By: Alexandra Meda on N/S DCA performance
In just a few hours we will be presenting a reading at the Department of Cultural Affairs of our first draft of the North South Plays set to open in October of this year. In certain respects I am not nervous at all, and in others I am a total ball of nerves. Truth be told this is the second huge milestone in this project, and it has not been an easy road to get here. Collaborations and co-productions are the roads less travelled, and as such with each one you must pave your own road— together.
I have said it a million times, and I’ll say it a million more: Bailiwick Chicago & Teatro Luna taking this project on is nothing short of an act of faith. I make no bones about this not being easy. I am also nervous. And I don’t get nervous before our performances. I get excited. I normally wouldn’t tell you guys this, but we have made a commitment to be brutally honest in our blogs about this process. Maybe that’s why we haven’t been posting alot hahaa– just kidding just kidding.
No, in all seriousness– I am nervous because I am scared about what we are about to see tonight. I have tried to stay out of the rehearsal room throughout the month with a few exceptions (i can’t help myself — being in the room is why I love what I do) — and last thursday i saw the first stumble through, and truth be told– I had a panic attack. That was not the play I had been envisioning. But that is part of the process. Sometimes its just as much about seeing and learning what you absolutely DON’T want as what you DO.
Ok, Ill tell you how it went, but for now, I gotta calm my nerves and get over to the DCA!
Con mucho amor,
Start your Labor Day weekend right by joining the Lunaticas as they host a night out on the town, and the first event of their new NOCHE BOHEMIA (Bohemian Nights) Series.
This unique new series is dedicated to featuring the diverse range of Latina Talent in Chicago. At these Noche Bohemia events you will see all kinds of talent from the various artistic disciplines ranging from: music, dance, story-telling, burlesque, and poetry to clowning and acrobats—and everything in between. This is the place where Latina artists that we either: a) haven’t been able to work with formally in our productions or education programs or b) artists who are Luna Friends/Company Members, whom we have either worked with before or have long supported our work — can share/test out their new work with our audiences. We strongly believe their original art is groundbreaking/important/fun/needs support from Chicago’s All Latina Theatre Company. The Noche Bohemia series is a safe space where these artists can both develop and perform their work/art in front of a live audience, and also receive feedback in a non-formal way. In turn, these nights are audience engagement opportunities for us, with the hope that the audience can mingle with Teatro Luna and the performers–get to know us all in a more personal and easy going setting that our formal productions (then again, if you have ever been to a Teatro Luna show, you know were not at all that formal!). Basically– we want to hang out with you!
As Teatro Luna continues to grow it’s National relationships and reputation, we have a strong desire to remain committed to Chicago talent (traditional theatre and beyond), and this series is one of the ways we will continue to foster the growth and access Latina performers have with our amazing (and growing) audience. We can’t cast everyone in our shows or accept them in our programs– (and besides some of these ladies are THE experts anyway)– this is just another (very fun!) way to continue to give back and build new relationships with Latinas in the Arts. And to be honest, any excuse for an event we will jump on!
The first event in the series is called: BAJO LA BELLA LUNA / BEAUTY IN MOONLIGHT and takes place at WICKER WELL (1637 W. North Avenue) from 7-10pm — or later on September 1, 2011.
Join us for performances by: Artistic Associate Kristiana Rae Colón, Esmie “Amorpoesia” Cuevas, Ivelisse Diaz, Sophie Minx, Sandra Posadas & Anjee O, and our Headliner RUBY YO. (Photos and links to their web presence way below). Tickets are $20 and all funds support the work of our ambitious 11 season (both productions and education programs). You can purchase them here: http://bit.ly/lalunabella. Please consider purchasing a ticket even if you are unable to attend.
Agile. Mysterious. Magnetic. The Harlequin appears and disappears, flowing in and out of the dreamscape of Diane Herrera’s Lullaby‘s world. She observes from behind a mask, she desires with her hands, she is ready to lead an unwitting soul to the darkness of oblivion… What does an old Commedia del Arte stock character do in a modern Teatro Luna prodcution? I can’t answer that for you now because I want you to come see it for yourselves. But I can tell you that I will revel in her physicality and power starting tonight, October 6th at the Greenhouse Theater. Get your ticket now because this Harlequin is going to leave town on October 17th.
Check this out!
After the Friday performance of GL 2010 next Friday, we will have the new Latina Improv MARIA! It starts at 9:30 and if you come to GL 2010, the ticket only costs 5$. Regular ticket price is 10$
MARIA is Chicago’s first all-Latina improv extravaganza! Formed from a burning desire to see strong female performers of minority backgrounds set the stage on fire, MARIA is Chicago’s best kept secret…until now.
These Latinas have been around the veteran block of the Chicago improv scene, rocking shows at Second City (LoCo’s “El Show Mas Funny”), iO (Whirled News Tonight, Dominizuelan), The Playground (Williams & Martinez), Teatro Luna (Maria Chronicles, S-E-X-Oh! The Remix) and ¡Salsation! (My Big Fat Quinceañera)! This is definitely not your abuelita’s Sabado Gigante! This show serves up colorful and color-blind humor for all.
Marla Caceres, Lorena Diaz, Wendy Mateo, Claudia Martinez and Diane Herrera Piña combined make up the one and only MARIA.
Check them out!
Our directors lab last month was led by Derrick Sanders. Derrick has had such amazing experiences ans a director; working with August Wilson, artistic director of a theater company; directing for any number of great theater in Chicago, NY and elsewhere.
All I wanted to do was ask him questions. How do you maintain power as a director? How do you run your rehearsal room? Where do you find your inspiration? What is your process before a show begins? Is it the same every time?
Derrick was gracious enough to answer all of our questions no matter how seemingly pedestrian.
Am I exposing myself here?
I guess I am.
As a new director I was intimidated. I have very little experience and the craft is still unfolding in front of me every time we meet. I don’t feel like I have a solid process. I get really anxious about having to have all the answers.
I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW!!
I don’t have to have all the answers and being willing to admit not knowing is a powerful thing. I know that. In my mind.
But not my heart.
Does that make sense?
It sounds cheesy and cliche but as a director I want to be able to help guide my actors, designers, crew to express clearly the message the playwright has laid out for us.
Do professional directors feel power within themselves because they trust the process or their research?
Is finding that power a matter of practice and doing it over and over and falling on your face?
The prospect of falling on my face with so many people counting on me is…unnerving.
Do directors feel terrified every time they work but have become so good at managing the personalities in the room they are able to muscle through?
Lots of questions in this blog huh.
For the next part of the lab Derrick began to tackle composition.
My tension starts to rise.
I had been reading out our textbook “Play Directing: Analysis, Communication and Style” by Francis Hodge. It makes it all seem so complicated and formulaic. I am not formulaic by nature.
Do directors really have all of this going on in their mind at any given time when they are working on a scene? Points of power and planes and 120 degree angles and the like.
I mention this to Derrick.
He responds that it’s good information to have and know and that different directors use that information in different ways.
Tension still rising.
Now having some distance from our lab and preparing to enter into another process there are a lot of things swimming in my mind. The most compelling of which is something I have scoffed at when I’ve heard it mentioned in the past.
My husband talks about needing SPACE. That to be creative requires lots of SPACE and TIME. And I’m all – who has space and time? I have a career and a business to run and two kids I don’t have time to create space.
It’s interesting to me now to try to carve out time to be inspired. Time to find images. To shift my perspective from panic to pleasure.
Derrick said that he has pictures he took on his iphone, of people he saw on the street who resembled characters in a play he is working on.
How fun is that?
The director of our next month’s lab talked about how she listens to lots of music to get inspired and watches lots of movies.
So I’m off to fill my ipod and carry around my Flip and will try to keep reminding myself to make it fun and find inspiration in the tiny spaces I have in my life.
Did I also mention I got rid of cable? Thought that might open up some time since I won’t be watching Supernanny til midnight.
And am giving up drinking until June when my next project opens. I’ll keep you posted on how that one is going.
Comments, smart remarks and inspiration are welcome.
Non-Equity General Season Auditions & Interviews for Teatro Luna: Monday February 15, 2010 & March 13 2010
Our 2010 General Season Auditions are coming up and we are looking for talented Latinas of all ages and backgrounds.
MACHOS: Looking for Latinas of all ages and types to tour with our hit show MACHOS. The ideal person is willing to wear facial hair and able to travel. Bilingual English/Spanish is NOT necessary.
HALF: Looking for writers, performers, and musicians to work on creating a new ensemble devised full-length performance. This is a chance to experience Teatro Luna’s unique development process from the very beginning!
LUNADAS READING SERIES: Looking for actors of ALL racial/ethnic/gender identities for the casting pool of a bi-monthly reading series.
AUDITIONS: Monday February 15th from 9 am – 2:00 pm, by appointment only. We will also be taking appointments for March 13, 2010 10 am – 4 pm For more information, and to make an appointment, please e-mail email@example.com with your resume & headshot. 2649 N. Francisco Avenue 2nd floor, Chicago IL 60647 On Francisco between Diversey & Logan Blvd.)