Bootless Stageworks https://www.bootless.org Unlace Convention Adult contemporary theater, live music, comedy and more! Wed, 11 Jan 2017 02:25:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Overlooked Stories: Body & Sold at Bootless Stageworks https://www.bootless.org/overlooked-stories-body-sold-at-bootless-stageworks/ Wed, 11 Jan 2017 02:25:55 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1759 Some American societal issues benefit from being out in the spotlight. They might receive aid, political assistance, or public support thanks to this status. Yet, other, marginalized, stories may be less fortunate. Enter Bootless Stageworks’ production of Body & Sold, a play written by Deborah Lake Fortson, which highlights, underscores, and shouts-from-the-rooftops the struggles and trauma faced by children and teens who have been forced into commercial sex trafficking. Using dialogue pulled directly from interviews with survivors, Fortson demonstrates the hard truth: that these stories are happening in America.

Body & Sold collected the stories of several survivors who recount the ordeals they experienced as part of the sex trafficking industry. Many of the narratives shown in this work begin where you’d expect human trafficking would: sexual abuse from a family member, LGBTQ, challenged home life, or some other form of trauma. What this work does is also highlight the unpredictable starting circumstances, like the average runaway or abused significant other. Just think, over 100,000 young Americans run away from home every year.  Within 48 hours of being on the street these teens may be approached by a man posing as a friend, offering food, shelter, and love.  Most of the time, he will turn out to be a pimp and sell the young person for commercial sex.

“It made me think about how easily this could have happened to me,” says Alicia Alaimo, who portrays Dora in the production. “In college, I would walk to my apartment by myself at night all the time. Someone could have easily lured me away and anything could have happened.” While this might be a terrifying concept, it’s important to push off the “this could never happen to me” shroud and begin a discussion about the events happening in your own backyard. “I think the thing that surprised me the most was that this stuff actually happens in real life,” continues Alaimo, speaking about her first time reading through the script. “I see it happening in movies all the time – you get numb and don’t think about it. I know these are very real issues, but since nothing like this directly effects my life, I just didn’t think about it that way.” This is one of the major points the production wants to drive home to audiences: that a conversation needs to start. This play continues, unchecked, until people begin to speak out about these atrocities.

Which is exactly what the actors and production staff at Bootless Stageworks are doing.

More than that, though, the performance also tackles the question of what comes escaping the sex industry. What happens to the men and women who “rejoin” society? Unfortunately, these survivors are often pushed to the fringes of a community because of their previous taboo struggles. They often go around blamed for their conditions – and media depictions only worsen the situation at times. “I think that Body & Sold humanizes sex workers and their struggles to an audience which might not have otherwise encountered such portrayals,” says Kirtsten Valania, who plays the spirited Jeanette in the production. “I think that many people think of human trafficking as a faraway problem that happens other places. I think that Body & Sold brings this issue to the forefront. This humanization could serve to foster empathy for the all-too-real counterparts to our characters.”

It’s hard to not be empathetic when statistics are presented alongside these haunting stories. It’s difficult to imagine these men and women don’t need support when 94% of women who are raped experience post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s painful to contemplate that 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide – and 13% act on those urges. Those portrayed in Body & Sold are as real as their stories – and they’re everywhere. Though the piece is not an interactive theatrical work, it certainly aims to engage its audience members. “I want the audience to walk away from this performance more informed than they walked in,” continues Valania. “I want them to be able to use the experiences that we perform to be able to help others that they encounter in their lives.”

When the lights dim, hopefully these stories will be a call to action for many in attendance. This cause deserves to be at the forefront of America’s mind.

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Historical Context & Contemporary Issues: Spring Awakening at Bootless Stageworks https://www.bootless.org/historical-context-contemporary-issues-spring-awakening-at-bootless-stageworks/ Tue, 04 Oct 2016 12:00:26 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1712 In a short period of time, Broadway has seen the premier and revival of the important piece of theatre known as Spring Awakening – and now it’s coming to Bootless Stageworks. The show follows pubescent teenagers as they begin to question what it means to be an adult: handling subjects such as sexual abuse, homosexual relationships, suicide, and many others. For this challenging piece of theatre, Bootless Stageworks has brought in Justin Walsh, along with several new artists, to work through the demanding script and score

Spring Awakening is a show with its feet planted firmly in historical context and contemporary issues. Based on a play of the same name written in 1890, it’s amazing to see how the issues present in the 19th century have transferred to the new millennium: while costumes and dialect of the characters firmly root this piece in its time period, the struggles undergone are current hot-button subjects of debate. Directors, including Walsh, have constantly been finding new parts of the text to highlight since the musical’s debut in 2006. Issues have vanished from the public sphere only to resurface and be incorporated into the musical’s consciousness: tackling topics from blossoming sexuality to the politics surrounding the deaf community and more.

Walsh, in Bootless’s upcoming production of Spring Awakening, aims to bring the issues of communication, oppression, and xenophobia to the forefront – making them accessible for audiences to engage with. “I love dark shows,” says Walsh, as the male cast begins to drill Latin in the background with the music director, James Fuerst. “I always say with dark shows – I approach them by trying to make the things that are abysmally-dark lighter and the things on the lighter side, darker. For me, this balances out the audience’s perception of ‘Whoa, this is too much,’ making it more accessible to everyone. There are moments in this show we go darker than any other production I have, personally, ever seen. Usually these are moments that are treated as throw-aways, are glossed over, or treated minimalistically. We are hands-on and ripping people’s hearts out with certain numbers.”

Rehearsal goes on, with the six men asking questions about diction by the piano. Justin stops for a minute to get a thumbs up from Fuerst before returning. “This show is about surviving the confusion that is life,” the Latin recitation has stopped at this point, underscoring Walsh’s sentiment. “The show is about adolescence, but that experience falls under the gamut of confusion we face from birth to death. This show is about not knowing the answers, and making the right – or wrong – choices as we try to guide ourselves through it.”

Spring Awakening begins previews October 7 and runs October 14-22. This production promises to be one that implicitly asks audiences to interconnect and question its subject matter – as well as seek change after leaving the theater.

 

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The Doctor Will See You Now https://www.bootless.org/the-doctor-will-see-you-now/ Tue, 01 Mar 2016 02:21:35 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1617 While Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis can be toted as visionaries of their age, the two barely had a fleeting chance to meet during their respective primes. With little time to debate, two of the greatest philosophical minds  get their delayed chance at discourse this coming weekend at Bootless Stageworks.

Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst, Dr. Sigmund Freud, and a young, rising Oxford Don, C.S. Lewis, to Frued’s home in London eve of World War II. Freud and Lewis clash about love, sex, the existence of God, and the meaning of life, just weeks before Freud took his own life.

Jim Ludovici, who portrays Freud, is privy to an intimate look in the life of the father of psycho-analysis, having earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and a masters in family therapy. His education acts as a firm foundation for the demanding role—one the presented a new and interesting challenges for the veteran of over 80 stage productions.

“When Rosanne [DellAversano] first mentioned that she was thinking of using me for this play, I wasn’t sure which character she had in mind,” states Ludovici.  “I am almost exactly half-way in age between the historical Freud and Lewis in 1939, actually a couple years closer to Lewis’s age. I had never played a significantly older character. Much of my work for this show has involved embodying a physically older, terminally ill man—albeit one who is still mentally as sharp as ever.”

But what of the men? Especially at this time in their careers. Set in 1939, Lewis was beginning to enter the prime era of his writing. It would still be a decade until the world of Narnia would be published, but the man was not hesitant to get manuscript after manuscript out to the public. If Lewis was at the beginning of a sunrise, Freud was most certainly at his sunset: Freud’s oral cancer had reached a critical point in September of 1939, contributing to his choice to commit assisted suicide. Freud’s Last Session presents an odd waxing and waning motif as one man hands off the mantel to the next.

“[The play] focuses on the dramatic conflict between the men of different generations, the latent father-son conflict and reconciliation” Ludovici continues. “At the end of the day, what is most poignant for me is the loving struggle with the young professor, and the loving leave taking. As Lewis leaves at the end of the play, walking out in the hell of WW II, I can only hope for him survival and perhaps even happiness, and the only kind of immortality any of us has: that his actions and ideas leaves the world a better place: a father’s wish for his progeny.”

The figurative changing of the philosophical guards continues this weekend at Bootless Stageworks as the two leading minds of their century grapple with the pressing matters lurking right outside their windows in WWII: life, death, and all the comes after.

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An Intimate Re-staging of “The Light in the Piazza” https://www.bootless.org/an-intimate-re-staging-of-the-light-in-the-piazza/ Tue, 27 Oct 2015 03:11:08 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1591 With Bootless’s 2015-2016 season well underway, the focus shifts from a galaxy far, far away to a more understated setting that utilizes the black box feel of our new home at St. Stephen’s Church.

On a summer vacation, Margaret Johnson and her daughter, Clara, enjoy touring the Tuscan countryside. One day while sightseeing, Clara’s hat mystically lands at the feet of Fabrizio Naccarelli, a handsome Florentine. This brief episode, charged with coincidence and fate, sparks an immediate and intense romance between the two young lovers. With this current production, the entire musical is being re-staged in a chamber opera format, providing patrons a more intimate realization of the, now classic, characters. The dynamic shift in the style also persists in the characters, with Margaret’s becoming the focus of the drma, and her own trials and tribulations regarding her daughter’s disability, coming more sharply into focus.

“There has to be a child-like fragility and sense about her,” says Kimberly Christie who is performing as Clara, “but still have qualities of a maturing woman. Though she is stunted, she is still very perceptive of the world around her, even if she can’t understand everything, and she is still capable of desire, passion and love. The doctors said that she would have the mind of a child for the rest of her life, but maybe she has grown up more than Margaret gives her credit for. My challenge will be finding a balance between child and woman, which is where Clara exists.”

The time frame of the piece will also undergo some reimagining: the events of Clara and Fabrizio now take place in the more recent 1980s as opposed to the 1950s. Along with minimal set pieces, a reduced choral ensemble, and the five-piece orchestra, the production aims to show the bare, emotional bones at the core of The Light in the Piazza.

“I think this approach shifts the focus of the story away from the plot and toward the underlying themes that arise from the interactions and relationships among the characters,” says Paul Carujo, playing the object of Clara’s affection, Fabrizio. “For me this makes the piece seem more abstract and open to interpretation.”

The book and score are continually being reassessed and redeveloped as the topic of mental illness continues to remain at the forefront of contemporary discussion, keeping this piece relevant in the musical canon since its debut in 2005. With the heart of this piece so clearly on display, it will be hard to miss the beauty and wonder in Piazza.

 

Friday, November 6 @ 8:00pm – PREVIEW SHOW

Saturday, November 7 @ 8:00pm – PREVIEW SHOW

Friday, November 13 @ 8:00pm – OPENING NIGHT

Saturday, November 14 @ 8:00pm

Sunday, November 15 @ 3:00pm

Thursday, November 19 @ 7:30pm

Friday, November 20 @ 8:00pm

Saturday, November 21 @ 8:00pm

 

Tickets:  $22 Online  /  $25 At-The-Door

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In a Galaxy in Wilmington… https://www.bootless.org/in-a-galaxy-in-wilmington/ Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:27:58 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1573 12004972_992738814117737_5975077960014435829_nNot so long ago, in a theater five minutes away, the first production of Star Wars: a New Musical Hope made its debut into the Wilmington theater scene. The galaxy might have relocated to St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, but the family friendly thrills and spills of the first go-around of the unofficial-parody musical have only grown to Jabba the Hut like proportions since its premiere in 2012.

Returning this time around are Shaun Yates and Ryan Mulholland in their roles of Obi-wan Kenobi and Han Solo. The familiar characters get a wacky spin for the satirical performance.

“I’m really enjoying working with the returning crowd. It’s a bit of a reunion for most of us. The new cast members bring an exciting fresh energy to the show and it gives us an opportunity to breathe new life into this work,” states Mulholland. “New songs, new choreography, new scenery and actors… this is an entirely new show. Even R2-D2 is new! The heart of the show remains the same, but fans can look forward to seeing an updated version with new characters and situations.”

Fans of the Star Wars trilogy needn’t look too far for their favorite characters: Luke, Leia, Vader, and the whole motley crew are present in all their musical glory. Those new to the production can look forward to hearing the iconic lines popularized by the original films, as well as the original narrative they fell in love with. But, that’s where the similarities end.

“I am trying to draw as much of the basics of Obi-Wan as I can—some of his character aspects remain in their purest form. He is truly a good person and cares about his companions, but this is a comedy spoof, so he is also kind of a crazy old man,” says Yates on the remounting of his role as iconic master Jedi, Obi-wan. “I am definitely making him a bit campier this time around. Last time I took the character much more seriously. This time Obi-Wan will be playing it a bit more fast and loose.”

Star Wars: a New Musical Hope is a comedy event appropriate for all ages (despite Obi-wan being “fast and loose”). Stay post show for photo opportunities with the cast, crew, and droids. There are six chances to see this intergalactic performance, so don’t miss it before it disappears into a galaxy far, far away.

 

Know Your Actors Are you a Jedi or a Sith?

Yates: I’m still waiting for my application to the Jedi academy.

Muholland: I’m a Jedi for sure. In real life, I teach basic skills classes to elementary school children and am an educational counselor… so, I guess you could say I spend my days teaching kids to use the force.

 

Friday, October 9 @ 8:00pm

Saturday, October 10 @ 8:00pm

Sunday, October 11 @ 3:00pm

Thursday, October 15 @ 7:30pm

Friday, October 16 @ 8:00pm

Saturday, October 17 @ 8:00pm

 

 Tickets:  $15 online (All Ages)   /  $18 At-The-Door (All Ages)

 

 The show runs approximately 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission.

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Know Your Deadite (Pt. 2) https://www.bootless.org/know-your-deadite-pt-2/ Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:55:45 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1377 ed3The Girlfriend

Seemingly harmless at first, the Girlfriend can be one of the most dangerous Deadites you can encounter. In life, these monstrosities can be your strongest ally: loyal, clear-thinkers with a good eye for an escape plan. If these creatures aren’t spouting off how they want to bathe in your hot, bubbling blood, they’re a nice asset to have around.

While their physical prowess and agility are nothing to trifle with, personal connections to these horrendous demons from hell are usually a survivor’s downfall. Probably the smartest of the Deadites, Girlfriends are known to tug on the heartstrings of unsuspecting victims to manipulate them into doing their bidding – before biting into their flesh.

How To Take Them Down

No lies, these Deadites might be the end of you. To make sure you have a fighting chance, you’re going to need to keep your wits about you. No mad fits here! Weapons are always a bonus. REMEMBER! Girlfriends are usually close contact fighters – they’ve gotten in close before, they’ll do it again – making melee weapons a prime choice.

Of course, a chainsaw is perfect for any occasion.

 

The Hillbilly

Do NOT rely on these demon spawn. Often enough, survival teams will have at least on Hillybilly among them. They often adhere themselves to groups by providing keen knowledge of local geography, weapons handling, and can carry a tune 9 times out 10. Tempting as these traits may seem, the demons of the overall wearing variety are prone to dissent, and have sent more than one group prematurely to their doom.

Hillbillies have brute force on their side, but no brains. Much as in life, these Deadites rely on the pack to round up victims, before coming in and finishing them off. Since their human counterparts are usually the last of your group to fall, they will have access to large Deadite “herds” the minute they’re turned.

How To Take Them Down

As mentioned above, Hillbillies rely on their short game in order to take down their victims. Opt for long range weapons, such as the twelve-gauge, double-barreled Remington (Retail, $109.95). Not only does this reduce your chances of death by Deadite, it also minimizes chances of you being turned into one of those undead monsters.

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Know Your Deadite (Pt. 1) https://www.bootless.org/know-your-deadite-pt-1/ Mon, 22 Jun 2015 19:14:57 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1370 ed3Prepare. Defend. Survive.

When tackling Candarian Daemon – colloquially known as a “Deadite” – it’s a smart idea to know what you’re up against. Not all demons come at you in the same way: we here at Bootless Stageworks have narrowed down our classifications to these basic types to better ensure the species’ survival.

The Slut

 Not the brightest bulb in the Home Depot, this Deadite is easy pickings. Identifying a Slut, pre-transformation, can be difficult, but most common occurrences stem from bars, dance clubs, and your best friend’s bedroom. Key visuals tend to be neon colors, exposed midriff, and tattoos on the lower back. While highly visible at night, most camouflage in sweatpants and shirts during daylight hours.

Notorious for being a stage-5 clinger while alive, the Slut mimics this pattern in death – often times hunting down her last partner before engaging in a killing spree. Due to their impressively high heels, most can never achieve more than a slow shamble.

How to Take Them Down

Give them weapons. No. Seriously. Sluts will, nine times out of ten, take care of themselves. Give them your guns, your machetes, your flame throwers – and let them take care of the rest. You’ll have one dead Deadite in no time.

 

The Bit Part Demon

Despite hearsay to the contrary, these Deadites do exist! Though rarely seen (and never heard), Bit Part Demons tend to be “filler,” often time compromising 80% of Deadite flocks. They’re one hit wonders that go down easy, often with a single shot, acting as shields for the more powerful members of the group.

Bit Parts, pre-rigor mortis, are in abundance. Usually male, their human counterparts tend to fall into mild mannered jobs that often require them to be subjected to grade-school bullying under the guise of office banter.  They’re Steve in Accounting, Paul down the hall, or George who always has tuna salad for lunch.

Keep on the lookout for sweater vests and khakis in your peripherals at all times.

How to Take Them Down

Calm, frank discussion will definitely slow them down. Firsthand accounts also indicate a soothing cup of chamomile can have a similar effect, but this is still disputed by many in the scientific community. While in this mellow state, Bit Parts are susceptible to most forms of weaponry. And, as always, verbal abuse.

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Your Move – Chess, April 17 & 18 https://www.bootless.org/your-move-chess-april-17-18/ Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:31:10 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1285 Chess webCombining the rolling tunes of ABBA, Cold War tensions, a board game, and an emerging-artist theater sounds odd, even by musical standards. No, this is not some post-modern retooling of Mamma Mia!, but Bootless’ newest production, Chess.

Chess, presented in concert format, tells the fictional story of a romantic triangle between American Chess Grandmaster, Freddie Trumper, Soviet Chess Grandmaster, Anatoly Sergievsky, and Florence Vassy, a woman who manages one and falls in love with another. Underlying these romantic tensions, a more political game is being played between the American and Russian representatives. In a time tinged red, these characters fight for their countries, and their own attempts at happiness.

“I have a weird history with Chess,” starts Justin Walsh, the Arbiter for the grandmaster faceoff.  “I first heard about Chess when I was 15 and massively into 80’s rock musicals.  I didn’t really give it a chance, and the uber-electronic, ABBA-fueled sound of the original just never did it for me.  I still have that copy…somewhere.”

Many audience goers may know ABBA either through their love of 80s music (and there is no shame in that), or their other brief Broadway interlude with Mamma Mia! What most are unaware of is Tim Rice’s involvement in the venture. Best known for productions such as Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar, the lyricist knows his way around his 80s tunes. He levels out the synth with speech like patterns mimicked by principles and chorus alike.

“Flash forward to the new concert version,” continues Walsh, “and I was like ‘Oh…right, Chess!  I love that show,’ even though I had never really listened.  The day it was released I bought the DVD and CD, and never watched or listened past the first ten minutes.  That being said, I have now finished both – and it is truly one of the best scores I’ve ever heard.  It took me a decade and a half, but I can now check ‘loving Chess’ off my list.”

Great music. Fantastic. But all of that can be achieved by just purchasing an album. What sets Chess apart – what makes this production, which is essentially about a board game (glorified checkers?), the cult classic it is today?

“On the surface, not many people may see a connection to the show.  It’s a cold war piece that focuses on chess. On the other hand, there are a lot of relatable themes in the piece:  each character has some strong motivations that I think we all struggle with throughout our lives,” answers Michael Popovsky, the production’s Russian Grandmaster, Anatoly. “[Anatoly] comes off as very selfish throughout the show, but I think he’s spent a lot of time serving other masters, being a national icon and being manipulated by the press and managers, and he’s trying to make decisions to find his own happiness again.  At times, I do find myself trying to please everyone else first and that can lead to other problems.  Unfortunately, the way Anatoly handles his situation tends to hurt people in the process.”

Chess, on a high level, can get seemingly bogged down with political intrigue. Communism is merely a red herring for the deeper, human, emotions toiling under the surface. The featured orchestra, led by musical director James W. Fuerst, highlights the already frank, and honest, lyrics: everything from heartstring-pulling rock ballads to full choral hymns make an appearance. Speaking of the chorus, the 12 member team heightens the drama – and the stakes – by fleshing out countrymen, spectators, and media-vultures circling the all or nothing game.

Chess is one for the books. Not to be missed. An anthem that must be heard, that continues to resound in this time as much as it did in 1986.

For tickets, click here.

TWO NIGHTS ONLY!
April 17, 2015 @ 8:00 pm
April 18, 2015 @ 8:00 pm
TICKETS:  $25 online  /  $30 at-the-door

Chess in Concert is presented as Bootless’ Annual Artist Fundraiser. All profits from this event directly support our Artist Fund.

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A Word From Our Artistic Director – Rosanne DellAversano https://www.bootless.org/a-word-from-our-artistic-director-rosanne-dellaversano/ Fri, 10 Apr 2015 01:08:13 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1275 bootlogonewSome people consider me mean when I say, “Enough with the kids and everything being about kids.  Who will champion for adults wanting to become artists?”  Don’t get me wrong, I like kids. I have one of my own. All I’m saying is, I find it discouraging to see such a disproportionate amount of funding poured into schools for art while emerging artists — the kids of yesterday who were the recipients of those same art programs that ignited the artistic spark  — are left out in the cold. Here’s what I see.

Little Mary and her classmates are given the gift of engaging in the arts either through a class trip to a local theater, or a visiting artist completing a demonstration, or enjoying music class once a week. After one of those engagements, Little Mary thinks, “I want to be an actor” and she means it. Turns out, Little Mary has some talent.

Little Mary works hard throughout her school years. Not only does she attend her regular school but, as she gets older, she attends acting classes, voice lessons, and possibly dance lessons. For some lucky Little Marys, these lessons are at low cost or even free because of arts funding for kids. For most, Mom & Dad have to spend a small fortune. (But hey, Mom & Dad also pay for Little Jonny to become an Olympic swimmer.) Little Mary graduates high school after being the lead in all of her school’s theater productions and performing with a few community theater groups. Mary, as she is now known, heads off to college as a theater major. Four years go by, and Mary has a degree. She quickly sets out to enter the job market in which she has earned her degree. Mary’s friend, Susan, has a degree, too. It’s in Liberal Studies because Susan couldn’t decide what she wanted to be when she grew up. Mary lands her first professional “gig.” So does Susan. Mary is part of the ensemble in a new musical and it pays $500 for her total service which lasts about eight weeks needing her to log approximately 90 hours of in-theater work time, 16 hours of lesson (acting/singing/dance training) time, and 14 hours of at-home practice time. Susan landed a holiday sales clerk position paying $9.00 an hour, 20 hours per week and lasting eight weeks. Do you see the problem?  Let me clarify: Susan working 20 hours per week for 8 weeks at $9.00/hr makes $1,440 while Mary works 15 hours per week for 8 weeks for $500, or about $4.17 an hour. While Susan is assisting mature ladies in finding a complimentary scarf for their new coat, Mary is participating in repeated, physically demanding endeavors to provide enthrallingly beautiful entertainment to you.

How many kids do you think would set a goal of becoming an actor if they knew they were going to work their butts off, day in and day out, to be paid a measly $4.17 an hour?

What society essentially does is lure kids into dreaming of becoming artists and, when they do, underhandedly demonstrate that it was a stupid career choice.  Sure, one in million go on to reach the heights of stardom while packing away big, fat paychecks for singing, Let it Go, or playing a spy in the next Mission Impossible movie. Sadly, most artists, especially emerging artists, hold one or two side jobs while also working on two or three shows at a time, without even coming close to being able to afford the basic needs – like food.

This is WRONG!  Oh, so terribly, WRONG!  And, Kevin Spacey agrees with me.  Mr. Spacey recognized the needs of emerging artists and started a foundation to address those needs. The Kevin Spacey Foundation aims to train, support and mentor emerging artists in the performing arts and film. Through grants, KSF enables emerging talent in the performing arts (drama, dance, music and film), the art practitioners of the future, to realize exciting, innovative creative ideas. The KSF Scholarships give anyone wanting to attain a higher education in the arts the chance to attend partnered universities via financial support and exceptional learning experiences.

But, why only Kevin Spacey?   Why don’t federal, state and local governments, as well as art organizations, funders and supporters see (and meet, or at the very least, partially meet) the needs of Emerging Artists?

I’m am so very happy that I, as Executive and Producing Artistic Director of Bootless Stageworks, can be a champion for Emerging Artists.  Bootless operates on a shoestring budget (<$35k annually). We receive a small grant (<$5k) from the State’s Art Council and no corporate funding.  Why?  Because we’re not for the kiddies.  Our ability to pay our artists comes from ticket sales and flat out begging (or, as we call it, donor development). We don’t pay our artists anywhere near what they are truly worth. I’ve set a goal – to raise enough money so that Bootless can pay Emerging Artists a scale wage each and every time they work in our theater. Reaching this goal will take time, and I may become frustrated but, I will not give up.  Emerging Artists are counting on me (and Kevin Spacey).

I ask everyone reading this to take a moment to think about what it means to be successful in reaching a goal. Reaching a goal requires various types of support from others. Emerging Artist deserve our support. Emerging Artists are just as important to our future as the kiddies.  My generation has a duty.  After all, we ignited the spark. Don’t put the fire out. Let it burn bright for all to see.

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Interrogation Files: Geremy Webne-Behrman https://www.bootless.org/interrogation-files-geremy-webne-behrman/ Thu, 12 Mar 2015 23:38:01 +0000 http://www.bootless.org/?p=1269 master smaller“I’m convinced that my entire life is a TV show. But unlike Truman I’m okay with this. The writers of my life give me great material,” says Geremy Webne-Behrman. Shooing the camera crew further out of sight, we proceed with the interrogation.

Webne-Behrman has the challenging task of portraying Peter, the AWOL army deserter and spinner of conspiracies, in Bootless Stageworks most recent production of BUG. While Peter is initially depicted as soft spoken, perhaps even suffering intense bouts of PTSD, it all gets…well, buggy. Think government testing, illicit bombings, and information usually left for conspiracy theorist.

If you haven’t heard about this most recent production, despite its glowing (radiating?) reviews, you’re obviously not paying attention to your government mandated internet-caches.

This will be rectified shortly.

“Any play where the audience can empathize with the people on stage is important,” continues Geremy, speaking on the plays timeliness. “In this case Peter goes to drastic measures to make himself feel safe, and even loved. Real people experience the displacement and the psychosis that Peter and Agnes go through, and worse.”

For a man who started as the Ishmaelite in Joseph… – a character with only one line! – Webne-Behrman has certainly been given more to talk about (much to the chagrin of several vague government agencies). His character might appear, at first glance, firmly rooted in the “psycho villain” catergory, but Webne-Behrman has, without a doubt, tapped into an underlying humanity with Peter’s character.

“What made Peter immediately accessible for me were his two extremes. I can easily relate to how shy and soft-spoken he is when he first meets Agnes. I’m not good at meeting new people either and the way Peter awkwardly tries to start a conversation with her is very accessible. At the other end of the spectrum, Peter suppresses an aspect of himself that is loud, brash and chaotic. As a person who keeps close tabs on myself and only lets a few people see the real me I look forward to exploding every time I play Peter, and revel in it.”

With that, we feel we have enough evidence. The bag is once again placed over the actor’s head as he is carted out of the room (all normal rehearsal practices, he is assured).

The camera crew films all.

The cameras film all.

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