Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cheep Cheep 3

What's up mother cluckers. It's yo boy Alex here, again. 

The cool thing about being a director is that I get to make everyone memorize their lines. In contrast, I don't have to memorize a thing. I can just sit there in my chair, with my long cigarette holder, beret, and glass of wine and just watch them suffer through the whole play while they're getting off book. It's super relaxing. 

Though the wine could be better. I found that I average about 4 bottles of wine a rehearsal (our rehearsals are really long, like an hour and a half) which was quickly draining my bank account. To counter this I've switched to Franzia "The World's Most Popular Wine." Though it tastes more like "The World's Most Popular Anti-freeze," I've been more financially comfortable while still being able to do my duties as a director. If anything, the taste of Franzia in my mouth makes me more angry, which is useful in that I can turn my wrath upon the actors. I actually thought up some great additions to the play in one of my alcohol and power-induced rampages. 

I like the part where Bria hits Jackson and then yells at him (I showed her how to do it by hitting and yelling at him myself). I told her to yell louder but she couldn't and so I recorded myself yelling. We'll just throw the audio in for that line and no one will know the difference (assuming she can move her mouth like she's saying it). This great idea has been brought to you by Franzia.

Oh and our play is the best <Insert joke about chickens> come see it. Goodbye.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Things Are Movin' Along

Here we are again. Blogging. Living. I realize I missed posting anything last week but we've made progress with "Answer Me"! We had our first read through! Yay! Of course I wasn't there to experience it. We can all thank rehearsing for the presentation of the compositions in second year music theory for that, but I hear it went well! And we start rehearsals soon so I am very excited to see how this all comes together.

If I have one piece of advice for the actors as we begin the process, it's to not worry about putting the play on "correctly." I don't writer for stage assuming the play is going to be performed a very specific way, just as novel writers don't assume everyone is going to get the same message out of their books. I know what the play means to me and I've made peace with that. The exciting part happens now when I get to see what the play means to other people. So the last thing I want is for the actors to feel the need to put on the show I want to see put on, because I want to see the show they want to put on.

That's all I have to say for now. So...Go Beavs.



Friday, April 24, 2015

Almost Crisis Week, Just Stressful

Well, it's been about two weeks since my last post and since then I have met with my cast. I couldn't be happier with who I get to work with this year. They are very enthusiastic about this show and they make me even more excited.

At the read-through, Bry and I were throwing around theatre terms, such as blocking, down stage, etc. And I could tell from the look on two of the actors faces that they had no idea what was going on. The actor who's playing Dutch asked, "So this may sound stupid, but what is blocking?" I thought it was so cute that he didn't know. But he didn't have any theatre experience, so Bry explained to him what it was.

This week has been a stressful one of me. We had rehearsals for Caffeinated Crisis this week plus my rehearsals for Dolly West's Kitchen. It didn't start off bad but just everything I had to do this week added up and just caused me to become frustrated. Sometimes I feel that I stretch myself to thin and that I should stop, but I love what I do. So, lucky I'm surrounded by friends who make me laugh. They've made this week sop much better than it was going and I couldn't thank them enough for it. They just know what to say to make each day better.

So, aside from the stressful week, blocking is going great and we've already come across a problem and fixed it. If i remember last year I didn't move around that space as much, and maybe it was because I didn't have a set last year, but now I move around the space to make sure that what the actors do can be seen from different parts of the audience. I'm really happy this show is coming along and so happy that Dolly West will open soon. That cast is doing so well and I can't wait for people to see their hard work then come to the One Act Festival and see these shows and have some laughs.

Well, that's all for now, it's off to the forest tomorrow. Until next time.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cheep Cheep 2

Hello again!

Tonight we finished blocking. Blocking is one of the most awkward ways a director and cast have to interact with each other. Picture this: The poor actor, script in hand trying to read new material, stumbling around the stage as the director can't make up his mind on what looks better, crossing behind or in front of an imaginary setpiece, all the while trying to create character and meaningful relationship with the other stumbling actors.

That being said, we killed it. I'm very impressed with this cast already. Once we had crawled our awkward way through blocking the second half, they did a speed through all by themselves. It didn't look nearly as gross as it had ten minutes before, and was actually funny. A lot of things worked out better than I thought they would. Props to these people.

With the Blitzkrieg blocking over, we're sitting very comfortably for the next 6-7 weeks before we preform. I wanted it this way, because right now we're only sharing the space with one other One Act, which rehearses directly before us. Once Dolly West and Them Scary Reds wrap up we'll be running into more competition over the lab. This is fine, because with blocking done I can focus on working scenes, which definitely don't need the entire space.

Wham bam killin' it here's a picture of a chicken seeya later h8rs.

P.S. I don't like to cook. I thought I would mention that for some reason.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Casting and Cooking

Hello Again!

So, it occurred to me that in my last post I mentioned pretty much every aspect of The Mark in all of its toast-filled greatness, but nothing whatsoever regarding who I  actually am. Or, maybe I did? I don't think I did... I could go check, but at this point I'm sort of exhausted and just want to write this blog post while I'm still focusing. So, anyway, at the risk of sounding superfluous, here goes:

(EDIT: I checked and did not, in fact, mention anything about myself. Whoops!)

Hello Again (Again)!

My name is Elise Barberis. Because this Blogger account is linked to my ONID I'm listed as Elise Catherine Barberis, so now I guess you all know my middle name as well. There's actually a Lucia thrown in there, too, so if we want to get super formal I guess Elise Catherine Lucia Barberis would be most fitting. I'm good with just Elise though.

I'm a theatre major here at OSU, though I didn't start out that way. I actually entered my freshman year intending to study biochemistry/biophysics, but that didn't last long. That's probably a story for a different time though. Regardless, somehow I ended-up transitioning from spending my evenings in a lab cloning M. tuberculosis genes to spending them in play rehearsals. Who'd have thought?! Just for the record, I'd never actually done any sort of theatre prior to my time here at OSU, so I'm still really new at all of this. Also, for the record, I've never been happier than I am now. Becoming a member of OSU's theatre community is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I'm thankful every single day I get to walk into Withycombe.

So, yeah, just like every other aspect of my theatre experience, I'm totally new to playwrighting. I've always liked writing, but, in truth, haven't done all that much of it. I received my first journal when I was five years-old. It has two entries in it. One about how brave my friends are for going through the haunted house at Enchanted Forest and one about how much I hate my sister (Sorry Lily! Promise I love you more now.). Every journal I've owned since has followed this same pattern: two or so entries followed by hundreds of blank pages just begging to be written on. Luckily, I managed to get more than two pages into my one-act, so here we are!

Speaking of one-acts, we've made some excellent progress since I last wrote. Last week The Mark was cast and the goofy little characters I wrote now have awesomely talented actors to bring them to life. I was absolutely flabbergasted by the turn-out for auditions! A ton of really, really creative people displayed their really, really impressive repertoire of skills and made casting really, really difficult. Anna, however, was able to overcome the struggle and picked out four awesome thespians to portray our characters. She's been in contact with them via email and we're meeting-up for the first time tomorrow for a read-thru. Yay!

So, yet another fun fact about me is I love to cook. Like, really love to cook. I know a lot of people who stress-eat when they're under pressure. I don't really like to eat when I'm stressed, but I love to cook. Seriously, I stress-cook/stress-bake like nobody's business. Actually, it kind of works because I'm able to supply stress-eaters with food. It's the perfect symbiotic relationship, really. Huh. I'm getting really off-topic. The entire point of this tangent was to gush about all the exciting menu items I'm bringing with me to the read-thru tomorrow!

So, for tomorrow I've prepared a grilled salad, fresh tropical fruit salad, chocolate cupcakes (which may end-up with some caramel drizzle, depending on how I'm feeling tomorrow), and pumpkin mole jackfruit enchiladas. I'm super excited. Especially for the pumpkin mole jackfruit enchiladas because I've pretty much developed the recipe myself. I chose a jackfruit filling because of its uncanny similarity to pulled chicken. Oh, I'm vegan, by the way, so I don't eat chicken. But, yeah, jackfruit's amazing. I'm hoping my actors will agree. It's always a bit intimidating cooking a big vegan meal for a bunch of omnivores who aren't necessarily familiar with the ingredients I use. But I haven't failed a dinner party yet! Hopefully tomorrow won't establish a new precedent. I'll let you all know how they go over.

Yikes! This entry's gotten really long really fast... Congratulations if you've managed to make it through this entire thing! I promise the next one won't be nearly as self-indulgent and I'll have more information to give you regarding The Mark's progress.    

Bye for now!
Elise (Catherine Lucia Barberis)    

Monday, April 13, 2015

Let's Call This My Better First Blog Attempt (It Even Has A Title!)

And so I've returned. A little more knowledgeable and a little less rested. I realized I probably should have spent more time on the introductory part to my last post. A little info about myself: My name is Amanda Kelner and I am one of the writers for this year's one act festival. I wrote a little play called "Answer Me" for which I can't say I have an inspiring story regarding its creation or even really an interesting one. I have a folder in the notes application on my phone where I periodically write down snippets of ideas when I see something or think of something I think would make a good story or character. Matilda, my leading psychic, was one such note I made. From there, I formed the plot and her trusty yet unwilling sidekick, Tegan. And I can't even kind of remember where the inspiration came from. You know, just in case anyone was dying to know.

I actually tried to use this experience to apply a lot of theory I've been learning over the last couple of years. I'm not actually a Theater major, I just sort of slipped in because of my love for playwriting. I'm actually studying English and after (mostly) surviving Literary Criticism and Theory, I wanted the opportunity to apply what I'd learned to my own writing. That is, in ways of expressing themes, using language, and applying plot devices. And I must say, I think I approached a Devil's Snare with a fork...and that may be the geekiest analogy I've ever made...I'm not unsatisfied with the result, nor do I expect anyone buy myself to care, but I think it taught me a lot about how my natural tendencies as a writer work with and against the final products I was looking for. Certainly, it's a learning process and this is only the first of many steps, but it's been an important one and I greatly, truly, sincerely hope it's only uphill from here. If this is my peak, I'mma be pissed.

But until I can know for sure, my time is best served moving forward with the current project at hand. We finally have our cast and I couldn't be happier! I mean, I guess if the Hemsworth brothers showed up at my door with bread sticks, then maybe I would be. Or even if someone just anonymously left bread sticks at my door, I might move from "couldn't be happier" to "joyful." But that is neither here nor there. We have a wonderful cast! And soon we shall begin rehearsing! The ball! It rolls!



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Caffeine Driven

I'm so excited to be directing an one act once again and I'm very excited to be working with my friend and play write Bryanna Rainwater. Oh, I guess I should say a little about myself. My name is Teri Straley, I'm a senior, and this is my second time directing with OSU. Last year I directed a play called The Merchandise King which was a parody of The Lion King. I had so much fun working with the actors I had, that I'm glad I decided to do it again this term. Theatre has always been a part of life whether I'm dancing on stage, acting, singing, directing or, what I mostly do, backstage help. This year with the OSU Theatre has been a busy one since I have been a part of every show this season. I acted and assistant stage managed/directed in Mother Courage and Her Children, I did props for The Dairy of Anne Frank and now I'm stage managing Dolly West's Kitchen and directing a wonderful play called Caffeinated Crisis.

Caffeinated Crisis is one of the plays that I was wanting to do when I first heard it. I was actually in the play writing courses so I've heard all the plays before and I guess that gave me the advantage but this show is the one that made my mind think about how I could stage it and that it would be a challenge since my last one act didn't require a set and this one has a least three different places. I already have a plan on what I can do and if you want to know then I guess you'll have to see the One Act Festival.

We had auditions for the one acts and I'm very happy with my cast, one of the actors is one that I worked with last year as a director and one I have had the pleasure with knowing since my first acting class and one I've have come to know from her acting showcase last term, and I'm glad to work with them as a director. As always there are those people that, as Liz would say, come out of the woodwork and they surprise you with what they bring to the table, I look forward to working with them.

Now, it's time to work on some costume ideas for the show and all my homework for my other theatre classes. Until next time, remember "Life not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cheep Cheep 1

Well here we are again.

"Cheep Cheep" is timeless classic about love, friendship, and the inevitable mortality of man. It's also about people who work at a theme park dressed as chickens. The script itself transcends genre, since it is currently in the revision process. That's all I can say about the script. You should ask Joseph. I would give you his phone number but I'm worried about the terrorists.

A little about myself. My name is Alex Ries. I have directed a One Act at Oregon State before. I think it was a good show. I asked my Mom what she thought and she said I had done a really great job in spite of everything sweetie, so I think it went pretty well.

After that I went into film, directing professional projects such as this short from German 111.
Last year we won the academy award for "Best foreign film about breakfast," so I'm kind of a big deal.

Directing has always be easy for me because I have a huge ego. You don't even have to do anything really. Most days I just watch the actors do things and after a few minutes I throw down my beret and scream something along the lines of "ALL OF THIS IS GARBAGE" and then leave. After a few months of that, kaboom, you have a award-winning production that captures the essence of human experience.

But back to what's really important. The chicken suits. I'm conflicted. I don't know whether or not I want the actors to be completely concealed, their faces blocked by giant beaks, or to cut a small hole for their mouths through which they can say their lines and or breath. I'm leaning towards the former. In fact, I think it would benefit the play if the actors were replaced by some sort of robot skeleton that would move the bird suit through the blocking. That would be ideal. However, I feel this may be unrealistic due to budgetary constraints.

Well that's all I have for now. I wish you lots of cluck in your journeys. I'll be here, trying to not go hensane.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Firstly, I think we should give me a hearty round of applause. This blog took me an impressively long time figure out and, though I contemplated forfeiting frequently and often, I stuck with it and now look at me! Posting to the blog! I think...hopefully this gets posted...but yay me! I tend not to stray too far from Word. Believe me, this is a success. But unfortunately, no wine to celebrate.

Secondly, I would just like to say I've restarted this "Secondly" paragraph like seven times (obviously with obligatory dance breaks). If I can get through this, I deserve another hearty round of applause.

So many dance breaks.

I have now sat on my couch for over an hour and I've come up with nothing. I don't think I should be a professional blogger. I'll just stick with playwriting.

I don't think I have a "secondly." That's for tomorrow. Yesterday was about joining this incredible opportunity with one act in hand. Today was about navigating Blogger. And tomorrow, I will have a better idea of what "secondly" means. (Mostly because it's bedtime, goddammit)



Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Making of the Mark, or What to Do When a Mute Joins You in the Shower

            I spent months brainstorming plots for my one-act. Months. As in, last August, when I decided I really, really, really wanted to be accepted into the 2015 OSU Spring One-Act Festival, I began a journal based solely upon potential one-act ideas. I must have brainstormed hundreds of different topics ranging from stupid comedies about couples fighting over how to cut bell peppers properly to dramas in which mental illness was personified. But, when it finally came time to actually write my one-act, I came-up blank. Try as I did, nothing really seemed to stick. I spent hours on scripts only to discard them in their entireties. It was ridiculously frustrating. I began to come down to the wire and continued to come-up empty-handed when one fateful shower changed everything.
            I don’t know what it was about that shower in particular. Perhaps the water was just the right temperature, or the pressure perfectly appeasing. Maybe it was the new body wash I had just cracked open. Regardless of reason, somewhere between shampooing and conditioning, Kirby appeared. Well… Sort of. I mean, he wasn’t actually named Kirby yet and I didn’t really know much about his history, but for some reason I began to think, “Huh. You know what’d be funny? A little speechless character who was obsessed with toast.” Wait—what? Approximately .67 seconds after the thought originally popped into my head my rational side caught-up and decided the idea was completely and utterly asinine. However, the little inkling of a character was relentless and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Later, I approached my boyfriend and mentioned my experience. He began asking me more specific details about the character and, before I knew it, Kirby was named, had a defined personality and was a bona fide cult member! Go figure. The next thing I knew, I had a fairly solid plot and enough inspiration to again work-up the nerve to try to write another one-act.
            Obviously, this last attempt went better than those previous. I was amazed by how quickly I was able to develop all four of my characters and how each one really told me what direction to take the plot. The whole story developed pretty effortlessly and writing it turned out to be a very enjoyable process. I still had one major hurdle, however: I thought the one-act was sort of funny, but would my peers agree?
            Thanks to the lovely talents of my fellow playwrights, Amanda, Taylor, and Burke, my script was brought to life in class the following Monday. All three of my classmates cold read like pros and the entire class lent their awesome insights and suggestions as to how to improve on my work. After multiple drafts and a huge amount of assistance and encouragement from friends and family, I finally felt I had a manuscript I was ready to submit. I was overjoyed when the directors laughed when we first read the submissions aloud, and ecstatic when I learned Anna Mahaffey had accepted my work!
            So, what comes next? I’m really looking forward to the coming leg of my one-act journey. Anna’s extremely creative and a joy to work with, so I’m completely stoked to learn what fantastic new ideas she’ll have for the script. I’m also super excited to cast this sucker! I can’t wait to see what sort of unique perspectives the actors will have on each individual role. It’s exciting that The Mark is no longer solely my work, but, rather, beginning to take the shape of a collective effort. I look forward to discovering what sort of twists and turns our upcoming one-act journey will take and experiencing the trials and tribulations we will encounter along the way. Stay tuned!