Friday, September 28, 2007

Name the Show and the Actor!

New Game, here on the Rorschach Blog. Name the Show and the Actor!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What are the Alums doing these days?

Thank you to the two folks who left questions in the comment section yesterday. That will be a big help in my crafting this round of Get to Know! entries this go around.
Mean time I have been asked by a very kind friend to post some information about an upcoming production with a familiar name but which has absolutely nothing to do with folks trapped in a German apartment building on the hottest night of the year. Besides this is The Arabian Nights (plural) not Arabian Night (no article singular). Read what Gwen G. (Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards and Rough Magic) has to say and why we should be interested:
Hello Scott!
I know you've been a benefactor and a boon to Friends of Rorschach (FOR) in the past, so I was hoping you could maybe do me a huge favor. Myself, Miss Katie Atkinson (A Bright Room Called Day), and Mr. John Tweel (365 days/plays) are all in a show opening this week, The Arabian Nights presented by Constellation Theatre Company. (I'm not sure if any of the other designers are Rorschachites.) (Editor's Note: Yes, Yvette Ryan is a Rorschach alum having designed Behold!)
We have pay-what-you can previews this Thursday and Friday at 8 pm, and open on Saturday. It's at the Source Theatre down on 14th Street, right around the corner from many delightful restaurants. I'd love you forever if you could maybe put a little shout-out for us on the blog!
Here's the website with a big fat picture:
So support these fine folks and take advantage of the PWYC performances.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Echo, Echoo, Echooo!

The thing is I am not that creative. I pretend that I am but I am an actor and actors for the most part are too involved in themselves to ever develop ideas which benefit the group as a whole. Sure they pretend to support causes all the time: the oceans; hunger; IBS just to name a few. But when it come right down to it I steal all my best ideas from others and have people who tell me how to say my lines and how to move.

That being said I have to send out a list of questions to the cast and crew of Kit Marlowe for the latest round of Get to Know! features and I have kind of been running cold this week. Call it a writing slump or just going to a dry well too many times with a bucket full of holes, but I need your help!

Leave me a question for the cast and crew of Kit Marlowe in the comment area. I need like 7 of them and I will use the best of them. If you don't leave me any questions, I swear to God I will ask them what their favorite color is, what dead person would they want to meet and what kind of tree they would be.

Don't think I won't! I am kind of desperate at the moment. So leave you questions in the comment section and wish me good luck, I am so out of ideas right now I asked my mom what I should wear to work this morning.


Monday, September 24, 2007

So what have you been doing lately?

I have been a bad blogger! We all realize that as much as I would love to be at every Rorschach rehearsal and be in every Rorschach show, it just isn't practical. I can try and funnel the news that comes to me, but eventually I just start making stuff up to fill the page. And that isn't fair to any of us. I promise I will have some pics of the process later this week.
For now I just want to give a shout out to a newly married couple with Rorschach ties. Val Fenton and Chris Neibling tied the knot last night. And while I have known Val and Chris for years, it wasn't until we did The Beard of Avon. (That's Val on the left with Grady.) Chris came and did some fight work with us and Val was our sweet strumpet of an Anne Hathaway.
There was a nice little mini-reunion last night with many Rorschach favorites in attendance.
We wish Chris and Val the best! And congratulations on delicious buffet.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Songs from the Rorschach Mix Tape 002

Just because I happen to be here and only apropos of the fact that a) I can, and b) I feel like it, here's the video for Rainer Maria's "Catastrophe," which I would put on yr mix CD, if at any point in the past, you had asked me to make you a mix CD, which you didn't.

Rainer Maria, not to be confused with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, put this song on their final album, Catastrophe Keeps Us Together. I'm drawn to this song because of its end-of-the-world overtones. I am an apocalypse junkie of sorts. My dreams are full of crashing planes and detonating disasters, and over time, I've learned to enjoy that giddy subconscious thrill of being a voyeur to your own imminent demise.

Plus, when it comes to excuses, nothing quite beats the end of the world. Think about it: when you go to meet the Great Guidance Counselor of the Afterlife, and he bitches you out for never following through on your potential, wouldn't it be ideal to snap back with, "Hey, Gary. Know what? The world ended. So get off my back." For this reason, I was a teeny bit disappointed that the whole Y2K End Times Scenario was such a bust--but then, one had to figure it would be, seeing as how it was predicated on the notion that the millenium would arrive one full year early. Oh well, we'll get another chance to stare down the destruction of everything and everyone we hold dear on December 21, 2012.

Enjoy the video, in which RM lead singer Caithlin de Marrais, who is crushworthy to the point that I never ever want to stop kissing her, presides over the twee, yet homicidal, machinations of two women who might be Tegan and Sara's stunt doubles. Plus, mirrors.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Send Me Material

Just a quick break a leg to the folks who are starting rehearsal for Kit Marlowe tonight.

I remind everyone that as with any well oiled machine The Rorschach Blog runs on the blood and sweat of the workers. Due to a previous entanglement I will not be able to give the crack coverage you have all come to love and expect on these pages every day regarding the production. But if you are involved in some way with the workings of Kit Marlowe I want to hear from you.

I will take anything:


Funny Stories

Character Work



Email them to me here

I am really excited by this show and this cast! Not in a sexual way, although it is perfectly natural to have those feelings as well, so please tap into those feelings if they will bring you to see the show.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Well Tuesday night is fast approaching. We have only 5 weeks until Kit Marlowe opens for the world to see. Think about what you will be doing for the next 5 weeks. How you will be spending your evenings. I know given who our readership is here at the blog I am preaching to the choir, but those of you who will not be working a day job and going to rehearsals until 11pm every night and working weekends, just think about the time these folks will be spending to put on a show that will only live for a month.

I have included the photo of the hippo because I like hippos. The game is on ladies and gentleman, now we make the magic happen.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Casting for Kit Marlowe

Yes the picture is stolen but the casting is new. Read on my friends and find out who will be taking the stage in our first show of Season 8.

Kit Marlowe
by David Grimm
directed by Jessie Gallogly

Featuring: Adam Segaller, Matt Dunphy (A Bright Room Called Day and Arabian Night), Jesse Terrill (The Illusion), Reece Thornberry, Bill Aitken, John Brennan, Lee Ordeman, Tony Bullock, Joe Baker

Set Designer: Eric Grims

Lighting Designer: David Ghatan

Costume Designer: Emily Dere

Sound Designer: Roni Lancaster

Producer: Jenny McConnell Frederick and Randy Baker

Dramaturg Rachel Miller

Technical Director: Andrew Berry

Fight Choreographer: Casey Kaleba

Thursday, September 13, 2007

He Also Serves Who "Stans" and Waits

The thing about a blog that deals with a small theatre company is that you have to wait for the news to come to you.

Like right now I am waiting to make a very big announcement about who is going to be in Kit Marlowe. I have been told that I will be able to tell you folks tomorrow. Did I mention that one of Kit Marlowe's sponsors is actually named Christopher Marlow? And that pound for pound lemons contain more sugar than strawberries?

Hold on for one more day and you will see the boys that will be populating our new Elizabethan England.

If you can't hold on go here and watch every episode of The Defenders of Stan. Episode 9 is big and features the return of the Floating Heads of Justice.

If you have never seen an episode enjoy this one:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stop it now! It hurts!

The other day I showed you all the "serious we are artist" group shot from Myth Appropriation: Brothers Grimm.

This is the other shot. I could point out various highlights of this particular photo: Various pit stains; The back of a couple of folks heads; The attempted murder of serveral cast members; Amorous embraces; and An abundance of open mouthes.

I recommend in the future that people consider what exactly it is they are trying to say with their crazy poses.

Are they exhibiting their disgust with the whacky photo?

Are they trying to express desires of a sexual nature for someone in the group that they would otherwise keep to themselves?

Are you trying to proove either flexibility or good dental hygene?

Are you sure that you are comfortable enough with your hairline to expose it to the world?

What do you think these folks are thinking?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Helen P. Explains It All

See I jumped the gun and then I got me some blogging materials.

Helen Pafumi a lovely actress, Myth participant and a blogger of no small accomplishment herself has pitched in an given us insights into whatever it was that really happened on Saturday night. Remember she had a long week and she is trying to remember the best she can.


6 Myths are given to
6 Playwrights to write a play each in
24 hours, then
6 Directors take
4 Actors each and mount a show in
5 Days
= We are all tired.

It was a hot and steamy day in our nation's capitol. No seriously, it was. It was hot. The Casa del Pueblo was hot, and not just from the actual high temperature outside, but from the sexy sexy inside as well.

Playwrights directors and actors alike were on fire this past weekend at Rorschach Theatre's Myth Appropriations. I got a chance to see almost all the pieces during the dress rehearsal and there was some really great stuff happening. The process this past week was exhausting, but there was a clear cut sense of fun and adventure among it all. Not having worked with Rorschach before I was delighted to find that the folks running this company are salt of the earth, extremely hard working, completely adaptable, and they are able to find the humour in everything along the way.

The high points, and there were many, were working with a great director and designer; wonderful actors; my awesome, if hot, costume; and the words - hell yes, I was given a fabulous script and enjoyed making the most of it.

However, I know that in the end everyone just wants to see the gag reel, the deleted scenes, or the backstage high jinks, so here are a few tidbits:

-Sasha Olinick, claims that he sweats more than Cesar Guadamuz. I declared that we should stage a sweat off to proclaim a true winner.

-Michael Grew, Dana Edwards and others aptly observed that there was kissing in every play performed that evening, including man kissing woman, man kissing man, and woman kissing half man-half hedgehog.

-Adrienne Nelson was so convincing in her role, that I 'bout lept outta ma seat to run and git her some menthols, afore her stories started'.

-I had an entire conversation in a midwestern accent with Maggie Glauber, Ghillian Porter, and Jenny Corbett about ( do I put this....never mind...keeping it PG-13....) stuff.

-Evan Casey wanted to take the 4 minute curtain call that was due him, but decided at last minute to stick with the bow and getting off the stage.

-Randy Baker (after reminding us to clear the house of all of our stuff and turn off all of our cell phones) left his cell phone in the house during the show.

-Jason Linkins thinks that death and candles are good source material for screwball comedy.

Alas, I wish I had more, I wish I remembered more from the day. I wish I had not gotten names wrong, or attributed comments to the wrong people, but I very well may have. If so, my apologies. Thank you to all for an extremely fun roller coaster ride.


Just a quick thank you to everyone who made Saturday such a huge success.

Hopefully we will have some sort of report from the front but here is the quick and dirty fact:

We SOLD OUT both performances!

Check in later this week and we will hopefully have a run down of what actually happened, because due to a previous engagement I was sleeping in a dorm room in Cambridge, MA on Saturday night.

Anyone want to talk about the experience? Leave a comment or email me here at

Thursday, September 06, 2007

All Hans on Deck

The days are dwindling. Myth Appropriations keeps on rolling along towards its One Night Only Celebration of all that is Grimm.
Tickets are selling fast and can be purchased for either of Saturday Night's performances at either 8pm or 10pm by clicking HERE or calling 1-800-494-TIXS. All seats are just $10, beat that with the wooden object of your choice.
Today we catch up with Catherine Tripp (not Cathering) and her merry band of misadventurers as they bring life to a Hedgehog.
Myth Appropriations Day Four.
Howdy folks.
I am not a blogger so forgive me if I commit some cyberspace faux pas. My name is Catherine Tripp (perhaps you heard of me earlier in this blog) and I am the director of Hans My Hedgehog.
Wednesday’s rehearsal was very exciting. It was the first time the directors were alone with their casts and could get down to the nitty gritty rehearsing. For this cast (Daniel Eichner, Michael Grew, Helen Pafumi, and Simone Zvi) it was the equivalent of a week of rehearsal in three hours.
We met at in the Woolly Mammoth classroom. And instead of sitting down to table work. We immediately went in to fight choreography. I would have loved to have talked about motivations or blocked some of it, but it was the only time Scott Kerns was available (THANK YOU SCOTT!!!). So we spent the first hour learning how to fight and kiss at the same time. (Are you intrigued yet?) We spent the next two hours blocking and talking about characters (simultaneously mostly).
The pace that is required to get the piece in order is grueling but very fun. But if Anne M. McCaw can come up with a script this good in 24 hours, it deserves all the hard work we can give it. All that to say- I love my hard working actors. I think we had a good time yesterday. I know I did. And having watched the scripts grow from day one I can’t wait to see what the other kids are doing.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Story Time with the German's

My friends, my friends. Many of you are waiting to wet your beaks in the guts and gore of The Myth Project and I, your faithful blogger am here to ease some of that hunger with tastes to tantalize and delight you.

I am here to give you a peek at what is in store for you all when you come and see Myth Appropriation this weekend. I was at the read through last night and I can tell you in no uncertain terms that there isn't a clunker in the bunch. I would go so far as to say that you will all be in for a treat.

This entry will give you a run down of each show and a link to the original story upon which it is based. I don't want to give too much away about our new plays so I will give you a few key words to pique your interest.

First off a couple of warnings. Rorschach is not Walt Disney. Yes I know that we too have been referred to as a Mickey Mouse operation, but that is where the comparison ends. When Rorschach does Grimm Fairy Tales we do them the way the German's would have liked them; dirty, raw and sexy. There will be kissing and hugging in all of their shapes and forms. I will even say there will be some simulated sex, which is just a special kind of hug so you have been warned. There will be strong language from a teen-aged girl, thank you James Hessla for losing us our PG-13 rating. There will be some beastiality (not that much so please put down the protests signs). And finally there will be some political statements made. You have been warned.

Now click on the title if you want to read the original stories before you see our versions on Saturday.

The Story of a Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was

Randy Baker puts his own unique mark on this story of a boy who leaves home to find out about the shivers.

Key words: Troll Bridge, torso and "God, I'm Hot!"

Star Silver aka: The Star-Money

James Hesla who brought us the wonder that was Behold! returns to tell the story of the poor little girl who is left all alone and gives everything she owns to those who need it more and is rewarded with a "silver shower".

Key words: Organ Pie, turrette syndrome and woman with beard.

The Robber Bridegroom

Norman Allen comes to the Rorschach Theatre for the first time with this classic story of sexual awakening. How many stories do you know about canabalism that have been made into light opera? Well this one is the mother of all slasher stories and makes Little Red Ridinghood seem like a stroll in the woods.

Key words: Monkey tatoos, Princess Diana and betrayl

Godfather Death

Gwydion Suilebhan tackles the world of medicine in this story of the world's greatest doctor who takes a turn for the worse after he uses his special gifts to cheat his Godfather, The Grim Reaper (as far as I know no relation to the Brothers with two m's).

Key words: Cold feet, herbal tea and cheating

Hans the Hedgehog

The ultimate leason in being careful what you promise. Anne M. Macaw is charged with telling the tale of a man/hegehog who has extracted a very dear promise from a king. In thanks for a rescue the king must bestow the first thing he looks upon when arrives home to the hedgehog. The question what do you do if the first thing you see is your daughter.

Key words: Faulkner, motorcycle and biting

The Devil's Sooty Brother

Our final tale is as timeless as a stopped grandfather clock. Jacqueline E. Lawton tells the story of a soldier who is employed by the devil himself and does odd jobs around Old Scrathes place and in exchange for his obedience is greatly rewarded.

Key words: Texas-Hold-Em, prostitutes and Saudi Princesses

I'm Rachel Miller and You're Not!

Today we continue with our series of guest bloggers. This time it is dramturg Rachel Miller who gives us a play by play of the whats and the whens of this mad project called Myth-Appropriation: The Brothers Grimm. Click here for tickets to either of Saturday's performances at 8pm or 10 pm.

Quick word from me though before I give you Rachel's goodness. Went to the read through of all 6 plays last night and this stuff is good. I mean tasty-tasty good. Each of the playwrights has found a way of bringing their stories into the present and leaving the morals and ideas of the stories intact, while bringing their own voices to the pieces. I will have more to say about this tomorrow plus a couple of teases, but for now here is what Rachel saw and did on Day 2:

September 3, 2007
MYTH- Appropriation Day 2: Writer’s Workshop

As a burgeoning dramaturg and proverbial “friend of the Rorschach” I was kindly invited to serve a dramaturgical role in this, the very first MYTH-Appropriation project. Since the agenda for today was to read and workshop each new play, I obligingly volunteered to recount Day 2 of MYTH- Appropriation for all of you out in the Rorschach Blog-o-sphere!

So today we had the opportunity to hear six new plays that were less than a day old. The challenge to our writers was to adapt a randomly selected tale by the Grimm Brothers into an 8 to 15 minute play– in less than 24 hours. What ensued today was (I guess you could say) “speed dramaturgy.” In the same manner in which the playwrights had less than twenty-four hours to write their plays, today we had less than six hours to read and provide constructive feedback to the playwrights.

As facilitator of the discussion, I felt most fortunate to be able to explore with and learn from such marvelous playwrights as Norman Allen, Anne M. McCaw, Randy Baker, Jacqueline E. Lawton, James Hesla and Gwyidion Suilebhan, each one whose piece touched upon or invoked a vibrant familiarity with some form or subset of Americana. Across the spectrum of these adaptations, we, witnessed contemporary folk-life where it exists in a gay-run bridal shop to a small town in the middle of Nowhere; a hospital room to a vaudevillian stage; a trailer park in Washington State to the war-torn Middle East.

I like to think that the work we explored today and the work that will be developed this week is a continuation of an oral tradition which has gone on—and will continue—for thousands of years. Beyond adaptation, each play is essentially its own fairy tale—using the familiar motifs and character archetypes that we know and recognize—but also making something entirely new from them. Much like the tradition of the “wonder tales” that inspired the Grimm Brothers, each story teller makes his or her version a little different; if not to reflect certain morals and values of a greater community, then even simply for the pure artistry pours out along the way.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Guest Bloggers and Buck Rogers

Thank you Jason Linkins for that exceptional preview of Myth Appropriation: The Brothers Grimm.

Small correction it is Catherine Tripp not Cathering Tripp. I can only assume that Cathering is that act of distributing the works of American Novelist Willa Cather. Used in a sentence:

I spent all day Saturday cathering the neighborhood with materials of American Prairie values.

There will be other guest contributors this week, so please come back often as we count down to a uniquely Rorschach experience. Remember tickets for Myth Appropriation are only $10 and there are only 2 shows Saturday Night at 8pm and 10pm.

Please watch the following video and tell me if Okkervil River's "Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe," doesn't remind you a tiny bit of the opening theme to 1980s Space Adventure Show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Songs from the Rorschach Mix Tape

Also, just because I happen to be here and only apropos of the fact that a) I can, and b) I feel like it, here's the video for Okkervil River's "Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe," which I would put on yr mix CD, if at any point in the past, you had asked me to make you a mix CD, which you didn't. Anyway, this song is crazy excellent. Enjoy!

Let's Get Mythic!

So, with great ceremony and abundant cream cheese, Rorschach got its first annual Myth-Appropriation project underway this Sunday at the Sanctuary Theatre at Casa del Pueblo. On hand, six playwrights, six directors, three designers, a couple dozen actors, two artistic directors, Rose (who was on hand to do "stuff") and whatever area rodent creatures dwell in the confines of the theatre, hoping we'd forget some of the food and leave it for them to devour.

We were all on hand because Sunday was the Designated Day of Choosing, and Jenny and Randy had laid out a system in which the choosing would get done, very much like J.K. Rowling's "sorting hat" but without any of the concomitant copyright violations. Also: much more complicated. There were books to open, and boxes to reach into, and finally a cup from which to pluck names. And there was a big piece of plywood. Really, we were just sort of showing off our best props and our coolest piece of wood. But the ceremony was extremely rich in pomp. Such pompfulness. An ocean of briny pomp. Remember that pompy thing you did, that time? This was much pompier.

And by the end, we had shows chosen, directors and designers attached and actors divided up to make for the strutting and the fretting. So, without further ado, here's the lineup for next Saturday night.

The Robber Bridegroom
written by Norman Allen
directed by Andy Wassenich
designed by David Ghatan
and featuring Evan Casey, John Michael McDonald, Heather Gaither, and Lauren Krizner

Of all the Grimm stories chosen, this is probably going to be the most recognizable, most likely because of the Alfred Uhry/Robert Waldman musical. This story was also adapted by Eudora Welty, and has been the inspiration of stories from Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, and Margaret Atwood. Wes Anderson is said to be working on a film adaptation, as well. But only ours will have been written in 24 hours. Top that, Margaret Atwood!

Godfather Death

written by Gwydion Suilebhan
directed by Dan Pruksarnukul
designed by Robbie Hayes
and featuring Nicola Daval, Jeremy Goren, Jason Linkins, and Betsy Rosen

Godfather Death has been described to me as the darkest of the six stories being adapted, so it makes sense that they'd team Betsy Rosen up with three of the Frankensteins--the angstiest, gothiest family to ever appear on Rorschach's stage. The pairing of Gwydion Suilebhan and Dan Pruksarnukul is electric as well, as no writer-director team brings to the table more difficult-to-spell last names.

Hans the Hedgehog
written by Anne M. Macaw
directed by Cathering Tripp
designed by Debra Sivigny
and featuring Daniel Eichner, Michael Grew, Helen Pafumi, and Simone Zvi

All I can tell you about this fairy tale is that bagpipes could play a big role. Will they play a big role? That I don't know. Could they? It's a possibility. Also: this play offers trenchant commentary on the scientific possibility of the human-animal hybrids. Also: Simone Zvi might be the shortest person in the entire production, but this is a matter under dispute. But: bagpipes!

Fairy Tale About A Boy Who Left Home To Learn About Fear
written by Randy Baker
directed by Patrick Torres
designed by Debra Sivigny
and featuring Christopher Dinolfo, Maggie Glauber, Jenny Corbett, and Ghillian Porter

Fairy Tales About A Boy Who Left Home to Learn About Fear (or as the Germans call it, Das Geschichtejungendepartenhauserlernenfurcht) is apparently the longest of the plays, so, naturally, Randy's going to have to write it, because he's the one with all the free time. Also, this is the one play without gender balance, so it would appear that Chris is going to learn about fear from the ladies--just like all boys!

The Devil's Sooty Brother
written by Jacqueline E. Lawton
director by Michael Dove
designed by David Ghatan
and featuring Cesar Guadamuz, Mark Ross, Dana Edwards, and Amanda Thickpenny

Something worth noting: sometimes, when these old fairy tales speak of "the Devil," they may be referring to "Der Teufel," or "Old Scratch," who did not "begin his career as the 'Satan' of Christianity and Judaism." According to my "research"--"The old Devil is a Teutonic woods-spirit, an ogre-like trickster who may desire to eat human flesh, but is often friendly to wood-cutters and footloose soldiers." This story features a soldier, so everyone prepare to "cut footloose!"

The Star Silvers
written by James Hesla
directed by Jessica Burgess
designed by Robbie Hayes
and featuring Sasha Olinick, Jesse Terrill, Adrienne Nelson, and Wendy Wilmer

No one seems to be able to agree on what the title of this story is, so I'm deciding. It's "The Star Silvers." So there. This myth appropriation features the tallest of all possible writer-director-designer teams. Make of that what you will.

So there you have it. Six myths for your viewing pleasure. Now, I know that some of you out there are like: "What about my favorites? What about "The Seven Swabians?" What about "The Bittern and Hoopoe?" Can an audience member get a "Nixie of the Mill-Pond" up in here? Relax, friends, and shut up. We're going to do this every year! And at some point, possibly in the year 2015 (but probably more like 2021), we'll cycle back around to Grimm and get to your favorites. So, stop smoking, wear your seatbelt, and eat plenty of dietary fiber and maybe you'll live to see that day!