Nut cases and shell casings

Caught Marat/Sade at Balagan Friday night.  Great use of the space and staging; combination of the small, intimate cement box of a theatre and a chainlink fence barrier created just the right balance of in-your-face insanity and audience safety… I think without having the fence, the actors would probably have held back a bit more.  Also reinforced the importance of sound in violence- the whippings and such were not even trying to look like they were actually striking flesh, they just slapped the ground next to the person in a violent and threatening manner, creating a great sound.  Chaos seems to be something Balagan does well, between this and Big Love.  The play, and the words to some of the songs, are both a bit hard to parse at times, but given that it’s a play-within-a-play performed by mental asylum patients under the direction of the Marquis de Sade, it would feel a bit odd if it weren’t.

In props news, it looks like Marushin is bringing back the concept of shell-ejecting gas blowbacks- this is exciting for us props geeks, as most of the shell-ejecting models now are discontinued antiques, and it can be hard to keep them running.  Plus the new one’s a Glock, which would be great to have for digital video and film use:

Not cheap, but maybe some day…

In other news, I’m resuming talks with Balagan about offering stage combat classes and/or workshops, and have started talks with another place (with a much nicer space- martial arts studio in West Seattle) about doing workshops as well- probably more film-oriented stuff, like stunt fighting for martial artists, etc.  Anybody who’s interested, drop me a line, as I’m still trying to figure out where the interest/demand is and how many people I’m likely to get.

Lots happening on Facebook from the Paddy Crean workshop folks, as that’s been their communication venue of choice.  Lots of pictures and greetings flying around there, plus some pictures from one of the photographers up at his site.  He was doing more video than stills, but apparently some of both.  His video will be edited into little podcasts, to be released as build-up to the next Paddy Crean workshop- probably in two years.

T-shirts are being done on CafePress this year instead of being sold at the workshop, so anyone who wants one (or a cap, or a thong, or a mug…) can order them at the IOSP Cafe Press store.

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