Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Swarthmorean Sojourn (w/slideshow!!!)

The show always goes on, doesn't it? After what was one of the most difficult tech weeks Stolen Chair ever had, we somehow managed to pull off last weekend's gig performing Commedia dell'Artemisia at Swarthmore College's Alumni Weekend. In the week leading up to our departure, David and I probably slept a combined total of 6 hours, staying up far too late to build the set in my apartment (my neighbors must looove me!). And if it wasn't for the kindness of a Rosebrand associate named Marco, the two hours we spent in traffic just blocks from the Holland Tunnel might have prevented us from picking up the backdrops that were central to the design. But we made it to Swarthmore, PA with the set and the cast in about as many pieces as they were supposed to be.

The weekend was Kiran and my 5th reunion and Stolen Chair's 5th anniversary all wrapped up together. Our directing mentor, Allen Kuharski, arranged the event as an opportunity for us to perform at the school that has been so generous in its support of the company for the past 5 years. It was also the show's "out-of-town trial," an opportunity to put it up in front of a large audience before bringing it to the Pretentious Festival this weekend (have you bought your tickets yet?!). We had great turnout from class years '42 through '02 and brilliant Swarthmorean feedback from the audience; the performance simultaneously whet my appetite for the upcoming Pretentious shows and began the countdown towards the inevitable post-pardum depression that will set in when this fabulous show goes, as James Comtois says, to that Great Production in the Sky. Luckily, even before Commedia closes on the 29th, we'll be kickstarting Kinderspiel in earnest at a June 25th reading for Soho Think Tank's 6th Floor Series.

Stressful though it might be to spend every waking moment with the same group of people, all of us dealing with pre-show jitters and sleep deprivation in our own ways, I was really excited to live and breathe theatre and only theatre for 48 hours straight. No day jobs. No cell-phone signal (at least for me...damn T-mobile!). Just Commedia dell'Artemisia. Again and again and again. The weekend had me lusting after the possibility of a future college tour circuit. (Any colleges out there want to book Commedia? Cross-lists with both Art History and Gender Studies...any takers? Email me if you want to chat about it...)

I'll let the 31 pictures below speak the remaining 31,000 words I had originally intended for this posting. Some on stage, some backstage, some far off stage on Swarthmore's lovely campus. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

It was an excellent production, to the extent that we plan to take on the drive to Philadelphia to see more of Stolen Chair's genius

Arnold Gessel '54

JRS said...

Thanks, Arnold!

Sadly, Stolen Chair's permanent base of operations is in NYC now so it's not too often that we get a chance to come out and play in Philadelphia. I'm not sure how far the drive is to New York for you, so I suppose we'll just have to work harder to arrange future Philly gigs :)!

Jon Stancato '02

Vicki said...

Thanks for the update and the great pictures! Can't wait for the next show. Keep on Rockin'! :)

JRS said...

Thanks, Vicki!

I hope you'll join us for the Brick performance this Friday at 7pm. Check the website for details.