Auditions posted for WNEP’s one-act plays

28 05 2013

Chicago’s WNEP Theatre has a lovely run of original one-acts this summer!  Two Plays, One Place will be running at Zoo Studios in Ravenswood from July 26th – Aug 17th.

RAINBOWS AND LOLLIPOPS by Dave Goss (to be directed by Rebecca Langguth)

THE TRIBUTE by Rebecca Langguth (to be directed by Amanda Rountree)

We’re looking for actors!  (Seeking men ages 25-65 and women ages 25-45).  Prepare a two-minute monologue of your choosing. Headshot/resume.  Auditions are on Saturday, June 22nd.  Must be available for callbacks on Monday, June 24th from 7-10pm.  For more info and/or to sign up, please click here!

Two Original One Act Plays this Summer

16 05 2013

I’m an ensemble member of a pretty great theatre company here in Chicago called WNEP (What No one Else Produces) and this summer, we’ve got two original one-act plays coming up!

RAINBOWS AND LOLLIPOPS by Dave Goss (to be directed by Rebecca Langguth)

THE TRIBUTE by Rebecca Langguth (to be directed by Amanda Rountree)

Both one-acts will be performed at the Zoo Studios in Ravenswood from July 26th – Aug 17th!  More details on the show (and auditions for both plays) will be out soon!


The Ultimate Storytelling Event

5 06 2012

I am incredibly honored and excited to be one of the storytellers in Chicago’s 13th Annual SKALD Storytelling Competition hosted by the wonderful WNEP Theatre.  The first night is improvised storytelling, the second night, each storyteller gets seven minutes to spin their yarn.  I’ll be there Saturday the 16th.  Will you?  Click here to get your tickets!

The Right Mix

9 02 2011

Since moving to Chicago as an improviser, I have ironically, been performing a lot less improvisational theatre than I was when I was living in Seattle.  Surprisingly, there just isn’t a huge amount of the type of improvised work that truly feeds my soul out here.  This was frustrating at first, but Chicago being the type of city it is, an artist will either eventually find others who are passionate about the same styles or she will create her own.  I’ve been fortunate enough to do both.  This combined with gaining quite a bit more directing and teaching work than I had in Seattle has made Chicago a really comfortable city for me artistically.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss performing the type of improvised show that truly excites and challenges me.  Performing the dual-language, “Spoken” in Berlin, touring “City Life” in Europe, and improvising full-length Shakespearean-style plays in Boulder were all amazing improv experiences that I treasure–not just because it was fun to travel, but more so because we were creating some pretty great theatre that happened to be improvised.  Of course, I’m just remembering the “good stuff,” right?  I mean, for those shows to come off entertaining, we had to know our shit as ensemble members–especially when we were performing any specific styles (Shakespeare, Film Noir, American Musical, etc…)  Even after rehearsals ended and we were over mid-way through the run, I’d be looking at my notes, watching more plays, and basically continuing my research.  I always felt “just behind” knowing enough information to do the show the best I could.  I never wanted to get caught in a rut of only knowing the same tiny amount.  So, I’d spend anywhere between a half hour up to a couple hours every day of the performance reviewing the language, physicality, and staging for that style.  Despite (or because of) all of that hard work, the shows were always so much fun–invigorating and exciting.  In fact, now that I look back, the intimidation these types of shows gave me really pushed me to work on becoming a better performer.

I can see now why it’s so frustrating for an artist in any medium to not have that right mix of excitement and intimidation about a project.

And here I am in 2011, about to open a show with WNEP that has that exact mix.  I haven’t been this excited and intimidated by a show I’m doing since…well, since I did those shows listed above.  Postmortem opens this Friday.  It’s an improvised documentary about a real Chicagoan’s life, based on an obituary from the performance day’s newspaper.  If our protagonist was born in 1926, then the show begins in the 20’s.  We then take the audience through every decade–following the implied, supposed, and created events in that person’s life–happy, sad, embarrassing, inspiring, and everything in between.  In addition, each show has two monologists drawn from the ensemble that help pepper the documentary with historical and social commentary illuminating not just the particular decade, but the themes from that person’s life as well.

I try (sometimes successfully) to do some type of research for this show every single day.  From field-trips to the Chicago History Museum to making flashcards on youth slang (from the 20’s to the present) to listening to the Abbot and Costello radio program from the 40’s, this show is kicking my ass.  Seriously.

And I love it.

It’s that same feeling I had before doing any of that really challenging and rewarding work before…..I just can’t learn enough.  I’ll never know enough to do this show really, truly well.

And I guess that’s a pretty good place to be as a performer.

This entry would be incomplete without me asking you to check out this show!  Click here for dates and times. Please note that there are Sunday performances as well, but because of my teaching schedule, I will be in the Fri/Sat shows only.  Thank you.

Frickin’ Awesome Theater Company

1 11 2010

When I first moved to Chicago, a friend told me about a theater that performed “What No one Else Produces.”  I was immediately intrigued.  A little over a year later, I was fortunate enough to become an ensemble member of that company–WNEP Theater.  We do about one or two big projects a year.  It’s made up of some amazingly talented writers, performers, and directors.  And if you haven’t checked out a WNEP show, I hope you will.  Any company that can successfully pull-off a Dadaist take on Christmas or a beautiful theatrical exploration of Edward Hopper paintings is something folks should see.  Our next big production will be after the holidays.  WNEP is bringing back its acclaimed improvisational performance, Postmortem, a documentary based on an obituary from the day’s newspaper.  Until then, WNEP fans can satisfy their appetites once a month at our Frequency show on Chicago’s north side.  And if you’re a performer, please contact us to get a spot for your piece!  (More info on WNEP’s Frequency and the next show on November 20th can be found by clicking here). Oh!  And if you’re on facebook, please become a fan of WNEP Theater and/or of our monthly shows at Transistor!

Dave Goss, managing director for WNEP and friend asked all of the company members to answer two pretty big questions.  Below are the questions and my answers.  Please check out the site for more company members’ profiles!

1) List ten things a person would have to do to understand you as an artist.

Read my teaching notes.
Find the connections in everything.
Play with the audience.
See both the show I did in the aged turret in Switzerland and in the beer tent at the Kentucky State Fair and observe the similarities.
Paint with calm impatience.
Turn an agonizingly long primal yell into a funny story.
Taste words.
Be affected by what you think the world is trying to tell you.
Journal about it, sleep on it, and then make it into a show.
Make up a song about fruit and perform it for your plants.

2) List ten things a person would have to do to understand you as a person.

Accidentally move to a new city. Then live there for several years.
Become vegan–or at least vegetarian.
Be tormented and bullied by a cruel caste system in grade school and then blessed and honored with amazing friends thereafter.
Journey alone to Ruby Beach.
Recycle. Even if you live in a city that doesn’t make it easy. Sigh.
Walk. A lot.
Allow yourself an uncontrollable laughing fit (30 minutes or more) now and again.
Work no less than twelve ridiculous jobs while you follow your dream.
Feel guilty that you’re not doing more.
Feel bad that you made yourself feel guilty. Take a nap. Then start the cycle over again.


The (Edward) Hopper Project

6 01 2010

Last night was the first rehearsal in the actual space for WNEP‘s show that opens next week.  Because the show is based on the paintings of Edward Hopper (and perhaps also because I am such a visual person), I’ve been crossing my fingers for a very visually stimulating set.  After last night’s rehearsal, I am relieved, ’cause I think we’re gonna get it!  The show runs January 15 – February 21 at DCA’s Storefront Theater in downtown Chicago.  Please click here for specific information.

I am very excited to be a part of this show.  So many amazingly talented people have made/are making this show possible.  Inspired by Edward Hopper, conceived by Jen Ellison; written by Mary Jo Bolduc, Jen Ellison, Bob Fisher, Tom Flanigan, Don Hall, Merrie Greenfield, Joe Janes, Cholley Kuhaneck, and Rebecca Langguth; directed by Don Hall; performed by Scott T. Barsotti, Mary Jo Bolduc, Regan Davis, Lauren Fisher, Dennis Frymire, Kevin Gladish, Lori Goss, Merrie Greenfield, Marsha Harman, Joe Janes, Andrew Jordan, Patrick Kelly, Ian Knox, Vinnie Lacey, Erin Orr, Amanda Rountree, and Jacob A. Ware; and a hard-working crew including Rebecca Langguth, Dianna Driscoll, Stephanie Hoerner, Jim Moore, Joe Griffin, Heath Hays, and Mike Durst.