January 6, 2021
Happy New Year!
“Joy, gentle friends! Joy and fresh days of love accompany your hearts!”
– A Midsummer Night’s Dream
"Is there no play
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?"
– A Midsummer Night’s Dream
We hope your year is filled with joy, good health, and happiness! We've had a quiet year, but right now we are focused on editing videos of our past productions, starting with The Orderly, coming soon!
June 12, 2020
There are many great anti-racist resources available right now. For anyone not sure where to find them, we have been compiling a list on our website. Click on the link or the button below.
June 12, 2020
Black Lives Matter. Period.
At this moment in history, even amidst the loss and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, nothing else feels as urgent as this movement, and it is important for us to pause our usual social media activities so that we can focus on bearing witness to what is happening and doing what we can for the Black Lives Matter movement.
We have been compiling a list of links to resources on our website (https://www.speechoffire.org/blm-antiracist-resources), including:
-links to leading organizations in the Black Lives Matter movement
-articles on anti-racism
-lists of anti-racist resources
-some theatre resources, including lists compiled by American Theatre of black theatre companies and relevant plays
-things to watch, listen to, and read
Between all the lists of resources within our list, there is a LOT there, but we’ll continue adding to it. Feel free to let us know of other important resources to add. Personally, we are finding the page helpful as we try to keep track of lasting, high-quality resources to keep coming back to while also keeping up to date with the barrage of news.
Over the years, we've found that harnessing the power of Shakespeare's language provides an outlet for whatever grief and pain we may be feeling, leading us perhaps toward some kind of meaning, however imperfect. In that spirit, we have shared in our social media, and on our home page, five quotes from Shakespeare’s plays that have sprung to mind this week. They resonate deeply with us right now, and perhaps they may with others, in this time of swirling grief, anger, and hope.
-Lauren and Michael
April 23, 2020
IT’S SHAKESPEARE’S 456th BIRTHDAY!
Want something to watch while stuck at home?
Although the live theatre world has shut down for the time being, many theatre companies are finding ways to reach audiences through filmed productions of their current and past shows. During our time leading Seoul Shakespeare Company, we prioritized filming our productions for future release to the public, and our 2016 production of Much Ado About Nothing is already available, with more productions to come in the future.
You can stream Much Ado About Nothing, which was our first production as a directing-producing-designing team, for free on Youtube:
Much Ado Teaser
Much Ado 1st half
Much Ado 2nd half
We created this production as Seoul Shakespeare Company (SSC) in 2016, and it began a new era in our company’s style that we continued for the next three years with our productions of The Winter’s Tale (2017), The Merchant of Venice (2018), and King Lear (2019). After Lear, we passed Seoul Shakespeare Company on to its current leaders, so that it can remain in the Seoul community while we prepare to move away. We hope someday to be able to do these kinds of full-scale productions again as our new entity, Speech of Fire, after settling in a new location.
This production of Much Ado About Nothing was Michael's directorial debut. Lauren served as the company’s Artistic Director and producer as well as designing and constructing the costumes and set, designing the sound, and composing and/or arranging the songs. Lauren is also in the cast (as Beatrice). These and all the company’s videos were edited and color corrected by Lauren. The video and audio for Much Ado were recorded by Double Vision Media Liaisons.
Full cast and crew listings can be found in the video’s end credits and on the Much Ado About Nothing show page (along with photos, links to press, etc).
Lauren is in the process of editing our productions of The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice, and King Lear, but they will be out eventually! Teaser for The Winter’s Tale below. (Contains spoilers!)
April 3, 2020
Stay Home. Stay Connected.
One of the reasons we love what we do is because theatre, whether it’s in a workshop or in a performance, brings people together and reconnects us with each other. In this unprecedented time, we are seeing particularly clearly the importance of human connection.
And while we at Speech of Fire are fortunate in that we are just starting out and were planning a quiet, relaxing Spring of teaching and writing (our first spring in nine years not doing a Shakespeare production as Seoul Shakespeare Company!), other theatres around the world are facing huge financial struggles, and theatre artists are finding themselves without a livelihood. At the same time, theatre artists are finding innovative ways to keep art alive amid the struggle, and some theatre companies are finding ways to reach new audiences through generous sharing of their productions and other resources online.
So in place of our Spring acting classes, we are focusing right now on supporting our friends and colleagues around the world whose theatre companies are asking for support as well as those who are finding innovative ways to keep reaching audiences and keep theatre alive. We’ll also be sharing some of our favorite resources that have influenced us and that can bring us together as humans.
Together, we can overcome this crisis.
Stay home. Stay connected.
-Lauren Ash-Morgan and Michael Downey
We'll be sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and a bit on Instagram:
Spring Acting Classes Postponed
Out of respect for societal efforts to minimize person-to-person contact, and due to the uncertainty of many people’s schedules, workloads, finances, etc. during this time of coronavirus countermeasures, we are postponing our spring acting classes until things become more normal. We hope to bring them back in the summer or autumn.
In the meantime, check out what we had planned below. We hope to get to this same material later in the year.
Speech of Fire's
Spring 2020 Acting Classes
Spring Session 1: April 5-26 (Postponed until further notice)
Spring Session 2: May 17-June 7 (Postponed until further notice)
Movement & Ensemble
Acting Shakespeare's Text
Rehearsing Shakespearean Monologues & Scenes
Speech of Fire is currently focused on building a repertoire of small, mobile shows that can be revived, tour, and travel in the future.
Repertoire so far (can be performed in rep or separately):
"Hospitals are battlefields."
Mind must be the firmer,
heart the more fierce,
courage the greater,
as our strength diminishes.
Written and performed by Michael Downey
Directed by Lauren Ash-Morgan
Appropriate for all ages, aside from a few curse words.
Approximate running time: 1 hour
"Quality work… solo theatre as it should be."
"This here's an arena."
An original, raw, intimate, and uncompromising piece of contemporary theatre.
Written by Jason Cutler and the members of Dive Theatre
Starring Jason Cutler, Jamie Horan, and Lauren Ash-Morgan
Directed by Michael Downey
Content warnings: Adult language, sexual themes, physical violence.
Not appropriate for children.
Approximate running time: 1 hour
New York Theatre Review
We are launching Speech of Fire this autumn with TWO critically acclaimed original plays performed in repertory, with performances by the original playwrights
Co-produced by Speech of Fire and Seoul Shakespeare Company
평단의 찬사를 받은 두 편의 창작극이 곧 무대에 오릅니다.
레퍼토리로 교차 공연되며, 원작자가 직접 참여합니다
극단 ‘스피치 오브 파이어’와 ‘서울 셰익스피어 컴패니’가 공동제작합니다
CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO GO TO THE SHOW PAGES:
이미지를 클릭하시면 공연 관련 페이지로 이동합니다:
Autumn Session 1: October 23-November 16
Autumn Session 2: November 20-December 21