Monday, October 24, 2011

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who attended the Second Sunday Reception at Cooper's Chicago!

On Sunday, October 23rd, BoHo celebrated its first "Second Sunday" promotion and celebrated the success of Pippin. We were sponsored by Cooper's Chicago, who was able to offer our patrons free food and cash bar. Patrons were able to connect and network with members of the cast and creative team of the show - and learn more about the fun activities BoHo has planned for the remainder of our season.

It's not too late to see Pippin - playing at Theater Wit through November 13th. Get your tickets today and share in the magic of BoHo.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Audition Techniques - From BoHo Casting Coordinator, Stephanie Sullivan

I always get so excited when we begin the casting process for our next show....  It's the beginning of the birthing process, a time when anything is possible and when you wonder what your baby will look like.  It's also a heck of a lot of work (more so than what most might imagine) which is why, over time, I've focused a lot of my energy on finding the best, easiest, most actor-friendly way of making it all happen.  As an actor myself, it's easy for me to step into those shoes and then find solutions to the many, wonderful hurdles that come up. 

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

Specials, Specials, Specials

It’s almost time for Week 2 of Pippin and we wanted to make sure you knew about BoHo’s special offers and savings:

- 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.

Tickets are available through BoHo’s website - we hope to see you soon!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thank you for Supporting BoHo!

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the opening weekend of Pippin. This weekend, we had the pleasure of sharing our opening with a sold out house. Friends and family gathered to enjoy food and drinks at Cooper's - Chicago. Tickets are going fast! So don't forget to order yours today and come share the magic of Pippin.

Peter Blair, Executive Director of BoHo with
cast member, Gabriel Stern.

BoHo Company Member, Rebecca Mauldin
with Opening Night Audience Member.
Travis Porchia with
BoHo Board Member, Robert Turner.
Members of the cast of Pippin,Tyler Sawyer Smith and Gabriel Stern.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Break a Leg, Cast and Crew!

The Bohemian Theatre Ensemble would like to wish the Cast and Crew a happy opening weekend! If you missed your chance to secure a ticket for this weekend, you can still  reserve one for next weekend and join the fun.

    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

My Corner of the Sky: From Assistant Director, Anna Hammonds

I have lately become fascinated with how process works when an actor is fighting for the life a character during rehearsals.  With the great opportunity to assist for Boho's up-coming production of Pippin, I have a front row seat to the actors working through their process.  They are doing a fantastic job of staying focused and professional, and I am delighted to see them really fight for the character's journey.  

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.

For more information on BoHo's production of Pippin, please visit our website and don't forget to buy your tickets. We look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Corner of the Sky: Pippin

When I used to think of Pippin, I always thought of Ben Vereen, Fosse, and all these great songs that were fun, engaging but overall presentational. After reading the script, however, I saw the music and the character of Pippin very differently. Instead of a young man bouncing from experience to experience, as I expected, I found a man who is so desperate to achieve something “more” that he is nearly consumed by it. I found a real character who keeps trying new ways to achieve “success” and running head-first into a brick wall. 

This process is really fascinating for me because, as I explore Pippin through memorization, staging, and choreography, I’m finding that Pippin is teaching me a thing or two about Shaun. One of Pippin’s biggest challenges is his inability to savor a particular moment. His focus on achieving an “amazing future” blocks him from the reality of his present until it’s too late and the moment has passed him by. 

When juggling performances, rehearsals, part-time jobs, a relationship, a budget, laundry, etc…it can be really easy to miss a moment in lieu of trying to get it all done. Acting teachers talk about the concept of using personal experiences to inform your performance. But I’m finding that as I think along these lines, the lessons Pippin learns are informing my day-to-day experiences as well. 

Additionally, the chemistry between every member of this cast is just astonishing. Everyone is so present and is able to give so much in each scene, which makes slipping into this role and this world so wonderful. Pippin is trying to find the answers to questions that we all have about our lives, which are, “Does my life have meaning? What is that meaning? How do I find it?” Everyone he meets has a different answer and everyone I’m working with gives so much to fuel his journey. There is an energy that’s building from rehearsal to rehearsal and it just keeps getting stronger and brighter. I can’t wait to see what happens tonight.

-- Shaun Nathan Baer, originally from Oak Park, IL, returned to Chicago in 2008 after performing in Minnesota for several years. Member and co-founder of Catalyst Cabaret and dedicated Star Trek fanatic for twenty-four years.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Corner of the Sky: How to Build an Ensemble

My process of finding my character in Pippin has been very exciting for me. As one of the three ensemble women, I’ve had a lot of freedom thanks to our wonderful director, to play and explore who my Player will become. I initially thought about where my character encounters Pippin in the scenes and what I was trying to do. Once I figured out what my relationship to Pippin was, I moved onto to what I was doing physically. This was a great way for me to “key in” to my character. As a dancer, physicality always helps me find who a character is and helps me inform the way they think, react, and speak.

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

You Are Cordially Invited...

to an Opening Night Event with the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

Where: Cooper's, located just across the street from Theater Wit
1232 W Belmont Avenue
When: Saturday, October 15th

 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

My Corner of the Sky: Finding Myself in the Leading Player

This has always been my dream role, not just because of how it showcases the performer playing the role, but the work he gets to do, the journey he gets to take to get to "Leading Player".  It's been amazing.  Leading Player, is the alter ego I always wish I was brave enough to let come to light.  How he moves, how he speaks, the ease with which he exists in time. It's so not me.  

I thank Peter Marston Sullivan for introducing me to what "control" means in the context of this show and to the spirit of Leading Player.  This journey to finding moments of control is very exciting for me because I've found I'm applying what I learn in rehearsal into my everyday life.  We are all are trying to find what and how we control the events in our lives.  Physical control is very powerful; moving in space on purpose, with purpose is a tactic you will see with Leading Player and I am interested to see each night how he wins or looses control.  

Everybody in this cast is so talented, and so much fun to be around.  It's a sexy cast.  It's a sexy show.  Thinking about them makes me want to put down this slice of pie and go run on the treadmill for an hour.  Enough said.  

I can't say enough about how humbled I am by this experience. It's athletic, it's sensual, sexy, scary, thought provoking and most of all - FUN! 
Come see it. 
Trust me, you want to!
Travis Michael Porchia is a native of Detroit, active list maker, current cat owner, and lover of Marvel Comics. He currently lives in Hyde Park.