Monthly Archives: January 2008

Company Members Around Town

Anne McCaw’s “OK”

Fiona Blackshaw (right, bottom) with Hilary Kacser in OK

From Michael 

For this week’s entry on what the members our ensemble are up to in-between Forum productions,  we turn to the final week of the The Inkubator Festival 2008 .  The festival is the showcase for one of DC’s newest companies, The Inkwell.  The folks over at the ‘Well are dedicated to new play and playwright development.  The company was started by Forum alum Jessica Burgess (who directed Kid Simple and co-produced our Beckett Centenary Festival).

 You can catch the final components of the festival this week.  These events include a staged reading and two “Inkubator Productions.”  Forum Company Member Fiona Blackshaw is part of the cast of OK, so be sure to check it out, as well as the performances of Underground.  Tickets are available here and all performances are at Forum’s resident home, The H Street Playhouse at 1365 H St. NE, WDC.

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Company Members Around Town

ph2008011503958.jpg

Maggie Glauber, right (with Rex Daugherty)

From Michael

The new blog gives me a chance to promote the work that our incredibly talented company members are doing around town in other theatres.

Forum member Alexander Strain (The Memorandum, Hamletmachine/The Gas Heart) just opened Life Is a Dream, his DC directing debut, over at Journeymen Theater. The show was reviewed over in the Post today. Fellow Forum company member Maggie Glauber (Kid Simple, Beckett: The Shorter Plays, and the upcoming The Last Days of Judas Iscariot) is playing Rosaura. Also in the cast are some Forum alums: Jesse Terrill (The Memorandum, also in Judas coming up), Theo Hadjimichael (Everyman), Lindsay Haynes (The Skriker), and also from the Judas cast, Jim Jorgensen.

If you get a chance, take a night to check it out. A great night of theatre–

In the coming weeks, I’ll post some info on other shows, as they open.

Looking Back

Hi there. This is Michael.

So, now that Antigone has closed, it gives me and the team a chance to reflect a bit on the show.

In many ways, the production was a bit of a departure for us at Forum. Many of you have come to know us through our use of video or movement in our shows. We typically like to give our shows a sonic landscape full of music, atmospheric sounds and the like. We even do our fair share of abstract language plays. Antigone had none of these things.

And yet, we are very proud to have it as part of our “canon” and feel that it is quite fittingly a Forum show.

As we, the company, and me, the director, grow, it was important for us to venture a bit into the unknown. It was a challenge to apply our mission, especially the part about “experimenting with different styles of storytelling” in new and exciting ways. The Anouilh adaptation of this story relies on its manipulation of storytelling. The end is told at the beginning. We are told that these are just actors and that acting itself is a unique metaphor for the “roles” these characters have to play and live. The plot was straightforward, but its telling was truly unique.

As we developed the production, we constantly found that less was always more. The more we would get out of the way of the language and performances, the better off we are. I couldn’t even find a place for a single sound cue, and I typically rely on sound to find my way into my storytelling. I also tend to play with staging in a very stylized manner, but with this script, there was no place for it. Adding music or abstract movement always felt wrong and the result was this very raw and pure thing. This thing that showcased what Forum strives to accomplish in a new and really exciting way. It opened everyone up to a totally new way of seeing the story and illuminated aspects of the characters that we’d never felt before. It has always been key to me and the other company members that we produce what we feel are essential plays and showcase them in ways that the audience has never seen, heard, or felt them before.

Thank you to everyone who was involved, everyone who came out to see the show, and to everyone who supports us.

–MD