She is an inaugural recipient of the Venturous Playwrights Fellowship with the Lark, and an inaugural recipient of the Lark’s Van Lier Fellowship. Learn what the year has in store for you now! Lorca. Featured Playwrights Susan Soon He Stanton. I know my audience accepts underscore tonal things, anachronistic choices. Performances begin on November 28 at the New Ohio Theatre for a limited run through December 23. Palmer: I can speak to the sound aspect of it. I think that if people just start listening a little bit more sharply at the end, that’s great. I thought a crazier version of me would chase down that feeling and try to find that person and see if anything was real. It’s an interesting, intense connection to have with someone while still being separated, because I’m not right there by her. It’s this realization of like, “Yes, it’s fine. I’m cool! It doesn’t just have to be transitions or environmental ambiences, even though if I was at a cocktail party and someone is like, “What is a sound designer?” That is what I would tell them for the short-cut answer. When someone hangs up on her and she speaks, it’s just her voice in that acoustic room. Jennifer: I love Susan’s writing. Combining hula, chant, history and hard science this production explores ancient and modern stories of navigation. Just to remind people the world is more strange and beautiful and interesting that they might have thought about. Her cellphone rings and it’s an isolated speaker on stage. She didn’t just design the show and then leave it with a technician. Palmer is a very in-demand sound designer who had to give up other opportunities to be here with us for the whole time. I feel like there is something very modern in the sensibility of this play and in the cast and the way that it’s told. It’s one that is going to be really fun to keep exploring through the run. The first thing is that this theatre company in Hawai’i, where actors call into a radio station with their fake problems, is true. Before a rehearsal, we spoke with Susan, Jennifer, and Palmer about the development process, themes of the play, autobiography in work, and more. Palmer: With that, I’m doing some live foley, and so I’m creating the sounds that Emily the character—Jenny the actor—would be making in real life. When she stumbles into a gig as an actor on a shock-jock radio dating show, she finds herself strangely determined to turn fantasy into reality. To give myself more creative liberty, I named the character David Henry Hwang.” So I was like, “Well, I’m just going to lean into that extreme discomfort.” We’re doing it at Humana and the production meetings and casting has just been really horrible because everyone is like, “What is Susan’s problem? There are bones in the basement and creaking within. In Susan Soon He Stanton’s new play Today Is My Birthday, Jennifer Ikeda plays Emily, a woman who has returned home to Hawai’i to figure out her life. In 1926, British mystery writer Agatha Christie disappeared in England. I hope so. Palmer: I’m not sure of the exact timeline, but it’s definitely the earliest I’ve ever been involved in a project as a sound designer, which has been so exciting, because I love collaboration and to be at the workshop stage and be able to implement my art as well and to contribute to Susan’s was really amazing. Susan: I’m really interested in plays that have to be theatre, so I think my hope was that this would be something that would be dynamic and exciting and very, very theatrical. New York Theater Workshop / Sundance Institute Theatre Program, Lark Play Development Center/ Voice and Vision, Lark Play Development Center and Venturous Theater Fund, comedy, dark comedy, drama, experimental, romantic comedy. I think that plays that have really heightened concepts or forms need to have an emotional cost. I was telling David Henry Hwang, “It’s really weirding me out.” Then he’s like, “Just do the Yellow Face thing. On the eleventh day, she was discovered and claimed amnesia, never speaking or writing about the incident again. Jennifer: It’s been a challenge just because of the sheer number of scenes. Yuko is the Top Star of the Takarazuka, an all-female Japanese performance troupe, that has put on lavishly staged spectacles for decades. I think it all spurred back from Sundance because I was my own technician, which normally I wouldn’t be. Stay abreast of discount offers for great theater, on Broadway or in select cities. Betsy Wolfe is Absolutely Fine. (Live Source), The Things Are Against Us (Washington Ensemble Theatre), and Navigator (Honolulu Theatre for Youth). She is a two-time Sundance Institute’s Theater Lab Resident Playwright. Susan: I think there is something there of how we bring in new audiences. You can fail a little bit more freely because when your character is failing, you’re still alone and nobody can see you, so you’re failing alone. In addition, the P73 Playwriting Fellow John J. Caswell Jr. will receive a workshop of his play Cream!, directed by Dustin Wills. Bernadette Peters: Young and Cute, Forever and Never, Women to Watch 2017: Women Behind the Scenes, 7 Women of Theatre History You Should Know, Female Lighting Designers: Past, Present, and Future. (Live … Told through a playful mixture of live radio, voicemail, and phone calls, Today Is My Birthday is a quirky comedy about life with a thousand friends on Facebook and no one to have dinner with on Saturday night. So often we say, “Did you see this play?” Not that sound has to be top of the credit list, but just everything feels more integrated. I had done a play of Susan’s before this, which I just really loved. Susan Soon He Stanton Susan Soon He Stanton’s plays include Today Is My Birthday (Page 73), Takarazuka!!! The New Play Exchange ® (NPX) is the world's largest digital library of scripts by living writers. ( Log Out / Also, just to have this long process of trying different things and figuring it out. we, the invisibles introduces hotel workers like Diallo who have come to New York from all over the globe. It’s amazing to see this woman who has achieved so much in her life but feels so isolated because of some of the things she hasn’t achieved, like romance and having a child, and that people tell her, “You don’t understand my life because you don’t have those things.” She’s actually really smart and she can be her own entrepreneur. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I think it’s exciting because that’s normally behind the scenes, so to come to the forefront, but also feel well integrated and support what’s going on and for people to experience that. Susan: Yeah, we transform. Plays include we, the invisibles (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival), Today Is My Birthday … She enlists her dubious neighbor to help. Susan: Sometimes I feel like it’s frustrating because I’m just like, “We all have imaginations,” but things are from some place, so they’re not completely wrong. I don’t think constantly. Susan, how did you start writing the play? It was advertising for my own play and an actor dropped out and the director was like, “You have to do this.” Then I went on the radio and flirted and pretended to ask out this other person who was also a fake person. Two and a half years ago is when I got the email about the workshop at Sundance and if I was available for three weeks to go to the Sundance Institute and help develop what the sound world of the play would be, which felt so integral to its existence. I think the production felt like, “How do we get the essence of that, which we really enjoyed with the collaboration, into the production?” It ended up with me in a sound booth within the audience, but visible. Finding life back home chaotic and unfulfilling, she becomes strangely … Leah Nanako Winkler on God Said This, Kentucky, and More. She’s in there as a performer every single night making the sound. It was microphones and Palmer’s different kinds of sounds, but it was very much in a line, and then Jenny was a little bit set apart and vulnerable, but it was still just a straightforward presentation. I did a little EQ-ing on them then, but we didn’t have extreme technology, and all the sound effects that encompass the scenes and the ambient sound design. I’ve been with it since then, and we’ve done several workshops and it has evolved, but we’ve also had steadfast sonic structure in that. When something is happening in the room with Jenny, it’s not on mic. Jennifer, can you talk a little bit more about your process in terms of performance? Writing groups and residencies past and present include New Dramatists, Playwrights Center Core Writer Fellowship, the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, SoHo Rep Writer-Director Lab, The Women’s Project Lab, P73’s Interstate 73, Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, MaYi Playwrights Lab, The Civilians R&D Group, Hedgebrook, One Coast Collaboration (2x), and Terra Nova GroundBreakers. Palmer: In some scenes there are a lot of jumps. She has worked as a writing consultant for Disney Theatrical Entertainment and Disney Creative Entertainment. It’s more of a jump cut experience as a performer, so there’s a greater need to do a little bit more psychological programming, so that the jump cuts from one scene to the next can be very quick and efficient because the sound also dictates the pace of the show in a lot of way. A difficult librarian and a local boy who never grew up, are trapped in a library basement in Kauai by heavy rainstorm. I’ve always loved radio plays. In Susan Soon He Stanton’s new play Today Is My Birthday, Jennifer Ikeda plays Emily, a woman who has returned home to Hawai’i to figure out her life. We can do it.” Being alone is okay too. On Adam Guettel, Silence, and the Fear of Nothingness, The Once and Future Leigh Silverman: a western. She wrote a comedic mini-series called We Are the Interns. Page Seventy-Three Productions (Page 73) announced today their fall 2017 production will be the world premiere of Susan Soon He Stanton's new play, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY, directed by Kip … There’s a lot of things in this play that are very mundane, but just told in a new, slightly odd, off-kilter way, and I think in a good way to help people be aware of that. The New Play Exchange ® (NPX) is the world's largest digital library of scripts by living writers. Jennifer: There are so many ways to communicate indirectly and it’s very easy, I think, to hide through indirect forms of communication, whether that’s by writing something down that you know somebody is going to read because you’re trying to mislead them into admitting something to you, which one of the characters does in the play, or whether it’s by leaving a voicemail that has a certain tone and confidence that you’re not necessarily feeling. Susan Soon He Stanton is a playwright and screenwriter in New York, originally from the consonant-free town of Aiea, Hawai‘i.Her work has appeared at Clubbed Thumb, East West Players, Playwrights Horizons, Kennedy Center, The Flea, Honolulu Theater For Youth, Southern Rep, Joe’s Pub, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Perry Mansfield, and others. Palmer: It is a huge shift. There’s a passage at the end that the character has come to as an artist and as a writer that I think does really sum up some of the main meat of the play as a performer, which is that, especially for me as an actor, it’s a very lonely journey. Two sisters, one claw-foot bathtub, and a young man trying to unearth the dark secrets of his grandfather’s past. Why is Hilton Als So Scared of Leigh Silverman? In a fictional retelling of this real life disappearance, SEEK imagines Agatha on the Big Island of Hawaii in Puna: a rough and unforgiving landscape. You feel like a failure, and that effort to climb out of that through communicating when communicating can make it harder. And Other Concerns. Jennifer, when you got the script and the project, what was the first thing that drew you to it? Susan Soon He Stanton, Palmer Hefferan, and Jennifer Ikeda on “Today Is My Birthday”, Carrie Coon, Liza Colón-Zayas, Danaya Esperanza, Susan Pourfar, and Brenda Wehle on “Mary Jane”. Burdened by a secret and chased halfway around the world, Agatha's life begins to resemble the dark stories she imagined. Similarly, I was like, “These things can be anywhere. What do you hope audiences take away from the show?
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