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Feature Tue Apr 21 2009

Photo Essay: Interpreting SKETCHBOOK Plays

The SKETCHBOOK Festival is celebrating its 9th year with the introduction of a new element: photography. SKETCHBOOK paired one photographer with each of its 14 plays to initially create a photograph to be incorporated into the festival design and then to take a residence with SKETCHBOOK to document the play throughout the festival's run.

The photographs and short statements by the photographers are included below.

Aaron Corey, Pseudoephedrine

I got an image of a medical facility in my head when reading the play. It stuck with me each time I read through the script. So I decided to work with that idea.

Philip Dembinski, Beatrice & Beau

My rendering of Beatrice and Beau attempts to represent a universal setting where a relationship reveals itself to a conflict of interests. There is a struggle between personal desires and outside expectations.

Erika Dufour, Kattywampus

In collaborating with Joseph Ravens, I wanted to demonstrate the beauty and oddity of human flesh, structure and shape using his body as a malleable sculpture. I used his simple and awkward gestures coupled with abstraction within the composition, and colored light creating a landscape of his form.

Doug Fogelson, What am I supposed to be?

My artwork, both for itself and as it relates to SKETCHBOOK this year, is interested in multiple layers overlapping in space and time. With regard to people overlapping each other, faces are shared and connections are made between different types of people, which therefore arouses thoughts of identity.

Callie Lipkin, Fix Your Teeth, B*tch

I've been producing a personal project that brings burlesque dancers off the stage and into the real world, so I brought idea with me when illustrating the collaboraction SKETCHBOOK piece, Fix Your Teeth, B*tch, by bringing burlesque dancer Maria May I to a dental office. The final image is playful and sassy, while leaving much of the subjects' relationship and experience for the viewer to interpret.

Michelle Nolan, Para Carmen

Para Carmen is a story about the wonder and mysticism about death. I wanted to capture that transitional and glowing moment of a soul moving into the afterlife -- warm nostalgic and beautiful.

Lisa Predko, Who put the Dead Bird in my Mailbox

Inspired by the feelings of sadness, uncertainty and regret, I created a series of dark but still vibrant images to go with the Who Put the Dead Bird in my Mailbox SKETCHBOOK play.

Ryan Robinson, SpaceLab 2030

This image is a representation of a mimed performance called SpaceLab 2030 which is a tale of a man in his space lab, whose body is eventually invaded by an alien plant life. The set was entirely built in studio and the entire process can be seen at

Michael David Rose, Kid

Before shooting "Kid," I spoke with Director Mark Fleisher about the SKETCHBOOK piece, and he said he wanted, "A living comic book of a childhood memory." I created an image intended to create that feel by being a theatre background.

Jeff Stella, The Gist

I react to the number of players always ... and I always find three to be very odd.

Alix Sugarman, Big Tent

Both the SKETCHBOOK piece The Big Tent and this piece reference the conventional and the absurd, the iconic and the contemporary, each producing a curious discussion of the New American Fable.

Saverio Truglia, A Domestic Disturbance at Little Fat Charlie's Seventh Birthday Party

I thought deeply on how parents might kill each other on their son's seventh birthday, and what a boy's to that reaction would be. I decided on fairly bloodless deaths, and the boy would become bored with his own party.

Photographs by Stephanie Basso for Constriction and Todd Baxter for The Dreaded Zeppelin are also included in the series.

About the Author:

David Schalliol is Managing Editor of Gapers Block and a graduate student in sociology at the University of Chicago. Visit his website, metroblossom, and that flickr place for more information about his projects.

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Camwood Properties / August 21, 2009 2:38 AM

Photographs by Stephanie Basso for Constriction and Todd Baxter for The Dreaded Zeppelin are also included in the series.

free internet markering / August 26, 2009 4:31 AM

The Unity ritual really was one of a kind; not the ritual I'd recommend for a new Pagan or for someone attending their first ritual. The ritual definitely had less cohesion than most public rituals, given it was representing dozens of different traditions.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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