CoHo Productions Starts 2012-2013 Season
Opens With “Body Awareness” by Annie Baker
Body Awareness received its first reading through the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood Playwrights group in an informal bar-room setting, and a second reading with the Atlantic in the sp 2000 ring of 2007.
An emphasis on spoken language is one of the many aspects of Body Awareness that resonates with the work of one of the Atlantic Theater Company (ATC)’s famous founders, David Mamet. ATC was the first professional company to stage Body Awareness. It features a tight cast of only 4 players, and the story follows a middle-aged lesbian couple through a rough patch as they try to counsel their 21-year old son, Jared, who they believe has long suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome and who is also grappling with serious self-image problems. Jared shows several symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome, but he refuses to see a therapist for treatment. Phyllis, the younger woman in the couple who is a professor at the local college, is leading the school’s ‘Body Awareness’ week program, exposing her uncertain but very vocal stance on the objectification of women. Their houseguest is a middle-aged photographer named Frank Bonitatibus, whose artistic photos of nude women (of all ages) offend Phyllis. Frank's presence exacerbates the already existing tension between the three of them, and when Joyce agrees to pose for Frank, this threatens her relationship with Phyllis.
Body Awareness won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, 2009
The cast of CoHo Productions’ Body Awareness is a solid one. Three of the four are Drammy winners for acting, and the fourth was one of just two apprentices selected for the acting program at Portland Playhouse for the 2011-2012 season.
The director, Gretchen Corbett, also stars in the production. This is not necessarily a unique situation, but it is unusual in live theatre, and presents certain challenges as the director and actor must co-exist in one person without upsetting the balance and chemistry of the ensemble.
The Technical Director, Cameron McFee, has his own challenges. Not only is he responsible for overseeing all of the non-acting aspects of the production; he is also undertaking the first overhaul of the seating area in CoHo’s history. That in and of itself is a major project – adding roughly a foot or so of additional legroom to the 2nd and 3rd rows – but it must also be completed prior to the opening of Body Awareness.
CoHo Productions itself is coming off of a season of challenges, and temporarily returned to being a volunteer-run organization. A small in-house grant has allowed for the temporary hire of a part-time Marketing and Development Strategist, as the company works to re-establish itself as a significant creative force in the Portland theatre community.
Body Awareness Runs October 19 – November 10, 2012
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Sundays at 2:00
CoHo Theatre; 2257 NW Raleigh, Portland
$20 - $25 General Admission
Advance tickets at: www.CoHoProductions.org
or call (503) 715-1114