Monday, December 31, 2018

The Final Count Down

The end of 2018 is almost here, and tonight people will be counting down to the beginning of 2019. We at South Stream are counting down too - to the opening of This Doesn't End Well on Friday!

We have four more rehearsals left before we open. And yes, that means we are rehearsing tonight, although we will just be doing a speed through so everyone can attend to their New Year's Eve plans. The show is looking - good. Really, REALLY GOOD. I am so excited to share this show with audiences. There are still a lot of things on my punch list. Sets need to be finished, lighting needs to be tweaked, the sound... well an untimely hard drive failure has meant a lot more work for Will, but it will be ready to go by Friday. There's plenty that needs to be done. But honestly, even if nothing changed at all, I'd be proud to show this work to an audience. The cast really has done a tremendous job bringing the script to life.

Now we just need an audience, so get your tickets today!

We'll see you in 4, 3, 2, 1 ....

Friday, December 28, 2018

We're Back!

Look who's coming soon to a theatre near you...

We're back from break, we're in the space, and we're looking forward to seeing you here. We open one week from today!

It's great to finally have a chance to work the show in Sonorous Road, with (most of) the actual props and set pieces. We ran the show yesterday and I have to say it's looking great.  We still have a long way to go. Lights, sound, costumes... etc.

Speaking of which... have you got your tickets yet?

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Happy Merry Chrismakwanukkahhanzukkah!

The ACLU has assured us that this Christmas tree is sufficiently secular for public display under Lynch v. Donnelly
We hope you're having (or have had or will have) a lovely holiday season, no matter what faith tradition you follow, or even if you follow no faith tradition at all. Really. Just, um, have a nice day.

Tongue out of cheek: we have time off. I celebrate Christmas with my family, but no matter what you do, we all have some time off. It's a great time to spend time with the people who matter to you, and who you haven't seen in weeks because you've been in rehearsal.

Time for rest and reflection is an important part of the creative process. Time in rehearsal is great, but without time for rest and reflection, we will not grow as artists. We get frustrated, tired, and irritable. We focus on getting it right and getting it done - neither of which are useful to the creative process. If we don't have the proper time for recovery, we lose the joy and spontaneity which make art good. Work is important, but I don't go to the theatre to watch people recite lines verbatim. I go to watch them participate with joy, listening and reacting. I go to watch people be their true selves.

The week between the end of Christmas and the opening of This Doesn't End Well is going to be full of very hard work for our cast. So right now, the job is to rest, relax, and come back full of energy, love, and confidence. We hope to see you there!

(hat tip to the Reduced Shakespeare Company for the title. I recommend their (extremely long running) podcast to anyone who makes or enjoys theatre).

Friday, December 21, 2018

Leaving the Nest

Gerald Louis Campbell and Julie Oliver rehearse This Doesn't End Well

We have been hard at work rehearsing This Doesn't End Well since mid-November. We have been lucky to be hosted by RTP High School during that time. The rehearsal room is a special place. It's a place where you have to use your imagination a bit. It's a place where you can experiment. It's a place where you can fail. Try it out. See what happens. It's a place that, above all, is safe. It's just the actors, the stage manager, and the director. No one else is looking at you. No one else is judging you. No one cares where you stand.

Soon, we will be leaving that safe nest. Today (Friday) will be our last rehearsal at RTP. Saturday we will be moving into the theatre at Sonorous Road. We'll be adding costumes, and lights, and sound, and set pieces. And we'll be adding people who are running these things. They'll be watching runs and asking questions. We're lucky in that we have a little break (this Christmas thing you may have heard about) before we rehearse in the space. That will give everyone more time with their words, and time with their families. But next Thursday we will be rehearsing in THE space. On THE stage. It's part of the process. A new challenge. But I think our little crew is ready.

Fight Choreography. Tara Williams and George Labusohr work with Julie, Ben and Lou.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Meet The Cast - David Thomas

David Thomas is excited to work with South Stream as part of This Doesn't End Well. David is currently attending Wake Tech Community College and plans on transferring to ECU for Theatre Arts Education, Communication, and Marketing. David has appeared in both regional and school theatrical productions. His favorites include Shrek in Shrek the Musical, Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, C.J Memphis in A Soldiers Play, and Rachel Lynde in Anne of Green Gables. David loves playing a variety roles to stretch his talent and this play is no different. He would like to thank his family and friends for supporting him in is adventures on becoming a strong motivated actor.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Meet The Cast - Katie Barrett

Katie Barrett is delightfully dismayed to rejoin her South Stream family for the third time. Past work for South Stream includes Blackbird (Una) and Time Stands Still (Mandy). Other local theatre credits include NCSU Theatrefest's Tea with Edie and Fitz, The Hollow, Theatre in the Park's Dracula, and Bare Theatre's Titus Andronicus. Katie also works in arts admin by day as the Associate Executive Producer for the Justice Theater Project. She would like to thank Brook for trusting her with his words and both John and Brook for being crazy enough to invite her back as part of this lovely group.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Meet the Cast - John Honeycutt

John is the co-founder  and Managing Director of South Stream Productions. He has been an actor in almost all South Stream's shows, including Copenhagen, Seascape, The Caretaker, Time Stands Still, and Blackbird. In addition to running South Stream, he appears regularly with theatre groups throughout the triangle, including Justice Theatre Project (Tuesdays with Morrie, Frost/Nixon, and Dancing at Lughnasa), Theatre in the Park (Of Mice and Men), and the dearly departed REP (A Number, Circle Mirror Transformation).

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Meet The Cast - Ben Apple

Ben is making his first appearance with South Stream, but he is no stranger to local and regional stages. Locally he has appeared in productions with Burning Coal (King Charles III, Peter Pan and Wendy, and Rum and Vodka), Big Wig Productions (Bad Jews), Aggregate Theater (In Good Taste), and Theatre Raleigh (The Adventures of Peter Rabbit). Elsewhere in North Carolina, he has appeared with Triad Stage (Brother Wolf, Snow Queen, Christmas Carol and The Illusion), HART (The Actor and the Assassin) and the dearly departed NC Shakes (Romeo and Juliet).

Ben graduated with a BFA in Acting from UNC-Greensboro in 2014.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Meet The Cast - Gerald Louis Campbell

This Doesn't End Well is Louis's first show with South Stream Productions. Louis retired from the United States Air force in 2007 and currently resides in Raleigh, NC. In 2017, Louis participated in an acting class at Raleigh Little Theater and was instantly hit by the acting bug. He recently appeared in Women's Theatre Festival's production of Crumble (Lay Me Down Justin Timberlake) as Justin Timberlake and Harrison Ford. Since then he has enjoyed honing skills necessary to achieve his dream of becoming a professional actor. Louis would like to thank the director Brook North and fellow cast members for allowing him to enjoy this valuable experience. Above all, Louis wishes to thank his beautiful wife Davina, for her love, support and encouragement.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Meet the Cast - Julie Oliver

Julie Oliver returns for her second show with South Stream in This Doesn't End Well. Previously Julie appeared in South Stream's 2014 production of Seascape by Edward Albee. Julie has been a valuable part of the Raleigh Theatre community for years. She is a member of Burning Coal Theatre's artistic company and has appeared frequently there (Stuff Happens, The Normal Heart, Peter Pan & Wendy, The Iron Curtain Trilogy, The Heretic, Good, Brigadoon). She has also worked with theatre groups across the triangle, including Aggregate Theatre (2018 Children’s Theatre Series), Seed Art Share (Well Fed, Well Said), Little Green Pig (Maccountant), Manbites Dog (Mr. Burns), ArtsCenter Stage (Oh What A Lovely War, Eurydice, 10 by 10 in the Triangle, 2009, 10 and 15), and Deep Dish Theatre (The Cripple of Inishmaan, Superior Donuts). Julie recently retired from teaching band in the public schools since 1981.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Meet The Cast - Natalie Turgeon

Natalie is thrilled to make her South Stream debut in This Doesn’t End Well. Local theatre credits include Theatre in the Parks' Assassins (Emma Goldman/ensemble), Cary Players' Rainmaker (Lizzie Curry), How to Succeed in Business (Smitty) and Legally Blonde (Paulette Bonafonte), NRACTs’ Wild Party (Madeline True) and 9-5 the Musical (Roz Keith), Raleigh Little Theatres' Hairspray! (Velma Von Tussel), Sweeney Todd (ensemble), and her most recent production of Sister Act (ensemble). She would like to thank Brook and John for the opportunity to be a part of this production and chance to work with such a wonderful cast and crew. As always, shed' like to thank her friends and family who support this passion and craft; special shoutout to her sister, Kate, who signed her up for that acting class 6 years ago!

Friday, November 23, 2018


Rehearsals are underway for South Stream Productions next show, This Doesn't End Well! So far rehearsal is going well, and we have a lot to be thankful for.

We're thankful for our cast. We're so thankful that Ben, Katie, Lou, Julie, John, David and Natalie are sharing their talents with us. People often don't appreciate the amount of work that goes into creating a performance. Art is work. And for the most part, in small theatre, it's volunteer work. We pay our artists a small stipend, but I can't pretend that it is even close to fair compensation for the amount of time, effort, and craft that goes into what you see on stage. So whether you make theatre, produce theatre, or just enjoy theatre, be thankful to the people onstage for their donations that make it possible.

We're thankful to our crew as well. It's not just the people onstage who donate countless hours to make our shows possible. It's the people back stage and off stage as well. First among those is our stage manager Kelly. Stage manager is the toughest and most important job in the entire production. They have to be at every rehearsal and every performance, and if they do their job perfectly, you never even notice they've done anything. They never get the recognition they deserve. So thank you! Thank you as well to our long time TD Todd, our sound designer Will, our lighting designer and ASM Alyssa, our costume designer Rachel, and our graphic designer Jennifer. Without the contributions of each of these people, our production would be dark, silent, and pretty boring looking.

We're thankful to the people who have given us the opportunity to produce our work. Specifically we're very thankful to Research Triangle High School, Raptor Rep, and Ian Finely. Their help in providing rehearsal space for our show was critical in allowing us to produce This Doesn't End Well. We're also extremely thankful to Michelle Wells and the whole team at Sonorous Road. We're proud to say that we were the first guest company to produce a show with Sonorous Road, and this will be the fourth show we've produced with them. They could not be a better group to host a show with, and without their help this would not be possible. We're also thankful to be part of a wonderful theater community. Our theatre community is incredibly cooperative and supportive of each other. We have borrowed (and probably will borrow) countless set items, props, and ideas from other companies in the area (in the past including RLT, TiP, JTP, Burning Coal, Manbites, etc).

Finally, we're thankful for you, our audience. We always strive to create the highest quality theatre for you, and we have been humbled and honored by your support throughout the years. Theatre does not happen without an audience. And the audience is a critical part of the artform. Obviously, theatre without an audience is just rehearsal, but it's more than that. Each audience really does give the actors and performances a different and special energy. When you see a show, just you however you are, tired or energized, engaged or apathetic, harried or relaxed, you bring a unique energy and experience to the show that truly does create a unique work of art every time.

So thank you. We will be working hard for the next five weeks to make a great show for you. I hope you come and share it with us.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

this doesn't end well

Citizens of Earth:

South Stream Productions is proud to announce it's next show: This Doesn't End Well, January 4-20 at Sonorous Road Theatre in Raleigh.

This Doesn't End Well is a collection of short plays written and directed by Brook North. A mix of comic and dramatic works, these 7 and-a-half ten minute plays tell stories where, as the title indicates, things don't quite go according to plan.

We hope you'll join us. Details below:

All performances at Sonorous Road Theatre, 3801 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC

Prices $20 / $16

January 4 & 5 at 7:30 PM, January 6 at 3:00 PM
January 10-12 at 7:30 PM, January 13 at 3:00 PM

January 17-19 at 7:30 PM, January 20 at 3:00 PM

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Playing Hooky

That's actually what I'm doing right now. Ok, it isn't a huge obligation that I'm skipping... but at the very time I am writing this I did intend to go to Tamara Kissane's event for Artists Soapbox. By the way, if you are a Triangle artist, do your self a favor and subscribe to that podcast. It's an interesting cross section of local artists (mostly theatre makers but artists of all kinds) in thoughtful conversation. This event was a followup to her excellent "What I learned from 40 years of not being famous." I really wanted to go. But today (Sunday July 8) is just SO beautiful, I couldn't bring myself to leave my back yard. So I'm playing hooky.

Actual photo of a blog post in progress. Basil whiskey ginger optional but recommended.

Here at South Stream, we have been playing hooky big time. I'd call it a hiatus, but that doesn't quite cover it. We took time off. Ok, a LOT of time off. We didn't do a show in 2018, so that meant our usual series of show posts, was off the schedule. My random noodlings about theatre topics isn't dependent on a show, but they took on less urgency in the absence of ongoing work.

So, to atone for skipping out on my self-imposed social and artistic obligation, I decided to use my time to return here. Coming back to this blog, and to South Stream itself with more focus and more intention has been a goal of mine. It's been something I keep "meaning to do." And honestly, writing this blog has often been fun, and a great outlet I don't otherwise have access to. It's my own tiny forum where I can express myself to the void. Will anyone notice any of it? Very few people I'm sure. But it feels good to do it. But these joyful tasks can become onerous if we freight them with too much "ought to be" or "should be" doings. I saw that I "needed" to write more, but the more that thought became present, the more I avoided it. Even when I had an idea that I wanted to express, I would avoid it. Because "it's been too long since I updated the site," "what will people think" etc... The very idea that I was guilty of neglect made me avoid something that would otherwise have been a pleasant and passionate task.

And this comes full circle to Tamara. The general message of her podcast is so encoraging. Grow where you're planted. Make the art you need to make with what you have. Your measure of success doesn't have to be someone else's. Tamara is great at letting people in to her own confusion, self doubt, and struggle with being "an artist" (whatever that means to you). So, while I am not currently at your event (sorry Tamara) I am, in some sense, benefiting from it. So thanks.

Oh, and yes... South Stream will be returning as a producing entity in the near future. We will be announcing our next show soon... so stay tuned.

Twelfth Night's Come and Gone

  Whew! What an adventure!  Wow, well our production of Twelfth Night was a huge success. It far exceeded my expectations. I loved this sho...