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Interview Files: Rosanne DellAversano

Interview Files: Rosanne DellAversano

[Clearance Lvl: Zero Echo] [Subject: Rosanne DellAversano – Bootless Stageworks Artistic Director] [Interview]   Going off the title of the piece, how were you originally bitten by BUG? I like short title that give only the slightly inclination of the story. I’m more likely to read scripts with short titles that leave something to the imagination than a title that tells it all. I found BUG before Tracy Letts’ name became widely known with August: Osage County. That’s another one of my “things,” presenting lesser known works of playwrights that have become mainstream for another work. I’ll tackle this strange affinity with oddball plays with Durang’s Titanic. No, not the musical or movie. Something all entirely different but with the same name.   What do you think is the most challenging part of this piece for you and how have you overcome it? On the flipside, what parts are you connecting with the most? As with most theater, BUG has many challenges; the hardest of which is making sure that the characters are relatable and not over-exaggerated. What happens to Agnes and Peter is real. It can, or has, happened to people, in various degrees, for many years. I want the audience to take the journey with Agnes and Peter, see it through their eyes. You may agree with Peter, you may feel sympathetic toward Agnes, or, you may just feel a little freaked out by what just happened. My concern isn’t whether the audience likes or dislikes the characters, I simply want them to feel something about the experience.   [At the point subject becomes terse] [Threatened with...
Case Files: Bug

Case Files: Bug

Bootless, never being one to shy away from pieces that tweak the nerves of today’s hot topics, saw an opportunity in Tracy Letts’ Bug.  Its discussions of government propaganda and interference, while poignant 20 years, highlights more recent, recurring, concerns in the new millennium. Set in a seedy Oklahoma City motel room, the play centers on the meeting between Agnes, a divorced waitress with a fondness for cocaine and isolation, and Peter, a soft-spoken, possibly AWOL, Gulf War drifter. Besides avoiding Agnes’ physically abusive, ex-con ex-husband, the pair has to deal with a hidden bug infestation problem that has them dealing with scathing welts and festering scores. As this riveting thriller heads towards a fever pitch, their growing relationship blossoms – along with the couples’ paranoia of the war in Iraq, the Oklahoma City bombing, kidnappings, hostages, cult suicides, and the secret shadow government performing experiments on soldiers. While the show itself tackles more world encompassing intricacies, the performers are tasked with viewing the minutiae: grasping the characters and honing an understanding of the tangled-twine-ball world they inhabit. Today our aim to start data mining Heather Ferrel and Dave Hastings – both of which have graciously volunteered to be interviewed/investigated by the FBI. “[It’s hard] changing from a confident Heather Ferrel to a broken, lonely woman – a woman who’s basically a function of the people around her,” states Heather Ferrel, speaking about her experience as the slowly corrupted Agnes. “Loneliness and low self-esteem are powerful states to manipulate. You never know what kind of loss just might push you over the edge – especially in the presence of an...
PSA: The Theater Bug

PSA: The Theater Bug

ALERT ALERT ALERT This is not a test of the emergency broadcast system. OUTBREAK OUTBREAK OUTBREAK Have any of your friends, family, or co-workers begun to display the following symptoms: Starting conversations in Elizabethan English, often with no apparent partner Moving in a dance-like motion while counting to the number eight Having intense urges to remodel a living room every three weeks Unavailable for social interaction on a nightly basis If so, they may be suffering from a severe case of Insectum Theatrum – more commonly referred to as the Theatre Bug. Recent statistics list the infection rate in the United States alone at a staggering 14% – while many cases go undocumented. While the average American is likely to catch a mild case of IT in their early years, most are immune to its effects by puberty: citing sports and poor arts funding as major deterrents. Major adult cases are still widely recorded throughout the country, though, with many sufferers being placed into quarantine in major cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. After succumbing to the ailment, treatment varies depending on the severity of the infection. Children are more susceptible to the contagion, causing many more treatment options to be geared towards early adolescents. Many buildings within a community offer weekly courses to manage childhood manifestations of the disease. More importantly, these courses address specific aspects (such as dancing, memorization, etc.) in an effort to control potential outbreaks. Parents are encouraged to enroll infected children in a community group at the earliest chance. If these symptoms persist into early adulthood,...

Swarmed with Phobias

Though our production of Bug by Tracy Letts might not have creepy crawlies of the six-legged variety milling about the stage, it certainly has its share of paranoia inducing fears present. Instead of getting all wound up and not leaving the house for several days (blinds drawn, of course), check out these – inconvenient – phobias that constantly plague the theater world. Fear of Money (Chrometophobia) Theaters are constantly asking for donations: whether to pay for their scenery, production rights, or to stop the actors from being forced to eat their shoes. Everyone knows – or Hollywood assumes – that the theater world is a lucrative business. So why are all of these new theaters struggling? Why did we write an article on the importance of capital for a non-profit theater? Obviously, the entire business is swarming with chrometophobia: no one can hold on to money long enough to mount the next production for fear of the oh-so-useful green stuff. I mean, do you know where that money’s been? Fear of Bright Lights (Photophobia) “Find your light” is a common note for any actor. This phobia might explain why actors constantly stand ever so slightly out of the perfectly cued light. Ever lose an actor as they drift into the only dark spot on the stage? Have no fear, they’re only giving their anxious nerves a moments reprieve. Let’s be honest, though, that limelight triggers instinctual terror. Fear of Actual Theaters (Theatrophobia) To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be late is to be terrified of your rehearsal space....
On the Second Day, There Was Funding

On the Second Day, There Was Funding

Against the odds, and better judgment, you have gone ahead and created your very own nonprofit theater. Congratulations are in order – champagne and cake all around! What? Oh dear. So sorry, the cake and champagne was the entire budget. Starting your organization can feel like the hardest part – and if you followed our previous advice, you’ve by-passed some unnecessary headaches. The fight has just begun: now’s the time to start clawing your way to ensure your survival. That means money. Dinero. Moolah. Stages need to be lit, sounds heard, and the actors fed (oh dear lord, please feed the actors). All kidding aside, it’s easy to blow a budget on a few essentials, leaving a budget stripped of its backbone and a fledgling company high and dry. Time to tuck in and live lean, all the while producing the art you set out to do. Albeit, sometimes the two don’t necessarily align, here are our tips to help your goals resemble a venn diagram, and less like the North and South Poles. Volunteers Are Your Best Friend Each theater piece has essentials. Most of these tasks require trained professionals – or at least someone who won’t get electrocuted on a daily basis. That being said, there are still a great number of folks who want to become involved with the arts (and maybe get some experience of their own). A symbiotic volunteer relationship can be the life blood of a thriving theater. While keeping costs to a minimum in places like box office, ushering, and set building, nonprofit theaters can also provide learning spaces for young arts professionals...