Category: Artists' Perspectives (22)
After opening last week, performances of PENANCE: The Ghost of Don Juan continue through Sunday, April 29. In my third and final video installment on the creation of this new production performed by the Montclair State Theatre Studies class of 2012, I spoke with members of the cast during a break from their physically demanding, hypersexual onstage adventures. And now a few words from Gillian Holmes, Victor J. Carinha, and Nicole Grassano!
Beginning April 19, 2012, Montclair State’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents the world premiere of PENANCE: The Ghost of Don Juan, a new work written by Molly Rice and created in collaboration with the Theatre Studies class of 2012. I had the chance to talk with Molly about adapting the Don Juan story for a contemporary context and what the iconic character means to her. Check out the video below for excerpts from our conversation.
Click here for more on PENANCE from director Debbie Saivetz and movement director Heather Benton, at the cast’s initial “theater bootcamp” rehearsals.
Upcoming in April, Montclair State’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present the world premiere of PENANCE: The Ghost of Don Juan, a new work written by Molly Rice and created in collaboration with the Theatre Studies class of 2012. PENANCE, directed by Debbie Saivetz with movement by Heather Benton, will explore the character and archetype of Don Juan and the implications of aggressive sexual appetite in a hyper-sexual world.
In preparation for rehearsals, the Theatre Studies students participated in a two-day “theater boot camp” led by Benton and Saivetz. They explored their own physicality as well as the physicality of others, working together to build a theatrical ensemble that is ready to tackle the epic text of Don Juan. I sat in on five hours of their boot camp session and chatted with Debbie Saivetz and Heather Benton. Watch the clip below to catch a glimpse of this early stage in the development process!
A cat has nine lives.
They have more.
And during their final life, they found each other in a safe ghetto.
If you sneak your way in, you can see them clawing, growling, and hissing.
And when the ghetto is demolished, all lives seem to have been used up.
The trip to nothingness is crushing.
Because even skin has a memory.
Inspired by the penetrating film Yo Soy Así (by Sonia Herman Dolz), in which the closing of a transvestite cabaret in Barcelona affords us a glimpse into the private lives of a memorable group of older artists, actress Vanessa Van Durme collected a number of transsexual and transvestite friends for a project that can be called unique in every respect. Gardenia is not a work of fiction. Gardenia is a singular account, the most intimate of tales. Read more »
Throughout March, Montclair State observes Women’s History Month with discussions, lectures, film screenings, and performances on the theme “Engendering the Arts and Sciences.” Peak Performances and les ballets C de la B’s Gardenia will be part of the celebration March 17–25. But first, V-Day Montclair gets the theatrical ball rolling with the annual benefit reading of Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues, March 5 and 6 at 7:30pm. Montclair State’s V-Team has assembled a cast of student, faculty, alumni, and community performers to present Ensler’s play and raise money in support of the Women’s Rights Information Center of Englewood, New Jersey, and the women and girls of Haiti (via the global V-Day organization). Below, director Brandon Monokian gives his perspective on the impact of V-Day and talks with two local celebrities in the V-Day Montclair cast.
Four years ago, I was asked to be a last-minute replacement as director of The Vagina Monologues at Montclair State, when the original director dropped out three days before the scheduled start of casting and rehearsals. At the time, I was just excited to direct a show, completely unaware that The Vagina Monologues would change my life. Read more »