Monthly Archives: October 2012

INTERN TAKEOVER- THE FINAL DAY

Not in the loop about the takeover? Get looped in here.

The down and dirty explanation: October 14th at 7:00pm Mike Daisey is coming to Woolly to do a benefit for the Interns. Drunk with power, the interns have taken over the Woolly blog. Here’s your final trio of hardworkin’ young Mammoths. Come support all the interns this Sunday!

Jordan Beck, Connectivity Assistant

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Jordan has outgrown the slugs & snails of youth. He is now made exclusively of puppy-dog tails.  

Where are you from?

Portland, OR is my home town. Land of hipsters and lumberjacks

What are you doing this year for Woolly?

I’m working in Woolly’s newest department:  Connectivity.

“What the hell is that?” you ask.

Short answer, Connectivity tries to answer several big questions:

  • What conversation is this piece of theatre trying to have?
  • Who in our community would bring engaging perspectives/be engaged by this conversation?
  • What about this moment in time makes this conversation important?

Woolly wants every person who comes through our doors to have an engaging experience – Connectivity is down in the trenches trying to make that happen.

Why Woolly?

My college mentor Brian Desmond was the artistic director of WSC in Arlington, Virginia. He told me what a vibrant theatre scene DC had, and recommended I look into it for my post graduate plans. Woolly’s mission really spoke to me. I’m very passionate about theatre as vessel for discussion, and drawing us into ourselves, our families, and our communities. I see my values reflected in Woolly’s mission. When they called, I answered.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

To find meaningful work in my life. To choose happiness over comfort. Maybe get some sleep.

Fun Fact!? 

In my immediate family I have 8 ELCA Lutheran Pastors. Needless to say, I identify as an agnostic.

Omar IngramAssistant to the Production Manager

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Omar’s got some serious swag. He recently insulated his house with swag, and got swag poisoning. We were all very worried.

Where are you from?

I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, but I just finished Howard University in May with a BFA in Theatre Arts concentrating in Musical Theatre and a minor in Theatre Administration.

What are you doing this year for Woolly?

I’m the Assistant to the Production Manager this year. I am assisting with getting productions ready, also assisting with Artist Relations.

Why Woolly?

I chose Woolly because I wasn’t ready to leave DC just yet and I enjoy the shows that Woolly puts on as well as the mission statement.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

My mom just asked me this and I responded that I want to conquer the world. I would love to tour internationally as a performer and/or in a management capacity (company or stage). Part of me also wants to be a stylist or a model. I really want to be creative and enjoy everything that I do in life.

Fun Fact!?

Hmm… A fun fact? Since May I’ve worked with George Faison, the original Broadway choreographer for the Wiz, and Jennifer Holliday, the original Effie White in Dreamgirls.

Kelly Garvis, Assistant to the Managing Director 

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As one can see from this picture, Kelly is a total gangster.

Where are you from?

I am from Bowie, MD.  A city in the suburbs of Maryland.  I did my undergrad at the University of Maryland, College Park in Theatre.

What are you doing this year for Woolly?

I am working as the Assistant to the Managing Director.

Why Woolly?

Why not Woolly?  I have been a fan of Woolly for a couple years now.  I really enjoy the new work that Woolly does.  I enjoy the new play process from the beginning thoughts of what a play can be to the end with a fully realized production and all the steps in between.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

My hope to is have Jeff’s job one day.  On a more serious note, I hope to eventually become a managing director of a company.  I think ideally, if I had the right artistic director, I would like to start my own theatre company.

Fun Fact? (You have an answer to this one)

My first show was The Three Piggy Opera.  I was 6 years old and played the Straw Pig.

The First Performance of American Utopias: An Intern Benefit will be October 14th at 7:00pm for one night only at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. For tickets click here, email Tickets@Woollymammoth.net or call the box office at 202-393-3939. All the proceeds from the evening will go to support Woolly Mammoth’s Internship Program, which helps early career artists make the transition from school to the professional theatre.#InternUtopia

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INTERN TAKE OVER DAY 3

Not in the loop about the takeover? Get looped in here.

The down and dirty explanation: October 14th at 7:00pm Mike Daisey is coming to Woolly to do a benefit for the Interns. Drunk with power, the interns have taken over the Woolly blog. Every day this week come here to learn about a new trio of hardworkin’ young Mammoths.

Jecamiah Ybanez, Assistant to the Artistic Director

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JECAMIAH used ARTSMASH! It’s super effective!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in South Texas. I spent most of my life in a small rural town called Poteet, just south of San Antonio.

What are you doing this year for Woolly?

I am the Assistant to the Artistic Director. It is a very unique opportunity that provides a peak into several different aspect of the organization, from the artistic leadership, to development and funding, to marketing and connectivity.

Why Woolly?

I believe that theatre should have an impact on our society. That it should ask us to look at ourselves, our choices, and the world we live in and have created. Woolly has been doing this kind of theatre for over 30 years now. That alone speaks for it’s self. How do I create theatre that is topical, entertaining, and be successful as a theatre practitioner? If anyone is going to have insight on those answers, it’s Woolly.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I plan on going to grad school to get my MFA in Directing and maybe again for Art Administration. I would like to have my own theatre company one day or be the artistic director for a company that I believe in.

Fun Fact!?

I’ve never owned a TV

Ashley Promisel, Lighting Assistant

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Ashley rows an imaginary boat towards a brighter tomorrow.

Where are you from?

I am from Manassas, VA born and raised!

What are you doing this year for Woolly?

As the current Lighting Intern at Woolly, I have the good fortune of working with the lighting designers, namely the fantastic Colin K. Bills, as their assistant. During strikes, load-ins and tech, I help Ann Allan, the Master Electrician, in any way I can. I absolutely love my job!

Why Woolly?

I think a better question is “Why NOT Woolly?” This company supports new and upcoming art that pushes the limit! Not only do these shows that come through here challenge the audiences, they challenge the cast and crew to come up with creative ways to tell the story. I would describe the shows I’ve been exposed to here as transformative.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

My goal in life is to do what Howard Shalwitz has done: build a strong theatre company from the ground up and having it not only survive, but thrive! I want to push the limits on theatre while exposing it to those who have no idea what they are missing. Just like the works that pass through theaters around the world, I want to help the art form of theatre to expand, grow and transform, no matter how small my contribution may be in the scheme of things. Short term goals mainly consist of doing well here at Woolly, and being able to support myself as a lighting designer.

Fun Fact!?

I run on Positive energy.

Stacey Sulko, Marketing and Communications Assistant

Through the magic of photo editing Stacey doesn’t look stressed out.

Where are you from?

I am based in DC… for now.

What are you doing this year for Woolly?

I’m the Marketing and Communications Assistant here at Woolly Mammoth.

Why Woolly?

I chose Woolly for a number of reasons but mainly for the passion they has for the type of work they do. I love pieces of theatre that make you think. When I walk out of a play with a new insight on the world, I feel fulfilled  That is what theatre should be in my eyes. A new lens at which to see the world through and create understanding for all by it.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I would like to carry my dreams out to LA. I’d like to ultimately take my vision and transfer it to the film world. I also want to live in Paris for a good chunk of my life but that’s for completely different reasons.

Fun Fact!? 

I’m majorly obsessed with cats.

The First Performance of American Utopias: An Intern Benefit will be October 14th at 7:00pm for one night only at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. For tickets click here, email Tickets@Woollymammoth.net or call the box office at 202-393-3939. All the proceeds from the evening will go to support Woolly Mammoth’s Internship Program, which helps early career artists make the transition from school to the professional theatre.#InternUtopi

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INTERN TAKEOVER DAY 2

Not in the loop about the takeover? Get looped in here.

The down and dirty explanation: October 14th at 7:00pm Mike Daisey is coming to Woolly to do a benefit for the Interns. Drunk with power, the interns have taken over the Woolly blog. Every day this week come here to learn about a new pair of hardworkin’ young Mammoths.

Emily Cauthorne: Development Assistant

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moments after this photo was taken, two laser-beams erupted from the tips of Emily’s thumbs.

Where are you from?

I am from Midlothian, Virginia.

What are you doing this year for Woolly?

I am currently working as the Development Assistant/Intern. I will be assisting our team in the evolution of our Free the Beast Campaign, special events throughout the year, and working closely alongside of our patrons!

Why Woolly?

I chose Woolly for its commitment to promoting up-and-coming artists and taking risks on new works.

Over the course of this year, I will be learning the operations and skill sets pertaining to a field that is entirely new to me.  I have consistently been pursuing arts management at a collegiate level and, with this internship, will be branching out to a different side of theatre management.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

My immediate goal/hope is to understand Tessitura (Woolly’s very powerful database system), which is fairly essential to do my job. I digress. Though I have mostly been working in theatre administration, I still hope to pursue performance down the road. After Woolly, my semi-planned out, long term goal is to move to L.A.!

Until then, I will be tackling this crazy, Woolly ride over the next year!

Fun Fact!?

I’m ambidextrous!

Sam Lahne: Literary Assistant 

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Sam Lahne: the littlest ninja

Where are you from?

Silver Spring, MD.

What are you doing this year for Woolly?

I am the Literary Assistant.

Why Woolly?

I haven’t shaved for a while.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

My hopes and dreams fall into two major categories:

HOPES

Be a playwright.

Get some of my plays produced.

Go to graduate school.

Teach.

And write more plays.

And maybe a novel.

No poetry though.

And some essays.

Also be a dramaturg and translator.

Make a life in the theatre and keep writing and reading and thinking and enjoying the experience of live performance.

and

DREAMS

There’s the one where I’m a pro soccer player.

Or that one where I fly.

Or where I get rich but wake up before I can buy anything.

Or where this guy named Freddy keeps trying to kill me with his knifeclaws.

Or  the one where there are all these melting eyes and a guy uses giant scissors to cut one of the eyes open. Then I’m at the edge of a roof with skis on my feet and I fall off, but there’s a guy with no face holding a melting wagon wheel and I’m running down a pyramid with a giant shadow following me.

Fun Fact?! 

A =  π r 2

The First Performance of American Utopias: An Intern Benefit will be October 14th at 7:00pm for one night only at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. For tickets click here, email Tickets@Woollymammoth.net or call the box office at 202-393-3939. All the proceeds from the evening will go to support Woolly Mammoth’s Internship Program, which helps early career artists make the transition from school to the professional theatre.#InternUtopia

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INTERN TAKE OVER DAY 1

Not in the loop about the takeover? Get looped in here.

The down and dirty explanation: October 14th at 7:00pm Mike Daisey is coming to Woolly to do a benefit for the Interns. Drunk with power, the interns have taken over the Woolly blog. Every day this week come here to learn about a new pair of hardworkin’ young Mammoths.

Kasey Hendrix: Properties Intern

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“do you have your tickets!? Do you!?” Kasey asks.
“…For what?” you respond innocently.
“TO THE GUN SHOW!” yells Kasey.

Where are you from?

Palmyra, PA

Why Woolly? 

I admire that this company actively takes risks and gives opportunities for new work to be shown. You never know what’s going to happen next and I love that kind of atmosphere.

What’s next for you?

That’s really up in the air at the moment. I just know that I want to be an artist, whatever that might mean. I could see myself happy doing props, acting, or traditional art. Outside of my career, some life goals of mine are to finish writing/drawing a comic, possibly swim with sharks but there’s a good chance I’d chicken out of that one, do a complete Lord of the Rings/Hobbit marathon after all those movies come out, and hike at least a portion of The Appalachian Trail.

Fun Fact!?

I have a horrible time coming up with good fun facts, but I swear I’m an interesting person. Legit.

David Phelps: Technical Assistant

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David copies Kasey. Though his unwavering confidence in his “guns” is less kinetic.

Where are you from?

 Greenbelt, MD.

Why Woolly? 

I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May and came to Woolly to continue learning about technical theatre, especially scenic construction.

What’s next for you?

After this program I hopes to move on to other professional theatres and eventually return to school to earn my MFA.

Fun Fact!?

All of my facts are fun.

The First Performance of American Utopias: An Intern Benefit will be October 14th at 7:00pm for one night only at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. For tickets click here, email Tickets@Woollymammoth.net or call the box office at 202-393-3939. All the proceeds from the evening will go to support Woolly Mammoth’s Internship Program, which helps early career artists make the transition from school to the professional theatre.#InternUtopia

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INTERN TAKE OVER!

Mike Daisey: monologist turned philanthropist.

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Mike Daisey wags his finger disapprovingly at tiny intern stipends.

At Woolly last week, staff and Daisey discussed the possibility of a DC workshop performance his newest monologue American Utopias.

Though AU will be coming to Woolly in the Spring, Mike will often do a first workshop performance. Its a chance for him to explore all of the material he’s thinking about, and as extemporaneous storyteller it’s the first time that anyone (including Mike) has heard the piece out loud. This first performance (occasionally called a “birthing”) is special occasion. Little did the Woolly interns know just how special it would be.

Mike graciously offered to make this first workshop performance of AU on October 14th a benefit for the Woolly interns(!!!). All proceeds from the evening will go to raising the (very) small stipend that interns receive. He had this to say:

“The American theater runs on the labor of unpaid interns—they are unsung and unnoticed. They’ve trained, they’re eager to make a life in the theater, and we often work them until they break down. We all have to find a better way—and I’m delighted to work with Woolly Mammoth to give back to these young artists, and I hope that one day no one working in the American theater will find themselves paid only in leftover cheese cubes from opening night party platters.”

The Woolly interns raised a collective cry of exuberance! For the last couple of days we’ve all been scuttling around the office excitedly getting everything ready. In honor of the benefit, a bloodless coup d’état was staged. THE WOOLLY BLOG NOW BELONGS TO THE INTERNS (…at least October 14th…)! Next week we’ll feature a little bit about the young professionals that help Woolly do the work it does so well. You like Woolly? You’ll love us.

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What we look like to the world.

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What we look like to the senior staff at Woolly.

Prepare yourself for the intern takeover.

-Jordan Beck, Connectivity Assistant

The First Performance of American Utopias: An Intern Benefit will be October 14th at 7:00pm for one night only at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. For tickets click here, email Tickets@Woollymammoth.net or call the box office at 202-393-3939. All the proceeds from the evening will go to support Woolly Mammoth’s Internship Program, which helps early career artists make the transition from school to the professional theatre.

#InternUtopia

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Do We Need Something to Hate to Discover What We Love?

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‘Old Glory’ and a portion of his patriotic elaborate entrance.

When I first read THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, it worked for me on a number of levels. I loved that the content was pro-wrestling, something we rarely see on American theatre stages. I also loved that pro-wrestling was a lens through which to view the idiosyncracies of our country: the problems inherent in the notion of the ‘American dream,’ as well as the complexities of building an American identity. The pro-wrestling world dictates that in order for Chad Deity to be our American hero, he needs an enemy. But as a country and as individuals, do we need something to hate in order to discover what it is we love – or who we are?

It’s my view that we Americans have increasingly started defining ourselves by pointing to what we’re against.  In some instances, that has worked well for us. We’re a country built on a commitment to religious freedom, because our Puritan pilgrims established themselves as ‘not’ like the intolerant communities they emerged from. However, in the modern world, the identification of an ‘other’ has its risks. When we label the terrorist-who-happens-to-be-Muslim an enemy of America, some Americans will see all Muslims as enemies. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t terrorists we need to condemn. It just means that constantly talking about the ‘other’ draws attention to what we’re ‘not’ like, rather than what we are like. It’s a more exclusive, rather than inclusive, act. Even within our current presidential race, each side is defining themselves as the ‘opposite’ of the other. This is not a very rigorous intellectual exercise, and does not provide a lot of clarity in terms of  what each candidate really stands for.

From an early age, we read stories and watch movies that articulate a clear other to a main hero – when we think of Harry Potter, Peter Pan, or even Cinderella, there’s a clear enemy. The real world is much more complex. While Mace emerges at the end of the play as a hero to his community–someone who attained his American Dream–he will forever be cast as the ‘villain’ in the larger narrative, because of his appearance. While our country’s ‘enemies’ are linked with ideas of ‘otherness,’ it will continue to be difficult for real diversity in our country to flourish, and for people of all races, cultural backgrounds, and religions to have an equal shot at success. But, if America would make more ‘we are this’ statements rather than ‘we are not this’ statements, there would be more of a chance for the Maces of this world to take the lead as our heroes. Narratives are powerful, and for now, in our world of us and them, Chad Deity needs someone else to fail for him to win – and for us to love him.

-Ronee Penoi, Producer-in-Residence

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