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Daniel Zilber
Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:35 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 16 Sep 2003 Posts: 35 Location: Alameda, CA
Hello everyone. As the first member, I guess I should start things off. I'm one of the creators and webmaster of this site. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area wth my wife, Adrien. My background is in theatre management and finance (you can read my bio here). I'm currently learning to play the accordion (chromatic C-system), and hope to actually be able to play a song someday. Very Happy

OK, who's next?

-Daniel
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Russell Blackwood
Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 5:32 pm Reply with quote
Moderator Joined: 18 Sep 2003 Posts: 125
I must be next! Well done, Daniel, the Discussion Forums look great! Welcome, in advance, to our visitors! This is an aspect of GrandGuignol.com that I haven't worked on ? until now. Discussion Forums are brand new to me, so I?m allowing myself some grand expectations!

My partner, Jim, and I live in San Francisco with our Shetland Sheepdog, Jubilation (or ?Jubie?). I work as a freelance director and for Callboard magazine, the Bay Area?s theatre and dance trade publication. These days I also enjoy studying French at City College of SF, being with friends around my family?s old player piano (which is now in OUR living room, along with 150 piano rolls) and adventuring with Jim, Jubie and Thrillpeddlers.

Russ
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Gideon Kennedy
Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 1:27 pm Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 15 Oct 2003 Posts: 2
Hello,

My name's Gideon Kennedy and I'm a movie theatre manager living and working in Atlanta, GA. I realize this is a new site and I'm probably one of the first members to this board who isn't in some way working on it, but I really appreciate what you all are doing with it and see a lot of potential.

Though I've known about Grand Guignol theatre for some time (and now, thanks to this site finally know I've been making an ass of myself for years pronouncing it Grand Googinol), I've only recently been digging a little deeper. My current areas of personal interest and study consist of both fourth wall transgressions (theatre of the absurd, direct address, etc.) in film and stage and ideas/representations centered around Memento Mori themes (Day of the Dead, Becker's The Denial of Death, etc.). The Grand Guignol obviously makes a strong connection between these interests.

I'm also interested in incorporating ideas/devices gleaned from the Grand Guignol into my own creative works. As a writer, I like trying my hand at forms that are new to me and, what's more, have an idea for a short play in the Grand Guignol fashion. Also, as a movie theatre manager, I'm preparing a series of Midnight Movies during which I want to stage various pre-show entertainments and would like to research and utilize some of the technical devices for these events. Though I'd like to try some out in various events prior to it, my ultimate goal is to put together a Midnight Movie screening in the traveling Spook Show tradition of the '20s through the '50s for next (2004) Halloween, using, much as they did, similiar techniques.

Some of my questions are:

Are there definable conventions to the genre and, if so, what are they?

Are there many that follow a dying-man's-dream storyline (ex. Bierce's The Occurance at Owk Creek Bridge, Gilliam's Brazil)?

Where's the best place to learn about the stage mechanics of simulated violence and gore?

Are there more groups outside of Thrillpeddlers that are performing?

Naturally, these aren't questions I expect answers to now, as I'm sure you all have better things to do than be grilled for information by me, but I do hope that this board can facilitate a productive discussion in the future.

Wishing I were in San Fran in Oct. to be able to attend lectures,
Gideon Kennedy
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Daniel Zilber
Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:52 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 16 Sep 2003 Posts: 35 Location: Alameda, CA
Welcome Gideon!

All good questions, to be sure. I'll take a 'stab' at answering in the Grand Guignol forums the first chance I get.

-Daniel
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jonthecelt
Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:41 am Reply with quote
Forums Regular Joined: 04 Nov 2003 Posts: 10 Location: Devon, UK
Hi, thought I ought to add my entry here...

My name is Jon, and I'm a theatre student in Devon, UK. I'm cuyrrently taking a year out of my studies to examine the real world, and to prepare myself for my final year.

The third year is split into three main projects: a CEP, a dissertation, and a final performance. The last two are fairly self-explanatory, but I wanted to say a quick word about the first. The CEP is a Contextual Enquiry Project - basically a chance to go out into the real world and explore a theme which interests us, seeing how the Real World impacts on our work, and how our work impacts on the Real World. In my year off, I'm going back to my roots, finding out what exactly it is that makes me tick when it comes to theatre. Among the list (and it's growing daily!) are the Grand Guignol, shattering of the 'fourth wall' conceit, street theatre, relationships with the audience, and a sense of a return to 'traditional' techniques (as opposed to 'Happenings' or other groovy bywords my college throws out at regular intervals').

My interest in the GG has bveen going on for years. I owned (and lost!) Mel Gordon's work on the subject, and recently a second book in English has been published by a couple of lecturers here in the Uk, teaching at the University of Glamorgan. They're actually creatring a GG lab kinda thing up there, to look at the whole thing in detail. I'll see if I can find out more and post it here.

Anyway, enough waffling, that's me introduced. Take care, and I'm sure I'll be around again some time soon.

Jon.
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Russell Blackwood
Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:58 am Reply with quote
Moderator Joined: 18 Sep 2003 Posts: 125
Hello Jon!

Great to meet you! Glad to hear about your growing interest in Grand Guignol and that your academic obligations may actually pull you deeper in to it. Please keep us posted here about your plans and research!

If you haven?t already, do check out our site?s ?Books? section. It can point you in the right direction to find another copy of Mel Gordon?s book even though it is now out of print.

Cheers!
Russ
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Douglas McCabre
Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:31 pm Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 05 Nov 2003 Posts: 2 Location: Los Angeles, CA
Wonderful site. I actually found it through the postcard/flyer for the "Magic and Mayhem..." show. I missed it though, found out about it after the fact.

Material on the Grand Guignol is so scarce, anywhere, it's great to have a comprehensive resource available.

I've had to live with the Mel Gordon book and since I've been here the rest of what is currently available is on its way via Amazon.

Best of luck,

D. McCabre
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Russell Blackwood
Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 9:51 pm Reply with quote
Moderator Joined: 18 Sep 2003 Posts: 125
Dear Doug,

Welcome! Sorry to hear that you missed the grandguignol.com launch event at SFPALM on October 29. If you're up for a trip from L.A. to San Francisco, Mel will also be speaking at the 2nd launch event. Here's the low-down...

Theatre of Blood: Around the World with the Grand Guignol
A lecture by theatre historian Mel Gordon
Tuesday, November 11, 2003 ? Noon
Diego Rivera Theatre, City College of San Francisco

Presented as part of the City College of San Francisco Concert and Lecture Series in cooperation with the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum and Thrillpeddlers? www.GrandGuignol.com, Mel Gordon will present a lecture and slide presentation titled Theatre of Blood: Around the World with the Grand Guignol. The talk, presented on Tuesday, November 11 from noon to 1:00 pm at City College of San Francisco, will trace the history of Grand Guignol theatres worldwide. At the Diego Rivera Theatre, City College of San Francisco's Ocean Campus, 50 Phelan Avenue in San Francisco.

Arrow Admission is free for CCSF students and the general public.
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Tony G
Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:54 am Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 13 Jul 2004 Posts: 4
Hello,
I have finally joined the forum page after a year of swimming in Grand Guignol history and production. I operate Mount Jupiter Productions, a theater and film production company in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Last year(2003) We produced three plays for our production of Phantasmagoria: A Halloween Horrorshow and although we are a small town low budget company we got rave reviews. Our special effects were minimal for the shows we performed the overall response was," more sex and more blood."
So I am in proscess to produce three more this year and as soon as I get the go ahead my website will be up with pictures and other contact info.

It's amazing to me how after almost 100 years the Grand Guignol formula still works for theater audiences. Dont be fooled by people saying cinema killed Grand Guignol. It only needed a deep dark sleep.
The ghosts of Grand Guignol rise and are "treading the boards" again!!!!

A special thanks to Thrill Peddlers and to Michael Hand and Richard Wilson for making this fascinating piece of French history accessible to us.
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vigormortis
Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:21 pm Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 08 Oct 2004 Posts: 2 Location: Brazil
Hello! Congratulations on your website. It is a terrific resource for Grand Guignol. I wish you had this on ten years ago when I was writing my Grand Guignol MA dissertation!!
Let me introduce myself: My name is Paulo Biscaia Filho. I live in Curitiba, Brazil. I run a theatre company called Vigor Mortis,which is dedicated to the stydy of the GG.
I am sure I will find here a lot of new aspects on the GG as well as a fantastic channel for collaboration.
Thank you for creating this unique website! I will certainly stop by every day!!
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armagecko
Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:41 pm Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 15 Nov 2004 Posts: 9
Hello, all. Just wanted to add my greetings to the "New Member" page. I'm a theatre actor-director-administrator who, oddly enough, shares many things in common with others who previously posted to this board - besides a common interest in Grand Guignol.

Like Gideon, I currently reside in Atlanta, GA, where I just finished a run as Brick in Tennessee Williams' "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof." (Not exactly Grand Guignol, is it?)

I was born in Arkansas, not far from Eureka Springs, where Tony G lives.

Several years ago I worked on an opera called Carmen in Memphis, TN, with Richard Lane. (Hey, Richard!)

I am aware of Paulo's Brazilian Grand Guignol company, Vigor Mortis, and have been trying to access their website for months to no avail. What's going on down there, Paulo?

And I'm flying in to San Francisco to attend the Friday night (Oct 19, 2004) performance of "Welcome to the Hypnodrome" at Thrillpeddlers, where I'll finally have the opportunity to see first-hand Russell and Daniel's fine work. Will anyone else from the messageboard be there?

Greetings to all. I look forward to many wonderful discussions!
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Daniel Zilber
Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 8:30 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 16 Sep 2003 Posts: 35 Location: Alameda, CA
Welcome!

It's always great to hear from people who travel from outside of the Bay Area to catch one of our shows. I wasn't involved in this year's Shocktoberfest, but Russ has done a great job of keeping the event alive. Be sure to find him after the show and say 'hello.'

-dz
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Russell Blackwood
Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:21 am Reply with quote
Moderator Joined: 18 Sep 2003 Posts: 125
Happy to hear that you've been lured out to SF! I look forward to meeting you!

Cheers!
Russ
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DeVille
Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:18 am Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 10 Jan 2006 Posts: 1 Location: Charlotte, NC
Hi everyone...just wanted to give a quick introduction. My name is DeVille, and i'm a performance artist based in charlotte, nc. I like to think of my work as a modern day bastardization of la theatre du gran guignol with elements of weimar era cabaret intertwined here and there. The big difference from my work compared to that of other modern day GG revivals, is that i present my performances as living silent films. There is no dialoguge (but we still move our mouths as if there were), and everything is accompanied by an original score, so as to capture the suspense on stage. I've been doing this for about 3 years now, and am in the process of building my own little company to do larger scale productions. So umm, this is me, and thats what i do...i look forward to chatting and meeting the others on this board...it can be so hard sometimes to find people to discuss GG with that have any clue what you're talking about...
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lifeboat
Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:52 am Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 25 Mar 2007 Posts: 2 Location: berkeley, ca
Hi--I'm from Berkeley, and have seen a few of Thrillpeddlers' shows in SF. I work with a small, non-moneymaking theater group of my own, and we may do a production later this year that has a bit of blood & gore in it, so I thought the site might be a good resource for special effects info, etc. Although i usually spend a good bit of my time in the Hypnodrome audience hiding my eyes...
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