Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Season End Review: The Trailers
Today I am going to post all four of the trailers we did this season. Grady Weatherford made this happen and I have to say I for one could not be more pleased or grateful for his time and talent. We started out not knowing exactly what these would be or whether it was something we could do on a consistent basis. I have heard some people say that the idea is not all that original, but so far no one else in town has been able to do one of these let alone 4 of them.
So please enjoy the walk down memory lane:
Monday, July 30, 2007
birds last bow
by Jennifer Maisel
DIRECTED BY: Wendy McClellan
PRODUCED BY: Jenny McConnell Frederick and Randy Baker
FEATURING: Company Member Tim Getman.
Also featuring Brian Hemmingsen, Nanna Ingvarsson, Marissa Molnar, Jjana Valentiner
DESIGNED BY: Jacob S. Muehlhausen (Set), Deb Sullivan (Lights), Debra Kim Sivigny (Costumes), Matthew Nielson (Sound), Andrew F. Griffin (Asst. Lighting Design), Veronica Lancaster(Asst. Set Design)
STAGE MANAGED BY: Viv Woodland
ASST. STAGE MANAGERS: Alex Aaron and Jake Melville
This production was made possible thanks to generous support from an anonymous donor, J. Chris Babb and the Durfee Foundation.
Season 7 is sponsored in part by Anthony Dobranski.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Don't know why I have been quoting song lyrics this week. Maybe my brain taps into the song lyric portion when the temps rise and my creativity goes down. Or perhaps birds just makes me want to sing, like . . . well a bird.
There are so few things in this life that we can truly say are unique experiences. Watching a live performance is one of those things. No two productions are ever the same. No two performances in those productions is ever a carbon copy. And there are moments of magic and wonder that occur every night in that space between the performers and the audience that can never be recorded or recreated. When a show is gone it is most certainly gone.
As an art form theater is perhaps the most temporary. Even in dance choregraphy is transcribed and reproduced. One director can never recreate a production exactly. I know that recordings are made and some performances are recreated on film, but theater in the truest sense is the synthesis of script and performance. Words and speaker. Audience and performer. Each show is a snow flake and melts just as fast.
Before birds closes on Sunday at 3pm. I just want to take an opportunity to thank all of you who have taken the time to support new theater. I don't just mean the actors, director, playwright, producers, designers and run crew. I mean all of you who came to Casa and paid your money and spent your time learning something new about yourselves and the world around you.
I take pride in knowing that Rorschach isn't just sitting back taking the easy way and producing shows that are easy to digest and will go down like a cool drink of water, but that we are giving you things that are little harder to chew and swallow, with the hope that you will enjoy the meal more for the work that it requires not just of us but of you as well.
Seats are still available for tonight and tomorrow at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. Don't miss the chance to fill your belly with the good stuff. Enjoy the trailer one last time.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Bye, Bye, Bye!
These are the last days my friends. Last chance to see as it were. Don't get me wrong if you can't make any of the remaining 4 shows you must be a very important busy person.
Perhaps you think you are too good for this show. Well you are wrong.
Tonight at 8pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. Don't miss this show.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Fly like an Eagle
Into the future.
Ah sweet Steve Miller! He provides lessons we can all afford to learn over and over again.
Here is the next bit:
I wanna fly like an eagle, to the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I wanna fly (oh, yeah)
Wow an eagle! You know what eagles are? A symbol of historical imperialism and birds.
Which brings me to my point. birds is closing this weekend and now is the time where I start hounding after you to see the show and where I trot out photo collages to show you how cool the show is and what not.
So take the above as read for today. Look for more guilt in the next couple of days.
Shows contiue tomorrow night, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. The birds will have slipped into the future.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
"Aha!" He Said Knowingly
Hee...hee...strange coincidence indeed...very strange.
You may remember I commented on the similarity between the above sketch from the Capital Fringe Festival Guide and Theater-Boy himself, Trey Graham, last week. Well Damian seems to have, for the sake of this post, confirmed my suspisions.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Season 8 is Just About Here
What is next you might ask?
Well here is Season 8 my friends. Buckle in and get ready for a season that will knock your socks off (if you are still wearing them):
BY DAVID GRIMM
Part of the Shakespeare Theatre Company's CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE FESTIVAL
Hungry for adventure and a way to make his mark, Christopher Marlowe becomes a spy for a dark wing of the British government. Set in the seedy underworld of Elizabethan England, the story charts the meteoric rise and fall of Kit Marlowe—playwright, poet, spy and sexual outlaw.
"…fiendishly entertaining and wildly sensational…" —Time Out
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH
BY THORNTON WILDER
“Ladies and gentlemen, don’t take this play serious. The world’s not coming to an end – you know it’s not. People exaggerate. Most people really have enough to eat and a roof over their heads. Nobody actually starves – you can always eat grass or something – that ice business – why, it was a long, long time ago” - Sabina, Skin of our Teeth, Act 1
Cain and Abel. Dinosaurs. Global climate change. Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winning comedy about the end of the world.
BY RANDY BAKER
World Premiere Begins
March 2008 and continues through May with a new "episode" every three weeks
Four friends, drawn together by their uniquely powerful ability to lucid dream, discover a dead man in their basement. One of the four friends is the killer and the only way to solve the mystery is by returning to their dreams. Each episode told from the perspective of a different dreamer, the plays take place in reality and in the dark landscape of their dreams.
THIS STORM IS WHAT WE CALL PROGRESS
BY JASON GROTE
A young man stumbles into a dusty old recording studio haunted by ghosts and run by a sinister old woman and her beautiful assistant. In this ancient and powerful place he is drawn into a world of Jewish mysticism and kabalistic ritual and discovers that he may be more than he thought, quite possibly even the Messiah. This production introduces playwright Jason Grote to Washington, an exciting young voice in American Theatre, exploding in regional theatres across the country.
ORDER YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO SEASON 8 now and you get:
· Admission to all four shows .
Because DREAM SAILORS is presented in 4 "episodes" you are really getting admission to SEVEN SHOWS!
· BRING A FRIEND!
All guests who come to the show with subscribers see the show at a discounted rate!
· COME BACK AGAIN!
See the same production multiple times for no additional cost.
· FREE ADMISSION to all SEASON 8 special events and readings!
$75 FOR A REGULAR SUBSCRIPTION
$55 FOR A STUDENT OR SENIOR SUBSCRIPTION
To purchase your Subscription, call
Friday, July 20, 2007
Second to Last Friday for birds
There are only 7 performances left of this World Premiere and I know many of you have been biding your time and waiting for the last couple of weekends. Well guess what the last couple of weekends are here and you will only have yourself to blame if you miss this show.
Below is another show that you should see. But only in addition to seeing birds. Remember support everyone in the Fringe but go home with the girl who brought you to the orgy.
LOW TIDE HOTEL
an original theater piece that resembles a poet's Coney Island scrapbook
starring Mark Jaster, Sabrina Mandell, and Scott Sedar
Friday, July 20th at 4pm
Saturday, July 21st at 7pm
Sunday, July 22nd at 2pm
(and shows might be added so check www.happenstancetheater.com for updates)
The Mead Theater Lab
916 G Street, NW,
LOW TIDE HOTEL is a DADA day at the beach, a nostalgic maritime postcard, a surrealist voyage. The message in the bottle is poetry. The waves roll away and comedy looks up like a clam.The show's aesthetic conjures the days of ocean travel on ships,drawing inspiration from antique maritime documents, luggage labels, posters, literature and song. There will also be delicious Salt Water Taffy and Souvenirs for sale before each performance. Step right up...lookie, lookie, lookie!
by phone 1.866.811.4111
or visit the Fringe Box Office 507 7th Street, NW
Thursday, July 19, 2007
What is Hecuba to Me? Who is Hecuba?
And Rough Magic vets Gwen and Rachel are going to be some of The Trojan Women in a new adaptation by Ellen McLaughlin
1835 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
How do you like them apples?
I know that we are taking the opportunity to put some of your theater options here before you in an easy to read and digest format. Hopefully these shows will spark your interest in seeing a lot of theater in the next two weeks in addition to birds.
Today we start off with what Danny Gavigan has been up to since References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot closed. Mostly I think he was brushing up his Southy accent and eating sandwiches if the photo is any indication. And then a one night poetry and dance event at the JCC. See some theater!
Molotov Theatre Group, Washington, DC’s most incendiary new acting company, is introducing itself to theatre-goers with the new work For Boston, which will see its world premiere during this year’s Capital Fringe Festival.
Written by Michael McMahon and Lucas Maloney (Molotov Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director)
Saturday, July 21, 2007, 9:00pm
Thursday, July 26, 2007, 9:30pm
Friday, July 27, 2007, 7:00pm
Saturday, July 28, 2007, 8:00pm
Sunday, July 29, 2007, 2:00pm
Flashpoint’s Mead Theatre Lab, 916 G Street, NW, Washington, DC.
Featuring Washington, DC-based actors JJ Area, Chris Dinolfo, Danny Gavigan, and Eric Humphries, For Boston is a horrifically dark comedy following two barfly buddies as they get sucked into the undertow of bad decisions.
While For Boston is Molotov’s first theatrical production, the company plans to begin reviving original Grand Guignol scripts later this year. This makes Molotov the first company on the East Coast, and only the second in the entire United States to focus on this genre as a key part of its mission.
To find out more about Molotov Theatre Group and Le Theatre de Grand Guignol, please visit www.molotovtheatre.com or www.myspace.com/molotovtheatre.
Just a quick note about my upcoming piece in the DC Fringe Festival.It is a live poetry reading of Carly Sach's book, the steam sequence,combined with an interactive dance performance.
We don't want to tell you too much beforehand, but Carly and I are very excited about the performance and hope you can make it!
Wednesday July 25, 8pm
DC JCC, 16th and Q Str. NW
Tickets available at the door, or see attached flyer
All the best,
PS Because of the nautre of the poems, the project is not appropriate for children.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Two Fringe Shows and birds Matinee
Onward to a mug shot of a Rorschach alum (I knew it would come to this Andy) and a Dada trip to the seaside.
Journeymen Theater presents BREADHOUSE, an Intergalactic Premier by Jon Reynolds.
A bank robber, a car thief and an arsonist. Hansel & Gretel. Onestage. Three hundred screaming kids.
Thursday, July 19 at 8:00pm
Friday, July 20 at 8:00pm
Monday, July 23 at 5:30pm
Tuesday, July 24 at 5:30pm
Wednesday, July 25 at 5:30pm
201 F. Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Ticket & Show Information:
www.journeymentheater.org or Cap Fringe web site
LOW TIDE HOTEL an original theater piece that resembles a poet's Coney Island scrapbook starring Mark Jaster, Sabrina Mandell, and Scott Sedar.
LOW TIDE HOTEL is a DADA day at the beach, a nostalgic maritime postcard, a surrealist voyage. The message in the bottle is poetry. The waves roll away and comedy looks up like a clam.The show's aesthetic conjures the days of ocean travel on ships, drawing inspiration from antique maritime documents, luggage labels, posters, literature and song. There will also be delicious Salt Water Taffy and Souvenirs for sale before each performance. Step right up...lookie, lookie, lookie!
Friday, July 20th at 4pm
Saturday, July 21 st at 7pm
Sunday, July 22nd at 2pm
(and shows might be added so check www.happenstancetheater.com for updates)
The Mead Theater Lab at
916 G Street, NW, Washington DC
Ticket & Show Information:
by phone 1.866.811.4111 or Cap Fringe web site.
Monday, July 16, 2007
My Plan for Fringe Coverage
Quick does anyone else see the resemblance between this City Paper theater critic and this cartoon drawing from the Fringe Guide? I grant that the nose on the drawing is a little broader and the brows heavier, but I am not one to take coincidences as coincidences. Judge for yourself. Now onward!
birds is my number one priority. You should see it with all speed and expediency. I think it is a show worth seeing and that you do yourself a great disservice if you don't see this rare show.
That being said I would be remiss in my duties, if I didn't mention that there is a Fringe Festival going on for the next two weekends and that means there is a lot of theater to see. Some of it created by some of our own Rorschach Alums. There is something special about this kind of theater. A sense of immediacy that doesn't exist in theaters that have their seasons picked two or three years in advance.
Performers flood the town for a couple of weeks in the summer and then are gone. Some of these shows will continue to go from place to place trying to find an audience where as others have all the life expectancy of the three or four performances that they will have in the next two weeks.
Budgets are low, but talent and committment are high. Tomorrow I will start running blurbs and images from some shows that I do not know personally on the whole but that I think deserve a shout out somewhere on the web. I encourage all of you to visit the Capital Fringe page for more information on all the Fringe Shows. Get out there and see theater. But see birds first.
Look for more tomorrow.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Friday the 13th
birds continues tonight at 8pm and tomorrow at 8pm. Remember folks last year Arabian Night sold the hell out and it to was our submission to the Capital Fringe. So beat the rush. I have heard a rumor that next Thursday is nearly sold out.
This is the final weekend to get our 2 for 1 tickets deal. Just use the ticket code "Early Bird" when you order and you get two tickets for the price of one. Click here to purchase tickets.
By the way Happy Friday the 13th! Be careful around all ladders, cats, mirrors, salt shakers, open umbrellas and "Scotish Plays".
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Help Me Help You Fringers
Some of you may have already gotten this in your in-box today, but I may have missed some of you so take a gander if you are Fringing this year.
If you have received this than I either know, assume, suspect or kind of sort of think you may be involved in some sort of Fringe related production. If you know someone and like them enough to help them, please feel free to forward this on to them.
While I know the fine folks at the Fringe are doing a bang up job of advertising your shows, I also know that any extra advertising helps. Therefore I make you an advertising offer that costs you nothing.
Too good to be true?
Yes it probably is but you might as well trust me, you are reading this blog.
I would like to include an insert in the Rorschach program for birds with your Fringe Ads.
Also if you send me a short blurb and some photos of your show I will include them on the Rorschach Blog starting next week.
What do I expect in return?
Well very little really. Either:
If you have room in your program to run an ad for birds that would be all I ask.
or if you don't have room for an ad for birds, then hang a poster for birds in the lobby of your show (I will email you a pdf and you can print it out as many times as you like).
It is that simple.
If you would like to also distribute the insert I am creating for the Rorschach Program in your program just let me know and I will send you along whatever I end up producing.
Ads should be 3 1/2" wide by 3 " high and in jpg format.
Please be sure to include the dates of your show and any web information or phone numbers you would like to include.
If you would like to be featured on the Rorschach Blog just send a paragraph about your show, the show times and a picture and I will let you know when the information is going to be posted next week.
This is purely an independent project and therefore please do not bother the good folks at the fringe. Just bother me.
All the best,
Email me if you would like to get involved firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This Just In
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Get to Know Wendy McClellan
1. What is your job in producing birds?
2. When you were a child what if any stories or fairy tales effected you the most?
I was really into Greek myths, but I think Snow White and Rose Red was my favorite fairy tale.
3. Is this the first time you have worked for Rorschach? If no, when have you done for us before? If yes, why did you decide to come and play in our sandbox?
It is! Cuz Jenny and Randy are cool and willing to take a big ole risk. Plus, the theatre is where I used to come to punk concerts in the '80s. It's such a cool space-- this play is gonna look awesome in it.
4. What is one impossible thing that happens in birds?
Come see it and find out!
5. What is you favorite bird?
Starling-- they look so cool in the sunlight with their gold-tipped black feathers.
6. How do you think or hope audiences will react to birds?
I think they'll feel like they've really seen something they can only see in the theatre. And I hope they feel entertained-- laughter will be the best result.
7. If you had a theme song what would it be?
You've Really Got a Hold on Me-- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Monday, July 09, 2007
More Reviews from the Interwebs
Missy at DCist has written a well thought out review of birds and once again theater criticism comes down to a matter of taste. Like Glen Weldon in The City Paper review, Missy has found the heart of this story and while she comments on some roough edges, she also sees the potential of this new work.
New work that needs to be supported. The way you do that is by coming out and seeing the show. Remember we have three performances this week. Now that most of the reviews are in, I can start turning my attention to other blog worthy material. Like did I mention we just picked Rorschach Season 8? And I still have a couple of more Get to Know me pieces I need to get through this week. So keep on coming back for all the Rorschach news you have come to expect and love!
Friday, July 06, 2007
Another Country Heard From
Thursday, July 05, 2007
The Free Press
Wendy McClellan directs a gallant cast who deliver Maisel's stunning revelation in a production that demands we forget about living happily ever after.
There is also some nice words from our friends over at The Express (The Washington Posts free daily). Erin Trompeter writes:
Those on the aisle be warned: You may be propositioned.
Here is the link to the whole shabang but you might want to pick one up yourself.
Yesterday there was a nice piece in the Back Stage Column of the Post. Jane Horwitz spoke to both birds playwright Jennifer Maisel and director Wendy McClellan. Here is the link (be sure to scroll down past the stuff about Olney and Jimmy P.) and here is my favorite quote from Jennifer:
The Los Angeles-based Maisel, whose "The Last Seder" was produced at Theater J in 2003, says one of the themes is making connections across class chasms -- "you see the homeless person and say, 'That was someone's baby.' "
What else we got you may ask yourself?
There are two mixed reviews from Potomac Stages and the newly rechristened DC Theatre Scene.
It is Hemmingsen, however, that takes possession of the stage each time he's on it. He's a homeless man with a surplus of common sense and a touch of magic of his own. When Valentiner donates one of three of her boyfriend's overcoats to the homeless man she sees on a bench every day, he begins a transformation into a sartorially splendid, suave man about town. Through it all, he remains fascinating to watch. -Brad Hathway- Potomac Stages
I will continue to bring you the words of the critics and Rorschach fans alike here on the blog.
Enter a menacing but friendly ogre, in the form of a homeless man, Gus, (Brian Hemmingsen). Along with the prostitute, A, (Marissa Molnar), who hustles a stranger in the audience, these two street characters seem to have a better grip on the real world than do our hero and heroine, living in a high-rise dream. Maybe all four characters are one and the same? Jorie tells us she feels dislocated and bought, just as A does. James is jobless; Gus is homeless. Aware of their sameness, Jorie and James throw a cocktail party, invite and share their lives with A and Gus, who allows his hair to be cut and dresses up in a business suit. In the play’s best moments, the four characters swap roles and interact as if they accept their oneness as a family and the city as home. - Rosalind Lacy - DC Theatre Scene
Do you agree with the reviews or do you have an opinion of your own. Tell me what you think about birds. Email me here and we can talk.
Scott "The Mad Blogger What Blogs at Midnight" McCormick
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Fourth of July Prep and Post Review
Here is the nice thing Peter said:
The production's hero is its set designer, Jacob S. Muehlhausen, who has ingeniously loaded into the church sanctuary an abstracted Manhattan streetscape of newsprint and what look like Xerox images of office buildings. The evening's cleverest surprise is the manner in which Muehlhausen shifts the action to James and Jorie's inner sanctum.
So not to change the topic but here are some quick reminders for 4th of July Safety:
1. Fireworks are fun, but dangerous. Do not store them in the trunk of your car or near open flames. And for God's sake get that thing out of your mouth.
2. Know when to say when. And I don't just mean if you are driving. If you find yourself at a party talking about how hot it is, over and over again you have had too much. And I can promise you someone will eventually hit you.
3. Sun screen. Lots and lots of sun screen. And a hat. Maybe a mosquito net and some sort of goggles.
Follow these 4 easy rules and you should be able to avoid trips to the emergency room this year.
Monday, July 02, 2007
birds Trailer and Opening Night Report
birds opened on Saturday night and I think there were a lot of folks who liked it. They really really liked it. This show has been a huge undertaking for everyone involved.
This photo on your right should give you an idea of the scale of this here set. And that is just the set when it is at rest. Someone from the audience on Saturday said it reminded them of an Advent Calendar, you sat there looking for the doors and set pieces that would pop out of nowhere and reveal a new secret.
We were glad to see everyone, press and friends alike. And now the show belongs to the audiences, like a I promised. Thank you to the cast and crew for working so hard to make this happen and we look forward to a successful run.
I will be putting links to the press material as it appears, so check back in at least once or twice this week.
Congraulations to everyone, you should be proud.