Sans Everything Infects New England

We have been in Rhode Island for a week now, rehearsing, dreaming, writing, and all living together in the beautiful Newport home of Strange Attractor’s Jed and Rebecca. We will be here for a month working on Sans Everything, which sounds like a long time, but in reality only gives us two weeks of rehearsal: Week Three sees us loading ourselves into AS220 to perform the show for Providence audiences (tickets HERE) and during Week Four we travel to Boston to premiere the piece at Charlestown Working Theatre (tickets HERE), where we will also hold a workshop on the Expressive Body in Physical Performance. It’s a whirlwind adventure up here and we hope, if you’re in New England, that we’ll see you at one of the performances.

Don’t worry, Philly folks, we’re planning to land this spaceship in our hometown, too. Dates and location are still TBA but look for us January/February next year.

Oh and friends in Alaska? We’re coming your way May 2017…

(For more photos of the costume-building day we had Brown University’s “dirty space”, check out Strange Attractor’s blog post.)

We’re Back!

We’re back from New Orleans and what a time we had. We arrived Tuesday night in time to get some food (at the aptly named Pizza Delicious) and catch our friends Almanac’s opening night.

On Wednesday we rehearsed at Dancing Grounds  and then moved ourselves into the Old Firehouse (after lunch at the Cake Cafe) to set up the space, tech, and walk through the show. We then performed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (with breaks for food, drinks, dancing, and music) and we headed back to Philly on Saturday!

And thus ended the Philly portion of our exchange. We now spend the next two months, all of us in our home cities, reading As You Like It, watching more sci-fi, and doing whatever homework assignments Rebecca throws at us. Some of us will even travel up to RI in January for a post-New Years writing workshop.

Then in February, we reunite! Two intensive weeks of rehearsal followed by shows in Providence March 3-6 and in Boston March 13-16.

We have about $8,000 left to raise to complete our $20,000 match of the NET/TEN grant we received last March. If the holiday spirit moves you to donate, you can do so HERE. Best of all: year end tax-deduction!


Party This Saturday!

It’s been almost a month since Strange Attractor descended upon Philly to make SANS EVERYTHING with us. Five days out of the week we meet in yoga studios, lecture halls, and campus black boxes to sing, stretch, play, and create. One day out of the week we meet in coffee shops and on rooftops to exchange administrative best practices, to make observations and ask questions about company working methods. On the last day we rest. Mostly.

But this week is different. This week is our last week of rehearsals in Philly before we go to New Orleans. And not only are we working on piecing together the scenes we’ve made, but we’re also planning a big party! This Saturday we invite you to join us for THE SPECIAL STRANGE, a party to fundraise for our trip to New Orleans. There will be a live brass band playing New Orleans jazz, a killer raffle (prizes to be announced soon), signature cocktails, and jambalaya made by the Sans Everything crew. And best of all, you get to be among the first to see what we’ve been making…

The Special Strange is Saturday, November 14th
7pm at the Crane Old School, 1417 N 2nd Street
$25 general admission, $15 artists/students

We can’t wait to see you there.


Meet LRS…

It’s been a week since we started rehearsals and we’ve been having an amazing time. We are exploring space eating, group speaking, the Rosalind-Celia relationship, the secret life of plants, choral singing, and on and on…. It’s always difficult to describe what exactly goes on in the development room. We are like hunter-gatherers, leaving no stone unturned, on the lookout for the big find. We are like children, entertaining every idea that crosses our mind. We are like scientists, probing a question to the nth degree. We are like jazz musicians, riffing off each other  and finding harmony out of discord.

We are also learning about each other. Though we have been friends for several years and have done a few small workshops together, it’s a different thing entirely to work together for four weeks. Strange Attractor has different methods of building and finding than we do. As part of their Indiegogo fundraising campaign, Strange Attractor has decided to embrace the “get to know you” aspect of our time together, creating profiles of each of the members of Lightning Rod Special. We think they’re pretty great. They’ve been putting up one a day all week and then next week, we will reciprocate and interview them!

Welcome, Strange Attractor!

Thanks to a generous grant from the Network of Ensemble Theatres, we are embarking on our next project! With our dear friends Strange Attractor Theatre Company (Providence, Philadelphia, Juneau), we were awarded a NET/TEN exchange grant to share administrative best practices while in rehearsals for a new piece. The piece, SANS EVERYTHING, follows drone-like space explorers as they are forced by some unseen power to perform Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT. Set so far in the future that everything from our past has been forgotten, SANS EVERYTHING is a meditation on why perform for each other and on what we owe the past when considering our future. All ten performer/creators from the two companies will gather, first here in Philadelphia and early next year in Providence. During our busy rehearsal schedule we are devoting one day of the week towards administrative exchange. On these days we meet in an office, not a rehearsal room, to discuss the ins and outs of running a small theatre company.

Our two companies have many similarities–a shared pedagogy (members of Strange Attractor met at LISPA and members of LRS met at the Pig Iron School, both Lecoq-based programs), a shared method of devising, and between 3 and 5 years of experience working together. But we also have much to learn from each other. Strange Attractor has got the “applying for grants” thing DOWN. They love going to conferences and meeting other artists in our field. We at Lightning Rod Special have more touring experience and pride ourselves on throwing a great party. Over the course of the exchange we will meet each other not only as creative collaborators but as artistic administrators. We will help each other acquire new skills (QuickBooks??) and introduce each other to presenters in our home regions. We will make critical observations of each others’ working practices with just as much care and generosity as we do in the rehearsal process.

At the end of the three weeks here in Philly, our two companies will be traveling down to New Orleans for the brand new Faux/Real festival to present the first iteration of our work on SANS EVERYTHING. Please be sure to join us for a party on the evening of November 14th as we present a showing of the work we’ve made and to send us off to NOLA in style!

We will be keeping an exchange diary here so stay tuned as we let you inside of our process. It is sure to be exciting, difficult, silly, and all new to us! With that, WELCOME, STRANGE ATTRACTOR!