Monday
Jun022014

Les Misérables: Do You Hear The People Sing?

Right now I am in Dallas, Texas working at The Dallas Theater Center. When I'm not eating at one of the many awesome restaurants here in Dallas, I’m choreographing a production of Les Misérables, directed by Liesl Tommy, music directed by Sinai Tabak. I’m fortunate to be a part of this creative team. And even more fortunate to have the chance to work on this material. Les Miz has all of my favorite binaries of theatre and storytelling; it’s epic and mundane, sacred and profane, mythic and humane. The vision of this production is very exciting to see as it take shape! I think audiences are going to be blown away by the impact of the storytelling and talent on stage. And the voices… Oh. My. Goodness. The cast is delivering, in aces, every expectation and beyond in regards to singing this wonderful material.

If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area you should make plans to see Les Miz at DTC. We open July 4th (how cool is that?) and run until August 17th. Come hear the people sing and see Les Miz like you've never seen it before. 

 

Sunday
Feb092014

Richard "Bick" Goss 1938-2013

Today I would like to dedicate a little light and love to someone who means a great deal to me. Bick Goss passed away on August 3rd, 2013. Today is his birthday. He is super beloved within the theatre community and by me. I believe he will be remembered today by many friends with feelings of loss and warmth. 

I am grateful for him not only because he gave me many opportunities to develop as a choreographer and director, but also because he gave me many good laughs too. Some of my most joyful theatre memories include Bick; in Maine, in El Salvador, and here in New York City. He was a man of great talent and good taste. I will hold on to the memory of the little glint in his eye that was the perfect twinkle of joy and mischief. 

 Christopher and Bick in El Salvador, 2004

Happy Birthday, Bick!! You are missed and loved! 

Your friend, Xtopher

Sunday
Dec152013

Temple University: Fall 2013

This week I am wrapping up my first semester of teaching at Temple University. Director Peter Reynolds, the Assistant Chair of the theatre program at Temple, invited me to teach in the theatre department for the Fall 2013 semester. I taught Basic Movement for actors and an academic course called Race on the Stage. 

The movement class was based on a physical theatre training method I call Crafting Your Physical Imagination. It gives students the chance to explore the physical possibilities of their bodies, while establishing the habit of generating dynamic theatrical ideas through collaboration. 

Race on the Stage is a race and diversity course. The course is an opportunity for students to explore a variety of social issues, race, gender, class, sexuality and disability, all through the lens of live theatre. 

It has been a powerful and insightful semester; I am deeply touched by the experience. Through my interaction with the students I have learned so much about myself  and about my process as an artist.  In the past four months, I have also learned so much about the capacity of humanity. Nothing comes from nothing.

Saturday
Jul132013

Meet Me In St Louis at Arrow Rock Lyceum

This week the musical Meet Me In St Louis opened at Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre. I had a fantastic time choreographing the show and working with the director Peter Reynolds (our third production together). We first worked together at Arrow Rock and I'm happy to have another chance to collaborate with him. And returning to Arrow Rock was like a sweet homecoming. The theatre has grown beautifully since last I was there.

The show is running now until July 21st, so if you're in the Mid-Mo area I hope you go to the show. You'll see a wonderful cast and a charming story based on the classic Judy Garland movie musical. 

Aaron Young as John Truitt / Mallory Hawks as Esther Smith

Friday
May102013

Post Show panel discussion: Owned by Julian Sheppard

This week I had the pleasure of moderating a post show panel discussion after a performance of Owned, a new play written by Julian Sheppard playing this week at The Barrow Group Theatre. The play is a commissioned piece by Knife Edge Production Executive Producer Neil Holland and Co-Producer Don DiPaolo. They happen to be lead actors in the three-person play. Their co-star is Susannah Hoffman. Their director is Sam Helfrich. 

The topic of the panel discussin was Playwrights creating roles or characters for a specific actor. On the panel were Neil, Don, Julian and three guest panelists, playwrights Stephen Belber, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Adam Rapp. I had so much fun moderating the lively panel discussion and Q & A session with the audience. Altogether, the panelists were a talented and passionate fraternity of artists. And the play is very entertaining! Since it was written specifically for the actors to perform, it fits them like a glove. And the language --oh, ho! The way the characters rip into each other, you'll want to remember some of the one liners to use for your next bar tiff. Go see it before it closes this weekend. If not for the zingers, then for the very clever set; a behind the scenes point of view of a New York City bar! Click the image below for more information:

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