Thank you Chicago for your incredible support!!! This town always makes me feel like I can do anything because of the love and support I feel. I also appreciate how much Chicago supports it’s local artists. It truly is a one of a kind city. We had an AMAZING ten weeks performing, and entertaining thousands of audience members both young and old. I feel truly proud of this show, the cast, crew and production team. My dream is that we find a home for this production so that it can continue to inspire young children, introduce them to the theatre and the magic it can create, and the productions ability to make the older generation feel like a kid again. It was such a pleasure meeting you all each night in the lobby after the show, and hearing your very generous compliments. It really helped me realize every night, just why we do this, and how blessed I am to have these opportunities. I also have a few new projects in the works that I am excited to share with you very soon. You can subscribe to this page via the “subscribe to the Hephaestus blog” button on the left. That way you can keep track of what we are up to next.
Thank you again Chicago, I love you from the bottom of my heart!!!
You can now order our merchandise ONLINE!!! Just click the link below, or click on Forge Store in
the navigational menu on the left. We will add more stuff soon like our Soundtrack!!! And a portion anything
you spend on our merchandise goes to help Support the Chicago Children’s Memorial Hospital Cancer Research!!!
An audience member asked a question the other night after the show. And it’s funny that I never thought about this much, because it’s just the way we work at Lookingglass, and I never really thought of it as cool, just normal.
The statement & question was.
“I loved the way you walked up the pole supported by all the silver people, it was one of my favorite visuals of the show, and it was a great way to portray the difficult climb back up to Mt. Olympus. How did you come up with that idea?”
The answer really is, it happened in the moment, while thinking on our feet. The truth is, when we first created the show at Lookingglass Theatre in 2005 we only had like a week to put the whole production together including tech and rehearsals. Tech is a very tedious process where the lights and sound get focussed and cued. So it took a long time to get through to the end of the show. When we got to this part, my co-director Heidi Stillman said, “how are we going to get you up to the highwire to do the final pyramid” and I said, “I don’t know I hadn’t thought of that”. We were all standing around, and someone suggested a ladder, another suggested a rope. I wanted it to be more acrobatic and interesting then just doing what any normal human could do. Then I noticed the pipe structure at the back of the theatre. I asked if we could remove one of the 25ft sections, and lean it up to the highwire platform. We did it, but the pipe was too loose, and also and that angle was too steep and my feet would slip on the pipe. So I had the silver guys hold it to steady it, and give my bare feet traction. I practiced it a few times and we decided this was our solution that became Hephaestus’s journey back to the heavens. It is a great example on how we work at Lookingglass. Very organically, and very ensemble driven, where we rely on each other for support, and by support I mean we literally let our colleagues step on our bare knuckles, if it means it will make a beautiful, memorable moment for our audience.
This is me getting my extentions put in… I have to do this every night, because the last play I did, (UP at Steppenwolf) I had to have short hair, so couldn’t grow it out this time. Luckily I have Evette there every night to put them in and take them out and make me look… Pretty?
Actually here is also a picture of the REAL pretty people gettin ready as well!!!
So we are opened, and we are receiving AMAZING reviews, and we are also “Jeff Recommended” which is the Chicago version of New York City’s Tony Award! We are so excited to be performing at the prestigious Goodman Theatre of Chicago. It’s a long way from when we first mounted this production of Hephaestus. In 2004 a small community theatre in Cherry Hill, a suburb of Detroit, MI. asked me to open their inaugural season with a show. At the time Hephaestus was just an idea of mine, and not something that was even close to being a “show”. My friend, and fellow Lookingglass company member Heidi Stillman said, “maybe we could do a workshopped version of Hephaestus. So that night, I went home and wrote the very first draft of the script and sent it to Heidi who said it was great, and we tweaked and polished it, and offered it up to the Village Theatre of Cherry Hill. We had one day of rehearsal in the space, and we decided in stead of having a narrator at the time, we would just have Heidi speak the narration over a microphone, from off stage, so it was like a “voice from above”. The show went AMAZINGLY great, and the sold out 400 seat audience gave us a standing ovation. It felt like we were on to something. We also were fortunate to have a multi camera video shoot that night, so we could bring it back home to Lookingglass and pitch the idea of doing the show as a part of the Lookingglass Theatre season. It got voted into the 2005 season and we broke the then box office record of ticket sales, and it is the fastest selling show in Lookingglass’s history! We had a great run, with fantastic reviews including the Wallstreet Journal. We were asked by the Lookingglass to remount the show for the 2008 season as well, and again got amazing reviews. So, now here we are in 2010 in the incredible Goodman Theatre, with higher ceilings and more space to add some big tricks and stunts. One of the bigger ones is adding the Wallenda 7 person pyramid. It’s pretty great getting to add a stunt that I know has never been seen this close in a theatre, and as a part of an epic journey in this story of Hephaestus.