Theatre Thesis Festival
Productions, Presentations and Play Readings: April 22-25
Program A - Black Box
Wednesday April 22nd and Friday April 24th
William Jenks (Performer/Deviser)
All That Old Misery
Devised by William Jenks
Adapted from Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett
In a growing world of technology, how does film find its purpose within theatre, or possibly, how does theatre adapt to film? How does a live performer “compete” with the luring image of a screen or a projection? I had all of these questions in mind as I approached this project. As a double major in Theatre and Rhetoric & Media Studies, I have always held an interest in both film and live performance. When I first read Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, I read a play that allowed me to play with both art forms. I developed the script into an adaptation of Beckett’s one-act play, replacing the traditional tape recorder with a laptop and the traditional audio recordings with video projections. Not only does this allow me to visually reveal the young character of Krapp, but allows for the previously unknown memories of Krapp to manifest in physical form. With this additional tool at my disposal, All That Old Misery explores the interaction of memory and habit, begging the question of what is most important in a person’s life.
Sam Reiter (Performer/Deviser)
by Sam Reiter
Nothing has ever seemed so terrifying and ambitious to me as writing and performing a one-woman show, so naturally, I decided to do both for my thesis. Baba Yaga was a natural choice. In the vast canon of Russian folklore, her recurring presence in multiple tales was intriguing. Baba Yaga is a particular anomaly because of her moral ambiguity. Sometimes she decides to help the heroes and heroines of her stories, and other times, she wants to eat them instead. How could such contradictions exist in one character, and for what purpose? And how did Baba Yaga, often depicted as a ghastly old crone, become who she is now?
Solveig Esteva (Director)
by Maria Irene Fornes
Directing Mud by María Irene Fornés has been a special experience for me because I have worked so closely with the playwright. I have never met her or spoken to her, but I feel as if she has nonetheless been guiding me every step of the way. She has inspired me to work from instinct and be open to every opportunity as it presents itself. Fornés has taught me how to create relationships through shapes and images. In a way that I can’t explain, Fornés has transformed my way of thinking about and approaching theatre. Her very distinctive voice has served as inspiration to create this play by working moment to moment.
Program B - Black Box
Thursday April 23rd and Saturday April 25th
Charlotte Markle (Director)
The Actor’s Nightmare
by Christopher Durang
A peculiar piece of wisdom that I remember by dad sharing with me when I was younger is that, no matter how badly its going, you can always end a comedy by dropping your pants and running off stage. In The Actor’s Nightmare, George tries both, and yet that is only the beginning. To capture the heart and soul of The Actor’s Nightmare, one might paraphrase Samuel Beckett: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Or fail worse. Or maybe succeed. But probably fail. But try again anyways! Whose yacht do you think that is?
Amy Williams (Performer/Deviser)
by Amy Williams
Directed by Devan Wardrop-Saxton (Alum ’13)
Ever since reading Plato’s The Symposium back in my first-year Exploration & Discovery class, I have been fascinated by the character of Diotima. The men in this classic dialogue sit and drink at Agathon’s home and each discuss the philosophy of Love, but when Socrates speaks, his entire piece is based off of the “truth” of love told to him by a woman named Diotima. She never gets to speak for herself, but her wisdom is treated as the ultimate truth.
I chose to create Metaxu to give voice to a woman whose story was lost in translation and time. Metaxu is a fictional story. We don’t know who Diotima truly was, but this is a story of what might have been. I invite you to listen with Diotima as she pushes together her own truth to burst from the confinement of the past to root herself in the ground before her.
Alice Whitaker (Performer)
Margaret Billingham (Director)
by Sarah Ruhl
“Orpheus was a great musician, Eurydice was his wife.” A classic myth retold from Eurydice’s perspective. This newly wed young woman falls into a strange place where a chorus of stones mock her, a child on a tricycle attempts to seduce her, and her deceased father greets her. Meanwhile her husband tries to sing his way to hell.
In a strange world between Mt. Olympus and reality, Ruhl tells the ancient myth of Orpheus and Eurydice from the woman’s perspective. The whimsy of Alice in Wonderland, the adventure of Dorothy in Oz, the imagination of a dream, and the creepy playfulness of the circus can only begin to hint at the aesthetic of Eurydice. After the death of Sarah Ruhl’s father when she was 20 years old, she found that Ovid and Virgil’s classic myth served as the perfect vehicle to process her loss. Eurydice is saturated with themes of love, death, and memory as the heroine straddles the safety of childhood and the inevitability of growing up.This simple yet abstract play continues to surprise me with new magic and it still manages to evoke my laughter and tears
Off-site Performances and Other Presentations:
Friday April 24th and Wednesday April 29th, 4:00pm
Sullivan Mackintosh (Director/Deviser)
(not) all the same
Devised by Sullivan Mackintosh
I have always loved performing for children, and from the start of my time at Lewis & Clark, I knew I wanted to work towards creating something new for young audiences, whose openness and energy I find inspiring and rejuvenating. This semester, with the help of a very creative team of collaborators, the devised piece I’d been stewing for years became (Not) All the Same, a quirky interactive play about a town that has lost its color–literally and figuratively. The process has been both challenging and joyful; we started with very loose ideas and shaped it into a story, and even threw in some singing and dancing! I plan use this thesis as a workshop opportunity to propel this play forward; I will continue developing the show with the goal of providing the performance as a no-cost opportunity for schools and families to share theatre with young people.
Thursday April 23rd
Kaylie Hatos (Designer)
Kings, Queens and Other Things
Presentation on Costume Design for Exit the King
This past semester for my creative thesis project I designed the costumes for the Main Stage production of Exit the King. Directed by Professor Quill Camp, this Eugene Ionesco play exposes a king at his most vulnerable—only a mere hour and forty minutes before his death. With the help of those around him, he eventually comes to terms with his fate, but not without some lovely moments of laughter and tears. Throughout my presentation, I will tell my story amongst the many that made Exit the King a successful theatrical production. As I follow the thread of my design process, I will be sharing my experience with the production and invite others to join the conversation.
Friday April 24th
Charlotte Wallis (Designer)
Presentation on Design of Reclaimed Spaces for the Performing Arts
Will an audience clap if the houselights are raised? Designers employ cues such as this to impact audience behavior and engagement inside of the theatrical event. Arguably attention should be given to the additional stimulus created by the environment of the performance space. Converted Spaces is an open forum that hopes to facilitate a conversation about the implications of performing in an unconventional theater space by investigating renovated spaces and their effects on audience behavior. The presentation is a snap shot into not only the research of technical theater design major, Charlotte Wallis, but a presentation of a theoretical design to convert a North Portland warehouse into a permanent performance space.
Saturday April 25th
Emily Hodgson (Performer)
Presentation on her MainStage role
Exit the King
by Eugene Ionesco
For my research paper and presentation, I am discussing the actor training styles of Michael Chekhov and Jacques Lecoq, exploring their personal history and the legacy of training they have left behind. While these two masters are both psychophysical teachers, meaning that they target physical gesture as a way to access a character, I am discussing whether or not their training brings out the same qualities in student actors.
Corey McCarey (Playwright)
The Father, The Son and All These Ghosts
by Corey McCarey
As far as I can tell, America has two major ideals. Those two (we undoubtedly have more, but bear with me) are the ideal of the family and the glorification of violence, be it for entertainment or otherwise. These two things are ultimately incompatible. My play is about trying to strike a balance between the two, and the ultimate inability to do so.