“Locust Song” – a staged reading

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In 1970, the world is changing its landscape faster than most rural families can, or even care to, adapt. But for Danny Sullivan, who is graduating high school a star pitcher and in love with his sweetheart, the horizon along the Tennessee mountains never held as much promise. So when tragedy strikes, he and his loved ones are sent into a violent tail spin that threatens to rupture their family ties.

Locust Song follows Danny and the Sullivans as the limits of their loyalty are tested, and those trials ultimately transmute their successes and failures, their laughter and pain into an enduring bond to be inherited by the next generation.

Reservations can be made on our Events page for presentations on

November 17 at 7 pm

and

November 18 at 12:30 pm

On Witten Pond – our first retreat

Tony Speciale, theatre director and founder of Plastic Theatre, spends a week with Artzo at idyllic Witten Pond.

November 1-8, 2013

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Having just completed a year of planning and the first out-of-town run of the stunningly directed musical “Harmony”, Tony Speciale was desperate for a recharge. I decided he would make the perfect test subject for our first Artists’ Retreat. We sat down for an initial planning session to discuss his goals for the week he would spend in Artzo’s care.

– Exhale and relax my mind –

– Envision the future –

– Listen to my heart –

– Reconnect to my impulses –

– Recharge my inspiration –

And that is why we chose this special and isolated property at the base of the Catskill Mountains in West Shokan, NY. It was perfectly suited for renewal and creativity.

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Every day was scheduled for work, nourishment, rest, and reflection:

7 am          Morning Meditation
8 am          Breakfast
9 – 12:30    Morning Work Session
12:30          Lunch
1 – 5           Afternoon Work Session
5 – 6           Free Time
6 pm          Dinner
8 – 10         Evening Discussion or Film Screening

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And, clearly, no retreat is complete without your best friend standing guard to ward off distractions. Cosmo was often busy patrolling the perimeter, while Tony enjoyed his uninterrupted morning and afternoon working sessions in one of the many peaceful locations in the house or on the grounds.

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Artzo provided healthy meals, with fresh fruits and vegetables from local farm stands, so Tony could focus on his work.

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And occasionally there was time to create photographic artwork of my own.

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All in all, a productive week for Tony, and a successful first retreat for Artzo. Stay tuned for new opportunities for Creating Space with Artzo. 

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Speedy Delivery for Writers

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Hand off your work and have it delivered back to you in a flash.

Hear your working drafts read aloud on a regular basis without having to organize a reading. Here’s how it will work: ARTZO coordinates the space, you provide the pages. Sign up for a 1/2-hour block, bring 20 minutes of material you’d like to hear read, and assign the roles from the other artists present. It’s as simple as that. You will only hear feedback if you desire it — the last ten minutes of your time are reserved to ask the group any questions you may have, or simply to jot down your thoughts while we prepare to hear the next artist’s work.

Bring an excerpt from a play, novel, short story or poem. All writing is welcome, as long as you need to hear it read.

The Page Express will plan to meet in NYC from 7 to 10 pm on a weeknight, which will allow up to six writers to sign up for any given session. No one will be required to attend when not scheduled to hear work, (though always welcome). We’ll decide how often to meet based on interest.

This is a free writers’ resource that hopefully will prove invaluable.

No membership. No obligation. No fee. All you have to do is sign up here, and I’ll be in touch with details about upcoming sessions:

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If you’re intrigued, but this program isn’t for you, please subscribe to ARTZO’s mailing list and get news of the latest offerings delivered directly to your inbox.

Highwire to Heaven

For many years I’ve negotiated a fine balance between work for pay and work for passion, (that is, work for little to no pay). A perfect arrangement, I naively thought. But of course my weight has shifted, as well as my perspective. New demands and circumstance leave little time or energy for artistic endeavor. And I see my safety net is nothing but a trap.

I’m the only one who can save me. Hell, I’m the only one who recognizes a problem. From the outside I appear to be a productive member of society. I pay my taxes. I meet my responsibilities. I say I will do something and I do it. All perfectly acceptable. So who cares if I’ve lost my sea legs as long as I’m still standing?

But anyone who knows me can tell you, if there’s music playing I’m on the dance floor, not clinging to the rail. And twenty-five percent of my income is not the only contribution I hope to make in this lifetime. I’ll be pulling my weight when I am making a living from work that thrills me, from an effort that draws on all of my ability and experience, and when I am sharing that endeavor with others who feel their lives are somehow better for the interaction.

What might that be? I’ve been envisioning space.

Space to create.

Space to reconnect with nature.

Space to share with others.

Space where people will come to work and laugh and eat and rest and dream.

Space where I will help build and be part of a community.

Space where I will continue to learn, and where I will pass on what I know.

Space that I care for and manage.

Space that will provide a livelihood.

Space that will be my way of life.

That’s where I’m headed. This site is the journal of my journey, and I hope, a doorway to a spirited community of enduring friends and inspiring collaborators, both familiar and new.

You can read more about the vision here. Any advice or wisdom along the way is extremely welcome. I sure will need the help. Converse with me. Travel with me. Let’s see what’s on the horizon.

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