Save a Pocket Monster, Change the World

Sarah McLachlan, that angel of the 90s, just filmed a promo for us. It’s for a cause we both care about deeply.

If you can find it in your heart to spare a dollar or two, please join us in our fight.

Pika approved!

Pika approved!

Starting the Experience at the Door: Theatrical Hors D’oeuvres

You walk into a party and the host takes your coat, slings a drink into your hand, introduces you to a few people – makes you feel comfortable, gets you prepared for what the night has in store. Theatrical experiences should be no different. You are already prepared to enter another story for the evening –  best to ignite the senses the minute you walk in the door.

The best example I have seen lately was the interactive wonderworld before a performance of The Nether, a show dealing with the danger and imperceptibility of the digital realm and its communities, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Upon arrival, guests were immediately invited to create their own “avatar,” the ideal virtual version of themselves that would represent them for the evening. There was a pinboard to select your favorite character from a variety of games and online communities. Large glass bowls were set out with titles such “I met someone that I only had ever spoken to online,” and “I have friends that I only know through the internet,” with a bowl of round markers in front that guests could drop into whichever corresponding questions matched their own truths. IMAG1951

Most notably, there was a wall hung with clothesline and a large stack of cards entitled “nobody knows I dream about.” Over the course of the evening, the wall quickly filled with secrets more often left unspoken.

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Each game and activity eased you into the experience of The Nether which asked audiences to consider the ways in which we communicate now and notice how the digital world has swiftly become meshed with our own. It offered a stark warning for the future, and most importantly made us feel welcome as we prepared for an entirely new storytelling experience.

Hiding Amidst the Others

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Want to grow big and strong? Take a cue from Toronto-based street artist Aidan Glynn, who created these mushrooms and dropped them into a local grocery store.

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Glynn‘s other projects surround the video game world with nods to Pokemon, Donkey Kong, Mario and more:

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When Worlds Collide

Next project on the slates is a musical entitled The Pokemusical – which promises to be a ridiculously fun romp as 90’s nostalgia takes the stage. 

Thrilled to begin telling this story to those that knew and loved the Pokemon craze/those that ask Polka-what?

Looks like we’re not the only ones who are fans of the mash-up. Pokemon Fashion blog PokeXFashion slams the world of high fashion into the slightly more animated one as pocket monsters hide surreptitiously behind models or grab the limelight instead.

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Even more at PokeXFashion

Party Like Gatsby

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——”

What better way to celebrate good ol’ fashioned nostalgia, a glittering golden dream of America, than with a Great Gatsby-inspired fete?

A few glimpses from the pre-party prep:

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Sitting across from the “Old Money” Mints

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Gatsby-esque wisdom

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On quotable pages

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Timeless suit. Properly timed cheese plate.

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Found the green light.

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Shakespeare’s Rocking Out

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The brilliant team behind Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is at it again. Director and bookwriter Alex Timbers and composer Michael Friedman have collaborated again on a modern musical retelling of the Bard’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. From the sound of this track, released yesterday on Shakespeare’s 449th birthday, the show promises to be a contemporary romp and a love letter of sorts to the inimitable writer himself.

It will take this stage this summer as part of the free Shakespearefest that descends upon Central Park’s Delacorte Theater each year. From the Shakespeare in the Park notes on the show: “Romance, revelry and enchanting music ignite in this contemporary yet lovingly faithful musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy. The King and his best buds decide at their five-year college reunion to swear off the joys of women. But when four cute, clever girls from their past show up, they’re forced to reconsider all of that nonsense! Smart, sexy, outrageous, and irreverent, LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST is a madcap celebration of true love and coming of age.”

AreYouaManClick above to listen

Tis The Season of Gatsby

With Luhrmann’s adaptation about to hit the silver screen, there’s no better time to revisit how others have retold Fitzgerald’s classic American tale. At once a novella about the power of hope and a prophetic story of the end of an era, the The Great Gatsby is still considered one of the best books in the canon of Western literature.

The book exploded off the page in Elevator Repair Service’s marathon retelling. A man in an office sits down, begins reading the book, and 8 hours later (a few intermissions and dinner break included) you emerge from the theatre having utterly steeped yourself in the text. All 180 pages of it.

Take a glimpse of the piece through the eyes of the narrator, Nick Carraway, as Gatsby’s lavish parties transform a dull office setting. The actor who plays Nick, Scott Shepherd, has memorized all 49,000 words of the text.

READ this line, read THIS line, read this LINE

A young Ian McKellen works through a line from Merchant of Venice in the RSC’s Playing Shakespeare from a few decades past.

The director seen here, John Barton, was asked to write a book about his robust knowledge of the Bard but promptly refused, stating that it was impossible to talk about Shakespeare without having living, breathing actors available to demonstrate the subtleties and poetry of the text. The result is a party full of some the acting greats taking apart classic texts piece by piece and uncovering centuries worth of subtext in the process.

That Old Black Magic Has Me In Its Spell

Lookbook: The Crucible, Arthur Miller

Great words conjure up great images. And The Crucible is nothing if not a master class in playwriting. Miller’s text ignites with its mix of magic, hysteria, and faith.

candles“There is prodigious fear in seeking loose spirits”

cantsleep“I cannot sleep for dreaming; I cannot dream but I wake and walk about the house as though I’d find you comin’ through the door.”

breathe a word“Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.”

fireflies“A child’s spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon itself come back.”

hysteria“it’s the proper morning to fly into Hell.”

possession“Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.”

names“Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Try to Remember, and If You Remember, Then Follow

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Each new path, each new adventure. Don’t forget to follow next time you hear the call.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Clever Arts Marketing from Around The World: Speaking to an Audience Instead of Talking Down to One

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hertztheatre_manholeHertz Theatre. Decidedly underground.

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critique(This one reminds me a bit of Season 2 of Slings and Arrows)

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teatar-exit-summer-nightsTheatre Exit Summer Nights bus stop posters can be completely seen only during the night.

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Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

What Are You Afraid of…and Other Tough Questions

See Rock City and Other Destinations is up and running! This show investigates the intersection of expectations and reality, telling human stories across six distinct American landmarks. Posters with central ideas from each of the vignettes below:

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