Haven Chicago Presents ‘The Art of Bowing’ A Muscular and Engaging Ode to Artists

The Art of Bowing by Nathan Alan Davis presented by Haven Chicago is an experimental must-see and galvanizing production for anyone uncertain about their role in the performing arts, whether patron or performer. Directed by Haven’s Artistic Director Ian Damont Martin, The Art of Bowing honors and eviscerates the theatre in equal measure, and left me thinking about my role as an artist, critic, and patron in theatre’s survival.  Continue reading “Haven Chicago Presents ‘The Art of Bowing’ A Muscular and Engaging Ode to Artists”

Editor’s Note

This is a letter from Editor-In-Chief Regina Victor, about Rescripted’s approach to artist testimonials and community amplification, as well as ways to support and write with us. There were a couple of responses to our recently published piece that indicated a missing context regarding the history of how we’ve worked with our community. This piece clarifies some of Rescripted’s publishing practices and has information on how to pitch us. For our newer readers, this is an introduction to our work. 

On Monday, June 12th, the following text was added to our four part series: “Common Traps for the Aspiring Artist: A Testimonial at Trap Door.”

*Rescripted has not independently verified the details in this testimonial. The opinions in this piece belong solely to the author.* 

*We had thought this was evident from our initial editor’s note, but community feedback made it clear further clarification was needed. After some consultation, we have added this clause. Thank you for calling us in.

The accuracy in the language is very important, and we thank you for making us better at communicating our intent. Clarity is needed, because Rescripted will continue to post testimonials of this nature.  Continue reading “Editor’s Note”

Flip the Script: ‘Poor Yella Rednecks’ at A.C.T.

A soaring, mostly true story told by Qui Nguyen, Poor Yella Rednecks at A.C.T.’s Strand Theatre is the celebrated sequel to Nguyen’s hit, Vietgone. The playwright enters the stage and introduces himself as the narrator of his parents’ complex and turbulent love story, following their departure from Vietnam. Actor Jomar Tagatac tackles the portrayal of the playwright with finesse and style. The man is smooth.

In an interview with the playwright’s mother that opens the show, she demands a few things in exchange for her narrative. At the top of her list is a desire to talk like Qui, who is infamous for his linguistic ability to weave philosophical truths into streams of expletives. Or as the script declares, he has an infamous potty mouth. What emerges is delightful language play. The mother’s second request is that the white Americans, played by the Asian actors in the cast, speak in disjointed rejoinders the way that they would be heard by someone who doesn’t speak English. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese immigrants have a strong grasp not just on English but its wide potential of human expression, curse words and all.

Continue reading “Flip the Script: ‘Poor Yella Rednecks’ at A.C.T.”

A Triumph of Will in ‘Gender Play’ at About Face Theatre

The first part of the ritual was the coat. Black, regal, with safety pins up and down the lapels that made me feel like I was one of Shakespeare’s youths bursting at the seams with ambition. My outfit was freshly plucked off of the costume rack next to the Bookspan, like my fellow audience members. Leathers, vests, and even a sequined battle helmet complete with a blonde braid peppered the crowd. It was costume designer Uriel Gomez’s way of inviting the audience into the world of lush fabrics and textures that make up much of the world of Gender Play, or what you Will. 

The second part of the ritual was the tarot card. From the twenty-two cards that comprise the Major Arcana spread across the table in the dark hall, I first selected Strength, feeling the edges of the sturdy paper in my hand. I then eyed The Hanged Woman, suspended before a state of transformation – Death. I had drawn both cards just hours before. I took them both into the theatre.  Continue reading “A Triumph of Will in ‘Gender Play’ at About Face Theatre”

Shedding Skins: An Artists’ Response to Nataki Garrett’s Departure

On May 5th, 2023, at the height of a Scorpio Full Moon Eclipse, it was announced that Nataki Garrett would be resigning from her post as Artistic Director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival after four long years. This is a watershed moment in the history of the American Theatre. There will be news. What I have for you is my raw, artists’ response, as a Black, trans artistic leader, and an artist who participated in the Shakespeare festival last year. A letter to you, a letter to me, a letter to Nataki. I hope it soothes.

A Titan has been lost.
No. Not lost.
She can still be found.
A Titan has been displaced.
Still not right. She left of her own volition.

A Titan has shed her skin.
Yes. That’s right.
What happens when a Titan must move?
A Titan on whose back rested a village that worshiped her daily? Continue reading “Shedding Skins: An Artists’ Response to Nataki Garrett’s Departure”

The Importance of Play – A Keynote Speech by Regina Victor

The following is a transcript of the speech given by Editor-In-Chief and Cultural Designer Regina Victor at the American Stage Lift Every Voice New Play Festival on March 3rd, 2023 at the James Museum in St. Petersburg, FL. Published exclusively on Rescripted.

Hello everyone, what a marvelous gathering!

As Patrick said, my name is Regina Victor, my pronouns are they/them pharaoh, and I’m so grateful to be here at the Lift Every Voice New Play Festival. Thank you to the James Museum, and the team at American Stage for hosting us here together, to celebrate six new opportunities to play.

I want to start with a moment of collective memory. I want us to think back to the first moment we ever saw a play, when we knew we wanted to be creators and producers for the stage. Think back to that time, and think about, possibly even cherish, the amount you have accomplished since that moment. The stories you’ve shepherded, the lives you’ve changed, the joy you’ve discovered. Continue reading “The Importance of Play – A Keynote Speech by Regina Victor”

Playbill Article Opens Conversation About Danger, Safety and Standards for Broadway, So Why Aren’t We Talking About That?

On February 8th, 2023, playbill.com published an article by Margaret Hall, entitled “Physical Assault Vomit in the Aisles, Stalking in the Streets: Why Audience Misbehavior Has Gotten Out of Hand”.

The article consisted of interviews from Front of House staff on Broadway, whose compelling testimonies created an unignorable narrative: the culture of Broadway theatres and their patrons is unsustainable, disrespectful, and at times dangerous. It was met with immediate buzz and urgent discourse. On Friday February 10th, 2023, the article was pulled from playbill.com. It will be edited, and re-published at a later date. Below is an excerpt from the original piece: 

“Tessie, a former actor turned front of house worker, began working at a family friendly musical in the winter of 2021. Since beginning the position, they have been “spat on, shoved, had my ass slapped, and been screamed at more times than I could count.” Still, they consider themselves lucky; one of their coworkers was shoved down a staircase by an irate patron, resulting in a serious hip injury. Continue reading “Playbill Article Opens Conversation About Danger, Safety and Standards for Broadway, So Why Aren’t We Talking About That?”

‘Enough To Let The Light In’ Creates Terror Out of Love’s Shadows

Paloma Nozicka’s two-hander script, Enough to Let The Light In, grips you from the very beginning and doesn’t let go. Director Georgette Verdin builds a deliberate pulse underneath the work, aided by Stefanie M. Senior’s spooky’ sound design and Sotirios Livaditis’ set, full of delightful tricks that drive the action forward. 

Enough to Let The Light In  is one of the tightest and most satisfying new plays I’ve seen in a long time. The economy of language and onstage movement means every action matters, even where a guest hangs their coat becomes a point of dramatic tension. It’s very hard for a story to get ahead of me, and I noticed pretty much every suspicious thing or could-be suspicious line of dialogue. Georgette Verdin directs the piece with a swift and intentional hand, with incredible attention to the details. The actors are so compelling, I forgot what I’d seen, and was shocked all over again by the discovery that my suspicions were correct! Continue reading “‘Enough To Let The Light In’ Creates Terror Out of Love’s Shadows”

Ritual as Reclamation in ‘What To Send Up When It Goes Down’

When audience members enter What To Send Up When It Goes Down by Aleshea Harris, produced by Congo Square Theatre, we shuffle quietly into the lofted warehouse-style space. As we find our seats on either side of Lookingglass’ playing space, it feels a bit like the beginning of a wake, and in a way it is. A few cast members mill about the space, and one (Joey Stone at our performance) hands out black ribbons to wear in solidarity with Black people that have been victims to, or killed by police violence. 

At this performance, Chanel Bell announces we will be performing this ritual for Botham Jean. The performers invite the audience into a circle to begin the ritual to commemorate one of those felled by racist violence. A participant may choose not to take part in the ritual, but they just ask that you center Black voices in the space, and don’t disturb those who do choose to participate. Continue reading “Ritual as Reclamation in ‘What To Send Up When It Goes Down’”

Resigning as Renewal: Visions for Artistic Leaders of Color

In the wake of Ken-Matt Martin, Eric Ting, and my own resignation from Sideshow Theatre on July 20, 2022, I reflect on the path that led us here. I have not spoken to either of these leaders, and the thoughts and patterns represented are entirely my own unless directly quoted from other publications. This is a two-part essay. The first, “The Fixer: Artistic Directors of Color and Pandemic Leadership,” outlines the institutional and systemic barriers Artistic Directors who are people of color face in this time. This piece outlines the victories these leaders have had, and is an offering for how to create success for incoming Artistic Directors who come from under-represented communities.

This week, three Artistic Directors of color announced their intent to resign from their institutions. Ken-Matt Martin at Victory Gardens, Eric Ting at California Shakespeare Theatre, and myself at Sideshow Theatre Company. Each of us resigned for very different reasons. Inclusive, exciting work has been happening at all of these companies, and continues to happen under the tenure of leaders of color across the nation. It is essential to celebrate the successes these leaders had, discern what systemic obstacles to success are in place, and think of solutions that can provide ease to future leaders.

Not every resignation is or will be a point of pain. Sometimes they are necessary evolution for the artist and the company.

Continue reading “Resigning as Renewal: Visions for Artistic Leaders of Color”