A (ph)(f)reaking Stage Manager: Jackie Mullen

Critical Point Theatre will be performing a staged reading of [Ph][f]reaking on January 21st at 10:00pm at Dixon Place. Tickets are available for purchase now! Just click here

Jackie Mullen
Jackie Mullen

Russian hackers influenced our election! I know this is a blog about stage managing a theatre piece, but I felt I should take the time to remind you, if you’re reading this, that things aren’t normal. Or maybe they are the new normal.

I would never correlate the results of the election entirely with Russian hackers – the rise of populism and up-surgence of fear and resentment in America had a much bigger bearing – but it stands that Russians hacked the DNC and possibly others, and things are going on as normal. Why? Maybe it’s because we’re sick of hearing about something so figmented as “hacking.”

What does that mean? The hackers we know of come from 4chan and do it for the lulz and the nudes. They aren’t Cold War era calculating spies, using the Internet to take down the US government. Yellow Journalism is just a topic in high school history classes. Except it’s alive, and more powerful than ever.

(ph)(f)reaking takes these practices and give them to Joe, a college nobody.

I’m not the (ph)(f)reaking stage manager. I’ll say that right off the bat. But I’m a stage manager, and I’ve been wearing two hats as we rev up for this reading, production managing and stage managing, temporarily.

(ph)(f)reaking rehearsal

For me, it feels like everyone in CPT has made this happen. Will secured the performance and is directing alongside Julia, who wrote with Dylan, who is the production designer. I’ve been arranging the schedule and communicating with the various pieces of the puzzle to make it happen. Our ensemble has been acting, marketing, and organizing together, and it’s a beautiful effort. Getting to make art for and with people you care about is a gift.

So, how to stage a reading?

We used Breakdown Express and Actors Access to post a few of the roles to the NYC actor pool and have brought in two completely new faces – Gopal Lalwani and Serena Ryen, who will be blogging about their characters! (Shameless pitch!) We’re also using two ensemble members, Andrew Kaberline, our Podcast Head Honcho, and Matthew Schott, as well as friends and consistent collaborators with the ensemble Madeline Calandrillo, Ollie Corchado, and Tyler Weaver, who can all be heard on CPT Broadcast’s podcasts. Our cast is a hodgepodge of new and consistent collaborators, making it an exciting room.

We’ve figured out six rehearsals that work with everyone’s schedules to stage this reading, and are making use of the excellent spaces at Shetler Studios – they have student discounts – and will be teching the show in two hours the day of the performance. Necessity is the mother of invention, and with this crunch time, it’s necessary for us to create a dynamic way to tell the story that can be picked up and put on a stage in two hours. For now, it involves a lot of music stands and a lot of Red Bull.

(ph)(f)reaking will be showcasing the talents of all these wonderful people for one night only at Dixon Place on January 21st at 10pm. It’s only fitting to end this cataclysmic inauguration with a show about how we got here: hacking, sexism, the Internet, and the power of the unknown masses.

JANUARY 21 | 10 PM

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