Tuesday, April 30, 2013

From the Actor's Perspective: Final Thoughts

"This experience was phenomenal and the amount that I learned from Kali and the rest of the ensemble is invaluable. I will be taking all of this with me as I go to Italy next year and pursue this kind of work at the graduate level! Thank you all and lets do this again some time :)"

- Matt Dranzik '13
  Ensemble Member

"I talked to my friend today about her thoughts on the show. One of the things that stood out to me from her reaction was that we had created a world that was so simple but at the same time incredibly thought-provoking. She also thought that it was rare to see a show with such a wholesome message. I would have to agree with her. I think that this project that we have all been a part of has blossomed into a rare piece of theatre that has challenged its audiences with perhaps unfamiliar styles but has also quite simply made us aware of our own society. My friend was also amazed at our ability to tell a clear story through a majority of movement and not a lot of dialogue. As a dancer, she was engaged with the craft of creating a story through physicality and recognized what a special kind of theatre she had witnessed.

I was also tickled that she hadn't recognized which character I was for awhile during the show, until she recognized something about my voice. This experience as a transformation process has been even more rewarding after hearing what individual audience members have to say about their response to the change in the people that they know once they have taken on these characters. Possibilities for art seem endless after this piece, and I have a lot of hope for the future in terms of creating theatre that plays with the idea of the familiar and the unfamiliar in order to challenge people's perceptions about life."

-Emily Hooper '14
 Ensemble Member

From the Actor's Perspective: Final Thoughts

"Where do I begin?  Where did we even begin with this whole process?  It's hard to think back that far.  Although it was only about a month ago, it seems like we've been working on this creation for years.  All the way from watermelons and souls and stardust and apples whittled down to an hour long show, which we all know could have easily ended up being 24 hours long.  Looking back on the process, it was truly one of the most fun and eye-opening experiences I've ever had.  To learn to not rely on the face for expression was a challenge, I believe, for most of us who are not used to physical theatre work.  Looking at how far we all have come since the first day amazes me.  We all left a bit more flexible and a lot more knowledgeable.  

         After a show, there is always that feeling of "post-show depression" but I felt it even more with MMM.  I felt more connected with this piece and this character since it was our baby that we built from the ground up, but now we have to let it go.  An idea that CJ brought up has stuck with me: even though our show has run its course, it will live on inside each of us and the people who saw it.  We can live with the feeling that it has affected us and the audience in some way, and that is why we do what we do.  

I've never worked with such a cohesive and creative group of people.  Let's do it again in 10 years!"

 -Estie Pyper '16
  Ensemble Member

Friday, April 12, 2013


Since October, when Director Kali Quinn first visited Bucknell as a Resident Guest Artist, April 12th has always been the focal point. Getting us to April 12th was the goal. All of our work, time, effort, passion, and energy has been put forth to not only learn and explore masked theatre, but to produce something to present to an audience starting on opening night. For all of the ensemble, waking up today was arriving at a destination that never had a clear answer to what would happen- but something did happen. Masks, Movement, and Mayhem opened to an enthusiastic and engaged crowd tonight that also joined us for a post-performance talkback and a reception held in the greenroom thanks to Cap and Dagger, Bucknell's student theatre organization. The ensemble was focused, ready, and yes a little nervous before that red curtain was raised but they gave an outstanding performance. We are all excited to still have three shows: tomorrow at 2pm and Sunday and Monday at 8pm with talkbacks after each. 

Thank you to everyone who had something to do with the production and thank you to everyone who came out to see our world premier!

Monday, April 8, 2013

POWER & POSSIBILITY: A Program Note for Audiences

This piece evolved out of a five week rehearsal process by starting with themes of power, subversion, and laughter along with this set of half-masks, relating our own experiences, and seeing what kind of skills and interests each individual brought to the table. The characters, world, and story you are about to witness was developed through improvisation, physical play, and storytelling exercises… When interviewing people about their relationship to power, one of our ensemble members, Emily Mack, brought back two quotes from medical professionals she worked with on a spring break mission trip in Nicaragua:

“Power is the ability to be loved. The more you're loved the more powerful you are. People that can engender love and are loved by others are powerful. If a person is loved and respected, they have more power and influence over others. Humans are connected by love.”

“Power is the state of having and giving what you have to others.”

I believe these ruminations speak to the essence of our exploration together and to the product we will present today. The students, faculty, and staff at Bucknell are some of the most gracious, inspiring, and enthusiastic people I have ever met. Their ability to remain curious, open, flexible, and listening so intently to one another has taught me so much every step of the way and made it feel like anything is possible. Everything you see and hear today was created by this group of people in order to share it with you. Thanks for being part of this world premiere performance. Enjoy. 

~ Kali Quinn


When we devise a piece of theatre we are changing the world.

How? By operating under a different way of working that is un-systemetizable. We are not saying here is your part or role and now how will you fill it. We are saying: who are you, what can you bring, what do you want to say? This is huge. It’s flipping the coin. Instead of telling someone what to do you are giving them permission to allow themselves to do. To be. When doing a devised piece, there is no casting process. We don’t have a “cast.” Little by little we create an ensemble. Anyone who wants to be in that room can be in that room and day after day they are actively choosing to show up and participate. Their level of involvement and the way that they articulate themselves drives the group to become a community. I do not tell that community who they are or even how to talk with one another. We make a set of agreements on ways to work and follow it. We create a common language through play. We title things so that we can use them again. So that we can communicate what we want to have happen again. To remember something that excited us. We make observations. We witness one another. It is the responsibility as a facilitator in a devised process to cultivate ways of being heard. Ways for everyone to be at their best. To acknowledge one another. And most consistently encourage a space for people to listen to each one other, even when and especially when their may be disagreements. To discover ways to move forward without forcing an outcome. To establish group ritual by noticing the repetition. To allow the work to teach you what wants to happen next. And to always remember to start where you are. To meet each other there.

This, my friends, is the kind of world I strive to live in.

- Kali Quinn

Posters Up & Opening This Week!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

From the Sound Designer's Perspective

"The devising process has always been exciting to me.  I am interested in expressing myself through many mediums and devising is a great way for me exert myself.  I love to make music, but I also love to act.  I love to write and paint and dance as well.  All these muscles can flex in a devised project.

This is a piece I made during the course of rehearsals that reminds me of the layout of our set.  It has the golden playground where the kids are.  There is Adendon's moon area in the upper right.  There is the checkers area (which has now become an arm-wrestling area) in the lower rights and the bank in the lower left.

Devising involves a process oriented approach, which can be chaotic.  However, if the process is well guided, this chaotic expansion can yield beauty through contraction.  We stretch our minds, hearts, and bodies and try to make new associations.  We engage in a collecting and filing of ideas and inspirations.  We allow the group mind to take on a life of its own.  

Lots of what we create gets left behind somewhere.  Scenes, dreams, characters, and possible spines for the show come and go throughout the rehearsal process.  Our collection changes and evolves over time as we water it for growth and then wash the dirt away.  Even some truly incredible ideas have to be left behind sometimes for the development of the show; to allow the show to flourish it must be pruned.  Bucknell theater students have coined the term "killing babies" for the experience of having to leave behind incredible moments or backstories because, in spite of their beauty, they are not right for THIS show. 
The most wonderful part of devising, for me, has been seeing how these droplets left behind actually do feed the final product.  They are our ways of processing and they allow our ideas to become whole.  There cannot be creation without destruction and, when it comes to the ideas in our show and the ideas left behind, it can be hard to tell which is which.  The paintings I've made will not be in the show, but painting is a part of me.  For me, the act of painting after rehearsal is as much a part of the devising process as warming up before rehearsal.  And thats what's so strange about devising.  Those who go to see this show will hardly see any of what we came up with over the past couple months.  But, at the same time, everything we've done (indeed everything we are as a cast and as individuals) can be found in the folds of our piece."

-CJ Fujimura '13
Sound Designer
Ensemble Member

"P.S. Adendon Edenderg sends a warm and cold hello from space"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


It's never too early to get your tickets for Mask, Movement and Mayhem!

Once again here are our show times:

April 12, 14, 15 at 8pm
April 13 at 2pm 

Tickets for Bucknell Students, Senior Citizens, and Youth (18 or younger) are $5.
Tickets for General Admission are $10.

Tickets can be bought at the Weis Center Box office or online here.

(While buying these tickets, make sure you pick some up for the Spring Dance Showcase this weekend as well!)

So...what's the story here?

Ultimately, this question has been asked since day one not only by the ensemble but by many members of the Bucknell community (and beyond.) Our devising process means that the script, storyline, and themes are all established by the ensemble- our show is constantly a work in progress. After a "romp" performance of our material so far last Thursday, the production teams started narrowing into exactly what stories we would tell and how we would tell them. Here are some lessons we've learned so far:

  • Less is more! We can't tell the audience everything.
  • Move more, speak less
    • Seems to be the nature of show with movement in the title and only one hour to perform
  • Nothing is ever set in stone (yet)
    • When working towards a deadline it's easy to start wanting to set scenes, character relationships, and story chronology in stone but this can quickly kill our creative environment. While we will eventually have a strong storyline, it's not time for that just yet.
  • The most important question we can ask is, "What if..."
  • Take a break, breathe, and start again
  • And when it's 12:30am and you're still working just stop, go home, and sleep
This process has been a learning process for everyone, including Director Kali Quinn. Every production she produces is different and takes a different course to reach an end product. While we still have a long way to go till opening night, we are all very excited and confident in the work will be presenting!

You've probably noticed a lot less blog posts lately. This is for two reasons:
  1. We've been working a lot on the storyline...we don't want to ruin it for you!
  2. We've been really busy (sorry) but photos are coming to help fill you in!