Persians Diary September 4, 2014

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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 end of week 5 August 23, 2014 from ellen

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It is the last day of the fifth week for rehearsals of Persians. Its now that we start to recognize that we could be the fifth Month, and only have just begun to plumb the depths of this magnificent text.

 I’m writing this on Sunday. It’s the luxury that leading on Saturday gives you.  A day to marinate in what happened.

Persians Diary Wednesday August 12 2014 week four

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Diary for Wednesday August 12, 2014 Getty Villa                      



Persians Diary week 2 August 2 Getty Villa

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Now week two and rain at night, so strange – – – u – u – u –

GettY Villa Diary PERSIANS Day 2 July 22, 2014

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There is something of the divine, its like touching into something of the divine working at the Getty Villa. For an actor at least. And so making an ancient play is an evocation of sorts. The tasks are no longer pouring honey and oil in libation to contact the powers over heaven and earth. Our tasks rather take the form of simpler things, practical, necessary. But they are to evoke the things that have power over our world nonetheless. Our imaginations.

Notes for a Voyage

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Here is a link to Notes for a Voyage. I recorded the voice over for this while in Saratoga this summer for the Martha Graham Dance Company. Peter Sparling, the director, approached me on a recommendation from the MGCo. members. It was a bit of a quick and dirty recording, the concert was to be in 2 days. I have to say, this was such an honor, as the dancers featured, Blakely, Tadej, Ben and Loyd, are some of the most spectacular dancers in this country if not the world today. 

West Fulton Retreat, Day 2 June 23, 2014

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The Light House

Monday June 23, 2014


The Week of Oct 28-Nov 1, 2013

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Perhaps it was Isabel’s ability to dissect the situation in Cuba with such compassion and laser-like vision, giving perspective to the artistic situation there, as well as her own state of being…

Or perhaps it was my quiet few moments with Jaako in the studio at lunch one afternoon, just he and I, and the room, which became a sanctuary despite the energy still trilling the air from classes…

Or it might have been the constant sound of the door to the blue room opening and shutting all through the week, constant activity, which in our small space, denotes constant changing of roles…

Or was it being in the audience for the four compositions on Wednesday, transported to four different landscapes, physically, emotionally, astonished by the breadth of imagination and talent…

Getty Villa Day 6 May, 2013

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Day 6,

An early morning after reading the Persians last night. The fog and clouds giving way to a pure light that etches everything with such clarity. The beauty is almost too much, overwhelming to the senses and the soul. A morning drive up into the canyon and down to the Pacific, which is now a color we haven’t seen before. 

After the formality, archaic structure and rigor of Aeschylus’ language, we give over today to the wild, unnerving energy of Euripides’ The Bacchae. One  has been read at night, sombre and strange. The other will be read midday, while this light outside shines on the white marble, glitters the fountains and herbs, spins the birds into the air. 

In Search of Stillness

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I’VE BEEN HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME SITTING still to write about stillness.

What does the study and practice of stillness entail for the theatre artist? Perhaps my difficulty is an illustration of how elusive this knowledge remains, and how potent it is, once harnessed, in an unsettled world. Perhaps the difficulty lies in the fact that this subject, stillness, is at the root of all the essential values I hold in the making, teaching and study of the art of theatre. To achieve stillness as part of one’s expressive abilities requires training. In my case, the foundation of my practice and teaching has been the Suzuki Method of Actor Training. Created by Tadashi Suzuki and his remarkable Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT), the work is widely known for its exact and rigorous physical vocabulary that gives the actor insights into basic issues of control.

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