Friday, December 28, 2007

Movin' Day

(Kelly Breheny as Catherine; Nicolle Van Dyke as Beatrice)

Today's the day that we start moving the show into StageLeft .... Chris and Heath (scenic designer) will be meeting Kevin or John there tonight at 6pm and will start constructing the set. Meanwhile, Holly (assistant director) and I will conduct rehearsal at our place with the actors ... it may or may not be an annoying line through where we stop actors, correct their lines, make them write down what needs correcting and carry laboriously on through the end ... it may be a normal run-through ... it has yet to be decided.

Tomorrow, Holly and I will run around town collecting final props and costumes. Tom (Rodolpho) will get his hair dyed blond. Chris and Heath will continue building. Julie (lighting designer) will join the festivities around 3pm and will start hanging her lights. What's very cool this time around is that we're able to move into StageLeft a little bit earlier because of the holidays - no one's doing anything and the space is available for us to start making it our temporary home.

Sunday - more building, painting, adding the furniture. Julie will set her light design into the computer. We'll add the film in ... Heath works for a company that provided video conferencing capabilities and he has editing software on his computer that will help make Ed's HD look incredible on stage. The actors will join us in the evening and we'll figure out their exits, entrances, scenes with the film, etc.

Then ... Monday - Wednesday - Final Dress Rehearsals with added food, costumes, makeup, full lights, full furniture, the works.

Thursday night - we open. The opening night show is almost sold out, which is very cool. Our Saturday, January 19th show is also sold out, so reserve or buy your tickets now!

A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, presented by The GreyZelda Theatre Group
StageLeft Theatre - 3408 N. Sheffield Chicago, IL
January 3-February 2, 2008 (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays)
Tickets - $20.00
Call 773-427-1935 or visit to purchase tickets online.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Marco Prays - Video scene from A View from the Bridge

Here's a video of Marco (Dave Goss) praying at the church in our upcoming production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge.

The show opens January 3rd. For tickets and more information, please visit or call 773-427-1935.

Director: Chris Riter
Filmmaker: Ed French
Original Music: Robert Filippo and Kristen Strezo

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Like ....

I Like ...

Current mood: excited

I like this time in the rehearsal process.

I like the time where the scenes start getting sewn together. Lines are learned and the word, "Line!" gets called more and more infrequently. I like getting costumes together and making prop lists and seeing what we have and what we need to get. Seeing if we can use our own resources or ask our actors and crews if they have things like phonographs or pencil skirts or hitting stores like Lost Eras or antique markets in Allen, MI. I like talking about having actors dye their hair but not their eyebrows. Please dye the hair first than we'll talk about the eyebrows. I like final rehearsals and knowing that things are getting done on the east coast. Knowing that soon the music will be added, the film will be added, the set will take shape and the light will give illumination.

I like inviting the press and other appropriate figures to the show. I like giving hundreds of the oversized posters to Meg from Streetflyers, knowing that she's going to paint several neighborhoods with them, saving us oodles of time. I like telling people about our progress. I like the process. I like this time.


Friday, December 07, 2007

The Moronic Child, Intuition - A Friday William Ball Lesson

Remember when I said that I was going to try to post a lesson from William Ball's A Sense of Direction every Friday back in October?

Yeah .... about that ....

Here's another one for you ... just say "yes" to Intuition. And Michigan.


"Intuition is the most important component of the creative process. Intuition is perfect. My intuition is perfect. Your intuition is perfect. All intuition is perfect. Spontaneous right thought and automatic right and appropriate action become manifest through the apparatus of intuition. The intuition is the uncluttered avenue by which perfection makes itself available to human perception. Intuition is the path by which perfect Universe travels into individual human experience. It is the most efficient mechanism by which 'absolute' becomes expressed in the 'relative.'

It is generally agreed that the work of the human brain falls into two major classifications. Under the term 'critical brain' we will include aspects of thought such as rationality, judgment, decision-making, analytical process, exactitude, self-discipline, value, standards, selection, memory, willpower, logic, and discretion. Some psychologists have postulated that these characteristics are housed in the 'left brain.'

Under the term 'intuitive brain' we will include characteristics such as emotion, hunches, flights of fancy, imagination, sensory experience, parapsychological experience, instinct, genius, inspired ideas, dreams, daydreams, aspirations, humor, caprice, playfulness, artistic sensitivity, and illogical responses. These are the aspects that some contemporary psychologists group together as representing the action of the 'right brain.' The intuitive brain is like an oversized retarded child playing with a bauble and mumbling incoherent phrases. It acts like a baby, it wants its own way in everything, it requires perpetual attention, it unreliable and completely unreasonable. But within that moronic child lives the brilliant composer of dreams. Dreams are arrangements of poetically perfect, preciously interlocking, self-referential symbols. There is a quality of perfect creation in a dream. That perfect poetic creativity is the work of the little genius, or the 'little professor,' sitting in the intuitive brain. In other words, the intuitive brain is the home of the amorphic moron who is selfish, moody, and irresponsible, but who, on certain occasions, is inspired with flashes of brilliance and unassailably right thought, flawlessly appropriate action, and sublime clarity of vision. Intuition is capable of inspiring one with instant truth, with absolute and perfect clarity. It is ironic that intuition, the source of inspiration and genius, should spend most of its time behaving 'like a slob.'

Now, critical brain usually attempts to discipline the intuitive brain. Critical brain decides to give up cigarettes and chocolates. Critical brain resolves to do the right thing. Being logical and decisive, it is always trying to persuade intuitive brain to 'behave'. Intuitive brain has bad manners. Intuitive brain laughs in church. It is a common misbelief in Western thought that left brain can achieve everything, especially when it is able to tyrannize right brain. But in the creative process, we seek to encourage the intuitive brain. We have to make friends with intuition. We have to let intuition know that it will be trusted at every moment, and that whenever intuition feeds us something, we are going to respect it and use it no matter what our critical faculties think.

Now, a director gives this message to the actor: 'I will use your creative thoughts no matter what they are. Any thoughts that you give me I will use.' Intuition, the moronic child, hears the message. The wayward right brain will send down some insolent and inappropriate idea just to test the director - to prove the director is a liar. The director patiently uses the idea no matter how clumsy and coarse it may seem. Now, when the actor's intuition realizes that his coarse suggestion has actually been put to use, the intuition mutters, 'I can't believe he used that moronic idea. I'll send him down a worse one and see what he makes of that!' The director unquestioningly uses the second idea that the actor's intuitive process delivers, thus sending the message back to intuition, 'You have suggested two ideas and both ideas have been used.' The intuition falls into careful reflection, mumbling, 'What is this? A game? A trick? Or could there be a pattern here?' When the director uses the third suggestion of the actor's intuition without modifying, questioning, or quibbling, the intuition locks into a very important realization. This realization will significantly affect the work of the director in relation to the actor's creative intuition."