Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Our Indie Go Go Video

In case you can't get enough of our Artistic Director babbling.

The Importance of Being Earnest

Monsterpiece Theater Collective gets Wilde with Importance of Being Earnest

Monsterpiece Theater Collective's Importance of Being Earnest interprets Oscar Wilde's classic with a jazzy New Orleans flair. Starting our journey in turn of the century New Orleans we combine the music and rich heritage of the south and the posh fa├žade of English society. Using the poetry of John Gambril Nicholson, a contemporary of Wilde and author of the poem (of Boy’s Names) that inspired the title of this classic, the Monsterpiece Collective has created a musical world of original songs and Dixieland jazz standards. Moving from drawing rooms and countryside gardens to honky tonks and plantations we enjoy the sharp wit and acid tongue that can only be found two places, Wilde’s characters and the most charming southern homes.    

Performances are Thursday, March 27; Friday March 28; and Saturday, March 29 at 8:00 p.m., with matinee performances Saturday March 29 and Sunday March 30 at 2:00 p.m. All performances are at The Beckmann Theater 314 W. 54th St., 2ndfloor. Tickets are $20.00 and can be reserved at mptheatercollective@gmail.com.
The cast includes Zack Krajnyak and Liam Selby as Algernon and Jack, the two young men trying to get the most out of life by being Earnest. Katrina Michaels (Gwendolen) and Susanna Allen (Cecily) as the women they pursue. Katia Haeuser and Jacob Banser as the budding couple in the country, Miss. Prisim and Rev Chasuable and Clemmie Evans as the ever opinionated Lady Bracknell.

Monsterpiece Theater Collective is a group of risk-taking artists working together to tell compelling stories imaginatively by creating, supporting, and producing each other’s work in readings, workshops, and short run full productions. They specialize in kicking down closed doors and blowing up glass ceilings.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Working at the Lab

A lot of wonderful things are happening for Monsterpiece in 2014, and it just hit the second month!

January marked the continuation of the Monsterpiece Artist’s collective; a group of artists brought together to uphold the ideals of Monsterpiece by holding monthly meetings. We’ve titled these meetings Monsterlabs. In these labs we bring in ideas, plays, and concepts flip them on their heads, and hold discussions with a purely collaborative spirit. These labs are fun as hell, but also artistically challenging. One of our fellow members, John Detty, wrote a lovely description:

Sunday's MPAC was a blast! We started with going around and telling our worst Shakespeareance. From there, we wrote positive adjectives about each other and really learned how everyone saw each other. It put everyone in the right mind set to create. Then, the games began. We were divided into groups and were tasked with different sketches. My group had to do "cartoon characters in the future/reunited" in the spirit of Brett Royal's Dog Sees God. Another group had to take the opening monologue from Love's Labors Lost and rework it as a spell for the witches from MacBeth. The last group did a completely silent scene in the vein of the second act of Noises Off. They were all immensely different, but equally as good. We took time apart to put everything together, came back, and performed them. Then, most importantly, and frequently overlooked, we discussed what happened. We talked about what the process was like, what worked, what didn't, and ideas that came up unintentionally. It was such a wonderfully positive collective of artists to get to play with. Can't wait for the next one!

~John Detty: Monster in residence

As John pointed out this process was a really fun and exciting three hours! More importantly, however, these activities serve as a conduit for true creation. As a fellow member of the collective, I feel that there is nothing greater than finding a group of people with whom I share a true and safe connection. During the meeting, we were able to push aside things like petty competition, fear of failure, and our own personal insecurities. Without doing so, we would not have been able to create really good art.



In the coming months, we hope to continue this work by pushing ourselves with even more thought provoking artistic endeavors. Beyond the actual work, we strive to deepen our understanding of artistic expression by constantly discussing questions such as: What was exciting, what questions do I have, and what did this make me feel? Asking questions such as these forces us to delve further, and challenge our own understanding. Questions break down barriers that need to be broken, and push us past our own preconceptions. For example, during the Love Labor’s/Witches mash up the actors, through creative expression, took an otherwise light piece and turned it into a provocatively serious piece. Through their art they smashed through what we previously knew about the monologue and shaped it into something completely different. Or during the cartoon scene, a suitcase became a casket for the character Snarf; changing our perception of the suitcase completely.  It is this kind of work that makes me so excited. I love breaking down original thoughts and turning it into something completely different. I think that’s what we, at Monsterpiece, do: tell provocative stories, break down notions, pretty much be the most fearless monsters on the block.  
So until next time, I’ll leave you with this thought:

“A mind once stretched by a new idea, can never regain it’s original dimensions”
-Oliver Wendel Holmes


By: Katia Haeuser: Monster in residence

Monday, January 27, 2014

Importance of Being Earnest Auditions

Monsterpiece Theater Collective is now accepting headshots and resumes for the Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde with new dixieland jazz songs based on the poetry of John Gambril Nicholson. 

Auditions will be held by appointment only in early February with rehearsals beginning February 18th and production dates set for March 27 - 30 at the Beckmann Theater in Manhattan.

Please email your your materials to mptheatercollective@gmail.com for an audition slot. Preference will be given to those with a musical background and those that can play instruments. 

One minute comedic monologue reqired with a one minute song optional (must accompany yourself/bring own instrument/piano provided). 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Information on Julius Caesar


For Immediate Release

January 2, 2013

 

Julius Caesar at the Theater 54 Features all female cast

 

Monsterpiece Theater Collective's Julius Caesar interprets Shakespeare's classic with a modern twist and a nod to contemporary social status and classic Kabuki tradition. As adapted by director Anthony D. Pound, the all-female cast tackles questions of honor versus ambition, safety versus freedom, and destiny versus self-preservation. Using a representational all-girl school setting and finding inspiration in earliest sense of Kabuki ritual, Monsterpiece sets about to create an amalgamated world of theatrical storytelling setting few rules and breaking them all as we back stab our way to the top of Shakespeare’s social structure.       

 

Performances are Thursday, January 17; Friday January 18; and Saturday, January 19 at 8:00 p.m., with matinee performances Saturday January 19 and Sunday January 20 at 2:00 p.m.  All performances are at Theater 54 at 244 W. 54th St., 12th floor.  Tickets are $20.00 and can be reserved at mptheatercollective@gmail.com. 


The cast includes Lauren Friedlander and Jessica Cannizzaro as Julius and Octavius Caesar. Savannah Frazier as Mark Antony; Sarah Quigley (Brutus), Kelly Rogers (Cassius), Allyson Capetta (Casca), and Katia Haesuer (Cimber) as the conspirators; Helyn Messenger and Peregrine Heard as Portia and Calpurnia; and Gabi VanHorn as Cinna the Poet.     

 

Monsterpiece Theater Collective is a group of risk-taking artists working together to tell compelling stories imaginatively by creating, supporting, and producing each other’s work in readings, workshops, and short run full productions. They specialize in kicking down closed doors and blowing up glass ceilings.