Sunday, August 16, 2015

Season 8:breathe

Dream. Awake. See. Breathe.

There are so many reasons that breathe makes a fitting and wonderful theme for season 8. The Latin word spiro, to breathe, gives us the English word inspiration. And the related word spiritus means breath, the soul, vigor, that which animates life. The breath provides a return to the most basic thing that makes us alive.

Kristin Linklater gives a wonderful tip which applies to both the artistic life and quotidian life: “Do fall in love with your breathing. It's you. It's your emotions. It's your voice. It's not a machine." Frequently at our open trainings, we talk about the importance of returning to the basics of training, including voice and the breath. Season 8 will be a good season to reinforce that message and to connect respiration directly to the work on stage.

It is a very busy season with, ironically, few opportunities to come up for breath. We start off very early in September by returning to Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes for a fourth time. The production will be September 8th, 9th, and 10th at the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College. While it is a piece that we have explored a number of times, we always try to add new elements. This year we’ll be incorporating some puppetry including a brand new marionette that we had made specifically for the production by a carver in Prague.  

The first weekend of October (2nd-4th), tKAPOW will present Duncan Macmillan’s beautiful play Lungs. Lungs tells the story of a young couple living in a time of global anxiety, terrorism, erratic weather, and political unrest, who wants to have a child but are running out of time. If they over think it, they'll never do it. But if they rush, it could be a disaster. Macmillan expertly balances humor with heartbreak and really poses questions about how we can live (and love) in a world as tumultuous as ours.

For Halloween we’ll return to yet another familiar piece as we remount our award-winning production of Macbeth. Shakespeare’s famed “Scottish Play” as interpreted by three actors using minimal props and costumes. An audience member who saw the show last year commented,”The production had an amazingly guttural (raw) feel to it; the energy of the production was palpable.” This year, we’ll be taking the show to two venues where tKAPOW has never performed: Seacoast Repertory Theatre (October 29th-31st) and the Capitol Center for the Arts (November 6th).

The very popular ARTiculate playreading series at the Currier Museum of Art is now in its third year and will continue this year with two readings. The first play Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs will be read December 13th. In this very funny new play, when it turns out that a thrift store gag gift may in fact be a long-lost Jackson Pollack painting, an expert is brought in to determine its authenticity. In March, tKAPOW will be reading Filming O’Keefe in relation to a piece in the Currier’s permanent collection: Cross by the Sea, Canada 1932, by Georgia O’Keefe. The play explores the relationship between O’Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz through the lens of a school project. The funny but poignant play explores the bonds of familial relationships as a teenage boy seeks to uncover his family’s hidden past.
After the success of 2013’s Penelope, tKAPOW is pleased to once again present a wonderful piece of contemporary Irish dramatic literature with Marie Jones’ Stones in His Pockets. This Olivier Award-Winning play (Best New Comedy, 2001) tells the story of a movie location shoot in Ireland, and the delightful, touching characters caught up in it. The piece is a comic tour-de-force for two actors who play all 15 roles. Not to be lost in the quick changes and ridiculous situations is a play with tremendous heart. Stones in His Pockets will be presented February 26th-28th at the Stockbridge Theatre.

In April, tKAPOW will return to the Currier for some very special events. tKAPOW, was part of a group of arts organizations and educational institutions that has come together to host a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio. As part of the folio’s visit to NH, tKAPOW will be performing a selection of Shakespeare scenes (April 21st) and leading an educator workshop (April 23rd) at the museum.

May is a very busy month for tKAPOW. At the beginning of the month (April 29th-May 1st), we’ll be presenting George Brant’s explosive one-woman play Grounded. When an unexpected pregnancy ends an ace fighter pilot’s career in the sky, she is reassigned to operate military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas. She hunts terrorists by day and returns to her family each night. The play, which just completed a very successful New York run featuring Anne Hathaway, asks questions not only about the nature of modern warfare, but about its impact on families at home.

In mid May, tKAPOW goes on the road once again. This time we’ll be headed to the Charlestown Working Theatre in Boston to spend a week workshopping a new piece tentatively entitled Raining Aluminum. The piece weaves together the parallel storylines of the 1917 explosion in Halifax Harbor (and the corresponding American relief efforts) and refugee stories from Operation Yellow Ribbon (the Canadian response to the terrorist attacks on 9/11). While these two moments in history are often associated with great tragedy, Raining Aluminum seeks to highlight the tremendous instances of gratitude and the strength of human spirit. We are so thrilled to be collaborating with some fabulous artists on this project including the Czechoslovak American Marionette Theatre and world renown PEI fiddler, Cynthia MacLeod. The piece will be workshopped in Boston May 15th-21st in advance of the world premiere production at the Opera House in Derry June 24th-26th.

It will be a very busy season and one full of great theatre. In the words of the Buddhist monk, Thich Naht Hanh, “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” A mantra for this busy season indeed.