Video by Paul Bedard, Featuring Frankie Alicea, Jake Lasser, and Sofia Lund
It is 2012 and I am sitting in a bar in the East Village watching one of the Presidential debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. I have just finished performing in my first production with THEATER IN ASYLUM, Revolution in 1, a new work about the dual meaning of the word 'revolution'-'to revolt' and/or 'to revolve.' Is revolution inevitable in every society? A striking thought while watching two influential politicians, with completely different points of view, arguing about our nations future.
I am with a group of artists from the show and others involved with this vibrant company-all new friends and great people to be around. This is when Paul Bedard, director and writer, first tells me about ¡Olé! He talks to me about Salvador Dalî and Federico Garcia Lorca, two men I have heard of but have never looked into in great detail. He tells me the story of love and art that he has already began to put together. It is fascinating and his passion is contagious...
It seems so long ago now, but that is how I first became one of the dramaturgs for ¡Olé! For the last year and a half I have been keeping busy with research on Dalî and Lorca, gypsy culture, and all different aspect of Spanish history. I have read everything I can get my hands on about or by these men, to the degree that I often find myself chuckling at these two boys as though they are my friends. Though we have never and can never meet, my relationship to each of them has become a personal one.
This past September I also began preparing my role as Company Manager for our tour in May. Some of my duties have included...
-helping to solidify travel arrangements for 7 artists (including myself)
-learning all I can about the Prague Fringe Festival
-learning all I can about the city of Prague
-figuring out how in the world one flies a sword from JFK to the Czech Republic and back with the tight security measures that are in place. Yes Aer Lingus-a METAL sword, not a WOOD one.
-putting together a list of press to contact
-contacting said press
-making sure I don't go insane before we get there :)
But really, I can't wait for this tour! After successful runs in New York, Chicago, Hartford, and Rochester this show and team are eager to go to Prague. The actors know their characters intimately, the music continues to become more captivating, the design is simple and stunning, and the choreography is passionate and seamlessly integrated. But for me, it is the story that makes ¡Olé! what it is. I want these men to be known and their romance to be appreciated. As a dramaturg, I will be the first to admit that the extent of their relationship cannot be proven, but with a script that uses mostly primary sources written by Dali and Lorca, we think the evidence is substantial. And this is the version of their story that needs to be told. It asks the questions so many of us long to answer. In the past, present, and future...what is art and where does is come from? what is the purpose of life and death? what is love and who can have it?
Please consider donating. This will be THEATER IN ASYLUM's first international tour and we need all the help we can get both financially and otherwise (or as I like to say, "spiritually"-those positive thoughts go a long way!) Thank you, thank you, thank you!
(ALSO look out for a video all about how cool Prague is, staring yours truly, to be released soon)