Thursday, September 13, 2007

Plays are like cars....

Amy Thone is brilliant, and is getting high kudos from "The Stranger" in Seattle. Most likely none of you who read, or glance at my scattershot blog will know who this woman is, but you should....and now you can...

the article:

Amy thone is an actress, professor in acting at my alma mater Cornish College of the Arts and an inspiring director. I first worked with Amy on "Cloud Nine" by Caryl Churchill my second year in undergrad, she was directing and I was designing the set. This was my first big mainstage and as the show changed late in the game from "Troilus and Cressida," we were already behind. I had a matter of two weeks to finalize designs in two weeks on a show I had only read the night before and would get all of two good long days of meetings with the director as that was what our schedules would allow. I fell in love with Caryl Churchill about halfway through the piece, so knowing Amy had picked this show let me know we might have a similar charge for the material. I was right.

Our first meeting was in the Ned Skinner Theatre where the show was going to be held. The theatre was a great big turn of the century gymnasium with a frame beams above, a makeshift grid of lighting poles, moveable seating units, and a running track perimiter around the upper walls that always proved a challenge to incorporate or hide in a design. We launched into our discusssion with an in depth disecction of the piece an I must say it still strikes me as one of the most exhilarating discussions I've ever had with a director about what we felt, what we disagreed with, what we wanted the audience to feel, and how we put our stamp on this work for all to see..... She rocked my world as a director, and still to this day I have yet to collaborate with a director so insanely connected to a piece that I actually could feel the life of it growing with each passing word. In the article she is wuoted as saying "I think of plays like cars—every play has its own engine; you have to learn to pull it apart" and she certainly practices what she preaches.

Amy Thone truly inspired me as a teacher, a collaborator and an actor in the many shows I have seen her in over the years back in Seattle. Congrats Amy on receiving a Genius Award from the Stranger, its been long overdue!

Also receiving a Genius Award from the Stranger is the Strawberry Theatre Workshop which is headed up by my former professor Greg Carter, and a team of several cohorts from back in my Cornish days. He's another brilliant guy with strong opinions, great work ethic, strong attention to detail, is a good devil's advocate when its needed, has passion for politics and art, and is just an all around smart creative man. Congrats to them as well for all their crazy brilliant work being recognized.

here's an article on them as well:

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