Our 7th Rock-n-Roles event on Saturday October 1st was a amazing time. Thank you for all who participated and those who attended. This version, entitled ROCK-N-ROLES: COUNTRY ROCK BOOTLEG, included new 10 minute plays inspired by Country Rock songs.The lineup included:
-“Love Sneaking Up On You” inspired by Bonnie Raitt, written by Maria Seigenthaler, directed by Molly Ballerstein, and starring Christopher Borg, Siho Ellsmore and Marshall John Simon
-“Drunken Angel” inspired by Lucinda Williams, written by James Comtois, directed by Linda S. Nelson and starring Jamie Parton and Gabby Sherba
-“Be Mine” inspired by Alabama Shakes, written by Shelley McPherson, directed by Jen Wineman and starring Desmond Dutcher, Bethany Geragthy and Christina Elise Perry
-“Long May You Run” inspired by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, written by Kristine M. Reyes, directed by Christina Ashby and starring Emily Gardner Hall and Paul Sheehan
-“Morning Song” inspired by The Avett Brothers, written by Mateo Moreno, directed by Cailín Heffernan and starring Mark Souza, Sara Thigpen and Jaime West
The event was produced by Danielle Demisay, with support from Sue Abbott and on site support from Kat Meister and Erikka Anderson.
Here are a few pics from the event! (All photos by Kate Hess)
Kirk Gostkowski and Tim Errickson
Amanda Jones, Siho Ellsmore and Christopher Borg
Christopher Borg, Marshall John Simon and a special friend
James Comtois, Gabby Sherba, Linda S. Nelson and Jamie Parton
Sara Thigpen, Jaime West and Mark Souza
Christina Elise Perry, Desmond Dutcher and Bethany Geragthy
Christina Ashby, Kristine M. Reyes, Paul Sheehan and Emily Gardner Hall
Kirk Gostkowski and Christina Elise Perry
To make a donation in support of Boomerang’s new play programs, please click here.
Artistic Director Tim Errickson sat down with Amanda Jones (Imogen) and Brian Robert Burns (Posthumus) to talk about their roles in Boomerang’s current production of Shakespeare’s CYMBELINE, directed by Boomerang Associate Artistic Director Cailín Heffernan. CYMBELINE runs thru July 19th in Central Park.
Tim Errickson: Hi guys! We’ll start with Amanda…Amanda, you’ve worked with Cailin a few times now. How did you guys meet?
Amanda Jones: A few years ago, I was playing Marie Antoinette in a show called “The Color of Flesh.” (great title, right?)
Brian Robert Burns: Makes me think of “Silence of the Lambs”…
AJ: The director, Bob Kalfin, brought her in to teach us period manners and movement, in which Cailin is something of an expert. (She had less to teach me. Everyone else bows to the Queen; the Queen just stands there and looks grand)
AJ: That’s right! She emailed me late one night to ask if I would be interested in replacing someone who had dropped out. I said yes right away.
TE: Had you worked together between LLL and Color of Flesh?
AJ: She’d called me in to audition…But otherwise, no. She just has an amazing memory.
TE: Brian, you had just finished up the National Tour of War Horse before this, right?
BRB: It always kinda feels* like we just got back from tour. A lot of the memories and experiences are still so fresh, and a lot of the cast has stayed in pretty frequent touch. However, we got back in late August and I think auditions were in… April?
TE: Something like that, I think. How long were you on tour?
BRB: Over two years. 800+ performances, 70+ cities. I’m very fortunate.
TE: That’s incredible. Let’s talk about Cymbeline. For both of you, what’s been your favorite thing about working on this play?
AJ: Can I say more than one thing?
TE: Sure, say anything
AJ: First, Imogen is a wonderful character. One of my professors in college just loved her, and he got me loving her, too. She’s been on my list since then. She’s such a badass, not passive, but funny and tough.
TE: Someone said this is your dream role, right?
AJ: It is. One of them, anyways. There’s a list, but it isn’t long. And second, working with Brian. And everyone else. Boomerang finds amazing people, so committed and dedicated and talented.
BRB: I discovered how satisfying it is to do Shakespeare outside. When you’re in a box, you fill the box as best you can, you hit the back wall, etc. When you’re outside, literally, the sky is the limit. When you look out, it’s into the horizon. When you look up, you look up into infinity and you can fill it with all you can muster. It’s limitless. Also, this is just a tremendous group. I’m very fortunate to be working with such talented generous people.
TE: Had either of you seen the show or worked on Cymbeline before this production?
AJ: I know. I’m very glad we’re not overlapping with a certain other production, to escape any comparisons to a certain other Imogen.
BRB: I agree. This one is solely ours.
TE: We’ll fare just fine in any comparison.
AJ:I believe it.
TE: In the play, you two play lovers who are separated right away. How do you approach playing a relationship that’s fully in motion right from the start? Rather than playing people who meet and fall, which has already happened for your characters when we meet them in the first scene.
AJ:It’s crazy right? We have like ten lines to establish a relationship. And less than that to reconcile at the end.
BRB:In a way it’s nice to not have to show how we are with each other. And with Amanda it’s so easy.
AJ: The feeling is mutual. I think the chemistry we have certainly helps. And we were able to establish some back story during table work.
BRB: At that point when we first see them, love is easy and exciting. I feel the nature of their relationship in this play, the passion etc, comes from our behavior when we’re away from each other. That can be just as telling about the relationship as it is about the individual. How you represent your relationship to others when your partner isn’t around is quite revealing. Imogen makes Posthumus better than he is. And we see that by the way he bumbles around without her, creating fires.
AJ: I think the thing I loved discovering most – because lots of people said things like, “Why does Imogen stay with that jerk?” – is that Imogen is as quick to believe that Posthumus has betrayed her with another woman when it comes up. She gets past it more quickly, but she also has Pisanio backing her up.
BRB: Yes- proximity is, in itself, a form of security. And they’ve never been away from each other! It’s terrifying!
AJ: Right! I think there are a few examples of couples in Shakespeare who think they are Epic and Their Love Is Like No Other (as all young lovers do). And it’s wonderfully dramatic (and funny) to see them thrown off balance when they realize things are more complicated than that.
TE: In addition to being separated right away, you both have a lot of singing and dancing to do in the show.
BRB: And, for my part, falling apparently!
AJ: Yes! So fun!
TE: Had either of you sung or danced much in previous shows?
AJ:A bit. I did more musicals in high school and college, but I’ve always loved to dance.
TE: Brian how about you? You also have a lot of guitar playing in the show.
BRB: Not so much. There was only one show that i can think of. Similar to this one, it incorporated a lot of music, dance, and fight choreography. A lot of dance, a lot of capoeira. It was pretty cool. I enjoy it, but I rarely get the opportunity to do it. There was some community singing in War Horse too, but not any dancing. I don’t really think I’ve played guitar in a show before… this might be the first! And, man playing in a fifteen person band in public is awesome!!!
AJ: I’m so in awe of the multiple-threats in this show. Cailin really makes the most of everything everyone can do.
BRB: The amount of talent is staggering.
TE: She loves the triple threats, that’s for sure
BRB: The way Michael (Russink) and Roger (Lipson) and Hannah (Hartmann) make their transitions so seamlessly and effortlessly is incredible.
TE: Alright, last question….When you aren’t performing in Cymbeline, what are some of your favorite summertime NYC activities?
AJ:Midsummer Night’s Swing at Lincoln Center: So sweaty, so worth it. Movies, to cool off. Getting an ice cream and walk all the way east or west to the riverside in the evening to catch a breeze.
BRB: I live right by Astoria Park, so on the sunny days, I’ll head there and read and get some sun. Being from California, the sun and water are rejuvenating to me, and the park affords me both. I also write and record my own music and train in Mixed Martial Arts at Tiger Schulmanns. But eating ice cream is the best. Amanda, looks like we need to get ice cream…
TE: I had no idea you trained MMA, Brian. That’s incredible.
AJ: He told me I have “heavy hands” (Edit: an MMA term to describe someone who punches very hard) when we were learning our fights. I was so proud!
BRB: Better to hang on to you with, lady! I’ve been a fight sports fan all my life and finally this year I decided to fit a mouth piece and get after it. I love it.
TE: Have you had any bouts?
BRB: Actually, I’m just starting to learn. Building a foundation. I think by the end of the year, I’ll enter an in-house tournament. But right now, I’m just learning basics and technique. Hitting pads and such. Plus, my mother would kill me if I ever actually fought!
AJ: Poor mom.
Cymbeline runs July 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th at 2pm in Central Park (enter at 72nd and Central Park West) Additional details can be found here. Cymbeline is free, no tickets or reservations are required.
here’s a few quick snaps of last night’s dress rehearsal for CYMBELINE. The show is Free! No tickets or waiting in line! We open this coming Saturday June 20th at 2pm in Central Park! Hope you can make it!
Folks, we have a crackerjack team lined up forShakespeare’s CYMBELINE this summer, and we’re so excited to have you check out this show. CYMBELINE marks our 17th Summer producing free theatre in NYC Parks. Where does the time go?
Here’s the description:
In 60’s Britain, and the world has gone mad! There’s rock-n-roll and magic in the air. Lovers marry and then are forced to separate, wagers are placed on fidelity, and our heroine dresses as a boy to win back her true love. New families are discovered, poisons work and then don’t, and Jupiter comes down from on high to oversee this wild ride. It’s a Shakespeare play like no other where anything can happen!
Boomerang Associate Artistic Director Cailin Heffernan will direct the 1960’s themed production. The cast includes Boomerang veterans Deborah Carlson (Cornelia), Amanda Jones (Imogen), Annalisa Loeffler (The Queen), Uriel Menson (Caius Lucius), Jake Minevich (Arviragus), Vinnie Penna (Pisanio), Jared Reinmuth (Iachimo), Buzz Roddy (Cymbeline), Stephanie Rosenberg (Ensemble) and Michael Russinik (Cloten). They’re joined by Brian Robert Burns (Posthumus), Hannah Hartmann (Ensemble), David Marmanillo (Guiderius), Roger Lipson (Belarius) and Stephanie Summerville (Philaria)
Our stage management and design team is also terrific. Kathryn Meister handles Production Stage Manager duties, assisted by Daniela Gonzalez y Perez as Assistant Stage Manager/SM Intern. Mengxuan Zhou is Cailin’s Assistant Director/Directing Intern. Samantha Newby is designing the costumes, Grace Riehl is handling props, Dan Renkin is choreographing movement/fights, and Henry Aronson is creating original songs and orchestrations. Roger Lipson is doing double duty as our Associate Musical Director. And Theresa McElwee is design voice and dialects. Stefano Imbert is designing original artwork.
Performances run June 20th-July 19th in Central Park at 70th and Central Park West, just south of Strawberry Fields. Showtimes are Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm (no performances on July 4th and 5th). And as usual, all performances are…
No admission. Gratis.
So bring a blanket, bring some sunscreen, bring a cold bev, or just bring yourself down to the park and check out the show.
For anyone who hadn’t seen the remarkable artwork for LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST, here it is again. Stefano Imbert has outdone himself this season, which includes this piece and the art for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. LLL is directed by Boomerang Associate Artistic Director Cailín Heffernan.
LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST opens August 14th in Bryant Park at 7pm. The production runs until August 30th.
Would you like to make a donation to support the show? We value your financial support now more than ever.
Thank you in advance!