Happy Tuesday, lovelies! The weather is a frozen hell-scape, but we can warm your week up a bit with a little love from the WOLF SONG Workshop cast! Here’s a tiny peek inside some of the process and a photo collage (ooh! ah!):
Pictured, clockwise: Laura Leffler (Brynhildr) and Foster Johns (Gunnar), Emily Dussault (Signy) and Nick Wolf (Eirik), Antonia Perez (Gudrun) and Eli Purdom (Sigmund), and Alana Horton (co-director/creator) and Morgen Chang (The Stranger).
So, what's the play about?
Emily Dussault ("Signy"): Men take action to prove their power and strength. They use marriages, swords, traps, revenge, fire, and heroic acts. Women feel powerless and trapped. They use dreams, prophecies, sorcery, potions, and secrets.
Eli Purdom ("Sigmund"): Wolf Song is about the cyclical nature of violence and lies. Drawing on themes of destiny, loyalty, and family honor, the story follows the Volsung line from prophecies of devastation to the eventual fallout of their actions as they and those around them careen into fires – literally!
What's your character like?
Foster Johns ("Gunnar"): Musky, emasculated, and willing.
Nick Wolf ("Eirik"): Benevolent King, desperately trying to hold it together.
Antonia Perez ("Gudrun"): Gudrun is the old dress you used to wear that doesn't really fit anymore so you don't wear it but, you can't bring yourself to throw it away either.
Morgen Chang ("The Stranger"): Unexpected, ephemeral, circumstance.
Emily: Stuck, angry, self-righteous.
What's the world of the play like?
Emily: The men in this story are like dogs doing tricks. The women are like cornered, angry snakes.
Eli: The first part of the story is a swirling, dark wild looking at the edge of every moment, the second part brings the wild outside into the home, like a tornado in a shoebox.
Nick: It's like a sitcom without a laugh track.
Morgen: This world is like a viewfinder with three slides stacked over each other. Signy tries to elude her premonitions by carrying an umbrella into a swimming pool.
Laura Leffler ("Brynhildr"): The end is like a carousel you can't get off of.
What’s the process been like?
Emily: I love taking an incredibly complex plot and figuring out the psychology behind it. There are obvious choices, more "traditional" ways of seeing the story... But we are finding different ways of understanding the characters. It is exciting and funny and weird... It is an adventure!
Foster: I love how we find what's redeeming in unlikable characters/gross about likable characters and really just tackling something huge in an open and exploratory manner.
Antonia: We are changing this male-driven, male-centered, male-glorifying tale into a story that makes you care about everyone.
Laura: It's amazing the work that can happen with really talented people in the room. We had an open rehearsal and invited in a bunch of outside guests to come and play and the idea explosion that came from that work was awesome.
Why should people see this presentation?
Eli: People should come see this show because always support new work, but also because this show has a lot of themes that people will be able to identify in their world around them - the tribalism and loyalty to an idea over a person.
Morgen: It's a unique chance to shape how a story, a piece of theatre, will speak to you personally. The saga is historic, but not sacrosanct. As an audience member in this process, you become a teller, and can help the characters find their new meanings.
Nick: You won't believe the shit these people do to each other.
Foster: We take the epic and the operatic and we playfully unpick it. Folks who see this will find new ways of relating to the folklore that underpins our culture.
Laura: Savage Umbrella always asks the audience what they like and what they want to see more of in our workshops. Then as the final script and production is put together we use audience input. So, we want - and need - audience to come help us make this play.
What is a "Workshop Presentation"?
Savage Umbrella believes the audience (that’s you!) is a vital part of the creation process. That’s why we invite you into the messy parts, the unfinished work.
Together, we are so much more, and we can create art that reflects pieces of ourselves: our joys, our fears, our stories. After the work-in-progress showing, we invite you to lend your voice to the new play making process through our signature audience conversations.
All audience members are invited to participate in the conversation, or just listen and write down thoughts on the surveys we provide! If post-show conversations aren't your thing... that's okay, too! We welcome feedback in whatever way is most comfortable to you.
Don’t forget, mark your calendars for the WOLF SONG Workshop Presentation on April 23 & 24, 2018 - in fact, you can get your tickets right now, so just go ahead and do that. And then you should probably put on some snow pants and play in this April sun. ;-)