The Against the Odds Rockstar of the Day - Jason Ries
Yikes on a bike, Jason Ries has been a whirlwind of creativity and activity recently. Somehow he manages to whip back and forth between projects without toppling the metaphorical tower of hats perched on his head. I adore the way that he draws artists together and how he manages to engage so many people in his projects.
For example, did you hear about the rousing Spork he led last Friday night after the first production of Against the Odds: Stories of Adaptation, Translation, and Survival? Even after an afternoon lugging in lighting equipment, followed by teching a full show in just about an hour, and running lights and sound for said performance, he managed to coax everyone into staying and sharing their thoughts. We discussed everything from "pants that piss you off so much that it improves your performance" to being "the Grandmother of mentors of this room." As people offered up questions or observations, the orange walls of the Medium studio echoed with laughter, which Julia noted is one of Monkeyhouse's favorite survival tools. Having sat through many post show discussions, I realize what a huge challenge it is to get people comfortable enough to talk but Jason made it seem effortless.
You would have never guessed that he had opened another show, Actors' Shakespeare Project's Living in Exile, the night before. According to Terry Byrne at the Boston Globe, Jason's "spare, but enormously effective lighting" suggests "wind and storms and turns shadows into extra characters that loom over the action and then disappear." The Boston Events Insider gushed "lighting designer Jason Ries's choices are shrewd and compelling. Simple changes from cool to warm light help transport us from tranquil beaches and pools to raging fires and battlefields."
So as you start hatching plans for this weekend, remember that you have two options for seeing Jason's brilliance: Against the Odds and Living in Exile (Closes on March 27! So hurry.)