Hello out there!
First of all, we just wanted to say that we realize that our blog postings have been few and far between for the past few months. Apologies for this fact, as we do love sharing our thoughts and hearing your feedback, but just haven’t seem to find the time recently. However, the holidays seem like a wonderful time to reach out again to all of you again, so here we go!
I wanted to talk today about a topic we often refer to, but haven’t ever really fully explained: our Reading Salon.
The idea for Reading Salon started when we were beginning initial preparations for Ivanov back in January 2012. Basically, since we opted to revise/adapt the Dover edition of the text, we needed to hear the play aloud a few times. So I emailed several actors, bribed them with the promise of free pizza and beverages, and we all eagerly gathered in my apartment to read a play. When we finished the reading and began discussing the play, comparisons were made to Chekhov’s other early play, The Seagull. Someone suggested that we also read The Seagull aloud. Which we did. Five days later.
After reading The Seagull, we then said, “Well, we might as well keep the Chekhov ball rolling and take on Uncle Vanya. And Three Sisters. And The Cherry Orchard. And what the hell, let’s throw in Platonov (an early Chekhov comedy that only few people have actually read--we highly recommend it!)”.
Of course, this led to discussions of other plays by other playwrights that we’d like to hear aloud. A lengthy list was compiled and thus, the Reading Salon was born.
Looking back over the past year, I have to say that the development of Reading Salon is one of my proudest accomplishments of 2012. HTTC was created with the hope of building and fostering a community of artists and to me, Reading Salon is an ideal communal activity for the working actor. It gives actors the opportunity to explore challenging roles and plays in the safety of a cozy salon setting (with tasty food and drinks as well!). It’s absolutely thrilling to have actors from different spheres of my life--or new friends I have just met that very evening--come into my home and bring a play to life in a bold, exciting way. Throughout the course of the past year, my living room has transformed into a Russian country estate, a lonely mountaintop in Poland, an English prison, the woods near Salem, the castle of Elsinore, and many more fascinating locations, all from the power of an actor’s voice. It’s been a wonderful reminder to me that you just need is a group of dedicated artists to breathe a play into life, as some of the most exciting work I’ve seen in the past year has been in my living room.
So congratulations to all who have participated in the Reading Salon throughout the past three Cycles. You cannot imagine how much you all inspire me. I can’t wait to see what we’ll experience in the Reading Salon in 2013!
Special shout-outs to Jordan Kaplan and Emily Kitchens for their dedication and constant commitment to this project. Reading Salon would not be as successful as it is without them.
And if you are currently not on the Reading Salon mailing list, but would like to be, please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add you to the list!
More to come soon!