“Moliere House of Monkeys”
We all need to laugh, and what better model for discovering our own grace for laughter than a man who relished laughter and comedy in his work above all else?
|Sorry, either Adobe flash is not installed or you do not have it enabled|
The music is coming to the “House of Monkeys”
The post heading is a quote that you may recognize. It is the opening line of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and the music for the opening song of the three monkeys is being composed as you read this.
The life and work of the greatest master of comedy in Western literature is playfully unfolded by the three monkeys who have unwound themselves from the column supporting Moliere’s birthplace as they come alive to sing and twirl you through around the people, through the plays and into the passion of Moliere.
The work of Composer Bill Neil
Bill Neil recently worked with the Tandem Theatre Company in Milwaukee, on production of the play Beast on the Moon, by Richard Kalinoski.
I was delighted to be a part of this production as sound designer. It is one of the most moving plays I have seen and the director, Mary McDonald Kerr, has created an interpretation that goes deep into the emotional story of each of the characters.
The opening words of the new play “House of Monkeys” will soon come alive!
be the food of love
give me excess of it
“House of Monkeys” premiers at the North Crawford Performance Center on Thursday August 1
We Are the Monkey’s Three (Song)
Carved on a pole in Paris, France
HA HA – HO HO – HEE HEE
There we were carved
But Jean Poquelin IV
(The loud cry of a baby is heard)
(The loud cry is heard again)
(The loud sound of a burp is heard)
Oh, the cry in the night
It sent us spinning
It was then we awoke
To take into monkey hand
This Jean Poquelin IV
His father and mother loved him
But little did they know
It was the babies cries
Monkey eyed tricks.
He would never be the same
The mix and simmer is the trick
We stir and steam into the mix
For we are the monkeys
Oh, but quick we’ve brewed a story
But where is the best beginning
We will start…
…in a place that’s best
When does a bird…
…leave the nest?
When do human beings…
The ticking and tocking…
…of one and another?
A place called…
Or a game of…
Where lessons are taught…
…but not in schools
Not below, not sideways, or above…
…but only in a place
…a thing called….
Launching any play is a fragile process. Launching a new play is exponentially fragile. Thanks for packing the box with love and respect!
Art is most often made through the support of one artist to another and from one discipline to another as expressed in the words of Moliere in Act 1, Scene 4 of “House of Monkeys”.
All for one and one for all is what we play
That we may pass through the portal and say
But a few lines, just words, to oft empty chairs.
Why? Why do we act words as prayers
Though they fall on a dark empty space?
Our pockets empty, our status disgrace;
We will not be buried on blessed holy ground
Since, our heaven it seems on earth we have found.
All this is all quite new and glorious to me
In you there is magic, I thought could not be.
The troubling things now happening here
Are but cast in this place and this year,
But have little to do with the full play at hand.
We are not now at the final act of our grand
Performance nor will I take bows for such.
The muse will go forth with it’s fairy touch,
Weaving and winding the love that is us
Into a scene, a play, dance at red dusk;
The promise to sailors to sleep with delight
For tomorrow we sail on soft seas and might
Reach the place on the distant shore
For treasures of love gifts of speeches and more.
Moliere’s first steps into the theatre were met with empty chairs and failure. The original company of “The illustrious Theatre” was formed with his life-long partner, Madeleine, and folded after one year in a mountain of debt. Obviously, they survived as partners, as true lovers, and as the source of laughs and giggles that continue on somewhere in the world as you read these words.
As the three monkeys discover as they search the graveyard to find the body of Moliere.
Looking for a body of all things
Moliere will not be found in a grave
Monkey 1, 2. & 3
Thanks to the Gays Mills Art Collective for joining in a love of Moliere!
Visit the North Crawford Playhouse page and you WILL “Like it”.
Last performance Saturday March 16 – 608-735-4318 to get your tickets.
NCP is located in the Performing Arts Center of North Crawford High School. The playhouse completes two productions per year and involves students in the junior high and the high school (6-12th grade levels). We value involvement and thus anyone who wishes to be part of a production may participate, no one is turned away. Because North Crawford is a small school, many students find they can participate in other extra curricular activities and still stay very involved in the playhouse. The playhouse also produces other works during the school year. In 2008 a travelling roadshow was produced with AODA funds. The play was titled, “Voices From the High School,” by Peter Dee, and was focused on issues that teens often face in their high school careers such as drugs, alcohol, self-image, bullying, suicide, and relationship violence.
NCP operates solely on donations and ticket sales to community members like you. Despite a limited budget, we still expect high quality craftsmanship and development of all our programs. We operate a costume rental business to supplement ticket sales. Unfortunately, due to primary and secondary educational funding cuts, many schools have cut funding for the arts, causing a slow-down in rentals. Though we are self sufficient, it is only through the loving support and helping hand of our communities. Thank you!
A small high school in Southwest Wisconsin has built, what is arguably, one of the most energetic theatre programs in the state.
‘Shakespeare in Hollywood’ captures the heart and soul of local audience
Last performance Saturday March 16 = 608-735-4318 to get your tickets.
POSTED March 13, 2013 9:09 a.m.
Welcome to the time machine! The North Crawford Players will lift and bend your spirit from Elizabethan England in 1590 to Hollywood in 1934 then on to 2003 and the opening of the original play, as you sit in your seat this March weekend of 2013. You are about to be transported through a fast, funny, entertaining production of ‘Shakespeare in Hollywood.’
Walk into the playhouse to find the stage set for magic and adventure. To the left, a sparkling collage of the cameras, posters, and glitz of Hollywood movie making. To the right, a majestic colonnade surrounded by an enchanted forest of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream. Lights, camera, action and the fun begins.
Play begins with video
Director Rob Ghormley introduces the action with a You Tube video trailer from the original 1935 movie directed by Max Reinhardt and the famous actors from the past appear in black and white on the screen: Dick Powell, James Cagney, Joe E. Brown. Moments later, they appear before us with Jared Smith as Powell, Tyler Finnell as Cagney, and Elan Martin (pictured lower right) as the character actor of Joe E. Brown. Before you know it, time has shifted and you are caught up in a delicious mix of time and space that will knock you socks off.
North Crawford Playhouse Director Rob Ghormley is moved aside by his own son Dylan Ghormley as movie director Max Reinhardt and Zoe Peters as his lovely wife Ava Reinhardt. They have come to America from Austria where they tell us in a Austrian dialect that the “Nazis are killink people!”
But movies cost money. A lot of money as Warner producer Jack Warner, played by Tyler Steyer, informs us. “Movies – Money. Money – Movies. They both begin with “M”.
Warner’s voluptuous girlfriend Lydia Lansing, is played by Rowan Williamson, comes forward to describe herself with one short line.
“I am a slut,” Lansing informs us. She goes on to say “People love Shaking Spear.”
Warner and Lydia are fantastic, and even though they have problems producing the movie in the play at hand, they have no problem producing laughter from deep in your gut throughout the evening.
Next, you are enchanted by the appearance of eight sprightly, pretty and downright cute fairies: Jordon Finnell, Sydney Williams, Riley Chellevold, Kylie Heisz, Martha Bransky, Faith Morga, Lily Price and Brennah Ghormley. They magically appear center stage in an ethereal haze. The costumes wave and flutter in the light of innocent faces under the commanding presence of the King of the Fairy World, Oberon, played with all the grace and voice of a master by Jerrid McDaniel.
Oberon falls in love with the pretty presence of Olivia Darnell, played by Sheri Schwert (pictured top right). It is a love that is doomed as you shall witness.
Oh, and then appears and disappears Puck. Dear, zany, mystic, naughty Puck. Yes. Puck will vanish in thin air through a trick of stagecraft. You will never know it, but there are two Pucks placed to accomplish the startling illusion. Amber Weihert and Rosa Thill weave and wind their way through your heart and tickle your fancy.
The haze that gave birth to Oberon and the fairies dissipates to leave us with an entirely different Hays – the three Hays sisters Winona, (Elizabeth Paczok) Wilma (Riley Barlow), and Willa (Jeannie Wollschlager). They appear in their long sleek gowns, seeking to end the production that they believe is indecent and vile.
The stage is set for comedy and conflict, filled with smoke and mirrors, man eating monsters, and a swirl of light and magic that you might expect to discover on a professional stage in Milwaukee or Chicago. The “light dance” at the top of Act 2, is too special to give away, so see it for yourself. You will “trip the lights fantastic” in a professional quality extravaganza performed by Eloise Williamson, Mickaila Perry, Lyrica Marks, Christine Sobek and Lysianne Peacock. A little hint: you will not even see the actors as they transport you to another world.
Another thrilling evening at the North Crawford Playhouse, and walking on the slick sidewalk back to the car, I can only think what a gift the evening has been. The North Crawford Players organization is a wonderful anomaly of magic in the world of theater. If you look at subject categories on the internet; on “Facebook” or “Stumbleupon,” you will not even find a subject-head for “theater.” I am deeply grateful that the last hour-and-a-half of witnessing the production of ‘Shakespeare in Hollywood’ has proven that theater is alive and well in Crawford County…no it is more than alive and well, it is booming. Don’t miss the bang.
T.S. Eliot originally considered titling his poem “The Wasteland” – “He do the Police in Different Voices”. “The Waste Land” is a 434-line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot published in 1922.
“It has been called “one of the most important poems of the 20th century.” Despite the poem’s obscurity —its shifts between satire and prophecy, its abrupt and unannounced changes of speaker, location and time, intimidating summoning up of a vast and dissonant range of cultures and literatures—the poem has become a familiar touchstone of modern literature.” Wik
Among its famous phrases are “April is the cruellest month,” “I will show you fear in a handful of dust,” and the mantra in the Sanskrit language “Shantih shantih shantih.”
Streaming on WDRT Sunday April 10
R’jar Tiam of Timeless Recording and Productions. will present the reading of “The Wasteland” on WDRT listener sponsored radio on Sunday April 10 at 7:00 p.m.. The show is produced by Ed Schultz of the The Driftless Writers Workshop on the Carousel Show. You can listen on the web.
Only in Dreams!
Photographer and Artist Ron Byers has been investigating “art do you call it” or folk art installations throughout Wisconsin and across the country for over a decade. It was just last week that I attended his presentation at the ARK space in Viroqua and – what to my wondering eyes should appear?
It was as though I was caught in a monkey dream. Did this image echo from the depth of monkey vision from 17th Century France? From musings of Moliere? From a mystic monkey montage?
Ron Byers captured the photo near Hollandale, Wisconsin. The high point of the photo appears at the bottom of the tree where the we find the man that forms the foundation gulping in an attitude that so swallows in an attitude of all that is Wisconsin, monkeys, and Moliere!
From the play “House of Monkeys”
Dispell the dreary
Let there be light
So that we might
Shed a bit of it
As beams of wit
Monkey 1, 2, & 3
On this quandary.
Let us leave this foundry
Of fear and fuss,
Making such muss.
Seems here is a poet
Who does not know it
As the answer lies
Before his eyes
Monkey 1, 2, & 3
Mortals often hide
The answer inside
Monkeys often show
What they already know
By making a dream
Of foretelling hints and signs
Hidden between the lines
More monkey musings and Moliere montage at Moliere House of Monkeys page on Face book
He is why we know so much about Moliere’s Company
Charles joined Molière’s company at age 24 in 1659, soon after the actors had returned to Paris from touring the provinces. This was also the time when Moliere was about to sky rocket into fame in Paris as the author of the Precious Young Ladies – Or as the Monkeys proclaim in the play “House of Monkeys”:
The rising words were the script of The Precious Young Ladies a scene of which is featured in The House of Monkeys.
Being young and attractive, La Grange generally played Molière’s lovers in his early years. However, La Grange would remain with Moliere until the end and graduate from playing young lovers to the lead role in one of the playwrights best known plays – Alcaste in The Misanthrope in 1666.
Some years before Moliere’s death in 1673, La Grange replaced Moliere as the Orator, the company member who addressed the audience and introduced the plays.
Why give thanks?
We are thankful today since La Grange also acted as the company’s secretary and historian, creating a register of all plays performed as well as receipts and other commentary on matters affecting the company.
These documents are an important source of information for scholars and actors interested in the period.
‘School for Lies’ played in Chicago in January and was described as a brilliantly dazzling homage to Moliere
“Monsieur Moliere is dead, but he sends his regards.”
To be sure, playwright David Ives sets us straight from the start in his bristlingly clever prologue for “The School for Lies,” now in director Barbara Gaines’ gorgeous-to-look-at, altogether dizzying production at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
The Multiple Lives and Times of The School for Lies
Theater is always about its own present, even as it portrays the past. Audiences hoped to recognize onstage the world in which they lived as fervently 350 years ago as we do today.
It is fitting, then, that it is in the context of Chicago Shakespeare Theater that we encounter David Ives’s 2011 play The School for Lies , which wrests a new and deceptively contemporary work from Molière’s The Misanthrope, first performed in 1666. Rather than a modern-dress staging, Ives has given us a visually recognizable Molière in terms of costume and setting, whose language is rendered in modern-dress, much as Shakespeare told old stories in the vocabulary of his political present.
“House of Monkeys” opens in Gays Mills, Wisconsin on August 1
“House of Monkeys” is a musical romp through the life and work of Moliere told by three monkeys who descend from the column on which they were carved at the moment of the birth of Jean Poquelin IV – Moliere.
There we were carved
Stacked foot to head
Not so far from the birthing bed
Jean Poquelin IV
Oh, the cry in the night
It sent us spinning
It was then we awoke
As a light and lively version of the three witches of Macbeth, they weave and wind us through the evolution of the company of Moliere from beginning to end, and touch merrily on the people, places, and controversy that swirled around the life of the French playwright.
The music is being composed by William Neil. who is currently designing the sound for “Beast on the Moon” opening March 1 at In Tandem Theatre Milwaukee, and returns home to provide the score of “House of Monkeys”.
The production is scheduled to open at the North Crawford Theatre on August 1.
From William Neil composer of the music for “House of Monkeys”
In Tandem Theatre Company in Milwaukee, will produce the play Beast on the Moon, by Richard Kalinoski. I was delighted to be a part of this production as sound designer. It is one of the most moving plays I have seen and the director, Mary McDonald Kerr, has created an interpretation that goes deep into the emotional story of each of the characters.
Tickets: $22-$26. Call (414) 271-1371 or visit In Tandem Theatre web site