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Showing posts from 2013

DID YOU STICK HER IN THE TRUNK?

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Madeline Island, part of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior. The Witching Hour. Moon and Alma have summoned Whiz, a ghost- who has knocked out Moon and cast a spell on Alma. For more, see previous posts.


ALMA (dreamily) Where’d that car come from? It’s beautiful. (shivers) It’s freezing.

Whiz takes off her jacket, puts it on Alma, who is clearly dazed and confused.

ALMA (cont’d) Thanks. Hey! Let’s take a ride. I got to get in that car- it’ll take me where I need to go- won’t it? Won’t it, lady? Why don’t you talk? Well, whatever. I’m getting in the car, and going where I’m going, and you need to come with me. Don’t ask me why I know, I just do. So come on!

Alma runs off. After a moment, we hear the phantom car peel out and drive off. Moon groans, sits up.

MOON What happened? (looks around) Where’s Alma?

Whiz shrugs, looks over at the trunk.

MOON (cont’d) Did you stick her in the trunk? What is wrong with you, lady? I swear to God, if you hurt her-

Moon runs over to the trunk, looks in.

DON'T MAKE ME KICK YOUR ASS (HONEYBOY PART 4)

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In the middle of the night, on an abandoned race track, Alma and Moon are trying to raise a spirit from the dead. A strange woman has just popped out of a seemingly empty trunk. (see previous posts for more)
MOON Uh, Alma?
ALMA Go away, Moon!
MOON Alma!
ALMA What?!?!

Alma turns, sees Whiz.

ALMA (cont’d) Uh, excuse me, lady...but we’re shooting a tv show here, and it’s a closed set. Not open to the public. I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Please step out of the trunk.

Whiz stares at Alma, then at Moon.

ALMA (cont’d) Hello? Closed set. Get out of the trunk.

Whiz slowly steps out of trunk, walks over to Moon.

ALMA (cont’d) Thank you. In a few months, you’ll be able to see this on one of your basic cable channels.

Whiz grabs Moon by the front of his shirt, pulls him to her. She smells his face, runs her hands across his back, then kisses him full on the mouth. 

ALMA (cont’d) Hey!

At first, Moon resists, then kisses Whiz back. Abruptly, he falls to the ground, unconscious.

ALMA (cont’d) H…

ENTER GHOST (HONEYBOY JACK AND THE SILVER MIST PART 3)

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Moon and Alma have come to a deserted race track on Madeline Island, the most haunted of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior. They hope to raise the ghost of Honeyboy Jack Schaefer and film it on their smart phone, so that they can get on a paranormal tv show. They are alone, with an old trunk they have dragged along with them. Things have started to get a little funky. See previous two posts for more.






MOON Oh my god!

An old car engine revs offstage, loudly. Then several car engines rev- it sounds like a race track right before a race. The sound builds and builds, until it's almost deafening.

ALMA This is awesome! Go stand by the trunk and tell us about summoning Honey Boy!
MOON Are you crazy? We have to get out of here!

Suddenly, the sounds stop. Silence. Moon and Alma stare at each other.

ALMA I think I got all that recorded. Do you know what this means?
MOON That a bunch of ghost cars are out to get us?
ALMA We’re gonna be on tv! Travel Channel- maybe Discovery. I don’t know. But our trou…

HONEYBOY JACK AND THE SILVERMIST PART 2

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Moon and Alma have come to a deserted race track on Madeline Island, the most haunted of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior. They hope to raise the ghost of Honeyboy Jack Schaefer and film it on their smart phone, so that they can get on a paranormal tv show. See previous post for more.



ALMA Just tell us about Honey Bun.
MOON Honey Boy! (back to camera) So, I’m standing on the old dirt track where Honey Boy won his last race- before plunging into the ice water mansions of Gitchy-Gummi.
ALMA Moon! Stick to the script.
MOON We are summoning the spirit of Honey Boy tonight, and he’s going to help me win tomorrows race.
ALMA He better.
MOON Do you really think they’ll break my thumbs if I don’t pay them back?
ALMA Moon! Don’t bring up loan sharks when the cameras are rolling. And yes, they’ll break your thumbs. They’ll break every bone in your body. 
MOON I can’t believe you talked me into going to them.
ALMA I didn’t talk anyone into anything.
MOON You’re the one who needed the money for the smart phone.
A…

HONEYBOY JACK AND THE SILVER MIST PART 1

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The middle of a dirt track for stock car racing. MOON, a slacker in his 20’s, comes on grunting and dragging an old steamer trunk to the middle of the stage. He stops, lets the trunk drop.

MOON Let’s do this. (a beam of light from off stage shines on his face) Howdy. I’m Moon Dog McCoy, and this is “Alma’s Anomalies, Episode One”! It’s about ten to three in the morning,and-

ALMA, Moon’s girlfriend, also in her 20’s, comes running on stage, smart phone in one hand filming Moon, flashlight in the other.

ALMA  Witching hour! Stick to the script, do it again.
MOON Do I have to say Alma’s Anomalies?
ALMA It’s the name of the show, Moon! Kind of important.
MOON It’s lame.
ALMA Moon, are you directing this project?
MOON No, but-
ALMA Then shut it.
MOON Alma, this is my deal. I’m the one who found the trunk, I’m the one summoning Honey Boy Jack-
ALMA You’re the one who’s going to be sleeping on the couch tonight! Just say it the way we practiced,okay?
MOON Fine!
ALMA And can you face a litt…

HOW TO SUCCEED

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Last Thursday night, I wanted to explode. It was the final dress rehearsal for How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying at StageDoor Theatre in Conifer, and things were not going so well. The actors were forgetting their lines. The scene shifts were taking so long they felt like waiting in line at the DMV. The band was hitting a couple of clunkers. And the hardest working actor that night- a young man understudying the lead role of Finch who was set to perform opening night due to the tennis schedule of the other Finch- came down with some sort of virus and almost collapsed during "Brotherhood of Man", the big final number.  We had added twenty minutes to the show- not with new dialogue or bits of business. Just with delay. I really wanted to explode.


But things can, and do, get better.

The understudy Finch had to take the next night off. But the other Finch was available due to not going to State Finals- usually a sad thing but for the show, a godsend. Friday night,…

NOISES OFF AND RUNNING

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For the past few years, I have been going to see shows at the Fine Arts Center Theatre in Colorado Springs. I've seen dramas, comedies, musicals, even a one act that was stage in the museum section of the center- the excellent Lovers Leapt by Leslie Bramm directed by Artistic Director Scott Levy. And every show has been an outstanding piece of theatre. Noises Off, now playing at the FAC, is no exception. It's hilarious, fast paced, and makes you happy to be alive. This production also proves, yet again, that the most consistently excellent professional theatre in Colorado is at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs.

Noises Off is a farce written by super-genius Michael Frayn. It's about a traveling theatre company putting on a farce, and is done in three acts, and from two perspectives. Act one is the final technical rehearsal, and is seen from the point of view of someone sitting in the audience during rehearsal. Act two takes place during a performance of the play, a…

YOU'RE JUST FREAKED OUT FROM 9/11

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My first play, Last Call, was sort of a 9/11 play. I guess. What really makes a play a 9/11 play? A story about the particular events of that day in regards to the terrorist attacks? A story about people's reactions? A story that takes place anywhere in this world after that day, since we are told over and over how the world changed forever that day? I don't know. I do know it was a weird day, and that the country went insane for awhile. On the advice of Jack Halpin, I took an unfinished play and finished it. I put people in it who were tired and scared and lost. I put in a bartender who took a crucifix and wrapped an American flag around it, so that it looked like Jesus was wearing the flag as a loincloth. And I set the play far, far away from NYC, in the town of Salinas- which might as well have been the other side of the world that day. People seemed to like the play when it got produced by hope theatre, inc. as part of the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival. It wo…

GROOVY, DROWSY CARNAGE- ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN COLORADO

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We have a lot of fantastic theatre in Colorado. Which might sound surprising to people, seeing as we are a fairly small state, with a fairly small population. But that population is quite groovy. I was lucky enough to see four outstanding shows in the past month: Hair at Town Hall in Littleton, God of Carnage at the Curious Theatre, and both The Drowsy Chaperone and Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs. All four shows were spectacular, and made me happy to be alive. Sometimes, you see a show, and it's bad. Really bad. And you sit there in your chair, which suddenly feels very uncomfortable, and words like "ponderous" keep floating to the surface of your slowly calcifying brain. But not so with these shows. I felt smarter after watching these shows. Better. Faster. Stronger.  It seemed as if my soul was being fed some sort of ambrosia that gave strength and courage. I believe that's what theatre, and art in gen…

TITAN APPETITES

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So I shot a short film, and now I am raising funds to finish it. The movie is STRONG TEA. It's a dark comedy about a really horrific family dinner. For whatever reason, most people seem to be able to relate to a Thanksgiving that ends up with screaming and yelling, hurt feelings, and awkward silences. It stars Timothy McCracken, Devon James, and Adrian Egolf. And they are amazing. The footage is so good, and what we have is, in my humble opinion, out of this world. Now, we need to edit, mix, add soundtrack, and then enter film festivals. And, of course, this takes some bucks. So I thought I'd share a little bit of the script, and then give you all the link to the Indiegogo site where you can help in two ways: by either contributing financially, or sharing the link via Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. Naturally, I would love it if you could do both. But any and all help is greatly appreciated. So, here is a little taste of Strong Tea:


INT. KITCHEN - MINUTES LATER
ALVIE STANDS A…

AVENGER, VON DOOMER, AND DARK KNIGHT DETECTIVE

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I used to live in a castle. Castle Von Doom. This was when I ran with wolves, always went over the limit (4 rocks and  a shot) and had many battles with the Dreaded Egg Lady of Yorkville. And one my my closest compatriots in these glorious salad days was Vinnie. We met during a production of Hamlet, which was being done as part of the fabled Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot. I was replacing another actor as the Player King, Fortinbras, and Bernardo. Vinnie was, among other roles, the Player Queen. One night early in the rehearsal process, Vinnie and I decided to grab a beer at Motor City, a bar on the at the time desolate Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side. We hadn't really hung out at all before, and figured what the hell? Instantly, we realized we were both uber-nerds with lots of interests in common- comic books, The Simspons, Weezer. We laughed our asses off for a long time that night. Many drinks into the evening, I announed to Vinnie that I had powers. Super powers. Vinnie…

RECKLESS AND INSANE

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We open MOON OVER BUFFALO at the Wolf Theatre Academy at the Denver JCC this Wednesday. It's going well. No, it's going fantastically. What is really amazing is watching these young lions of the theatre figure the show out- to see their eyes grow wide when a comic moment occurs to them, they try it, and it works. I swear, sometimes I think I can see them literally grow taller on stage.  I learn so much from my students. I think the world would be a better place if everyone, for just a month, had to teach young people. Anyhow, we are having a blast, the show is hilarious, and the piece has a gigantic heart. The glee is palpable. The show itself is a love letter to theatre, to being brave and scared and inspired and crazy. Happily, everyone involved in the show loves the theatre as much, if not more, than I do. Every rehearsal, we find something new. Every rehearsal, someone takes a risk, finds a greater truth, and adds to the show. I think the essence of the show is said best i…

MOON OVER THE J

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I'm directing a production of Moon Over Buffalo at the Denver JCC right now. Most students call the JCC "the J", and I have picked up the habit. Nicknames are funny like that. They creep into your consciousness like ninjas, and before you know it, you have a new word in your vocabulary. I didn't consciously say to myself "I'm going to call the JCC the J". It just happened, and that was that. Nicknames are like that- someone makes an off-handed remark, calls someone or something by another name, it sticks, and next thing you know, a nickname is born. And you can't force them, or request people call you something and think it will work. I have a friend who once, when we were all younger and, if possible, goofier, announced that he wanted to be called Ace. It didn't happen. Not that you can't take a new name, a new persona, or whatever. It just has to stick. I have a student who for several weeks in the Fall would say, for comic effect, "…

STILL SHE HAUNTS ME, PHANTOMWISE

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Phantomwise. What a cool word. Thanks, Lewis Carroll. Or is it Mr. Dodgson? Whomever you are, your brain was superb. And I am haunted by many things, phantomwise. You can tell, if you read most of my stuff. I have all these people and places and songs and memories running rampant in my head, like some mad tribe of loonies- and whenever I am writing, they leap out of my head, escaped convicts wrongfully imprisoned in my mind. I don't know if that's true for everyone, but it's certainly true for me. If you come to the reading tonight of my latest play, APRIL'S FOOL, at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs, you'll see what I mean. It's at 7:30, and tickets are only $5. So what's you're excuse? The only person I am giving a hall pass to for missing tonight is my good friend Timothy McCracken, and that is because he is appearing in the Curious Theatre's God of Carnage- which by all accounts rocks, and you should all go see. (just don't see it ton…

THE SPARROWS ARE FALLING All OVER THE PLACE

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"I’ve been the Queen of Broken Hearts long enough!" - April

So Saturday, APRIL'S FOOL had it's first public reading ever, at the Fine Arts Center of Colorado Springs as part of the Rough Writers new play festival. It was fantastic. The cast- Nick Henderson, Jessica Parnello, Crystal Carter, Matthew Wessler, and Michelle Sharpe- were brilliant, the director - Crystal Carter- outstanding, and the overall experience very positive. They all kicked it in the ass. Seriously. These are some of the best Colorado has to offer. If you are anywhere near- and I mean like two hundred miles- the FAC in Colorado Springs and don't come to the reading this Friday, you might be what is technically known as a moron.


"We’re killing the pinball machine. Do you think it’ll fit out the window?" - Ahab


 I always feel like throwing up when I hear a new work of mine done for the first time. I don't get nerves when I act, or when I watch a show I directed. But when it's …

APRIL'S ENTANGLED FOOLS

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I keep changing the title of my latest play. I find this fitting, since reality keeps shifting in the play itself. It began life as "Don't Get Too Comfy, Pal", morphed into "Mathurine", and is currently titled "April's Fool"- but I am considering going with "Entanglement". We shall see.

Whatever the title, it is going to be part of the Rough Writers new play fest down at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs. I am very excited. There is nothing like hearing your play out loud to figure out what works, what needs tweaking, and what needs to go. The festival runs April 18-28, and will consist of readings of several new works- all inspired in one way or another by art works that will be on display at the FAC.  I actually used two art works- a charcoal sketch and a porcelain axe. I am so excited to be part of this festival, for many reasons. First and foremost- I like having my stuff read out loud in front of people. It's my drug of c…

WHAT'S SO FUNNY ABOUT PEACE, LOVE, AND MERCIFUL STORIES?

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I went to the Colorado premiere of Jon Robin Baitz's play Other Desert Cities at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Friday night with some trepidation. Not about the production- I have seen virtually every show they have done for the past two seasons, and each show- to a one- has been excellent. No, the reason I felt a little anxious was because one of my companions that night happens to be a staunch Republican, and this show deals with a conservatives and liberals- and I wrongly assumed it would be slanted towards the liberal side of things. Of course, my fears were unfounded, the play outstanding, and we all had a fantastic time.

Other Desert Cities is not a play about political ideas, but about human beings dealing with each other, their past, and how it affects the present. It is a kind, funny, sad, thrilling night of theatre, and if you have any brains, heart and/or soul, you will get your ass down to the Springs and catch this gem of a show.

The plays takes place at the p…

VESPERS IN BRAZIL, LUNATICS IN BOULDER

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Saturday, As Cinzas do Velho (Buring the Old Man) opens in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The production looks to be fantastic. The director, Luis Artur Nunes, calls the play "Poetic Realism". I really like that. The cast is Alexandre Cruz, Marcelo Braga, Antonielo Canto, Ricardo Ripa, Livia Camargo, and Leandro Madeiros. They are going to kick it in the ass. Here is a trailer:




Last Saturday, my class in Boulder presented some work. Here they are, with a piece they created themselves. They too, kick it in the ass.

THIS TOO KICKS ASS

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Burning the Old Man is by far my most successful play to date. It's initial run was well reviewed, won the NYIT award for outstanding full length script, been published both in print and online (at the best site for new scripts, Indie Theater Now) is featured in several scene/monologue books as well as in the latest edition of the text book Acting is Believing (a book I had to read in college), and has been translated into Czech and Portuguese. It ran for three years at Divadlo na Zabradli in Prague, and is currently playing at  Divadlo Exil. This Saturday, it opens in Sao Paolo, Brazil with the title As Cinzas do Velho. And this July, it will open in Salinas, CA as part of the 2X4 BASH at The Western Stage.

I look at the above paragraph and think that looks like a bunch of bragging. And maybe it is. But I feel pretty good about everything that's happened with the play, so what the hell? As Max Bialystock would say, flaunt it when you got it, baby! Flaunt it!

I wrote the play …