Thursday, June 16, 2016
Our Climate Cabaret troupe will be debuting a new piece at our June 18 performance this Saturday at the Labyrinth Bookstore in Princeton. The performance is at 3pm on the lower level, and is free. We'll be portraying various characters, animating the inanimate, and reanimating the animate. There's a car and its driver, a climate cowboy who will try to sell you on his OK Leaf Corral, a Captain and Crew on the space station orbiting earth, and then there's a turf therapist and his patient, the lawn.
I'll be the lawn, and I have to say that I am honored and humbled to serve as spokesman, or, if I can get the wig to fit, a spokeswoman, for all those super neat, really messed up lawns out there that live empty but opulently indolent and drug-addicted lives as basically kept women for their respective Houses. Finally, we'll find out what lawns have been feeling all this time.
If you want to get the full whammy, my band, the Sustainable Jazz Ensemble, will be performing the evening before, this Friday, June 17, from 7-9 on Hinds Plaza next to the Princeton Public Library.
Below is a photo of an early, unisex rendering of me as a lawn, concerned about some leaves that are marring my beautiful green expanse.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Somewhat related to our upcoming performance of climate theater and sustainable jazz this coming Saturday afternoon (6/18, hosted by Labyrinth Bookstore on Nassau Street in Princeton, 3-5pm), is a feature article in the latest Princeton Magazine about McCarter Theater's Onstage group. All three of us performing Climate Cabaret this Saturday have received much of our training through the Onstage community theater experience. We collect true stories from the community, which are then turned into monologues and scenes that we then perform. The article tells the story of the fifteen member Onstage Seniors, most of whom have "come to acting late in life", which is to say, not too late in life to benefit from all the pleasure and insight that theater and acting can afford.
I came to Onstage, and to acting, four years ago. My background in science and jazz had taken me a long way, but had not required looking people in an audience in the eye while I spoke. While leading nature walks, I would tend to look at the plants rather than the people I was talking to. Our Onstage director at the time, McCarter's assistant artistic director Adam Immerwahr (photo), was having trouble getting me to look up when I delivered my monologue. Being a creative sort, he finally had fellow troupe members lie on the floor around me as I stood in the rehearsal room, so that I would be more likely to look them in the eye. His brilliant mix of humor, inventiveness and wisdom has been transformative for all of us.
Onstage Seniors is now directed by Liz Green, and we're performing this year's show at senior centers, prisons, and other area venues that are often underserved. For anyone interested, we will perform tonight at the Arts Council of Princeton. There is no charge for our performances.