Long Day's Journey Into Night
by Eugene O'Neill
Final Dress Rehearsal March 11, 2009
Photo Credit: Armen Stein
Jamie was a Futurist!
I actually don't know if James Tyrone, Jr. was a Futurist, but I got this book (FUTURISM) recently for time period research, and it made me think of the nice counterpoint in the play between Jamie as the futuristic, forward thinking, 20th century man contemptuous of his past, and Tyrone who knows where he came from and clings to his "old" methods of thinking and living. It also reminds me of Jamie's cynical, upfront style. What would it have been like to have lived in 1912 and to have seen so many changes?
Here are two excerpts:
"The Futurists turned their backs on the sheltered life of the cultured intellectual. They ridiculed both the servile respect paid to men of fossilized learning... Instead, like the Dadaists and Russian Constructivists later, they opted for the public arena and demanded instant reaction. Whether this reaction was favouable or not was of secondary importance...The essential thing was to involve a public that was no longer rendered passsive and submissive. 'We place the spectator in the centre of the picture', the Futurist painters declared in their manifesto, and the expectation was that the spectator would not just stand there but hit back."
from Futurism, Tisdall & Bozzolla
" Futurism is grounded in the complete renewal of human sensiblity brought about by the great discoveries of science. Those people who today make use of the telegraph, the telephone, the phonograph, the train, the bicycle, the motorcycle, the automobile, the ocean liner, the dirigible, the aeroplane, the cinema, the great newspaper...do not yet realize that these various mans of communication, transportation and information have a decisive influence on their psyches."
from 'Destruction of Syntax-Imagination without Strings--Words-in-Freedom' Futurist manifesto of 1913
March 8 Rehearsal
Photo Credit: Armen Stein
Scavengers? Why Not?
Yesterday Telisa found a garbage bag full of shoes by a dumpster near her work. Since some of our cast has been man-shoe challenged, Telisa brought in a pair of shoes from the bag for her to try on. Unfortunately, they were a little too 70'sdiscohipsterman for our play. But what a find! Anything free is exciting -- I found some of our set pieces on the side of the road as my husband and I walked around the neighborhood. My friend Ramie gave me a bag of goodies that had a vintage detachable collar in it! Catherine was able to make a pattern from that for the collars we will wear in the show, which I am excited/little nervous about. Will they stay on? Will they suddenly, twing! flop open and destroy the show? stay tuned.....
Portraits & Rehearsal Pics February 1, 2009
Photo Credit: H. Van Brost
February 8, 2009 Mary Me
I inherited my great-grandmother's wedding rings, which I wear for certain roles that I'm playing. Typically a marriage is something that brings up some form of joy, security, or fondness; so I was surprised when my body responded with an edgy tightening and repulsion to the rings. My entire body stiffened. For like three days. Then I realized that I understood Mary's life on a more visceral level than I had been aware of. Her history had already weaved it's way into my psyche.
I've been anxious to start playing with the feeling of physical constraint, so I wore a medical corset to rehearsal last week that I borrowed from a friend. I had no idea how I'd end up dealing with such constriction! I actually choked on a sip of water that I tried, unsuccessfully, to swallow. I also found that I couldn't take in a normal breath, I had to to take very controlled, shallow breaths because there just wasn't room for air in my crushed lungs. Let's just say that I won't be wearing the medical corset in the future!
photo by H. Van Brost
January 30, 2009 Historical Hysteria
This is a 1909 Packard that we have decided is the model for the Tyrone family's used car. I would never have wanted to do this play in another period of time but 1912, although on a costume/prop budget of 400.00 our options are extremely limited! Part of the "period play" appeal for me is that i love antiques, thrift shopping and researching! I have also become a devotee, maybe a charter member of the "recycled costume building" movement, a cumbersome term for reusing material like curtains, sheets, table cloths etc. in costume building. This is a very cost effective way to make costumes if you need to do that kind of thing, and it is also a great way to use up all those unwanted items clogging up the thrift stores. Have you ever walked down the "bedding" aisle at a thrift store? It is a treasure trove of material waiting to be plundered! For Long Day's Journey i am building only a few costumes, and those i made out of curtains and duvets.
some of our reference materials have been the 1905 and 1908 Sears Catalogs and a family photo album from the turn of the century (the previous one).
January 28, 2009 Man-ing up
There seems like there is so much to do to produce this show, and all i want to do is rehearse! I love this play! The characters are in so much turmoil and try so hard to connect with each other...the struggle is fantastic. And to try and see things from a male point of view is a lot harder than i anticipated, no offense. Men are great! And they actually are a different species from women. Maybe that sounds obvious, but in the world I live in where "we're all equal" and very little is shocking, the lines between the sexes is mightily blurred. Women wear pants and suits and ties and boxer shorts or briefs if they want. Men can become women surgically or just look like one. Some don't identify with any gender. Obviously there are distinct traits that define "man" and "woman", but to go from one to the other is eye-opening! To live in my world with a man's point of view is quite different than the one i was born with. And to observe us women with those 'man-eyes"! It is truly fascinating.
These are some of the perspectives i have been working on for my character.
* take up space differently as a woman i will move to let you in, as a man i won't budge
* stand differently legs are wide and chest is out and head is up! no shifting of weight I AM A KING
*gesture and move bigger, slower and with more intention
*don't back down
*Food. Affection. Food. Affection. Want to go to the art museum? Huh? Food. Affection....
picture of Timmi taken at rehearsal 1/18 by Kirsten