Articles about Rebecca Lingafelter


A Day in the Life of a Mentee: Weekend Intesives

A few weekends ago the Mentees at Third Rail gathered in the basement of Imago Theatre to begin a weekend-long intensive exploring vocal techniques for actors. Led by certified Fitzmaurice instructor and Company Member Michael O’Connell, the group would spend the next few days loosening, relaxing and letting go of unnecessary tension in order to “free” the voice.

“All recent voice pedagogies aim to free the actor to connect to their impulses, reduce tension, and allow the body and mind to work together rather than in opposition,” explains O’Connell. “What separates Fitzmaurice from the others is the use of the Destructuring sequence to bypass the Central Nervous System and reintegrate the breath to the Autonomic Nervous System.”

Madeline Shier, a Mentee, shared her expectations of the intensive before it began: “Working with Third Rail on other workshops, I’ve come to realize how entwined the body and the voice are, and how my struggles with both stem from the same root causes. I’m excited to approach that from a perspective of voice, and hopefully learn some exercises…to help me with my breathing and alignment.”

At 6pm on a Friday evening, the Mentees gathered in Imago’s basement, amongst yoga mats, cushions and zafus, to start the intensive. Michael warmed up the chilly evening by asking the group to practice some “Fake Tai Chi” with him. Laughter trickled through the group as Michael facetiously described his time in China with a Fake Tai Chi Master. Warmed up and smiling, the Mentees then got down to business.

Over the course of Friday evening and most of Saturday, the Mentees explored Fitzmaurice’s “Destructuring Sequence.” Destructuring involves “a series of poses or movements that may induce a tremor, which, if invited, can interrupt chronic breathing patterns that hold the actor back from exciting vocal possibilities.” In the midst of doing this work, Shier described how she was “pleasantly surprised by how much [she] liked this work! Voice work [had] been frustrating for [her] in the past, but [she was] really enjoying the challenge this weekend.” Before the weekend, the mentees had each prepared a monologue from a Greek play. They explored their text using the Destructuring positions, discovering the ways in which releasing breath could help to find a vibrant truth in their speeches.

By Sunday, the group was ready to present their monologues as works-in-progress, using their favorite Destructuring positions to dive into the text. The Company and Third Rail Members alike were invited to a rare glimpse into an actors’ behind-the-scenes process. By the end, several mentees expressed how much this work had affected them not only as an actor, but in other parts of their lives as well. “The practice of putting our vulnerability to work,” offered Lisa Guerricabeitia, “is one that has endless application both personally and in performance. The technique provided clear and repeatable efforts to deepen self-awareness and marry the impulse of the body to the release of sound. It was a welcome opportunity to get out of my own way.”

Tune in for our next sneak peek into “A Day In The Life Of A Mentee”, when we’ll explore the before, during and after of a Scene Study session with Company Members Rebecca Lingafelter and Michael O’Connell.


Last Chance for The Realistic Joneses

Closing weekend. The last few chances to sit in the theatre with 4 amazing actors and experience Will Eno’s hilarious, poignant story before it is gone. Last few chances to see Rebecca Lingafelter’s beautiful Third Rail directorial debut! That’s right, we are saying goodbye to The Realistic Joneses. Critics and audiences love this show, and frankly, so do we. We’ll be sad to see this one end – so get here this weekend to help us send it off right!

You’ll laugh. You’ll think about life and relationships and communication. You’ll hear language in new and exciting ways. But mostly, you’ll laugh.

…Third Rail has brought four top actors together for this little exercise in quiet heartbreak and existential whimsy, and Rebecca Lingafelter directs them with a firm but gentle hand…It’s tough not to like a play that finds this much wonder in the ordinary.Oregon ArtsWatch

The quartet of actors navigate this bittersweet prose effortlessly, seeming natural as they inhabit the characters’ idiosyncrasies. Eno and the actors show deep compassion for these couples, and it’s contagious.Willamette Week

The stage design was fantastic, using a projector to transform the one set piece into several different buildings, but sound designer Mark Valadez deserves…praise for his use of calming ocean sounds during set changes…The Oregonian


PETE: All Well – A Brief History

Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble (PETE) is an artist cooperative dedicated to creating new theatrical events that reify the relationship between audience and artist. They develop original, ensemble-generated pieces and produce innovative interpretations of classical text. PETE founders include Third Rail Company Member Rebecca Lingafelter and Cristi Miles, last seen with us in Midsummer (a play with songs). Third Rail Company Member Mark Valadez also works as PETE’s resident sound designer. So, it is a natural fit to present a production by PETE as our second Wild Card presentation!

PETE believes in the power of consensus, collaboration, and ensemble in the act of making theatre, something that links them organically to Third Rail. While each of their productions is unique, they are marked by an interest in rigor, physical storytelling and notions of psychological surrealism. Past productions include R3, the highly-acclaimed re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Richard III and The Three Sisters, which featured Third Rail Company Members Isaac Lamb and Michael O’Connell.

We are excited to host and experience PETE’s newest piece – All Well, a sound-installation that will envelop audiences in the pitch black of an icebound ship, midwinter. All Well will travel through the hidden spaces of the Imago Theatre, on a journey inspired by the doomed Franklin Expedition of 1845-48. Directed by Jacob Coleman and featuring an immersive soundscape by Mark Valadez, All Well will submerge audiences in the darkness of the lost explorer, far from home. Each performance will be limited to 25 audience members, each of whom will experience the piece from the comfort of their own hammock. All Well is conceived and created by PETE’s core ensemble of performers and designers: Jenny Ampersand, Robert Quillen Camp, Jacob Coleman, Miranda K. Hardy, Peter Ksander, Rebecca Lingafelter, Paige McKinney, Cristi Miles, Mark Valadez and Amber Whitehall.

Tickets are available now!
October 27, 2015 – November 1, 2015
Tue-Thu at 10, 10:30 | Fri & Sat at 10, 10:30, 11 | Sun at 8:30, 9,9:30, 10


October 2015

October is shaping up to be an exciting month at Third Rail. Honestly, all of the months are exciting here but we really do believe October is going to be particularly special (and you can tell July we said that!). Why will October be so notable?

Or,

Closes October 10

So, we start the month with the last two weekends of this wonderful production. If you have not yet seen it, you are missing a truly excellent play about one of the first female playwrights, written by one of the great modern female playwrights, and starring two of Portland’s greatest female actors. It’s not too late to start your Third Rail October with us by seeing Or,!

The Realistic Joneses

Opens October 23

Not two weeks later, we open our next show, The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno – who wrote last year’s hit, Middletown. Directed by Company Member Rebecca Lingafelter and starring Company Members Michael O’Connell, Kerry Ryan, and Darius Pierce, along with guest artist Dana Green, who you may remember from her Drammy-nominated work in Gidion’s Knot. This is an hilarious and deeply human play that will gracefully and humorously grab the baton from Or,.

PETE: All Well

October 27 – November 1

Following the success of The Bylines: Meant to Be, October also bring us our second Wild Card! PETE: All Well looks to be a unique immersive experience: a sound-installation which will envelop audiences in the pitch black world of an icebound ship. Featuring a soundscape by PETE’s resident sound designer and Third Rail Company Member Mark Valadez, each performance will be limited to 25 audience members who will experience the piece from the comfort of their own hammock. With only 25 hammocks available each show, you’ll want to make sure you reserve your tickets as soon as possible.

Hamlet

October 18th

October also sees the beginning of perhaps our most anticipated NT Live screening ever – Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Our Hamlet engagement began with four scheduled screenings which sold out so quickly that we have already added four additional showings. Get tickets while you can, they certainly won’t be around much longer.

Bloody Sunday Reading (MEMBER ONLY EVENT)

October 25

As is true every month, we’ll also have a Bloody Sunday reading of a show we are considering for future production. Bloody Sunday readings are Members Only events and a unique way to peek inside the Third Rail process. In fact, October is going to be one of the best possible months to become a member – for under $30, you would have unlimited access to two Main Stage productions, a Wild Card production, and NT Live’s Hamlet – over $130 in programming! So the only question left is…

What are you waiting for?!?


The Realistic Joneses Cast and Creative Team

While Or, continues to delight audiences currently, our next show is Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses. But who, you ask, will be working on that show? Who are the artists bringing this profound and hilarious show to life? Whose work will I be seeing when I get to the theatre? Well…you have a lot of questions, but we do know the answers. And here they are:

Director:
The show is being helmed by Company Member Rebecca Lingafelter! A talented and distinguished actor, director, and producer, Rebecca is an invaluable Company Member of Third Rail, as well as a founding member of the Portland Ensemble Theater Ensemble (PETE). So, in addition to seeing her directorial work in The Realistic Joneses, you will also see her when you attend PETE’s Wild Card production of All Well.

Designers:
Our Sound Designer will be Company Member Mark Valadez! We are always delighted when we hear Mark’s thoughtful work during our productions. He is also the resident sound designer for PETE. So, his work will be heavily featured in All Well. Joining Mark at the design table is PETE’s resident costume designer, Jenny Ampersand. We’re thrilled that Jenny’s work will grace our stage for The Realistic Joneses, her first Third Rail design. Look for more information about our design time here as the rehearsal process continues…

The Cast:

  • Michael O’Connell (John) has appeared in over a dozen Third Rail productions, including Drammy-winning performances in The Lying Kind and Recent Tragic Events. He also starred in last season’s production of Will Eno’s Middletown. A Third Rail Company Member from the beginning, we are always eager to see him on our stage.
  • Kerry Ryan (Jennifer) became a Third Rail Company Member in 2013, and performed with us in A Bright New Boise. She has spent the last ten years holding membership with Imago Theatre, Theatre Vertigo, and the Anonymous Theatre Company. Now, she is bringing her unique and wonderful talent to our stage for the second time!
  • Darius Pierce (Bob) is a recent Company Member, having joined early in 2015. He is a co-founder of the Anonymous Theatre Company and was previously a longtime member of Theatre Vertigo. Now, he’ll be speaking Will Eno’s exceptional words again after joining the cast of last year’s Middletown.
  • Dana Green (Pony) has a resume far longer than we have room for here. In Portland, she’s performed at Portland Center Stage in Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; at Profile Theatre in Dead Man’s Cell Phone; and here at Third Rail in Gidion’s Knot. We could not be happier to have her back on the boards with us.

All four cast members and the director of The Realistic Joneses are past Drammy recipients. Not too shabby…

These extraordinary artists are hard at work on this extraordinary script. In just a few short weeks, you – our extraordinary patrons and supporters – will be in for (you guessed it) an extraordinary night of theatre.


The Realistic Joneses First Read

As Or, prepares to open this Friday, our Members joined us for our first read of The Realistic Joneses. This was the second opportunity for Third Rail Members to be a part of the production experience from the very beginning.

We were introduced to the project by Third Rail Artistic Director, Scott Yarbrough, who explained how we’ve come to produce our second play by the brilliant Middletown playwright, Will Eno. Yarbrough will be involved in this production as a kind of Tom Hagen figure (consigliere) to the Don (director) a la The Godfather – his words (more or less). The Don, in this case, is Third Rail Company Member Rebecca Lingafelter. While Lingafelter has been seen several times on the Third Rail stage, this marks her first time as a Third Rail director.

The night progressed with beautiful and evocative design presentations from the creative team. It is a rare privilege to witness these creative minds transform words on a page to a vivid physical universe. Finally, we were treated to a reading of the play by the cast: Michael O’Connell, Dana Green, Darius Pierce, and Kerry Ryan. It is at once a touching, hilarious and deeply human play sure to be a must see this Fall. Watch this space to follow this production’s development over the next month, and be sure to book your tickets! Performances begin October 23rd and run through November 14th.


September 7 – September 13 2015

Up this week is set, lights, and sound load-in for Or, in preparation for tech this coming weekend. Our designers and production team members are working round-the-clock to get the production performance-ready. And, seriously, wait until you see the design on this one. You’ll be amazed at the transformation made in the Imago space.

This coming weekend is also the Viewpoints Intensive for the members of our Mentorship Program. As you may know, Mentees receive professional training and form their own company-within-a-company at Third Rail. For this weekend’s intensive training workshop, Mentees will explore Viewpoints, a performance language that articulates specific elements of time and space, and emboldens practitioners to generate strong theatrical work spontaneously and intuitively. This training will promote collaboration for the Mentees, as well as a sense of ensemble, both fundamental values to the Third Rail mission. Instructor and Core Company Member Rebecca Lingafelter brings her chops to this workshop, drawing on her own training with two Viewpoints visionaries, Anne Bogart and Mary Overlie.

It’ll be a busy week here at Third Rail. We can’t wait to show you the fruits of our labor.


Don’t Miss the Mentorship Company’s Presentation

At 11:00 am on the morning of Monday, September 6th, Third Rail Company Members and any Members who wish to attend will be treated to a brand new theatrical presentation created in 36 hours by our new Mentorship Company. They will have been working hard (and sleeping little) to bring us this fully produced performance in answer to a question posed by their mentors Michael O’Connell, Rebecca Lingafelter, and Kristeen Willis Crosser.

These actors, directors, and designers will be a presence with Third Rail for the next year and this performance will be a beautiful way to meet them and let them meet you! These Mentees have come from all over the country and, in past years, many Mentees have decided to stay in Portland and have become valuable, active members of our community.

Please come show your support for these emerging artists and be able to gloat about how you knew them when! But remember – this event is for Members only! So, first, become a Member and then spend the first of many mornings at your new, dynamic artistic home!


Introducing The Mentorship Company

Labor day weekend. Many people are taking last camping trips for the season. Many people are having barbecues and drinking Mai Tais. Many people are shopping at Back-to-School sales. But not our Mentorship Company! They will be spending their weekend working hard together as they start their year with us.

On Friday evening, they will join Company Members Michael O’Connell, Rebecca Lingafelter, and Kristeen Crosser. After some introductory exercises, the three Company Members will give the Mentees their project for the weekend. They will have 36 hours to create a complete, fully produced performance with a beginning, a middle and an end. In this performance, they introduce themselves and answer a question posed by their Mentors. Then, at 11 am on Sunday morning September 6, the Mentees will perform their work for the Company and for any Members who join us!

In the past, we have been blown away by the outcome of their projects and we have been inspired by their work. This group of Mentees is a wonderful collection of artists, so we expect we will once again be sincerely impressed! Expect surprises and high voltage energy from this talented group of theatre makers.

This event is for Member only! Not a Member? Join here.


Meet the Mentee Class of 2015/2016 part 1

Each year Third Rail selects a group of emerging theatre professionals to join our Mentorship Company for a year long residency. It’s been tough to say goodbye to the brilliant group from last year. In fact, we’ve even kept one of them – Nate Cohen – to be Chief Resident who will serve as a liaison between Company Members and our “Mentees“.

Now we are delighted to introduce you to our 2015-2016 Mentorship Company. Each one of them successfully made it though the audition process and demonstrated a passion for theatre and a strong interest in exploring what it means to be part of a company of theatre professionals. They have a rewarding and challenging year ahead which will include various workshops, training, collaboration, engagement with the rehearsal process, work on the administrative side of the organization, the running of our National Theatre Live presentations, and creation of their own performances and final showcase. They’ll create an ensemble based on Third Rail’s model of an artist-driven ensemble who are leaders among equals. We invite you to join us in welcoming them and following their progress over the next 12 months. So, with no further ado, here are the first 5 (out of a total of 10) of our newest Third Rail family.

Alan Cline - Mentee 2015/2016

Alan Cline

One of the founding members of overunder arts (recent participants in the 2015 Fertile Ground Festival, with their piece “down”), Alan is interested in the intersection of new media, live performance, and narrative structure. He says, “Politically and socially engaged theatre is central to my identity as an artist, and being able to grapple with those issues with artists and audiences alike is, of course, its own reward, but being able to do this work for a living? That’s the dream.”


Anthony Arnista - Mentee 2015/2016

Anthony Arnista

Making his way through the Canadian Fringe circuit (in the esteemed company of Mentorship alum Jenessa Raabe) with his show Perpetual Wednesday, Anthony is an MFA graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. He currently works as a teaching and performance artist at Echo Theater. In his future he hopes to “create a new piece of work to show every month in a cabaret style setting,” as “a founding member of an ensemble of Portland-based theater makers that specializes in new and devised work.”


Chelsea Burwasser - Mentee 2015/2016

Chelsea Burwasser

A recent grad of company member Rebecca Lingafelter’s very own Lewis and Clark College, Chelsea plans to pursue an MFA in directing. She wants “to find ways to give a voice to communities that typically are silenced and to portray [theater] from their lens.“ She aims “to discover how theater can be used to bridge social gaps and expose systems of injustice through activating all of the senses and making it feel alive.”


Kensie Sempert - Mentee 2015/2016

Kensie Sempert

Kensie is a graduate of Linfield College, most recently acting as a dramaturgical intern for Portland Shakespeare Project’s production of The Tempest. Although she’s experienced in many aspects of theater, costume design is her passion. She’s been accepted to Boston University’s MFA program, but has deferred for a year in order to gain more professional experience – starting with us!


Madeline Shier - Mentee 2015/2016

Madeline Shier

Most recently having appeared in Cymbeline (alongside Mentorship alum Jahnavi Alyssa), Madeline is an experienced actress, as well as having dabbled in stage management and directing. In her time at Third Rail, she hopes to work on becoming “a confident, competent, compassionate artist, sharing transformative, moving work in a place that [she] love[s].”