The National Endowment for the Arts blog recently featured a post about OntheBoards.tv and our upcoming Community Screenings Project. Read about OntheBoards.tv and how we're taking Teatro Linea de Sombra's Amarillo out to new communities!
1. Young Jean Lee is . . . a total badass. She has been named one of the 25 people who will shape American theater in the next 25 years by American Theater magazine and "one of the best experimental playwrights in America" by David Cote in Time Out New York. Lee has also been awarded a place amongst the inaugural class of Dorris Duke Performing Artists (amongst the likes of Richard Maxwell, Ralph Lemon, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Liz LeCompte (The Wooster Group)) and was the recipient of the 2011 Spaulding Gray Award. She is really good at her job.
2. It’s a known fact that the first question Young Jean Lee asks herself when starting a new play is, “What’s the last show in the world I would ever want to make?” And then she forces herself to write it. This approach frequently leads Young Jean into controversial territory—if there was a list of squeamish subjects one could write plays about, Young Jean would be...
by Kyle L
Lighting. Illumination. How do we, as the storyteller, illuminate/reveal/share information? How do we, as the listener/viewer process that shared information? And how to we deal with that information we've processed? Do we need to see something in order to feel it?
I'm just out of How to Disappear Completely, and thinking about the act of storytelling, about sharing, and about memory. In the little I read about the show before attending, I knew that it was a lighting designer recounting his personal interactions with his dying mother. I was really curious to see how these two different worlds (the professional and personal worlds of Itai) would come together on stage to tell a cohesive narrative. Itai is an incredibly welcoming and generous storyteller. His charm, humor and vulnerability immediately invite the audience in and I felt completely taken care of the entire journey. How the professional and personal worlds...
by Amiya B
The house lights slowly fade without warning or a preshow speech. The entire theatre becomes a black void. A voice begins to speak. The darkness is broken by an image of his mother. She seems to radiate beyond the projection screen. The voice, still in shadow, starts to tell us a story, his story, the story of his mother, his sister, and their journey. The voice explains that in conventional theatre, a performer should be lit by at least 2 lights, one a cool diagonal front light and one warm diagonal front light at a 45 degree angle hung 90 degrees apart. As he explains this, we see the example on stage, first the cool, then the warm. In the light, Itai is revealed. He goes on to tell us more about the different angles of light while seamlessly interweaving the chronicle of his mother’s last months on earth as she battled terminal cancer.
As a lighting designer myself, I was excited to see the language of...
by Jessica J
we leave in paradox.
We begin with “true self,” somehow,
My “false self” got this from Wikipedia:
“James F. Masterson argued that all the personality disorders crucially involve the conflict between a person’s two “selves”: the false self, which the very young child constructs to please the mother, and the true self. The psychotherapy of personality disorders is an attempt to put people back in touch with their real selves.”
Or... one makes a documentary performance of their mother's death.
Within the first five minutes, I was struck hard as Itai matter-of-factly speaks of his future,based on his mother's death,
“I will have children....I have to.”
His mother, seemingly having suffered orphanage, and being quite vulnerable/susceptible to Life's challenges, found her “strength to live” after having her children....
The common misperception – lighting is a supporting element of theatre. Costuming, set, music, etc…. something added to the end of a process - to enhance, to carry out… often seen as perhaps not a “key player” in performance content. Or more so, not an element we can identify as obviously as other aspects of performance.
Itai Erdal demonstrates how the power/worth/content of lighting plays an essential role – essential percentage – in creating an experience.
Itai walks us through each lighting instrument, shows us its personality, capability, and common and uncommon purposes. He brings these “invisible” elements of the space to the front our eyes and understanding, all the while telling us stories of his life, and stories of the end his mother’s life.
Itai is both painfully funny, and painfully heartbreaking. He is matter of fact, blunt, and delightfully honest.
It is no doubt that he is a fantastic...
We’d like to hear from you. What did you think about the show? How did the way he talked about lighting design impact his story? How did it make you feel?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
READ ABOUT THE SHOW AND BUY TICKETS
The only way to introduce How to Disappear Completely is to tell the story of it's creator, so here I've written some cliff notes about Itai Erdal's journey into performance. How to Disappear Completely is showing March 21-24, bring tissues! Bring your mom!
1. Itai Erdal has heretofore been known for his stunning and award winning lighting design (winning best design in the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2008 and Jessie Richardson awards in 2009 and 2011). He lives and works in Vancouver, but is originally from Jerusalem. He was drawn to Canada because he wanted to be a documentary film maker and there is a great film school and burgeoning film scene in Vancouver. However, his mother’s diagnosis with lung cancer in 2002 drew him back to Israel to take care of her as she slowly passed.
2. When Itai returned to Jerusalem, his mother, as a sort of contribution to his...