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Tag Archives: theater

This is a photo I put together last night to help promote The Luxuria Cycle at Annex Theatre (which just won the 2013 Theatre of the Year award at the Gregory Awards!).

In the play, Luxuria is a corporation, similar to Google or Facebook, which has taken control of most aspects of life, but primarily love and relationships. It’s a very interesting concept, and well executed. Inspired by the play and the costumes, I put together this photo of the cast keeping tabs on their users.



So, there’s this theater event, see? It’s called 14/48. The basic idea is that you call in a bunch of actors, seven directors, seven playwrights, designers, and musicians. Then you sit them down in a room of a Thursday night, and say, “Here’s what’s happening, and here’s the theme. GO!” The writers get their theme, and have to turn in a 10 minute script by 8 am the next morning. At 9 am the next morning, the directors gather and randomly select an unmarked manila envelope. The designers pore over the scripts to figure out what they’ll need to come up with that day. Directors and writers discuss the scripts that have randomly paired them. At 10, the actors are randomly drawn, and directors head off with their casts to rehearse, block, memorize and make amazing this script that was finished mere hours ago.

Then, at 3:30 pm, tech rehearsals start. Then, at 8 pm, performances. 24 hours and 30 minutes have passed between the moment these artists gathered in a room and the moment they step on stage with their new play. And it’s not a train-wreck anywhere near as often as you might think. In fact, I’ve never seen a train-wreck, although I’ve certainly seen some uninspiring plays.

So now, the Kamikaze part. 45 or so artists gather in a room, and the ultimate layer of randomness is laid over the proceedings: everyone picks their job at random. You don’t know at the beginning of the night whether you’re going to be an actor or a writer or a director, or in the band, or designing props and costumes. And, as proved by this past weekend, this isn’t a train-wreck either.

I missed the last Kamikaze event, last year, due to schedule conflicts. This year, as soon as I knew the dates, I cleared out my schedule and reserved the days. I took the Friday off from work. And I photographed the whole thing. I don’t yet have a gallery of photos up from the event (because I took just shy of 6700 photos over the course of the three days), but the lovely bloggers who covered the event in real time pulled primarily from my photos to illustrate the 14/48 blog. That’s a good first place to start.

Just like every 14/48 event I’ve ever photographed (three thus far, including this one), the experience was exhilarating, thought-provoking, wonderful, and exhausting in the extreme. I generated around 12 GB of photos. I made new friends. I got to experience the most elemental creation of theatrical art I’ve ever seen. And this time around, I got to witness the bug-eyed terror of actors writing their first plays, ever. I got to see the nervous glances of people who normally work behind the scenes, as they looked over their first acting scripts in far too long.

Far from presenting the world with seven disasters, 14/48 Kamikaze proved that people are more versatile than they think they are. We had seven shows each night which were in the best 14/48 tradition, without a stinker among them. That’s a pretty impressive feat.

For myself, I managed partial success in restraining my itchy trigger finger (the first 14/48 I shot, I recorded 8,448 photos, so the trend is good, even if the result isn’t as restrained as I might have hoped for). I got some wonderful pictures of friends and soon-to-be-friends doing this crazy thing they love. I got a combined 15 hours of sleep between Thursday night and Sunday morning (when I had foolishly scheduled a Shadow Series photo shoot which was worth it, but oh so tired). The sick thing is, I’m kind of ready to go do it all again.