Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reconstructing... Hamlet?

This last week we did something new for us at Reconstructing Grimm.  We put together a series of photos for this weeks upcoming production of In My Minds Eye by Fools For Tragedy.  The photos serve a few purposes really;  first off it's good way to generate some buzz on the show before opening, secondly it's a nice visual guide for the audience. Sometimes with Shakespeare it becomes a little difficult to remember who is who, so having an idea before hand is a nice touch and it really cuts down on hearing, "Who is that?" "Why are they talking?" "I don't remember what they're doing?" bubbling up from the audience.  And thirdly I am in the show and it's project I thought would be fun to do.

Here comes the shameless plug part of the blog.

In My Minds Eye opens Thursday August 25 and runs August 26 and 27th at 7:30pm.  There is a $10 cash donation suggested, but you can give more or less (all proceeds go to Soulstice Theatre) for more information you can check out the Fools for Tragedy webpage; here.

While Hamlet is not fairy tale it does have many supernatural elements that make it easy to fit into the current Reconstructing Grimm set.  This particular production of Hamlet has six different actors playing Hamlet.

Hamlet: The Body
(Jordan Gwiazdowski)
The physical form of Hamlet or "The Real Hamlet" of the set.  He is the anchor of the group to the world.

The Fool
(Jennifer Gaul)
The Fool is the spirit in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world.

The Mask
(Andrew Parchman)
The one without a face. Shrouded – Hidden. Assumes whatever visage needed.

The King Maker
(Liz Whitford)
The strategist, the schemer. No nonsense.

The Blade
(Amber Smith)
Cold killer. Bloodthirsty. Revenge lives in these eyes.

The Son
(Kelly Doherty)
The problematic symptoms of youth; undying love of mother, reverence of father, temper, confusion, young love, fear.

Then there's Hamlet's Family:
Gertrude; Hamlet's Mother (Laura Holterman)
Claudius; Hamlet's Uncle (Brian Bzdawka)
The Late King of Denmark (Michael Keiley)
and Hamlet

And the friends of the Royal Family of Denmark
Ophelia (Liz Shipe)
Polonius (Robby McGhee)
Laertes (Adam Zastrow)

and here are a few shots to wet your appetites:

It just so happened that night James Clark was free, so we got the opportunity to to a video as well! 

Enjoy, and come see the show.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Are Fairy Tales the "New Vampires"?

So I'm taking a little detour on my personal project to talk a little bit about what's going on in pop culture.  Now I'm not conceded enough to think that any of this was my idea first, or that I have more claim to this whole Grimm Fairy Tale thing than anyone else, but I do find this recent turn in programming to reinvent fairy tales a little interesting.  For example; this year alone there are two different versions of Snow White coming to the big screen,  (again not to toot my own horn, but I did my spread over a year ago... )  ABC and NBC are also competing with two versions of grizzly bedtime story programming.

NBC's  Grimm:

The Wikipedia page gives this description:
Set in present-day Portland, Oregon, the series puts a new twist on the stories of the Brothers Grimm in which a homicide detective learns that he is a descendent of a group of hunters known as "Grimms", who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. Upon learning of his destiny and that he is the last of his kind, he has to protect every living soul from the sinister storybook characters that have infiltrated the real world

And ABC's Once Upon a Time

Wiki def:
The series is loosely inspired by the classic fairy tale stories except set in the present day, hence the series name. The stories hold a key to the mystery that will draw a bail bonds collector and the son that she gave up for adoption 10 years earlier to a New England town called Storybrooke, Maine. This town is actually a parallel world in which fairy tale characters look like normal people and don't remember their true identities or anything about their true lives.
When I saw all of the marketing campaigns coming up I was equally excited, and a little agitated to watch all of these projects coming out that I had no way to be any part of.  Also I was a little floored at how similar both projects seem to be, at least in definition.  I'm sure the shows themselves will find their own rhythm overtime if they last past the first season, but at the moment I think the networks should be a little worried due to the obvious comparisons that will arise.

Anyway, I started thinking that all of this was coming up just as all the major networks and studios have exhausted their vampire resources.

True Blood is well into 4th season, The Vampire Diaries... okay well I don't know anything about that show, it never interested me, but it seems to be on it's merry way.  And the Twilight Saga whether you like it or hate it is coming to a close.  It feels like with the studios on the brink of loosing their pale anemic multibillion dollar cash cow has been scrambling to find it's new outlet.  And that outlet has been to return to the terrifying, undisneyfied versions of classic tales.

The trend really started I would say about a year ago with the release of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

This movie was huge in case you missed it, but if you are reading my blog I'm betting you didn't.  The problem was, the movie didn't even follow the premise of Alice in Wonderland.  This charming children's story about a girl who wants nothing more than to be a grown up was twisted and turned into a story about a young woman who wants nothing more than to stay childlike.  And more over, with the addition of things like the fudderwacken ( in my opinion the Jar Jar Binks of this film) and Alice's slaying of the Jabberwock I have to say over all, while the movie was visually stunning and had good points I was not a fan.

Then there was the critically and publicly panned Red Riding Hood.

This was followed by another flop in the form of the film Beastly.

All in all I guess I've noticed the main trend with updating fairy tales is that the movie ends up being striking to look at, but in terms of the story it's either boring, not entertaining, or just plain bad.  So Have the studios got this whole trend wrong? Should they have just stuck with beating the already long dead vampire bat? If all anyone seems to be doing is creating a pretty picture that moves across the screen, devoid of a story that people like is my project even worth continuing if other people can produce just as pretty a picture for a thousand times the budget?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beauty and the Beast: Part 5: The End

Adam was surprised how quickly he'd made up his mind.  How easy the decision came to end his life.  In fact he was now almost happy.  There was this feeling of freedom that washed over him.

He picked pills.  It seemed the simplest way.  His mother had been addicted to every imaginable form of prescription medication known to eastern medicine.  In the end he didn't even know what he took, just that it  was large and round and sort of a yellowy green.

After taking the entire bottle Adam walked into the foyer and looked at the city while he waited for the effects to take hold.  He could hear the horns honking in the street and people moving about their business passing him by.  The sounds became fuzzy, then the lights started to grow brighter.  Soon all he could see was a light glow as he fell to the ground.  His breathing was starting to slow, he could feel each heart beat getting further and further apart.

"This wasn't supposed to be the end of the story."  The Enchantress was lying next to Adam on the floor looking him right in the eye.

"'s the only way she'd be happy..."  Adam said through jagged breaths.
"So you want me to believe you're doing this for her?"
"I am."
"It's a noble gesture, if it weren't so misguided and stupid I would almost find it sweet."
"Just... go... away.  I'm finished with all of this."
"I only came because I never thought that a man should be alone in his last few moments.  I thought you'd like the company."
"I don't want to see you."
"I see, well maybe that is something I can help with."

Adam watched as the Enchantress faded away into the lights.  He was finally alone, but no sooner had he thought that than the door opened.  And he saw Bethany walk through the door.  It struck him that it was just like the first day  she'd walked into his house.  Her eyes were still bright and wide, but now they were filled with concern.

"Adam!"  She called.
"Beth..."  He managed to croak out from the floor,.
"Adam! What happened?" She ran to the floor to help him.  "Adam what did you do?"
"I'm letting you go. You can go back to your life now"

"I don't want you to let me go, you idiot.  Did you take something?  We'll fix this, let me just get some help."  She was starting to cry.  The tears were falling down her face.  Adam would give anything to make her stop.  He never wanted to see her hurting like this.
"No don't go.  I don't have much time left."
"Stop that.  You'll be fine."
"You go and be amazing."
"You can't die."  Bethany was sobbing now. Torn between running for help and comforting Adam, " You can't die, because you're my best friend.  I need you here with me.  I love you so much.  Please. Please. Just let me help you."

There it was.  What Adam needed to hear, several hours too late.  What a sad picture sat on the floor of Adam Brunswick's penthouse.  A beast, a monster, lying dead in the arms of the woman who loved him.   The scene had run it's course and now the only sounds heard in the massive halls where that of Bethany's sobs echoing back to her.

As it so happened, this tragedy had an audience.  The Enchantress had stayed and done what she did best.  She had been watching.  And she had seen all she needed to see.

Bethany felt Adam's body start to move.  She looked down at him with as little hope as she could allow herself to have.  Adam's body was radiating light.  It was terrifying and strange and beautiful.  She reached out a hand to touch him as the body lifted gently off the ground.  The light became brighter and brighter until she could only make out the vaguest of shapes.  Then there was a flash and outside the skies began to thunder.

Adam slowly go off the ground.  He couldn't believe he was alive.  He couldn't believe how much his head hurt. He reached up to touch his forehead and it felt smooth, like skin.  He felt his hair and it felt normal as well.  His teeth were no longer fangs.  Adam ran to a mirror and looked at himself, and it was really him.  The creature was gone, he was himself again.

"Adam?" Beth said quietly.
"I'm me again."  Adam walked over and crouched to join Bethany on the floor.  " Beth it's alright, I'm fine.  I don't know how but I'm fine."  Bethany stared at him in shock.  Adam brushed away her tears and she grabbed his hand.
"You're real., you're really real? I'm not dreaming.You're here?"
"No you're not dreaming, I'm here and I'm not going anywhere ever again."

Adam was true to his word.  While they did fight and have other numerous disagreements over the course of  their lives together as all couple do, they never forgot what brought them together and how lucky they were to have found one another.

As for the Enchantress.  She's still watching, still waiting.  So be very, very careful how you lead your life.  Or else...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beauty and the Beast: Part 4

The night of the banquet came quickly.  Adam was more nervous than he'd ever been in his entire life.  It was going to be his first date with Bethany.  Date.  Well, not really a date.  It was more of a hanging out, party crashing thing.  Either way it was a big deal to Adam.  He'd spend all day planning what he was going to say and how he was going to say it.

He was just fixing his outfit in the mirror.  The sun had just lowered beneath the skyline.  There was a light breeze, and then he heard an all too familiar voice.

"Don't you look nice.  Going out?" The Enchantress stood by the window, poised an elegant, "Give me details."  She moved into the room to face Adam.

"No. Now get out."  Adam brushed past the Enchantress toward the door.
"Still a bit prickly are we?  You might want to rethink that, you remember what happened the first time you upset me."
"You're right, I'm sorry.  Get out, please."
"You don't think that she'll ever really love you, do you?"
"What? How do you know about her?"
"Please, you didn't think that I'd stop keeping tabs on you.  Just because you couldn't see me doesn't mean I wasn't there.  This, Bethany, she's sweet but you're nothing more than a charity case to her.  And once she's been paid you know she'll leave you.  Just like your friends, just like your parents."
"That's not true.  She doesn't care... I mean stuff like that..."
"Doesn't matter to her?"  The Enchantress tutted softly, "That's sweet.  It's amazing that for so long you couldn't care less about the good in people and the second it might benefit your life, your needs your counting on it. Let me ask you something.  If the situation was reversed would you be able to look past it."

Adam could say anything thing.  He finally turned to face The Enchantress and she'd gone.

Several hours later Adam was watching the party from his parents grounds.  He couldn't bring himself to call Bethany or meet her when they had designated.  He saw the people laughing and having fun.  Adam hated them, all of them.  He couldn't stay, he just felt angry.  He wanted his old life back.  He wanted to not care, not feel.  Before when he could just gloss over life, things were so much easier.

Adam had just turned to go when he hear the small feet moving in his direction.  He immediately thought the Enchantress had come back to torment him one last time.
"What do you want from me?"  Adam yelled
"I was trying to figure our why you stood me up."  Adam turned around to see Bethany running over the grounds in a stunning gold dress.
"Beth, I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to."
"You could've called, I was worried something happened to you. Come on, I bribed a waiter to bring some dinner upstairs."
"Wait you're not mad anymore? Just like that?"
"I get that this must be hard for you.  Seeing your house, your parents.  That's going to bring up some stuff. So what do you want to do?  We can stay, we can go, we can order food to the townhouse and forget this whole idea. "
"Why do you treat me so well?"
"I am not a good person, I'm not a person at all. I'm just this thing, this big horrible thing."
"Stop that, right now.  Come here." Bethany said moving close to Adam.

"You are a good guy Adam Brunswick.  Maybe you weren't always, but why the hell should that matter? You are funny, do you know that? You're a guy that can tell a joke.  You're sweet, you make sure that I don't work too hard and forget to eat dinner.  You are easy to talk to, there are not many people that would listen to me complain for twenty minutes straight about my mother.  I don't know what happened to you, and I don't care. This face that you hate so much, it's changed you for the better."
For the first time since the curse Adam let himself hope that someone really wouldn't care. That it really wouldn't matter.
Adam's words were bubbling up inside him.  He had to tell her how he felt.
"I..." Then his words were interrupted by a a soft ringing.
"Hold that thought." Bethany said while searching through a small clutch bag.

Why does she have her phone? Adam thought.  No one takes their phone to a dinner event.  Do they.
"Okay, alright.  I'll be there in just a second."  Bethany hung up the phone, " I'm sorry that was your father, he needs me to meet some people inside.  I'm sorry.  I'll be like five minutes. Wait here."  Bethany gave Adam a quick hug and ran toward the house.

 Adam followed her to watch from a window.  She was standing in the middle of this beautiful party, with beautiful people.  A place he could never go again.  Even if she did care about him, he was sure it couldn't be love.  The he started to realize, all the time she'd spent with him over the last year, all that wasted time.  She could've been doing so much more with her life.  Adam was holding her back.

Then all at once in a brief second Adam had an idea.  I crazy insane idea that would let Bethany be free of him.  He turned and started back towards his penthouse.  That was the moment that Adam Brunswick decided to end his life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reconstructing Grimm: T-Shirt Contest!!!!!

So we're taking a small break in the telling of Beauty and the Beast to throw out an idea Alan and I had yesterday.

I'm calling on all Reconstructing Grimm fans to come up with a slogan for Reconstructing Grimm.  And example that I love but can't use is :

                                                          Reconstructing Grimm
                                              None of the Bibbity Bobbity Bulls@$!

I love this it was submitted by Pete Johnson, however the mouse would crucify us. So here's the deal, come up with a slogan; Alan, Perry and I will vote on the best one.  Then we'll put it on a t-shirt that will be available for sale for a limited time.

So bring them on! I wanna hear from you!

Oh and I do like to include a photo per post so here's another shot from the most recent shoot that's great, but I can't find a place for in the story.  Enjoy.