Rehearsal Report: Special Guest Soren

At yesterday’s rehearsal we had a special guest, Soren Santos, an actor and theatremaker who is also an associate producer for O Best Beloved. One of his specialties is physical partner work, and he was super helpful coaching Sam B and Juliana on the fantastic duo animals they’ve come up with–and helped them create a couple more. Some of Soren’s credits include the American premiere of Maurice at New Conservatory Theatre Center (Maurice), the professional west coast premiere of Orlando at TheatreFIRST (Marmaduke and Ensemble), and the world premiere adaptation of Jane Eyre with Counter-Balance Theater (St. John and Ensemble). Soren is currently associated with Counter-Balance Theater and foolsFURY Ensemble. When not on stage, he can be found co-teaching Foundations of Flight, an ongoing acting/movement workshop with fellow Counter-Balance company member Anika Solveig. Visit Soren on the web at and catch him in Mugwumpin’s Super:Anti:Reluctant July 10-12.

Rehearsal collage! Featuring Nquong (Sam Jackson) in his bath in the blue gums, Uncle Giraffe (Sam Bertken and Juliana Frick), and the ensemble with Mdme. Directrix. Photo by Soren Santos.

Rehearsal Report: Character Solo Shows

We’ve just finished a little more than a week’s worth of rehearsals for our Summer Tour, and OH BOY OH BOY are we excited to share this version of the show with you!

Today we had a special guest, Julie Katz, who introduced us to some fantastic improv games. We had a great time playing with the troupe: Thumper, Samuel Peaches, Blueberry Starshine, and our newest members (drumroll please….) Arby Darby and Princess Gwen. (Meekins was unfortunately out sick… or traumatized.)

Section Titles from "Thumper... the Solo Show!"  an improvised work of pure performance genius.

Section Titles from “Thumper… the Solo Show!” an improvised work of pure performance genius.

One of our favorite games was Character Solo Shows. Each ensemble member took a turn presenting an improvised solo show. In advance, we each wrote a title for a section of the show on a slip of paper. Julie introduced each character, who then opened one slip of paper and began performing that section of his or her solo show. The section had to continue until Julie called for the next section. High pressure, high entertainment, and very revealing! We sure know a lot more about these characters now… and it’s juicy.

The Best Beloved Band – June 9 at the Flight Deck Opening Festival

Greetings Beloveds!

We have a special treat in store for you — we’ll be performing songs from O Best Beloved at the Flight Deck Opening Festival Variety Show at 8pm on Monday, June 9.

Samuel Peaches on melodica, Blueberry Starshine on ukulele, and Thumper on upright 3-string bass

Samuel Peaches, Blueberry Starshine and Thumper singing “The Rhino’s Song” on the shores of the Red Sea

The Flight Deck is a brand-new performing arts space in Downtown Oakland that’s being created by our friends at Ragged Wing Ensemble. It’s a pretty fantastic endeavor. The Flight Deck includes a 99-seat black box theater, a rehearsal studio, a gallery, and co-working space. Next door is Township, a new farm-to-table restaurant featuring local art and a mezzanine for small performances.

We hope to see you at the Variety Show on June 9! We’re thrilled to be hosted by the Knights of Revery, and performing alongside acts from foolsFURY, Emma Jaster, and Chick Flick, among others. You can buy advance tickets online through June 6.

Introducing Juliana–A New Beloved!

We’re just pleased as punch to introduce our newest ensemble member, Juliana Frick!

Juliana (on the left) and Grace Booth in GET NO PLACE FAST, coming up July 14 and 15 at the Fury Factory Festival of Ensemble Theater in SF.

Juliana (on the left) and Grace Booth in GET NO PLACE FAST.

Juliana will be embodying the Human, for whom the animals worked so diligently when the world was so new-and-all; the Little God Nquing; one-half of the rudest Rhinoceros residing near the Red Sea; and a host of other roles that we’re saving to surprise you with this summer!

Our first order of business will be to induct both Juliana and Marlene into our eccentric ensemble… I can’t say whether or not there are any elaborate induction rituals… but I can say that we’re all excited to start playing together.

You can read more about Juliana as well as her exploits and endeavors with Hungry Bird Theater, who will be performing Get No Place Fast this July as part of “Raw Materials Program 3” at the Fury Factory Festival of Ensemble Theater this July 14 & 15 at NOH Space in San Francisco.

Hope to see you there!

Announcing our newest Beloved!

We’re thrilled to announce the newest member of our troupe of players, the wonderful Marlene Yarosh.

Marlene Yarosh

Marlene has performed and trained with both Joan and Rebecca through foolsFURY, and we’re delighted for her to join our merry band for our summer tour.

Marlene will be christened by the ensemble with her stage name in due time. She’ll be taking on the roles originated by Kittens Mittens (Sabrina Wenske). Of course Kittens’ performance is inimitable, so Marlene will put her own spin on it.

Meanwhile, the talented Sabrina will be performing in other shows around the Bay Area, and helping our friends at Ragged Wing Ensemble open their new performance space in downtown Oakland, the Flight Deck!

Gearing up for a FluxWagon summer

Hello world!

It’s true, O Best Beloved will be coming to a public space near you, aboard the inimitable FluxWagon. She’s a beaut! Or she will be, thanks to a generous CASH Grant from Theatre Bay Area, and the design savvy of our very own Joan Howard.

Stay tuned for tour dates and locations! We’ll post them here, and The Professor, PhD is likely to spread the word to the Twitterati.

A model of FluxWagon, our mobile stage! Model by Joan Howard.

A model of FluxWagon, our mobile stage! Model by Joan Howard.