On Oz...

9:56 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)


No, not this Oz...


This one.

I suppose I'm jumping on this band wagon a little late... 7 years late to be exact. However, I'm absolutely undone by this show and will most likely be writing a few more blogs about it before my obscure little summer obsession runs its course.

I'm in the middle of watching the series via dvd (currently at the beginning of season 4). It's hands down one of the best episodic drama series that I've ever seen. I will have more comments as soon as I'm through the entire series as there's A TON to say, about the writing, performances and the issues it raises. I think the storytelling is superior and am personally interested in how the structure (narrative/narration) affects the way the audience understands the various issues that it raises about the prison/legal system, gender, race and class. It's a structure I've seen done both successfully (and not so successfully) in theatre and something I would like to work with a bit more in my own work, though adapting the structure of Oz to the theatre could end up creating a very pretentious/didactic theatre piece. Though on the flip side, it's incredibly Brechtian, which I think is another reason why I'm so captivated. I haven't had the chance to read any criticism/discussions on the series (I'm holding off until I'm done in a sad attempt to not spoil the ending) but I imagine all of these points have been raised.

Oz successfully puts a face onto statistics, the rather large and insane US prison incarceration statistics. Not only do we get to know, attempt to understand and empathize with the characters but Tom Fontana (the writer) skillfully weaves in larger humanitarian/ethical themes and statistics through narration by a character named Augustus Hill (played by Harold Perrineau) who breaks the 4th wall and addresses the viewers.

With facebook, twitter and the other social networking sites that dominate our lives and the way we watch television, I wish this show was still on the air not only for the crazy comments everyone would be posting at the end of each episode, but to get a sense first hand of the way that people are interpreting the ethical issues jam packed into every episode. Does it make people want to take action? How does one view the prison system after watching this series? How does the structure affect the way the information and storytelling is coming through? I may be digging deep but I'm hooked (and for good reason...). I would love to hear the dialogue on this one.

And one final thought for tonight ... How the heck does Simon Adebesi keep that hat on?


(Simon Adebesi [played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje] and his infamous hat)


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PGPC and COTE Present: GirlPower: Survival of the Fittest

10:50 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (1)

Project Girl Performance Collective and Co-Op Theatre East present:

GIRLPOWER: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
created and performed by the Project Girl Performance Collective


directed by Ashley Marinaccio and Jessica Greer Morris
edited by Elizabeth Koke and Lara Gold
assistant directed/stage managed by Katherine Sommer and Alexa Winston

featuring:

Emily Rupp, Lillian Rodriguez, Andira Rodriguez, Dominique Fishback, Stacey Oliver, Amber Tiara Rhaab, Samantha Phillips, Camille Theobald, Katherine Scott, Kristen Gonzalez, Arianna Hanson, Nora Kennedy, Deanna Alexandra, Kaylyn O'Gara, Dailyn Santana, Kristina de Mora

The New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC
a production of The Present Company

SUN August 15th @ 2:00pm
THUR August 19 @ 4:45pm
FRI August 20 @ 4:00pm
SAT August 21 @ 7:15pm
*THUR August 26 @ 4:00 pm

*Followed by a moderated talkback with cast/crew

Tickets: $15

The Robert Moss Theatre
440 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor

GirlPower: Survival of the Fittest is an empowering, ensemble-driven collection of words written and performed by teenagers, struggling with issues they face growing up in today's world. In deeply personal material based on real interviews and experiences, the young women explore topics such as peer pressure, body image, being an outcast, different, flawed, and full of dreams for the future. They share their perspectives on love, relationships, current events, the future and creating change. Audiences can expect to walk away with a renewed sense of their own empowerment, regardless of age and gender.

"The show achieves the innovation and freshness sought by many more seasoned writers and actors at the Fringe Festival. Gritty and honest, GirlPower is sure to encourage postperformance discussion among audience members of all ages and genders." - Carly Guarino (Time Out NY - 2009)

About the Project Girl Performance Collective:

The Project Girl Performance Collective empowers young women by creating a safe space to address contemporary social, political and cultural issues through the performing arts and written word. The Project Collective is committed to the idea of theatre and performance as a medium for awareness, action and social change. www.projectgirlperformancecollective.org.

About Co-Op Theatre East:

Co-Op Theatre East believes in the power of art to foster a dialogue for social change. We provide an entertaining performance forum in which to ask evocative, challenging questions of artists and audiences on our way to creating collaborative answers. www.cooptheatreeast.org

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GirlPower: Survival of the Fittest in the NY Fringe Festival

10:48 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Some links to information about our show:

PGPC blog: http://pgpcnyc.blogspot.com/

Show's website: http://www.theateronline.com/pb.xzc?PK=25096

NY Theatre Fringe preview: http://www.nytheatre.com/nytheatre/listing_fnyc.php?t=10590

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Another Review (and 2 Festival Award Nominations)...

9:45 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (1)

Another exciting review of "Decadent Acts" from Show Business Weekly:
http://www.showbusinessweekly.com/archive2010/599/dec.shtml

and in other news, "Decadent Acts"/COTE has 2 nominations in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Awards:

Anna Savant for Outstanding Lead Actress (for her work as Dr. Jolene Shatila)

and I am nominated for the Planet Activist award.

Great summer so far!

Gearing up for "GirlPower: Survival of the Fittest" in the Fringe Festival this August! It's going to be a fantastic show as well!

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Overheard in my house...

9:10 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Some things are so good they need to be repeated...

"You mean to tell me we've got over 250 channels and not one of them is playing Law and Order:SVU right now!? Who do I call to complain about this?"

‎"I'd really love to see that show about the cats..."
"You mean CATS?"
"Yeah, Cats!"
"Well dad, you're about 20 years too late..."

"There should be a channel that just plays Law and Order: SVU in loop."
"There is, it's called the USA network... and tonight they're failing us."

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Hooked on CSPAN worked for me!

12:54 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)


Ah, the joys of CSPAN...

I got hooked on CSPAN this past week and the Elena Kagan Supreme Court confirmation hearing. It was a chance to see how the US judicial branch works and I hope that if/when Kagan gets on the court, she continues to argue for cameras in the court room. It would provide a fantastic opportunity for the American people to see hows things are done and talk about the decisions and issues that are argued behind closed doors. Elena Kagan is incredibly intelligent, tough and an inspiration for women everywhere.

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