Vibrant city-scapes? Lively mix of Eastern and Western tradition and culture? Hundred-year-old temples sandwiched between skyscrapers? Hong Kong – you really do offer a little bit of everything.
Never have I fallen for a city so fast. From first arriving and crossing a bridge into what appeared to be an amalgam of all great metropolises combined, to discovering the islands that make up this energetic hotspot – Hong Kong hooked me early and kept me wanting more.
“But ensembles, nationally and locally, are able to focus more,and develop a style of working and an aesthetic, and that’s what makes the work exciting. Because of that, it’s reinvigorated the field. I think this is only the beginning.”
– Mark Valdez (executive director of the Network of Ensemble Theatres)
Are the days of the traditional playwright dwindling? Or are we simply experiencing a new wave of exciting ensemble-created work?
When thinking of playwrights, our mind often conjures up an image of a tortured artist-type, hunched over a notebook or a typewriter in a pitiful flat in some remote location, painstakingly trying to pull words from thin air and force them down onto a page. But new works created by groups of creatives are challenging this traditional method of writing.
And who’s to say that a multitude of voices cannot be better than one? Sure the conditions for artistic creation must be reevaluated. What could easily be a case of “too many cooks in the kitchen,” is instead a creative playground, pumping out interesting, group-driven work. When all the members of the ensemble recognize that there must a shift away from ego and towards the pursuit of a higher art, ensemble pieces really shine.
One of my favorite recent examples of groundbreaking ensemble work was The Method Gun at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The group, Rude Mechs, put together a show that explored the life and techniques of Stella Burden, an revolutionary acting teacher/guru whose method, The Approach (often referred to as “the most dangerous acting technique in the world”), infused even the smallest role with sex, death and violence. The group collected actual journal entries and personal accounts from those in Stella’s troupe in the 60s and 70s in order to create their mystifying show. The Method Gun re-enacts the final months of her company’s rehearsals for their nine-years-in-the-making production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The company’s challenge? To tell this classic without the four main characters. That’s right. No Stella, no Stanley, no Blanche, no Mitch.
Today’s officially the last day to vote for the Finalists for a Skydiving Package with Skydive San Diego. I found out I was in the running for this contest two weeks ago, and the polls close at 5PM tonight. If you haven’t had a chance to vote yet, I would love your help! The winner gets a free tandem skydiving adventure.
If you guys want to lend a hand, you can click on the photo below, then hit any of the social media buttons under “Share and Enjoy.” The winner of the contest will be the one with the most “likes”, “tweets” or other “mentions” under their profile on Bucket List Publications.Your support would mean the world to me!
If I win, I promise to share any and all embarrassing photographs. Thank you all!
Also I was thrilled this weekend to find that George of Vertical Tales had passed on the Beautiful Blog Award to Thoughts on Theatre! Thank you so much George for the award kudos!
This past weekend, I found out that I am one of 15 Finalists for a Skydiving Package with Skydive San Diego! The winner gets a free tandem skydiving adventure. Over 200 submissions came in, and it looks like I’m in the final running for what would be the flight of a lifetime!
But while my part’s now over, now I need your help. The winner of the contest will be the one with the most “likes”, “tweets” or other “mentions” under their profile on Bucket List Publications. Contest ends March 12th.
If you guys want to help, you can click on the photo below, then hit any of the social media buttons under “Share and Enjoy.” Your support would mean the world to me!
If I win, I promise to share any and all embarrassing photographs. Thank you all who continue to be wonderfully impassioned readers of Thoughts on Theatre, and a big welcome to new subscribers as well!