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Preview: The Rorschach Theatre Blog

The Rorschach Theatre Blog

Blogging in even rougher spaces.

Updated: 2017-10-10T16:32:00.266-07:00





Just as we at Rorschach have moved into our new digs at the Atlas Peforming Arts Center, so too has our blog. Find blog entries HERE on our brand spanking new website!

We will keep this blog around as a historical record of Rorschach behind the scenes so you can always check back here for classics like our "get to know you" series to our audience interaction discussion. Just take a look at the posts from October 2005 and prepare to be entertained.

And check us out on our new blog.
More importantly check out our shows at the Atlas so you can see stuff like this:




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Klecksography 2010 VideoBlog - Come Together, Right Now, Over Meat from Dream Live Studios on Vimeo.

A video for your blogging pleasure

It is never to late to have a Happy Klecksakah!


Seamus here, author of No, Batsheba, reporting from rehearsals. Quick personal note: I've known Natsu, our director, for years, since she's a professor at my alma mater, but we've never worked together as writer and director on anything. When we kicked off the project last week, I couldn't help but wonder if we were up to the challenge of turning Grace Overbeke's story into an entertaining ten-minute tale of anti-Semitic Santas and Christmas Eve grudge matches. After the first half-hour of sitting in on last night's rehearsal, my face hurt from grinning so much, and after another half hour of watching slow-motion fisticuffs and hearing Soneyet's TERRIFYING Batman voice, my entire upper body hurt from doubling up laughing (and from eating more than my share of the delicious cookies that Karin, our host and Evil Santa extraordinaire, made for us).Here are some reflections from the cast to tide you over until we shower you with cartoony splendor this weekend!Soneyet: Wrapping rehearsal for the night, when your director tells you to go home and come back with an even sillier love your life!Karin: Did you know that Santa Klaus is antisemitic, a martial arts champ and has certain food allergies?More secrets to be revealed in No, Bathseba!My dad is way cooler than your dad & our Christmas adventure kicks your Christmas adventure’s face in.– Love, Batsheba O’Malley-Hirschberger[...]

Klecksing all the way!


My parents created so many lasting traditions in my family. I will never forget the Christmas routine, a routine that I still follow to this day, every time I am home for the holiday. I know that on Christmas Eve I will go to church with my parents (the only day out of the year that I attend church services) and that the church will be packed with families. My parents and I still attend the children’s service full of children and complete with a live nativity. I know that no matter how old I get, I will still laugh every time the camel pees on the altar. I know that when we arrive home, we will sit together and eat and drink coffee. This ends in the unwrapping of one gift. I know it will be pajamas, always pajamas to wear for the night. When I wake I will eat breakfast and gift opening will begin shortly after. After gifts are open and bellies are full, we get ready to go to my grandparent’s house where another set of rituals and traditions will take place. There is comfort in tradition. Comfort in the knowing of what will happen next. I don’t know what will happen to these traditions after my parents are gone. Will my brother and sisters continue the traditions that our parents create for us or will we create traditions with our new families? Slowly growing apart as our traditions break down. As I sit and think about our play for Klecksography, I cannot help, but to be reminded of family during the holiday seasons. No matter what your faith is, it seems that holidays are filled with families, the ones we are born into and the ones we create. During rehearsal, many conversations came up about family traditions around the holidays. No matter how old we get, it seems that when we are at home for the holidays, we fall back into the same patterns and customs as when were children. Siblings bicker and fight and arguments are to be had. Memories from holidays past are brought up and reminisced on. This falling back to an older time is what can make bringing a guest to a family holiday all the more awkward. Having to constantly catch up someone who is not used to your family or not aware of certain “family rules” can often feel out of place or placed into the position of “outsider” not matter how hard people try to make them feel welcome. Our play centers on this idea of connection. How do we connect, both literally and metaphorically? How do we integrate an outsider into long held holiday traditions? And more importantly, how do we connect to our family after the loss of a loved on? This will be the 2nd holiday that I have worked on a Rorschach Holiday show and it is always fun to rehearse and share in the holiday joy with fellow artists. Here are some photos of us in rehearsal. Enjoy. -Matt [...]

Grady's Klesksography challenge


Hey kids,So rehearsal has begun for Full Disclosure, the pop'n, hip, socially over-aware quasi-comedy from Rorschach Company member Jason Linkins. As to keep it's subject a secret there will be little disclosed here, but I will reveal that the piece has gone through 4 drafts, two table reads, and has been blocked despite not having it's central character for the first rehearsal.The name Klecksography continues to be impossible for me to pronounce. This is disconcerting for me as I have not only 3 years of German, but 4 years of Latin, so a simple combination word like Klecksography should be a no-brainer for me. Lets just say, I'm glad you didn't have to pronounce the words in the SAT vocab section.I will be working on this pronunciation though the week, I have even typed into a spell and speak, but this does not seem solve the issue. I'd say keep up with my progress on facebook – but I don't acknowledge facebook as a legitimate vehicle for social interaction, so you'll just have to find me and ASK. (and in case your wondering, yes that means i am not on facebook, thank you.)Grady WeatherfordDirector, Full Disclosure[...]

Merry Klecksing


Hello interneters,Gearing up for the weekend? I know it is only Tuesday. But there is snow on the ground and the temp is 25. Clo enough to think about your next day off.Here are some seasonal thoughts from Misty Demory. More blogging later, but for now, snuggle up, keep warm and get your tickets for Klecksography. Best,CatherineSince the 1930's children have left cookies and milk out on a table for Santa on Christmas Eve. It is thought that the idea to leave them out may have sprung from parents wanting to encourage their children to give/share during the great depression. The Oreo is the most popular cookie left out for Santa Claus. No matter what the reason, or why it started, cookies made, eaten, shared, or thrown at people on Christmas Eve are one tradition I hope never goes away.[...]

I ‘klecks, do you?


I try not to make bold statements in public, because I usually end up looking like a jackass. I’ve learned from experience. I like to hang back and then
make snarky comments about others’ ideas. But I am going to go out on a limb on this one, that’s how much I believe in it. It’s time to ‘klecks.’ What is
klecks, you ask? Klecks is a new slang term for the new millennium.  It will replace all those other tired slang terms like “phat,” “sweet,” and “groovy.” Not
that anyone still says groovy.  It’s a noun, verb, and adjective all stuffed into one enigmatic package. Now, I’ve learned from my German friends that
‘klecks’ is an actual word in their native language that means, blob, blot, dab, smudge, blotch or stain in mine. But words are slippery, they change their
meanings all the time. Take ‘culture,’ for example: a hundred years or so ago culture meant to plant seeds. So, with your help, we can culture klecks in
our culture. Are we klecks?

James Hesla, Playwright
 Klecksography: Home for the Holidays, coming December 18th & 19th @ Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint.  Tickets are on sale now. 

Climbing the Fourth Wall


This morning I posted a piece that Washington Post Theatre Critic Peter Mark wrote for Arts Post about audience interaction. It spawned a really interesting discussion on Facebook. I thought it was worth posting here so others could catch up, chime in, or just check out some of the other great articles people linked to within the conversation. Have more to say on the subject? Feel free to share it in the comments below.--JMcFredJenny McConnell Frederick I'm with Peter. If I wanted to be in the play, I'd be an actor. At Rorschach, there's more than one way around that 4th wall: Arts Post - A theatrical manifesto: hands off the audience! Michael Glenn Then what's the point of seeing a play? Why not just rent the movie? William Aitken I agree with Peter on this one. I dont go to the theater to be brought up on stage. When I want to be on stage I audition. Jenny McConnell Frederick b/c I believe it's possible to be totally invested and engaged in a live experience without physically being asked to participate. And I think in many cases, that forced interaction has the opposite effect--taking people out of the experience they were invested in. Elissa Goetschius Hmmm... Where did I just read this? Oh, right! The NY Times! Sara Barker in total agreement . . . there are people for whom a night at the theatre can be a wonderful entry into a vivid and exciting world and who, when approached like that from an actor, feel assaulted and undone. It's about respect. Perhaps, if a play is written with audience interaction, there can be a warning or a designated area for those who are interested in it to sit themselves . . . Jenny McConnell Frederick yeah, Elissa--that piece covers a lot of what i'm talking about, and you're right Sara...having a clear contract with the audience upfront seem like it goes a long way in earning their trust. It seems like we as artists could think more deeply about how to gain the investment of our audiences without insisting on their participation. Michael Grew While PM paints with way too broad a brush, there's plenty of times this kind of thing hasn't worked for me at all. I think it generally stems from whether it's being done for the play or for the audience; when the interaction stems from the production wanting to make the audience uncomfortable or thinking it'll make them pay more attention, I think it's obvious and comes off as forced.As a sidenote, one of the things I absolutely hate most in the world is when anyone pulls that "Good morning!...Let's try that again, GOOD MORNING! That's better." bullshit. Deborah Randall What is the job of the critic, though? Is it to define how theatre should be interpreted as a noun or is it to review the work at hand? Jonathon Church I am surprised that so many of you don't understand audience interaction. I agree with Mark K in the comments, it's about timing and execution. Theatre for young audiences, for example, is helped by interaction. The kids know that they can take part in this live event and be as big a deal as the performers that everybody else is watching. It makes it exciting and memorable, and draws a sharp distinction between fun, vital, interactive and experiential theatre and stuffy old museum plays where everybody sits quiet and learns something, or else! Shakespearean audiences were routinely brought into the action to keep the play vital and engaging. ASC routinely uses this style and I performed with it for two years, visibly delighting probably 90% of the audiences I personally talked to, touched, questioned, and hid behind. Occasionally it went wrong, or the audience member didn't want to be involved, but most of the audiences, young and old, were familiar with our style and jostled to be down front and part of the action.Li[...]

Inside Klecksography


For those of you who want a closer look at Sunday, September 5th's KLECKSOGRAPHY here's a little behind the scenes action:

Read all four scripts here:

Technical Difficulties by Randy Baker (or The Inciting Incidents)
The Package by Allyson Currin
Feet Forward by Anne M. McCaw
Mass Times Motion by James Heslas



Want to know more about Klecksography?

Check back here after 4PM, September 5th.


H.R. Zurich: A visionary given voice


In preperation for our performance of Klecksography by H.R. Zurich at the Kennedy Center's Page to Stage this Sunday, we thought we would tell you a little more about the playwright who made this all possible. Below is some terrific research and dramaturgy by Allyson Currin.Don't miss the performance of H.R. Zurich's forgotten gem on Sunday, September 5 at 230pm at the Millenium Stage in the Kennedy Center. The play is newly adapted and researched by a team of Rorschach Playwrights, Directors and Actors:Katie Atkinson, Randy Baker, David Bobb, Vanessa Bradchulis, Allyson Currin, Misty Demory, Jenny McConnell Frederick, Laura C. Harris, James Hesla, Lee Liebeskind, Emily Levin, Anne McCaw, Aviva Pressman, Debra K. Sivigny, Hunter Styles, Catherine Tripp, Yasmin Tuazon and Stacy Wilson.**********************************************************************************Heinrich Reinhold Zurich, one of the most influential and prolific German playwrights and poets of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is ironically rarely produced today in America.He was born in Freibourg in 1867 to a distinguished jurist father and concert-pianist mother.After taking degrees in law and linguistics at the University at Heidelberg, he was just settling into a distinguished but unremarkable career as a barrister when he saw a performance of "Der Fleidermeister" by the experimental theatre troupe, The Rhineland Three. The power of that single performance, no record of which survives, caused him to abandon his career and make a profound and irreversible turn to the theatre, in which he enjoyed near instant critical acclaim (although his audiences claimed that his more experimental efforts well-nigh incomprehensible).An early acolyte of Freud, Zurich's plays examined the complexities of human psychological attachment in such works as "Symmetry Skewed", "The Tyrant of Stuttgard" and "The Bastard and the Bumblebee". His works premiered principally at the extravagantly expressionistic Berliner Stage, the principal rival of what was soon to become Bertolt Brecht's Berliner Ensemble. Zurich, largely underwritten by his parents' generous bequests to him, also held salons in his Berlin home that were attended by virtually every shining intellect in Germany: his guests included Strindberg, Max Reinhardt, Fritz Lang and Isadora Duncan.He was not without his critics. The French symbolist Jacques Dernaux led a protest against Zurich's politically-charged play "Not Without Fear" in 1915, and the pamphlet that Zurich published in response to these protests was Tristan Tzara's inspiration (or so he claimed) for the first efforts of the Dada movement after the war.The Weimar years were not kind to Zurich and he went into a spiritual and creative decline. All of his writing for the stage ceased, replaced by poetry that was not particularly well-received. With his growing obsession with German nationalism and his increasing attachment to the philosophies of Martin Heidegger, he undoubtedly would have applauded the Nazi rise to power had he not died in 1931 in an apparent suicide. His wife, the famed German actress Freida Gottshched, was largely responsible for preserving his works and his reputation subsequent to his demise.It is our great honor to bring his unique voice and compelling perspective back to an American audience.[...]

Countdown T-minus 7 days...


Today's blog entry features a post from Event Coordinator, Deb Sivigny!

One of the many awesome things about hosting Rorschach: X is working with the many generous vendors and businesses that donate goods and services.

One of our silent auction sponsors was just featured in the Washington Post Magazine.

Lilly's Closet is a wardrobe styling firm created by Margaret Lilly. She is a styling goddess that will transform your look from average to amazing!(image)
You'll have a chance to bid for her services at Rorschach: X on Saturday night!

Buy those tickets now, folks! what's the deal with this Pay-What-You-Can Benefit?


As you may have heard (below...), Rorschach has a big milestone this year--our 10th Anniversary. So in honor of that we're throwing one incredible party on Saturday February 27th. For all the party details click here or check back on the blog in the coming weeks for more inside scoop.

Today, we want to tell you a little bit about this pay-what-you-can business. When it comes to productions most of you are probably familiar with the concept (or can deduce the meaning of tiny words even when strung together with dashes...). But a PWYC benefit is a little more rare. Naturally, benefits are fundraisers (no surprise there...) and they're a great way to throw a huge celebration, spend quality time with our nearest and dearest and raise much needed funds for our organization... with that last goal in mind, we know what you're thinking: "How on earth can you make any money at all letting people do whatever they want?! Has the snow gone to your heads people? Have we declared marshall law?!"

Well, the answer is no, we haven't lost our minds. We know that the Rorschach family (that's you guys...) is made up of all kinds of people, so we're giving you lots of options.

What do all these options mean for me, you ask?

Here's the scoop:

The $50 Ticket This is the official regular ticket price. A $50 ticket covers the basic per person party costs + a small donation to the organization. (For those of you in-the-know with your tax deductions that's $20 tax-deductible.)

The $30 Ticket This is our budget option. It covers the basic per person costs, but doesn't come with a tax-deductible contribution. If you want to join us, we'd simply love to have you.

The $75 & $100 Tickets These are our generous supporter options. If you're able to support us on this level, we're incredibly grateful. (And you'll get credit for a tax-deductible contribution in the amount of $45 or $70 respectively.) There's no VIP seating or top-shelf bar at this level, but we can guarantee you a fantastic party and the deepest appreciation and admiration of the entire Rorschach tribe.

What if I love you guys, but have other plans for February 27th?
Just click here to make a fully tax-deductible contribution of any amount.

As always, if you have questions you can always reach us at

We can't wait to see you all!!



A Benefit Bash for Rorschach Theatre's 10th Season

Saturday, February 27, 2010 7:30pm
ICON: 1821 14th Street
(2 blocks from U Street Metro Stop)

or call 1-800-494-TIXS

On Saturday, February 27, 2010, at 7:30PM, Rorschach: X will bring Rorschach’s innovation to ICON on 14th Street as the inventive, immersive theatre company celebrates its annual fundraising benefit. The store’s sleek and modern aesthetic will provide a unique backdrop for an unforgettable evening featuring entertainment, a silent auction and the opportunity to mingle with Rorschach Theatre’s artists, patrons and fans. The silent auction will feature treats and treasures from all sorts of Washington hot spots--Anthropologie, Teaism, DC United, Lilly’s Closet, Landmark Theatres and others.

Always on the cutting edge, Rorschach is pioneering the pay-what-you-can benefit in Washington. The suggested price of admission to Rorschach: X is $50 which includes an open bar, light snacks & desserts, music, dancing and the company of some of DC most exciting theatre artists. For those who want to share in the fun but are working on a fixed budget the minimum price is $30 per person. Generous guests are encouraged to consider a ticket of $75 or $100.

To buy your tickets now, CLICK HERE!

Rorschach would like to thank the sponsors of Rorschach: X: Magic Hat Brewery, Dogfish Head Brewery, Honest Tea, Whole Foods, Garden District, Patty Boom Boom, Commonwealth Gastropub, Total Wine and Dolcezza Artisinal Gelato.

Living Dead: Now in 3-D


I don't think we ever shared the video trailer for LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK with our blog readers. Check it out below. Thanks to Lee Liebiskind and Grady Weatherford for their awesome camera work and editing.

Remember, there's only ONE MORE WEEKEND... so get your tickets now by clicking here and find out more about the show by clicking here.

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Blogging in hell...


We're coming to you tonight, live blogging from Haydees in mount pleasant. Over the green margaritas and tastey burritos we're rehashing the wonders of our mythic night. Luquecious Grote, combative Callaghan, infernal Baker and bloody bloody Nguyen brought us four world premiere 15 minute epics with more stage combat, original music and creepy mask work in one night than you get at most theatres in a whole season.

Randy's Geeking out on sandman here so i can't get him to chime in but Monalisa would like to say "f$&k you Danny!" and then to say just how much she enjoyed working on the LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK set.

Catherine and Akiva are having a conversation that's probably not blog appropriate, but we're all really sorry that Akiva fell down on the job.

In entirely unrelated news just for the record--the RT Matchmaking service is still in full swing--even branching into a new demographic this summer. Hooray!

MYTHappropriationVI: Day 4: Beowulf, Tarantino and Gobots


You may notice that there was no posting for Day 3. Well we're non-linear and that's just how we roll.It's an exciting weekend at Rorschach...1) Last weekend for DEAD CITY - only 3 shows remain of Sheila Callaghan's remarkable, electric play. Don't miss this show...2) It's zombie night night tonight for LIVING DEAD - come dressed as a zombie and get five bucks off your ticket!3) And of course 2 showings of MYTH APPROPRIATION: 15-minute epics. Beowulf meets Tarantino, The Mahabharata meets punk rock, the gates of hell open on earth. You can get your tickets to MYTHap and all our shows by clicking here now.But for now, let's have Yasmin Tuazon release her inner blogger. Yasmin - Rorschach company member, Scheherezade in 1001, and cast member in RESEVOIR WULFS, Qui Nguyen's adaptation of BEOWULF, just one of the 5 plays premiering in MYTHappropriation this Sunday...****************Greetings from a holding cell someplace in southern California. The Feds won't really specify where we are.Let me say - and I know this is a controversial issue in contemporary American theater - that every rehearsal process should include some Tarantino. Qui Nguyen, author of the zombie-tastic Living Dead in Denmark (still running thru Aug. 23), has filled a longstanding hungry void in theater with his mini-epic, Reservoir Wulfs.Because who was the biggest bad-ass of the mead hall? You bet your Fruit Brute that it was Beowulf. Picture it. Some wannabe gangster - calls himself Grendel - busts into your syndicate and starts eating your men. And I'm not metaphorical here. Literally. Eating. Your men. Now these were the days before the semi-automatic weapon, so typical defense protocols of the time were not equipped to deal with a monster who eats motherfuckers. They had to call in a specialist.Enter Beowulf, with a sword worthy of Hattori Hanzo and the skills to back it up. Someone willing to go medieval on Grendel's ass, before the Middle Ages even existed, and tear off Grendel's arm. (This isn't confirmed in the actual text, but they say that Beowulf took the arm home, hung it over his entertainment system and used it to display hunting knives.) Someone willing to go to the bottom of a lake and behead Grendel's mom. Shit that makes the Yakuzi syndicate and the Crazy 88s look like a cupcake party.Now if you were to look to who produces the Beowulfs and revenge epics of today, it's Quentin Tarantino. But as we know, bad-ass is not just something you put on like a pair of bedroom slippers. It's a way of life. So director Akiva Fox could have been content to let us watch some clips of Kill Bill , Reservoir Dogs , Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown on YouTube. No. That's not Akiva's style. I saw him shoot three dudes in the face on the way to rehearsal. If we were gonna do this thing, we were gonna do it.We started with a taste of Reservoir Dogs, which serves as the main inspiration for Qui's masterpiece, and cut up some poor schmuck to a soul-stirring classic in an empty warehouse. Except in the spirit of Beowulf, we cut off his arm as well as his ear. Then we took him to the bottom of a lake and cut off his head. Let me tell you, wielding knives in water is not easy. But body disposal and evidence removal, supremely efficient. The real Wolf (aka Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction) would have been proud.Then we went for breakfast. I had pancakes. Cesar had eggs over easy, turkey sausage and biscuits. Jenna had creamed chipped beef on wheat toast. Akiva had the Greek omelet special with home fries. We talked some shit and tried to feel good about our work. But somehow, we were unsatisfied.That was when Akiva realized - and this is wh[...]

MYTHappropriationVI: Day 2: Love, War and a blue Karl Miller


MYTHappropriation VI is in full swing with rehearsals happening throughout the city. All in preparation for the big night Sunday when we unleash these world premieres on the world. With plays by Jason Grote, Sheila Callaghan, Qui Nguyen, Randy Baker and Brett Abelman, you will not be disappointed.

Guest Blogger Catherine Tripp joins us today. She is directing MAHABHRATA: A LOVE STORY, Sheila Callaghan's 15-minute adaptation of the great Indian Epic, The Mahabhrata.
Get your tickets NOW and don't miss a minute of this remarkable event.

And if you're in the mood for more Sheila Callaghan, don't miss DEAD CITY, just about to begin its final weekend.


(image) Hey there blog readers,

Catherine Tripp here to tell you about the exciting first rehearsal of The Mahabharata: A love story. It was so much fun that I clearly forgot to blog on time. However It stars the amazing talents of Karl Miller, Monalisa Arias and Danny Rivera. Karl is playing the blue God himself Krishna and Monalisa and Danny play two cousins out for blood.

We spent most of our first rehearsal figuring out the percussion section and the very long fight sequence. With a little creepy mask work thrown in for good measure. The story is one of love and war and the part the Gods play. (or it is just a crazy kick ass 15 minutes of fun) My talented cast has drummed(image) their way into my heart as I have no doubt that they will drum their way into yours on Sunday night. While I don't have any pictures of Karl Krishna Vishnu, please enjoy the picture of Krishna at war. And please come to see Myth Appropriations VI.

1001: Big in Tehran


During the run of 1001 Jason Grote and I did an interview for the persian edition of Voice of America. Through the power of youtube, all of you can share the program that played througout Iran and the persian speaking world...

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MYTHappropriationVI: Day 1: Cheese, Grapes, Oreos and Epic Love


MYTHappropriationVI is here! And guest Blogger Megan Reichelt is here to tell you about our first day... Megan is one of the actors in the Divine Comedy adaptation, directed by Jenny McConnell Frederick and written by yours truly.Sunday, August 16 the whole thing goes up with world premiere plays from Jason Grote, Sheila Callaghan and Qui Nguyen! Also featured is the afforementioned play by myself and the winner of the Audience Choice Award from Sunday's MYTHappropriation V!So get your tickets now for MYTHappropriation: 15-minute epics! And if you haven't seen Sheila Callaghan's DEAD CITY, this weekend is YOUR LAST CHANCE. You don't want to miss this remarkable play.I now give over the reins to Megan...******** We had a fantastic first read! We gathered in the Divine Theatre, munching the theatre artist's staple foods (Cheese, Grapes, and Oreos) in the shadow of the Magic-Lantern-Like New York City set. This MythApp takes actors, directors, and WRITERS (!) from this season and shoves them off on an Epic journey through danger, hardships, and wonders to explore the mystical land of... well, Epics!And let me tell you, each of these plays were Epic in different ways. Jason Grote's (1001) play about the Aeneid was Epic in labyrinthine oration. A feat of vocal prowess by Scott McCormick! Shiela Callaghan's (Dead City) piece was Epic in her use of the actor's talents! Every single one of the special skills they listed on their information sheets (including "creepy mask work") are used in her home version of the familial battles in the Mahabharata. Randy Baker (Artistic Director of Rorschach) shifted the camera of The Divine Comedy to focus less on Dante, and more on another, grander story of 1/3 of a canine's Epic journey to reunite lost love and un-destroy the world. Qui Nguyen (Living Dead in Denmark) lived up to all expectations in dishing up some Epic Beowulf violence.... Tarentino Style. Finally, the winner of last week's Myth Appropriations V Audience Pick fit right at home with the rest of the Epics as Brett Abelman pieced together hundreds of stories (while incorporating every theme of this mythapp AND last mythapp AND the current season) to form his version of Sinbad's journey (and his quarrel with an old man and his fight with monkeys, and possibly his encounter with a giant egg).We then broke off into different groups, with our provisions of cheese, grapes, and Oreos, each setting out on our own epic journeys into the particular mystery that was our play. All in all, a very exciting night, which ended appropriately and epically, with thunder and lighting.On a personal note: I get to sing!!Epic Love,Megan Reichelt[...]

And The Winner Is...


Last Night's Myth-Appropriation Round V included a brand new component--The Audience Choice Award. 100+ Audience members used Rorschach's state-of-the-art, tamper-proof cup system to vote for their favorite play of the evening.

Voting results were tabulated and varified by the firm of Tuazon & Tuazon. Garnering nearly 1/3 of the audience vote was The Old Man of The Sea of Stories written by Brett Abelman and directed by Lean Hamos. This one-week-old wonder will be remouted this Sunday at Myth-Appropriation VI along with world premiere plays by Jason Grote, Sheila Callaghan, Qui Nguyen and Randy Baker.

In addition to the Audience Choice Award, your friends here at the RT Blog have also awarded some superlatives to this fantastic crop of new plays havested on Sunday night. (, farm imagery...don't see that here too often.)

Colin Hovde's The Robot's Possession

Brett Abelman's The Old Man of The Sea of Stories

John Newman's Pagans & Primatives

Stephen Spotswood's Sailors, Sorcery & Soccer Moms

Shaun Raviv's You'd Can't Forget A Tree

Seamus Sullivan's Love & Theft

Huge congrats to everyone involved and to a big thanks to all of you who came to check them out.

MYTHappropriationV: Day 6: Ali Baba meets the Cohen Brothers


(image) TONIGHT! at 6pm and 8pm! There will be zombies. There will be monkeys. There will be Robots. You don't want to miss a minute of MYTHappropriation: Tales from the Edge of the World. Get your tickets here!

But before you do, lets check in with our last group of MYTHap-ers and hear from guest blogger Seamus Sullivan, the writer of LOVE & THEFT. With his play Seamus is bringing a little bit of Cohen Brothers to Rorschach. Ya gotta check it out. If for nothing else than to see what grisly things backyard grills can be used for...

If my experience was typical, my generation's exposure to Ali Baba was filtered through Disney's Aladdin and an old episode of Wishbone and perhaps the occasional children's book. These versions of the story, intended as they are for kids, generally deliver their share of "open sesames" but skimp on the greed, vendettas and cold-blooded mass slaughter that keep the original tale spookily relevant.

Here's a short refresher: Ali Baba, kicked out of the family business by his grasping brother Kassim, is out foraging when he spies the eponymous 40 thieves concealing treasure in their secret cave using the magic words "open sesame". After they leave, he enters the cave, appropriates some treasure, and skeddadles. Eventually he spills the secret of the cave to Kassim, who greedily dashes to the cave and fills his pockets, but forgets the magic words and is trapped inside.

Here's where things get interesting. The thieves return, cut Kassim to pieces and nail them above the cave entrance as a warning. When Ali Baba takes the pieces down to give them a proper burial, the thieves realize that he too knows about the cave and must be silenced. The thieves, who are pretty inept at killing anybody unless he's a nitwit who can't remember two words and basically turns up in their living room, try to follow Ali Baba home and slaughter his household through increasingly elaborate means, finally disguising themselves as an oil merchant's wares and smuggling themselves into his home in barrels. This prompts Morgiana, a clever slave girl in Ali Baba's household, to straight up murder the forty thieves by pouring boiling oil into their barrels.
What is it about Ali Baba that prompts Morgiana to roll up and commit mass murder on his behalf? How far would each of us go to defend our home from invaders? This was the kind of thing director Karl Miller and I set out to explore with my take on the Ali Baba story, Love and Theft. We may not have been able to answer all the above questions completely, but I think we can offer you what few other plays in the DC metro area will: a glorious barbeque fight.

MYTHappropriationV: Day 5: Zombies are people too


Guest blogger Matt Ripa joins us today... sorry to be posting it a day after he wrote it! Matt is directing NARCISSE, John Newman's adaptation of a real honest-to-god true Zombie story...

Get your tickets now for MYTHappropriation, playing TONIGHT at 6pm and 8pm and before you come see it, stop by either DEAD CITY or LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK. You can see a show and MYTHap in one trip to Georgetown! Get your tickets here.

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Being a zombie sucks. Really. Having to travel all over the world searching for brains to eat. In our zombie story, Claire has been wandering for 16 years searching for her sister, the only person who can verify that her story is real. Suprisingly enough, this play is based on a true story in Haiti, in which a man was pronounced dead, buried and then many years later, he shows up looking for his sister. It was confirmed that he was actually dead and his death certificate was signed by his sister. Here he is, Clarivius Narcisse.

Check out the story here,
Rehearsals have been going great. Our team has been tasting and trying a lot of different zombie powders and soul powders. It turns out that FunDip is the best for soul powder. This came after some pretty hilarious trials with Sour Patch Kids powder. Tech today went really well and the artistic/tech team was awesome. The cue to cue went smooth and we are excited about the shows tomorrow.

It's not easy being undead...



MYTHappropriationV: Day 4:Illusion and Addiction


Left the theatre last night after showings of both DEAD CITY and LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK and there were two rehearsals for MYTHappropriations just beginning. If nothing else, the sheer lack of sleep on this project will make for some exciting work!Today we hear from Guest blogger Josh Goode, Director of Shaun Raviv's YOU CAN'T FORGET A TREE. Josh was also the Assistant Director on LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK!Tickets for DEAD CITY, LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK, and both rounds of MYTHappropriation can be purchased by clicking here.***************** What do the Odyssey, an elaborate series of Illusions, and a drug addict all have in common?All things being explored in Shaun Ravivs, “You Can’t Forget a Tree”, an exciting adaptation of the Myth of the Sirens Song premiering at Mythappropriations V! For those of you who are eagerly waiting this round of Myths turned on their heads, here’s a little preview of what we’ve been up to exploring Shaun’s exciting new work.Shaun’s adaptation shifts the focus of the myth of the sirens and shows us the world of someone whose been trapped and can’t escape. Much like a modern day drug addict, Odie, the tragic center of our story is plagued by an itch he can’t scratch and a thirst he can’t quench, the yearning to hear the sirens song one last time and we all know what happens when the Siren gets her grasp on a young man. The chore of keeping him from delving back into that addictive melody falls on his sisters Laurel and Perry, but like any other drug, it isn’t that easy to quit.There’s the summery, and we’ve been having a great time with it. We spent most of Wednesday exploring the text and connecting to the ideas of the play. We lucked out in that our playwright gave us a piece that fits well within the time limit, giving us the freedom to stretch out certain moments. For a quick 10 piece however, it packs a whole ton of questions for us to piece together for our own understanding. After a very quick chatting session, we jumped up to our feet and started to find the best ways to express the various rich elements of the script. The highlight of the night was watching our big and strong cast member Theo, who is playing the Siren addicted Odie, being held back by the two significantly smaller women playing his sisters. I think he might have been holding back or we might have had significantly more injuries. As the night went on it seemed like with every turn we found a new question, until eventually we started to wonder….what if the Siren wasn’t really the bad guy?And for the answer to that, we’ll see you Sunday.[...]