here one another from six feet away. Those things always worked, you could always here who ever it was yelling really loud into the tin can. As long as you had your tetanus shots up to date and didn’t mind a couple of cuts when you put your ear up to the can you were fine.

The year ended with Dad leading a weird cult of death worshipers in a bizarre ritual to reanimate the dead. These Goth kids running around in their eye make-up, their black coats, flying their kites and reanimating the dead, really took things to the extreme edge of sanity. It was almost like watching some kind of late night horror show hosted by Count Gore Dival. I think it reached its most ridiculous level of absurdity when Uncle Jason began wandering around looking for somewhere to bury the family cat.

Well with 2006 behind us and all the fun of 2007 yet to come, all I wanted to say is Merry Holidays to one and all and be prepared for your stocking beatings because they are a comin’

Warmest Regards,

The Mad Blogger What Blogs at Midnight

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Naughty and Nice Part Duce

Naughty and Nice! Two words that scare the hell out of most children under the age of 10 in this country. Who is this all seeing tyrant who lives at the North Pole and sets about determining through his network of spy cameras and informants who is Naughty and who is Nice? How can a man who obviously has weight issues make the detrmination on whether you or I have made the correct choices and are therefore worthy of gifts each Christmas? And if he can create this arbitrary list what is to stop us mere mortals from making similar determinations and broadcasting the list to the world? The answer to that question is simple, nothing.

Therefore in the closest thing that we have on this blog to a tradition I offer my picks for Naughty and Nice. Last year some of you took this personally and I would rather you didn't read this. So stop now and move onto the YouTube Video Link I have placed to distract you.

Now for those of you who were not side tracked by the video, I have a brief statement to make about the Naughty portion of this list. Other than several politicians I won't bother to name this year and some evil stuff going on in the Middle East and the Darfur, I am giving you all a pass this year. Yes there has been a lot of stuff going on that really sucks and a certain unwillingness to do the right thing all the time, but this year has been a pretty good one all told. Rorschach has been doing great work and no one has really been added to our enemies list in the last 6 months, so for now all of the private Naughtiness you have been doing has not drawn our attention.

But you are all on notice, if I notice any back sliding from the progress we made in November, America, I am coming after you with a stocking full of coal. And I promise you I will not be leaving it next to your fire place. Think the soap in a sock scene from Full Metal Jacket if you need me to paint you a picture in words.

As for the Nice, well I have to say the kindness shown to Rorschach this year has outweighed the bad by a goodly amount. Some of you are responsible for this and I thank you. For those of you who just left me and Rorschach alone, I thank you for that as well. Take a moment to hug someone and we will call it even.

Enough of the back patting though. Remember if I don't see improvements between now and February, there is possibly a stocking beating in some of your futures.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Make Your Own Rorschach Ornaments

If anyone would like a PDF of this file, just email me and I will send it to you. Click on the picture to see a larger image. Enjoy!

The Road to Marrakesh


Ok, so not related to Rough Magic at all, but a hoot for the blog anyway. For my birthday, Randy, Deb, Lauren and Steve Carpenter, Patrick, Yasmin, and my sister Lindsey and I went to Marrakesh for some belly-dancing. Six courses later, we're lolling around on the couches and the owner comes up, asks who the birthday girl, exclaims that I'm beautiful "all over!" and gathers everyone at the table for a picture.

He asked how we all knew each other and I said we worked for the theatre community in DC - the main one represented was Rorschach Theatre. I guess he went to the website to get the logo and posted the pic on the Marrakesh website. (The picture moves so you need to move through the gallery to find the picture. -- Editor)

Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 18, 2006

Brave New World

Some early construction photos for those of you who want to see the set as it takes flight. Set designer Eric Grims is working hard to build the set that will transport the audience from the shores of Prospero's Island to the streets of Manhattan. Doesn't look like much now, but soon the work of Eric and the company will bring life to the world of Rough Magic. Already we can see that the set will involove numerous levels for Jenny and the cast to explore.

As always Rorschach uses space in a way that very few theater companies in town would dare to try. Not be limited by a stage we fill our space to the rafters with new and exciting design elements and daring feats of creativity. We'll have more as this brave new world is born.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rough Magic First Read

The blog has always welcomed the contributions of all the members of the Rorschach Family. Company members, designers and even long time patrons have contributed to this page from time to time, but let's be honest most of this stuff comes from the head of your's truly.

Well in order to avoid you getting sick of me and vice versa, I put out a call for contributions to the blog this morning to the men and women who will all be bringing life to Rough Magic. The out pouring of support was staggering to say the least. What does this mean to you the reader? Well for starters it means no more animals in Santa hats. But the real thing you can all look forward to is the opportunity to see how other people in the Rorschach world view the process and how they all work to bring our Wonderful Monsters to life.

What you are about to read comes from my friend Gwen Grastorf. Gwen will be acting in this show following her memorable turn as both lady in waiting and deadly weilder of sharp death in Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards. The photos are by set designer Eric Grims. Enjoy Gwen and her take on First Read, Table Work and Early Rehearsal. I especially like the last paragraph.

The First Read-through:

The cast and crew of Rough Magic met en masse for the first time on Sunday night. The Sanctuary at Casa Del Pueblo was a little chilly when we first arrived, but the bounteous display of cookies, crackers, and fruit on the edge of the stage kept everyone in a good mood. We gathered around two long tables with our snacks and got started.

Jenny had everyone introduce themselves, and then we all settled in as she shared her ideas about the play with us. She told us why Rorschach picked this particular show, and how the play would fit into the Shakespeare in Washington Festival. Jenny talked about meeting Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and discussing with him his other works, as well as the previous production of Rough Magic.

Megan (our stage manager) and Randy (the producer) passed around a lot of the necessary paperwork; contracts, schedules, practical information, emergency contact forms, and all other manner of Word documents. We were told about the policies and safety rules of the building, and briefly discussed some scheduling and ticketing specifics.

Then, the fun stuff started. Design presentations are the first chance for everyone to see what the designers have been working on. It's exciting to finally get a clear visual idea for the show, instead of just the words on the page. Eric (the set designer) passed around a sketch of the set, lots of research images, and several color prints from comic books to show us the style and palette that he'd be working with. Deb (our props mistress) talked about finding objects with a stylized, outlined comic look to them. Matt (the sound designer) discussed the types of music he was thinking about using, and how sound effects would heighten the magical moments in the play. Jenny read a statement from our lighting designer, who was absent. Frank (the costume designer) gave us all a lovely presentation. The colorful costume sketches elicited the most riotous response from the cast, mostly due to the exciting pictures of the drag-queen Furies.

Our dramaturg, Rachel, also handed out a very helpful packet of research. The information in a dramaturg packet can include anything from background on the characters and their locations to definitions of words, notes on historical context, or pop-culture references. This play contains characters from Shakespeare, Shaw, Greek tragedy, and Little Shop of Horrors - so it's important that we all understand where they come from.

We finally read through the play with Megan reading the stage directions and Ryan (our assistant director) filling in for a missing cast member. It was great to hear everything out loud, and there was plenty of laughter and helpful commentary from around the table. At the end of rehearsal, we talked schedules some more, and a few lucky participants went home with the leftover Oreos and soft-baked Chips Ahoy!

Table Work:

Jenny, Ryan, Cecilia (our assistant stage-manager) and most of the cast all got together for a little table work on Monday night. Table work is a good opportunity for people to ask questions about the text of the play; plot twists, character relationships, or anything that doesn't seem to make sense. We discussed the style of the play. The question was raised as to whether or not having a comic book aesthetic means that you have to lose the real human interaction between characters. Aguirre-Sacasa's writing is very cinematic and fun, and the characters often veer towards archetypes: the villain, the damsel in distress, the young innocent, the sassy drag queen. It is important to all the actors that we work on two levels, both maintaining the play's adventurous tone and doing justice to the real emotions and motivations of the characters. We tossed around some ideas about how to make things more clear onstage, and Jenny and Ryan wrote down a few questions to ask the playwright.

Early Rehearsals:

Last night, we had a first rehearsal for a couple of scenes at the Casa. We started at the end of the play, with one of the last scenes. Jason, Vas and I read through the scene a few times, and Jenny and Ryan asked us some questions to make it more specific. We got the scene on its feet and tried out a few things. At this stage in rehearsals, it's more important to experiment than to set anything in stone. Vas did a valiant job of silent acting (he has no lines in this particular scene) while Jason and I juggled our scripts and some loose blocking. We ran the scene a few times to cement it in everyone's minds, then switched to working on the opening monologue.

Jenny noted that one of the most delightful/crazy things about working in the Casa del Pueblo is that it's filled with evidence of all the previous shows. From the smeared chalk on the back wall (Zillah's apartment in Bright Room), to the electric fans suspended on the right wall (to cool the audience during Arabian Night), to the scrap of black fabric Jenny was using as an improvised bookmark (from The Scarlet Letter ), the theater is like a living scrapbook. If Rorschach eventually has their own performance venue, I have no doubt the lobby will be upholstered in old curtains and costumes, with the audience waiting on old setpieces hither and thither.

The Sprogs

Rorschach's own Timmy Getman has a band and they are playing their first DC gig next Thursday. Here are the details.

Greetings Rock Fans,

To usher in the holiday season, The Sprogs are coming to your town.The legendary band makes its Washington DC debut next Thursday, December 21, at Solly's U Street Tavern on the corner of 11th and U Streets, NW.

The show begins at 9 p.m. The $3 cover nicely compliments the bar's $3 Pabst Blue Ribbons.

See ya there,
The Sprogs (Paul Mackie, Tim Getman, Gordie Shaw, and Paula Wertheim)

What the critics are saying:

"Post-Velvet Underground college-underground rock"- New Wave Hot Dogs Weekly

"Thesbian rock with a kick"- Obscure Musicians Quarterly

"A winning group of kids! Two thumbs up"-Roger Ebert

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

And Finally . . .

Alright this is the end! I promise, no more pictures of animals in Santa Hats. After these:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Give Me Some Content People!

Apprently some of our readers have been disturbed by my recent use of Santa clad members of the animal kindom. To those of you who are having a hard time with these Kringle Clad Creatures, all I can say is bah, humbug!

It is in fact a joy to search the web looking for these adorable bundles of horribly adorable beasties. Dcepticon's girlfriend has even joined the hunt and has provided the examples you see here. So, until someone who was at the first read for Rough Magic can cough-up some pictures of rehearsal, you will continue to see animals of all sorts wearing their holiday best.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Get Ready!

I hope the picture to your left doesn't bring up any bad memories for our readers.

First off I want to direct everyone to the DCeiver for one of my favorite songs of all time and in particular my favorite Christmas Song of all time, Fairytale of New York.

Remember first read for Rough Magic this Sunday. I will try and get us some pics.

Please as the year draws to a close and you are looking for a quick bit of charity work to do, consider a gift to Rorschach Theatre. Make your way to our Support Page and make a gift in any amount and we will love you for a long time into 2007.

And if you want to give the gift of theater remember that three show subscriptions are still available. $44 for a regular subscription and $32 for Students and Seniors, visit our Subcription Page for more details.

Have a safe and happy weekend and I will see you all on Monday!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Nutcracker? I Don't Even Know Her!

Let us consider the holidays and how they relate to theater. Many of you may be aware that Ford's Theater presents annually Charles Dicken's Classic A Christmas Carol and various ballet companies around the country present the Nutcracker each year. What many people may not be aware of is that for many companies that produce these classics of Yuletide cheer this may be how they keep themselves in business.

Think about your own childhood. I know many people in the theater had supportive parents who took them to see shows, but for many kids seeing a Christmas play may be their first and only experience in a theater. The magic and the wonder of dancing sugar plums and ghostly apparitions trying to awake the spirit of Christmas in old Scrooge's heart may be theater and ballets one shot at making a future theater goer.

I know it is easy to scoff at our friends and collegues who are even now faking British accents and growing odd facial hair, which always seems associated with these holiday endeavors, but for some child who has never set foot in the theater this could be the one memory that makes them take a chance on plays like Rough Magic, Family Stories and Beard of Avon.

So to all of you dancing rats and proud residents of Victorian England, to every ASM shaking snow out on actors who are sweating under five layers of winter wear in a theater kept at a audience friendly 73 degrees, and to everyone who has chosen to appear in or work on a Christmas play that won't close until well into January, I say God Bless us Everyone!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

And Drag Queen Furies!

Here is the cast and crew for our next bit of wonder and brilliance Rough Magic:

DIRECTOR: Jenny McConnell Frederick

FEATURING: Company Members Tracy Olivera (God of Vengeance and JB), Grady Weaterford (The Hairy Ape, Rhinoceros, The Illusion, and many more) and Jason Linkins (joining the five timers club with this production after appearing in Master and Margarita, Scarlett Letter, Behold! and Monster) and also featuring Diana Cherkas, Danny Gavigan, Gwen Grastorf (Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards), Cesar Guadamuz (Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards), Lee Liebskind, Dustin Loomis, Ghillian Porter (Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards) and Vaz Santosham

DESIGNED BY: Eric Grims (Set), Andrew Cissna (Lights), Frank Labovitz (Costumes), Matthew Frederick (Sound), Debra Kim Sivigny (Props), Andrew F. Griffin (Asst. Lighting Design)


DRAMATURGY: Rachel Miller

STAGE MANAGED BY: Megan Reichelt, Cecelia Cackily(Asst SM)

Caliban has escaped from Prospero's island after being imprisoned for 500 years. On the run from his sadistic and powerful master, he finds himself in modern-day New York where he joins forces with a dramaturg with magical powers and a love-struck lifeguard who might be the child warrior fated to save the world. Taking his cues from many of today’s most popular comic and graphic novel writers like Neil Gaiman (SANDMAN), Bill Willingham (FABLE) and Warren Ellis (PLANETARY), Aguirre-Sacasa, a writer for Marvel Comics and one of America's hottest young playwrights, melds a very real New York with Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST, creating a modern tale of thrills, chills and drag queen furies.

And the first read is this Sunday evening.

So once again the wheels will be turning on another Rorschach Theatre production of a show you will see nowhere else.

Until then I will be running pictures of various animals dressed as Santa. Today a Moose.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Don't Ask! Please!

Like the myth about sharks needing to be in constant motion, Theater Artists need to be doing something or they feel like their best years are slipping away from them. The greatest sin among many artists and designers is not to be working on a show. It has even reached the level of cliche, that the first thing one actors says to another actor is, "What are you working on?"

Theater folk as a species are defined by our work. I don't know that much about accounting but I will make the assumption that the level of interest about what another accountant is working on is not as high as that expressed as one performer grilling another.

I have an idea, why don't we all try asking something different for a couple of weeks. With the holidays coming up, why not ask about peoples plans for the holidays, or how their families are doing. If we all just agree not to make the first question after hello, "What are you working on?, maybe we can all relax and not feel the pressure to work so much. Maybe we could actually enjoy one anothers company for a change and not stare at the room thinking they are judging us.

This message is brought to you as a service of Rorschach Theatre.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Because a great cast always deserves an extra bow:

MONSTER by Neal Bell
from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

DIRECTOR: Randy Baker

Lily Balsen, Nicky Daval, Jeremy Goren, Jason Linkins, Tiernan Madorno, Paul McLane, Ryan Nealy, Robert Rector, Jon Reynolds

Debra Kim Sivigny (Set), David C. Ghatan (Lights), Erin Nugent (Costumes), William Burns (Sound), Andrew F. Griffin (Asst. Lighting Design)

Megan Reichelt, Jillian Levine-Sisson (Asst. Stage Manager)

Jessie Gallogly

Grady Weatherford

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bye, Bye Arch

Local folk legend and Shear Madness "Fanatic", Arch Campbell is leaving local television. After over 30 years at WRC (Channel 4 NBC) the Washington Post is reporting that Arch is being axed. This comes after the demise of such main stays at WRC as George Michael, Susan Kidd and I.J. Hudson.

Mr. Campbell will long be remembered for making one of the most damning statements in local theater history:

Arch Campbell - WRC-TV: "The most fun I ever had at the Kennedy Center"

This is of course in reference to the long running Shear Madness where locals dump their out of town guests for a night of non-threatening theater. Now I have nothing against Shear Madness, but there have been a lot of shows come through the Kennedy Center over the years, and to make such a sweeping statement about what amounts to an evening of gay hair dresser jokes and pick-your-own-ending comedy, one has to ask, what the hell?

Perhaps it would not rattle my cage that an arts and movie critic made that pronouncement, if when I moved to DC it hadn't been plastered on the side of every Metro Bus and cab in the City.

Mr. Campbell you and your jaunty hat will be missed on the red carpets of whatever movie is opening at the Uptown. Your NBC peacock microphone will be absent at each Kennedy Center honors and Mark Twain Comedy Award night. I hope you have plenty of time to see even more theater in town, something besides the longest running show in the Kennedy Center's history.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


We had some pretty decent crowds this weekend for the final performances of MONSTER. We are gearing up now for Rough Magic and I hope to have some information for you very soon. Remember that Rorschach is still selling Season Subscriptions for the last three shows of the Season for just $44.00 or $32.00 for Students/Seniors. I have one last Ask the Cast to do today for Mr. Paul McLane, a three show Rorschach Vet.

1. Where are you from, originally?

I was born in Hell's Kitchen on the west side of New York at a hospital now known as St. Vincent's Midtown (the first child of a New Jersey-born airline employee named Jim and a Brooklyn-born nurse named Terry who can kick your ass). It's as close as I'm likely to come to Broadway.

2. Where did you go to school?

Westfield, New Jersey, for secondary school and the University of Delaware for my communication degree. I've also studied at the Theatre Lab and Studio Theatre Conservatory. But I teach in the school of love.

3. What is the last book you read for fun?

"Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning," about the year 1977 in NYC.

4. When you first learned that you would be working on MONSTER, what was the first thought that crossed your mind?

Whether I'd get to kiss Clerval.

5. If you could reanimate anyone, who would it be and why?

Johnny Cash, absolutely my demigod. The rest of the world just now seems to be catching up.

6. As a kid, what was your favorite Halloween candy?

Clark bars.

7. What tune is going on your "Awesome MixTape 2006."?

I heard Shawn Colvin and Brandi Carlisle sing a superb duet at the Birchmere last night of "Calling All Angels," a tune that had been done by kd lang and Jane Siberrry

8. What story of primal horror would you like to see Rorschach stage next year?

"Hamlet" featuring Jeremy Goren as Hamlet, me as the evil uncle king and Jason Linkins as the gravedigger (a part he was born for).

9. What are your words to live by?

No one ever said it better: Do unto others...

10. I'm going to quote you out of context. Okay? Go.

I once burned down a pair of Porta Potties.

11. What's something you do in every show to maximize the audience's fear?

Walk on stage.

12. Why DID Victor give the Creature a [REDACTED]?

He was hard up for ideas.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Cast Picture

Have you ever seen a happier group of actors, designers and crew in your life? Well maybe once or twice in my life but I have lived a life full of happy casts. These are the folks who are going to be finishing their run of MONSTER this weekend.

You know what would make them even happier? A couple of sold out shows this weekend. Have you seen MONSTER? Have you seen it twice? If you answered no to either one of these questions, I don't even know you any more. Who are you and what are doing reading this blog? Fine person you are reading a blog and not seeing the shows that it documents in gorey detail.

I can only tell you what I know, and that is that there were three adaptations of Frankenstein on stage this season and only one of them did I bother to go see. And that one is closing on Sunday. Get yourself over to Casa and see this show before it is over or I swear by all that is good in this world you will regret not seeing some of the best performances on stage in DC and what I consider to be the finest bit of directing that Randy Baker has done so far.

Shows tonight at 8pm, Saturday at 4 and 8pm and Sunday at 7pm.

And while you are shopping today might I recommend a Season Subscription to the rest of Rorschach's Season 7. We still have Rough Magic, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot and birds. this season and you can see all three for just $44.00 or less than half what it would cost you to get good seats at the Shakespeare theater. Remember at Rorschach you are never more than 15 feet away from the action on stage (not an actual measurement but a number I pulled out of a hat). Give the gift of theater this Holiday Season and you will be surprised by how appreciative people can be.

You may now return to your left overs and shopping! Monday I will have the final installment of Ask the Cast and pics from the cast party. See you at the theatre!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Go Ask Lily

Once again ladies and gentlemen a Final Weekend LOOMS, with a capital OOMS. MONSTER must close this weekend and what better way to say goodbye to a very talented cast then by seeing the show this weekend.

I know many of you have already hit the road for either Jersey or Upstate New York, because that seems where everyone heads during the holidays even if they aren't from there. But for those of you who remain, I know most of you have probably already seen the show, so thanks. But wat have you done for us lately? Consider my suggestion of sending your out of town relatives to see a show this weekend.

After the football games are over and the turkey is eaten, why not shoo them out the door Friday at 8pm, Saturday afternoon at 4pm or Saturday evening at 8pm to catch MONSTER. And don't forget that November Sweeps are over so, Desperate House Wives is a repeat on Sunday evening, come on by Casa and see the final performance at 7pm.

Before you all leave for the weekend why not check out the answers provided by Ms. Lily Balsen. Lily is what is becoming and endangered species in this town, a recent graduate of Middlebury College. She is that lady on your right. She adds the lady in peril factor to our tale of Gothic Horror. So with out further ado, Lily!

1. Where are you from, originally?

A small hamlet in upstate NY called Malden Bridge.

2. Where did you go to school?

Middlebury College

3. What is the last book you read for fun?

Written On The Body, by Jeanette Winterson

4. When you first learned that you would be working on MONSTER, what was the first thought that crossed your mind?


5. If you could reanimate anyone, who would it be and why?

One of my Grandfathers—what could be more remarkable than discovering where you came from?

6. As a kid, what was your favorite Halloween candy?

My brothers and I bartered for each other's candy after a night spent greedily taking treats from strangers. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (the large ones) were always most coveted.

7. What tune is going on your "Awesome MixTape 2006"?

"Clam Crab Cockle Cowrie" –Joanna Newsom

8. What story of primal horror would you like to see Rorschach stage next year?

A musical rendition of Monster.

9. What are your words to live by?

Empathy, humor.

10. I'm going to quote you out of context. Okay? Go.

Mr. Jason Linkins, you will never hear my pun!

11. What's something you do in every show to maximize the audience's fear?

I scream.

12. Why did Victor give the Creature a [REDACTED]?

It's the [redacted] that makes the man.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ask Bobby Rector and Potomac Lovin'

Bobby Rector is on the block today in this edition of Ask the Cast. However before we get to know this man who puts the Monster in Monster (or does he? Discuss!), we have some more internet love to share from Brad Hathaway at Potomac Stages.

Brad says:

Each of the characters, if you will pardon the expression, comes to life in a production that feels smoothly created, not at all like the haphazard patch job that is the central character pieced together from spare parts by the good (?) doctor. That patch job is the most fun of the piece, however, as Robert Rector takes us through the evolution of the creature's consciousness of self. -Potomac Stages

I think we can pardon the pun, Brad. If you want to read the whole review follow this link.

Now on to the man of many parts (and I ask for no forgivness for my puns because they are good) Robert "Bobby" Rector. Bobby has been getting some excellent notice for his portrayl of Dr. F's creation. His physical work is outstanding and you are drawn and repelled by his creature at the same time. Here he answers the questions put to him by Jason Linkins:

1. Where are you from, originally?

Vienna, VA

2. Where did you go to school?

George Mason University

3. What is the last book you read for fun?

1984 by George Orwell

4. When you first learned that you would be working on MONSTER, what was the first thought that crossed your mind?

Does this mean I have to wear bolts in my neck?

5. If you could reanimate anyone, who would it be and why?

What Jeremy said.

6. As a kid, what was your favorite Halloween candy?

Three Musketeers.

7. What tune is going on your "Awesome MixTape 2006."?

Anything that is NOT played on 99.5.

8. What story of primal horror would you like to see Rorschach stage next year?

Monster II, in which Frankenstein creates another monster to fight the first, but they end up teaming together to kill...his pets, I guess at this point.

9. What are your words to live by?

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
- Mahatma Gandhi

10. I'm going to quote you out of context. Okay? Go.

Holler at your boy...when you...see... him in the street.

11. What's something you do in every show to maximize the audience's fear?

I kill most of the other characters.

12. Why DID Victor give the Creature a [REDACTED]?

Let's just be glad he gave him a REDACTED and not a REDACTED.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ask an SM (Not S&M! Grow up already!)

Please remember that this is the final weekend of MONSTER coming up. And I know many people head out of town for the Holiday Weekend, but there are also a bunch of you who I know will be around this weekend with out of town guests. Bring them to see MONSTER, you will thank me.

Megan Reichelt is the Stage Manager of our happy cast of misfits. And by misfits I refer you to the ancient greek meaning of the word, which meant lovely bunch of people who are quite mad you know. Megan as the stage manager is responsible for making sure the show runs smoothly and that the lights and sound cues are called at the appropriate times. Which in a show like MONSTER can be quite an undertaking (excuse the pun unless you thought it was funny). Please note she is the only person who has answered this survey who has found it necessary to curse.

1. Where are you from, originally?

Balmer, Merlin, hon!

2. Where did you go to school?

Ye Olde Catholic University of America.

3. What is the last book you read for fun?

I've been tryingtryingtrying to read some non-fiction books (The Pirate Queen, Playing Joan), but it hasn't been working very well. Last book I completed was Good Omens by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman (soooo good!!). Right now I'm starting The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay which Jeremy lent me. Read it! Its awesome!

4. When you first learned that you would be working on MONSTER, what was the first thought that crossed your mind?

"YAAAAAAAAAAAY!" Then, "Oh sh*t!" Then "YAAAAAAY!" again.

5. If you could reanimate anyone, who would it be and why?

Shakespeare. I've always wanted to just sit down and have a beer with him.

6. As a kid, what was your favorite Halloween candy?

Chocolaaate. Anything. Processed dairy product and mashed caco bean goodness.

7. What tune is going on your "Awesome MixTape 2006."?

"Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" - KT Tunstall

8. What story of primal horror would you like to see Rorschach stage next year?

Dear Brutus by J.M Barrie... that's not really primal though.....more dark magicy.... A version of Jekyll and Hyde? Dracula's always sexy and bloodspattered. That's what Rorschach needs. More blood.

9. What are your words to live by?

"All will be well." - Julian of Norwich

10. I'm going to quote you out of context. Okay? Go.

All my life, I have wanted to seriously pummel somebody. Not hurt them. Just pummel them.

11. What's something you do in every show to maximize the audience's fear?

I press "Go."

12. Why DID Victor give the Creature a [REDACTED]?

Little monsters! We have one in the booth. Little squiddy guy. Name of Ivan the Bleeeeeegh.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Linkins asks Linkins

I never get tired of Jason Linkins. There are many people in this world that I can not say the same of but I need me a does of Linkins about every couple of weeks or I start to go into withdrawal. Here he asks himself the questions and slngs back the answer. Remember this is the second to last weekend before MONSTER closes. Don't miss it!

1. Where are you from, originally?

Washington, DC

2. Where did you go to school?

The University of Virginia and, later, Virginia Commonwealth University.

3. What is the last book you read for fun?

How Soccer Explains The World, by Franklin Foer

4. When you first learned that you would be working on MONSTER, what was the first thought that crossed your mind?


5. If you could reanimate anyone, who would it be and why?

Paul Wellstone, for the obvious reasons.

6. As a kid, what was your favorite Halloween candy?

Hershey's SPECIAL DARK. They just seemed so EXOTIC. Also, like my friend Sommer, I believe Krackel to be heaven-sent.

7. What tune is going on your "Awesome MixTape 2006."?

All of these:
The Strokes, "You Only Live Once"
The Dresden Dolls, "Delilah"
Bishop Allen, "Flight 180"
Rainer Maria, "Catastrophe Keeps Us Together"
Keane, "Is It Any Wonder"
Jarvis Cocker, "[REDACTEDS] are Still Running The World"
The Hold Steady, "Stuck Between Stations"
Middle Distance Runner, "Naturally"
The Daybreak Line, "Bleeding Hearts"

8. What story of primal horror would you like to see Rorschach stage next year?

Tuesdays With Morrie, by Mitch Albom

9. What are your words to live by?

"This is how it works: You're young until you're not. You love until you don't. You try until you can't. You laugh until you cry. You cry until you laugh. And everyone must breathe until their dying breath. And this is how it works: You peer inside yourself. You take the things you like, and try to love the things you took. And then you take that love you made, and stick it into someone else's heart, pumping someone else's blood. And, walking arm in arm, you hope it don't get harmed. But even if it does, you'll just do it all again." --Regina Spektor

10. I'm going to quote you out of context. Okay? Go.

I had never dipped them into the gravy before that, I can't help myself.

11. What's something you do in every show to maximize the audience's fear?

I bury ancient Indian remains under their seats.

12. Why DID Victor give the Creature a [REDACTED]?

I think the real question is, how did he learn to use it just from reading Paradise Lost?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fear the Eeyore

Those of you coming here today for the next installment of Ask the Cast will have to wait a day. Hotmail, that poster child for unreliability has blocked me from digging into the creamy goodness that is Jason Linkins's repsonses to his own questions. Instead I bring you word of another bit of written press goodness from The Washington Post and 2 for 1 Ticket Deal for this weekend.

First off Jeremy Goren and Bobby Rector do the MONSTER cast pround in a nice little feature in yesterday's Style Section over at the paper of record. Getting Inside Someone Else's Head
In 'Frankenstein' Redux, Acting From the Neck Up
, Jane Horowitz asks our dynamic duo of Corpse Re-animation what it takes to fill the shoes of literatures greatest God and Monster since Paradise Lost. Of special note is Jeremy recalling his previous DC role of Christopher Robin in Eeyore's Christmas Present at Adventure Theater. That tidbit was picked up by the good folks at Eeyore Fun News, where they have linked to the Post Article. If you folks at Eeyore happen to stop by on these pages of Adult Angst and Negativity, I hope you feel right at home. Thanks Jeremy and Bobby for representing.

On to the bargain I mention in Paragraph One. We are offering 2 for 1 Tickets this weekend for any of the performances of MONSTER. Just use the code word "FEAR" , call 1-800-494-TIXS and you and your honey can see the show and get out in time to do all the bar hopping you were planning on doing before you are forced to go home and once again hear about how well your brother is doing in dental school and how your nephew is doing now that they have figured out that he is allergic to papaya.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ask Jeremy

Five count them five chances to see the show this weekend. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 7pm. The show is a brisk 90 minutes (I read that somewhere) so you can always plan on making other plans after the show.

Jeremy Goren is our own Dr. F in this here production of MONSTER. And I will say this for him, he is more than just side burns and a black coat.

Before we get to Jeremy's answers I just want to take this opportunity to thank the good people at Benny's House of Hair Wax for their sponsorship. When your hair needs a good wax there is only one house of wax, Benny's House of Hair Wax. Take Interstate 95 to the Slawson Cut-off, get out cut off your Slawson and proceed 5 more miles to the fork in the road where you will see a sign for Benny's House of Hair Wax. Now stay tuned for Ron Howard, Ron Pearlman, Rhea Pearlman and Jo-Jo the Wonder Horse in Attack of the the 50 Foot Giant Thing With Tenatcles.

1. Where are you from, originally?

Yo vengo de todas partes,
Y hacia todas partes voy.
Arte soy entre las artes.
Entre los montes, monte soy.

2. Where did you go to school?

Duluth, Minn.

3. What is the last book you read for fun?

The Rum Diary, by Hunter S. Thompson and Souls on Fire, by Elie Wiesel

4. When you first learned that you would be working on MONSTER, what was the first thought that crossed your mind?

Something is happening here, but I don't know what it is.

5. If you could reanimate anyone, who would it be and why?

Pac. He wasn't finished with us.

6. As a kid, what was your favorite Halloween candy?


7. What tune is going on your "Awesome MixTape 2006."?

"The Crystalline, Radiant Sky", by The Cynical Idealist

8. What story of primal horror would you like to see Rorschach stage next year?

The Crown of Fire, Anonymous, 13th c. Albuquerque.

9. What are your words to live by?

"Arm yourselves with your array: Design, Wisdom, Intellect, Knowledge, and Vision, the power of Hands and Feet."

10. I'm going to quote you out of context. Okay? Go.

There were only seven of them, and it was Havana, not Cancun.

11. What's something you do in every show to maximize the audience's fear?

I play with menstrual blood. And I eat it.

12. Why DID Victor give the Creature a [REDACTED]?

A wise man, on the edge of the wilderness of infinity, once told his disciples: "As for the whole gang-bang scenario, well, it just couldn't happen. Smurfs are asexual. They don't even have...reproductive organs under those tiny, white pants. That's what's so illogical about being a Smurf. You know? I mean, what's the point ofliving... if you don't have a redacted?"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ask Jillian Levine-Sisson

Monster has some great technical support. A fantastic stage manager in Megan Reichelt and a spunky young gal name of Jillian serving as Assistant Stage Manager and Sound Board Op.

Here are Jillian's answers to Jason Linkin's Quiz of Doom:

1. Where are you from, originally?

Some would say Mars, others Washington Hospital Center via my mothers' womb.

2. Where did you go to school?

Bradley Hills Elementary, Thomas W. Pyle Middle, Walt Whitman High, Kenyon College, The School for Scandal (ongoing).

3. What is the last book you read for fun?

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

4. When you first learned that you would be working on MONSTER, what was the first thought that crossed your mind?

"G-D I really hope that Jason Linkins will be a part of this project.... for if he isnt, I'll be so SCURRRRRED."

5. If you could reanimate anyone, who would it be and why?

No clue, but it would probably be really cool if I could reanimate someone as a present for a friend. "Merry Chirstmas! Here's the reanimated Humphrey Bogart just for you!"

6. As a kid, what was your favorite Halloween candy?

I was not allowed to keep my Haloween candy as a child... this is what happens when your mother is a dentist. I didnt actually taste cotton candy until I was in college. But my favorite candy to hide in the various folds and pockets of my costume were Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

7. What tune is going on your "Awesome MixTape 2006."?

"Take Your Mama" by Scissor Sisters or "I Hear the Bells" by Mike Doughty

8. What story of primal horror would you like to see Rorschach stage next year?

A staged adaptation of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

9. What are your words to live by?

"It is important to remember to always believe in love... and sandwiches.... but mostly love... and sandwiches."

10. I'm going to quote you out of context. Okay? Go.

And I said to him "I'm not taking my clothes off for ANYONE... even if it is ARTISTIC!"

11. What's something you do in every show to maximize the audience's fear?

I get to push a button that makes a gunshot happen in the first half hour of the show. Megan and I always look out over the crowd to watch the people jump.

12. Why DID Victor give the Creature a [REDACTED]?

I think the more important question here isnt why the monster was given a REDACTED, but whether or not director Randy Baker explored the question of RECACTEDs with actor Bobby Rector while exploring this artistic moment in the play. Did Randy ask Bobby to go home one night after rehearsal and examine why HE, BOBBY was given a REDACTED and how he therefore felt about the creatures REDACTED? Are Bobby and the creatures REDACTEDS linked? I would like to think that a great deal of time and contemplation was spent on this.... yes, yes I would. . .

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ask Tiernan

We have been playing to some very responsive and loving houses. Check out our cool advertisement on the DCist and the one with the trailer on DC Theater Reviews. And what better way to continue the love for MONSTER, than to continue our on going series Ask the Cast. Today we talk to Tiernan Madorno. Tiernan plays Justine the doomed servant in the House of Frankenstein.

1. Where are you from, originally?

Seattle, Washington

2. Where did you go to school?

University of Maryland, College Park

3. What is the last book you read for fun?

"Skyscraper" by 'Zane'

4. When you first learned that you would be working on MONSTER, what was the first thought that crossed your mind?

"Sweet! A chick flick!"

5. If you could reanimate anyone, who would it be and why?

I'm sure this comes at little suprise to some, but I'd have to bring back the one true king, Elvis Aaron Presley. From avid nine year old fan, to present day black female impersonator there's really no other worthy of reanimation in my mind!

6. As a kid, what was your favorite Halloween candy?

Those carmel apple pop thingies that got stuck all over your teeth.

7. What tune is going on your "Awesome MixTape 2006." ?

"Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" and The Folgers coffee jingle by Rock-a-pella.

8. What story of primal horror would you like to see Rorschach stage next year?

Waking me up in the morning.

9. What are your words to live by?

"Risk more than others think is safe, Care more than others think is wise, Dream more than others think is practical, Expect more than others think is possible." -Cadet Maxim

10. I'm going to quote you out of context. Okay? Go.

"The best part of wakin' up, is Folgers in your cup! Yeah man! Haaaaaaaaaay-oooooooo! I've got an armor plated Rhinoceros what??? AND All the other wonderfully age appropriate comments I make while doing Bobby's make-up every night!:)"

11. What's something you do in every show to maximize the audience's fear?

Each night Justine enjoys sticking it to Elizabeth by graphically enhancing her 'incident' with Victor in the cellar.

12. Why DID Victor give the Creature a [REDACTED]?

I am sooooooooo not the one to be answering that question.........but I do wonder what goes through Creature's head when he carries a dead Justine off stage........ I mean everybody needs love right??!!