A fond goodbye to the Cedar Street studio!

After a glorious final month of classes, we’ve closed the door to the Cedar Street studio.

Many thanks to our students, theatre collaborators & audience members for your support over the past four years!

Stay tuned for news of workshops and events later in the year,
as Lemon Punch Theatre Lab continues to make space for play.

Here are some of the many memories we’ve made over the past four years . . .

Carol Raiche sported her hoodie for Escaped Alone rehearsal,
and James Grillo surprised me by showing up to perform in ourStory/Creature/Scene showcase in his LPTL tee!

I confess that one reason for starting my own business was to rock some merch! Who doesn’t want a snug sweatshirt with a cool logo? And who doesn’t want their life’s motto on a t-shirt?

But back to the beginning . . .
Way back in 2019, leading warmups for Scene Study class!

Brad Ritchie and James Grillo getting intense in a scene from True West.

When the pandemic hit, we all scrambled onto Zoom and learned new skills!

I had to learn quickly how to produce Zoom classes and performances, turning my home office into a command station. But it was hugely gratifying work, and, together with colleagues existing and new, Lemon Punch produced three Lemon Live Festivals, one evening of lengthier staged readings, and a brand new one act that I created with Pam Battin-Sacks and Steve Sacks,
I’ll Be Right There

And I give a huge shout-out to theatre KAPOW‘s Matt & Carey Cahoon for inspiring me and sharing tips for creating the best virtual theatre experiences!

Peter Leonard-Solis was a Lemon Live actor who really worked the Zoom frame, and who happily continued to play with us in the studio after re-opening!

One of my new online colleagues, playwright and actor Matt Cogswell, worked with me throughout the Lemon Live festivals and into a series of Physical Comedy classes. He even joined us for Improv last month!

I was delighted to “reunite” with him in the real world once the studio reopened and we could go back to the theatres. Other colleagues from this time period whom I continue to cherish include the women of the Blue Cow writers’ group in Providence.

Here’s a picture of Mary Sapp & Orlik Guzman in a chilling scene with the guillotine. Photo by Tim Gurczak.

I also had the joy of using the Lab to rehearse two New Works shorts and two main stage shows for The Firehouse Center for the Arts. in 2022, I directed Lauren Gunderson’s THE REVOLUTIONISTS.

Branwyn Ritchie as Charlotte Corday. Photo: Tim Gurczak

Mikayla Bishop as Marie Antoinette. Photo: Tim Gurczak

Last fall, we installed smart lights and reorganized the space to create a performance venue for Story/Creature/Scene.

***This is a good time to acknowledge that “we” often means “my husband Paul,” who often had the brightest ideas and always went up the ladder for me when I needed him! Thanks, Paul! 

I taught myself QLab, so I could run sound cues from my computer. Meanwhile, I ran lights through my iPad. What a world!

This crash course was helpful later when I designed my own sound for Trifles & Escaped Alone. It’s amazing what you can do with the aid of YouTube tutorials!

Deborah Baker co-devised a solo piece with me, Holding Sway. It was a lovely process of brainstorming, co-writing, and choreography. 

Carol and James kicked theatrical butt in a short play I wrote for them, You Are Here. They were hilarious, eerie, and extremely playful!

Peter brought his clown out of Zoom and into the Lab in Ophelio Wakes Up.

Photo by Justin Lahue, scenic design by Justin Lahue, lighting by Ben Bagley.

Last but far from least, it was a great joy to rehearse Trifles & Escaped Alone in the Lemon Punch studio, a setting enhanced by two exquisitely written texts performed by two dynamic casts. John, Steve, Dan, Rebecca, Pam, Sally, Barbara, Carol & Becky, it was an enormous privilege to work with you and watch you perform–every single time!

Huge thanks to Pamela Battin-Sacks & Steve Sacks, 
who co-produced this show with The Firehouse. Great work, my friends!

Like Boris, I have more mischief planned in the coming months!

Thanks once again to all those students and colleagues who brought your artistry to the Lab, and to our audiences and supporters.
Best wishes in your work and play.
See you again soon!