June 1, 2012
EyeSight—Slamming in June

…Starting the month with a “puppet slam,” meaning a bunch of very diverse sketches by unpredictable people involving every sort of manipulable object imaginable. The Slammed Puppet Night is the second in a series of Bay Area puppet slams put together by an unorganized but dedicated bunch of people, and we hope it carries forth. June 2nd we’ll present two of our sketches as part of the mix, I’ll be assisting with tech rehearsal and Elizabeth on box office.

Puppet slams are an outgrowth of poetry slams, though without the cut-throat competition that’s at the heart of some of those. They’re sprouting all over the country, and the Bay Area is coming late into the mix—Arcata, CA, actually beat us to the punch. They’re a great way to see a huge range of styles in this art form, to try out new material, to go somewhat out of the bounds of the norm, and to party with interesting people. Onward!



Another upcoming spate of readings of our memoir Co-Creation in the Bay Area and at the end of the month in Boulder, CO. Certain that we’ll have one that’s a flop, but thus far the response has been unrelievedly enthusiastic.

And at last we’re set on plans for an Eastern tour starting in mid-September, hitting spots north and south from the Midatlantic, as well as points en route. Thus far we have a number of host offers, and we’ll be sending out a broader blast—but if you’re in that direction and would like a great evening free for you & your friends, email us.

For some people, it’s about a life in the theatre; for others, about collaboration or strange twists of fate or spiritual journeys or riding the radical changes that are part of long-term relationships, or just a close glimpse at two people who are normal enough that their peculiarities stand out more vividly.

Europe & Russians…

In May, we spent 2-1/2 weeks in Europe, visiting our daughter in Tuscany, then splitting—Elizabeth to visit theatre friends in Zurich and the standing stones in Brittany, me to look at art and walk and write in Barcelona & Madrid. Finished a short science fiction story that I think is pretty funny, which means that others will probably find it grim beyond words, and well into the 2nd draft of Galahad’s Fool.

Immediately upon return, we joined two other North Bay theatres in playing host to five young Russian & Bulgarian directors and our long-time friend Philip Arnoult, as part of a study tour designed to give them exposure to the work of US theatre outside the “major centers.” They visited Baltimore, Austin, and San Francisco, with a day up here, and on to New Orleans. Here, they saw Fool for Love, co-produced (beautifully) by The Imaginists and Main Stage West, and Elizabeth cooked & coordinated a fabulous dinner whose guest list gradually expanded to 18.

Our baggage came thru fine, but our jet lag was routed to Atlanta and hasn’t caught up with us yet.

Peace & joy—

Conrad Bishop

Quote of the month…

Elizabeth from Co-Creation

Transformation. Rebirth. Hope. As of last year, we have done three Shakespeare plays—Macbeth, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest—and I created a score for each. In the first, I opened to my own abyss, the rage that becomes despair. Painful but deeply satisfying, like biting down hard on a sore tooth. In the second, the music used a lusher harmonic fabric to ride with Leontes’ fall into madness and his redemption. And in the third, I was underpinning the greatest role that Conrad has ever played, Prospero, the wounded mage who renounces revenge and chooses redemption. I can hear it in my music, those essential words: Stay. Hang in there. Live.