Twelfth Night, or What You Will

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ABINGTON ART CENTER, PULLEY & BUTTONHOLE THEATRE COMPANY, and WHITE PINES PRODUCTIONS announce the return of Shakespeare in the Summer with a production of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night to be presented August 6, 7, 8 & 9 2018 at 7pm on the lawn of Alverthorpe Manor at the Abington Art Center. The three arts organizations are excited to once again bring an opportunity for audiences of all ages to experience the beauty of Shakespeare’s language in the beauty of the great outdoors. Instead of a fixed ticket price this year, the performances this year are “Pay What You Will,” in the hopes that this will encourage more people to give outdoor Shakespeare a try.

Shakespeare in the Summer works within the Original Practices style of presenting Shakespeare, meant to simulate the way Shakespeare's own company prepared his plays, and to rediscover a spontaneity, joy, and immediacy in performance. The show is cast, scripts distributed, and lines are learned without rehearsal. The actors will gather weekly to play games, study the play, learn techniques, and create an ensemble.  As Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director of White Pines says, "we are attempting to imitate the way Shakespeare's actors prepared his plays for performance. It can be scary at first, but brings an unmatched spontaneity to performances." Every performance is a new experience for the audience and the ensemble!

In addition, local musician Alex Bartlett is creating original music and  Chrissie Leech of JENKINTOWN DANCE ARTS will once again work with a children’s corps to create a dance interlude. Bridget Reilly Beauchamp, Artistic Director of Pulley & Buttonhole says, "we adore collaborating with Chrissie--her ideas are fun and challenging. She encourages the children—and the adults—to have physical fun with Shakespeare!”

Abington Art Center is looking forward to once again hosting this band of motley players. Beth Lawing, Live Arts Coordinator of AAC says, "this is the sort of thing we love here. Being able to come together with other local arts organizations to give our neighbors a chance to experience something exciting is what we're here for.”

So bring a blanket, a picnic, and some bug spray and get ready to enjoy an evening of spontaneous Shakespeare under the stars!

Twelfth Night August 6, 7, 8 and 9 at 7pm (gates open at 6) at

Abington Art Center, 515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown PA 19046.

For more information: www.shakespeareinthesummer.wordpress.com.

Twelfth Night - coming this summer!

Malvolio with his cross-garters, in front of the lady Olivia, and her maid Maria. 

Malvolio with his cross-garters, in front of the lady Olivia, and her maid Maria. 

Adam Corbett, Bradley Moore, Gavin Whitt and Jeffery Barg as the Lords of Love's Labor's Lost last summer. 

Adam Corbett, Bradley Moore, Gavin Whitt and Jeffery Barg as the Lords of Love's Labor's Lost last summer. 

Our company of dancing hounds rehearse under the guidance of Chrissie Leech last summer!

Our company of dancing hounds rehearse under the guidance of Chrissie Leech last summer!

ABINGTON ART CENTER, PULLEY & BUTTONHOLE THEATRE COMPANY, and WHITE PINES PRODUCTIONS announce the return of Shakespeare in the Summer with a production of Twelfth Night to be presented August 6, 7, 8 & 9 2018 at 7pm on the lawn of Alverthorpe Manor at the Abington Art Center. The three arts organizations are excited to once again bring an opportunity for audiences of all ages to experience the beauty of Shakespeare’s language in the beauty of the great outdoors. Instead of a fixed ticket price this year, the performances this year are “Pay What You Will,” in the hopes that this will encourage more people to give outdoor Shakespeare a try.

Shakespeare in the Summer works within the Original Practices style of presenting Shakespeare, meant to simulate the way Shakespeare's own company prepared his plays, and to rediscover a spontaneity, joy, and immediacy in performance. The show is cast, scripts distributed, and lines are learned without rehearsal. The actors will gather weekly to play games, study the play, learn techniques, and create an ensemble.  As Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director of White Pines says, "we are attempting to imitate the way Shakespeare's actors prepared his plays for performance. It can be scary at first, but brings an unmatched spontaneity to performances." Every performance is a new experience for the audience and the ensemble.

In addition, local musician Alex Bartlett is creating original music and  Chrissie Leech of JENKINTOWN DANCE ARTS will once again work with a children’s corps to create a dance interlude. Bridget Reilly Beauchamp, Artistic Director of Pulley & Buttonhole says, "we adore collaborating with Chrissie--her ideas are fun and challenging. She encourages the children—and the adults—to have physical fun with Shakespeare.”

Abington Art Center is looking forward to once again hosting this band of motley players. Beth Lawing, Live Arts Coordinator of AAC says, "this is the sort of thing we love here. Being able to come together with other local arts organizations to give our neighbors a chance to experience something exciting is what we're here for.”

In Twelfth Night, no one is quite what they seem, and the play asks insightful questions about identity, perception and the meaning of true love, all while inviting us to laugh—and love—along. So bring a blanket, a picnic, and some bug spray and get ready to enjoy an evening of spontaneous Shakespeare under the stars!

Twelfth Night: August 6, 7, 8 and 9 at 7pm (gates open at 6) at Abington Art Center, 515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown PA 19046. For information:

www.shakespeareinthesummer.wordpress.com

The audience enjoys the show as the day turns into night! 

The audience enjoys the show as the day turns into night! 

Love's Labour's Lost

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WHITE PINES PRODUCTIONS, ABINGTON ART CENTER, and PULLEY & BUTTONHOLE THEATRE COMPANY announce the return of Shakespeare in the Summer with a production of Love’s Labours Lost to be presented August 7, 8, 9 & 10 2017 on the lawn of Alverthorpe Manor at the Abington Art Center. The three arts organizations are excited to once again bring an affordable opportunity for audiences of all ages to experience the beauty of Shakespeare’s language in the beauty of the great outdoors.

LAst year's production of  Much Ado About Nothing

LAst year's production of Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare in the Summer works within the Original Practices style of presenting Shakespeare, meant to simulate the way Shakespeare's own company prepared his plays, and to rediscover a spontaneity, joy, and immediacy in performance. The show is cast, scripts distributed, and lines are learned without rehearsal. The actors will gather weekly to play games, study the play, learn techniques, and create an ensemble.  As Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director of White Pines says, "we are attempting to imitate the way Shakespeare's actors prepared his plays for performance. It can be scary at first, but it brings an unmatched spontaneity to performances." Every performance is a new experience for the audience and the ensemble.

In addition, Chrissie Leech of JENKINTOWN DANCE ARTS will once again work with a children’s corps to create a dance interlude. Bridget Reilly Beauchamp, Artistic Director of Pulley & Buttonhole says, "we adore collaborating with Chrissie--her ideas are fun and challenging. She encourages the children—and the adults—to have physical fun with Shakespeare.”

LAst year's production of  Much Ado About Nothing

LAst year's production of Much Ado About Nothing

Abington Art Center is looking forward to once again hosting this band of motley players. Marge Horner of AAC says, "this is the sort of thing we love here. Being able to come together with other local arts organizations to give our neighbors a chance to experience something exciting is what we're here for."

The play will be cast in May and "not rehearsals" will begin shortly thereafter. Click here to reserve tickets!

Artist profile: Alexandra Tatarsky

Alexandra Tatarsky

Alexandra Tatarsky

Alex is a graduate of the noted Philadelphia performing arts school, the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training. From their website: "The Pig Iron School brings together daring and passionate theatre artists from around the globe to train their bodies and imaginations. A physical theatre school rooted in Lecoq pedagogy and ensemble theatre practice, the Pig Iron Theatre School is a space for rigorous experimentation, playful theatre-making, and long-lasting collaboration. Each student's journey is both inward and outward, helping find creative inspiration from within while responding to the world around; its rhythms, characters, impulses and contradictions." 

We asked Alex about her upcoming show for the Cold Hard Love series, Americana Psychobabble:

1.   Where did you get the idea that gave rise to your show?

The spark of the show was lit when the amazing Quinn Bauriedel of Philadelphia’s beloved Pig Iron Theatre Company prompted me to improvise text and movement in response to an image of fingernails painted with the American flag. These nails had a lot to say! And they just kept talking. After one early show, the poet Lewis Freedman (Residual Synonyms for the Name of God) approached me saying, “Surely you know of the mystical importance of fingernails?” Indeed, the fingernails and cuticles are of great importance in the Jewish tradition as a sacred boundary space, a borderland of the body. Fingernails also figure in ritual practice and divination.  Channeling the image of American flag fingernails felt like an act of spirit possession, reaching out to a complicated, grotesque American spirit and asking it to speak through me. 

And so I began performing as the nails in theaters, bars, and galleries and eventually took the nails to Mexico on a travel grant from the School of Authentic Journalism, a fabulous project based in Mexico City that trains journalists, organizers, and artists to collaborate on effectively telling the stories of social movements (they are a wonderful organization to support if you care about thoughtful, engaged journalism and they are fundraising right now for the next school: https://tinyurl.com/authentic2017)! Anyway, the organization funded a residency for me to develop more material in response to the despicable racism undergirding Trump’s campaign -- and to perform these bits in a tourist restaurant in Cancun every night of the Republican National Convention, alongside a Trump piñata! I was later invited by Poetry Electric at La Mama ETC to perform a showing of this material on December 19th, which happened to be the exact day the electoral college decided Trump’s victory. It was a delirious night of holding space for feelings, screams, and laughter while processing the election together in a small, dark theater and trying to find the energy and hope it takes to sustain a movement – in the body and in the body politic.

2. What is it about White Pines that made you submit your show to the series Cold Hard Love?

I was excited by the Cold Hard Love series at White Pines because as I was writing this show I was going through a terrible heartbreak! And it seemed to me that heartbreak could be a metaphor for a lot of the political pain in this country and a way to understand what’s behind some of the violence and hateful rhetoric.

When you are in pain, you want to make others feel pain, so you don’t feel so alone in your pain (or at least sometimes I do L). Alone in a hotel in Cancun, I began to study my heartbreak as a research project to try to understand the dangerous things despair can make us want to do.

And every night of the Republican Convention I was observing what appeared to be a lot of very upset, heartbroken people! The parallels between their attitude and mine were astounding: things did not work out as we thought they would! We were betrayed by the people and institutions we trusted the most! And rather than fully feel our rightful anger towards those who hurt us (cough cough capitalism) – because it’s very painful and scary to sever ties with the only thing you know (cough cough capitalism) – we diverted our anger towards those we decided were responsible for causing us pain (you know, “illegal aliens” and “radical Islamic terrorists”). Let’s just say, it’s easier to hate your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend because you don’t even know her than to hate the ex-boyfriend you still love deeply even though he did you wrong time and again.

So all of this is a long TMI way of saying that I was very inspired by Ben Lloyd’s call for pieces dealing with heartbreak and although my personal pain investigation is now cloaked in Xmas lights and absurd characters, it lies at the heart of Americana Psychobabble. I was and am very excited to share this very new and raw project with the incredible White Pines audiences and at a space whose mission statement speaks to me so strongly, a place “dedicated to transforming people's lives through performance creativity… by nurturing the citizen artist, who is committed to using his/her creative gifts in service to communities.”

3. Do you have a funny love story to share?

Oh dear… a funny love story. Let’s see. Welp, one time I fell madly in love with a charming vagrant in New Orleans because as I biked by he yelled out MARRY ME! while peeing on a refrigerator on the side of the road. I thought this was both very poetic and took a lot of chutzpah. I later followed him to San Francisco where we lived for several weeks in a van next to a Chinese restaurant.

4. Give our audience a teaser for your show

Ooh, a teaser! I will be thrilled if someone catches the winks to Artaud threaded throughout Americana Psychobabble and comes and talks to me after the show...

5. Share a rehearsal tidbit: has something funny/surprising occurred as you have been preparing for Cold Hard Love?

The process of working on Americana Psychobabble has felt at times chillingly prophetic as the country consumes and is consumed by a monstrous babbling. Working on this piece with my co-director, the marvelous Meryl Sands, and a brilliant, generous community of theatre-makers in Philadelphia and New York, has truly served as a necessary reminder of the theater’s strange magic to alchemize anguish into energy, to value misery as the finest ingredient in laughter. Preparing for Cold, Hard Love throughout these cold, hard months has made me reflect with tenderness on the role of the hapless clown, the sad, lovesick, rejected, dejected clown who keeps trying despite all his failures. It gives us great to delight to watch the clown continue despite the impossibility of his task. May we all be clowns and never stop trying.

Read reviews of Alex's work by clicking here!

Some pix of Alex in performance!

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