Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Living Dead: Now in 3-D

I don't think we ever shared the video trailer for LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK with our blog readers. Check it out below. Thanks to Lee Liebiskind and Grady Weatherford for their awesome camera work and editing.

Remember, there's only ONE MORE WEEKEND... so get your tickets now by clicking here and find out more about the show by clicking here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blogging in hell...

We're coming to you tonight, live blogging from Haydees in mount pleasant. Over the green margaritas and tastey burritos we're rehashing the wonders of our mythic night. Luquecious Grote, combative Callaghan, infernal Baker and bloody bloody Nguyen brought us four world premiere 15 minute epics with more stage combat, original music and creepy mask work in one night than you get at most theatres in a whole season.

Randy's Geeking out on sandman here so i can't get him to chime in but Monalisa would like to say "f$&k you Danny!" and then to say just how much she enjoyed working on the LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK set.

Catherine and Akiva are having a conversation that's probably not blog appropriate, but we're all really sorry that Akiva fell down on the job.

In entirely unrelated news just for the record--the RT Matchmaking service is still in full swing--even branching into a new demographic this summer. Hooray!

Friday, August 14, 2009

MYTHappropriationVI: Day 4: Beowulf, Tarantino and Gobots

You may notice that there was no posting for Day 3. Well we're non-linear and that's just how we roll.

It's an exciting weekend at Rorschach...

1) Last weekend for DEAD CITY - only 3 shows remain of Sheila Callaghan's remarkable, electric play. Don't miss this show...
2) It's zombie night night tonight for LIVING DEAD - come dressed as a zombie and get five bucks off your ticket!
3) And of course 2 showings of MYTH APPROPRIATION: 15-minute epics. Beowulf meets Tarantino, The Mahabharata meets punk rock, the gates of hell open on earth. You can get your tickets to MYTHap and all our shows by clicking here now.

But for now, let's have Yasmin Tuazon release her inner blogger. Yasmin - Rorschach company member, Scheherezade in 1001, and cast member in RESEVOIR WULFS, Qui Nguyen's adaptation of BEOWULF, just one of the 5 plays premiering in MYTHappropriation this Sunday...


Greetings from a holding cell someplace in southern California. The Feds won't really specify where we are.

Let me say - and I know this is a controversial issue in contemporary American theater - that every rehearsal process should include some Tarantino. Qui Nguyen, author of the zombie-tastic Living Dead in Denmark (still running thru Aug. 23), has filled a longstanding hungry void in theater with his mini-epic, Reservoir Wulfs.

Because who was the biggest bad-ass of the mead hall? You bet your Fruit Brute that it was Beowulf. Picture it. Some wannabe gangster - calls himself Grendel - busts into your syndicate and starts eating your men. And I'm not metaphorical here. Literally. Eating. Your men. Now these were the days before the semi-automatic weapon, so typical defense protocols of the time were not equipped to deal with a monster who eats motherfuckers. They had to call in a specialist.

Enter Beowulf, with a sword worthy of Hattori Hanzo and the skills to back it up. Someone willing to go medieval on Grendel's ass, before the Middle Ages even existed, and tear off Grendel's arm. (This isn't confirmed in the actual text, but they say that Beowulf took the arm home, hung it over his entertainment system and used it to display hunting knives.) Someone willing to go to the bottom of a lake and behead Grendel's mom. Shit that makes the Yakuzi syndicate and the Crazy 88s look like a cupcake party.

Now if you were to look to who produces the Beowulfs and revenge epics of today, it's Quentin Tarantino. But as we know, bad-ass is not just something you put on like a pair of bedroom slippers. It's a way of life. So director Akiva Fox could have been content to let us watch some clips of Kill Bill , Reservoir Dogs , Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown on YouTube. No. That's not Akiva's style. I saw him shoot three dudes in the face on the way to rehearsal. If we were gonna do this thing, we were gonna do it.

We started with a taste of Reservoir Dogs, which serves as the main inspiration for Qui's masterpiece, and cut up some poor schmuck to a soul-stirring classic in an empty warehouse. Except in the spirit of Beowulf, we cut off his arm as well as his ear. Then we took him to the bottom of a lake and cut off his head. Let me tell you, wielding knives in water is not easy. But body disposal and evidence removal, supremely efficient. The real Wolf (aka Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction) would have been proud.

Then we went for breakfast. I had pancakes. Cesar had eggs over easy, turkey sausage and biscuits. Jenna had creamed chipped beef on wheat toast. Akiva had the Greek omelet special with home fries. We talked some shit and tried to feel good about our work. But somehow, we were unsatisfied.

That was when Akiva realized - and this is why he's the director - we were going through the motions of some bad-ass shit without capturing the inner lives of the characters. That's why the dialogue sounded flat as we tore that dude up. And thus, we all embarked upon what I suppose you would call - a spiritual quest.
Jenna Sokolowski, aka Sister Girl, is in Japan on a samurai sword/motorcycle intensive. She has to slice her way back to the States. Last I heard, she'd gotten through Osaka. She recommends the yakitori there.

Cesar Guadamuz, aka Mister Mister, is running some unspecified, um, business out of a dive bar in Nevada. But the last message he left was something about having pissed off the leader of a cocaine ring, and he was on his way to "sort some shit out," along with the address of a storage unit in case we don't hear from him within 72 hours.

I, your Lady Hotness, was on my way back from my third - yes, third - run of gun money from Cabo to LAX. Viva Aeromexico. Please fasten your seatbelts and I will be around shortly with a selection of soft drinks. But damned if they didn't get me in customs.

And Akiva, aka The Director, is procuring an impressive selection of first edition Go-Bots. As impressive as Go-Bots can be, anyway. [EDITOR: for Gobots reference, see video below]

So who knows if any of us will actually make it back for the performance on Sunday night. But if we do, there's gonna be blood, it's gonna be bad-ass, and we're gonna inner life the shit out of it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MYTHappropriationVI: Day 2: Love, War and a blue Karl Miller

MYTHappropriation VI is in full swing with rehearsals happening throughout the city. All in preparation for the big night Sunday when we unleash these world premieres on the world. With plays by Jason Grote, Sheila Callaghan, Qui Nguyen, Randy Baker and Brett Abelman, you will not be disappointed.

Guest Blogger Catherine Tripp joins us today. She is directing MAHABHRATA: A LOVE STORY, Sheila Callaghan's 15-minute adaptation of the great Indian Epic, The Mahabhrata.
Get your tickets NOW and don't miss a minute of this remarkable event.

And if you're in the mood for more Sheila Callaghan, don't miss DEAD CITY, just about to begin its final weekend.


Hey there blog readers,

Catherine Tripp here to tell you about the exciting first rehearsal of The Mahabharata: A love story. It was so much fun that I clearly forgot to blog on time. However It stars the amazing talents of Karl Miller, Monalisa Arias and Danny Rivera. Karl is playing the blue God himself Krishna and Monalisa and Danny play two cousins out for blood.

We spent most of our first rehearsal figuring out the percussion section and the very long fight sequence. With a little creepy mask work thrown in for good measure. The story is one of love and war and the part the Gods play. (or it is just a crazy kick ass 15 minutes of fun) My talented cast has drummed their way into my heart as I have no doubt that they will drum their way into yours on Sunday night. While I don't have any pictures of Karl Krishna Vishnu, please enjoy the picture of Krishna at war. And please come to see Myth Appropriations VI.

1001: Big in Tehran

During the run of 1001 Jason Grote and I did an interview for the persian edition of Voice of America. Through the power of youtube, all of you can share the program that played througout Iran and the persian speaking world...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MYTHappropriationVI: Day 1: Cheese, Grapes, Oreos and Epic Love

MYTHappropriationVI is here! And guest Blogger Megan Reichelt is here to tell you about our first day... Megan is one of the actors in the Divine Comedy adaptation, directed by Jenny McConnell Frederick and written by yours truly.

Sunday, August 16 the whole thing goes up with world premiere plays from Jason Grote, Sheila Callaghan and Qui Nguyen! Also featured is the afforementioned play by myself and the winner of the Audience Choice Award from Sunday's MYTHappropriation V!

So get your tickets now for MYTHappropriation: 15-minute epics! And if you haven't seen Sheila Callaghan's DEAD CITY, this weekend is YOUR LAST CHANCE. You don't want to miss this remarkable play.

I now give over the reins to Megan...


We had a fantastic first read! We gathered in the Divine Theatre, munching the theatre artist's staple foods (Cheese, Grapes, and Oreos) in the shadow of the Magic-Lantern-Like New York City set. This MythApp takes actors, directors, and WRITERS (!) from this season and shoves them off on an Epic journey through danger, hardships, and wonders to explore the mystical land of... well, Epics!

And let me tell you, each of these plays were Epic in different ways. Jason Grote's (1001) play about the Aeneid was Epic in labyrinthine oration. A feat of vocal prowess by Scott McCormick! Shiela Callaghan's (Dead City) piece was Epic in her use of the actor's talents! Every single one of the special skills they listed on their information sheets (including "creepy mask work") are used in her home version of the familial battles in the Mahabharata. Randy Baker (Artistic Director of Rorschach) shifted the camera of The Divine Comedy to focus less on Dante, and more on another, grander story of 1/3 of a canine's Epic journey to reunite lost love and un-destroy the world. Qui Nguyen (Living Dead in Denmark) lived up to all expectations in dishing up some Epic Beowulf violence.... Tarentino Style. Finally, the winner of last week's Myth Appropriations V Audience Pick fit right at home with the rest of the Epics as Brett Abelman pieced together hundreds of stories (while incorporating every theme of this mythapp AND last mythapp AND the current season) to form his version of Sinbad's journey (and his quarrel with an old man and his fight with monkeys, and possibly his encounter with a giant egg).

We then broke off into different groups, with our provisions of cheese, grapes, and Oreos, each setting out on our own epic journeys into the particular mystery that was our play. All in all, a very exciting night, which ended appropriately and epically, with thunder and lighting.

On a personal note: I get to sing!!

Epic Love,

Megan Reichelt

Monday, August 10, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Last Night's Myth-Appropriation Round V included a brand new component--The Audience Choice Award. 100+ Audience members used Rorschach's state-of-the-art, tamper-proof cup system to vote for their favorite play of the evening.

Voting results were tabulated and varified by the firm of Tuazon & Tuazon. Garnering nearly 1/3 of the audience vote was The Old Man of The Sea of Stories written by Brett Abelman and directed by Lean Hamos. This one-week-old wonder will be remouted this Sunday at Myth-Appropriation VI along with world premiere plays by Jason Grote, Sheila Callaghan, Qui Nguyen and Randy Baker.

In addition to the Audience Choice Award, your friends here at the RT Blog have also awarded some superlatives to this fantastic crop of new plays havested on Sunday night. (...wow, farm imagery...don't see that here too often.)

Colin Hovde's The Robot's Possession

Brett Abelman's The Old Man of The Sea of Stories

John Newman's Pagans & Primatives

Stephen Spotswood's Sailors, Sorcery & Soccer Moms

Shaun Raviv's You'd Can't Forget A Tree

Seamus Sullivan's Love & Theft

Huge congrats to everyone involved and to a big thanks to all of you who came to check them out.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

MYTHappropriationV: Day 6: Ali Baba meets the Cohen Brothers

TONIGHT! at 6pm and 8pm! There will be zombies. There will be monkeys. There will be Robots. You don't want to miss a minute of MYTHappropriation: Tales from the Edge of the World. Get your tickets here!

But before you do, lets check in with our last group of MYTHap-ers and hear from guest blogger Seamus Sullivan, the writer of LOVE & THEFT. With his play Seamus is bringing a little bit of Cohen Brothers to Rorschach. Ya gotta check it out. If for nothing else than to see what grisly things backyard grills can be used for...

If my experience was typical, my generation's exposure to Ali Baba was filtered through Disney's Aladdin and an old episode of Wishbone and perhaps the occasional children's book. These versions of the story, intended as they are for kids, generally deliver their share of "open sesames" but skimp on the greed, vendettas and cold-blooded mass slaughter that keep the original tale spookily relevant.

Here's a short refresher: Ali Baba, kicked out of the family business by his grasping brother Kassim, is out foraging when he spies the eponymous 40 thieves concealing treasure in their secret cave using the magic words "open sesame". After they leave, he enters the cave, appropriates some treasure, and skeddadles. Eventually he spills the secret of the cave to Kassim, who greedily dashes to the cave and fills his pockets, but forgets the magic words and is trapped inside.

Here's where things get interesting. The thieves return, cut Kassim to pieces and nail them above the cave entrance as a warning. When Ali Baba takes the pieces down to give them a proper burial, the thieves realize that he too knows about the cave and must be silenced. The thieves, who are pretty inept at killing anybody unless he's a nitwit who can't remember two words and basically turns up in their living room, try to follow Ali Baba home and slaughter his household through increasingly elaborate means, finally disguising themselves as an oil merchant's wares and smuggling themselves into his home in barrels. This prompts Morgiana, a clever slave girl in Ali Baba's household, to straight up murder the forty thieves by pouring boiling oil into their barrels.
What is it about Ali Baba that prompts Morgiana to roll up and commit mass murder on his behalf? How far would each of us go to defend our home from invaders? This was the kind of thing director Karl Miller and I set out to explore with my take on the Ali Baba story, Love and Theft. We may not have been able to answer all the above questions completely, but I think we can offer you what few other plays in the DC metro area will: a glorious barbeque fight.

MYTHappropriationV: Day 5: Zombies are people too

Guest blogger Matt Ripa joins us today... sorry to be posting it a day after he wrote it! Matt is directing NARCISSE, John Newman's adaptation of a real honest-to-god true Zombie story...

Get your tickets now for MYTHappropriation, playing TONIGHT at 6pm and 8pm and before you come see it, stop by either DEAD CITY or LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK. You can see a show and MYTHap in one trip to Georgetown! Get your tickets here.

Being a zombie sucks. Really. Having to travel all over the world searching for brains to eat. In our zombie story, Claire has been wandering for 16 years searching for her sister, the only person who can verify that her story is real. Suprisingly enough, this play is based on a true story in Haiti, in which a man was pronounced dead, buried and then many years later, he shows up looking for his sister. It was confirmed that he was actually dead and his death certificate was signed by his sister. Here he is, Clarivius Narcisse.

Check out the story here,
Rehearsals have been going great. Our team has been tasting and trying a lot of different zombie powders and soul powders. It turns out that FunDip is the best for soul powder. This came after some pretty hilarious trials with Sour Patch Kids powder. Tech today went really well and the artistic/tech team was awesome. The cue to cue went smooth and we are excited about the shows tomorrow.

Friday, August 07, 2009

MYTHappropriationV: Day 4:Illusion and Addiction

Left the theatre last night after showings of both DEAD CITY and LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK and there were two rehearsals for MYTHappropriations just beginning. If nothing else, the sheer lack of sleep on this project will make for some exciting work!

Today we hear from Guest blogger Josh Goode, Director of Shaun Raviv's YOU CAN'T FORGET A TREE. Josh was also the Assistant Director on LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK!

Tickets for DEAD CITY, LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK, and both rounds of MYTHappropriation can be purchased by clicking here.


What do the Odyssey, an elaborate series of Illusions, and a drug addict all have in common?

All things being explored in Shaun Ravivs, “You Can’t Forget a Tree”, an exciting adaptation of the Myth of the Sirens Song premiering at Mythappropriations V! For those of you who are eagerly waiting this round of Myths turned on their heads, here’s a little preview of what we’ve been up to exploring Shaun’s exciting new work.

Shaun’s adaptation shifts the focus of the myth of the sirens and shows us the world of someone whose been trapped and can’t escape. Much like a modern day drug addict, Odie, the tragic center of our story is plagued by an itch he can’t scratch and a thirst he can’t quench, the yearning to hear the sirens song one last time and we all know what happens when the Siren gets her grasp on a young man. The chore of keeping him from delving back into that addictive melody falls on his sisters Laurel and Perry, but like any other drug, it isn’t that easy to quit.

There’s the summery, and we’ve been having a great time with it. We spent most of Wednesday exploring the text and connecting to the ideas of the play. We lucked out in that our playwright gave us a piece that fits well within the time limit, giving us the freedom to stretch out certain moments. For a quick 10 piece however, it packs a whole ton of questions for us to piece together for our own understanding. After a very quick chatting session, we jumped up to our feet and started to find the best ways to express the various rich elements of the script. The highlight of the night was watching our big and strong cast member Theo, who is playing the Siren addicted Odie, being held back by the two significantly smaller women playing his sisters. I think he might have been holding back or we might have had significantly more injuries. As the night went on it seemed like with every turn we found a new question, until eventually we started to wonder….what if the Siren wasn’t really the bad guy?

And for the answer to that, we’ll see you Sunday.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

MYTHappropriationV: Day 3: Sinbad and Monkeys

As promised, a posting from guest blogger Leah Hamos, director of Brett Abelman's THE OLD MAN OF THE SEA OF STORIES...

And don't forget! The weekend begins tonight! DEAD CITY and LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK are playing tonight, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you haven't seen these remarkable shows you don't want to miss the chance. In fact, if you come to one of the matinees on Sunday you can see one of the shows AND MYTHappropriationV all in one day!


Hi again to everyone investigating the inner world of MythAppropriations V! Today, we’re tackling the story of the Fifth Voyage of Sinbad which involves all sorts of weird things such as the Old Man of the Sea, a humongous egg and a city of man-eating monkeys. So you might ask how we could pull them all together into an adaptation of such a crazy myth! Well that’s been a struggle for our playwright, Brett Abelman this week. Brett was particularly drawn to the image of the Old Man of the Sea who entangles himself with Sinbad, unwilling to let go and leave Sinbad alone.

For Brett, this image inspired a connection to a father/son relationship as they wear each other down throughout their lives. Sounds a bit depressing but it, in fact, seemed a bit familiar – and therefore tremendously funny! – to everyone in our first read on Tuesday night. The father spins wild tales calling upon our story’s Arabian Nights and Scheherazade origins to inspire him with a multitude of narrators, characters and far-off places. I worry that if I continue, I will give away too much about our story and the many fun ways it will twist and turn.

So I’ll tell you a bit about what it has been like to launch into rehearsing and actually trying to direct the piece. Brett brought a final script to the table at tonight’s rehearsal. As a group we started to piece apart the many characters that Brett has three out of four of our actors playing (Al as the father will remain the same throughout) and build a longer arc and understanding of the piece as a whole. We read the play and timed it, looking for cuts. Read the play, timed it, and discussed. As our understanding of the piece grew, we decided to take a stab at putting the play on its feet and I think we were all incredibly surprised at how different – and alive! – the piece felt in doing so. Ian’s feel of the Son character was greater as he dealt with the weight of his father’s presence (like Sinbad with the Old Man). The interplay of the monkeys – you knew they would come back to haunt you! – felt fun but also so tangible and real, with a story of their own. Absurd, right? Well we’ve included a few snapshots of some rehearsals – we’re not sure they tell a story in 2D, but hopefully we’ve excited you just a bit!

We’re eager to get on the LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK set – all those levels to play with! – and really explore over the weekend. Should provide for some interesting playing space…

I’ll leave you with a Sinbad joke.

What did Sindbad eat when he was washed up on a desert island?

He ate all the sand which is there. (Sandwiches!)

See you all on Sunday! Leah

MYTHappropriationV: Day 3: Nooks and Crannies

Last night the rehearsals began and today we have pictures from every corner of the city as our intrepid actors rehearsed in nooks and crannies throughout. How Emily Levin got to all these rehearsals to take pictures will remain a mystery...

Later today we will be hearing from guest blogger Leah Hamos, director THE OLD MAN OF THE SEA OF STORIES, Brett Abelman's adaptation of Sinbad's 5th journey. But for now, enjoy the pictures!

ABOVE: Actors get all serious and stuff during the workshop on Tuesday night. Note the white board in the background with all the groups chosen a mere 24 hours before.

LEFT: Actors rehearse for NARCISSE by John Newman, taking place in an office in Capitol Hill

RIGHT: Karl Miller directs rehearsal for LOVE AND THEFT by Seamus Sullivan. In addition to the detail of directing from an ACTUAL DIRECTING CHAIR, you will note the location is a a loading dock. Rorschach Theatre has a long proud tradition of rehearsing in loading docks. Near dumpsters.

LEFT: The cast of PARALYSIS by Colin Hovde. You will notice a running theme of monkeys and other anthropomorphic fun throughout our journey...

ABOVE: More of the previously-mentioned monkeys. This time in rehearsal for THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA OF STORIES by Brett Abelman.

RIGHT: And some anthroporphic pigs. Rehearsing in a Woodley Park living room for SAILORS, SORCERY AND SOCCER MOMS by Stephen Spotswood.
Tickets are still available for MYTH-APPROPRIATION: Tales from the edge of the world. Get them now by calling 1-800-494-TIXS or get them online by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

MYTHappropriationV: Day 2: Love and Swine

Last night was the workshop for MYTHappropriationV and let me tell you, we've got some crazy plays this time around. Man-Eating Monkeys, Pig-Sailors, Zombies and death by bacon grease... it's going to be a wild ride. Don't miss a minute of it... get your tickets for MYTHappropriation now!

Today's post comes from Hunter Styles, director of SAILORS, SORCERY AND SOCCER MOMS, Stephen Spotswood's adaptation of the Circe Myth:

When is a man not a man? When he's a pig!

But aren't all men pigs? It's one of many questions that playwright Stephen Spotswood is puzzling out as he adapts the myth of Circe for the Rorschach stage.

You remember Circe? That enchantress of the rocks, that Greek femme fatale that lured Odysseus and his crew to shore, got them drunk, hosted a wild orgy, then started turning sailors into swine? A mean way to break up a party, but when the rum barrel runs dry I guess there's only so much left to try before the magic wand comes out.

K. Clare Johnson is our Circe incarnate, and she's joined by fellow actors Christian Sullivan, Julia Proctor, and John Tweel in Spotswood's take on the tale. Last night we spent a while reading the script, chatting about the ways in which the contemporary mashes up with the mythic (always a plus in adaptations) and we finished off the night in a table workshop with Randy Baker himself, alongside a veritable thinktank of other directors, writers, and designers.

To report what we're up to would be a crime, especially for an 8-12 minute show, but you may have guessed that there will be some zoomorphic plot twists, some blurring of the lines between human and animal... some "ensorcelling," if you will, and a bit of a power struggle among those with the power to piggify and those without.

Over the next few nights we'll be rehearsing in a living room in Woodley Park. The neighbors might wonder who's thumping around and casting the spells next door, but that's a price we're willing to pay. Our next-door antics might even intrigue them enough to join us in the Gonda Theatre on Sunday.

Stephen went on an epic journey of his own last night in creating Draft 2 of our show. Now it's time to stand it up and see what happens. Join us on Sunday evening for the bizarre and hilarious final product!

Love and swine,
Hunter Styles

TWITTERING a zombie revolution

Rorschach Theatre has discovered twitter.

To follow us, head on over to http://twitter.com/rorschachdc. You don't even have to join twitter to get a sense of the cool things that are being posted by our conspirators! Below are some excerpts from our live tweeting during opening night of LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK.
(SPOILER ALERT! The live coverage gives away major plot points and twists!)
Oh and the times are PST for some reason...

1:04 PM Living Dead in Denmark opens tonight! One of our conspirators will be tweeting about the Un-Dead LIVE! Starting @ 7pm.
3:39 PM The zombie army is having one last fight call before opening night!
4:07 PM hoards of the living are gathering in the lobby of the Gonda Theater for Living Dead in Denmark.
4:11 PM body bags hang over the stage... a soundtrack of screams and cracking bones... thats just the pre show!
4:13 PM we begin....
4:17 PM "where the fuck am I!?"
4:21 PM Ophelia and the Gravedigger are gettin' down... he feels ya Ophelia...
4:26 PM Lady M has a mighty fine axe and Juliet looks great in pig tails.
4:31 PM zombie death count: 5
4:37 PM "your mission...seek out and kill the zombie lord..."
4:44 PM Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Un-Dead.
4:53 PM "get thee to a bomb shelter!"
4:55 PM was that the theme to Doogie Howser?
5:00 PM Zombie death count: 12
5:14 PM Make that 13... and so ends Act 1.
5:15 PM Act 2: "And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest...BITCH!"
5:21 PM Bond....Hamlet Bond...?
5:28 PM Ophelia has such bad luck with men.
5:34 PM "And thats what I call a plot twist!"
5:45 PM Finally we have an answer to that age old question: which is more badass ninjas or zombies?
5:47 PM Shakespeare's witches and monsters are just misunderstood.
5:55 PM Fortinbras and ninja stars make an excellent combination.
5:57 PM Just one last bad guy to terminate!
5:58 PM BLOOD!!! Lots of it!
6:00 PM still bleeding!
6:02 PM ummm... wow.... still bleeding...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

MYTH-appropriation V: Day 1

MYTH IS BACK! Our extreme new play development event returns for two rounds, performing on August 9 and August 16. You can get your tickets now by clicking here.

Our first meeting was last night and the playwrights spent last night writing drafts of their plays. The themes for this first round are myths based on themes of the season, so you will see stories based on The Arabian Nights, Ulysses, Zombies and as you will see with today's entry, TALES OF POSSESSION...

We'll be hearing from guest bloggers all this week and next week as the process proceeds. We'll also keep you up to date with the happenings of LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK and DEAD CITY, both of which are in full swing. It's a busy time for the Rorschach Blog... you don't want to miss a minute of it.

Today's entry comes from Akiva Fox, director of Colin Hovde's adaptation of the real life story behind the Exorcist (title still TBA!). Special thanks today for some awesomely creepy photos of the exorcist stairs by C. Stanley Photo.

The Power of Christ Compels you...

Hey, remember the end of The Exorcist? No? Allow me to ruin it for you: the priest dies. Actually, two priests die, but that's immaterial. The Young Priest, Father Karras, dares the devil who has possessed a girl to jump into him. Father Karras then nobly flings himself out of the window and down the world's steepest stairs (which are conveniently located beneath the window).

We - playwright Colin Hovde, actors Jacob Yeh, Dave Bobb, Josh Drew, and John Milosich, and me, director Akiva Fox - received the story of The Exorcist as our myth to appropriate. Because of our heartfelt concern for you, the blogged public, we knew that mere words would not be enough. No, we had to give you eye-catching imagery, the kind that sells tickets. That's right. We visited the stairs.

As you may know, writer William Peter Blatty set both his novel and the screenplay adapted from it in and around Georgetown University (his alma mater). So we left the climate-controlled confines of the university's Davis Performing Arts center to walk the three blocks to the stairs where poor Father Karras bit it. And we proceeded to take the following action shots, shocking and horrifying patrons of the Exxon station at the bottom of those stairs.

You'll be surprised to learn that this is hardly the only DC-area connection to The Exorcist. Blatty supposedly based it on the 1949 exorcism of a Cottage City, Maryland boy. Inanimate objects would jump in the boy's presence, and strange scratching noises would emanate from the walls of his room. So they called a few Catholic Priests, and they exorcised him silly. The boy lashed out with violence, cursing, and more Latin phrases than a 13-year-old Lutheran ought to know.

My two favorite facts about this legendary exorcism: one, the possession first arose after a particularly strenuous Ouija board experience with his aunt. Two, the case only came to public awareness some months later, when a minister described it to a meeting of the Society of Parapsychology at the Mount Pleasant Library. Any myth that involves board games, the DC public library system and demonic possession can't be bad.

Remember: the power of Christ compels you...to see this show!

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Last night's preview of LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK was our largest preview audience that we've ever had. People seem to love them some Zombies. Get your tickets now!

To tantalize you a little more, here are a few images from the show...
(all photos by c. stanley photography)