Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pin-Up Girls Third Prelude Video!

video written and directed by Gregory Crafts

The play opens this Friday in North Hollywood. See our website for further information, or visit Brown Paper Tickets to purchase your tickets online!

bonus: behind the scenes photo of our set!

We completed our load in yesterday. The set design is by Starlet Jacobs. This is a tightly framed picture of one of the make-up counters backstage at the High Jinks Burlesque! If you look at the vanity mirror to the left, you'll see the "$17.00" price on the mirror. Needless to say, that will be scrubbed off before opening night.

Today our lighting designer, Johnny Ryman is overseeing the hang and focus. We'll have a full run of the play tonight at our rehearsal hall downtown, and into two dress rehearsals tomorrow night! It's crunch time, and I'm excited to see things coming together.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pin-Up Girls Prelude Video!

video written by Jacob Smith and directed by Pamela Moore.

There are a couple more of these coming. The idea behind doing our video promotion in this way is to extend the story beyond the confines of the theatrical, thus creating a truly multi-media experience for our audience. Also, I like the idea of other company members tackling the material in their own way (just wait until you see what wunderkind Sebastian Kadlecik has in store!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Theatre of the Mind

A direction I would like to "unleash" in is audio theatre (the artform formally known as "radio drama.") There are many reasons:
  1. It makes Theatre Unleashed output available to anyone, anywhere and at anytime.
  2. It satisfies our mandate to explore multimedia.
  3. It can contribute to the synergy we already enjoy between our video output and live stage shows.
  4. It's got to be a heck of a lot cheaper than mounting stage productions.
I know that I listen to podcasts. Do you? Is it possible that with the advent of podcastingm we'll see a renewed interest in audio dramas?

I have much more research to do on this topic!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We're well underway with Pin-Up Girls rehearsals. In fact, we open in about three weeks. It's been an interesting experience for me as a producer this time. It's not as dreadful as it was with Torrid Affaire. I think the major difference is that we have a team to support our efforts. Theatre Unleashed has totally gotten our back throughout the process.

Something wonderful about this show is that everyone in the cast is doing the work. They're working on their lines outside of rehearsal so they can have them down by the deadline. (There are a ton of lines in a 127 page play. Some of them are already off book.) They're asking Andrew intelligent questions to create a better performance. No one is butting heads with anyone. People show up on time to rehearsal or contact the stage manager if they're going to be late or missing. Hell, we have a stage manager!

Our press releases went out this week. We have our postcards. The costumes are underway (by an incredible designer named Christine Guillmette). It's easier to do your work when there are other people to do their part and they actually get it done.

Good Ideas

I miss the challenge of scholarship sometimes. By that I mean, the challenge of professors.

Oh, I complain about academia as much as the next guy. I have a healthy disdain for ivory towers, and joke about my "English professor look" whenever I don my tweed sports coat. I mock 'em, I laugh at 'em. But that's part of the joy.

A good professor is a whetstone. He or she is there to be drawn against, bringing their students to a sharpened edge of knowledge and (hopefully) wisdom. My favorite college professor once remarked that it is ideal for the students to surpass the master. It doesn't seem possible, that a student could become more able in his field than the guy teaching him. But indeed it is the synergy of a student's raw talent and drive and the professor's command of a subject and passion that result in an accomplished professional.

And just as you build up static electricity by rubbing two fabrics together, a student coming into contact -- even conflict -- with a professor results, ideally, in a charge of energy waiting to be released upon the world.

When I think of the people who most impacted my life, the teachers are most widely represented. There's that high school chemistry teacher who challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and take on a subject that I cared very little about. There's Tommie Webb, the absolute best drama teacher a kid could ever ask for. There's my college humanities teacher, who did more to challenge my assumptions on the subject of religion than anyone else before or since.

And there's Dr. Pat Farmer. I haven't said much publicly about the man in the past (muffle muffle) years. I've been following "Thumper's Law" if you will. But I have come to appreciate lessons learned from Dr. Farmer and the sense of professionalism he attempted to instill -- perhaps a bit too aggressively -- into us kids. There are things he taught me that I use to this day as a director and occasional actor.

The curious thing about Dr. Farmer -- my relationship with him as an obstinate, rebellious student; what I may perceive as his shortcomings as an educator -- curiously, the whole ball of wax has made me a better person. Having someone to push against, to come into conflict with, to disagree and agree with, helped mold me as a theatre professional. So whatever my personal opinions of the man, I hope that he understands that I do respect him.

Another professor I've discovered is Scott Walters. His blog Theatre Ideas is one of my regular haunts. I was planning on launching into a blog response to one of his earlier blog postings. (He asks, "Is there a way to move the arts into another type of economy?" As if it's possible to be a part of society and divorced from society's trappings at once. Only an academic could come up with that.) But before I got carried away, I thought I would take the time to say how much I appreciate Walters, Partridge, Eakins, Strain, Webb, Watts, and even Farmer. A fellow doesn't get any smarter in an echo chamber. Thank you for the challenge.