“So Now it’s Convenient to Compartmentalize?”: A scenic designer’s perspective
May: So now it’s convenient to compartmentalize? To decide that blood is blood and nothing else has weight?
Playwright’s Perspective: Writing a Prop 8 play that isn’t an “issue play”
by Danielle Mohlman
When I started writing this play, it was very much a text rooted in the idea of enemies and friends. The piece was much more political than it is today (you can’t tell that by the playground themes I just described, I know) and it imagined a world in which there was an out journalist in a suburban California town. Somewhere along the way, I changed Robert’s profession to “teacher” and, at the suggestion of one of the other grad students in my workshop, gave this character a boyfriend. Which, through the magic of rewrites, became a partner. And then a husband.
Julie James is a Scorpio: an actor’s perspective
by Eileen Haley
Julie James is a Scorpio and a traditionalist. When I auditioned for the part of Julie, I felt like I was meeting someone that I know. On the surface we have a lot in common: age, motherhood, and sass. While reading the role out loud for the first time, I was afraid that Julie could slip into a sitcom sort of shtick. I didn’t want that to happen to her. She is a complex character who really wants to be nice, but Julie James is a Scorpio.
When acting is scary: Jen Parker and the high school Megan from the deep
Stopgap actress Megan Westman tells her story.
Over the course of the past 12 months, I have undertaken a variety of incredibly challenging roles, many of which required an unexpected amount of vulnerability. Last semester I spent 8 minutes completely alone onstage, in the round no less, giving birth. Legs splayed open wide to the audience, albeit covered by a sheet, hair out of whack, making horrible faces, literally screaming about dragons, and alternating between hyper-ventilating and doing birthing breathing patterns, I did just fine. Oh, and I did it all over again in St. Petersburg, Russia, four months later. There was a power and a confidence and a strength to being in such a horrifyingly vulnerable situation.
Despite the power I found in my past year of acting, the show I’m doing for Capital Fringe this summer is proving to be an unexpected challenge. Jen, my character in “Stopgap,” should be a pretty easy one to tackle. Jen is 16, smart, naive, and incredibly eager. Her motives are generally clear, and she is dealing with many of the typical problems faced by middle class high schoolers who don’t quite fit it. She is difficult, not because she is particularly far from my frame of experience, but because she is so darn close. Jen Parker feels, in many ways, like high school Megan reincarnated. We first meet Jen when she goes to discuss a book with her English teacher before class, and my mind so quickly shifts back to discussing “Of Mice and Men” with Ms. Cohen after the rest of the class had filed out of the room. Working through Jen’s issues feels acutely like yanking out a tooth that only JUST grew in, and then trying to shove said tooth back into the spot… while wearing oven mitts. How’s that picture for you?
Mark Your Calendars: Tickets for #Stopgap on Sale Soon!
Writing a Mission Statement
By Jamila Reddy
Field Trip Theatre Company is busy at work on Danielle Mohlman’s Stopgap, our first full-fledged production. In the midst of rewrites, production planning, and preparation for our rehearsal process, we’re engaging in conversations about who we are as an emerging company and what we hope to be.
Here’s what we’re clear on thus far: Field Trip Theatre is committed to developing and producing new plays, supporting emerging artists, and engaging diverse audiences. It is our ultimate goal to use our work to serve the diverse community of Washington, D.C.
Part of what we yearn to do is make our audiences a part of the conversation, not just spectators to it, so we invite you to a behind-the-scenes look at how our company members are putting our heads together to clarify and define what Field Trip’s Mission is.
Here’s what we’re reading:
- How to Write a Mission Statement by Janel M. Radke
- Mission Considered by Gigi Bolt (via TCG)
- Being the Change: An Interview with Woolly Mammoth’s Jeff Hermann (via HowlRound)
We’ll be continuing the conversation to clarify and define our Mission Statement, and we hope you’ll join us. Stay tuned!