Monday, April 22, 2013

Please support us in taking this show on the road!

As the trail for my play, "Unmarried in America," winds on its way, I can't begin to thank all the partners we've had on the journey. I am grateful for every contribution from every actor and artistic director and every college program and theatre company that has supported us! As you may know, Aspen Stage took a cutting of “Unmarried in America” to the CCTC festival in Salida, CO last August, where it won “The People’s Choice Award” and a chance to advance to a regional competition. In March, a performance at Thunder River Theatre Company earned us a spot representing our region (WY, CO, UT and MT) at the AACT national competition at the Tarkington Theatre in Carmel, IN. If you believe in marriage equality and the message of “Unmarried in America,” please help us take this show on the road to spur discussion beyond the valley! To support us, simply use the secure PayPal button on this site. No donation is too small or too large.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Join us in Dillon, CO

"Unmarried in America" has been invited to perform at Lake Dillon Theatre in Dillon, CO on May 17, 18 and 19 (7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday). The support for this piece has been generous and humbling. If you live in the area, or know people who do, please plan to attend and support us!

Every time I think this play has gone as far as it can go on its own steam, another set of tracks appears and away we roll. I will be ever grateful to the people who have believed in this project from the beginning and who have stayed with it through all the terrain we've crossed so far. I am so honored by your faith in this piece.

As the Supreme Court deliberates, the court of public opinion is also in session and making its own decisions. The people I've met and the stories I've heard while researching this play have cracked open my mind and my heart in ways that have compelled me to jump onto the witness stand and share what I've seen and heard. I hope you'll consider entering the discussion too. Please join us in Dillon.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Brave New Words: Eudora's Box

Brave New Words: Eudora's Box

I just wanted to share the review of Thunder River Theatre Company's production of my play, "Eudora's Box," from their website:'sbox.htm

It was SO much fun, and I'll be ever grateful to Lon Winston, Valerie Haugen, and Brad Moore for believing in this project.

By Trina Ortega
Sopris Sun Contributor

As a regular patron to the Thunder River Theatre, I was a bit disoriented walking into the seating area on opening night of Kristin Carlson’s “Eudora’s Box.” The normal entrance was blocked, and seats were positioned on all sides of “the stage.” I was still a bit mixed up at intermission and tried to walk out where the stage fridge was positioned.

But it was exactly what Thunder River Theatre Company members Brad Moore (director of “Eudora’s Box”) and Lon Winston (set design) intended. The subtle but brilliant rearranging of the audience chairs, along with the deliberate darkness at the opening of Act I, put me in the shoes of a person dealing with Alzheimer’s, which is the basis for the play.
“Eudora’s Box” was TRTC’s 2010 New Play Development selection and celebrated its world premiere last week. It continues June 29-30 with a 7:30 p.m. curtain; July 1 with a 2 p.m. matinee; and July 5-7 (7:30 p.m. curtain).

The play centers around “Pop” and his three adult children. When Pop is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the kids swoop in to plan his future, including arrangements for assisted living and finances, down to every last penny. Meanwhile, Pop desperately searches for his wife Eudora’s “box.” But his children find it first and upon discovering the contents begin to delve into childhood memories and re-evaluate the person they knew as their mother.
It’s a bit scary to admit, but Carlson sheds light on how our own memories of events and people may not be in line with others’ recollection of the same events and people. I fight for “my memory” to be the correct version but, in fact, a sibling or friend may have a more accurate recollection. Scarier still, perhaps the stories of our lives begin to take on a little more fiction as time passes.

But as Pop questions: Is that really so bad?

At one point or another, each sibling deliberates this. Early on, the judgmental and controlling older sister, Faye (played bravely by Summer Thomas), sighs, “Nothing is ever how we remember it.” Thomas plays the role convincingly, creating an abrasive sibling whom we despise most of the time but can sympathize with in her struggle to forgive those who have “betrayed” her. “Can’t the little lies we tell ourselves be as good as truth?” she pleads.
G. Thomas Cochran’s portrayal of Pop is tender, sad and comical at times. We fight with him as he screams at the kids, “I’m right here, talk to me to my face.” We laugh with him as he describes his neighbor friend yelling at him as though he’s deaf (he wears ear plugs nearly the entire time). We respect him as though he’s our own wise ol’ Pop as he explains that he needs Eudora’s box to put the “missing puzzle pieces” of his brain back together.
Jeff Carlson plays Richard, the middle child, a son who constantly seeks his father’s approval, and his repugnance upon hearing intimate details about his parents’ loving relationship is both hilarious and relatable.

Sophie Sakson, however, steals the stage in her role as Lucy, the youngest child and Pop’s “favorite” (at least on the surface). Sakson has a natural presence and transforms her character into a sexy woman facing the reality that she may not even “know how to love.” Despite her promiscuous behavior and still-innocent view on life, we love Lucy for her optimistic attitude, honesty and accepting nature.

Nyle Kenning plays Lucy’s lover, Jarod, and their on-stage chemistry creates some steamy moments that should make Sakson’s real-life parents a bit nervous.
“Eudora’s Box” is a funny, heart-warming and heart-wrenching play featuring remarkable local professional talent (the playwright, acting and production).

Friday, April 5, 2013

Unmarried in America — It takes a village to raise a play. Thank you!

OK. So, there's very little that's actually brave about this blog. Except that I am somewhat technically challenged — and that I am striving for more courage in my life and my art. More faith. Less fear. So, here goes.

I am beyond thrilled that my play, "Unmarried in America," has been selected for presentation at a national community theatre festival in IN. From the start, I wanted to create a piece that could play in the heartland and spark respectful conversation. Performing this play in Carmel, IN is an incredible opportunity.

I still have to pinch myself when I think about how this play came into being. An acquaintance just happened to suggest that I take a close look at the Prop 8 Trial. Then, a friend just happened to know a witness in the trial. And that witness, Ryan Kendall, just happened to be willing to talk to me and to put me in contact with his circle of friends. That's a lot of happenstance. Which is why this process has felt like more than coincidence since the beginning.

And I haven't even begun to address the amazing actors who just keep showing up to donate their time and talents, the phenomenal director who materialized for the first-ever table reading of this project, and the theaters (Colorado Mountain College Theatre, The Wheeler, Sol Theatre and Thunder River Theatre) that have appeared to offer us performance space.

Truly, it takes a village to create a viable play. And I am blessed beyond measure and beyond reason by an incredible community of supporters. The response to this piece has been overwhelming. And I just want to say thank you to everyone who has tossed fertilizer, in the form of time, energy and commitment, on this project. It is growing. And I am grateful.  Thank you, thank you!