From Director Jeff Frank: GRETEL!

4:28 PM
An ouroboros symbol represents the cycle of time.  
First Stage has had a long-standing commitment to the development of new educational initiatives and plays. Four seasons ago, we launched the Foundry Stage Series – piloting new programs and presenting readings of plays in various stages of development – offering our audiences a chance to be a part of the process, to give them a voice, to give them an opportunity to help us craft the next great plays to be on our stage. 

Last season, we launched the Foundry Production. Each season, we produce a new play shaped by the reading series and present a full production for our audiences. In addition, our Education and Theater Academy staff provides expanded opportunities for our community to expand on their theater experience through workshops and discussion. Our hope is that we stimulate further conversation and foster community through these new initiatives.

The response to last season’s reading of GRETEL! was incredibly strong. Our audience raved about the power of the story, the music, the use of found object puppetry, the vivid characters, and the incredibly strong protagonist. I’ve been a fan of the play since I first heard composer Jennifer Luck sing a demo from the show three or four years ago, but the reaction from our audiences assured me we needed to produce this powerful production. I’m thankful to all who were there for their guidance and support. I also want to thank Jason Tremblay for his vision for the show, Jennifer Luck for championing the work and crafting beautiful music, Nora Korakousoglou for the heartbeat that is the cello, and Suzan Zeder for listening to Jason’s voice and ensuring that this play survived to be shared with audiences.

GRETEL! reminds me of the best work of animated film director Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli). Miyazaki described his female characters as “brave, self-sufficent girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe in with all their heart.” His heroines may “need a friend, or a supporter, but never a savior.” This is Gretel. Reeling from loss, cast out of her home – she never loses hope. She continues. She fights to find answers, to find the place where she belongs, to discover who she is and who she will become.

I’d like to dedicate this production to my two amazing, strong, resourceful daughters who each continue to help me learn and grow.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.