September 26, 2014

Signal-boosting post!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:32 pm by chavisory

There are so, so many issues and projects and new art and fundraising campaigns out there right now that deserve time and attention and money, and I could almost write a post per day every day to get to all of them.  If I could I would just give the money to every project I like that needs it, but for the present moment I’ll have to settle for calling your attention to a few of my favorites:

1.  The deadline is coming up for submissions to Typed Words, Loud Voices!  This will be an anthology of writing by people who are non-speaking either some of the time or all of the time, who type to communicate.  The editors are Amy Sequenzia and Ibby Grace, two of my favorite advocates and bloggers.  Project description and submission guidelines are here!

2.  The Autism Women’s Network is planning an anthology on autism and race, and we have less than two days left in our fundraising campaign, with almost 50% of our goal to go!  This book is so important because the vast majority of discussion and visibility of autism centers on white autistic men, while autistic people of color suffer from an immense lack of recognition and understanding.

Project information and fundraiser are here.  If you are interested in submitting writing, guidelines are here.

3.  The WordPlay Shakespeare series, which I’ve been working on for about two years now with the New Book Press, has just released its third edition, Romeo & Juliet!  These are Shakespeare’s plays in dual text and video e-book format, and include both the full text and video of its performance by really stellar Broadway and Off-Broadway actors on every page, along with note-taking and study tools.

Almost every person, and teachers especially, who we show samples to, says that they wish they’d had these when they learned Shakespeare in high school.  I’m immensely proud of them, Romeo & Juliet is probably the play I’ve had the most fun working on so far as we’ve refined our understanding and process for this hybridized film/theater/new media format of production, and is available on iTunes and iBooks now.

4.  On Monday night, we had the CD release party and concert for the cast recording of Tamar of the River, a fantastically distinctive new musical that I stage managed last fall, the second original cast recording to be released for a show of mine.  If you have an interest in unique vocal music or storytelling technique, this is a piece you’ll probably love, and proceeds benefit Seeds of Peace, an organization that brings together young people from regions of seemingly intractable conflicts to work towards peaceful solutions.

5.  Out of Order is still fundraising!  This is a documentary about the journeys of LGBTQ candidates for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA), amidst evolving attitudes in the church about what it means to be both queer and a Christian.  I was excited for this to be out, like, yesterday, and the team (all of whom are working pro-bono out of belief in the importance of this film) is in a fundraising push to finish editing and post-production.

Please take a look at any or all of these that may be relevant to your interests. : )

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May 19, 2014

Miranda

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:28 am by chavisory

Is the Neapolitan night too quiet for her now,

Does she lie awake listening still
in vain for the melancholy thing’s watchful singing
in her cowslip bed

Watch her young husband’s slumber untroubled by memory
of ocean winds in the reeds,
squalls across the wild sand.

Will she ever be able to sleep not sensing
the gaze of a thousand feral and delicate voices.

Her feet are growing soft.
Her ladies dress her in the gray morning.
At breakfast she is learning
the weight of porcelain, silver,
brocade and whalebone, and ceremony.

Is the very silence of their desertion like freedom
to the spirit, she wonders, like peace?

Or does Ariel also not know
what to do with her own hands anymore?

***

(You ever suffer that experience when looking through old writing, when you cringe and go “I can’t believe I wrote that?”  I just had the opposite experience finding this.  I wrote it a few years ago.  I was working on a production of The Tempest at the time.  I found it while looking through old writing for various submissions, and loved it so much all over again I couldn’t believe I wrote it.)

May 10, 2014

Behind the scenes of WordPlay!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 6:14 pm by chavisory

If I may engage in some excuse-making for my recent absence from writing…I’ve been working for the past couple years on a new media project which I’m very proud of and excited about, and we just finished filming our third installment, the WordPlay Shakespeare edition of Romeo and Juliet, which took up most of my past month.

Here’s another good preview in which our director and publisher/producer talk a bit about the aim of the project.  Besides making Shakespeare less daunting for students in general, one of the things we’re hoping is that students with all kinds of learning differences and learning disabilities might find this a useful form of support.

It takes the actors some time to get used to working on the white cyc…it’s a pretty disorienting experience.  Apparently human brains think corners are a useful thing….

romeo_montaguePictured: John Leonard Thompson and Drew Ledbetter

A great snapshot by my ASM from the filming of the opening fight between the Montague and Capulet servants.

WordPlay Romeo Jump 140501

Pictured: Carman Lacivita, Kristin Villanueva, Drew Ledbetter
Photo by Hannah Barudin

Me in the studio, watching the script, and probably telling somebody to do something.  Look at that gorgeous spreadsheet on my computer….

IMG_1190

Photo by Alexander Parker

Romeo and Juliet will likely be available by the end of summer/early fall.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth are already available on iTunes!

Our New York Times review

Edutopia review

It’s been a fascinating thing to work on as a stage manager as well…both in learning to work in an entirely different medium, and very different capacity than what I’m used to doing, and in getting to help make something so permanent in the world.