Let Hands Do What Lips Do
Giving a quick shout-out to director Aaron Sawyer and Red Theater for their hit play R+J: The Vineyard, a reconceptualization of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet incorporating American Sign Language (ASL) along with spoken text. It's been getting a lot of good reviews and good buzz, and hopefully I'll get around to catching it before closing.
Aaron actually attended one of the intro classes at my dojo back in July, seeking something different for the fight choreography in the show. Afterward I did some coaching with the actors in the early stages of rehearsal, showing them the fundamentals of contact and flow used in Aikido.
Unfortunately, per Aaron, a lot of my original work didn't survive the transition as the show workshopped its way through rehearsals to tech/dress and finally opening, as the cast made adjustments to the performance space and their actual prop weapons (Well, that and I wasn't around to do any additional tweaking). However, I'm still getting a "Combat Consultant" credit, and given that this show looks like it's pretty groundbreaking, that's a small issue for me. Congratulations to all involved!