Collaboraction announces 2010-2011 Season

Collaboraction announces their 15th-Anniversary Season

* including their 11th annual SKETCHBOOK Festival *

 

guinea pig solo 2006 From the critically-acclaimed 2005 production of Guinea Pig Solo


Anthony Moseley, Collaboraction’s executive and artistic director, has announced the line-up for the company’s 15th season to be staged in its entirety at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division Avenue:

 

September 13 – October 10, 2010

1001


World premiere by Jason Grote
Directed by Seth Bockley
The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division Street

Seth Bockley takes the directing reins of the season’s first production, Jason Grote’s ambitious 1001, a wild time-bending re-imagining of The Arabian Nights. Interweaving Scheherazade’s tales with contemporary Manhattan, 1001 examines East and West in the post-9/11 world.

This Chicago premiere takes the audience on a surrealist politically charged, Monty Python-esque journey through the precarious world of the 21st Century.

 

March 21 – April 17, 2011

Guinea Pig Solo

By Brett C. Leonard
Directed by Anthony Moseley
The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division

The season continues with Collaboraction’s revival of its 2005 critically acclaimed production of Guinea Pig Solo by Brett C. Leonard.  The play is loosely based on Buchner’s “Woyzeck” and follows the difficult return to society of Iraq War veteran Jose Solo. The remount will feature Dale Rivera and Sandra Delgado reprising their original roles as Jose and Marie.  (pics below are from the 2005 production)

Anthony Moseley directs the revival as part of the “The Woyzeck Project”, a collaborative exploration around Buchner’s seminal work anchored by full length productions by Collaboraction, About Face Theatre and The Hypocrites, as well as featuring short plays, visual art and film.

Guinea pig solo 2005-2  From the critically-acclaimed 2005 production of Guinea Pig Solo

 

Jun18 – July 3, 2011

11th Annual Sketchbook Festival

 

Collaboraction rounds out the season with the 11th-annual SKETCHBOOK Festival of short plays, visual art, video and music, also at the Chopin Theatre. Since 2000, this unique festival has provided an incredible platform for emerging and established playwrights, actors, directors, videographers, musicians, artists and more.

SKETCHBOOK is Collaboraction at its best: breaking down the walls that divide theater, music, visual art, video, and the internet. Selected from hundreds of submissions, SKETCHBOOK once again brings together the collective talents of more than 200 pioneering directors, designers, actors, musicians, and artists from Chicago and around the country for a jaw-dropping evening of creativity, experimentation, and celebration.

 

Flex Pass Tickets Now Available

Collaboraction’s season Flex Pass, which grants tickets to every performance of the 2010-2011 season, is now available. If subscribers miss a production, the tickets can be applied to any of the performances in the rest of the season. A four-pack of tickets is available for $75 and a 10-pack for $150. Reservations must be made in advance and tickets are subject to availability. To purchase a Flex Pass, call 312.226.9633 or go to collaboraction.org

 

Sketchbook 9a Sketchbook 9c Sketchbook 9d Sketchbook 9e

Pictures from Sketchbook 9

 

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REVIEW: Mud (Village Players)

An update on Tobacco Road

 mud2

 
Village Players presents
 
Mud
 
by Maria Irene Fornes
directed by Lawrence Keller
at
Village Players Theatre, 1101 W. Madison, Oak Park (map)
thru April 25th |  tickets: $15-$20 |  more info

reviewed by K.D. Hopkins

The opening action of  Mud features the character of Mae (Stephanie Ganacoplos), a woman burdened by the weight of the laundry that she carries and by the harsh conditions in which she lives. When Lloyd (Nick Bonges) enters, his role is uncertain – is he her husband, another relative, a boarder?  Bonges plays the role of Lloyd with an atavistic ferocity as bounds into the scene and stares at Mae while she irons. The scene – spare on dialogue, save for a terse exchange of expletives – crackles with a dangerous sexuality.

It is eventually discovered that Mae’s father brought Lloyd to the home as a child. He was supposed to be company for Mae and in some fashion a future spouse. However, the father died and the children were left to raise themselves in poverty and illiteracy. Mae is the first to step out and try to learn arithmetic, leaving Lloyd to animal husbandry with the pigs. What follows is an excellent exploration of servitude, poverty, and the struggle for power in domesticity.

mud Having matured without adult guidance, Mae and Lloyd are accustomed to running on instinct. Mae’s sexuality is ripening and unrequited, as Lloyd has found sexual release in bestiality. The excellent timing and nuance of the actors temper the shocking revelation that Lloyd is having relations with a pig, and we’re not meaning a female slob. When it comes to human relations, Lloyd is impotent and an unfortunate venereal prostate disease has given him a constant fever.

Mae recruits a classmate from her arithmetic class, Henry (Dennis Schnell), to read the pamphlet on venereal disease to Lloyd, which hopefully will convince Lloyd to get some medicine. Schnell’s first scene is quite funny as he portrays Henry as a pompous stiff who can read big words. Henry believes that pronouncing the words will make people believe he knows what they mean. This sequence sets up the dynamic between the three of them, making Lloyd continuously suspicious and on guard. He is more worried that his portion of food will be compromised. Mae is enthralled by Henry’s knowledge of words and they begin a sexual relationship.

Lloyd is told that he can make a pallet on the floor from newspaper. It is similar to what he does for his swine. Mae has already compared him to pigs and wished that he would die and rot in the mud. Her frustration and desire lead her to believe that Henry will free her from the dirt. Lloyd shows himself to be more astute that believed when Henry has a stroke. He has the upper hand and Henry’s care is delegated to him but both men are shown to be dependent and ignorant. They tether Mae to the house, the marital bed, and the mud.

Mud is written by Maria Irene Fornes and is featured as part of the Village Players Theatre “Women on the Cutting Edge” series. The dialogue is beautifully written and lends itself to varying degrees of interpretation. My theatre companion for the evening was disappointed the actors did not have country accents, though it could be said that the scenes prove to be much more visceral without accent – this dire situation could surely take place in urban America just as much as the boondocks. Affecting ‘country’ accents would have put too much Erskine Caldwell in the mix.  Though the action seems to take place in the 1930’s, it could be in present time as well. How often are we supposedly shocked at tales of lurid sex and unusual relationships on the evening news? Or worse, inured to tabloid adventures of the local citizenry (especially if they’re famous!).

Kudos to Annalee Johnson for her set design and props – both superb. The props look authentic down to the washing bowl made of distressed zinc. I cringed every time the character of Lloyd would soak a rag in the water and suck on it to cool his fever. Though counterintuitive, it takes talent to create a palpable feeling of dust, sweltering heat, and despair in the set design.

Applause is due to director Lawrence Keller for excellent staging and pacing of what could have been melodramatic or overwrought. This series is dedicated to showcasing women writers or women characters with an edgy sensibility. Mae is a woman on the edge and punching her way out of an untenable situation. The ending left me shaken even though I knew what was coming. The actors created a fever pitch unsullied by self-awareness. All three actors were amazing and completely consumed by the characters. The surprise was that they could shake off the characters to smile when they took their bows.

 
 
Rating: ★★½
 
 

“Mud” plays through April 25th at Village Players Theater 1010 Madison Street in Oak Park. Call the box office at 866-764-1010 or go to www.village-players.org for ticket information. The theater is easy to reach by public transportation or Metra. It is worth the field trip to the suburbs.

"Mud" stars Nick Bonges, Stephanie Ganacoplos, and Dennis Schnell. Designers include Annalee Johnson (set/props) and Emma Weber (costumes). Kelly Herz is stage managing.

Wednesday Wordplay: redneck teleprompter and the death of a language

Boa Sr remained the last Bo speaker for at least 30 years The last speaker of an ancient language in India’s Andaman Islands has died at the age of about 85, say linguists.

The death of the woman, Boa Senior, was highly significant because one of the world’s oldest languages, Bo, had come to an end.  Boa Sr remained the last Bo speaker for at least 30 years.  Read entire story HERE.

 

If you find this fascinating, check out this article. Kind of sad really.


 

Inspirational Quotes

 

When I’m not doing something that comes deeply from me, I get bored. When I get bored I get distracted and when I get distracted, I become depressed. It’s a natural resistance, and it insures your integrity.
            — Maria Irene Fornes

The best index to a person’s character is
(a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and
(b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.
            — Abigail van Buren

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
            — Marianne Williamson, "A Return to Love," 1992

Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
            — Horace Mann

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty…This is my highest and best use as a human.
            — Ben Stein, E! Online, 12-20-03

Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light.
            — Jennie Jerome Churchill

Privacy and security are those things you give up when you show the world what makes you extraordinary.
            — Margaret Cho, Margaret Cho’s Weblog, 07-05-04

Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.
            — Joel Hawes

As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.
            — Mahatma Gandhi

Complaining is good for you as long as you’re not complaining to the person you’re complaining about.
 
          — Lynn Johnston, For Better or For Worse, 11-06-03

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
            — Henry Van Dyke

….you are in control of your life. Don’t ever forget that. You are what you are because of the conscious and subconscious choices you have made.
            — Barbara Hall, A Summons to New Orleans, 2000

Luck is the residue of design.
            — Branch Rickey, Lecture title, 1950

I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.
            — Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, 2005

 

Urban Dictionary

 

Redneck Teleprompter

Crib notes written on a public speaker’s hand in order to remind him or her what to say during a speech or interview.

Sarah Palin glanced at her redneck teleprompter during her interview a the Tea Party Conference in Nashville.

 

It’s complicated

One of the options for "Relationship Status" on Facebook. Refers to a couple in an ambiguous state between "friends" and "in a relationship". May also be used to indicate dissatisfaction with an existing relationship.

LCD Trip

When you watch too much football on your LCD big-screen. Can apply to other sports or programming in which you sit, staring at it for hours. Known to have negative effects on you health.

Joe Sixpack gets an LCD Trip every night watching ESPN.
We totally LCD Tripped during last year’s Superbowl.