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Survival Skills- A Moment With Ada

On Friday Survival Skills will open at the Mesa Art Center for a four show run. The show’s inception coincided with the founding of Laughing Pig Theatre. It is what my Mom would call, “A Fearless Self Inventory.” It is a celebration of friendship. It is the first full-length play that Taylor or I have ever written.

Survival Skills began as a one-woman show that I conceived as a container to investigate new creative forms and process a whole lot of heaviness that came along with my first foray into counseling– a quest to acknowledge overwhelming pain, process grief, and move into healing.

When Taylor entered the process as my director we discovered a whole mess of intersecting issues, jokes, and weirdly taboo subjects that we NEEDED to discuss. We decided to write a two-person play in the style of a variety show. Our thesis: There is no single story, and all the stories in the world won’t save you from yourself. The only path TO the self, is THROUGH the self. In this show we dive into ourselves in the spirit of friendship, growth, and letting the ugly bits out to see and be seen. We cordially invite you, dear reader, along for the ride.

We all have survival skills. Survival stories. We are sharing this work because we Know That Our World Could Use a Whole Lot More Vulnerability, Radical Self-Love, and FEMINISM (which isn’t even one of the F-words we use in the show!) We put this offering into the world that it may touch you. We hope it makes you laugh. We ask, “If everything you think you know makes your life unbearable, would you change?”

There would be no Survival Skills without two wildly wonderful, creative, sensitive, patient, and downright badass FEMINIST MEN: Tony Holt (Technical Mastermind) and Tony Moschetti (Director). The music that brings life and wind to the show’s sails is provided by the grace of immensely kind and talented Angelica Prado-Stern. Greatest gratitude and LVE to my friend, and creative co-conspirator Taylor: Thank you for working with me to bring this beautiful, hot, screaming, beast of a show into the world! We scrappy as fuck.

Thank you to Laura Wilde and the Mesa Art Center for building a vibrant space and filling it with the strong heartbeat of this arts community. A hearty shout-out is due to nue[BOX] who gave Survival Skills’ first clumsy iteration stage time via a Work In Progress Showing– one of the coolest free resources available to performance artists in the valley. Thank you Carrie at Saguaro Counseling for helping me build skills to put the practice of Mr. Rogers, “if it’s mentionable it’s manageable” into practice. It’s a process not a product, and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth it.

This show is for Valerie and Deborah for loving me like only my mother can. Fathers John and Anthony. When you feel it, talk it out. For my grandmothers: persistent garden tenders, teachers, writers, braves, warriors. For the grandfathers I don’t know. A prayer for my brothers and sisters. An homage to my teachers: Karen and Suzan, for giving me the tools I’d need along the way; to Dusty, Leslyn, Candace, and Robbin reminding why I practice yoga; the art and science of self care; Stephanie and Sara for illuminating conversation and transformational leadership; Paul for helping solidify a journaling habit.

Most especially, I’d like to dedicate this to my soul sister April, and her new daughter Piper. May you give her the love that our mothers gave us, and the love they couldn’t. Create a new language for it, when you have to. Digida.

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Auditions, Get Involved

Auditions on July 2nd

Laughing Pig Theatre will be hosting auditions on July 2 starting at 7:30pm at the Mesa Arts Center’s Drama Studio for their next three events.

Please prepare a memorized one-minute monologue. You may also be asked to do some cold reading.

To reserve an audition slot please email laughing.pig.theatre@gmail.com with your headshot and resume.

We are also ALWAYS looking to cast diverse performers!!! Since this is a call for multiple performances, you can choose to only audition for one or more of the events below just let us know.


Monologue Café: Walls
About: Series of true stories from the community inspired by the theme “Walls.”

If cast, you must be available and memorized (with the monologue that we provide you) on July 24th and 26th 7:30pm-10pm for dress rehearsals and both performances July 27th & 28th 6:30pm-10pm.

Reasons to be Pretty

About: In Reasons to Be Pretty, Greg’s tight-knit social circle is thrown into turmoil when his offhand remarks about a female coworker’s pretty face and his own girlfriend Steph’s lack thereof get back to Steph. But that’s just the beginning. Greg’s best buddy, Kent, and Kent’s wife, Carly, also enter into the picture, and the emotional equation becomes exponentially more complicated. As their relationships crumble, the four friends are forced to confront a sea of deceit, infidelity, and betrayed trust in their journey to answer that oh-so-American question: How much is pretty worth?

You must be available for the rehearsal process Monday- Wednesday from 7:30pm-10:00pm starting July 30th and performance dates Sept. 28, 29, Oct. 6 at 6:30pm-10:00pm and Sept. 30 1:00pm-5:00pm

New Work Staged Reading

Looking for performers to take part in a staged reading of a new work with facilitated feedback (memorization not necessary).

Staged Reading Opportunity on August 10 at 7:30pm. If cast must be available August 9 7:30pm-10pm for a rehearsal from and performance August 10 6:30pm-10:00pm.

 

Break a leg! We look forward to seeing you there!

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Calling all WRITERS & STORYTELLERS for our next Monologue Cafe

Laughing Pig Theatre is seeking WRITERS and STORYTELLERS to write a personal monologue or story about “walls” (both emotional and/or physical walls). We are seeking diverse storytellers willing to submitting personal pieces that illustrate the full range of emotions part and parcel to the experience: humor, tragedy, everything in between. The only guideline is that it must be your original work. Length and exact theme is up to the writer as long as it is inspired by “walls.” The submission deadline is June 23rd at 11:59pm. 

Our team will select the final pieces that represent the theme. Selected monologues will be performed in our Monologue Cafe on July 27th & 28th. This event will be public, and video and audio recording is ok. As part of your submission, you give Laughing Pig Theater the rights to utilize audio, video, and still images from the Monologue Cafe for professional purposes. You will retain all rights to your work. For future reproductions by Laughing Pig Theatre we will request your permission.

Should we select your piece, you are welcome to perform but because of the sensitive nature of what we are asking, we do not require that you read your own work. We will have performers standing by to bring your words to life. If you choose to perform your monologue, you must be available and memorized on July 24th and 26th (7pm-10pm) for dress rehearsals and both performances July 27th & 28th (6:30pm-10pm).

Please contact us at laughing.pig.theatre@gmail.com with questions and to submit. Thank you so much! We look forward to reading your story!

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April Writing Workshop Tonight! and other related thoughts.

pexels-photo-273222.jpegHappy Friday the 13th everybody. Today is the day we gather with friends and family to go camping at locations where literally hundreds of people have been murdered in the past to laugh, party, and get inevitably butchered ignoring the desperate warnings of your teenage honor student niece.

Tonight is the night of our monthly workshop series, and my fellow board members have asked me to lead one about writing. What a huge, ephemeral topic. I quite frankly wasn’t sure where I was going to go with it. Do you focus on strengthening one concept, like character or conflict? Do you assume participants have written before or are starting from scratch?

Eventually we decided to go with a devised theatre-style approach, which you will see firsthand once you arrive at the Mesa Arts Center Drama Studio at 7:30 PM with $8 or whatever you can.

The real question is, why am I writing a blog post abut this now, mere hours from the event ‘s beginning? “Shouldn’t you have written this days ago to help advertise the event, like you said you would?” my fellow board members will say.

Well, I wanted to use this as a point of reflection: At this moment, I am unsure of how the participants will react to the workshop. I am unsure of who will attend. I am unsure if my lesson plan makes any sense or has any artistic merit.

But I am very excited. I think it has the potential to be fun, informative and creatively stimulating. I spent a lot of time staring at a blank page thinking of how I wanted to express my ideas, and I am really glad I went in the direction I did.

Laughing Pig is all about transparency and accessibility. We don’t pretend to be anything beyond who we are. We are experienced, but we don’t pretend to be experts. We just want to give people a chance to express themselves and have a good time.

Tomorrow I will write a new post reflecting how the workshop went, how I would change it and if any of the feelings I’m writing about now are still valid. Laughing Pig isn’t just the finished product, its every step along the way.

And to that, I think my fellow board members would say, “Oh, so you just decided not to advertise like you promised? Cool.”

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Reflecting on our first Monologue Cafe

Linda Brown, of landmark case Brown Vs. Board of Education, died on Sunday. March for Our Lives took place across the country on Saturday to call attention to the atrocity of gun violence in the United States. 

Laughing Pig Theatre’s first Monologue Cafe addressing abuses of privilege and power also took place over the weekend. Our mission? To address violence, oppression, and abuses of privilege in our local community by sharing experiences and engaging in dialogue. We collected true stories, then placed those stories in the hands of 11 performers who brought each one to life. On Friday evening we followed the show with a processing session for writers, performers, and audience members. The cafe brought together a diverse, gracious, and enthusiastic group. It was inspiring to engage in the conversation with everyone who came out to participate, support and grow with us.

Writers and performers, we at Laughing Pig Theatre are stunned by and in awe of your courage, heart and humor. Without you all this wouldn’t have been possible. An enormous thank you goes out to: Julia Wallace, Patsy Parker, Dori Honovi, Darcy Cochran, Pina, Belen Markus, Arielle Hurst, Mindy Judson-Garcia, Tayo Talabi, Avery Volk, Sawyer Walter, Mara Nadolski, Katlyn Roberts, and Amy Palmer.

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Writer, Dori Honovi meeting the actors who performed her work post show: Darcy (left) and Avery (right). What a powerful trio!

Want to learn more, take action, or seek help for yourself/someone you love? Here are some inspiring organizations working toward a more just Maricopa County:
ACLU Arizona: https://www.acluaz.org/en
ALANON/ALA-Teen: http://al-anon-az.org/find-a-meeting/
A New Leaf: http://www.turnanewleaf.org/
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence: http://www.acesdv.org/
Arizona Foundation For Women: http://www.azfw.org/
Hope Women’s Center: https://www.hopewomenscenter.org/
NAACP Maricopa County: http://maricopanaacp.org/about-the-maricopa-county-branch/
Refuge Recovery:  https://www.refugerecovery.org/
SAAF Anti-Violence Programs: https://saaf.org/care-services/anti-violence-programs/

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What A Great Night!

THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for a great evening of improv and play on Friday. Enjoy a these highlights from the evening:

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Gift Giving 101
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Warming up at the thunder dome.
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Tony Moschetti (back corner) facilitated the workshop portion of our evening. 

Each one teach one is at the heart of our approach to theatre and community engagement, and it is you, our community who make this work (and play) possible. Big love to you.

If you had fun, pass it on! If you missed us on Friday fear not! There’s plenty more in store from Laughing Pig Theatre. Check out our Events Page for details.

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Feb Workshop: Improv for Dialogue

Laughing Pig Theatre’s next event is an educational workshop: Improvisation for Dialogue, set for Friday, February 9, 7-9pm at the Mesa Arts Center. In 2-hours, Ada McCartney will lead our attendees though different theatre techniques designed to facilitate crucial conversations.

If you’re a teacher, community organizer, team leader, or have ever worked in a group with other people, you know it’s essential for everyone to work together. We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced how difficult it is to move forward when the team is out of sync. Or worse: when that big pink elephant appears, and no one in the room knows how to talk about it. These new tools may be just what you need to shake-up your group dynamic, relate to each other compassionately, and attain results.

Adapting techniques used in Forum Theatre and the Theatre of the Oppressed, drawing on the works of Michael Rhod and Augusto Boal, Ada will teach participants to use theatre to create a common language and a safe space to discuss difficult issues,and explore potential solutions. In the process we’ll have a little fun, make some new friends, and continue to build our Laughing Pig Theatre community.

In this workshop you can expect:

  •  Introductions and Warm-up will get you comfortable with each other and the Acting Studio.
  • Trust Building exercises to help move past the awkwardness of meeting new people, raise the community issues you want to tackle, and build connections with your peers for a productive workshop.
  • Bridging exercises will bring your issues and imagination together as we use theatre games to explore more deeply what matters and why.
  • Improv Scene Work ties-in all that you’ve learned. We will improvise scenes in small and large groups, and discuss how we can use these tools to drive change in our own communities.

For this workshop you will need:

  • An Open Mind will serve you best as we’ll be working with new ideas and techniques, and discussing potentially sensitive issues.
  • Important Issues that you face in your communities, are interested in exploring, and want to find new ways to positively address.
  • Comfortable Clothes and Shoes, as we’ll be on our feet moving, bending, and shake-shaking across the Acting Studio.
  • $8 Donation: Laughing Pig Theatre is working to bring you new, exciting, and informative content at a low cost. We want your time, attention, and support most of all. Any financial support you can provide will help us deliver on our endeavors. Best of all: each full-price ticket comes with a Laughing Pig Theatre sticker!
  • A Ticket: walk-ins are welcome, but we only have about 30 seats available. RSVP here to ensure that you have a spot.

We can’t wait to see you on February 9, and at all of our future events. If you have any questions feel free to contact us here, or email us here.