Lush Valley Rehearsal 08/22 – 08/26 by kristinmarting
August 27, 2011, 7:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This week has been very exciting for all of us – Suzi has returned to New York and joined us for rehearsal! Monday was a big catch up day for her and we talked through the entire show, all her scenes, songs and dances. For the rest of the week we continued working on Wanda’s solo texts and her scenes with Jason or Ernie and made some great progress by finding the humor and little details which Wanda’s character brings into the show.
The full cast days during the week very much focused on dance and song. After the run last Saturday, Kristin had the fabulous idea of changing Georgie’s rap into a fantasy sequence and now the entire cast gets a chance to join in into a funky hip hop dance choreography, uncovering some unexpected dance potential in some of the actors! Great fun and considering that the whole choreography was designed and rehearsed within a day, an encouraging balance to a rather bumpy run thru on Thursday with very little and at times slightly challenging audience. Yet, these rehearsals are an important reminder that the show builds upon its diverse audience and that the officers will face different applicants every night. But we started all fresh and confident on Friday morning filming Wanda’s TED talk, officer interview and declaration as well as some of the footage for Georgie’s rap fantasy.

Lush Valley in Time Out New York’s Fall Preview Edition! by kristinmarting
August 25, 2011, 11:41 am
Filed under: American Dream, Newsreels, Uncategorized

Check out this preview of Lush Valley in Time Out New York’s Fall Preview edition!

We are getting excited to build Lush Valley with you, our audience members, and the production dates near.  Get your tickets now!

Lush Valley Rehearsal 8/18-8/20 by kristinmarting
August 23, 2011, 3:45 pm
Filed under: American Dream, Events, Rehearsal, Research

We have continued working on fine tuning scene work this week, as well as making sure each transition is as smooth and specific as possible.  On Thursday, we focused on the think tank section of the show, where each officer helps their group create part of the new Lush Valley Oath of Allegiance.  We are trying to get each officer to engage their think tank group as productively as possible, so that we end up with an Oath that represents every one of our new Lush Valley citizens.

On Saturday, we had the pleasure of having about 15 audience members visit our rehearsal space for a run through.  These rehearsals are always the most enlightening, because we need our Lush Valley applicants in order to figure out the traffic patterns and timing of the show.  We found a lot of things that were working really well with audience in the room, and some that needed tightening up.  The dances in the show can be a bit tricky for the Lush Valley officers to navigate with audience members in the room, so it was great to see those sections as they would be in performance so that we can adjust accordingly.  We also were able to see how the various paper materials in the show – from intake forms to checklists to voting ballots – were fitting in to the entire piece, and how we need to tailor those to fit the needs of our audience members.

We are excited to get deeper into rehearsal next week, as we speed towards tech and the beginning of previews on September 7th!  Stay tuned for more updates!

Help Us Create the LUSH VALLEY National Identity! by kristinmarting
August 19, 2011, 4:04 pm
Filed under: American Dream, Research, Uncategorized

Don’t forget to vote for the LUSH VALLEY national bird, flower, food, colors, motto and slogan on our online survey, Identity Politics!  Identity Politics, which began as part of the Figment Festival, is a project that we started to help form a national identity for LUSH VALLEY. Cast your vote online, and see the results of the vote incorporated into our production, which premieres on September 11th.  Voting officially ends on September 6th, so don’t wait!

Click here to get started!

Lush Valley 8/15-8/17 by lushvalleycollaborator
August 17, 2011, 11:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We’ve been continuing with our work on each scene, trying to find every bit of meat and potatoes there is within each. But more importantly, we’ve become completely enamored with the idea of YOU, the audience! From intakes, to think tanks, evem to rewriting our Lush Valley Oath of Allegiance, we’ve been searching through those parts where your voice gets to be heard and how we can best utilize it in our new nation! Taking each tenet of Lush Valley and dividing them amongst our officers, we’re excited to listen to what you think about them and their association within the Oath of Allegiance. What’s good? What’s bad? Or maybe even a different word choice? It’s important that you get to take ownership of what you’re about to pledge as a new citizen! We also worked a lot with the camera’s eye monologues within the intake section of the show, figuring what would happen if our audience members preferred to start a conversation than just listen to what the actor has to say.

It’s not often when you get to interrupt an actor in a show and tell them how to do their job. Well, now’s your chance! What would you say to your immigration officer if you had the chance?

Lush Valley Rehearsal 8/11-8/13 by lushvalleycollaborator
August 14, 2011, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Narrative, Rehearsal

A very productive couple of days! After working through a lot of transition moments we had a complete run thru on Thursday followed by some feedback that’s really propelling the show in a new, yet more defining direction. It’s amazing what a little feedback can do to a show! There are some major structural changes that, although created a very jam packed rehearsal on Saturday, are definitely giving the piece a new life that was missing from before. We have more of a chance to visit with Georgie and Jason to learn about their relationship, a little more time to see the competition between Miguel and Kim, and some great moments of clarity in general for the audience.

I’m super excited to have had all the videos filmed on Friday and especially the TED Talk videos! All the actors with a TED Talk were placed in front of a green screen and Tal Yarden will later put in diagrams, pictures, video to really spruce them up and make them even more compelling than the text already make them.

Check out our new LUSH VALLEY community on facebook by kristinmarting
August 11, 2011, 2:06 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

and like us:!/pages/Lush-Valley/178529875548634?sk=wall

Lush Valley Rehearsals 8/8 – 8/10 by lushvalleycollaborator
August 10, 2011, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s so great to be taking second passes at each scene without scripts in hands, it’s giving each character as well as Kristin to find the little nuances that are lost when someone is constantly looking at a script. We’ve discovered some really great subtle humor and from that humor, I’ve found a concern and a wanting to know these characters more as people. I think it’s going to make the moments when they have to put on their officer mask seem even more official, which is exciting to see the dichotomy in each.

On Tuesday, we had one of those rare rehearsals with the whole cast! We made a few changes to both of the gesture dances as well as the “Shit Hits the Fan” scene that sets up for the character of Ernie to break out into “Suspicious Minds”. But all-in-all I felt like we moved fairly smoothly and got a bit of work done. One of the most exciting things about collaboration is the large number of ideas that come up and really being able to pick and choose what the best one is! I’d say one of the more frazzling moments of collaboration is the large number of ideas that come up! Although, I’ve always felt like working on these whole cast moments is like working in an office – it may be frustrating from time to time, but you know everyone is working towards a similar goal, which in the end makes it all worth it. Plus, it’s an excellent exercise in dealing with co-workers!

I think we’ve had a great couple of 3 days, getting some definite shape to the piece as a whole and pumping up for the run thru next week!

Lush Valley 8/4 – 8/6 by kristinmarting
August 7, 2011, 4:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Thursday afternoon we staggered through the entire play.  A few people were invited as audience members to watch the skeletal structure of what’s been created in the last week and a half take form, and, my goodness, it was a wonderful thing to witness.  As an intern I have been watching each scene being rehearsed individually so it was a marvelous thing to see all these teeny tiny scenes suddenly slot together into this huge theatrical moment!  The bare bones are definitely there and are a great, informative structure to work with over the next few weeks.

Friday morning we worked on Jason and Miguel’s scene, finding the different colours and rhythms inside it.  There is some great humour here as the two characters are juxtapositions to each other and we played with Jason’s naive banter that does not seem so well received by Miguel.  Great fun!  We then worked on Miguel’s lecture experimenting with gestures that had already been chosen and adding a few more.  We experimented with the changing rhythms in the text as one danger with the gestures is they can take over the text instead of complimenting it; but it was captivating to watch as the physical gestures really draw you into the text.

Saturday we worked on Kim and Miguel’s scenes and delved deeper into the text, exploring its subtext.  We also rehearsed the scenes using a ‘melodrama run’ to see if there were anymore discoveries with breaking the genre of the piece ; however, we soon discovered it was already in the scenes, just extremely understated!  Thursday afternoon’s stumble through brought to light some staging issues in another scene that was intended for the Public Office space, so today we worked on re-staging this scene and moving it to the Break Room instead.

Lush Valley Rehearsal 8/2-8/3 by lushvalleycollaborator
August 3, 2011, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Tuesday started off with a bang as we worked on a few scenes between the characters Kim and Miguel, working on shaping the arc of their relationship. A lot of what our audience will be seeing is the “officer” part of each character as they walk them through filling out forms, interviews, think tanks (which are indeed a more casual version of the officers, but a position of authority none-the-less), etc. But I’m loving what we’re finding in each of these smaller, more personal scenes and what each one accidentally reveals to our audience. These characters are first and foremost people, with lives outside of work and opinions other than what their workplace suggests. The humanity of the piece is really starting to seep through! In addition to that, today we found a lot of humor between Miguel’s “Barker” style lecture, his side chat about security with a few audience members, Jason’s prop-filled lecture and a sneak attack snap shot of Georgie by Jason in the break room.