Friday, February 21, 2014

Program note: An Iliad

What follows is a draft of the program notes for our production of An Iliad, opening tonight at the Black Box Theatre in Las Cruces.

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Every time I sing this song, I hope it’s the last time. 

This is an original play inspired by tales from Homer’s Iliad. Focusing mainly on Achilles and Hector, the play addresses human rage as a recurring theme in history, from antiquity right up to the current civil war in Syria, and the uprising underway in Kiev this very week.

The show is typically performed with one actor and a musician, usually a cellist. Randy Granger has boldly re-imagined the role of the musician in this play. Are the Poet and the Musician different people? Or are they aspects of one timeless bard? The musical performance and our interactions are improvisational, and the collaboration has been inspirational for us both.

Another musician working on this project is Autumn Gieb. She is working on an original score using a variety of instruments she is inventing herself, and developing a unique take on the Musician as a character. We hope you will consider seeing this Iliad at another venue to enjoy Autumn’s unique contribution.

Theatre Dojo is a project founded in 2006 by Algernon D’Ammassa, Christopher Nelson, and Jen Bloom. Theatre Dojo supports cross-disciplinary approaches in the performing arts and personal disciplines including yoga, martial arts, and meditation. Its mission is the growth of artists and works promoting compassion and social awareness.

Although we do not have dates at this writing, we are working on bringing this show to Deming’s outdoor arena at Voiers Park, to Albuquerque, El Paso, and Tucson, and possibly to North Carolina during the summer. You can follow our travels at

We thank Ceil and Peter Herman for welcoming An Iliad at the Black Box.

[Image:  Rehearsal photo, with Algernon the left and Randy Granger on the right, playing his amazing three-string cigar box guitar.]

Thursday, February 20, 2014

An Iliad

One reason I have not been updating this blog lately is that I've been preparing one of the scariest performance projects of my life.  It is an original play entitled An Iliad, written by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare, inspired by Homer's Iliad and focusing mainly on the confrontation between Hector and Achilles; and, even more centrally, on the theme of Achilles and rage.  The play won an Obie and is currently seeing production at regional theatres all over the United States.  I am, as far as I can discover, the first to perform it in the southwest.  

The play is typically performed by one actor with a musician in accompaniment.  For this production, I have collaborated with Las Cruces musician Randy Granger to create a performance by two bards -- one (me) using the language of storytelling, the other using the language of music.  Randy plays a variety of flutes, stringed instruments, and percussion, improvising music throughout.  Our rehearsals crackle with creative energy and spontaneity, and the three onlookers we've invited to have a peek at the show say the work is very good indeed.

During the past few days, I have moved from feeling very scared to very excited.  But I am still a little scared, still improving my own work, and -- as is typical in theatre -- wishing I had just a few more days to prepare better.  

But it is time.  The show opens tomorrow night for its first three performances in Las Cruces, at the Black Box Theatre.  Randy and I hope to tour the show to venues elsewhere, and we have set up a Facebook page to organize updates and announce new dates.

Meanwhile, local writer David Salcido interviewed Randy and me for a lengthy preview article about the show, which you can enjoy by clicking here

Sunday, February 02, 2014

You have enormous potential

Dear Sir, Our company is looking for serious buyers of Au Gold Dust /Bar,We are local community miners here in Ghana West Africa Region.We the community local miners are into mining activities here in Tarkwa, Obuasi, Kenyasi, village here in Ghana, but our head office is in Accra city the capital of Ghana. We are pleased to let you know that we are searching for genuine buyers that are capable to go into long term business relationship with us and also looking for partnership to improve our mining activities to mega mining.Presently we have enough quantity of gold dust and gold bars for sell at a very good price, but we required our fist time buyers or buyer’s representative to visit us here in Ghana and have a meeting together with the entire community. Again we are ready to take the gold along with the buyer or his mandate to refinery or a security company for assay to his satisfaction before any payment for the gold.we welcome any buyer interested to do business with us, if you don’t have visa to enter Ghana let us know as soon as possible we the community miners will issued automatic letter of invitation immediately,You will only go to any of our Ghana embassy in your country and they will give you visa within 24 to 48 hours, and it’s ourobligation to be at the airport to welcome you with respect and honor for long term business relationship with us. Please feel free to contact us with the details contact bellow for further inquires that will enable you open full communication with our company personal email address: Thanks, Shanda Kupesi.

Dear Shanda,

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