The future of the Ohio

kanoa lambretta by kanoa.

I was talking with a fellow theatermaker who just closed a show at the Ohio Theater with Clubbed Thumb about what a special space it is–it’s height, it’s depth, it’s location and it’s history of really wonderful projects that’ve run through there.  I saw Sung Rno’s wAve there some time back and they carved a river with running water down the side of the stage and then simulated the landing of a helicopter.  I saw Target Margin’s beautiful and strange Ten Blocks on the Camino Real there.  The first play I was ever paid to write was put up there. 

And there has been the talk of it closing, but it seems they’ll be able to be open for one more year.  One of the last, great downtown theater spaces.

We were mourning for it before it was even gone.

Now we can love it for a little longer.

Alexis Clements interviews Robert Lyons, head of Soho Think Tank/The Ohio Theater about the organization and the stay of execution.  Oh, and the tantalizing Ice Factory.

Found Objects and Harold and Kumar

The folks over at Significant Objects are bringing a whole new meaning to the words, “found objects.”

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The curators find a bunch of objects (for under $2) at garage sales, thrift stores, on the street, etc., then commission a writer to invent a story about the object–giving it a history, a life, a past, a “significance.”

Then, the objects are sold on e-bay. 

I like it.  I’ve sort of always loved found things.  Re-appropriated, re-made, re-contextualized.

In other news, Harold and Kumar are both respectively, well, in the news. 

John Cho is featured in Asian Pacific Arts and talks about how he used to be an English teacher during the day and act in plays at East West Players at night.  Kal Penn quit his sweet gig on House to work as Associate Director in the Office of Public Liason for Obama’s administration.

It seems to be our imperitive as Asian Americans to be overachievers.
Or to die trying.

Me, I’m more of an underdog than an overachiever.  But my nose, oh yeah, it’s to the grindstone.

Shaking Up Shakespeare at the Public and Children of Invention

The lovely Cindy Cheung stars in Children of Invention, a new film by Tze Chun that is the centerpiece for the upcoming Asian American International Film Festival in NY.  The official summary: Two young children living outside Boston are left to fend for themselves when their mother gets embroiled in a pyramid scheme and disappears.  I saw this in it’s premiere at BAM and it moved me and broke my heart.  I think that this is the story of so many immigrant families who come to the US to make a life and end up scrabbling to get by.  It’s told with specificity and restraint and I really think it’s an astonishing first feature film.

Check out the trailer here:

In other news, just spent an intense week training with the inspiring  Michael Wiggins to get ready for some programs at the Public Theater this summer.  My head is spinning.  I learned some new games.  We built an exciting sequence for Shakespeare Lab, Jr., a free Shakespeare exploration program for middle and high school students.  And I’m psyched for Summer Shakeup, next Friday, July 10th at the Delacorte in Central Park.  750 young people!

And the 4th of July is upon us.

Happy Independence Day.

Uniforms

I grew up wearing them.  Green jumper in grade school.  Herringbone skirt and a blue blazer in high school.  I really kind of hated it at the time, because it’s hard to feel like an individual.  But it might explain my penchant for blazers and structured clothing now.

Sheena Mathieken is wearing the same dress for a whole year.

It’s an exercise in sustainable fashion and she is donating the proceeds to the Akanksha Project, a non-profit in Mumbai that uses volunteer college students to help educate children who live in the slums.

Look.

And there’s an interview with her on Flavorpill here.

What is the role of the teaching artist?

Just sat in on a web symposium at the Seattle Art Museum, sponsored by the Dana Foundation and facilitated by Russell Granet.  There were 600 people listening in from across the country!

Topics included: What is the role of the teaching artist in public education?  How can schools maximize a partnership with an outside artist?  What is the artist role in the classroom, in the art room, in the school?  How can artists help build a culture in a school where creativity, innovation, and imagination are at the core of teaching and learning?

These were the panelists:

•    Lisa Fitzhugh, Founder, Former Executive Director, Arts Corps.
•    Sarah Johnson, Director, Weill Music Institute, Carnegie Hall.
•    Nick Rabkin, Researcher, Teaching Artist Research Project, University of Chicago
•    Naho Shioya. Teaching Artist.

They are going to archive the webcast on the Association of Teaching Artist’s website.  Look for it.

It is helpful to be given the opportunity to reflective about our practice and to constantly think about how we can do things better individually and systemically.   And as most of our work is done for the school year and we’re winding into summer, dreaming about next year and what’s to come.  Thanks, Dana Foundation.