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Monday, August 31, 2009

Auditions for Kharmful Charms of Dani Kharms - World Premiere!

WHAT: After a sold-out workshop production last April, ARTEL returns with Kharmful Charms of Dani Kharms - A World Premiere: collaborative ensemble-devised project based on the works of Russian absurdist Daniil Kharms (1905-1942). Creation/training process will explore the styles of Eastern European clowning (Slava Polunin), vaudeville, cabaret, burlesque, commedia dell'arte, viewpoints, Polish/Russian theatre practices (Grotowski, Meyerhold, Vakhtangov), and devising techniques.

DATE/TIME/LOCATION: Oct 2, 6:30-8pm or Oct 3, 11-12:30. Artworks Theatre & Studios. Studio C, 6575 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 90038. Tel. 310-985-9996.RUN: Presented at Artworks Theatre. Opens February 12, Fri-Sat 8pm (occasional Wdn, Th or Sun shows) 4 weeks. Please be open to extend. (another 4 -6 weeks)

WHO: We are looking for character actors-creators, dancers, singers, puppeteers, musicians with a proclivity for comedy and absurd. Physicality, expressivity, courage to create are a must. Everyone will be required to devise solo and group work. Training in physical approaches to theatre, commedia dell'arte, clown, cabaret is a plus.

AUDITION: The audition will be 1.5 hours long or so, with a group of people auditioning together (up to 12 people). It will involve physical, vocal and movement-led exercises, ensemble work, devising session and a presentation of prepared material. Very fun, high energy event. At the very least you will get an awesome workout. In the prepared material category I am asking for a short theatre/performance piece up to 3 min long. Preferably comedic. Original piece is a plus, but not required. The more unnaturalistic and expressive it is - the better. This can be done with any material, classical or not.

If you feel like creating something new on your own (which a few people did at the workshop audition we had in the spring) - you can take a look at the link below and see if any of the pieces of Kharms spark your imagination. In your preparation you can use anything you fancy - puppets, shadow play, monologue, write a song to Kharms' story - anything at all. This is just one site with Kharms' material, but there are many on the net:

REHEARSAL: ARTEL's work is highly collaborative and physically/vocally demanding (think Robert Wilson). The styles of approaches to the material are varied: vaudeville, burlesque, cabaret, circus, commedia dell'arte, etc. All of them are tied together by something uniquely kharmsian, the show definitely has an overarching style of its own. All material is generated by the group utilizing Kharms' stories and references. The entire show is put together as a puzzle set to a rousing live musical score. We did a workshop production of it in April (in a research stage), and it was met with an enthusiastic response (oversold both nights). So there is a strong momentum: audience's anticipation, a good amount of material already generated, and a number of great bandmates in place. This next stage, what would be considered a development stage, is where we will add more material (text, song, dance, shadow play), a few new cast members and fine-tune the details. The long-term goal for this piece is to tour and/or to be presented in several countries (UK, Poland, Russia)

REQUIREMENTS: I ask everyone in the cast to be solidly available in January and February (Mo-Fr evenings) and have no other creative conflicts (jobs, ready performances can be OK, depending on dates, but no rehearsals). As this piece will demand a lot of time, even outside of rehearsal schedule. All of us will be working on getting at the quality of performance, which is placed in physical/vocal exactitude and high degree of expressivity. There are training sessions and creative opportunities that are open to all new cast members as early as October and a performance salon Gogol-Mogol that is slated for Oct. 24 (to be confirmed), where any creative material can be tried, especially connected to Kharms.

WHAT TO DO: Send PIX and RESUME to, or via post: ATTN: KHARMFUL CHARMS, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038