About philberman

Just your friendly, neighborhood theatre artist.

WE WILL KILL YOUR HEADS with jazz hands!

           AGNES tosses away her sword and shield. She begins applying some lipstick. 

AGNES: Enough with all this dorky stuff. You really think you’re badasses? Then let’s finish this . . . Cheerleader style

           She sticks out her hands as Kaliope and Orcus put pom-poms into them. 

AGNES: We challenge you . . . to a dance battle.

Lightning and thunder!!!!

Dance yields +3 agility!

Dance of the wild-n-crazy bone crushers yields +3 agility!

Our actors are having a lot of fun choreographing this dance battle. Choreographer Ara Glenn-Johanson has collected an impressive selection of 80s/90s dance moves: the Maniac; the Crump; the Vogue; the Macarena.

Here are some video references for your nostagianjoyment.

That was your head!

That was your head!

Happy dance!

Happy dance!

(Shira wants it known that she loves Madonna).

We're gonna dance and you're gonna like it!

We’re gonna dance and you’re gonna like it!


Lights come up on TILLY EVANS, a teenage girl decked out in full leathery D&D fantasy armor with a cool- ass sword in hand. She is surrounded by a horde of Kobalds (goblin-like creatures).

Suddenly they attack!

TILLY quickly slays each of the monsters with grace and efficiency. 


Intense puppeturgy going on in rehearsal today; while working on movement for the Kobalds that attack Tilly in the first scene, fight director Robert Najarian pulled an epic point of reference for their bouncing. The Gummi Bears. Enjoy.

“What Girls Want”

Shira found this awesome article from the Atlantic on adolescent women and the need to escape into fantasy. Click the image to read more online!

The salient fact of an adolescent girl’s existence is her need for a secret emotional life—one that she slips into during her sulks and silences, during her endless hours alone in her room, or even just when she’s gazing out the classroom window while all of Modern European History, or the niceties of the passé composé, sluice past her.

Bella's inner fantasies turned real in TWILIGHT have entranced a generation of readers - what does this say about pubescent girls at large?

Bella’s inner fantasies turned real in TWILIGHT have entranced a generation of readers – what does this say about pubescent girls at large?

Vancian Magic

AGNES: Tilly, shoot them with a magic missile.

TILLY: I can’t. 

AGNES: What do you mean you can’t?

TILLY: I forgot the spell.

AGNES: What do you mean you forgot the spell?

TILLY: It’s a thing. It’s not going to help us. 

RHIALTO THE MARVELLOUS, book IV of Jack Vance's influential fantasy series DYING EARTH.

RHIALTO THE MARVELLOUS, book IV of Jack Vance’s influential fantasy series DYING EARTH.

Click the above image of RHIALTO THE MARVELLOUS to read an informative blog post from The Evil GM on Jack Vance’s influence on D&D’s magic system (Vancian magic.) The basic theory behind this is that a wizard’s spells are so complex (s)he can only keep them in his/her memory until (s)he uses them, after which the spells are completely forgotten and must be re-learned. It is, indeed, a thing.

Also, the song “The Dying Earth” by the band “Wizard Eye.” Also a thing.

thunder . . . Thunder . . . THUNDERCATS – HOOOOOO!

KALIOPE: Why are you dressed so strangely?

AGNES: I’M dressed strangely? You do know you look like a Thundercat, right?

THUNDERCATS! Thundercats is an American-made Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Adventure/Alien Cat show that ran for four seasons from 1985-1989. This show’s got everything: Mummy Cats! Cats with Swords! Snarf Cats! Thunder Cats!

Most likely, Agnes is referring to the official Thundercats sex symbol, Cheetara. You can read more about her on the Thundercats Wiki (which exists).

Cheetara is ready for battle!

Cheetara is ready for battle!

Hansen, Usher and other VH1-worthy celebs crush on Cheetara on the above episode of I LOVE THE 80s STRIKES BACK (27:21)

Fans love Cheetara cosplay!

Fans love wholesome Cheetara cosplay!

10 Hours, Free!

AGNES: How did you meet someone from New York?

CHUCK: On a little thing I like to call . . . THE INTERNET! You’ve been on the internet, right?

AGNES: Yeah, we have it at work. 

CHUCK: It’s the bomb, right? I got it hooked up at my house. Top of the line. I’m talking 56 kilobits per second! If you ever want to come over and check it out . . .

Ad for 1995 home edition of America Online! Grab your kayaking buddies and enjoy!


Also . . . this.

Living in the World of SHE KILLS MONSTERS

We’re well into our first week of rehearsals in the spacious Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts. This first week of rehearsal is all about building vocabulary: stage combat terminology and basic moves; a thorough understanding of the script and all its references; and an immersion into both the fantasy and real-world settings of the play. Director Shira Milikowsky assigned the actors a series of tasks to flesh out characters and the world of the play.

The first assignment was for each actor to bring in three objects/images that encapsulate the world of the play. Take a look at our collection!

STACKS of comic books!

STACKS of comic books!


Monsters galore


Dragons, George R.R. Martin Books and useful kerosene lanterns — X-Men cards in the back there!

SNES and FF3!

SNES and FF3!


Tilly and Agnes? Paige and Jordan? Theatrical boundaries blurring? Cute kid photos? So much going on here.

Tilly and Agnes? Paige and Jordan? Theatrical boundaries blurring? Cute kid photos? So much going on here.