Written by Lorraine Treanor. Recorded by Joel Markowitz
Source has re-opened and is hosting its own Festival of new works. There is great cause for celebration with this festival. First, that it continues the 25 year tradition of the original Source Theatre Company’s Washington Theatre Festival, the incubator for many of Washington’s talented performers and directors. That it does it with a twist is thanks to Jeremy Skidmore. (more below). That it does it in an exciting, newly renovated space is thanks to the Cultural Development Corporation which answered the theater community’s call to Save the Source from becoming a billiards hall.
“Three weeks of fearlessness and shear nerve.” is how the Source Festival describes itself. In 19 days, they will deliver twenty-five 10 minute plays, six one-acts, seven interdisciplinary projects, a 24-hour play, panel discussions and parties. The complete schedule is here.
We stopped by Thursday’s tech-in and here’s what we got. Note: The Group 3 short plays mentioned perform in Week 1: Friday, June 27 at 11 pm, Saturday, June 28 at 2 pm and Sunday, June 29 at 8 pm.
Listen to each podcast separately below, or listen to the entire group here.
Producer Jeremy Skidmore talks about the process of creating festival – from making final script choises, to pairing creative teams to auditioning. Listen here.
Jeremy Skidmore produced the festival, assisted by Merry Alderman, Sarah Coleman and Jessie Gallogly. It was his concept to give focus to playwrights from around the country, “pairing, mashing, marrying” them up with DC designers, directors and actors “to see what happens.” The first week is a wealth of 10 minute plays, all directed by local artistic directors. Week 2’s interdisciplinary projects he calls “blind dates” – slam poet meets burlesque dancer. That kind of thing. Washington free-lance directors such as John Vreeke and Jennifer Nelson direct the Week 3 one acts.
John Vreeke sent us his thoughts on directing the one act This Perfect World:
This is a new complex full length solo play. The Source Festival offers the opportunity to workshop develop this play during the course of the rehearsal period…many changes, edits have been made.
The Festival also offers and the play insists on a rehearsal process that is challenging, as the play is multi layered and not on the page…the skill of the actor (Jason Lott), his intellect and passion and willingness to try this try that will play a large part in realizing Chris’s play. The festival gives us the opportunity to continue working this raw script without the pressure of the usual tech week, preview and opening…the production values will be simple to none…and none are expected.
Finally the Festival then can reveal in part with three audiences how well the piece works …how effective it is as an intellectual statement…how effective it is as a theater event. The jury is out and the Source Festival is giving this play an incredible opportunity to prove itself.
W. Ellington Fenton, MC for 10 Minute Plays Group C. Listen here.
Actor/musician W. Ellington Fenton gives us an idea of how he will weave his art and commentary to entertain audiences during transitions between plays.
Casie Platt, Actor, Pentimento. Listen here.
Casie tells us about her Juno-like character and remembers her role in Monks Burning, in the 2003 festival at the old Source.
Paata Tsikurishvili, Director Writer’s Block. Click here.
Synetic’s Paata Tsikurishvili thinks playwright John-Paul Nickel had him in mind when he wrote the 2 sentence text Writer’s Block. With Paata at the helm, there’s plenty of action packed into 10 minutes.
The cast of Writer’s Block. There are 3 sides to this play. Listen here.
(Don’t let the beard fool you – it’s really Writer’s Block cast member Michael Innocenti, bearded for his role as Sancho in Keegan’s Man of La Mancha.)
The writer (Michael Innocenti) and his characters (Tony Bullock and Vicki Jacobson) tell you about the play as they see it.
Actor Shane Wallis, The Rabbit and the Snake Listen here.
Shane Wallis followed a girl from Bogachita, Mississippi to DC. He doesn’t say what happened to that relationship but he did fall in love with the opportunities here for actors. He talks about what happens in the play between two brothers at a rabbit hunt in Texas, and working with director Mark Ramont.
Director Christopher Henley, Warriors. Listen here.
Chris describes Renee Calarco’s Warriors as a sweet slice of life play with a twist set in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Chris was there for the birth of Source back in 1981 with the first Festival produced by Bart Whiteman, and remembers 14th Street back then.
Director Jeffrey Johnson, Magnolia Day Listen here.
It seems that Source was destined to become a bar/billiards parlor until Jeffrey and members of ATW became involved and organized the campaign Save the Source. He talks about seeing the new theatre, and about Magnolia Day, a “Lucille Ball” type comedy involving two sisters before a wedding and celebratory cupcakes.
Erin Nugent, Source Festival Costume Designer Listen here.
Erin designed for 8 of the 9 Group C 10-Minute plays, and is one of 5 costumers for the festival. She tells us how she gets the look of each of the shows and pulls costume pieces together in a very short period of time. For little money.
Your turn. What have you seen at Festival 2008? Let us know.