Author Archive

‘A Lesson From Aloes’: South Africa’s Divisions Made Painfully Real

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A review of Thalia’s Umbrella’s production of an intensely personal, political play by South African writer Athol Fugard

By Misha Berson, Seattle Times Theater Critic

Playwright Athol Fugard calls the aloe plant “one of South Africa’s most powerful, beautiful and celebratory symbols. It survives out there in the wild when everything else is dried. At the end of one of our terrible recurrent droughts, the aloe is still there.”

In “A Lesson From Aloes,” the title symbolism feels obvious at first as ...

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ALOES Interview #1: William Hall, Jr.

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Bill, this is your third time with A LESSON FROM ALOES, though the first time in Seattle. Why does this play continue to attract you?

It’s so well-written! And it can touch everyone. You think it’s only about a racially-charged situation, but no, it’s about all humanity coming to grips with itself. We’re all kind of like aloes, really, living in the desert of our reality. We take turns as the gardener, and the plant… I think Athol Fugard, the playwright, ...

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Our Recent Production Meeting

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Pictured are Rik Deskin, our sleepy stage manager; Daniel Wilson, our director; Megan Tuschhoff, properties designer; Jason Phillips, set designer; and, on the laptop, Lucy, a hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional being—or attending by Skype, I forget which.

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The Linguistic Perils of Travel

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Just back from a lovely family vacation in Scotland, hiking the northern islands of Orkney and Shetland. Met some wonderful people, ate some great food (really!), saw some remarkable neolithic sites, standing stones, dramatic cliffs . . .

It was a really, really bad idea.

You see, all that time I was also trying to bang (cajole, insinuate, bludgeon, etc) some of my Aloes lines into my head. I’m also, therefore, working on my rolling Africaans accent. I was beginning to get ...

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We Have a Play! We Have a Venue!

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It has been a taxing experience (hmmm . . . ), but we have vanquished the IRS, Samuel French, and several other really, really big institutions, and we can finally say:

We will be producing Athol Fugard’s A Lesson from Aloes, October 9-October 26, at the Isaac Studio, Taproot Theater’s new black box theater.

The cast is Terry Edward Moore, William Hall, Jr, and Pamela Nolte. Daniel Wilson directs.

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Oh! What a Lovely Cast and Crew!

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Sheila – Leslie Law

Brian – Terry Edward Moore

Grace – Susan Corzatte

Freddy – Brandon Whitehead

Pam – Carol Roscoe

Jo – Aidyn Stevens

 

Director: Daniel Wilson

 

Set – Jason Phillips

Lights – Walter Kilmer

Costumes – Deane Middleton

Props – Jodi Sauerbier

Sound – Evan Mosher

 

Stage Manager – Miranda Pratt

ASM – Nina Trotto

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Auditions!

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In the middle of auditions for Pam and Freddie, the couple who come to visit in Act 2. Very humbling to have such talented folk willing to come play with us, even for the day!

It’s going to be a tough choice . . . glad that’s Daniel’s problem, not mine . . . (did you see that buck go by??

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