GF&CO IN DEVELOPMENT
_______________________________


2017



As we settle into our new office & studio space in Brooklyn, GF&CO is energized to begin work on new performance projects. We're in the early stages of researching new material, welcoming new members, and exploring new formats for production. More to be revealed in the coming months...




2016

NEW VISIONS, NEW MISSIONS, NEW HORIZONS

Dear Friends & Colleagues,
We’ve been on a journey…

  

During the last 12 years that I have been developing and applying One-Thought-One-Action (OTOA) as a Professional Stage Director, the 8 years that I have been leading OTOA Workshops as Founder & Master teacher, and over the last 5 years that I have been running Gia Forakis & Company (GF&CO) as Artistic Director of a theater production company,   it’s become very clear that the same OTOA principles that bring clarity and enrichment to the staged event are just as meaningful when applied to individual and collective activities that take place off of the stage.

As a result, this year we will take the first steps towards transforming GF&CO’s identity from being known as a Theater Production Company into being more solidly identified as a Studio-Lab for the OTOA technique.

Since the founding of GF&CO in 2011, again and again I would find myself brought up short when the only way forward was to “walk the OTOA walk”: one (incremental) thought and one (component of) action at a time!  Because, no matter what proverbial "hat" I was wearing, a daily OTOA practice became essential.

This journey of reflections, discovery, and confrontation, has led to a revitalizing new perspective, a dynamic new vision and a series of exhilarating new changes within GF&CO and OTOA, where our focus will be to link these two entities more directly into a studio-lab with a wider range of offerings.

Where GF&CO began as a forum for engaging audiences with new avenues of theatre-making through the exploratory lens and innovative technique of OTOA, we now see it as a platform for engaging the public in a larger array of OTOA forums and practices.

Where OTOA began as a technique for enriching the tools and techniques of performers and directors for a more physically engaged mode of story-telling, we now see an expanding variety of OTOA workshops, labs, salons and studio-projects, with a broader scope of OTOA applications.

In these ways we see a more vital way to serve our community (and to expand our network) by sharing what we think is one of our most valuable commodities: the OTOA technique.

GF&CO members, past and present, have found the principles of OTOA to be fundamental tools for enhancing their craft as well as a versatile perspective for: maintaining longevity in their field, pragmatic administrative application, untangling professional, personal or artistic road-blocks, and as basic support for the daily discipline of a creative practice in any field and for any enterprise.

And now we are developing workshops (such as the one listed above in May) where I will be bringing these beneficial OTOA principles into a curriculum of Creative LIfe Practice.

OTOA's practice of incremental thought and action is the preliminary step that manages all our goals, no matter what the project --big or small, quotidian or visionary.

OTOA has been the central operating principle behind GF&CO, artistically and administratively, since its inception. And in an age where multi-tasking challenges our depth of attention and the enrichment of our connections, we see that OTOA is the best “product” we have to offer to the public and to one another."

 - Gia Forakis,  Brooklyn, NY, March, 2016


MAY 6-8*

New York City

Suited to Creative Thinkers in Every Field

Offering the Practice & Principles
for Creative & Personal Transformation
 
*This workshop will conclude early on May 8th for Mother's Day
 
Full Price: $200

Early Bird Discount: $100
  Early Bird price is available through APRIL 22nd, 2016

 
The aim of OTOA Creative Life Practice (CLP) is to address how we shape our lives by introducing tools that support a creative life practice, and bring us in sync with a more unified sense of self.
Utilizing the principles of OTOA, we will identify and investigate a
6 Point System for Creative Influence & Transformation.
 
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


OTOA PERFORMANCE TECHNIQUE 
WORKSHOP

JUNE 10-12

New York City

Suited to Performers, Directors,

Choreographers, Singers, Dancers & Public Speakers
Open to New & Returning Participants

Full Price: $200
Early Bird Discount: $100
Early Bird price is available through MAY 27, 2016

Attending an OTOA Performance Technique & Training (PT&T) Workshop offers
Performers a clear approach towards a more specific, physically engaged, moment-to-moment life on stage; Directors the tools for crafting a dynamic, visually engaging and detailed form of storytelling;
Public Speakers, the tools to liberate your motivations for a more detailed, engaging and dynamic presence.


CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER








2013-2014
GF&CO is in the process of developing our
Much Anticipated Production

O.REX

~ The Original Murder Mystery ~
A brand new translation of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex,
re-envisioned by Gia Forakis as a Greek-Noir Classic*




This site-specific project will take place in an NYC nightclub,
designed as a full-immersion experience!

Audiences will be seated at nightclub tables as this legendary drama unfolds around them and as the entire nightclub is transformed into the world of 1940’s Film Noir.  In O.REX, Oedipus is no longer a royal king, but underworld "Kingpin" of a fashionable nightclub. Audiences are invited to come dressed in black & white, drinks are served to prevent symptoms of The Plague, and Choral Odes --re-invented as period ballads-- become the acts on the nightclub stage as live music and song, plus original cinematic underscoring  enhance this gripping drama of the original murder mystery!

*Greek-Noir: a hybrid of Greek Tragedy + American Film Noir a new genre coined by Gia Forakis


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

THE PLAY

It is believed that Sophocles first produced Oedipus Rex in Athens around 430 B.C.

Summary: In order to save the city of Thebes from plague Oedipus sets out to solve the mysterious murder of the former leader, Laius. Through his investigation Oedipus discovers that he is not only the son of Laius but also his murderer, and that his wife, Jocasta, is also his mother. Disgraced and debased, Jocasta hangs herself and Oedipus blinds himselleaving Thebes in exile.


Sophocles’ play reads like a classic who-done-it with one twist: in this murder mystery the "detective" is also the murderer and the Femme Fatal is also her lover’s mother. It was from this perspective that Forakis was first motivated to merge then genres of Greek Tragedy with Film Noir.

THE TRANSLATION: O.REX

O.REX is the result of Forakis & Buchan's collaboration: a new translation of Sophocles’ play, Oedipus Rex (taken directly from the ancient Greek) that reframes the original allusions and euphemisms of the text for a contemporary clarity and accessibility, which support the 1940s setting, while maintaining that this is indeed Sophocles' script --and not an adaptation.


In O.REX, royalty is re-framed as leadership. References to Lord or King become Boss or Chief.  Two essential innovations of their script are the text’s act-ability (action driven rather than literary) and the reworking of the Choral Odes, within the context of a period nightclub, into period jazz ballads: crucial interludes that maintain their primary function for setting the scene and commenting on the narrative while being transformed into catchy lyrics with a modern edge.

FRAMEWORK

In O.REX, Oedipus is an underworld king-pin, rather than royal king: a crime boss who runs a nightclub. He has access to "resources" that have aided Thebes in the past (during the deadly "occupation" of the Sphinx). As the play opens, he is approached to help Thebes once again against a virulent Plague that has gripped the city. 

In keeping with famous protagonists of the noir genre, Oedipus is the criminal we root for, the flawed hero. It is his own "blind" arrogance which leads to his downfall.

Curiously, Sophocles casts the audience of this well-known legend as prophets, privileged to watch as Oedipus hurtles towards the inevitable conclusion where his blindness becomes painfully literal. In this site-specific production of O.REX, the audience is in the middle of the action taking Sophocles’ intentions one step further by making them voyeurs, and because of their proximity as nightclub patrons, they become participants --complicit by default.

Forakis’ interest is in how both genres use archetype and stylized performance to tell high-stakes mystery stories that explore the nature of tragedy: people trapped, doomed to strive against fate; lessons learned at great expense; shadowy worlds laced with suspicion, corruption, crime and moral ambiguity. In this context, style reveals subtext; catharsis follows climax.

This symbiosis inspired the birth of Greek-Noir – a new genre.

AESTHETIC

Noir
is built upon a shadowy world void of meaning and laced with suspicion, corruption, crime, and moral ambiguity. Those who hold public esteem and seem least reproachable,  are often the most corrupt. Stories told in both genres serve as cautionary tales with a moral lesson learned at great expense. These similarities form the ultimate murder mystery and the birth of Greek-Noir.

 Like the Greek myths, noir is defined by archetype and symbolism; there is always a hero (albeit a flawed one) and there is always a moral to the tale. The Noir hero is one of our American myths: the “tough guy with a heart of gold” who, despite his failings will always do the right thing in the end. Just as in Greek tragedy, the climactic moment of recognition is always followed by catharsis.

Greek-Noir creates a triple-vision effect, recalling the anxieties pervasive in
mid-20th century America that overlap with conditions in Thebes and 5th Century Athens, while also referencing 21st century events: an endless war, a weary and divided country “plagued” with economic instability, failing infrastructure and an elected leader expected to perform miracles to save us from a deeply imbedded—if inherited—set of untenable circumstances.

The Greek-Noir O.REX provides a contemporary relevance, offers a fresh context for this well known classic, and mirrors Sophocles’ strategy of speaking to current concerns through mythical-cultural memory.


SETTING

The production of O.REX will be set within a black and white world, with all set elements, lighting, costumes and skin tones in grey scale. The location is a nightclub in a 1940s American metropolis called Thebes. Oedipus is the “kingpin” modeled on Casablanca’s Rick: admired, respected, with the power to determine the success or failure, life or death, of those around him.


Jocasta, his wife, is our femme fatal, a deadly mix of lover and mother whom Oedipus cannot live without.


Setting O.REX in an actual night club will actively include the audience--inviting them to come dressed in black and white clothing of their own—as well as make use of the venue’s own waitstaff and bar.

VISUAL



Incorporating video/film projection will heighten the cinematic genre that this production references. The show will open with rolling titles, followed by a period-styled Newsreel with images of past and present circumstances from the deadly occupation of the Sphinx in the past, to the devastation of the Plague currently gripping Thebes as the play begins. Using a montage of war, starvation, poverty, ancient ruin... the newsreel will bring the audience up to date before the drama begins to unfold in the nightclub around them.

MUSIC

Beginning in January 2014 we plan to write an original cinematic underscore for the scenes. Last year, we worked to develop the 5 Choral Odes set to period-style nightclub ballads (think: Kern, Berlin, Porter and Gershwin). All music and songs will be performed live on the stage of Oedipus’ nightclub.