Play: “Some Velvet Morning”

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The Tempe Center for the Arts will have its first production, “Some Velvet Morning.” The play looks at the issue of misogyny, and features a majority female cast and creative team. Ralph Remington, the new artistic director for the Tempe Center for the Arts, will discuss the production along with Marilyn Clark Silva, a founding member of Tandem Duo, which composed original music for the play. The play starts March 9 and leads up to “Disrupt Fest” on March 18, where people can immerse themselves in provocative theater and music.

CAMERAWOMAN: Y-YOU'RE ON.

TED SIMONS: "SOME VELVET MORNING" IS A THOUGHT-PROVOKING NEW PLAY THAT DEBUTED LAST WEEK AT THE TEMPE CENTER FOR THE ARTS. THE PLAY DEALS WITH THE ISSUE OF MISOGYNY, AMONG OTHER THINGS, AND FEATURES A MOSTLY FEMALE CAST AND CREATIVE CREW. JOINING US NOW IS THE NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR FOR TEMPE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, RALPH REMINGTON, AND ALSO WITH US IS MARILYN CLARK SILVA OF THE GROUP TANDEM DUO, WHICH CREATED MUSIC FOR THE PLAY. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

RALPH REMINGTON: GOOD TO BE HERE.

TED SIMONS: FIRST SELF-PRODUCED PLAY FOR THE TEMPE CENTER FOR THE ARTS. WHY THIS ONE? THIS IS QUITE THE PIECE.

RALPH REMINGTON: WELL, THIS PIECE IS BASICALLY, IT EXPLORES SEXISM AND MISOGNY IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES AND ESPECIALLY TODAY, SPEAKING ABOUT THE NORMALIZATION OF THAT KIND OF THING, THE COARSE AND CRUDE BEHAVIOR TOWARD WOMEN. THIS PLAY ILLUMINATES THE ASPECTS.

TED SIMONS: THIS IS A NIEL LEBEUT PLAY, THIS IS A NOTORIOUS PLAY AND SCREEN WRITE. SOME BELIEVE HE DOESN'T HAVE THE BEST INTENTIONS FOR THE AUDIENCE IN MIND.

RALPH REMINGTON: THAT'S TRUE. HE SPEAKS FRANKLY. THE LANGUAGE IS ADULT. THE SUBJECT MATTER IS ADULT. I THINK WHAT HE DOES IS HE EXPOSES THE TRUTH IN A WAY A LOT OF WRITERS SHY AWAY FROM. IT WAS A GOOD CHOICE, I THINK FOR TEMPE CENTER FOR THE ARTS. WE ARE TRYING TO PROVIDE A PLATFORM FOR HISSTORICALLY MARGINALIZED PEOPLE.

TED SIMONS: YOU DID THE MUSIC FOR THIS. WAS IT A BLANK SLATE? HOW DOES IT WORK?

MARILYN CLARK SILVA: RALF APPROACHED US ABOUT COLLABORATING ON THE PROJECT, AND WE READ THE SCRIPT AND SAID, WOW, THIS IS AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE AND INTERESTING PROJECT, AND WE WOULD LOVE TO BE INVOLVED. WE WORKED DIRECTLY WITH RALF AND WITH THE ACTORS AND THE CREATIVE TEAM TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING THEY WERE DOING WOULD LINE UP WITH THE MESSAGE OF THE PLAY. THE FIRST THING WE DID WAS READ THE PLAY SEPARATELY. THEN WE GOT TOGETHER AND READ IT WITH EACH OF US READING ONE OF THE CHARACTER'S PARTS, SO WE COULD GET AN IDEA HOW IT WOULD FEEL OUT LOUD, WHICH IS DIFFERENT FROM THE PAGE. THEN WE CAME UP WITH SEVERAL THEMES THAT WE WOULD PUT THROUGHOUT THE PIECE. WE CAME UP WITH THE SOUND PALETTE WHICH IS A LOT OF FUN BECAUSE WE GET TO USE SOUNDS YOU DON'T GET TO HEAR IN MOZART.

TED SIMONS: LET ME STOP YOU RIGHT THERE. THIS IS A DUO. MARIMBA AND VIOLINS. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

MARILYN CLARK SILVA: ACTUALLY, IN THE '80S, A DUO CAME ABOUT. THEY ARE FANTASTIC PLAYERS. THEY COMMISSIONED QUITE A FEW PIECES FOR THE ENSEMBLE. THERE IS A WHOLE REPERTOIRE.

TED SIMONS: INTERESTING.

MARILYN CLARK SILVA: SARAH AND I MET FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE PRACTICE PLAY. I SENT A MESSAGE OUT TO PLAY THE NEW MUSIC SAYING I WANTED TO PLAY SOMETHIND A LITTLE DIFFERENT. THEY SAID YES. WE WERE JUST KINDRED SPIRITS. WE HAVE RECENTLY BRANCHED OUT TO DO OTHER PIECES AND MORE ORIGINAL WORK.

TED SIMONS: IT'S AN ATMOSPHERIC SOUND. DID YOU HAVE THIS GROUP IN MIND OR DID YOU SAY, THIS SOUNDS PERFECT?

RALPH REMINGTON: I SAW THEM PERFORM QUITE A FEW TIMES AT DIFFERENT VENUES. I THOUGHT, IT WOULD BE PERFECT TO HAVE AN ALL FEMALE GROUP. TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ALMOST LIKE A GREEK CHORUS WITH THE ACTION GOING ON, ON THE STAGE, I THOUGHT IT WOULD ILLUMINATE THE STORY IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

TED SIMONS: AND?

RALPH REMINGTON: I THINK THE RESULTS ARE AMAZING. THE PLAY WOULDN'T BE WHAT IT IS WITHOUT THEM.

TED SIMONS: AND -- I KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS. THERE WAS A FILM THAT GOT MIXED REVIEWS --SOME ENTHUSIASTIC, SOME NOT SO MUCH. WHEN YOU WERE READING THE SCRIPT, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? WE WERE THINKING WE WANTED TO BE CAREFUL THAT THE MESSAGE WAS APPROPRIATE.

MARILYN CLARK SILVA: WE DIDN'T WANT IT TO SEEM LIKE WE WERE USING THE TOPIC IN AN INAPPROPRIATE OR GRATUITOUS WAY BUT WE WANTED TO HIGHLIGHT AN IMPORTANT ISSUE. I THINK ONE OF THE REASONS THEY ASKED US TO BE PART OF THE PROJECT IS OUR SOUND. WE ARE THE SAME DEMOGRAPHIC. WE ARE WHITE WOMEN IN OUR 20S. WE HAVE SOME EDUCATION, WE ARE ARTICULATE, WE HAVE ARTISTIC BACKGROUNDS. THEY MENTION THAT IN THE PLAY. WE HAVE TAKEN A DIFFERENT PATH TO MAKE A LIVING. WE GET TO BE THERE ON STAGE IN THE COMMENTARY ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE PLAY. AS PEOPLE THAT CAN RELATE TO HER SITUATION TO SOME DEGREE. WE GET TO BRIDGE BETWEEN THE AUDIENCE AND THE ACTORS.

TED SIMONS: AGAIN, WE ARE SEEING SHOTS FROM THE PRODUCTION. THE CHALLENGE OF STAGING -- THERE ARE TWISTS TO SAY THE LEAST, IN THIS PRODUCTION. CHALLENGES?

RALPH REMINGTON: YEAH. IT'S CHALLENGING BECAUSE THE ACTORS HAVE TO NEGOTIATE THE TRUTH AND WHAT'S FICTION IN THEIR CHARACTER'S LIVES AND THEIR OWN LIVES. WHAT'S THE TRUTH WITH US? WHAT'S THE TRUTH WITH THE CHARACTERS? WHICH CHARACTERS ARE REAL? IT'S TRICKY BUSINESS.

TED SIMONS: SO THE PERFORMANCE IS MARCH 18TH, WHICH LEADS UP TO DISRUPTFEST? WHAT IS THAT?

RALPH REMINGTON: THAT'S THE PLAY AND TWO BANDS. ALL WOMEN'S BURLESQUE JAZZ BAND. YOUR MUSIC IS DONE. THERE IS A HIP-HOP ORCHESTRA WITH OPERATIC SINGERS AS WELL. THEY ARE AMAZING.

TED SIMONS: LAST QUESTION FOR YOU, THE PERFORMANCE IS OVER. YOUR MUSIC IS DONE. HOW DO YOU FEEL? IS IT WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE END OF THE PERFORMANCE?

MARILYN CLARK SILVA: SARAH AND I WERE TALKING ABOUT IT RECENTLY. WE HAVE DIFFERENT REACTIONS TO IT. SHE FEELS VERY EMOTIONALLY DRAINED AND TIRED. I FEEL AMPED UP A BIT. I FIND IT TO BE CATHARTIC TO BE ABLE TO SAY WHAT'S HAPPENING ON STAGE WHILE THE CHARACTER IS GIVING HER CONSENT. IT'S NOT OKAY. GIVING HER THE NOT OKAY. TO ME, THAT'S VERY EMPOWERING.

TED SIMONS: IT SOUNDS LIKE THE PERFECT RESPONSE.

RALPH REMINGTON: THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR.

TED SIMONS: CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS. CONGRATULATIONS AS WELL. CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ON YOUR CONTINUED SUCCESS. TUESDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON. PHYSICIST LAWRENCE KRAUSS JOINS US TO TALK ABOUT HIS NEW BOOK, "THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD - SO FAR" AND WE'LL HEAR ABOUT ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY'S NEWEST PLAY, "ALBATROSS" THAT'S AT 5:30 HERE ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." THAT'S IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

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Ralph Remington: Artistic director for the Tempe Center for the Arts
Marilyn Clark Silva: Founding member of Tandem Duo

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