Showing and tell

Last night we were finally able to show the public some scenes from To Live, Darling. Director Christopher Sivertsen and I were able talk a bit about our work thus far. When I introduced the cast I named each actor, except Cara Pifko, who I introduced as “Réjane herself.” A slip of the tongue but a telling one; she is really spectacular in this role.

Designer Alex Berry also presented her sketches of the finished set (above). This past week she built two of the rotating set pieces pictured here, so we were able to test drive them during the presentation (we had one ready for last week’s trailer shoot). These pieces are fantastic and easily moveable. I am thrilled that we can quickly and clearly show the audience Réjane’s on- and off-stage worlds. Until Alex’s design breakthrough I was hoping for a revolving stage…

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to see the presentation at Bootleg Theater, also my favorite performance space in LA. And a huge thank you to Bootleg – especially Jessica Hanna, to the cast, to Christopher, to Alex and to Andy Hill who pinch-hit as a light board op with no notice – and rocked it.

 

Bang Bang, Shoot Shoot (a trailer)

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Designer Alex Berry and Cara Pifko (Réjane)

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Our set on set

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Designer Alex Berry and Director Christopher Sivertsen

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Playwright and Actress Ilana Turner (Blanche)

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Take one

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Cara Pifko (Réjane) in action

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Cecilia de Rico (Mother)

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Director Christopher Sivertsen

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Cara Pifko (Réjane), Patrick Wenk-Wolff (the Lover) and Ilana Turner (Blanche)

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Cara Pifko (Réjane)

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Cara Pifko (Réjane), Patrick Wenk-Wolff (the Lover) and Ilana Turner standing in for the Sage of Paris

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Director Christopher Sivertsen, Joseph Will (Porel) and Cara Pifko (Réjane)

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Ilana Turner (Blanche), Joseph Will (Porel) and Patrick Wenk-Wolff (the Lover)

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Cara Pifko (Réjane) and Joseph Will (Porel)

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Cara Pifko (Réjane) and Joseph Will (Porel)

 

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Rehearsal & big news

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Note not just one but two bumps. Cara and I are both due with second babies a day apart in February. In To Live, Darling Réjane is trying to hide her bump on stage. In life, Blanche is too…

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Costume fittings

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First day of rehearsal for our trailer shoot and the upcoming presentation of scenes (September 12th) at Bootleg Theater. Welcome Patrick Wenk-Wolff (center), as the Lover, to the cast. And a big welcome also to costume and set designer Alex Berry. Alex has been designing for Christopher’s company Awake Projects, and has done brilliant work getting both set and costumes ready.

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Atelier Day 4!

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Adrien Reju took the helm today and took our growing company on a musical journey through the streets of Belle Époque Paris. 

The cancan debuted, as did Adrien’s new melodies and stunning physical work from both Cara Pifko (Réjane) and Jaylen Moore (the Lover). Directeur du Marketing Michelle Furnace not only took more beyond-helpful notes, she read two parts, the Mother and the Sage of Paris, in and out of sound cues. 

Next week two (or three!) more actors join us but sadly Adrien will return to New York. She will leave us her recorded music and sound effects, which will no doubt be fabulous (though less fabulous than Adrien herself).

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Atelier Day 3!

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Our first day in the theatre. Jaylen Moore joined us as the Lover to Cara Pifko’s Réjane. Christopher taped a grid on the floor to map specific scenes geographically.

After an invigorating warm-up we read through the script on our feet, incorporating Adrien’s music and starting to building a soundscape. The Franco-Prussian war came to life for the play’s opening and for the first time we heard the traditional Offenbach cancan juxtaposed with Adrien’s original and modern beats. So, so titillating! 

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Atelier Day 2!

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Armed with a slew of musical research and an arsenal of musical instruments, we read through “To Live, Darling.”For each song, transition or scene requiring sound, we tested beats and melodies over, under and through the text. Musical Collaborator Adrien Reju (pictured) and Director Christopher Sivertsen guided the table read/fabulous cacophony of sounds. 

Cara Pifko (Réjane) and Ilana Turner (Writer/Blanche) read with a new actor, Chris, who volunteered to lend his voice for the day. Directeur du Marketing Michelle Furnace continued her impeccable work noting all that was said, thought or acted.

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Atelier Day 1!

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The fabulous Adrien Reju works something equally fabulous out on our (toy) accordion. (L)

Together Adrien, Director Christopher Sivertsen, Writer Ilana Turner, Actress Cara Pifko (Réjane) and Marketing Director-turned-Stage Manager Michelle Furnace talked through each song or musical interlude in the script. 

We explored musical themes for each character and began to establish a rhythmic pulse to delineate ‘on-stage’ action from real life ‘backstage.’ Michelle was like a stealthy sponge, soaking up everything everyone said and sending an amazing list of to-dos and ideas at the day’s end. 

We also drank a lot of coffee. (See Christopher serving coffee below.) Weeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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Workshop-i-go-go

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Plane tickets are booked, rehearsal space is reserved and an Indie GoGo campaign to fund the workshop has been launched! This April-May workshop will focus on integrating Adrien Reju’s music into “To Live, Darling.” Christopher Sivertsen will direct. Cara Pifko will return as Réjane and I’m meeting with actors to play the Lover. This workshop will also focus on the relationship between Réjane, the Lover and Blanche, her best friend. I’ll play Blanche. The other characters may join us for a day or two…

Trailer!