Crews Control

Been receiving a ton of applications but haven't decided yet on crew for Helltown Buffet. Here's what's needed:

  • Stage Manager. Must be organized and proficient with email, because that's how we communicate offline.
  • Set Designer/Builder. Must be able to design and build a set on a very low budget. Resourcefulness is a must. I'm very open to any concepts you might have to fit the play. Costumer.
  • Costumes will cover modern to fantasy (for the sequences in hell and an eco-friendly Philippines afterlife) to Filipino tribal.
  • Choreographer to choreograph at least two dance sequences: one set in modern Southern California and another Ifugao-style tribal dance set in pre-Hispanic Philippines.
  • Sound Designer to select and design not only sound effect but music.
  • Lighting Designer.
  • Prop Master.
  • Two tech people to run the light and sound board.

If you're interested, email me a theater resume using the address on the left.

Rejecting Helltown Buffet or The Importance of Theater Research

Seattle-based SIS Productions rejected Helltown Buffet with a nice email. The reason? Not enough roles for women. True enough. The play focuses on men, with only two out of the seven main characters for women.

But some research into their theater could've saved some trouble. Their website clearly states that they strive " create, develop and produce quality works that involve Asian American women."

Good thing that email submissions don't use any postage. The cheap, simple lesson here is to always check out a theater's background before soliciting them.

The good news is that SIS is looking at my Asian Acting play collection, which has quite a few roles for women. The one all-male play of the collection, Tongue Lashing, can easily be replaced by Christmas Kisses, which is mostly about women, though not strictly an Asian play.

Meeting Up at the Beall Center

University of California - Irvine (UCI): the college students have bodies that still pull upward against the force of gravity, eyes that don't squint at small type, and dreams of fame and glory unmortgaged by the bank of real life.

Me, I have the Orange County Small Theater Meetup group: nearly 500 folk way past college who love small theater. (Their extreme good taste brought them to Language of Their Own a year ago. ) They also love art. Specifically, multi-media art at the UCI Beall Center.

But this was my first meet-up with them and so how would I recognize anyone.

Do I just go up to the occasional mature face among youthful crowd and say "Hello, you look old enough to be everyone's parent. Are you with the group?"

After 20 minutes of wandering the free Costco pizza, overpowering rock music, and student clubs offering free hugs, I was approached by Anna, the group organizer, who recognized me from Language of Their Own. She took me into a the fold of about nine people, all of whom held fascinating opinions about art, colored by their life experiences.

One exhibit (above): projected, life-sized, moving images of people talking about I Want, the exhibit title. The projectors rose high enough so the shadows of viewers didn't appear until they got very close to the image.

Projections as background for a stage set? Not cheap but can be effective.

Indiana Jones and the Eternal Explanations

This is not a review for Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, though for the record, Harrison Ford (left) and Shia Laboeuf (right, channeling Marlon Brando in Wild One) couldn't unhash this rehash of the series plots.

This is about what over-explaining can do to an action film:

"Indy, we need to run from the bad guys."

"Yes, but first you need to know why they're bad."

"Indy, we need to find the source of the crystal skull."

"Yes, but did you know who made the crystal skull and why it's dangerous?"

"Indy, run. Now."

"Yes, look how that tribe recalls the splendor of the Mayan empire. Speaking of Mayans..."

But I'm the Rubbermaid calling the kettle container "Tupperware." My play Consent bogs down with similar yakking scenes. At the time, they seemed necessary, but now they're like C-Span documentaries gone wild. Especially with Indy's example on the big screen.

Out comes the virtual scissors. Cut, cut, cut those scenes.