My Life in the Theatre
First: how do you like the new website design??! It has taken me weeks to do and I am eager to get your feedback on it. So let me know what you think ok? Anyone out there?!
Now the latest news in the insane work of Eliza Huffman!
Antony and Cleopatra had made it's final and triumphant bow at last! This was truly an epic production that despite the huge challenges of nasty weather, having to take our cleverly designed set by Sarah Lydecker up and down nightly, losing not one but two actors playing Octavians who had to leave town at the exact same time during rehearsals, not to mention dealing with loud parties and bikers in the parks, dogs running onto the stage, lights not working from time to time, so actors are playing in the pitch dark ...all of that meant nothing as the actors totally slammed dunked the show and played to huge crowds by the end of the run! Kate Schroder's stunning costumes were the talk of the town, the live music was beautiful, the excellent acting was acclaimed in reviews and all over Face book, the photos taken by Russell Young not to mention Jack Wells and other candid shots during the show that people posted nearly every day, the radio interview with Dmae Roberts on KBOO all made this a very memorable show for PAE, raising the bar for outdoor Shakespeare in the park....I mean really...for free you could not get a better deal! Check out the reviews and pics and you will see how stunning it was. I was very proud of the show and would love to do it again..inside next time!
Now that the show and all of us have been put to a much needed rest, I am now putting back on my acting hat to appear in the one act Sam Shepherd play: Evanesence or Shakespeare in the Alley for Profile Theatre, which opens in early September. Super excited to be a part of their Festival of One acts and to work with Profile for the first time.
Then I switch hats again immediately after the show closes to production manage the fantastic Luna Nueva Festival for the Milagro Theatre! I am so excited to see all these world class artists that will appear at the Festival this year and if you are reading this and are in Portland DO NOT MISS IT! So many amazing events nightly that you will want to see every one, so check it out at: http://www.milagro.org/
I get to see every one..how cool is that?!
Then two days after the festival closes I am off again to the Fusion Theatre in New Mexico to act in as well as costume a wild new play called Year of the Rooster by a young new playright Eric Dufault. This play about cockfighting and love ( yes you heard me!) recently played at EST in New York and is now making it's regional debut at Fusion.
That fills up the rest of this year and I am so grateful to all of the people who worked on Antony and Cleopatra, and to all those who helped me moved house and costumes, and my dear and supportive friends who continue to stand by me through thick and thin. I am very blessed indeed.
Check back soon, write to me and here is to the next theatrical adventure!
So I am super excited to begin directing Antony and Cleopatra and to invite you all to come and see it. Rehearsals commence on May 12th and we open this huge play on June 19 at Laurelhurst Park in Portland with a truly stellar ensemble. Below is a brief description that lists the cast and crew as well.... and it is free!
Describing the play as a culture clashing, political love story, director Elizabeth Huffman draws on her Arabic roots, her lifelong fascination with Roman history and an avid interest in today’s multicultural landscape to examine Shakespeare’s most complex adult love story.
For this production she weaves together elements of three periods of time: the ancient world of the play, the Shakespearean world that it was written in, and the modern world that we live in now to illuminate the themes and questions embedded in the play: What happens when two powerful rulers from vastly different cultures, ideologies and political agendas dare to fall in love? Is it romantic destiny or political suicide? Have we changed the way we deal with that question today?
Featuring live Arabic and contemporary music, an
outstanding international cast, a mystical Soothsayer, additional text from Kahil
Gibran and John Dryden’s play All for
Love, combined with a stellar design
team and a beautiful evening setting in the park, we are excited to share this
unique production with you.
- Enrique Andrade, Chris Beatty, DC Copeland, Sofia May -Cuxim, Matt DiBiasio, Antony Green, Sam Levi, Kristopher Mahoney-Watson, Tom Mounsey, Sarah Peters, Josh Rice, Josie Seid, Lawrence Siulagi, Andrea White, Anna Xenocrati and Haedar Feres playing the oud.Creative team
- Chris Beatty: Composer
- Sarah Lydecker: Set Design
- Kate Schroeder: Costume Design
- Arabic Consultant: Israa Hasani
- Dramaturg: Alex Diaz-Hui
- Production Manager: Valerie Lenz
So hopefully you can see the video and read the reviews on my home page that Bon Ton Roulet has become a big hit here in Portland! I am blessed to have had the chance to mount my play, to have an extraordinary cast and crew on this show.
We are still developing the play but it is my hope to ready it for festivals worldwide. Toward that end I am working hard! Let me know out there if you are interested in hearing more about it or want the script.
Up next is Antony and Cleopatra that I am directing with another fantastic cast, opening outdoors ( yes, in Oregon...the theatre gods help me...praying for a good summer) in June. In between that I am designing costumes for A Quality of Life at ART and Macbeth for NWCTC. More to come later in the year! Stay well and huzzah Post 5 Theatre for taking the Bon Ton on!
The 2013-2014 season happily has been a very busy one for me so far. I recently returned from playing Cassandra in the first regional production of Christopher Durang's play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the Fusion Theatre in New Mexico which was a total blast We toured the show, playing in four different venues from Albuquerque to Sante Fe to Las Cruses, packing the houses and getting standing ovations for nearly every show!
I just opened Lion In Winter for Northwest Classical Theatre Company, and I have to say this is a production that I am very proud to have worked on. I directed, designed the costumes, set and props and was lucky enough to grab a brilliant cast headed by Portland favorites Victor Mack and Marilyn Stacey as well as my favorite sound designer Sharath Patel and lighting designer Taiga Christie. The show is playing to sold out houses and reaching a whole new audience. I have updated the time period to today with an interracial family in power and the audience response has been just wonderful. Especially gratifying are the young 20- 25 year old audiences who have been so receptive to the production that they have been heard as they leave the theatre quoting their favorite lines verbatim, which means they are listening and enjoying!
I am now in rehearsals for my play Bon Ton Roulet at the Shakespeare Cafe which will open the Fertile Ground Festival on Jan 23rd. I have another stellar cast and this will mark it's premiere full production, having done a workshop production in Germany and Los Angeles, I have added a new character and have a great design team on this show as well.
In March I will design costumes for The Quality of Life for Artists Rep in Portland and in late April I begin directing Antony and Cleopatra for Portland Actors Ensemble, which I am currently casting. That show opens on June 19th in a an outdoor venue which we hope will be Laurelhurst Park.
Later in the year I will act in Profile Theatre's Sam Shepherd's one act festival and hopefully travel to Germany with one of those shows in Oct.
I will round out the season with directing Mary Stuart by Peter Oswald, starring Luisa Sermol as Mary, Queen of Scots and an all star Portland cast opening for NWCTC in Dec! So all in all I am blessed this year with projects to work on and amazing people to work with. Stay tuned..I will try to update more often!
Just a quick update for you! It was a whirlwind month in London, ( saw tons of great theatre and friends) and the performances in Hanau and Eisenach of Absence of Wanting went well. Steven and I are back in the workshop stage again, having learned much of what worked and what still needs work. Many more changes to the script ahead and we hope to premier a very new version sometime next year in Portland.
I am in LA doing my decorating work...I have done makeovers for four clients while here and will be working on a personal makeover in the new year. Due back in Portland to work on a new play The Invisible Hand at ART and who knows what else is coming down the path for 2013! I wish you all a happy, safe and love filled holiday and new year ahead!