Sunday, April 23, 2017

bareNaked Reading Series CONTINUES... (4.24.17)


 We're thrilled to bring you a bareNaked Reading Series SPECIAL EDITION presented by Hi-ARTS (formally Hip-Hop Theater Festival) featuring VALIANT adapted by ensemble member, Lanna Joffrey; directed by Alexandra Renzetti with Lanna Joffrey, Sharahn LaRue, Charlotte Pines, Therese Plaehn, & Shira-Lee Shalit.

Featuring LIVE MUSIC performed by Taylor Plas.

2017 bareNaked Reading Series sponsored by ZYR Vodka.
 
WHEN: Monday, April 24th, 2017
(Doors Open @ 6:30pm; Curtain @ 7:00pm)

WHERE: El Barrio's Artspace PS 109
(215 E 99th St, New York, NY 10029, bet. 2nd & 3rd Ave.)

RESERVATION: email barefootrsvp@aol.com with Name and amount of tixs. Limited Seating. Reservation confirmed UNLESS you hear back from us.

ADMISSION:
$5 Suggested Donation; Cash Only at the Box Office
*all donations support the general operating costs of Barefoot Theatre Company.

Hi-ARTS is a leading institution within the urban arts movement — developing and producing new works of performance and visual art, providing a platform for artists, and creating educational and community programs that connect and expand the audiences for urban arts.


VALIANT chronicles a century of war as seen through the eyes of women from across the globe. Adapted for the stage by Lanna Joffrey from Sally Hayton-Keeva’s book of verbatim interviews Valiant Women in War and Exile, meet thirteen women who have fought in, struggled through, and survived conflict. From victim to perpetrator to peacemaker, this critically acclaimed play takes verbatim interviews to create a compelling portrait of what women do in a time of war, and explores how it has shaped their lives and subsequently our own.

"…war is not a foreign, distant event, neatly packaged by beginnings and endings, pertaining to one point in time. It is far too convenient to bracket wars in dates. Peace treaties may record the end of a war and attempt to guarantee war will not happen again, but they’re only meaningless pieces of paper. For, in fact we live in a world of continual war: 300 of them, at least, since the end of World War II…We are just beginning to find out what women have done, what women are capable of being and doing and thinking, and without that knowledge we are missing a crucial link in understanding not only the process of warfare but the human condition, itself. War is timeless, and it may be something that is rooted in us, in what it is to be a human being. If that is so, and if we are to survive, it is important to investigate the parts played by women in war." --Sally Hayton-Keeva
http://valianttruth.wixsite.com/storiesofstrength/about

BAREFOOT THEATRE COMPANY
BAREFOOT STUDIO PICTURES
Francisco Solorzano, Actor /Producing Aritstic Director

Barefoot Theatre Company is a multicultural collective of actors, writers, directors and filmmakers specializing in the development and incubation of new work and the cultivation of new attention for lesser-known works by long-established authors, with a vital, thought-provoking eye toward themes of diversity and inclusion.
 
www.barefoottheatrecompany.org 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

MEET RAYE LEVINE (Who's Who in Extinction by Gabe McKinley)

Our production of EXTINCTION by Gabe McKinley recently closed at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall of East Hampton but it's not the last you'll hear about this production and if you missed it...stay tuned.  In the meantime, we are SO PROUD of our long time ensemble member, RAYE LEVINE and are thrilled to share this interview with you.  Raye is the definition of what it means to be a Barefoot Theatre Company Ensemble Member, a true collaborator as Actor, Set Designer AND Producer on this critically acclaimed production.  
 
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Raye!  Tell us about being a member of the Barefoot Theatre Company ensemble?  What does that mean and why do you think it's important to have an artistic home? 

It's critical to have an artistic home! A safe place to play. Barefoot was always that place for me. An artistic home provides much needed structure and stability in a very unstable/unpredictable profession. Barefoot is one of the most inclusive and diverse theatre ensembles I know!! 



Talk a little bit about your role(s) and what the process of wearing several hats on this project has been like.  Share some of the most gratifying moments.

Victoria! The last (but not least) character to walk into the play, which is already on full blast. I have fallen more and more in love with her. She is a good girl with a big heart and strong sense of right and wrong. She isn't shy and has an open, hopeful and curious nature. Vic probably wears the least masks of all the characters in this piece, if any. Filling out her story has been very gratifying. And the set!!! Seeing it come to life and living in it and  experiencing how well it works, has been such a special and unique experience. 

Do you feel that being an actor informs your work as a set designer? If so, how and why?

Absolutely. As an actor you have to have such a sense of the space and energy/bodies around you. This is part of what dictates how you move. My favorite part of being both set designer and actor is when there are parameters that seem to be restrictive, you are forced to get more creative, which makes it even better and more satisfying. With a balance of specificity and abstraction, this leaves room for the audience to visually fill in the gaps for themselves, do some work in filling out details on their own - same with acting. Suspension of disbelief! 


What's the experience with regards to set design that you'd like the audience to have from the moment they enter the theater till they exit following curtain call?

Like they've been gambling all night at the Atlantic City casinos and once they sit down, are voyeurs in a very private hotel room space. I want them to get lost in the environment and forget where they are. 


What draws you most as a storyteller about Extinction?  Is there a single moment that encompasses the plays overall them?  If so, which and why?

So many poignant moments. Really love the mirroring that happens between characters and how we keep seeming to peel back layers and make discoveries. I love the moment when Missy says "there's no grace in survival." That pretty much sums up a lot about the play and how every character is dealing with their own circumstances that brought them hear in the first place. 


Can you share a little bit about your preparation as an actor?  Does it differ depending on the project or size of role? 

So much of it is informed by the other actors, the chemistry. Reading and playing, repeat. Studying the accent and getting to know Lenoir, NC (where she helms from), knowing her values and ideas of love and loyalty. Finding and studying her inner animal spirit (golden retriever!).



Because she seemed like a small (more vehicular) role that served the story of the two men, it took me a bit of time to really find creative ways to fight for her and fill her out. I wanted the audience to leave curious about her and her life outside of the play. It was so much fun to discover her potential along the way, and build her story out with all of the clues that were given to me on the text. A lot of which depended on her relationship with--and trust in--Missy (for better or worse)...

Why should our NY audience see Extinction?  And, what would you like them to take away from the event.



It's a real unique theatre experience--a gem of a play!! We want you to feel all feels. Come out and spend the night with us. It will transport you into a dark spiral of fun and shock, in the Borgata hotel of Atlantic City. ...What happens in East Hampton, stays in East Hampton!



What’s your hometown?

Brooklyn NY! 



When did you arrive in NYC; and where do you call home now?

Always been here. Brooklyn, NY is home. 



Favorite theatre going experience.

Tribes - Nina Raine at the Barrow Street Theatre 

RAYE LEVINE is a William Esper Studio graduate and ensemble member of Barefoot Theatre Company. Credits include: The Vote in Orange by Israel Horovitz at the French Embassy, On The 5:31 by Mando Alvarado directed by Jerry Ruiz, Parkslope at the Cherry Lane Theatre, Restlessness of Desire by Kristina Poe directed by Shira-Lee Shalit, Pirate by Jennifer Skura, Man In Snow directed by Francisco Solorzano, Wetiko by Greg Paul at the Actor's Studio, Finally by Israel Horovitz at the Boston Calderwood Pavilion, Victory Girls by Kristina Poe at the SVA main stage. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from The Cooper Union, and is an ensemble figure skater of Ice Theatre of NY. http://www.rayelevine.com 

Guild Hall and Where Are They Going Theatre Group
in association with Barefoot Theatre Company
present EXTINCTION by Gabe McKinley

March 30 through April 16

Directed by Josh Gladstone
Starring Brynne Kraynak, Raye Levine, Sawyer Spielberg
and Eric Svendsen

Two college buddies’ annual outing of male-bonding and debauchery veers precipitously off course when unmet expectations spiral into a volatile showdown. A darkly funny drama exploring the evolution of friendships – and the lengths to which we go to save them from falling into extinction.

Please note that this play includes graphic language and mature subject matter.

Production Team:
Set Designer – Raye Levine
Lighting Designer – Sebastian Paczynski
Stage Manager – Tyler Winthrop
Producer – Sawyer Spielberg
PR – Leah Lane

Thursday, April 6, 2017

MEET BRYNNE KRAYNAK (Who's Who in Extinction by Gabe McKinley)

The reviews are in and we couldn't be more excited about the rave!!!  We are now in our final two week mark and would love to introduce you to another cast member, BRYNNE KRAYNAK!  Brynne plays the role of Missy as well as costume designer for the production, EXTINCTION by Gabe McKinley, now playing thru April 16th.  We took a moment to ask Brynne a few questions during the end of rehearsals just as the cast and crew were heading into tech week. 

How did this project/play come to you?


Gabe McKinley and I were in the same MFA class at The New School for Drama, and Extinction initially made a debut draft there in 2009.  I was always a fan of Gabe’s writing.  The brutal honesty of his tone is unforgettable!   We were fortunate to be blessed with a fierce group of playwrights in our class!  Watching Extinction evolve over time into its published version has been a true joy!  Later I found my way to Lyle Kessler’s Master Class with Eric, Sawyer, and Raye, who were in search of a comedic scene to work on for class.  Extinction was my first thought, and out of that came our fervent mission to do the play!



Prior to rehearsals, were you familiar with anyone or everyone in the cast?  If so, what's your history with the other actors?  Do you think any prior familiarity with the cast supports your work and the collaborative process?  If so, can you share how and why you think this might be important to your work?


Raye, Sawyer, Eric and I were all in Lyle’s class at the same time, and had been watching one another work regularly week to week.  Working in a class is so vital to really exploring your instrument as an actor, and our friendship developed out of a mutual desire to consistently push ourselves to our individual limits.  When Sawyer approached us with the idea of producing Extinction, he did so with a firm belief that we would thrive together as a cast, and he was right!  There is nothing better than working with artists you know, trust, and love, because that foundation facilitates endless possibility within your own work.




Can you tell us a little bit about your role in Extinction?  Who is the character you're playing and how do you connect to the role?


I play Missy, a cocktail waitress at a local casino who meets Max and plans to spend the night with him and Finn, enlisting her friend Victoria to evenly distribute attention to both men.  Missy is ebullient with joy, delighted to join the party, and truly thankful to be in that hotel suite!  Finding her effervescence in the text has been wonderful.  I relish exploring her warmth, her willingness to be a perfect hostess and facilitate the comfort required for everyone to make the most of the evening, as it were!



Is there a theme in the play that resonates with you most?  If so, why?


When I heard Extinction for the first time, I was 25, and there were so many notes in its music that I could not hear.  Now it’s like a whole new song to me, and each time I read the play it lands differently on my ear and in my heart.  Good writing allows for continual discovery that way! I read the play through, and am immediately struck by how much time has passed for me personally since I first heard it.  My sense of self has evolved.  I’ve grown, and in doing so can recognize the fight in each character to retain and fiercely protect their perceived identity.  Gabe has managed to capture what happens when we battle against life for the deliciously selfish and merited retention of who we are.  The beauty of the play breathes in the battle each character wages singularly, even as they all converge for one night in a hotel suite in Atlantic City. 



Can you share a little bit about your process: preparation for first day of rehearsal as well as during performances.


That’s a tough one!  I’m still discovering new elements to Missy with each rehearsal.  Rigid choices work against you and can lead to a stagnant exploration.  Maintaining a lightness, a sense of play, serves both in rehearsal and performance to keep discoveries fluid.  Leading up to rehearsals, I made a few initial vocal choices, mostly because the voice is a tool that informs Missy’s physicality.  Her laugh floats up like champagne bubbles and is definitely what I love most about her!  At her core, she is a truly joyful, generous, bright soul! 



Being a NYC actor, what are your thoughts about working in another town, rehearsing away from the hustle and bustle of NYC - pros, cons?


I’d wager the experience of rehearsing a play outside of New York is entirely dependent on the location, and we are so fortunate to be based in East Hampton for this project! It’s a lovely place to work, and I’ve so enjoyed my time here.  The benefit to working outside of where you live day to day is that the work can receive a highly singular focus.  In college, the papers I wrote at the library were always better than the ones I wrote in my room.  Creating sacrosanct rituals that keep you connected to your home life ease the difficulty in being away from those elements and returning to them sporadically.  My husband is also an actor, which aids in balancing the challenges of working on projects.  He respects what I need to do good work, and wants me to be able to give my best creatively. 


What do you want audiences to walk away with after attending a performance of Extinction?



A desire to come back and see it again!  Really!  The play just flies.  It’s a total sensory explosion, and I’m very excited to see how audiences react to it!



What’s your hometown?


Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 



When did you arrive in NYC; and where do you call home now?


I moved to New York in 2006 to pursue my MFA in Acting at The New School for Drama.  Home is now Astoria and I love it! 



Favorite theatre going experience.

My favorite theatre experience is probably my first one.  I was three, and my parents took me to see the original Broadway production of Into The Woods.  My babysitter had just seen it and recommended they take me.  We were sitting close to the stage, and Cinderella (Kim Crosby) waved at me, and at intermission I asked my mother if being Cinderella was her job.  She answered yes, each actor plays a character that makes the story happen for their job.  That was that!  There was no way I was going to do anything else but be in a story for my job!  Art wakes you up to yourself when you take it in.  Seeing that show changed my life and defined my purpose, and I was lucky to have parents who were committed to exposing me to art and storytelling at such a young age.  



Brynne Kraynak (Missy) is an actor and teaching artist based in New York City.  She has worked  with Tongue in Cheek Theatre, Rattlestick Theater Co., Horse Trade Theater Co., and in the Samuel French and NYC Fringe Festivals. Brynne assisted with TFANA’s education division bringing Shakespeare to the classroom, and with Kids On Stage! Summer program through Speranza Theatre Company. Brynne co-founded Fearless Me Films, a production company for children that inspired storytelling through film making. Brynne received her M.F.A. in Acting from The New School for Drama in 2009 (Malcom and Betty Smith Award for excellence and versatility in acting). She graduated from Smith College in 2006, where she studied French Literature and Theatre (Smith College Eliot Jr./Heflin Award for distinguished directing and the Denton M. Snyder Acting Prize).  



Guild Hall and Where Are They Going Theatre Group
in association with Barefoot Theatre Company
present EXTINCTION by Gabe McKinley

March 30 through April 16
Wednesdays – Sundays at 7pm
PLUS 2pm matinees on April 8 and April 15

Directed by Josh Gladstone
Starring Brynne Kraynak, Raye Levine, Sawyer Spielberg
and Eric Svendsen

Two college buddies’ annual outing of male-bonding and debauchery veers precipitously off course when unmet expectations spiral into a volatile showdown. A darkly funny drama exploring the evolution of friendships – and the lengths to which we go to save them from falling into extinction.

Please note that this play includes graphic language and mature subject matter.

General Admission $25 ($23 Guild Hall Members)
$15 Students under 18

Production Team:
Set Designer – Raye Levine
Lighting Designer – Sebastian Paczynski
Stage Manager – Tyler Winthrop
Producer – Sawyer Spielberg
PR – Leah Lane

Thursday, March 30, 2017

MEET ERIC SVEDSEN (Who's Who in Extinction by Gabe McKinley)

Continuing our interviews with the Cast of EXTINCTION by Gabe McKinley which opens this coming Saturday, April 1st, we're thrilled to introduce you to ERIC SVEDSEN.


TIX INFO: http://www.guildhall.org/events/?id=1071&mode=id
Here's our conversation with actor, sound designer, Eric Svedsen:
 
What was your first impression of Extinction when you first read it?

My first impression of EXTINCTION was that it was brutally funny.  There are some elements of the friendship between Finn and Max that seem very familiar, and not far off from those of Swingers, Sideways, etc., where the tension and dissonance of the friendship lies in the difference between one character who can coast through life more or less effortlessly, while the other, more aesthete, dorky character is underappreciated, although the audience sides with him.  However, this play goes significantly deeper in it's examination of those characters and the beliefs and attitudes that shape them and motivate the actions that transpire.  It isn't just humor, although it has plenty of that; it also strikes a chord in a dark place.

When did you first work with Barefoot Theatre Company and why do you feel Extinction speaks to the company's mission and aesthetic? 
I first worked with Barefoot Theatre Company, more or less officially, at the bareNaked Reading Series in Los Angeles last summer.  That said, Francisco Solorzano is an old friend from Lyle Kessler's Master Class, which was precisely the scene study class where Brynne Kraynak, our brilliant cast member brought EXTINCTION to Sawyer Spielberg and me, and eventually the three of us, as well as the incredibly talented Raye Levine, started working on it in.  In addition to Raye being an established Barefoot member, Barefoot certainly felt like a fit because of the actors, writers and directors who've committed to this sort of material -- the experience of finding writing that you connect with and surrounding it with people you genuinely love working with to make it happen.

Tell us a little bit about your role(s) in the production.  
My role in the production is that of Max Emerson, the dark, throbbing, soulless id of the play.  He is the embodiment of bravado masking sadness; a deeply flawed character who you would potentially kill an orphan to hang out with for just one night.  I also designed the sound.

Can you share with us the challenges and excitement of wearing more than one hat on a production?  How did you approach sound design and do you think being an actor in the production helped with your choices?  If so, how so.  
In terms of wearing multiple hats on this production, I think it made us question at many stages why we didn't simply focus on one role and delegate everything to someone else.  I think the answer was that we've all developed such a deep infatuation not just for the play, but for each other.  Something I hope to never get suckered into again.  Seriously, though, it has been incredible to be essentially sequestered together in East Hampton and to be able to live every element of this play together.  In terms of sound design, the friendship between Finn and Max is deeply rooted in a love for the music of the 90's, specifically the Pixies.  For a guy like me, you don't have to reach far to access a love for 90's indie music.  It's always been ingrained, and was a major element that drew me to this play.  Getting to design the sound was something I'd have knocked someone's teeth out to be able to do.

Are there any memorable moments you can share from rehearsal that supported your process or created an exciting challenge?
There have been many challenging moments in rehearsals, most frequently being those where Josh Gladstone, our brilliant director, has forced me to explore my upper register, most notably in scenes involving my character's incredulity regarding nudity regulations of Atlantic City strip clubs.  I believe Sawyer and Josh would attest that I've found new notes.

What would you say are some of the universal themes of the play?  What will audience take away from the evening/experience?
I believe that the universal themes of the play are the give and take that occurs in the inherent transactional nature of any friendship.  We want to believe our motives are pure, but there is almost always a need satisfied in these relationships - what happens when that need is no longer met on either or both ends? How much are you willing to give when you feel you aren't getting enough in return?  Fear of moving on, fear of staying in the same place, growing old and irrelevant, love of a shared bond and the realization that it might no longer exist, and whether or not a life full of good times equates to or is at odds with a fulfilling life, and how best we go about propagating our species.  Hopefully the audience will enjoy an abundance of belly churning laughs laced with a deeply conscious feeling of self-referential disgust for months, if not weeks, afterward.

Now more than ever, why is theater vital and the art of collaboration?
Now, more than ever, we have the ability to communicate and form ideas freely -  and it should be free from fear on all sides.  The expression of humor, satire, obscenity, the art of collaboration and theater have always been tools and weapons if employed correctly.  Let's use that shit and use it right. 

Hometown?

My hometown is Sunfish Lake, MN.

When did you arrive in NYC?  And where do you call home now:
I first arrived in NYC in August of 2013.  I am currently a nomad roaming the earth between Los Angeles and New York, I hope to once again call New York home permanently after the run of this play.

Favorite theater going experience.
My favorite theater going experience was an original production at Northwestern University's Shanley Pavilion called Guru: The Allen Ginsberg Project by Andy Fife.

Eric Svendsen studied theatre at Northwestern University. He's been involved with productions at Rogue Machine Theater Company in Los Angeles and Naked Angels in New York. His Credits include starring roles in Auto Parts in Los Angeles as well as A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas at the Actor's Chapel and the award-winning original performance of Sailorboy by Neville Elder.

Guild Hall and Where Are They Going Theatre Group
in association with Barefoot Theatre Company
present EXTINCTION by Gabe McKinley


March 30 through April 16
Wednesdays – Sundays at 7pm
PLUS 2pm matinees on April 8 and April 15

Directed by Josh Gladstone
Starring Brynne Kraynak, Raye Levine, Sawyer Spielberg
and Eric Svendsen


Two college buddies’ annual outing of male-bonding and debauchery veers precipitously off course when unmet expectations spiral into a volatile showdown. A darkly funny drama exploring the evolution of friendships – and the lengths to which we go to save them from falling into extinction.

Please note that this play includes graphic language and mature subject matter.

General Admission $25 ($23 Guild Hall Members)
$15 Students under 18

Production Team:
Set Designer – Raye Levine
Lighting Designer – Sebastian Paczynski
Stage Manager – Tyler Winthrop
Producer – Sawyer Spielberg
PR – Leah Lane


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

MEET SAWYER SPIELBERG (Who Who's in Extinction)

We are proud to be a part of this thrilling production at Guild Hall featuring a stellar cast.  Please take a moment to get to know our cast and get your tickets before they're all gone.  

TIX INFO: http://www.guildhall.org/events/?id=1071&mode=id

MEET SAWYER SPIELBERG:



What's your role in this production?

 Actor.  I play Finn Buchanan. 


How did this role come to you?

I was taking the Lyle Kessler Master Class in New York City and my buddy Eric Svendsen brought this play to me. 

Tell us a little bit about your Character, Finn?  He's a good man stuck in a self destructive relationship with an old college pal. 


What's the most compelling moment about this story, without giving away any major plot points?

I have to say the moments of truth about Finn's relationship with Max that begin to prevail in this play are extremely fascinating. 


Do you remember the moment you knew you had to be a part of world of storytelling?

Story telling has been a part of my life since day one. It's in my blood. 


Do you have a favorite routine or style of preparation before rehearsals?  If so, care to share?  And does your preparation changed during performances?

I have a hot cup of coffee and get excited. Acting for me is like getting ready to go out on a Friday night to party!! 

Barefoot Theatre Company is dedicated to the collaborative process, to ensemble theater making in order to provide audiences with a compelling evening of theater.  In your words, why should audiences join us at John Drew Theater and witness Extinction?

The John Drew Theatre has never had such a raw and unforgiving play like extinction at their stage and I think its going to really shake up the east end theatre goers. Bringing something new and exciting to the stage that many will relate to is an evening I know you won't forget. 

Hometown
Los Angeles, California
 
When did you arrive in NYC?  And where do you call home now: Brooklyn, NY; Hollywood, CA; etc.
2010 I moved to New York. I call NY home. 
 
Favorite theater going experience.  
I really enjoyed Street Car Named Desire at the St. Ann's Warehouse last year with Ben Foster as Stanley. 

BIO:
Sawyer Spielberg (Finn) studied acting at the Atlantic Theater Company. Sawyer played Peter Van Daan in Bay Street Theater’s 2013 production of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK and Bay Street’s 2015 production OF MICE AND MEN playing Whit. Sawyer also performed in Guild Hall of East Hampton’s 2014 production of HAMLET playing Guildenstern and Francisco. Off Broadway Sawyer has performed at the East 4th St Theatre playing Micha in a production of the BELGRADE TRILOGY. He played Philip in a production of SAFE at the 14th St Y and Van in a production of CLOVER at La MaMa.

Guild Hall and Where Are They Going Theatre Group
in association with Barefoot Theatre Company
present EXTINCTION by Gabe McKinley

March 30 through April 16
Wednesdays – Sundays at 7pm
PLUS 2pm matinees on April 8 and April 15

Directed by Josh Gladstone
Starring Brynne Kraynak, Raye Levine, Sawyer Spielberg
and Eric Svendsen

Two college buddies’ annual outing of male-bonding and debauchery veers precipitously off course when unmet expectations spiral into a volatile showdown. A darkly funny drama exploring the evolution of friendships – and the lengths to which we go to save them from falling into extinction.

Please note that this play includes graphic language and mature subject matter.

General Admission $25 ($23 Guild Hall Members)
$15 Students under 18

Production Team:
Set Designer – Raye Levine
Lighting Designer – Sebastian Paczynski
Stage Manager – Tyler Winthrop
Producer – Sawyer Spielberg
PR – Leah Lane