Thursday, December 20, 2007

Year End Puzzle

Click on the Puzzle. Print it out and have minutes of fun.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Had the Lasagna

Rahaleh and I spent the night out last night. There was wine and pasta. (By the way the fourth language is Italian.) More importantly we talked the hell out of The Skin of Our Teeth to a group of eager and excited theater goers knows as Footlights.
It was a rare chance to discuss the play not only as a production but also as a piece of literature. So often discussions of shows happen after the show is already opened. Actors, directors and designers have already locked in on what the show means to them and it is more a process of rehashing the table work and rehearsal discussions to a group of folks who have just seen your play. This was a chance to sit down and talk to a group of people who have read the play and get their first impressions on what they think the play is about and how they think that it should be presented.
There were lengthy discussions about the history of the play, about Thornton Wilder and ways in which the play is still relevant. Rahaleh who is directing the show looked on it as an opportunity to get a reading on what audiences will think when they see what promises to be one of Rorschach's most ambitious undertakings.
One high-light of the evening was when of the gentleman in the group shared his memories of seeing the original Broadway production of The Skin of Our Teeth in 1942. His experiences and knowledge of the period gave a keen insight into what it was Wilder was attempting to convey to his audience, as they were just beginning to fight in World War II and had just come out of the Depression.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank Jerry and all of the Footlighters for hosting both me and Rahaleh last night as well as for sharing their opinions and impressions of Skin.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Letter to Family and Friends

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been another crazy kooky, cracked out year at our house.

Once again we thank you for all the cards and letters to the Governor on Cesar's behalf. Thank God for DNA testing is all I have to say! Whoo!

It was an exciting year for the whole family. Uncle Grady discovered an alternative life style, Cousin Andrew came home from the Gulf, little Timmy lost his job and started hanging out with prostitutes and an infestation of Elizabethans took over the house for a couple of months.

Who can keep all the craziness straight? I know I can't! Maybe if I stopped doing all those whip-its in the lunch room.

The year started off fine. Sister Tracy was living in New York persuing her love of younger men and dramaturgy. When all of a sudden some foreigners started terrorizing her. They burnt down her apartment, and then she was on the run in a flash with this guy with a skin condition, her new teenage boyfriend and Uncle Grady. Grady as I mentioned has found a new lifestyle and is now working at a drag club in Manhattan. Don't worry it is one of those nice places with the drinks with umbrellas that the midwesterners "accidentally" wander into when they are looking for a pay phone. Well long story short, the foreigners hunt them all down at Coney Island and there was some violence. Sister Tracy is alright but there were some deaths.

Cousin Andrew came home from the war this year. It was a long time coming, considering he was coming home from the First Gulf War. His wife Gabi was having terrible dreams and he was having a hard time re-adjusting to civilian life. Poor Andrew! I am pretty sure Gabi was having an affair with someone very high up in the world and was flirting with their teenaged neighbor a little too much. Seems to be a trend these days older women and much younger men. I blame the schools!

As for Brother Timmy, he was living in NYC. I think he was a couple of blocks down from where Tracy was staying. He lost his job, his wife and his sense of purpose and ended up hanging around with one of New York's, well let's just say, ladies of the evening. His wife Jjana was doing the same thing with a mysterious homeless man and she too was having strange dreams. She seemed like such a nice girl. I am not sure what the problem was really, something about her foster mother and fear of leaving the City.

Finally there were a bunch of Elizabethans infesting the house. We tried to set traps but they weren't falling for the bait we were using. We tried everything; beer, lurid poetic images, bloody tragedies and baudy comedies. They were running around naked and bleeding all over everything. I consulted with a lot of experts and it turns out the best way to get rid of Elizabethans is to throw soap and water at them. They can't stand being clean.

And as the year closes I have some sad news. We are leaving our home of the last 6 years. We had some good time and some bad times, but I think in the end it is time to move on. I know that I for one am looking forward to the future and every opportunity it will bring.

Happy Holidays,
The Mad Blogger What Blogs at Midnight

Monday, December 17, 2007

She Once Sold Me the Brooklyn Bridge

So Rahaleh Nassri has directed a show for Studio's 2nd Stage. Rahaleh will be the director of Rorschach's Skin of Our Teeth in the very near future. The Washington Post ran a profile on Rahaleh on Friday and to the left is the picture that ran with the interview, An Unflinching Look at Gangs.

I give the Post reporter credit for running a story about Rahaleh and including the choice details of her various schemes:

She speaks four languages, plays out ornate hoaxes in public -- reading fortunes in espresso grounds in a Swiss cafe, impersonating a would-be spy being recruited in Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe -- and has performed with the Washington Shakespeare Company. She can also speak "diplomatically," having earned a degree in international affairs from George Washington University and served as press officer at the French Embassy.

I wish they had asked her about her life as a Russian Madam or the time we tried to convince everyone at Tryst that the bar was running a contest to give away a schooner. Read all about Rahaleh and her other hijinks and art.

Friday, December 14, 2007

We Got Costumes Too

I know we have been making a big deal about the props we will be selling tomorrow at the Rorschach Yard Sale but we also will be selling tons of costume pieces as well.

Just think of all the fun dress up games you can play alone or with a significant other with actual pieces of clothing worn by some of your favorite DC actors.

"Look at me I am Grady Weatherford star of the Beard of Avon!"

"Well I am Gwen Grastorf the sexy grad student from Rough Magic and I can beat you with my Geek Chic Powers of Seduction!"

"No you can't because I will battle you with my Iambs of Steel!"

"Your Elizabethan Poetry Powers are no match for my Short Skirt of Justice!"

"Oh no! Look out it is somone dressed as one of numerous Rorschach actors who have portrayed Satan, including Tim Getman and Matt Dunphy and his Evil Eye of Evilness!"

"And there seems to be someone from Feudal Japan! Could that be Patrick Bussink or Cesar Guadamuz, Fair Ladies in a Really Long Titled Play Costume! Ayee! They will strike us down with their Furious Samurai Vengeance! We are doomed!"

Saturday December 15th from 10-4pm
1459 Columbia Road NW

Think of the hours of fun!

*Not all items mentioned in the above fantasy are available please come to the sale and see what fun things we have hanging on our hangers!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Favorite Rorschach Prop

An Essay
Scott McCormick (10 Years Old)

As a young person in this country of ours I am reminded of my favorite Rorschach Theatre prop of all time, Jason Linkin's head.

Jason's head was first used in Master and Margarita when his head was taken off his body by a street car after he slipped in some cooking oil. It got thrown on stage by someone. It was not his real head but a paper mache copy of his head made by a crazy lady who used to work for us.

Jason's head was cool because it was shiny and it was hard. Much like a piece of paper mache fruit my grandma brought back from Mexico when she went on one of those crusies like the Love Boat. Grandma said all she brought back from the trip was that piece of fake fruit and an intestinal bug, which she never was able to shake.

Jason's head has served its role in several other plays since then, but I can't remember them because I was not in them. Jason writes on web sites for a job, which is cool. But wouldn't it be even cooler if we could get Jason's head a job writing on web sites. I suppose someone else would have to type since he has no fingers, but it would be cool to see what he thought about issues of our day in this country, like global warming and whether Britney is an unfit mother.

I miss Jason's head and wish we knew where it was at. I would like to keep it safe for the next time Jason is in a show and we need to cut his head off. Because really cutting his head off would be messy. Did I mention it had a cup in its neck so when you held it upside down you could pretend to drink blood out of it? My friends Grady, Melissa, Tim and I did it once or twice and then Jenny said it was taking too long and only Lindsay should drink out of Jason's head. Oh and the blood we were drinking was supposed to be coming out of Mark Sullivan. It was kind of gross.

Thank you and good bye.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Stuff for Sale

How about we make this into a game of sorts. All of these items are for sale this Saturday at the Rorschach Yard Sale. Before we sell them, let us see who has the best memory. Name which show each of the items came from in the comment section. Some of the items may not have been used in a show at all but originality counts in your answers so let's all play.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saturday is Yard Sale Day

Let me tell you a story. It is about a theater company that used to move from place to place. Creating in their wake shows that not only were theatrical works but also art installations. Where sets, lights and actors were all temporary additions to old stables, theater lobbies, roof top greenhouses and abandoned high school auditoriums.

About 6 years ago they found another temporary home in church on Columbia Road, NW. It was a space that had been used for punk shows in the past, but it was a unique piece of architecture that really worked with a production of Lord of the Flies we were producing. Long story short we worked it out so we could stay there and use the space 18 more times since the winter of 2002. To many who have worked with Rorschach, that church is the only home they have ever known. For some of us it became a second home. Now, we are moving away from the church and setting off like the vagabonds we have always been in our hearts to new spaces and new shows.

So what does this mean for all of you? We are selling stuff to make room for our future and we want you all to come and share in the past.

This Saturday Rorschach is having a Yard Sale:

Saturday December 15th from 10-4pm @ Rorschach Theatre (Casa Del Pueblo.)
1459 Columbia Rd. NW (between 14th and 15th)

Modern clothing, glassware, random fun for sale as well as costumes and props from old shows. Help us move in style.

No early birds, please.

There are lots of great items for sale and you won't believe the prices.

Looking for weird clothes? WE GOT THEM!
Looking for strange glassware? WE GOT IT!
Looking for a plaster poodle? WE GOT ONE!
Need a pair of roller skates? WE GOT THAT!

So say goodbye Casa and hello future! And help us scrape together a little money for our brand new storage unit.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow is Our Enemy

As I wandered the streets of DC today, I am reminded of the monster that stalks all of our region. The constant threat of weather.
In DC we have the memory of a goldfish (Myth-Busters taught me that goldfish do in fact have excellent memories, but for the purposes of this posting lets assume that they forget things every 5 minutes) when it comes to snow. We act like it never happens here and when it does we go immediately into panic mode (insert your own milk, bread and toilet paper joke here).
Is this phenomena of convenience-store-raiding-slow-driving freak out merely a DC experience? No growing up in Baltimore we had the same paniced reaction to any form of percipitation that fell from the skies above. But only in DC we take this experience to near theatrical levels.
I am therefore announcing the First Annual Rorschach Winter Playwriting competition. Write me a five minute play that either attempts to explain the Metro Area's fear of snow or a story that truly embraces the terror that exists within the hearts of natives and carpet baggers alike and I promise you some form of performance. If I get one entry it may be a staged reading in my living room. If I get like 10, I will dedicate an evening to DC Snow Fear.
Do I expect anyone to take up this gauntlet (or mitten)? No! So surprise me and we can all enjoy poking fun at ourselves and especially those people who make all our lives a tortuous winter horror story every time something white hits the pavement.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Final Bow: Kit Marlowe

Because a great cast and crew deserve one final bow:

By David Grimm
Directed by Jessie R. Gallogly

October 28 – December 2, 2007 Previews begin October 25

FEATURING: William Aitken, Tony Bullock, John Brennan, Matt Dunphy, Lee Ordeman, Adam Jonas Segaller, Nick Stevens, Josh Sticklin, Jesse Terrill, Reece Thornbery

DESIGNED BY: Eric Grims (Set), David C. Ghatan (Lights), Emily Dere (Costumes), Veronica Lancaster (Sound), Heather Gaither (Props), Andrew Berry (Assistant Set Design).

STAGE MANAGMENT: Katherine A. Keogh

DRAMATURGY: Rachel Miller and Cynthia Caul (Asst. Dramaturg)


PRODUCED BY:Jenny McConnell Frederick and Randy Baker

Friday, November 30, 2007

Get to Know Heather, Emily and Cynthia

A three-fer on this the final Friday before Kit Marlowe closes. Remember there are shows at 8pm tonight and tomorrow and 3pm shows on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. And then it is over. And since this is our last show at Casa, this is everyone's chance to say goodbye. See you there!

I am still not quite clear what it is Heather Gaither was doing at Kit Marlowe rehearsals, there is every possibility she wasn't supposed to be there at all, or in fact she may have been the props designer. That's her with the puppy. UPDATE: While, our illustrious blogger was busy doing the acting thing across town, the rest of us up at Rorschach know that Heather was in rehearsals b/c she was our outstanding props designer, who managed to conjure up puke buckets, quil pens that wrote in blood, more raw potatos than you can shake a dagger at, and all the other gorey goodness that made the show so cool.

It is a little clearer what Emily Dere was doing there. She was our costume designer and she did a fine job of it. Don't have a picture of Emily but you can use your imaginations.

I also do not have a picture of our intern Cynthia Caul. You may remember Cythia sent us a report on the rehearsal process last month. All three are fantastic ladies from what I have been told and I hate to jam them all into one post but time is running short and I run what I get.

Heathers answers are in yellow, Emily's are in blue and Cynthia's are in orange. Enjoy

1. What is your position, role or roles in Kit Marlowe?

Finding little things for actors to busy themselves with.

Costume designer

Assistant Dramaturg/Intern

2. Is this your first go around at the Rorschach rodeo? If not what have you done for us before? If yes, what has surprised you the most about working for us?

I was a very bad nun in the 365 project and a distressed bride in the Myth Appropriations.

yup, first go round. well, this survey for one is a first.

Yep. No surprises, but good surprises.

3. If this play were a Beatle which one would it be and why?

I couldn't choose between the actual Beatles so...A green beetle because. That's right, just because.

I'll have to go with John - for the intense, and outspoken nature of Kit. Being a huge Beatles fan, I will have to stop with the simple answer before I overanalyze the question. No qualms about nudity may have been a factor in that choice as well.

Ringo Starr. I have no real explanation for this. I like this play, and I like Ringo. That's all I got...

4. What feature of Marlowe's London should Rorschach duplicate to really enhance the audience's experience?

The drinking!

I'm going to have to agree with Ronnie and say the smell would be a bonus. Wandering livestock might not be a bad way to get that if you are looking for workable suggestions. I think I may have a goat connection I could call. If not, I'm sure Bill knows people

I would really like to see Rorschach duplicate the aroma of the Elizabethan theatre. Perhaps, they can pack the theatre, prohibit deodorant, and place heat fans under the seats for good measure. Theatres these days just aren't appealing to olfaction the way that they used too.

5. What was your best/worst haircut or body modification for a part in a play? For the designers what is the weirdest thing a director ever asked you to include in your design?

A crazy punk haircut that I would have never been brave enough to do without it being required.

Though it wasn't MY design, I had to make a fabulous hat for Revels last year which required screwing a set of 18" steer horns into either side of a bicycle helmet. It was then covered with lots of animal fur, ending in a racoon tail at the back and strips of colorful fabric glued all round the edges. And while I never had to dance while wearing this 4' wide contraption (poor Ernie), it did accompany me on the metro to the curiousity of the other riders that day.

Mullet. Except, it wasn't for a play, and it wasn't the 80's. It pains me to talk about it...

6. If you could go out for a wild night on the town with Kit Marlowe, where would you go and what would you do?

Take him to the pirate bar in Silver Spring and make him drink the grog - mainly to see if even people from other time periods think it tastes awful

I don't think I'm Kit's type. No fun. I know.


7. Can you think of worse way of being killed than being stabbed in the eye? If so how?

Slowly eaten

I would think being stabbed in the eye might be a relatively quick (though by no means painless) way to die. Not that I've tried it out or anything. But I'm not sure I wouldn't prefer it to going up in flames, being buried alive, drowning, being eaten alive by wild animals, starving to death, or simply wasting away from some disease. See, this is why I need to stop watching TV. Every evening, a new and more painful way to go is explored on CSI or Law and Order. And I haven't even seen the Saw movies. But I'm sure they, too, could help with this question. And now you have a second insight into question number 6 - not only female, but a dependancy on television. Kit would hate that.

Yes, I can think of a few, in fact...suffication, particularly of the being- buried-alive variety, drowning, burning alive...I suppose these aren't the most ideal methods for those looking to commit homicide. It seems they would require a lot more prep time, but as the question stands I do believe these would be worse ways to be killed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Onion Blurb now with Photo

Final 5

It is time for me to start being the guy who reminds you that there are only a few shows left. To be precise their are 5 more performances of Kit Marlowe.

I love this picture. It shows a cast willing to do anything to tell a story. And I mean anything. They persue their performances like wild animals. Working their way across their blood stained stage with ferocity and genuine emotion.

Shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm. Get your tickets now. As with the final weekend of any show we expect there are a goodly number of you who will be showing up. I suggest making a reservation. Don't miss this show!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Get to Know Rachel Miller 2 (or is it 3)

Three time dramaturg and Rorschach post card model Rachel Miller and her answers to the 7 questions of Get to Know Me. I have lots of news this week due to this being the final weekend for Kit Marlowe, so look here in the mornings and the afternoons for Get to Know Me's and other Kit Marlowe and Rorschach news.

1. What is your position, role or roles in Kit Marlowe?

I am the L1 of “Team Dramaturgy”(The Dramaturg)

2. Is this your first go around at the Rorschach rodeo? If no what have you done for us before? If yes, what has surprised you the most about working for us?

No way is this my first time with Rorschach! I have previously contributed dramaturgically to fan-tabulously fun projects as The Arabian Night and Rough Magic.

3. If this play were a Beatle which one would it be and why?

This play is the Beatles– entertaining, captivating,with very moving and poetic depths.

4. What feature of Marlowe's London should Rorschach duplicate to really enhance the audience'sexperience?

I think we should have a real bear.

5. What was your best/worst haircut or body modification for a part in a play? For the designers what is the weirdest thing a director ever asked you to include in your design?

When I was in high school I got to play Jo in Little Women and I gladly cut my hair to a very nasty-short bob to play the part. I can’t say the modification itself looked really bad– but the pain that my scalp went through in order to attach the hair-piece I had to wear for the first half of the show (seriously, I had enough bobby pins in my hair to set off a whole team of metal detectors) was the type of torturous pain that only a truly devoted actor would subject herself to for the sake of a community theatre production.

6. If you could go out for a wild night on the town with Kit Marlowe, where would you go and what would you do?

Eh... Laughing Lizard Lounge in Alexandria for some $2.50 PBR's. I think he would feel quite at home there.

7. Can you think of worse way of being killed thanbeing stabbed in the eye? If so how?

I dread the thought of being stabbed in the neck with a spoon. Anyone who’s seen Murder in the First will totally know what I’m talking about.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks for Not Snitching

It is the time of year where we say thanks. The rest of the year we are kind of dicks and don't thank anyone man, woman or child, but for the sake of form and to contiue a tradition of at least one year (I skipped last year but here is my Turkey Pardon entry from '05) here is our annual list of things for which we are truly thankful.
A Thanksgiving List
by The DCepticon
A Rorschach Joint
1. First and foremost we want to thank God and our mothers.
2. Next we are thankful for socks. I don't think socks get enough attention these days. This is also a call out to shoes, maybe if you work harder next year we will thank you as well, but you really let us down in the fourth quater with that interception. We still love you but you are getting older and the game isn't the one you played when you were younger.
3. The Greeks. Not simply for inventing that delightful open sandwich that confounds pronunciation the Gyro but for creating theatre as we know it today.
4. We are thankful for Rorschach's exceptional showing at the Preakness this year. Who knew a 9 year old theatre company could beat a field of 3 year old horses.
5. Baking soda. Not baking powder, there is a difference.
6. Fake Blood. Looks gross but tastes so good.
7. Everyone who has anything to do with a Rorschach production, thank you for giving of your time, your energy and your love.
8. And finally that there are still 7 chances to see Kit Marlowe. Including 2 shows this weekend. Tickets are still available. Use the ticket code YAMS and get your tickets for just $15.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Skin of Our Kit Marlowe

Not to rush things and I know you have two weekends left to see the amazing Kit Marlowe. This weekend in fact might be ideal.

Think about it, after you wade throught the carnage that is Thanksgiving dinner, had a day or two to get sick of your loved ones, you could load everyone into the mini-van and head down and see the cast of Kit Marlowe work their tragic-magic and wreck bloody mayhem on stage. Seeing blood spilled may just be what you need to unwind after a day of shopping. No show Thursday but there are still seats available on Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Now that I have helped make your life easier, we are ready to announce the cast and designers for our next big thing. That being Thorton Wilder's Modern Classic The Skin of Our Teeth. Like me you probably were involved in a dubious production of Our Town in high school or college. And while I love the hell out of Our Town, it is nothing compared to the mayhem that will greet you as you step into a world of dinosaurs, glaciers, floods, wars and general insanity that is Skin.

If there were ever a show calling out for Rorschach's brand of design, acting and imagination this is it. Think Master and Margarita without the Russians or Behold! with less scene changes. These are your players and they are most welcome!

Mr. Antrobus Scott McCormick (The Scarlet Letter, The Beard of Avon, Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot and more)
Mrs Antrobus Wyckham Avery
Sabina Jjanna Valentiner (birds)
Henry Cesar Guadamuz (Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards, Rough Magic, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot)
Gladys Simone Zvi
Fitzpatrick, others JJ Area
Fortune Teller, others Becky Peters
Announcer, others Zehra Fazal
Telegraph Boy, others Megan Reichelt (Monster, Rough Magic)
Homer, Defeated Candidate, Bailey, others Jon Reynolds (Monster)
Moses, Broadcast Official, Tremayne, others Theodore Sneed
Baby Dinosaur, Main Convener, Hester, others Yasmin Tuazon (The Illusion, Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot and more)

And some of the other folks working on the show:
Director Rahaleh Nassri (A Bright Room Called Day)
Set Designer Robbie Hayes (References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot)
Costume Designer Deb Sivigny (The Illusion, After the Flood, Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards and more)
Sound Designer Matt Otto
Producer/co-Artistic Director Randy Baker
Producer/co-Artistic Director Jenny McConnell Frederick
Stage Manager Cecilia Cackley (Rough Magic and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot)
Technical Director Andrew Berry

Monday, November 19, 2007

Get to Know Lee Ordeman

Well we have met two of our three Marlowe murderers, why not the third and final men who ended our young playwrights life. Lee Ordeman plays Mr. Poley and he is another of the shady characters that peoples our Elizabethan world. See what Lee has to say about working at Rorschach and the Patron Saint of Bad Taste and Balitmore in this another edition of Get to Know.

1. What is your position, role or roles in Kit Marlowe?

I play
Robert Poley, a bet taker and an actor.

2. Is this your first go around at the Rorschach rodeo? If no what have you done for us before? If yes, what has surprised you the most about working for us?

This is my first go-round with Rorschach. I am most impressed by the low-key professionalism that gets things done, keeps the objective in sight, while not squelching the opportunity to have a laugh and keep it light. When things do go a bit haywire, as they do in live theatre (thank God, actually), these little challenges are greeted with equanimity and handled with calm, grace and a laugh.

3. If this play were a Beatle which one would it be and why?

Maybe John Lennon. At least, I suppose Marlowe was a bit like Lennon -- brash, talented, iconoclastic with a sense of the zeitgeist and his place in history.

4. What feature of Marlowe's London should Rorschach duplicate to really enhance the audience's experience?

The smells perhaps. I have always admired
John Waters, a fellow Baltimorean, for introducing rude smells via scratch-n-sniff in one of his films. Why not waft a little b.o., sewage and slaughterhouse aroma in the direction of the audience occasionally? Rachel our dramaturg would have her work cut out for her: just what does a bearbaiting pit smell like?

5. If you could go out for a wild night on the town with Kit Marlowe, where would you go and what would you do? Kit Marlowe living up the night life?

I guess I'd take him to New York and just stay out all night, or maybe have him over for dinner and pick his brain about life in Elizabethan England.

6. Can you think of worse way of being killed than being stabbed in the eye? If so how?

I can't, actually, or I'd rather not.

Friday, November 16, 2007

You Be the Critic

You know those Rorschach emails that you get about three times during the run. Well they don't just appear out of thin air written my magical gnomes. (The press releases now those are written by gnomes.) They are written by your's truly and then edited the hell out of by one of our artistic directors, usually Jenny who also does all the formatting. Thanks Jenny!

The thing is that I try and grab some press quotes to put in these things and show what critics are saying. And with as many great reviews as Kit Marlowe has been receiving it hasn't been hard to find a juicy quote or three.

This week I want to try something different. I want to use quotes from people who have seen the show who are not critics. That's right, you the audience member speaking to other audience members.

Here is what I am asking. Leave a comment on the blog or email me with what you thought about the show. If your quote is spicy, savvy, saucy or just plain dead on I will use it to intice the folks who are waiting until the final weekends to see Kit Marlowe.

Go for funny, go for the serious or the sincere and you too could have your voice heard (metaphorically) via the inboxes of theatre lovers all around DC.

If you want your name used great or if you want to use one of those clever Dear Abby pseudonyms that is cool too. I would love to send an email that says Confused in Columbia Heights or Fan from Fairfax or Smitten in Silver Spring.

So either leave a comment below or email me at and we'll make some magic together. I will only use quotes that are positive in the email but I encourage everyone to leave their feedback.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Get to Know Nick Stevens

Nick Stevens is new to our little gaggle. I have to say he does an excellent job of both being a drunk french monk and a scummy murderer. What more could you want in an actor?

He is the one in the left of the photo, with the hair on his head.

Now Get to Know Nick Stevens.

1. What is your position, role or roles in Kit Marlowe?

I'm a liar, a cheat and a thief. And I play Nick Skeres and Brother Auguste.

2. Is this your first go around at the Rorschach rodeo? If no what have you done for us before? If yes, what has surprised you the most about working for us?

This happens to be my first time round on the Rorschach Bus. I'm most surprised I haven't been chased out of the theater by an angry mob. But the production is still young...

3. If this play were a Beatle which one would it be and why?

Ringo. Not enough attention, probably a little overlooked----very lucky, and I think that something about this play screams : Octopus' Garden.

4. What feature of Marlowe's London should Rorschach duplicate to really enhance the audience's experience?

The cast hasn't acquired enough "disease" if you get my drift. God knows I've been trying, but I'm only one man. Furthermore, I'd like to see more pirates. And Midgets.

5. If you could go out for a wild night on the town with Kit Marlowe, where would you go and what would you do?

Kit Marlowe living up the night life? Staying up late reading Ovid by candlelight, eating apricots and talking, you know, the usual...That or Tijuana.

6. Can you think of worse way of being killed than being stabbed in the eye? If so how?

I tend to think that the flaming hot poker in the bowels would be pretty bad, but SOMEONE wasn't willing to experiment. Could you imagine how THAT torture scene would have looked? I mean, really? Searing everything up in there.... Wow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You Cut Me to the Quick

As the title character in David Grimm’s “Kit Marlowe,” Adam Jonas Segaller makes a most memorable entrance. Wearing not a stitch of Elizabethan garb, he swings onstage from a rope and then raucously wrestles an uptight (and fully-clothed) admirer to the ground, playfully pins him, then appears to grind a bit before reluctantly setting him loose. With a sparkle in his eye and a mischievous smile, Segaller charismatically assays the Marlowe of legend — free spirit, sexual outlaw, ambitious bounder, brilliant dramatist and spy.

What a great opening paragraph to a great review. Patrick Folliard over at the Washington Blade, loved the hell out of our show. I hope those of you who are sitting on the fence about whether a play about a 16th Century playwright, will now jump down off the fence and work your way over to Casa this weekend. Here is the rest of Patrick's review.

I have said this before and I think it bears repeating here in the blog-o-sphere, this is not a play about a dead playwright. It is a play about a spy, a poet, a man and then it is about playwrighting. There is so much to love about this play and the folks who have brought it to the stage.

This would be an excellent weekend to pop into the theater before the holiday rush kicks in and see Kit Marlowe. Come join our boys as they transport you back to a time when going to the theater held the same illicit thrill as going to a strip club. See the blood! If you sit in the front row and there is a chance you will be covered in blood! Experience bear-baiting! We don't have a bear but we are still waiting on the loan to come through. Come and experience that wonder of the western world the mysterious potato!

This is one show that can not and should not be missed!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Get to Know David Ghattan

This is the only known photo of Lighting designer David Ghattan. He is answering the questions 7, get to know him.

1. What is your position, role or roles in Kit Marlowe?

Lighting designer and overall director of techie stuff

2. Is this your first go around at the Rorschach rodeo? If no what have you done for us before? If yes, what has surprised you the most about working for us?

Nope- been around this block many times. I'm even a company member

3. If this play were a Beatle which one would it be and why?

Paul- but only when you play it backwards

4. What feature of Marlowe's London should Rorschach duplicate to really enhance the audience's experience?

Standing room only. Best to let the lower class stand.

5. For the designers what is the weirdest thing a director ever asked you to include in your design?

10' high by 30' long shower curtain

6. If you could go out for a wild night on the town with Kit Marlowe, where would you go and what would you do?

Kit Marlowe living up the night life? I'm not sure, but I think it would somehow end with breaking into the zoo in the middle of the night.

7. Can you think of worse way of being killed than being stabbed in the eye? If so how?

Slowly being covered by ants like that 1970's horror flick.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Washington Times and City Paper Make Us Visible

Seems like Kit Marlowe is everywhere today.

First is a great article by Jayne Blanchard at The Washing Times. (I know you pinkos it's the Times, but it is in the Entertainment section so pipe down.) She mentions Kit Marlowe and has some tasty quotes from our playwright, David Grimm, as well as our partners in this mad little Festival at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Here is what David had to say:

He was Lindsay Lohan — with talent," says playwright David Grimm, who wrote a play, "Kit Marlowe," about the bad boy of iambic pentameter. "The Elizabethan era was a pretty raw time, and both Marlowe's life and his plays were rife with the rawness of youth and rampant sexuality."
The youthfulness is what captivated Mr. Grimm. "Marlowe is so over-the-top, so ambitious, and everything is written in bright, brash colors — he is such a young person's playwright."

Here is the rest of the article, Bad Boy Marlowe On a Tear, with some great insight into the man and his work.

Next we are an editors pick over at the City Paper. While the City Paper will be unable to review Kit Marlowe they were kind enough to feature us on their web site and place us in a highly visable location in this weeks print edition. Check it out, here.

Two more shows this weekend, tonight and tomorrow night at 8pm. Get your tickets now.

Also you have already seen the trailer but I am now able to upload the trailer directly to the blog now without going through YouTube. This should mean some improvement in the picture quality.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Express-ions of Torture

This pic and blurb ran in last Thursday's Express. Look at the definition in those veins.

Just remember that this is a good weekend to see a great play with some great acting, writing and lots of blood and eye stabbing. Get out and see a show because with the writers strike going on who knows when the next time you will see something original.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Why isn't it "Up Its Boot to Sleeve"?

Grimm is working with meaty material here, and the twisting, delving plot is one of Kit Marlowe’s greatest strengths. We’re immediately embroiled in the intrigue of Marlowe’s underground world, and the work has plenty of swashbuckling action, horrifying torture, and yes, unapologetic male nudity, to hold our attention, even when it’s running a little long. Grimm smartly sets up Marlowe to be an embodiment of many of his famous characters, from Faust to Tamburlaine, and the story has some credible surprises up its sleeve to boot.

So says Missy Frederick over at the DCist. Over all Missy gives the show a mixed review, but she still finds things to enjoy. Read the whole review here.

We keep on rolling along, and I encourage you all to see Kit Marlowe. This week there are shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are still available but you better hurry.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Kit Marlowe: The Trailer

Thanks Grady and everyone who helped make this possible. Feel free to distribute widely and love this trailer!

Friday, November 02, 2007

I Love the Interwebs! And They Love Us

So when the print press doesn't particularly care for the art you make tunr to the internet for the love you feel your cast, director and playwright richly deserve. I already told you about the love that Tim over at DC Theatre scene sent our way. Now I get to mention the love we get from Brad Hathaway over at Potomac Stages.

Oh, but when it is high, the pleasure level of this production is sky high and it never is less than interesting as it works its way through a modern writer's speculations on the mysteries surrounding the short life and violent death of the man who may have passed on the concept of the history play to Shakespeare who gave us all those Henrys and Richards. Bringing the swashbuckling adventurer to lusty life is Adam Jonas Segaller, who makes his Potomac Region debut in a most memorable way, bursting on stage stark naked and dripping wet, swinging from a rope fresh from a dip in the foul, fetid Thames.

Brad has love to spread around and if he has reservations they are not about the production. He also gives a special holler out for the copious amounts of blood, saying:

There's no specific credit in the program for special effect but someone should take a bow for the effectiveness of the blood-letting scenes which take the concept of "signing in blood" to a new level.

Read the rest of the review here.

Kit Marlowe continues this weekend with shows tonight and tomorrow at 8pm. Get your tickets now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh and Happy Halloween!

Louis and Alan

There are critics whose job it is to critique and then there are theater fans who come because they enjoy the theater. Rorschach has its own set of fans and two of them have been very supportive with their praise and their attendance. They sent this email out to their friends and I think that it provides another point of view, besides the one provided by The Post and DC Theatre Scene. In short they loved it, but I will let Louis and Alan speak for themselves.

We saw a truly outstanding play tonight -- the theme of a young talented naive man trying to find his true calling in a chaotic world is relevant today. (It is definitely as gripping as the last four shows we saw this month.)

The show begins with an opening obscenity (which is not gratuitous) delivered by Thomas Walsingham (Matt Dunphy) (who has the funniest almost-campy lines in the beginning) and who is Christopher (Kit) Marlowe's would-be sometime lover, followed by a naked Kit Marlowe (Adam Jonas Segaller) (also not gratuitous) swinging on ropes -- and then much sword-fighting, bloody cruelty, political intrigue.

The playwright - David Grimm - based the play on assorted half-truths regarding the mysterious life of the talented, thrill-seeking Marlowe who it seems was a spy for the British government (or at least for some mysterious element of Elizabeth's regime headed by Sir Francis - a true devil), an admirer of the explorer Sir Walter Raleigh's (just back from Virginia with the 'potato') and an unapologetic lover of men and teenage boys, and Marlowe's tragic death at 29. Marlowe's three conflicted relationships move the action: with Thomas Walsingham, with Sir Francis (the devil) and with Sir Walter Raleigh.

Scenes with Marlowe and Raleigh are particularly moving as they see each other as father and son and both admire and disappoint each other. Raleigh to Marlowe: 'For all the iambs in the world of your pentameter, you cannot say, 'I am,' '' How does he reconcile his attractions to these three figures, and what do they represent inside of him. Michael Kahn asked Rorschach to produce a play on Marlowe as an accompaniment to Shakespeare's theater's Marlowe plays and "Kit Marlowe" offers much insight into "Tamburlaine'' (which seems to have been written with Raleigh - his hero at the time -- in mind).

If you plan on seeing Tamburlaine, definitely see this show. The play reminded me of the 17th century English life portrayed in "Will in the World" -- the conflict between Protestants and Catholics, the filth in the city, the casual acceptance of brutality, the hypocrisy of the landed gentry, and the power struggles involved in marriage contracts and daily life. Great material for Shakespeare and Marlowe - but makes you long for the rule of law, truthfulness in public discourse and tolerance and generosity of spirit. (That is, Kit Marlowe has universal relevance.)

The acting by all eleven male actors is superb -- the small space and the simple, rough set adds to the intensity -- excellent drama (with enough humor to take the edge off). This town has so much talent on stage. This play is very rewarding and a good reason for those in Maryland and Virginia to stay in the city during the week or come in on a weekend. You only have until December 2.

Louis and Alan

If you want to share your opinions about Kit Marlowe, leave a comment or email me We need the feedback of our audiences more than the critics, because you are who we are creating these shows for.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Wonder if They Were at the Same Theater

How do two reviewers have such opposite reactions to a play?
I start you out with a critic's love letter to Kit Marlowe from Tim Treanor over at DC Theatre Scene. Tim encourages folks to stop reading his review and rush out and get their tickets right away. He goes on to say:
Kit Marlowe flies, with scenes intercutting each other with such facility that they conjure up images of a circus act, with high-wire acrobats.
And what does he say of our cast and in particular our own Kit? Well he has praise indeed:
Segaller is fabulous in the title role: his Marlowe is a man who is constantly giving the whole world a sloppy wet kiss. He may affect cynicism, and he may be cruel, but Segaller’s Marlowe is at all times a huge engine of life, joy and laughter, and there is not a moment in which it seems less than authentic. Indeed, his performance makes me remember the young Tim Curry, playing Mozart in Amadeus thirty years ago. It is that good.
The rest of the cast measures up to this incredible work.
Follow this link to read it all.
But now on to someone who has less praise to show our show, and that would be Nelson Pressley over at The Washington Post.
Nelson just doesn't think that we soar as high as the script does. He does however find some praise for the script and our production:
Grimm appropriates Marlowe's trademark power as often as possible, especially as the story turns dark.
. . . it played several years ago in a campy, over-directed production that the playwright was moved to shut down. At least the play looks more substantial this time -- and for the ravenous Marlowe fan, it will serve as a decent appetizer for the meal to come.
Read what else the Post had to say here at this link.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Open Wide Kit

Kit Marlowe opened last night and I was not there.

But I got Friday night off from my pro-wrestling gig so I headed over to Casa to see the second PWYC of Kit.

There is an argument to be made that this blog is a tool for marketing shows and that anything I say about a show that Rorschach is producing is suspect and probably me praising things that I do not actually like. That argument can be made and you as the smart reader of this blog are wise to take anything I say here with a grain of salt. I will mention however that while there are some Rorschach shows I am less in love with than others, I really have loved every show I have ever seen at Rorschach.

Maybe it is the time that I know is invested, the people whose work I respect, the very nature of the material we choose to present or just the fact that I feel we are doing the kind of work that needs to be done.

That disclaimer out of the way, I am going to gush about Kit Marlowe for a little bit.

This show is wonderful. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. It always seems when every time I am faced with artistic challenges outside of the Company, Rorschach comes through for me and reminds me why we do plays. It was the same thing with Family Stories, and now I think you will all find the beauty that I did in Kit Marlowe.

The show continues its run this weekend, Thursday, Friday and Saturday all at 8pm. Click here for tickets. I will post the reviews as they come along.

Friday, October 26, 2007


We have two more PWYC Previews for Kit Marlowe. I will be at tonights 8pm Preview, if you want to hang out. There is another one at 8 pm on Saturday. Then the whole things opens wide like a crocodile eating a gnu on Sunday night.

Little secret, we are sold out next Thursday! Wait can I actually tell a secret and use an exclimation mark after it? Well I just did and I don't go back and edit for anyone, so there let's all start sharing secrets on public blogs with the same puncuation that we would use if we were yelling!

Check out this blurb from this weeks print edition of The Onion.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Do They Look Ready to You?

I keep telling you but here I go again! Pay-What-You-Can Previews for Kit Marlowe start tonight. I think the cast is ready, are you? Get there by 8pm and get ready to be wowed!
Colin Hovde is take our production photos this time around. I will have more to share soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pictures from Our Scenic Designer

So close now. Can you taste it? According to the cast, more importantly can you smell it?

PWYC's start tomorrow night folks at 8pm. No Reservations, just cue up and hope for the best!

Kit Marlowe is going to be something special and you won't want to miss it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Me Write Good about Kit Marlowe

Closer and ever closer, the days draw to their end.

Paint is drying.
Lights are being focused.
Costumes are being worn.
And lines are being drilled.
We are almost ready!

Will there be blood? Yes.

Will there be action? Yes.

Will there be long lines outside the doors of Casa? I hope so.

This is a project which has brought together some of Rorschach's finest and some yet to be tested on our stage.

I am writing in cliches today.

More to follow.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Get to Know Roni Lancaster II

What a week it will be! Pay-What-You-Can Previews for Kit Marlowe start on Thursday this time around, so those of you who are used to having a PWYC on Wednesday, you have the night off plan on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Opening Night is Sunday at 7pm.

Get it? Got it? Good.

We have a return appearance here on the Get to Know Me Show. Roni Lancaster returns for her turn upon the wheel of fate. Here are Roni's answers from her birds interview, let's see what tid-bits she shares this time. Enjoy!

1. What is your position, role or roles in Kit Marlowe?

Sound Designer

2. Is this your first go around at the Rorschach rodeo? If no what have you done for us before? If yes, what has surprised you the most about working for us?

Nope. This is my second go-round. My last time at this rodeo was as TD for birds. (And a partial time before that I lent a hand and a paint brush to Dali.)

3. If this play were a Beatle which one would it be and why?

Hmm. I'd have to say the scarab beetle. There's all that mythology about creation, and living forever, and transformation and stuff. (The golden tortoise beetle would be my next choice, because it so like a chameleon...but the scarab has a lot more interesting facets to it.)

beat . . .

Oh...wait! You were asking about The Beatles....well, in that case, I would have to say the play is more like the 5th Beatle. I forget his name...Pete, or Stuart, or George, or maybe it was Neil...

4. What feature of Marlowe's London should Rorschach duplicate to really enhance the audience's experience?

The smell. We already play around with the "look" and the "sound" of that time period. I say Rorschach should go for broke and make it as authentically smelly as possible.

5. For the designers what is the weirdest thing a director ever asked you to include in your design?

I was once asked to create the sound of "musty water." (That required a little interpretation.)

6. If you could go out for a wild night on the town with Kit Marlowe, where would you go and what would you do? Kit Marlowe living up the night life?

Nope. I don't see it happening. He strikes me as the kind of guy to sit at home in his footy pajamas, veggin' on the couch, watchin' a movie...

7. Can you think of worse way of being killed than being stabbed in the eye? If so how?

Well, honestly, I can't say that I think being killed in any fashion would be very pleasant. I'm kind of attached to living. Tho I do suppose anything slow and painfully drawn out would be worse than in the eye. Drowning in one's own blood comes to mind. Or memories of that scene in Braveheart where he is eviscerated slowly.