a beginning in the midst of adaptations

Hello blog world! Becky here.  After a little over a month of getting my feet soaked here at the J I am finally writing my first entry.  I have started ones before but alas they never were finished…so if this makes it up – whew! It happened. I wanted to jump in on the adaptation talk and mention how the “Ethics and War” series is getting started or at least the planning is getting started. This is such a thrilling event for me – for numerous reasons.  This series is going to hopefully start some fascinating conversations and maybe even be the basis for something even larger. I pretty much love not knowing where new ventures might take you.  It’s exciting to be at the beginning.  It’s exciting to be in the middle too or even the end (although the end becomes about remembering the beginning…). 

But the beginning. There’s something in being able to say “I remember when it all began…”.  It’s happened with me and former Theater J employees – at my closing night over at Rorschach Theatre (which had it’s first show in the Theater J lobby) I was chatting with Randy Baker (former TJ employee) and I was talking about our recent cleaning up of our “Secret Room”.  **Side note: This room once was just plain scary but now looks A-MAZING (there are labels and everything)….all this thanks to Delia and some incredible interns. I digress.**  Anyhoo as I was mentioning the “secret room” Randy piped up that it was actually he who gave it it’s name and he was quite thrilled about it.  And to be honest — it was pretty cool for me to hear where it came from!  Which brings me back to the “Ethics and War” series…it’s going to be great to be part of the start of this smart series. 

There’s another reason that I have to admit is making me jump for joy as this gets under way — and that’s because it’s being co-produced with Journeymen Theater Ensemble.  For those of you who don’t know Journeymen – JTE -….wait, let me switch hats.. JTE is a company that was started 5 years ago by Deborah Kirby and is “guided by Christian principles and is dedicated to providing a nurturing environment for theater professionals to create art that addresses social and moral issues that challenge and inspire its artists and audiences”.  (www.journeymentheater.org) I became friends with Debbie the first year I moved here, performed in 3 of their shows and I am coming up on 2 years as serving as their volunteer Outreach Director.  So needless to say JTE holds a dear space in my heart.  And what’s even grander is that I have a chance to help unite these two companies to produce this event — absolutely love it when the small world of theater collides!

How did this happen?  Well… and hopefully someone will correct if I am wrong but in a brief history of the Theater J, Journeymen connection:

Ari and Deborah started years ago talking about the underlying connection between the two companies – both being ones that are based in religious and cultural footsteps.  Both striving to create and produce works that honor the heart, shall we say,  of where they live.  They both knew that somewhere in there lived a connection to each other’s companies….but needed to find what that might be.

Fast forward.  To a few months ago.  I am sure that I skipped a lot of important steps and conversations but I wasn’t there so I won’t even try, I will leave those gaps for them to chime in themselves.

So – a few months ago….Debbie ends up being chosen to direct a 10 minute play Ari writes for the new Source festival.  Conversations happen.  They discover that they are both producing shows, at almost the exact same time in the season which are dealing with very similar topics.  Wait – there’s more.  Ari has just hired myself  (JTE’s Outreach Director) and Shirley (Director for the JTE show) Fate.  Something must be done – right?  So it’s being done.  I am sure more blogs will be written about this union but that’s the simple version that I know. 

So here’s the series as we have so far:

Showing at Theater J:  

HONEY BROWN EYES  by Stefanie Zadravec
Oct 22 – Nov 30

“Bosnia, 1992. In two kitchens, two soldiers recover a little of what they’ve lost during the war. A Serbian soldier confronts a woman he might have known and is faced with a terrible choice, while a member of the Bosnian resistance takes refuge in what he thinks is an abandoned apartment. Unlikely partnerships emerge in this play of horror, humanity and stunning relevance.”

Showing at Journeymen Theater:  

AS AMERICAN AS  by Ken Prestininzi
Oct 22-Nov 15

“The war comes home to middle America when the Penini’s basement is transformed into a black-site where a hooded man is interrogated by two men named Frank. How far would you go to save your only son?”

Ethics and War Reading Series:

October 27:      
Depositions on Water-Boarding: From the Justice Department’s Office Of Legal Counsel Testimony Before The House Of  Representatives, Subcommittee On The Constitution, Civil Rights, And Civil Liberties  

November 3:     
The Trial of the Catonsville Nine   By Daniel Berrigan

November 10:   
Benedictus: An Iran-Israel-US Collaboration
   Created by Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Motti Lerner, Roberta Levitow, Daniel Michaelson, and Torange Yeghiazarian


Oh, this is going to be exciting.  There will be more.   But it’s enough for now.  Glad to chime in and hopefully it won’t be too long before it happens again.  Back to work. Ta ta