Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas inspired thoughts

Most of you probably already know that I'm spending my Christmas (as I always do) in snowy, cold, Irving Berlin-esque Michigan. Since my parents are real swell folks and all, they always try to theatre it up a bit for me. This year that meant lots of plays under the Christmas tree, including the 2006 Humana Festival collection. Whoo! Naturally, that gift got me thinking about this year's Humana Festival. The line-up was just posted this month, and it looks pretty good . . .

Anne Bogart's group (the SITI Company) is presenting a new Charles Mee play, and Zoe Kazan, who played Masha in the very well-received production of The Seagull on Broadway (ps. Suzanne and I saw it and Kristin Scott Thomas was BORN to play Arkadina), is also one of the presenting playwrights.

As part of our dedication to new theatre forms and etc. etc. I think some of us Night Lighters might be planning a trip out this spring to catch a couple of the shows (after we assess our collective schedules, of course). If anyone is interested in a cultural field trip, please let us know. The more people the cheaper the hotel room, right? . . .

So, all in all, a nice snow-covered theatry Christmas. I would also like to mention that my brother and I returned the gift of performance to my parents with a ticket subscription to The Civic, the main local theatre here in Kalamazoo. So, everyone got to play (pun alert!) a part this holiday.

That was terrible. I apologize.

Happy Holidays.

- kerry

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Match Made In Hawaii? (And Alaska)

Our Aloha read-through last night was most notably punctuated by a surprise guest appearance from Bonnie, straight off the plane from Russia! I have to say, it sure is nice having your Artistic Director back in town. Especially when she's chock full of great ideas and new approaches to theatre. And since Bonniwell was able to show up last night too, it marked the first time our entire creative team have been in the same room since August. Turns out you get a much more complete view of a show when everyone can contribute their own expertise. Huh.
In addition to the four of us, we were joined by Alison Haracznak, Becca Muhleman, Joe Carlson, and Brandon Crowder. I can't say enough how nice it is to hear a script out loud. Suzanne and I have lately been working on audition pieces from Aloha, and therefore have been studying parts of the play. But it's never the same as having 5 other people approach all the different characters (and there are a lot of different characters).
Aloha Say The Pretty Girls by Naomi Iizuka is one of the scripts that we're thinking about for a future Night Light production. We wanted to introduce it into our read-through program to see if we still liked it after really hearing and studying it. I'd like to hear other opinions, but I certainly did.
One of the questions Bonnie asked us before the read-through was what the relevance of this particular show was. Why was it important for us to do this show now? Taking that into consideration, we found a lot of parallels between the script and our own situations.
The story follows ten or so twenty-somethings as they forge and break relationships, migrate, evolve, and deal with all those questions that twenty-somethings deal with. On paper, admittedly, it sounds pretty boring (is the plight of the twenty-something interesting to anyone not 21-29? Is it even interesting to us anymore?) However, one character turns into a lizard, one gets (possibly) eaten by a giant dog, several live in an Alaskan terrarium, and there are so so many pinatas. The constant coming and going, and the migration of the characters from NYC to the far western states is a trend that still rings true for any age group. We are a nation, generation, whatever, etc. of people wary of settling down and setting up roots, yet feel compelled to, nonetheless. Families are established between characters that have nothing to do with blood ties, and are all the stronger because of it.
The show features an Altman-like ensemble story. No one character plays the lead or has a more important plot line that any of the other, and over the course of the show, everyone interacts with everyone else. As a company that believes highly in ensemble work, as well as using everyone involved equally (actors, designers, etc.) to build a show, I think that this script really lends itself to that process.
So, while not dealing with the current political system or the economic crisis we're facing right now, I think a good argument can still be made for the timeliness of Aloha, as well as it's relevance to Night Light Collective.

Friday, December 12, 2008


We've finally settled a time and place for our reading of Aloha Say The Pretty Girls! While we already have all the actors in place for the read-through, we'd like to offer up an invite to anyone who wants to come by and listen and partake in the discussion, and most importantly, hang out with Andrew Bonniwell (He's our trump card). We're meeting on Tuesday at 7 pm. For more information, please feel free to contact us @ or you can just call me. I assume most of y'all reading this have my number . . .

- Kerry

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monologue Workshop

Henley St. is holding auditions for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern this weekend, and because the all-female casting of this show has been widely publicized, all of us girlies are anticipating a highly competitive audition. So, we decided to make ourselves as competitive as possible with a little monologue workshop. Joining Suzanne and I was our good friend and fellow thespian, Sandy Wittman. We used a round robin approach where each of us had a turn to present our piece and be critiqued by the other two. Then we worked 'em until they were good and ready for auditions. It was a successful endeavor, if for no other reason than just doing it before someone (anyone) before the actual audition. I don't know about anyone else, but I definitely got a lot more than that out of this session. It's funny how easy it is for a third party to figure out the motivations and actions for your character that you've personally been struggling with. Not to mention a fresh take on the words I've been endlessly repeating to myself for the past week is invaluable.

We meant to take pictures of this workshop so that we'd have something interesting to post here, but then we kind of forgot while it was going on. And then we got distracted by watching Fringe. So, to cover this oversight, Suzanne and I staged a dramatic recreation of our monologue session. We've reproduced it below.

- Kerry

A Not-So-Accurate Pictoral Depiction