girl adventure, giiirrrlll
July 16, 2011 in events
How lucky am I? I have been involved in so many wonderful, fun pieces of theatre this year, with performers and directors who, if not already, have become my friends. I have never enjoyed my life in the theatre this much, and my upcoming performance of Girl Adventure: Parts 1-3 for Dixon Place’s HOT! Festival, is no different.
Girl Adventure is a compilation of original and found text, videos, songs and dances. It draws on the Ramayana, a Sofia Coppola film, the travel channel and how people dance at weddings. You may be thinking, what? I have described it before as an exercise in “Yes, and…” because the creator and director, Nina Morrison, brilliantly finds a way to say “yes!” to seemingly anything that comes her way, include it in the show, and make an engaging, beautiful piece of theatre in the process.
I originally performed in the excerpt Girl Adventure Part I: Exile in January, after being recommended by another actor who had worked with Nina before. From the beginning of the process, I was amazed by the talented group of women involved, with a huge range in age and experience. In an industry where, in general, most plays and available roles are for men, it is a treat to be in a play created/written/choreographed by and starring women.
Dixon Place enjoyed the piece so much that we were invited to return, with Girl Adventure Parts 1-4 in May. This time, we added many more dances (choreography by Isabel Gotzkowsky), many more dancers, singers, actors and astounding visual art by Vandana Jain. It certainly was an ambitious event.
One of the most important lessons I have taken from working with Nina is that you do not have to be a bitch to get things done. The way she relates to the actors, singers, dancers, artists, etc. is always kind and patient. As with any artistic endeavor, there were moments of confusion and frustration, but Nina never loses sight of the joy of working with each of us. She maintains the utmost sensitivity to each artist’s process. Because of this we were all able to enjoy the development of the piece and ourselves within it. When negativity is eliminated, magic happens. It is extremely freeing to work under such an encouraging eye and the process turns into pure fun. Nina’s ability to say yes and involve people who say yes with her turned her great ideas into a gorgeous, epic collaboration.
Once again, Dixon Place was impressed, and now we have the honor of performing Girl Adventure: Parts 1-3 in their 20th annual HOT! Festival: The NYC Celebration of Queer Culture, this coming Tuesday, July 19th at 7:30 pm. The process since May has included some minor changes, of course with the same enthusiasm that makes Nina so unique to work with. I am thrilled to say yes to anything she asks me to do, and hope there will be many more opportunities to do so in the future, if not in another branch of Girl Adventure, then in the next original Nina Morrison adventure.