New things are coming to Space 55's this fall season.
The small downtown Phoenix theater space has welcomed Duane Daniels as its new artistic director. Apart from the theater presenting an upcoming season of "off-Broadway style, adventurous theatre," it will also host Kim Porter as she leads an eight-week (versus the typical four-week) solo workshop, where actors and storytellers can really sink in and get their projects done. But full disclosure: “You can’t complete your project in four weeks,” Porter says, “You probably can’t even do it in eight weeks.”
Playwright, actor, instructor, award winner, mom, nice lady – Porter is one of those Phoenicians whose name you’re probably heard at this point. Known for successes like her play Munched, Porter is a well-versed workshop director, settling into sessions at this nonprofit theater with notes and feedback for her group of participants.
Porter has been running solo production workshops for over five years, and says she has yet to initiate this type of class with an eight-week commitment – followed by a yet-to-be-scheduled showcase. Porter says this group-setting workshop can turn into anything, as the content usually shapes the class. There’s also going to be more structure. “Every session’s going to start with an exercise, there’s going to be an arch,” she says. Porter has taught and participated in a multitude of workshops herself, and says, "I just want to share all these things I've learned.”
The workshop will focus plenty on acting, but mostly writing. “First thing, the story,” she says, “Second thing, the performance.” The workshop will cover everything from crafting the story on paper, to costume and dress. “You just aren’t connecting your character all the way to the ground,” she explains of even ill-chosen footwear.
The Space 55 Theatre Ensemble itself has more good news. The theater ensemble is welcoming Duane Daniels (Munched director and principal from Veronica Mars, not to mention accomplished film and theater type) as the new Artistic Director.
Even Porter has more for us soon. Her upcoming show Blue Galaxy is coming next April as the first produced-in-Arizona work Porter has done. The writing was done 10 years ago, and the show will be put to music by Roger Clark (of Little Roger & The Goosebumps and that whole “Stairway to Gilligan’s Island” thing). “I’m really excited about this show because I love the characters in it so much,” Porter says, “And I never got to see them come alive.”
But before that, Porter's Solo Performance Workshop sessions are Sundays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. starting October 4 at Space 55, 636 E. Pierce Street. The fee for the class is $200. For more information, visit the workshop's website.