Peter Egan and Robert Daws will recreate the partnership of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson on stage when The Secret Of Sherlock Holmes comes to the Duchess theatre from 20 July (previews from 15 July). Home is Where… is a theatre piece made of real stories collected from interviews with Third Culture Kids, people who grew up in a different culture than their parents and created their own hybrid identities.
By connecting Third Culture Kids with each other and with audiences around the UK, we hope to change the stories our culture is telling about globalisation, belonging, and what it means to call this country home. The core company of Hyphenated formed in 2014, and since then we have conducted more than a dozen interviews with Third Culture Kids. In January 2016 we presented a 20-minute scratch at Camden People’s Theatre after a short devising period with an expanded creative team (5 performers, director, writer, composer, and movement director). Next, we’re looking for three additional collaborators, and pursuing opportunities to develop a full-length piece. Alongside the performance, we intend to run audience engagement workshops, which will explore the themes of belonging, home, and Britishness in each community we visit. Every January for the last eleven years, Improbable Theatre has invited theatre makers to an open space event called Devoted & Disgruntled. As always, I had some really interesting, abstract, socially-engaged, politically-charged, inspiring, mind-expanding conversations. I started a company in San Francisco, called Inkblot Ensemble, so I could make my work and not be dependent on anyone else to give me permission to be an artist. Right now, this could mean I can apply for more funding from more varied sources, pay my collaborators, hire a producer, make things happen faster. Joanna Greaney delivers a verbatim monologue via headphones while the cast improvises physical responses to the story.
What do you get when you combine verbatim interviews, improvisation, movement, original music, and a group of 9 new collaborators with rich cross-culture experiences? Home is Where… is a theatre piece made of real stories collected from interviews with Third Culture Kids, people who grew up in a different culture than their parents and created their own unique identities out of many influences. I’m so delighted to be working with writer Guleraana Mir, movement director Paula Paz, and composer Yaiza Varona, along with performers Sharlit Deyzac, Joanna Greaney, Anna-Maria Nabirye, Mark Ota, and Kal Sabir.
We have made huge leaps forward in just three short devising sessions, crammed into our busy December schedules, around other projects, day jobs, and holiday commitments.
Tomorrow, writer Guleraana Mir and I begin shaping a script, weaving together the various interview texts, improvisations, movement ideas, and musical impulses we’ve discovered with the ensemble.
At D&D 9 in January 2014, an annual open space conference of theatremakers, I called a session on Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and verbatim theatre, hoping to find some candidates for interviews and get started making a piece. At D&D 9, I found a core group of collaborators to take the idea forward, and now, 10 months later, we’ve launched a viral storytelling project to collect #TCKstories that will become the performance text for our verbatim piece. When I submitted my 2007 version of Hyphenated to the University of California (where it probably still sits, unread, among other undergraduate thesis projects), I knew I wasn’t done with this idea. It’s about Ilayda Arden, Sharlit Deyzac, Susie Italiano, Guleraana Mir, and Natasha Phillips – fellow TCK artists convened at D&D 9 who became my collaborators for this newHyphenated. Hyphenated will begin as a viral storytelling project: a series of interview chains and an online oral history library.
Despite directing a showcase of three short plays this month, I still managed to get to 12 other performances in September (6 of them in the same weekend!!).
Three ensembles in New York, Oakland, and San Francisco applauding works in progress online via Google+ Hangout. Directors Lisa Szolovits, Wolfgang Wachalovsky and I met at Directors Lab West in May 2012. A lack of material and financial resources made us consider how we could keep working virtually, in our own cities, without springing for plane tickets or taking too much time off from our day jobs. We learned a lot this week about what Google+ Hangout can do, how to use different cameras and angles, black-and-white effects, strong POV choices, music and sound, chat functions, and even silly hats on Google Effects. Better to be ignorant, to go into the future as intoa long tunnel, without ball of yarn or clear direction,to tiptoe forward like any fool or saint or hero,jumpy, full of second thoughts, and bravely unprepared. It’s been a while since I last gushed about the sublime insanity of collaborating with Megan Cohen on The Helen Project.
From there, we divvied up pieces that each of us would edit, and put those in the hands of actors for a few hours at our Laboratory Day. Megan and I are getting pretty excited about our upcoming workshop of The Helen Project at DIVAfest this May! Last night, we sat in a Mission cafe for three long hours (no kidding) and came up with three very short paragraphs that explain what the heck we’re doing.
Finally we stumbled over the image of a kaleidoscope, and (after looking up how to spell it), everything clicked into place.
Interestingly, both disco balls and kaleidoscopes are basically cleverly-arranged mirrors – which has a lot in common with theatre, in a way. The Helen Project zooms in and out of the bedroom and the mind of the most beautiful woman in the world. Images of Helen from Homer and Goethe, from modern poetry, and even ripped from the headlines of our contemporary tabloids turn in a kaleidoscope of original and found text. As is the case with many female figures in ancient history and mythology, not much is known about Phoebe and Theia beyond the names of their husbands and the lists of their children.
Phoebe & Thiea, or How to Get to Tartarus imagines a new mythology in which the goddesses fall nine days to Earth and nine more days to Tartarus to spend eternity together with the secret truths about their loyalties and betrayals in the War of the Titans. The One-Minute Play Festival (OMPF) is a New-York based theatre company that works in partnership with theatres across the country. I’m very pleased to be directing ten one-minute plays by local superstars Erin Bregman, Megan Cohen, Victoria Chong Der, Jeffrey Lo, Kenn Rabin, Geetha Reddy, Kim Yaged, and Robert Johnson.
Serving London, Ontario, Canada and the surrounding area.Musical Theatre Productions is a charitable organization formed in 1988 and registered with the Federal Ministry of Revenue (Registration #13162 1500 RR0001).
Premiered in 1988, Jeremy Paula€™s play centres on a seemingly deadly encounter between Arthur Conan Doylea€™s famous detective Holmes and his nemesis, arch criminal Professor Moriarty, at Reichenbach Falls.
Using scripted dialogue alongside verbatim interviews, movement, and music, Home is Where… explores the complexity, absurdity, and joy of our multicultural lives. In February 2016 we will reprise this performance at the Cockpit’s Theatre in the Pound scratch night. It will help if you can tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do, and why you’re interested in this project.
Four core members explored big ideas for three years, made two work-in-progress shows, and grew tremendously as artists. It’s so much work to establish a name, a website, recognition among peers and potential collaborators. But I’m not about to wait around for someone to come and save me from the hard work of getting a piece to the stage. It turns out that setting up a company in the UK is very different from the US models I’m familiar with. A fluid collective of artists led by Amy Clare Tasker, telling stories to change the world.


Using scripted dialogue alongside verbatim interviews, movement, music, and multi-media, Home is Where… explores the complexity, absurdity, and joy of our multicultural lives. Add to that incredible raw material, the off-the-wall creativity of performers with impeccable impulses, and a creative team eager to experiment with new and unusual ways of presenting verbatim material, and we’re well on our way to the next stage of this ambitious project.
For now, you can get a sneak preview of some of the interviews on our online Oral History Library.
More than a dozen people responded to my invitation, others who had grown up in a mix of different cultures and created their own unique “Third Culture” out of many influences. I have long been fascinated with Third Culture stories, and the themes of home, identity, and belonging that they bring up. I always felt my Englishness tucked away somewhere safe – not hidden, but not shouted from the rooftops (that would be very un-English, wouldn’t it?). It’s about a whole community of Third Culture Kids, many of whom have never heard the term TCK and don’t know there are thousands of people just like them.
From this raw material, we will create a verbatim performance that we hope to tour around the UK.
The Royal Court’s International Department hosted a series new play readings by Chilean playwrights, followed by panel discussion on the state of theatre in Chile.
The evening started off a little rocky with trying to find a place to stand among tipsy people watching football. A showcase of four new plays by female writers, from a new company committed to redressing theatre’s pervasive gender imbalance.
Time Zone Theatre‘s feminist take on The Taming of the Shrew begins with Bianca and Katherine perched in front of an alcove of mirrors, wearing short skirts, high heels, and angel wings. This was my first visit to the Tricycle Theatre, despite it being just up the road from my flat. I was really curious to see this play, which had a mixture of raves and puzzled luke-warm reviews from its run at the Edinburgh Fringe last month. Having known each other a grand total of four days, we began to make plans to collaborate on a piece together, brainstorming around themes, stories, and new forms that would allow three directors to collaborate.
We pulled together anything lying around that seemed useful, just like kids putting on a play in our back yards.
There’s more to learn about how these pieces connect, and how our ensembles can connect within one larger work.
And a special thank you to our first-ever audience members Rebecca Longworth and Marilee Talkington, who tuned in on Sunday to our glitches and wild stabs in the digital darkness. We’ve been pretty busy gearing up for our developmental workshop at DIVAfest this May.
But in the interest of writing a current update ever again, that glossy summary is all you get. Megan and I spent the entire weekend laying out more than a hundred fragments of text, one Helen at a time, putting 2-3 pieces together (and sometimes 8) into one larger piece that would be trimmed and reworked into something a larger.
In three groups, we tried out different staging ideas, different rules of Helen’s world: can she hear the other Helens? Burning through the rest of the editing, putting together a grab bag of found text fragments for The Face, hypothesizing some rules for the Kit, and building the First Edition of the text for the May 10 & 11 performances. I love this new image; it conjures a playfulness and curiosity along with a very directed view through lenses and mirrors. Creators Megan Cohen and Amy Clare Tasker will test their new Build-Your-Own-Helen Play Kit, constructing two different editions of the modular text to be performed over two weekends at DIVAfest.
We glimpse fleeting portraits of this mythic woman as each edition twists the mirrors to reflect a new Helen.
Today, the Titan goddesses of light are best known as the mothers and grandmothers of Olympian gods: Helios, Eos, Selene, Apollo and Artemis. She quits Mount Olympus to “teach Zeus a lesson” by showing him just how it feels to have a mortal impregnated by your spouse.
In each city, OMPF creates locally sourced playwright-focused community events which aim to reflect the theatrical landscape of local artistic communities by creating a dialogue between the collective conscious and the individual voice. And my stellar cast is Patrick Barresi, Molly Benson, Siobhan Marie Doherty, Sylvia Hathaway, Ryan Hayes, and Daniel Martinez. As secrets and betrayal are slowly revealed, Watson finds his loyalty and friendship tested to the very limit, Holmes is forced to turn his unswerving powers of deduction upon himself and the true relationship between Holmes and Moriarty is finally revealed. Since my first London January, in 2014, I have kicked off my new year there, in a huge room full of new friends and some inspiring, challenging, electric conversations. We grew in different directions, so by the time I was moving to London, we agreed to let the company dissolve.
I do need a producer, but until the right collaborator comes along, I’m going to keep making things happen my own way. It turns out it’s a very good idea to separate myself as an individual legal entity from the legal entity responsible for the financial health of a production. I’m getting over my feelings of arrogance, selfishness, and guilt around wanting to create something so focused on ME. How do our personal experiences enrich our interpretation of the stories of Third Culture Kids we’ve interviewed? At that session, I found a deep and instant connection among fellow artists with complex identities. I insisted we have Thanksgiving dinner like the other kids in my class (the first year, we had turkey meatloaf in a tent trailer on a Northern California camp site). It was my love of puns, my aversion to spicy foods, my inability to get a tan.  And deeper things too, those can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it moments of identifying with a nation of people 6,000 miles away. People who grew up all over the world, who speak one language in school and another at home, who followed their parents from one mission, military base, or diplomatic post to the next. I’m pleased to report that my first London project has garnered my first London review! The Camden Etcetera Theatre is over a pub, as many small theatres in London are, but some pubs are much more conducive than others to a pleasant and relaxed pre-show atmosphere. It was an undeniably dynamic, fresh, and surprising production, but I couldn’t help wishing they had put their energy into making their own new show, rather than making a bewildering two and a half hour adaptation of an old show which had even me scratching my head about what an audience was supposed to take away from the experience. Their King Lear was at times breathtaking, and at times impenetrable (it’s performed in Belarusian, with short scene synopses rather than supertitles). So it’s interesting to try to imagine how the play might have been originally performed in 1592, and a little difficult to know just how far the director has pushed the boundaries of the classic text.
This could have been a summer camp romance, a strong connection in a special, intense environment, followed by half-hearted promises to keep in touch.
We initially envisioned bringing Lisa and her team out from New York, and meeting up in the Bay Area with Wolfgang’s Oakland collaborators and my San Francisco ensemble, renting a theatre space and training together to develop an Exquisite Corpse methodology inspired by victorian parlor games in which players draw the head, body, and feet of a monster without being able to see what the others have drawn. Only now instead of grabbing a broom handle to stand in for a sword and pretending a treehouse was a castle, we grabbed an iPhone to stand in for a video camera and pretended my bathroom was a prison cell. The goal was to reduce the number of movable parts in the Build-Your-Own-Helen Play Kit – and also to get the repetition of ideas under control.


Plus, starting this weekend, bouncing over to something completely different for a week: an experiment in how to make live theatre online via Google+ Hangout with local collaborators and an ensemble in New York City.
Having begun work on this sucker nearly three years ago, it’s a real mental stretch to read our descriptions as if we know nothing about The Helen Project.
It honors the complexity and sophistication of the structure of the piece, as well as its randomness. Egan, who plays Holmes, is still remembered for his role in popular sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles during the 1980s. I really wish there was another model, something in between being a precarious freelance individual artist and an artistic director bogged down with all the administration of a company. It turns out that it’s a lot simpler than I thought, with a lot less heavyweight infrastructure.
There are events throughout the year, as well as the annual 3-day brain-melting wonder-fest each January. I interviewed my family and wrote a “one-woman play for five actors” that I called Hyphenated.
My mum washed paint out of my dad’s hair with turpentine – the punch line is he’s now mostly bald.
My Englishness was never a secret, more like a little piece of treasure that I would show only to people I trusted.
Once in the theatre, though, I was amazed that I could no longer hear the hubbub (the pubbub?) from downstairs. And I will be back to the Hen and Chickens Theatre, the spacious and well-equipped blackbox above an Islington pub.
So maybe it’s no surprise that this lyrical chamber piece was deliciously well delivered in three different accents without the aid of any stage craft beyond a chair each and a soundscape of waves. Director Pamela Schermann’s programme note suggests a relation to human trafficking, urging us to pay attention to the way the characters pursue marriage as a financial transaction.
I’m looking forward to re-reading it, having as usual picked up the published play text at the theatre. But since May, we met at least monthly via Google+ Hangout to keep talking about how we might make some theatre together. The experiment morphed to focus on the possibilities of live performance via Google+ Hangout, and within that frame, thinking about ways we could connect three pieces to feel like one whole. Because why would I try out ridiculously complicated new ways of making a play just one at a time? From a matriarchy begun out of Chaos by Eurynome, the Goddess of All Things, the Titan women were soon forgotten after the rise of Zeus as king of the gods. San Francisco’s OMPF has been produced in partnership with Playwrights Foundation since 2010. However, he is also an accomplished stage actor, having appeared in productions of Hamlet, Richard II, Journeya€™s End, Noises Off and Art. And it turns out that there’s a one-day course in how to get started, run by the Independent Theatre Council. But I’m looking at artists like Bryony Kimmings, Young Jean Lee, and Pina Bausch, who lead companies which facilitate their collaborative work.
I was looking for some way to reconcile my Britishness with my Americanness, trying to figure out which one was “the real me,” wrestling with the invisibility of my hyphen, the privilege and identity crisis that comes with it. I spent the first four years of my life in Hazel Grove, Stockport, where my parents lived in the 1980s after my dad graduated from the University of Manchester.  When I was five, we moved to California.
Theatre has an important role to play in a society liberated from dictatorship just one generation ago, but the new state does leaves that work almost entirely in the hands of the artists, who host parties to fund small fringe productions in Santiago (home to a too-concentrated 80% of the nation’s theatres). There were two English-speaking characters, but I found that I became so used to not needing the words that I tuned out even the passages in English. The mixed dress (some characters wearing grand robes and armor, others in skinny jeans and leather jackets) further adds to the juxtaposition of modern and medieval. We researched residency programs and applied for a couple of small grants (which we didn’t get). Fast forward to May 2012, at the Directors Lab, where we wondered, what would it be like to devise a piece of theatre, only being able to see a few moments of what the others have created? We put down spike marks on my kitchen floor where the laptop needed to be set up, and marked out where the actors could stand and still be in frame.
Lisa and Wolfgang and I are regrouping this week to talk about a second laboratory and how to proceed with making a piece of theatre in this new form. Recent stage credits include a UK tour of Conan Doylea€™s The Hound Of The Baskervilles, in which he again played Holmes, and NoA«l Cowarda€™s A Song At Twilight in 2009.Daws was last seen on the London stage in Public Property at Trafalgar Studios last year. How do we make the piece accessible and interesting to people who haven’t had a cross-culture childhood? The conversation made me even more determined to do theatre that matters, and even more disappointed with the fluff that sometimes takes up space on our stages.
If you’re a producer looking for a play that is an excellent vehicle for powerhouse female actors over 30 (or if you are a powerhouse female actor looking for monologues), you can find the script through Samuel French. Deliberately leaving style and tools to the discretion of each director, we ended up with three vastly different pieces to present at our mid-week showing. We shared techniques and called out strong images that could begin to tie the pieces together across our vastly different interpretations of the source material.
I downloaded an app that made my webcam broadcast in black and white, and set up a laptop on the highest shelf of a cupboard, to look like a security camera feed. In the meantime, I’m walking around totally jazzed about the possibilities and new techniques to be discovered and refined. His many screen credits include Jeeves And Wooster, Outside Edge and, more recently, drama series The Royal.The Secret Of Sherlock Holmes fills the gap in the Duchess theatrea€™s schedule left by the early departure of musical The Fantasticks, which closed on Saturday less than three weeks after opening to the press.
Director Joe Hill-Gibbins is an associate at the Young Vic, so maybe I’ll have that chance soon. Back in our individual ensembles, we rehearsed a second iteration of each piece, incorporating ideas from the pieces we’d seen at the first showing.
To end the lab, we shared again, each piece making even more ambitious attempts to push the technology and find out what we can do.
On the other hand, there was a group of 30+ school kids in the audience the night I saw the show, taking up more than half of the seats at the historic but tiny Rose Theatre. Box 1560 Beverly Hills, CA 90213-1560 TEL 310 786-77 GRAHAM RUSSELL AND RUSSELL HITCHCOCK, AIR SUPPLY Celebrity Photo Syndication of Hollywood Celebrity Photos since 1970 Dr. Box 1560 Beverly Hills, CA 90213-1560 TEL 310 786-7700 FAX 310 777-5 ANTHONY EDWARDS Celebrity Photo Syndication of Hollywood Celebrity Photos since 1970!



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