Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Long Wharf Announces Audience Engagement Program

The process of creating a new play all comes down to an initial moment of creation – an instance, an event, a word, phrase or image that starts a playwright towards a compelling story. The quest for that creative spark is a fascinating one.

Long Wharf Theatre has put together a program to illustrate to audiences how that moment of creation is nurtured and given life on stage. The SPARK program, led by Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting, is designed to allow audiences to engage in a series of hands-on experiences that illuminate Long Wharf Theatre’s work. Participants will learn the specific skill of reading a play, meet the cast and creative team of the new play Agnes Under The Big Top, learn exactly what a director does, giving a new perspective on the work brought to life on Stage II.

“I've been given the great gift of getting to know our audiences through our post-show conversations – they've come to feel like collaborators in this making that we do. So I wanted to give back a little and invite them into our process, give them a little taste of this electric feat that we pursue all season long. I hope they'll come out for this, take part, and be inspired!” Ting said.

All of the events surround the new play Agnes Under The Big Top, written by Aditi Brennan Kapil and directed by Ting, and presented March 2 through April 3 on Stage II. The play is a magical tale of hope, identity, and reinvention, exploring the journey of immigrants in New York City.

The hope is that by endowing a group of committed audience members with insider knowledge, Long Wharf Theatre can create ambassadors for new work. Access to this unique lecture series costs $15. This nominal fee will support Long Wharf Theatre’s efforts to create new plays and support emerging playwrights. Space is limited for this unique opportunity.

All events are an hour long, unless otherwise noted.

HOW TO READ A PLAY (January 12). Learn not just how to read a play, but how to see it. Join Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting in a 90 minute seminar as we explore the different tools a playwright uses to convey rhythms and meaning. Learn how dramatic structure and text analysis can enhance your understanding of a play.

FIRST REHEARSAL (February 1). Meet the cast and creative team on their first day of rehearsal. Hear the designers present the plans for the set, costumes, lights, and sound and listen to the director’s opening remarks as we launch into our four-week investigation of the play.

THE DIRECTOR’S ROLE (February 16). Mid-way through the rehearsal process, we’ll talk about the challenges a director faces in tying together the many creative voices contributing to the production: From communicating with designers, to working with actors, to supporting the playwright’s vision.

PREVIEWS! BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER (March 7). Get a backstage tour of the production. See the play come to life on our Stage II. Learn about technical rehearsals and the work our shops do to create what you see on stage. Hear from playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil as we bring closure to what we’re sure will be a wild ride!

For more information about Long Wharf Theatre or to purchase tickets, visit www.longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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