December 20, 2008

To the Audience:

Thank you so much for coming to Twelfth Night! It was a wonderful run, full of laughs and claps. We were so very proud of the production, and it was a pleasure and joy to share it with you. The audience brings the show alive, and you did just that.

Keep your ears open for more MBCT news.

A million thank yous. And one more.

December 11, 2008

December 10, 2008

It's here!

Opening Night is upon us!


December 2, 2008

the last stretch

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, Twelfth Night is in its last stretch, the ultimate chapter, the final moments. As we zoom into production, and we lose sleep over the late rehearsals, and we nitpick the play apart, I'm reminded of why I began this project in the first place...

... good old fashioned humor.

Seriously, this play is funny. Yes, Shakespeare could go on for a bit too long, and some of the characters seem a little arbitrary, and there are some antiquated words and long-winded speeches, but... really it's quite funny. Every night I find myself laughing at the same jokes. And mind you, I have now seen this play four times in the last month (not including this one). Every time, the same old jokes get me. I mean, this stuff is hilariously funny.

The challenge of this project was/is two-fold. One: to combine Commedia dell'Arte, British Pantomime, Americana, and Shakespeare. Now the Americana fell away, the Shakespeare was a given, we discovered the amazing technique of Zoologic Acting (which is just a fancy term for walking around like a wild animal on the hunt for innocent prey), and suddenly... well holy moly we have this really wonderful new theatrical style! I call it a Clowning Play, as after all it's a bunch of little tumbly clowns up on the stage running about, poking each other, making cheeky off-handed comments, and messing up one another's story-lines.

Two: to scale Shakespeare down so 5 women can play all the parts. In this case of Twelfth Night, I rewrote it for 9 characters (doing away with that silly Antonio and irksome Fabian, but preserving the over-looked and oft-neglected Sea Captain), adding all sorts of exits and entrances to get the actors on and off so their characters don't have that awkward moment of Hello, Friend, who is also played by me, how are you? Wait, let me run over here and take a new stance and talk in a different voice and be the other character with whom I am having a conversation. Wait wait, hang on there, I have to run over here now and be this guy, because doesn't he respond to what I just said? No, not yet, I have to cut you off, and then you sneeze, and then you respond. Hold it, I haven't gotten into place yet for this other character. Ok, go! But, well, that happened anyway, multiple times. And actually, it's quite hilarious. So we come full circle to the issue of HUMOR.

Humor: 'fluid or juice of an animal or plant'.

Ick. Well I guess when I laugh hard enough fluids or juices flow through and out me. Especially after a sip of milk or soda.

Good Humor: 'Sufficient or satisfactory for its purpose to be moist. Ample, excess, full of liquid.

Ew, that's more than ick, that's inappropriately explicate. But, well, like I said... with a glass of soda and a joke, anything can happen (and in either direction).

So, back to the root of this ramble, this project was started because I needed a good laugh, and I needed you to have a good laugh; and here we are, mere days from the technical rehearsals, and snippets of time from the dress rehearsal, and a little hop and a skip from Opening Night. OPENING NIGHT! Eleven months ago I sat down at the computer to maybe, probably, if I felt like it, rework a little Shakespeare, and now....

... now we're just a whistle from blast off! It's all in the name of humor, say I.

November 20, 2008


Tickets are officially on sale for Twelfth Night!

November 19, 2008

We SOUKED it up all right!

THANK YOU to everyone who came out last night to raise funds with us!

It was a cold, blustery night, the sort of mid-November night that sends a chill straight through to your bones. And after all those strange 60-some degree days we've had of late, it was a shock.

So thank you for trekking through the snow and braving the wind and fighting off the hail to atttend our humble get-together.

Well, okay, there wasn't any snow or wind or hail, but there was a really slow F train.


* thank you

November 11, 2008

a day in the PARK

On Sunday we went to Prospect Park for publicity photos. It was a beautiful, sunny, crisp Fall day; the light couldn't have been more perfect.

Early in the morning, we took a long walk through the park to meet the photographer.

Hair and make-up:

The professional photos came out wonderfully. Prospect Park provided the perfect romantic backdrop to our Commedia underwear costumes. Here are a few of the couples' shots:

Here is our most treasured photo, the ensemble:

October 31, 2008

SOUK it up!!!

Come on out and shake your groove thing in support of MBCT's upcoming production of Twelfth Night. The evening will feature a $15 AUCD wine, beer and sangria from 8-9PM, free appetizers, hot beats and of course all of the lovely ladies involved in the project. $10 donations will be taken at the door. So save the date and we will see you there!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
7:00pm - 10:00pm
La Souk
47 Avenue B
New York, NY

October 30, 2008

DANCE PARTY correction

the official date of the dance party is NOVEMBER 18th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 27, 2008


It's almost Halloween, and that makes me think about ghosts, goblins, witches, and zombies. And that makes me think about THINGS THAT SCARE ME. Here is my list:

* directing Shakespeare
* producing a play
* fundraising money
* putting imagination to stage

But you know, being many months into this project, it doesn't seem so scary anymore.


October 24, 2008

October 7, 2008

Making It Happen; a Recipe

1. have an idea
2. wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, be unable to go back to sleep, think think think
3. hunch over the computer, write out idea
4. talk about idea to whomever will listen
5. wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, be unable to go back to sleep, write write write
6. babble endlessly about idea to everyone, to yourself, to your dreams, to your wall
7. scoop up people who are interested, gather them together, convince them it's a go
8. just start. don't think too hard. just start.
9. realize you're penniless and plan a party to fundraise.
10. have party. fundraise.

Well, that's as far as I've gotten in the recipe so far. But. The party was a huge success: the food was delicious, the music was beautiful, the conversations were lively. Singer/songwriter Sam Brown played as 50-odd people drank and laughed and supported this huge, amazing, exciting project.

THANK YOU to everyone who came out to La Bottega last night!

September 29, 2008


Come support MBCT Theater's production of 12th Night and local artist Sam Brown Singer/Songwriter at South Cabana at La Bottega in the Maritime Hotel. Free food catered by La Bottega (Voted Best Italian food in NY by citysearch), great music and good times. This is a fundraiser to produce our show, $10 at the door, and anything more helps fund an exciting, original adaptiation of the classic 12th Night.

Monday October 6th 7-10pm
South Cabana at La Bottega, Maritime Hotel
on the corner of 9th and 16th

September 26, 2008

Welcome to Our New Home!

Come December, we will live in the Milagro Theater at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center.

September 23, 2008

Creating Characters

What is so thrilling about this ensemble of actors is their dedication to their work. Each and every one of them puts force a ton of energy into what they are doing in the very right now and here.

See how they work:

See how they worship:

See how they lecture:

See how they dream:

See how they laugh:

See how they argue:

See how they listen:

But mostly, see how they play:

September 10, 2008

As the actors ran about in the Weekend Workshop of Wonderment, I chased them about with a camera.

September 8, 2008


This weekend was the WEEKEND WORKSHOP of WONDERMENT. We studied various physical and vocal forms and shapes based on animals, Commedia dell'Arte stock characters, British Pantomime, and Americana text.

Amazing discoveries have been made about the unlimited potential of the body -- our bones and muscles are made to overcome pain and soreness if our minds can first get out of our way. Also, it's interesting to see how we perceive ourselves physically -- i.e. I move more like the Lover than the greedy Doctor, I naturally carry myself like a leopard, not a bison -- then to discover maybe the very opposite, or even something entirely different, is true. For instance, one actor did not relate to the miserly old man, thought she would have natural ease with the floaty and innocent heroine, but found true comfort and play inside the shape of the showy and boisterous captain! Another actor realized that moving like a gorilla was completely natural for her, but just as easily transitioned to a good fairy preaching morality and fairness.

As we continue our rehearsals and begin the investigate Shakespeare's text, I am thrilled to see how these very dedicated and flexible actors bring animals, stock characters, and Americana realism to iambic pentameter and gender-switching hilarities.

September 3, 2008

the reading

On Monday, August 18, we had an impromtu reading of 12th Night for Roundtable Ensemble. The audience was small, the day was hot, but we were excited to hear this play outloud and get up on our feet.

August 31, 2008


In addition to performing an amazing play, this 12th Night project is about the community -- bringing artists and audience together through classical theatre. Through an open discussion with the community, we're on an adventure to answer the following:

* Where do a modern audience and traditional text meet?
* Why is an all-female Shakespeare ensemble important (or IS it important)?
* How can we as performers tell the story with only our bodies and voices -- without relying on modern-day sets and technologies to tell the story for us?

We invite the community to pop into rehearsals and see what we're up to.

August 25, 2008


welcome to MBCT; Modern but Classical Theatre.

MBCT is currently producing a new adaptation of shakespeare's 12th NIGHT, or WHAT YOU WILL. 5 women play 9 characters in this highly athletic, tongue-in-cheek performance influenced by commedia dell'arte, british pantomime, and americana kitchen sink drama.