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End Of Scene Blog Entries
SATURDAY, DEC 7, 2013
Ken makes a scene about why he wrote LIFE ON PAPER
FRIDAY, JUN 7, 2013
[EXCERPTED REVIEW] Broadway World makes a scene about Warrior Class at the Alley Theatre.
FRIDAY, JUN 7, 2013
[REVIEW] The Houston Press makes a scene about Warrior Class at the Alley Theatre.
SUNDAY, FEB 3, 2013
Ken makes a scene about an upcoming reading at Ensemble Studio Theatre
FRIDAY, FEB 1, 2013
Ken makes a scene about joining Season Two of House Of Cards
SATURDAY, DEC 8, 2012
Ken makes a scene about a letter from Liz Engelman
THURSDAY, DEC 6, 2012
Ken makes a scene about "Red State Blue State" on This American Life
MONDAY, NOV 5, 2012
Ken makes a scene about a stage adaptation of Warrior Class for the BBC.
TUESDAY, OCT 16, 2012
Ken makes a scene about participating in Baltimore Center Stage's MY AMERICA PROJECT, directed by Hal Hartley
SUNDAY, JUL 29, 2012
Errol Louis makes a scene about Warrior Class on NY1's INSIDE CITY HALL
WEDNESDAY, JUL 25, 2012
Head critic for NYTimes makes a scene about Warrior Class on WQXR's Around Broadway.
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: The Daily News makes a scene about Warrior Class
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: The New York Times makes a scene about Warrior Class.
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: Variety makes a scene about Warrior Class.
TUESDAY, JAN 24, 2012
Ken makes a scene about The Montgomery New's Review of FALLOW at People's Light and Theatre Company.
THURSDAY, JAN 19, 2012
Ken makes a scene about STAGE Magazine's review of FALLOW at People's Light and Theatre Company.
THURSDAY, DEC 1, 2011
Ken makes a scene about a remarkable piece of writing about the American theatre
TUESDAY, NOV 22, 2011
Ken makes a scene about a character's stage transformation
MONDAY, NOV 21, 2011
Ken makes a scene about WARRIOR CLASS online
TUESDAY, SEP 27, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the Asian American Performers Action Committee
MONDAY, SEP 26, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the fast work of SCR's casting department
FRIDAY, SEP 16, 2011
Ken makes a scene about Anne Garcia-Romero's post about LoNyLa
WEDNESDAY, JUL 6, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage's $150,000 grant to FALLOW
SUNDAY, JUN 19, 2011
A letter from Kaitlin Hopkins - Head of the Musical Theatre Program at Texas State
TUESDAY, FEB 15, 2011
Ken makes a scene about science plays.
WEDNESDAY, DEC 22, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Intelligence-Slave making the Houston Chronicles Top Theater Shows of 2010 list
TUESDAY, OCT 19, 2010
Ken makes a scene about intra out-group persecution.
WEDNESDAY, OCT 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene about why theater is not a humanity.
WEDNESDAY, OCT 6, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Athol Fugard's criticism about the failure of modern dramatists
MONDAY, JUL 26, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the diverse audience of Queens Theater in the Park
SUNDAY, JUN 6, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the Jewish Herald-Voice's profile of INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE
WEDNESDAY, JUN 2, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Lee Williams's review of Intelligence-Slave in the Houston Press
TUESDAY, JUN 1, 2010
Ken makes a scene about his Intelligence-Slave interview with culturemap.com
SATURDAY, MAY 29, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Everett Evans's review in the Houston Chronicle
TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2010
Ken makes a scene about sharing a collective spirituality in the theater
SUNDAY, MAY 23, 2010
Ken makes a scene about seeing the bird through the feathers
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2010
Ken makes a scene about tech, letting go of the play and making discoveries in production
MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010
Ken makes a scene about INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE in the Houston Press
SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2010
Ken makes a scene about INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE in the Houston Chronicle
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene for the Alley Theatre's Mark Bly
WEDNESDAY, APR 21, 2010
Ken makes a scene about being playwright 151 in Adam Szymkowicz's blog.
THURSDAY, APR 8, 2010
Ken makes a scene about changing the name of his play.
THURSDAY, MAR 18, 2010
Ken makes a scene about pundits and why Tom Hanks is "injecting" racism into World War II.
TUESDAY, MAR 16, 2010
Ken makes a scene about writing "winning" dialogue.
MONDAY, MAR 15, 2010
Ken makes a scene about agents and the ecology of show business.
SATURDAY, MAR 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the beauty of the theater actor
THURSDAY, DEC 17, 2009
Ken makes a scene about non-English language productions
TUESDAY, NOV 17, 2009
Ken makes a scene about reviewing business books for theater artists
WEDNESDAY, NOV 4, 2009
Ken makes a scene about THE BIG REWRITE!
TUESDAY, OCT 27, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the discovery of an algorithm for happiness (7ZJJBYD9U6PX)
THURSDAY, OCT 22, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Holocaust fiction as a literary genre
TUESDAY, OCT 13, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Asians who don't go to the theater.
MONDAY, OCT 5, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the challenge of bravery in the theater.
MONDAY, SEP 28, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the death of Tragedy and Comedy.
TUESDAY, SEP 22, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Dave Matthews's statement that racism is "everywhere" in America.
WEDNESDAY, SEP 16, 2009
Ken makes a scene about why playwrights need websites.
End of Scene Blog

Intelligence-Slave Interview with Houston's culturemap.com
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
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I had a very pleasant and thought-provoking interview with Ted Bale from culturemap.com. Here is what we talked about:

CHILLING NIGHT AT THE THEATER

Intelligence Slave brings a salt mine of horror and Hitler Youth to life
By Theodore Bale
June 1st, 2010 at 10:45 AM

The Neuhaus Stage has been transformed into an abandoned salt mine for Kenneth Lin's new play at the Alley Theatre, Intelligence Slave.

"You should be grateful they moved your factory down here, you know," Fritz tells Curt Herzstark the protagonist played so convincingly by Andrew Weems. As an audience member, I wasn't so sure I was grateful.

Under the convincingly gray chipped rock, already in the opening scene I felt like yet another prisoner working in the mine. It is at first claustrophobic, a chilling setting to experience a play. But then I let my attention turn to the lead character's surname. A clever choice, I thought, meaning something like "strong heart" in English. And as the action progressed, it soon became evident the Curt was going to need all the strength he could muster.

Lin wrote his richly complex and highly metaphorical drama during a residency at Long Island's Nassau County Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center. Free of music and spectacle-oriented stage effects, it is hardly a sentimental work. In fact, the dialogue progresses the action as much as the nuanced body language. Both the victims and the perpetrators in the story have a certain introspective, meditative quality about them. I wanted to know more about its evolution.

During a telephone interview with the playwright, I began with the most obvious question. What new light does your play shed on the Holocaust?

Lin explained that his research in Long Island focused in part on the Hitler youth, "the poor thirteen and fourteen-year-old boys who were sent to die," as Lin described them. "The Hitler Youth were the most ardent soldiers in battle. They fought with the ferocity of people who were afraid of monsters, and they had been convinced that Jews were monsters," he added.

Clearly, Lin is interested in work that moves dialogue about the Holocaust further forward, rather than treading on territory that has already been explored.

Even the play's protagonist, Curt, is part Aryan. He hopes to be "Aryan-ized" by the Gestapo as the result of his invention, a hand-held calculator that runs without electricity. But as the end of the war approaches, he tries in vain to prolong completion of the device, fearing it could mean his certain death.

"Our play focuses on how these characters survive,"Lin said. "One of the things I love is how it is about really shifting alliances. This person created this calculator, and he lives one day longer by withholding the solution. I tried to create characters who are just as bewildered about where they ended up. Our evil character wishes he could have been an auto mechanic, he never planned to be killing people in a mine. He is trapped. The play says that he is trapped just as much as the Jewish persons in the camp above the mine."

Enter Finn Frey, the Hitler youth who will "help" Curt finish his invention in the tiny room, and thereupon embarks an extended and almost entirely metaphorical dialogue where both men reveal their impressions, fears and dreams through indirect statements. "People you can trick, that's easy," the teenager tells the inventor. "But how do you trick a machine?"

Finn (played by Steven Louis Kane) has shrapnel embedded in his skull, though he is still a mathematical prodigy.

Finn's convinced that the calculator will be complete if and when the pair can accomplish subtraction by addition. Watching the story unfold, I found myself trying to attempt some of the number problems in the dialogue. When Finn becomes more and more unstable, Curt asks him to calculate 22 divided by seven. The answer will break your heart.

Lin modestly describes the five scenes of his two-act play as "a very traditional structure."

He's kept the design simple (though I was quite impressed that the characters could dig and hide things in the sand of the stage floor, a wonderful touch) and limited the lighting cues. "The theatrical experience is something we haven't really experienced in a long time," he told me toward the end of our interview. "We wanted everything to funnel into what the characters say to each other, and it's a very refreshing throwback for people."

Intelligence Slave runs through June 20.

end of scene
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