Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Esprit Night

Yo Witlings...
Quite a fascinating exercise in the "emotional experience" department, yo.
Last night, for all you outside blog readers, we met as the characters at a mock-Esprit night, to deepen a bit of the experience of what would the dynamics be like with these characters on previous/other/unscripted Esprit nights
Some things worth noting. The GENUINE desire to comment, critque, and share ideas based on what was presented was fascinating.
What was great in doing this were the questions it raised:
are there members who used to come and don't any more?
how do we deal with that?
each character looks on comment/critique with different comfort levels... what is mine?
what pushes my "creative-person" buttons as a hot topic when it comes up? what offends me?
when is it correct/incorrect to speak?
when have I simply judged the party who is speaking to be not worth my effort?
when could I no longer hold my tongue (positively or negatively)
Another thing that took on a life of its own: SIDE CONVERSATIONS
Do I know what's being said? Am I aware of how I am perceived? Do I deny, invent, overhear other's comments?
Good stuff.
What was good for y'all, yo?
--the Dabs

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chanel Apres-Ski Boots

I suspect that Lady Smatter really really wants these boots. --Erika

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Vices and Virtues

Illustrations by Remy H├ętreau

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Esprit Party

I was doing some research on Lady Smatter's extremely intelligent remark about Pope's view of women (ha ha) in the Esprit Party scene, and I found an interesting tidbit about feminism borrowing from Woolf, that seems to apply to our play and the power struggles going on between the sexes. I found it particularly interesting in regards to our discussions and exercises on status:

In A Room of One’s Own Mrs Woolf was angry. Her fictional narrator Mary was having problems researching her lecture. A man ordered her off the grounds and library of Oxbridge: “Only Fellows and Scholars are allowed here, the gravel is the place for me.” The rebuff at Oxbridge set off a thousand questions in her head. “Why was one sex so prosperous and the other so poor? What effect has poverty on fiction? What conditions are necessary for the creation of works of art?” So off went poor Mary to the British Museum with a heading on a blank piece of paper, Women and fiction. On the shelves she found an astonishing number of books written by men - about women. Many derogatory. She read Dr Johnson’s dictum: “Sir, a woman’s composing is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

Then Mary discovered that men were angry with women. Here’s Pope: “Most women have no character at all.” Was his an objective statement? Rebecca West who had described a feminist as someone who refused to be treated as a doormat was dismissed by a man as “an arrant feminist.” Yes, men were angry. Fifty eight years later men are still angry and not only in England. An amused Thelma Henderson of CAFRA says the group has been abused by some as a bunch of “man-hating, ugly, lesbians.” Why are men angry with us? I dip into A Room of One’s Own.

Mrs Woolf suggests that life for both sexes is a perpetual struggle. “It calls for confidence in oneself. And how can we generate this quality? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself. By feeling that one has some innate superiority - it may be wealth, or rank, a straight nose or the portrait of a grandfather by Romney - for there is no end to the pathetic devices of the human imagination over people.”

Mrs Woolf continues: “Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing in the magic and delicious power reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size. Without the power probably the earth would still be swamp and jungle. The glories of all our wars would be unknown.

“This serves to explain in part the necessity women so often are to men. And it serves to explain how restless they are under her criticism. How is he to go on giving judgment, making laws, writing books, dressing up and speechifying at banquets unless he can see himself as twice the size he really is.”

But women are also angry. Adventure, experience, solitude was not their lot, dreary housework and childrearing and modesty were. And today this anger is gearing women up for the Beijing Conference where women will meet to discuss the poverty, education and health of their sex. But anger makes women poor artists. For Lady Winchilsea, a 16th century noblewoman, “The human race is split up. Men are the opposing faction.” Her writing remained mediocre. Anger crippled her. And here, another unknown writer who despite her genius wrote badly. “One sees that she will never get her genius expressed whole and entire. Her books will be deformed and twisted. She will write in a rage where she should write calmly. She will write foolishly where she should write wisely. She will write of herself where she should write of her characters.”

Mrs Woolf tells us: “Some collaboration has to take place in the mind between the woman and the man before the act of creation can be accomplished... There must be freedom and there must be peace.”

-Margi Douglas

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mark your calendars now: April 4 party, May 16 premiere!

Fundraising Party April 4th at the Pilates Garage!
Join us at 291 8th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn for a spectacular fundraising event for the Magis Theatre Company-- wine and beer, musical entertainment, and a silent auction! If you have shopping for Moms, Dads, or Grads to do this spring, this is a great time to find a unique gift and support your favorite theatre company!

Frances Burney's The Witlings makes its New York City Premiere at the West End Theatre May 16th!
Why has it taken 229 years for this comedy to open in New York? From its genesis, Frances Burney’s scathingly funny satire of the foibles of the “Enlightened” met with opposition and censorship from the status-quo, including her own father! Magis actors join with director Deborah Phillips to bring this neglected gem to light. New York City Premiere at the West End Theatre, 86th Street and West End Avenue, May 16, 2008.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fashion Statements

Christian Lacroix, Haute Couture from

We're not sure what they're saying, but whatever it is, it's fabulous.
(Just don't let Jack tear off any of your falaldrums.) --Erika

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I just don't know what to wear to the Magis Fundraising Party!

Don't worry, you can come as you please, although rest assured that Lady Smatter will be dressed to kill. (That's just a metaphor, of course.) If you feel underdressed, there will be several opportunities at the silent auction to spiff up your look...

Fundraising Party April 4th at the Pilates Garage!
Join us at 291 8th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn for a spectacular fundraising event for the Magis Theatre Company.

Beer and Wine included in your $20 admission!

Musical acts include:
Trevor Exter
Justin Badger
Jason Sagebiel
The Millay Sisters
Plus special appearances from The Witlings...

Beautiful jewelry, scarves, art books, children's books, posters and prints and much much more have been collected for our raffle and silent auction: admission is just $20, but there will be many opportunities for you to spend your money inside if you so choose! We will be accepting cash and personal checks only, so hit the ATM on your way.... Come by, spend an hour or stay until the wee hours, but please come if you can.

Doors open 7pm, performances begin at 8:00. See you there!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Save The Date: April 4th at the Pilates Garage!

Mark your calendars now: a spectacular fundraising party will take place one month from today at the Pilates Garage in Park Slope! Jewelry, Children's books, Art books, posters and prints and much much more will be available as part of a silent auction and raffle. Bring your checkbooks! It will be a fun evening of music, art, and theatre.

You do not have to dress as grandly as this "young lady of quality," but it is encouraged.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Iliana Paris Won the Audience's Pick!

Our very own Iliana from the Magis Student Actor Training
Institute was voted by her fellow actors as
the best monologue and sonnet performance February 28!
At the end of the event, all of the students who
performed vote for their favorite piece, and Iliana
was the winner. She was given a bust of Shakespeare
for her efforts.

Congrats to Iliana and St. Jean Baptiste School!