Posts Tagged ‘source festival’

We’re out. Year two. Check.

July 14, 2009

Source Festival has officially met its fate for 2009. After putting a final coat of black paint on the floor and walls, we moved out for the next year.  Although we left behind some panda sweatshirts, a lot of army fatigues and a coffee pot, among other items. Maybe they’ll come in handy for the 2010 Festival, or in the meantime, for all those high energy panda- and army-theme parties that we’ve dubbed “Parmy Parties.” Watch out Speidi because we’re about to put our stamp on the name-hybrid game.

Thanks to all the artists & audience members that came through Source during the Festival.  We fully acknowledge the cheese-factor in the following statement, but it’s true – we couldn’t have done it without you. In fact, we are already thinking about how to make next year’s Festival even better for you. If you have any thoughts, leave us a comment.

And playwrights, be on the lookout for the 2010 Source Festival call for submissions in September.


Mash-Ups Unleashed

June 30, 2009

From Merry Alderman, Source Festival Associate Producer:

WOW! I can’t believe that the first week of the Festival is over and that we’re already knee-deep in tech rehearsals for the Mash-Ups. Our fearless leader, Jeremy, keeps calling them “Artistic Blind-Dates,” but I’ve never been on a blind date that went as well as these Mash-Ups are coming together.

It is difficult to believe that these artists had never met before six months ago when we paired them with each other. Each group has developed a seamless way to communicate and collaborate. (Or at least, that is how they make it look.) We’ve got video artists improvising live with dancers, blue ping pong balls hanging from the grid, A LOT of red paint, some issues with the Metro and so much more. Audiences probably don’t know what to expect, but everyone should come with a sense of adventure and they’ll leave having seen something really exciting.

Next week we have readings of Full-Length plays on July 6 and 7 by exciting young playwrights, Dan Dietz and Dan LeFranc… it’s the Dan Plays. And then on to the final week of One Act plays which are all coming together nicely.

Gimme the Low Down on Festival Opening Night

June 24, 2009

Lots of Opening Nights are super-fancy shindigs with famous special guests and sit down dinners with tinsel to spare. That’s not what Source Festival is about. We like to give our supporters a taste of the Festival – a smorgasbord, if you will – Source style. That means milk and cookies, not champagne and crudités. Think down home theatre.

So on Saturday night 100 of our nearest and dearest friends came to Source to scope out this year’s rising stars and get a hint of what’s to come. And while the Mayor declined, gracefully, to attend at thte last minute, we have his vote of confidence:

“Mayor Fenty believes the Source Festival Opening Night will be phenomenal.”

-Melanie Hom, Mayor’s Scheduling Specialist

And it was.

Sometimes a little rough around the edges (hey, it IS the Source Festival), always authentic. Home-made lemonade was consumed en masse and the rice crispy treats were not to be missed.

Opening Night is not the last opportunity you’ll have to schmooze the Festival’s coolest artists – we are hanging out every Wednesday night late nite at Policy. You can find us on the second floor, dominating the $2 PBR drink specials. Because, hey, its Source Festival time.

Q & A with a Festival Playwright

June 5, 2009

We asked Renee Calaraco, author of the Festival One Act Play The Mating of Angela Weiss, to answer five of James Lipton’s famed 10 questions. Get all of the details while performing your best Lipton impersonation. Renee lives and works in Washington, DC. Her play Short Order Stories received the 2007 Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play. She’s an Artistic Associate at Charter Theater and teaches improv comedy for the Theatre Lab.

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?


What sound or noise do you love?

The oboe’s tuning pitch for an orchestra.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Art conservator.

What profession would you not like to do?

Roadkill remover. Or pharmaceutical company sales rep. 

Renee’s The Mating of Angela Weiss performs at the Source Festival July 8 and 10 at 8pm; July 11 at 2pm.

The Attempt to Invent Lightning (Kids, Don’t Try This at Home…)

March 31, 2009

By Playwright and Source Festival Mash-Up Participant Allyson Currin

After a number of meetings and brainstorming sessions, prior to last week we only knew one thing. We liked each other. Nice, of course, but not necessarily useful if the task at hand was supposed to be creating a compelling work of art. Not one that people are actually going to SEE. Our initial aesthetic seemed to be, “Art, Shmart, let’s just go to The Diner and get a burger.” Followed shortly by the inevitable cell phone call, “I have the flu” or “I can’t find parking.” Still, we did find ourselves artistically on the same page – on a number of the same pages, actually – so narrowing the field to a topic, or a notion, or a gut impulse we wanted to explore as a team was our first challenge. Lesson Learned # One:

Figuring out how to do this makes you surrender to the process. Surrender. Breathe. Surrender.

We’re fully prepared for a whole textbook of Lessons Learned as we navigate what our Mash-Up Mission is all about. Number One is a lesson we all know intellectually, of course, but being practitioners in addition to artists, it is a limitlessly frustrating lesson to live and create with. It’s hard to fight the ingrained impulse to generate RESULTS.

Our team consists of Scott Burgess, composer extraordinaire; Kate McGraw, a dazzling visual artist whose work includes a performance element; and me, Allyson Currin, a playwright. Our first meetings revealed that we clearly spoke the same language artistically, and got jazzed by the same sorts of ideas. We knew fairly early that we wanted to explore the notion of how creativity functions – or fails to – in daily life, how it helps shatter our mundane patterns (if we have the wherewithal to look up from our navel-gazing to see it). All well and good, but how to activate this idea, make it theatrical and energized, fresh and real? AND NOT SELF-INDULGENT. We talked about using music, painting and written word that exploited “found” objects. At one point I seem to recall a bunch of dancers prancing around the stage…Let’s just say there was no shortage of opinions on how to explore this notion of how one unlocks creativity and channels it . Good thing we are all such freaks. Lesson Learned # Two:

We’re not pyromaniacs. (Insert defensive tone) We just have a sick curiosity about it…

I’ll back up. Last week we had our much-needed epiphany when, in the interest of sharing work, I read a piece I had written years ago about spontaneous human combustion. Kate’s eyes lit up. Scott arrived late, having been dealing with a shitty situation at The Atlas (literally: plumbing problems), and when he heard what the topic of conversation was, HIS eyes lit up. Clearly we had a winner.

After grossing each other out with Googled pictures of victims, we actually found that we were onto something: a useful, concrete, theatrically viable metaphor for creativity. Remember Monty Python’s sketch about the World’s Funniest Joke? The second you got the punch line, you died? The Ah-Ha moment, when you connect with something complete and larger than you: what do you sacrifice for that moment of blazing (pardon pun) clarity? The balance between light (inspiration) and dark (death, failure.) is a scary place to be, but it is the place where we as artists should always aspire to land, because that’s the place where all the discoveries are.

What’s this handy-dandy revelation going to mean for our piece? Couldn’t tell you. But it’s a relief to have a hand hold, one we can all grip with equal enthusiasm…we rehearse on Wednesday. God only knows what’ll happen.

Lesson # One Revisited: Surrender to the Process

Blind Date #2

December 29, 2008

Source Festival Associate Producer Sarah Coleman divulges details on the progress of the 2009 Festival mash-ups…

On December 15th the Source Festival and Artists’ Bloc held our second mash-up session. What’s a mash-up? A blind date between artists.

We’ve paired artists from different disciplines – film, dance, visual art, theatre and music – and given them free reign to create a piece on anything they want for the 2009 Source Festival through any process they chose, as long as each of their disciplines is aptly presented on stage during the performance. Over the next five months the groups will work together to create 30 minute pieces that will be unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Our fabulous 2009 mash-up participants are Naoko Maeshiba, Nick-the-I-Da, Alberto Gaitán, Ding Ren, Austin Elston, Emily Gallagher, Wyckham Avery, Scott Burgess, Kate McGraw, Allyson Currin, Vincent E. Thomas, Kathleen Akerley, Jeremy Haik, Psalmayene 24, Dan VanHoozer, Holly Bass, Kelly Mayfield, Allan von Schenkel and Kristen Williams.

Interested in a sneak peak? You can get see the works-in-progress on May 8 and 9, 2009 at Artists’ Bloc‘s 12×6 or the final works June 30th – July 5th, 2009 at the Source Festival.

As for what these pieces are all about, I’ll share some snippets, but no promises on content because who knows in what direction these works will take in the coming months. That’s the element of surprise us producers are looking forward to! Here are some of the questions and ideas floating about right now: Which comes first the dance or the music? A clown, in search of his nose. A character who comes to a profound realization through soundscapes and live drawing. A high tension DC moment told through multiple viewpoints. A look at the components of being human, within the components of humanity.

Hope your interest is piqued… More to come soon.

Penguins, peacocks and lore…

July 11, 2008

Anne Corbett, CuDC’s Executive Director, on Cory Oberndorfer’s mural at Source.

So maybe you’ve been to source in the past couple of weeks to catch some of the festival. Excellent. But did you wander out back?

Huh? to the alley?

Yep, to see the penguins.



Well, we like to mix it up so in our renovation plan, we knew that historically everyone coming to “work” at source had to use the back door [remember the front door had a bike lock and there were no front stairs to get to the admin offices…] and that alley back there is its own special part of the lore. Sooo, when we put in the new doors and stairs, we asked cory oberndorfer to gussy up the back wall to honor that lore. Come take a look. And if you are missing that old back door, no worries. we kept it. It’s in the lobby in a place of honor and you can see that too.

Monster Mash-Ups

May 16, 2008

Sarah Coleman, Manager of Performing Arts and Business Center and Associate Producer for the Source Festival on Mash-ups, auditions and all things festival.

It’s official – all the work for the Source Festival is fully announced! We’ve made our final decisions regarding the Interdisciplinary Projects which will run July 1 – 6th. We selected three works through the open call process; Going Against the Flow: Improvised Lives (acting and dance improv), created by members of Washington Improv Theater and Daniel Phoenix Singh/Dakshina Dance; What’s A Little Death? (acting, music, mask and dance), created by Leslie Felbain and Juanita Rockwell; and The Letting (spoken word poetry and dance) created by Annie Johnstone and Diana Tokaji.

And, Jeremy’s made four fabulous mash-ups. Mash-ups are the paring together of people from at least two different disciplines each with the goal of creating, in under three month’s time, a new interdisciplinary performance piece that is 15 to 30 minutes long. I’m a big fan of the term mash-up, although I can’t take credit for it as it was suggested by Anne (via Patricia Martin’s RenGen). It’s very fitting to the festival and all that we do here at Cultural Development Corporation. This year’s mash-up will be conceived and created by Austin Elston, Emily Gallagher and Kelly Mayfield who will combine the disciplines of film and dance; photographer Tiffany KB and playwright Gwydion Suilebhan; Dancers Stephen Clapp, Laura Schandelmeier will collaborate with composer Jonathan Morris; and Lisa Pegram and Kitty Victorian will create a spoken work poetry and burlesque piece.

One more tidbit. Final auditions for the 10-minute plays were held on Tuesday, May 13th so we’ll have all our talented actors on board, and in the rehearsal room, in no time.

For more information on the schedule check us out online.

Check Out Source in American Theatre Magazine!

April 29, 2008

The 10-minute play directors (they also happen to be some of DC’s best artistic directors) at Source

Photo Credit: Colin Hove

Well, it looks like Source Festival fever has reached a national level! The May/June issue of American Theatre Magazine features a lovely write-up on the festival with quotes from such luminaries as our Artistic Director, Jeremy Skidmore and Woolly Mammoth’s Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz, about the festival, the plays, the space, the history… you get the picture. So pick up a copy and read about what is sure to be the hottest ticket in town this summer. We’ll see you in June!

Annoucing the Playwrights!

March 27, 2008

Sarah Coleman, CuDC’s Manager, Performing Arts & Business Center and Associate Producer, Source Festival gives you the final list of one-act playwrights.

We’ve just announced the playwrights whose work will be produced during the last week of the Source Festival, July 9-13. The selected one-acts include Tumor by Sheila Callaghan, The Mnemonist by Julia Cho, Catch by Graeme Gillis, Murmuring in a Dead Tongue by J.T. Rogers, Sunday Night by Julian Sheppard and This Perfect World by Chris Stezin.  There is definitely something for everyone in this mix.  From the Empire State Building, to Eire, Pennsylvania, to a childhood hide-a-way; you’ll meet a woman with an overactive memory, a just married couple on their wedding night and man lost in the dialogue of his head.  Plus, we’re very proud to be giving DC premieres to Cho, Gillis, Rogers and Sheppard.
Here are the dirty details on the one-acts:

Tumor by Sheila Callaghan directed by Kasi Campbell

The Mnemonist by Julia Cho directed by David Muse

Catch by Graeme Gillis directed by Steven Mazzola

Murmuring in a Dead Tongue by J.T. Rogers directed by Jennifer Nelson

Sunday Night by Julian Sheppard directed by Dorothy Neumann

This Perfect World by Chris Stezin directed by John Vreeke

We’re almost set to announce the 10-minute plays.  909 submissions came in and 24 will be produced.  Jeremy just sent out the director pairings to the associate producers and I got goosebumps.  I’m looking forward to seeing what our fabulous directors will do with their plays.  Thank you to all our dedicated readers (all 85 of them)!  Speaking of 10-minute plays, if you want to perform at the Source Festival email Jeremy for one of the coveted audition slots April 21 – 23, 2008.  You have to audition in order to be considered for the festival.

87 days and counting…