Fierce Friday Femmes: Thoughts on themes, process, and dreams

We’re asking some big questions and finishing the latest draft of JUNE for the workshop presentations next weekend (July 18-20…details at the bottom of this blog post!). Help us shape the show by attending one of the presentations and asking some of your own questions!

To get us all in the mood, we asked the creative cast of JUNE to answer a few questions:


Heidi Jedlicka HalvarsonHeidi Jedlicka Halvarson

Sioux Falls, SD

What interests you most about the story and themes of JUNE?
So much of history is written in the shadows. What interests me is how secrets (societies, cultures, espionage, etc) make it into the light.

What interests you most about the process of creating JUNE?
I love working with a group of smart, fierce, talented ladies. It makes me think of how lucky we are as women to stand on the mighty shoulders of the women who’ve come before us AND the obligation we have to the women who come after us.

Do you have a strange dream you’d like to share with the internet?
I recently had a dream wherein my front tooth fell out and my husband broke up with me…so…awesome.

 

Emily DussaultEmily Dussault
Blaine, MN

What interests you most about the story and themes of JUNE?
Oh, I love the aesthetic of women in the 1950′s & 60′s. And also the exploration of that delicate femininity as being potentially powerful and dark. It’s just juicy.

What interests you most about the process of creating JUNE?
I love Savage Umbrella workshops. They’re creative playtime, but also challenging as a performer. Exploring the *Viewpoints has been really interesting. I feel like us ladies have gotten to know each other better through it – weird, because it’s silent…

Do you have a strange dream you’d like to share with the internet?
I have lots of weird war/dystopian/refugee/violent dreams, especially when I’m stressed. But recently I had a dream about eating ice cream and when I woke up, I wanted some SO BADLY. It was a rough day.

 

Kayla Dvorak FeldKayla Dvorak Feld
Spencer, IA

What interests you most about the story and themes of JUNE?
I’m most interested in the role women had at that time and what was expected of them. And how closely they had to keep their secrets and guard them.

What interests you most about the process of creating JUNE?
I really enjoy building scenes and ideas as an ensemble, and then seeing everything being put into a script and seeing how our ideas are integrated into the final product.

Do you have a strange dream you’d like to share with the internet?
Kayla claims she doesn’t have strange dreams… hmmm… ;-)

 

LLMLaura Leffler-McCabe
Shawnee, KS

What interests you most about the story and themes of JUNE?
I am super interested in the history of underground lesbian(s/ism?).

What interests you most about the process of creating JUNE?
I am always excited by working with new collaborators, like Kayla, Fenja and Amanda!

Do you have a strange dream you’d like to share with the internet?
I once had a crazy theatre dream that I was in production where I hadn’t been to rehearsal (duh, actor’s nightmare) but then I found out I had to go down a slide made of fire and talk to a human-sized rabbit. That’s one crazy stress dream.

 

Blake E. BolanBlake E. Bolan
Manhattan, KS

What interests you most about the story and themes of JUNE?
I am interested in how people live with their secrets. Some people seem to breathe easier when they hold something special, secret – I have found in my own life that secrets can make me anxious, even ill. I’m interested in mysterious hidden in the mundane.

What interests you most about the process of creating JUNE?
I am interested in how a group can begin to work as a unit over a short amount of time. What word or phrase or gesture connects the group and allows them access to something new; a new way of existing. It’s been interesting to see that happening from the inside, as a performer/collaborator.

Do you have a strange dream you’d like to share with the internet?
I’m in my old neighborhood in Seoul, there without a job, hoping that my old school will take me back without any notice. I wander around, trying to find my old grocery store, but it’s something different, or I’m turned around. I walk and take cabs and wander and wander some more.

 

Amanda SchnabelAmanda Schnabel
St. Cloud, MN

What interests you most about the story and themes of JUNE?
The idea of secrets – June says it herself – everybody has them and that’s interesting and almost comforting at the same time.

What interests you most about the process of creating JUNE?
I love having the chance to play. I feel like when you’re in school – college – a lot of what you do has to do with the process, but in the “real-world”, if you will, it can often become about getting a product on its feet in a specific period of time – which is completely understandable – but it’s really refreshing and fun to have some time to play for the sake of playing.

Do you have a strange dream you’d like to share with the internet?
When I was younger I used to have dreams that I was caught in the middle of a war and I was always looking for someone I couldn’t find. It was never the same war and it was never the same person, but the theme was always the same. I haven’t had one since college though, I don’t think…

 

Fenja AbramsFenja Abrams
White Bear Lake, MN

What interests you most about the story and themes of JUNE?
Diving into and analyzing how taboo subjects are addressed interest me in all time periods, but using such a distant era, so disconnected and different than our time, makes it fun. I love old things, so it’s wonderful to immerse myself into the 50′s housewife mentality for my own enjoyment and the sake of art.

What interests you most about the process of creating JUNE?
I love the conversation, the use of movement, and the atmosphere everyone creates.

Do you have a strange dream you’d like to share with the internet?
All of my dreams are journey-types. I always have to get somewhere or save someone and there’s always a million obstructions in my way. And often I forget to wear pants on these journeys.

 

JOIN US
at the workshop presentation of
JUNE

July 18 & 19 at 7:30pm
The Southern Theater
1420 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

July 20 at 7:30pm
Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts
6666 E River Rd, Fridley, MN

More information on the Facebook event.

Click here to reserve your seats.

Tickets are on a sliding scale of $5-$10, with no one turned away for lack of funds. We accept cash, check, or credit at the door on the evening of the event.

*Viewpoints is a theater composition technique focused on an awareness of space, time, and relationship. It was adapted for the stage from Mary Overlie’s Viewpoints by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau (SITI Company, NY). We’ve been using the technique to explore movement and characters while developing the story of JUNE.

We want YOU

Savage Umbrella is super excited to announce our call for collaborators for our 2014-2015 season! Yay! Come and work with us!

DESIGNERS: Please send a resume and links to portfolio/photos of your work to info@savageumbrella.org

SMs: Please send a resume to info@savageumbrella.org

ACTORS: Please prepare one contemporary monologue, no more than 90 seconds.

Auditions will be held Saturday July 20 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Please prepare to arrive 10 minutes before your audition time. Call backs will be held later in the season.

Please fill out this form for an audition time.

Savage Umbrella creates and develops new work. Actors, SMs and designers are expected to contribute to the creation process. Non-union. Stipends paid. Color inclusive.

FAQ: Do I need to audition for you/send you my design materials/send my SM resume again if I’ve done so in the past? That’s probably not necessary, but a quick email reminding us of who you are and that you’re interested in working with us would be good. Of course, if you’ve got something you think we should see, go ahead and snag a slot/send a link.

The following shows are slated for our 2014-15 season. Look how excited we are!

So much excitement.

So much excitement.

VINLAND workshop presentation
written by Laura Leffler-McCabe

VINLAND is a remix of history and storytelling; of vikings and Swedish settlers to Minnesota; of truth and the fictions we tell ourselves; of heart, belonging, and home. We seek an ensemble of performers, 6 to 12, M/F. This will be a generative workshop. Actors will work with the writer on prompts and ideas, and the actors will then improv/plan/create material that will then become the script/staging/etc

Rehearsals begin the week of August 10, 2014. There will be 6-7 rehearsals total.
Presentation dates are September 19, 20 & 21. Minimal to no memorization required for the presentations.

HOUSE PARTY workshop presentation
written by Tanner Curl

HOUSE PARTY is an immersive theater project that explores relationships and dynamic within and between social groups. In this workshop, we’ll develop an ensemble piece that will take on friendship, love, regret, boredom, anxiety, awkward moments, and more. Actors will work with the writer on prompts, ideas, and generating material and staging. We are seeking: 6-10 performers, M and F, in their 20s and 30s; (1) male performer in his 40s to 50s; (1) female performer in her upper 50s to lower 70s.

Rehearsals begin the week of October 20, 2014. There will be 6-7 rehearsals total.
Presentation dates are November 21, 22 & 23. Minimal to no memorization required for the presentations.

THESE ARE THE MEN
written by Blake E. Bolan and Laura Leffler-McCabe

We will use movement, sound, and text to explore themes both apparent and insidious in the Oedipus mythology – specifically from the point of view of Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother/wife. We seek an ensemble of performers, 7M/7F. Each will have a specific character role to create, as well as working with the full ensemble for role doubling, soundscapes, and movement. Some roles are pre-cast.

Rehearsals begin January 7, 2015
First tech is March 9, 2015
Opening night is March 14, 2015
Subsequent performances are March 15, 26, 27, April 4, 5, 7, 8, 15
Closing night is April 18, 2015

PENNY workshop presentation
written by Blake E. Bolan

Penny is a re-imagining of the Odysseus mythology from the perspective of Penelope. While Odysseus is at war for over 20 years, his wife Penny waits and waits. And waits. During her wait a long line of suitors demand her attention. Playing with time, scale and our emotions, SU’s retelling flips the original myth on its head and finds more than matronly virtue in the enigmatic Penny.

We seek an ensemble of performers, 6 to 12, M/F. This will be a generative workshop. Actors will work with the writer on prompts and ideas, and the actors will then improv/plan/create material that will then become the script/staging/etc

Rehearsals begin the week of June 1, 2015. There will be 6-7 rehearsals total.
Presentation dates are July 10, 11 & 12, 2015. Minimal to no memorization required for the presentations.

 

Strange dreams and secrets: a sneak peek into JUNE

Hey folks! JUNE rehearsals have begun and we’d like to give you a sneak peek into the process…

Emily Dussault and Fenja Abrams share a secret.

Emily Dussault and Fenja Abrams share a secret.

Set in pre-Stonewall America, JUNE explores forbidden desires and the secret lives of housewives. Newlywed June is on the verge of, well, a lot of things. Oh, and she has very strange dreams. The kind that wake you up in the middle of the night gasping and grasping for any sign of reality… anything to prove you’re not still asleep. If June’s not careful, somebody might get hurt.

During the next few weeks, we’ll be working with movement, generating text, creating characters, and breathing life into the story. JUNE might be: a little sweet, a little salty, maybe a bit silly, definitely sexy, probably kind of scary, with just a hint of sadness. Maybe.

You’ll have to stay tuned to find out! Keep an eye on the blog for more sneak peeks of the work-in-progress, head over to the Facebook to see more rehearsal photos, and put the workshop presentation on your calendar:

Amanda Schnabel and Blake E. Bolan plan a scene.

Amanda Schnabel and Blake E. Bolan plan a scene.

July 18 & 19
at the Southern Theater, Minneapolis, MN

July 20
at the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley, MN

JUNE is being created by Hannah K. Holman with Fenja Abrams, Blake E. Bolan, Emily Dussault, Kayla Dvorak Feld, Heidi Jedlicka Halvarson, Laura Leffler-McCabe, and Amanda Schnabel.

What are you hiding? What do you think about in the dark?

Happy Birthday, Heidi!

Today, we celebrate the glitz and glam of our company. She’s super funny, infinitely caring, and loves champagne… triple threat! Happy Birthday, Heids!   – Hannah & Laura

Happy Birthday, Heidi!

Happy Birthday, Heidi!

whip-smart and loyal
she that glitters is our gold
effervescent fun

Happy Birthday, Mason!

Everyone knows Mas is about as fun as they get, but what you may not know is that he is a champion for quiet voices and unpopular ideas. His braveness makes us all better. – Heids

Happy Birthday, Mason!

Happy Birthday, Mason!

all sugar and sass
while sweetly and discreetly
guarding all our hearts

Happy Birthday, Carl!

Carl knows how to do a lot of things that the rest of us struggle with and manages to get everything done even though he’s a full time working, part time art making, part time MBA student dad of an infant. whoa. – Heids

 

Happy Birthday, Carl!

Happy Birthday, Carl!

ever on his toes
he leaps, arms out for a hug
and solves the problems.

 

Happy Birthday, Blake!

She’s glam. She’s smart. She’s got more love than just about anyone. It’s our Blake’s birthday today and we love her. – Heids

 

Happy Birthday, Blake!

Happy Birthday, Blake!

her eyes sometimes leak
with all the style, grace, and love
that she has to offer this small world.

 

See how the Rapture world is made

We are feeling super lucky to be working with a wonderful bunch of designers on RAPTURE. They’re creating a wonderful world for us to play in. And for you, our friends and fans, we offer you this sneak peek into what they’ve been up to…

Ted_4949

Ted Moore, Sound Designer/Composer
Why do you like designing?
I like designing because I like making work collaboratively. Collaborating creates a whole new set of creative challenges and makes me think differently about the work that I do with SU and independently.

Tell me about the inspiration you’re working with for RAPTURE.
I want the sound to remind the audience of the underlying chaos and uncertainty that the characters don’t always portray in their efforts to overcome it.

And that inspiration is leading you to do what exactly?

This is feedback happening through a microphone and speaker in my living room. Because it’s usually a warning sound to things getting REALLY TOO loud, it has a sense of tension to it but it also can sound sweet and delicate.

This one is a melody that was the basis for a lot of the harmonic language that some of the other motives come from.

This last one is the clarinetist playing a timbral trill, meaning she is alternating between to fingerings that are so close in frequency that they sound like two slightly different timbres on the same pitch.

Shannon pic

Shannon Morgan, Set Designer
Why do you like designing?
I enjoy designing sets because it gives me the ability to manipulate any space to create a completely different location. I also enjoy creating seemingly 3-D shapes out of a flat surface, such as brick or stones on a wall.

Tell me about the inspiration you’re working with for RAPTURE.
I tend to draw inspiration for a play from the play itself.  In this play, Evelyn is neat and organized, so the set pieces I look for try to fit that personality.

And that inspiration is leading you to do what exactly?
Rapture GP Right Iso (Click to view!)

Christina

Christina Forga, Costume Designer
Why do you like designing?
I like designing costumes because it is a personal and intimate way of telling a story.  The cut of a character’s clothing and the relationship he/she has with their body, their movement, and that clothing is a story in itself that aids in the complexity of character choices and relationships making them vibrant and alive.

Tell me about the inspiration you’re working with for RAPTURE.
My inspiration for Rapture is coming from the differences in generation of the characters.  Specifically the differences between Lucy and Evelyn, contrasting the older generation with the younger in color, style, impression, and aesthetic.

And that inspiration is leading you to do what exactly?

Evelyn costume

lucy costume 2

I just feel the script speaks for itself here!
EVELYN:  And what is that outfit, anyway?
LUCY:  Isn’t it amazing? It only cost my five bucks.
EVELYN:  I can tell.
LUCY:  I found it in this weird little store in Queens.
EVELYN:  One of these days you’re going to have teach yourself to look in the mirror before you leave.

You can get your tickets now to see Rapture, March 7-22 at Nimbus Theatre in Northeast Minneapolis.

No, no, it’s not THAT kind of rapture.

Our brand spankin’ new play is in rehearsals, and we wanna share the excitement with you!

Actors Karen Bix, Carl Schoenborn, Director Tanner Curl, and Actor Russ Dugger discuss the exciting pages before them.

Actors Karen Bix, Carl Schoenborn, Director Tanner Curl, and Actor Russ Dugger discuss the exciting pages before them.

In RAPTURE, a tenth of the world’s population instantly vanishes. The media emerges with a theory that those disappeared were artists, and dub the event ‘The Artist Rapture,’ but Thomas Kinkade lives again in this dark comedy about art and identity.

“We were interested in exploring our impulse to create art and the work of making art, but these topics can be so circular,” says Curl. “By creating this global event, it gives these characters and the audience a shared entry point for the questions raised by the show.”

To get a tiny taste, check out this video teaser.

See all our rehearsal pics on our Facebook page.

Next week: a look at the designs for Rapture!