To read Hedy’s full review click below:
“It has been said that “people seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren’t so crazy about the first time around.”
In “Maple and Vine,” Jordan Harrison’s exceptionally clever play about dealing with the present by seeking refuge in a past that might have been something less than it was cracked up to be, nostalgia is neither easily dismissed nor wholly glorified. Rather, Harrison — whose play is now in its Chicago premiere at Next Theatre, and was a hit at this year’s Humana Festival of New Plays in Louisville — strikes a wonderfully off-kilter sense of ambivalence as he weaves the story of a stressed-out, bi-racial New York couple, and their “retreat” into a decidedly intense, full-time 1950s “re-enactment community” in the Midwest.”
“The consistently excellent Glynn rings true throughout. And as his character approaches a personal crisis, Grimm strikes a very clever balance between role playing and devastation. Avery has her late-in the-play moments, too, as does Paul D’Addario, who plays a resident of the 1955 whose personal desires keeps him outside in the park, rather than with his own place at a more enlightened table.
As Harrison clearly intends us to realize, striving for simplicity and community is a lot more complicated than just going back in time.”
I have had the humble honor of working for Next Theatre Company this fall on their first production of their 31st season, Jordan Harrison’s Maple & Vine.
The play is a dramaturg’s dream. The Next Theatre Company website describes the play as: Kathy and Ryu, a successful NYC couple, have become allergic to their 21st century lives. After meeting a charismatic man from a community of 1950’s re-enactors, they forgo cell phones and sushi for cigarettes and Tupperware parties. In this compulsively authentic world, Katha and Ryu are surprised by what their new neighbors – and they themselves – are willing to sacrifice for happiness.”
After presenting my dramaturgical work at first rehearsal, artistic director, Jenny Avery asked if I would be willing to make the packet available to everyone on their website. Below is their description of the dramaturg’s role, and their shout out to me and my work.
“This week we bring you an in depth look at the dramaturgy of Maple and Vine. Oftentimes when working on a play, actors, directors and designers will find that their roles require knowledge and background beyond those that their own life experiences can provide. In order to bridge this gap a production will employ what’s known as a dramaturg who conducts extensive historical and cultural research for the purpose of helping the cast and production team immerse themselves in the world of the play. This research culminates in a dramaturgical packet that is given out the first day of rehearsal. In this packet is everything from research imagery, to customs from the era, to period recipes to a glossary of terms – essentially anything and everything that will be helpful in creating a character and design. Our wonderful dramaturg for Maple and Vine, Alexis Links, has graciously given us permission to publish her packet on the web. You can take a look at some sample pages of the stunning dramaturgical work she has done at the bottom of this post, and I definitely encourage you to download the complete packet by clicking the link below.
Please Note: All images are courtesy of GettyImages, AP Images, or Life Magazine Archives. Articles and research compiled through use of JSTOR, The United States Census Bureau and Quickfacts, YouTube, Wikipedia, Time Magazine, Life Magazine, OmniFile and other websites and newspapers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any further research inquiries.
TO SEE THE FULL PACKET:
After leading two separate discussions with guest artists (Lenelle Moise and Idris Goodwin) last year for Sharon Bridgeforth’s Theatrical Jazz Institute, Sharon contacted me about continuing to work with her throughout her next season.
I am happy to announce that Sharon has asked me to facilitate every interview/discussion with a slew of amazing artists. I always said my dream job would be to make a living facilitating post-shows and theatre discussions, and *poof* I’m living the dream. For the 2011-2012 season I will serve as the host/head facilitator for the institute.
Thank you to Sharon for the opportunity and to Links Hall and DePaul for sponsoring the Theatrical Jazz Institute.
The first session is with Baraka DeSoleil next week, October 27th, 5pm in the TTS lobby. See you there!
Again, it is with deep gratitude that I announce my new position at The Theatre School.
For the month of August I temporarily served as the Interim Box Office Manager of TTS’s mainstage space, The Merle Reskin Theatre. I learned more than I had ever anticipated learning in the few short weeks I was there and loved working with the students and of course, the wonderful Leslie Shook (Theatre Manager).
Shortly after, I left (I was in the parking lot of the theatre on my last day) I got a call from the school asking me to interview for the open Production Coordinator position.
A month later, I am thrilled to announce that I have the job!
I’m two weeks in and the dust is beginning to settle. Thank you Stacy Gonzalez (Budget Manager) and Chris Hoffman (Director of Production) for their belief in me and their support and understanding as I continue to learn and grow into this position.
I am honored to have graduated from such a prestigious conservatory and to now have the privilege of joining a team of amazing faculty and staff. I continue my learning everyday as a woman and artist at this school, and I thank everyone for their love.
It is with joy and honor that I announce my new position at The Arc Theatre of Chicago. In addition to joining the company, I am now their Director of Education and Development, in charge of implementing creative marketing strategy, web design, press releases, and branding for the company.
This summer we will continue our growing relationship with the Ridgeville Park District with our third production, Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.
Thank you to Mark Boergers, Teddy Boone, Cailin Short and Becca Rowlett for their support and acknowledgment.