Synchronicity Theatre seeks After-School Drama Instructors

Final SPfK logoSynchronicity Theatre seeks experienced, talented, energetic lead and assistant instructors for its expanding Playmaking For Kids after-school program. Instructors guide participants age K-8 through how to transform their bodies and voices to create characters and tell stories on stage as an ensemble through creative play, with a focus on empowering children’s voices and building ensemble. Each session ends with a presentation for friends and family. Classes are held primarily in DeKalb County on-site at various locations, between the hours of 2:30 and 5:30 pm. Experience in theater education is a plus; junior and senior theatre majors are welcome to apply. Please email your resume, cover letter and 2 references to Program Director Taryn Carmona – Taryn@synchrotheatre.com.

Synchronicity is an equal-opportunity employer. More information: www.synchrotheatre.com.

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Synchronicity is Excited to Announce Our New Managing Director . . . Celise Kalke!

Celise Banner

ATLANTA – The members of the Board of Directors of Synchronicity Theatre are pleased to announce that Celise Kalke has been selected to be the Company’s new Managing Director. Her official start date will be October 22, 2018.

On the heels of its Managing for Excellence grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Ms. Kalke, alongside Producing Artistic Director Rachel May, will usher in the next phase of the Company’s strategic development. She will direct all aspects of financial and business operations of the organization, from both a strategic and operational perspective, including long-range and annual planning. She will also be pivotal in working with the Board of Directors as it creates and executes fundraising and growth strategies. She will demonstrate a commitment to Synchronicity’s mission to uplift the voices of women and girls, and inspire confidence in stakeholders, artists, and patrons.

Since 2005, Ms. Kalke has been the Director of New Projects/Artistic Programs Manager at the Alliance Theatre, where she managed the development and production of world premiere new works, and discovered and mentored artists new to the field of American Theatre, including Academy Award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney and Laurents/Hatcher-winner Jiréh Breon Holder. She also developed and grew the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition and the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab, which have launched the careers of multiple emerging playwrights and theatre artists.

From 2003 to 2005, Ms. Kalke was the Director of the Literary Department at the Public Theater in New York City, where she developed projects, managed playwright commissions and mentored emerging playwrights under producer George C. Wolfe. From 1999 to 2003, She was the Resident Dramaturg at the Court Theatre in Chicago. In the late 1990’s, Ms. Kalke was a Staff Dramaturg in the Julliard Drama Division, where she worked part-time with the Juilliard Playwrights program headed by Marsha Norman and Chris Durang, and with students such as Adam Rapp, Brooke Berman, David Lindsay-Abaire, Jessica Goldberg, and Michael Winn. She was a Dramaturg for Michael Kahn, Garland Wright, and JoAnne Akalaitis.

In the 1990s, Ms. Kalke lived in Prague, Czech Republic, was a member of Misery Loves Company a Czech/English company, and worked with the Narodni Divadlo and Divadlo Pod Palmovkou while a student at DAMU, the Prague Theatre Academy. She speaks Czech and German.

Mentor, teacher and invaluable resource to the Atlanta Theatre community, Ms. Kalke has worked with the Emory University Theatre Department, Creative Writing Department and Center for Ethics; Kennesaw State University; Atlanta Women in Theatre; Working Title Playwrights; and Actor’s Express.

“It’s an honor to join Rachel May, the Synchronicity Board, and this great staff in the work of uplifting women and girls,” says Ms. Kalke. “I am humbled in this historic moment to support Synchronicity’s mission, and so excited to assume a leadership position in the Atlanta theatre community. Synchronicity is poised for growth, and I’m honored to grow my strategic thinking and management skills with this wonderful company.  I’m excited for the opportunity to closely work with Rachel May, whose taste and artistry I’ve admired since I saw The Long Christmas Ride Home (2005).”

“As one of Synchronicity’s co-founders, I am so proud of our company’s growth in the past several years,” said Producing Artistic Director Rachel May. “Having Celise join us at this pivotal time in our history, as we move into the next phase of embodying our mission, is the perfect step forward. Celise’s smarts and reputation are un-paralleled, and she has deep collaborative roots in both the local and national theatre community. Beyond that, she is a strategic thinker, a visionary and a bridge-builder; the exact qualities we need in our new Managing Director. I cannot wait to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with her as we work with our stellar board of directors to get smarter, gutsier, bolder and bigger.”

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am thrilled to welcome Celise Kalke as Synchronicity’s next Managing Director,” said Geneva Gross, Chair of Synchronicity Theatre’s Board of Directors.  “Celise has not only been a supporter of Synchronicity over the years, but is excited to help fulfill the mission with innovative and strategic thinking that will help elevate and expand our outreach in the community.  Her leadership and business acumen, coupled with her deeply-rooted experience within the national theatre community, is exactly what we need during this exciting growth stage of the organization. We see the partnership between Celise as Managing Director, and Rachel as Producing Artistic Director, as marking an exciting chapter in our development.”

In June, playwright Lee Nowell stepped down as Managing Director of the organization in order to focus on a variety of creative projects. She remains an Artistic Associate for the Company. Since June, Virginia (Gin) Nugent has served as Interim Managing Director.

*   *   *

ABOUT SYNCHRONICITY THEATRE

Founded in 1997 by four women with a desire to work collaboratively and bring challenging, meaningful theatre to Atlanta audiences, Synchronicity Theatre produces smart, gutsy, high-quality theatre that sparks community connections and uplifts the voices of women and girls. Synchronicity supports women artists, forges long-term and effective community partnerships and develops new work. The Company reaches nearly 14,000 patrons a year through its season of plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series); community outreach; educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) summer camps and after school programs, and the award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program. An intimate theatre in the heart of midtown at Peachtree Pointe became Synchronicity’s home in the summer of 2014.

 

5 FUN FACTS: Playwright Jessica Swale

jessica swale

Nell Gwynn’s Jessica Swale never set out to be a playwright.

British playwright Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn runs through Oct. 21 at Synchronicity Theatre (details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636). Her script won London theater’s 2015 Olivier Award for best new comedy and makes its American debut this month at Synchronicity and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

The comedy with song and dance is set in 1660 London. It charts the rise of an unlikely heroine — a quick-witted orange hawker and bawdy girl — from her roots in poverty to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress and her place in the heart of King Charles II.

Here are a few fun facts about Swale and her play, compiled by production dramaturg Kathy Janich.

1.  NOT A WRITER: “Even thinking of myself as a writer took a bit of getting used to.” Swale, 36, spent 10 years as a director before losing herself in a research for a different project and being unable to let go. Thus, her first play, Blue It details the fight British women undertook in the 1880s for the right to a university education.

2.  WOMEN RULE: Her first draft for Nell Gwynn had roles for five women and seven men. “I put in another couple of parts for women, because I didn’t want there to be a gender imbalance, and now those parts are completely integral to the story.”

3.  WHEN/WHERE SHE WRITES: “All the time! I often snatch bits of writing time in the cracks of the day — on train journeys, for half an hour in a cafe before going out somewhere. I focus well in small windows of time.”

4.  SHE PROCRASTINATES: “All the time! I used to get told off for daydreaming at primary school. I realize now that meandering thinking is often the way you solve problems. If I’m stuck on a character or an element of a plot, often leaving it, then sloshing it around my head on the bus, leads me to solve it.”

5.  WHAT SHE WISHES SHE’D BEEN TOLD WHEN STARTING OUT: “That the theater was worthwhile and rewarding as a career. All jobs are insecure now, so why not do the thing you love?”

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Synchronicity seeks new Managing Director

Managing Director

Synchronicity invites applications and nominations for the position of Managing Director.  The Managing Director will build on a strong 20-year reputation for creating great theatre and building community in the Atlanta area.  In a staff of 5 full-time people, this position is highly collaborative and will work closely with the Producing Artistic Director to continue Synchronicity’s upward trajectory.

The ideal candidate is smart, flexible and detail-oriented.  This organizational leader will be equally comfortable with collaboration and clear decision-making .  Alongside the Producing Artistic Director, the new Managing Director will create an environment where staff performs at their highest capacity, demonstrate a commitment to Synchronicity’s mission to uplift the voices of women and girls, and inspire confidence in stakeholders, artists and patrons.

View the Job Description (PDF)

About Synchronicity

Synchronicity Theatre is a nonprofit theatre company that produces smart, gutsy and bold theatre to spark community connections and uplift the voices of women and girls. Since bursting onto the Atlanta scene in 1997, Synchronicity has produced bold, high-quality and entertaining plays that resonate with our audience, our community and our lives. We take artistic chances to make our audiences think about important issues. We partner with community groups to deepen the relationship between our audiences and the work.  Recently awarded the prestigious Managing for Excellence award from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Synchronicity operates a vital, 138-seat theatre space in the heart of midtown Atlanta.

Search Process

Synchronicity is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to the goal of creating a diverse and inclusive working environment.

To nominate an individual for this position, or to apply, please contact the search committee with an email titled ‘Managing Director: YOURNAME’ at hiring@synchrotheatre.com and include:

· Cover letter of interest
· Salary requirements
· Resume
· 3 references with permission to contact
· 2 professional writing samples (fundraising letter, grant, etc)

Applications will be reviewed starting August 15, 2018

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s 2018 Managing for Excellence Award goes to…Synchronicity Theatre!

Community Foundation announces Managing for Excellence recipients

Annual award recognizes region’s highest-performing nonprofits

ATLANTA – July 13, 2018 – Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta announces that Synchronicity Theatre and YMCA of Metro Atlanta are 2018 Managing for Excellence award recipients. A stalwart, highly competitive recognition among the 4,300 nonprofits across Atlanta’s 23-county region, Managing for Excellence recognizes operational innovation and effectiveness for a well-run organization and is given to both a small and large nonprofit annually. Through more than 67 years of work with nonprofits, the Community Foundation has identified key factors that drive an organization’s success and community impact—including board and staff engagement, sound fiscal health, investment in the organization’s talent and infrastructure, thoughtful evaluation practices and commitment to continuous improvement. Managing for Excellence launched in 1984 to recognize and reward nonprofits that exemplify these strong characteristics.

 

Recognized in the small nonprofit category (annual operating budget under $2 million), Synchronicity Theatre offers diverse programs that challenge the mind and build empathy through the creation of new theatrical work that empowers females. Founded in 1997, Synchronicity has a strong culture of planning, is forward-thinking and has become a critical component of Atlanta’s arts ecosystem.

 

“The Managing for Excellence award is humbling. Synchronicity Theatre’s board, staff, and artists work hard to connect purpose, passion and artistry on a daily basis,” said Rachel May, producing artistic director of Synchronicity Theatre. “Excellence is always our goal, as we engage, empower and uplift voices in our community. We do this while keeping our hearts set on collaboration and bridge-building.” She added, “This award is a powerful recognition of our 20 years of service to Metro Atlanta, and an affirming investment in our future. We are deeply grateful for this recognition of both our impact and our methods and will work to honor this gift with renewed commitment to our mission to uplift the voices of women and girls and build community through smart, gutsy, bold theatre. Thank you to the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta for this truly transformative award.”

 

The Managing for Excellence judges noted that Synchronicity’s diverse array of theatrical productions have shown a 49 percent increase in individual ticket sales and an 81 percent increase in group sales since 2014. Largely due to the organization’s responsiveness to feedback, creative changes like pajama-friendly shows for families and thoughtful positioning of its theater as a venue for other artists and community groups have been incorporated. The organization manages a healthy mixture of revenue, including ticket income from performances, proceeds from renting out its venue, foundation funding and individual support, resulting in surpluses for the last three years.

 

“Managing for Excellence takes a close look at operational superiority from a broad range of criteria that are highly scrutinized by the judging panel,” said Lesley Grady, senior vice president, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “We’re not over analyzing programming in this particular review, but rather looking at a higher level, at their big-picture operations and best practices. Strong programming is important, and it naturally emerges when organizations are operating efficiently on all cylinders behind the scenes.”

 

YMCA of Metro Atlanta (YMCA) was chosen among large nonprofit organizations with annual operating budgets over $2 million. YMCA has served the Atlanta community for 160 years, promoting healthy lifestyles and equal opportunities to learn and grow.As Atlanta has grown, the YMCA has responded with new programs to meet the unique needs of children and adults, while demonstrating sound financial management, strong governance and a commitment to long-term strategy.

 

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, we are grateful to be recognized as the 2018 Managing for Excellence award recipient by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta,” said YMCA Board Chair, Scott Taylor. “For 160 years, the Y has served the Atlanta community and has grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of our city. As we look to the future, the Y is committed to being a leading organization in advancing education, wellness and volunteerism to build stronger and healthier communities. We would like to thank the Community Foundation for selecting the Y to receive the Managing for Excellence award and for the Foundation’s leadership in creating positive impact throughout our city and region.”

 

Managing for Excellence judges emphasized how the YMCA has an expansive impact beyond what they are historically most often associated with, physical activity. They are making strides with summer programming that improves academic outcomes, building resources to provide financial assistance for access to facilities and activities, and all the while tracking and evaluating metrics identified in a 10-year strategic plan. Other strong points include a rigorous budgeting process and regular operating surpluses.

 

“Beyond strong, day-to-day operations, it’s critical that nonprofits look at the long game to identify and nurture talent so that they can continue to provide the programs that constituents need and respond to changes quickly,” said Karthik Valluru, partner and managing director for BCG in Atlanta. “For the YMCA, the review committee recognized its thoughtful monitoring of facilities and its engaged pipeline of staff and volunteers. For Synchronicity, it was the theater’s quick ability to secure new space in a recent move and willingness to experiment with innovative programming.”

 

Managing for Excellence applicants were ranked against competitive criteria of more than 80 characteristics and best practices to win the award. Following a two-phase formal written application and in-person site visit process, the review committee selected this year’s winners. Each organization receives a robust award package, including a $75,000 grant from the Community Foundation, consulting services from Managing for Excellence partner, Boston Consulting Group, participation in a nonprofit management class at the KelloggSchool of Management at Northwestern University as well as ongoing opportunities for recognition.

# # #

 

About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been connecting the passions of philanthropists with the purposes of nonprofits doing that work. With 67 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation manages the behind-the-scenes details, empowering our donors to focus on the joy of giving. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation nationally with approximately $1.1 billion in current assets and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. Through its quality services and innovative leadership on community issues, the Foundation received more than $144 million from donors in 2017 and distributed more than $100 million that same year to support nonprofits throughout the region and beyond. In 2018 Charity Navigator named the Community Foundation a four-star rated nonprofit, its top distinction. For more information, visit: cfgreateratlanta.orgor connect with the Foundation via Facebook, LinkedInand Twitter.

 

Media Contact:

Louise Mulherin, 404.405.1070

lmulherin@cfgreateratlanta.org

 

TAKE 5 with ‘Ripe Frenzy’s’ Jennifer Barclay

Photo by Jim Barclay

EVEN WHEN PLAYWRIGHT JENNIFER BARCLAY isn’t doing theater, she’s well  … doing theater. Jennifer — playwright, educator, onetime actor, wife, mom — teaches acting and playwriting at the University of Maryland, a gig built to give her plenty of time for writing, workshops and rehearsals.

In any “free moments,” she’s with her 3-year-old son, 5-year-old daughter and husband Andrew Barclay Newsham, a British-born fiction writer. Even her parents are artists. Mom is a potter, Dad a photographer. Together the four have their own website: barclaystudios.com.

RIPE FRENZY, the drama that brings Jen to Synchronicity, tells the before and after of a mass school shooting. As director Rachel May says, “It’s about what got us here and what we do afterward.” The script won the 2016 National New Play Network Prize for Political Theater and is in the midst of a three-city rolling world premiere (Atlanta comes between New Rep in Watertown, Mass., and Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles).

The moms and best friends of RIPE FRENZY (from left) Danyé Evonne, Taylor M. Dooley and Megan Cramer. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Jen’s kind of theater hits her simultaneously in the brain and the gut, inspires her, shocks her, gives her chills and takes her on a wild, empathetic ride. In the midst of rehearsals for her own wild, empathetic script, she shared some thoughts with dramaturg Kathy Janich.

SYNCHRONICITY: How did you settle on the title RIPE FRENZY?

JENNIFER (cryptically): I like to keep that answer close to my chest, because I’m interested in audiences finding their own personal connection to it.

S: When and how did this play begin for you and where in the history of U.S. school shootings does its genesis fall? 

J: This play was ignited by a conversation with video designer Jared Mezzocchi. We were curious about how social and journalistic media in our country may be perpetuating mass shootings by playing to the national audience. We wondered what we would discover if we turned the mirror on ourselves, on our society. TV journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward had recently been shot live on-air in Virginia by a man wearing a GoPro.

Jared Mezzocchi

A triptych of his GoPro footage was later published on the cover of the New York Post, and everyone who passed the news boxes and saw the images, was put behind his eyes and inside his mind. Jared and I began to do more research and learned about the No Notoriety campaign, which implores media to stop giving shooters the attention they crave and to stop publishing the plans and manifesto that give the shooter a platform and simultaneously inspire the next shooter.

After our research phase, I holed up on my own to find the specific story and characters and write the first draft. That was when I discovered A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold, the mother of one of the Columbine shooters. Motherhood became my personal window into this world.

S: Would you please talk about the role of video in RIPE FRENZY and your partnership with Jared?  

J: I’ve been invigorated by early collaborations recently — meaning, I begin my research and world-building with collaborators before I go away to write the script. It’s very unusual for a playwright and designer to work together before there’s a script, and we were both excited by the challenge of making projection design integral to the dramatic arc instead of just being set dressing.

During our first workshop, Jared was in the room listening as if he was the character who is embodied by the design. He used his acting skills to get inside the character’s skin, and we continued to develop the character arc together. A great collaborator elevates a script beyond what the playwright could have imagined, and that’s exactly what Jared does. In fact, that’s what the whole company of this Synchronicity production has done.

S: What kinds of theater excites you?

J: I love theater that is highly physical and irreverent, that opens up new worlds and perspectives. I love female-driven stories that explode stereotypes. And I love theater that is highly theatrical — meaning it demands to be performed live, instead of imitating film or TV.

S: How did you decide to use Our Town as a lens through which to see your play, and could you please talk about your synchronicity with playwright Thornton Wilder?

J: Every night of the year, it’s said, a theater audience somewhere in the country is watching Our Town. It is such an iconic American play that gets to the heart of our country’s identity in the 1930s, and I wondered, “Are mass shootings becoming the new iconic American experience? Something we all go through, in every region, in big cities and small towns?”

A production of OUR TOWN somewhere in America.

I wrote RIPE FRENZY while I was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., the same place Wilder wrote Our Town. His cabin was a few doors down from where I wrote, and he based Grover’s Corners on Peterborough. I based Tavistown on a combination of Grover’s Corners, Peterborough and my own hometown of Rochester, N.Y.

After MacDowell, I got to workshop RIPE FRENZY at the Ojai Playwrights Conference in California. It was only once I arrived in Ojai that I learned Wilder lived on that exact same plot of land when he attended the Thacher School in 1912. Synchronicity, indeed.

Our Town dovetailed thematically with the big ideas I wanted to explore, including the simultaneity of youth and impending death, and the idea of what it would be like if we could go back and witness our innocence in the midst of a simple, happy day in our past. Zoe compares herself to the Stage Manager and resists the truth that she is really much more like Emily — witnessing her life under the weight of knowing what happens next.

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RIPE FRENZY runs April 13-May 6 at Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown. Details, tickets ONLINE or at 404.486.3686.

Journey 2 The Left- A Stripped Bare Artist’s Narrative

Kerisse-Hutchinson-2-The-Left

“…a poignant, one-woman-symphony that extracts the pain and the playfulness from Lopes, while examining the true makings of a supernova.”

                                  ~Art of Noise

 WE MADE IT!  …NOW WHAT?!?

…the email read, “Congratulations!  Your project “2 The Left: A Tribute to the Life of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes” has been selected for our 2017-2018 Stripped Bare season….” WHAAAAAAT!?!?  Up until that moment 2 The Left(a one-woman play about Atlanta-bred 90s girl group TLC’s (Waterfalls) most controversial member Left Eye who tragically passed away at the age of 30)had been a passion project of mine that I had beendeveloping over the years.  Being a Stripped Bare Artist Labwinner meant I, along with my fantabulous co-artists director Thomas W. Jones II, choreographer Victor Jackson, and dramaturg Addae Moon, would finally be able to put it on its feet to see where it stumbled and fell and where it took flight and soared.  It also gave us an all-important date, something a solo artist once told me had within it “inherent motivating powers”. Now, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there—and that initial excitement started turning into nervousness, doubts, and fears—but with a concrete date I had a goal to set my sights on and I was off and running.

PLAYDATES!

2 The Lefthad attracted an esteemed group of artists, each excelling in their respective fields and excited about working together to bring the script to life.  However, other than Tom directing a private reading for Lisa’s family the prior summer, I’ve only been able to meet with them individually over tea and crumpets. But now we were given the green light to come together and start playing. Since it was around the holidays, we scheduled five “playdates” between December and January that worked with everyone’s schedules.  At our first rehearsal, we had a table read and after everyone offered their different insights and perspectives on the piece. We proceeded to spending those first two rehearsals discussing, cutting, editing, and rearranging portions of the script. With a scissor, tape dispenser, and glue stick being Addae’s weapons of choice, we trimmed away the fat to find the most efficient way to get to the essence of the play’s through line.  We then spent the next rehearsals moving, acting, dancing (Tom does a mean James Brown impersonation), and rapping—and my oh my was that a doozey! Tom’s favorite sayings were “So you said you wanted to do a one woman show, huh?!” and “YOU wrote it!” …Yes, Tom, I did.  But will I survive it?

SYNCHRONICITY–THE INTERLUDE

Over the years, Lisa’s spirit has shown up in many ways directing me and confirming that I was on the right path. From traveling to Honduras (where Lisa visited over a dozen times to seek guidance at her spiritual counselor, Dr. Sebi’s Usha village as well as the site of her fatal car accident) and having no idea where the village was located then discovering it was less than a mile away from the bed & breakfast I was staying at, to TLC songs “randomly” coming on while I’m talking to someone about the play.  So, it would be foolish of me to think I wouldn’t see one of these Lisa winks during a workshop at a theater called SynchronicityIt happened during a private rehearsal with Victor to work on some of the dances before our group playdates.  A man walks into the studio and introduces himself as the owner. After telling him what we were working on, he informs me that Lisa use to rehearse with TLC in that studio and then showed me a poster hanging in the lobby that was the last poster ever to be signed by all members of TLC.  Yep, synchronicity struck again!

THE MAD HATTER

As a solo artist, I’ve had to wear the hats of both a writer and actor, but I didn’t realize that another hat would begin to be weaved during this women-powered theater lab: a “smart, gutsy, and bold” producer and though challenging, I must admit I liked the fit! To ensure we pulled off the best production of this workshop possible, I coordinated schedules; secured rehearsal space, props, meals, additional personnel, financial support, and other essentials; sought out press outlets; and had to promote, promote, PROMOTE.  And it paid off!  I always knew Atlanta would show up for a play about their beloved Lisa but, Atlanta didn’t just show up, it showed out or better yet, we SOLD OUT! both performances a week before the show.  The first time for a Stripped Bareartist– YES! And that news sent me into a happy dance.  No literally, check out my Instagram post @kerissegram 😊

“JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND RELAX YOUR MIND AND JUST BREATHE…AND LET IT GO.” ~LISA LOPES

With the three days we had access to the theater, we decided to stage and run the sound and lights for one day and use the other two for performances.  During our tech, I began feeling all types of pressure knowing that the following day would be the first time I would be bringing my baby out in public, before she had all her shots.  I was beyond grateful to have the support and encouragement of our team including our stage manager, Joan.  She began noting similarities between what I was experiencing and Lisa’s journey in the piece and even quoted portions of the play reminding me that my only responsibility was to stay present, breathe, and let the workshop be a workshop.

WE DID IT!  …NOW WHAT!?–REFLECTIONS

Seeing the name of the project that I had invested so much time and energy in, up in lights on a marquee in front of the theater was a surprising and gratifying “Come to Jesus” moment!  Stripped Baregave me the opportunity to begin to see the manifestation of a vision that started as little whispers and the experience has been amazing.  The audience filled with Lisa’s family and friends, my mom and her college girlfriends who flew in from New York (and probably brought in the snow that forced us to reschedule our second show ☹), members of the arts and entertainment community, people who had never attended a performance at Synchronicity, as well as season ticket holders who had never heard of Left Eye laughed, danced and sang together.  They spoke about how the play’s spirit and universal messages resonated with them. It was heartwarming to hear Lisa’s family say that it made them feel like Lisa had never left.  Since the workshop, some people have mentioned they’ve gone on to look up Lisa’s music and research information about the philosophies Lisa and Dr. Sebi shared.  Others have told me they’ve been inspired to begin writing their own pieces.  Art breeds art.  Creativity sparks creativity.  Spirit feeds spirit.  A writer once said that if a work doesn’t change you, if you don’t come out of it a different person, then it’s not worth your time.  I have been forever changed by my journey with 2 The Left and am anxiously anticipating the mounting of the premiere of its full production.  I’m also looking forward to creating my next works and eagerly awaiting to see what synchronicity moments will guide me along the way.

Kerisse Hutchinson

http://www.2TheLeftPlay.com

 

 

Take 5 with ‘S&S’ playwright Kate Hamill  

headshot reformatted

LIKE MANY WOMEN IN THEATER, Kate Hamill was fed up with the lack of female roles onstage. “I was frustrated because oftentimes when you’re a woman, you’re competing with 400 other actresses to play someone’s wife … girlfriend … prostitute.” Her decision to do something about that led to this adaptation of Sense and Sensibility (through Oct. 15 in Synchronicity Theatre’s Midtown space … details, tickets HERE). Kate, who lives in Queens, N.Y., with her partner, Jason O’Connell, writes plays about people who struggle to reconcile the demands of society with the dictates of their consciences. She borrowed time from several projects to chat with resident dramaturg Kathy Janich.

SYNCHRONICITY: How and when did your affinity for all things Jane Austen develop?

KATE: I grew up in a teeny-tiny rural town, and my parents didn’t believe in television — so I read a LOT. And I really found myself drawn to Jane Austen. She’s so incisive, witty and cutting — without losing heart. She’s make-you-cry-laughing funny. And I think her observations on class and the absurdity of the human character really spoke to me.

S: Your SENSE AND SENSIBILITY is a pretty wild ride. You’ve talked about adaptations needing a point of view, but how did you decide upon this fast-paced, madcap way to do it?

K: Well, you know, I really believe in making a piece of theater highly theatrical. I didn’t want to try to reproduce some BBC experience; I wanted to emphasize what theater does best … and that includes high absurdity, big characters, huge stakes, and the living, breathing, sweating sensation of being in a room together, having a communal experience. I wanted the audience to feel complicit in the pressure — the constant observation — that Marianne and Elinor feel; that’s why I created the gossips. And I also wanted to emphasize the humor, both because I myself have a fairly madcap sense of humor, but because I think humor helps us open up to the more “serious” parts of the story. So the play really taught me how it wanted to be written.

S: You’ve played Marianne Dashwood on a couple of occasions … is that because she is most like you or least like you?

K: Oh gosh. Of the sisters, I’m most like Marianne, probably. I find that people tend to self-identify as “Mariannes” or “Elinors” and I’m definitely a Marianne in that selection. But she’s a very extreme version of one aspect of me: the version that’s all id. Half of her lines are written IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS because she’s very extreme. The truth is that I identify with all of the characters, in some way; even the less benevolent characters like Fanny, Lucy, or, oh, Willoughby. I think if you’re doing your job as a playwright, part of you creeps into any character you write.

S:  What playwrights, past or present, influence your work as an actor? As a playwright?

K: As an actor, I’m very into LOTS of playwrights! I love working on the classics as well as new stuff, and each play teaches me something new. As a playwright, I have lots of influences. I particularly love [Eugene] O’Neill and [Arthur] Miller, and I think you can see how they’ve influenced my structure. In terms of living playwrights, there are so many I respect and love — and they span a broad range of styles and tone, because I love seeing how far theater can stretch. Jose Rivera is one of my favorites; his plays are so poetic and courageous and heartbreaking. Annie Baker, she’s so fearless. Nicky Silver, I love. Janine Nabers, who’s a dear friend, her plays always make me cry and think. It’s a really exciting time for playwriting; there are so many great people out there.

S: What are you working on now, and next?

K: My screwball-comedy adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is going up at Primary Stages off-Broadway (as a co-pro with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival) in November; I’m playing Lizzy Bennet. I just finished workshopping a Little Women with the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis and am working on a new version of The Odyssey that heavily focuses on PTSD, as well as co-writing the book for a 20K Leagues under the Sea musical. I also have two original plays in development: Prostitute Play and In the Mines. And I have S&S, Vanity Fair or Pride & Prejudice going up at several theaters around the country, so I’ll be bouncing around to those!

Synchronicity is Hiring!

Synchronicity is hiring a full-time Marketing Director to build on 20 years, and to take the company to the next level.
Synchronicity is a nonprofit theatre company founded in 1997. Since bursting onto the Atlanta scene, Synchronicity has produced gutsy, high-quality and entertaining plays that resonate with our audience, our community and our lives. Our mission is to uplift the voices of women and girls, and build community through theatre. We produce great plays. We take artistic chances to make our audiences think about important issues. We partner with community groups to deepen the relationship between our audiences and the work. Synchronicity makes its home on Peachtree in the heart of Midtown Atlanta.

MARKETING DIRECTOR | *FULL-TIME POSITION* | 40-50 HOURS/WEEK

The Marketing Director supports the highest strategic priorities of the theater. He or she will focus on growing new audiences while retaining and deepening relationships with current audiences. Through effective communication of the mission, vision and programming activities, the Marketing Director develops and executes strategies to generate all earned ticket revenues for the theatre. The Marketing Director also plays a leading role in the Theatre’s strategic planning initiatives which currently include increased brand awareness, new individual ticket campaign planning, expanded group sales, and higher-level customer understanding and service. This position collaborates with the Producing Artistic Director, and reports directly to the Managing Director. This position also works in parallel with Synchronicity’s public relations specialist.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE

 Collaborate regularly with the Managing Director and Artistic Director to ensure a clear and accurate interpretation of the organization’s vision and direction.
 Supervise the planning and implementation of all marketing, public relations, publications, and sales programs to raise earned income through single ticket, group and season ticket sales annually.
 Shape public perception of the theater through execution of brand identity through digital and print communications, publications, public events, and physical spaces.
 Manage annual expense budgets to run all marketing, publicity, sales and graphic design efforts and operations.
 Coordinate with Public Relations specialist to ensure cohesive messaging through electronic media and media relations
 Coordinate all communication and negotiations with vendors and consultants to achieve annual and long-range goals.
 Cultivate an innovative working environment that enables growth in new technology and marketing practices to ensure the Theatre’s vitality.
 Develop community ties and serve on committees to further develop the profile of arts within the city and state.
 Participate in arts marketing roundtable and other networking/learning opportunities.
 Oversee cross-promotional trades with other theatres.
 Lead initiatives to achieve goals defined in the Theatre’s strategic plan, and further develop long-range audience development goals and strategies.
 Support initiatives to increase the capabilities and revenue of the theatre rental program.
 Collaborate with other departments to improve the patrons’ experience of the theater.
 Collaborate with the Development Director to integrate organizational strategy and customer relationship management in marketing and fundraising efforts.
 Handle all back end set up in Spektrix, our ticketing and donor database, including inventory management, integrated mailings and promo code development.
 Oversee box office staff and handle daytime box office service.
 Serve as staff liaison to the Business & Brand Relationships Work Team of the Board.
 Oversee registration and promotion for after-school program.
 Keep website and blog up to date.
 Manage and negotiate any advertising in digital, print, radio or other.
 Oversee the creation of season collaterals, including posters, postcards, bookmarks, etc.
 Oversee the booking and execution of photo and video shoots for promotional and archival purposes.
 Layout and design small ads and social media graphics (using Canva, etc) and playbills (using InDesign).
 Oversee direct mailings and poster and bookmark distribution.

SKILLS
 Effective communicator
 Good collaborator
 Computer and internet proficiency
 Strategic and analytical skills
 Ability to work at the conceptual level as well as the implementation phase
 A genuine interest in and knowledge of the theater
 Proven organizational skills and ability to multi-task
 Ability to meet deadlines
 Strong writing skills
 Basic design skills a plus
 Experience with Ticketing/Donor software. Spektrix knowledge a plus

The successful candidate will have significant career experience in marketing, communications or a related field. He or she will have proven initiative and will be a goal oriented innovative thinker. The ideal candidate will be flexible with the ability to work independently and as part of a team, and will be able to work successfully under pressure and meet deadlines and goals.

COMPENSATION
Salary is in the low-mid 30’s with benefits. Start date: mid-late September. Please apply by August 28. To apply, send cover letter with salary requirements, resume, and two writing samples to Lee Nowell, Managing Director (lee@synchrotheatre.com). No phone calls please.

Synchronicity Theatre is committed to recruiting and fostering a diverse community of staff. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. AA/EOE

Bird: My Stripped Bare Experience

BIRDVISUAL NEW

This post is by guest blogger Adrienne Reynolds, the writer and composer behind Bird: A Study of Sound and a selected participant in Synchronicity’s Stripped Bare arts incubator project.  Adrienne developed Bird at Synchronicity June 26-28, 2017.  You can learn more about the Stripped Bare project and submit proposals here.  The first round of Stripped Bare project applications for 2017-18 are due September 5, 2017.

A little over a year ago, I had a crazy idea about birds living in a world created by birds. Over the course of the year, I researched birds, wrote an outline of the story, wrote songs and began to develop and conceptualize the world where these birds lived. I wondered what it would be like to have a group of people come together who could help breathe life into the idea rooting around in my brain. Then, I received an email about a new project called Stripped Bare, conceived by the team at Synchronicity Theatre. Stripped Bare provides a space for artists to help further the completion of their work at any stage of development, in the manner which would best benefit them.

Awesome! A place for the writer to hash out ideas and move their project forward. I was excited, intimidated and nervous all at the same time. Would people understand the concept? Would I be able to move the piece forward? All of these questions crossed my mind. I relished the idea of having a space and support that would allow me to breathe life into my idea, and I believed Stripped Bare was the perfect vehicle to make it happen. The process stretched my mind and made me exercise creative muscles I was not aware I possessed. It forced me to think outside of the box and require the rest of my team do the same.

The days were set up to have time working with the team and then in the evening have a short presentation of the ideas put together during this time. By far the presentations were one of the most impactful elements of Stripped Bare. The insight received from our smart audience members helped to establish a clear direction for the plot of the piece and the voice of the birds. One comment from an audience member still remains with me and continues to spark ideas:  “Allow the voice of the birds to sound like the call of the birds, ‘cause everybody knows the Cardinal says ‘party, party, party.’”  This comment has inspired music and dialogue.

I am honored to have been a participant in the inaugural session of Stripped Bare. It gave me an opportunity to have other people hear my vision, music and words. It gave me an opportunity to see my ideas up on their feet and it allowed me to be in a room with other artists which always pushes me harder.  Finally, the insight and feedback from the audience which sparked ideas and influenced pages of dialogue and song are invaluable. My experience with Stripped Bare was better than I anticipated and I look forward to seeing all of the shows that will be birthed from future sessions.

-Adrienne Reynolds