Subj: My History at No Shame, Iowa City
Date: Friday, August 16, 2002 2:08:00 PM
From: Shannon McCormick
I've noticed that the history of No Shame during the years that I was there (1990-1994) are kind of underrepresented, which is too bad, because I think of those years as being particularly rich. Sadly, the board in those ever so slightly pre-Internet days didn't do a very good job of archiving pieces and one might get the impression that not much happened. Here's a quick outline of my memories of those times, who was on the board, who did pieces, etc.
I started attending in the fall on 1990 and thought that all of these people were gods. I had never experienced theater as outright cool as what was going on at No Shame. Here's the people who made a big impression on me that first year (1990-1991), although there were more than I'll be able to remember. Todd Ristau, Brett Neveu, Adam Whisner, John Smick, Oliver Oertel, Laura Quinn, T-Bone (now Jackson Galaxy?), Cheryl Graeff did a piece that blew me away with T Bone I think that blew me away, Ashley Sovern (different last name back then?), Mark Johnson, Carolyn Space Jacobsen, Mike Geither, Marc Slayton, J.C. Luxton (then calling himself John C.) and his buddy Dan Cahoy, Dan Layne, etc. And oh yeah, this was the year that Rebecca Gilman was doing the Mrs. Sock Monkey Doll pieces. Doug Dawson was the host of every show, but I'm not sure who else was on the board. A lot of these people left after my first year-Oliver, Cheryl, JC, etc.
The next year (1991-1992), I finally got up the courage to start doing pieces. Joshua Peskay (my roommate at the time) and I started working as a duo. The first thing we did involved the Iliad and a bunch of bubblegum. Don't remember the title. Our next piece was called "Pork and Beans," and then we were off and running.
The best piece we did was "The Search for the Yeti: A Play in Five Acts," which was included in Spring 1992's B.O.N.S. People started calling us the Yeti Boys or the Yeti Brothers.
That year marked the appearance of that new crop of grad students-Clint Corley was probably the most consistent contributor of the bunch, but the White Boy Black Boy crew did a lot as well.
The next year (1992-1993), Joshua and I teamed up with John Smick and Brooks Peck. Our first piece was called "Little League Hamlet." We pretty much did a piece every week that year, and after a few weeks we started calling ourselves Nekkid Percussion. Highlights include pieces "Alive!" and "Ball." In January or February, Doug Dawson resigned from his job as stage manager live on stage in a piece where he played hangman with Tasha Robinson. Tasha was trying to spell his phrase, which was "I'm sorry but I'm through." I still have the piece of paper, which I nabbed at the end of the show. The next week, Jen Shepard, who was on the board, asked a number of people to join the board (which brought membership to five, which I think it has pretty much been since then). I was asked to be treasurer, Robb Barnard joined, Tasha Robinson, and a fifth person whom I can't remember. That summer, No Shame sponsored the Theater of Treacherous Intent, a four part serial that took place in the Unitarian Church in July. The idea was originally Jen and Margie's, but a lot of us wound up getting involved-I helped Jen and Margie administratively, as well as with the writing. Aaron Cain wrote a ton and Rebecca Gilman also wrote quite a bit. Adam Burton or Megan Gogerty might have the scripts somewhere. It might be cool to get them online one of these days as well.
In the fall of 1993, J.C. Luxton moved back to Iowa City. He and I did the Old Men Again pieces pretty much every week. Jen Shepard resigned from the board, and I became the chair through the end of the school year. Larry Pontius joined as treasurer. Robb Barnard started hosting most of the time. So I think the board was me, Tasha, Robb, Larry, and (I think) Stephanie Frey. That year, Nekkid Percussion didn't work together quite as much, but we still did a number of pieces, and started working with other people. This marked the beginning of Megan Gogerty's time at No Shame. At the end of 1994, Clint Corley staged his collection of No Shame pieces past, but I forget what it was called. Clint's Shame, I think.
I was off the board when I graduated in May 1994. I was still in Iowa City that fall-this is when J.C. started doing the Sean Smickcormick Pieces. I did a few things as well, including I left Iowa City for Prague at the end of 1994.
I hope this fleshes things out a little bit-sadly I don't have pieces archives, although I'm going to go through my old files to see if I have any scripts. I think I have "Karagoz and Hacivad," a piece I did with Brooks Peck and J.C. But I have more I hope. I know this info is biased toward my own experiences at No Shame, but I hope it gives a little more info for people who wonder about those middle years.