Friday, December 14, 2012

Living in a Yes, And World, And Other Advice from Cape Town





I have spent the last two weeks in Cape Town, South Africa, working on the WhyPoverty? Campaign (www.whypoverty.net) as an internship through my Masters program at The University of York.  I learned a lot in those two weeks while meeting some truly fabulous people.  I was able to work with Don Edkins and Marianne Gysae from STEPS (http://www.steps.co.za ), as well as wonderful people from Southern Hemisphere.


Through my professor, I was also able to meet Actress and Director Quanita Adams, who was in the movie Forgiveness, and the play Truth and Translation. Truth and Translation (www.truthandtranslation.org) is a play about young interpreters who tell the stories of victims of the apartheid era South Africa. The translators tell the stories in first person, which allows them to connect with the victims' stories in a personal way. The play also promotes the concept of someone's right to have their story heard. Apartheid was only lifted in 1994, so the people from all races are still connected on a very emotional level. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee, has come with many criticisms, but I personally believe it was brave and noble for the people of South Africa to seek truth over retaliation. Below is a YouTube Video of their touring production. Quanita is the beautiful girl singing at the end. 



Quanita talked about the workshops involved with Truth and Translation.  They discussed topics with audiences after their performances such as segregation, racism, and forgiveness.  No matter how offensive people's opinions, they were allowed to express them.  She found that people often just needed to be able to tell their stories. We asked her what she got out of the experience. She had a lot of wonderful stories to share about the process, and she also said for her, it was about living in a Yes And World (i.e. Yes. And?).  For those of you from the theatre community, this might make you roll your eyes, but before you do, please hear me out. For her, living in a Yes And World, means being open, listening and connecting to the person in front of her. It means more than the games we are asked to play in improv class, or maybe those games translate to real life better than we want to give them credit for.

As I thought about my experiences over the past two works, working on WhyPoverty? I thought about the campaign through the lens of living in a Yes And World.  I think my experience is best described through the promotion of dialogue, dealing with a variety of feedback, and working with people that inspire you.

PROMOTING DIALOGUE

WhyPoverty? is a a set of documentaries that's aim is to promote a global conversation about themes related to poverty.  My team and I were able to have a great conversation with Don Edkins, the Executive Producer, about the beginning of STEPS.  He mentioned that it wasn't all about the films, it was about the conversation that came because of the films.

The project is being monitored on a global level through Facebook and Twitter.  People from all over the world will be exchanging facts and opinions about empowering women or the right to education. Check out their twitter page and see for yourself!

https://twitter.com/askwhypoverty


mindblowing film on teaching illiterate women to be solar engineers!   


The dialogue is local as well as global. There are local screenings happening all overthe world, which is what really interests me. It's amazing what you can learn from experiencing a film or live performance in the presence of another person. We worked on three different screenings with live feedback and we certainly got a variety of responses. 

A local school boy talked about gang violence in his neighborhood. An NGO worker said that she could use the videos for her organization. We talked about how empowering women can change the world. These conversations are what matter, and they are what matter to the WhyPoverty? campaign. What's next is how these conversations translate into action. 

WhyPoverty? has teamed up with TheRules (www.therules.org) to help change the structures that lead to poverty. They deal with issues such as tax havens, land, and trade. Check it out and see what inspires you!

So does talking about issues lead to action? And should it? I guess STEPS has produced a certain type of video advocacy that's purpose is to promote change, but what if it doesn't? Is it worth it? Is conversation enough? Well I think the fact that art can stimulates dialogue is action in itself. Even if it doesn't, art has a way of sneaking up on you. I've thought about plays years after I saw them for reasons I couldn't verbalize. The memory was buried in my brain, and obviously it had effected me on some level. Who knows what factors really go into changing perception. There really isn't a fool proof way of measuring impact. Thank goodness! We need a little mystery left right? But if we can use art to give people new insight, allowing people to share their opinions, then I believe action in some way will take place. It may be idealistic to believe a group of films can change the rules, but I've always been a pretty big fan of dreaming big.

I believe in letting people form their own opinions and also hearing the different things they can take from watching the same film. WhyPoverty? allows the audience to do that and it's up to the audience to decide what action they want to take.

As for me, these films have really inspired me. I'm certainly ready to shake things up and change the rules. For my American friends, check out the trailer for Park Avenue. This documentary definitely inspired me to want to change structure:




DEALING WITH GOOD AND BAD REVIEWS

So these documentaries lead to magical conversations about change and hope? Well, not exactly. Some conversations were so inspiring that it made me want to stay in this field forever, and other's not quite so much.

So let me say, I've fallen on my face before, literally and figuratively. They both hurt a whole lot, but nothing feels as bad as when an audience seems to be against you. Wishbone has experienced nights of wonderful audiences that laugh with you and seem to take something from your art. We have also had nights where the audience seemed to have arrived from the grounds of the local cemetery. I suppose that is how live entertainment goes, and that it also the wonderful thing about it. The play is never the same. However, it was still hard to prepare for the diverse audience feedback from our WhyPoverty? screenings in South Africa.

Two of the audiences, made up of employees of non-profits in South Africa, had a lot of interesting feedback to add to a discussion. Another audience also a lot to say, and none of it was very complimentary.  One of the audiences seemed to be offended we were asking questions about poverty, as if we were looking at them as some sort of experiment. It was rough to say the least, and the opposite of what we wanted to accomplish. We wanted to promote discussion, not start a fight. It reminded me of being in a playwriting class back at Clemson. I remember getting feedback from a peer. She did not understand what I was trying to get across in my scene.  And my excuse was, "Oh, that's not what I meant." And she said, "Well, who is this story for, you or me?" And I guess she was right. I guess it is up to the person leading the conversation or telling the story to make intentions clear.

On the other side, audiences come to any performance or talk with preconceived notions and ideas. There were a lot of variables that played into the heated discussion, but I certainly had a lot to take with me.

It was truly important to be reminded that you win some and you lose some, and not all conversations work with every audience. We did learn a lot from the experience, and I think going into a similar situation, I would do some things differently.

It's the beauty of art: that it can evoke joy, anger or apathy, to different people at different times. But if these films are meant to start a global conversation, don't you want anyone to be able to talk to anyone about these issues? Maybe that answer is yet to come.





WORKING WITH PEOPLE THAT INSPIRE YOU

It's a long title. It's worth it. I worked with some amazing people on this trip. Quanita inspired me with her art, Don with his vision, Dena with her no-nonsense direction, and Marianne and Helga with their kindness. I was really pleased with the people that I met, but this trip really wouldn't have been the same without the support of my team.  Laura, Marit, and David are wonderful people and I am very honored to call them my friends. If you have made it this far into the blog, then you should expect a little bit of sentiment, so bear with me. I think it is truly important, no matter what kind of art you create, or what kind of work you do, to surround yourself with people that root for you. 

Del Close has a famous quote that is painted in the IO Theatre in Chicago: 

“If we treat each other as if we are geniuses, poets, and artists, we have a better chance of becoming that on-stage.”

Del Close


I do think Del is correct, but I think it applies to all forms of teamwork. If we treat each other with respect and admiration, the team will truly work better. If we treat each other as geniuses, and poets, and artists we can embrace the Yes and find out where And can take us.


I am eager to see where the WhyPoverty? conversation will lead and where film and theatre can transform into dialogue. I am seeing lots of hope for this type of work to flourish, and I am seeing lots of really fabulous people leading the way.

~Laurie 





Quanita Adams gave permission to be quoted in the blog. The Del Close quote was taken from http://jayolsonimprov.com/tag/del-close/.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

LOVE AND COMEDY





The cast is working hard on the upcoming sketch show, because just like love, comedy can take a lot of practice. Wishbone Theatre Collective will be performing in the 12th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival at 8pm on January 13th at Stage 773! 

The show is about relationships over time from childhood to old age. Wishbone is so lucky to have an awesome cast from strong Chicago comedy backgrounds. From what I hear, the show is being developed through improv and has been a very organic process. 

I wish I were there to see it. For all of you living in Chicago, please go watch this awesome show in January! Wishbone Member Brandon Little is directing with help from Wishbone Member Mandy Stertz. I am sure it has been such a fun process and I can't wait to see which sketches make the final show!

Laughing all the way from England,

Laurie




Monday, November 26, 2012

Films and Festivals


       WHY POVERTY?



I have ended up watching a lot of documentaries over these past couple of weeks. Through my program at the University of York, I am working with a project called Why Poverty?, a series of documentaries all related to different issues of poverty including maternal mortality rates, education, and land ownership.

These films are really tremendous, and I do encourage you to check them out. They are being broadcasted all over the world. Visit http://whypoverty.net to find out when they are airing in your coutry. This month, they will transmit over 70 national broadcasts and reach over 500 million people. I'm not sure about you, but that number is hard to imagine. 

Why Poverty? isn't advocating for a specific single agenda, but they are hoping to encourage a global discussion of poverty and the issues surrounding it. It's thrilling really, to be in a day and age when people all over the world can hear the same stories, see the same images, and hopefully have similarly engaging conversations about what actions to take. 





Please check out this trailer. While all of these are fascinating documentaries, there are always topics that can really touch you. Welcome to the World or 4 Born is about women's access to health care before and after childbirth. We live in an age where these documentaries can reach 500 million people, so obviously we have plenty of capabilities. We have lots of technology and lots of money. In this same world, however, 42 babies out of every 1,000 babies will die before their first birthday, and 1 in 8 women will die giving birth in Sierra Leone. According to this documentary, the US has the worst maternal mortality rate in the Western world. 

These numbers are hard to imagine and something we must improve. It is inspiring, however, that this message can reach the masses over the course of this month. It is now our job to decide what we can do with that knowledge. 

ASFF


I walked down to the ASFF festival two Sundays ago to watch a day of short films. The audience gathered in these tiny little rooms, in old historic buildings to watch sets of short films organized by genre. 

The venues were scattered about town. The music videos were in the back of a clothing store, the comedies in the top of a restaurant, and the dramas in a historic sight in the city center. There is something special in walking through these unconventional settings with strangers actively seeking original, thoughtful film.


The films were very different. Some of them really stood out to me and others did not. But what impacted me the most was being in a small room with 19 other people watching art that wasn’t widely publicized or well known. We came in faith and with the mutual understanding that these films (whatever they were) were something of value. That in itself is something worth getting up early on a weekend. 


CHECK THEM OUT

Over this month I do encourage you to seek out the Why Poverty? documentaries. Engage in conversations. Find a way to take action. In the US, they will be available at: http://video.pbs.org/program/why-poverty/

And then look up an intimate arts festival that will allow you to watch performances in the presence of other human beings. It's funny, I know, but there may be nothing better. Wishbone will be participating in the 2013 Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival on January 13th. Go. Laugh. Enjoy art in the company of others. 




P.S. Some standouts from the ASFF included The Sugar Bowl and Oil and Water. Check and see if you can see them in your home town!


The Sugar Bowl - Teaser Trailer
The Sugar Bowl - Teaser Trailer
http://vimeo.com/26903479
About this video
"A chorus of eccentric and endearing characters takes us through the rise and fall of an island in the Philippines and its sugarcane industry. Stunning images paint a portrait of a charming place struggling with its past and trying to move into the future. The Sugar Bowl is a short documentary film. For more information please visit www.sugarbowlfilm.com"



Oil & Water
About this video
"We had filmed some great stuff with Bob, a truck driver hauling water in the oil fields for a feature doco called "Columbus, Oil Rigs and American Dreams" but unfortunately he made the cutting room floor and it was a shame to see his part go to waste. This film is a fascinating insight into working far from home in the oil fields up in the forgotten prairies of North Dakota. Music by the ever-so-talented http://www.nickharveycomposer.com/ "Columbus. Oil Rigs and American Dreams" will be broadcast on Channel 4 and Film 4 sometime this summer. It will also TX in Denmark and Norway."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!







 

We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! Whether or not you get the long part of the Wishbone, we hope your wish comes true!

Love, 

WISHBONE THEATRE COLLECTIVE

Monday, November 12, 2012

Art for the Greater Good



As the millions of readers of this blog may not know, I (Laurie Jones) have moved to the UK for a year to get my Masters in Human Rights. Who am I? Good question… just one of those Clemson kids that came to Chicago four years ago with close friends and whose sister asked them to start a theatre company.  And then we did, and I’ve had a lot to do with the ups and downs of it all.  So four years later, I am across the Atlantic learning about the UN and Global Justice. And where is the connection? Why human rights? Well there are a lot of reasons, but some of those reasons had to do with some shows I did with Wishbone.
 
When Wishbone produced SPANDEX, a play examining the issue of the death penalty, last year in the Chicago Fringe Festival, I became pretty empowered. Not only do I think we created a play that allowed people to ask themselves questions about power and the death penalty, but I think we made an entertaining piece of theatre in the process. I got to sit around the table with the cast and discuss thoughts, ideas, and beliefs, and all of it made me think how theatre can create change.






Since beginning my new program, I have been constantly reminded of works of art that matter in the human rights movement. My dear friend, Aaron gave me a play by Athol Fugard called, My Children! My Africa! as I left on my journey. I read it on the plane. It was a play dealing with Apartheid era racism in South Africa in a way so entertaining and intriguing, and most importantly it gave voice to atrocious inequality.

In my first class on Law and Public Policy, my professor showed a clip from a Harold Pinter play about torture called, One for the Road.  The play conveyed in a few moments what people have experienced for centuries, and it really personalized the trauma. The play obviously meant a lot to my professor, who saw the play in London, and was so deeply moved that he used it as a tool for his opening class.



 
Last week, the local cinema aired a documentary film called, Call me Kuchu (http://callmekuchu.com/ )about a man named David Kato who gave his life to the LGBT movement in Uganda. Everyone should see this documentary.  It was brave and beautiful. For all of our friends wanting marriage and equality in the states, it certainly reminds us that the fight isn’t over for any of us, and we have a lot of work left to do to insure that everyone has equal rights. 



 
These experiences reiterated what I already believed: art has the power to speak, empower, enlighten, and change minds. It’s not magic or foolproof, but art is an invaluable tool in promoting change and empathy.

This thought has made me very proud to work on En El Corazon, a play about displaced families in Colombia. Today, Give Us Names (www.giveusnames.org) and many other organizations are searching new ways to help displaced families in Colombia. I am so glad that Brian, a friend from the organization, asked us to give voice to this issue.

This year, I will be blogging about my experiences while I am studying. I hope to see different types of art while I am here and also see how art is used to advocate for the greater good.

Of course I will be keeping you up to date on all of the latest Wishbone news. Don’t worry. Wishbone will be doing some funny shows. There is room for all types of theatre in this world. And this next sketch show will be all about laughing your face off!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Letter to Obama




Wishbone will be a part of an event tomorrow, November 4th called, "Live from Chicago," presented by LetterToObama. The night is centered around promoting political and artistic expression where musicians, dancers, poets, and other artists will join together to reflect on past events and look towards the future. Actors from our ensemble will be performing monologues from En El Corazon, our original play about the right to housing.

It is an exciting experience to be a part of a community event that asks questions about our social and political lives. Tickets are $4. Come explore with us!

~WTC




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Everyone needs to go see Titus Andronicus at The Right Brain Project! It was awesome and bloody and the acting was phenomenal! Really cool y'all...check it out. http://www.therbp.org/TitusAndronicus.html






Sunday, September 30, 2012

SKETCH SHOW AUDITIONS!

Internet! We're holding auditions for our winter sketch show TODAY! MONDAY! OCTOBER! 1ST!
If you're interested in auditioning, please email mandy@wishbonetheatre.org to secure your spot. Auditions will be held from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at Epiphany United Church of Christ at 2008 W. Bradley Pl. (On the corner of Bradley and Damen in the North Center neighborhood.) Auditions will consist of a cold reading as well as some improv.

We'll see you there!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Call for Writers!

Hi Internet!

Wishbone Theatre Collective seeks writing submissions for their sketch comedy show scheduled to run for 5 weeks in January and February. To be considered, sketches must be super funny and geared towards young love, relationships, prom, Valentine's Day, etc. Word documents only. Please keep the running time between 1 and 7min. 

All submissions can be emailed to brandon@wishbonetheatre.org.

End Broadcast.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 Chicago Fringe Festival

We're hard at work developing a new play for the Chicago Fringe Festival this fall.  As we begin rehearsals, we will blog about the creative process and give you plenty of updates.  Until then, be sure to check out the website for the organization that inspired our project, as well as the official website for the Chicago Fringe Festival:

                    Give Us Names                                              Chicago Fringe

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tech Week Teaser 2

In this clip Lucy directs Brad and Virginia at a rehearsal for their original children's play, "Porcupine and Octopus: An Unlikely Friendship."  Can't wait for Tech Week this fall?  Check out all of these actors in INCENDIARY this weekend!



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Don’t Forget Your Rock Juice! – A Review of The New Colony and Baliwick Chicago’s Rise of the Numberless


Photo by Anne Petersen

The moment I walked into the small, dark, crowded, derelict studio space and took my seat, I
knew that this was going to be one hell of a rock show. The performance begins as soon as you
walk in. I even shared a pull of whiskey from my flask with a cast member before the show
began. “Gotta warm up my chords with some rock juice,” he said to me as he quickly downed a
solid, manly, rock gulp.

The show begins with the bang of the doors shutting. It becomes very apparent that we are now part of a revolution (in the not too distant future). The rock show is a rebel PSA / history lesson of how The Numberless became public enemy number one. I’m not going to tell you the plot
of the story, like most reviews do, but I will say that it is an epic journey. Monster rock ballads,
great lights, and really intense breaks in the action make for a truly heavy ensemble performance.

I thoroughly had a fun experience. The story isn’t exactly complex or lengthy, but it is original,
and for that The New Colony and Baliwick Chicago get mad props. Besides it’s a rock show, not
Shakespeare, so what do you expect? Go see it. You’ll have a blast, leave the kids at home, and
don’t forget your rock juice.

Find half price tickets HERE

Rush Marler

Monday, April 30, 2012

Donor Story

In a land far far away (Chicago) and in a time long long ago (early 2012) a team of nine complete strangers, each equipped with their own special abilities, assembled to fight a seemingly unbeatable and common foe. Boredom. 
Boredom, was and is an ugly monster that have had his claws tightly around the neck of Chicago for years! The citizens of this barren city have moped around, heads held low, with nothing to do for countless ages. The moment a citizen exhibits any sort of excitement or drive, they are immediately killed by Boredom. And Boredom doesn’t kill you with violence. No, he kills you with only a stare. He stares at you with his sad, empty eyes for up to an hour and you become so bored from just staring that you die. Bored to death.
One day, a group of goal-oriented and enthusiastic young people aptly named Who Truly Cares (WTC for short) stumbled upon Chicago on their cross country tour. This particular group travels from city to city to inspire the citizens to take action and make their city a better one. When they got to Chicago, they were blown away at how slow and uninspired its population was. They couldn’t believe that a place with so much potential could be so bland. Coming to the conclusion that this city needed their help more than any other, they decided to live their and inspire the folks through art.
 WTC began to make plans on how to spread inspiration around Chicago but Boredom got wind of this and quickly intervened. He busted into their headquarters and took WTC hostage! However, during the struggle, WTC was able to send out a distress signal to its Care-Givers, nine people who have extended their support to WTC in the past and who WTC knew would come to their rescue!This distress signal immediately makes it to the Care-Givers, consisting of the following:


Kendra Johnson who has the ability to clothe and de-clothe anyone, either making that person comfortable or embarrassed at the drop of a hat.


Tim McCalister who is equipped with the Golden Tool Belt of Moxen. The Moxens gave him this belt when he figured out how to make a platform tall enough so that their short leader could address his people with out being laughed at. 


Jazzma Pryor who is equipped with ten screaming babies. But only she can focus their screaming which can burst the eardrums of any foe.


Kaitlyn Pietras who can draw a scene or landscape on paper so fast and turn it into the actual surroundings she is standing in.


Bryan Cohen who is equipped with the power to give you so much advice about college that your head will immediately explode.


Catherine Cefalu who is equipped with the ability to accidentally quote Shakespeare thus confusing her opponents leaving them wondering why that quote was said in the first place


Jason Evans who is equipped with a newspaper with thin silver edges, slicing through anything it touches.


Lauren Manning who is equipped with an indestructible Straightening Iron that can melt through anything. 


And Shannon Vermeulen is equipped with the ability to innately know the floor plans of any building in the entire world.


The Care-Givers assemble in Chicago and follow the distress signal to an abandoned warehouse in the scarcely populated neighborhood of Lakeview. Shannon Vermeulen uses her floor plan ability and quickly figures out that WTC and Boredom are hidden in the damp basement of the warehouse. Then Kaitlyn Pietras draws a meadow of dandelions and quickly turns the warehouse into said meadow thus revealing WTC and Boredom. Boredom, realizing that he has been found, begins to stare the Care-Givers down! The Care-Givers begin to slink toward the ground, closer and closer, almost bored to death but WTC begins to shout inspirational quotes to Boredom such as “The power of imagination makes us infinite” and “Men do less than they ought, unless they do all they can”! 
Boredom turns his gaze to WTC, because he hates inspiration, thus breaking the stare with the Care-Givers. Seeing an opportunity to take action, Catherine Cefalu jumps on Boredom and to punch his eyes out so he can no longer stare at anyone but in the process she begins to accidentally blurt out Shakespeare! “To sleep, perchance to dream” she yells. Boredom becomes so confused by this statement that his eyes cross permanently leaving him sightless! Then, Tim McCalister takes a hammer out of his Golden Tool Belt and smashes Boredom’s foot which makes Boredom begin to hold the injured foot and hop on one leg. Jason Evans then throws his silver tipped newspaper at Boredom’s uninjured leg, slicing through it, causing Boredom to fall to the ground! 
Boredom begins to writhe around in pain. Kendra Johnson then clothes Boredom with the heaviest suit jacket and pant combo, so heavy that Boredom can no longer move. He now lies still on his back “looking” at the sky. Bryan Cohen then slowly walks up to Boredom and begins to describe all of the options Boredom could have had had he gone to college. Boredom screams in agony for Bryan to stop. His screaming is so loud that it makes Lauren Manning use her Straightening Iron to melt his mouth shut. Jazzma Pryor approaches Boredom, revealing ten screaming babies and focuses their yelling onto Boredom’s ears. The screaming, in addition to Bryan’s advice, makes Boredom’s head explode!  Boredom has been defeated.
The Care-Givers go over to WTC and free them from the chains that were keeping them hostage. WTC thanks the Care-Givers profusely for their efforts and for being there at such short notice. The meadow transforms back into the warehouse it once was and WTC decides to make this space the permanent home and headquarters for their cause. The building is from then on known as the Who Truly Care Givers Center for Inspiration. 
The city of Chicago has been changed forever and is now filled with citizens who are excited about life and who are always looking for ways to better themselves. WTC would not have been able to inspire these people without the selfless acts of the Care-Givers. WTC will forever be grateful for them. Thank you Care-Givers, thank you.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Austen in Elgin


Hi again, y'all!  It's Erin, and I have some exciting news! Laurie and I were cast in a production of Pride and Prejudice. Laurie is playing the role of Jane, and I'm playing the role of Lydia. AND guess what? It's all the way in Elgin! YEP. That's the most fun suburb ever! On the drive over there are tons of strip clubs and casinos to stop into. I personally have never been to any of them, but the girls on the billboards are LOOKERS! 

On the flip side, rehearsals have been a good time. We have now read the script twice and are looking to meet with the dramaturg tomorrow. I have loved speaking in a British accent daily (or at least have an excuse to). Lydia has alot of funny lines, and she is kind of a strumpet (Urinetown reference). With all that said... 

People, free your weekends in early July because we're going to mix a little Jane Austen with a little naughty time!

-Erin

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tech Week

Happy Monday, friends!  I have an exciting post for today.  As some of you might know, WTC is trying their hand at film this summer, and filming an original web series called Tech Week.  Tech Week was an idea that surfaced two years ago during a particularly stressful tech week for a children's show we produced. Everything imaginable went wrong that week.  Life was so strenuous, that ultimately all we could do was laugh at ourselves.  We all agreed that if we had a camera crew following us around, we'd have a hit reality show that we could fondly call "Tech Week."  Throughout the years, any time something dramatic or hilarious would happen (and they tend to happen often), we'd utter Wishbone's catch phrase "That needs to go in Tech Week."
About two months ago, Laurie Jones and I decided to make our fictional reality show into a web series.  We sat down one day and wrote a pilot loosely based off of our company. "Tech Week" is a mockumentary featuring a brand new Chicago theatre company that's made up of six college friends from South Carolina and one friend of a friend from Wisconsin.  The first episode kicks off when the company rolls into town and tries to put on a children's show in 48 hours.  
Laurie and I recruited friends and Wishbone members, and before we knew it we were filming!  We were so pleased with the final product that we submitted the it to the Chicago Comedy TV Pilot Competition.  Although we didn't win, we received wonderful feedback from the judges, which has inspired us to continue writing and filming.  We have a six episode season planned that will air on YouTube beginning this fall.  Right now, I'm please to show you a sneak peak of our pilot episode.  In this clip, company members, John Paul and Kacie, take Ned (a set designer they found on Craigslist) to Menard's to buy supplies.

We hope you enjoy it!  

-Mandy




Monday, April 16, 2012

Pull the Trigger! A Second City Conservatory Revue

Happy Monday, folks!  If you're looking for something to do this evening (who isn't?) why don't you skip on down to the Second City Training Center and catch funny man, Paul Vonasek, and his fellow graduates in their conservatory revue?

Admission is $5 for the general public, and $0 for Second City Training Center Students.  (What a deal!)

The show runs Monday nights at 8pm though May 14th.

Get your tickets now!

They grow up so fast, don't they?

-WTC

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wishbone's Super Summer Camp!

Well, folks.  Last summer Wishbone held their first ever children's theatre camp.  We had such a blast that we couldn't possibly let this summer sneak by without having another one.  We're SUPER excited about this year's camp theme.  In light of the successful run of our ensemble-developed play SPANDEX, Artistic Director Laurie Jones has developed a program based around the theme "Dare to be super!"  Every child has a favorite hero that they look up to, may this hero be super or an ordinary person that they see in their lives. We will take your child on a theatrical journey of the hero.  They will learn stories of ancient, super, and every day heroes, then dramatize it onstage.  In addition to acting, they will learn about all of the technical elements of theatre (sets, costumes, lights, sound) that make a true performance.  Your child will be able to use his or her imagination all week and this summer, dare to be super!

 


             
 


Be sure to check out the Wishbone Kids section of our website for more information!  If you have little ones, sign them up today!

-WTC

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Catching Up With Erin Lovelace

Hello, this Erin Lovelace, an associate member of Wishbone Theatre Collective! For the past 5 weeks I have been taking a scene study class with Profiles Theatre's Artistic Director Darrell Cox. What an adventure it has been! It’s funny how fast one can forget the fundamentals of his or her craft, but can pick them back up in the classroom.
My goal in taking this course was to make acting fun again and to relieve some of the stress it has been creating. The class consists of ten students; each paired with another student in the class and given a scene from a play. Gruesome Playground by Rajiv Joseph is the play that my scene partner, Julian, and I were given. We are required to rehearse six hours outside of class and then participate in a four-hour class on Tuesdays. The process has been eye opening! Here I am a girl with little confidence in her acting abilities as of late, acting in front of other professionals and a very vocal and important Artistic Director.
Since being in Chicago, acting has become a bit of a frustration for me, as I am never quite satisfied with my performance. Darrell’s direction mostly reflects that of Sanford Meisner. Some of Meisner’s beliefs are as follows: “Less’s more," “The truth of ourselves is the root of our acting,” and “You can’t fake emotion.” Darrell’s lessons are not about getting to the moment or acting for the audience.  Instead he wants us act for what we have on stage with us: fellow actors, the script, and ourselves. It seems simple enough to do, but always easier said than done.  
So why would I try so hard to be an actor if it wasn’t fun and if it didn’t mean something to me? Why is it always about what other people think or say? It's like Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hobo Robo 4

So, I was chosen by the illustrious friends of Wishbone, Hobo Junction, to direct a short play in Hobo Robo 4! This year's theme is Hobos in Hollywood, so each piece is geared toward the entertainment industry. The scripts range from a inappropriate relationship between Optimus Prime & Michael Bay to a southern bell trying to produce her first screen play. Neither of these are mine though. My piece, Lifetime Achievement Award, is written by the New York based duo Philip Kaplan and Stephanie Walter It's about a veteran entertainment icon receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for his time and talent spent in the industry. Albino Schwartz (the veteran), being an ancient, decrepit, and senile old man, gives life to this pice by making inappropriate remarks throughout his acceptance speech. I'm really excited about directing this piece. Its edgy, funny, and classic; and with Wishbone actor, Aaron Weiner (Returning from Madness and Incendiary), and Wishbone Intern, Rush Marler, on board to play the MC Bart and Albino respectively, I'm sure that the piece will be a hit! Being that this festival of short plays is a competition, I'm gonna pull out all the stops to guarantee there will be some knee-slapping going on! So, make sure to attend this festival and VOTE FOR ME. Here are the deets:

HOBO ROBO 4: HOBOS IN HOLLYWOOD
MARCH 19, 20, 21 at 7:30pm
$7 (Cash only at the door)
STRAWDOG THEATRE’S HUGEN HALL


-Brandon Little, Company Member

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

JR Strzelec Memorial

To celebrate the life of a dear friend and acting partner, JR Strzelec, Second City will be hosting a memorial in his honor on Monday March 12th at 2pm. JR was a kind and funny person who was able to make a lot of people laugh doing comedy in Chicago, so now Chicago is giving back. We will be doing scenes and improv from his past shows and be able to thank JR for the time that he gave us. If you were lucky enough to know JR, then please join us and celebrate the life of our favorite Jedi Knight!


Laurie Jones, Artistic Director

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Haaaaaave you met Rush?


“I would strangle a diva’s gigolo to death if I thought it would help her performance!” Henry Winkler said that when he was just an intern at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, and later he would go on to become one of the most iconic actors of all time.  I feel the same way.  No, I don’t have a murderous rage within me like good ol’ Henry, but as the Wishbone Theatre Collective intern I feel it is my duty to help whenever and wherever I can.  I will do just about anything to advertise for a show. For our current production, Devil May Care,  I helped start a mass social media blitz, wallpapered local businesses with posters, and stood in the freezing snow for hours handing out ads for the show.   One time I broke into the house of complete strangers, kidnapped their entire family, brought them to a show, and made them pay full price (only $15 for adults and $10 for students)!  Like "The Fonz" told Richie before he jumped that shark, “Stupid, yes. Also dumb. But it is something I’ve gotta do.”  So come see Devil May Care.  I’ll be working the door…every night.
Rush Marler
The Intern
Wishbone Theatre Collective