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Dog & Pony Theatre Co. proudly announces the World Premiere of Dead Letter Office


June 11,2010

by Philip Dawkins, Conceived by Ben Vicellio Directed by Dieterich Gray June 9 - July 18, 2010 at the Storefront Theatre in association with Chicago DCA Theater


Following the success of The Twins Would Like to Say, we to take you next into the world of the Dead Letter Office: a place where mishandled mail and people end up.

Christian has long sorted the backlog of the U.S. postal system.  But when a new employee shows up for work, the office's long-buried secrets start to surface in surprising ways.  

Previews start Wednesday, June 9! All previews are Pay-What-You-Can. Go here to purchase tickets or call the box office at 312-742-TIXS(8497).

And check out Time Out's preview article about Dead Letter Office!

Dead Letter Office
June 9 - July 18, 2010
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 3pm*
Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph St.


Tickets are $22
$17 Students & Seniors, $15 Groups (10+)
Previews: 6/9-10 are pay-what-you-can
*No show on 7/4
www.dcatheater.org





Posted by DPTC

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My Notes on David's Notes on My Notes.


June 11,2010



Pictures of the Bible: In the script, Christian reads a letter from the Civil War. As it turns out, I have a Civil War Era Armed Forces Issue Bible (Why? I don't know. Ask my grandpa, the hoarder.). At least, I'm pretty sure it's Civil War Era. Anyway, I looked to the Bible for inspiration, and stole some of the handwritten marginalia for Christian's treasured Civil War letter. Also, pictures of some script edits on my first draft based on sitting in on rehearsals. I was running low on recycled paper, so I printed the entire first draft on the backsides of rejection letters.



Posted by Phillip Dawkins, Dead Letter Office Playwright

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3D Rendering of Dead Letter Office


June 11,2010



Check out the 3D renderings of the yet-to-be-built set for Dog & Pony's, Dead Letter Office.




Posted by DPTC

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Talking Without Words


March 1,2010



(Seth Bockley is co-director and co-deviser with Devon de Mayo on The Twins Would Like To Say, part of the Visiting Company Initiative Garage Rep)

Ashleigh and Paige are flapping their hands - they seem to be saying 'ta-ta for now', or maybe they are pretending to pat the shoulder of someone in front of them, or maybe bouncing a ball, or flicking water off of their hands.

It just looks like two girls flapping their hands.  But it's a coded language.

We are rehearsing for The Twins Would Like To Say, a world premiere play produced by Dog & Pony Theater Co., devised and directed by Devon de Mayo and myself (alongside an army of extraordinary artists), and opening at the Steppenwolf Garage in February 2010.

Our show tells the story of June and Jennifer, a true-life set of identical twin girls who made a pact of silence at a young age, refusing to speak to anyone except one another.

Ashleigh Lathrop and Paige Collins
One of our primary challenges in telling the story of these silent twins is to represent the girls' 'private language'.  We want the twins to be enigmatic and mysterious to an audience, exactly as they appeared to the outside world.  But how do we show their communication with each other?

Today in rehearsal we try creating a vocabulary of movement. Ashleigh and Paige are standing side by side, flapping their hands, pointing, touching palms; a set of gestures they invent that seem to suggest conflict, or comfort, or fear, or... what?  Always they return to standing stock still, staring off into the middle distance, like statues or dolls.  It's a little creepy.



Devised work is made from experiments like today's movement exploration. This can be daunting.  Devon and I don't have the 'safety net' of an existing script.  What we do have is an outline of actions and images, an amazing team of actors and artists, and trust in each other.

And when our show premieres on February 28, I have a feeling this movement, this flapping gesture will show up somewhere - in a moment, or a few.  It will be a single thread in a queen-sized quilt.  But I think it'll be there.

Posted by Seth Bockley

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From Monochrome to Color


March 1,2010




(Aaron is the Lighting Designer of The Twins Would Like to Say, part of the Visiting Company Initiative Garage Rep)In designing the lights for The Twins Would Like to Say, the co-directors and I focused on the two worlds where the play takes place. The voluntarily mute twin girls, June and Jennifer Gibbons, grew up in Wales, in the 1960s and '70s, isolated from everyone but each other. But they were also prolific writers, creating vast stories and novels set in an idealized United States. From the twins' perspective, Wales was sleepy and drab, it's always fall, always chilly, always boring. Contrast this with their vivid imagination, vibrant and colorful, their dreams of a California life full of energy and excitement.

For the first half of the play, we remain almost exclusively in Wales, and the color palette of the lights reflects this. With stark greys and bleached out blues, I want the audience to see Wales the way the twins see it, to feel the suffocation that sparked them to start writing.

In the latter half of the play, we see that writing come to life. In June's Pepsi Cola Addict, we see Malibu in all its idealized glamour. Golden sunlight during the day, a deep blue sky at night. The twins dream in such vivid color, later epitomized by the climactic cacophony of Jennifer's Discomania. With a vast array of colors coming from every angle, the violent hectic disco hall will come to life inside the garage.



Posted by Aaron Weissman

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