Fall 2019 Newsletter
September-December | Fall 2019
Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio
“One can say a true artist is always ready to make any number of sacrifices in order to reach a moment of creativity. The mediocre artist prefers not to take risks, which is why he is conventional. Everything that is conventional, everything that is mediocre is linked to that fear.” ~Peter Brook

We created Freehold as a safe place to practice what is not safe. We ask our collaborators, students, board, audience, and extended community to practice risk in rehearsal and performance, in individual practice, and in collaboration. We ask that they risk taking this art form seriously and risk believing that the theatrical event can be of consequence.  
The Theatre Lab is the research and development arm at Freehold, which provides a forum to investigate new performance material, and to rediscover classics. The Lab gives accomplished artists a chance to develop new ways of working, and to deepen and enrich their own practice. 
Engaged Theatre , a program of the Lab
Fostering the potential for extraordinary connections between performer and audience is at the core of Freehold’s mission. Freehold develops partnerships with extraordinary audiences from culturally under-served communities. We tour to these populations with performance, and partner in generative Residencies with the constituents. These partnerships offer an opportunity to cultivate a deeper understanding and respect for the humanity of our fellow travelers, and to perform with greater truth and generosity.  
From introductory courses to master classes for working professionals, the Freehold Studio offers comprehensive training, which aims to develop an artist’s greatest gift: a sense of truth, while developing the means to express this gift specifically and viscerally. Through rigorous instruction in a range of disciplines, Freehold’s students are encouraged to take the theatre art form forward — to transform it, deepen it, clarify it and create new ways of working.  
Some of the most extraordinary experiences I have had in artistic practice - and as a human being - have been when I risked being open enough; and getting close enough, to discover the unknown spaces in another human being. 
Come join us.

Robin Lynn Smith,
Artistic Director
Advanced Comic Scene Study with Hal Ryder
Some Principles of Playing Comedy
I’m pretty serious when it comes to comedy. It is always a great challenge to bring a comedy from text to life. It also takes great confidence, courage and commitment, to act in comedy. Unlike drama, you get instant feedback from the audience in comedy. 

We like to play truth in everything, but in Comedy no matter how absurd the world might be, we need to play the truth from the character’s point of view. We need to pursue our objectives and deal with the obstacles with a variety of tactics and clarity. 
We have to have a true grasp on the geometry, rhythm and timing for everything we do within the context of the work. Every gesture, every nuance is a part of character and the scene. Staying in a comic scene and not becoming a spectator can prove challenging. 

Dealing with props needs to become a practiced ritual in comedy. The agility of handling the simplest prop can require hours of practice. Sometimes in dramas, we don’t take the use of props as part of the telling of the story as much as ‘dressing it up’. Everything handled in Comedy is done in a very deliberate manner even if the effect is seeming to be casual.

Identifying how comedy is written and what form of comedy it contains: Parody, Satire, Farce, etc. We also must identifiy which comedic language devices are in the lines: puns, epigrams, rhymes, contrast etc.

How do we normally say something as opposed to setting up a punch word or punch line? Is it different in American and British English? Does it require topping? Or undercutting? Is there hold for a laugh, do we plan that, or just play it? 

We are used to seeing a comic improvisation or a stand up comedian. These are different forms of comedy and while we may use some elements from them as we go to our main goal they are not the basis of this class. 

This advanced class has a focus on comedy based in text and through exercise and scene work will strive discover how to inspire laughter in an audience through written scenes. We will look at scenes from the Shakespeare to more modern comedy to find how different writting requires different approaches to playing. We will also discover the unifying elements of comedy. 
The word comedy can be traced back to the ancient Greek word "Komos" which meant ‘song of revelry’ and was sung at the end of a Greek Comedy by the Phallic Chorus. So comedy, since it’s start, often had sexual innuendo and double meanings to outright bawdy humor. The word humor in English goes back to humours and refers to bodily fluids that controlled behavior and moods. And it is from these moods it came to mean a whim and thus humourous.

As you can see it takes a lot to understand and play comic texts well. Please join me this Fall in a serious exploration of the fun, and joy of comedy. We will laugh a lot! ...Seriously.
Hal Ryder's Advanced Comic Scene Study runs Thursdays, Oct 10-Dec 19, 6-10pm. Register by phone: 206.323-7499 or email: info@freeholdtheatre.org
Voice with Gin Hammond
Top 5 Tips Before Walking Onstage

#1 Move!  - All the anticipation of going onstage can really do a number on your nervous system. Why? It's a primal response to prepare you to outrun a lion! Except now, the audience is your metaphorical lion. Don't leave your nervous system "all dressed up with nowhere to go," so to speak. Instead, use that surge in energy to warm up those muscles, and do whatever physical activity you need to do to get your breath flowing. It just so happens you'll feel more grounded and more dynamic by the time you walk onstage, and definitely more ready for showtime!

#2 Get Oriented  - Many of us have experienced the sensation of tunnel vision after stepping onstage (or even into a recording booth). What's one of the best ways to counteract that, beyond tip #1? Get familiar with the space. One of the best ways to do that is to spend time in the performance space before an audience arrives. Let's say you're going to give a toast at a wedding. Getting to the space early, standing where you will be standing with glass in hand, looking in EVERY direction (even behind you), and hearing your voice out loud in the space will minimize the sense of disorientation that can come with all the new stimuli of an live audience, such as seeing your ex sitting at the singles table.

#3 Give Yourself Permission to Care  - Another reason we may experience a jolt of energy before or during performance is because we care about the message reaching the audience. Too often, we don't want to admit that, however, and instead pretend not to care. Have you ever had to sit through a presentation where to speaker seemed not to care? To paraphrase Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar , emotionally disconnecting from what you're saying is just another way of "kicking your own *ss." When you allow yourself to care and focus on making sure the audience understands your message, instead of focusing on "how you're doing," it liberates you to do what you showed up to do in the first place.

#4 Give Yourself Permission to Connect  - How do we do this? One simple way is to breathe through your mouth. In fact, try it right now. Look at something in the room and breathe through your mouth as you do; as if you are breathing the object into your belly. Now let's do the opposite: close your mouth firmly and breathe only through your nose. Say, did you notice that this activates a little bit of tension in your shoulders as well? How would you describe your connection to the object now? Now go back to breathing the object back in through your mouth.

#5 Rehearse!  - There is no substitute for putting in the work. Never give yourself an excuse to not have done your best. To put it bluntly, that's the coward's way out. (Yes, yes, the topic of "over-rehearsing" is worth discussion too, but we'll save that for another time). Time and again I've seen people not rehearse because the idea of doing their best and not succeeding 100% is too much for them to handle. But then what happens when the metaphorical lion from tip #1 re-enters the room? Due to lack of rehearsal, a downward spiral begins.  
So, value the work, value yourself, and reap the benefits. You may even have a great time.
Gin Hammond returns to teach Voice at Freehold after several years' hiatus - we're excited to have her back! Voice runs Sundays, Oct 13-Dec 8, 11am-2pm. Register by phone: 206.323-7499 or email: info@freeholdtheatre.org
Found Object Puppetry with Adam Ende
Best Garbage Materials and How to Scavenge Them For Art!!!
All right , I’ll say it—recycling in this country is balderdash! Sure, it makes us feel good to sort our paper, plastic and glass, but the fact is that the real way to help the planet is to not buy that crap in the first place, and then reuse and repurpose as much as possible. In this class we will each make a beautiful puppet mostly out of garbage materials. Here is a list of some of my favorite garbage materials, and how to scavenge them:

1.) Rubber ties are one of the most important materials for the puppeteer. And they are made out of broken bicycle inner tubes! When people get flats, they go to the bike shop to change the inner tube, so bike shops have a huge surplus of broken inner tubes which go straight to the dump. Go into any bike shop, and they will be happy to provide you with armloads of tubes. Then just cut them up into strips, and you have the best material for lashing, and connecting things. Better than rope or string, and better than duct tape! 

2.) Cardboard! You can make anything and everything out of cardboard. It’s like soft wood! Bend it to your will using a creature stapler! And of course it can be found anywhere. Bike shops and appliance stores are good sources of nice big boxes!

3.) Foam! People throw out old couches all the time. If you see a couch on the side of the road, or someone posts a free couch on your local community fb group or whatever, first make sure it doesn’t smell like cat peepee, and then use your box cutter to strip off the upholstery, and harvest a nice big chunk of foam, great for carving with scissors!

4.) Brown paper bags from your local supermarket are the best paper to use for paper mache! Most people have loads clogging up their pantry or garage!

With these four easily accesible garbage materials you will be well on your way to saving the world through making stupid little puppet shows!
Adem Ende's Found Puppetry Workshop runs Tuesday, Sept 24 and Thursday, Sept 26 from 6-9pm; and Saturday, Sept 28 from 10am-5pm. Register by phone: 206.323-7499 or email: info@freeholdtheatre.org
Alyssa Kaye
From Freehold Combat Student to SAFD NW Regional Rep!
I was introduced to stage combat at an early age as an aspiring middle-school theater student at the Seattle Children’s Theatre and loved every minute of it. While I later earned my BA in Drama from the University of Washington and trained at the Accademia dell’Arte in Italy, it wasn’t until I took my first stage combat classes at Freehold that I finally had the opportunity to train in stage combat at a professional level.

At that time, the essential weapon styles of Unarmed, Rapier & Dagger, and Broadsword were taught as a year-long sequence by Freehold’s long-time stage combat instructor and local Fight Master Geoffrey Alm. I earned my first certifications at the end of that series and joined the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) in 2011. Those classes opened a door for me to a community of stage combatants, teachers, and fight directors who soon became my mentors, colleagues, and friends, and gave me my first glimpse into a world of theatrical violence that would quickly become a passion for me.

I continued my training both at Freehold and beyond, and have since certified in seven of the eight official weapon styles of the SAFD. I regularly return to Freehold’s classes because they remain the best way to keep up my skills and connect with fellow performers who share my interests. This year I even had the great pleasure of joining a class as a TA. Supporting Geof’s instruction and watching other actors take up swords for the first time has been hugely instructive and opened yet another possible interest for me in future teaching.

In the world of performing, I appeared as a combatant this past winter in Seattle Opera’s production of Il Trovatore alongside several other Freehold alumni. I’ve also begun working as a fight choreographer and intimacy director for a variety of area theaters, most recently Romeo & Juliet with Wooden O/Seattle Shakespeare Company, Man of La Mancha and Blackbird with Harlequin Productions, and Salty with ReAct Theatre. With another three projects opening this month and a fourth beginning rehearsal in a week or so, I am extremely grateful for all the new opportunities this work has invited into my life.

As of this year I’ve also become the SAFD’s new Northwest Regional Representative, and I’m very excited to help build our local stage combat community and support other students and performers, whether they are interested in SAFD membership or just looking for training.

Freehold is the only local organization offering regular, professional stage combat training outside of a university or degree program, which makes them an incredible asset to our theater community. They are currently fundraising to build a sound fiscal future for the organization, and I would encourage anyone and everyone to help show them some love and keep this great resource around for years to come.
For more information about Alyssa's performance background, please visit: www.alyssakay.net
The Studio Series is BACK in 2020!
After four years, our beloved Studio Series Returns!
After a few years on hiatus, Freehold is relaunching its historic and storied Studio Series with eight days of performances in January 2020. The Studio Series is an opportunity for Freehold community members to take what they have learned in class and life and put it into practice in front of an audience with mentorship fro Freehold's amazing faculty of professional theatre artists. The Studio Series is conceived as a place of experimentation and risk-taking. The work presented are intended as works in progress and not finished productions, but at the same time, there is an expectation that the participants show a high level of commitment to the process.

Projects may take almost any form: a play, a scene, a monologue, a solo performance piece, a rough cut of a film, a staged reading, vocal pieces, clown work, a movement/dance piece, almost anything showing dramatic relevance and serving the artist's process. NO project may exceed 30 minutes in length.

All applicants will be expected to present a well-conceived proposal, including a detailed description of the project, a director (not in the cast), and a cast pulled largely from the Freehold community. Once a project is selected, the project lead will be required to present a more detailed plan, including an adequate rehearsal schedule, and will be expected to attend mandatory orientation and technical meetings. The success of the Studio Series depends upon participants' willingness to support each other, and in the spirit of collaboration and community, each group performing will act as crew for the other groups on their performance dates.

Approved projects will be charged a $150 participation fee and in return, will receive mentorship for their project, reduced cost rehearsal space at Freehold, three performances in Freehold's Black Box Theatre, technical support (lights, sound, board operator, stage manager and access to Freehold's sets and props stores), and publicity for the event. In the past, the Studio Series has spawned works that have gone on to full runs, toured the Fringe Festival circuit, partnerships that have stood the test of time and maybe most importantly, advanced the performance experience and understanding of the artists involved.
Fall Quarter Announcements
Work/Study At Freehold
Freehold is always looking for folks to help out with various theatre and office tasks - become one of our work/study students and take classes for a greatly-reduced rate! To find out more, contact the registrar at info@freeholdtheatre.org.

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

6-10pm at Freehold, with class samplers from Mik Kuhlman, Gin Hammond, Adam Ende, Carter Rodriguez, Meg McLynn and Elizabeth Heffron!

Join us for some light refreshments, chat with old and new friends, take some sample classes and register before the deadline! next email blast, which goes out to 5000+ Freehold community members. We generally send out about 2 per week.

New Play Lab Showcase 2019

Join us for Freehold's New Play Lab Showcase on Saturday, September 7 at 7pm in the Benjamin Bullitt Black Box, featuring 6 world premiere play excerpts by Leone Fogle, Josephine Fogle-Rain, Sarah Heady,Kathryn Jean Keller, Morgan Ludlow, and Jennifer Purswell, lead by the incomparable Elizabeth Heffron, directed by Pamela Mijatov, David Hsieh and Erin Murray with casts made up of your favorite Freehold classmates and alums.

Between a dystopian, senior version of Midsummer Night's Dream, coping with cancer in a downtrodden family, disgruntled horsemen of the apocalypse and more, there's truly something for everyone in this evening of readings - Make an evening of it and support one of the many delicious restaurants in the International District before you head over!

More information here - Reserve your (free) seat here .

Sunday, 9/29, 3-6pm (may not go the entire 3 hours)

Have you ever found the perfect show for your theatre company, only to apply for a license and be met with silence, a denial, or just tons of confusing information?

Wondering what the etiquette is when communicating with playwright's agent to inquire about producing one of their unpublished plays?

Wondering what this whole 'licensing' business is about anyway- what constitutes a public performance, what is 'fair use,' and how to seek permission for alterations to a published text?

Then this workshop is for you! Former Freehold Registrar Nikki Przasnyski, who spent 3 years working in Professional Licensing for Samuel French (now Concord Theatricals), and who managed strategy for plays by playwrights such as Lauren Yee, Sheila Callaghan, Nathan Alan Davis, Heidi Shreck, and created licenses for ACT Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Pasadena Playhouse (among others), is offering a workshop to producers, directors, literary managers, artistic directors, and anyone else who's interested.

Held at Freehold Theatre* in Seattle's International District, Nikki will teach this rare 3 hour workshop on a suggested donation basis.

Individuals: $25* suggested donation
Organizations (up to 3 members of any organization): $40*

RSVP here please, so that I can communicate any important announcements for the event via email: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090D44AAAD23A5FD0-licensing
Sound and Set Designer Sought

Mythodical Ensemble is looking for a set designer and sound designer for the world premiere of A Series of Small Cataclysms , coming in February 2020. Generous (for fringe) Stipends are available.
Project link: www.mythodicals.com - please inquire here if interested in either.

If you have a project you need to cast, need singers, performers for anything, need crew or designers, or are soliciting play submissions, feel free to email us with all info (including compensation and contact info) and we'll put it in our next email blast. ne xt email blast, which goes out to 5000+ Freehold community members. We generally send out about 2 per wek.
What Are You Up To?
Student/Alumni Summer Accomplishments & Brags
"In rehearsals for The Realistic Joneses for  Eastside Actors' Lab  (Sept 26-29). Just filmed a short for  The Nightmare Emporium , and will participate in the 48 Hour Horror Film Festival in October!"  🎭🎬

"I'm partnering with  Aaron Joshua Shay  for Science Fiction Double Feature at  Copious Love Productions  next month!  https://www.facebook.com/events/529749974096499/ "

"Trying to choose the next show for the middle school where I direct. Alas, middle school is tough!"

Andrew Hunter
"I am enrolled in John Jacobsen’s Acting for the Camera class  @freeholdtheatre . In preparation for meetings with agents, I am working on getting my marketing materials in order. Earlier this summer, I filmed a featured role in a Freehold alum’s first feature film."

We always want to know what you're up to! Send us your brags and testimonials.

Freehold has three studios and a mezzanine space available to rent for rehearsals, readings, meetings, photo/film shoots and even tech-lite performances
(and soon to be outfitted for more tech-heavy performances).

Reasonable rates for all; discounted rates for students.
Our entire facility is equipped with WiFi and Air Conditioning. 

Reservations can be made by phone (206.323-7499) or in person during office hours (10-6 M-Th). 

Reservation requests may also be made via  email .

 More info on cost, specs and availability here .