Look out, world.
We've put together our first ever board of advisors.
Welcome, welcome to our newbies!
Laura Geffre, Sponsorship Associate at the Minnesota Historical Society
Linsday Lewis, Executive Director at the Liz Logelin Foundation
Kristen Mason, Urban and Regional Planning M.A. program at the University of Minnesota
Mary Mueller, Nurse at Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota
Joe Song, Technical Architect at Periscope Advertising Agency
Our first board meeting is in early February.
Blake E. Bolan, Stage Manager for the Rain Follows the Plow Workshop, took a few photos at the very first rehearsal in December. Stay tuned for more about the Rain Follows the Plow Workshop, and join the conversation on March 9th and 10th at the Playwrights' Center.
The first read-thru with the workshop cast. Clockwise from left: director Laura Leffler-McCabe, Amber Davis, Addie Phelps, Peter Middlecamp, Eve Tugwell, Seth Conover, and playwright Rachel Nelson.
Together. From left: Eve Tugwell, Seth Connover, Amber Davis, Peter Middlecamp, and Addie Phelps.
Watching, waiting. From left: Eve Tugwell, Addie Phelps, Amber Davis.
Alone. Seth Conover.
A Night of New Works sneak peek! Coming to the Bryant Lake Bowl in July, Gamer’s Guide, from playwright Russ Dugger.
Hey all you tweeps, book-faces, and tumbl-buffs! When I was asked to write a blog about “Gamer's Guide” and my experience as a first time writer of plays, the first thing that popped into my head was: “Oh dear. This is going to get real depressing, real fast.”
Of course, in the end I relent. And I will attempt to keep this as free from my artist self-doubt and share with you something I experienced that gave me my most recent creative kick-in-the-pants. They come so few and far between that they seem so extra special that I am compelled to share.
Recently I watched Woody Allen's “Purple Rose of Cairo.” (Just to get this out of the way, you must watch it if you have not already, but do so now because I'mma be getting spoilers all up in this house.)
So as a quick summary: in “Purple Rose of Cairo” the main character, Cecilia, is living during the Great Depression. She has no luck with keeping a job, which she needs to support her deadbeat man-child of a husband who smacks her around when she “gets outta line”. Her only comfort is going to the cinema and losing herself in another world. That is until one of the romantic film characters notices her, falls in love with her and subsequently climbs off the screen to be with her. When the actor who played that character finds out, he leaves Hollywood to try to quell this potential PR pandemonium. The actor ends up falling in love with Cecilia as well and in the end she must make the choice: Fiction or Reality?
Whew! Didj'a keep up? Good!
Now here come the big spoilers: As any sucker for schlocky romance would guess she chooses reality.
But after a big to do packing up her things and leaving her husband for the upteenth time she returns to the cinema only to discover that her Hollywood hunk'a hunk'a Hero has left. Having completed his task of forcing his creation back onto the screen his job is done. And so is his play-acting for Cecilia. Cecilia goes back into the cinema and proceeds to lose herself in a new flim-flam film fantasy.
I couldn't believe my eyes. This movie has so much of what I find interesting about my piece. In “Gamer's Guide” I'm attempting to develop a character who is so enthralled with fantasy/ virtual reality they want little to do with actual reality and the relationships that come with it.
But what “Purple Rose” has that I hadn't really thought about was that the lead was confronted and forced to choose between these two realities. But neither was real. She had a choice between art imitating life and life imitating art! Imitating is not the same as Being. She was dealt a bum hand.
It never occurred to me that life imitates art simply because we want it to.
The late and oh-so-great Oscar Wilde believed that we perceive something as beautiful because artists have told us it is beautiful. It “did not exist till Art had invented" it. Life imitates art. Or at least we see it as art. Or choose to see it as art.
This does, of course, tie into the piece I'm writing. If I want the protagonist to escape the virtual in favor of the actual, how is she swayed? Reality is tough. Why else doe she spend all her time in a video game? Why else would Cecilia while away the hours at the cinema. Heck! Cecilia doesn't seem to escape at all! Why should my protagonist?
Then again, Cecilia being left behind by a false lover does seem like a pretty cold slap of reality. And she doesn't go back to her husband...at least we don't see it happen. Maybe it's all just a first step. Maybe that's all this play is.
A first step for the protagonist.
A first step for me.
Happy 2012 all you art-makers, theater-goers, donors, curious-persons, social media cruisers, and blog stumblers!
What is your New Year’s Resolution as an artist?
Rachel: I want to live more on the edge of compassionate risk in my writing and in my performance. I want to gravitate toward that which is terrifying because its true.
Christina: I want to do more visual art!
Candy: To compose more. The last few years I've been composing primarily for an end performance, and I want to explore "just because" again.
Carl: To embrace contradictions more - as in, to let go more and be a better collaborator and then also to take control more and see through to the end projects that I have started. More, more more.
Blake: To be more involved with music. As a dancer, or as a musician, or as a singer. Making music was a part of my daily life for nearly a decade, it is a huge part of my family history, and I have neglected that important part of myself for too long. It's time.
Russ: I want to start drawing again. Maybe play with water colors. I also want to start playing my multitude of instruments more often and maybe start classes in improv. We'll see about that one...
Heidi: After about year off I'm ready to tread those boards again. As an actor, I want to be more aware of the big picture and make sure whatever I'm doing highlights and supports the contributions of everyone else working on the production.
Hannah: Quality not quantity. To focus more on specific projects with my whole heart instead of spreading my energy so thin.
Eric: To survive.
Tanner: As has come up in a few SU conversations over drinks, I'm always struggling with the self-identity as "artist," so I want to explore that idea more in a meaningful way. And take more risks.Always more risks.
Amber: Drink more water. Bike more. Camp more. Start hiking so I can be cool like Tanner.
Laura: Oh shoot! I don't really do resolutions generally. So much pressure! But I do know that this year I want to bring the same vigor and passion for my work and try to balance that with less stress.
What is your personal New Year’s Resolution?
Rachel: I would like to finally keep my herb garden alive through a winter so I can make homemade pizza sauce in February.
Christina: I know I should be saying "I will quit smoking..." (ha! yeah right! Like that's gonna happen any time soon...) I hope to continue a birthday resolution I started this October: Writing in a journal every day, even if it's just a sentence. (So far so good!)
Candy: Every year I say no library fines; this year I think I managed 50 cents... ON TO ZERO! Also, to remember to regularly water the poor plants who depend on me for their meager, meager survival.
Carl: Eat more fruits and vegetables. Brush up on other languages. Look better naked.
Blake: Find employment that is fulfilling. Exercise every day for at least a few minutes. Learn from my mistakes but don't be afraid to make them.
Russ: My artistic and personal goals are the same this year!
Heidi: I want to be more kind and generous with my time and thoughts. Also, I want to learn how to play poker. Poker party anyone?
Hannah: To be more adventurous in everyday life – try food I’ve never tried, have conversations I’ve never had, drive without using Google Maps, jump in an unknown body of water, wear a crazy hat. Also, do laundry more frequently.
Eric: To survive.
Tanner: When trying to be a better person, I frequently error on the side of beating myself up for not being a perfect human being, so I'd like to find a more positive way to challenge myself and hold myself accountable for my biz.
Amber: To build, build, build, and market, market, market.
Laura: I want to practice my violin more! I stopped once rehearsals for The Ravagers started, and I definitely need to start in again. Right, Candy?