Posts filed under ‘Collaborators’
No, seriously, they are awesome! Be sure to say hi when you see them at the show or around the Fringe.
CORWIN EVANS is a freelance designer of sound, projections and integrated experiences. He’s worked in the LA area for five years, and chances are pretty darn good he’s going to see you at some events this Fringe. He’s excited at the prospect of a prodigious amount of high-fives.
Corwin is on a mission to work in almost every one of the 300+ theaters in LA. In the meantime, he enjoys the roller coaster ride of cat ownership, writes original music for theatre and/or fun, pretends to be a comedy writer on his lunch hour and works as a Concierge for Center Theatre Group.
DEANNA FLEYSHER (Stage Manager) is a performer, teacher and director just arrived from NYC. She is very excited to be working on this project!
JESSICA FARLEY (Stage Manager) is fantastic and has been working in theatre and short films for over 15 years. Most of her work has been on the East Coast as she is a native of Washington, D.C. Her favorite roles include Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Morse in Naomi Wallace’s One Flea Spare. She has also studied modern dance, flamenco and various kinds of physical theatre. Jessica is a singer and writer as well and has performed her poetry in small venues in Los Angeles and has published work in local magazines in Spanish and English. She trained at the George Washington University and with instructors from the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Jessica is a participant in the Global Theatre Project and founding member of the Tripod Actors Collective. She’s thrilled to be working on VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL as she has worked on projects for humanitarian causes throughout the world. Jessica loves people and is especially excited to be involved in the Hollywood Fringe and would like to give a shout to her uncle Marc Spiegel, storyteller extraordinaire, who wrote and performed The Grubrag’s Ballad for the Capitol Fringe Festival in D.C. in 2010 and will again be performing 2011.
Jessica is passionate about human rights and has worked with Amnesty international for about 15 years and is a coordinator for their Young Professionals network and the State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator for Southern California, for which she often speaks publicly and engages in community outreach. Her human rights and community-building work informs her artistic pieces, which all stem from a deep dedication to the creation of meaning and the True, the Beautiful and the Good.
We asked the ensemble if they could say a few words on why they want to be involved with this awareness project. First up is Kappa Victoria Wood, who has played Katya in both the adult and now the interactive children’s show.
“History had repeated itself”
Here’s my response to the material and why I keep subjecting myself to (stories about) radiation:
My character, Katya, was 9-year-old when the accident happened. I was also 9, but on the other end of the world in my safe little suburban neighborhood and have no recollection of ever having heard of it. Even throughout my education, I can’t recall ever studying about Chornobyl, save for a sidebar in a textbook, if that.
Fast-forward to five years ago when Voices From Chornobyl was first staged, where I learned of the weighty, compelling stories of those who were made to suffer and even those still living with the consequences of the intense radiation exposure. How had I never heard of this?
It seemed that there was not only the struggle of the physical effects, but a social struggle of a people who were so proud of their homeland under a government that essentially let them down. The VFC material in its various stagings over the past five years has always walked the fine line of presenting some rather horrific stories without preaching for or against nuclear power.
When I would share with people the nature of the material, I felt the need to explain that this is an on-going story. As Katya’s father, Vasily, says, “This is for thousands of years.” Then the Fukushima incident happened. While the circumstances were radically different, the danger of radiation is still the same. What really struck a chord with me is how so much of the language used by reporters, the technical terms, the governmental statements, even 25 years after the Chornobyl accident, all sounded the same. History had repeated itself and suddenly, I didn’t have to justify why remembering Chornobyl was significant.
My hope is that in addition to educating others, Voices From Chornobyl serves as a reminder that even the largest-scale events are about individual people who have their own hopes, thoughts, dreams, perspectives and, well, voices.
April has come to a close and we are plunging headfirst into promoting Voices From Chornobyl Jr at the Hollywood Fringe Festival but before we get completely wrapped up in all things Fringe we wanted to take time to thank all the supporters and donors who made our April events possible. We on the VFC team are all so touched by the outpouring of support; we feel honored to have such amazing donors and supporters.
Karen Jean Martinson
Stephen Gabriel Pallo
Leonora & Scott Pitts
Virginia Applen, Magnetic Healer
Adrienne Montoya, Shiatsu / Acupressure Massage
The VFC Team
It goes without saying, but we like to say it. These Awareness Events would not be possible without the continued support & dedication of our ensemble. We thank them all!
BRADFORD BEACOM(Vasily Shimanky), after acquiring his BA in Theater from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, left the friendly people and frigid winters of New England to move to back to his native west coast. He
recently relocated to beautiful Old Town Pasadena. Besides occasional jaunts in acting, he loves well-made cocktails, Tiki Bars, and long walks on the beach.
CAROLYN BLAIS (A Solitary Human Voice) moved to LA from her hometown outside Boston, MA about a year and a half ago. An English and Theatre major, Carolyn worked administratively for two years at an educational, children’s theatre, while performing as a company member of 11:11 Theatre Company in Boston. Since moving to LA, Carolyn has kept busy by interning for The Antaeus Company, taking improvisational comedy classes, and currently working as a tutor. Carolyn hopes to teach drama class at a Montessori School in the valley this summer. She is happy to be a part of this project, helping to promote awareness of this significant cause.
ENCI (Anna Sushko) lived in Europe when the Chernobyl disaster happened, which left her with memories of songs and poems that she and her friends were singing and reciting to “vent” their fears and their uncertainty about what it all meant for them and their future. Enci is grateful for Cindy for her dedication to put up this play every year and for the cast who keeps coming back each year as well, to tell the stories, to inform the public, and to remember those affected.
productions worldwide, including Cousin Bette (Antaeus), MacBeth (as MacBeth), and is part of the original cast of VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL. He is a founding member of the Prism Dance Company and a proud member of the
AEA. He is thrilled to once again be a part of this stellar team of artists.
SHAWN MACAULAY* (Sergei Gurin) is proud to once again join Cindy and the rest of the VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL cast in raising awareness of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster and those who continue to survive.
KAPPA VICTORIA WOOD (Katya Shimanky) is honored to return to VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL, which has eerily become more relevant than ever. Some of Kappa’s previous work includes Corie in Barefoot in the Park, Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Gilmer in Godspell and Gabby in The Petrified Forest. Kappa would like to thank her fiancé Michael Curran for his love and support.
VFC jr. workshop cast coming soon
Our April 3rd fundraiser is fast approaching and as we gear up we would like to take the time to call out and thank all the amazing organizations and businesses donating their time and services during the event to help raise awareness.
First up is Peter Bedard with Create Your Health – expect more in the days leading up to the event!
What did you know about Chernobyl before becoming involved in this project?
I certainly haven’t been an expert on Chernobyl. In fact other than being aware that it was, at the time, the largest nuclear disaster in the world, larger than the Three Mile Island disaster in New York, my knowledge is pretty limited. I do know that an entire city had to be closed down and all of it’s inhabitants moved due to a nuclear accident at the plant, that the plant was shut down, that radiation levels there some 20 years latter are still problematic, that birth defects in that part of the world are too common, and that it never should have happened.
Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose to donate services to this project?
I chose to donate my time and services for a few reasons. First because the fantastic Thea Pueschel asked me to. Second because I’ve never been a supporter of nuclear energy. And third, because I think it’s important to let people know that nuclear energy is never safe. Advertising agencies and politicians have been telling us for several years now that nuclear energy is safe and efficient that it’s a “clean” energy. This is a flat out lie and it needs to be addressed. In fact, nuclear energy may be the dirtiest energy we have ever harnessed. The bi-product of coal is carbon dioxide and coal ash. The bi-product of nuclear energy is radioactive material that at it’s core is deadly to all life forms on this planet and that poisons our environment for thousands of years to come. for some reason people seem to understand that coal is bad for us but they don’t seem to understand that nuclear energy is a million times worse. As a advocate for alternative therapies it is totally congruent that I support not only true green energy solutions but that I also speak out against harmful and polluting behaviors – personal or political.
More in our team interview series – Meet Carolyn Blais one of our amazingly helpful volunteers!
Jane Whitty: Can you tell us a little bit about your background in the arts and advocacy?
Carolyn Blais: I’ve been involved in the arts, specifically theatre arts since childhood. I was very active in middle school and high school drama club, majored in Theatre in college and worked for a Children’s Theatre Company for two years after college. Since moving to LA, I’ve volunteered with a few different theatres.
JW: How did you first get involved with Voices From Chornobyl?
CB: I met Cindy at The Antaeus Company in North Hollywood and through her, have become involved with VFC since about Oct of 2010.
JW: Before getting involved in this project how educated were you regarding Chornobyl?
CB: Not much at all. I knew it was a nuclear disaster and that was about it. I’m not sure I even knew where Chornobyl was.
JW: How would you describe your current role in the team? What areas of the project are you working on?
CB: Being new to the team I just try to help where needed. Right now I’m researching grants.
JW: Voices From Chornobyl is a multifaceted project. What is the one element you are most excited to see realized?
CB: I’m interested in spreading the VFC story to children and getting them involved and making them aware of what happened. Maybe if we can educate young people, they can take a stand against anything similar ever happening in the future.
JW: In your involvement so far what is the one thing you have learned about Chornobyl that you think more people should be aware of?
CB: Just of its devastating effects that are still present today. It’s terrifying but sometimes fear can spur us to action, to help prevent future accidents.