Monday, December 24, 2012

The moon...

Sometimes it's a perfect storm of biking, the moon and having my cell phone with me.  This night was so gorgeous - late fall biking beauty by the lake!  This fall has been the best for biking! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

RIP Alex Moulton

My 1975 Raleigh Twenty!

So I'm totally obsessed with old Raleigh bikes.  My father restored a ladies Raleigh Sports for me, which I promptly ruined as a kid.  But nothing quite rides like a Raleigh in my book. 

I had always wanted a Raleigh 20 folder and this nearly all original one came my way.  With a little work at the bike shop, it's up and running!  It's definitely my Sunday go to bike :)

It's a hoot to ride.  A little heavy, but I kind of like that.

The bell has seized, something new to hunt for! Maybe some mini panniers are needed too! 

How to be equal parts clown, ghoul, shadow, midwife, and devoted friend - Company Member Sean Ewert talks about being in DON'T GIVE THAT BEAST A NAME!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How to be equal parts clown, ghoul, shadow, midwife, and devoted friend - Company Member Sean Ewert talks about being in DON'T GIVE THAT BEAST A NAME!

When I found out that we were doing a show based on Woyzeck I was incredibly excited. When I found out that I would have a hand in creating our version of "Andres" (his best friend) I became even more excited. When I found out he was to be mute and possibly gay - well, I certainly felt I had some history to bring to the role.

(click on image to enlarge)
The workshop preceding the actual production was one the most rewarding workshops I've been a part of. Long discussions about how to make the people in our play real and not a parody. Discussion about religion in the south. Discussions of religion in general. I found myself thinking about religious moments I'd long forgotten. My own family has a fractured religious history - Jewish, Catholic, Agnostic; I came to believe that Tinkerbelle (as Andres was now known in our show) had been wounded by religion - physically in some way, it literally had bit him and left a mark. Starting from here gave me the freedom to begin to think about movement, heart and humor.

I also began to think about the closets we keep. Sexual, religious, fetish, nerdy stuff, pet peeves, strange passions... Having grown up in a conservative high school environment in the 1980s I know what it's like to have a secret to keep. I was once told I was going to hell. I was terrified. I thought to my 15 year old self "oh no, they all know I'm gay!" (which they probably already did anyway, in hindsight) What was really going on, my friends were upset than I didn't worship as they did, in their church. Phew, it was only that. Something I had totally blocked out, until working on this play and Tinkerbelle.

outside the Snake handling chruch
(click on image to enlarge)
Tinkerbelle, as I discovered through rehearsal has moved into the basic elements of survival. Having the chance in the workshop to move through so much of his past - I was delighted when I saw the script and realized that DON'T GIVE THAT BEAST A NAME occurs during a time of intense change for him. His present time in the play has him beyond so many of the "closets" in his life I had been examining - but still terribly misunderstood by so many in the world he lives in. Something I think we can all relate to.

There is a lot of myself in Tinkerbelle; and yet he really does feel like another creature altogether. Equal parts clown, ghoul, shadow, midwife, and devoted friend. Like all characters I've either seen or played myself at The Mammals, Tinkerbelle is epic sized - even if he doesn't look like it. He's really brave. It's been a good lesson in finding all the things you love about the character you are playing, even if you are playing the biggest villain or loser in the world. I'm finding as each week goes by in our run, he really has found his own language and is using all of it to make his point. Even if no one is listening or can understand. It's been one of the most personal roles I've ever had. Tinkerbelle is a pleasure to inhabit each week. I love his story. And as I said before, I can certainly relate to a lot of it. I hope I bring the right mix of humanity and empathy to Tinkerbelle - so that audiences will take a bit of his playful soul with them when they leave The Zoo (our theater). I believe his experience in the play makes one rethink what it takes (and means) to be truly charitable and kind.      -Sean Ewert

The Chicago Mammals are proud to present


written by Randall Colburn and Bob Fisher

and AWG!

DON'T GIVE THAT BEAST A NAME is the story of newlyweds FRANK and MARIE, a couple of country western one hit wonders whose fortunes take a dark turn when they get involved in a snake handling church. A southern gothic tale inspired by George Buchner's Woyzeck, Shaped Note Hymnals, Classic Country and Murder Ballads.
Starring Gabe Garza* as FRANK and Erin Orr* as MARIE

Also Starring Jamie Bragg, Liz Chase*, Sean Ewert*, David Fehr, Sarah Koerner*, Elise Mayfield, AJ Miller, Erin Myers, Anthony Stamilio, Gene Van Dyke, Nicolle Van Dyke

* Denotes Chicago Mammals Company Member

Remaining Performance Nights -

Friday and Saturday 10/19 & 10/20
Friday and Saturday 10/26 & 10/27
Friday and Saturday 11/2 & 11/3

All shows start at 8pm

$20.00 goto

Where -
Zoo Studios
4001 N. Ravenswood Ave Suite 205
Chicago, IL 60613

The Chicago Mammals explore performance works embracing themes of history, mythology, and destiny using the genres of science fiction, horror, and phantasmagoria

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reading David Byrne's "Bicycle Diaries"

This book is so much fun. Part bike ride around the world. Part music history. Part geography lesson... All told with so much love for the bicycle - great book! Even better, obviously if you are a Talking Heads/David Byrne/Brian Eno fan :) It combines so much I dig! Recommended!

My original show for 2009 - Dramatic Twerp

After seeing Tim Miller and Holly Hughes this past weekend at Victory Gardens...I continue to be so inspired by the solo performance model - When I turned 40 last year, I vowed to give myself a show to perform as a reward :) With the help of Stephen Murray (director) and Joe Feliciano (actor) I met my goal of a creating a new piece before the year ended... One run at Links Hall in October and another run at Oracle Productions in December. I'm looking forward to one more remount with changes and revisions...completely as a solo piece. Here's what it's about so far:

Dramatic Twerp is like putting David Sedaris, David Cale; Samuel Beckett; your high school acting teacher and a bag of rubber noses in a blender, on purée. In Dramatic Twerp Sean finds himself locked in an absurd high school speech competition as an adult. Set as a solo monologue Dramatic Twerp explores growing up in the 1980s without the internet, cell phones or a gay social club on campus. Sean borrows from the forensic dramatic interpretation model, found text and his own history to create a queer memory journey. The experience of the show is intended to mirror the uncomfortable feeling/dread/duty of a “coming out” conversation. However, it is this never ending cycle, this question of “does the act of coming out ever end?” that drives Sean to find yet another audience of strangers, to experience his loud gay tale.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day after Thanksgiving...32 degrees - 30 miles on the bike!

So there wasn't anyone on the road today; I think I was the only crazy one out this a.m.! The cables on my bike keep making very strange noises, creaking snapping sound...I just had it serviced...maybe it's Old Man Winter doing a number on them...or perhaps my bike has acquired a language, finally...

Ok, I went to lock my bike to parking meter in Lakeview...and half of them are gone...I was like, wha...?

Ah yes, and I was yelled at by an angry driver - for apparently just being on a bike, in the bike lane...I kept looking around...I'm all, who is he yelling at? I looked at him, who are you yelling at? And it was ME! Hilarious. I wished him Happy Thanksgiving - hope he's nicer to his family/friends/the cooked turkey - than he was to me...and my bike!

Listening to: Sufjan Stevens Xmas Cd, Bjork Homogenic, Jeremy Messersmith Silver City, Iron & Wine The Shepherd's Dog

Went to the Las Manos Gallery in Andersonville to see my friend Doug Stapleton's show (it's in the back - you'll miss it if you don't venture through the gallery) - amazing work...!

Reading, Thinking Shakespeare by Barry Edelstein, what a book :) I feel...smarter ;)

And the best part, Thanksgiving with good friends!