Statement re: AEA’s proposal

photoBoston Court Performing Arts Center has been closely following the statements and discussions surrounding AEA’s recent proposal to its membership for a new promulgated agreement to replace the AEA Los Angeles 99 Seat Plan. Many of us have individually participated in various discussions online and in town halls. Some of these discussions have prompted us to make the following organizational statement to bring clarity to the way our organization is structured, as well as state our support for the community at large:

Boston Court Performing Arts Center, originally founded in 2003 as The Theatre @ Boston Court, is a 501c3 company that has a lease agreement with a privately owned facility in Pasadena. Each year we program two performance spaces with four The Theatre @ Boston Court main stage theatrical productions, 25+ Music @ Boston Court events and a rotating visual art gallery, as well as numerous readings, public service events, and community rentals. Our full-time staff is employed by the performing arts center, and their salaries and our budget reflect the performing arts center as a whole. The Theatre @ Boston Court is one of the programs under the umbrella of Boston Court Performing Arts Center.

We have always valued our artists, paying actors performance stipends well above what is required by the AEA 99 Seat Plan, as well as a rehearsal stipend. We have reached out to AEA over the years, trying to find a way to produce outside the 99 Seat Plan. Unfortunately our overtures have not yet resulted in negotiations.

The Theatre @ Boston Court stands with the vast majority of the Los Angeles intimate theatre community in opposition to AEA’s current proposal. We strongly believe that, if enacted, this agreement will not lead to a substantial increase in Equity contracts, which supply a living wage to actors. We are not certain what the result will ultimately be for our organization. What we know for certain is that we, along with many of our colleagues in the community, believe the new proposal will have a detrimental effect on the quality and quantity of the new, innovative or risk-taking works which currently make the Los Angeles intimate theatre community so vibrant.

We remain hopeful that actors, producers, and theater makers of all stripes, will come to an agreement that allows both the artists as well as the art in Los Angeles to flourish.

-Boston Court Performing Arts Center

Video: The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll

The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll from Boston Court on Vimeo.

Review Rundown: THE MISSING PAGES OF LEWIS CARROLL

SR_logo1“Leo Marks portrays a most endearing, humbly playful Dodgson. The chemistry between Marks and Corryn Cummins as doe eyed, sassy, knock-kneed Alice is lustrous and palpable. The production’s glowing light feels like a warm hug at dusk– just before sitting down to read aloud a story– and the reveal into Wonderland is a magical, textured space for play. A color palette of winsome, flowing ivory and beige receive pay off with the iconic blue-dress Charles presents Alice (receiving audible sighs from the audience) and the scarlet shock of Mrs. Liddell’s dress when she brilliantly transforms into the Queen of Hearts. Director Abigail Deser’s inventive staging choices establish beautiful, poetic pictures for the eye to feast on.”

Click here to read the entire review.

Untitled“This project could have gone so wrong in so many ways.  But Lily Blau and company have created an intriguing, visually fascinating, and perfectly portrayed vision of what might have been, weaving in many Alice references and visuals, including the White Rabbit, who emerges from the rabbit hole and charmingly remains throughout the story to warn, goad, and observe Mr. Dodgson/Carroll. Every actor is perfect in his or her part. The set is gorgeous and smoothly transitioned from a closed room to a room with open windows, beyond which you can see the children’s swing and an ivy-covered wall that reaches beyond where the eye can see. Although Alice is played by an adult, she is wonderfully childlike and believable as young Alice. Mrs. Liddell appears as the Red Queen in several frenzied scenes, and the transition is fun to watch.”

Click here to read the entire review.

wpid-latimes.gif“The remembered Alice (fetchingly played by an adult, Corryn Cummins) is a Victorian Lolita, who has a crush on Dodgson and coyly sets out to seduce him. Her mother (the imposing Erica Hanrahan-Ball) keeps stumbling in at inopportune moments and morphing into the shrill Red Queen. This matter-of-fact mingling of fantasy and reality is a clear tribute to one of Carroll’s most endearing literary strategies, and the production, under the assured direction of Abigail Deser, uses it at times magically.”

Click here to read the entire review.

cultural weekly“Blau also smartly injects the undefined presence of The White Rabbit (a playfully surreptitious Jeff Marlow) as a wise alter ego and warning bell for Dodgson/Carroll. Once out of his rabbit hole, White Rabbit slips in and out of the action, connecting dots and goading Dodgson. Leo Marks, who plays the fundamentally timorous Dodgson/Carroll, skillfully provides the full complexity of the man, in a lucid and furtive performance that includes the poet, the arrested child within, the stutterer and the tortured soul.”

Click here to read the entire review.

examiner_Logo“Intriguing, well-acted and beautifully staged “The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll” opened to a sold out house on Saturday, January 31, 2015. Between hallucinatory dreams and “real life” Lily Blau’s new play takes the audience down the rabbit hole to find out what might have occurred in pages torn out of math professor, Charles Dodgson’s/Lewis Carroll’s, personal diary.”

Click here to read the entire review.

sgvtribune“Nonetheless, the careful crafting of this piece is obvious everywhere, and the playwright’s fascinating juxtaposition of the internal fantasies of a man whose social life was thwarted in numerous ways and the overt world in which he walked day by day keeps one interested from start to finish. “The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll” is performed without an intermission, and one can see why as the tensions and angst grow slowly over the course of the piece.”

Click here to read the entire review.

stage and cinema logo“The director’s work with actors is particularly tasteful. Together the two leads are Deser’s most handily-wielded tool. Leo Marks’s voice (the stutter when talking to grown-ups! the orotund vowels around children!) is even more impressive than his face and body; his Dodgson is a full, complicated, completely sympathetic human being. As Alice, Corryn Cummings is not merely convincing but equally fascinating as an innocent child, a mischievous object of desire, and a disappointed adult. As the other Misses Liddell, Erin Barnes and Ashley Ruth Jones delight and effectively project the trappings of childhood as well.”

Click here to read the entire review.

la_weekly_logo_265x70“Cummins’ transit from willful, coquettish adolescence to recriminatory womanhood is a marvel of observation and nuance, and director Abigail Deser’s staging gets high marks for sheer polish (helped by Garry Lennon’s surreal-edged costuming, Keith Skretch’s psychedelic video projections and John Ballinger’s vivid sound).”

Click here to read the entire review.

wpid-x9.png.pagespeed.ic_.ijr6gp7skw.pngLeo Marks IS Charles Dodgson, stuttering, hesitating, awkward, inappropriately sexual-all! Marks’ Dodgson charms and flatters the Liddell females while having enough education and smarts to win over Professor Liddell. Time Winters‘ perfectly scholarly and patriarchic as Dean Liddell. Erica Hanrahan-Ballgives Mrs. Liddell the proper upper crust attitude and posturing of a woman wed to a man in position. (And her many gowns stun! Many thumbs up to costume designer Garry Lennon!)”

Click here to read the entire review.

stagescene_wow“As playwright Blau delves deeper into what may have been in those titular missing pages, sound designer/composer John Ballinger, lighting designer Jaymi Lee Smith, and above all video designer Keith Skretch combine their prodigious talents to take us on a vertiginous journey into what might be either fantasy or memory, the White Rabbit averring that memory is but “a vivid form of fantasy,” to which Charles responds that “fantasy is to memory what desire is to action.” You be the judge.

Click here to read the entire review.

ustheater“Blau’s play, which supposedly occurs on the day when Alice has planned a visit to Dodgson for one last photograph before she marries Hargreaves, is a sad one, not only because it calls up all the quandaries of reality and imagination that, no matter how he actually lived his life, Dodgson surely faced, but because it finally reveals that his great failure in life was not doing some dreadful deed, but doing nothing.”

Click here to read the entire review.

theatreghost“Into this void — where lurid fantasies and undocumented theories have rushed — Blau lets something simpler and truer emerge.  A young girl finds she can be loveable to someone outside her family, and takes a shy practice step toward the terra incognita of romance.  A young man finds, to his consternation, that a young girl can be both innocent and desirable.  Perhaps, a kiss.  Perhaps.”

Click here to read the entire review.

 

talkin_broadway“The story begins in the early 1860s, when Dodgson (Leo Marks), a mathematics professor at Oxford, befriended Dean Henry Liddell (Time Winters) and his family. Dodgson took photographs of the family and entertained the three daughters with stories, one starring 10-year-old Alice (Corryn Cummins) in particular. Dodgson wrote the story down and had it published under the pen name of Lewis Carroll, and became ever more intrigued with Alice, now taking her picture alone. Years later, Dodgson defends himself to the White Rabbit (Jeff Marlow), saying he never did anything improper, but the Rabbit points out that several pages are missing from his diary, and in those pages Dodgson will find the truth he’s been running from.”

Click here to read the entire review.

bitterlemons

**

Click here for tickets and information.

Production Photos: THE MISSING PAGES OF LEWIS CARROLL

Visit BostonCourt.org for tickets and more information.

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

Announcing: The Cast of THE MISSING PAGES OF LEWIS CARROLL

Corryn Cummins

Corryn Cummins

Leo Marks

Leo Marks

Jeff Marlow

Jeff Marlow

Time Winters

Time Winters

Erin Barnes

Erin Barnes

Erica Hanrahan-Ball

Erica Hanrahan-Ball

Ashley Ruth Jones

Ashley Ruth Jones

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Announcing: THE MISSING PAGES OF LEWIS CARROLL

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PLAY/ground Micro-interview: Steven Dietz

Steven Dietz B-W 7447[1]Boston Court: In what way has this feeling of wanderlust changed from the post-war era in which your play is set, and how has it remained the same? Or has it changed at all? Is there something inextricable about the need for adventure and American youth?

Steven Dietz: Oh, I’d love to know this and I don’t … but let me hazard a guess:  I think the need to run our lives past the “out there” must be as strong now as it has ever been.  However, I think wanderlust now often manifests itself in a virtual way.  We are given such a rich illusion of the “out there” – such a seductive feeling that we are “going places” when we Google our way across the world – that I wonder if we are willing to risk the fundamental hardship that comes with an actual, not virtual, quest.  “The road” to me is not romantic in the least;  it is a conscious disruption of the norm, of the habit of American life.  That takes guts and a wild soul and perhaps a healthy amount of societal disregard.  And that is likely the gift that Youth gives to a culture-at-large:  the beautiful naiveté;  the beginner’s disregard for consequence.

**

Steven Dietz’s play Mad Beat Hip & Gone will be presented Saturday, November 8th at 11am.

The reading is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended.

To reserve, call 626-683-6883 or email JoeM@BostonCourt.com

Steven Dietz’s thirty-plus plays and adaptations have been seen at over one hundred regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway and in twenty countries internationally.  His work has been translated into ten languages.

Mr. Dietz is a two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, for Fiction (produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, Off-Broadway), and Still Life with Iris; as well as a two-time finalist for the American Theatre Critic’s Steinberg New Play Award, for Last of the Boys, and Becky’s New Car.

Mr. Dietz received the PEN USA West Award in Drama for Lonely Planet; the 2007 Edgar Award® for Drama for Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure; and the AATE Distinguished Play Award for Jackie & Me, adapted from Dan Gutman. Other widely produced plays include Yankee Tavern, Shooting Star, God’s Country, Private Eyes, Inventing van Gogh and The Nina Variations.

Recent work includes Rancho Mirage (Edgerton New Play Award, NNPN Rolling World Premiere), Bloomsday (commissioned by ACT Theatre, Seattle.), and The Shimmering.

Mr. Dietz and his family divide their time between Seattle and Austin, where he teaches playwriting and directing at the University of Texas.