In This Issue
John Jacobsen and The Artist Toolbox
KNOCK Playwriting Contest
The Sandbox Artists Collective
Art Galore
Faculty News
VOTE for Freehold
Quick Links

Hello Freehold Community,

December is upon us and we are enjoying the many wonders of winter time - cold brisk walks with the fleeting but glorious sun and blue skies, warm drinks AND opening up our winter class registration.

In our winter issue of the e-newsletter, we are thrilled to share with you the following:

*A chat with John Jacobsen about his inspiring and informative series called The Artist Toolbox
*Catching up with Tracy Hyland and the great new work being created by Freehold's Sandbox Artists Collective
*Talking with Bryan Tomasovich about KNOCK's upcoming Playwriting Contest and our collaboration with Antioch
*A way for Facebook folks to vote for Freehold (and other deserving nonprofits) and put us in the running for $25,000 to up to $1,000,000!!!
*Art, Art, Art News
*Plus student and faculty news.

Wishing everyone the best of holidays from all of us at Freehold!


Kate Gavigan
PR Manager
Freehold Theatre

JohnJacobsentopJohn Jacobsen and
The Artist Toolbox

John Jacobsen and Tom Kundig (pictured above)
from The Artist Toolbox Series

John Jacobsen has written, directed, and produced feature films in Los Angeles, worked on and off Broadway in New York, directed commercials all over the world, but lives here in Seattle. He founded TheFilmSchool with the actor Tom Skerritt, and has taught at UCLA and many fine institutions across the country.  John teaches a Directing and Acting Camera for the class at Freehold (running this winter quarter).  John has also created The Artist Toolbox, a program featuring a diverse collection of incredibly talented artists including actors, designers, architects and more.  Check out the youtube trailer on The Artist Toolbox www.youtube.com/The Artist Toolbox

John, what got you interested in putting together the Artist Toolbox in the first place?

[JJ says: ] I am interested.  In art, in process, and in learning.  So it started from there.  Then there is my ego - I wanted to be the star of a television show and Three's Company is no longer on the air and who wants to be near Susanne Summers now anyway? Kidding aside, I wrestle all the time - more lately - with the "am I an artist" question. I conclude no, I am not, but I want to be.  I don't think I've ever really examined what it means to be an artist outside of the image of being an artist - the beret, the riding crop, the ability to pronounce French words correctly.  And as I began to question that I began to try to define what an artist is, and to find that answer I wanted to talk to people who were seen as artists and who defined themselves as that.

Continued ...
BryantopInterview with Bryan Tomasovich

BryanWe had a chance to sit down and talk with Bryan Tomasovich about Antioch's collaboration with Freehold and a few other local arts organizations as well as the work he is doing at Antioch University.  Bryan is Director and Faculty of Antioch University's B.A. in Liberal Studies (completion program) and editor of KNOCK, Antioch's Literary Arts Magazine. Before teaching at Antioch, he was Assistant Professor of English and Environmental Studies at the University of Puget Sound.  Check out the great work being done at Antioch and at KNOCK.

Knock cover
KNOCK is running a playwriting contest which is being co-hosted with Freehold and will result in several of the plays being produced at Freehold.  Can you share with our readers a bit more about the event and contest?

Bryan:  KNOCK #13 will be a special issue dedicated to short plays, and a festival of short plays published in the issue will be hosted by KNOCK and Freehold Theatre in Seattle in May, 2010.  The KNOCK playwriting contest is free, and international and submissions are open from October 1 to January 1.  Approximately 10 winning plays will be published in KNOCK #13, released in May, 2010. Selected plays will be performed in the KNOCK/Freehold Festival in May as well.  For more specific information about the contest, go to:  http://www.knockmagazine.com/submit/index.html

We're really excited about the contest and performances and are letting folks in the community know if they'd like to help us with this to contact us as we could use additional help with the event.

Continued ...


Offering local professionals an artistic home to study, hone their craft, network with other artists, and generate performance opportunities.

By Tracy Hyland

One year ago, a number of Freehold faculty and advisors gathered a select group of Seattle theater and performance artists to the new Freehold Theatre in Belltown and asked, "What's a mid-career collaborative artist to do-in this fair city, in this economic climate, during these fertile years of creativity-but seek out other inspired, respected colleagues to make great art?"

Thus, with the rousing support of Freehold Theatre, The Sandbox Artists Collective was assembled. An artistic playground for Seattle theater professionals, The Sandbox dares its members to continually engage in the process of making theater happen, outside of the work that members may be contracted to do as freelance performers, writers, designers, directors, dramaturgs, and so on. Members of the Sandbox enjoy access to Freehold's rehearsal and studio space during the day, and a network of eager cohorts hungry for the opportunity to develop and showcase work at the Belltown space; or members can utilize The Sandbox as a starting point for a larger project to be produced outside of the organization's realm. In addition to pitching projects to each other, members will be able to attend Master level classes, request feedback and support of peers in a trusted environment for a work in progress, and receive production support for small projects and/or short acts.

Continued ...
Art Galore at Freehold

Matt and Carter's Art Idea

Brougham photoMatt Smith and Carter Rodriguez came up with a great idea ... to encourage Freehold community members to support local artists by donating a small amount monthly to an art fund which would go toward purchasing art which would then be part of Freehold's home.  We have exciting news - we have our first acquisition! (see right)  A very cool photograph that highlights the Viaduct.  We appreciate all the donations whether they be a one-time offering or a monthly one. Matt and Carter, with the able assistance and artistic eye of Jenny Schmidt (actor and Freehold registrar), will be on the prowl for the next "must" Freehold piece.  Donations can be made by making out checks to Matt Smith (sent to Freehold, 2222 2nd Avenue, Suite 200, Seattle 98121) with a note referencing "for art fund" donation. 

Artwork by Erica Bass

Erica BassFreehold has been privileged over the last several months to have a variety of amazing artists displaying their art at Freehold.  This month we are equally honored to showcase Erica Bass' work.  Erica's work is incredibly beautiful (see one piece to the left).  Erica's work is now hanging at Freehold.  Come by and check out all of her beautiful work.  It will be displayed through January 2010.

Here is what Erica has shared about her artistic process:

I am an abstract painter interested in the fundamental shifting relationships between color and space.  Like poetry, I weave together shapes and images that express my personal experience. Painting for me is a means for reflection and a way to connect to some greater order. My work has always been inspired by nature.  Though I have for the past two decades mostly lived in Seattle, my family and I spent the last two and a half years on the southern coast of Maine.  I am drawn to the beauty and drama of these coastal environments with their shifting light, bold colors and bounty of sea forms.  The imagery in my art is influenced by this visually rich landscape.

The work in this show is done with gouache paint and linoleum cut printmaking, a change from my years painting in oils.  Due to a long illness, I turned to intimate mediums which I could hold in my lap.  The painted prints are a combination of many smaller block carvings, brought together in a larger format, to which I added veils of paint to create relationships between the forms and rhythm in the pieces.  The smaller series of flower paintings spiral out of their centers to create small worlds of color and balance.

Erika Bass is an abstract painter/printmaker currently living in Seattle.  She received her MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1992 and has worked as both artist and art educator since then.  Her work is inspired by both the boldness and intricacies of natural forms.  That passion for nature is reflected in her work through her use of organic imagery, rich colors and dancing light.  She has lived in many states and won an art traveling scholarship to study in Alaska.  This past January she and her family moved back to Seattle after two and a half years living on the southern coast of Maine.

Actors needed

Several StuFreehold Lobbydio Series projects are in need of actors for their upcoming pieces in the studio series.  Audition notices will be posted on Freehold's bulletin board in our lobby.

Make a point of checking out this great opportunity to participate in the upcoming Studio Series scheduled for February 2010.

Faculty News

ReturningtheBonesGinGin Hammond will be performing her play Returning the Bones (picture at left) at Richard Hugo House Feb. 12th and 13th, directed by Jane Jones, co-artistic director of Book-It Repertory Theatre.  It will be performed as a full-length, fully produced show for the first time. Shortly thereafter I'll be performing it in L.A. at the Skirball Cultural Center, http://www.skirball.org/ 

TheFilmSchoolJohn Jacobsen.  Monday, December 14th at 7pm, TheFilmSchool, in partnership with the Central Heating Lab at ACT Theatre, presents the second in the Caught in the ACT! free script-reading series.  BEING SEEN, written by TheFilmSchool alum Sonya Lea and directed by Warren Etheredge, focuses on the loss of intimacy in a marriage that occurs when the husband experiences a brain injury.  Caught in the ACT! is a series of script-readings that showcases outstanding scripts written by alumni of TheFilmSchool, held at ACT Theatre, directed and read by some of Seattle's most professional directors and actors.  This event is free of charge, please RSVP to jenni@thefilmschool.com .  See www.thefilmschool.com for more information.

Marya Sea Kaminski is playing Electra in Electra at Seattle Shakespeare Company, directed by Sheila Daniels. January 8-31. For more info, www.seattleshakespeare.org


5% Early Enrollment Discount ends Thursday, December 10th

Here's our Winter 2010 class line-up ...

Step I: Intro to Acting - Annette Toutonghi and Sarah Harlett
Step II: Acting with Text - Dan Tierney
Step III:  Scene Study Text - Annette Toutonghi
Directing and Acting for the Camera - John Jacobsen
An Alexander Technique Intensive:  For the Actor's Toolbox - Cathy Madden
Auditioning - Kate Godman
Auditioning for the Musical Theatre: Theatrical Song Interpretation - Billie Wildrick
Dialect and Character Development - Gin Hammond
Fitzmaurice Voicework Intensive - Gin Hammond
Improv - Matt Smith
Physical Theatre - Cyrus Khambatta and Shanga Parker
Playwriting I:  Exploring the Craft - Dickey Nesenger
Playwriting II: The Rewrite Process - Dickey Nesenger
Solo Performance and Presentation - Marya Sea Kaminski
Spoken Word and Performance Poetry - Daemond Arrindell
Stage Combat - Geof Alm
Meisner Progression - Robin Lynn Smith

To register for classes: www.freeholdtheatre.org
or call us at (206) 323-7499 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Requesting Votes from Facebook Friends
e Vote for Freehold by December 11th and give us a chance at $25,000 to up to $1,000,000!

ChaseIf you're on Facebook, please consider voting for Freehold in Chase's Community Giving Fund by December 11th and put us in the running for $25,000.  On December 15, the top 100 vote getters will get $25,000 and from those another contest will run with the winning organization receiving $1,000,000! 

Think of it.  
$25,000 to up to $1,000,000. 

We get very excited just thinking about it.  But it can't happen without your votes.  We'd love your help spreading the word to your other Facebook friends. Here's the link to vote for Freehold (plus you have 20 complete votes with which you can vote for other deserving nonprofits and charities).

Thank you all for your support!
ToicontinuedJohn Jacobsen and The Artist Toolbox (continued)

ZangToiThe interviewees for your show are very diverse ranging from the designer Massimo and Lella Vignelli, architect Tom Kundig, fashion designer Zang Toi (pictured at left) to the actor Tom Skerritt.  What has surprised you as you have interviewed this diverse group of interviewees?

[JJ says: ]  I have learned so much.  One, that all these artists and the rest we have interviewed since then are determined to cut their own course - they see things a particular way and they are determined to communicate that particular vision.  Second, they are all tremendously determined to succeed - you get the feeling nothing will stop them, and they are myopic in that determination.  Third, they are all educated, referring to history and what has come before them, and to their peer groups frequently.

I was intrigued by Tom Kundig's comments about how the mistake sometimes made in the academic world for architects is that there is an assumption that academics is the end of their training.  In your series he noted "when you see architects who are doing architecture with a capital A, they have a variety of activities and interests beyond architecture" and that "architecture is an experience of place, of shelter that goes beyond our covering - it speaks to our culture, to our humanity, to the structure of things, it speaks to all these conspiring elements in a thoughtful, beautiful, human way."  Do his comments speak to you in how you see the writing, directing and producing work that you do?

[JJ says: ]  Yes, well, this good question of yours dovetails nicely with my answer previous to this, that artists do not work in a vacuum, they learn and take from what has come before, they study the masters, their craft, they copy and they steal - all good.  That is how we learn, how we build upon, and how we advance art and our culture.  You stop learning and you die - you take what your teachers give you and you build upon it.  All good work tries to do that - observe and use, use and comment, comment and observe.  I try as I select guests to come up with a defnition as to what an artist is - and this has been a struggle as people have suggested really talented successful people who I instinctually don't feel meet the definition of artist.  It is subjective, but the show demands focus and so I am working on some kind of definition like, Artists use imagination to create something with aesthetic value upon which they comment on life.  I am open to a better definition, but that is where I sit today.

In your interview with Tom Skerritt he shared that he wasn't sure how to tell individuals how to get into the business of show business but noted that:

"You can't really rely on luck but luck comes to you only when you put yourself out there.  It really is putting yourself out there and if you do that then someone out there is going to see you and say 'they're working on their craft'.   You just have to be open to the things that may come - they may not be what you intended.  I thought I wanted to be Frank Sinatra but someone else had the job. I was painting, I was an artist, a writing teacher said 'you should consider writing.' So there were all these riches laid out in front of me and low and behold I wound up an actor.  So I feel very fortunate but it's not out of being lucky, as I made luck come my way by really working at everything - at all of these things to become better at one of them and trusted one of them would take me away." 

What was your experience as you moved into your career?  Was it similar to Tom's in terms of putting yourself out there, working on your craft and then being open to what synchronicity presented itself or did you have a different path?

[JJ says: ]  Well, of course I am better looking than Tom, so that helped a lot ... I agree you cannot rely on luck.  I used to think I would work hard, do good work and people would come to me, and yes, you do have to do those first two things, but you also have to put on the hat of the car salesman and sell a bit.  Get out there and meet people, get them to come to your work. Yes, you have to be ready when they see you, yes you have to be good, but you have to work at getting them to come to you. You never can predict where opportunity can come from, but if you are staying at home, or hiding in a dark theatre someplace unknown, how is anyone going to find you?

Where do you hope to take the Artist Toolbox and where can viewers watch the series?

[JJ says: ]  WTTW in Chicago is the presenting partner and they are getting on the air at PBS, hopefully in the Spring of 2010.  Exact dates to follow.
John Jacobsen will be teaching Directing and Acting for the Camera at Freehold Theatre beginning January 6 and running through February 24.  For more information, www.freeholdtheatre.org

Back to Top ...

BryancontinuedInterview with Bryan Tomasovich (continued)

Bryan, what drew you to the work you are doing at Antioch?

Bryan: I was brought to Antioch to specifically work on developing and producing KNOCK.  KNOCK is Antioch's Literary Arts Magazine which originated in 2004 and publishes primarily established artists' work.  There is an Antioch class that I oversee that is dedicated to helping put together the twice yearly publication. The students assist in culling through the submissions, working on editing and publicity and bringing the pieces to publication.  We've found that students have many educational moments working on the magazine.  For example, when a story just isn't working students learn a lot in the process of exploring the question of why things work and why they don't.  One of the many rewards for students participating in that class is that they often leave being both better producers and consumers of art.

What excites you about the work you are doing at KNOCK?

Bryan:  Literary magazines have been around for a long time and serve several purposes.  They help form a community for younger writers and give extra confidence to writers.  Literary arts magazines also give writers an opportunity to do work that is ahead of its time or on the margin.  KNOCK tries to do that to some degree.  Reading new and sometimes different work can be uncomfortable at first as people are often used to a certain set formula to story telling.  However, we find that as people are exposed to writing that is outside of the predictable genre, they often get pretty excited about what the new works have to offer.

Antioch is currently collaborating with a few arts organizations, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Hugo House and Freehold and establishing a program by which Antioch students can take classes for credit at these institutions.  What was the impetus for this addition to Antioch's curriculum?

Bryan: We wanted to reach out to some of the amazing resources in the city and help our students use the city as their classroom.  It is also an incredible chance to work with working professionals in their fields. Our students appreciate that programs such as this help them to have an educational experience that is not as insular as other programs might be.  We are enthusiastic about these partnerships because it allows for more diversity, and enhances the students' creative process.  In addition, the opportunity to work with instructors who are working professional artists can enhance their career objectives.

TracycontinuedFreehold Gets Down and Dirty, Builds THE SANDBOX (continued)
by Tracy Hyland

Currently, The Sandbox Artists Collective has more than 50 members. Its Leadership Committee, elected last spring, aims to focus the intent of this new Freehold endeavor. Sandbox leadership is comprised of familiar Freehold faces (Liza Comtois, Annette Toutonghi, Gin Hammond, Paul Mullin), mixed with a healthy representation of other artists in the Seattle community. In the last few months, the Leadership Committee has generated a multi-faceted programming structure, which includes new play readings, and Gymnasiums (focused explorations based on a particular creative exercise). December 19 will mark the Sandbox's first Salon, entitled Investigate the Performance: an art happening comprised of short acts from a variety of local artists-vaudevillians, dancers, poets, and more.
After less than one year of organized programming, the Sandbox leadership looks to 2010 as a year to build membership, produce more events, and raise public awareness for The Sandbox Artists Collective as it evolves as Seattle's newest asset to the performing arts community.

For more information please check out www.thesandboxartistscollective.com

Subscribe to the blog to keep up with Sandbox news and events!

Back to top ...