Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
But really, I'd trade all of those things for an engaged audience enjoying the journey. I'd trade all of those things for a cast and design team who relished the chance to throw themselves into the black hole of putting on the play. We can’t afford the razzle dazzle of a big Broadway production, so we must find the heart. We must find a way into the story using the resources at hand, and the geniuses inside our actors, designers, directors, and staff. If you’ve seen a particular play before, we want you to see it again -- Our way.
As I look back on the past year, and ahead to the next, I'm very happy with where BoHo is situated. The response to PIPPIN was thrilling, a real crowd-pleaser but also a rewarding adventure for the cast and company. As I write this we have STRIKING 12 playing, TARTUFFE rehearsing, THE RAINMAKER fully cast and in the design phase, and I'm currently hiring the FLOYD COLLINS production team. Not to mention, we're also reading a huge stack of plays as we decide on the next season.
The work never ends…but neither do the rewards.
-- Peter Blair, Executive Director of BoHo Theatre.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
- a green light.
- a light at the end of the tunnel.
- light on a cell phone, iPad, laptop.
- starlight, star bright...
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Lara and Diana, our director and music director, have created this vibe from the beginning. Our rehearsals have been as much about getting to know each other and finding new ways to play off of each other as they’ve been about cleaning the details of the show. One leads to the other anyway, right?
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Next Up: BoHo Theatre's hit holiday musical Striking 12 returns to the Heartland Studio in Rogers Park for another year of toe-tapping cheer. From the funk-rock trio GrooveLily and Rachel Sheinkin, the Tony-awarding winning writer of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Striking 12 is an inventive concert/musical that is the perfect way to spend a cold winter night in Chicago this holiday season.
This musical experience is an uplifting combination of art, performance, and celebration that embodies the four BoHo pillars of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love in equal parts. Thanks to overwhelming response from our audiences at last year's production of Striking 12, BoHo is bringing the show back as an annual non-mainstage holiday production. Last year Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones called BoHo's Striking 12 "a match for those who hate holiday musicals... this is a score with tunes that float around the room and lyrics that are able to get inside your head."
Tickets are on sale now and we look forward to ringing in the holiday season with an un-holiday celebration!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
The result of this streamlining process is an online sign-up format. Actors can visit the sign-up web page, choose a time that is convenient for them, and then come back to the site and make changes, if need be. I've recently changed the way the sign-ups appear when visiting the page (after much debate) so that actor names are displayed publicly. An actor can choose to display their full name or simply put a first name and last initial - in other words, you can still remain somewhat anonymous if you choose, and this is what ultimately made me feel comfortable about the decision. The biggest downfall to this website is that actors don't get a confirmation email once they've signed up. I used to consistently get emails from actors who'd forgotten what their audition time was, and now they can go back and check!
Over the last couple of years we've been fortunate to always have amazing turnouts at auditions and we've always believed in giving everyone equal opportunity to audition. People have asked me if we ever do invites, and the answer is yes. On occasion we will make sure to invite certain actors, who've worked with us in the past or who have been recommended to us, if we feel they might be appropriate for a role. That being said, if you aren't invited, it doesn't mean we aren't interested! One of the many wonderful things about always doing a general audition for each show is that we are introduced to new faces all the time. I'm also equally excited by the number of old friends that come back because it's wonderful to see the growth in people: how they've changed or matured, and what they're capable of in new contexts.
My hope is that the audition process is always a positive one for the actor, each and every time. BoHo prides itself on being very actor-friendly and we truly do value and respect the time that people put into preparing for an audition. I do my best to notify people of their status in a timely fashion because I know how much it sucks not to hear back at all. I also try to remind actors that if casting didn't work to their advantage this time, it isn't personal. I trust that actors already know this, but it helps to hear it again. There are many, many factors outside of an actor's control and the competition is always extremely fierce at BoHo auditions.
Stay tuned, though. In my next post, I'll talk about tips that will serve as good "general audition reminders" for everyone, and I'll also delve into some tips of a more subjective nature, that are specific to BoHo's audition process.
-- Stephanie Sullivan is the co-Casting Coordinator for the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble. She along with Rebecca Mauldin oversee the casting process for all BoHo shows.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
- On Sunday, October 23rd, BoHo is celebrating its Second Sunday. Enter the codeword MAGIC when ordering your tickets and you will receive $5 off your ticket price.
- Also on Sunday, October 23rd, BoHo is hosting a reception at Cooper’s Chicago, located at 1232 W Belmont, across the street from Theater Wit. Patrons will enjoy complimentary food and cash bar. We encourage all our patrons from the Sunday matinee to come, eat and celebrate BoHo!
- Lastly, did you know that your ticket stub and program get you a 10% discount at Cooper’s Chicago? It’s our way of saying thanks for supporting local theater in Lakeview.
Monday, October 17, 2011
|Travis Porchia with |
BoHo Board Member, Robert Turner.
|Members of the cast of Pippin,Tyler Sawyer Smith and Gabriel Stern.|
Friday, October 14, 2011
As a reminder, you are invited to join us at Cooper’s Chicago on Saturday, October 15th to celebrate the opening weekend of Pippin. Patrons will enjoy a 10% discount on food with cash bar and the opportunity to connect and celebrate our opening with the cast and creative team. We look forward to seeing you there!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Perhaps the most intriguing part of this rehearsal process is seeing actors Shaun Nathan Baer and Travis Porchia define the dynamic between their two characters. Playing Pippin and Leading Player, respectively, they carry the weight of the show on their shoulders. And they are doing so with grace, concern and the utmost care. There is a sort of protectiveness that happens when an actor truly cares for his or her character. I believe all the actors in Pippin are doing an amazing job of protecting the integrity of the playwright's intention, while crafting a unique and different take that is all their own.
The journey has been amazing thus far, and everyone's process has been so enlightening to watch. Director Peter Marston Sullivan's vision for the show has been inspiring to watch unfold, and Brenda Didier's choreography has made me squeal in rehearsal. And I'm not kidding. A couple of times she has asked what was wrong when such outbursts occur, to which I can only reply, "It just looks so good. I can't wait." And that is the truth. I can't wait for our audience to join us.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
I played around in rehearsals with how my character stands, walks, and sits and ended finding this dim, whimsical, yet charming character within that physicality. I toyed around with how she would stand and react around the leading characters, which certainly helped me find a base of who she was and how she could shift when she was around certain people. Through finding my character’s physicality, I was able to discover how my character spoke and interacted with the other players. She has a ditzy, quirky, yet alluring quality about her, which is so fun to play. I discovered that she’s not just a dumb character, but she has qualities about her that are a little scatterbrained, yet she is smart in her own way as well. She’s definitely a type of woman I thought Pippin would encounter on his journey to find himself.
The style of the character also ended up being just right for the style of show, constantly enticing, magical, and fun!
--Kelsey Andres loves Fosse, and also loves reading her horoscope way too much. She enjoys spending time with her devious puppy, Elroy.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
1232 W Belmont Avenue
Join us, as we celebrate the opening of Pippin! Show your ticket stub and enjoy at 10% discount on food while enjoying the convenience of a cash bar. Come play with us and learn more about everything Boho has planned for this season!
Tickets for Pippin are on sale now ... we hope you will join us at Theater Wit on the 15th!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
I think what's so beautiful about this play is that every single character has a different definition of "extraordinary". This isn't just of story of a boy finding his purpose. Anyone could do that with a little determination. But in this world of ours, and Pippin's, we come in contact with different folks everyday that shape, change and define who we are. Even if our dreams remain intact, we never know who is going to turn the corner and possibly alter our outlook. And what I love about our director's approach to this Pippin is that we aren't presenting one-dimensional musical theatre caricatures that dance some Fosse and sing some Schwartz. Peter urges us to fill this world with complicated, confused, multi-faceted and imperfect human beings each searching for their own definition of "extraordinary", all the while effecting one another and navigating/educating/seducing/accompanying Pippin along his way. The more complex our characters are, the more marvelous, passionate, and entertaining the journey will hopefully be to our corners of the sky. That's our ambition, anyway...
So far, my road as Catherine has been paved with a combination of frustration and surprising realizations. I'm trying to embrace her/my flaws and always be aware of her/my wounds while I continue the search. And I'm thrilled this is my first full experience with this play. I wouldn't want to have created Catherine as the hopeful, young, optimist I used to be. Where the heck is the fun in that?
-- Dana Tretta has been an actress in Chicago for the past 8 years. She loves to pet and hug as many dogs as possible and attempt cooking with her friend, Bethany Thomas.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
All actors have their dream roles and Pippin is a show I have always wanted to do. I never thought I would be Fastrada, though. I had only dreamed of being in the ensemble because I loved the music - and the Fosse! It's such a challenge to take on roles were created by iconic performers like Chita Rivera. However, the same story can be told in different ways by different people, and the process of finding my Fastrada has been influenced by the storytellers: Director, Peter Marston Sullivan and Choreographer, Brenda Didier. My sense of discovery continues to be influenced by the creative themes as well as my scene partners. I still have a long way to go, but I can see my Fastrada in that corner of the sky.
Jenny Lamb (@ripskintinkle ) is a Chicago actress co-founder and Artistic Director of Li'l Buds Theatre Company and a Teaching Artist at Second City. She will be playing the role of Fastrada in Pippin.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Thirty years later, the opportunity has finally arrived. Back then, I wanted to play the Leading Player or Pippin but I figured when the time came, I would probably play Charlemagne (Charles The Great). Once a character actor, always a character actor I guess…
It is very interesting to play a character with such an illustrious and expansive history. As an actor, I must carry that knowledge into rehearsals and see how the real history affects my work and the actors portraying my characters' family, the soldiers, and subjects. Then, I must embrace the characters' good side (demanding excellent education for his children) and his bad side (the man liked war and all its spoils). And finally, throw in some singing and dancing and make it all work - absolutely no pressure.
Of course, this production will give me the extra bonus of exploring the feminine side of Charles – I’d tell you more, but it’s a surprise. This is a challenging prospect that you probably should not miss.
So my long wait is over to do this show.
I’m singing glorious music and playing a character bigger than life.
And I couldn’t be happier!
Won't you join us?
-- Michael Kingston has been in Chicago for 20+ years and is pleased to be making his third appearance with Boho. Turn ons include: novels by Augusten Burroughs, total schlock on the SyFy Channel, and a good Maker's Mark Manhattan.
Friday, September 23, 2011
And now, it’s time to focus on what’s next. On behalf of the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble, I want to say thank you for your constant support of Chicago’s theater community. We look forward to seeing you at the theater!
By Stephen Schwartz
Directed by Peter Marston Sullivan
October 14 - November 13, 2011
What does it mean to live an extraordinary life? This is the question that drives Pippin through the adventures of war, sex, politics and love -- all the while guided by the malicious hand of the Leading Player. While the Players strive to steer Pippin towards the perfect, theatrically tragic end of his story, Pippin begins to discover what it truly means to be extraordinary in our world.
By Moliere, Adapted by Ranjit Bolt
Directed by Peter Robel
January 13 – February 12, 2012
Moliere’s scandalous farce crackles with humor and wit in Ranjit Bolt’s modern-language adaptation. When the patriarch of a wealthy falls under the spell of Tartuffe, a con-man masquerading as a man of God, his family goes to hilarious lengths to show him the error of his ways. But it seems the cunning Tartuffe is always one step ahead of the game…
By N. Richard Nash
Directed by Stephen Genovese
April 6 – May 6, 2012
Saddled to a failing cattle ranch in the Dust Bowl with a family of menfolk, Lizzy Curry has just about given up hope of finding love and escape. But when a charming trickster named Starbuck breezes into town promising to bring rain for $100, Lizzy’s father gives the man the last of the family’s savings, knowing that what he has to offer them, and Lizzy, is more than just rain. The Rainmaker is a classic American stale of the power of hope during hard times.
A musical by Tina Landau and Adam Guettel
Directed by Peter Marston Sullivan
June 15 – July 15, 2012
In January of 1925, celebrated Kentucky explorer Floyd Collins was searching for a cave system whose tourist draw would make his family rich. Instead, he became trapped in a narrow crawl-way 55 feet below ground. His family’s rescue attempts quickly create a national media circus, and rescue begins to take a backseat to profit. This true story features a musical style drawn from authentic bluegrass, folk, and Americana.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
We asked the cast and crew of BoHos's 2010/2011 Season closer Icarus about challenges that the show has brought to the table. We hoped to get a glimpse into how each person has faced those challenges and embraced them!
Tom Chiola (Mr. Ellis) answered:
"What's challenging about playing a character who lives under the porch with his stuffed cat and has a suitcase full of dreams...you tell me! Which is better/worse—having the painful memory of a lost loved one or forgetting him/her altogether?—that's part of Mr. Ellis' dilemma."
Nicolas Gamboa (Primitivo) answered:
"The biggest challenge will definitely have to be doing flips and break dancing. Primitivo and I share an addiction to imagination that connects us deeply. But the biggest connection I find with the character is how we both put family above all."
Director P. Marston Sullivan answered:
One of the most challenging aspects to directing this show is allowing the myth of Icarus to expose itself almost naturally, rather than focusing too much on broadcasting the inner meaning behind every moment. There is the element of myth, of grandeur, of beauty and love; but it is hidden within the story in a manner that should be brought out with great craft and care. Finding the reality of the characters, the great need and desire that each of them have - that is the key to bringing this story to life. Sanchez has provided us with a very distinct and powerful framework, and a quintet of characters that are almost so odd they are hard to believe. Making them real and believable, however, is what makes the show so emotionally powerful. Finding the reality of the characters and entwining those realities with the mythological framework is the great challenge in Icarus.
Scenic Designer Sally Weiss answered:
For starters, it takes place on a beach, so the big question from the beginning was how do we create a beach? We don't have the means to bring in tons of sand, so we played with a number of options of suggesting sand and beach. Peter, the director, wanted the space to feel intimate, since we're exploring very personal stories, but also wanted the expansive feeling of the beach and horizon. In the end, we decided to allow the natural elements of beach and sky to fill the space, but keep the architecture of the porches intimate and clean.
Icarus run June 24 - July 24 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago. Visit the BoHo Theatre website for tickets and more information.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Choosing a season for a theatre company is, make no mistake, an arduous task. It is filled with hours of reading and piles of submissions. In some companies, decisions are made based on opportunities for their resident ensemble. Some choose their seasons by their expected budget, planning spectacles when funds are high and one-person shows when they are not, or choosing known crowd-pleasers when the budget is tight and riskier fare when they can afford to alienate a few regulars. Every season must reflect the mission of the company and, hopefully, growth in some way.
BoHo has quite a unique structure for choosing plays. We’ve always advertised our core principles alongside our mission and vision; those principles are the bedrock of the Bohemian philosophy: Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love. Beginning in the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble’s third year, the company has chosen four plays per season, with each play corresponding to one of our four pillars. Certainly, no play worth staging has only ONE dominant theme, but we choose the theme we wish to cast light on in any given selection.
Simple, right? Oh, we’re just getting started. In addition to the four pillars, BoHo requires a season to contain four genres: a play, a musical, a language-driven piece, and an eclectic piece. This often results in two musicals (or a musical and a play in which musical plays an integral part, such as this season’s Dirty Blonde), and two non-musicals. The language slot was originally designated for classics, but that category become limiting, so it was expanded to a more general idea. On top of this, the company must consider if a selection fits the general BoHo aesthetic, and if the rights are even available and affordable. In some ways, all these requirements can appear constricting, but they also demand that BoHo stays eclectic, artistic, and always in search of new and unique work.
The season selection committee is chaired by the Associate Artistic Director, and all company members are welcome to participate, with the requirement that any participant must enter the process with AT LEAST a full season or more for consideration. Often, participants bring upwards of 20 plays apiece. You see how this becomes a massive undertaking? The committee then enters into several arduous rounds of reading and spirited discussion (and passionate oratory and dismissive rhetoric). According to AAD Peter Robel, one memorable incident from about four years ago occurred when a committee member's reaction upon reading a show was to bluntly state, "This is shit." A succinct phrase, which has now become regular parlance in the selection process.
Once there is a final list of less than 20, the team of the Artistic Director, Associate Artistic Director, and the Executive Director recluse themselves to make the final choices. And when the decision is finalized, we throw a party, because what is more appropriate in the art world than throwing a party to display the fruits of your intense labor? In fact, we’re throwing just such a party this upcoming Monday, February 21st, at Cooper’s across from Theater Wit. We’d love to see you there, so check out our website or Facebook page for more info.
So that’s how BoHo does it: with verve, determination, and swearing. But everyone’s process is different. Got a story to tell? Let us know!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Check back weekly or subscribe to the RSS feed to read more actor insights from The Elephant Man.
"Listening. Every professor, actor, and good director will talk about it. Its such a basic concept, and yet it’s the most difficult ‘phase’ of the process to reach. If my process were laid out in a pyramid, with the foundation being script work; the middle being movement work, acting exercises, and every tool we use to explore; the cap stone is simply listening. Everything else is used to inform how you react.
"This final stage always takes me a while to get to, but that’s why we rehearse, and why it’s called a rehearsal process; characters mature over time, and if I keep grinding along eventually I’ll reach ‘the moment’ That’s when I stop thinking about how things ‘work’; I’m not focusing on how Merrick moves, or how he talks, or how he gets from any point A to any point B. I’m just listening to my fellow actors, and reacting. I mean this in the most humble sounding way, but I know that moment happens because it’s explosive. Others may not even notice it, but I’ll know. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m beginning to feel it. For now, lets just say it’s a series of tiny pops, that I’m hoping will become a large bang. I just gotta trust I’ll get there."
-Mike Tepeli, Dec 3.