Fall Projects

photo by Marianne Thomspon

photo by Marianne Thomspon

I am currently in workshop with the incredible Kilbanes and their rock opera WEIGHTLESS (pictured above -- thanks Marianne) at Z Space.

The fabulous Marianne Thompson (of Mary Stuart fame) is up from LA to lend her vocal (as well as photographic) talents to this two-week exploration, along with the fantastic Beth Wilmurt, of other Mary Stuart fame.

Kate and Dan (the Kilbanes) are incredible and this piece gets more exciting every day. More news on the present and future of WEIGHTLESS as it becomes available.

 

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I am also directing THE KID THING by Sarah Gubbins at New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco. Ed Decker, who started NCTC, is an incredible force in bringing new stories and new audiences to the theater. And THE KID THING is no exception.

We are currently gearing up for design and completing casting.

The show goes into rehearsal in October and opens November 14. More soon!

 

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Also in October, I'll be directing 2 off-the-page readings of short stories by Emma Donoghue for Word for Word.

Word for Word presents theatrical interpretations of short stories told word for word. This is my first time working with them, and I am excited about this brand new form. This week, I've been working with Rosie Hallett and the rest of the WfW gang on creating a script from Donahue's story NIGHT VISION. The art of splitting up the text is fascinating. A single paragraph might be an entire scene, and inanimate objects might suddenly take on life and speak the author's narration. It's very cool.

October 8, 7pm NIGHT VISION

October 18, 3pm THE LONG WAY HOME

Both at Z Below 450 Florida St.

Antigone Continues II

The month of June has been a big one for ANTIGONE PROJECT X. Annie and I have been installed backstage at SF Playhouse running through ideas about sovereignty, family and what it means to mourn a criminal.

The big idea has taken shape. This ANTIGONE will be about what it feels like to have a brother, then lose him and not be able to mourn him. The play of ANTIGONE really comes in in the last third (not being able to mourn).

The first two thirds will comprise coin flipping and hand slapping games both from childhood and otherwise, along with some more Sophocles specific interacting between Antigone and Polynices. It's been so interesting to explore this rather overlooked, but central part of the Antigone story.

Both Annie and I have siblings, and we're thinking about the weird dynamics we shared with them -- especially how a game can become an argument, then the argument can become a wrestling match and suddenly a normal afternoon can become a serious mess.

Stay tuned for news on how our experiments proceed.

Rocked by Women 2015!

Photo by Molly DeCodereaux

Photo by Molly DeCodereaux

A triumphant return for ROCKED BY WOMEN!

I am so proud of this work, and so happy to see it produced for a second time this year. I do believe this is the official start of a Mother's Day tradition.
I loved being in the Casquelord Center for the Arts in Oakland on Sunday with my wonderful mom, who is herself a dancer, and so enjoyed Sarah Bush and her fierce and fearless company.
Sarah tells an incredible story, which led into a remarkable post-show discussion featuring an stellar group of Bay Area Queer Women. Lenn Keller, Linda Tillery, Judith Smith and Kin Folkz engaged Sarah's questions about diversity, identity, inclusion and exclusion within the queer community with rigor, sensitivity and grace. What a meaningful dialogue to be present for and continue with my family after the show. A perfect way to spend mothers' day!

Rock on!

The Reviews for Hookman are In!

I'm so proud of this *killer* show. The cast is delivering absolutely stellar performances, and the design and execution of our highly ambitious production of Lauren's "most intriguing play" (Rob Hurwitt) is just amazing.

Encore Theatre. Yes!!!!

  • "Hookman Slays It! Strong direction...excellent cast...cleverly designed"
    —Mark Rudio for A Beast in a Jungle
  • “Hooked from the start…a rich and disturbing examination of loss, responsibility, maturity…Director Becca Wolff delivers a fast-paced 75-minute play with a cast that seems to come more and more to life as the play continues to deepen and darken”
    —Chad Jones for Theater Dogs
  • “bloodily funny ….Yee’s funniest and, in some respects, most intriguing play…Director Becca Wolff keeps the comic pacing crisp, adding some extra slasher satire to the smooth changes of James Faerron’s clever set ”
    —Rob Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle
  • "...the sort of show that you talk about to your friends three days after seeing it, because it’s such a mind-f*ck...."
    —Brittany Janis & Katie Cruz, Drink & Drama Talk on MissionMission.org

Hookman and Rocked by Women

This weekend was just amazing. ROCKED BY WOMEN (RBW) opened (and closed!) it's second run and HOOKMAN made its world premiere.

I've been working with Sarah Bush on RBW for almost two years now, and it's been an incredible adventure. Sarah is a RIDICULOUSLY talented dancer and choreographer who is bringing her art and the art of theater together in a remarkable way. RBW is a show about growing up and coming out and learning to tell your own story. The inspiration behind it all is music by and about women.

Sarah is a longtime member of the Bay Area queer community and the Michigan Women's Music Festival community, and the show this weekend was a celebration of all of the incredible people, art and love that make them. I was honored to be in the company of such outstanding women Lenn Keller, Kin Folkz, Judith Smith and Linda Tillery.

Hookman PR Photos

The brilliant graphic designer Ulla Havenga of Z Space fame, along with photog extraordinaire Mark Leialoha created these images for HOOKMAN. I love how they came out. What do you think?

Hookman!

I am excited to announce that I'll be directing Encore Productions' HOOKMAN, opening at Z Space in May.

HOOKMAN is a wild teen-slasher-deep-dark-comedy and all signs point to cult classic status for Lauren Yee's play.

More info to come soon.

Antigone Continues

The ANTIGONE workshop at SF Playhouse was a great success, and we'll be returning to finish the piece this summer. Annie and I worked with the fabulous Joe Estlak in the role of Polynices, as well as sound genius Matt Stines and movement director Chris White. We created an intimate and eerie twenty minutes of material about the relationship of Antigone and her brother Polynices that goes to the heart of WHY a person would risk her life to bury a loved one.

Photo by DongYi Wu.

Photo by DongYi Wu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will continue to explore the material we created, including a rather haunting sequence in which the bodies of the two siblings intertwine in unexpected and unsettling ways. We look forward to returning to the massive blanket fort we created and to SF Playhouse. We have received such warm and intelligent support from Lauren and Bill English and Lit Manager Jordan Puckett.

More news to come!

Book Club Play

I will be directing Karen Zacarías's THE BOOK CLUB PLAY in its West Coast Premiere at fabulous Center Rep in Walnut Creek, CA.

The play is a spot-on send-up of our politely fame-obsessed culture. A story about books, and the people who love them.

Opening January 30, 2015.

Antigone

http://tapmasterj14.deviantart.com/art/Turning-Heads-116990138

http://tapmasterj14.deviantart.com/art/Turning-Heads-116990138

I am working on a new adaptation of Antigone with Annie Saunders of Wilderness, exploring "universal values" within the body politic and the body corporeal.

More details to come soon.

IAMA Wins!

My beloved collaborators, friends and geniuses at IAMA won big at last night’s Ovation Awards in LA for our production of Jon Caren’s THE RECOMMENDATION.

Best Production & Best Actor (Intimate Theatre)

I couldn’t be more proud to have been the Artistic Director of this incredible group of artists for the last 2 seasons. This is the company’s first year winning at the Ovations, and it was amid a field thick with amazing shows. The LA Theatre scene just keeps getting more awesome.

Keep your eye on IAMA to see what happens next.

Beta Meta

THE BOOK CLUB PLAY by Karen Zacarias is a comedy. It’s also super meta

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So meta!

It features a book (“The Book Club” by Ana Smith) within a documentary (“The Book Club” by Lars Knudsen) all within a play (“The Book Club Play” by Karen Zacarias).

Creating this Russian Doll of a world is the challenge that I’ve been at with set designer Michael Locher & sound designer Matt Stines, along with the whole Center Rep team, for the past 2 weeks. We are deep into the process of design for our Feb 2015 opening.

I’m really excited about what we’re coming up with. The experience of the play will let audiences leap between worlds. In the play, they will see into the private life of the book’s author, they will see the making of the documentary and the documentary itself.

This “shifting lens” feels like the truest depiction of life as I know it. I see the world through face to face interactions, but also through my Facebook timelines and Twitter feed. I experience the news of our day from my own point of view, but also through the NPR interview and the Instagram post. Like standing in a three-way mirror at a department store, I see parts of my world and myself that seem impossible to catch sight of, and I love that. Because sometimes you just need to see for yourself if the jeans are really too tight, or if that tattoo on your back REALLY suits you, or if you simply look flawless all over.

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A Richard Rutledge classic

I’ve often wondered if others have this hall-of-mirrors experience of life, and Karen’s play makes me feel in great company!

Kilbanes workshop at Z Space

http://kilbanes.com/weightless/

Way excited to be sitting in this week on the workshop of the Kilbanes WEIGHTLESS at Z Space. So cool to see this killer group of musicians under the direction of Kate and Dan creating rock music theater right now.

The fabulous Lisa Steindler of Z Space is making out fair city ground zero for just the kind of boundary pushing hyper-creative music theater.

One-Man Shows & the Brilliance of Alex Knox

In any one-man show, audience and performer face one another in an uniquely focused way. We have nowhere to look but at the performer. Whatever we desire of him — whether to be entertained or enlightened — is directed straight at him, while his expectations of an audience — laughter, tears, attentive ears — are focused straight at us.

Alex Knox has a particular gift for this kind of head-on performance. He never hides his gaze, and never hides from the gaze of the audience. He manages to always receive attention with grace.

In NO STATIC AT ALL, we have embraced this relationship by keeping the design and staging stripped-down. Alex is mission control — he is in charge of the theatrical space. He plays the records, he cues the lights. In this way, he can be completely engaged with his audience, responding in the moment to the ups and downs of their energy, as they respond to the ups and downs of his.

Working in Alex's Orange County living room last weekend, we created a new ending to the show based on a recent experience that brought him a new understanding of this journey he had undertaken. I felt a sudden relief at the closure we had found — not just for the story, but for the experience described within it. It was as if I myself had been searching for the answers that Alex was seeking. That is his gift, and the gift I hope this show gives audiences.

NO STATIC AT ALL Comes to NYC!

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NO STATIC AT ALL, Alex Knox’s one-man show that I directed & developed over the past year is on its way to NYC! We open at the NYC Intl. Fringe Festival on Saturday August 9 at 8:30pm.

Alex and I have crafted this 55 minute monologue from over 70 pages of material he wrote about his search for enlightenment and how it culminated in a rather other-worldly obsession with the rock band Steely Dan. The journey includes stops at untamed beaches in Kauai, West Village jazz clubs and a tiny town in Israel that hides an earthshaking relic.

I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Alex again, along with the incredible Tilted Field crew. My partner in crime Jacob Padrón, along with Roberta Pereira will be producing (in their time off from their work on The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park & Off-Broadway’s The Opponent, respectively). Our all-star design team is JiYoun Chang (lights) & Michael Locher (sets) along with special guest artist Paul Carey (costumes).

NO STATIC AT ALL Comes to NYC!

ANTIGONE at SF Playhouse

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SF Playhouse has invited Annie and me to work on the Antigone Project with them this spring!

We are looking forward to being part of this beautiful season that features Julie Hebert, May Andrales, Aarons Loeb and Posner & many others.