"oh what a tangled interweb we weave..."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tales from the Orchard Project pt.1

This is Josh. The Dog Whisperer. Mostly, he sang to him. So the Dog Singer. But only after a few cups of Belarussian Fire Water. Mmmm

And that's Gus - the sweetest resident dog at the Orchard Project. He even did his own monologue. I'm not kidding. It was genius, and written by our new friends from Paines Plough in London. They were delightful chaps! There was also a piece about a Ware-bear and Milwaukee's Best cleverly titled "The Beast" - who knew the Brits could write bad beer culture so well.

But let me take it back just a bit - that was all after we got cozy.

Our first few days at the Orchard Project were amazing. Amazing in the fact that we just kept repeating to ourselves "Guys, we're at the ORCHARD PROJECT." Not to mention it was gorgeous and the drive was so beautiful. Well, for some of us - I'll let Zoe tell her story about their epic journey. So we sort of walked around in a daze - soaking up the creative energy and catching up with each other.

What was great about this trip - about At Play really - is, as Sherri said, "You never know what you're going to get." And that applies to this trip as well. Originally, 12 At Play members were supposed to make it up with us. The final tally - 8: Devin, Zoe, Josh, Sherri, Mary, Stephanie, Julia, and myself. It could have easily been a completely different group and they may have worked and completed things in a totally different way. And I feel safe in saying that it probably would have been just as brilliant.

There are so many possible combinations for At Play collaborations - and all of them will output different products. And all of them will be fresh. That's what makes us exciting.

I also love our "other" new catch-phrase:

At Play: Why the f*ck not?

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Some things you may have missed if you didn't come to the Orchard Project:

Reading monologues in the ruins of an old church overrun by wildflowers.
Getting shady looks from the 12 remaining residents of Hunter, NY.
Devin's one-eyed jack breakfasts.
Morning coffee and artistic discussions on the porch.
Julia's musings on speed limits. Ummm, 80?
Mapping out a new game plan for the gallery plays that includes commissioning artwork from artists of all mediums.
Zoe and Mary drinking straight vodka, using graham crackers as chasers.
Josh leading drunken campfire songs, including, but not limited to, I've Had the Time of My Life and almost the entire canon of the Beatles.
Josh then stepping on a Belarussian's glass of tequila and then exclaiming "Hey, you're not in our company!"
Vodka thirsty Brits.
Zoe's claims that she's "a really good drunk driver".
Everyone smoking Kelcie's American Spirits.
Setting in motion a short film project using some of our favorite past At Play pieces.
Sherri's emphatic new slogan, "At Play: You never know what you're gonna get!"
Stef's hungry goblin impression.
Cookie dough ice cream.
Stef and Sherri's rendition of the Belarussian's song and dance.
Reading the beginnings of a beautiful screenplay by Kelcie at 1am.
The fastest paced hike known to man.
Skinny dipping in a secret mountain waterfall pool with Julia, Devin and Mary.

Some things you may be glad you missed if you didn't come to the Orchard Project:

Flat tires.
Raccoon eyed sunburns.
Leaving your phone on top of the car.
Going to pick up your phone from the dude who found it and bringing a bottle of wine as a thank you and then realizing the "dude" was 15 yrs old.
All of your clothes smelling like campfire for the latter half of the week.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Introduce Yourself, Devin Norik

Theatre or theater?  

Devin or Devon? 

Strangest theatre or theater-related job?  

Scoopy the Pelican.  Is that enough? 

What experience made you want to become an actor?  

I don’t know that there is one experience where I wanted to become an actor.  I think there are many experiences that have made me want to be something:  skiing powder through Utah’s mountains made me want to be a ski bum; helping my dad tend his vegetable garden made me want to be a farmer in San Luis Obispo, California; and eating scones and clotted cream in the south of England made me want to be a baker with a British accent.  Unfortunately, I have never been any of these things, but I have day dreamed what it would be like to become all of them.   

Very first role on stage? 

The head broom in my pre-schools staged production of Disney’s Fantasia.  I was the original broom that circled the audience before being joined by my million broom friends. 

Tragic flaw?  

My need for a bottomless cup of coffee. 

If you were a 1980s television show sidekick, who would you be? 

Hobie Buchannon is the lively son of Mitch Buchannon, single dad and L.A. lifeguard extraordinaire.  Hobie is devoted to the beach and somehow always manages to bump into trouble, even when he’s not trying to. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Introduce Yourself, Sarah Ries

Theatre or theater?


Strangest theater-related job?

I once music directed a musical based on a video game where the characters would, at random points, burst out into operatic songs while fighting each other warrior-style. Wearing capes. That was pretty fucking strange. But it reminded me of the landlord's dance cycle from the Big Lebowski, live, in front of my eyes, so it was also awesome.

What experience made you want to become an actor?

I grew up in a family of musicians, and my dad was an artist, so I started out singing with my grandpa's band and such at a very young age and have wanted to be a performer ever since I can remember.  For a few years in high school I thought I'd be a lawyer, but I was very dedicated to performing in college. I stayed after senior year to play Evita, which was a huge challenge, and a special experience for me. That show prompted me to take the leap into the professional world.

Very first role on stage?

I don't remember what came first. Maybe a peasant girl in Missoula Children's Theater's production of Hans Christian Anderson. I remember it was so exciting when they came to our town to do a show!

Tragic flaw?

Perfectionism. I'm working on it. lol

If you were a 1980s television show sidekick, who would you be?

Hm... this is not so much a sidekick, but... Rainbow Brite!! Rainbow Brite, definitely! She had boots with rainbows on them. Amazing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Introduce Yourself, Malcolm Madera

Theatre or theater?

I like -re.  But we'll see how Disney spells it when they buy the registered trademark for it. 

Strangest theatre-related job?

Helping train police cadets and foreign presidential body guards.  I'd be a suicide jumper or a drunk or dude off his meds and a young police cadet would try and figure his way out through the situation with me rewarding or punishing the poor youngster based on his/her actions.  Or I'd be a VIP who got picked up in a motorcade and taken around town and given tours of this, that and the other, and it always ended with an assassination attempt on yours truly.  Good times.

What experience made you want to become an actor?

I saw Peter Pan on stage when I was 3 and never wanted to grow up. 

Very first role on stage?

The stoner in a D.A.R.E. play?  Or maybe it was Humpty Dumpty.

Tragic flaw? 

I smoke like a character from Madmen.

If you were a 1980s television show sidekick, who would you be?

"Howling Mad" Murdock from The A-Team.  I'm crazy like a fox.