Ariana Karp, Ducdame Ensemble actor and director, spent a packed 36 hours in Santa Fe that made New York Times travel writers look like slackers. Starting in Brooklyn at 2:00AM, braving a ride in a (possibly) Uber car that required its driver to use a breathalyzer to start the engine, Ariana touched down in Santa Fe at 9:30AM where she was met by board members Anna and Caryl Farkas. They hit the ground running with a visit to the Adobe Rose Theater to discuss a possible performance there in February, then off to Modern General for a meeting with director Genie Stevens to discuss a scene for the Speak the Speech, Director’s Cuts show. Anna and Ariana tried out the Richard/Elizabeth dialog from Richard III, Act IV, scene 4, which added an unusual note to the cafe buzz.
Good thing we filled up at the General because we rolled up to St. John’s College just in time to shoot one of Anna Farkas’s Five-minute Shakespeare in Santa Fe productions with Anna Darrah. This is the second play we’ve done a clip from, and brilliant local Shakespearean Quinn Mander supported Ariana’s scene from King John.
We wrapped the shoot at 4:30PM and headed out to Eldorado where Ariana met members of Upstart Crows of Santa Fe. She shared stories from her own days in a youth Shakespeare company and did a little directing as they prepared their tavern songs for the next night’s fundraiser. “Give your tavern-goer a back story,” she suggested. “Maybe you’re the one who sits in the corner missing his love, or you could be the one who’s trying to get a free drink. Think about the other people in the tavern, which one is your special friend, which one would you want to avoid, what do you think about the hostess…” She joined in the songs with them for very lively 45 minutes!
We couldn’t let her leave Santa Fe without a meal at Harry’s Roadhouse (which was packed, as usual). One blackened catfish plate with grits and greens later, we repaired to the Mermaid Tavern, ISC HQ, for dessert and a couple of hours of meet-and-greet with ISC board members and volunteers.
Friday morning was time for a little site-seeing appropriate for theater geeks. We visited all the spaces that the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) and Ducdame artists would be working during the February First Folio celebration and talked acoustics and seating arrangements. Then there was time to drop in to Double-take on Guadalupe to ogle the cowboy boots and turquoise and grab a bowl of green chile stew at Tia Sophia’s before our business meeting back at the Mermaid Tavern.
The board and Ariana shared blue-sky visions of our collaboration and worked out practical details of the upcoming February events. Pam Harper and Jack Fuchs, our organizational facilitators extraordinaire kept us on schedule so that Anna Farkas and Ariana would have time to rehearse their scene for that night’s fundraiser. We made a lightning run for costume repair items and then arrived at Elizabeth Thornton’s charming home on Canyon Road for the party.
From 5:00-6:30PM, the ISC lit up the house with music, performance, and Shakespearean niblets. Ariana performed the “Willow cabin,” scene from Twelfth Night, Act 1, scene 5, and spent time talking to guests about the joys and virtues of training at LAMDA and performing classical theater. She let us know how much the “International,” in our name means to her ensemble members as they work to fulfill their dream of creating a well-traveled pathway to performances between London and the U.S.
Since she hadn’t had a chance to partake of the exquisite Elizabethan foods at the party, we popped up to the Teahouse on Canyon Road for a bite before driving Ariana down to Albuquerque for her red-eye back to New York. She arrived at 5:45AM giving her plenty of time to make it her 10:00AM tech rehearsal for Ubu Rex!
We applaud and appreciate her stamina and enthusiasm and look forward to her return in February with Ducdame. They’ll be performing Dames of Thrones - scenes featuring the women of Shakespeare’s history plays on Wednesday, February 17 at 7:30PM Stay tuned for more details!