Meet Mason! He is night blind.

As a company we spend endless hours rehearsing, giggling and sharing our lives and we wanted to share a bit of ourselves with you. Rather than posting tired bios with stats and degrees each company member created questions for another.

Interviewer: Molly Jackson

Interviewee: Mason Rosenthal

Describe your mindset as you are backstage, preparing yourself to perform.

What I am feeling is always different. Sometimes I am very nervous, sometimes confident, sometimes tired, bored, silly, irritated, ecstatic. But the practice is always the same. Preparing to perform my focus is on increasing my awareness of whatever it is that is happening. Both inside my own body as well as externally in other performers, the audience, the environment.

Describe a moment or two when you felt sublimely happy, or in general, what
makes you experience this feeling?

That performance mindset I described earlier is what makes me happy. It is a kind of
meditative practice for me. I feel very awake. Performing/rehearsing is the #1 place I
tend to experience that feeling, but being outside can trigger it too. Also traveling at
night.

If you were an animal what would you be?

My spirit animal is a Mole. A Mole has poor vision and is quite small, but a Mole is
extraordinarily strong for its size and is sensitive to vibrations. A Mole has a kind of
6th sense that gives it psychic powers.

Write a haiku describing Mason Rosenthal:

Bumping against walls.
Why can’t he see what’s right there?
Mason is night blind.

What was your first performance experience?

I was a Heffalump in a community theater performance of “Winnie the Pooh”. I think I
wore funky pants and sunglasses.

Describe your dream career

What I am doing now just with more money coming in. Creating original performance
pieces, performing in other people’s work, and teaching performance techniques.

Tell me three quirky things about yourself

1. I’m night blind. I have a genetic condition that makes it hard for my eyes to adjust
to low light.
2. I have a tattoo on my right butt cheek.
3. I had a blue tongued skink as a pet. It’s a kind of lizard with a huge blue tongue
that looks like a snake with legs.

 

Advertisements

The journey of the post-its

By Gina Hoch-Stall, Choreographer

Several years ago, just as RLPiM was forming, we created our first evening-length work, “the evolution of this moment.” As a part of the piece we asked audience members to write down their own evolutions, how they came to be here, in this exact second, on a post-it. We then displayed the post-its, turned them into a collage…

…and finally started using them for our next piece, “Backstories.”

At that time all of the company members had at least a little bit of experience with improvisational structures in theater and dance. One day I walked into rehearsal with a Ziploc bag filled with colorful post-its and asked the dancers to pick one and make a short dance out of it. Then another. And another. Soon we were hooked.

We began to develop rules and suggestions depending on the content, length and tone of the post-it. We gradually got better at finding the best articulation of the post-it through movement, text, metaphor and often humor–plus we loved it! So when it came time to decide what was going to be included in “Backstories” it seemed impossible to leave our post-it work out.

It was decided that we would create at least five post-it dances throughout the show as a kind of break for ourselves and the audience from the ‘seriousness’ of modern dance. We even gathered the post-its afresh from the audience each night so they might even recognize their stories coming alive.

They were a hit!

Flash forward eight months to our application for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (commonly known as PIFA). We applied with our “Jobs Project” in mind, only to be told that it didn’t fit with the festival’s theme which was focused on specific dates in history.

We assumed that would be the end of it.

But the lovely staff at the Kimmel Center were eager to find a way to make it work (insert shout out to Jay Wahl here). After attending one of our rehearsals and hearing about our work with the post-its the name ‘Tongue and Groove Spontaneous Theater’ came up.

I had never heard of T&G but I went on their website and read this:

Tongue & Groove is a critically acclaimed theater ensemble that spontaneously performs unscripted scenes and monologues inspired by personal information anonymously submitted by the audience.

I was intrigued.

Fast forward again to my meeting with Bobbi Block, Artistic Director of T&G. She is interested but skeptical. How can we make this work? Share a bill? Collaborate? By this time I have seen one of her shows but she has yet to see any of our post-it work. We realize that nothing can be decided until she has seen our work–however at this point we are leaning toward an all post-it show.

In advance of Bobbi’s visit we schedule a few extra rehearsals to run through the post-it question we’d be using for the PIFA show, “If you could travel back in time to any point in your own life, where would you go and why?”

We flesh out some kinks, come up with some new rules and ideas and cross our fingers that we won’t blow it…

And we didn’t! After a somewhat rocky start we quickly hit our groove and began to bring the post-its to life as small dances, similar to Tongue and Groove’s work but different enough to be interesting.

Which brings us to the present: Tongue and Groove and RealLivePeople(in)Motion present ‘That Time’–co-produced by the Kimmel Center as part of PIFA. It was a long process but we’re excited to get into the studio and practice creating this production–because it will never be remotely the same twice.

You can learn more about the show, and Tongue and Groove, HERE.

And keep your eyes peeled for more posts about the post-it rehearsal process.

“The Third Shift” Preview

We are excited to have been offered an opportunity to perform “The Third Shift” again at the Arden Theatre as part of their First Friday Performance Series. If it was difficult for you to make it out to Kensington for our Philadlephia Fringe performance in early September we hope you can join us this Friday (details below).

To get you pumped about the piece we’ve also created a short preview from some footage shot of the warehouse version. Remember that we were dancing in and around paintings, sculptures and installations created by 25 artists and it was pretty hard to keep us all in the frame so I apologize for the few shaky camera moments.

Performance Information:

Arden Theatre: 40 N. 2nd, Old City Philadelphia

Performing on Friday October 5th at 6:30pm, 7:00pm and 7:30pm