Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sunday, June 3rd: Teatro Delle Maschere in Somerville

Just in case you have to miss Teatro delle Maschere's performance at the Cambridge River Festival on Saturday, there is still a another chance to see us this weekend as we will be performing at the SomerStreets Carnaval in East Somerville on Louie's Stage by Foss Park at 3:15pm (Map)

As mentioned previously: we will be performing with new masks designed and sculpted by Eric Bornstein of Behind the Mask Studio & Theatre!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Troupe's New Masks: Behind the Mask Studio

One of the benefits of Teatro delle Maschere's relationship with Behind the Mask Studio & Theatre is that master mask maker Eric Bornstein is crafting the troupe's new masks. After using a set of masks I had developed for teaching classes and workshops in performance, we will be premiering Eric's masks at our June 2nd performance at the Cambridge River Festival.

What follows is a preview of the masks as they are in the process of being crafted:

Arlecchino sculpted in clay over a plaster cast of my face.

Columbina sculpted in clay over a plaster cast of Stacey Polishook's face.

Il Dottore sculpted in clay over a plaster cast of James Van Looy's face.

Here is the trio after all three have been sculpted.

This is a cast taken off of a clay mold. It will form the basis of a final mask. In this case, the mask is for Perriot; who, though not traditionally a masked character, is in our case. As with the Dottore, he has been sculpted over a face cast of James Van Looy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Arts Fuse Review: Beau Jest's "Ten Blocks on the Camino Real" By Tennessee Williams

My review of Beau Jest Moving Theatre's production of Tennessee Williams long neglected one-act, Ten Blocks on the Camino Real is online on The Arts Fuse. While I caught it at Charlestown Working Theater where it recently closed, it is opening tonight at Lucid Stage in Portland, Maine.

Ten Blocks on the Camino Real is a largely neglected play in Tennessee Williams’s canon, generally regarded as a one-act first draft of the 1953 full-length Sixteen Blocks on the Camino Real and not as a separate play in its own right. First composed in 1946 while traveling through Mexico and workshopped by Elia Kazan at the Actors’ Studio, the expanded and reworked play made its Broadway premiere in 1953. Sixteen Blocks closed after 60 performances and was seen as a financial and artistic failure. Some argue that the play’s experimental approach, which presaged Williams’s later work, alienated audiences whose expectations had been formed by The Glass Menagerie or A Streetcar Named Desire; Elia Kazan would later say that his naturalistic directorial approach was incompatible with the play as written.

Here is Beau Jest artistic director Davis Robinson speaking about the play:

I should also note that Beau Jest posted a very informative dramaturgical blog on the play entitled "30 Days to TEN BLOCKS".

June 2nd: Teatro delle Maschere at Cambridge River Festival

My commedia dell'arte troupe, Teatro delle Maschere, will be performing at the Cambridge River Festival on Saturday, June 2nd. We will be performing two shows at 3pm and 4:45pm on the INSPIRE Theater Stage on Memorial Drive between JFK and Plympton Streets.

Our sets will include both "The Esteemed Dottore of Bologna Offers His Authoritative, Erudite, and Thoroughly Supercilious Meditation on the Mask" which we previously performed as part of Fort Point Theatre Channel's Excalamation Point! Series and at the Puppet Slam and a commedia dell'arte staging of act III, scene 3 of William Shakespeare's As You Like It which we last performed at last year's Shakespeare Slam.

The cast will include Stacey Polishook, James Van Looy and myself and will feature new masks designed by Eric Bornstein of Behind the Mask Studio & Theatre.

This free event is sponsored by the Cambridge Arts Council. The INSPIRE stage is curated by the Central Square Theater.

Facebook users may RSVP here if they like.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Re-Post: Review of "One Man, Two Guvnors" in The Arts Fuse

In light of One Man, Two Guvnors Richard Bean's musical adaptation of Carlo Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters being nominated for seven Tony Awards, my editor at The Arts Fuse Bill Marx has elected to repost my review of the broadcast presentation of the original run at the National Theatre:

English comedy has never shied from its roots in the Italian commedia dell’arte: Shakespeare set most of his comedies in Italy, the Mister Punch who beats the devil, the hangman, and Judy was once a Neapolitan known as Pulcinella, while the popular English form of the Harlequinade is unmistakably a nineteenth-century permutation of commedia. England’s continued preoccupation with class and the long history of southern English cities receiving groups of migrant workers from other parts of Britain, each bringing with them their own distinct dialects and culture, nurture an appetite for commedia-inspired comedy of class and ethnic stereotypes. Consequently, it is natural for playwright Richard Bean to adapt the plot of Carlo Goldoni’s classic The Servant of Two Masters from seventeenth-century Venice to the 1963 Brighton, England of One Man, Two Guvnors[....]

Read more in The Arts Fuse!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cosmic Spelunker Theater Reunites on May 7th at Stone Soup

Cosmic Spelunker Theater, 2002
Cosmic Spelunker Theater, the poetry and mime performance troupe that I co-founded with James Van Looy and William J. "Billy" Barnum back in late 2001 has been back in rehearsals in preparation for another reunion show as part of Stone Soup Poetry's 41st anniversary event at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery on May 7th at 8pm.

We'll be accompanied by bassist Ethan Mackler.

Last time we reunited, some four years ago, I posted a brief history of the Cosmic Spelunkers.

Out Of The Blue Art Gallery
106 Prospect Street
Cambridge MA

Facebook users may RSVP here.

Photograph of the Cosmic Spelunker Theater by Elizabeth Schweber Doles, 2002.