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!


July 26, 2011, 3:39 pm
Filed under: American Dream, Community, Events, Research, Uncategorized
Representation – Power to change – Evolving civil rights – gay marriage, changing minorities, new ideas about family, divorce
Example of person trying to get divorced for 6 yr divorce -because gay marriage in vt and straight marriage in ny

How much do you need to change in a script to express a gay couple vs straight couple

Staunch republican changing his position on gay marriage

Legislative passage of gay rights not popular referendum
Overcome majority cause right thing to do

Why Morally driven national referendums don’t happen – is it still as a result of the fallout of the civil war – legislators feel more comfortable letting local communities decide rather than sending it down from on high

Default on our US debt -it would have been unthinkable in the past but the schism is creating a vacuum of leadership

How is it right not to raise taxes and pay for what we need?  It relates to this American  assumptive structure.

I deserve this – entitlements – this house, vacation
idea of what my life is supposed to be as opposed to what I can actually afford
Why is there an absence of fear of consequences

Tea Party – misinformed but so big and capable of serious damage

Is the current state good? We are almost rock bottom and that will be the way to move to better place.

Stunning the people who vote agst their own  interest

Pledge allegiance to the republican party

why is their only two party system?

How to vote?
Vote democrat or for a woman –
research everyone on the ballot -the smallest office

What tribe do you want to belong to? What does it mean to feel part of that tribe? How do you see yourself? I am this kind of person and they speak my language.

Politics is The big game.  Every time you play you are impacting the lives of millions.

We live in the land where anyone can be president (as long as you are born here)

You come to America to be exceptional.

Today’s  American dream seems to be I can be anything regardless of talent or skill. But is that accurate or a fantasy?

If your philosophy is we shouldn’t interfere with each other’s rights, then Don’t get into anyone’s business.
How does a gay marriage btw 2 people impact you?

Heavy reliance on concept of competition  is of utmost  value – heavy emphasis on  winning.

Today,  Competition has even  moved into realms of truth and fact.

Competition has good elements too – inspires hard work and creativity.

Sense of individual power as opposed to group responsibility.

US aspires to be a bad ass.  Not Canada bad ass.

If the us was a person, it seems like we  started to develop a conscience and care about people (civil rights, etc)   but how do  reconcile that with recent efforts to keep taxes low corporations

how far are we departing from that In these last 30 years

No respect for elders – no love of wisdom rather celebration of new.

infrastructure of roads vs mass transit -mistaken investments

Progression from ownership as core value to renting
Net flix,spotify,  subscription – models of renting instead of owning

No one should own it.

Temporal seems to be becoming a core value now –
Rent your home,  date but not marry,  divorce.

Dan savage column about infidelity

Should we accept infidelity as a natural part of a monogamous relationship –

Who decides the terms of your relationship – your partner or society?

What is difference btw physical bond vs emotional bond?

We all seem to need to dictate others relationships  because of Fear – if someone else does it, my husband will do it to me

Fear based culture.

Open relationship where all is agreed upon and it is happy not painful
as opposed to
Supposed monogamous relationship with cheating

Bringing STD s to your long term partner is  bad.

Men propulgating the species
Women emotional bond, Take care of kids.
Are we totally programming?

Open marriage doesn’t work with assholes.

Lush Valley Rehearsal: 7/25 by kristinmarting
July 26, 2011, 1:14 am
Filed under: American Dream, Events, Rehearsal, Research, Uncategorized

We had an exciting first rehearsal today for our upcoming production of LUSH VALLEY, which premieres September 11th at HERE!   We began our day with a read through of the script, which we recently spent a week workshopping at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.  After the read through, our set designer Clint Ramos gave us a tour of the set model box and showed everyone the layout of his immersive design.  After lunch, we put the final scene of the script on its feet and sketched out some blocking.  We spent the rest of our group rehearsal reviewing our gesture dance choreography from the work-in-progress showing we did earlier this year at Culturemart, and finished off the day working on a scene between LUSH VALLEY officers Kim and Jason.  We are excited to be back in the rehearsal room with a great cast and creative team, and are looking forward to sharing our work with you in September.  Stay tuned for daily updates throughout our process!

The Playwrights’ Center Community Think Tank Notes: Group 3 by kristinmarting
July 25, 2011, 11:36 am
Filed under: American Dream, Community, Events, Research, Uncategorized


-Picket Fence, Dream of American Dream

-Is Dream Urban & Rural, living simply

-Do we have to prioritize transit strategies?



-Urban sophisticate folks chasing an idea of simplicity, rural people have those choices made for them because of poverty.

-Rich people have the luxury to buy land and farm and thus become neighbors

-We idealize a concept of rural, local, community then feel guilty because of luxuriating in a fantasy. Wonder what I can get locally at market,

-Meet farmer day in produce section.

-Riding the bus – seeing people of different classes. Being exposed to simpler, rougher.

-Civil service to work on farms as an idea, and everyone should spend time cleaning up city

-My film teacher instructed us to work on farms

-City living is better for earth, so what is urban paradigm, urban farming, gardening, csa’s, farmers markets, hydroponic gardening

-We’ve been obsessed that comfort, leisure is everything so farming. Going to a market didn’t make sense. We painted ourselves into a corner and now we are trying to find our way out. We changed what simple meant. 5 ingredient ice cream

-Is it fashion or is it a solution. Corporations manufacture desire, always fighting that. Naiveté as human race when given al these options suddenly technology, pesticides, etc.

-More people getting older, wanting to downsize and live with convenience of urban environment.

-American dream is based on comfort, and I think it’s wrong but don’t know why.

-Seeing 2 or 3 generation household. Again – a reversion to past ways.

-Pride about getting out, moving on discovering new life in a new place

-Picket fence, clean and well maintained, symbolic of land claim, this is mine. A good fence makes a good neighbor, lawn, close to neighbor, Norman Rockwell,

-Simplicity, not having too much, not needing a car

-In America holding things privately seems simpler than holding things communally

-Privacy is very important to us

-Communities dictating rules, like Celebration or Coral Gables, personal private property is at the core of our foundation

-Privacy is changing. Do you need a picket fence if you post everything to Facebook?

-Is Facebook the new picket fence community? Idealistic idea that internet would reduce bias. But internet also allows us to make our communities more homogenous, easy to sift through and close out what you don’t want to see. Easy to isolate oneself from who we don’t want to associate and reach across geographic boundaries to find people we share ideals with.

-Presenting a certain face to society. Feeling safe with difference. We can accept it on a bus because we are all trying to get somewhere. But in our immediate communities we are more intolerant, uncomfortable with difference. “I’m suppose to be ok with everyone’s difference and express that authentically but that’s not always the case.”

-We get pre-emptively protective – “I’m ok with you but I need the fence to make me secure with that.”

-Having less makes things easier. With more possessions life gets more complexity but bombarded by.

-Wealthy people idealize the fashion of poverty. Paying a lot of money to look like one is poor or can make do with very little. Is simplicity being appropriated by wealthy.

Minneapolis Workshop Photos by kristinmarting
July 23, 2011, 3:53 pm
Filed under: American Dream, Community, Events, Images, Research, Uncategorized

Please enjoy this slideshow of photos from our workshop at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis!

The Playwrights’ Center Community Think Tank Notes: Group 2 by kristinmarting
July 22, 2011, 11:19 pm
Filed under: American Dream, Community, Events, Research, Uncategorized

-The American dream is becoming more while becoming less”

-Is the Amercian dream dead?

-You don’t have to live in America to have the American dream

-Younger generation turning backs on old traditions and values—

-Melting Pot- never was? Is happening now?

-Racism? Reasons for square shot at the American dream.

-Ownership of a piece of the country

-Less ownership—less chance of the dream

-Control over your dream

-Is ownership or control the dream?

-Is the American dream being co-oped?

-Global dream?

-Freedom of speech in a general sense

-American dream not dead.

-Control discourse?

-Native American- what about them?

-A personal experience

-Inside or outside the dream?

-Freedom in the broadest definition

-Your kids having it better

-Age with dignity

The Playwrights’ Center Community Think Tank Notes – Group 1 by kristinmarting
July 21, 2011, 8:27 pm
Filed under: American Dream, Community, Events, Research, Uncategorized

We recently returned from a week long retreat at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We were able to do a lot of productive work on our script in preparation for the upcoming production, which premieres on September 11th at HERE!  A special thanks to everyone at The Playwrights’ Center and to the wonderful group of actors that worked with us over the week.

We will be posting notes from the Community Think Tank that we held as part of the workshop on July 16th over the next few days.  Stay tuned!

The Playwrights’ Center Workshop: Community Think Tank Notes – Group 1

-What is success?
-The possibiltity of fame/fortune vs. the immigrant reality
-Adressing the relationship between class + Hope/Options/Possibility
-Going from: nobody to somebody; poor to rich; zero to hero—“You can be
anyone you want to be.”

-Old ideas of the American dream—we’re such an evolutionary country that the
contexts change each year. (i.e. 2 years ago)

-Generations shift away rom traditional ideas of success—is it job consistency, is
it making a home and a family? – to a place of being able to self define and be

-Gender and balancing all of the parts of your life—again, generationally is shere
it shifted

-Also, geographics play into it hugely—that 50’s tradition still plays hugely around
the country

-Aprons are cool and baking is cool—so are we starting the cupcake shop AND
having kids? BOTH.

-Working class kids having hopes or fantacies vs. dreams that you believe you
can implement

-If you’re an immigrant—if I could just get to America I could get a job, live safely,
put food on the table—achieve independence

-Current 20’s folks not understaning that work is a privledge vs a morbid
responsibility. Our parents generation was about one job for 40 years and
pension—now it’s about mobility every few years.

-Can someone else define your dream? Is a dream about what’s possible?

-Hope and opportunity are different than dreams. “I know what my opportunities
are that I can settle for, but then the dream seems absolutely unreachable.” AND
if you then have to crush that dream, what takes its place?

-There is no longer a collective American dream.
50% African American men will be incarcerated

-In a country where you actually can achieve insane levels of wealth and/or fame
and/or success…. And where do morality and ethics fit into all that.

-If you’re born here and working class (urban or rural) then perhaps the dream is
fame and fortune… different from the immigrant reality

-Our parents dreams for us are also about being/doing better than when they
came over

-i.e. Doctors today don’t at all have the wealth or prestige that they use to

-Reality TV as rags to riches or fat to skinny—and that’s the American dream
being most persuasively broadcast around the world

-Our immigrant dreams sometimes being a glut of possibility and it can be

-Current generations are accepting they won’t/don’t have the real chance to be
as financially successful as the generation before. So quality of living becomes
much less important

-Relationship to higher education has changed so dramatically because no one
can afford it

-“I’m the first one in my family to have ever gone to college”—mentality is still
about work, manual labor, etc

-Learning or happiness as an upper class privilege. Just bad math to spend or
waste time or money when you could just work.