New Ideas – week one opening

Hey and howdy one and all.

Bloggergal is very tired today – and not because she was out late at the opening night party for week one. Unfortunately. Nope. Since she blogs for free, she’s gotta make a buck – so she gots a j-o-b. And the j-o-b has been particularly b-r-u-t-a-l lately. But enough about me. How are you?

The 2010 New Ideas Festival got off to a great start last night, with four plays (three written by Alum members*): Join the Club* (Suzanne Courtney and daughter Leora Courtney-Wolfman), An Inked Heart (D.J. Sylvis), Ashes to Ashes* (MP Fedunkiw) and A Very Different Place* (Carol Libman) and a full house in the studio. Two of these plays were directed by members: Join the Club (Stacy Halloran) and Ashes to Ashes (Maureen Callaghan), and featured member actors Brenda Somers (Inked Heart) and Pat Hawk (A Very Different Place – we’ll see Pat again in week three play Buff).

The week one program was a good mix of comedy/drama, comedy and drama – and all on the theme of family, be it a band of brothers in a dangerous profession, a workplace family or blood relations.

After visiting the Join the Club gang early on in their rehearsal process, it was nice to see how far they’d come. Those of you following this blog will recall that the acting experience of this cast ranges from little/none to a fair amount – and they captured the camaraderie of these men really nicely.

Stand-outs for this blogger included hilarious performances by actors Liam Doherty (Ashes to Ashes), Hannah Barnett-Kemper (Inked Heart) and Lara Johnson (Join the Club) – as well as Colin Murphy (Inked Heart), who stole scenes with his crazy street person character. It was also nice to see scripts that included older characters; actors Brenda Somers and Pat Hawk were lovely in their roles as feisty broads who know what they want – and are more than  a match for the youngsters in their lives. Nice work all around. And the monologue about the experience of getting a tattoo, at the beginning of Inked Heart, rang very true (11 and working on #12 for this bloggergal).

Fabulous eats – arranged by Alum member Sandy Schneider and two friends – awaited the gang after the show. And I know for a fact that folks – especially the hungry actors – really appreciated the very tasty (and free) grub. Always a good time, and I was sad to have to leave so early.

Week one continues all this week, until Saturday, March 13 – including matinee and evening performances of these four plays on Saturday – as well as a staged reading of Theory (by Norman Yeung, dir by member Joanne Williams) on Saturday at noon. Check the Alumnae website for details and reservations: www.alumnaetheatre.com

Until next time…

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