Saturday, July 28, 2007

Miss Julie's Podcast Debut

Recently, I joined the 21st century. How? Well, recording podcasts with BSC Theatre alumn Trey Tatum and Scott McCellan. Trey, who begins the graduate program in Playwriting at Pace University this fall, created the site a couple of months ago. It is located at with an ever-expanding collection of podcasts, transcripts and more. At brassringwriting you will find links to the podcasts, including a discussion of the Miss Julie adaptation entitled The Julie of the Nile.

The site focuses on playwriting, but given the interdisciplinary nature of theatre, student actors, technicians, designers and directors may find topics of interest as well.

In future weeks, you will find more podcast discussions with BSC Miss Julie company members. Early next week, hear a talk about the design process with Matthew Mielke (Professor of Theatre), Patti Manning (Costume Designer in Residence) and Nikki Craft (Senior Theatre Major and Co-Costume Designer on Miss Julie).

If you are following our blogs, we would love to hear your comments or suggestions. Blogs from students, photos, and even movie diaries are upcoming from Edinburgh, Scotland. Our flight arrives on August 1st, allowing us to ready for our opening on the 3rd. We'll keep you posted!

Alan Litsey, Professor of Theatre

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Julie and John

Here is quote from our press packet on the show: "Strindberg’s characters are among the most ill-matched couples in theatrical history. Each is so mistaken about the other, and in shadow of night, long hidden secrets are unleashed in the claustrophobic confessional of the family home. The conflict between Julie and John escalates to psychological and physical warfare—and total destruction."

The characters really experience every possible emotion over the course of the play. Over the course of the rehearsal process, the actors willingness to "go to the wall" in their exploration of the physical and emotional life of the play has resulted in some very exciting sparks in onstage. The photos published this week share just a bit of the work discovered in the last week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Miss Julie Countdown

We count down the days until leaving for Scotland Monday morning from campus at 8:00 AM. A portion of our morning was devoted to rehearsing our set up and strike onstage, which must time out to the minute. As of today Miss Julie plays at exactly 70 minutes. Our "window" for the performance is 90 minutes, leaving us just enough time to set the stage, open the house, and strike the set. The entire process was organized by our Stage Manager, Alex Brouwer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Miss Julie in the 21st Century

August Strindberg is acknowledged as one of the great innovators in all of theatre’s past. Miss Julie was not only a revelation but in some circles in its 1888 premiere—scandalous. Why? The reasons are many. Certainly, this unpredictable genius had a hunger to dig way below the surface of human experience. Not only did he wish to influence his audience, he was equally passionate about changing the landscape of theatre! Are we talking about yet another dazzling artistic wunderkind working to change the world? You bet. And he certainly did. You can read all about Strindberg and his work at

Why a modern adaptation? Why set it in the south? Well, our experiences are in a constant state of flux. Just consider how different your parent’s world is from your own. We can imagine the vast differences in perception and experience young characters such as Julie may possess in a context leaping over a hundred years.

Miss Julie in its debut was considered controversial, dangerous, edgy. It’s still a great, great play. But…what happens if we envision how our 21st century challenges might influence Strindberg’s rich, complex world? Is there potential to heighten even further our own culture’s questions embedded within the play? How closely can we define a world that will allow us to explore issues of privilege, gender, and social divisions, to name a few?

Why the deep south? Well, as the playwright/adaptor of Miss Julie, I’ve made my home in the south for over 17 years. I love the region and other than my native Central California, it’s the culture I know best. And certainly, our company of Theatre students bring rich southern-based experiences to our process. We hope however, that the play will connect with a diverse audience, at home and at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Theatre, at its best is always a high stakes experiment. We challenge ourselves in an effort to create a memorable—even magical—experience to share with our audience.

As we learn and grow together, we discover more as a learning community than is ever possible working solo. Shortly, you will hear from other members of our Production Team.

Alan Litsey, Professor of Theatre
Birmingham-Southern College

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Edinburgh Bound

Thanks for checking out BSC Theatre's blog site and sharing our Edinburgh Fringe Festival Experience with us. Over the summer, you'll have an opportunity to hear from Theatre students and faculty as we rehearse and perform our world premiere of Miss Julie. As many of you know. the Fringe Festival is largest and most diverse performing arts festival in the world. Check out the Fringe site at We make our debut on August 3rd, so please stay with us for continual updates and photos!

Theatre is perhaps the most collaborative of all art forms. The Miss Julie Project includes a company of six very talented students: designers, actors and technicians working on all aspects of the production with four faculty and staff members. One of the unique aspects of our process is that we are truly working together to create this experience for our audience--right down to planning the daily schedule together.

Please feel free to post your comments and questions as we share our adventures with you.

Alan Litsey, Professor of Theatre
Birmingham-Southern College Theatre Program

The Miss Julie Project

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Birmingham-Southern is counting down to the world premiere in August of an updated telling of August Strindberg’s classic play Miss Julie, where the talents of several BSC faculty, staff, and students will be showcased.

The play will open with nine performances from August 3 to 11 at a venue in Edinburgh, Scotland, as part of the Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world. It is supported by an Undergraduate Collaborative Research and Engagement Grant from the Associated Colleges of the South and the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.