Saturday, February 28, 2009


All photos by Colin Hovde and Ross Lindsay
For more photos, click here

Friday, February 27, 2009


Once upon a time we started the improbable journey of creating theatre. With a lot of energy and little common sense we plunged into our first real season in 2000/2001. Come Spring we had produced two shows and were starting to wise up to the idea that ticket sales alone would not carry us through the rest of the year.

Thus was born our first fundraiser. The infamous Cinco De Mayo party in May of 2001, held in my old living room on Willard Street. We auctioned off Tim Getman, the police arrived and honestly that was only the beginning.

Here's a little sample of how crazy it got:

As with all things early on, our hearts were in the right place and we had a lot of fun bringing together the community that surrounded Rorschach Theatre.
Fast forward to February 14th, 2009. Over 100 people joined us at the warm and intimate Studio Gallery. Magic Hat Brewing Company, Dogfish Head Ales and sponsored the event and though no one got naked, the evening was no less fun. We raised money through admission and through our Silent auction which had over 20 items ranging from Hotel Stays to jewelry to an afternoon of high tea.

We also announced our season, which you can learn a little more about here.
We'll be talking a lot more about that in the coming weeks.

But most importantly we spent the evening getting to know our community. Our wonderful and weird group of donors and fans, company members and board members, audience and admirers. Becuase building our tribe is the most important thing we can do - whether it be a kegger in my old group house or a fun and fabulous formal evening with fancy beer, wine and cheese.

Our community helps us to grow financially and challenges us to stretch artistically. And egaging that community is important, lest we forget who we are.

And that is why we party.

In the next entry we'll post some pictures of the Fete. But if you can't wait, click here to take a gander at our picassa album.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Games with fire...

Deb Sivigny (Costume Designer Extraordinaire and Resident Company Member): Not only is she the benefit chair for our FIRE OF LOVE FETE, but she is also a lover of crosswords. Hopefully I'm not giving away a dark secret when I say that she is usually involved in doing 3 or 4 crosswords on any given day.

I say this as an introduction to her fabulous and fun FETE-THEMED WORD PUZZLE that that she created for you, our loyal blog readers...

FIRE OF LOVE FETE Fill-in-the-Blank!

Guess who?

Cabot _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ Hat Brewery
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ Head Brewery

Silent auction donors:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ The Gym
Pleasure _ _ _ _ _
C _ _ duroy
S_ y _ ear
_ _ 89
T_ _ism
_ _ _ _ _ _ Yoga Dupont
_otel _elix

And many more!
Start getting excited!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Links to Linkins: Our Blogger that we Share with the World

Well, folks been a while since I sat down to write an entry and I am going to work on changing that as soon as possible.

In the meantime I wanted to share a little piece on Rorschach Company member and all around fantastic guy Jason Linkins.

Washingtonian Magazine's blog has run a profile on Jason, because of his work on the blog Eat-the-Press.

Jason as many of you know is a master blogger in the realm of politics and pop culture, but when he wants to show his softer side he comes home to Rorschach.
HERE is the link to the whole interview, in addition to his musings on Bob Scheiffer and bad restraunts in the Downtown DC area, I just wanted to commend Jason for remembering his family at Rorschach in his answers:

Favorite thing to do when you’re not reading or writing about the media:

“I’m an associate company member at Rorschach Theatre in DC, and I enjoy participating in all aspects of production from acting in shows to helping out with production or big PR pushes. Putting up a piece of professional theater is an audacious undertaking, and there are always those all-hands-on-deck moments where you have to solve a problem or push through a ton of work to survive and thrive. I get to do that with some of my best friends in the city. It’s intense and often insane, but at the end of the day you’ve done something meaningful with people you love and respect. And even if no one else gets that, it hardly matters—you’re a part of a very special brotherhood.”

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


On Saturday night we moved a little farther down Queen Street to see Praxis Theatre’s adaptation of Camus’ Stranger. The space felt a little like an old-time western arcade with a wooden gallery surrounding the large open room. The audience entered on the gallery level and circled the entire performance area before descending into it where there was an alley seating arrangement and a bare stage.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Camus – his nihilism often frustrates me – but the show was a pretty terrific adaptation that seemed written to match the bodies of the performers involved. The storytelling was fast paced and choreographed with intricate precision as it moved backward and forward in time swirling around a man on the eve of an execution. It was as if his mind was left to run amok in the room. From reading descriptions I thought the ensemble acting would remind me of what we do at Rorschach, but strangely I found myself thinking of some of Catalyst Theater’s shows – Arturo Ui and 1984 come to mind.

Looking up information it seems like they did an adaptation of Master and Margarita with eight actors in 2006. Lest some of you forget, our infamous production of Master and Margarita seemed to create more war stories than anything we’ve produced. Some day we need to do a series of blog entries on the stories that came out of that production. Watching Praxis perform I have no doubt they were the theatre to tackle the story.

A tangent. Because I love tangents.
It’s strange to see so many theatres our size doing one or two shows a year. They seem to spend many months and sometimes years preparing for their events. It makes me wonder if we here on the edge of Washington Theatre spend too much time rushing to legitimacy, falling into a typical 4-show season, selling subscriptions and the like. I’d like to think that what we do at Rorschach Theatre as atypical, but we’ve also never really thought about varying the model of the season.

The trip to Toronto was a smashing success. Check on back here tomorrow for some final musings on the trip. And then on Thursday we will start focusing our posts on the party none of you want to miss – THE FIRE OF LOVE FETE.


Torontonians will not be deterred by weather.

Snow and cold come what may, we walked through bustling streets, overflowing shops and bulging restaurants. Floors wet with the dirty snow of a million boots being stamped as they entered, Toronto seemed to barely register the subzero temperatures and the snowy sky.

Here’s how crazy-wonderful Torontonians are: they have a festival in the dead of winter called Winter City where they have performances and events OUTDOORS. It feels as much an act of endurance as anything else. We happened upon a cirque-like performance that blew us away (see the picture on the right)

After the stilt walkers was a salsa band. I can only imagine them thinking, “we’re a long way from South America…”

All of this is to say that what seemed to us like arctic blizzards had no effect on the attendance of the theatre we saw. We may have caught shows on popular nights, but every show was overflowing with patrons, spilling crowds out doors into the wet, snowy nights.

One of those shows was a Friday night performance at Theatre Passe Muraille, a space just off the vibrant and eclectic bustle of Queen Street. You Fancy Yourself was a one-woman show created by Contrary Company and was a “guest production” at the theatre. The theatre is housed in a cool old space - a designated historical building – that feels a little like an old brick school house.

Passe Muraille means to pass through walls and speaks to the company’s mission to “work collaboratively with fresh voices and new partnerships.” We got our tickets and went around the corner to their second space to see the result of one of those partnerships.

You Fancy Yourself by solo performer and playwright Maja Ardal was a multi-character, fast paced juggernaut of a show in which she slipped in and out of characters with ferocity. It was an interesting take on the nuances of playground politics thru the eyes of a little girl--a transplant from Iceland to Scotland. The multi-layered one-woman performance was funny, emotional, filled with songs and stories, often drawing from fairy tales and myths. The playground became a battleground of sorts, reminiscent of Icelandic sagas, full of violence and pride. Ardal's story was universal enough to draw the audience in, yet her experiences were unique enough to keep it interesting - a strange and haunted immigrant who is always on the outside looking in.

Because we're so behind on blog posts for our trip, I'm going to post our next entry in mere moments!