Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Being Bohemian: Anna Hammonds

BoHo Theatre Artistic Associate Anna Hammonds, on what it means to be bohemian:

During a rather quiet rehearsal of Floyd Collins years ago, I watched as actor Jim DeSelm pretended to be trapped by a rock while Jon Harrison sang over his shoulder about the hope of Daybreak. There was a moment at the end of the song where Jon placed his hand on Jim’s shoulder, and I understood that gesture was the only way those brothers could connect with one another in that imaginary world of a cave in Kentucky. It was in a rehearsal room. No one else was in the audience that night, but I felt like a fool as a tear ran down my cheek.

There’s no way for me to understand what it feels like to be trapped underground with no light or warmth around me. But as I watched these two actors quietly and effectively display the love between two brothers, I thought of my own dad and his late brother. As we were producing Floyd Collins that summer, my uncle was dying of cancer. Although he had no earthly means of saving him, dad was able to share hope and love and light, and even an occasional touch on the shoulder to let my uncle know he was there for him.

Truth be told, I hate it when actors say they believe theatre allows the audience to forget their troubles and worries, providing escape from the real world. I believe the exact opposite should be true. If it's good theatre— great theater in fact— it should pull the audience's heart and not let go, assuring them that it is good to laugh from the gut or mourn or fall in love or fight for a loved one to survive.

During my time at BoHo, I have partnered with artists who don't shy from connecting with an audience, whether the backdrop was a drought of the 1930s, or that lonely broken down grill in the dead of a Wisconsin winter. BoHo artists bravely carry that transformative storytelling power that surpasses geographical or cultural boundaries. We really are all connected by the most basic needs and yearnings of wanting to love and be loved. Being Bohemian is to be a brave storyteller, one that is not afraid to share pain or joy in a very real and honest way with patrons from all walks of life. While seeing a production won't cause a soul to forget troubles outside the theatre walls, I hope it reminds them that they are not alone. We are all living out a shared experience of joy, heartache, struggle, wonderment, beauty and love. I am proud to be a part of BoHo Theatre, a company rich with brave storytellers.

Throughout BoHo Theatre's milestone 10th Season, BoHo company members will be revealing what being "bohemian" means to them. What does Bohemianism and BoHo Theatre mean to you? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Being Bohemian: Peter Blair

BoHo Theatre Company Member Peter Blair, on what it means to be bohemian:

I couldn't be more proud that BoHo is celebrating our 10th season. It is a landmark for any arts organization, and I won't stop marveling at how the company has grown, matured and constantly improved. As Executive Director from 2010-2012 I was honored to lead this company, and now I'm equally honored to be led.

For me, being Bohemian isn't a feeling. It's being one in a group of people. I'm less Bohemian than I am a Bohemian, and what I cherish about BoHo is the other Bohemians. We're eclectic and creative, open-minded and focused, diverse and just a bit rough around the edges.

Company members come and go as fate, family and circumstance dictate, but this group of people is never less than immensely honest, creative, surprising and dedicated. I've witnessed incredible acts of generosity and kindness. I've witnessed feats of endurance and patience. I've celebrated and suffered with this group. I love to see our company, board, affiliates and other fans of BoHo come together to pitch in as needed. Nothing is too tedious, dirty, or impossible for this group to give back to BoHo because BoHo has given them so much. In my case, BoHo gave me experience and friends. No other company our size produces the number of shows that BoHo does, but it doesn't feel like work when you really like the ones you're working with.

Here's to 10 more years of creating diverse and exciting theatre with people we love and admire. Cheers, Bohemians!

Throughout BoHo Theatre's milestone 10th Season, BoHo company members will be revealing what being "bohemian" means to them. What does Bohemianism and BoHo Theatre mean to you? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

From the Desk of the Executive Director: February, 2014

Welcome to February:
On Saturday, February 15, BoHo Theatre proudly opened the second show of our Landmark 10th Season: AMADEUS, directed by our Artistic Director, Peter Marston Sullivan. The show opened to a sold out house and so far it’s been very well received. The cast, production team, company, and board then met up at Cooper's, located across the street from Stage 773 for an after-party to celebrate this phenomenal opening event. 

Producing at Stage 773 has been a wonderful experience thus far. Their welcoming lobby and concession stand has been an outstanding place for our guests to meet, mingle, and share their BoHo experience before, during, and after the show.

Have you seen AMADEUS? Consider sharing your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your feedback about the performance.

AMADEUS runs through March 16 at Stage 773. Get your tickets today!

Welcome New Company Member: Molly Layton.

Molly came on board as a pilot company member and immediately jumped into her new position as BoHo's newest Casting Coordinator. She, alongside our Casting Associate Stephanie Sullivan, supervised the casting process for both AMADEUS and our upcoming production of MYTHS AND HYMNS. Later this year, Molly will join our production team for MYTHS AND HYMNS as a Production Assistant and will support our efforts to bring this extraordinary musical from inception to performance. 

Please join me in welcoming Molly to our family!

BoHo Is Now Hiring

BoHo is currently accepting directing proposals for our final production of the 10th season: PARADE. Please visit our ad on OffStageJobs.com for more information. Be sure to submit soon! The deadline is fast approaching.

Additionally, BoHo is currently seeking a Scenic Designer/Technical Director for MYTHS & HYMNS. Interested persons should contact us directly. Please include a copy of your resume and a link to your online portfolio (if applicable). We will follow up with an interview in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates!