Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TRS: The Media Scene

So, go to Google News, and type in "rave". Your top hits will mostly have to do with a 15 yo girl who died at this year's Electric Daisy Carnival, in LA recently.

But, as the topics been blowing up mainstream media, it's also gotten people talking elsewhere on the interwebs:


I suppose it's been a while since the spotlight's been on raves and the drug use at them, but to those who've been in the scene for a while...well, the news is anything but new.

It certainly is sad and tragic that something like this would happen, but pointing fingers at the rave scene didn't solve it in DC in '99 (Fox 5's Buzz bust), didn't solve it in '02 (the R.A.V.E. Act), and isn't going to start an honest and open discussion as to all the factors that contributed to this fatality (including drug policy in the U.S. and limited information focusing on an abstinence only mentality).

This event and the coverage of Sasha Rodriguez's passing, has made The Rave Scenes timely and relevant, in a way I couldn't imagine.

Friday, June 25, 2010

TRS: Our 2010 Capital Fringe Festival Flyer

Check it out!!

The front:

The back:

Flyer design by Charles Shryock

TRS: 10 most sampled breakbeats

Just a link a member of our cast, Jay aka soundFLUX, shared with us last night:


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TRS: A Green Scene

So, as I'm getting ready for another rehearsal, I wanted to just blog about a meeting I had with Mike, a friend of mine who has a sustainable development consulting firm, Renew & Sustain.

He offered pro-bono service for my maiden production, in trying to devise a green plan of action. Even though we're performing at a festival, we can still be green with the energy by offering a fund raising plan to purchase carbon offsets. During the shows, instead of bottled water, I can make sure to provide filtered water for the cast.

He actually gave me same bad news/good news with regards to any printing we need to get done, for programs, postcards, fliers, etc. The good news is that most print companies are going green, using recycled paper, soy-based ink. The bad news is that it's not so special to find what that's green-minded.

And that's fine. That's actually awesome. I feel like the fact that we're aware of that and it intentionally fits with other aspects of the production process is what matters. It's like the difference between someone who works for a non-profit just for the work, versus someone who works at one because they also know what the mission is, and believe in it.

Anyway, I digress. Feeling really good, and looking forward to rehearsal in a little over an hour.

Friday, June 18, 2010

TRS: A Rave Act

So, had a really great work-through of the script so far, last night. It's an interesting process, since the cast includes both ravers who have never acted and actors who have never raved...and some of both.

Everyone has something to learn from, and something to teach to all the others of the cast, and that's wonderful.

What's interesting is seeing how the show will shape itself in a way that I could have never done on my own, hence the community nature of not just the mission of AWoL Productions, but also the process:

"to share the values of communities, by collaborating, creating, and telling stories through the performing arts"

My recent writer's block in trying to provide the foundation of a suggestion for the piece, has been the lack of a clear conflict or struggle within the piece. That seems like it's starting to emerge, particularly now that everyone has their part, and can add their own voice and views to the characters. But something I didn't expect, would be just how much this would be a story about the rave scene in DC.

I mean, I knew the piece would be DC-centric, but especially because some of the members of the cast had been going out before I did, and were in the scene before the infamous Fox-5 bust of '99, there was a distinct change in the scene that no amount of imagination on my part, would've done justice to.

As a result, I thought I'd share what, in my own experience, was a similarly disturbing and ground shaking event for the scene in 2002, the R.A.V.E. Act. It stood for Reducing American's Vulnerability to Ecstasy, and could basically hold promoters and djs accountable if someone were found to be using, in their party. The presence of glowsticks and bottled water were considered drug paraphernalia, and one could be sentenced up to 20 years in jail, and up to $250,000 if convicted.

Ravers organized a counter movement called R.O.A.R., Ravers Organized Against the Rave act. It was really inspiring to see what had been a relatively benign community, which simply got together to dance to non-mainstream music every week, become energized against this attack on the scene. It was also nice to see people in the daylight, after years of starlight, florescent, and strobe lights, as R.O.A.R. organized a protest with speakers and dj's right on Capitol Hill.

Anyway, for more info about it, check out the following links:

The Chill is On - http://reason.com/archives/2003/10/01/the-chill-is-on

DEA Uses RAVE Act, Threats to Block Montana NORML/SSDP Benefit - http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/290/dearave.shtml

Legislative History of the R.A.V.E. Act - http://www.drugpolicy.org/communities/raveact/legislative/index.cfm

The RAVE Act of 2002 - http://emdef.org/s2633/

R.A.V.E. Act Opponents Gear Up - http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/252/raveact.shtml

Raving Lunacy - http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,58663,00.html

Wikipedia entry - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reducing_Americans%27_Vulnerability_to_Ecstasy_Act

Your glowstick could land you in jail - http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2003/04/16/rave