Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Massive preparations underway for 'Violin(ce)'

     ORLANDO — “Violin(ce)” is a movement exploration production created by The Empty Spaces Theatre Co(llaboration) and DiDonna Productions, and will explore the complicated side of violence highlighted with fight scenes that will leave theatergoers aghast.

     “You’re going to get a chance to see all forms of combat you don’t normally get a chance to see in one production,” said co-director John DiDonna. “You’re going to see a fight director be creative and let his imagination go wild.”

     This is the third installment of an annual summer production by Empty Spaces that features a diverse melding of combat, dance, aerial acrobatics, and spoken word. Building on the origins to this concept from “Unspoken” in 2011 and “fragment(ed)” from 2012, “Violin(ce)” is focused on all the complicated issues that lead to violence in our lives and the affect this has on the people involved.

(Click above to watch video)
(Produced by James Tutten)

     A central feature of this production will be an large number of combat scenes created by co-director and fight director Bill Warriner. Often in past production fight scenes were added to the production as everything came together, but this time Warriner was encourage to plan all the fighting in advance and given complete reign to construct action packed sequences that will make “Violin(ce)” a thrill to watch for all in attendance.

     Like past installments personal stories will be shared in alternating spoken word dialog to explain how cast members’ experienced violent events in their past. These simple yet complicated tales were anonymously submitted to DiDonna who compiled them together to create an engrossing tale with true stories of violent confrontations.

     "Fans can expects some really exciting fights,” said Empty Spaces actress Jill Lockhart. “And it’s all put together with some really powerful spoken word that speaks to a lot of issue surrounding violence.”

     In preparation for the opening of this production actors and dancers have been hard at work finalizing movements and perfecting their lines. Despite their high levels of professionalism and safety precautions, it’s not hard to find an occasional bruise and bandage on their persons, due to all the action packed movements they have been rehearsing in their preparation.

     The large numbers of fight scenes are expected to make “Violin(ce)” standout as a brilliant showcase of the talented actors involved, combined with the ambitious fight direction and choreography of Warriner.

     So many stage weapons are in use during this production that the actors were instructed by Warriner to name their weapons to help form a bound and keep everything organized on the technical side of things, with cute names like “Mr. Pointy” and “The Duchess” just to name a few.

     Mary Spurlock is an original member of Empty Spaces who recently came back to Orlando after finishing college in Tampa. When asked about the physical challenges she has faced for this production Spurlock said “It has a lot of physicality to it, but a lot of theatre does in general. There’s more safety involved with it than anything else.”

     This will be a short run with only seven performance secluded at the Mandell Theatre at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Loch Have Park in Orlando starting on Thursday, July 18, and running through Monday, July 22. Evening performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. on each day with additional twilight shows on Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

     Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors. Advanced reservations can be called in at 407.328.9005 and credit card pre-orders can also be made by visiting www.redchairprojects.com

By James Tutten

(All photos by James Tutten)


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