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.”

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/

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.

Privilege, Power, and Improv

Recently, a friend told me that they were interested in trying improv, but intimidated and afraid of the pressure to “be funny”. I knew exactly what she meant: improv is stereo-typically dominated by white-bread dudes getting a laugh and confidence boost at the expense of everyone else. It doesn’t have to be this way. Theatre (including improv) is knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power, at its best, is love NOT elitism.

In the book, Games for Actors and Non-Actors, Augusto Boal writes,

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a dance piece where the dancers danced in the first act and in the second showed the audience how to dance? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a musical where in the first act the actors sang and in the second we all sang together?…This is…how artists should be—we should be creators and also teach the public how to be creators, how to make art, so that we may all use that art together.

At Laughing Pig Theatre we’re committed to making the democratic practice of theatre safe, inclusive, and accessible to all. We’re using our inaugural season to engage with our community about important subjects, to learn together, and to have fun. Here’s how we’re doing it:

  • On Wednesday’s we host a weekly Open Improv Jam. We invite anyone who’d like to play a variety of improv games to join our ensemble in rehearsal. We explore everything from long-form to forum theatre. Being “funny” isn’t important. It is completely FREE, and open to every level of experience and ability. Come play with us! All you need is comfortable clothing and curiosity.
  • Every 2nd Friday Laughing Pig combines entertainment with instruction in a dynamic pay-what-you-can style evening of play. Whether it’s an improv show by our ensemble followed by an open improv jam with the audience, or a Theatre of The Oppressed Workshop, or a reading of a new play followed by a writers’ circle, these monthly events are sure to be as entertaining as they are educational.
  • Our Quarterly Productions explore under-represented aspects of our communities in an entertaining, evening length, genre-bending format.

Come join us at Mesa Arts Center!

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.

 

Last Week for Submissions!

Hello Piglets! Wait. Pig-heads? No, that’s worse. I’ll get back to you.

Anyway, Saturday, January 27 is the last day to submit a monologue or story for our March Monologue Café. There has been a little confusion as to what we are expecting for this, so I hope we can clear it up:

What we want these pieces to be about is really your own experience with an unfair power dynamic. This certainly was inspired by the national conversation we are having on sexual assault, but we think it goes much further. There are certain things we as a society have decided to accept as “the way things are.” We are all starting to realize that our acceptance comes at the expense of the safety and well-being of entire sections of our population.

These are the stories we want to hear from you. If you have never written a monologue before, don’t worry. Just tell the story as you would tell it to a friend. We don’t need professional, publishing-ready writing. We want your voice. It can be tragic, humorous, or everything in between. And if you felt like you were the person using your power, we want to hear from you too.

And remember, if you are not comfortable sharing your own words, we will have one of our actors perform them on your behalf, and you can remain anonymous. What matters to us is giving the community an opportunity to get things off their chest, and learn about the trials of others they may have never considered.

Email laughing.pig.theatre@gmail.com today to submit a piece. There are no rules to these monologues, but if you want to read some examples we posted a couple here and here.

*You do not need to be located in AZ to submit a piece.

You are welcome to perform your piece, 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 memorized and available on March 21st and 22nd for dress rehearsals (7:00-10:00) and for all performances March 23rd, 24th (6:00pm-9:00pm) and 25th (1:00pm-5:00pm). 

Submissions are due January 27th, 2018 by 11:59pm. The Monologue Cafe will be a public event, 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.

We will be selecting monologues for the performances by February 10th. For every selected monologue, if the writer does not wish to participate in the performance, they will receive one comp ticket for the night of their choosing.

To purchase tickets for our Monologue Cafe, click here.