THEATER - Plum de Force at the Bushwick Starr
September 2, 2013
My sixth show with playwright/director Kristine Haruna Lee runs from 9/5-9/8 at the Bushwick Starr. We are the opening show of their season, performing in their Propeller Project slot for emerging theater artists. There's more info about the show itself on its facebook page here.
Check out this photo of me (playing a drugged-up German green apple in a Berlin nightclub-esque grocery store) and the plums. (photo credit Sasha Arutyunova)
MUSIC - Composing for Williamstown Theatre Festival Workshop Production
August 9, 2013
One of the Williamstown Theatre Festival's directing interns, Lila Becker, asked me to compose for her production of the short play Alaska in the Summertime by Anna Fox. The play includes lyrics to a song sung by one of the characters, and implies some additional music as a part of the world of the play. Our time was short, but I got together with the three performers who were going to be our music-makers and devised a sound-scape for voice and glass-bottle pipes based on the melody I wrote for the song. It turned out lovely! This was the poster for the evening of site-specific short plays:
THEATER - Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden at Williamstown Theatre Festival
August 5, 2013
Tonight we had two performances of our Williamstown Theatre Festival Workshop production of Thornton Wilder's Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden, directed by Columbia MFA directing graduate Tyne Rafaeli. I was playing the role of the "Stage Manager." We had packed houses for both the 9:30 and 12:30 (AM!) performances, and both were very well received. Getting to work with this group of amazing actors and with such a talented and visioned director was a pleasure and a real treat. I'm in my last week at Williamstown, and as excited as I am to return to the city, it's sad to leave such an incredible incubator for brilliant theater artists.
Here's the poster for our show:
THEATER - Plum de Force at the Bushwick Starr in September
July 20, 2013
I'm looking forward to diving into rehearsals in late August for Plum de Force by Kristine Haruna Lee (MFA playwriting candidate, Brooklyn College). We just launched social media for the show and started an IndieGoGo fundraising campaign. I have been working with Kristine for six years, and this is the first time we've done any fundraising for our shows. It's also our biggest opportunity to date, as we have been invited to stage Plum de Force as a Propellar Series project at the Bushwick Starr. You can read more about the show on our facebook page here, or our IndieGoGo page here!
And check out this beautiful poster image for the show by photographer Sasha Arutyunova:
THEATER - Dracula Review in Berkshire Advocate
July 18, 2013
The Berkshires' paper The Advocate published a lovely review of Dracula, or the Undead yesterday. Here's what they had to say about me!
"Andrew R. Butler (doing double duty as Professor van Helsing and the composer) with his wild red mane conveyed almost a mad-doctoresque frenzy to his performance, starting the show as a character that could be crazy, with his beliefs in the un-dead and supernatural, but ending as the sanest of all characters...
As the composer, his score was subtle, yet conveyed the perfect aesthetic, creepy enough to convey a sense of dread in the sunlight of the first act, but not overdone once the sun set on act two. And Butler's employment of a lone soprano, added a chilling effect, which raised the hair on the back of the neck, whenever heard."
The full review is here. Just a few performances left!
THEATER - WTF Workshop Production of Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden
July 17, 2013
I just started rehearsals for a Williamstown Theatre Festival Workshop production of the Thornton Wilder one act Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden. I'm playing the Stage Manager in this one-night production directed by Columbia MFA directing graduate Tyne Rafaeli. Tyne is the AD for the mainstage production of The Bridges of Madison County, and after seeing her first workshop show this summer I am thrilled to have the chance to work with her, as well as with the rest of the brilliant non-equity company actors she cast!
MUSIC - Interviewed by the WTF blog about composing for Dracula
July 8, 2013
An interview I gave about composing for Dracula at the Williamstown Theatre Festival was published online today. The show opens on Wednesday and it's sounding great. You can check out the interview on the WTF blog by clicking here.
THEATER - Williamstown Theatre Festival
June 12, 2013
Today I begin my summer in the non-equity company at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. I was an apprentice here in 2006 and feel a little as if I'm inhabiting a memory. My fellow non-eqs are brilliantly talented! I cannot wait to get to know them and their work over this summer! Dracula rehearsal starts in a couple of days. I am playing Van Helsing and I'm the composer for the show. It should be a jam-packed few weeks!
COMEDY - Political Subversities in Totally Requesty at The PIT
May 25, 2013
I performed with Political Subversities in Totally Requesty at The PIT tonight. Totally Requesty is a parody song variety show. PoliSub doesn't do song parodies, but they invited us to perform anyway! We closed out the show with a few of our favorite numbers. Next up on the PoliSub calendar is starting writers' meetings for a season of video production!
THEATER - Rags Parkland at JACK
May 20, 2013
My solo science-fiction folk-music show is going up for one night at JACK in Clinton Hill! I started creating Rags Parkland in 2009 and premiered the project at Ars Nova's ANT FEST in 2010. I let it rest for a while after that, but decided to reboot Rags this year. June 3rd at JACK will be the second-ever full evening presentation of the project in a theater setting. The show is a concert by folk musician Rags Parkland, a singer-songwriter living in the 23rd century. He sings songs (and tells some stories) about his time as an interstellar stowaway, a smuggler of constructed human organs and a convict serving a sentence of hard labor on Mars. It's Woody Guthrie meets Philip K. Dick. Listen to some of Rags' music here.
THEATER - "Drunkfish Oceanrant" at JACK
May 19, 2013
Tonight I played a jpop-performing mermaid in Kristine Haruna Lee's newest play, Drunkfish Oceanrant, at JACK in Clinton Hill. We had a very full house there to see our gender-mutating radiation-suffering, Japanese pop song performing, band of aquatic misfits. Another portion of the show will be presented later this summer at Hot Fest at Dixon Place (I'll be at Williamstown at that time.) The full show is slated for production as a part of The Club at LaMama's 2014 spring season! I'm excited to return to the project for the production at The Club!
MUSIC - Composing for Dracula at The Williamstown Theatre Festival!
May 16, 2013
I recently was invited to join this year's non-equity company at the Williamstown Theater Festival to play the role of Van Helsing in the Free Theater production of DRACULA, adapted by Steve Lawson, directed by Jordan Fein. Mr. Fein is familiar with my music, which lead to the creative team of the show and the artistic leadership at the festival inviting me to be the composer for Dracula in addition to performing in it! The job comes in the form of a composing fellowship at the festival. While I have written songs for a number of shows, this will be the largest non-musical for which I have composed! I'm excited to dream up the musical world for our adaptation of Bram Stoker's cultural touchstone!
COMEDY - Political Subversities' Video for FGP's The Toobies
May 13, 2013
Today I directed, shot, edited and even performed a little in a VERY SILLY video that Political Subversities has created for annual awards show The Toobies. The Toobies serve as the yearly fundraiser gala for performance curators/creation facilitators Fresh Ground Pepper. They asked PoliSub to make a video introducing the category of Best Music Video and we obliged in ridiculous fashion. I also co-created the closing number for the show! FGP brings together many brilliant artists and I'm always excited to be among their number.
COMEDY - Political Subversities at UCB East in EarWorm Music Party!
May 10, 2013
I performed with Political Subversities tonight in a guest set at the Earworm Music Party at UCB East, hosted by the hilarious and lovely Summer & Eve! The show was a blast. It's always fun to do our material in front of an unsuspecting crowd. We perform constantly at The PIT, so it's a fun change to get to hang out at the bar post-show with the UCB community!
MUSIC - Composing The Closing Number For The Toobies
May 6, 2013
Jenny Beth Snyder, a producer for performance curators/new-art facilitators Fresh Ground Pepper, asked me to join the writing/composing team for the closing number of their annual award show The Toobies. Political Subversities' music director Ian Axness and I split up the task. He wrote a pitch perfect silly faux-opening song and I wrote the full out funk-and-gospel closer that finishes up a ridiculous and hilarious evening. It was my first time building a full backing track on keyboard and garageband, and now that I know I can do it I'm excited to build more songs this way! The show is May 30th at The Green Building in Brooklyn. I also made a video with Political Subversities that will be featured during the show! I can't wait to see both the song and the video in front of an audience!
COMEDY - Political Subversities Closes Run, Starts YouTube Channel Pre-Production
April 27, 2013
Political Subversities had the final show of our April run at The PIT tonight. We felt awesome about the sold-out run and will no doubt return to The PIT later this year. In the mean time we are turning our attention to a relaunch of our YouTube channel and a new focus on creating weekly videos and building a subscriber base. I will be gone for most of the first "season's" videos, but I'm determined to get the ball rolling before I head off to Williamstown for the summer!
THEATER - "Drunkfish Oceanrant" Starts Rehearsals
April 26, 2013
I had my first rehearsal today for Drunkfish Oceanrant, the next show from Kristine Haruna Lee. I'm playing a diva mermaid.
You can expect fierce dancing, original JPOP (some of it IN JAPANESE), a hint of grotesque bouffon, and lots of gender confusion. The first performance of the new show will be on May 19th at JACK in Brooklyn. This marks the 8th show of Kristine's in which I have performed. She is currently an MFA candidate at Mac Wellman's playwrighting program at Brooklyn College, though we first started working together at NYU's Experimental Theater Wing.
I'm also excited to work with director Sanaz Ghajarrahimi and choreographer Ben Hobbs of theater company Built For Collapse for the first time, and to be back in the room with composer Kathryn Hathaway. More performance details to come!
FILM - Reading of "Dysphoria"
April 25, 2013
A couple weeks ago I was cast in a reading of Dysphoria, a screenplay by Brian Havelka, and tonight we performed it for a small invited audience in Manhattan. The reading went great, and Brian just reported back that the project is taking some next steps towards eventual production! Fingers crossed I'll get to reprise my roll as tweaker Donnie, best-friend to the lead character, a smart but troubled young woman addicted to meth and entangled with local law enforcement.
VIDEO - Dove Ad Parody Sketch
April 24, 2013
I got to play the sketch artist in Nicole Conlan's parody of that Dove ad contrasting how women see themselves vs how other people see them. Needless to say, the parody plays a slightly different game. Nicole, a friend from NYU's comedy community, put this together super quick and I think it turned out well! I'll be cutting some of it into my reel soon!
WEB SERIES - Wrapped Shooting on "Going Gold"
April 20, 2013
My recurring character on the new web series Going Gold wrapped shooting today! I will be in the middle four episodes of the first season of six episodes. Director Dylan Salcedo anticipates a release date sometime this fall! Look forward to me creeping around a video game delopment company as Henry O'Neill, an untrustworthy investigator for the International Game Programmers Association.