All posts by thehivetheatre

Spotlight on The Hive: Elise Hanson on Bringing About The ‘End of the World’

Elise HS 2016

WAITING FOR THE WORLD TO END
By Jared Greathouse

Directed by Elise C. Hanson & Napsugar Hegedus
Starring Jared & Tiffany A. Greathouse
@ The Great Salt Lake Fringe Fest

Saturday, July 30 @ 9pm
Sunday, July 31 @ 3pm
Wednesday, August 3 @ 7pm
Friday, August 5 @ 7pm
Saturday, August 6 @ 10pm
Sunday, August 7 @ 2pm

Director’s Note

Apocalypse is the catalyst for a myriad dichotomies: destruction and creation, hope and delusion, id and superego, beauty and desolation. The simplicity of capturing two characters who swim in their own dichotomies–Twinkie in a blend of the bare bones of survival and the wonder of freedom, and Sno-Ball in hope and denial–is what gives Waiting for the World to End its unique tone and flavor. Meandering through the mire of murky and mutual uncertainty, the polar opposites find common ground as they explore the basic principles of what it means to endure and, even more importantly, what it means to live.

–Elise C. Hanson

WAITING Flier Photo

Elise C. Hanson – Director/Dialect Coach

Elise C. Hanson is very glad indeed to be doing yet another production with the talented and creative team that makes up The Hive Theatre Company. Most recently, she was a part of their production of The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh, and is now enjoying seeing an original work by her friend, Jared Greathouse, come to life. She would like to thank Jared and Tiffany for including her in this unique process. Here’s to the end of the world!

Spotlight on The Hive: “Cock” From the Desk of Jared Greathouse

jared plug

Spotlight on The Hive: From the Desk of Jared Greathouse

It was Spring of 2014, and I was balls-deep in rehearsals for a little play called THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT (by Stephen Adly Guirgis). The Hive had recently solidified script choices for our 2015 Theatre Revolution, and we were confident it would be our best season yet. That’s when I was first approached about possibly producing COCK by Mike Bartlett. A colleague of mine thought the script might be right up The Hive’s bizarre little alley. He was absolutely right. I LOVED it! Still do. I-LOVE-COCK…by Mike Bartlett. There. I said it. It’s out there now. But seriously, folks, to be honest, I found the whole thing a bit difficult to read. I mean, no props, no scenery, no stage direction, no pantomime; not to mention, Bartlett’s highly innovative writing style, all of which call for…no, DEMAND, a second read, maybe even a third. The man has mapped out every beat, every pause, every breath; every moment is meticulously thought out. Now, if you want to do a script like that justice (and, believe me, you do), you have to put together one helluva team to pull it off. Needless to say, there was a certain level of risk involved. I mean, it’s called COCK, for Christ sake! And yeah, sure, it wouldn’t be a Hive show without a certain amount of risk…blah, blah, blah. But this was different. We had already exhausted our budget for the year, but we knew if this play was going to be staged, it had to be NOW, and The Hive would have to be the company to make it happen.

Flash-forward six months after successfully reaching our fundraiser goal of $2500, and we finally had enough bread to put up COCK! With our guest Director, Lane Richins, Stage Manager/Hive Founder, Tiffany A. Greathouse, and a powerful cast behind us (William Richardson, Derek Gregerson, Allison Dayne & Jeffrey L. Owen), we were back on track for one kick-ass season! Now, anyone who’s ever been even remotely involved in a theatrical production knows these things can’t always go smoothly. “The show must go wrong,” am I right? Well, yeah, it did. Go wrong, that is. Luckily for us, though, the Salt Lake valley is teeming with amazingly talented actors like Derek Gregerson, who can step into a role last-minute, and completely immerse himself in the story from day one. Mad props, Derek! Bravo!

To sum it all up, don’t stage a Theatre Revolution if you aren’t ready to fight a few battles, maybe even a cock fight or two? Theatre can be a challenge, yup, it’s true. At times, you’ll meet resistance on all fronts. Sometimes from places you’d least expect. Within the last year or so, I’ve actually had several close friends in the theatre community proclaim to me, “You can’t do THAT show. Not in Utah.” My response…”Watch me!”

-Jared Greathouse

P.S. Come see COCK by Mike Bartlett: June 19, 20, 26 & 27, 2015 @ 8pm @ Sugar Space Sugar House. Only four performances. Seating is limited!

Spotlight on The Hive: “Bupkis” Into the Void with Elise Hanson

Elise Headshot 2015

Spotlight on The Hive: Into the Void with Elise Hanson

Nothing. It is a word that conjures flashes of a popular sitcom written by a New York comic and his pal. The Hive Theatre Company’s latest project–Bupkis: A Play About Nothing–is really something. I now appreciate the challenge of creating work that has no discernible point beyond entertainment. And to write for esteemed friends and peers, well–that’s just icing.

It was something I had never considered before, as a writer. Ever a fan of absurdist works, there were times when my writing would dance along the edge of fecklessness, but it never completely dove in, submerging in absolute void. The suggestion that performance art or literature could exist entirely and wholly “just because” tickled me, and so I sat down to write up a piece that bore no symbolism, metaphor, growth, or depth. I must say, I enjoyed it. As both a performer and a patron of theater, the idea of sitting down to watch a piece created for the sole purpose of having no purpose at all seems far too anomalous to pass up. And, incidentally, that is precisely what it is like to work with this theater company in general.

What can be said of my time with The Hive? It would be easy for me to go on about pushing boundaries, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, creating and participating in art that is as gelastic as it is poignant, but I think the ultimate experience one gets from spending time with this deft little company is an overwhelming sense of fun, and the notion that what you’re part of and what you’re witnessing is simply interminably cool.

With Bupkis, an audience member can expect to find respite from the usual fare, an intermission from the maudlin, and a break from significance. That, and it’s just damn funny.

Spotlight on The Hive: “Bupkis & Clowns” From the Desk of Jared Greathouse

Jared-Tiff-195c small

Spotlight on The Hive: From the Desk of Jared Greathouse

It was early December 2013 and The Hive had just wrapped up an exhausting little production called STEADMAN & WALKER (ZOMBIE LLC). I decided that it might be a good idea to take a “timeout” from writing for a while and get back to acting…it didn’t happen. Sure enough, like a junkie needs a fix, I was back behind the keyboard again, plugging away at a brand new full-length script, THE SECRET LIVES OF CLOWNS, which (I’m very happy to say) will make its world premiere debut at The Hive October 2015. Because, let’s face it, there’s a fine line between actor and clown. And I say that as both an actor and self-proclaimed clown.

My research continued and I happened to come across an online article focusing on SLC-based experimental theatre company, New Works Theatre Machine. Needless to say, I was inspired. It was as if something had clicked in my head. The Hive had several amazing productions under its belt by that time, but at that very moment, I realized what kind of theatre I really wanted to be making…the fearless kind. Within the article itself was a quote that seemed to stick out in my mind for weeks to come.

“Theatre without the obligation of offering an idea.”

– David Fetzer

To some, it must’ve seemed like a preposterous notion. To me, it was a beautiful sentiment. I mean, imagine it, a play that lets you think for yourself and draw your own conclusion, a play without any sort of personal pretense or political agenda, an opportunity to connect with an audience on a very human and emotional level; theatre in its purest form.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “It’s been done, right?” WRONG! BUPKIS: A PLAY ABOUT NOTHING is a beast of its very own. Sure, Seinfeld and Larry David took a whack at it. Hell, the Coen brothers perfected the art of “nothing”. BUPKIS, on the other hand, is unlike anything to ever grace the stage; a true original. And yet, to call it a play about “nothing” might be a bit of a stretch. To call it a play about “something”, a bit absurd. BUPKIS is a play about anything and everything all at once, and nothing at the same time. So buckle up, kids, because it’s going to be one helluva ride.

Neither BUPKIS nor The Hive Theatre is affiliated with The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists, which exists to support emerging playwrights and filmmakers. You can find out more about The Davey Foundation at www.thedaveyfoundation.org.

Spotlight on The Hive: “Bupkis” Behind the Scenes with Spencer Belnap

BUPKISSPENCER2 small

Spotlight on The Hive: Behind the Scenes with Spencer Belnap

I had just completed a year-long spout of back-to-back plays, and I told myself I was taking a lengthy sabbatical from theatre to focus on film and other things. But it wasn’t long before a fateful Facebook message from Jared Greathouse would propel me back on stage, and forever shape me as an actor. Jared and his wife, Tiffany, had formed The Hive Theatre Company in 2010, and were looking for an actor for an upcoming short play of theirs that would be part of the 2011 Page-to-Stage Festival. I had seen The Hive’s production of Baby With The Bathwater, and was intrigued by the company’s absurd and edgy initiative. They had seen me as Stephano in a production of The Tempest, and thought I’d be a good fit for this upcoming short play called Queen Bee. I was hesitant, but ultimately joined up knowing it was a great opportunity to work with some new people, and be a part of a newer theatre company in town. Well, we had a truly awesome time with Queen Bee, and the play won Best of Fest at that year’s Page-to-Stage Festival. I think Jared, Tiffany, and I knew that we had struck some rare and true chemistry and camaraderie during Queen Bee, and it only made sense we work together again. And again and again.

The Hive Theatre went on to produce Edward Albee’s At Home At The Zoo the following year, and I was fortunate enough to play the role of Peter. Peter was probably one of, if not the most challenging roles of my career so far. Albee’s dense and repetitive language, and the challenge of being on stage the entire length of a play, were brutal but extremely enriching as an actor. I’d never had such a gamut of emotions to play with in one piece, and came to realize how truly important listening is while on stage. Peter is also one of my favorite roles of all time due to the intensity and breadth of the character. It’s one I’d like to tackle again in another ten years or so with even more stage and life experience under my belt.

Since Zoo, I’ve had the privilege of performing with The Hive a couple other times, and each experience is fun and rewarding. I believe that theatre is a big commitment. If the project/role doesn’t speak to my purest virtues as a person and an actor, I won’t take nor make the time to do it. I’m pleased to be a part of the upcoming Bupkis: A Play About Nothing. This is definitely unlike anything you’ve seen before in SLC. Five original short plays by five local playwrights performed by five local actors. The plays are about nothing. Yup, nothing. No themes or messages. No overlying connection to one another. Each is unique in tone and style, and aim for something that has perhaps become lost in many plays: entertainment. Some comedy, some tragedy, an element of absurdity here and there, and a dark undertone come into play. I was immediately drawn to the concept, and tried writing my own short play, but found it very difficult to not include a theme, or the usual constructs most plays have. But being able to perform in them will be awesome. I play four different roles in a span of 90 minutes. I will work with new people, and I get to breathe life into a piece of art that has never been done before anywhere. That’s exciting to say the least.

I continually come back to work with The Hive because they offer unique and difficult plays in a community that struggles to be or is afraid to be, well, different. Different is good. Theatre is a lot more than the classics, the musicals, and the family shows, which Utah seems to offer in abundance. Other cities/states offer a lot more, and I think SLC can offer a lot more. With companies like The Hive gaining momentum and producing new and original work, our shared artscape only stands to be strengthened and enriched. For every Importance of Being Earnest, there should be an Edward Albee’s At Home At The Zoo. For every Shrek The Musical, there should be A Behanding In Spokane. Jared and Tiffany are young and hungry for these same kinds of things. They want to attract people that never go to the theatre. They want to smack us out of our Netflix binges and comfort zones, and remind us that this city is teeming with new and exciting performance art. So if you rarely or never go to the theatre because you think it’s too boring or too stale or just too damn lame for your money, I highly recommend giving The Hive Theatre Company and Bupkis a shot. And if you’re a regular patron of the performing arts, consider leaving your familiar worlds behind for one night and experiencing something different. If you’re not entertained, so be it. But at least you will have been witness to something never seen before. How many people can say that on a regular basis?