Oct 27, 2010

CHOP (2.0)

Chop Banner NEW and OLD

As November approaches, CHOP (2.0) is underway. Script revamps, new sideshow banners for the set and a re-enlivened performance. Info on the show(s) in Dallas and New Orleans here.

Oct 18, 2010

Ep. 3 of the EYE IN THE SKY PROJECT is online!

In the winter of 2008 Audacity Theatre Lab commissioned playwrights from around the country to respond to a simple phrase:

"For one week in the middle of the summer a giant eye appears in the sky over the city. At the end of seven days it disappears as suddenly as it had originally materialized..."

Audacity recieved submissions from members of 13P, New Dramatists, Austin Script Works, as well as from a host of local writers.

Episode 3 includes pieces by playwrights Jason Tremblay, Crystal Skillman and Ben Walker Sampson. It features Dallas actors Oscar Contreras, Kelly Renee, Bryan Pitts, John Flores and, me, Brad McEntire.

I commissioned, curated and directed this project and I am pleased as punch with this newest episode.

Click on the image above to listen. NOTE: Strong Language. NOT for the workplace.

Oct 10, 2010

Dribble Funk Solo Improv - September 24, 2010

DRIBBLE FUNK SOLO IMPROV - Sept. 2010 from FT Bonnigan on Vimeo.

I have had the opportunity to further develop my solo improv format Dribble Funk this year a number of times. This has been fantastic, because unlike other endeavors, the only real way to genuinely practice is to actually do it, in front of an audience, and then look back on what was done.  The only analogy I can think of is architecture. Architechs can really only "practice" by creating a building, so they don't get to practice as much as say, a violinist.

September 24th I performed at Pocket Sandwich Theatre (special thanks to John Rawley for inviting me out to play) and ended up presenting the most developed Dribble Funk set to date. I say this because the goal of the completely improvised set is to 1.) maintain the high energy needed to drive the piece forward continually to its end point at a break-neck pace, 2.) to present a variety of distinct characters and 3.) tell a clear-cut story that is imaginative, but also as close to fully developed as is possible for an improvised narrative.

Now for the criticism: I repeat myself a little too much (like I'm talking the story out to myself, which... well... I am. This could be done with much more elegance) and the story needed a bit more rounding out (how'd the kid get on the rooftop of the building?), but overall, considering the incredible difficulty and challenge of the format, I'm pleased with the direction it is going. I ground myself more (even though I still kinda amble, the more amped up I get). This set was very monologue-centric, leaning closer to storytelling than my usual activity/action-heavy sets. This storytelling aspect is worth investigating more in the future.

Oct 5, 2010

The Moment I Knew

I'm featured on Andrea Ciannavei's blog The Moment I Knew. I'm on the September 25th post.

Here's what I wrote:

Oh man, the exact moment I knew the Theatre was for me is difficult to nail down. Just thinking of it brings up all these little incidents that sort of Gestalt together to form a Why-Brad-Ended-Up-In-Theatre.

I joined my first theatre class in high school because I had a crush on a girl in the class. To this day, that still seems like a perfectly valid reason.

I remember discovering the play Cyrano de Bergerac at the public library at the age of fifteen and reading the whole thing through, twice, in one sitting. I was as equally impressed that someone had thought this wonderful story up and written it down as I was with the play itself.

I was cast in South Pacific in high school and during a performance the light board crashed. Everything went pitch black. As the lights came back up I ad-libbed “Harbinger, quit leaning on the light switch…” and got a thunderous applause. I remember being super-aware of the audience for the first time and liking that awareness.

In college I wrote and directed my first original play. It was so fun and so stressful and I totally wanted to try it again after it was done.

I came to NYC after college to see one of my plays read in Tribeca and was only going to stay for two weeks. That turned into about a year of temping, auditioning, acting, creating work and living out of two bags moving from sublet to sublet. It was that summer of 1999 that I really fell in love with the Theatre. It was like we had been dating off-and-on for years and that blistering hot blackout summer in New York is when we committed to each other.

I’ve been making theatre as a performer, playwright and director pretty steadily ever since.

Ciannavei's blog is dedicated to asking theater artists of all disciplines to describe "the moment you knew you wanted to work in theater." It is very inclusive, but it's still nice to be on the site along with ass-kicking artists like Bekah Brunstetter, Ken Urban, Young Jean Lee, Lucy Thurber, Brooke Berman and Adam Szymkowicz.

UPDATE: Sadly, this site is no longer live on the internet. It can be viewed via the Wayback Machine HERE.