As a whole, us first year Columbia M.F.A.s (Playwrights, Actors, Directors, Stage Managers, and Dramaturgs) are two-thirds of the way through the Anne Bogart led Collaboration Class. And let me say…I have had a great experience overall. Both of my groups have worked like a dream making it a lovely experience to be in the room for rehearsals. I’ve had some actors who are very serious about their work and about sticking to the integrity of my (or, in the first round, mine and my partner’s) script. Plus, I’ve had teams that love to play and laugh and work together and really, if we ain’t laughing, I’m not likin’ the process.
Since we have fully completed the first two cycles so far, instead of rehashing them moment to moment, I thought I’d send us on a pictorial journey…with a little commentary of course (and as always).
Round One: Housekeeping by Samantha Cooper and Kristin Slaney
Source material: Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Housekeeping is really a story about family – what defines a family, what we do to create family and how we’re connected beyond blood relations. Our script traced the young Ruthie (Folami Williams) and her Aunt Sylvie (Kea Trevett) as they struggle to build their life to their liking in the wake of a long line of family tragedies under the suspicious, concerned, and prying eyes of their local Sheriff (Quinn Roi) and the surrounding town of Fingerbone.
Round Two: Something to Remember Me By
Something to Remember Me By is an exercise is psycho-geography. Tracking two vaudevillian circus performers (Nick Shea and Jarvis Griggs) reliving and trying to decipher their last moments before death, they also serve as guides to the end of a relationship of a couple (Phumi Sitole and Hongyi Tian) on lockdown because of a city-wide spree of shootings. The script is inspired by and following the events of the 2012 Cafe Racer shootings in Seattle, Washington, and explores the similarities of emotional and physical violence, the theatricality of the way in which we exploit and view tragedy in America, and the way in which we deal with the real and unreal.
My hope is that the pages said as much as these pictures do.