Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Your City!

Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street in NYC

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 15, 2011, is International Action Day to stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street in New York!

Join millions and billions around the planet who are standing up tomorrow to support the 99% of the global population protesting against the greed of the rich 1%.

Log onto www.facebook.com or www.twitter.com and go to my page or follow me and find how you can join us in Los Angeles or search to find the nearest International Action Day near you!


Monday, October 3, 2011

News Flash Galore:

There comes a time...

UPDATES:

East West Players Asian American Theatre (EWP)
  • Classes at EWP are underway: 
    • The Fundamentals of Acting Series has begun.  Join the series and become eligible to be cast in our annual EWP Studio Lab Project.  Apply your skills to the rehearsal and public performance process at the end of the series. 
    • We have grown to have a two-tiered Voice and Speech course.  There is a beginning Fitzmaurice Voicework course and I teach the Intermediate/Advanced course for those with experience in voice and speech work and/or who are working professionals.  This work will jump start your acting and/or creative careers!  Plan to join us!
    • www.eastwestplayers.org  click on education and conservatory
  •  I am slated to direct the next EWP School Tour Show.  The tour usually rehearses late January, early February.  I am very excited!  The play is currently in development.  Stay tuned for updates!
Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF)
  • It is official that I'll be heading to OSF in April to fulfill an assistant directing position under director, Christopher Liam Moore.  The show is "The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa."  The adaptation is by Alison Carey and the show will perform on the Elizabethean outdoor stage.  I am so excited I'll be working with top-notch artists to gain experience and expertise as a director!  http://www.osfashland.org/index.aspx
Fitzmaurice Voicework 
  • Fitzmaurice Voicework goes to Vancouver BC for it's second annual International Freedom and Focus Conference.
  • I am co-director of the conference with Noah Drew.  Both native Northwesterners, we are eager to show-off our beautiful environment and pristine air.  What better place to free up the breath and the voice?
  • Look for more details soon and plan to join us in late July or early August!http://freedomandfocusconference.org/Freedom_and_Focus/Welcome.html
Theatre Communications Group (TCG)
  • A core group of artists of color continue to meet to strategize and plan for the next TCG Conference next summer.  
  • Strategies for increased visibility and diversity throughout the theatre industry are currently underway.
  • October 21st is the launch date for an industry-wide survey to garner information for further advocacy and strategizing.  Leave a comment and way to reach you if you are a POC in the theatre industry and would like to receive a survey to support POC development and visibility.
  • Exciting new plans for are forming.  Check back for updates! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Madrid to LA to New York to LA to Texas

In Spain on right, friends, Martin, Anna, and Noah--their best sides.
Arriving from Barcelona, summer breezes, Sangria flowing, the Prado, Flamenco, Tapas and Johnny Rockets in Madrid with my friend and colleague, Paula Ramirez, was the way to leave Spain if you're going to have to tear yourself away from this country of full bodied richness--

I made my way back to LA just long enough to do laundry, check in on our household and then fly away, thank god, to New York and the lush, Hudson Valley.  I took in one of the last showings of the Broadway show, "Jerusalem" and can't wait to pour over this incredibly well expressed language of those living on the fringe in the UK.  I highly recommend a good read of this theatre piece if you missed the stage play.  And even if you didn't.

"War Horse" was a must-see!  I won't spoil it as it will be touring to your area in the next year, I'm sure!  The stage craft and ensemble work is some of the best I've seen and I am so thrilled that our young audiences of LA will get to see this show of such magic and compassion.

Wesley Mann as Detective Fix and Ryan Quin as Passportu.
"Around The World In 80 Days" was a real highlight as I saw my husband, Wesley Mann, tear up the lawn at the tent of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison, NY.  I tell you, he is at his best when he can ride an elephant, chase after suspects, search for clues and climb scaffolding above the audiences!!  Wes and the show was so engaging!

I had great meetings with friends, mentors and colleagues in "the Cit-ay" where we caught up, talked shop, made plans and ate the best available as only one can do in the Big Apple.

Home again, home again, jiggetty jig--only to start teaching, assist in Fitzmaurice workshops, set up guest teaching, and find my way to Texas to help out family, take in great jazz and meet and make more plans with colleagues in Dallas at SMU! 

Nephew, George in the Martin High School Marching Band.
It's a full life here deep in the heart of Texas where I took in marching band (a religion) competitions.  Oh the vibrations of the drumline, the depth of the Tuba sections, the impact of the brass sections and the virtuosity of the woodwinds draw me back to my days on the field.  There's nothing like it.  I witness my nephew on the field in competition first in the early morning preliminaries, then that evening, once again, under the Texas night sky, grass beneath his feet, marching to create sequences and patterns on the field that are a visual manifestion and analysis of the music itself.  
Martin High School Marching Band getting ready for finals.
A chill moves up my spine when the drum major blows the whistle, the drum taps count off and the band executes the miriad/thousands of manuvers that create this show; the culmination of this summer's and fall's practices in the Texas heat waves, the thunder showers, the morning, night, weekend, after school rehearsals and football halftimes.  They made the finals!  Their first time in four years and eighth place out of thirty-some bands throughout Texas.  Thrilling!

My gifted anime' lovin' nephew shows me his drawings and it is also a wonderful highlight.  His non-conformist, vulnerably deep and pure artistically expressive drawings are a revelation to me.  I feel as if I know him, really see him and his work is gorgeous.  The details; hair, folds in clothing, eyes that are mirrors to the character's soul, shading, color, or not, every line that reveals the inner soul of his artistry.  The study and practice, the vision and vulnerability, the desires and dreams of an artist all shone thoughout his portfolio. 
Author, Heather Brewer and my nephew, Will.
We attend a book signing of Heather Brewer's "The Slayer Chronicals" and Heather is a true inspiration to those who have ever felt lower than low and more of an outcast than the ones cast farthest out.  She writes of revenge but in her live action life, doesn't lash back at those who hurt her back in the day.  Instead she tells her "Minions" that actions ripple out and you can choose to make good ripples or bad ripples.  She says, "Make good ripples."  Several fans yell out, "Will you marry me?!"  And she answers, "I told two other Minions I'd marry them at the last signing, but yes, I'll marry you if they don't mind." 

Heather signs my nephew's book and he offers her a pencil drawing of one of her main characters from her first book series and she looks him straight in the eye and says, "You're an artist.  Oh, wow.  Have you considered Art School?  You are so talented.  You need to seriously consider Art School!  Thank you so much--I will hang this gift in my office..."  All at once my nephew seems to be thrilled to be standing here with his shero and vulnerable from being truly seen as an artist.  I was so grateful we experienced Heather and her encouragement to all of her fans/Minions. 

She shares a story of  how she returned to her old junior high for a book signing and could have been mean to a daughter of a classmate who was cruel to her back in the day at this school.  Instead she treats this daughter and the siuation with kindness and a little amnesia.  She reminded us we can grow beyond our humilations, our shame, our pain of experiencing cruelty from others during school.  She is a wonderful model of not passing on her pain and hurt.  Clearly, she found a way to transmute her experiences into writing these wonderful books.  Now, she and the Minions no longer feel alone in the world.  Young adults all over the world are inspired by her book series.  I love Heather now too!  Thank you, Heather for the powerful transmission you offered my nephew!  www.heatherbrewer.com

Echo...Echo...Echoooooh...
My niece and I laugh and laugh as we feed and care for their high maintanence parrot, named Echo.  The kids are a fun, fun breeze to care for but the parrot...!@#?!  Highlights from Min's sleep over and running club at her elementary are delights and great reminders that nuturing carefree time in one's life is a profoundly rich and important endeavor. 

Min's excellent bow hold.


With Violin lessons at UT, Arlington and orchestra every day at school, my niece's teacher says she is a natural with an awesome bow hold!  I saw it with my own eyes! 

Check this out!  Here is a link to Min's favorite Anime virtual pop star, Hatsune Miku:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTXO7KGHtjI


We marvel at how their tiny, tiny dog can steel and eat four pieces of bacon!  A bacon thief in our midst!!

Chibi, the dreaded bacon thief



Looking forward to what this next week brings with school, lessons, band practices, homework, meal time conversations, youtube show and tells, baking gluten-free brownies, zoo keeping, and trips to Dallas to visit with colleagues again at SMU!
Echo and Chibi stand off.



It's a full life--a great one that I love living!!

Everything I do, I love!  I wish this for all of you!

Deep In The Heart Of Texas with Dave Matthew's Best, Jeff Collins--Saxophone Extraordinaire!

The skies at night are big and bright at the Levitt Pavilion where Leslie recorded and more than listened--she experienced the experimental, rippin', sometimes 2 saxed, fun-k-ee stylin's of Jeff Coffin, guest artist and grammy award-winning saxophonist of the Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and a Dave Matthews Band.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gIlLOowyP0

Jeff Coffin on Tenor Saxophone, Tim Ishii conducting the UT, Arlington Jazz Orchestra.
Under the direction of Tim Ishii, Jeff's North Texas State University classmate and UT, Arlington's Jazz Studies Director, the UTA Jazz Orchestra played to a burnin' hot finish at this packed outdoor venue!

Tim solo'ed on the spot at Jeff's request and the two burned the floor!  Audiences were yelling, "We love you!"

That night, everything was bigger and better in Texas!! 

Check out Jeff Coffin & the MU'TET Live!  (A special edition 2 cd set.); www.jeffcoffin.com
Check out UT Arlington, Jazz Faculty Group album; Produced by Tim Ishii; www.uta.edu/musicjazz

Friday, July 1, 2011

From Iowa to Barcelona

Leslie's "Watashi Niwa Jishinga Aru: I Have A Spine" traveled to Iowa City and was performed at the Working Group Theatre in their Under Construction New Works Festival!

This infant of a new work found it's first steps with wonderful and diverse audiences. It was paired during it's theatrical run with Sean Christopher Lewis' humorous and touching solo work, "Just Kids." A big thank you and shout out to the Iowa community angels, Working Group Theatre and crew, Sean Christopher Lewis, Jennifer Fawcett, and Martin Andrews and his family.

Lovely Iowa in the Spring was where May Day baskets were mysteriously left at doorsteps, daffodils and tulips were in full bloom, and new works were also blossoming.

Then, spring gave way to summer and Leslie is continuing the development of "Watashi!" She is officially invited to perform the next incarnation of this solo work at The Freedom and Focus Fitzmaurice Voicework Conference in Barcelona, Spain!

Leslie is a co-organizer of this conference and is a presenter as well. The workshop she will present is "Finding Your Voice; Finding Your Story." In this workshop she shares her method of creating devised work born out of the Fitzmaurice Voicework approach.

Stay tuned for more because with Leslie, there is always more!!

"Doing what I love and loving what I do!"

She's Everywhere At Once!

Busy is inadequate to describe Leslie's life--
Fully engaged at full tilt is more like it!

Leslie has been seen in Douglas, Alaska, hiking and teaching at Perseverance Theatre's artist training intensive, ASTI (Alaska State Training Institute). Many thanks to all at Perseverance Theatre, Art Roch, Shona Strausser, Leon Ingulsrud, and Dan LeFranc. (What happens in Douglas stays in Douglas.:)))

In the lower 48 she was also seen at the 50th birthday/conference celebration of Theatre Communication Group (TCG)! Yes, they are the organization that publishes "American Theatre Magazine." TCG break out sessions, plenaries, meals, taking in Radar LA Theatre festival, and East West Players Asian American Theatre's awesome "KRUNK FU BATTLE BATTLE" with theatre colleagues from Alaska and all over the world was a practice in being everywhere at once.

Directly following the TCG 50th Conference, the National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival, hosted by East West Players Asian American Theatre, topped off the month of June and energized and built a new direction for the Asian American theatre movement! Talented AsAm artists from all over the world performed and worked tirelessly to make this conference the best one yet!

Proud to be AsAm!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rave Reviews for "Crimes Of The Heart!"

"Three solid sisterly performances...Fresh and vibrant as ever." LA Downtown News
"The cast makes Henley's script shine." Rafu Shimpo
"An absolutely splendid staging." StageSceneLA.com
"Crimes Of The Heart" is a smash-hit...Leslie Ishii's direction is spot-on!"
StageSceneLA.com
Where: East West Players Asian American Theatre
120 Judge John Aiso Street
Los Angeles, 90012
When: Now through December 5th
Wednesday - Saturdays, 8pm
Sunday Matinees, 2pm
Or Call: 213-625-7000
Enter the code: CRIMES45 on the website or call and mention it and get a discount!