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Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Hannah Callowhill Stage: An Overview of the History of 103 Callowhill Street

As I mentioned in my previous blog post about The Hannah, one of the things I did back in July after we first looked at the theater was delve into the history of 103 Callowhill Street. I had never before faced the prospect of living on a property that even comes close to having a well-documented written history going back hundreds of years. I think at least part of my initial excitement was due to how much detailed historical information I could find, thanks to Philadelphia's excellent online property records and searchable databases of old newspapers. There is definitely something to be said for living in a city which, following European colonization*, has had a history of being populated by swarms of lawyers and journalists (a tradition which arguably continues to this day).

The Penn Charter

First, a touch of background from Wiki, for those of you unfamiliar with the basics of Pennsylvanian history:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Music in The Cherry Orchard at People's Light

In rehearsal for The Cherry Orchard with Mary McDonnell. Picture by Emma Lee/WHYY.

About eight years ago, back when we lived in our Downingtown house and I was still actively auditioning as an actor, I heard that there was a professional theater close by holding an open call. I was pretty excited by the idea of potential employment at a theater that didn't involve a 30-mile commute to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, at the time the only monologue I had under my belt that I could whip out at a moment's notice was bloody Juliet and her stupid vial speech. Unsurprisingly, I did not get a callback.

(One day I will write a whole blog about how sick I am of Juliet. Short version: very.)

Fast forward to last year, and out of the blue, thanks to a recommendation, I was finally given my first opportunity to be a part of a production at that same theater—but primarily as a composer and sound designer, though I'm also playing the violin live on stage. Of course, now I've moved to Philadelphia, so I have a wretched 30-mile commute in the other direction.

But it's worth it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A new addition to the family ... congratulations, it's a theater

I haven't blogged in months, partly because I've been very busy, and partly because I was afraid if I blogged before now, I wouldn't be able to keep from mentioning what I'm about to tell you, and I'd jinx myself.

Let me start from the beginning.