Moving the piano: a conversation between two ensembles

ConArtists's picture

Impressions of the ConArtists after a week-long residency at Double Edge Theatre with the SITI Company

By Ria Samartzi

Thinking back on our time in Ashfield many images come to mind, training in the barn, frolicking in the snow, mountains of kale, the endless supply of coffee and the conversations that accompanied it and moving pianos. 

But before any of that of course, we had to leave New York City. We arrived at open space, quiet and an entirely different time signature. 

‘We received a Wonderful, generous welcome from Double Edge today. They welcomed us with delicious food and then performed for us, a stunning, athletic, beautiful survey of the entire 20th century called The Grand Parade. Then they fed us again.’

Getting Lost

Anne Bogart's picture

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.  (André Gide)

In 1947 Nina Vance, who at the time had only $2.17 in her handbag but was determined to start a new theatrical venture, emptied the contents of her handbag onto a table and proposed that with that available money she would found a new theater company.  Postcard stamps at the time cost one penny apiece.  She and her friends addressed 217 postcards inviting people to gather at a particular time and place to discuss starting a new theater.  And thus was born the Alley Theater in Houston, Texas, one of the nation’s leading regional repertory theaters.

The Business of Busyness

Anne Bogart's picture

Several years ago the performance artist and composer Laurie Anderson spoke with my directing students at Columbia University and advised them never to relate their dreams to other people. “No one ever wants to hear the details of your dreams,” she said. Later I shared Laurie’s insight with Leon Ingulsrud, my colleague and Co-Artistic Director of SITI Company, who then proposed a few other things that people never want to hear about: “People never want to hear about how busy you are or how tired you are,” he said.

The creative balance between two possible states of being

Anne Bogart's picture

A number of years ago I co-taught a class for graduate directors and actors at Columbia University with Kristin Linklater.  One afternoon I mentioned to Kristin that in order to catch a Metro North train I would need to leave class a few minutes before the scheduled 5 p.m. finish.  We agreed that she would lead the final hour and that I would participate until I had to leave.

Uninterrupted Connection

Anne Bogart's picture

Several years ago I conducted a ten-day Viewpoints workshop at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with members of the PlayMakers Company and graduate students from the University of North Carolina.  At the time I was furiously studying neuroscience in preparation for a SITI production about the brain entitled Who Do You Think You Are.  My friend Bonnie Raphael, the vocal coach at Playmakers, mentioned that the neurophysiologist R.

Persians Diary September 4, 2014

Ellen Lauren's picture

Impressions of a (Press) Opening

Persians-Getty Villa Sept 3, 2014

 God knows we wondered over the weeks of rehearsal if this could really be done.  Reading and studying 3 different plays over a year and half ago, we looked at each other and thought-IF we choose this one,  how the Hell are we going to do this?  But that very same sentiment is why, in part, we faced it, chose it-Persians.

Persians Diary Tuesday September 2nd 2014

Gian-Murray Gianino's picture

We started again yesterday after a luxurious and much-needed two days off. Our bodies and brains needed it - some time to rest and gain a little perspective on all that we have been immersed in.

Persians Diary August 22nd 2014

Gian-Murray Gianino's picture

How does it all begin… Bondo’s beginning line from Antigone rings
through my mind. I love that line, repeated over and over again in
that script, and how Bondo delivered it.

Where are we?
What are we doing?
What are we saying?
How are we saying it?
Who are we talking to?
What does it mean?

And… of course… how does it all end?

Persians Diary August 1st 2014

Gian-Murray Gianino's picture

While a child or children aren’t as large a part of the story of this piece as they are in Trojan Women there are a few lines that speak of them. For instance, describing the Persians waiting for news of the outcome of the war -

“Their wives and children mark the days
Shuddering as the time drags on.”

Persians Diary - Day 1 - 7/21/14

Gian-Murray Gianino's picture

Well, another stage in SITI’s journey with the Greeks and the Getty Villa began today. The challenge this time around is to do a full production of Aeschylus’ The Persians, or as we have decided to title our version, “Persians”. The first extant play in the western canon, it is a challenge to be sure and, of course, one that we decided to embrace.

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