Year in Review: Scenes at Columbia!

This October, I was invited to perform in a scene with one of the students in Columbia University's MFA Directing program. The six first-year students are tasked with producing two scenes a week, which is plenty of opportunity for an actor lucky enough to get cast each week. That first scene must have left a good impression, because more and more scene work followed, presented for the likes of Anne Bogart and Brian Kulick, both well-known theater directors in their own right!

By the end of their semester, I had worked on twelve scenes with five of the six first-year directors, including such classic and contemporary works as Orestes, Alcestis, The Glass Menagerie, Melancholy Play and Miss Julie, as well as some devised movement pieces.

Perhaps the biggest challenge was for their course on Greek tragedies ended with a full production of The Bakkhai. All the directors collaborated to create one seamless performance for an audience. I acted in two separate scenes: a wild chorus member in one and a doomed Pentheus in the other.

Luckily, I remembered to snap a photo for one of the scene presentations; not much photo evidence remains otherwise. The picture below was an early conception of the chorus; the costumes for the full production became more, shall we say, military-cabaret chic. Think black lipstick, combat boots, camo shorts and a pink corset!

Bakkhai Chorus!