Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More Chikamatsu

After a long while, we're getting back to work with our old friend Chikamatsu. Lucas and Jyana have been developing a new script with lots of exciting and strange ideas, which we'll be exploring in a workshop starting on Thursday. It will involve magic and communing with the dead. We'll tell you more as it happens. I mean it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Edinburgh Lessons

I'm currently in Edinburgh with another company that I'm a part of, Split Knuckle Theatre (and also blogging here), and it's already a pretty fascinating lesson in how to market your show. That's an area that frankly, Active Eye could do better in. But there are lots of things we could do that I'm seeing in effect here in Edinburgh. Admittedly festival-time is a very different thing than your average February in NYC, but why can't we be parading around in costume in highly-trafficked places, or handing out flyers to the people in lines at TKTS or at other theaters? We'll have to lots to talk about in terms of promotion for the future, and hopefully we can try out some of this stuff for us in New York.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fancy Web Updates

Check out our website for new updates made by our resident web guru Rika Iino, including a photo from our February 2006 production of Hard Lovin' Ever After. Link at right.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fear of what lies within

For the last 2 weeks we've been workshopping our newest project based on FEAR. You may remember posts from back in March. We're creating this one from scratch instead of doing an adaptation and that's a whole new experience for us. Hence the secrecy!

We have to work on the piece but also discover how to work on the piece. That's been the most challenging thing. What is going to spark the idea, movement, story? Images? Dreams? Situations? We learned that we're far too consensus oriented and had to force ourselves to bite the bullet and go out on limbs. So it's exciting and new and frustrating and hard work.

In the end we found some inspiration in Anne Sexton:
Inside many of us
is a small old man
who wants to get out.
No bigger than a two-year-old
whom you'd call lamb chop
yet this one is old and malformed.
His head is okay
but the rest of him wasn't Sanforized.
He is a monster of despair.
He is all decay.
He speaks up as tiny as an earphone
with Truman's asexual voice:
I am your dwarf.
I am the enemy within.
I am the boss of your dreams.
No. I am not the law in your mind,
the grandfather of watchfulness.
I am the law of our members,
the kindred of blackness and impulse.
See. Your hand shakes.
It is not palsy or booze. I
t is your Doppelganger trying to get out.

So many of our fears are held within ourselves. Who knew they were bundled up in an ugly little old man with Truman's voice? I supposed we'd better watch out.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Revving up Iphigenia

Emily has a new draft and this one is streamlined and active and rhythmic. We've also chosen our new designer - Zane (www.zanepihlstrom.com) and I think he's going to be great. He's collaborative and fun and has a great sense of play. I hope he's ready for what he's getting into! The budget is small and the cast is going to be HUGE - male chorus and female chorus - and the timeline is tight. So we'll need all hands on deck. But I think the students are going to be a good bunch. Em and I went up to see Dreamgirls at CCNY a few weekends ago and it was really pretty fantastic. Some excellent voices, some good movers, some powerful presences. We walked out dreaming of our cast. Exciting!

Next up we do an informal reading to hear it one more time then design design and music music!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Well, it hasn't been a whole month.

Lest you think that we at Active Eye had fallen off the face of the earth, I should say that it was merely I, your (semi)dedicated (not lately) blogger, who had been neglecting to post the news, of which there was in fact plenty.

So look for a couple new posts to make up for lost time, and thanks for sticking around, assuming you've stuck around.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Another quote from the koan commentary cited below (we have a clearer translation, but this one's more fun):
Master Ch'ang-sha and Master Yang-shan were good friends. One evening in autumn they were admiring the moon together. Suddenly Master Yang-shan pointed to the sky and said, as if to himself, "This clear bright moon! Though everyone has it, there is scarcely anyone who can freely use it." "Yes, there are some who can use it," said Master Ch'ang-sha, "I can show it to you, if you wish." "That is interesting. I should like to see it," Yang-shan answered. Even as Yang-shan spoke, Ch'ang-sha sprang upon him like lightning and knocked him down. Rising to his feet, Yang-shan commented with admiration, "You are really a tiger!" Hence Master Ch'ang-sha was given the nickname, "Ts'en the Tiger."

No wonder they were such good friends.

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