Love Letters, A.R. Gurney's celebrated play, will be presented at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Bridgehampton on May 8th and 9th, 2015, at 7pm. The production will star Emmy-Award winning journalist and critic Pia Lindström and Terrance Fiore, and will be directed by Oscar, Emmy and Tony award winner Tony Walton.
Love Letters, which premiered in New York in 1989 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, tells the story of childhood friends Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and their lifelong correspondence through letters. Melissa is rebellious and bold, Andrew is conservative and reserved. As they chronicle their hopes and disappointments, successes and setbacks, failures and realizations, they paint a portrait of their great love, while posing existential questions about relationship, timing and missed opportunities.
Presented by St. Ann's Church and the Corcoran Group, performances of Love Letters will take place Friday, May 8th and Saturday May 9th, 7pm, at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Bridgehampton, NY. $25.00 includes wine and cheese after the show. All proceeds go towards St. Ann's Outreach Program, benefiting the Dominican Sisters, East End Hospice and Maureen's Haven. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
Pioneer psychotherapist, renowned global teacher and performer Susan Lambert, LCSW, joins us on the show this week to help Walker through a tough time, and offer some insights into the artistic temperament, the creative impulse and the human condition. With 20 years professional experience, her therapeutic process combines cognitive-behavioral and insight-oriented work, while helping her clients move towards self awareness, self-compassion, balance and fulfillment. As an artist herself, Susan specializes in working with creative people, and has been recognized for her innovative 4 week topic-focused workshops, and her unique Online therapy methodology. She is based in New York City and Athens Greece.
In this interview/one-hour session, Susan and Walker talk about the purpose of therapy, how to relate to one's own sensitivity, quieting the reactive mind and reframing how we think about "rejection", the importance of creating our own work, finding artistic partnerships that will support us, and how to expel shame and stigma from the subject of mental illness.
For more info about Susan, visit her website:
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Weathering Storms Along the Creative Path
A Radio Personality Opens Up About His Struggle with Depression
By Walker Vreeland
When I was 25 and crazy, I had no idea that one day I’d be 35 and not crazy. But here I am, now 36, and considering everything that I’ve been through, (clinical depression, a bipolar diagnosis, ulcerative colitis, lower back problems, a brief stint at the mood disorder wing at Johns Hopkins Hospital), I lead a pretty stable life.
When I’m asked how I got better, I’m never sure how to answer because the truth is I don’t know. There are several possibilities and perhaps it is a combination of all of them. It could be because I traded in all the medication for meditation, or because, for some of us, the brain does not fully mature until our early thirties. But there’s one theory of which I’m fairly convinced: a lot of my newfound stability is due to the fact that I am no longer trying to work as an actor.
I am now a radio host and interviewer, which I love. As it turns out, broadcasting is just as competitive a business as acting, but in my experience, it has allowed for a more balanced life. Of course nothing is ever certain, and I’m not always happy, but I’m no longer running through the streets having panic attacks and leaving manic voice mails that frighten my friends and family members.
Every now and then though, something stressful will happen—heartbreak, a defeat, an interpersonal conflict- that drags me back down into the darkness.
A few weeks ago I auditioned for a play and didn’t get it. It is true that this was something I wanted badly, and having not auditioned for anything in ten years, I am undeniably out of practice when it comes to getting rejected and not having a total meltdown. But this represented something larger: that I miss acting. Just because I decided to leave the business doesn’t mean that I ever stopped loving the art that makes up the meat and potatoes of that business. It’s a form of self-expression that my truest self, my soul, my essence- whatever you want to call it- is crying out for. So while I am psychologically healthier than ever, I am also somewhat creativity stunted.
In the weeks leading up to the audition, just the prospect of getting it made me come alive in a way that I haven’t in a long time. It was as if I was starving and someone took me by the hand and led me into a kitchen where I could smell bread baking. Not getting the job was like being told: ‘Not this loaf. Not for you. Not this time.’ But it was so much more intense than that. (For anyone with a history of manic depression, it always is.) It felt as though a hand had emerged from the center of the earth to lift me up, only to grab me by the collar two weeks later, slam me to the ground and pull me under.
Dramatic much Walker? (I know. Growing up my parents LOVED it, you can just imagine.)
It was rough though. If I had to describe what depression feels like, I’d say this: it feels like extreme jetlag coupled with a sense of dread. Those of us who have ever traveled abroad probably know half of the feeling: landing in a foreign country, having not really slept, we’re in a haze, unsure of what day it is or what time of day it is, and the light looks very bright but also very strange. For me, it feels like that; jetlag that has the potential of turning into the flu, with a crushing, heavy sadness in the pit of my stomach.
But here’s the thing: I’m okay.
One of the benefits of having a brain that is over 30, has survived crazytown and is no longer being overwhelmed by so many psychotropic drugs, is that I recover from depressive episodes quicker than I used to. I bounce back. After three days of wearing the same clothes, eating processed foods and feeling like death, I began shuffling around my kitchen, eating more processed foods and wondering how the hell I could take the horribleness I was feeling and be creative with it. How could I turn this God-awful experience into something that might help me and perhaps others? Could I use this “episode” in an episode of my show? As an episode of my show?
With a great deal of trepidation, I decided I would. I would talk about the aftermath of this disappointment, and I would invite a therapist on as the guest, not just to help me process everything but also to talk about the universal issues that all artistic people wrestle with: hyper-sensitivity, mental illness, self-doubt in the face of rejection, self-acceptance, how fear blocks creativity, and more.
The result of that idea is this show below. I hope it helps us all weather our dark and stormy times as we progress along the path.
Dubbed ‘Master of the Telecaster’, Jim Weider is a guitarist, best known for his tenure with Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee: The Band. He joined the group in 1985, (replacing Robbie Robertson) and for 15 years toured internationally and appeared on numerous albums, films and videos with original members Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko. Throughout his career, he’s played and recorded with Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Dr. John, Los Lobos, Mavis Staples, Bob Weir and Taj Mahal, among many others. His albums include Percolator (2005), with the Jim Weider Band: Remedy, with Jim Weider & the Honkeytonk Gurus: Big Foot, and with Jim Weider's Project Percolator: Live at Boothbay Opera House, Live at Olde Mistick Village Performing Arts Center and Live at Mystic Blues Festival 2013. A master of classic telecaster and traditional blues slide guitar techniques, he’s admired for his distinctive tone, improvisational prowess and mesmerizing guitar solos. He is one of a select group of musicians to have an endorsement from Fender, and has built an international reputation among fellow musicians worldwide.
This Friday night, Jim will be playing with The Weight at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY, featuring: Randy Ciarlante, Brian Mitchell, Byron Isaacs and Marty Grebb. For tickets and more information, visit baystreet.org For more info about Jim, visit jimweider.com
In this conversation, Jim talks about growing up in Woodstock, NY, what The Band meant to him before he joined the group, what made Levon Helm a great bandleader, why the Fender telecaster is his primary instrument and all of the musicians who inspired him to be great.
Casey Wilson is an actress and writer, best known for playing Annie on NBC's Marry Me and Penny on the ABC comedy Happy Endings. For two seasons, she was a cast member on Saturday Night Live, where she impersonated Rachael Ray, Jennifer Aniston, Katy Perry and Elizabeth Taylor, and introduced several original characters: Toni Ward, host of The Cougar Den, Dusty Velvet, a paralyzed strip club dancer, and many more. Other television credits include: Bored to Death, How I Met Your Mother, Kroll Show and the Hulu original series The Hotwives, a parody of The Real Housewives franchise. On the big screen, she's appeared in David Fincher's Oscar-nominated film Gone Girl, Julie & Julia, The Guilt Trip, and Christopher Guest's For Your Consideration. With her writing partner June Diane Raphael, she co-wrote the screenplay for Bride Wars, (starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway), and the comedy Ass Backwards, in which Casey and Diane both starred. She and her husband, comedy writer David Caspe live in Los Angeles and are pregnant with their first child.
In this conversation, Casey talks about Marry Me, being pregnant, what it's like to work with your husband, why angry people are awesome, how therapy has helped her live a more balanced life, why crazy women are SO MUCH fun to play, and what she really went through after getting let go from SNL.
Plus- she clears up rumors about Happy Endings coming back to ABC and admits that the April Fools prank kinda pissed her off.
Lemon Andersen is a Tony Award winning playwright, poet and spoken word artist. Frequently featured on HBO's Def Poetry over the course of six seasons, he also starred in the original cast of Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, which earned him a Tony Award and Drama Desk nomination. As a spoken word artist, he's performed to sold-out crowds at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the Apollo Theater, Chicago Theater, and Hollywood’s Kodak Theater; and his one-man show County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle had a critically acclaimed off-Broadway run at the Public Theater. On the big screen Lemon appeared in The Soloist with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx, and he's made four movies with Spike Lee, including Sucker Free City, She Hate Me, Miracle at St. Anna and Inside Man. His 2011 TED Talk: Please don't take my Air Jordans won him widespread attention and praise. As a playwright, Lemon's new play ToasT is a tribute to the black oral narrative tradition of 'toasting', and takes place at Attica prison right before the 1971 uprising. The play has been commissioned by the Sundance Institute and will open at the Public Theater for a limited run on April 21st. For tickets, visit publictheater.com
In this conversation, Lemon talks about growing up in poverty, and how PBS and ballet opened up a world of possibilities to him as a kid; why prison was the beginning of his training as a poet, the real life characters who inspired his new play ToasT and the importance of having creative control over one's work.
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