About Remi & theatre

REMI BARCLAY MESSENGER

 

CelebrantRemi2

REMI MESSENGER

(previously  Remi Barclay Bosseau)

504/  80 Lorimer Street      Docklands, Victoria 3008

remib1@mac.com

(03)  9646 1649     mobile 0422 629 905

(Married an Australian and moved here in 2003)

Founding member/actor of the following professional theatres:

  • Ø 1989 – 2000  VOICES OF EARTH with Olympia Dukakis , Leslie Ayvazian and Joan MacIntosh
  • Ø 1970 – 1990  WHOLE THEATRE, Montclair, New Jersey/ Actor, Producer, Teacher  including Artistic Director of THUNDER IN THE LIGHT
  • Ø 1968 – 1970   THE PERFORMANCE GROUP, Wooster St., New York City, Actor in ensemble directed by Richard Schechner

Selected Theatre highlights in the U.S.A.

  • 1995  American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, California- Understudy to the lead, Olympia Dukakis in HECUBA by Euripides – directed by Carey Perloff, artistic director of ACT. When cast, it was in contract that I would actually play the role seven times before an audience of 1000 each time; I was on stage at all other performances as Nurse to Hecuba along with Viola Davis who played the narrator; I was invited to stay and become teaching staff in their Actors Conservatory but I returned home.
  • Ø 1967-70 In New York City, I was a founding member of THE PERFORMANCE GROUP, directed by Richard Schechner.  Renovated The Performing Garage- still an active experimental theatre on Wooster St. Soho in NYC  (now The Wooster Group) I had originally worked with Richard at Tulane University, including as his Asst Director on Victims of Duty by Ionesco in the French Quarter (1967).

~We developed the OBIE-award winning DIONYSUS IN 69 based on improvisations on Euripides’ THE BACCHAE. During this time, we studied with Jerzy Grotowski and his company who were in NY with The Constant Prince.  We spent months learning his psycho-physical techniques for the actor. We travelled to Europe where we won 1st Prize at Belgrade International Theatre Festival, and also toured the USA. We then developed an experimental production of MAKBETH (sic). Brian DePalma made a film of our DIONYSUS. This was a powerful period of innovation and creativity in the performing arts in New York City where the theatre community was highly responsive to political and social developments, nationally and internationally.

  • 1970- 73  I was participant in an encounter group for actors in New York City. This group evolved from a focus on individual issues to the challenges of couples in the theatre, led by Olympia Dukakis and Louis Zorich. From this group, developed the core of The Whole Theatre Company, a cooperative of artists – actors, directors, designers – that lasted 20 years. The first three years were highly experimental including my creation of a method of approach to rehearsal that developed from the psycho-physical work of Grotowski and my own techniques of “worlds of imagination.” We developed an original piece based on EDITH STEIN by Arthur Giron, the true story of a Jewish philosopher who became a Carmelite nun in Nazi  Germany. The group travelled to Europe together during the filming of Fiddler on the Roof  in Yugoslavia, then New York and Connecticut before choosing Montclair, New Jersey as the place to build a resident theatre. We maintained our cooperative structure until 1979 when we expanded to a full regional theatre contract.  I was one of three original members that lasted the full 20 years.
  • 1970-1990-Whole Theatre, Montclair, New Jersey –(See selected roles on stage on next page.) I was one of five on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, guiding development of this professional theatre. Over a 20-year period, annual budget reached $1.5 million.  Actors were in all management positions for first five years.

~1979 – one of three primary negotiators of groundbreaking union contract with Actor’s Equity Association to represent a theatre company that was both management and talent.

~Served on Team for 20 years that hired and supervised staff, ranging annually from 30 to 50 people.  Planned programming, hired artists show by show, raised funds, searched and found an old bank building, converting it into a well equipped professional theatre.

~Created and implemented programs designed to address specific life issues for more than 100 companies, schools, universities and institutions. Co-conceived and implemented educational programs of artist-teachers throughout New Jersey, generating $150,000 in annual grants and contracts. Also generated several thousand new audience members, students and new board members.

~1988-1990 Artistic Director of Thunder in the Light, which had two successful seasons, budgeted at $75,000 in the first season and $105,000 for the second season. Program reached 1500 individuals each season. Based on Living Stage in Washington, DC, I wrote all performance materials and directed artists. Facilitated extensive audience discussion and interaction.

  • 1984 – I was in residence at Goddard College, Vermont, with Peter Schumann and The Bread & Puppet Theatre, developing an original piece based on JOSEPHINE THE SINGER by Kafka. I was lead singer and co-narrator of this provocative and stunningly visual piece. We also performed the first winter Bread and Puppet Pageant outside on the Goddard campus. We then brought JOSEPHlNE to New York City at the Judson Church. In 1984, I spent the summer with Bread & Puppet in their home, Glover, Vermont, rehearsing and performing their remarkable summer circus and pageant with the theme of justice in Central America for an audience of 40,000. I created a bi-lingual performance piece entitled HANDS about torture and courage in Nicaragua.
  • Ø 1989-2000  Co-developed Voices of Earth, a theater ensemble with Olympia Dukakis , Leslie Ayvazian and Joan MacIntosh

~work based on Sumerian myth of Inanna and Ereshkigal

~This company designed and implemented programming (first just for women and then for men and women) at venues around America including OMEGA Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, Yale University in Connecticut and the Public Theatre in NYC.

  • 1993-1994 Living Stage of Arena Stage, Washington, DC,   Assistant Director and actor with Robert Alexander

~Beyond performances, I presented inspirational speeches about children at risk and the impact of arts education to Washington, DC audiences, including members of the United States Congress and White House staff.

  • 1990 – 1993 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Project Leader, Arts Magnet School; Master Teacher, Artist-Teacher Institute
  • 1990 – 1993  Established a college theatre company Controversy, which trained students in group dynamic process to manage and transform issues including family violence, racism and self-destructive behaviors, building resilience, empathy and life skills.
  • 2002 – Taught at New York University, Manhattan, New York City

Selected roles in Regional Theatre:

–        Hecuba by Euripides, adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Hecuba and Nurse

–        Our Town by Thornton Wilder,  Emily Webb

–        Imaginary Invalid by Moliere,  Angelique

–        Mother Courage and Her Children by Brecht, Yvette Pottier

–        Berlln to Broadway with Kurt Weill,  Six Member Ensemble, my songs included “Surabaya Johnny”

–        The Maids by Genet,  Madame

–        The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams,  Rosa

–        You Can’t Take It With You by Kaufman and Hart,  Alice Kirby

–        House Of Bernarda Alba by Lorca, Amelia

–        Six Characters In Search Of an Author  by Pirandello, Leading Lady

–        Edith Stein by Arthur Giron, Sister Ruth

I directed the following workshop productions:

–                Manhattan Project’s Alice based On Lewis Carroll

–                Sam Shepard and Joe Chaikin’s Tongues

–                Jean-Louis Barrault’ s Rabelais: A Dramatic Game For Those Who Long To Touch The Mystery

–                An Event based on Theodore Roethke’ s Poem Dolor 

–                Series of Original Performance Pieces entitled America At Full Moon based on folk, jazz & pop songs of the 1960s and 70s

–                Event based on Peter Handke’s Self-Accusation and Offending the Audience

–           Extensive developmental work on new versions of The Oresteia, Medea and Electra with Olympia Dukakis and Elise Lynch (Movement/ Mask Teacher, New York University School of the Arts)

1968-80  I studied and worked with numerous theatre professionals in projects, classes and workshops including Jerzy Grotowski, Joe Chaikin and members of The Open Theatre, Meredith Monk, Elizabeth Howell, Rod Derefinko, Robert Modica, Peter Flood, Anna Halprin, Wynn Handman, Artistic Director of American Place Theatre and various faculty members of New York University School of the Arts.  (Happenings with Jean-Jacques Lebel in Paris 1965)

Personal:    Born in Springfield, Missouri; grew up in Houston, Texas; Philosophy and Theatre major at Tulane University in New Orleans; year in Paris 1965-66, moved to New York City in 1967, moved to Melbourne in 2003

Detailed CV available for Teaching and Drama Therapy work.

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