302.887.9300 director@bootless.org
In the Beginning, There Were Non-Profits

In the Beginning, There Were Non-Profits

With Bootless finally finding its home at St. Stephen’s this past year, it’s hard to remember that we’ve been an up and coming company for years now. We’ve floated around the Wilmington area seeking out venues high and low – with varying degrees of success – just to stay alive: to make sure that our art continues and thrives in the area. Today, even at this very moment, there are hundreds of newly-created, homeless companies floating around producing the pieces they want to see: only a fraction of those will survive past the one year mark, fewer still the five. In short, it’s terrifying that the second Google result for “starting a nonprofit theatre company” is “Please, don’t start a theatre company!” Talk about support. Not creating isn’t an option for thespians (or so the trope goes) – and undoubtedly another theatre company will crop up. They’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to show the world their awe inspiring production of A Doll’s House. This is said without any sort of sarcasm, cynicism, or annoyance. Their ideas are solidand most likely have been molded through heavy study of the craft. Why shouldn’t they have a chance to display their talents? Rather than watch them fall between the cracks: we’re here to help in any small way that we can. So how do you start a theatre company? 1. Set Up the Infrastructure Were you ever in a club, society, or that ilk that was poorly run? Bets are on that the leadership wasn’t great, if it was even established at all. Non-profit theaters need rules to...

Terminator, The Second: Some Assembly Required

Instructions were followed, missing parts were found, and allen wrenches were thrown across the room. You know what that means: opening night is here. Terminator, the Second time travels to the St. Stephen’s stage September 26 – October 5, combining the gritty 1991 action flick with the renowned Bard’s – that’s William Shakespeare for any new comers – lyrical prose. “When I first heard about William Shakespeare presents Terminator, the Second, I’m pretty sure my eyebrows shot up to the top of my forehead,” says Sean McGuire, the actor portraying John Connor.  “As someone who loves unusual, badass shows I couldn’t help but be intrigued. My curiosity was immediately piqued.” He didn’t go running away, screaming into the night after the initial pitch. This is always a good, if not rare, trait in an actor. But he has a point – Bootless has no fear when it comes to unique, original theater; those familiar with previous mash-ups (Not the Messiah…, Evil Dead: The Musical) won’t be disappointed with this brand of off-beat theater.  Terminator 2: Judgment Day junkies are not going to walk away missing their favorite 90s moments, though they may walk with iambic pentameter stuck in their ear. All the famous lines are there. Even the infamous “I’ll be back” receives an Elizabethan overhaul. Start speculating your best guess, no spoilers here. “If you’re a Terminator fan but you’re unsure about Shakespeare, don’t let it scare you off! The memorable lines from the movie are there—sometimes they’re obvious and sometimes they’re used more as subtext, but they’re there,” states Melissa Kearney, the actress tasked with playing Sarah...
Opera Bares It All

Opera Bares It All

When I say opera, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it an image of a busty woman in a Viking helmet? A corpulent tenor? Boobs? Maybe boobs aren’t part of the normal opera rep. Or, should I say, they aren’t part of what people conceive opera to be. Here’s the thing: so many people think opera is an art form reserved for the elderly – that it’s outdated, dying, or already in the grave. To the contrary though, I’m surprised how contemporary opera is and people just ignore it. In fact, the genre tends to encompass every monthly media trend that pops onto HBO. Not convinced? Let me elaborate. 1. Bare, Breasts, and Butts – Oh, My! From Game of Thrones to Outlander, TV is crawling with breasts (okay, maybe not the best turn of phrase). Opera isn’t so innocent either. Ever hear of The Dance of the Seven Veils? It’s a notorious piece in Richard Strauss’ opera, Salomé (yes, the biblical Salomé), where the title character performs a seductive dance in return for the decapitated head of John the Baptist. Okay, forget that last bit. Let me get to the sexy part. This dance was salacious at the time, and even now, because Salomé loses every scrap of her clothing. Oh baby. Performers consistently try to up the ante, baring their birthday suits to one opera house at a time. It’s practically impossible to see a performance of Salomé without seeing a stray breast sneak a cameo. 2. Did I Mention Sex? Without a doubt, the Casanova of the opera scene is Don...
Mechanical Mayhem

Mechanical Mayhem

As our production of Terminator, the Second draws ever closer, I find myself constantly thinking about cyborgs and robots. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t out of the ordinary: cyborgs are a recurring sci-fi (not Syfy) trope. One could even argue that they are the nuts and bolts of mechanized story telling. From Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot (not the Will Smith debauchery movie) to Alien to…well, the Terminator movies (!), cyborgs and robots have been stomping around causing mayhem. Huh, that’s odd. Aren’t they supposed to be, y’know, us? In Terminator, and the other sequential films, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s then rockin’ bod is a representation of what humans strive for – banging abs, tight ass, square jaw. Had he been human, he’d be the alpha in a sea of omegas. Perfect human. The key here? He isn’t human. Humans created their own apex. Wonderful. Awesome. Amaze-balls. But he’s kind of sorta trying to kill us. It’s a theme revisited in The Matrix: the machines are focused on killing humans who made them, blah, blah, blah, irony. We – being humans – made our ultimate, almost die, and then end up killing the new us. Why does this keep happening though? Why do the machines rebel? Why are we as terrified of technology a someone’s grandpa? What does this have to do with William Shakespeare? A lot. Technophobia, and the fear of progress, can tap into a great deal of human emotions – more importantly, it tackles an ongoing, human worry: hubris. We as a species flew too close to the sun and we fall to Earth only to land among...
Give My Regards to Braaaiiins…!

Give My Regards to Braaaiiins…!

Zombies have been a horror staple for decades. No wonder: Satre said is best when he said “Hell is other people.” Well, Hell gets a tad bit scarier when you add mindless flesh eating to the people mix. The zombie plague has experienced a resurrection in an odd place, though. Not a cemetery and not at the hands of Umbrella Corps. Oddly enough, the living dead have embedded themselves into musical theater. You heard me. Musical. Theater. Evil Dead: The Musical , the “first wave” of the Broadway zombie genre, enjoyed commercial success in Toronto, and even had a short stint Off-Broadway. The trend has only snowballed since then – spoofs, parodies, and serious adaptions have popped up across the nation. Producers can’t be brain dead (see what I did there?), they can obviously see the hordes of attendees flocking to these off-beat gore fests. But what about zombie musicals draws a crowd? What makes them the center of so many new musicals? 1. The media is Overflowing With Zombies (in the Best Way Possible) Name five movies or television shows, from the past 5-10 years, that have to do with zombies. Go ahead, I can wait. Mhmm. Shaun of the Dead. That’s a solid choice. Walking Dead? Yup, very popular. Whoa, okay slow down. Jesus, slow down! I can’t type that fast! You get my point? Media is saturated with the goo that makes ghouls go. By tapping into these fanbases, musicals are able to tap into pre-invested audiences. All the stuff you just told me you watched? I presume you like it. I presume you watch it...