November 9, 2008

Hello world!

Filed under: Updates — dramavoice2008 @ 12:04 am



 Equinox, waning moon

fog descends over Point Dume

to Paradise Cove

  Santa Ana winds blow

crisp brown leaves down from sequoias

    onto canyon trail

       Students on Janss Steps

                                                       pass chipper black birds who sing

                                                       “Kotter, welcome back”

                                                                                               Emme Devonish

                                                                                                                     November 2008

Dramasense was created in December 2008.


October 12, 2011


Filed under: Poetry — dramavoice2008 @ 1:15 am


On entre dans l’immeuble

sans regarder la glace

l’image de la femme grise

Son cœur gelé

comme la mémoire du bébé

Francis, mort-né


On descend les escaliers

sans penser à un mari

qui a fiché le camp

Ses cris alarmés

comme un garçon effrayé

des ombres de la nuit


On s’installe au bureau

sans manger pendant des heures

parce que le chagrin dévore

Voyage quotidien

comme un squelette désintégré

le désespoir consomme


On se lève de sa chaise

sans parler à personne

dans la salle de fantômes

Leur insouciance étouffante

comme des larmes effondrées

d’âpres hystérectomies


On monte dans l’ascenseur

sans apporter le sac

des histoires atroces

Les pages du passé

comme la tombe de Francis

enterré à Charonne


On sort du bâtiment

sans regretter les jours

car les étoiles brillent

et leur splendeur invite

comme Niel Armstrong incite

à se rendre sur la Lune

Emme Devonish

Octobre 2011


Emme a gagné le Prix de Troisième Place dans le Concours de Poésie 2011 (Le Département de Français, School of Languages and Cultures,  The University of Sydney) pour la rédaction de Voyage Quotidien.

February 21, 2010

Feminism Revisited

Now through March 14, 2010, at the Geffen Playhouse, audiences can delight in Joanna Murray-Smith’s The Female of the Species. Annette Bening stars as Margot Mason, a writer suffering from a terrible case of writer’s block. 

As Margot struggles to find inspiration she becomes a captive in her home albeit surrounded with a talented cast of characters.  Mireille Enos delivers an excellent performance as Tess, the neglected daughter who abandoned intellectual pursuits for a humdrum existence as a housewife.  The debate rages on about whether motherhood is the most challenging career a woman could choose or whether the “real” world is woefully deprived of brilliant female minds that are wasting away with stories of Pokémon.

The roles of the other actors are humorous but without substance.  Thus, their formidable talents are not necessarily brought to the forefront.  The supporting cast includes David Arquette as Tess’s husband, Julian Sands as Margot’s publisher, Merritt Wever as a deranged college dropout, and Josh Stamberg as a cabdriver.  All of the characters have a purpose that drives the plot along, except for the cabdriver who seems to be added to highlight a Neanderthal view that a man’s unique contribution to a relationship resides in his sexual prowess.

If you let go of critical analysis and the potential implications of the conflicted feminist theories of Margot Mason, anyone can enjoy approximately ninety minutes of comedy.

August 8, 2009

Onda de Calor

Filed under: Poetry — dramavoice2008 @ 8:38 pm
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Onda de Calor


Humidade e calor não eram nossos convidados

Naquela tarde de Domingo.

Surpresa eles disseram e sorriram.

Balançamos nossas cabeças,

Nenhuma bebida para saciar a sede que eles deixaram,

Nem ventilador para refrescar a sala

Ou as marcas de suor que estampam as camisas de linho e

as saias coral de Primavera.


Nosso Labrador não ignorou nosso infortúnio.

Lambeu nossos dedos enquanto nossas juntas e músculos imploravam

Por glucosamina.


Aos 86, os 96 graus fizeram nosso reumatismo despertar.

As dores da idade que odiamos,

Tivemos que elevar nossos membros letárgicos

E engolir nossas cápsulas e tirar sonecas o dia todo.


Então a Mãe Natureza soprou um beijo

O vento acariciou nossas coxas, nossos rostos

E nos acordou.


Refrescados e recuperados, nos sentimos vivos.

Acariciamos o cachorro, colocamos Ella para tocar

E dançamos a noite toda.

Original “Heatwave” written in English on May 27, 2009, and translated into Portuguese on August 8, 2009: Emme Devonish, Frank Jenkins, and Daniela Von Hanzlik.

July 20, 2009

Poetry Review Posted on RATTLE

Filed under: Poetry — dramavoice2008 @ 10:26 pm
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May 21, 2009

Music, Prose, and Poetry

On May 17, 2009, the Ruskin Art  Club was graced with the lovely voice of the soprano, Lori Ann Fuller.  Victoria Kirsch, pianist, accompanied her with melodious tunes of composers Valerie Saalbach, Christina Whitten Thomas, and Lori Laitman.

The next performance was the hilarious fiction reading of author Brandon R. Schrand.  Schrand is author of The Enders Hotel: A Memoir.  He is also the Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Idaho.

Schrand read excerpts from Bad Behavior, a story published in The Missouri Review in the Fall of 2008.  The story recalls Schrand’s adolescence and early adulthood in a compassionate and humorous way.  Schrand is expanding upon the story to develop a full-length novel.  For more information about Brandon R. Schrand, please visit http://brandonrschrand.com/.

The afternoon ended with the heart-warming words of  Bart Edelman, a Los Angeles poet.  Edelman has been a professor at Glendale College for a number of years.  He opened his reading with Kate Gale, Managing Editor of Red Hen Press.  The duo read, “Passages,” a letter poem from Crossing the Hackensack.   

Edelman read several poems from his various books.  The three he selected from The Last Mojito, “Buffalo Dreams,”  “Excuses (for English 103),” and “The Last Mojito,” demonstrated Edelman’s wryness, concrete verse, and use of stark images.  Every poet and every mojito aficionado should have a copy of The Last Mojito to savor along with the mint.

April 20, 2009

Life Is A Game of Poker

On April 19, 2009, Conor McPherson’s play, The Seafarer, performed at the Geffen Playhouse.  McPherson, an Irish playwright, won critical acclaim for The Weir in the late 1990s and will likely receive recognition for The Seafarer.


The entire play takes place on Christmas Eve.  Although the day of this particular performance it was 96 degrees Fahrenheit in Los Angeles.


Act I of the play held the audience’s attention mainly due to the stellar actors: Andrew Connolly, Tom Irwin, John Mahoney, Paul V. O’Connor, and Matt Roth.


The caustic remarks of Richard (Paul Mahoney), a blind drunk, met with the sulky demeanor of his younger brother, Sharky (Andrew Connolly), seemed displaced. 


Ivan (Paul V. O’Connor), a fellow drunk and a friend of Richard’s, add further confusion to the scene with his recurring complaint that he can’t find his glasses.


At the end of Act I, Mr. Lockhart (Tom Irwin) and Nicky (Matt Roth) arrive just in time to change the dynamics of the play and leave a cliffhanger before intermission.


During intermission many audience members rushed to the bar.  This may have been a psychological response, like Pavlov’s dogs, to the constant drinking on the stage.  It may also have been the easiest way to reduce the stress-induced tension of the indecipherable first Act.


All bets are off in Act II.  The main thrust of the play is revealed during a poker game.  The message here may have been that there are always losers and winners in poker as in life.  For the characters in The Seafarer, an alcoholic life is better than no life.


The Seafarer anchors itself on Act II and an outstanding cast of actors.  If your curiosity is peaked, skip Act I, arrive at the bar during intermission, and then enjoy Act II. 


The Seafarer runs at the Geffen through May, 24, 2009.

April 2, 2009

I’d Rather Live In My Dreams Where I Am All Things At Once

Filed under: Performances — dramavoice2008 @ 2:03 pm
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On April 1, 2009, David Roussève’s theatrical dance company, Reality, performed Saudade at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse. In Portuguese saudade is defined as yearning, nostalgia, or to be greatly missed.   Saudade is the third and final work in the Bittersweet series where Roussève explores the point where agony and joy collide.


For one hour and forty minutes without intermission, Roussève drew the audience into a psychological drama.  Not everyone in the audience had the emotional or mental stamina to endure the performance filled with shackles, foul language, and lesbian sex.


Those audience members who stayed for the duration, walked with Roussève from the beginning of “desperately trying to understand the meaning of life,” through phases of life, until the end where the realization comes that life may never be understood. 


One of the mesmerizing aspects of the performance was the way Roussève quietly walked diagonally across the stage from beginning to end.  Each step was slowly recorded while the dancers moved around him.  At certain junctures Roussève stopped the walk to deliver a monologue.


Each monologue told a story. In each story Roussève assumed the voices of the characters:  a former slave girl named Sally, an old man’s lonely life with an alley cat, a mother who loses her husband to rescue her children during Hurricane Katrina.


There was also the haunting interwoven tale of Roussève’s own life, his struggle to live in his “own spot on the earth.”   Even in these bittersweet moments, love survived as the overarching theme.


The soft sounds of Fado played in the background as the strong, sensual dancers moved around the stage.  There was a certain rawness highlighted when the dancers shifted into spoken word.  Each scene pushed an extreme and acceptance of what “is” life was barely tolerable.  It is no wonder the group is named Reality.


This is not a performance for children, those with weak hearts, or those who would rather keep their heads in the sand.  For the brave few who walk through life alert, go see Saudade at the Freud Playhouse.

March 30, 2009

Children Awaken Your Imagination

Filed under: Plays — dramavoice2008 @ 11:58 am
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The scene opened with a dancing dog as the limericks came gushing out of the mouths of the actors.  The five member cast of Hoipolloi performed My Uncle Arly from March 27-29, 2009, at the Freud Playhouse as part of the UCLA Live Spring season.


My Uncle Arly is a story about Mr. Lear’s journey from England to Italy.  Edward Lear, poet, illustrator, and author, was born in 1812.  He was the 20th of 21 children.  From age 15 he supported himself with sales of his paintings and illustrations.  At 19 he sold his first book.  He spent the later part of his life in San Remo, Italy.


My Uncle Arly is filled with wonderful rhyme and delightful characters such as the “pobble who has no toes” and the “dong with the luminous nose.”  The cast quickly changed into the characters as well as took on French and Italian accents.


Even though the play ran about an hour and ten minutes, on Saturday night the theatre was only a third full.  Perhaps the 7:30pm curtain time was too late for families.  It was a pity that more children were not in the audience to treat their imaginations to live entertainment rather than the force-fed mumbo jumbo of electronic media.  Those children who were present laughed at Hoipolloi’s slapstick performance, clever rhymes, and overall delightful multicultural performance.


For those parents who would like to support the arts and children’s creativity, please visit http://www.webplay.org and www.hoipolloi.org.uk.


March 1, 2009

Deconstructed Dance


Max, the latest production of the Batsheva Dance Company, hit the stage at Royce Hall on February 28, 2009.  The group of ten dancers sensually moved their bodies in a personalized form of self-expression.  Their artistic director, Ohad Naharin, (a/k/a Maxim Waratt), choreographed the one-hour performance as well as composed the original music.


Simple costumes of black shorts and dark tank tops matched the subtleness of the dancer’s movements.  At times, the vocal sounds resembled Negro spirituals.  There was a sense that the dancers interpreted a struggle of a generation of oppressed people.  The language sung was not English; therefore, it was difficult to grasp the true meaning.  Nevertheless, the undercurrents of the movements suggested internal strife, external conflict, and resolution whether in the form of death or copulation.


Some of the sets were performed without music, which added a dramatic effect.  In others, the dancers counted or sang in unison.  In individual sequences the dancers moved as if electrocuted, or transformed into robots, or soldiers.  The collective segments showed unity and fluidity of expression.  Perhaps this is Batsheva’s message: the individual is nothing without the whole.


Martha Graham and Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild founded Batsheva in 1964.  The company includes 10 main dancers, 40 junior dancers who are part of the Batsheva Ensemble, a cast of 16 international dancers, and 5 members of the technical crew and administration. 


For more information, go to www.batsheva.co.il.


February 24, 2009

Who Knew Dancers Could Fly?

February 20-21, 2009, members of Diavolo, a Los Angeles dance company, leaped and flew across The Broad Stage.  Diavolo is known for its creative use of gymnastics, martial arts, and acrobatics in modern dance.  Elaborate geometric designs are also an integral part of Diavolo’s performance.  These large scale art forms challenge the notions of time, space, and movement.


Trajectoire, one of Diavolo’s signature pieces, was the final set performed after intermission.  It should have been the first.  A 3,000 pound rocking galleon was central to the performance.  Dancers in angelic white costumes soared over, across, and underneath the bow like doves in flight.  Audience members held their breaths in awe of the precision, grace, and flow of Jacques Heim’s choreography.


The preceding three sets (Foreign Bodies, Knockturne, and Tête en l’Air) were just appetizers.  Trajectoire was the main course and dessert rolled into one complete meal.


Diavolo also had a unique approach to public relations.  After the first set, Jacques Heim greeted the audience while the dancers changed attire and the set was re-arranged.  He informed the audience about the history of the company, upcoming tours, and the opportunity to purchase Diavolo jewelry.  He graciously thanked Diavolo’s sponsors and the audience for their support.


At the end of the final performance, the affable Heim re-emerged to interact with the audience.  The entire dance company, including the set and lighting designers, sat on the edge of the stage to introduce themselves and answer questions.  Afterwards, the dance company mingled with the remaining audience members at a champagne reception in the foyer.


It is not only Diavolo’s dance style that makes the company special; it is also their commitment to education.  Diavolo has an impressive roster of educational programs for students (level K-12) and college and professional workshops, which are taught in Los Angeles as well as in selected cities worldwide. 


For more information about this innovative dance company, go to http://www.diavolo.org/fs_main.html.

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