Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Artist Profile: Loryn Jonelis

Next is Pinocchio, Loryn Jonelis.
    What is your favorite past role? Gentleman Johnny Johnson in Sweet William. It was such a challenging role in many ways. We didn't have a lot of time to put it together, I had to memorize how to spell things with the NATO alphabet. I was working nights at the time. I had auditioned on a whim. A lot of things worked right. They fell into place in the most beautiful way. I felt it then and I still feel it now, there was magic in that show.
      Why do you do theater? To tell stories in a more visual way. I enjoy learning about the characters I play and becoming them a little bit. Sometimes that allows me to learn about myself too. Theatre also builds bonds. There are some people I may never have met were it not for theatre and my life would be a little less colorful without them. 

      What’s your favorite thing about working with Broom Street? 
      It's hard to pin down my favorite thing about working with Broom. It's a place that isn't afraid to take risks whether it's in the story, staging, or casting of a show. It's a place to learn and grow. I started acting at Broom and have now done choreography, props, and stage managing. Oh, and I guess running crew-ish. I'm also a board member. I know that my story isn't unique in how I've come to be where I am. Broom Street likes to encourage growth which is nice to see in a traditionally quite competitive environment.

      Thursday, March 16, 2017

      Artist Profiles: Anthony Cary

      As the team looks to begin rehearsals next week, we are going to start introducing our wonderful artists to you. First up, Anthony Cary - he will be playing Johnny.

        Why are you excited about Geppetto? I'm looking forward to kinetic storytelling instead of simply hitting cues and saying lines.
          What is your favorite past role? A million years ago I got to play Elwood Dowd in Harvey, and I loved that role because Elwood is such a wonderfully lovable character. He's soft spoken but has a commanding presence, which is really interesting from a performing perspective.
            What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done on stage? I played Duke Orsino in 12th Night and totally face-planted on stage. At the top of the scene. It was extraordinarily bad! Now I always insist that my shoes fit appropriately before I go onstage.

            What are you hiding behind your mask? An undeserved, self-satisfied grin.

            Why do you do theater? The people. I love the challenge of acting, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy the people so much. 

            What’s your favorite thing about working with Broom Street? It's a place that provides opportunities for the unusual, the unexpected, and the untested. How theater should be! And black box acting is far more challenging than other stage layouts. 

            Saturday, March 11, 2017

            The Cutpurse Masks - old and new

            The masks for the Cutpurses in Geppetto are of somewhat unusual design. The story behind their look starts long before Geppetto was even being developed.

            Masks from the 2012 production "Pericles."
            It all started with my first mask project: Pericles, Prince of Tyre. I was directing for a festival where five different groups were tasked with producing one of the acts of the Shakespeare play. The concept was to perform in mask and each of the different locations Pericles visited had different colored masks. The green masks were created for Pericle's visit to Tarsus where they were starving. I wanted to create masks that made the characters look hungry and a little sick - hence the green.

            Masks repainted for the 2014 "Geppetto."
            Fast forward to 2013 when I was beginning to create the masks for the workshop production of Geppetto. I was looking to reduce my workload by reusing any masks from previous projects that I could. Since there wouldn't be many opportunities to reuse solid green masks, I decided to repaint them for Geppetto. So the masks were repainted orange. Brian Hurst and Blake Williams created the roles of the Cutpurses and use the mask to channel some Muppet energy into their characters.

            When I left Chicago for Madison in 2014, I gave the mask on the left to Blake Williams who had worn in it both productions. So when the Broom Street production of Geppetto was announced, I now had to come up with a new partner to the remaining original Cutpurse mask. Looking again to reuse existing masks to cut down on my workload, I decided to repaint this mask that I had made as an exercise to build interesting noses. I had never known what to do with it (as it was an odd look) and named it "Pinocchio." I thought the pointed nose would make a fun contrast to the mask with no nose.

            So here are the repainted Cutpurse masks ready for a new life in the 2017 production.