TECH REHEARSALS: a photographic journey

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Tiara drawing some doors. We were at the theatre from 10 am to 10 pm, and spent most that time drinking and making art and hanging lights.

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Gaelle hangs lights and looks awesome and is an expert.

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Emma hangs lights too. (It was fine.)

Come see our awesome show! http://www.tenderatwow.eventbrite.org for tickets and info. This weekend, Thurs/Fri/Sat, 8 PM, at WOW Cafe Theatre in downtown Manhattan.

 

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Ten reasons you should COME SEE TENDER AT WOW MAY 9-11 59-61 EAST 4TH STREET NY NY 8 PM (this blog post written by Emma during rehearsal):

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1. There’s a robot puppet.

2. The robot puppet was illegally built in a fancy art studio with uh borrowed materials haha jk not really.

3. Lydia Love is designing the lights.

4. CONSENT IS SEXY. ACTIVE CONSENT IS SEXIER.

5. Tickets are pay what you can, and you decide what you can pay. We hope it’s fifteen dollars. We will be thrilled to see you regardless.

6. “What are your other phobias? That’s a weird question. Don’t answer that. Should we kiss?”

7. We’re performing at a queer anarchist theatre collective called WOW Cafe.

8. The play sparked a series of workshops on radical consent coming to you live summer 2013.

9. “Pretend you’re a bowl of peaches and they all wanna cuddle …” is the start to a warm up we often use.

10. Sometimes we spoon.

THREE WEEKS AWAY

Three weeks until you can see what we’ve been doing all this time. Hi it’s Emma. Last week, for the first time, we went through the whole thing! Something in the show got stronger last week, I am not sure what it was. There was some group spooning. As the day gets closer there’s less I can reveal about our process because I don’t want to give anything away. The robot puppet is getting steadily better at dancing; the dialogue is getting tighter and tighter; we’re finding the props we need, developing moments of conversation between theatre and dance that seem to deepen every time we go again. Everyone, across the board, is taking massive risks. I’ve never been part of anything like this show, and this is really, really the last week I am allowed to edit the script. So I’m writing this post to take a really huge deep breath, one that ideally lasts until I have a script that is weirder than the one we had before.

Mark your calendar.

May 9, 10, and 11 at 8 PM, at WOW Cafe, 59-61 East 4th Street, New York, NY.

It’ll be a little warmer then, a little closer to summer, but not quite time for Manhattan to go on vacation yet. Pressure will be building, and you’ll feel it under your feet. 

Things I Believe In Now

We are less than two months away!!!!!!!

And we have a script. And we have some choreography. And some brilliant people who will be on stage.

Our first rehearsal with the script on its feet was last week and I want to write about it. This is Emma, by the way, hi. I was facilitating this rehearsal, and while I’m a better director now than before, I’m still pretty shaky, and I still have a frequent urge to dump the whole play in a trash can and run out of the room. My plan for this rehearsal was to zero in on a particular section of the script. Just to give you some context: Leah, this young queer, abruptly drops out of college and moves states away to get a job, and we spend the rest of the play finding out why and following her as she restructures her identity. Anyway, in this particular section, Leah is beset by this strange being that isn’t really a memory and is also definitely not real. This strange being has a name: SALLY’S BLOG. In this particular section, Leah, for the first time, is refusing to go along with Sally’s Blog and its demands. On their feet, the actors were commanding, filling the space, moving between bursts of laughter and bursts of anger. Doing the scene over and over made it real for us in a way that it hadn’t been before, and everyone was pissed. It is strange to build up all that anger and then not know what to do with it.

We decided to do an exercise Julia taught us before and after the scene every time we rehearse it. It will signify that we are opening ourselves up to these characters; and then, after the scene, signify that we are back to ourselves. I started to rethink my understanding of what theatre is. I was so freaked out. I will continue to be freaked out.

READING THIS SATURDAY – MARCH 16

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This Saturday! This is it! The full text! Here we go! Emma’s gonna stop drinking coffee! Seriously you should go to this. You should. I’m talking to you. Yes you. You should go.

Workshop Reading: Tender

Tender is a dance play about a queer couple that is coping with intimate trauma. The show is awkwardly sexy, sweet, and strange; there’s a really cute robot and, we hope, a seed of queer advocacy that will continue to grow throughout our work.  Exploring the complex issue of relationship abuse in queer communities, we created a process of generating dialogue and dance that we hope to share with you on March 16 at 8 PM. We’ll do a short reading and strike up a critical discussion, focusing on your observations, questions, and thoughts. Come by to listen to a rigorous and fascinating conversation or to add your voice to a new work that strives to be anti-racist, honest, and wholeheartedly queer.   Tickets are $7 or pay what you can. For more information about the dance play, the workshops, or the emerging company behind both, check out freshpeachdance.wordpress.com or email freshpeachdance@gmail.com. For more information about the 32-year-old anarchist collective venue, check out wowcafe.org.

First Rehearsal: Game of Getting Close

Hi it’s Emma! I have the good luck of being asked, last August, to do some writing for this dance workshop; and now I’m doing a lot of writing for this show. We had our first rehearsal with Lynne, Kelsey, Julia, and me, and it was the first rehearsal I’ve ever been to where I felt a certain filter removed that I hadn’t previously been aware of. Lynne, who acted in the August workshop and is acting again in the show, told me at the end of the rehearsal “you can trust us.” I’ve always felt afraid of people reading what I write out loud. I don’t want people to read it because I’m afraid of what it will turn into when it’s spoken, like a big scary monster is going to jump off the page and start smashing things. I never thought it would be a good idea to try to figure out why I felt this way, or to try to engage this monster in conversation.

Lynne, Julia, and Kelsey are good friends, wildly talented people who took the rambling text and made it into something interesting, who put up with my fumbling through pages, and, most importantly, who facilitated this rehearsal, deriving from the text a very necessary conversation about the issues in the show. They said things like “I know it’s weird between these two people, but I don’t think I totally know why” and “they are playing a game of getting close that they are really good at”…

… and, on the topic of BDSM in queer relationships, which is in the foreground of the play and which the characters tend to skirt around discussing: “there are two things in this show that audiences might confuse as being identical. those two things are bdsm and an actually nonconsensual relationship. how do we make it absolutely clear that bdsm/kink is not abuse? how do we show the difference? how do we show a relationship in which nonconsent masquerades as bdsm, and, in the same breath, show another relationship that involves bdsm play in which there is clear communication, and clear consent? how do we give these characters well-rounded, evolving identities that draw power from making traumatic experiences part of their identities?”

I realized these conversations are how this play is going to write itself. I felt artistically unfolded. I owe my friends for this.