Program Notes

Very Appropriate

Hello! The African-American (AFAM) Studies Department at Boston University is hosting an event, which guarantees to unpack cultural politics with you… {Stealing Culture: The Complicated Politics of Cultural Appropriation} Tuesday March 20th, 6-7:30pm BU Photonics Center, RM. 206 8 Saint Mary’s Street, Boston, MA 02215 Imagery courtesy of artist: Shannon Wright, “Shared or Stolen: An […]

Challenging my Activism

This week, I’ve been researching and writing for our Antigone program note assignment. The play that I’m dramaturging is Antigone in New York by Janusz Glowacki. Glowacki also wrote Hunting Cockroaches, which was produced here at BU in 2016, directed by Stephen Pick. In Cockroaches, he writes about the strife of poverty, but specifically uses humor as a […]

Presentation Matters!

Presentation matters. I am someone who tends to focus on ideas, daydreams and questions, and forget about form. As Jon Savage emphasizes in his Painting and Drawing class, no one takes the content seriously if the presentation is weak. His class forces me to think about how much time it takes to make stronger choices […]

On Dramaturgy

On Dramaturgy

dramaturgy is nimble, expansive, thrilling, agitating, full of discovery, nuanced, specific. dramaturgy is engaging (and it is responsive to the people it is meant to engage.) dramaturgy can exist in a play bill, but if that’s it, ugh. dramaturgy must be done by everyone working on the production. but… the dramaturg is an igniter. the […]

Artifice and the Evocation of Tactile Memory

Last week I saw The New York Theatre Workshop production of The Object Lesson, created by and starring Geoff Sobelle. Upon entering the theatre space, audience members were given a sheet of instructions before entering a warehouse full of cardboard boxes and various trinkets. There is no separation between audience and playing space. Hell, it’s hard to figure […]

Developing the Negatives in Company One’s Really

Recently I had the opportunity to catch Company One’s production of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s play Really. And it was really damn good. The play has kept me thinking about the nature of death and memory, about how my baby brother has more picture and video footage of him than any of my grandparents, about how […]

I’m No Expert, But…

I love art museums. They have always filled me in a way that is simultaneously comforting and unexpected. I will go back to the same exhibit in a museum time and time again, just to feel that while the art itself has not changed, maybe I have, and maybe now it looks a little different than it did before. […]

Spoiler Alert: All of the Children Die

This Sunday I had the pleasure of seeing Company One’s production of SHOCKHEADED PETER, presented in part with Suffolk University at the Modern Theatre. SHOCKHEADED PETER originated in 1998 through collaboration between Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch of London’s Improbable Theatre, and a British “Brechtian Punk Cabaret” band called The Tiger Lillies. They sought to […]

Greedy New York

Thanksgiving break in New York has been far from a break. I’ve spent my semester adamantly squeezing in time for at least one theatrical performance a week, usually two, sometimes three, once four. I’ve seen nearly all of the productions put on by my peers at Boston University and several performances outside of the microcosm […]

Sitting Down with ART Dramaturg for “All The Way,” Leslie Gehring: Part 2

The second half of my interview with Leslie Gehring. We talk more about her process, the validity of big names to draw audiences to regional theaters, and ways to keep the audience immersed in the world of the play before and after they take their seats. [Ed. Note: Missed Part One? Check it out HERE.] […]

Sitting Down with ART Dramaturg for “All The Way,” Leslie Gehring: Part 1

I was able to sit down with Leslie Gehring, the ART’s production dramaturg for All The Way. We talked, and here is the first section of the transcript, only lightly abridged: Z: Where does your process begin? Where do you start when you first get a text? L: It kind of depends on what shape […]

The Look of the Book

So, I just got back home from the Huntington. I am curled up snuggly in my bed, allowing my brain to sift through the many potent or merely aesthetically appealing images Mary Zimmerman and her team created in their production of The Jungle Book. I think to myself, “you know what would be an awesome […]

“She Kills Monsters” at Company One Kicketh Major Ass

I first encountered She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen when a friend of mine was auditioning for one of the parts in the play. I read sides with her to help her prepare for the audition and from that, I was able to see snip-its of the script. Even from these short excerpts, I could tell […]

You for Me for Us

Mia Chung’s You for Me for You, a New England premiere presented by Company One, imagines the cost of the Crossing from North Korea to the Unites States for two sisters who have only each other left to lose. The play captivates from the opening scene as, with measured movements and without fear of silence, […]

Voice and guitar recital: This is my letter to the world

For those interested, here is a 21st century version of a salon recital that I am involved in next Saturday night in Dorchester with the Greater Boston House Concert Series.  A portion of the ticket sales will be given to organizations helping families in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  I believe there is a discount […]

La Traviata: A Dramaturgical Experience

I am so glad I went to see La Traviate last night at The Huntington. I so rarely find time to watch shows that are not BUSOT affiliated, let alone operas and classical concerts. The show was not only beautifully organized (blending three schools within the CFA to form one spectacle of a representation of an infamous tale) […]

Does the order make a difference?

Brecht on Brecht – love this concept of looking into a person’s life through his or her own words.  I incorporated this idea in my last recital with the lives of the Schumanns and Brahms, utilizing their music and hand-picked poetry to reflect their inner emotions and life journeys.  As I was watching the BU show […]

Program Notes & New Dramaturgy Tools

A quickie post about writing and editing program notes… In preparation for the writing the blog authors here will be doing this week in their dramaturgy class, I thought I’d open the window a little bit into how my editing process works, and then show you a fabulous audience tool. Here’s an example of program […]

Recital program notes

Since I have mentioned these a few times in class, I thought I might put up the program notes here for folks to read and give feedback if they would like to.  I thought about explaining my expected audience or what I was trying to achieve by the way I wrote them but instead I […]

The good, the bad and the ugly

Wednesday night I visited the Cantab lounge for the first time in my 9+ years in Boston to attend a weekly poetry open mic/slam (that has its 20th anniversary coming up in the next few weeks!).   Not only was it my first time at Cantab but it was actually my very first attendance of […]