Category Archives: intern

The Wall of Death

death 1by Emily Abbott

I’ve gathered you all together to talk about the subject few people shy away from: death.  Now before you cringe and turn away this isn’t going to make you cry or anything terribly dramatic…I hope.  Death is the main theme of Alcestis and it’s the elephant in every room, all the time, constantly.  The play begs the audience to confront their own mortality and the mystery around it.  As a way to get audiences involved with the show we’ve started a wall with postcards that ask our audiences to finish the sentence, “Before I die, I want to…”

It can be a heavy question to answer.  What would you want to do before you die? Answering it, even as a joke, forces you accept your own mortality and confront your own values.  That can be hard to do for some people.  As Candy Chang, our inspiration for the wall, says in her TED talk, reflecting on your death focuses you, and forces you to rethink how you want to live.  It’s been interesting to see the different responses that death 4show up on our growing wall.

As our collage is gets bigger and bigger, the responses get more creative.  It’s entertaining to see how people respond to the question. Some answers are sarcastic; some are daring, some illegal, but most are genuine (let’s hope the “MURDER” one was a joke). Many revolve around the idea of traveling and new experiences.  People want to go everywhere from Greece to Bali to Bakersfield, and many places in between.  (Additionally, a lot of people want to see the Northern Lights, so I’m proposing a Boston Court trip, who’s in?) There are hopeful, idealistic responses, “I want to see peace on earth.”  Some allude to long life like, “I want to see my grandchildren.”  It’s truly amazing to see how original people are like my personal favorite, “Have a drink with Bob Dylan.” death 2Better yet, “try heroin.”

Personally, I’ve always dealt with tragedy by seeing the humor in things.  This is one of my favorite aspects of Alcestis.  I know that sounds like a shameless plug, but honestly the mixture of laughter and sadness make the piece THAT much more palatable.  If we didn’t laugh, we would cry.  One of my favorites is a card that was put next to the fire alarm saying, “I want to warn people about a fire.” Someone’s witty! Another one says, “I want to cheat death and laugh in it’s face,” don’t we all.

So what is the benefit of reflecting on death and preparing for it? I am 22, about to start my last year of college, and my adventures into actual adulthood (college is pretend).  Whendeath 3 I ask myself what I want to do before I die, it allows me to see more honestly how I want to live my life, and the decisions I will make.  Activities like this one are helping me make choices to ensure that I live without regrets. I think the biggest fear for many of us would be getting to that fateful moment and say to ourselves, “No wait! I haven’t gone skydiving yet!” Here’s to hoping we all reach that moment with peace in hearts because you crossed, “having a threesome” off your list.

PS: To the person looking to perfect the cookie, I  think I can help you out

death 5 death 6

I Volunteer as Intern! Week 3 Update

EmilyBy Emily Abbott

Hey there, Boston Courtiers!

I have now been @ Boston Court for almost 3 weeks, and I am having a blast. As a theatre student, it’s interesting to feel yourself using the knowledge you’ve acquired while in school in a practical way.  I can only describe it as the growing hope that maybe I can be a functioning adult in the near future.  That’s a good feeling! And everyone here is so willing to teach and answer any questions that I might have.

To give a little context to the rest of the post I thought I’d provide some background on myself. I am theatre and history double major at Occidental College about to start my senior year.  I have experience in production and stage management as well as prop design, scene painting and a little playwriting.  These skills are helping me do my job here but there are a lot of things that I am learning along the way. I spend time doing research and talking to the people I am working with.  Everything I am doing here is relevant, good theatre work, but much of it is new for me.

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The Intern Saga Episode 8: So Long, Farewell… (aka: My Generation)

Aufweiderschen, Goodbye.

Today is my final day in the role of the Intern here at Boston Court. Sad face, sad life. But also a happy day, for I brought cupcakes to the Court (and we all know that when cupcakes are at Boston Court, it’s automatically a good day). While I am eager to get back to school and continue my training, I will deeply miss the Boston Court staff and community. I’m glad that I discovered Boston Court this summer because it really is a gem of a theatre. I will not, however, miss being called an assortment of names that were not “Kelsey” throughout my time here… namely Chelsea, Kiki, Keeks, Keekster, KelKel, Casey, Intern, and Izzy to name a few.

So for my final blog entry, I’ve decided to leave you with some parting words about my generation, for another Intern from my generation will soon replace me come June 2013. And so on and so forth.

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Intern Vloga Episode 2

The Intern Saga Episode 7: Timing!

Timing’s such a funny little creature, isn’t it?

I attended the opening night production of The Government Inspector, and, having seen the show already twice before during previews and rehearsals, I had prepared myself for a show that would be changed once again, whether it be in its script, staging, lighting, etc. I just wasn’t expecting to be completely blown away by the completely tighter production than I had seen before. The show had changed again! But this time, the change was the timing. They nailed the timing and the focus of the play, and the play beautifully became the play it was supposed to be.

Timing can make, or break, any event. Really truly.

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The Intern Saga Episode 6: Behind the Table

As an actor, I’ve always wondered what it is like to be on the other side of the table during auditions, and what goes on after you walk out of the room and the doors close. Well recently, I got a chance to sit in on an audition process, and the entire process was fascinating to witness. While I won’t mention any specifics of the audition itself, I would say that there is a fundamental lesson that was really hammered into me (with good reason) by observing this process – one that an actor should get a refresher on every so often.

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The Intern Saga Episode 5: Performance

Hey everyone… sorry for the [extreme] lateness in this blog post, but I truly honestly did not know what to write about for this entry. I couldn’t find any theatrical-related incidents happening in the world that I felt overly excited to share with you or give my opinion on. I didn’t want to potentially bore you with an awesometacular entry that documented how I REALLY like to paint (which is very true. I really like to paint. And I got to do that last week here). I was at a loss, I had run into that very familiar mental wall that is universally known as “writer’s block”. And there I stayed for a good week, poking at this “writer’s block” wall in my mind in an attempt to make it just go away.

Then I had one of the biggest arguments (or very heated debate, if you will) of my life just last week. And lo and behold, I found my blog entry.

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The Intern Saga Episode 5: [white rabbit red rabbit]

I happen to have some very poor luck with timing; after visiting family up in the San Francisco bay area in June, I found out that in May a spectacular little show had graced the San Francisco International Arts Festival with its presence. The show is called White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and is written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. And if I had been up in the bay area at the time this show was up, I definitely would have gone to see it.

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit  is an interesting theatrical creature. Soleimanpour is not permitted to leave Iran;  in refusing to do military service for Iran, Iran has refused to give Soleimanpour a passport. Thus, Soleimanpour wrote a play that would be able to travel the world without him: a play that requires no director, no set (save for a chair, table, and two glasses of water), and a different actor for each performance. There are no rehearsals, no techs, no design meetings. The actor is handed the script at the beginning of the performance, and the experience begins.

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The Intern Saga Episode 4: A Collaborative Process

The other night, while sitting in on a rehearsal for The Government Inspector, the director, Stefan Novinski, shared an interesting tidbit about directing that he was implementing more and more into his directing process. He said, whenever an actor asks the director a question about their character, the actor will usually have an opinion already. Instead of answering with a straightforward answer, the answer to the question should be, “I don’t know; what do you think?” The actor is then ready to present their view to the director.

To me, this approach to directing enforces the universally-accepted belief that theatre is a collaborative art, and allows it to remain collaborative between the actors and the production staff without the fear of total autonomy from one side or the other.

Coming at this from an actor’s perspective, if a director asks me for my opinion first before stating his or hers, I feel that my opinion is valued as an artist, and that I have the director’s trust to take the character where I feel is right for the play. It’s reassuring to me to have that permission to keep exploring and keep bringing new ideas to the rehearsal. In an art form that relies on collaboration in almost all aspects – production meetings, designing, casting, choosing material to  produce, etc. – it’s comforting to me, as a young actor, to see that collaboration between the actors and directors is valued and respected. It motivates and encourages me to bring more ideas and questions to my directors in future productions.

I’ve had a blast sitting in on the rehearsals for The Government Inspector; it’s great seeing the show come together and develop so quickly. I cannot wait to check back in soon and see how much more the production has grown.

Until next time!

~Kelsey; Wizard/Intern


The Intern Saga Episode 3: Theatre 360 and the Life-Long Impact of Children’s Theatre

By the time I had entered into high school, I had a strong understanding that I knew I was going to major in either acting or musical theatre in college. I had my future plan in mind. As for my classmates, they were still mostly on the fence about what they wanted to do with their life (and quite honestly, some still are (and that’s perfectly fine). I’d see some of the students at my school perform, and be completely blown away by their honest and amazing performances. I would talk to them afterwards and ask if they were thinking of pursuing a career in theatre, and the varied answers I would recieve astounded me. The vast majority of classmates that I talked to stated that they had never even contemplated a career in theatre, it was just something they did after school. I eventually came to realize that this was the response I would receive because schools tend to paint theatre and arts in a light that shows them as only extracirriculars or hobbies. Theatre 360, formerly known as Pasadena Junior Theatre, was what showed me that I could make a living in the arts, and that theatre was so much more to me than just an extra-cirricular activity to put on college applications.

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