Milwaukee Actors in India

By - Aug 11th, 2011 04:00 am
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Theater MXT — comprising actor-director Edward Morgan, actor-playwright John Kishline, actress Deborah Clifton and stage manager Sam Kishline — are on a six-city tour of India. Periodically, they’ll share their adventure with TCD and with you. Morgan sent their first dispatch, last week. Here, Clifton weighs in.


Deborah Clifton and John Kishline, rehearsing “Success” in India.

James Godsil is written up in my hotel magazine in Delhi, India!

Godsil, among other ventures, is a partner in Bay View’s own Sweet Water Organics. So Milwaukee isn’t just Calatrava and Harley to the rest of the world. We’re green urban farming, too. I’m so proud! Yay Milwaukee!

Kriti Pant, our Indian actress, came to our first rehearsal with the news that her uncle, who has just moved to Milwaukee, saw her photo in the Journal Sentinel in the article about our tour. My guess is she’ll have a place to stay when she comes to perform this piece in March in Milwaukee in March (March 9 thru April 1 at Next Act’s new theater). She is a lovely young woman and a fine actress.

Kriti is also one tough cookie. You should have seen her bargain with a taxi driver. I’m sure she saved me a bucket of cash on that ride.

So far, we and our project are enjoying a series of happy accidents. My old friend and college chum, Mike Macy, just happened to be the Cultural Attache in Dehli and invited us to participate in an international theater festival in Chennai. Next Act just happened to have an opening in  March, the only time Edward Morgan, our esteemed director, fellow actor and collaborator, could do it. And Kriti, whose resumé was the first we received and whom we interviewed via Skype, is proving to be a dream. Oh yes, we just happened to have in our vault the right play — Kish’s Success — for this particular time in India economic development.

We’ve had our first dress rehearsal with a few Indians from the embassy and reporters and photographers from the Hindu Newspaper, which is sponsoring our performance at the Hindu Plus Theater Festival. We were nervous, not only because it was our first (tiny, informal) audience, but because we were curious whether our speedy dialogue, American English and our references to American presidential politics would read for an Indian audience. The response was better than we hoped. Thank the gods (plenty of ’em here to call on).

Today, Morgan led a workshop for 18 Indian students, a mix of actors and dancers from the National School Drama and company members from The Dance Worx. Morgan’s workshop, “Physical Theater: The Space Between Acting & Dance,” was a hoot. I participated, with students whose articulate analysis of what they saw and experienced impressed me. Morgan led us through exersises to free the imagination and get us out of our heads. It’d been ages since I’d done that sort of thing. I like playing this way, especially with college-age kids, with all their silliness and creativity.

Jet lag is bitch, and I’m a tyrant about getting Kish and Sam [Kishline, their son] moving. Earlier this evening, they were fading, so we stayed close to the hotel and walked to Bengali Circle for dinner.  We walked into a sweets shop; in the back, families were eating dinner. I sat down across from a sweet-faced woman. She was with her son, about my son’s age, and her mother. I asked for a recommendation. We struck up a conversation about our sweet sons, as well as what to eat. She recommended some delicious food, but I’m still too jet lagged to remember what its called. Fun to make connections around the world.

I know pathetically little about Indian food. Wish the restaurants here had pictures, as sushi bars do, so I could remember what I’ve had. I’ve liked everything. But if I continue eating like this, get ready for a new and larger me.


Categories: A/C Feature 2, Theater

0 thoughts on “Milwaukee Actors in India”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great to know about you. Especially when you have chosen to visit us during this month end. Kashinath, stream of joy (9845088088)

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