Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wednesday and It Hot

Ladies and gentlemen two days in a row and it is over 9o degrees. Whether we have actually started summer is one for debate but it is clear that the weather has for now taken on a pea soup like quality that I despise.

The Arabian Night is set in Berlin on the hottest night of the year. Here is a
link to the weather forecast today in Berlin. Quick calculation and a quick public school educated conversion of the temperature leads me to believe it is a beautiful day in Berlin. Not the hottest night of the year that our play requires but it is nice that our friends in Berlin are enjoying a partly cloudy day in the low 60s.

Much of my time these days is spent dreaming of far off lands and traveling the world in search of beauty and exotic locals. Looking for the romance that travel promises to every bright eyes American boy and girl. Destinations like Berlin and Istanbul dance through all of our imaginations. Rorschach has taken its all over the globe at one time or another. Whether it is Moscow after the Revolution in Master and Margarita, a deserted road somewhere in the jungles of Southeast Asia in After the Flood or the war torn streets of Bosnia in Family Stories, Rorschach takes audiences to times and places at once familiar but also strange and just a little bit twisted from our expectations.

I think that even though this is our second visit to Berlin this season, the Berlin of The Arabian Night will bear little resemblance to the world of A Bright Room Called Day. Each of our designers brings their own special vocabulary and vision to each of our shows. There has never been a repeat yet on our stage.

So dream of Berlin and Istanbul and where the two cities live side by side in The Arabian Night. Find where they collide and co-exist and let us take you there for one magic and scary roller coaster ride.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Late start today. My bosses at my day job actually expect me to do some work from time to time and today was one of those days.

No real Rorschach news to report, except that the cast of
The Arabian Night were hard at work all weekend with their fearless leader Jenny McConnell Frederick at the helm.

Many good things coming up very soon, so please continue to check back throughout the week.

Just a reminder to our regular readers, I will begin to need fill in material in a few short weeks as I take off across America for the month of July, so I will be needing guest writers. If you have something Rorschach related you would like to share with the world send me an email. I will let you know when I will be running it. Perhaps you have ideas for the blog that I can work on before I hit the road and just post while I am away. Perhaps you have a question you want answered about Rorschach or you have a question for a company member or one of the Artists working on The Arabian Night. Well
email me everything and we will go from there.

Enjoy your Tuesday back after the holiday and remember it is just 3 days until the weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Notes from the Underground

As summer begins I am reminded that there is a lot of great stuff currently on stage in Washington DC stages. We at Rorschach have had the good fortune for the last couple of years to have a sort of theater co-op going with two companies whose work we respect and who put together some of the most exciting and important plays not being produced by Rorschach Theater in town.

I am speaking of Catalyst Theater and Theater Alliance. Along with Rorschach, these three theater companies make up "The Edge." Young companies with big ambitions and remarkably talented people both on stage and off. Regular theater goers will see Rorschach alums and company members on all three stages. Personally I have worked for all three companies and while Rorschach is my home, I think all the companies are creating some of the most exciting and intelligent work in DC today.

While Rorschach is gearing-up for The Arabian Night might I suggest you spend some time in the theater this weekend, with either Catalyst or Theater Alliance.

Theater Alliance has two shows running in rep. Two Rooms by Lee Blessing featuring Rorschach company member Jason Stiles and Rorschach alum Kerri Rambow. Costumes by Rorschach company member Deb Sivigny.

Two Rooms
By Lee Blessing

Directed by Shirley Serotsky
Featuring Kathleen Coons, David Johnson, Kerri Rambow and Jason Stiles

April 27 – May 28, 2006 as part of the The Pangea Project

“Mr. Blessing reaffirms his authority with timely political questions.” – New York Times

A cell in Beirut. A living room in America. Love and life are welded together as a husband and wife torn apart examine the world around them. This arresting work explores a subject much in the thoughts of contemporary society – the taking of innocent lives by revenge minded governments.

Also in rep at Theater Alliance is The Monument. Featuring Mr. Alexander Strain, hot off his dynamite performance in A Bright Room Called Day.

The Monument
American Premiere!
By Colleen Wagner

Directed by John Vreeke
Featuring Jennifer Mendenhall and Alexander Strain

May 20 – June 11, 2006 as part of The Pangea Project

“The Monument is emblazoned on our hearts and minds forever.” – Toronto Globe & Mail

In an unnamed country a young soldier is being convicted of war crimes. Just at the moment he is to be executed, a mysterious woman appears at his side and offers him freedom if he promises to obey her for the rest of his life. This electrifying drama is a torpedo aimed directly at the nature of evil. Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, Canada’s equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize. Mature content.

And over on Capital Hill, Catalyst Theater is presenting Someone Who'll Watch Over Me. With Rorschach alums Dan Via and Cecil Baldwin.

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
by Frank McGuinness
directed by Christopher Gallu
May 3 – June 10, 2006

Three strangers fight to survive torture, privation and each other as hostages in a Middle East prison cell. Catalyst company member Christopher Gallu (1984) directs Frank McGuinness’s taut, inspiring drama, featuring company members Christopher Janson and Dan Via, plus Cecil Baldwin.

Performances at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop545 7th Street, SE (2 blocks from the Eastern Market Metro station)

All of these shows are affordable and more importantly they are the work of our friends and they need to be seen.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rorschach and the News

Welcome to an all new feature here at the Rorschach Blog, Rorschach and the News. This is where we take a story from the headlines and tell you how we at Rorschach would produce a play based on this event. You can either read the article or just read about the hypothetical production, it's just that simple. Today I draw your attention to this article from the Washington Post's Reliable Source:

In Georgetown, the Case of the Walloped Woofers

The long and the short of this is:

An unidentified man in a bathrobe walked onto the back patio of the Snap tea house and creperie around 9 a.m. and bludgeoned the cafe's stereo speakers with his cane. - By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts - Washington Post- 5/25/06

Since this is Rorschach we would of course build a complete replica of the original Snap tea house and creperie. Imagine if you will a court yard cafe with small tables and those plastic chairs that you buy on special at CVS. Dominating the space would be a large painted sign with the name of the cafe and a delightful cartoon mascot standing next to the menu and a wipe board where the specials would go. Surrounding the space would be large stereo speakers and at the center of the stage on a high shelf would be a "The Stereo."

"The Stereo" would of course represent something deeper and more meaningful than just loud music. Perhaps it would be the plight of the aging, tensions among America's working and leisure classes, or the devil. Knowing Rorschach it would probably represent the devil and whenever no one on stage was looking at "The Stereo" the lighting designer would shine some kind of red light on "The Stereo." First the light would start out low and then it would get brighter and brighter until there was no mistaking the fact that "The Stereo" was the devil.

Costume wise you have the guy in the bathrobe, the cafe workers and then the kind of customers
who would be in a creperier at 9 a.m. in Georgetown on a Tuesday morning in May. So I am thinking we would blow our whole budget on designer knock-offs and running suits.

Casting wise, I think we would probably look outside the company for the cafe owner. We would try and find an older white male to play the part of the cane wielding maniac and we would audition about six or seven middle aged men, who for some reason would be unavailable or just not right for the part and then we would cast me. The patron's of the cafe with their various personality quirks would be made up of at least three company members and four people who we met at a bar or party the weekend before who kept telling us how much they loved Rorschach and would love to work for us someday. Personally that is how I get most of my work, so I am not judging here, keep those compliments coming people.

Finally we would need a director (I know most of you think we need a script as well but that is how other companies work, thank you very much) so I think anytime you have a devil stereo and random street violence you need Grady Weatherford.

Well there you go, we'll be previewing in two weeks and please tell all your friends.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I told you I would get them all

The last of the chickens has come home to roost in our little coop of infamy, the one and only Mr. Jason Stiles. He works constantly because he is that good and before you ask his name actually is Stiles, he did not make that up. Having appeared in 5 shows for Rorschach (The Illusion, Lord of the Flies, A Clearing in the Woods, Ubu Roi and most recently Accidental Death of an Anarchist) Jason is the kind of guy whose natural charisma and sense of humor are something I look forward to when ever I can get me some.

Jason has also worked for, and this list is not inclusive, ACTCO, Theater Alliance, Longacre Lea and Stage Guild. His good looks are, despite the image to your left, a constant annoyance to me and I have been giving him no end of grief for the strange part he has been wearing in his hair lately.

My favorite Jason Stiles story? Jason and me making our way from a cast party for The Illusion. I was driving and both of us were new to DC at this point. So I offered to take him home, only problem was neither one of us was quiet sure how to get him there. We ended up making several illegal U-turns, passing the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and finally driving into Anacostia before we figured out where the hell we were. See it is memories like this that you try so very hard to get rid of.

This interview concludes our series and I have always thought of Jason as the cherry on top of any ice cream based dessert. Enjoy!

So here it is . . . hand to god . . .

1. Place of birth?
Columbus, Ohio

2. First experience in theater?
College. Lead in Tis Pity She's a Whore (I decided to go audition because maybe acting would get me over my fear of speaking in front of people....ha)

3. Where you went to school?
Virginia Wesleyan College (I never remeber how to spell it)

4. What do you do?

5. What was your first experience with Rorschach?
The Illusion

6. Company member you would most like to be if you were not yourself?
Getman (so tall......)

7. Some story about working on a Rorschach play that either made you laugh or touched you deeply?
Hmmm.....lemme get back to this.

8. Where do you think Rorschach will be in the next ten years?
If things keep going the way they are now . . . and we dont go up in a big nuclear f***-fire-ball . . . I see Rorschach as a major contender (coula been a ) in DC Theatre.

9. What is your favorite Rorschach show that you were not in?
A Bright Room Called Day

10. Scott McCormick harmless adolescent or world conquering super villain?
Harmless World Conquering Adolecent Super-Villian

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Send In The Monkey Boy!

I may have mentioned that Artistic Partner Lauren Hyland and her long time fellow Steve Carpenter got hitched on Saturday. What I have not gone into is the gory and yes sometimes shocking details of the event itself. Thanks to Marybeth Fritzky's photos, I can show you some of what happened. Strangely enough she has no pictures of either Steve or Lauren.

I want to start out by saying the wedding itself could not have been more perfect. Steve mad a beautiful groom and Lauren was the kind of bride they make long white dresses for. From the sexy lacing up the back of her dress to the kick ass red shoes that carried her on a cloud that day, you could not have found a hotter looking married lady in the place.

After the inimitable Reverend Bill Largess married the kids to one another, Steve and Lauren ran-up the aisle and immediately entered the moon bounce. The moon bounce will play a key role in the disturbing events that filled the remainder of the day.

Of course as is so important at any wedding there was the open bar immediately following, while the bridal party stood for picture after picture, so as you can imagine the friends and family of the bride and groom helped themselves to name brand beverages of all types, before a mighty tasty dinner was served.

It wasn't until after dinner that the troubles began. Some of the older kids; Tim Getman, Eric Messner, Scott McCormick and Randy Baker, decided that the younger kids had been hogging the moon bounce for far too long and that it was now our turn. First Tim went in and then me and then Eric and then Randy. The under 12 crowd would not give up control of the moon bounce. This was perhaps fortunate because some of the older kids may have enjoyed one too many of the afore mentioned beverages for safe and fun bouncing. However the big kids just wouldn't let well enough alone and began to taunt the children inside the moon bounce. The children demanded retribution and revenge and perhaps a little blood for their troubles.

Tim decided he was going to risk it and entered what was now taking on the appearance of a Elementary School Thunder Dome. The children's cries that we send in the Monkey Boy had done their work. As soon as he entered the Moon Bounce of Pain he was assaulted by at least ten young ones under 5 feet tall. They piled on his prone form and began to perform what I can only describe as wrestling inspired poundings onto his back. He worked his way to his feet and they began to body check him again and again. Finally some of us in the crowd began to egg the children on with cries of "The Tall one's stomach is full of sprinkles!" and "Hey kids he just told me he hates Sponge Bob!" He was lucky to get out alive.

The kids however were not done and demanded more victims. Next it was Eric and then me. Each of us bravely entering the pit and coming out with what little dignity we had left. I want to go on record as saying I don't blame the children, I blame society. Specifically the part of Society made up of 20 and 30 somethings who think they can still use a moon bounce.

The rest of the evening was fantastic and I can not tell you how much fun everyone who was there had. I can tell you how much fun I had and the memory of dipping John Horn on the dance floor will be a memory that will always be fresh and green in my heart.

Lauren and Steve thank you for letting us be a part of your special day and from all of us at Rorschach the warmest wishes for what we know will be an extraordinary rest of your lives.

They Like Us ...

Last night Rorschach Theatre was honored by the Theatre Lobby with a Mary Goldwater Award, which "honors excellence achieved against odds in National Capital area theaters."

The Mary Goldwater Awards themselves are a very homey feeling event. A group of older theater goers stand up and read a brief biography of each of the recipients and then a proclamation is presented. There is no format and there certainly is no true pomp, but the whole thing has the feeling of a Town Hall Meeting. Generations of theater goers and artists gather together to honor the theater artists they genuinely like with heartfelt proclamations. At the end past honorees are asked to tell everyone what they are up to and the whole thing takes on a sort of "what have you kids been doing with yourselves" flavor.

I think all of the Rorschach family who were present last night Randy, Deb, Grady, Rahaleh, Hugh, Jason S. and I were all touched by the warm and kind words that the Theatre Lobby spoke when presenting the award. Anyone interested in seeing the ceremony should contact Jenny's Mom and Dad since Mr. McConnell was up there recording the whole thing. The McConnells were also recognized for their contributions as well, being asked to stand up to acknowledge their labor in helping the company put the show together. It would have been interesting if part of that acknowledgement could have been for sowing Tim's cod piece for Master and Margarita and helping us repair the window grate after our B&E escapade.

Thank you Theatre Lobby and thank you everyone who helped us receive the honor. And also congratulations to all of the other recipients.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Auf Wiedersehen!

What a way to end a run! With a weekend of sell outs and special union of two of our favorites we had a weekend that will probably be remembered for a long time to come. I will be writing a summary of the wedding of Steve Carpenter and Lauren Hyland later. If you have any photos of the event please forward them on. I will say for the record though, you could not have had a more beutiful day for an outside wedding and the ceremony was fantastic. I will have a report from the moon bounce and the dance floor later. Right now though we have to say goodbye to the third show of our sixth season.

Let me start out by saying how pleased I was with the way this weekend shaped up for A Bright Room Called Day. People were being packed in for the final weekend and I am so glad so many people got a chance to see what was truly a magnificent show. Kudos to the cast, crew, director, designers and company for what was perhaps one of the most topical plays to have been produced in DC this season.

I can't remember a show that I have enjoyed watching more this year and I know that everyone who took the time to speak to me after they saw the show were all blown away. All of the performances, direction and design elements added up to what I can only describe as magic and you should all be very proud of the work you did.

That all being said every cast deserves a final bow on the blog so here are the people who made A Bright Room Called Day possible.

A Bright Room Called Day

BY Tony Kushner

DIRECTED BY Rahaleh Nassri

PRODUCED BY Randy Baker and Jenny McConell Frederick

FEATURING Company Members Lindsay Allen, Elizabeth Chomko and Grady Weatherford, with Katie Atkinson, Matt Dunphy, Lauren Krizner, Cam Magee, Alexander Strain and Ellen Young

DESIGNED BY Franklin Labovitz (Costumes), Jacob Muehlhausen (Set), Matt Nielson (Sound), Nathaniel John Sebastian Sinnott (Lights), Becky Trotter (Props), Grady Weatherford (Multimedia) and Amy Kleist (Technical Director)

STAGE MANAGED BY Vivian Woodland and Ryan Taylor(ASM)


A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY is sponsored in part by a generous gift from Unique USA Inc.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Bye Bye Bye

Tonight is the beginning of the end. One show tonight and two on Sunday and then A Bright Room Called Day goes into all of our collective pasts. To be stored and archived in the memories of company and audience alike.

It is the weirdest thing saying good-bye to a show. In the world of DC theater it is usually the experience of 2 or 3 months. Making friends and enemies you never would have had otherwise. Some of them you keep forever but many of them fade so quickly. Not saying you don't still care about the person but life creeps in and the next show comes and you start all over again. Learning names and faces, avoiding conflict and attempting once again to have a working relationship with a group of people who have been on the same ride you have.

I don't wish it to be true and I don't think anyone does but the nature of this beast is that we all feel very deeply for one another and then we all get involved in the next big thing in our lives and then we invest just as much in them. If we are lucky we do another show with these people, but we all know that dynamics change. The man you closed bars down with suddenly had a wife and child and has to be in by 11 p.m. The woman who you adored has found religion, moved to another city and you never see her again.

You can work in an office for years with people and never care as deeply for them as the family you make when working on a show in a church sanctuary on Columbia Road for 10 weeks.

I have no solution and I may be wrong and this is just my problem. One of the reasons I love working with Rorschach is because there are people who are around all of the time. Familiar faces that I have raged at and adored.

Tomorrow Lauren Hyland and Steve Carpenter are getting married. Lauren and Steve, I believe, started dating because of working together on a show at Theater J (there is Theater J again sorry.) Maybe these shows do stay with us and last forever when we let them. Hell just being around someone when they are working on a show gives you the best and worst of them. Maybe it doesn't have to be goodbye to everyone.

Sorry, I am particularly smitten these days which causes me to gush a little. I can hardly see the screen because of the water coming out of my eyes. There I am better, still smitten but better all the same. I promise to bring "Snarky Scott" back for a visit sometime soon.

Speaking of which . . .

It works people! Guilt wins again. I am not sure what irony Cindy is referring to but she did in fact send us this message:

Cindy said...
Oh the irony in this blog is killing me. And you WILL see me tonight, you will indeed!

Someone will have to confirm whether she did indeed come to see the show last night or not but if she did I think we can all let the healing begin.

Cast and crew of Bright Room thanks for one of my favorite theater experiences on or off stage. See you all tonight!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What is up with Cindy?

So I ran into Ms. Katie Atkinson yesterday afternoon at a call back for another theater (I would tell you it was Theater J but they seem to be getting a lot of plugs here these days and I don't want them to get cocky). Any way she mentioned that her sister who she lives with has not come and seen A Bright Room Called Day. A show where Katie quite literally breaks my heart a little bit (To be honest the whole cast breaks my heart, so that I am left with only enough heart to limp my way up 16th Street and try and live and love with only about 10% of my heart intact after watching this play.)

Cindy I promised Katie I wouldn't say anything. She said you get enough grief from her already on this issue. But then she mentioned that she had a friend taking a bus down from New York yesterday to see the show and I have to be honest it made me ask the question, "What is up with Cindy?" I know we all get busy and it is May Sweeps, but come on Cindy, Katie said you told her you were going to see Bright Room last night and then suddenly plans change and you are doing something else.

Cindy I think I know what is going on here and believe me I have been there too. You make a plan and then you realize that Alias is on or Lost or that reality show with Tori Spelling and you just can't take the chance that the VCR or the Tivo won't record it. But Cindy, you could have asked me, I taped Lost and I would have taped Alias if you had asked. You could have come out and supported the sister that loves you but you stayed home and watched Jennnifer Garner kill like her 200th skeezey looking European of the Season. I don't want to get involved in whatever problems the two of you are having right now, but just know that I am here to help.

You see ladies and gentlemen I am not just the blogger, I am a person who cares. My position at Rorschach has sometimes been compared to Julie on the Love Boat and just as she helped Tom Bosely find love with Charo, I am here for all of you.

So Cindy, don't be afraid to ask for help. If there is anything I can do to make sure you get to see your sister's show, you let me know. I will do it! You need a show taped, I will tape it. You need the dog walked, I will walk it. You need someone to take your place on a blind date, I will date it. Because we at Rorschach are a family. Sure it has more in common with the Mansons than the Bradys but we all got one another's backs. And at the end of the day isn't that what we all want, someone who has got your back? See you at the show Cindy. See you at the show indeed!

Final Weekend People! Shows Tonight and Friday at 8pm. No show Saturday due to impending Manson Family Wedding. Shows on Sunday at 4pm and 8pm and then we are done. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Join us at The Mary Goldwaters

All of you our friends and family are invited to The Mary Goldwater Awards Reception next Monday. I am telling you all now so you can plan accordingly. Rorschach is being honored for and I quote:

Rorschach Theatre Company: for excellence and vision in producing works representing a variety of cultures and styles, including premieres of new plays.

This is one of those rare awards that doesn't just recognize a particular person or show but a whole theater company. It honors everyone whether they have acted, designed, managed, directed, picked up a hammer, painted a set, written a play, worked front of house, been a board member, written a check, been in the audience or given birth or raised anyone who has done one of those invaluable things. It is a night to celebrate the people who make it possible for us to put on show after show and make the world a little safer by keeping 10 to 20 people off the street, who might well be terrorizing society if they weren't using their brains and talent to entertain and enlighten.

So please if you have a free evening next Monday, come and help us celebrate this honor.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

$10 Tickets

Here is the 411 on the $10 tickets for Wednesday Nights Performance of A Bright Room Called Day. I am assuming it was Randy Baker who left this anonymous comment:

Hey all, so if you are booking your tickets for Wednesday and want the $10 rate, you need to mention the code TENBUCKS when you are talking to the nice folks at Box Office Tickets.
1-800-494-8497 or visit Box Office Tickets on-line.

Hope you can join us because this is your last chance to see this phenomenal show.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Some more Pics and a Couple of Reminders

Here are some more pics of A Bright Room Called Day. A reminder that we have added a show this Wednesday and all the tickets are $10. This is the final weekend and it is selling like flat warm cakes made from flour served with butter and your choice of syrups. Tonight there is a free reading of The Wood Pecker at Casa starting at 8pm. And one more thing I love each and every blog reading one of you.

- Scott

Hello Darlin'

This is the part of the blog where I tell you about my feelings about the company member and what they have meant to Rorschach. With Tracy Lynn Olivera I could go on and on about her talent, about a sense of humor that makes me blush sometimes and about a voice that makes nightingales commit suicide without leaving a note.

She has only been on Rorschach's stage twice and yet I can not think of the company without thinking of her. She along with Lindsay Allen, Yasmin Tuazon and Caroline Kellogg she was one of my girls in God of Vengeance, then she abandoned Tim Getman in JB as his long suffering wife. She now works around town and has thrilled audiences at Arena and Signature. And if we ever do a musical I am sure she will be the main ingredient. The one and only Tracy:

1. Place of birth?

Palm Springs, CA

2. First experience in theater?

I played Mother Goose in Mother Goose's Magic Feather. I believe I fell asleep on stage for most of it, woke up and had one line.

3. Where you went to school?

The Catholic University of America. Wow, that looks really scary when it's written out.

4. What do you do?

Um, theatre. Mostly musicals, actually. And I teach in the Musical Theatre Department at The Catholic University of America. (Holy crap, there it is again....)

5. What was your first experience with Rorschach?

I played a mostly naked jewish lesbian prostitute in God of Vengeance. Kind of like Mother Goose, but cooler.

6. Company member you would most like to be if you were not yourself?

Hmm, I think Michael John Casey. Ooh, ooh, or Lauren Hyland. She has fantastic hair.

7. Some story about working on a Rorschach play that either made you laugh or touched you deeply?

I can't think of a specific story at the moment (except for the time I "Sharon Stoned" Joe Banno during GOV, or the time I "Sharon Stoned" the stage manager of JB--that seems to be a theme....), but I can say that some of my dearest friendships in the world were forged during my experiences with Rorschach. Seriously. Good people.

8. Where do you think Rorschach will be in the next ten years?

Joy Zinnoman, move the f*** over. And doing more musicals.

9. What is your favorite Rorschach show that you were not in?

I think Lord of the Flies. I loved that show.

10. Scott McCormick harmless adolescent or world conquering super villain?

I don't like trick questions. If I answer "harmless adolescent," and I'm wrong, I'll probably get killed. If I answer "world conquering super villian," and I'm right, same result. I'll respectfully abstain.

First Read of Arabian Night

I will be posting three times today, because there is just so much to say. Later today look for our second to last company member profile of Ms. Tracy Lynn Olivera. And I will also be giving a report on this weekends performances of A Bright Room Called Day with some new pictures I just received from Colin Hovde. But first thing is first as they say, and since First Reads are rarer than performances we will begin at the beginning of our next big thing, Arabian Night. I gave you a run down on the show on Thursday so scan down if you want more details. Here I will simply provide you with some of the sights of First Read in director Jenny McConnell Frederick's apartment on Saturday afternoon. First to your left please note Jessica Hansen and Matt Dunphy. This picture of Matt should make regular reader Ellen happy for at least a couple of days and Jessica isn't hard on the eyes either.

Nelina Giridhar found the energy to come to rehearsal Saturday afternoon after doing what all good Non-Equity actors do in order to stay alive, working a day job. In Nelina's case it is really a night job bar tending and she actually got to bed sometime around 5 a.m. that morning. Please note the glazed look the protruding tounge and the lack of any muscular control. I hope this picture fully demonstrates what can happen when the arts are not funded properly and young women like our Nelina are forced to show up around 12:30 p.m. after working all night. Please give generously the next time we ask so we can pay our actors, crew and designers a living wage.

Here we have "Little Timmy" Getman Company Member and now set designer, talking to Yvette Ryan our costume designer. You may remember Yvette's designs from Behold! last season. Both of them are damn ambitious. I don't want to give too much away right now but Mr. Getman is talking duplex in Casa. I usually kid when I say our sets might kill someone, this time I am not sure whether I should be kidding about it. Only time will tell but if it does what he and Jenny want it to do, there will be some pretty intense moments just involving the set.

This final picture is my personal favorite. I share grapes with Company member and lighting designer David Ghatan. Now some people are put off by one man feeding another man grapes and those people are bigots and I don't want to have anything to do with them. If a man wants to feed a designer grapes it is his own business and no one should judge lest they be judged. Besides he kept saying it was one of the perks described in his contract and I was too tired to argue.

Well ladies and gentlemen that is just a taste of the next big thing here at Rorschach. Check in later for more about Bright Room and the 411 on Tracy. Until later, bye!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Magic In Rough Spaces: Free Reading Monday Night

Grady Weatherford that one eyed Hungarian currently parading his talents all over Bright Room sends along this information about a special reading on Monday night at Casa.

The Details:

Presents a Free Reading of


by Brett Williams
Directed by Michole Biancosino

Today is Jimmy's special day. His Mom is proud, his Dad is jealous and Jimmy has discovered that he has a special bond with animals. Tomorrow he leaves for the war and he is thankful.

From the sleepy town of Arkadephia to an all too familiar interrogation room in a desert war zone, Jimmy navigates the trappings of family, religion, patriotism and justice.

With: Company Members Michael John Casey (Clearing in the Woods and Ubu Roi) and Grady Weatherford (The Illusion, The Beard of Avon, are joined by Joachim Boyle and Rorschach Alum Frank Britton (After the Flood and Accidental Death of an Anarchist)

May 15, 2006 at 8 p.m.
The Sanctuary Theatre at
Casa del Pueblo Methodist Church

1459 Columbia Road, NW

Grady sent me this further piece of information. Apprently the playwright was supposed to be joining them for the reading on Monday but has to give the reading a pass. He has been committed to a mental institution until Tuesday. And while we all wish him the best, you have to admit that a play written by a guy who has been committed does have a certain lurid curiosity factor built in. Come on out people it is free and I for one know when Michole and Grady put their heads together you know you are in for a ride. And it's free!

Mother of a Day

Went and saw A Bright Room Called Day last night for the second time. Besides having some truly exceptional company with me for the experience, I got to tell you folks, it hit me even harder this time. The whole cast has raised their game to a level of excellence that I have very rarely witnessed. Some shows seem to fall apart after the first weekend and yet others gel as the cast doesn't have to worry about critics and the other trivia that seems to haunt you while you are getting ready for an opening night. This cast has blossomed ladies and gentlemen into something so perfect. I know Kushner's play could be sited by the hyperbola police for doing 110 mph in a 55 mph zone, but I quote the film King of Hearts:
If I don't exaggerate how do I know that it is real?
We have two weekends left and this weekend we have four shows. Tonight at 8pm, tomorrow at 4pm and 8pm and Sunday at 4pm. This would be a great opportunity to take your Mom out to the theater on Mother's Day.

Or had that slipped your mind? What lousy children you all are, forgetting Mother's Day you might as well kiss the rest of your year goodbye. Think of all the trips to the zoo, matinees of The Nutcracker and countless Motor X meets. And selfish you can't be bothered to take your Mom, the woman who treated your wounds and stayed up with you all night when you had that awful dye job, to see a simple play about Nazis, Communist and the Devil. For shame! I don't even know you anymore.

Who are you and how did you get in my room? Put the gun down. We can work this out like reasonable adults. What is it you want? You want to get tickets for A Bright Room Called Day so you can take your Mom to see it on Mother's Day? Why didn't you say so? Just call 1-800-494-TIXS or go to Box Office Tickets online. See that wasn't that hard. All these threats over a little thing like theater tickets. I know she loves you and you love her, and I can't think of a better way to show her love than with Kushner. Why don't you pick up some flowers too? She likes flowers doesn't she? Well you take the flowers pick her up and you head down to Columbia Heights. You say she is scared of the City after sundown. Well let her know the show starts at 4pm and she will be out of the City long before Sundown at 8:05 this evening. I think your mother would be proud of you. Damn Proud!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sexy German Play

Rorschach has one last card up its sleave this season. And when I say card I mean a show that is blistering HOT !!! People who know me know that I don't use all caps that often, hardly use exlimation points at all (let alone three of them in a row) and don't change font color unless I really mean it. I mean it loyal readers, I mean it when I say Arabian Night will be the cherry on top of a season that has already been filled to the brim with dramatic goodness (see I am so excited I even mixed a metaphor.) Arabian Night will have its first read on Saturday and I can tell you it has me tingling in all those spots in my psyche that Dr. Freud loved and exploited. Arabian Night is by the German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig and is chocked full of sexiness. Sexy is not a word I would use about a German Play but there is no other word.

What is Rorschach saying about Arabian Night:

Nominated Play of the Year by six German critics in 2001, Arabian Night is a sleek and sensual thriller from one of the most acclaimed new voices of the German stage. Arabian Night
follows the interweaving fantasies, crossed paths and conflicting desires of five individuals from the East and from the West. All of them are trapped in a magical apartment tower on the hottest night in history.

“A deliciously playful flight of fancy…shaggy-dog magic realism, reveling in the furtive joys of urban life as the setting of a concrete jungle is transformed into a gossamer mirage.” - LONDON EVENING STANDARD

Jenny McConnell Frederick directs this the final show of Rorschach 6th Season. The woman who
brought you prostitutes in the lobby of WJCC in God of Vengeance, Lindsay Allen in a slip in A Clearing in the Woods, Tim Getman in a codpiece in Master and Margarita and Scott McCormick with a hunch back in The Scarlet Letter, turns her directing magic on this work of Magical Realism. And let's face it folks isn't Magical Realism the only Realism worth paying for?

Design wise Matthew Frederick (Sound), David Ghatan (Lights), Tim Getman (Set) and Yvette Ryan (Costumes). That's right ladies and gentlemen little Timmy Getman is designing us a set.

What can I say about the actors? Not much because I only know two of them. Matt Dunphy (hot off of A Bright Room Called Day) and Nelina Giridhar(Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards) are joined by Jessica Hansen, Jason McCool, and Edwin Xavier.

Tickets are now available for this show that will run month of July and only two weekends left to see A Bright Room Called Day. Hell why not book tickets for both while you are making reservations. Rorschach Theatre we know you like to watch.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Not Socks

Getting a new play in the mail is one of those Christmas morning kind of feelings. You know the play you ordered and you know the plot but you aren't sure if it will be the equivalent of the G.I. Joe Battle Base or a pair of socks. It is especially wonderful when the play comes from a foreign country and you order it on Thursday and it is in your grubby little hands on Tuesday morning. You are full of expectations, will this be as good as you imagined or will it be socks?

As Rorschach draws ever nearer to picking and announcing our Seventh Season, we all are passing scripts around and planning readings and hoping to find a pinball machine and not socks. For the most part I would say our average on picking plays that aren't socks is pretty damn high. As a matter of fact I can not think of a single show that has seen production at Rorschach that you would find balled up in your drawers next to the underwear and belts. When something sees the light of day at Rorschach you won't find it being covered by a pair of shoes.

Reminders now for A Bright Room Called Day, we have two weekends left. We sold out last Saturday Night and I expect that trend to continue for the forseeable future. You know it is a great show and not just because I keep telling you it is a great show either. You know it will be great because the playwright is Tony Kushner and the production is all Rorschach.

What does a Rorschach show mean? It means the most innovative design you will find on any DC stage, inventive and amazing direction, and performances so fantastic that they will knock you on your ass.

Added shows this Saturday at 4pm and next Wednesday at 8pm. Call 1-800-494-TIXS or buy tickets them on-line at Box Office Tickets.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Busing down to 16th and Q, NW

Running a bit behind today. Had a call back at Theater J this morning. For those of you who think it isn't true I do in fact work or attempt to work at other theaters besides Rorschach. In the past two years I have actually worked at three other theaters and will be making the trip out to Olney starting next month for some outdoor trauma.

Any way the point of this story isn't about the scope of success of my acting career, which still teeters on the razors edge of "Scott Who?" and "you were that guy in that thing with that deep voice."

The point of this story is that I live in Silver Spring and the people at Metro have very considerately provided a bus that runs from the Sprung to right in front of Theater J on 16th Street. It also drops me off a block and a half from Rorschach when the occassion arises. As the bus arrives at Park and 16th, Washington City Paper Theater Critic and NPR Personality Mr. Bob Mondello boards the bus. At first there are no seats so he stands in front of me, which if you ever have ridden a bus with someone standing in front of you this puts you at a very awkward angle to stare. Eventually the woman sitting next to me gets up to leave and I slide over. Mr. Mondello takes the seat next to me. Now I deal with the press for Rorschach and have for about five years now. I talk to them all on the phone but face to face time for me is a rarity.

Now I could have talked the man's ear off about Rorschach which I am sure many of you who know me personally have had happen on occasion or I could let the man read his comics and do his Soduku in peace. I chose the later, but as I rose from my seat I handed him a post card for Bright Room and told him if he wanted to see a great show this weekend in his neighborhood he should stop by. He said, "Thanks you sir." and I moved on.

His "sir" confirmed my previous statement of "Scott Who?" and "You were that guy . . ." but these are the little moments that make living in a city as intimate as DC exciting and humbling all at the same time. Next time I will tell you about the time I didn't say anything to Barak Obama at the China Town Metro.

One more thing Ari Roth, thanks for reading, hope I haven't bored you yet.

Monday, May 08, 2006

There Were Bodies Everywhere

We have added another show to our Bright Room run, after the show selling out the last two weekends, it only makes sense. For all of the 411 on the added shows go the Bright Room page at our main site.

Monday again. I am in fact quite bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning. Lots of fun for me this weekend and I can not even begin to tell you how much your head will hurt after playing Halo 2 for 7 straight hours in an undisclosed location somewhere in the DC suburbs. But that isn't even the worst of it. There are some guys who can tell you what it is to play for over 12 hours straight but I kind of feel they may not be moving yet.

Show was a big old hit this weekend. Some people were highly amused by the curtain speech delivered by Mr. Linkins and Mr. McCormick. Others need to take the stick out of where ever it is they keep it. Game show host may not be the nobelest of professions but people love Bob Barker.

My parents absolutely loved the show by the way and wanted me to tell everyone how wonderful it was. Rahaleh they said they would have talked to you directly, but you seemed so busy with your fans after the show that they didn't want to bother you.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Rumble en la Casa

Since the dawn of time there have been great comedic teams; Burns and Allen, Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello, Scooter and Rove. Well tonight two giants of curtain speechery will join forces for the first time ever. Jason Linkins and Scott McCormick will face off in a curtain speech to end all curtain speeches.

Not since Ali v. Frasier or Marbury v. Madison has there been a match-up like this. As a small
child I remember watching Hulk Hogan body slam Andre the Giant. When these two men face off tonight any memory of that generation defining event will be wiped from my and your memories. Many of you may lose the power of speech, you may be forced to cower in a corner and fear the words cell phones and pagers. You will find an overwhelming urge to join us in the lobby and buy concessions and sign-up for our mailing list. You think to yourself right now, I don't sign-up for mailing lists, and until tonight you may have been right. But when these two men speak you will have no choice in the matter and you will sign your own mother's email address on a piece of paper simply to appease these two sexy men of speaking greatness.

Rorschach can not guarantee your safety from the kind of awsomeness you may experience both before and during A Bright Room Called Day. On the other hand this may all be hype, just so much posturing like a later day Mike Tyson fight. It may not be as awsome as the build-up I am giving it here. But do you dare take that risk? Can you stand the thought of looking into your future children's eyes when they ask you where were you the night that McCormick and Linkins gave that curtain speech? And what will you tell that gift from heaven?

"I wasn't there Little Billy/Little Susie I was at home working on a really cool 3-D puzzle of the Empire State Building, I didn't go to Rorschach that night. Your mom/dad sucks big time, I'm sorry for being so damn lame. You should go find someone worthy of raising you. Someone who was cool enough and smart enough not to have missed that curtain speech. I am sorry, I have to leave you now. Feed Fluffy and Puddles. I would say I love you but it would only bring you more shame."

Don't leave your children because you were too lame to come to the theatre tonight. Tickets are still available. Call 1-800-494-TIXS or click
here. Do not miss the awsomeness of Bright Room and the magic of Linkins and McCormick.