Voice and the Mountain

Today was quite a day, in the scheme of things. I was invited to sit in on Micha Espinosa’s voice class at ASU, indeed, I was given a mat, a zafu and a ball and invited to join in, so I did. It was wonderful. Relaxing, invigorating, inspiring and revealing in equal measures.Then I was invited to lead a class. It was an honour to step in to help out, as the scheduled teacher was suffering from laryngitis.  This was an undergraduate class, first year students, still getting to grips with the basics of voice work.

Time and again, I found myself quoting June Bloom, rephrasing her words so as not to freak myself out!  The past few weeks I’ve been concentrating on promoting the narrative side of the play, June’s story, her relationship with her son, the challenge of dealing with the intrusive stranger. Today it was far more important to highlight June’s mission in life, which is to promote the value of the voice in performance, and to demonstrate by example how it contributes to the life of Shakespeare’s texts.

After lunch, Lauren picked me up and we set off to find Estrella Mountain Community College.  I was disappointed to discover that it is not actually up on the mountain, but I assume one of the mountains that form the backdrop to the college is indeed Estrella Mountain!

Our Phoenix director Angela arrived, Lauren and I changed into our cossies (that is Australian for ‘costumes’) and we did a dress run in the Plaza Gallery, the venue for our performance on Thursday. We are doing a slightly shorter version at Estrella, to fit in with the college timetable, but hopefully we shall revert to the full version for the Fringe performances.

We were pretty darned pleased with ourselves. The room is quite lovely, an octagon with a high ceiling and a fantastic acoustic. There are lots of opportunities to absolutely send the voice out ringing the rafters (metaphorically speaking – there are no actual rafters).  I’m looking forward to rediscovering our play in the company of students thinking they are attending a lecture…


Thunder’s Mouth Theatre arrives in Phoenix

Here I am at last, in Phoenix, Arizona, resting up from the journey from Brisbane in preparation for rehearsals for our independent, professional production: The Fall of June Bloom (or What You Will) – Dame June Bloom on tour!

Sunset, looking east.

Last night I was invited to a family reunion (the family of Micha Espinosa, my friend and colleague, and hostess here in Phoenix) at Scottsdale, just outside of Phoenix. We were treated to much warm hospitality, great food, wine and a fantastic sunset over the desert.

Today Micha took me to ASU to see the studio where we will be rehearsing in a couple of days time.  We begin working together on Wednesday, when Angela Giron (our local director), local actor Lauren Dykes and I will finally get to meet each other in person, and discover what it is like to work in the same room. Skype has been a great way to connect up online, but nothing beats actual physical presence to really get the sparks flying.

This is the first touring production for Thunder’s Mouth Theatre, and we are honoured to be included in the Phoenix Fringe Festival.

It looks like a terrific program, you will find the full schedule at the Phoenix Fringe website. And Micha tells me there is a lot more theatre going on in Phoenix than the Fringe over the next couple of weeks, and a lot of it is free.

I’m looking forward to meeting up with a whole lot of Phoenix theatre-makers while I am here.

Turn around. Yes, this was the other side of the sky.

Phoenix turns up the heat

Less than a month to go now, till Phoenix, Arizona gives itself up to two weeks of Fringe fabulousness.  In the meantime, here are some events to help you warm up for the adventure.

ArtSanity Art Detour Ash’s (unofficial) Fringe Fest Preview Review

Here at Thunder’s Mouth we have one more online rehearsal to go (using Skype), before I jump on a plane and head for Phoenix, via LA.  It will be such a joy to be in the same physical space.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the technology and I’m extremely grateful for it, but when the connection drops out every 5 minutes, or when the vision and sound quality leave a lot to be desired, it can be frustrating.

We are working on our promo material, in fact here’s a draft copy of our postcard.

June in Phoenix

I’m still not happy with it, looks a bit messy to me, so any suggestions from the design-wise out there would be most welcome. Leave a comment or drop me a line.