Tashi Tibet: Pamela Rummel and Edgar Grana's New Work

February 8, 2013 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Longtime Jacksonville resident Pamela Rummel's new script for Tashi Tibet in collaboration with Edgar Grana is making people stand up and pay attention to this first time script writer. The Office of the Dalai Lama has thrown its support behind the production and Metrojacksonville has the details!

Edgar Grana is a composer and music collaborator. He attended and received a B.A. from Washington & Jefferson College; an MFA, University of Iowa; and MM, from the Juilliard School in New York City. Among his Awards and Grants: Chicago Film Festival; First International New Music Festival; Platinum Record, Winger.

His works include: Moments: A Tribute to José Limón, Lincoln Center; Six Pieces for Piano, Symphony Space; Stones, Time and Elements: A Humanist Requiem (with Kurt Vonnegut and Michael Brecker), Newport Classics; Lyric Episode for Orchestra, Bedford Springs Arts Festival, PA; music for Budd Schulberg’s: On the Waterfront; String Quartet No. 2

Pamela Rummel is a writer from the Mandarin neighborhood here in Jacksonville Florida. She and her husband Reb live in a lovely suburban home along the Julington Creek, where they raised a family including their son, Ryan Rummel a painter and outsider artist who also owns an indie nightclub on Bay Street.

Oddly enough these two people with almost nothing in common are collaborating on a series of exciting performance projects in New York City, and incredibly, one of those projects has just been blessed by his holiness, The Dalai Lama's, office for production.

It is a sweeping musical theatre production about the history and plight of Tibet, written by Pamela and composed by Grana.

Pamela Rummel

The story of their collaboration is one only possible in the age of the Internet.

They started working together after being introduced by a mutual friend through facebook.  

At the time of their introduction, Pamela did not consider herself a writer, much less a theatre writer.  It was Edgar who convinced her that she could indeed write for the stage  He had a project that he had been working on that had come to a standstill and was going through the kinds of frustrating obstacles that are all too frequent in the creative community.   After reading some of her private writing he suggested that she tackle the script.

Despite her reservations and fears----she had never written anything professionally before---Pamela decided she was up for it and bravely set about to begin her writing career.

The fruits of that effort have just been sanctioned by the Dalai Lama's Office

Their work together started first with a rough draft of a stage play with Edgar’s music.

For months they worked by phone, she writing dialogue and then sharing it with Edgar who helped fine tune it. Pam found a way to develop the story for herself and the dialogue followed inspired by what she heard in Edgar’s music.

With periodic trips to NYC to work closely with Edgar they began to develop a direction for Tashi Tibet. They began meeting directors and scoping out possible theater venues for presentation purpose of their newly formed play Tashi Tibet. After 2 years of working on the show, completing the music with the narrative and blocking, Pam met Lara Binder, a dancer and choreographer from San Diego who recently relocated to the Jacksonville area.  About a month later, They invited Lara to join the team as choreographer for the show.  Soon another team member arrived in the form of Lauren Rayner, of NYC, as producer/consultant for Tashi Tibet.  

Ryan Rummel (who is not only Pamela's son, and owner of TSI on Bay Street, but is also an outsider artist and film maker) was gracious to do the editing for the trailer through his company, Go Cinema, with the help of Ben Piper, of NYC on vocals, Miles Engemann as narrator.

The next step is a presentation/reading with Tibetan actors and a quintet plus percussion of musicians which will be held in the early fall, 2013 in NYC.  Their business plan calls for taking the show into a Regional Theater for development and then bringing it back to NYC for a run.   The process is not a quick one, but so far things look bright and their wish is that through the show, they can bring awareness of the Tibetan cause to those who do not know the history of how Tibet came to be under Chinese authority.  They tell the story which took place in the 1950’s-1960’s through the eyes of four young Tibetans, whose lives and loves will be forever changed by the history of their beloved country, Tibet.  

article by Stephen Dare