It will be a candid discussion of the presence of alcohol in local community theatre, before, during and after the communal creative process. This intentionally nonjudgmental dialogue will explore both positive and negative ways that drinking impinges on our participation in community theatre, from the sprightly conversations that may occur as casts gather after rehearsals and performances, to the actual presence of alcohol during those rehearsals and performances (rare, but it does happen). This topic is of particular relevance to Doak himself, having acknowledged a few years ago his own alcoholism and questionable use of vodka to prepare for his work on stage over two decades.
The episode is scheduled to launch on YouTube at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 22. As of this writing, the scheduled panelists include Veronica Gracia-Wing, Gini Larsen, Amy Rickett, Joe Dickson, and Shannon Bowen.
Check out this article about Doak Bloss’s theatre discussion series “House Left” in the Lansing City Pulse:
Below is the lineup of past episodes and more to come:
All are/will be accessible on Youtube at:
1. "Don't Call it a Comeback" -- How theatre-makers in Lansing are coping with the end of theatre-as-we-know-it. Panel: Jeff Magnuson, Abigail Grill, Ndegwa McCloud, Shannon Bowen, and Connor Kelly
2. "Moments in the Woods" -- Experiences making theatre where you were utterly bewildered (as we all are now, sort of). Panel: Gini Larson, Oralya Garza, Nick Lemmer, Matt Eldred, and Abbie Tykocki.
3. "Cortisol and Dopamine and Everything In Between" -- Is theatre a viable vehicle for dialogue and culture change anymore? Panel: Joe Dickson, Jeffry Wilson, Diane Cooke, Rita Diebler, and Garrett Bradley.
4. "I Hate Hamilton" -- Plays, Composers, and other aspects of theatre that everyone loves--except for one or more of the panelists. Panel: Kelly Stuible-Clark, Nathan Tykocki, Laura Croff, Marcus Fields, and Jane Shipley.
5. "It's a History Play and You Just Got Cast" -- On the eve of Election Day, theatre makers share their thoughts and anxieties about the road ahead, and speculate what a history play about the current moment might look like. Panel: Lee Helder, Rose Jangmi Cooper, Mary Job, Connor Kelly, and Jeffry Wilson.
6. "Don't Call it a Talkback" (15 minute intermission) -- No panel; just the host yammering on about dialogue and the purpose of the "House Left" series.
7. "And Then There's God" -- Local Christian theatre-makers explore how their faith intersects with the largely secular world of community theatre. Panel: Chuck Sartorius, Nicole Martin, Shantel Hamilton, Rose Jangmi Cooper, Laura Croff, and Heath Sartorius.
8. "It's Booze with a Z, Not Boos with an S." The impact, positive and negative, of alcohol in the creative process of Lansing Area community theatre. Proposed panel: Veronica Gracia-Wing, Gini Larson, Amy Rickett, Joe Dickson, and Shannon Bowen. Premieres November 22.
9. "Every Play is an AIDS Play" -- The previous pandemic created a subgenre of theatre, the "AIDS Play" whose structure can be applied in curious ways to plays that have nothing to do with HIV. Does this tell us anything about theatre's function in a time of devastation and suffering? Proposed panel: John Hogan, Todd Heywood, Joe Quick, and two TBA. Premieres November 29.
10. "Unsung and Indespensable" -- the world of community theatre as viewed by the people backstage who truly make a production coalesce and arrive on opening night. Proposed panel: Cody Skalmoski, Diane Cooke, Josh Holliday, Marcus Fields, Anna Szabo, Bernie Lucas, and Michelle Booher Purosky. Premieres December 6.
11. "Hope and Truth" -- Shared theatre experiences that help us find the hope or truth needed to get through the cold seasons of our lives, both literal and metaphoric. Proposed Panel: Zurich Dawson, Sally Hecksel, Rachael Cupples, Jane Falion, and Matt Ottinger. Premieres December 13.
12. "Coda" -- Some final brief yammerings by the host about the series and things to come. Premieres December 20.
And stay tuned for news of the fun Theatre Trivia Tournament I'll be hosting over the holidays. Applications to compete will be open soon, and taken until the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. One grand prize to the winner: a $250 donation in your name to the local theatre of your choice.