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Say what? What.

March 20, 2009

Hello Friends!

I know, I know, I have been negligent in my blogging duties. You get used to thinking I’ll be here regularly then I disappear off the face of the earth. Sorry.

There is so much happening. Our reading series, which has been our bread and butter,  this first season is coming to a close. We have one reading left– but I’ll get to that in a moment. First , a huge thanks:  THANK YOU , to all those who have participated in our readings. My plan was to compile a complete list of all the amazing artists who’ve worked with us, but this takes a bit more planning than I’m prepared for at this immediate moment. ( We did a lot of readings this year!) So I’ll get that together after our last reading– which brings me to–

Our last reading this season is a play in development by local playwright, Kristen DeWulf. The play is called Ignis Fatuus, and focuses on themes related to the foreclosure and economic crisis. Over and over I’ve heard” Who wants to watch a play about that?” Well, we did. There is so little that can be controlled in this mercurial economic climate; as people, as artists, and as an arts organization we wanted our voices to be heard. Not simply for the sake of  relevance to our community, but out of our own shock, frustration, and confusion at what is happening to, literally, our neighborhoods, our friends.

Helen and I had many conversations on the best approach to this sensitive topic and I think we had a lot of good ideas. In the end we fell back on the strength of solid, honest, story telling, and that is exactly what Kristen has given us. A solid, thought provoking, tough, tender story. The table talks with the cast, Kristen and director Jessi Burgess have been fascinating, and fruitful. I have loved every moment I have been able to watch these wonderful artists build this play.

The reading is March 28th at 8PM at the Greater Reston Arts Center. March 28th also happens to be Swan Day, a day to celebrate and recognize women in the arts. We felt this a fitting day to debut this great play-in progress of Kristen’s. After the reading there will be a facilitated talk-back between audience and artists to continue the development process. We want to hear what you have to say!

That’s about it for this post. There is one other thing I want to tell you, but I can’t…YET. Stay tuned there’s much more coming…

In honor of the upcoming Swan Day I leave you with this quote:

“The theatre, when it’s good, is always dangerous.” — Hallie Flanagan, Director of the Federal Theatre Project 1935-1938

–Maggie Ulmer– Artistic Director, Development and Outreach

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