The Puppeteers: A Wonderful Weirdness in Oz

Image compiled by David Zarko.
This weekend my first production as a director with Zuppa del Giorno - The Puppeteers - opens.  You can buy tickets here, but why do that before you've had a chance to check out some of the development first?  Our process outside of the rehearsal room has been recorded on a 'blog: http://thepuppeteersproduction.blogspot.com/.  Check us out!

Zuppa del Giorno: Welcome Meeting

Today is the first of many meetings to lay groundwork for the upcoming original Zuppa del Giorno comedy.  We're working with an entirely new player this time - Elizabeth Hope Williams - and so I'll be meeting briefly with her to give her some context before we start tossing around ideas.  We'll look at photos from our past shows, discuss her experience and generally fill in any gaps she may have as it pertains to the commedia dell'arte.  It's exciting to return to this work, and more story-development meetings are bound to crop up as the fall progresses.

Workshop & Production: Marywood University

Tomorrow I'm off to Scranton once again to co-lead a week's workshops in the commedia dell'arte for Marywood's undergraduate theatre students, all of it culminating in a performance of an original commedia play in the town square on Labor Day - La Festa Italiana.  It's been two years since I participated in this annual course, and I'm very excited to get back to it.  It's supported by the Electric Theatre Company in conjunction with The Portal Project, which works to integrate education with the community at large.  This workshop is immensely rewarding every time, so I'm eager to return to it.

Teaching: Zip Zap Zop

Tomorrow will be my first day teaching with the Electric Theatre Company's new educational outreach program: Zip Zap Zop. Heather Stuart and I will be up to our old acrobalance, improvisation and physical characterization tricks with a large group of high school students of various ages from around the greater Scranton community. The program goes on throughout June, but I'll only be teaching on select days; namely May 22, June 5, 19 & 28. This is the kind of longer-term educational curriculum I'm excited to explore right now, to see what can be accomplished with more time to develop relationships and absorb training.

Teaching: City College of New York

Tomorrow and Wednesday I'll be substitute teaching for Suzi Takahashi's "Body Movement" class. This is a class for actors and non-actors alike interested in exploring physical expression through a theatre-history context, and I always enjoy my time spent in it. It's a special treat to have two days in which to work with the class, because it means I'll be able to assign the observational "homework" we use in In Bocca al Lupo. The students, having had a cursory lesson in the Commedia dell'Arte archetypes, will bring into the second class their personal observations of people and construct a character around them. It's great integration, and great fun.

Workshop: City College of New York

Today I'll be teaching a two-hour workshop in commedia dell'arte movement at the City College of New York. It's a "Body Movement" class, taught by Suzi Takahashi, with whom I've worked several times before. The class will have to be very cursory, but I plan to keep them moving almost the entire time and to continue to quiz them on the archetypes to which I introduce them. It's great fun; these classes are always a fascinating mix of actors, dancers and folks who have background in neither.

In Bocca al Lupo 2009


So we took another class to Italy in July. That's where I was for all of July. And I totally and completely forgot to post it. So . . . SURPRISE! I'm back, and it was an incredible event of directing, teaching, acting and collaborating -- truly the best we've had yet. In addition to that, Heather Stuart and I got to perform at the inauguration of a renovated amphitheater in Aquapendente. We adapted the balcony scene from our clown Romeo & Juliet, and got the audience laughing and sighing, even with the text all in English. An amazing adventure, all around.

Hunter College: Commedia Workshop


Tomorrow I'll be teaching a workshop in commedia dell'arte as a part of Sascha Just's Introduction to Theatre class. The plan is to spend the first half talking about the history of commedia and what follows from its traditions, and the second half bringing those traditions to life. This won't be my first Hunter workshop, but it is my first time working with Sascha, and it's exciting to make another educational connection.

Workshop: Swarthmore


This Tuesday I'll be making a trip to Philadelphia, to teach yet another commedia dell'arte workshop. This time, at Swarthmore College. It will be fast, but sometimes that's the best way to learn such a physical craft. I'm excited to be teaching in a new place!

Update: This workshop has been postponed to the 14th, which is a great relief to me, as I find two things oddly stressful when I must do them in the rain: traveling & commedia dell'arte.

Workshops: City College of New York


Tomorrow I'll be teaching the first half of a cumulative four-hour workshop in commedia dell'arte movement at the City College of New York. It's a "Body Movement" class, taught by Suzi Takahashi, with whom I've worked before. This is the first time, however, that I've been a guest teacher for her in an actual movement studio, rather than a classroom. I'm also excited that I'll be teaching over two days, the second of which will be Monday. It means I'll be able to cover a lot of basics, and have the students process it and bring something of their own to the work.

Zuppa del Giorno: The Very Nearly Perfect Comedy of Romeo & Juliet


Once upon a time, a playwright of some modest ability took a scenario from the commedia dell'arte and gave it his own spin, turning it into a tragic love story so resonant it quickly became THE love story. Four hundred years later, the contemporary commedia dell'arte troupe Zuppa del Giorno irreverently returns "Romeo & Juliet" to its boisterous beginnings. Once again first love is fresh, foolish and funny, and with the help of classic commedia characters, a couple of red noses and a couple of Italian artists to boot, a roller-coaster of a comedy is ready to ride!

But will the troupe craft this classic to a comic conclusion, or will tragedy take its normally inevitable toll?

Previews begin Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 7:00pm
Closes Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 5:00pm

Electric Theatre Company
326 Spruce Street, 2nd Floor
Scranton, PA
Tickets 570/558-1515 - Office 570/558-1520

La Vigilia (2)

Come not see me in the show I'm understudying!

Direct from the International Fringe Festival

BOO-Arts Presents:
La Vigilia, by Vincent Marano
Directed by Kathleen O'Neill

at Manhattan Theatre Source
177 MacDougal Street (between Waverly and 8th Street)
Performances – Wednesday to Saturday, Sept 3 through the 20th, 2008

Tickets $18; Reservations 212-501-4751 Group Sales - 917-776-7218
Advance Tickets at Theatermania.com or 212-352-3101
More information
www.theatresource.org or www.boo-arts.com

The Portal Project: The Betrothed

The Electric Theatre Company (formerly The Northeast Theatre) teamed up with Marywood University's theatre department a little over a year ago to collaborate on productions and education. Last year we trained their students in public performance and cast some of them in our original production, Prohibitive Standards. This year, we trained them in our unique brand of contemporary commedia dell'arte, and they will be performing at the Scranton Italian festival.

Come see the original commedia dell'arte scenario, The Betrothed, to be performed August 31 at 4:00 and September 1 at 1:00 and 4:00. It will contain a lot of my teaching, a bit of my direction, and all my love for our incredible students.

La Vigilia (1)

Come not see me in the show I'm understudying!

BOO-Arts and TeatrOscuro

Present:

LA VIGILIA (THE VIGIL)

Directed by

Kathleen O’Neill

with

James Michael Armstong* Victoria Bundonis*

Micheal Black* Ridley Parson

Elka Rodriguez

Asst. Director Stage Manager Lights/Costume Design Sound Design

Gabi Radenwz John Michael Crotty Will Lowry Lisa Ien DeNio

The Connelly Theater

220 E. 4th Street, between Ave A & B

Wednesday, August 13 @ 3:00pm

Thursday, August 14 @ 9:45pm

Sunday, August 17 @ 4:30pm1

Wednesday, August 20 @ 5:30pm

Saturday, August 23 @ 7:15pm

Go to http://www.fringenyc.org/ or http://www.nytheatre.com/ for more details.

"Let no one who loves be called altogether unhappy; even love unreturned has its rainbow." Eaton Stannard Barret

Does true love have an expiration date? When a stranger enters the lives of three lonely people, whose heart will mend and whose will break? Inspired by Goldoni and DaSica,

La Vigilia is a madcap minestrone of love and passion rediscovered.

Clown Romeo & Juliet

All next week I'll be out of town for an initial collaborative workshop to develop Zuppa del Giorno's proposed clown/commedia dell'arte version of Romeo & Juliet. Scranton, Pennsylvania, will be my host as well as host to bunches of other talented people at various times throughout the week. So come on out to The Northeast Theatre to play, if you can! There are no rules! Beginnings are so much freaking fun!

The Portal Project: Busking

Next week, all week, I'll be meeting the theatre students at Marywood University and teaching them the ways of character creation, improvisation and busking (or: public performance). The Portal Project is a collaboration between the university and The Northeast Theatre that's intended to involve the entire community in educating and entertaining. You can watch the end result on the street of Scranton at the end of next week, for their annual Festa Italiana.