In going through Google hits for my name I came across this reference to the ExploraVision contest that I did in high school. It seems so long ago, those trips to the Viscount Den for huge Pepsi’s, pulling all-nighters to get AfterEffects to correctly composite our video, having play performances and going immediately afterwards to NCSA to work… Looking back on it, we were completely insane. But I think that experience helped break previous attitudes I had about how days and work should be structured, and how much you can really do in one day if you put your mind to it.

It is pretty cool that we’re in the Congressional record though…


congratulations, Mr. Pinter

Harold Pinter won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. It coincides nicely with a BBC radio programme of his more recent plays, including the harrowing Mountain Language.

Pinter presents a wonderful challenge to actors and directors alike. How can we make this play fresh and surprising? The biggest mistake is to think that because the text is so spare that it is somehow more malleable than other plays. What’s great about directing or acting in a Pinter scene is that when you’re doing it wrong, you can tell. It becomes boring, confusing, or too obvious very quickly. It makes you pay attention to details.

It’s interesting to see how Pinter dramatizes meanace and state oppression in an overt yet disguised way, versus Caryl Churchill’s more oblique approach in her (somewhat) recent play Far Away.