Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dead Body FAQ

People ask me a lot of questions about what it's like to play a dead body, which I'm currently doing in Any Body Home? at Stage Coach Theatre. I thought I'd post answers to some of the most frequent questions here:
Q: How do you not move?
A: I just practiced not moving until I got really good at it.
Q: How do you not laugh?
A: Actually, the rest of the cast doesn't laugh either. It helps that we've rehearsed the play as much as we have, but when you get down to it, it's the same way you manage not to laugh at inappropriate occasions such as funerals.
Q: Do you ever get hurt getting dragged around like that?
A: Luckily for me, I'm working with a director who's played a dead body before, so he knows how to keep an actor playing a dead body safe. That's important because when you're dead, you can't move or adjust yourself or say anything if someone's carrying you in a way that hurts. I'm also working with dedicated actors who are very careful with me and make sure to carry me in ways that won't hurt me or themselves. That said, yes, I do have some bruises from a fall I do every night. But they're not any worse than, like, bumping into furniture. Which I pretty much do on a daily basis. Because I'm a klutz.
Q: Is your character really alive and just pretending to be dead, like the guy in Saw?
A: No. And you have terrible taste in horror movies.
Q: Do you ever fall asleep onstage? (I have been asked this on more than one occasion.)
A: No. All these people keep walking around in my apartment, talking and screaming.
Q: Do you get really drunk before the show to make yourself more limp? (Again, I have been asked this on more than one occasion.)
A: No. That seems like a bad idea on so many levels, but I'll just give one example. That fall I do has to be done with a relative amount of precision, or I'll get hurt a lot more than I do. I think being drunk could impede that.
Q: How do you audition to be a dead body?
A: I didn't, actually. My director, Kevin Labrum, decided to call up the most lightweight actress he knows. That'd be me.
Q: Do you ever get itchy?
A: Yes. Oh God yes.

Can't believe I forgot this one....

Q: Did you have a hard time learning your lines?
A: Ha ha ha! I've never heard that before!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009



  • Jan. 15-16: Chicago's Second City performs at 7:00 at the Liberty Theatre on Main Street in Hailey.
  • Jan. 16: Boise Little Theater presents Open House, a comedy about two elderly women living together in the same home until one day when the son of one of the women concocts a scheme to sell the home and keep the money for himself. The show runs Jan. 16-17, 22-24 and 29-31 at 8:00, Jan. 25 at 2:00 and Jan. 28 at 7:30 at the theater on Fort Street.
  • Jan. 16: An opening reception for Immigrant Shadows: Tracing The Herders' Legacy, an art installation by artists Amy Nack and Earle Swope recreating a grove of aspen trees from paper, takes place from 4:00-7:00 at Rosenthal Gallery at the College of Idaho in Caldwell.
  • Jan. 16-17: Starlight Mountain Theatre presents Always ... Patsy Cline, a musical about the country singer and one of her biggest fans, at 7:30 at the Nampa Civic Center.
  • Jan. 19: Boise Contemporary Theater presents its a reading of This is Our Youth, a story about three wealthy, disaffected teenagers who get into theft and drug-dealing during the 1980s. The show takes place at 7:00 at the Fulton Street Theater.
  • Jan. 23: An Dochas and Haran Irish Dancers will perform at 7:30 at Jewett Auditorium at the College of Idaho in Caldwell.
  • Jan. 23-24: The Boise Philharmonic and Boise Master Chorale present The Passion of Joan of Arc and Voices of Light, an opera composed to serve as the score for the silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc. The production takes place at 8:00 Jan. 23 at Northwest Nazarene University's Swayne Auditorium in Nampa and 8:15 Jan. 24 at the Morrison Center at Boise State University.
  • Jan. 23: Knock 'Em Dead Dinner Theatre opens Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare's comedy about Beatrice and Benedick -- and the circle of friends and relatives who play matchmaker between them -- and Hero and Claudio, an engaged couple whose wedding nearly breaks up because of malicious interference and deception. Show dates are Jan. 23-24 and 29-31 and Feb. 5-7, 12-14 and 19-21. Show times are 7:00 Thursdays and 8:00 Fridays and Saturdays; dinner is served at 7:00 Fridays and Saturdays. The theater is on Ninth Street between Front and Myrtle in Boise.
  • Jan. 23: Prairie Dog Productions presents Phantom!, a spoof of The Phantom of the Opera, on Jan. 23-24, Jan. 30-31, Feb. 6-7 and Feb. 13-14 at 7:15 and Jan. 25 and Feb. 8 at 2:00 at the theater at 3820 Cassia St. in Boise.
  • Jan. 28: Boise Contemporary Theater presents I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda, a play about a woman from Rwanda who wants to write a book about how her family was killed in the genocide and the creative writing teacher who helps her. The play was inspired by the real life experiences of refugees in Britain. The show runs Jan. 28-31, Feb. 4-7 and Feb. 11-14 at 8:00 and Feb. 7 and 14 at 2:00 at 854 Fulton St. in Boise.
  • Jan. 29-Feb. 1: Idaho Dance Theater presents No Hesitation at 8:00 Jan. 29-31 and 2:00 Feb. 1 at the Boise State University Special Events Center.
  • Now through Jan. 31: Stage Coach Theatre presents Any Body Home, a comedy about a real estate agent trying to sell a condo despite the fact that the owner is dead and laid out on the sofa. The show runs Jan. 15-18, 22-25 and 29-31 at 7:30 Thursdays, 8:15 Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:00 Sundays at the theater at Orchard and Overland in the Hillcrest Shopping Center.
  • Jan. 31: The Boise Philharmonic presents its Sounds Like Fun! strings concert for families at 10:30 a.m. and noon at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy at Ninth and Myrtle.
  • Now through Feb. 8, 2009: The Boise Art Musuem presents an exhibit of ceramic sculptures, drawings and paintings by Japanese artist Jun Kaneko. Some of Kaneko's ceramic pieces are up to 13 feet high and 5,000 pounds.
  • Now through March 1, 2009: Boise Art Museum presents an exhibit of photos of Idaho Special Olympics athletes called Let Me Be Brave: Portraits in Courage by Idaho photographer Susan Valiquette.
  • Now through March 1, 2009: The Boise Art Museum presents Small Wars and 29 Palms, two documentary photo series by Vietnamese photographer An-My LĂȘ that explore the Vietnam War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Now through May 2009: The Boise Art Museum hosts a site-specific architectural structure called After, by Lead Pencil Studio architects and artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo.


  • Feb. 4: Aimee Bender and Anthony Doerr will hold a literary reading at 7:30 at the Egyptian Theatre at Capitol and Main in Boise. Bender, who writes stories in the vein of magical realism, is the author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, An Invisible Sign of My Own, and Willful Creatures. Doerr is Idaho's Writer in Residence.
  • Feb. 5: Treasure Valley Youth Symphony performs Musical Movies at 7:30 at the Egyptian Theater at Capitol and Main. The Treasure Valley Youth Symphony will perform live music to three silent films: Charlie Chaplin's "The Immigrant," Buster Keaton's "Cops," and Fatty Arbuckle's "Wished on Mabel."
  • Feb. 6: Starlight Mountain Theatre presents Death By Chocolate, an interactive murder mystery. The show runs Feb. 6-7 and 12-14 at 7:30 at the Star Theater at 1851 Century Way in Boise.
  • Feb. 6 and 8: Boise Baroque Orchestra performs at 8:00 at Feb. 6 at the Nampa Civic Center and at 2:00 Feb. 8 at the First United Methodist Church/Cathedral of the Rockies at 717 N. 11th St. in Boise.
  • Feb. 7: Shanghai Quartet performs at 7:30 at Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum.
  • Feb. 13: CAN-ACT presents Desperate Ambrose, a comedy set in the wild West in which two vaudeville performers are mistaken for gunslingers. The dinner show runs Feb. 13-14 and 19-21 at 8:00 and Feb. 14 at 2:00 at the theater at 214 7th Ave. in Caldwell.
  • Feb. 14: The Boise Philharmonic presents Sounds Like Fun! concerts for brass instruments at 10:30 a.m. and noon at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy at Ninth and Myrtle.
  • Feb. 14: Just Married! (the Musical), a musical revue about love and same-sex marriage, will be performed at 7:00 at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church at 6200 Garrett St.
  • Feb. 16: Boise Contemporary Theater presents a reading of The Squirrel, a black comedy about a woman, her oversensitive husband, overbearing sister, and a man she just hit with her car. The reading takes place at 7:00 at the Fulton Street Theater.
  • Feb. 18: Company of Fools presents Souvenir, a comedy about real-life musical laughingstock Florence Foster Jenkins, a wealthy, high-society woman who believed herself to be a great opera soprano even though she couldn't carry a tune. The show runs Feb. 18-March 8 at The Liberty Theatre on Main Street in Hailey.
  • Feb. 20: Music Theatre of Idaho presents Seussical, the Musical, which brings together such favorite Dr. Seuss characters as the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the Grinch and Yertle the Turtle. The show runs Feb. 20-21 and 26-28 at 7:30 and Feb. 21 at 1:30.
  • Feb. 20-21: The Boise Philharmonic performs An Evening in Vienna, a concert with works by Schoenberg, Mozart and Schubert, at 8:00 Feb. 20 at the NNU Swayne Auditorium in Nampa and 8:15 Feb. 21 at the Morrison Center on the BSU campus.
  • Feb. 20-21: Caldwell Fine Arts hosts Missoula Children's Theater's production of the musical Pinocchio at 7:30 Feb. 20 and 3:00 Feb. 21.
  • Feb. 27: Stage Coach Theatre presents Brooklyn Boy, a witty drama about a writer whose novel has just hit the best-seller list while his wife is leaving and his father is in the hospital. The show runs Feb. 27-28 and Mar. 5-8 and 12-14 at 7:30 Thursday, 8:15 Friday-Saturday and 2:00 Sunday at the theater in the Hillcrest Shopping Center at Orchard and Overland in Boise.
  • Feb. 27: Boise Little Theater presents Foxfire, a musical about an Appalachian widow deciding whether to sell the farm and home she shared with her husband to a real-estate developer and live with her son in Florida. The show runs Feb. 27-28 and March 5-8 and 11-14 at 7:30 Wednesday, 8:00 Thursday-Saturday and 2:00 Sunday at the theater on Fort Street.
  • The Boise Philharmonic presents Sounds Like Fun! concerts for woodwinds at 10:30 a.m. and noon at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy at Ninth and Myrtle.
  • Feb. 28: Ballet Idaho presents A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mendelssohn's adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic comedy, at 2:00 and 8:00 at the Morrison Center on the BSU campus.
  • Feb. 28: The Boise Art Museum opens an exhibit of early works by photographer Ansel Adams.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Any Body Home

I'll try to get to a few shows in January, but if I don't see too many, there are two reasons:

1) I'm starting school again soon. For computer science! Which has nothing whatsoever to do with creative writing (my first bachelor's degree) or journalism (the last eight years of my life)! Why? Well, I was pretty good in math and science in high school (I aced calculus), and I've often wondered what would have happened if I'd taken that route. Also, the journalism industry is in deep doo-doo, and I can't get a new job as a full-time reporter in Boise to save my life. Classes start Jan. 20, and then I get tons of homework. Hooray!

2) I'm acting in Any Body Home at Stage Coach Theatre, which opens tonight and which you should definitely come see. It's going to be really funny. I play the title role! The body. Since I'm in it, I won't be reviewing it, but I will say I think my castmates are doing an awesome job. The show runs for four weeks. I might be able to see one other show this month, but overall there's going to be a lot of overlap between production schedules.