Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fall '08 @ PS122

PS122 announced their upcoming Fall Season and they're kicking things off with Thomas Bradshaw's Southern Promises (which I will be Stage Managing). The play is definitely not for the faint of heart!

World Premieres include: WaxFactory's latest piece BLIND.NESS (Love is a Four Letter Word) and Joseph Silovsky's Jester of Tongues which features a robot named Stanley (note for Katie).

There's also a private performance installation piece by Yanira Castro + Company entitled Dark Horse/Black Forest which will play out in your very own bathroom (maybe we'll get them to perform in one of our own bathrooms).

Members of ETG will be seeing/reviewing these works to come (including my own personal observations on Southern Promises). Stay tuned for more.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Good Advice/ Bad Advice

It's hard for me to ask for advice because I'm shy and I find it especially excruciating to talk about myself to people who are more successful than me face to face. Despite my handicap, here are some things that were said to me in recently that I think have been very helpful. We'll call this series Good Advice/Bad Advice.

1. A person that I respect immensely ( and who is very smart, talented and is happy with his/her career) told me that it's crazy to be as poor as I am and try and pay off my student loans at $400/month at my age. Money should be the least of your worries ( which is difficult for me since I don't/never had any and am constantly worrying about it) when you are an artist in your twenties and you can afford the rent. This person said that you should get a job that pays enough that you can support yourself and do not hate- and to use your young age as a platform for training and discovering your passions within your passion- rather than being pressured pay off loans at a high rate and making enough money to start a retirement fund ( unless your passion is something or something that involves a hedge fund). This person also suggested that I should take the money I was using to pay off my loans and take a writing class. They noted that if I wanted to be super responsible and not defer all of the loans that I had- the most I should worry about paying is around $100 a month ( especially if you are on an extremely low salary). They also mentioned that most of their artist friends ( in their thirties and over) are still/just started paying off debt.

2. A performance artist in his/her forties told me not to consider being a playwright because it's too difficult ( and that I should listen to her because he/she also tried- and failed). This was good advice because it reminded me that you should always choose carefully as to whose advice you listen to- because a lot of it tends to come from a places of bitterness. When I first moved to New York, a friend who was relatively unhappy in the city would act extremely uncomfortable if I would talk to him/her on the subway or jingle around in my purse to look for change at the cash register when paying for something at a store. This person would also act really weird every time I quit a job in the city (and suggested that I would be blacklisted). This person said that in New York, you don't do stuff like that because's New York. Sounds like a bunch of insecure horse poo...

3. Almost everyone who has a job that I'm envious of (these people are successful playwrights/theatre artists with a teaching job at a University) has confirmed that if you are an artist/writer who wants to teach someday- you have to get an M.F.A. ( an M.F.A isn't such a demanding requirement if you don't want to teach- though it must be nice) but it's okay if younger artists are not stressing about going to graduate school when they're in they're in their early- twenties. There are very few twenty-three year old theatre professors.
Side Note: I use to think that since I have no money- I would never get to go to grad school. Maybe this is still the case. Maybe I will magically strike gold within the next couple of years. There is some consolation though.. there are some affordable programs in New York (Brooklyn College, Long Island University, City College). A wise person once wrote that it's best to choose your school to suit your personal needs- and not to fall soley for a brand name.

Well...that's all for today's Good Advice/Bad Advice. More to come soon. Let me know if you have any interesting, good, bad, terrible, shocking advice that anyone has given you!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Binge Festival 2008

Last night we enjoyed our last performance of Big Girls Club at the Binge Festival. It was really great to direct Leah's work (and I can't wait to see what else she'll come up with, this isn't the end of BGC) and in the company of several other talented groups and performers.

I really enjoyed watching the other shows and performers, such as Delaney Britt Brewer's Dying of Consumption (which showcased the exuberant talents of Paul Fears and Vanessa Sparling). Dying featured a goth brother (Fears) and his wasted grunge sister (Sparling) who bond under odd circumstances.

Eric Sanders' Knife Party/Candle Party was a wicked little concoction involving three different couples who are seduced by a candle/knife saleswoman to the point of self-evisceration. I didn't catch the name of the woman who played the saleswoman but she really left an impression, what with her deadpan delivery of some bizarre lines.

Minerva's Muscles by Bekah Brunsetter was definitely an audience favorite. This little heartwarmer set in the depression featured an almost-Olympian shot-putter (Erin McCarson) whose spirits are lifted by a diminutive happy-go-lucky man (Dane Peterson). We definitely loved Minerva (a spirited and true Big Girl if ever there was).

And William Meny's Turning turned out to be the longest piece of the festival (I believe). Six different couples alternately take turns making terrible decisions in love, including one-night stands, cheating, gay sex, and stalking. Justin Swain did a terrific job juggling the various characters (some of whom seemed to appear out of nowhere) and finding the different notes within the play. ETG really wanted to see his adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' The Corn Maiden (part of the Fringe) but we unfortunately missed it. Sorry Justin! We'll be keeping our eye out for Justin's next endeavor (as should you, reader).

Oddly enough, Tommy Smith's The Break-Up was also in the Binge Festival. I say oddly enough because I was the Stage Manager for the original production of the play at The Flea (directed by Sherri Kronfeld featuring The Bats). Watching this different version, under the reins of Jake Witlen, I had the most insane sensation of deja-vous. I think they even used the same knife as the Flea show did!

Overall, ETG would like to thank Cole Wimpee and the rest of the Workingman's Clothes Productions Company for inviting us to participate in the Binge Festival! It was definitely fun and exciting.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Virtual Love

It wasn't that long ago that facebook was just a University thing. Back in the day ( say ummm less than four years ago) it was just a tool that our generation started exclusively for ourselves. Of course, facebook has spiraled out of control ( predictably) into a multi-million dollar world networking site that anyone can join at anytime. It's so common now that even avant- garde downtown theater artists are using it!!! I say- the more the merrier! At first I thought the increasing use of facebook, youtube, myspace and blogger by older artists was a tactic reach out to a younger crowd- but I think they are just as addicted as we are. But hey, if that means I can be virtual friends with Anne Bogart- that's fine with me.
Other online goodies that caught my eye this week:

And of course-go check out ETG's Youtube Channel
And if you haven't already, come be our friend on facebook and join our group. We almost have 500 members and we ain't got no shame!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

As the curtains close on adolescent dreams.

Today I was thinking of the many different ways in which I could make Big Girls Club into a short film. Flashy, colorful, distorted, horrific. This thought process occurred to me when I was at work screening an awful Spanish language film. As of late I find it harder and harder to balance all of the work in my life. Yet when I see the work that others have done I never think, "oh I could never do that." It's not as if my dreams are unattainable, it's merely a question of what my actual dreams are. Part of myself wants to create work that offers an escape for an audience, a spectacle, a show, not unlike the circus of yesteryear, something that will give ordinary people an escape from the trials and untimely boredom of life. An oasis in the sun. However the other part of myself wants to create work that exposes the untimely boredom and trials of life, and finds subtle beauty in them, beauty in the simplest of things. Returning home after a day at work and staring at an empty room. Calling your mother thanking her for her prayers even though you don't attend church. Or, standing at the crossroads of life and realizing that fate maybe doesn't exist, but you're still along for the ride.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Dear world,
I really love robots. I have recently been reading "Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep" "IRobot" and randomly searching robots on the internet. I am also obsessed with the future-not like the future in a literal sense but in an really advanced technological sense. For example, here is a photo of me a couple of years ago, Leah and I had a futuristic party and it was fucking awesome. So i have decided to make a film about robots. I am still in the brainstorming stages but I am thinking it will be about a girl who finds out that she is actually a robot and has been implanted with false memories. Then the mind blowing world of robot technology will be opened to her and she will have cool adventures! I am also currently writing a short play in which leah will play an georgous android and I will be a futuristic androgynous spaceship captain. It's going to be h-o-t.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Big Girls Club & The Field

Last night (or technically early-early this morning - around 1:20am) members of Everywhere Theatre Group performed Leah Winkler's Big Girls Club at Wings Theatre for the Working Man's Clothes Productions' 2008 Binge Festival. It was a raucous time for all involved and we're all very pleased to be part of it and to share our current development with the audiences of the West Village.

You can read my response to our first performance over at the Big Girls Blog.

We will be performing again next Friday night.

In other news, ETG will soon be joining The Field to become fiscally sponsored through a 501(c)3 not-for-profit company. This is very exciting because it will enable us to receive tax-exempt donations through The Field, benefiting our donors who we greatly appreciate. If you're at all interested in helping out, please feel free to contact us at

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Big Girls Club performs tommorrow!

part of the


the final annual NYC Binge Festival
a late night alternative to the Fringe
a side-arm jest to the Olympics
a ceremony of debauchery

Fridays and Saturdays
Aug 15, 16, 22, and 23
11pm - 3am

154 W. Christopher Street
West Village, NYC
click here for directions!
Click here for Working Man's Clothes Productions
(and a promo vid. for the Binge)

big girls clubBIG GIRLS CLUB
written by Leah Winkler
directed by Teddy Nicholas
featuring Leah Winkler, Katie Hannigan, and Mary Mailhot
Friday Aug 15th at 1:20 AM
Friday Aug 22nd 1:20 AM

Exploring the duality between self-abasement with food and self acceptance, this piece showcases three women in their darkest and ugliest hour , bonding over food and their own self misery, while taking pleasure in the unhealthiness of BGDs (Big Girls Delights, i.e- cookies, brownies, waffles, etc)

NY Fringe
and get in for a discount + free drink!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rehearsal: What it means to you. (or Me rather)

So day in day out we have been rehearsing for the All Star Gala that is "Big Girls Club." I find myself caught in a parallel universe at rehearsals. This is because I am also documenting them with a video camera. I need to strike a balance. When behind the camera I feel disconnected from what is actually going on, I am an objective eye merely trying to capture the events in front of me. This is why recently I have cut back on the amount that I document in these rehearsals, a log of footage always seemed like a good idea in theory but the more and more I think about it, how many takes of a particular scene or event do I need? I feel that it is ultimately more beneficial for me to be actively involved in the production, otherwise I have no passion for it. Overall I think I am happy with the direction that this production is taking. I like to make sure that our themes and "bigger picture" ideas stay intact. I think one of my biggest strengths as an observer and an artist both is my ability to see projects in a larger sense. In other words, you can have a lot of little pieces but if they don't add up to anything then what's the point. I don't know of anyone who keeps boxes of miss matched puzzle pieces around and then charges people to see them. (Not saying people wouldn't pay to see it.)

Monday, August 11, 2008


The Olympics play in the background and I think about our culture. Last night, during the NBC interview, Bush said that he is proud that America is participating in the Olympics this year. He is proud because sports represent peace. How come it takes sports to signify this when there is a war going on? It is signifying peace, which is good enough, right? Olympics signify. Sports signify. Is there something wrong with this? It is irritating, even though I can't seem to stop watching them. The athletes' talent is intoxicating. What they do amazes and excites me. For me, there is a tension here. Why can't art be as accessible? How come sports to our country enables peace, when art can do the same? Today I guess I just have questions. To our world and country athlete's are the hero's......."AND MICHAEL PHELPS SETS A WORLD RECORD!!!!"

Thursday, August 7, 2008


So, I spent all of my birthday money and more booking rehearsal spaces for Big Girls Club.

One of the many things that I've learned, even though it's kind of common sense, is that if you are young, come from no money and are thinking of starting a theatre company- you have to know how to budget yourself. I find myself spending the majority of the little extra cash I do manage to have on production costs, application fees and other theatre related things ( like going to see shows) rather than things like….clothes or food or fun stuff to do on the weekends. But I don't think those sacrifices really weigh you down if you are truly passionate about what you want to do...I still think good theater can come from no money. Do you?