Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fall Scene night 05'

After a long and dramatic year we are winding down here at the lab and theater. Beyond Therapy rocked and could have played all year, we did a exotic world premeire of Indigo Don't Vote, an excellent avant-garde The Elephant Man directed by the genius Oleg Liptsin, a well acted PVT. Wars just closed in addition we have had a great year at the Lab with the film wing continuing to blossom with two well filmed courses with independent filmmaker Dave Janssen on the lens and myself and Felecia directing the actors. Next year should be even bigger. Each year we continue to bring notable artists into the building to inspire and create.

Fall Scene Night 05'
Monday night was flat out amazing. Some heroic acting going on starting with a clip from Pvt. Wars and then into the students work. In the audience that night was Lab Alumni, Rob Epstein, an Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker who is now head of the film department at the college of the arts in Oakland. He brought his entire class and they were all looking for talent as we continue to bridge with the film community at large. The energy in the room was great. The Technique I class went first and we witnessed some fine work from the newcomers. Specifically Clint Ward who owned Roy in Lonestar and set the room on fire. Adrian Flores did Stanley in Streetcar and used his physical body to such power and precision that it reminded everybody in the room the majesty and grace of the body. He was communicating volumes just using is body language and I noted that it was the strongest use of the body on that stage, possibly the highwater mark. Scene Study 3 went next and of course Jennifer Bareilles and Andrew Oliveri killed it. Anybody that acts with Jennifer is suddenly lifted to a higher creative place. Michael Carlisi and Abby Eletz did a committed Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, they made it look easy, which everyone knows it is a difficult scene to act tough. All the scenes were acted with power, creative will, honesty and integrity. It was simply a beautiful night of acting. Stunning. Rob Epstein was elated and said he missed this place. This night was magic.
Alas, Tuesday the full moon night had a totally different feel. The nerves were up in everybody's throat and fear seemed to penetrate the room and this causes a weird vibe. Individual performances stood out, but the connection between actors seemed to be tough to come by. Except for Golden Boy and Barefoot in The Park which first year students made come alive. Chris Walsh stepped it up huge in his monologue about a whacked out little league coach. Mary Powelson raged in her Macbeth and Speed the Plow still needs to be produced. Felecia's Begining Acting class was on Wednesday and their was plenty of hope for the future. Kuo-Ling stripped to her undies and was not the least bit self-conscious, a feat you do not see often on the stage. Raj and Robert did the Odd Couple and were alive, spontaneous, and funny. A full evening of in earnest acting, nothing to lose, everything to gain attitude. Positive and hopeful was this night.

Winter is coming. New goals, new courses, new plays, new films. We all need to focus on our aspirations and begin a march toward them. Marley says, "only ourselves can free our minds"
Time marches on and we must secure our place in the future by creating the necessary path to it. Where will you be in 2006? Onward and Upward as the legendary Bruce Mackey use to say.
Matthew Shelton