Am I actually NERVOUS?

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,
Alex Meda


Power: Onstage and Offstage

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 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.

Tension building.

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.


Good response.

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.

Also fun.

Tension decreasing.

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.
At this time,  We’re casting for the touring versions of S-E-X-OH! and MACHOS.
We are also looking for actors of ALL racial/ethnic/gender identities to audition for some of our new works initiatives: 10 Minute Play Festival & our LUNADAS Reading Series.
Detailed Descriptions:
S-E-X-OH: Looking for Latinas of all ages and types to tour with our hit show S-e-x-Oh!  The ideal person is cute, adaptable and able to travel.  Bilingual English/Spanish is NOT necessary.

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!

TEN-MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL: Looking for actors of ALL racial/ethnic/gender identities for 10 different 10 minute plays written and developed through our PlayLab .

LUNADAS READING SERIES: Looking for actors of ALL racial/ethnic/gender identities for the casting pool of a bi-monthly reading series.

TO AUDITION: Please bring a head shot and resume, and prepare a 2 minute contemporary monologue. If you would like to perform your own work in addition to that, please include that in your email– we would love to see you perform that as well.  If you are interested in auditioning for the development of Half, please also prepare a 2 minute sample of an original work. If you are a writer of ANY genre, we encourage you to submit a piece of writing of your own that you love in advance with your email. (max 10 pages)

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 with your resume & headshot. 2649 N. Francisco Avenue 2nd floor, Chicago IL 60647 On Francisco between Diversey & Logan Blvd.)

TEATRO LUNA is Chicago ‘s first and only all-Latina theater ensemble dedicated to creating original work that honors latina lives, and showcases the talents of Latina/Hispana artists. Founded in 2000, Teatro Luna is dedicated to expanding the range of Latina/Hispana roles visible on the Chicago stage and beyond.  Previous shows include Generic Latina, Dejame Contarte, Kita y Fernanda, The Maria Chronicles, SÓLO Latinas, S-e-x-Oh!, Quita Mitos, Lunatica(s), MACHOS, SÓLO Tú, and JARRED (A Hoodoo Comedy).  Teatro Luna tours colleges and festivals around the country with a blend of ensemble-created performances, visit for more information.
WANNA SEE OUR WORK? Check out our current hit LUNATIC(a)S! Now Playing through February 21 at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Avenue Plays Thurs-Sat @ 7:30 pm & Sun @ 6:00 pm. Tix $12-$20, available at Bring a group! We offer group discounts and buy-out opportunities. For more information email