TIFFANY TANG is the resident blog writer for Intrepid Shakespeare Company, where she publishes a weekly column on the behind-the-scenes workings of the theatre. In 2014, she was invited to become a freelance writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune where she contributes to the Arts Section of the newspaper. A selection of her recently published work follows.
“Is love a choice or is it determined by fate? Are we who people believe us to be or who we believe ourselves to be?” Fran Gercke, one of the actors in Intrepid’s upcoming staged reading of Caryl Churchill’s A Number, ponders the numerous themes of this multi-layered play. Taking the stage on Monday night with Old Globe Associate Artist Jim Winker, the two will tackle this dynamic piece that explores the controversy surrounding human cloning while folding it into the complexity of father/son relationships…Read more.
William Shakespeare is looking pretty good for a man of 450 years. Although there is no official documentation of birth, April 23 is traditionally the date recognized as Shakespeare’s birthday. And since this year heralds such a nice, round anniversary number, there are a few extra frills and party hats being donned — around the world and here in San Diego…Read more.
For a company whose primary goal is to invigorate the work of Shakespeare, it might seem a curious choice to open the fifth season with a quintessentially American play…“’All My Sons’ still resonates,” says director Christy Yael-Cox, who chose this play partly because of her love of Arthur Miller and partly because the themes of wartime struggle, family loyalty and ethical dilemmas are still important issues in our modern day society…Read more.
‘MACBETH’ ACTOR’S DIARY. In January and February of 2014, Tiffany was honored to be invited by the San Diego Union-Tribune to write a four-part series on the behind-the-scenes moments of Intrepid Shakespeare’s production of Macbeth, where she would be playing a witch. The articles appeared in the Sunday Arts Section during the run of the show:
I peer at page one of my “Macbeth” script and realize that the notes I have scrawled in the margin are utterly undecipherable. Do we go on the light flash or the cracking noise? Sigh. Computers have destroyed my ability to create legible penmanship…I am seated in the fourth row of the Liggett Theater and, as usual, I am flanked by the two other members of my newly founded triumvirate, Savvy Scopelleti and Erin Petersen. Together, we are the Weird Sisters. Like “Heathers” without the color-blocking, we roam rehearsals cackling at private jokes and creating stories about other characters in the play….Read more.
From offstage, I watch as the Act Two banquet scene of “Macbeth” unfolds. Of all the unnatural things in this play, Fran Gercke’s Ghost of Banquo might be the most alarming, which is saying a lot coming from a witch. I clutch my cauldron to my chest as I watch. It is our last run-through before we have an audience, and I am trying not to think about what comes next…Read more.
PART THREE: Actor’s Diary: Backstage Brims with Fears – and Favorite Moments…Even behind the scenes of ‘Macbeth,’ one can’t help getting caught up in the action by Tiffany Tang, Special to the U-T, February 9, 2014
“Have you had any nightmares?” Rin Ehlers Sheldon, who is playing Lady Macduff, asks the question, and I think about it for a moment before answering. “No,” I say. “Being a witch is actually not as scary as you might think.” Read more.
PART FOUR: Actor’s Diary: Final Days Backstage Leave Lasting Mental Images – Unique energy surrounding play is fleeting yet memorable for the cast of ‘Macbeth’ by Tiffany Tang, Special to the U-T, February 16, 2014
Closing weekend, much like opening weekend, arrives with its own set of rituals. Backstage, there is an air of finality. Cast members are getting antsy for their next projects. Directors are scheduling rehearsals for future shows. The life of the play, while it continues with gusto onstage, wanes in the wings…It is about this time when I frantically begin looking around me, desperate to capture fleeting moments of this creative camaraderie. Unfortunately, trying to maintain the unique energy of a play after its final curtain is like trying to prevent an apparition-possessed witch from disappearing into the night. It just doesn’t work very well…Read more.
When someone says “theatre camp,” there are certain ideas that immediately spring to mind: fun, friendship, laughter, marshmallows. Erin Petersen, however, one of the main teachers of last summer’s inaugural sessions of Camp Intrepid, offers a different idea…Necessity. Read More.
“If you had told me ten years ago that this is what I would be doing, I would have laughed.” Christy Yael-Cox does laugh as she checks the time and speeds down the 10 East, en route to Palm Springs and one of the closest National Theatre Live screenings of Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth…Read more.
ONE BILLION RISING. In February of 2013, One Billion Rising, a movement to end violence against women initiated by V-Day and playwright Eve Ensler, erupted globally with performance and activism. In San Diego, InnerMission Productions spearheaded a series of local events downtown, culminating in a performance at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. As a writer, editor and film producer, Tiffany was proud to be a part of this worldwide celebration:
“I have an idea.” Carla Nell, co-producer of San Diego’s One Billion Rising campaign, said this to me on the phone one afternoon in late November. A few days earlier, I had forwarded her a copy of Maynard Dean Wade’s recently completed song, “One Billion Rising,” inspired by the productions of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ and ‘The MENding Monologues’ which he had seen in San Diego earlier in 2012. Maynard, a musician, had been slowly compiling an album to be called On the Mend, of which this song would be a part…“I think we need a music video,” said Carla. “I think we need something that will feature our awesome V-Day team. I think we need Maynard’s song.” Read more.