Total Pageviews

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Smashwords Ebook Coupon Codes: For all you Fantastic Readers (UDATED 4/25/13)

Dear Readers:


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ARTING About...? Go Forth Among The Young Talented People and You Will Find...Greatness!!


 If you see me outside the theatre after a performance, parents will tell me they enjoyed the show, or thank me, or praise some aspect of the production. My response is always the same, "I work with the best kids in the world." No one should ever confuse the repetition for insincerity; I have meant it every day for the last twelve years.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

ARTING About...? Thou Shall Do Great Theatre! Brian's "10 Commandments" -- Must DO!!


My Ten Commandments
I tried to distill some of the guiding educational principles of my program.  Below I try and dissect them by theme rather than mirroring the Biblical structure.
1. You shall watch all your firsts.
2. You shall have big, big fun.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

ARTING About...? Picasso and Africa -- Art Institute of Chicago - "The Picasso Effect - A museum-wide celebration of Pablo Picasso's legacy and influence"

by Robin Scott Peters

Image of Robin Scott Peters
When I first entered the Art Institute of Chicago I dashed to Gallery 137.  The program for The Picasso Effect listed it under RELATED EXHIBITIONS.  I was on edge due to a phone conversation I just had with a close friend.  He said Picasso was a racist because he never acknowledged the influence of Africa upon his art.

Image of an African Mask reminiscent of Picasso's Piece in Chicago
Gallery 137
Picasso, Paris, and African Art
"Comparable to works once owned by Picasso, these African artworks provide a catalyst for considering Picasso's collecting taste and the early development of an international African art market."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ARTING About...? "Creating Community..."


Creating Community
If you examine theatre history of the last century, you will find the names of passionate individuals who wanted to share their vision with the world. I suspect this has always been the case. The medieval tinker with a civic bent probably help nurture the York cycle into an annual tourist event. The early Kabuki dancers shared techniques and poses which helped codify the art form. These unnamed practitioners communicated their ideas and other people joined their cause. Theatre is an act of community. A single individual, whether actor, director, designer, or producer can initiate an idea, but then, they must have others join their endeavor; A single performer in a dark room emoting to no one will be acting, but not create theatre. Theatre only happens when concentric circles of community are engaged. 

My current experience as artistic director, stage director, and designer for a high school program often means that the idea starts with me. There have been times when students bring me a show that excites them and we mount that production, but often the choice is mine. I choose based on creating a solid educational and audience experience. I will expand on some of my criteria for show choice in a future post, but for now, I always start from the student experience. Once I cast the show, a small community begins the process of discovery. My passion is seeing the moments of discovery on young actor's faces. When they make connections to the script, to each other, and especially when they find those connections to the people of the past who conceived the show and were there for its debut. 

While this community of performers continues to discover the play, another group is crafting the physical production. Student designers generate ideas and bring those thoughts into the physical world. After thirty years in theatre, I still get the hitch in my breath when a idea of mine is made manifest, or a bit of stage composition matches a thin memory of my first encounter with the play. These two small communities must explore the ideas together for a successful production. They join forces in dress rehearsal and prepare for the last circle of community, the audience.

(A) Community
In The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, playwright Jane Wagner introduces Lilly Tomlin's bag lady character, Trudy, who talks to aliens. Near the end of the show, her extra terrestrial friends join Trudy in the theatre and they get goosebumps, a uniquely human experience. "They said it wasn't the play gave 'em goosebumps, it was the audience. I forgot to tell 'em to watch the play; they had been watching the audience! Yeah, to see a group of strangers sitting together in the dark, laughing and crying about the same things...that just knocked them out."

This final layer of community, the audience, closes the circle. Most theatre folks know about the growth of a show once it reaches an audience. The further discovery of meaning when you hear the feedback from the house. The meaningful silences or uncomfortable shifting in the chairs when pacing is an issue. I always run shows two weekends, even with an active school calendar, because students spend so much time and energy getting to opening night and through the first weekend of performances. If we closed then, they would not have the time to walk away, get a couple of good nights of sleep, analyze what they did, and then repeat the experiment of performance with better results. To me, this is essential learning.

Now that I have outlined my particular focus and passions, I will move on and explore the process of creating educational theatre. If you have questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. 

Brian Bozanich, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator -- Saint Joseph High School

Please visit: Twitter: @FilmRobin for up-to-date info on where I am travelling for ART. LinkedIn: for complete resume & work history. and look for Dr. Robin Scott Peters Ebooks now available. YouTube: for all my video work.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

ARTING About...? "I Had A Monkey In My House..."


I had a monkey in my house…
I have told this story a hundred times; this is how I always start it in my Drama 1 class. I then stop and answer the two questions that always appear. First, it was 1993 in suburban Los Angeles and second the story is absolutely true. For the next fifteen minutes I tell them how it all happened that Sunday afternoon. How the monkey walked in the back door, took refuge in the bathroom, sampled lipstick, and created a rainbow of Kleenex. The story follows our attempts to cage the monkey, multiple calls to a skeptical animal control, the newly caged monkey eating dry cat food and loquats, his eventual pickup, and the epilogue involving the return of an upgraded cage and the fine paid by the monkey’s owner. It really is a fun story.

I did not tell this story for the first time until six months after the event. When I finished, my brother’s response was, “How did you not call everyone you know and tell them?” I started to understand power of this story. I have honed the telling of it into a teaching performance which demonstrates vocal variety, physicality on stage, and the creation of word pictures in the audience’s mind. Students who complete my class will always remember “The Monkey Story” and a group of alum even acted it out at my 40th birthday party. The stories we tell leave imprints on the listener. Sharing stories formed the core of my MFA thesis production Crow and Weasel by Jim Leonard Jr. Badger, the matriarch of the animal people says, “if something of value has happened to you, and you cannot find a dignified way to express it. Then what do you have to bring home to your people?” In theatre we have the obligation to share good stories well.

My passion has always been family theatre. Not children’s theatre, not theatre for young audiences, but theatre for all audiences. Susan Zeder summed up my view saying she writes for an audience which does not exclude young people. Like the old Bugs Bunny cartoons or Pixar films, theatre which layers meaning for different ages is compelling. That type of family theatre in 2013 is a challenge. Both kids and adults come to the theatre with a background in film and television. Mass media deals with a reality bias, theatre often works in symbolism. Audiences know a twenty-two minute sitcom or forty-four minute drama, the two-hour two-act time frame of theatre is the exception to their experience. A tweet or status update cannot explain the nuance found in good theatre. In the coming weeks I will speak about my ideas for audience engagement, for now, I just want to lay bare some of the challenges theatre artists face in sharing stories to a broad audience.

One of the successes of my program is a commitment to only working with good material. My view of family theatre is, admittedly, a bit broad. I have worked with children’s literature adaptations (The Phantom TollboothSeussical), but I have also successfully presented Medea to a high school audience. The hunt for quality plays and the focus on a great theatrical experience for the production team and audience means reading many, many scripts.  The amount of low-quality youth theatre plays is staggering. Plays with stilted dialogue, poor structure, and simplistic ideas populate many family theatre catalogs. Even adaptations of great literature can produce mediocre scripts when playwrights try and talk down to a younger audience. I have never met a child who enjoys condescension. Another obstacle is that most of the top playwrights write plays which, because of content, exclude the broader audience. The economic realities of commercial theatre and professional pressure to avoid the label "children's playwright" conspire in the dearth of quality.

I love a good story, both the telling and the hearing. My Daughter's First Trip to the Emergency Room... The Scar on My Shoulder Blade...There Was a Monkey in My House...The closing number of Once on This Island  gives voice to this idea  “Out of what we live, and we believe, our lives become the stories that we weave.” Feel free to share any quality scripts for a family audience in the comments. In my next post, I will explore the results of these experiences, creating community.

Brian Bozanich
MFA Youth Theatre- University of Hawaii, Manoa
Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Saint Joseph High School

Please visit: Twitter: @FilmRobin for up-to-date info on where I am travelling for ART. LinkedIn: for complete resume & work history. and look for Dr. Robin Scott Peters Ebooks now available. YouTube: for all my video work.

Cleveland Rocks!!! My first photographs at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

by Robin Scott Peters

Image of Dr. Robin Scott Peters

Just wanted to share the photographs I took at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  I arrived at the site just past 6:00 PM, too late to take the tour as it was closed.  I walked around the complex. Looking at the city skyline.  Looking at the waterfront.  I thought, wow, Cleveland Rocks.  So me and my Canon 550D went to work.  Hope you like what I captured.  Drop me a line and let me know what photograph was your favorite!

Please visit: Twitter: @FilmRobin for up-to-date info on where I am travelling for ART. LinkedIn: for complete resume & work history. and look for Dr. Robin Scott Peters Ebooks now available. YouTube: for all my video work.

The Week in Review: Ms. Alison Saar at the Figge Museum

I spent the last four days reviewing 3100+ pictures I took during my week in Cape Cod.  Also, I reviewed the week driving across country.  I want to share my experiences in a deeper level.  So, over the next few blogs I will pick the highlights of the trip and break down why it moved me to photograph and write.  Today, I write about Alison Saar's exhibit at the Figge Museum, Davenport, IA.

First, the photograph:

Since my visit to the Figge Museum this particular sculpture has haunted me.  I wondered how the antlers played into the artistic message of the artist.  So I did some research.  I looked up the significance of antlers. My initial reaction to this piece was the antlers represented the "crown" of the woman.  The antlers all around her feet represent other females such as the subject.  Others subjugated to social brutality.  Her hand grasping her breast and the position suggests--sustaining the culture almost an act of breast feeding to maintain the future, or to sustain those still in the struggle.  The woman tied--self, entangled in social constructs which abuses the native, natural being.  She carries her tied bound self capable of a super strength to find fullness, as defined by the stance of the subject.  This sculpture cast the sense of nihilism and hope together in an odd cacophony of life.

My research on antlers uncovered the following: Spiritual antennae, tuning of feminine energies.  The Greek's Artemis, the virginal huntress.  The Hellenic goddess of the hunt. The protector of young girls.  The reliever of disease.  There is a gentleness attached to the image of antlers.  When one sees antlers, it is a time of reflection, a time of gentleness, a time to contemplate peace.

After my research I thought my initial interpretation of Ms.Saar's piece may be off mark.  But as I contemplate, I find there is a symbolic paralleling. The "crown" of the woman -- her spiritual antennae in tact, huge and expansive, able to carry and protect against the brutal social constructs woman attempt to navigate.  The myriad of antlers scattered at her feet call for gentleness, and peace.  The subject standing among the antlers that obviously were part of others such as herself.  Yes, there is a need for peace and gentleness, protection and basic human compassion folded in to the darkness that hoovers heavy above this piece.

I love this piece because it makes me think.  It makes me emotionally aware.  It slips from my intellectual grappling and pins me to the mat. Thank you Ms. Saar, again. for your voice.


Please visit: Twitter: @FilmRobin for up-to-date info on where I am travelling for ART. LinkedIn: for complete resume & work history. and look for Dr. Robin Scott Peters Ebooks now available. YouTube: for all my video work.