This adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts will feature a Chorus of Orphans, who shadow, surround, underscore, rub up against, run along side of, and even sometimes subsume the action of the play. These slightly menacing, other-worldly Orphans will represent many things at once - not only the children from the Captain Alving Memorial Orphan’s Home, but also spectral images of Captain Alving’s illegitimate children, lies and mistakes, and the swarming virus particles of Oswald’s disease. This Chorus of Orphans, made up of dancer/musicians, will work with choreographer Madelyne Camera to create a movement score, and will develop songs taking and twisting text from the play into a Norwegian-inspired gibberish.
Much of the shape of the piece will come from the carefully crafted improvisations we will engage in during this residency, designed to get at the heart and subtext of each scene. We will use different triggers for these improvisations, including relationships (mother and son, pastor and parishioner, etc.), objects (books, pills, matches), events (Captain Alving’s funeral). We will also do creative writing and physical exploration to develop a deep understanding of character.
Will cover the travel costs for our 13 collaborators to get to Dragon’s Egg. We will be coming from Indiana, New York, and Western Massachusetts. It will also pay each collaborator a stipend (since we will be taking time away from our jobs) and feed us for the 9 days we are at work exploring Ibsen's Ghosts. Thus, your support will enable the development of this brand new adaptation. We are asking for $5,000 but could certainly use more, in order to pay everyone a decent wage during this time.
Toby Bercovici will take the material generated during the residency and use it to craft the adaptation. We will then rehearse, perform, and tour the production throughout 2013-2014.
The Tribe of Fools
Is a project of Cultural Images Group, a non-profit organization. It was founded in 2012 by Toby Bercovici with the intent of creating fully physical adaptations of the classics.
Who We Are
Toby Bercovici (director) holds a BA in Theatre from Smith College and an MFA in Directing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Past directing credits include A Feast at Countess Kotlubay’s, Hedda Gabler, A Doll House, Ashes to Ashes, Spring Awakening: A Sin of Omission, The House of Bernarda Alba, Night on the Galactic Railroad (English premier), Of Turlygods & Time: The Tale of King Lear, and O Yes I Will (I will remember the spirit and texture of this conversation). Upcoming projects include Meta/Pina, a devised piece utilizing the gestural life and exploring the rehearsal techniques of German choreographer Pina Bausch; a re-invisioning of Twelfth Night for teenagers; and Our Town. She is an associate artist and board member of Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble and frequently assistant directs for The Talking Band at La Mama E.T.C. She has taught acting at UMASS Amherst, The Looking Glass Theatre, The Drama Studio, and for Pauline Productions and Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble. www.tobyverabercovici.com
Madelyne Camera (choreographer) earned an MFA in dance choreography from Smith College. Specializing in contact improvisation, postmodern dance, and dance for theatre, film, and site-specific work, her pieces explore the link between the psyche and movement. Camera has choreographed and performed in NYC, Berlin, Vienna, and Seattle. Camera and Bercovici’s Off-Off-Broadway production of Spring Awakening: A Sin of Omission, which featured “Camera’s unique genre-breaking choreography,” was recently reviewed in Theatre Journal. Currently, she is an associate producer for the documentary on contact improvisation, An Intimate Dance.
Diane Kondrat (Mrs. Alving) is an Equity member with 38 years of acting experience. She was nominated for the prestigious Jeff Award in Chicago as Best Supporting Actress in 2011. A grant from the Lilly endowment allowed her to take the month-long Shakespeare intensive in Lenox, Massachusetts in 2011-12. She has also been an independent producer in charge of two different companies, one a not-for-profit that performed interactive theatre in prisons and detention centers for fifteen years, and one a for-profit organization that focused on producing small cast shows with great roles for women. Diane is trained in the full two-year Neighborhood Playhouse Technique. She has assisted in many play development projects, one of the most recent being a fringe show that garnered the Best Lead Actress Award in the Midtown International Theatre Festival in NYC in 2009. She has written three plays and created countless scenes for improvisational theatre work. She gives high-energy, risk-taking performances, based always on a firm foundation of disciplined attention to detail and devotion to the art of live theatre.
Jeannine Haas (Pastor Manders) is the founding Producing Artistic Director of Pauline Productions Theatre Company in the Pioneer Valley of Western MA, now in its sixth year. At Pauline Productions, she has acted in or directed the following: O Yes I Will (I will remember the spirit and texture of this conversation) by Deb Margolin and directed by Toby Bercovici, Shiloh Rules by Doris Baizley, Scaramouche Jones by Justin Butcher, Mayflower Plantation by Dan Robert and Lisha Brooks, Parallel Lives: The Kathy and Mo Show by Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney, Mystery of Irma Vep by Charles Ludlum, Doubt by John Patrick Shanley, Stuff Happens by David Hare, and Boston Marriage by David Mamet. Haas has been a member of Actors Equity Association since 1982 and acts regularly with New Century Theatre in Northampton, MA, and The Majestic Theatre in West Springfield, MA (approx. 12 seasons). New Century Theatre: Favorite roles include: Dr. Waller/Mrs. Holly/Nurse (Distracted), Kimberly (Kimberly Akimbo), Mrs. Grosse (Turn of the Screw), Harriet (Man Who Came to Dinner), Widow Beckwith (Shiloh Rules), Charlotte (Moon Over Buffalo). The Majestic Theatre: Margaret (Savannah Disputation), Ellen (Over the Tavern), Vivian (Wit), among others. As a “guest artist” at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she played Bernarda Alba in The House of Bernarda Alba, directed by Toby Bercovici. Teaching Acting: Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Artist/Educator with Enchanted Circle Theatre (Holyoke, MA) in K-12 schools throughout New England, Athol-Royalston Middle School, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School and Middle School. Education: BA in Theatre, Smith College (1988J), Ed. D in Creativity/Human Development, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1996).
Rand Foerster (Engstrand) was the Artistic Director and Co-Founder (with comedian Lewis Black and the late great Rusty Magee) of NYC’s West Bank Downstairs Theatre Bar, where he directed and acted while producing hundreds of new American one act plays. Most recently he performed the role of Arthur P. in the New Century Theatre’s production of Superior Donuts. He has directed many productions for the Majestic Theater in West Springfield including Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Boys Next Door, The Fantasticks, Death of a Salesman, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Gin Game, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Of Mice and Men, and All My Sons. He has directed many productions for the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater including What Then, Red Light Winter, Fires in the Mirror, Prelude to a Kiss, Johnny Got His Gun and Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll. An MFA graduate of the Yale School of Drama, and a director of over eighty productions and he’s acted on stages Off-Broadway, London and Edinburgh, as well as television and film. Rand lives in Amherst, MA and also teaches at Amherst South East Campus and Holyoke Community College.
Michael Greehan (Oswald) is a freelance actor in New York City who holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Past credits include: Barker in Hot Lunch Apostles (Talking Band/La Mama E.T.C.), Moritz in Spring Awakening: A Sin of Omission (The Looking Glass Theatre), Boult in Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Shawn Lacount), J. Edgar Hoover in The Snake and the Falcon and Ari in Wider Than the Sky (Jessica Litwak/Serious Play). Training: Jessica Litwak, Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble, Gina Kaufmann.
Linda Tardif (Regina) - New York: Hot Lunch Apostles (Talking Band/La Mama E.T.C.), Spring Awakening: A Sin Of Omission (The Looking Glass Theatre). International: Milosevic at the Hague (JoakimInterfest, Serbia). Regional: Voices in Conflict (New Century Theatre), The Emperor's New Clothes, Three Musketeers, Cinderella (PaintBox Theatre), King Lear (Serious Play!), Taming of the Shrew (Hampshire Shakespeare Company). Other select credits: Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Night on the Galactic Railroad (English premiere), Stop Kiss, Recent Tragic Events, and The House of Bernarda Alba. Training: B.A, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble (Company Guest Artist since 2009). www.lindatardif.com
Sydney Angel graduated in 2011 from NYU. Recent credits: The Tempest at Brooklyn Lyceum, Measure for Measure and 4.48 Psychosis at NYU, Twelfth Night at The Bernie West Theatre, Elegies for Angels... at The Triad, Spotlight Cabaret at The Duplex, and Bellevue Sketches at The Player's Theatre. She wrote the scores for The Tempest and Measure for Measure and plays both piano and guitar.Training: Shakespeare & Company, Pearl Conservatory, Atlantic, TGW Acting, A.C.T, CAP21.
Brittany Costa is a freelance actress and band member in New York City. Instruments include: ukulele, harmonica, vocals. Selected past credits include: Martha/Professor Knochenbruch/Frau Gabor in Spring Awakening: A Sin of Omission (The Looking Glass Theatre), Carnie in Hot Lunch Apostles (The Talking Band/La Mama E.T.C.), Viola in Twelfth Night (Dawn Monique Williams), Martirio in The House of Bernarda Alba (Toby Bercovici), Natasha in The Three Sisters (Jack Shea). Other credits include: King Lear (Serious Play!), Unruly Mujeres (World Premier), The Coast of Utopia: Voyage (Irene Ryan Nominee). Training: B.A. in Theater, University of Massachusetts Amherst, New Generation Theatre Ensemble (Jessica Litwak), Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble (Sheryl Stoodley), Night Owls A Capella (John Waynelovich).
Nora Menken - Performing credits include Little Red Ridinghood in Into the Woods, Mae Rose Cottage in Under Milk Wood, and ensemble in Evita, Brigadoon, Ragtime, Rent, and Caucasian Chalk Circle. Training: Shakespeare & Company, University of Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy. Extensive dance background: over 18 years of ballet, modern, and jazz.
Diana Oh - Librettist, playwright, songwriter/singer, and actress. Selected performance credits: Soomi Kim's Dictee, The Culture Project. Judith Malina's History of the World, The Living Theatre. On Love, B.B.C., National Geographic. Mariah MacCarthy's Ampersand, La Mama. Larry Kunofsky's The Un-Marrying Project, Paradise Factory. Shem Bitterman's A.K.A., Cornerstone Theatre Company, L.A. Writing: Featured in Bill Finn's/Barrington Stage Company's Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists..., Merkin Theatre. Dress and Bench, Kraine Theatre. FullStop Artist-in-Development. Akutagawa with Jay Spriggs and Ilana Becker. Book and lyrics for the musicals, The Virgin Queen, with composer Dimitri Landrain, Kimchi Mamas and the Dirty Disco, with composer Jingoo Lee, the lyrics for Eau Blanche! with composer Onn San and bookwriter Becca Anderson. MFA, NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (Elphaba Thropp Fellow). BA, Smith College. National Theatre Institute and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts Alum. Director of Filling the Well Artist Retreats and Residencies.
Troy Pepicelli is a New York-based Theater artist who holds a B.A. in Theater from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. New York: Fabian in Twelfth Night: Original Pronunciation (American Theater for Actors). Selected Regional: Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer (Porch Light Productions), Leaf Coneybear in Spelling Bee (The Majestic Theater), Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (Dir., Dawn Monique Williams), Maria Josefa in The House of Bernarda Alba (Dir., Toby Bercovici), Young Lord in Surprised by Love, and Dickon in The Secret Garden (Triboro Musical Theatre, Dir. Vivian K. Humphrey). Troy studies dance and voice under the expertise of Erin Westerlind at On The Barre Studio and the incomparable Ben Rauhala, respectively.
Sam Perry is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Favorite roles include Hansy in Spring Awakening: A Sin of Omission (The Looking Glass Theater), Edgar in King Lear (Serious Play!), Bobby Strong in Urinetown (UMASS Amherst), and Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream (directed by Tony Simotes of Shakespeare & Company). Other notable credits: Twelfth Night, Night on the Galactic Railroad (English premier), Metamorphoses, The Burial at Thebes, and his own stage adaptation of Reservoir Dogs. Training: Viewpoints with Toby Bercovici and Sheryl Stoodley, rhetoric and Suzuki with Milan Dragicevich, stage combat with Tony Simotes. Sam also composes and performs guitar and vocal music, both solo and with various rock groups. Additionally, he plays bass with indie Math Rock quartet Dios Trio, whose 2011 album High on Bikes has garnered recognition and high praise from the genre's subculture of listeners worldwide.
(Note: photograph from Night on the Galactic Railroad, directed by Toby Bercovici)
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