<![CDATA[Seattle Theatre Works - Blog]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:02:43 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTOR DENIECE BLEHA - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHTS VS POETS 2017]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:22:56 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-actor-deniece-bleha-medicine-ball-playwrights-vs-poets-2017
1.) What inspired you to become an actor? 

 Even as a child I loved to pretend and still do to this day.

 
2.) What attracted you to the Medicine Ball platform?

 
The integration of the different artistic platforms and the new challenge of performing poetry. Plus, meeting new people is always fun.

 

 3.) If you weren't acting - how would you like to involve yourself in a show?

 
Producing and directing.

 
4.) Which is easier and why - crying or laughing for the stage?

 
Both can be quite easy or difficult if the circumstances support that response or not.

 

 
5.) You're going to die - you have to choose a death from Shakespeare's work - which death do you choose? 

 
Exit, pursued by a bear

 

6.) What is a dream role/show of yours?


 
A Sondheim musical.  Sadly, folks shouldn’t pay to specifically see me sing and dance.

 

 7.) Name something we can all agree on?

 
We can all agree that Captain Crunch will tear up the roof of your mouth.
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<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTOR SARAH BIXLER - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHT VS POETS 2017]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 17:57:17 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-actor-sarah-bixler-medicine-ball-playwright-vs-poets-2017
1.) What inspired you to become an actor? 

I think I always was an actor. Nothing profound. I did Odyssey of the Mind as a kiddo and just slipped right into it. 


2.) What attracted you to the Medicine Ball platform?


There's so much possibility! I love how many layers of artist are involved in the creation. It could be total shit, but I bet some really beautiful chaos comes out of it. 


3.) If you weren't acting - how would you like to involve yourself in a show?

I'm a theatre educator at heart, and I often find myself Stage Managing. Though I don't do as much SMing these days. That way spells burnout. 


4.) Which is easier and why - crying or laughing for the stage?


Both are fairly simple with motivation. It's the stuff in between that stumps me sometimes. 


5.) You're going to die - you have to choose a death from Shakespeare's work - which death do you choose? 

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. They were on an adventure with their best friend. 


6.) What is a dream role/show of yours?

Sylvia. Oldy but a goody. 


7.) Name something we can all agree on?


Life is always complicated and occasionally beautiful. 

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<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTOR CHRISTINE WHITE - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHTS VS POETS 2017]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 04:40:53 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-actor-christine-white-medicine-ball-playwrights-vs-poets-2017
1.) What inspired you to become an actor? 

It's a really funny story actually, I was a sophomore in high school and had signed up for a PE class I really didn't want to take. The night before class "change day", which was the last time we could switch our classes, I saw "Real Genius", and I sat there throughout that movie watching Val Kilmer's character wreck his dorm room, and knew at that moment that acting was what I wanted to do. I'm not proud of it. It would have been much more cool to say I started acting because of DeNiro in Raging Bull, or Streep in Sophie's Choice. Nope, Val Kilmer. 

That, I came from a Mormon family. We Mormons learn to sing, act, and dance. We're really show people. :)



2.) What attracted you to the Medicine Ball platform?

Other than Dan's a punkin'...well, I really love the juxtapositions of the poetry, play-writing, and visual art. I think this format creates a very interesting recipe in getting each piece on it's feet, that allows for maximum exploration in spoken word, visual art and picture making, physical movement and story-telling, and as an actor, the ability and even mandate to think outside the box when it comes to the performance.


3.) If you weren't acting - how would you like to involve yourself in a show?


I have been involved with many shows as a vocal coach and music director, I paint myself and have been involved in scenic painting, and apparently these days play-writing. I am almost done with a first draft of a play I am hoping to workshop in the next few years.



4.) Which is easier and why - crying or laughing for the stage?

That answer is yes. I guess I don't necessarily ascribe the word easy when speaking of acting. :) I think that both can be challenging depending on the material, the actor, and the given day. Rather than think on this question in terms of easy vs. hard, I prefer to think of it in terms of presence vs. absence. Whether you are a method actor, a technical genius, physical actor, dancer, singer, etc. if one is truly in a scene, in a moment, and right there with their scene partner, both acting and crying are what they are. It then becomes a matter of how much physical, psychological, and biochemical access you have to those emotions within your own nervous system, and what mechanisms you have learned to bring them to the surface.



5.) You're going to die - you have to choose a death from Shakespeare's work - which death do you choose? 

Richard III


6.) What is a dream role/show of yours?

Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, and Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd



7.) Name something we can all agree on?

- At the end of the day, all we all want is for someone to be kind and compassionate towards us.
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<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTOR LYAM WHITE - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHTS VS POETS 2017]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 04:28:40 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-actor-lyam-white-medicine-ball-playwrights-vs-poets-2017
1.) What inspired you to become an actor? 

I was a really serious preteen. Serious as in well-read and morose. But I was also kind of socially awkward, stunted. I'd shown some aptitude in writing and music (I played flute and saxophone, and have taken up singing since), but that didn't really translate yet to an aspiration. I was sort of arrested in a childlike state of thinking about my future; I wanted to be an intergalactic smuggler or a globe-trotting, treasure-hunting archaeologist. I would tell people I wanted to be a scientist, because it sounded adult and respectable, but what I really meant was that I wanted to make a Jekyll and Hyde formula and terrorize the city at night. The world as it actually was, as I saw it, didn't have a place for me.

My best friend and I both auditioned for our middle-school production of Inherit the Wind, mostly because we thought it would help us meet girls. I played Henry Drummond, the role based on Clarence Darrow. Oddly enough, the experience first made me want to become a lawyer; fashioning arguments is a blast, and I was downright drunk on the notion that I could find for progressive thinking and social justice in a courtroom. But the experience of being on stage was ... transformative. It sounds silly, I suppose, but it was like I'd never really been seen or understood in the way I was when I was working my voice and my body into the skin of someone else's words. It was like I was experiencing play, fun, and connection with other people for the first time.


2.) What attracted you to the Medicine Ball platform?


I love finding room for play within formal constraints, at least in situations where rehearsal and performance time are limited; it can be frustrating when someone wants a mainstage level of time commitment for something that's based on process rather than content, but when it's a "lightning round" like this or 14/48, it can be a great tonic for re-energizing me as a performer. And I love dealing with poetry on stage. A lot of mainstream theater has embraced the modernist, write-the-way-people-talk approach to language, and a very postmodernist, dialectal materialism-centered approach to content, fearful of abstraction or metaphysic. Physical theater, which is what I'm usually doing with UMO, is more comfortable with the abstract, but can sometimes be almost anti-language; some practitioners are downright condescending toward language as a mode of expression. I find words, and big, weird ideas, intoxicating. I like the purity with which poetry approaches them, stripping them of their need to be "conversational" (as if most people actually tackle anything of any scope or scale in their conversations). 

3.) If you weren't acting - how would you like to involve yourself in a show?


Well, I am a writer, and a musician to a lesser extent. I have produced. I've coached actors on movement. So I've done those, and would - am, in fact, pretty sure I will - do them again. 

4.) Which is easier and why - crying or laughing for the stage?


I don't think they're that different. Same tool that looks different depending on the job you're doing with it. They both get easier with time.


5.) You're going to die - you have to choose a death from Shakespeare's work - which death do you choose? 


It's sort of cheating, because I've already enacted it, but Mark Antony's death in Antony & Cleopatra just tickles me. He stabs himself, but manages NOT to strike a mortal blow, and spends several pages telling various characters how he basically ... missed. I hope for something with that kind of blend of the tragic, the comic, and the gruesome. And public. Very public.


6.) What is a dream role/show of yours?


This is gonna undermine any avant-garde cred I've tried to cultivate, because it's square as all get out, but I would love to take on Cyrano de Bergerac. Ideally in some sort of non-traditional take on the play, but I wouldn't balk at a traditional rendering. I think there's a gorgeous misanthropy at the heart of that piece, and there's something in that character that really rings true. 

Oh, and Sweeney Todd. I have mixed feelings about musicals (too long a conversation to get into here), but that piece is canon for all the right reasons, and I'd love to sink my teeth into it. Pun intended, probably.


7.) Name something we can all agree on?

I think we can all agree that it would be really nice to all agree on something, for once. But I think the chances of that happening are nil. 
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<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTOR TERRY BOYD - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHTS VS POETS 2017]]>Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:48:20 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-actor-terry-boyd-medicine-ball-playwrights-vs-poets-2017
1.) What inspired you to become an actor? 

When I was a boy, I was torn between being a zoo keeper, a mail man (this is before there were letter carriers) and an actor. Until I figured out which of the three got appearances on The Mike Douglas Show.

 
2.) What attracted you to the Medicine Ball platform?

Originally, that no audition was required. What keeps me coming back is the exposure to poetry, since I am a person who, in theory,  loves poetry, but in reality, never reads it. That and the camaraderie of the actors and crew.

 

 3.) If you weren't acting - how would you like to involve yourself in a show?

The only Zen Moment I’ve ever experienced was when I was nineteen and alone on a big stage painting wicker baskets Chinese Red for a production of The King and I. So I guess the answer to this question is: props.

 

 
4.) Which is easier and why - crying or laughing for the stage?

Crying. I have no idea why.


 

 
5.) You're going to die - you have to choose a death from Shakespeare's work - which death do you choose? 

Not Cleopatra’s. I have a thing about snakes. Not Ophelia’s. I can’t even wade in a creek since seeing Jaws. That leaves me the death of The Duke of Clarence. (My nickname in fourth grade was Clarence the Crossed Eyed Kid. I had just gotten glasses. And it was close to Terrence. Kids can be cruel, but they also enjoy a good rhyme.) I think Richard III had the Duke drowned in a butt of malmsey wine. Sign me up.

 

 
6.) What is a dream role/show of yours?

I have an unhealthy need to scream “I have no sons!” as the curtain falls on Act One of The Lion in Winter.

 

 7.) Name something we can all agree on?

Joan Cusack.
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<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTOR TOM FRASER - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHTS VS POETS 2017]]>Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:43:24 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-actor-tom-fraser-medicine-ball-playwrights-vs-poets-2017
1.) What inspired you to become an actor? 
 
I think I always liked playing 'pretend' as a kid. I especially liked  being a spy or a secret agent. They always dressed cool and got the hot babes. I recall one of my favorite childhood toys was a James Bond-like briefcase that had a fake camera in it and a rifle that you could break down into pieces. So, yeah, that .....and the BIG money involved of course.

2.) What attracted you to the Medicine Ball platform?

Some severe arm twisting by the Producer....and perhaps one too many beers.


3.) If you weren't acting - how would you like to involve yourself in a show?

Though I have minimal experience in non-acting roles, I do have some affinity for being  part of the casting process and also for assistant directing.
So, I guess that means I like the idea of calling some of the shots
...but not all of the shots.


4.) Which is easier and why - crying or laughing for the stage?

Crying I suppose....cause, well,  I'm like a sensitive artist & stuff.

5.) You're going to die - you have to choose a death from Shakespeare's work - which death do you choose? 
 
One that doesn't involve blood.... its such a drag to get blood off your skin and out of a costume every night 
 
6.) What is a dream role/show of yours?

I've been asked this before and I really don't  have a specific role that I'm hankering to play  BUT I'd love to do something with one of the groups that perform at Seattle's 12th Avenue Arts some day, as virtually everything I've seen done there I've really enjoyed.  

7.) Name something we can all agree on?
 
We need to get  an NBA team back in Seattle.
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<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTOR ALYSHA CURRY - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHTS VS POETS 2017]]>Sun, 18 Jun 2017 03:11:30 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-actor-alysha-curry-medicine-ball-playwrights-vs-poets-2017
1.) What inspired you to become an actor? 

I was obsessed with the movies My Girl and My Girl 2 as a kid, and I watched them both religiously. I wanted to BE Anna Chlumsky. When I think back to my earliest inspiration, it was definitely her. Btw, she's still great.



2.) What attracted you to the Medicine Ball platform?


The main draw for me is that the poets and playwrights write their pieces with their assigned actors in mind. For the most part, female roles in theater exist to serve the male roles. It is infrequent that our characters are full and rounded and serve a purpose outside of that. In Medicine Ball, the writers get to write specifically for their actors-so for ten minutes at a time, we can get really flushed out, complete female roles and that is the best part for me, personally. 



3.) If you weren't acting - how would you like to involve yourself in a show?

I live for spreadsheets. If I weren't an actor, I would probably want to be a stage manager. 




4.) Which is easier and why - crying or laughing for the stage?

I mean, I'm an avid cryer IRL, so probably crying.



5.) You're going to die - you have to choose a death from Shakespeare's work - which death do you choose? 


The obvious answer is exit, pursued by a bear. But I'd say the real MVP is stabbed, baked into a pie and fed to your mom. Obvi. 



6.) What is a dream role/show of yours?

The Children's Hour. Always The Children's Hour.


7.) Name something we can all agree on?

Righty tighty lefty loosey.
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<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTOR BRITT HOBSON - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHT VS POETS 2017]]>Sun, 18 Jun 2017 03:01:55 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-actor-britt-hobson-medicine-ball-playwright-vs-poets-2017

​1.) What inspired you to become an actor? 


I guess it was Judy Garland - I was obsessed with the Wizard of Oz when I was young and I wanted nothing more in life than to be Dorothy Gale.  I even went to a career day at my preschool as Dorothy Gale.  I can still remember the other children telling me 'That's not a career!'.  I'm glad I didn't listen to them.  


2.) What attracted you to the Medicine Ball platform?

My friend, Alysha, contacted me about being a part of this project and I was really interested in the concept. 


3.) If you weren't acting - how would you like to involve yourself in a show?

As a playwright.  


4.) Which is easier and why - crying or laughing for the stage?

Crying - It doesn't take a lot to make me cry.  I hate forcing a laugh.


5.) You're going to die - you have to choose a death from Shakespeare's work - which death do you choose? 

I'll go the way of the Fool in King Lear - I'll just disappear.  After that, I'll be featured on an episode of 'Disappeared' and become an urban legend, haunting wherever I was last seen.  


6.) What is a dream role/show of yours?

I'd really love to play Ripley in an Alien musical so if anyone wants to write that, please contact me!  


7.) Name something we can all agree on?

Maybe that we want to be content, or happy?  I think I'd need know the 'we' we're referring to before I can fully answer that question.  ​
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<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTOR FOX RAIN MATTHEWS - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHTS VS POETS 2017]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 17:07:52 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-actor-fox-rain-matthews-medicine-ball-playwrights-vs-poets-2017
1.) What inspired you to become an actor?

I grew up in the foster care system - and once I was introduced to the public school system in seventh grade - I formed an addicting habit of making people laugh in my drama class - I was unable to laugh at my own life - but becoming another character, in a completely different world... was quite the rush and the perfect escape. I followed theatre through college, continuing my art mostly through physical comedy (throwing myself around a room/stage combat/clown work) and improv. Gene Wilder was always an inspiration for me. 
I now find myself at an odd end with theatre. I still have a strong love affair with it - I just don't quite see my place in it anymore. It feels selfish. My attention has pulsed from film making to writing - to traveling...and every once and a while there will be a show that comes along that feels like a good mental challenge and true collaboration between a unique blend of people. I suppose these days I wont participate as an actor for the sake of acting. What inspires me to be an actor is knowing that what I'm creating has the potential to be something much more than theatre - I want my work to mean something not just for the audience, but for myself as well.  
  



2.) What attracted you to the Medicine Ball platform?

I have been with Medicine Ball: Playwrights vs Poets from the beginning (six or seven years?). I love the idea of getting a diverse group of artistic viewpoints in the same room to create something in a creative and collaborative way. This year we have a band, performing original music written for the show - the band is lead by a good friend of mine - Tristan McAavoy. I love that this show continues to evolve/grow, make mistakes, and create many beautiful moments between artists. It feels like a living and breathing machine. It feels real and honest - and I always have a blast!  




3.) If you weren't acting - how would you like to involve yourself in a show?

As mentioned earlier - I have dipped into writing more. I also wouldn't mind directing someday...


4.) Which is easier and why - crying or laughing for the stage?

I think they both come from a similar place. But in the past it has always been easier for me to cry... I think that reflects my abilities in the real world. I have a strong knack on making others laugh, but have trouble finding true laughter for my own. 



5.) You're going to die - you have to choose a death from Shakespeare's work - which death do you choose? 

I always envisioned myself going out like Macbeth. So I suppose this is my fate.



6.) What is a dream role/show of yours?

I would love to play Josh in Big: The Musical. That show just hits me straight in the heart. I would also love to play the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz again someday...but other than that I would rather do original works. ...I would love to do some kind of horror show...only because it is rarely done for the stage...I think there is much unexplored potential here.  



7.) Name something we can all agree on?

I don't know. We all need water and air to survive? I also think that maybe we can all agree that swallowing a handful of nails is probably a bad idea...
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<![CDATA[7 QUESTIONS WITH DIRECTOR SARAH RODRIGUEZ GIESE - MEDICINE BALL: PLAYWRIGHTS VS POETS 2017]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 06:17:29 GMThttp://seattletheatreworks.org/blog/7-questions-with-director-sarah-rodriguez-giese-medicine-ball-playwrights-vs-poets-2017
1.) What draws you to the Medicine Ball platform?

I love art. I especially love it when art births art that fosters more art.


2.) What is the most rewarding aspect of directing a show?

Working with actors. I love throwing ideas around with talented people, trying things and seeing what works.


3.) What are some challenges you often come across as a director?


Word salad. Move your thing, that prop you've got, to thereish and kind of (gestures strangely)...You know...You know?



4.) A glass of Two Buck Chuck - or a can of PABST Blue Ribbon?

PBR please. 



5.) If you weren't directing, how would you be involved with a show - and why?


Oh, lots of ways. I love acting but I've been a lighting designer, set designer, costumer, scenic artist, make up artist. I actually don't think anyone should ask me to do make-up again. Seriously.



6.) You are directing a holiday themed show of your choice - which holiday do you choose and why?


Halloween. There are so many great, spooky, gory, dark scripts to choose from!



7.) What is something we can all agree on?


The bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle.
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