by Rogue Performers
Here are our final three Rogue Performer Preview Articles-The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over with Gemma Wilcox, State Your Name For The Record with Amelia Ryan, & Jeremy Julian Greco’s With Held. Watch for Rogue show reviews & video interviews starting this weekend and go see Rogue!
We have been featuring several Rogue Festival 2014 performers over the last couple of weeks. Also, we have a preview of the Festival itself in this week’s issue. So check out our Arts & Entertainment section to read them all! Also check out our Rogue Performer Event page for fliers and press releases for more of the performers!
11 TIME BEST-OF-FEST AWARD WINNER, Gemma Wilcox returns with her 2009 Rogue Fest Sold-out Hit Show!
The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over
By Gemma Wilcox
Hilarious sex tips from auntie, secrets held and stormy releases, a magical feathery unfolding, an unexpected visitor from the past, domestic blues jazz explosion, love crossed furry friends, flaming truths, toxic take over, and feline reality calls…
Excited yet? I am! For this is going to be my fifth Rogue Festival in six years!
I am returning this year with The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over, my original one-woman show that I performed at Rogue Fest in 2009. The show was a huge success and I fell head over heels in love with the Rogue Fest, the Tower District, the Rogue Fest community and audiences, the spring blossoms at that time of year and the margaritas at Bobby Salazar’s.
I couldn’t stay away and have been back every year, apart from 2011.
I have been touring The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over for almost 11 years, at 15 different festivals, over 20 venues, which totals over 150 performances! One could say the show is a well-oiled machine, but I prefer to say that it is deeply infused in my cells and lives in my bones. It is a semi-autobiographical piece that I still find challenging and thrilling to perform. I get to embody 20 wild, wacky and relatable characters in the show: men, women, a seven-year-old child, a frisky feline, an irresistible hamster, numerous feathery fowl, a jazzy sax and even the element of fire.
Rogue audiences may be familiar with my multi-character one woman shows (including Shadows in Bloom (2010) and Magical Mystery Detour (2013)), all of which follow the life of Sandra and her world of complex relationships.
The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over is a two-act performance, spanning two intense years of Sandra’s life. We journey with her as she grapples with her dissolving marriage, and a visit from an old flame that awakens her suppressed creativity and sexuality and calls into question what she truly wants.
It is a humorous, poignant and captivating tale of love and letting go that traverses the sensitive territory of human relationships (as well as the animal and elemental world!), the elations, the devastations, the heart-breaking and the heart-opening moments.
This show has resonated with thousands of audience members and reviewers across the USA and Canada, and most recently in London, UK, and has won multiple “best-of-fest” awards.
It is with great excitement and deep honor that I get to tread the boards with the show at Fresno’s Rogue Festival 2014, in celebration of its 10th anniversary. Do join me if inspired – and perhaps take in a margarita with me after the show!
The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over WHERE: California Arts Academy- Severance, 1401 N Wishon Ave, Fresno, CA WHEN: Saturday, March 1, 8:30 p.m. Sunday, March 2, 4:00 p.m. Thursday, March 6, 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, 7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 8, 4:00 p.m. HOW MUCH: $10 Cash or Rogue Bucks
State Your Name For The Record With Amelia Ryan
By Amelia Ryan
I’ve always been interested in doing a one-woman show, but the Rogue Festival gave me the impetus to finally do it.
First, a little about me. I have a varied theater background. In my hometown of Washington, DC, I performed at Ford’s Theatre and Arena Stage, sang at the White House, and performed in many other theaters and dinner theaters.
I was always equally drawn to singing and acting, studying at Boston Conservatory (briefly) and Hartt College of Music (not so briefly). I sang with the Connecticut Opera and was a singing waitress on Cape Cod; I performed at Opryland – a music-oriented theme park in Nashville – and in summer theaters up and down the East Coast.
One of my more interesting gigs was as a performer, writer, and director of living history in St. Mary’s, Maryland, recreating 17th-century colonial life. Among my duties was the fashioning of short plays from old trial transcripts. The subjects ranged from small claims to capital offenses. Little did I know how many years would pass before I returned to playwriting – and that I would again turn my attention to the trial format.
After years of plays and musicals, I decided to give opera singing another shot. After a summer in Graz, Austria, at the American Institute of Musical Studies, I moved to Germany, where I would live for the next eleven years. When I married, I gave up opera as a career and, although I continued to perform on the side, devoted myself to my family. I returned to the U.S. with my husband and two children in 1996, and eventually landed in Fresno.
In the years I’ve been in Fresno, I’ve performed with the Fresno Grand Opera, CSUF, Woodward Shakespeare Festival, Stageworks Fresno, and Good Company Players – most recently as Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath.
In addition, for several years I have been an instructor at Sierra Valley College of Court Reporting. (Check us out on Facebook.)
Many of my students have come to see me in plays over the years, and they’ve always had one question: Can we bring our machines? You see, my principal duty as instructor is reading aloud in dictation classes as court-reporting students build up the speed needed to keep up in court – and to pass the rigorous California licensing exam.
I’ve always had to say “no”; students could not bring their machines into the theater, as having a prospective court reporter taking down everything being said as if we were in court would certainly be distracting to patrons and performers alike.
But then I had a thought: Why not write a play in which court-reporting students taking down everything I say would be not only permissible but desirable?
So that’s just what I’ve done. When audiences come to see State Your Name for the Record, they may well be seated next to a future court reporter taking down everything verbatim.
The premise of State Your Name for the Record is that it takes place during an open house at the fictional Mountain View College of Court Reporting. I briefly give an overview of how machine shorthand works and then conduct a class, just as I would in real life. Sort of.
I’m a huge fan of courtroom dramas, from Law and Order to The Good Wife, but my experience in reading hundreds of actual transcripts has colored my view of the law. State Your Name for the Record is still very much a work in progress, but I hope to bring some of the conflict and excitement of the courtroom drama to the one-woman show format.
The character I play, Mrs. Conway, is an exaggerated version of me. She’s highly opinionated and interested in both the craft of court reporting and in the trial system itself. But the central irony of the piece is that of a court reporting instructor who may have lost all faith in the judicial system she’s training students to serve.
Just as I would in real life, I read aloud a trial transcript, playing the roles of prosecuting attorney, witness, judge, and defense attorney. The difference is that the transcript, although it purports to be of a real trial, is fiction. Although Mrs. Conway is passionate about a great many things, this particular trial touches a raw nerve….
Performances will be held at Neighborhood Thrift, 353 E. Olive (near Palm) on Friday, Feb. 28 at 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 2 at 8:00 p.m.; Wednesday, March 5 at 8:00 p.m.; Friday, March 7 at 11:00 p.m.; and Saturday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. $10 in Rogue Bucks.
Hidden Realities of the Contemporary Artist Revealed in Jeremy Julian Greco’s, With Held.
The life of a successful artist appears on the surface to be full of glamorous openings and adoring admirers. But what lurks behind the facade? Marriages gone sour, unsure steps up the ladder, the death of companions, jealous contemporaries and an overabundance of solitary endeavor, separating the artist from the realities of living–all leading to an unsure future.
Playwright and solo performer Jeremy Julian Greco spent over six months interviewing John Held, Jr., a San Francisco artist known for his involvement in Mail Art and shaped it into a one-man performance. Despite a spate of international exhibitions and inclusion in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, Held related the pitfalls of forty plus years toiling in the fields of art. “With Held,” is based upon both an honest conversation between friends and a memoir of hidden memories and unspoken fears.
The play traces the artists’ progress in the art world, while failing in a number of personal relationships. Through death, misunderstandings and misdeeds, women come and go, with artistic practice the only constant in his life. From New York to Texas and San Francisco, the artist is driven onwards on nothing but a suspicion that art has become his only saving grace.
In development over the past four years, Greco has performed segments of With Held, at a variety of venues in the An Francisco Bay Area including The Marsh, CounterPULSE, Salon San Carlos, the Marin Fringe Festival and Ever Gold Gallery. In 2010, Greco’s portrayal of Held won him the Best Actor award at the Marin Fringe Festival. The play was first performed in its entirety at the San Francisco Fringe Festival in September 2013. Greco is the veteran of several other San Francisco Fringe Festival appearances including, The Thrilling Adventures of Elvis in Space (2004) and, The Thrilling Adventures II: Elvis Rex (2006). New York producer John Hamilton continues his backing of Greco performances in this new outing at the Rogue Festival in Fresno.
When: Saturday, 3/1 7:45 p.m.
Sunday, 3/2 5:15 p.m.
Saturday, 3/8 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, 3/8 6:30 p.m.
Where: Spectrum Gallery, 608 E Olive Ave, Fresno, CA (historic Tower district of Fresno)
Other Important Stuff: 45 Minutes / Solo Performance / Parents Advised / No Latecomers Permitted
How much: $5 in Rogue Bucks
Check out all of the Rogue performer preview articles in our Arts & Entertainment section!