Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

“Vitriol” from Julia Welch

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Four years ago I got roped into a project, helping to develop a new play about these journalists during WWII.  Let me begin by saying that I’m not a history nerd, nor do I know the first thing about journalism, WWII or play development.  Yet somehow I became involved with creating this script.

It’s been an incredible journey, working with an artistic quartet comprised of a playwright, two actor/dramaturges and me.  The four of us have bonded over this project and it will be something that ties our friendship together for the rest of our lives.

The play is based on a true story that has been buried for years.  It follows four journalists of The Munich Post as they wrote against Hitler in inter-war Germany.  Their story is unbelievable and it was a honor to work on the piece.  I watched the script come out of bad translations of German (a language none of us spoke).  Heard these characters speak and grow.  Learned and learned and learned.  And more and more I was amazed at this story.

I find Vitriol to be not only a phenomenal piece of storytelling, but also a phenomenal piece of research.  The story of these four journalists is written with painstaking attention to historical details and the more I learn about the men of The Munich Post, the more I find myself amazed that no one has written a play, a book, a movie about their extraordinary lives before now.  The fact that the play I helped develop is the first telling of The Post’s story in the English language, truly attests to how hard Hitler and his National Socialist Party tried to silence them

If it isn’t yet obvious, I am so very passionate about this piece.

OSF gave me the opportunity to produce a staged reading of the piece in the Margery Bailey through the Midnight Projects.  It was a wild ride trying to find actors, a director, space, and an audience.  On top of that, the playwright came down from Seattle to see the show!  We rehearsed at crazy hours for one week under the direction of fellow FAIR participant Nic Adams and came out with a fantastic piece.

I am so proud of the work all these artists.  They told an amazing story and the feedback received from them and the other audience members will be incredibly helpful in editing this play.  I truly believe that this is a vital story that should be told now.  I hope it gets picked up somewhere.


“Stepping Up To The Plate We Are All On” from Kaylyn Kilkuskie

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I often forget what my brain is like on design, though with certain constraints I find my work turns into more of a costume coordination sort of situation, which I find is neither good nor bad. Like everything else it is an experience.  I think it is easier for people to understand that when a production comes up that the directors and actors and maybe even the writers have thrown a bit of themselves into the work, in fact it feels inevitable, but it is harder to make such an assumption about designers. As I have never designed a set or sound for a production I cannot say if the sensation exists for those parties, or at least whether or not it is a noticeable sensation for them, but I have felt it when it comes to lights and it sort of becomes its own part of the challenge when I am working on the design aspect of costumes.

We talked about fears once in a FAIR meeting. I always have a slight anxiety about projects that people could link to me. We have the gift and fault of seeing the flaws in our work, though sometimes unfortunately above all else. I am mentally duking it out right now and with this blog I hope I can silence the claws of doubt (White Snake anybody?) long enough to make the steps forward.  May this project reflect on me and all the other names in the program positively. I want to want my name on this.

With a quick process I need to just let myself go and get my hands dirty, I get stuck on some vision of doing it perfectly knowing fully that no project walks away with 100% satisfaction. It’s a carrot on a stick situation and that can be enough to keep you motivated to keep trying. There will always be another carrot. Being a little petrified of having a failed result, I find it is completely unhelpful. I feel that the faster I abandon my mental focus on perfection I will be closer to it in the result.

The quote reads: “The world is strong, but the feeling  of believing in yourself is much stronger.”
-Tanaka Marks from an add at Narita Airport 2008

“And Now For Something Completely Different!” from Julia Welch

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2012 at 12:26 PM
I’ve been in the shop for the last two month. Physical work, sawdust, everyone focused on their own project, everyone in their own dedicated world. And now I’m doing a 180. I’m stage managing the FAIRplay project. What’s FAIRplay you might ask? Well, all of us interns, assistants and fellows are putting on a fully realized, fully produced play in two week.Impossible, you say? Not at all! Crazy, you say? Quite possibly.

I have been brought into the process as the assistant stage manager for our production of “Yellow Face”. It’s pretty much the opposite of what I’ve been doing. Now it’s sitting and taking notes on my computer, in a sawdust free room, observing actors and directors collaborate. It’s nice to experience another side of theatre. I have a million theatrical interests and I’m happy OSF is giving me the opportunity to explore more than one during my assistantship here.

I will say that stage management is a challenge. In the past I’ve stage managed for educational or fringe theatre and it’s quite different making the jump to equity. I feel that instead of being the calmest person in the room—the person in charge—I’m the least knowledgeable. I need to remember that it’s a learning process, and I am indeed learning. Lots.

I like to watch the artists work. I like seeing all four directors’ (yes, there are four different directors) different styles. I like to watch the play come together from the artistic side. I feel more like an audience member than a stage manager most days. This whole process is quite the adventure. We’ll see where we end up on performance day.

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