Monday, October 25, 2010

Studio Series Revisited by Kirsten McCory

New Amerikan Theater is currently a very small company. Me, Telisa Steen and Carolynne Wilcox. We have written a play called Stings Like Acid that we are producing and it will play this fall at TPS Theater 4. We started writing the play in the summer of 2009, and just as soon decided to apply for a spot in Freehold’s Studio Series for the February 2010 show. We were accepted and then had to write a shorter version of what was then an 80+ page script, as we were allotted 10 minutes for our performance.

The “condensation” we came up with for Freehold's Studio Series was an interesting conglomeration of scenes that we felt would best tell the longer story in a radically abbreviated fashion. The challenge and importance to us lay in telling the story. Would people “get it”? Would they be interested enough to come see a longer piece?, we worried. It turns out that the story we told that weekend in February has evolved into something different in the full length version we will be performing in November, although its roots remain in the same themes. We have added and subtracted, stream lined, specified and beautified.

There was something really lovely in that Studio Series Stings Like Acid piece, and I think it was in it’s simplicity of presentation. At the Studio Series orientation, George Lewis said “Keep it simple”, which we took for really good advice. Since our story was a little abstract and mysterious, we decided not to overwhelm it with lots of prop pieces. We used 4 square acting blocks, two 6 foot screens and a red scarf. Now, for the full length version, our set is three four foot platforms. We have columns and lighting and we’ll probably use even more scarves.

The world of our play has become bigger and more fleshed out. But I think having to write that “condensation” + the rehearsal time we put in and the performance we did in the Studio Series helped us to refine our vision, and allowed us to write the exciting play we have now. It was also the first time Carolynne, Telisa and I as actors, (along with Tom Spangenberg who played “Tobias” in that version) were allowed to play in the fantastic Rachel-filled world we had created.

Freehold's Studio Series 2011 Applications will be available very soon. For more information on Freehold's Studio Series, click here.

Stings Like Acid will run November 12th - 27th
Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm
Theatre Puget Sound, Theater 4 in the Seattle Center house
Tickets are $15.00 at

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