Get Involved, Reflection, Upcoming Performance

It’s a Labor of Love

I’m here mainly as an observer. Watching this series of ten-minute plays come together is intriguing. Even as the plays are coming into clarity, Taylor and Tony are spitballing additional creative ideas in the booth. I listen in on what the directors have to say about their interpretations of their chosen scripts. The lighting cues fly over my head, but some of the sound cues have me grinning from ear to ear.

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Taylor tells me that twenty-four hour theatre has a tendency to breed unusual things. She lets me read the scripts and I’m reminded of late nights during college. We’d stay up all night, spitting out lines of poetry and agonizing over whether or not the words we were laboriously cranking out on a friend’s typewriter adequately described our torment, our elation, our early-twenty-something-ness. We’d pull our favorite albums from the same friend’s vinyl collection and dance and laugh and commiserate until, sometime after the witching hour, all inhibition finally left our writing.

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After it all, there we’d be, a huddle of creatives lauding each other’s guts and quoting each other’s perfectly imperfect words. It was, much like Laughing Pig’s twenty-four hour theatre project, a labor of love.

Step behind the scenes at Laughing Pig Theatre and try not to admire everyone involved just a little bit.

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The writers who cranked out tonight’s ten-minute plays in a span of ten short hours left bits of themselves hidden in the scripts. In between the lines, you can see who they are when they have the courage to let go of their inhibitions and roll with the unusual.

The directors have such clear visions for their plays. I’m in awe of the amount of creativity and brain power it takes to look at these scripts in the ways they have. You can see how much they care about this project as they posit scenarios to their performers and give guidance around lines and movements. These are out-of-the box thinkers working under a time crunch and it seems to have only served them well.

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Tonight’s performers are doing an incredible job of bringing the writers’ scripts to life. From the realistic to the absurd, they’re bringing worlds to life right before our eyes. They’re rounding out their characters from top to toe and making every moment believable.

What seemed daunting before has quickly turned into something that seems entirely possible.
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So if you’re in the mood to laugh, to get drawn into story lines generated in the dead of night, and to spend an evening with a group of talented people who want to present to you the results of their labor of love, make some time to come out to the Mesa Arts Center tonight at either 7:30 or 9:00. The product of their hard work will not fail to make your night.

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Alaina Bair wrote this article.

Alaina is a writer who lives in Phoenix. She is a proud feminist and likes to spend her spare time volunteering with women’s rights organizations, reading voraciously, and spending time with her loved ones.

 

Reflection, Upcoming Performance

East Valley Overnight Theatre, time is ticking!

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The fluorescent yellow light of the acting studio at the Mesa Arts Center lights up the landing at the top of the stairs. Through the windows, you can see rows of people chatting and waiting for the meeting to begin. There is a flurry of activity near the door as performers, directors, and writers all check in. On the board, there is a schedule for the next twenty-four hours. It looks daunting. Outside of a brief flirtation with the idea of submitting a play to my university’s twenty-four hour theatre project, I’ve never been involved with an experience like this. I’m in awe of the fact that this is even possible.
Taylor and Tony have a way of putting people at ease. Their enthusiasm and wit bring levity to the meeting. This is the first time that everyone involved with the East Valley Overnight Theatre is in the same room. Some people are Laughing Pig veterans. For some, twenty-four hour theatre is old hat. There are a couple of us who are brand new to the experience. Something that I admire most about Taylor and Tony is the way they are able to build a supportive, caring community out of a room of people who have one overarching thing in common: a love of theatre. Their enthusiasm is contagious. Their deep, abiding love for theatre is palpable.
They make an intimidating schedule sound like a fun, easy walk in the park.
After a discussion surrounding the schedule and expectations, everyone participates in the performer raffle. It’s interesting to see the writers and performers come together. In order to ignite the creative process, the performers have brought in either costumes or props to (hopefully) inspire their writers. Each group immediately has a different atmosphere. Some debate the merits of certain items. Others are huddled around tables and locked into deep discussions of what they envision for their play.
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Smiles and laughter permeate the acting studio. Everyone in this room is here because they love the work they’re about to do. The camaraderie that comes with knowing you’re surrounded by people of a like mind has already begun to bond everyone together. Everyone, performers, writers, and directors alike, is in this room tonight because they love giving their all to the theatre.
The writers leave fairly quickly. They each have about ten hours to produce a play and time is flitting away. Taylor reminds them of the second wind party at Denny’s should they need it. The big grin on her face belies her excitement at the possibility of this party. She’s anticipating the thrill she finds in being a sounding board for writers. It’s up to the writers, though, if they feel a need for her skills. Time will tell.
And time is ticking.
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Alaina Bair wrote this article

Alaina is a writer who lives in Phoenix. She is a proud feminist and likes to spend her spare time volunteering with women’s rights organizations, reading voraciously, and spending time with her loved ones.

Get Involved, Job Opening, Writing Opportunities

Monologue Cafe: Lessons Learned

Laughing Pig Theatre is proud to announce the fourth entry in its popular storytelling event. The theme for this outing is Lessons Learned. We are calling for writers to submit 1-6 minute monologues about lessons you have learned in your life. These monologues can be comedic or dramatic; a variety is always preferred. We also encourage writers with diverse backgrounds to submit. You can either request to perform your own monologue, or we will cast a talented local actor to perform it on your behalf.

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Submissions are due midnight March 12. Performances of selected monologues will be May 1, 2, 3. This is not a paid opportunity. Follow this link to submit

Deadline is March 12, 2020 at 11:59pm.

Pigpen Profile, Upcoming Performance

Pigpen Profiles: Dayna Renee Donovan

Closing our Pigpen for Always Plenty of Light in the Starlight All Night Diner, opening this Friday, January 10th, is the lovely Dayna Renee Donovan playing the Starlight expert and lover Sam.

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What is your favorite and least favorite part about them?
My favorite part is the overarching theme of family. The focus is on how family is comprised of who you choose, not those you’re related to and that rings true to my heart.
My least favorite part is eating the licorice. I usually refrain from sugar in January after eating and baking pies, cakes and cookies throughout November and December.
 
Why did you want to be involved in this show?
I quite enjoyed the script. Also, it was a nice break from drama. My last two shows were quite heavy.
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If you could travel to any time in history, when and where would you want to travel? Why? What would you want to see?
Ancient Italy. I’ve been there several times. It’d be cool to see all of the buildings and churches in their original form.
What is your favorite type of Pie? Convince us.
My grandmother’s sweet potato pie. She took the time to de-vein the sweet potatoes and cook them just right. It’s super smooth and kinda creamy. Yum!
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What is next for you? 
A quick break. I’ve been in back to back shows since July. I’m going to take some time off to prep for 20/21 general auditions and audition for one other project later this season, unless of course an offer comes along. I was supposed to take a break in July and another in November, but I never pass up a role and show I feel drawn to.
Handles or anything we should follow?
Nah. They’re private, ish. I’ll create a theater one here soon, though.
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Get your tickets now for Always Plenty of Light at the Starlight All Night Diner today, playing Friday-Saturday nights January 10-18 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Discounts available for students, educators, veterans and theatre artists!
Auditions

Shake-Smash Auditions!

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Our first ever festival of short plays inspired by works of Shakespeare! We have collected ten-minute and one-act plays from writers all over the country that reimagine, reinterpret, and revise Shakespeare’s life and work for a weekend of exciting new theatre.

We will be casting several short plays with unique requirements. Actors will potentially be cast in multiple roles and/or plays.

WHEN: October 15th from 7:00pm-10:30pm

WHERE: Mesa Arts Center’s Drama Studio
On the second floor of Studios South above the Ceramic Studio. Take the elevator or stairwell next to the “Registration Office” and take the skywalk to the the hallway on the left (opposite building than Registration).

WHAT: Please prepare one, one-minute contemporary or Shakespearean monologue, and be prepared for potential cold reading.

HOW: Make an appointment here, and please email a headshot and resume to laughing.pig.theatre@gmail.com.

 

If cast, you will receive a small stipend. You may also be cast in multiple pieces. Performance dates include: December 7-9th.

We look forward to seeing you at auditions. For any other questions, email us at laughing.pig.theatre@gmail.com.

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Get Involved, Writing Opportunities

WRITE for Shake-Smash 2018

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We want to take down Shakespeare!

Laughing Pig Theatre is now accepting submissions for their first ever Shake-Smash New Play Festival. Shake-smash is a festival that both celebrates and challenges Shakespeare’s stubbornly immortal work.

We are looking for creators to submit new ten-minute and one-act shows inspired in some way by Shakespeare. It can be a retelling of a story in a new setting, a deconstruction of a theme, a Tom Stoppard-esque between the scenes companion piece, a farcical parody, a sequel, a prequel, a soliloquy, a musical, a dance, a poem, a saucy puppet show, or whatever else you want it to be! As long as it is demonstrably inspired by Shakespeare, we honestly don’t really care.

Submissions are $5 for a ten-minute and $10 for a one-act. They will be accepted until 11:59pm on September 30, 2018, after which Laughing Pig will select a number of shows to be performed for the festival in December. Shows performed at the festival will be judged by a panel of Shakespeare fanatics, with the opportunity to win awards and cash prizes!

To enter, fill our form here.
Contact laughing.pig.theatre@gmail.com for more details or questions!

 

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We cannot wait to read your submissions!

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Pigpen Profile

Pigpen Profiles: Ilana Lydia

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Ok, look, I’m not sold on the name either everybody. Maybe I’m forcing the porcine theme too much, I don’t know, we can revisit it later.

For now, we wanted to give you chance to learn a little more about Ilana Lydia, Artistic Director of B3 Productions and playwright of our upcoming staged reading A Sense of Wonder.

I asked Ilana a few questions about her views on theatre, and you can ask her some yourself next Friday, August 10 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Tickets are $5 or pay-what-you-can. There will be a facilitated feedback session afterwards, so be ready to share your thoughts and help the creative process thrive!

•What is your theatrical background?

Ilana: I started as a director, being left alone with actors and my first notepad at the tender age of 11.  Luckily, I’ve been able to grow beyond almost all of my first experiences.  I’ve always valued people, relationships, and process over the end product, and so as a playwright, it’s experiences like this that keep me writing.

•What inspired you to write A Sense of Wonder?

Ilana: I had the image of a woman escaping from universe to universe in my mind, then I found her friend, and the rest pretty much wrote itself.  I enjoy science fiction, feminism, and comedy–this script seemed to fall together right across these lines for me.

•What appeals to you about using science fiction elements on stage?
Ilana: It’s not done as often as I think it should be.  Science fiction/fantasy is such a rich field, but many producing agents shy away from it.  I like to watch new ideas, and different worlds or universes are the perfect place to explore these.

 

•What are some themes you find yourself focusing on in your work?
Ilana: Metatheater is my big one–the play becoming aware of itself as a play, the characters understanding they are characters, or the audience suddenly seeing itself as an audience.  I think it’s safe to say that I explore feminist topics, as well.

 

•What do you think is unique about theatre in the Valley?
Ilana: What a vibrant community we have!  There’s so much going on every weekend all across the Valley–you could never spend an evening home, if you wanted.  We’re so lucky to have virtually every type of taste represented in our theaters, from Disney musicals to existential reflections on life.  There are so many opportunities here.  We just need to be sure to help each other along the way.

 

•What advice would you give someone interested in playwriting?

Ilana: Find a writer’s group.  Having to check in with new writing every so often will keep you producing.  Exchange with friends.  Exchange with acquaintances.  Keep going.  And above all, be grateful for whatever practice you have.  It’s an honor to be able to put down your words and come out with a script.

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Huge thanks to Ilana for submitting her work to be read. If you’d like us to consider your work for a future reading, you can share it through the New Work Submissions link. See you at the reading, and until then, keep creating!
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