The extremely auspicious date of August 15th was one where we celebrated the two year anniversary of saying goodbye to my friend Joe. It also happened to be, unplanned, the date we read the latest rewrite of INDIAN JOE with our show's new captain, the legendary Don Scardino.
Picture above is Rachel Brosnahan, Rachel Sussman, myself & Robb Nanus. We made up TEAM COVLOVE and have been rocking the sidewalk in support of homeless teens for four years.
An auspicious SARDI's photo of Whoopi looks on as I'm prepping for a read of an amazing, extremely important film. Stay tuned... Photo by Angelica Zollo
Thank you, NYMF, and Dust Can't Kill Me! It's always nice to be recognized for your work.
Look at these winners! Proud to be onstage with this crew at The June Havoc.
I was thrilled to join Bill Pullman and his extremely talented family at Powerhouse Theatre at Vassar / New York Stage and Film to explore Bill's work in progress, THE WILD HUNT. It was an absolute joy!
This is an exploration of Tennessee William's character BLANCHE from A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. Cause I have long loved her...
I did something today that was organic, peaceful and morbid. This was my response.
THE MARBLE URN & ANTON CHEKHOV
a story about me & an organic, morbid hour of life
I bought an urn this week.
I’ve procrastinated on buying it because i didn’t like the feeling of more change.
But I bought it and today is the day.
I am listening to two audio stories to accompany the task. The first is Anton Chekhov's THE BEAUTIES, read by Philip Pullman, and the second is Hans Christian Andersen's THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES.
I begin cutting open the urn box paraphernalia, superfluous but appreciated. The white marble container needs protection and honor. As I cut into the cardboard, treated to look like wood, and wire metal binding, I carefully examine each piece as if it is a Vermeer original. I touch the smooth marble and notice the inside has a rough, sanded look. Simultaneously Pullman’s lulling British accent retells the Chekhovian story which he describes as “a story about nothing and another story about nothing.” But the detail is so vivid and picturesque, the twisting corners of description are so complex and satisfying that you don’t care. You receive it as a moment of life captured, as if you are inside a still life painting. I’m thankful someone took the time to tell me about the emotions accompanying pedestrian nothingness.
A feeling of melancholy grips me. But then it morphs into a release, a resigning to peace above situational turmoil. I smile.
I change my Audible track and THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES begins.
I start to transition the ashes of my friend whom has been in a hard, black plastic case inside a hefty plastic bag I received from the crematory. He’s been in our bedroom for almost two years. I lift the plastic bag with his remains over the mouth of the marble. I carefully inch the remains down the inside of bag until I know it will pour without fear of the remains spilling. As I pour my friend into the marble, there is a cloud of dust that billows up into my face. It smells metallic and earthy. He is dust to dust and ashes to ashes in my kitchen. It feels commonplace and monumental. I wonder what will happen to my body when I die. Who will care and where will I be? I miss him so much.
I’m not fearful as I think these things. I feel peace and an urgency that is mixed with excitement.
I finish pouring him into the marble and stare at it. Then, in the hard, black plastic case he was in previously, I see a metal tag with his Crematory number: 4802. I place that on top of the ashes and place the marble lid atop. I notice I have his ashes on the top of my right hand. I take my hand and brush it over my left forearm. This feels morbid and organic.
I smile again and know he would be happy to be in such a regal container.
All the while, the story of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale is tumbling into my ears and I can’t believe how apropos it feels. The story is about a man and his so-called friends who are tricked over and over and over again into believing that something is beautiful, wonderful and stylish when it doesn’t even exist. Because of the fear of being culturally irrelevant, a man walks into public naked because he would rather be popular than truthful. It’s not until a child in the audience whispers “But he hasn’t got anything on” that everyone realizes they have traded common sense for the fleeting fashionable opinion.
I carry the urn into our bedroom and place it facing the window. I make a conscious note that he is not in the urn. He is a healthy and joyous soul beyond this place. But I still draw comfort from his dust.
My friend was a man with very little means and often lived on the streets. But he was like the child in the audience whispering, and sometimes yelling, common sense when everyone else was caught up in a rat race. He was unafraid to say the hard things to me and to everyone around him. He had nothing to lose by telling the truth.
This scares and inspires me. So I make an Evernote list of all the countries I’ve visited and the ones I still want to visit. I include states I’ve never visited. I write the areas in which I’m potentially telling lies because I’m afraid. I write that I have been stunted a bit. Part of me seemed to die with my friend, but today he is whispering again like that brave child. He says, “Don’t take no wooden nickels” and he says “Life isn’t about you.” Lastly he says, “Don’t lie, girl.”
Yesterday, after DUST CANT KILL ME rehearsals, my hot hubby, our summer intern, Katie, and I went to Coney Island! My husband is doing a 35 day challenge where he doing 35 things he's never done every day for 35 days, leading up to his birthday. Yesterday was ride the Wonder Wheel! We snuck in a Nathan's hot dog, too. Then, I finished the night with a late night performance of the gorgeous song ADELINE with the cast of DUST CAN'T KILL ME at Broadway Sessions. Get out of your normal routine. It will inspire you.
Truly happy to be joining a new piece that focuses on the struggle of the Dust Bowl that will premiere at NYMF in August. This is a period in history that affected both sides of my family & I'm thankful to be re-exploring their struggle via this piece. All the info and more story points can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/officialelizabethadavis/ or http://www.nymf.org/festival/2016-events/dustcantkillme/
Below are my father and grandfathers, Frank Davis, Keith Davis and Oscar Brown.
We had less than 24 hours and we wrote 10 minute plays / musicals based on fairy tales! This was done with volunteers and the wonderful, talented kids of Covenant House. We wrote, we performed, we conquered. PS - If anyone is looking for a play about Beauty and the Beast set in NYC, we've got you covered!!
Photo Credit: Katie Allison
These wonderful people helped me read my first pass at a new project I'm working on thanks to the CFW Artist in Residence.
My collaborator and MD Extraordinaire, Jason Michael Webb, directed the Lang Lang Jazz at Lincoln Center event, featuring incredible artists like Regina Spektor, Kurt Elling and Rufus Wainwright. It was a fantastic evening.
just cause... #hiwater
Last year I was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for the CSC production of ALLEGRO, directed by John Doyle. But I only got my certificate recently! So I got to have a second round of celebration. Thank you, DRAMA DESKS.
I have been awarded a writing commission that I'm loving. I have created a piece inspired by Pulitzer Prize winner, Marilynne Robinson, and her book THE GIVENNESS OF THINGS. The piece I am creating looks at NYC, a woman, a man and a dog in three different states of being: Eden, Destruction and Reality, or as I'm calling it, Sanctification. Stay tuned for a presentation of the piece soon...
I have been a member of the fantastic League of Professional Theatre Women previously. But I'm recently reinstated & happy about it! Check out www.TheatreWomen.org for more info
The Public Theatre Gala was a glorious time. It was perfectly curated and amazingly performed. Thank you to Michael John LaChiusa for his work! And Betsy Morgan looks beautiful as always.
Here is a test of the latest REVEAL look... See more looks and info below on the Photo Essay Series, or click on the REVEAL link on my page!