Monday, September 29, 2008

The Beginnings of Coffee and Hope

April '06: As our plane touched down in the Raleigh-Durham airport, I pondered what had brought us here. The last eight months had been trying for both Jody and me - She found the lump on her breast in August '05 and by April '06 she had endured three surgeries and two rounds of chemotherapy. She was declared "cancer-free" by her doctors and we were heading to the ocean to celebrate...

On our first full day at the beach house, Jody is able to walk only about a mile. The last eight months have taken an enormous toll on her body and spirit. BUT, less than a week later, she is jogging with me for up to three minutes at a time and we walk/jog the entire distance to the point – over two miles each way. It is the most remarkable healing I have ever witnessed.

Back in Iowa I am still not sure of what to do with all I have learned and felt through this crisis. I suggest to a friend that I have an idea for a one-man show - working title: BOOB, ONE GUY’S TAKE ON BREAST CANCER. He chuckles and says it might be fun someday, but that I have only begun to climb the mountain to find the "new normal." I have no idea what he means.

April '07: I find myself back at the North Carolina beach house once again (BIG thanks to Julie and Carl for letting me repeatedly retreat there.) Now I know what my friend meant. I have met 50 brave men through Men Against Breast Cancer: all caregivers, all of them part of my "Band of Brothers." I have interviewed over 20 guys and gotten their take on what it means to be a primary caregiver for the woman you love and fear losing. With them I have climbed a mountain to help redefine what Jody’s and my life together means.

With me are reams of notes, and transcriptions of interviews ready for cutting and pasting on my laptop. I confront the daunting task of writing the first draft, including song lyrics, of the play we start rehearsing September 30. That’s September 30 2008. Coffee and Hope opens in less than a month.

The time has come to share all these guys' amazing stories – I hope the production proves worthy of their trust.

More to come soon.

Ron Clark

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Theatre Reviews: Stones in His Pockets

Wow! We had a great opening weekend for Stones in His Pockets. We also had a few reviewers stop by and see the show.

Matthew Brewbaker had a blast reviewing Stones on behalf of the Iowa City Theatre Blog. Check out his review here!

Loren Keller from encourages audiences to see Stones for "the acting magic." Click here to read his review!

If you haven't made it to a performance yet... no worries! There are 12 more shows before the end of the run. Visit our website to order tickets today. Hope to see you at the show!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stones in His Pockets: Director's Blog

You probably think Macintosh or Cortland when you think of "Apple Boxes" - but in the film industry they're something else entirely. Scott Olinger, scenic and lighting designer for Stones in His Pockets, first introduced them in an early production meeting as a possibility for creating flexible set pieces.

Traditionally these Apple Boxes - wooden boxes of varying sizes with hand holes on each end - are used to prop up furniture or light-stands, leveling a camera dolly track, or providing temporary seats, workbenches, and steps. If the Apple Box is used to make an actor appear taller, either because of their height, or because of the way a particular shot is composed, it's sometimes jokingly referred to as a "Man Maker." Think Tom Cruise.

Our six boxes in Stones create acting levels, specify location, and even make jokes (only Tim Budd could turn acting with boxes into a laugh). The actors manipulate the boxes into a bus, bar stools, a prayer kneeler, and much more. Oh -and they do make one of the play's fifteen characters TALLER.

Jody Hovland