bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

Baby’s first Symphony!

September 15th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m going to go with these little nugget sized pictures. My options are apparently sobigiteatswholeblog, or nugget. Alors, nugget!

For those of you playing along at home, it only took me 29 years to see a Symphony!

We caught a Brahm and a Rachmaninov at the National Music Hall. It was beautiful. I spent the first 10 minutes taking in all of the evening dresses the women wore, even the ones straddling their cello’s, and wondering what it might be like to have to wear an evening dress every night, and how exciting it would then be to wear anything. Else.

Lisa loves symphonies, and told us how when she was young, her Dad would put on classical music and tell her to close her eyes and listen for the story. And so I did. Thanks to that glass of champagne at intermission, my story was that of a nap. But when I wasn’t asleep, it was spectacular!

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My new friends!

September 14th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

Insert smarmy and or clever things about friendship; Russians. I like pretty much anyone who’s learned the bulk of their english from Parks and Recreation.

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Moscow Mepto!

September 14th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

Mepto! That P is an R, you guys. WHAT IS THIS PLACE. Before I tell you about how Moscow has the best Metro system in the world, here is an adorable picture of me riding it. Now then! Moscow has the best Metro in the world. It’s clean, no graffitti, marble walls, high ceilings with beautiful ornate decor. And I have yet to wait more than 20 seconds for a train. Here we are, waiting for ten seconds: And here we are, blending in.

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Translation: Thoughts

September 13th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

Okay, I have to admit, before I got here and got to the theater and sat down with the play and team,  I kind of had no idea what we were going to be doing this week. Would we be workshopping the play? Would I be re-writing? No, Bekah.  A translation workshop means that the play is being TRANSLATED. In other news, the earth is round, and cottage cheese pancakes with caramel creme are nice. You should have twelve. I digress.

A bit about the translation process. Pre-workshop, Marina translated the text sort of verbatim. Now Maxim, the playwright, is going through and specifying the text to get to the real meaning of each line. Nearly Line by line, he and the actors ask me what I meant, I try and articulate this, then they try and figure out the best way to express this in Russian. I never realized how stinking American my writing is. I guess that’s a no brainer, but every other line there’s a phrase that either doesn’t translate at all into Russian, or is something I just invented in my mindspace. Through the translation there’s a discussion about the play, and an informal cultural exchange. In a nutshell, it’s pretty much the best. It’s totally beautiful when people who can’t speak the same language (except I know babooshka; they Dolly Parton) finally, figure out what the other mean. There is this universal ‘Aha!’ when they get what a tater tot is. Yes, there are tots in my play. And weedwackers, which also do not make sense.

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September 12th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

Okay, Americans: here’s the deal with Russia, as clearly, after  3.5 days, I am an expert. Where as any student of some romance language can figure out French / Spanish / Italian, Russian words are pretty much completely impossible to dissect via Latin roots, as they have a completely different alphabet. Like, this spells Spasiba:

I’m pleased to introduce you to the one Russian word we’ve learned so far! It means thanks. It frequently comes in handy. What we’re learning, though, is that generally, you can forget the real word and say something that sounds like it, and Russian, and that definitely works too. Case in point, Betty the other night to the cab driver as we exited:

BETTY: Placebo!

DRIVER: You’re welcome.

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September 12th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter


Speaking of, the clouds / torrential and depressing rain finally parted today, and I hit the road with my shades, shoes and stupidly thuggish playlist to try my hand at running through Russia. Apparently, I now write for a Glamour blog, or something. I promise I’ll never say ‘hit the road with my shades’ ever. again. Doc! I’d read that I would be gawked at, which I was, like um – what are you running from? But once I got over that, it was pretty okay. There was really no where to run except a few loops through parking lots:

And occasionally, a nice stretch of park:

Okay yes, I was technically taking pictures on this ‘run.’ But it still counts, or at least combats these guys.

Take THAT, fried zucchini’s.

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Some Russians; My Hair

September 12th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

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September 11th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, chef Nikoli graced us not only with a shirt, but with a whole carpstillwitheyeandwholeface, Ukrainian Borscht, and last but most obviously, potatoes. And then we ate everything, and then we died. By died I mean went to a reading in the festival by an American ex pat playwright. At the talkback, we were shocked to find the audience not asking or answering questions, but instead inserting things like THIS PLAY IS BORING! and THIS PLAY IS WESTERN! and THIS PLAY HAS NO GENRE! Bob / Betty /Lisa, I don’t think we’re at the Lark anymore.

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Miss Lilly gets Translated!

September 11th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

Remember that time I don’t speak a lick of Russian? I don’t speak a lick of Russian. I’m trying to figure out whether it’s rude or attentive to stare at someone when they’re talking to you, before the translator translates, even though you have no idea what’s they’re saying. At all. Rude? scary? Attentive? Fortunately! I have these guys: Maxim, who is rumored to be the best Russian contemporary playwright (L, who speaks a lick) and Mikael, director (who speaks less of a lick:)

Fortunately for ALL of us, we have Marina, my translator:

Marina’s English is nearly perfect and she picked it up in Texas. She’s already done a fantastic job translating a first draft of the play. But in case you’re wondering why that guy is holding that giant empty thing of water – Marina took beats in the script (pauses) as, well, beats. So this actor literally beat out the beats through the entire first read. Which was kind of incredible. Also, I loved how each actor read all of their own stage directions, and did some super simple lovely work. I was able to follow along with my iPAD PRODUCT PLACEMENT pretty smoothly. In other news, Russians have no context really for corndogs and mimosas are Russian salads.  And in case you’re wondering if the The Rapist / therapy joke translates, it definitely does.

Posted in RUSSIA!, the writing of drama plays | 1 Comment »

Wait, what?

September 10th, 2011 by Bekah Brunstetter

It’s 3 am. I’m awake again. Someone is either giving or receiving dance lessons upstairs. WHERE. AM. I.

But seriously, check out the cathedral and Red Square. Incredible!

Posted in i am a grown up, RUSSIA! | No Comments »

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