welcome to 2006
Welcome to the yearly epistle of the Dewsberry/Green household – with a high tech twist!
We hope you enjoy traveling through the past year with us, with the help of the following collection of pictures and music.
Just turn on your speakers, take a deep breath, and read on…
Elise, Stephen, and Rebecca
p.s. Note that this page was originally created in SWISH – and in converting the files, some of the functionality was lost. So – when you see “start” and “stop” buttons in the videos – they won’t actually work! The videos also originally had music – but that didn’t translate!
Also, the quality of the converted videos is not great – so I have also included more simplified slide-show versions of each video at the end of this letter.
In May, we decided to put our house-hunting on hold and stay put in our apartment in Los Feliz. In an effort to avoid the noise from the day-care out front, we moved to a fourth-floor rear apartment – and got the added bonus of 12-foot ceilings and a fantastic view of the Hollywood sign and the Observatory in Griffith Park.
Come see us sometime!
2006 found Rebecca finishing her Freshman year at UC Berkeley (CAL). During the March break, she joined a group of students in Mississippi to help re-roof homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. In April, she FINALLY got her braces off (Mom and Dad – and boyfriend – say her smile was worth every penny!). Rebecca spent half the summer in Toronto, and half living with Mom and Dad in Los Feliz and working as a Rehearsal Security Guard at the Hollywood Bowl.
In September, Rebecca began her Sophomore year (rooming with the same roommates as last year); and came home briefly to take part in the Disneyland Half-Marathon (on behalf of AIDS). The fall included Hallowe’en and birthday celebrations (19!); a scar on the forehead from an unfortunate soccer accident; getting ready to declare a major in Linguistics, and spending a great deal of time with boyfriend Colin Beck (also a CAL Sophomore).
Rebecca spent part of the Xmas break in Israel (with a Hillel “Birthright” tour), and is thinking about spending the first half of her Junior year in India.
Stephen had a very busy time in 2006 as a freelance professional cellist, cello teacher, and Webmaster. While you view his pictures to the right, please enjoy listening to one of his favorite recordings of Maurice Gendron playing Fantasy Piece Number One by Schumann.
In November, Elise and Stephen hosted a session of the Four Seasons Gourmet Club. The theme was a “Moroccan Feast”, and Stephen spent weeks researching the menu and gathering the ingredients and special equipment.
Stephen bought and prepared two clay tagine dishes (the prep took several days and included soaking in the bathtub!); and ordered special Moroccan wine online. He even labored over the amazing appetizer “Bisteeya” (a concoction of layers of meat, egg, nuts, and spices wrapped in phyllo dough). Elise ordered Moroccan tea glasses, and prepared several desserts including “La Russe” – a traditional Moroccan layered meringue and ganache cake.
Everybody – including Tim & Bonnie’s new baby Everett – had a great time!
2006 marked the first full year that Elise was a full-time employee at the Academy for New Musical Theatre. (we’re still working on a full-time salary to match the hours … but we’re optimistic!)
ANMT was extremely busy in 2006 (which means Elise was too!). Here are some of the things Elise was busy with: a 2nd-year member of selection committee for NAMT (the National Alliance for Musical Theatre) involving reading and evaluating 40 new musicals and making three trips to New York; directing the 2006 Mini Musicals for the ANMT first year writers; running the first Summer Musical Theatre Boot Camp (which included teaching the Book Lab and the Outlining Lab); organizing the first BIZ OF THE MUSICAL THEATRE BIZ Conference; and hosting the December fundraiser event (the John Sparks Tribute – see below).
As a part of all this activity, the Academy was working on developing new musicals with many promising and established writers.
(Just to give credit where credit is due – Elise couldn’t accomplish half of this stuff without her partner-in-crime, ANMT Executive Director Scott Guy and ANMT’s amazing webmaster – Stephen Green!)
During the year, Elise recorded a couple of songs written by ANMT member Nikos Tsakalakos for his application to NYU Tisch’s Masters’ program in Musical Theatre Writing. The program only accepts about twelve applicants per year. Nikos and one other ANMT member were two of the twelve accepted this past fall. (Nikos is singing with Elise in the duet).
(sadly, this one doesn’t seem to be working properly…)
It’s not always easy to explain exactly what it is we do at the Academy for New Musical Theatre – so this year, we started to work on an internet “commercial”. Above, you can click on a rough cut of this commercial.
One of the most exciting things that happened this year was the launch of our new commercial website for online training in writing for musical theatre – WritingMusicalTheatre.com. There is a brief mention of WMT in the commercial – but if you want to see more, you can check it out at http://www.writingmusicaltheatre.com
sadly, this doesn’t seem to be working properly…
On December 9, ANMT held a fundraiser to honor our Founder and Artistic Director, John Sparks, on the occasion of his 65th birthday. Since he is notorious for being a curmudgeon who hates Christmas, we titled the event “The John (Ebenezer) Sparks Bah Humbug Christmas Tribute”, and filled the evening with parodies of Christmas songs, and a battle between the “good” Christmas host (me!) and the “bad” Christmas host (Scott!). A grand time was had by all – and everyone, including John, was howling when we projected our video tribute to his many accomplishments. A portion of that tribute is available here. Enjoy!
On a regular basis, Elise and Scott (and sometimes our colleague Ross Kalling) conduct critical feedback sessions on new works. This feedback is intended to help the writers identify areas in their new work that need clarification and revision. Usually, these sessions begin with a lightly-rehearsed reading of the new work by the Academy Repertory Company (our small ensemble of sight-singing, cold-reading actors who meet every Monday evening), with the feedback following at around 10 or 11pm. These sessions are generally pretty lengthy (recently, we were there until 5:30 in the morning …!). If the writers are not able to attend, we can broadcast the sessions on the web, and/or record them for later viewing. The excerpt to the right is a (short) excerpt from a feedback session. (and people actually PAY us to talk this way to them!)
The Kenmore apartment.