Clowns Finding a Home in Harlem

This is a profile on Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, two wonderful TA colleagues at the New Victory Theater and clown partners in the group The Acrobuffos.

The story is amazing for two reasons.

It talks about the incredible work that they do in war torn countries to bring their art and joy to young people.  To help people to dream, to express, to heal.

They also found a way to buy their own home and make it a place where they can work and live, which for me, as a Teaching Artist, seems sometimes like a faraway dream.  Now I know it’s possible, so that makes me hopeful.

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.”

8a-sankatray-550

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.