Monthly Archives: November 2012
I’ve been in Brooklyn over the past three weeks directing Gold No Trade’s The Pinks, a period piece about a female confederate spy and the American civil war.
This company was founded by class mates of mine from Lecoq. They work on a “tréteau”, a small platform, which condenses all the action and creates an interesting visual style and movement vocabulary.
Here’s what they say about it:
“The Tiny Stage: The tiny stage we perform on is called a trestle (or tréteau, in French). It’s derived from the portable stages traveling Commedia dell’Arte troupes would perform on in Renaissance Italy. At l’Ecole Lecoq we used a trestle stage as a tool to learn how to compose a stage image as precisely as a photographer or painter composes their artwork. Gold No Trade decided to stage an entire play on a trestle because the constrained space required us to develop innovative storytelling techniques. The compression of space paradoxically opens the horizons of the imagination.”
They tell BIG stories in SMALL spaces. They’re super cool.
Here’s a link to their web site: www.goldnotrade.com
They’re doing a full production of this show in March if you’re in NYC.
I just saw Ivo van Hove’s Roman Tragedies tonight at BAM in Brooklyn and it kind of blew my mind.
So, now they’ve made a Broadway musical out of Chaplin’s life. I guess it had to happen sooner or later. I haven’t seen it and I’m loathe to judge it based solely on the New York Times review I read so lets just wax philosophical about the idea in general.
Why? Why do we need a musical based on Chaplin’s life? I guess you could ask why we need any piece of art, and in a sense that’s not really a fair question. But in this case I can say with impunity: WHY? Leave Chaplin alone.
And this goes for all would be clowns out there and all the physical theatre artists that are inspired by his slap-schtick. Let him inspire you but don’t just copy him. That ain’t enough anymore. And it does a disservice to our audience. What our audience needs is a new Chaplin, someone who can speak about our times in the same way. Chaplin was sublimely funny and he had a big heart. He was also courageous and knew how to use the comedic gesture to make an unequivocal political statement. That’s what we need more of.
If all you do is reproduce Chaplin or Keaton or Tati or Bill Irwin or whoever or whatever you love, you think is cool, then you’re just perpetuating the same commodifying impulse that drives the ideology behind the Hollywood remake. Remakes are for the market. They have market value. They are impoverished artistically. Re-inventions are harder to come by because they force you to think harder, look deeper and to open your eyes to what’s happening around you.
So, please, from the bottom of my heart, leave Charlie alone. He had a great run and now let the rest of us get on with it. Or, go see a show by his grandson, James Thiéree. That guys amazing and he’s still alive!
Ok. I’ll get off my high horse now because I have to keep practicing that hat trick I stole… 🙂
I’m writing a new comedy right now about Left wing politics and I’ve been boning up on the history of Left wing theatre. Obviously I’ve been reading Brecht and Benjamin.
Then I saw this book, in an online pdf format, that seemed to be made for me.
Maybe you’ll enjoy it too.
SPENT @ The Young Centre
After a sold-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an 800-seat sold-out command performance in India as part of Mumbai’s Lit! Live Festival and a two-week run in NYC at the Queens Theatre last April, SPENT returns home for a limited engagement at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in February and March 2013. Information on Dates and Ticket sales coming soon.
Click here to read about the other exciting shows in Soulpepper’s 2013 Season
Spent is co-produced and co-created by Theatre Smith-Gilmour, Why Not Theatre and TheatreRUN
The Double in Kitchener
Our Dora award-winning hit from last season, The Double, has been selected by MTSpace Theatre in Kitchener to play a limited engagement in April 2013 as part of their Impact 13 Festival. We’ll be going on the road for 4 performances and we hope that this is just the beginning of a long touring life for The Double! Details about ticket sales coming soon…
This is an article from the Guardian about a Beckett Festival in England
Later this week TheatreRUN will make a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT about the amazing things we have planned for Winter/Spring 2013.
In the meantime we wanted to let you know about 2 events we hosted this past Autumn:
INTRO TO LECOQ workshop October 19-20, 2012
Our Intro To Lecoq workshop took place at the Zuke Studios on Dupont St in the Junction and was a great success. 12 brave participants went on a 5 day journey into the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq led by Adam Paolozza. We studied silent play, Neutral Mask, Commedia dell’Arte, Clown and much more.
Once again we were amazed by the students embracing of the Lecoq Pedagogy. This is such a fantastic training tool for all actors as it brings them into contact with what unites us all, despite our personal/ethnic/cultural histories: the expressivity of the human body.
ARTAUD SYMPOSIUM October 29, 2012 at the Tarragon Theatre
Guest Speakers: Michele Smith and Tatiana Jennings
This was our second Symposium on the life and ideas of Antonin Artaud. Moderated by Adam Paolozza, Tatiana Jennings and Michele Smith led a lively conversation about Artaud’s theatrical theories. The talk slowly veered towards their own theories about the “How” of making Art and why this is such an important area of discussion.
Despite the terrible Hurricane Sandy weather a brave, intimate group came out to join the talk. We were especially lucky to have Dean Gilmour present. Dean is Michele Smith’s artistic partner for the last 30 years and his experiences greatly enriched the conversation.
It is so important for artists to get together and talk about the “How” of their work: how they make it, how they see their role within society, how they make the choices that unite form and content. This is a conversation that is seldom had. Perhaps this is due to a lack of common professional vocabularies for discussing not only theatre, but all arts across the boards. So, these Symposiums (inspired by Plato’s Symposium, where a lively group gathers in a festive spirit to talk on a lofty – or not so lofty – theme) held by TheatreRUN are our little attempt to bring together professionals, non-professionals and amateurs and start the conversation. Healthy, festive public discourse.
Many thanks to Richard Rose, Erin Brubacher and Annemieke Wade at the Tarragon for hosting us there.
Stay tuned for another Symposium on Comedy in the Spring 2013.