Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How It All Comes Together

The third time’s a charm for Theatre Movement Bazaar (TMB) as they return to South Coast Repertory with BIG SHOT: a.k.a this is not The Godfather to kick off the 2015 Studio SCR season.

Theatre Movement Bazaar's Track 3
TMB previously presented Track 3 (2013) and Anton’s Uncle’s (2012) in Studio SCR and—like their Like their previous shows—BIG SHOT takes inspiration from another source—The Godfather films. So, how does TMB turn their inspiration into a full-fledged play? According to TMB co-founder Richard Alger, it all starts with text.

“We typically begin with a source material that interests us,” he says. “It may be a myth, a play or a novel. We then deconstruct this source, looking for threads and themes that interest us and then reconstruct this material into a text and songs, prepared and infused with many unwritten ideas.”

Sometimes text leads the action, Alger relates. Other times it is created to support or augment movement. The movement score is as important as the text.  This movement score is created during the rigorous physical exploration of rehearsal with the director and the actors.

This kind of approach to theatre is what TMB is known for—creating shows that are collage-like with a structure that is more musical than narrative. TMB founders Tina Kronis and Alger created BIG SHOT, which merges their collage-like structure with a more traditional story driven narrative.
“We bill it as a ‘vaudevillian collage,’” he explains. “We have freed our structure to be built rhythmically, referring obliquely to vaudeville acts, while at the same time allowing The Godfather’s narrative to inspire and echo throughout the piece. We are trying to create a space for something new to emerge, inspired by the original but injected with our sensibilities, interests, and themes that may only be touched on in the original.”

In BIG SHOT, the American gangster genre is flipped and told through a vaudevillian style with theatrics, dynamic movement, song and dance, exploring themes of family and crime.

“It is an homage to [The Godfather] and the people who came together to make it.”

BIG SHOT is a new work still in development that was originally workshopped in 2014. The play makes its world premiere at SCR—in Studio SCR and the 2015 Pacific Playwrights Festival. Alger, along with co-creator Kronis and the cast are currently in rehearsals and continue to develop the play.

“The production that is developing is very funny, provocative, energetic and surprising,” says Alger. “It utilizes the many talents of our performers and challenges them to find fresh and unexpected approaches to theatricality.”

About Theatre Movement Bazaar
Theatre Movement Bazaar is a company dedicated to creating original performance works with an emphasis on physical action. The company merges elements of dance, text, cinema, and media from diverse sources into a complex performance. It investigate these elements, modifying or neutralizing them, de-contextualizing them from their sources. Liberated from their contexts, TMB’s elements are free to be structured in new and surprising ways, creating a connotative network of echoed and reverberant meanings. In this multifarious approach, the company strives to reinvigorate theatre for a contemporary audience.

TMB began in New York City as collaboration between choreographer/director/performer Tina Kronis, and mechanical engineer/writer, Richard Alger. In 1999, the company relocated its base to Los Angeles, and has produced original works, garnering critical attention and presenting its work across the United States and in the U.K.
Learn more and buy tickets.

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