A week from today I'll be opening Pericles, a joint production of the Northwest Classical Theatre Company and Willamette Shakespeare, directed by Daniel Somerfield. We're following the fairy tale aspects of the story by making incredible leaps of imagination through our production elements. There are just 6 actors playing over 30 characters, we play music and generate live sound effects, and in the 38-seat Shoebox theatre we travel to foreign lands on the deck of a very shipwreck-prone ship.
I am playing Marina, as well as 7 other more minor characters. It has been a challenge and a delight to make each into a strong, dynamic character. Marina has been especially challenging, since she seems to resist both archetypes of the damsel in distress, and the warrior princess. Many things happen TO her, and it's been uniquely challenging to find in her text where she is trying to enact change upon others to change her circumstance, and how much she submits to the will of the gods. She lives in a unique world defined by intense suffering, optimism, and Fate. I find myself using my imagination to fill in many gaps of her history, which fits nicely, of course, with the larger concept of the play.
I'm looking forward to opening this show, as I believe it is one that will change and evolve greatly during the run.
Pericles runs at the Shoebox Theater (2110 SE 10th between Lincoln and Grant) from Nov. 16-Dec. 9. Visit www.nwctc.org for tickets and information
This spring has been an incredible experience making Potty Talk.
Potty Talk is a sketch comedy series that addresses social boundaries and stereotypes through humor, and satire. Focusing on the expectations for and social constraints on women, Potty Talk inhabits and explodes some of the biggest, most vicious stereotypes out there.
I am the writer, director,and producer as well as an actor. We've assembled an amazing group of people and have filmed 7 sketches, which will be released on the internet at the end of July. Please follow our progress and learn more at www.PottyTalkPDX.com. It's an amazing project that I'm very proud to be creating!
Other exciting announcements:
This summer I will be performing in Henry IV part 1 at Post 5 Theatre Company as Lady Percy. The show is directed by Don Alder and stars many talented people. I'm very excited to work with this fresh, new company for the first time.
Lastly, but not at all least, I am exctied to announce that I have joined the Northwest Classical Theatre Company as a company member for the 2012-2013 season. I have already been cast in two plays there for the upcoming season, and I look forward to helping our in other ways as well. I am so thrilled to be making more theatre magic with this magnificent, small company in Portland this year! Stay tuned.
Hello all! Thanks for checking in.
This Friday I open Much Ado About Nothing at Northwest Classical Theatre Company. I'm playing Hero in this production, directed by David Sikking. It takes place on "Messina Beach" in 1965 (which has required some minor textual adaptations). I'm joined by some amazingly talented actors, whose enthusiasm and dedication bring the show alive. I'm proud to take on the role of this ultimate ingenue, and hope you have the chance to come check it out. Tickets at www.nwctc.org.
Also, later this month I'll be launching my new project, Potty Talk, a series of comedy sketches about, starrring and made by women. Following the project launch on March 31, I'll post more information about what to expect from Potty Talk. Please drop me a line if you'd like to stay informed!
In January I attended the Theatre Bay Area auditions in San Francisco, CA. This April, I'll be appearing at the PATA General Auditions. I'll see all you Portland auditors there!
I was unable to post during my acting internship at Shakespeare Santa Cruz last summer because I was so busy with all the amazing activities. However, it was so much fun and such a valuable experience that I'd like to share some thoughts to mark it in my journal here. So, I am re-posting the text of a blog post I wrote for the Shakespeare Santa Cruz official blog, the Green Room, about my process, experience, and especially my time working on the Fringe Show, La Ronde. You can see the full blog here: http://www.shakespearesantacruz.org/blog/
From Acting Intern Brenan Dwyer (**Note from Gina: Tonight marks the opening of our annual Fringe Show. This year it’s La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler, directed by Kirsten Brandt. The Fringe Show is my favorite production of the season because it gives our acting interns a chance to shine in leading roles. If you’ve never been, don’t miss it. Performances are tonight and next Tuesday — all tickets $14!)
I was excited when I received my casting as The Young Wife in La Ronde, but I also felt a moment of fear. Aside from the stupid actor fears of hoping my scene partners don’t think I’m horribly ugly, or worrying what people will think of me in my undergarments, I also harbored some deeper fears that related to our play’s wonderful theme: Sex.
But why should I be scared of sex? It’s all around us, right? Pop stars in skimpy costumes, hunky models in an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue… Sex finds its way into conversation casually— think about the now widespread joke from The Office, “That’s what SHE said,” turning everything into a double entendre. Furthermore our reputations are often determined by who we are sleeping with, or who we have or have not been with. There is certainly a very public side to sex.
But there’s a side of sex that is personal and experiential—what it means and what it has revealed about us is something truly only known to the people involved in the act. So imagine taking these most intimate and revealing moments and presenting them to two audiences of strangers in an outdoor space. That’s what La Ronde does. So maybe you can see why I was a little scared.
Luckily, as interns, we have been learning from the professionals surrounding us. I remember being especially struck by a note given by Scott Wentworth, my director for Love’s Labor’s Lost, for the acting company as we moved into the Glen from our rehearsal space. He noted that just because we as actors share our feelings with the audience, it doesn’t mean that we lose feeling them within us. Watching the acting company take this direction and thrive, I realized that this truly is the core of acting—not being fearless, but doing what you must do with fear as your companion.
A noble venture. Very hard to do. Throughout the rehearsal process for this play, I have tried to prepare myself for sharing my intimate feelings with an audience. At times this feels voyeuristic, but at other times it feels supportive and freeing. I have felt inspired by the hard work of my fellow interns, by the fun and sensitive direction of Kirsten and our assistant director Kathleen, and pushed to be a better actor by the supportive company surrounding me.
I can only hope the hard work pays off and that I have a lot of fun tonight.
See you there!
–Brenan Dwyer, Acting Intern
I have started this year performing in an Agatha Christie murder mystery called The Hollow at Lakewood Theater in Oregon. I play Midge, an independent young romantic who gets thrown into a weekend of murder and intrigue and is just in over her head. I've enjoyed working with director Don Alder and this fun cast. Read more about the play here:
I will also be applying to acting MFA graduate programs this year. Auditions are in February and I'm hard at work on my monologues. 2011 promises to be an exciting year!
Thanks for checking in.
I have been performing Love's Labour' Lost at Northwest Classical Theatre Company. It's a delightful show directed by Artists' Repertory Theatre company member Michael Mendelson. We've gotten some great reviews in the Oregonian and the Willamette Week, and almost the entire run has been sold out. I've been learning so much from working on this production. Stay tuned for production photos as we near closing in mid-April.
I have also been taking a movement and voice improvisation workshop at Hand2Mouth theatre. We are learning to create new work based on our physical impulses and a common vocabulary. It is kooky, interesting, silly, and right up my alley.
Back in L.A. and dipping my feet into many ponds. Here's the haps:
-New member of Shine! Children's Theatre in West Hollywood. I'll be performing in their upcoming production of The Bridge to Terabithia. First rehearsal this week!
-Working on a Choreo-Poem in Burbank called "Ordered Chaos." Through poetry and dance we are tracking inside the mind of an artist. Workshop performance will be the the weekend of November 7-8 with a professional production to follow.
-New member of Theatre of Note! in Hollywood. Very excited to join this collective of actors, movers and shakers.
-Nominated for the Luce Scholarship and the Mitchell Scholarship by my alma mater, Occidental. These would both send me abroad next year for more study of theater-- either at graduate school in Ireland or by being placed in a theater company in Asia. Both amazing opportunities I'm keeping my fingers crossed for.
Still looking for the perfect day job... but things are starting to shape up artistically.
August is a busy month for me. Check it out:
I'm in rehearsals for a movement theatre show at Imago in Portland, Oregon called The Cuban Missile Tango. This phenomenal undertaking is avant garde and engaging-- it parallels the Cuban Missile Crisis with a swinger's Halloween dinner party. I'm playing Jackie Kennedy, the emotional core of the political crisis, and challenging myself in new ways. Our director, Jerry Mouawad, has trained in Lecoq technique and creates precise and demanding choreography that vividly records the themes and emotions the story he's telling. It's unlike anything I've ever worked on and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. It performs the last weekend of August at Imago Theatre on NE 8th and Burnside in Portland. Email me for information if you'd like to attend!
Also happening in August:
Comedy improv at CoHo Theatre with my troupe, Daisy Chain! We put on weekly late-night comedy shows on Tuesdays at 10 pm. We do short form improv and host guest performers from time to time. Every Tuesday until the end of August. Please come out and see-- you won't regret it.
I also just finished shooting a supporting role in the independent film, Little Blue Pill, up in Seattle. A wonderful crew and a funny script. Be sure to look for it in 2010. It promises to be a good one.
Brenan Dwyer's Blog
Looking for happiness in art daily.