Zombies, Regency and Women on the Fringe 2014!

by Sue May

I was excited to be back at the Fringe viewing new work by women playwrights for LA FPI’s Women on the Fringe. And thank you Hollywood Fringe for having us (LA FPI) back.

Susan Sassi is one hard-working writer, producer and actor!  Sassi’s Victorian Courting & Zombies is a hilarious musical romp where zombies run amok amongst aristocrats of the Regency period.  Much like we all (projecting) run amok at the Fringe while trying to dodge traffic, find parking and our seats (with camera in tow) in the nick of time, but in much more comfortable clothing.

Due to the Regency period’s societal hierarchy, the upper class were most often viewed by the common folk as sublime and fantastical, fiction-like, or in this case, as zombies who run with the “in crowd.” Inspired by Jane Austin, the work structurally and ideally mimics the period by using fantastical creatures who rub elbows with Dukes, attend formal balls and even propose all in zombie-like fashion.

I loved the comedic timing of this work. The actors’ chemistry and energy billowed throughout the audience and beyond, making me want to jump right in and sing along (something I never think of or happens!).

Susan, thanks for the great writing and fun times with the Funktard sisters.  I can’t wait to see what happens to them next!  I could watch your show again and again. What can I say, I’m a sucker for zombies.  Enjoy the video.

A special thank you to Susan Sassi and the cast and crew.

Directed, Shot and Edited by Sue May

Produced by Simplexity MediaWorks

 

LA FPI & Little Black Dress INK ~ SWAN Day Action Fest 2014 (slideshow)

by Sue May

For your viewing pleasure, and a big thank you to LA FPI and all the participants. SM

Not Jolly or Holiday-ish, Yet Celebratory

by Sue May

I like to use this time of year to remind myself that changing my perspective is of the utmost importance. Sometimes change happens with ease, otherwise, I put up a fight. Then, I remember that all I have to do is move slightly to the right or left, and just relax.

By the middle of the year, I was well into researching the Arts and emerging youth artistic groups, artists and filmmakers in the Middle East. I found an amazing little film about sexual harassment in the streets of Kabul by a young feminist: Sahar Fetrat.  Fetrat’s film isn’t jolly or holiday-ish, but it is celebratory in a Global-Feminism way. Celebratory when an Afghan teen (16) female filmmaker decides to make herself/her perspective known.

As 2013 comes to a close and 2014 emerges with all the promise of a new tomorrow, “Do Not Believe in My Silence!” reminds us how women are still being forced to live with few choices, zero respect and in heartbreaking silence.  This project dove to the core of my feminist soul, as it took me back to my teens: “What was I doing at 16 years old, the same age Fetrat was when she made her film?”

Well, was not bravely exposing sexual harassment in the streets of one of the most dangerous cities on earth, but it was the first time I thought of myself in relation to other females around the world. The thought process eventually lead me to question: “If other girls [& women] are unable to live safe, happy and respected lives, am I truly safe in this world?”  Unfortunately, I must still ask myself this question, as global hostility and abuse of girls and women is still the norm.

This film should not be missed because it will show you what happens to the “Other” when individuals, who eventually form and dominate entire societies/countries, are unwilling and/or unable to change their perspective. If you like the film, you can read more about Fetrat and her sisters on the links posted below.

In closing, I hope that your holiday season is all that you desire it to be.

Happy Holidays!

Sue May

 

Exploding Myths, Not Bombs by Pawanpreet Kaur

Kabul Through the Looking Glass  by Sunaina Kumar

 

Change is not easy in Afghanistan. But it’s not impossible.

~ Sahar Fetrat

 

Brown, Blue and Elemental Love

by Sue May

LA FPI Video Blog Brown from Simplexity MediaWorks™ on Vimeo.

Fire: The rapid oxidation of a material. The exothermic chemical process of combustion. The release of heat, energy, light and various other reactive products.

Meghan Brown’s disposition is reflected in her clear blue, kind eyes much like the sky reflects the ocean. During our interview, Brown’s self-knowledge is as apparent as her self-confidence, which translates into the ability to be vulnerable. A self-aware artist who also has the ability to embrace her vulnerability is what ultimately distinguishes the average from the extraordinary creative being. 

Brown’s ability to create an extraordinary netherworld is a testament to her old soul.  The Fire Room is a well versed, visually poetic confession of grasping at true love beyond the grave.  Here ghostly protagonists navigate through combusting emotions as the narrator and her silent chorus bear witness to the release of love’s undeniable heat.

In graduate school, I studied award-winning films in a specific manner because I was sure it would help me become a better screenwriter. First, I would watch the film as anyone would; second, I would watch with the filmmaker’s commentary; and third, watch with the sound off because, after all, film is behavior. Due to its visual ardency, if you had to, you could watch the Fire Room with the sound off.

Playwright Meghan Brown and the Fugitive Kind make a great team. Enjoy the interview.

Directed, Shot and Edited by Sue May

Produced by Simplexity MediaWorks

 

Poeisis, Blindsided and Women on the Fringe!

by Sue May

In ancient Greece the playwright was poeisis: the act of making plays and the root of the modern word, poetry. It is said that poïetic (Greek for creative, meaning productive or formative) work reconciles thought with matter and time, and person with the world (Wikipedia).

The Hollywood Fringe harkens back to the 5th century’s annual Athenian competitions where notables such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes established theatrical forms, which modern playwrights still rely upon. A lot has changed since these male playwrights, with their all male cast and crew, occupied the festivals of ancient Greece. With the hopes of uniting its colonies and allies, Athenian politicos exported the “festival” to help promote a common cultural identity. Today, LA FPI promotes “Women on the Fringe!,” with the hopes of uniting and supporting women playwrights.

Thought, matter, time, person, world – words poetic in their own right – remind me of my first interviewee, Jeannette Rizzi, and her one-woman show Blindsided. Jeannette is all heart. She kindly met me outside of the Hudson Theatre to assist me with parking. She warmly introduced me to her all male crew (some things never change), and eased into rehearsal as my camera rolled

Aspectabund and luminous, Jeannette graciously reveals her-story and altruistic nature in thought, word and stage presence. Throughout, she holds a mirror-like inner-strength reflecting confidence coupled with gratitude, attributes only those who practice self-love can embrace, as her comedic foothold sets the tone. Thought, matter, time, person, world—inspiring, comedic, altruistic, confidant, gracious and self-love, these words resonated within me as I left the theatre. Blindsided is a gift of truth and beauty from writer and performer, Jeannette Rizzi. Enjoy the interview.

Directed, Shot and Edited by Sue May

Produced by Simplexity MediaWorks

** Check out my next Video Blog “Fancy, a Parable and the Modern Age! (LA FPI)” at Miles From Malibu a Webzine!

 

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