Henson Alternative's production of Stuffed and Unstrung memorabilia going up for sale

Kevin Hanna

New Member
Jun 3, 2010
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DirectorsLabChicago, founded in 2005 by Chicago-based directors Elizabeth Margolius and Karin Shook, has grown into an international yearly event at the ChicagoCulturalCenter. Directors from around the world gather to exchange ideas and discuss what it means to be a director. The first event of the lab on June 14th, at the ChicagoCulturalCenter in the Cassidy Theater, open to the public, brings a frank and in-depth conversation with some of the city’s most prominent stage directors as they discuss the varied approaches to their work. But the excitement doesn’t end there! Also starting at 7pm CST that day, there will be a week-long auction on eBay (eBay ID: directorslabchicago), to assist their mission of bringing the highest level of quality to the Lab.

In the spirit of the event, the items up for auction will be pages of notes written during rehearsals of some of the most important productions by some the rising stars as well as some of the biggest names in American theater. This year we are so fortunate to feature notes from the 2010 Drama Desk Award nominated (Outstanding Director of a Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play) hit revival of The Boys in the Band, directed by Jack Cummings III. These notes are of particular interest since they are two separate pages, with one page being on the back of a page of the director’s copy of the script, and the other page of notes being on a sheet of the late Vanity Fair Special Correspondent Dominick Dunne’s personal work stationery.

The second page of notes comes from another 2010 Drama Desk Award nominated (Unique Theatrical Experience) show Stuffed and Unstrung, co-created and directed by Patrick Bristow and starring Brian Henson, son of the late legendary puppet pioneer Jim Henson. Billed as a multimedia mash-up of puppetry and improvisation, the notes for this show are unusual in the fact that since this is an improvised production, the entire cast has also autographed and contributed responses to the notes the director took during rehearsals.

It wouldn’t be a DirectorsLabChicago auction without an item from the latest Chicago-born Broadway transfer, Million Dollar Quartet! Chronicling one of the most auspicious moments in rock and roll history, director Eric Schaeffer has graciously contributed two pages of his notes from the Broadway production, including the title page from his personal copy of the script!

What can be said about Wicked that hasn’t been said? After 3 Tonys, a Grammy, a record breaking Broadway run, a 2010 Olivier Audience Award for Most Popular Show, it’s all been said. And deservedly so. Our final page of notes comes from London’s West End production of Wicked, directed by Joe Mantello. These notes are especially unusual since the director has admitted that he normally doesn’t take notes during rehearsals of his shows and after much searching this was the only piece of paper he could find, so this may very well be the only self-written example of directorial insight into the production of Wicked in existence!

If you’ve ever wondered what a director was thinking when they made a certain decision about a show you were seeing, NOW is your chance to own an historic piece of American Theater history. All proceeds benefit DirectorsLabChicago’s mission of being THE place to learn what it means to be a director in the theater!

Questions regarding the event should be directed to Kevin Hanna, via email, to Kevin@directorslabchicago.com.