Saturday, June 18, 2011

Untangling at the Junction; Whatever gets you through the night

We participated in the NNPN 13th annual conference and delighted that another brave small midwestern company - from Iowa City! - will be invited to join the fold while we are devastated that a leader of new play development, Florida Stages, has had to declare bankruptcy and cease operations.  We kind  of always thought we were the ones, in that body of theaters, who were most threatened.  This is another moment when the paradigm of sustainability is taking new shape and, perhaps, our flexible  smallness is an advantage.  Not that the economic downturn has not shaken us, it has.  In many ways.  The State of Illinois is not able to pay even the grants it has already approved for us. Many more of the young companies, with whom we work to mount their first productions, have had to shelve their plans (if not their dreams) for the moment while they find more solid funding.  We at Prop are prepared to adjust, to support and to shapeshift so as to remain a reliable presence for those who are interested, not only in new work, but in long-term relationships among artist producing new work: in 'continued life' as our valued NNPN has formulated it.  We have invented new co-production models, lowered some of our prices and dumped some of our costlier ventures.  Hunkering down and raising high the priority of high quality work.   Kara Hartzler, author of "Arizona: No Roosters In The Desert", was enchanted with our production of her play and, although it was the third of the rolling world premiers, she said it will influence the final version of her script.  That is how we roll!

At the End of June, Daaimah Mubashshir is bringing her "Untangling at the Junction" in which a women who promises her father to return to Islam is also committed to her life being queer and explores this antinomie - if it is one.   Daaimah - who we hope will find the response and courage to bring more performances to Prop - will feature guest artists:  On June 30th: Mary Bowers and Barrie Cole (I would like to note that an expecial delight is all the ways we lure Barrie Cole to perform at the Prop Thtr, she is a part of both this show and the July "Whatever Gets You Through the Night") on July 7th: Olivia Dawson. 

Tekki Lomnicki and her Tellin' Tales Theater are one of the building  blocks of Prop Thtr.  She is a regular with us, both for her own perfomances with guests and for her fabled and marveous 7 Stories Up, wherein she works partnering youth and artists and awakening amazing collaborative shows.   This show is a veritable feast of those who we love to have at Prop:  Tekki herself, as I already mentioned, Barrie Cole and also Edward-Thomas Herrera and Dave Awl.  A 'star studded cast' at Prop !

Look out, in September, for work by Paul Peditto, an author with whom Prop - and particularly Scott Vehill - have shared nearly a quarter century of producing shows, also look out, in October, for Bertolt Brecht, who Stefan Brün seeks to unearth at his earliest, the show "Drums In the Night", which was the first production to draw wider notice and in which Brecht's work as playwright and busker and poet are all mixed still in the shock of Post World War 1 Germany.  In the Fall we will be bringing a running Tom Pallazollo film, graphic and painting retrospective - the only time all his different disciplines of work have been gathered together.  We are putting together Swing and electro-swing dancing events, and of course more "church of the new play" Sunday play-readings. 

Always something more at the Prop Thtr.

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