Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What Are Rorschach Folks Up To?

With the weekend coming up I direct you to some shows around town featuring some of your favorite Rorschach Alums and Company Members:

Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Forum Theatre
Featuring Rorschach Company Members: Maggie Glauber, Cesar Guadamuz, Patrick Bussink and Scott McCormick, As well as Rorschach Alumni: Brian Hemmingsen, Frank Britton, Jason McCool and Jessie Terrill. Costumes by Rorschach Alum: Pei Lee.
Final Weekend!
Visit Forum for Details.
Also Backstage has an article about the show and somehow Jane even mentions that I am a Rorschach Company member. Read it HERE.

Death of a Saleman
Arena Stage in Crystal City
Featuring Rorschach Company Member: Tim Getman
Visit Arena for Details.

Anyone else up to anything? Let me know in the comments section and I will post it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hayes-y Shade of Winners

I got no photos. I got no quotes. I even handed off my one souvenir of the evening off to a good friend. All I have are the memories.
And lets clear up one of my complaints from previous years the bourbon this year was Jim Beam. The Old Crow they tried to foist on folks for the last couple year has flown the coop. Good work everyone who lobbied for the change (which may have been only me).

Last night was a great night for Rorschach in a lot of ways. If you count winning as the only mark of a great night you would be wrong. That being said, Gabi, Tracy, Shirley and Patrick you were all robbed.

For me it was seeing some of the finest actors, directors, designers and stage managers in town decked out to the nines, tens and tens and halves for an evening with glamour. That and well supplied buffet and open bar.
Now if you were looking for a list of winners, please go to one of the state run blogs, they are very good at lists. And if you are looking for an actual fashion report like what designers people were wearing I am would be of very little help in that area as well, so I will instead give fashion impressions.
Yasmin Tuazon was in a hot little purple number. It might have been lilac, but since my knowledge of color can be boiled down to knowing the Roy G Biv and that chartreuse is some form of green, you will probably have to ask her what color it was.
Jessie Terrill was in a great pin striped suit which made him look at least two feet taller.
Jenny McConnell Frederick was in a fetching black number with a blue neck line. Very styling.
Gwen Grastorf was hot, hot, hot in a black flapper dress.
Grady Weatherford, Andrew Price and Scott McCormick all managed to work with the color pallet of black tuxedo with gold and red accents and managed a variety of results for the their presenting duties. No one really noticed those three because Mona Lisa Arias and Elizabeth Richards were the ones everyone were looking at during our five person salute to the Canadian Flag.
Jason Stiles was carrying a lot of fake (at least I think they were fake) ammunition on his belt last night.
Congratulations to all the winners and I hope the out there woke up early enough this morning to return their tuxes without incurring a late fee.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Game Time

Thanks to a Company Member we got ourselves a game now. Photos from Balls Past. Do me a favor and leave your guesses as to the identities of the masked individuals in the comments section. No fair guessing folks without masks.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It WIll Be Like This Only in Black and White

Does anyone have any photos of previous Masquerades of Rorschach past that they would like to share?
Email them to me by clicking HERE.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Things that are Coming Soon

Quick run down of things you need to remember are coming:
  1. Helen Hayes Award next Monday. Will Gabi and Shirley walk away with the Hayes? Will Tim Getman remember to wear pants to the after party? Who is the Scarlet Pimpernel?
  2. The Black & White Masquerade Benefit Ball is Saturday, May 10th at 8pm. Get your tickets now for an evening of Will you be there to enjoy the open bar, which now includes Beer, Wine and a sassy fruity Vodka drink? Will Tim remember to wear his pants? Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?
  3. Myth Appropriations '08: Creation Myths, Saturday May 24th, at 6, 8 and 10pm. Last time the event sold out so we have moved to a bigger venue. Will some one please give Tim a pair of pants? Oh and what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

Tickets are available to both of the Rorschach events and I will have full coverage of the Helen Hayes awards again this year next Tuesday. And by full report I mean a review of the buffet.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One More Reason to Come to B&W Masquerade

For more information and to purchase tickets visit the HERE.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This is the One with a Monkey at the End

I made a new friend last night.

Her name is Louise and she has been a Rorschach fan since Master and Margarita. She has seen every show since, with the exception of two: Accidental Death (she had tickets for the night Karl got sick and she couldn't make it back when Grady took over) and The Beard of Avon (because she says she hates Shakespeare).

Louise got to the bar last night about 10 minutes to 7pm last night and was greeted by Jenny, Randy, Matt, Katherine Tripp and myself sitting in the upstairs room at Stetson's quietly coloring in stickers from the dollar store. She was early. She was planning to get there at around 7:15 and she missed the mark by about 25 minutes. But once she got there and got a Manhattan in her hand she started mingeling.

Alot of the time these events like the one we had last night turn into mutual appreciation society meetings. Actors, designers and directors standing around a bar looking at one another and wondering why they even stopped by since they saw these people at the last party they went to and they would probably see them again at the next party. But last night was cool because of folks like Louise.

She has been following our company for years now and here she is coming out to an event with people she only knows from watching them on stage or manning (I'm sorry, dear, personing the box office) and yet she somehow knew that this event and Rorschach in particular would welcome and her and all of the others who came last night who had never been on our stage or been forced to sit through a single designer run.

We sold some tickets to the benefit last night, we saw some old friends, and drank some drinks, but I think the best thing about last night is that we were reminded that there are people who come to our shows again and again because we are creating something that they enjoy! To all of you who have never missed a Rorschach show since you walked through our door, you are our kind of people and we'll drink with you any time.

Thanks Louise and I hope we can get the Rorschach bowling trip set up soon!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Only Chance to Save $30

Tonight in additon to the great company and stimulating conversation that are standard fare at any event sponsored by Rorschach Theatre, we are offering some things for your purchase and perusal.

In case you didn't know or have forgotten due to the intervening days since I last mentioned it, Rorschach will be hosting a gathering at Stetson's tonight at 7pm in the upstairs bar, 1610 U Street NW, Washington, DC .

This will be your one and only opportunity to purchase tickets to the Black & White Masquerade Benefit on May 10th. After tonight the minimum price for tickets for what promises to be a night of music, dancing and libations will run you $50. But tonight you pay $20 and you are in. That's right a fancy dress up party with finger food and a beer and wine bar for just $20.

Think about how much you would pay for something like that and you realize that it is cheap at $50 and insanely inexpensive at $20. No excuses, we are in Exile and we are taking neither excuses or prisoners as we make our way towards our summer at Georgetown.

See you tonight!

Friday, April 11, 2008

How I Want Rorschach to Turn Out In 50 Years

As many of you are aware in the morning I watch a half hour of Good Morning America before I got to work. What can I say I love me some Robin Roberts.

This morning they featured a group of 70+ folks who have a choir, Young@Heart. What makes these folks so special you may wonder? Well it is mostly their choice of songs, all rock, disco and punk. That's right grandparents singing The Ramones, Bee Gees, Springstein and Cold Play. There is a movie which has just come out in theatre's this week and I am looking forward to seeing it when I get a minute. Usually I am immune to the sentimentality of kittens, small children making funny faces and old folks singing, but for some reason this group makes me smile and cloud up a little.

I know that this has little to nothing to do with Rorschach and I should have found room for this entry on my own little used blog, but there is just something about these folks that reminds me of us as a Company. People who care about creating something and performing with every ounce of energy in their bodies to make others and themselves happy.

I hope that is big part of what Rorschach is about too. And in 50, or for some of us less, years I hope that the Rorschach Family come together and have as much fun as these folks are having. Here are two quick samples, but there are more on YouTube. I'm sure you are all smart enough to find them on your own.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Monday Night with Rorschach at Stetson's

See those guys in the picture. Both of them had their livers replaced after the World Premier of Behold!

I can only recommend that you avoid their mistake and drink responsibly. And if you are going to drink responsibly you should drink with friends. And who is more of a friend to you than your favorite theatre company beginning with an R.

Come to our special Rorschach in Exile Kick-Off event this Monday at 7pm in the glorious upstairs barroom of one of Jena Bush's favorite hang-outs (and I am not referring to what happened to her dress at the first inaugural ball) Stetson's on U Street, between 16th and 17th and just blocks away from the U Street Metro Station.

Stetson's is located at 1610 U Street NW, Washington, DC and we'll be upstairs. Bring your ID! If you have a fake ID I don't recommend trying it, but its up to you take a chance.

We will be offering fantastic discounts on some of our upcoming events and we promise to be entertaining. Really!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Rorschach Blog and Its Series of Show Plugs for Folks We Know and Love

There is a lot of great theatre in Washington, DC. And since I know that for some of you money can be tight and you can't always afford the high priced tickets at larger theatre's that produce the works of a certain playwright from Avon, I highly recommend that you go and see dog & pony's upcoming production of Cymbeline.

Why you may ask? Well there are a couple of good reasons and a one budgetary reason.

Good Reason #1: When the hell are you going to get a chance to see Cymbeline again any time soon? We all love the big name Shakespeare plays. It seems like a year doesn't go by without a depressed Dane or sword wielding Scotsman or two mixed up kids from Verona without finding their way onto DC's stages. But how often do you get to see this tale of Romans and Britains beating the crap out of one another?

If you love Shakespeare, and I think a lot of you do, you need to check this one off your list.

Good Reason #2: There are Rorschach folks in this thing. Well folks who will soon be appearing in The Skin of Our Teeth this summer. The show's director Wyckham Avery will be playing Mrs. Antrobus and cast members JJ Area and Becky Peters will all be on stage at Georgetown this summer.

And the Budgetary Reason: The tickets are just $15.

Follow this LINK for information on how to get tickets and such.

The show runs April 11th through April 27th, so don't miss it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Benefits and Stetsons

Here is another hint about what is happening May 10th. Well less of a hint really and more of a damn that is a fine looking post card image for the Black & White Masquerade Ball Announcement.

That's right the Rorschach Masquerade is back and better than ever. And you all have a chance to get a discounted ticket to one of the hottest open bar events of the year 2008.

If you can get your tail sections over to Stetsons on U Street this Monday, April 14th, you can not only be among the first people to purchase tickets to our swanky benefit but you can be one of the cheapest folks there as well. Tickets that would run you $50 will only run you $20. That's right for the price of a ride from Dupont Circle to Adams Morgan with a crooked cab driver you can spend the evening with Rorschach, a DJ and all the wine and beer you can drink.

You also get to wear a mask and some sweet dress that you have been saving to look particularly tasty in for the ladies (and some men) or a suit that you haven't worn since you were confirmed for the guys.

And if that weren't enough we will also be announcing the Theme for our next edition of Myth-Appropriations at Stetsons as well. What will it be?

This is a great time to be in Exile. You should really think about joining us as we rove the city like a pack of wild rabid hedge hogs looking for a home.

See you at Stetsons next Monday at 7pm. We'll be the ones upstairs making all of the noise!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Serotsky's In Flight, Afternoon Delight

See I made a Starland Vocal Band joke out of Shirley's last name. And who says puns aren't funny?

Anywho, here are the answers that Shirley gave to DC Theatre Scene for their feature on Helen Hayes Nominees. For further reading visit them HERE.

I read something somewhere that Shirley was concerned about sending them a picture. I personally think that Shirley couldn't take a bad picture if she tried. But I'm just the Moon what do I know?

Shirley Serotsky, Outstanding Director
References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Rorschach Theatre

Why this play?

I have wanted to work with Rorschach since I saw their production of LORD OF THE FLIES in 2002. I dig the gutsy, visceral work they do and Casa Del Pueblo is an exciting, provocative, challenging space to work in (may it rest in peace). Then I read the play. And it was stunning and beautiful and difficult and heart breaking. And daunting in the way that it combined a completely theatrical world with talking cats and dancing moons with the gritty, realistic, kitchen sink drama of two people who are totally in love but failing miserably at making that love work–trying desperately to come together and love each other again. And I thought it would be really hard to meld those two worlds without discounting either one of them. And the more I do this, the more I realize that the greater the challenge the greater the pay-off.

Most difficult scene

The quick answer is the sex scene, because it was the first time I’d directed an all out sex scene, and those are just tough–both technically and emotionally. Because it is such a personal thing and there you are putting it on stage. And the audience is two feet from Gabi and Andrew’s heads, and it might be your grandmother sitting in that seat. And where does Gabi throw her shirt so that she can find it later? And what happens when the wooden fence/bed creaks? And will they get splinters? And why does the damn sheet keep coming off the corners? As it turned out however, I think the two Benito/Gabriella scenes were simultaneously the hardest and the easiest to “get”. Because we can all connect with the relationship struggles that these people are going through, on some level we get that. We KNOW that. But because of that, it’s just not a fun place to go to for hours on end, night after night. And it was a challenge to find the shifts in the landscape of their argument, the rises and falls, the flare-ups and the moments of breath, so that it didn’t sound like one long rant.


I think the most surprising thing happened during auditions, and that was finding Gabriella in the first place. I’d had artistic directors of several theaters in the area say, “We thought about doing that play but were not sure we could ever cast it”. And here’s Rorschach, a small theater using all non-Equity actors, trying to do the play justice. And that meant finding actors for several of the roles that were, indeed, Latino. I knew Andrew was of Columbian descent and have admired his work for years, but I did not know if we would find an actress with the chops and background and spirit to play the role of Gabi, not to mention the fact that everyone in the play has to totally fall in love with her. And there was a somewhat exhaustive search. And then like, three people emailed me Gabriella’s info. And she came in and she tells us she’s of Puerto Rican decent, born there and raised here, and she’d lived in New York, and she’s gorgeous, and then she read the side and left the room and I think Randy and Jenny and I looked at each other and said, “We can’t let her leave the building. If we have to kidnap her and keep her here in Casa for eight weeks we will do that, but we have to have her in this play.”

Favorite moment

Ahhhhh. Hard question. I can’t pin it to just one. I loved the Moon’s tuneful serenading and melancholic speeches from up above. I loved the eerie moon-glow light when he landed on the ground (thanks Andrew and Connor). I loved the perfect tango music (thanks Matt!). I loved the look in Martin’s eyes when he was peeking over the fence. I loved the Moon/Martin fight with the belly check (thanks Grady). I loved Cat coming back from her torrid night out all rumpled and wheezy and then climbing into the cupboard. I loved many moments that Robbie Haye’s brilliant set made possible. I loved Coyote’s tight, tight jeans (thanks Pei) and his passionate howls and heart-broken ghost. And, okay, look, it got to a point where watching Benito and Gabi interact was so laden with charged moments that now, reading back over the script, I can’t pin just one. Seriously, I loved watching those two. Can you tell? I loved this cast, I loved my design team (and I have to thank Tim Getman for putting that together). And I have to also say, I couldn’t have done this show without guidance and wisdom from Jacqueline Lawton’s dramaturgical input and overall smarts and clear-headedness.

If you could work with anyone in the theatre, living or dead, who would it be and why?

This is also tough. It’s like that dinner party question–where you have to think, certain people made really awesome contributions to history and to the world–but would they be good conversationalists? Likewise here. Just because someone’s brilliant doesn’t mean they’d be fun to work with. But I had an a-ha moment while up in NY earlier this week.
I’d like to work with my twin brother, who is an actor. Because he’s smart and talented and we shared a womb. I mean, with the short hand (secret twin lingo, right?) we have I think it would at the very least save time. And that would definitely make it into my parent’s holiday newsletter. I mean, I hope. Mom?


CRUMBLE (LAY ME DOWN JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE) by Sheila Callaghan with Catalyst Theater Company, running May 7-June 7. And yes, JT does make an appearance. Several, in fact.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Once Again Someone Else Does the Work and I Write an Intro

Once again our friends over at DC Theatre Scene are running their second annual Getting Personal Feature. This is where they ask questions of the Helen Hayes Nominees and ask them about their roles/jobs, the shows they are nominated for and things that they found enjoyable about working on that show.

This year being our first double nominee year, I have asked permission to run both Gabi and Shirley's contributions to the Feature. Today Gabi tomorrow Shirley.

I would also like to add for as much love as both of these women throw Rorschach's way, it is returned 10 fold by the Company and 20 fold by the blogger.

If you want to read about numerous other nominees follow visit DC Theatre Scene with this LINK. Enjoy!

Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey, Outstanding Lead Actress

Gabby in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot

The character

Well she has a great name. ;-) and is intensely alive in her dreams. We meet her full of doubt…alone. Still we know she is a fierce woman. She conjures people, animals, elements and planetary bodies….she counts them as her friends…sometimes enemies….always companions. She’s earthy, sexy, bold and wise. I love her very much.

In response to one of Rorschach’s blog questions asking which of the characters would win in an ultimate deathmatch (I love Rorschach), the playwright Jose Rivera responded that it would be Gabby. awww yeah. But really, who else could….she is fighting for life and love. She is fighting to maintain faith. and though we understand that she is facing the most formidable enemy… the shadow of death and war that have eclipsed the hearts of both her and her husband…we want to believe….like she does…that it is possible and necessary to leave the desert and find a way back to fertile soil.


Well almost the entire play is in her mind (possibly)…so that helps….I listened to the words. and understood how she talked to the moon. and looked across our cracked wood desert to her husband coming in from the darkness, and her cat crawling out into coyote wild unknowns. I watched as her young neighbor climbed back over to his side of the fence; and her friend the moon said his final goodbye. It was all there. All the actors, designers, Shirley [Serostsky, Director]..had brought to life Gabriela’s most intimate landscape. So I had it easy….i just had to listen and be in the world around me. and I understood her doubt…her questioning. The ground had shifted underneath her feet. Her sky had been blown apart.


Not a what…as much as a who surprised me. life is beautiful that way.

Favorite moment

Benito’s final entrance. without a doubt. at the end we circle back and can begin again….maybe.
And also the top….walking onstage in darkness (semi-darkness on matinee days) while Scott took his lunar position on top of the refrigerator and the audience hushed awaiting…laying down on my back in the stillness of their hush and watching the stars in the shattered sky turn on….”fly me to the moon” begins to croon.

Favorite Performances

Performances in The Unmentionables and Solas Nua’s Made in China were fantastic…brave and fun. Andrew Price and Clay Steakley, as the brothers Dukes and Bones in Inkwell’s Underground, were something to behold …“We two is brothers till the lord calls us home.”


Wrapping up the incredible Stunning experience….stunning-stay no doubt. and looking forward to being home for awhile…having more time to develop some work with friends…play.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

They Write Blogs So I Don't Have To

I don't know if you know this but I was kidding yesterday. It was an April fools prank! Rorschach never did a show called King Kong: The Musical. I wrote it and Jesse Terrill scored it but Jenny and Randy just won't produce it.

The zoo stuff is all true though. Or is it?

Enough of those shenanigans and on to some real honest to goodness blogging, which in this case involves me directing you to someone else's blog.

As you are aware at this point Rorschach is very excited to be working on a new piece by "hot young" playwright Jason Grote. I put the hot and young in quotes because I am sure on some level Jason is as sick of that term as Rorschach is of the terms scrappy and shoestring.

The first show of our season in Exile will be Jason's play This Storm is What We Call Progress. I have had trouble really boiling this show down in synopsis but there is someone out there who has done a pretty sweet job of it.

August Schulenburg (look mom he spells his name with an "sch" just like we do) who seems to be my opposite number at the Flux Theatre (actually Flux seems to have a whole crew of my opposite number, go figure) has given the show a pretty thorough run down after their company reading of the show last Sunday night in NYC.

To read his quite excellent run down and even a shout out to DC audiences to come see the Rorschach production in June, follow this LINK to the Flux Theatre Blog.

And if you want to spend some quality time with our playwright before you see Storm you can always visit Jason Grote's always entertaining blog HERE.

Remember theatre blogging is the new pink so get on board.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


In a bold move Rorschach has announced that after their Summer in Exile at Georgetown they will have found a new performance space at The National Zoo.

This brings to an end months of speculation as to where this theatre company would be flinging their unique brand of theatre.

Co-Artistic Director Randy Baker tells the blog that approaching The National Zoo about a residency was a no- brainer.

"Think about it, dude! The location, the metro accessibility, the prairie dogs! Where else should we be?"

Jenny McConnell Frederick, Rorschach's other Co-Artistic Director said the idea came out of some of Rorschach's earlier work.

"The Hairy Ape, Rhinoceros and King Kong: The Musical these early works helped define who we were as a company. This is a return to our animalistic roots and we get to spend some time at the zoo."

The planned space is currently an over-grown enclosure at the top of the hill path that leads down to the sea lions. Once used to house bears and a particularly wiley coyote the enclosure would serve as a perfect out door amphitheater for any number of classical and modern plays.

Director of Marketing, Scott McCormick, says that the company is considering numerous works to inaugurate the new space.

"Right now we are trying to decide whether to take obvious approach and go with animal themed shows; Birds, Frogs, or the little performed Greek Tragedy, Scabies. Or should we look with subtler zoo connections like The Glass Menagerie or Evita. We think musicals will be an option if we can just keep the howler monkeys from going off every time they hear a middle-C."