Pigpen Profile, Upcoming Performance

Pigpen Profiles: FML Writers & Actors

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Laughing Pig is powering through the remainder of our 18-19 season with the speed and determination of a pedicab driver who’s short on rent.

Tonight we open our third Monologue Cafe, where writers submitted themed monologues to be performed by talented local artists. This time it’s all about those classic tales of shame and absurdity we call #FML.

To get us in gear, we have continued our artist spotlight series with three tag teams of writers and performers you can see this weekend and next: Luke and Sergio, Alina and Shannyn, & Cynthia and Lydia. Hey

Luke Gomez – Writer:

What is your background with writing?
I started writing in high school nobody told me to stop throughout high school and now so if you don’t like my monologue that’s on them. I’ve had a quite a few of my plays performed in Phoenix but it’s been a hot minute.
How did the FML theme inspire you?
Well it made me think back on some rather unfortunate times, mostly hilarious in retrospect but at the time were not. I went with one that felt pretty funny at the time too.
Why is it important to share our lessflattering moments?
Our embarassments are ways we can sometimes feel out of control or even lower than others. If you own them, it becomes like an armor. I think thats a Game of Thrones quote.
Was there another story you considered sharing, but held back on?
Theres a lot, most of them booze related. There was one time I got lost in the woods and another time I woke up with a stop sign. There’s also a lot of non booze stories but not as funny.
What are you expecting from the performance?
I’m hoping the audience properly laughs at my dumbness.

Sergio Hans Martinez – Performer 

• What is your background with acting?
I was involved in theater in high school, but in the nine years since, I haven’t done any acting until now.
• What was your reaction to the piece you received?
When I first saw my piece I found it difficult to relate to, as I myself am not prone to blackout drunk moments. But then as I read into it, I realized that the monologue is also about the awkward situations this guy got into and the effort he was willing to put forward to avoid catastrophic embarrassment. And I think we can all see ourselves in that.
•Why is it important to share our less-flattering moments?
I think sharing embarrassing or shameful moments helps others get through tough times, and that’s always good. That being said, there are a few stories that are better kept to ourselves.
• Did this experience remind you of any of your own experiences?
At my drunkest, I too have made coworkers uncomfortable, destroyed property, and urinated in plain view of innocent bystanders. The difference between these stories and my monologue are that they are among my best memories!
•What are you expecting from the performance?
Ideally, I will be scouted at this performance to play Aegon Targaryen in the new Game of Thrones spinoff series. In the unlikely event that doesn’t happen, I have no backup plan.

Alina Rios – Writer:

What is your background with writing?
I’m a published poet and fiction writer and have been writing since I can remember myself, although I began writing in Russian (my first language). I discovered playwriting in 2017 and am completely head over hills with this medium. I have been living and breathing plays since.
• How did the FML theme inspire you?
It’s a brilliant display of character isn’t it, to see them deal with embarrassment. It tells so much in so little time.
 
•Why is it important to share our less-flattering moments?
Because we need to be reminded that we are all only human. We’re not alone in this.
 
•Was there another story you considered sharing, but held back on?
Yes, but it was too long.
 
•What are you expecting from the performance?
I’m hoping it is a slow and steady burn, and I hope that by the end, it hits you in the stomach, and you connect.

Shannyn Hall – Performer:

• What is your background with acting?
I’ve had a love for acting my whole life and started performing in plays at school and summer camp before I was 10. When I was 11, I filled in for a middle aged woman in a completely age-inappropriate community theatre play in which I played the father of a teen hippie played by an 80-year-old woman. It should go without saying that from that moment was born a lifelong love affair so great it would make peanut butter and jelly jealous.
• What was your reaction to the piece you received?

It was disheartening to see one woman unravel and pity herself for not being like a woman that she found enviable. It undermines her decisions on how she lives her life and minimizes her feelings on what she finds important. She seems to be more embarrassed by her own lack of self worth in comparison than any actual event.

•Why is it important to share our less-flattering moments?
Our less-flattering moments are real and sharing them is what connects us. No one is safe from experiencing them, no matter how glamorous their lives may seem. Those are the moments that make us laugh or cry, they evoke the very thing we want to feel from seeing a movie or play or reading a good book. They are what make us vulnerable and makes the flattering moments so satisfying. And you know, maybe some of us wouldn’t have much to share if we couldn’t share the less-flattering moments but I’m doing my best ok?
 
• Did this experience remind you of any of your own experiences?
Well I’m the queen of saying the wrong thing. So. Yes.
•What are you expecting from the performance?
That’s the exciting part of performing live, you never know what to expect.

Cynthia Wheeler – Writer

What is your background with writing?
Most of my life, writing has been technical in nature; job related, manuals, newsletters, and instructional. In recent years, I began writing for myself. Its often a exercise in capturing stories from memories. Other times I draw on situations I find myself in currently that strike me as amusing or even ridiculous. Ridiculous is a great place to find humor. I have found performing my writing at storytelling and spoken word events has been the logical next step for me, one activity feeding off the other.
How did the FML theme inspire you?
Embarrassment is universal, relatable and links to vulnerability, another great place to mine humor while contemplating the human predicament. While a lot of my writing is driven by a theme or prompt, I usually have a story or scenario already twisting its way out of my head onto the paper. As the Berry Turns monologue was a fragmented story line I was able to bring into focus with the theme embarrassment.
Why is it important to share our lessflattering
If a story is the shortest bridge between two people, sharing a vulnerability is the short-cut to authenticity.
Was there another story you considered sharing, but held back on?
I have other pieces that could have fit an embarrassed theme but this one really developed in a way that I could disassociate from enough to see someone else as the central character. Writing this monologue was a sort of breakthrough for me.
What are you expecting from the performance?
#1. I hope people are entertained and want to hear the rest of the story, if there is one. Second, I expect to have an awareness that was not available during the writing phase by observing the actor engage in the next phase of the creative process by bringing the monologue to life and the audience response.

Lydia Corbin – Performer

• What is your background with acting?
Well according to my family, I’ve been a drama queen all my life, but #FML is actually my acting debut!
• What was your reaction to the piece you received?
I absolutely appreciated the comedy and depth of this piece, and I’m excited to bring it to life.
 
•Why is it important to share our less-flattering moments?
So many life lessons are birthed out of our less-flattering moments in life, and that crazy experience could be a lesson for you or for others.  In any event, it’s necessary to celebrate the wins and the not so winning moments.
 
• Did this experience remind you of any of your own experiences?
There are definitely some parts of my piece that resonated with experiences in my life.  I actually can identify with bits of ALL the monologues which pretty much tells you that I’ve had a couple of “interesting” experiences. 
 
•What are you expecting from the performance?
You mean besides being discovered and cast in a major motion picture?  I just expect to have fun. and hopefully in doing so, I make the playwright proud and the audience laugh while thinking about their own experience in life. 
Tickets are still available for all four performances! We can’t wait to impress you!
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Reflection

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/

Improv, Photo Gallery, Reflection

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.

Get Involved

Privilege, Power, and Improv

Taylor
Men Aren’t Funny

 

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!

Writing Opportunities

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.