Summer 2008 Update

11:10 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

In the midst of all these things... I still need to find a "money job".

Lots of projects in process. I am getting ready to work on directing a play for Manhattan Theatre Source's Estrogenius Festival in October ( http://www.theatresource.org/estro.htm ). I haven't found out yet which play they've given me but I know the four possibilities. I recently interviewed with the Artistic Director of the American Theatre of Actors, James Jennings, last week to talk about potential directing gigs. He gave me several plays to read. If all goes well, I will be directing three shows there per season.

COTE is going well. We're in the middle of our "Summer Park Meet-ups", where we gather in Washington Square Park on Monday nights at 7pm and read plays/play theatre games. We'll be continuing through August where we'll be reading submissions of works in progress that playwrights/screenwriters have been sending to us. We have an exciting season planned for 2008-09. We'll be announcing it in August as soon as we hear back from the rights/royalties and theatre rental spaces. This week we're deciding on the final selection of one-acts that we'll be presenting in September at The Tank.

Auditions have been a little slow these past few weeks post Springboard. I've had about two per week but there is nothing more that I am really right for. I know this will pick up in September. In the meantime, it's given me the opportunity to work on my solo-performance/photography/visual art instillation piece that I'm working on through the Hemispheric Institutes's EmergeNYC Lab called, "What to Do In case You Miss the Rapture", which is basically an exploration into the current "end times/apocalyptic" obsession that Americans have. I'm collecting interviews/stories/writings/drawings from all different types.

My EmergeNYC Colleague Beatrice is working on a fantastic action (please see details below). If you are in the NYC area on July 16th, you definitely should come and participate.

*****

Dearest Friendly Friends,

I am creating a viral, collaborative piece, “Crime on13th,” for the Hemispheric Institute’s EmergeNYC commission that will be shown this October in New York (yes, I will be living in Peru by then) and am sincerely asking for your participation.
I have been compiling different NYC Crime Maps like“Death by Lover,” “Death by Sibling,” “Death byStranger,” “Stabbing,” “Gunshot,” “Robbery” etc. Ihave restricted the time frame to 2004-Present (the time I have lived here). Contrary to popular belief ofEast Village’s fa├žade as a safe neighborhood, I foundthat the 13th Street that I lived on to be quite thehaunted path…with bodies in trunks...rapists on theloose and…! I have had an intruder in my bedroom aswell as suffer a horrific chase.
Therefore, I would like to involve everyone in a WHISTLE BLOWING 'vigil.' Each one of us will bestationed at a specific crime scene with a whistle. Starting in Alphabet City, the whistle-shrieks willform a sound-chain through violated spaces indomino-effect until reaching Broadway by Grace Church.
Please respond if you would like to participate or ifyou have a story to share. Ideally, I am looking for25 whistler blowers to cover the grounds. It willhappen on Wednesday July 16th at 8:30 PM. We willmeet at 8 PM to take positions and distributewhistles. Credit will be given to participants.

THANKSA BUNCH and I hope to see everyone before I leave!

Positivity, love, luck,
Beatrice

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How Did Theatre Fail America?

9:27 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (1)

The American regional theatre movement is nearing disaster. Without an adequate sense of tradition or sense of social responsibility, it is in danger of becoming a movement whose only purpose is self-perpetuation. This idealistic movement begun some generations ago has been unable to achieve a living wage for its actors, a livelihood for its playwrights; it demands that its designers accept twelve to fifteen productions a year just to make ends meet, and forgoes its responsibility to train directors while permitting, under the heading of financial survival, the average income of its audiences to climb higher and higher, under this once bastion of social ideals and aesthetic concerns has become the plaything of the upper middle class and very wealthy. How did this happen?

-Richard Nelson

Saw Mike Daisey's "How Theater Failed America" last night at the Barrow Street Theatre. Brilliant. If I had seen it before its closing night, I would have probably been back several times. There was an excellent roundtable to follow the performance, which included Oskar Eustis (Artistic Director of the Public Theater), Richard Nelson, Jayne Houdyshell, Gregory Mosher, Aaron Landesman, John Eisner and Garrett Eisler. I definitely look forward to applying some of the issues and suggestions to reclaim the theatre, to COTE. Mike Daisey will be back in New York in the fall with a new monologue called "If You See Something, Say Something". I'll be there for sure.


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random life aspirations

8:42 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

random life aspirations (in no particular order):

*own a feminist/progressive book store and coffee shop
*direct or/and write a play that starts a revolution (or at least a riot)
*finish a PhD before I'm 30
*do international relief/aid work
*spend quality time at a buddhist monastery in india
*live without a cell phone for a month
*get a nose piercing and a cedar tree tattoo on my back
*run a groundbreaking cultural organization
*have an art/photography installation at a gallery or museum
*visit the "1000 places to see before you die" (according to the 2007 edition of the book...apparently there is a new edition every few years)
*create my own "1000 places to see before you die"
*grow my hair super long and then shave it all off and allow it to grow back in its natural color without ever dying it again
*finish reading all of the books in my current library
*foster cats
*host a "dinner party" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dinner_Party)
*have a vegetable garden
*have lunch with hillary clinton
*go on a national tour with a show or performer or performance collective
*host a travel show
*do an arts/theatre rehabilitation program with prisoners
*start an arts/theatre initiative with refugees
*become fluent in arabic, french and spanish (because I want to do it... not because the academy tells me it will look good on transcripts)
*have the ability to know word meanings/definitions just based on their latin or greek prefix or suffix (in other words have a familiarization with latin and greek)

to be continued...






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Springboard Wrap-Up

2:56 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

American Theatre Wing's SpringboardNYC Class of 2008
I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the Tony Awards rehearsal this year thanks to my weeks with ATW's SpringboardNYC. What an experience! We literally sat two feet away from the stage (in what would have regularly been the pit) and saw performances from all of the nominated shows, the original cast of RENT, The Lion King and of course some of the biggest figures in today's NY theatre scene. Over the course of the two weeks, I've had the chance to think a lot about my career choices and how I should (and need) to go about making correct decisions to support an artistic career. I'm incredibly thankful to everyone at the Wing who provided me with this exciting opportunity and look forward to keeping in touch with the SB class of 2008 and hearing about the fantastic work that they're doing.
Co-Op Theatre East is officially on MySpace www.myspace.com/cooptheatreeast . Add us as a friend and keep up to date with COTE's latest whereabouts. At the end of the summer we'll be launching our official website. We also have a large (and growing) group on facebook. Invite your friends! We have the beginnings of an exciting 2008-09 season in the works and will be reaching out to actors, directors, playwrights, designers, artists, activists, performance artists, musicians, photographers... you name it and we'll try to involve it.



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Dancer Magazine Article

10:04 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

I have an article in this month's edition of Dancer Magazine on choreographer Brian Friedman, which I would love you to see. The hard copy is currently on newsstands around the nation but it's also online at http://danceruniverse.com/stories/issues/200806/Brian-Friedman-19/ . Brian Friedman has a fantastic career, and wears many hats as a dancer, choreographer, producer, director and... well... you'll see for yourself. People like him who do it all greatly inspire me. I've managed to pick up several freelance journalism/writing gigs while also looking for a steady money job and doing interviews, auditions (all of that good stuff). I'm working on an article for Dancer Magazine on Mia Michaels and looking forward to interviewing her. Of course, she is another one who does it all, and personally, one of my favorite choreographers.

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Springboard 2008!

9:26 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

It's been awhile since I last posted. I am in the middle of participating in the American Theatre Wing's Springboard intensive (http://www.americantheatrewing.org/springboardnyc/). I can't stress enough how much I recommend this to any performer, especially those who are making to move from out of town to the city. Although I have been living in NY for some time now, it has given be me new prospective on living in the city, plus I have been able to meet and network with some of the best and brightest in the theatre community. In the last week I've seen tons of shows (more to come) and have had a 9am-6pm schedule of workshops, talks and mock auditions with agents, casting directors, working actors and directors. I'm really happy to be part of Springboard.

Co-Op Theatre East is officially fiscally sponsored (get your checkbook out...) through Fractured Atlas. Because Robby and I attended a workshop at SSDC (Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers) the fee was waived and we will not have to pay dues to Fractured Atlas for a year... when we will have the money to pay for dues (woot). As soon as the logo is finished (we have an amazing artist working on our logo) we'll be launching our website(s). Lots of (brackets) in this last paragraph ...

I'm working out the rest of my summer plans as I type this. I have the opportunity to participate in a peace/conflict resolution delegation to Israel and the West Bank in a few weeks. I really want to do it but am also following the news closely and considering safety measures. I would also be working in the Freedom Theatre in Jenin for a month which of course would be life changing and I'm dying to make contacts there, especially for future COTE initiatives etc. We'll see what happens... I need to book this plane ticket by the middle of the week if it's going to work.

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