Many moons after reading an early draft (or two), I will be doing two readings of Lauren Gunderson's THE FATALES during Playwrights Foundation's 40th Bay Area Playwrights Festival (#BAPF40). Excited to be working once again with Lauren & director Tracy Ward as well as Karen Altree Piemme, Arwen Anderson, Jeunée Simon, Jessica Kitchens & Janine Burgener. Tickets are on sale now!
And...we're back. New York was filled with friends, shows, miles of walking and an inability to get over my Pacific Coast timeclock. As mentioned in my last post, I enjoyed SLEEP NO MORE (Punchdrunk, please come to San Francisco), the incredible Cherry Jones in WHEN WE WERE YOUNG & UNAFRAID, IF/THEN to play out my musical fantasties and a bonus of HEATHERS THE MUSICAL (highly entertaining) while in the city. Now, it is back to the grind. July is already busy! I did a private reading of a new play (for a playwright I respect & adore) last month & we are at it again (same playwright, different play) next week. I love working in new play development - being a part of the process, helping to dramaturg, brainstorm, create characters, imagine new worlds...all while challenging myself as an actor. This month, I will be fully immersed in the #newplay world as part of the 37th Bay Area Playwrights Festival (#BAPF37). I will be teaching a workshop along with 2 fantastic playwrights, Lauren Gunderson & Prince Gomolvilas, during the closing weekend. Join us for ALMOST NOBODY SEES YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS: How Playwrights Can Be More Effective at Marketing Their Shows on Saturday July 26th from 9am-11am at the Thick House in San Francisco. Come for the workshop & stay for a few play readings - the workshop will give you some insight on how my two career worlds intersect!
I used to see a lot of theatre...I mean A LOT. If I wasn't in rehearsal or at a dayjob, I was probably at a show (or in a park seeing theatre, opera, a concert, you name it). Ask me about the new play scene & commercial world from the aughts and I will probably have some lengthy commentary to share with you. And then I moved to California. Life changed. Commutes became a factor. Small people entered this world. Time was no longer my own. I also made a commitment in 2010 to only buy theatre tickets if a production employed female Equity actors (I did allow myself to see shows that did not have any female Equity actors on contract if the ticket was a comp or as an invited guest).
I haven't seen that much theatre in the Bay Area.
At the end of 2013, I decided to get back into theatre going - I need to see plays for inspiration, motivation, entertainment & to be a part of the new play conversation once again. I am fortunate to have some free tickets at my disposal as an Equity actor - thank you to many Bay Area companies for offering us this benefit - and through our fantastic local service organization Theatre Bay Area (become a member now!). I try to see these shows early in production so that I can spread the good word (also, I always buy a concession or 2 & generously tip bartenders at any show that I see on a comp. Every bit help$.)
It has been exciting to see new work from companies that I love as well as experience some companies for the first time. I am attempting to see a wide range of work, however, availability (time and otherwise) at times limits my choices. As I have two big theatre trips coming up this summer (headed back to NYC & then Ashland for the first time), I want to document my theatre-going for the year. Here is what I have seen so far in 2014 (in addition to doing readings of news plays, attending readings of new plays, a Bal Littéraire & performing in CRYSTAL SPRINGS by Kathy Rucker all of March!):
JERUSALEM by Jez Butterworth - SF Playhouse January 28, 7p
HIR by Taylor Mac - Magic Theatre February 7, 8p (NextGen program)
SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson - TheatreWorks February 8, 2p
A MAZE by Rob Handel - Just Theater at the Ashby Stage February 21, 8p
LASSO OF TRUTH by Carson Kreitzer - Marin Theatre Company March 12, 7:30p
WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by Min Kahng from the book by Grace Lin - Bay Area Children's Theatre March 15, 2p
SHE RODE HORSES LIKE THE STOCK EXCHANGE by Amelia Roper - Crowded Fire Theater at Thick House March 27, 8p
EVERY FIVE MINUTES by Linda McLean - Magic Theatre April 4, 8p (NextGen program)
HUNDRED DAYS by The Bengsons/book by Kate E. Ryan - Z Space April 12, 8p
TRIBES by Nina Raine - Berkeley Repertory Theatre April 19, 8p
THE SUIT based on "The Suit" by by Can Themba, Mothobi Mutloatse, and Barney Simon, adapted by Peter Brook, Marie-Hélène Estienne & Franck Krawczyk - American Conservatory Theater May 7, 2p
COMMUNIQUé n° 10 by Samuel Gallet, translated by Rob Melrose - The Cutting Ball Theater May 15, 7:30p
SHOW BOAT Music by Jerome Kern Book & lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II - SF Opera May 30, 6p (Final Dress tweet seats! #keepsrolling)
THIS LINGERING LIFE by Chiori Miyagawa - Theatre of Yugen June 6, 8p
SOUTH PACIFIC composed by Richard Rodgers lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Hammerstein & Joshua Logan - Mountain Play Association June 7, 2p
WALK LIKE A MAN by Laurinda D. Brown (adapted from her own novel) - Theatre Rhinoceros June 11, 8p
THE HOMOSEXUALS by Philip Dawkins - New Conservatory Theatre Center June 13, 8p
THE ORPHAN OF ZHAO adapted by James Fenton - American Conservatory Theater June 18, 2p
ONCE Music & Lyrics by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová, book by Enda Walsh from the film by John Carney - SHN/National Tour June 18, 8p
FAILURE: A LOVE STORY by Philip Dawkins - Marin Theatre Company June 25 7:30p
SLEEP NO MORE, WHEN WE WERE YOUNG & UNAFRAID, IF/THEN, THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, A WRINKLE IN TIME, and who knows what else?
Happy theatre-going to you all!
How quickly the year flies by! Over the past few months, I've rehearsed, performed & closed Kathy Rucker's CRYSTAL SPRINGS, did a Dramatists Guild reading of WALLS by Molly Kelly, participated avidly in the international #newplay conversation as myself & as Playwrights Foundation, worked on a play or 2 not yet ready to be named & continued projects with my lovely clients in the Bay Area & beyond. I've darkened the doors of many theatre since January as an adjudicator for the inaugural Theatre Bay Area Awards - it's been a hoot to see my friends and colleagues creating art, doing what we love.
I even have some critics words to post (I never read them during the show, but my family picks out some gems):
"...Mia (a captivating Susan Shay), a fascinating character..."
- Karen D'Souza
"Susan Shay gives a entrancing performance as Mia."
- Richard Connema
This month, I head back to New York for the premiere of the independent black & white film (yes, shot on film - I loved the smell of the canisters) THE CEDARS, June 30th, 1pm, Quad Cinema (34 West 13th St) as part of the Manhattan Film Festival (tickets available here). Join me if you can!
I am very happy to once again be working on Kathy Rucker's incredible play CRYSTAL SPRINGS. Our director, Anna Jordan, is flying in from London for a whirlwind of rehearsals (remember when you used to rehearse for 5 weeks - on a script that was set in stone? Those days seem to be gone!) For more info, visit the show's website. Tickets may be purchased here.
Audition season brings anxiety, racing from appointment to appointment, long hours of reading/re-reading scripts, rehearsing monologues & sides, trying to calm nerves before the auditors...all in order to land the part. I have been trying to focus on the POSITIVE part of auditions (which generally scare me to death) - for that minute or 3 or 5 or nearly an hour, I get to do what I love: embody another person, another story, play, use my muscles-brain-body-voice-allthosehoursoftraining. Today, I got to play with a room full of other actors - a rarity in straight theatre auditions for me (not callbacks, not dancecalls - a general audition). We warmed up, worked on commedia characters - attributes & appetites, some of us did monologues & all of us did scenes. Today, I got to play for nearly an hour as two characters in a play after warming up as a number of stock commedia characters. It was the best hour of today.
It's been so long since last we met... I am much better at updating other people's sites - easier to post for others than for myself!
What I have been doing for the last 11 months - 1 36-hour play festival (with my dear friends of UWAC in a play by the fabulous Megan Cohen), 1 play workshop (thank you Kathy Rucker!), 2 workshops of a musical (with BLAM), tons of behind the scenes work at Tides (including Assistant Directing a very cool project with The Center for Investigative Reporting), client work, travel, and I am sure there are other things I should list here, but I want to highlight one project:
Several months ago, I saw a Facebook post by my sister - she had posed for a friend/colleague's project to raise consciousness about skin cancer & to raise money for the Arbor Free Clinic in Menlo Park and the Support Network for Battered Women. Mimm was still looking for volunteers. I volunteered. And now, my face will be in this book alongside my sister & niece, with no frills, no makeup, no photoshop - just the way we were meant to me. We are getting ready for the book launch on Saturday November 2nd and hope for success. Please read more about the project here.
I don't know what photo Mimm chose to use - but when I look at them, I remember that I was listening to my then-6-month-old gurgle in the background. I see my family in my face - brother, sister, mother, father. I see the rush I was in that day to pick up my older one from school. I see me.
All photos by Mimm Patterson
This year I have so much to be thankful for (and much to catch up on!) - a successful run of 5 LESBIANS, shooting THE CEDARS film (@TheCedarsMovie) in Santa Cruz, becoming a company member of TIDES THEATRE, new consulting clients and a happy, healthy family. I plan to get some new photos from these projects up on here soon - this work has kept me very busy this year! Wishing you all a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Lulie and her Quiche!
Evelyn - THE CEDARS
Thanks for helping me with the Counting Actors project. Please cut and paste the list below and fill out the answers. Email it to countingactors (at) gmail.com.
Please make sure of the following:
1) the performance took place in the 9 county San Francisco Bay Area (that's San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo, Solano, and Napa counties) OR that the contract's city of origin was within the 9 county bay area (this last bit typically applies to commercial productions of recent Broadway hits that are on a national tour - if the city of origin is local, one would hope they'd hire locals. If its origin city is NY or LA, the hiring would get done there - if you're not sure on this one, send it anyway and I'll let you know.) 2) this wasn't a school performance or done by a company that identifies as a community theater or amateur theater. 3) the performance was a full production, not a staged reading, developmental showing, etc. 4) the performance is from the current month. I'm not able to go backwards - if you're emailing me in September, it should be for a show that had performances in the month of September. I will publish each month's results between the 1st and 5th of the following month. (September results between October 1st and 5th, October results between Nov 1st and 5th, and so on).
Cut and paste this list into your email: Your Name (as you'd like it posted in the blog - let me know if you'd rather not have your name in the blog too): A URL to link to your name (optional - could be your personal website, your company's website): How you found out about the Counting Actors Project: Name of Play: Name of Theater Company: Your connection to the show (audience member, producer, writer, actor, etc.): Gender of Director: Gender of Writer (if a musical, please list genders for book writer, lyrics writer, and composer): Total number of actors: Total female actors: Total male actors: Total union actors: Total non-union actors Total male union actors: Total female union actors: Total local actors: Total non-local actors: Notes/noteworthy additional info (examples might be - there were multiple writers/directors or in this production a woman played Romeo):