Monday, November 24, 2008

What we're up to (kinda):

Shakespeare was meant to be performed. High school students stuck reading Romeo And Juliet for class are only having half the experience (unless, like myself, they were lucky enough to read it the same year as Baz Luhrmann's totally sweet and mildly accurate movie came out). Arguably the same goes for any playwright. Reading a script by yourself in your apartment just doesn't give you the full monty. Lately Suzanne and I have been pouring over dozens of scripts looking for the perfect next project for Night Light, and have been having this very same problem. In so doing, we realized something else we wanted out of this company: group read-through and discussions. Preferably accompanied by food and drink.
Thus a new Night Light project is launched!
We debuted this idea with On the Verge (Eric Overmeyer), a verbose script about a trio of time-traveling Victorian lady explorers. Alison Haracznak, Matt Cowan, and Thomas Gordon participated in what ended up being a two night event. Not only were we able to finally appreciate the sounds of this very wordy script, but we managed to discover several themes and patterns to the work, that I doubt we would have touched on our own (turn of the century feminism, phenomology, and the three basic life paths, to name a few). It was almost like we were on our own adventure into terra incognita! Wow wow wow! How helpful it all was, and how fun! What an amazing tool to use to decide what we want to do for our next show.
So . . . now to make it a habit:
Next month, look for comments on our reading of Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls (Naomi Iizuka). Also, if you're interested in being a part of these readings/discussions/etc. feel free to let us know.

- Kerry

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'll Sarah Ruhl You . . .

So, Suzanne warned that the thing about blogs is that you have to continually add to them or they seem dated. So, based in that advise, the Night Light blog will not only be the home of all show/audition/contact info, but also a place to talk about theatre. Not that there's any lack of that in town (damn you Dave T. for already cornering the market on that!)
ANYWHO, to proceed on topic . . .
While I was visiting my BFF (Corey Dzenko shout out - she also helped me start this site) in Albuquerque, I had the unique please to continue the Sarah Ruhl fest that just finished here in RVA. The Tricklock Theatre Company ( ) was performing a new play of hers while I was there. Melancholy Play has not yet had it's New York opening, so they performed it with special permission from the author, and were allowed no reviews or extensive advertising. As a result, the audience was sparse, but whoever missed the show definitely missed out.
I can only wait for the time to come that
1. This play gets it's debut and becomes available for the rest of the country to do.
2. Richmond becomes less saturated with Ms. Ruhl's work.
Because this new play is made for Night Light. Not only does it feature a very tight ensemble cast, but the entire play is written to be scored with live cello accompaniment. Ahhh! Amazing. Not to mention the plot is lovely:
A girl becomes so depressed, but in a sexy way (think beautiful sad thoughtfulness), that everyone around her falls in love with her. Eventually she drops the bad mood, and a melancholy epidemic breaks out. And the symptom? People are so sad that they start turning into almonds.
While Clean House may be her best all around play, this one is definitely her most fun. Who new such exciting theatre was happening in Albuquerque?

- Kerry

Friday, November 7, 2008

House of Yes

August 28 & 29 2008

Our first show! There's no better way to introduce a new company then by putting on a show about incest. It's a show that made us uncomfortable and challenged what we thought was right and wrong. Talk about a piece capable of making us grow as people as well as actors . . .
We wanted to approach the text using new techniques. Bonnie coached the cast through Anne Bogart's Viewpoints and physical scoring, and Charley provided an intense contact improv workshop. We worked extensively with movement, gesture, and music to create the characters and their relationships to one another. All of this was complemented for the performance by an original cello score developed during the rehearsal process.
As for the show itself, everything kind of fell together while we were working on this. How did we ever find that pink suit? What luck that Charley was turning his living room into a theatre space! Even the weather pitched in with a couple of hot, rainy nights. It was clearly meant to be.
Working on something that was completely ours was a very exciting and rewarding experience, and we are grateful we to got to share it with everyone who came.
Thank you!

(Pictures courtesy of Michelle Angresano)

The Beginning . . .

Once upon a time, a couple of girls had some down time while they were rehearsing The Seagull over at Henley Street. Naturally their conversation turned to the state of theatre in Richmond, and specifically the ratio of talented young women to available roles in town (I don't suggest thinking too hard on this topic - frankly the result is ultimately depressing). Now, usually this talk doesn't really lead anywhere, but maybe this time they were especially fed up, or maybe the stars were aligned just right, but they decided to do something about it. And so they did. Several discussions, meetings, and booze-flavored drinks later, an idea was born, and after successfully wooing Andrew Bonniwell to our cause (with a combination of our charm and passion for new theatre forms, I'm sure), we had Night Light Collective. And then we all lived happily ever after. Or maybe, that's when all the hard work began. I always forget how that story goes . . .