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Available Light Theater Goes International

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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The mission statement at Available Light Theater says that they are a “fellowship of artists dedicated to building a more conscious and compassionate world by creating joyful and profound theatre.” But what exactly does that mean?

We decided to hit up Artistic Director Matt Slaybaugh to help shed some light on things and talk a bit about their current ongoing show titled “The Internationalist”.

Q: So for starters, can you give us a brief history on the theater, and describe what’s different about the audience experience at Available Light that can’t be found elsewhere?

Available Light started under a different name in 2002, and we became Available Light in 2006. The past year has been one of tremendous growth. We’ve got a board, received our non-profit status, started applying for grants, and we’ve started performing in Studio 2 at the Riffe center, which is the best room in town for plays.

My favorite review lately was from someone who wrote on a survey “This play fucking rocks.” We try to rock, as much as plays possibly can, and I think ours really do. I’m also really fond of the students who sometimes come to the shows 3 or 4 times. It’s Pay What You Want, so why not?

Q: The current show going on right now is “The Internatoinalist” which you’re directing, and Anne Washburn wrote, correct? Where did the inspiration come from and how has the collaboration worked out?

A: Anne wrote the play after a couple of over-seas trips, contemplating the various forms of mis-communication that afflict us whether we’re speaking the same language or not. I read the play about 18 months ago and immediately fell in love. It asks the audience to be patient, to deal with the fact that they’re not going to understand everything that happens right away. It’s a challenge, but a worthwhile one. Getting the right balance of revelation and withholding has been a lot of fun.

Q: So have the actors adapted well to performing this type of concept, or has it been challenging for them too?

The biggest challenge for the actors in this play is that some of it is in a fictional foreign language that isn’t translated in the script. So they’ve been learning lines without necessarily knowing exactly what they’re saying. Now that they’ve got it, they’re having a lot of fun with it, but it was pretty scary at first.

Q: Sounds like it required some patience on your part as the director too, eh?

Well, when I was starting out at the age of 19 I was a horrible director. I yelled at actors when they asked the wrong questions and I had no idea how to get good work out of artists.  Let’s just say that I’ve learned a lot since then.

Q: Heh. So for any potential actors or assistants that will be reading this, is there a best way for them to get involved in future plays and performances?

Sure, we’re always looking for volunteers, you can just email us about that. The best way to find out about auditions is to sign-up for our email list here.

And for anyone looking to attend… tickets are cash only at the door, no advance sales, and it’s Pay What You Want, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Q: Any special thanks to give to those helping out with The Internationalist?

I want to shout out to our new board, who’ve been awesome, and also to Dave, Ryan, Jenny, Vince, Michelle, Maggie, and JohnnyKo – the best production team around.

“The Internationalist’ has showings on January 9th, 10th, 11th, 15th, 16th, and 17th at the Riffe Center Downtown.

The Internationalist Website can be found by clicking here.
The Internationalist Facebook Event page can be found by clicking here.
More information about Available Light can be found on their homepage.

Bonus: Video Preview of The Internationalist:

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