Saturday, March 31, 2007

Humana Festival Update - Day 2

posted by brad at 10:29 PM
Ok, it's about 12:30 am (9:30pm to me and my LA internal clock).

Here's the gorey details of Day 2 at Humana:

1:30 pm - Strike-Slip, by Naomi Iizuka and directed by Chay Yew. I really liked this play, and so did everyone else that I overheard discussing it. Unfortunately, it can't help being compared to the movie Crash, as it revolves around three multi-cultural families in Los Angeles and how there lives intertwine. The playwright was originally commissioned by the Taper/Center Theatre Group to write a play about people living in Los Angeles, and the ever-present threat of an earthquake. I heard a lot of people saying how much they liked it on the way out of the theatre. One actress in particular - Ali Ahn- was a real standout amongst a universally great cast. Even better, I just realized she's an LA actress.

5:00 pm - Batch: An American Bachelor/ette Party Spectacle. An interesting piece of performance art, but can't really say it was "a play." Some fun theatricality, but I missed the "connection" and didn't find myself investing much.

Dinner - Vincenzo's, Italian - awesome. Veal to die for.

9:00 pm - Ten Minute Plays. They announced the three winners of the Steinberg Foundation's New Play awards at the top of this program and then we watched three short plays. "I am not Batman" by Marco Ramirez, followed by "Clarisse and Larmon" by Deb Margolin and they closed out with "Mr. and Mrs." by Julie Marie Myatt. I liked the Batman script the best.

One thing has been consistent for every performance, whether I liked the play or not... the acting has been excellent. Across the board.

After the Ten Minute Plays there was a big reception for all attendees and it was a great time for us to meet some folks. We had good conversations with some playwrights and literary agents about our company and LA theatre. Hopefully we can keep talking with these new connections and ultimately work on a project with them in the future. It's been great having some of the board here too - they're completely fearless. They're great conversationalists and made some great introductions for us. Earlier in the day we had the distinct pleasure of running into our friend from Abrams, Beth. Always good to put a face with a name and it gave us a nice opportunity to catch up with her and she was kind enough to introduce us to a few other agents later in the evening.

No doubt, this trip is going to prove beneficial for the company. So, while I'm getting away with not spending 16 or 18 hours a day at the theatre this weekend like eveyrone else is (Tech and Dress rehearsals)... hopefully the work we're doing here in Louisville will make up for it. :)

Robert and I also strolled down to what we thought was a great Blues bar to listen to some music, but found a less than stellar cover band whose repertoire had way too much Skynyrd and G-n-R, so we bailed. Ok, I gotta get some sleep - 4 plays to see tomorrow.

Be Furious.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Live from Humana - Day 1

posted by brad at 10:28 PM
Alright. So, with Furious one week away from opening our first world premiere... the company has been kind enough to allow me to sneak out to Louisville and see some new plays at the Humana Festival. I am also fortunate enough to have 3 Furious Board members (Paul, Robert and Sheila) and guests along for the trip. We're a group of 9, trying to make our presence known on behalf of Furious. I'll try to blog each day about what we see and experience.

Day #1 went something like this:
We left LA at 9am, all together, arriving here in Louisville around 3:30pm. The flight was a great time (we flew on a chartered gulfstream. wow.) with lots of "Furious" discussion and conversation happening the entire flight. Almost like having many mini board meetings. I think the endless supply of screwdrivers helped fuel the dialogue.

Once in Louisville, we split up into two different hotels, both within a few blocks of ATL. At 6:30 we attended a weekend kick-off reception before seeing the first play in our package - Dark Play or Stories for Boys by Carlos Murillo. I'm looking forward to seeing what our good friends from the Theatre at Boston Court in Pasadena do with the west coast premiere of this play later in the year. A few others in the group attended The Open Road Anthology (co-written by a familiar face from LA, which I ran into tonight, Michael John Garces of Cornerstone Theatre Company, who also directed "Dark Play") at 10:30, while the rest of us headed out to a later dinner, because our package has us seeing that play early on Sunday morning. Much more passionate conversation at dinner about "the state of theatre", the play we just saw and everything that's cookin' at Furious and Pasadena Playhouse right now... all washed down with great steak and a little vino.

Tomorrow we'll see three plays and attend the Festival Gala (Schmooze time) at the end of the night. Then 4 plays on Sunday, including Craig Wright's newest, The Unseen. Very much looking forward to that.

That's all for Day 1. More to come tomorrow.

Be Furious.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Furious Podcasts

posted by brad at 10:05 AM
In an effort to try and provide a little more "insider" access to people visiting the site and the blog... we've created a Furious Podcast Page that will be updated regularly with audio and video interviews. The first two podcasts have been posted and you can listen to them here.

More to come.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Three Moments of Grace

posted by brad at 11:45 AM

On Monday night the company attended the 38th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. Our 2006 production of GRACE was nominated for recognition in three categories. Playwright Craig Wright was nominated in the writing and adaptation category, Damaso was nominated in the Directing cateogry, and the show/company was nominated in the Best Production category. We were stoked to hear GRACE called out all three times as an award recipient, recognized in each category it was nominated for. Fun stuff.

I realize these could be anyone's hands and awards.... but they're ours. Seriously.

It was a great night for LA's small and emerging theatre companies, putting on an impressive showing with recipients from Boston Court, Chance Theater and The Blank among others, and Circle X Theatre Company took home a whopping total of 7 awards for their production of Brothers Karamozov. Also great to see Laurence Fishburne recognized for his outstanding performance in FENCES, here at the Playhouse last year. You can see the complete list of award recipients here.

Seeing as how we had a really weird ending to our run of GRACE, this night was a fun way for Furious to officially celebrate the close of that show as well as fun way to kick off our fifth season.

Podcast interviews and behind the scenes info from our first world premiere, Matt Pelfrey's An Impending Rupture of the Belly, are coming soon.

Thanks to all who keep coming... and reading.

Stay tuned and Be Furious.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Successfully Navigating the Labyrinth

posted by brad at 9:07 PM
A good read in the NY Times regarding the Labyrinth Theater Company's new production, Jack Goes Boating, opening in a few weeks at the Public Theatre. The story in the Times sheds light on the company's 15 year history, their process and how artists like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Rockwell and Eric Bogosian shaped it along the way.

Inspiring to read the details. We too, are big fans of the annual summer retreat. I imagine we'll find ourselves back in Palm Springs this summer (where it all began for us in 2001) for "Furious Retreat 5."

Be Furious.