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From Jp – Inspiration, Near and Far

March 5, 2012

Creative inspiration can be found everywhere: right in your back yard, on the other side of the globe, or in the dark recesses of space (for the sake of this blog entry, we will stick to planet Earth and leave dark energy to the experts). Here are two things that have inspired me recently, one near, one far.


1. Two weekends ago was Touchstone’s annual apprentice showcase, Fresh Voices. It’s great to be in a position that allows me to watch young artists evolve. The first time we generally meet the apprentices are at their auditions the prior spring. This last season, we had the pleasure of working with the apprentices on both Into the Dark and Christmas City Follies before they began work on Fresh Voices. The challenge set before the apprentices for Fresh Voices is that they all must create their own solo performance, as well as a group piece. The outcomes of this challenge never cease to amaze me; we get to see young artists breathing life into their own creative voices and then coming together, we see those voices attempt to orchestrate themselves into a final composition. My congratulations to this year’s apprentices – well done! You all inspire me in your own ways.

2. Last May, myself and Ensemble Affiliate Christopher Shorr took a trip to Eastern Europe where we were able to do some research for a possible international theatre festival that Touchstone would host in 2014. Our first and favorite stop on this trip was Sibiu, Romania (that’s right, Transylvania!) for a ten day theatre festival. Here’s how their website describes the festival: “Sibiu International Theatre Festival is the most prominent annual performing arts event in Romania and the third in the world, in terms of audience (60,000/day), events (350), venues (60), and countries involved (70).” Being able to attend this festival was a serious game-changer for me; it both humbled and inspired. They recently released a video of highlights of last year’s festival. If I ever need a kick in the pants, I can throw on this video, and it reminds me of why I do what I do.

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