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Does she get naked?
When Marcel Nunis talks about doing "garage theater," it's not without hints of melodrama. Even though he's being quite literal.
He's rehearsing his new show, "Tale End," in a make-shift spot in the garage behind his house — its old wood slats covered with black curtains, the whole place lit with a professional lighting rig.
Nunis sits watching, cigarette in hand, from a row of mismatched theater seats. A propane heater points down at the stage, glowing orange. There are still tools hanging on the back wall.
A dog barks in the yard next door.
The show will run two previews here this weekend, 6 p.m., Jan. 26 and 7 p.m., Jan. 27, before opening at the Rogue Performance Festival in March.
Theatre J'Nerique, started by Nunis in 1994 before his work with the Rogue, is run with a do-it-yourself aesthetic, and a put-up or -shut-up sentiment toward those who say there's no rehearsal space, no show space, in town. "There's space," Nunis says. "You just have to make it."
Apparently, you make your own press, too.
It's an experiment in a marketing strategy that's mostly new and favors smaller, independent artists. "For the first time everyone is on a level playing field."
But most artists don't think about how important marketing is, he says.
Nunis hits his actors with it almost every night. "They're all heard my rants before. It's show business," he says. "It's two words."
And it's especially true with performing arts, which have zero life once the night's show is done, says Greg Taber, one "Tale Ends'," two actors. "The more people see it, the more the show exists."
Taber and actress Renee Newlove has been in several theater companies in town — recently they stared together in Good Company Players, "A Few Good Men." But this, a show stripped of elaborate sets and costuming, all the makeup and hair, allows the actors — and the audience — to really focus on the craft.
"When you take that away all you have are the words. All you have are the actors," New love says.
Nunis might call it garage theater.
It's more like portable theater. And the company plans to pack up and will tour the show at several fringe festivals in the summer of 2008.