Saturday, September 12, 2009

Before the Frenzy

I've been meaning to write an update for eons now and have finally found a few minutes while Clara sleeps, Chris does his workout, the sun is shining and insects are calling.

We've been loyal to our GreyZelda monthly meetings and have started to get projected goals accomplished. For example, at our July company meeting (the first company meeting in well over a year), we discussed the type of personality and image GreyZelda should try to project to Chicago and its visitors. We wanted to make sure we were committing ourselves to that image in the shows we choose in the future, fundraisers, general look/aesthetic, etc. It all came down to the idea of American Gothic and all that term encompasses. We've been doing that brand of theatre for years, but never put a definite description to it, so decided it should be done. Long ago and far away, I twittered something about wanting to be a theatre company that was the love child of Tom Waits and 16 Horsepower and I'm positive that we can accomplish that.

So ... after much discussion at that first meeting, I threw out that I was currently reading a book that I've always wanted to adapt and the folks at the meeting picked up copies of said book, read it, fell in love with it. We're going to move forward with this book and will put it in production at the BoHo Theatre space beginning January 2011. I'm not quite ready to announce all the details just yet because the adaptation hasn't even started but once we start moving on it with all the pieces (aka adapters) in place, I'll be giving you more of the nitty gritty.

2011 seems far away, but, in the meantime, we'll be adapting, fund-raising, getting the new look/mission together, creating a new website, starting rehearsals, etc. 2010 is going to be a busy year for all involved ... and, speaking of, if you'd like to be involved with GreyZelda in big ways, tiny ways, etc, we'd love your help and are always looking to work with inspired, energetic, positive, collaborative folks. Let me know by emailing me and we'll see what's what.

At the end of our August meeting, I wanted to follow Adam Thurman's advice and ask people why they wanted to work and continue to be involved with The GreyZelda Theatre Group. Here are a few of our folks' motivations for working with GZ:

We create a safe environment and safe haven for creativity.

We just don't say, we do.
"If the story's good, the acting's good and the directing's good, you should be able to do a show anywhere."

We're hitting our stride and have a set identity.

We offer refreshing, clear ideas.

We want to work with you.

We're kind.

We're literate.

We have a diverse play selection.

We give people a shot and take chances on new people.

We're exploratory.

We get down to business.

We like looking for the skeleton of things.

We create a healthy, drama-free environment and leave the crappy stuff behind in our wake.

We do work that our members believe in and we believe in our members.

As A. Thurman mentioned, it's good to "take the time to make sure everyone has the same goals." While we're not in the "frenzy" of rehearsals and production, it was really great to have this discussion with everyone and I highly recommend you doing so with your own companies. It was a very honest talk and I plan on referring back to that list from time to time if I ever need reminding of why we're doing what we're doing.

I hope everyone's September is going marvelously. I hope to write more soon with more announcements and updates.


Dawn said...

"American Gothic" is such a strong, vivid branding for your company. Even though I've never seen one of your shows, I feel like I know what I'd be in for. Sounds great.

RebeccaZ said...

Thanks, Dawn! That's what we' would, ultimately, like to achieve ... when potential audiences hear or see the word GreyZelda and our accompanying shows, they'll know what they're in for.