...because we're bold

Monday, February 25, 2013

8: or The Fight for Marriage Equality

On March 22nd, 2013, 21 actors will tackle a staged reading of 8 by Dustin Lance Black. This script, based upon the real life events surrounding the testing if Proposition 8 is Constitutional. This proposition called for California to disallow gay marriage. This fundamental right is being denied to our LGBT brothers and sisters, and as a result, Theatre Sans Serif is holding this reading to both raise awareness for the issue, and to fully announce our support for the cause. Directed by Kelsey Rispin, this phenomenal cast will bring this issue home to Pittsburgh, and at an especially important time, as this case is due to be seen by the Supreme Court on the Monday following. 

The reading will take place in the Kountz Black Box Theater, at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts in Fox Chapel, at 8 pm. A talk back with the actors and several local figures will take place immediately following. For tickets, as seating is somewhat limited, please email us at theatresansserif@gmail.com

This reading will be performed free to the public, but we are in need of some help. We are accepting donations at this time to help cover the costs of renting the space, and to print scripts for the actors. If you would like to help in either case, please call us at (412) 523-9882 for exact details. 

I hope that I see you there, 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

TEDxGrandviewAvenue Wrap Up

On February 23, Theatre Sans Serif had the opportunity to attend TEDxGrandviewAvenue. This event brings together some of the best and brightest from the fields of technology, science, engineering, design, the arts, and business to create an environment that encourages the exchange of ideas. I think everyone came away inspired to work to change our circumstances, our city, and hopefully the world. Personally, I now have several ideas to move forward and increase Theatre Sans Serif's involvement in community development.
Until next time, 

Paul Burke

Nicki Zevola

The Pillow Project

The Pillow Project

Jia Ji

Bill Peduto

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.

On the occasion, a show can seem cursed. One thing happens, which leads to another, and sometimes the avalanche occurs.

At this point in time, The Great Big Western Show has been (temporarily) postponed. This is unfortunately due to a combination of cast illness, and problems at the performance space. At this point, some plans have to be shifted, but a viable plan is forming.

There are contracts to be discussed, but the general plan is for the residency program at Future Tenant to be postponed until August, at which time a new script will be premiered at the residency. Meanwhile, negotiations are taking place for a venue to premiere, and we are aiming for May.

In the meantime, things are moving ahead at full speed for our reading of "8" on March 22, 2013 at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts. This is going to be especially relevant as the case in question, Hollingsworth v. Perry, formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger, will be going before the Supreme Court 4 days after that on March 26.

This reading will be performed free to the public, in the hopes of raising awareness about the issue of marriage equality. Many strides have been made, but we still have far to go. We are hoping to raise awareness at this critical juncture. Please join us for this reading, and a discussion afterwards. For tickets, please email us at theatresansserif@gmail.com, or call (412) 523-9882.

Until next time,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rehearsal Log #3

Well, as the saying goes in theater, "The show must go on." And on it does. We hit a few major snags recently, but after a few hair-pulling, sleepless nights, the problem seems to be solved.

Now that the cast is mostly off book, we are really starting to have a lot of fun with the physical aspects of the show. The Commedia dell'Arte is a very physical art form, and I think we are doing it justice, ranging from the circus arts of Doc Bernie, to Artie and Bo's slapstick, to the pratfalls and girlish screaming of the not so brave Captain. While all of this is going on, Kelsey is keeping a watchful eye over the cast (myself included) to make sure no one gets hurt.

We were also pleased last Friday to do a quick preview of some of the effects in the show for the Open Mic at Future Tenant. The audience response was fantastic. I hope to see you all there.

Well, I must go back to work, it seems like the paperwork never ends to produce a show. And of course, more rehearsal photos are below.

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Rehearsal Log #2

Well, I guess first things first. The more aware among you might have noticed that the first rehearsal log was not written by me. Instead, it was written by the new Associate Artistic Director, Kelsey. You will be seeing plenty more of her.

One of the hardest parts of directing is the blocking. In the case of a venue such as Future Tenant, this is doubly so, due to the smaller confines of the space. This means that every move, every cross needs planned and timed out. Fortunately, with today's rehearsal, the actors now have all of the blocking for the show, and we can now focus on the physical comedy, as well as the lines.

We also started to touch on all of the fight work and physical comedy in the script. There are kicks, punches, slaps, falls, kisses, and head butts. There is also a lot of magic and sideshow stunts (fortunately, my specialty.) Part of me is a little worried about just how exhausted we are going to be on the 23rd, with its two shows, but I think we will get through it.

There really haven't been that many amusing anecdotes from these rehearsals, as we have been incredibly busy. I will therefore leave you with a few more images to tease you as to what we are doing.

Until next time,

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Rehearsal Log #1

Hello there again!

So, the show has had kind of a rough start (better now than later, though!) - due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, we had to find a new rehearsal space for the first few weeks of the month. Luckily, we found a wonderful space with people who have been extremely gracious, I can't wait to start rehearsals there!

However, because of aforementioned rehearsal space complications, we had to have our most recent rehearsal/table talk at Milano's restaurant on 6th.  It was a really fun and productive time, and as promised, full of fun stories.

So FIRST, the cast ordered a large pizza to share, because nothing fuels creativity like food.  As we're divvying up the slices, someone, and I won't name names, tried to pass the entire pizza tier down to the other end of the table. One thing lead to another, and about 3/4 of the pizza slid off the tier, past someone else, and both pizza and metal plate crashed onto the floor. Not only that, but there is an open space in between the floor and window of the second floor of Milano's, and that's where much of the pizza went. So essentially, we made it rain pizza on anyone of the first floor. (You're welcome) Thankfully, our waitress wasn't angry, we cleaned up the pizza and got another, and the waitress blamed the mess on the party of children that were also upstairs. Note: I do feel slightly guilty about that, because that group of 20 or so children were about a million times better behaved than we were.

Second, we had another read-through of the script at the table, so everyone could get more comfortable with the flow of the show and address and questions/concerns. During said reading, we were probably louder than average, but it was manageable until we got to a heated part of the script and someone shouted "HELP! HEEELLP!" He was immediately shushed by the rest of the table, but not before everyone in the restaurant turned to look at our section. Indignance abounded, and rehearsal had to be paused while we got our giggles under control.

All's well that ends well, though - a combination of a truly wonderful and good-natured waitress, a large tab and a healthy tip made sure we are still welcome back, and the show has had its first round of embarrassing occurrences. At least after that rehearsal, no one should be afraid to act foolish in rehearsals, which is exactly what we'll need - this show is pretty exclusively foolish :)  That being said, if anyone's looking for a place to eat/purchase libation downtown, I recommend Milano's...Partially because I like it there, and partially because I feel like we owe them patronage :P

That's all for now, check back soon for more tomfoolery!


P.S. Here's a picture of the pizza carnage - it got stuck on the glass of the atrium. Thanks, Kyle for risking personal shame to get this pic