Blog30

Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Blog 30 Goes on Hiatus for the Summer

Cheers of “school’s out for summer” can be heard around the country. And, we are screaming our version as well. Blog30 is going on hiatus for the summer.

We have had fun working on Blog30 for the past five and a half months, but we are looking forward to a summer vacation. It gives us the chance to take a breather. Here’s to hikes in the woods, lots of tennis playing, enjoying cocktails and being creative.

We will see you again in the fall. In the meantime, you’ve got a couple of months to read all of the entries since January, and visit the League of Professional Theatre Women’s web site for other news.

— Melanie, Lanie, Susan & Shaun

 

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Introducing Team Blog30!!

Meet the women
who have administered and nurtured
Blog30 for the past 24 weeks:

Shaun logs in each submission and follows up missing info, and keeps the League’s Facebook page up to date. Susan copy edits the submissions and pulls the quotes for the Week in Review and From the Archives. Melanie tracks dates, inputs into the blogsite, and sends out the reminders, and Lanie tweaks and uploads photos and adds tagging for optimum web hits for each member.

As we celebrate the League’s 30th Anniversary, I felt it was important to shine the spotlight on the individuals who make up the League. This Blog30 experiment has surpassed expectations! I’ve loved the unique responses to our specific questions, and look forward to indulging in the League’s favorite cocktails…. – Melanie Sutherland

Blog30 offers a snippet, a peek, a window into the lives of the accomplished members of the League of Professional Theatre Women. It’s been great fun to celebrate the vanguard members as well as those new to the League, and to learn things about each other none of us knew. – Lanie Zipoy

Blog30 has been like my crash course in the League and its members! As copy editor and pull-quote picker, I’ve read just about every one of ‘em, and have been surprised, amused, sometimes frustrated, generally interested, definitely more in tune with who we are. Don’t know what I was thinking when I shot off my mouth at last year’s annual meeting (I think that’s what got me into this!), but boy, have I come to admire the persistence and generosity of my Blog30 cohort, bravely pursuing new posts and prepping entries through up and down, thick and thin, seriously, a helluva year. – Susan Bernfield

When Melanie first brought up her idea of a Daily blog for the League, I was thrilled. I expected it to be a great tool to increase the League’s visibility and a fun way to highlight what makes our League Ladies so fantastic. These expectations, however, in no way prepared me for just how imaginative, witty, inspiring, and courageous our bloggers are, or for how well Blog30 has been received. From the lengthy blog entries to the briefer ones, I’ve so enjoyed reading these personal glimpses into the minds of the women who make theatre happen in NYC and around the world. I’ve also gotten to know three of the most fabulous ladies in town a bit better as we soldier on together to keep Blog30 running. Not a bad few months, I’d say. – Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy

From the Archives!


LPTW’s Blog30 was created to highlight the diversity, passion and brilliance of the individual members of the League of Professional Theatre Women in celebration of the organization’s 30th Anniversary.

Today, we provide a second chance for readers to meet more of our member-bloggers from February.

From the Archives

At age 90, my greatest inspiration comes from waking up and facing the day. – Marion Simon, nee Faggen, February 15

I loved everything about it, but was fascinated and downright entranced by what was happening backstage, which eventually led me to abandon performing for what I thought was the “interesting stuff”.  – Sue Bartelt, February 18

I feel most like myself when I … am kicking ass. Metaphorically speaking that is, I don’t get violent with other people. – Barb Kielhofer, February 21

I look to my dreams for inspiration – they are full of strange beauty. – Elizabeth Hess, February 25

From the Archives!


LPTW’s Blog30 was created to highlight the diversity, passion and brilliance of the individual members of the League of Professional Theatre Women in celebration of the organization’s 30th Anniversary.

Today, we provide a second chance for readers to meet some of our member-bloggers from February.

From the Archives

I would love to travel more, to meet more, different people and continue to watch those airplanes – maybe a third career as a some kind of tour guide? – Michele Volansky, February 13

Seeing that show changed my life, and wonder of wonders, I actually got to tell Ms. DeMille and thank her. What a feeling!!! – Edie Cowan, February 16

I seem to remember there being some simple staging and change of lights that suggested a change from the characters being backstage to being onstage within one of the songs – I just thought it was the most magical thing. – Regina Gatti, February 20

“What time is the show,” our first caller asked? “What time can you get here?” My husband answered. – Gail Kriegel, February 23

Week in Review, June 4 – 10, 2012


LPTW’s Blog30 was created to highlight the diversity, passion and brilliance of the individual members of the League of Professional Theatre Women in celebration of the organization’s 30th Anniversary. Every Sunday, the women featured in the previous six days, as well as three others from our first two months, receive a little more attention, a second chance for readers to learn about them. Sunday is often a day for reflection, offering the opportunity to catch up on the previous week’s activities. Now, the Week in Review gives our readers the opportunity to experience a week’s entries in one easy sitting. We hope you enjoy the latest addition to Blog30.

Favorite Movie: The Producers Ginny Louloudes, June 4

Is there anything you still dream of doing? Calling the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. – Alix Claps, June 5

I want to keep bringing Italian theater to the States and to open the first Italian theater in New York. – Laura Caparrotti, June 6

As I always say, I’m the only person I know who went from the best seats to the gods, instead of vice-versa, as in the normal course of events! – Zoe (Corell) Kaplan, June 7

Kindle me not.Susan Jonas, June 8

I can’t ride a bike and I am terribly embarrassed about it. – Deborah Asiimwe, June 9

From the Archives:
Both passions have known each other for a long time, but I always thought they would be incompatible for a long-term relationship. – Lauren Yarger, February 4

Where do you look for inspiration?  Books, subway rides, memories.  – Susan Laubach, February 8

I am stimulated by vision and transformation, the unknown, the unexpected. Ideas abound, and art emerges. – Lorca Peress, February 10

And with a foreign name, even bigger and odder than I was, in a country where being English was so important, I desperately wanted to fit in. – Ludovica Villar-Hauser, February 2

Deborah Asiimwe

Deborah Asiimwe, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenMy full name is Asiimwe Deborah GKashugi, but I officially go by Deborah Asiimwe.
Theatre practitioner, playwright and performer
New York, New York USA and Kampala, Uganda

What’s your favorite book?
Maya Angelou’s I know why the caged Bird Sings

Favorite line from a play:
“When the madness of an entire nation disturbs a solitary mind, it is not enough to say the man is mad.” Betrayal in the City: Francis Imbuga

What’s your pop culture guilty pleasure?
I enjoy watching the episodes of “Army Wives”….endlessly 😉

What play or production changed your life?
The musical – Sarafina!

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Learning a new language.

I feel most like myself when I ….
This keeps changing, but for now, it would be when I am with my brilliant, funny 5-year-old nephew who is not afraid of asking me any questions that come to his mind.

Where do you look for inspiration?
Landscapes. Sitting by a water body. Silences.

What is your best escape?
Reading gossip columns

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
I can’t ride a bike and I am terribly embarrassed about it.

Deborah Asiimwe is a playwright, producer and performer from Uganda. Her numerous plays have received productions and readings in the US and East Africa. Asiimwe received her MFA in Writing for Performance from CalArts and was the overall winner of the 2010 BBC World Service African Performance playwriting competition.

Susan Jonas

Susan Jonas, member of the League of Professional Theatre Womendramaturg & producer
New York, New York USA

The production that changed my life was NICHOLAS NICKLEBY. I was 23 and I wept when it was over because I felt sure that I had seen the best show I would ever see. In the decades since I have seen thousands of shows, certainly some as great, but nothing has rivaled that experience. NN was a revelation. It articulated dramatically what was truly theatrical—the imagination of the actors, director and adaptors, and brought to life Peter Brook’s THE EMPTY STAGE. The brilliant acting challenged American naturalism with transformation, alienation and powerful emotion. The book, THE MAKING OF NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, details the process used to adapt the novel; the actors were directly involved. I think it made me fall in love with adaptation, dramaturgy, what we now call “devised theatre,” and a less hierarchical production process in which the director’s vision is not solely privileged, but the actors and all members of the team contribute substantially. Rehearsal is exceptionally improvisational and responsive, and the level of engagement is total. Of course this takes a lot of time, the lack of which, here,  is the single most damning aspect of our art.

My best escapes? Work – exercising my brain and imagination to create. That’s the best escape from feeling the inevitability of mortality. My best escape from the daily grind is reading. I have always loved books, in theory and in my bookcases; Kindle me not. Reading is almost as necessary to me as air. If I had to pick a favorite novel, I’d be lost. Perhaps I fell in love with NICHOLAS NICKLEBY and adaptation because they bring together my husband and my mistress, theatre and literature.

And dogs. So clear about their needs and their state of mind, so lavishly appreciative. I watch my dog prance down the street, happy from the simple pleasure of being out in the world.  Dogs remind me to have joy in simple things; to wag my tail.

What I dream of is seeing our goal of 50/50 in 2020 realized, and knowing I was part of the movement that made it happen.

Susan Jonas has held  leadership positions at several theatres, and worked as a:  producer; administrator; director; dramaturg and adaptor; in fundraising and grant-making; teaching in higher education; editing books and writing about theatre; curating many panels symposia.  Susan’s scholarly passion is the restoration of women to the history and canon of theatre.

Zoe (Corell) Kaplan

Zoe Kaplan, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenProfessor, actor, writer
New York, New York USA

The plays and productions that chiefly inspired my theatrical passion were GB Shaw’s Heartbreak House, where I played Hesione Hushabye when I was 19,and The Barretts of Wimpole Street where Ii played Elizabeth at 20. (Both were college productions, with such professionals as a young Barnard Hughes, doing the men.)

I played featured roles in Joe Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park in earlier days, and acted in several Off Broadway theatres – and Fringe Theaters in London – as well as the “Play of the Week” on TV, and a few other TV shows.

I still participate in readings, the latest being at Jonathan Bank’s Mint Theater in a short DH Lawrence drama.

I was fortunate in growing up in Manhattan in a very intellectual and artistic household, as well as in having an uncle who was the Music and Drama critic of a NY newspaper From the age of 4, I was taken to theater, opera, ballet and concerts – in press seats – till I was a late teenager. As I always say, I’m the only person I know who went from the best seats to the gods, instead of vice-versa, as in the normal course of events!

I still hope to have some success in playwriting. I translated Alfred de Musset’s Lorenzaccio from the French, and Harold Clurman, at the end of his life, liked it so much that he opted to direct it but died before this could happen. The Guthrie also was interested in producing it, but it never materialized. As a lyricist, I wrote the lyrics for a projected musical version of Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard – which I retitled The Trees of Silence. (Some famous composers were interested – George Kleinsinger, John Duffy – but considered it too operatic, being on the cusp of Sondheim’s capitalizing and popularizing of that form.)

The theater still beckons and remains a passion.

My biography of “Eleanor of Aquitaine”- a most dramatic lady-was published in the late 1980s.

Zoe (Corell) Kaplan, native New Yorker, attended Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London; has acted here in and in London. PhD in Dramatic Literature, History and Criticism from CUNY; taught for many years at CUNY, NYU and Marymount Manhattan College. Published poetry, short stories, lyrics, and working on plays.

Laura Caparrotti

Laura Caparrotti, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenArtistic Director of Kairos Italy Theater, actress, director, producer, critic, theater absolute lover.
Rome, Italy and New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration? Life, images, books, social/political issues: when something strikes me inside, it stays with me until I do something with it.

The ONE OF your favorite: book The Via Veneto papers by E. Flaiano / movie: Rocco and his brother by L. Visconti / line from a play: Men shut their doors against a setting sun – Shakespeare –
To dream, to laugh, to move on, to be free, on my own
To have a keen eye and a voice of strong tone,
Wear my hat awry as I prefer,
For no reason at all engage in combat or pen a verse!
To work without worry of glory or fortune
Such a voyage of which we dream to the moon!
Pen not a line that from myself departs
And comes from anywhere except straight from my heart,
Be satisfied with flowers, leaves, fruits of the land
If they’re in your own garden and grew by your hand!
And, if at all, you should triumph by chance,
Don’t give unto Cesar, take up your stance
Stand up for yourself, you merit, ‘ti’s thee
In short, the parasitic ivy I disdain to be
So even without the tree or the stone
I won’t get very high, perhaps, but alone! Cyrano de Bergerac (not great translation)

/cocktail: too many!

Artists/People who changed my theatrical life: the Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo who taught me how to breathe at theater, the actor Mario Carotenuto who taught me how to smell theater, the actress Lucilla Morlacchi who taught me how sacred theater is. And my parents, who made me experience theater since I was little.

Is there anything you still dream of doing? A lot! I want to keep bringing Italian theater to the States and to open the first Italian theater in New York. And I want to do theater all my life!

I feel most like myself when I …. Dance/Theater.

What is your best escape? Dancing

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you? I am an open book, able only to hide deep sadness. I guess it’s a survival instinct!

Laura Caparrotti is a director, actress, journalist, teacher, lecturer, consultant, dialect-coach, curator with an Italian accent. She studied and worked professionally for over ten years in Italy before relocating to NY where she founded KIT-Kairos Italy Theater, now the main Italian theater company in New York. And she can cook!

Alix Claps

Alix Claps, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenProduction Manager/Production Stage Manager/Entertainment Law Student
At this very moment, Matunuck, Rhode Island, PSMing FOREVER PLAID at Theatre By The Sea

What’s your favorite line from a play?
You could seriously pick almost any line from ARCADIA and I could claim it as favorite, but if I had to pick one: “We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it.”

What play or production changed your life?
I did a production of ASSASSINS in college, and the experience of that production, as much as the play itself, really showed me how magical and inspiring the rehearsal process can be. It isn’t something you suffer through to get to performances, it has magic of its own.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Calling the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

What is your best escape?
A good book.

Alix Claps is the Production Manager for New York University’s Program in Vocal Performance, and a student at Rutgers School of Law – Newark. She has worked extensively in New York, and regionally at Music Theatre of Wichita, Ogunquit Playhouse, Theater By The Sea and Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

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