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Showing posts from 2014

SAVING MR. THESPIS

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Scott Levy is my hero. Truly. Here is a man who gets things done, who makes thing happen- who knows what the f*#@ he is talking about- especially when it come to talking about theatre. Mr. Levy is the artistic director of the theatre at the Fine Arts Centerof Colorado Springs- which under his inspired guidance has become far and away the best theatre company in Colorado. His most recent triumph? The current production of the musical Mary Poppins- which is utterly charming, exciting, and heart-warming. The show is also proving to be amazingly popular- they have already added an extra week of performances. If you are looking for a last minute Christmas gift, giving someone a pair of tix to this outstanding show will definitely get you on their nice list.



The musical is based on both the Disney movie of the same name, and that movie's source material, the stories of P. L. Travers. It centers around the Banks family, who live in Victorian London and are in need of some guidance of the…

GHOSTLIGHT

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So busy of late. Little Shop of Horrors at the JCC, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters at Littleton Town Hall, A Midsummer Night's Dream at DAT, Sweet Charity at StageDoor- I work on a lot of shows. So what do I do next? Film a horror film as part of a class at Reel Kids. The movie is called Ghostlight, and it's a thriller centered around a high school theatre department. It's the kind of movie  Joss Whedon should direct, in my humble opinion. I've had a couple of different classes read the script together, and the feedback has been amazing- you can tell when people genuinely like something. Anyway, I want to share some of the script with you- so here a bit of the opening:

INT. BLACKFORD HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE - NIGHT

The theatre is empty, the only light a lamp in the middle of the stage. FOOTSTEPS AND WHISPERED VOICES approach. A KEY TURNS IN A LOCK. A DOOR CREAKS open. At the doorway is a group of high school kids, ready to party. MILTON, freshman drama geek, nervousl…

I'M GONNA GO FLY A KITE AT FAC

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So, yet again, I am going to tell you all something true about the performing arts in Colorado- the consistently best theatre in the entire state in in Colorado Springs at the Fine Arts Center. I have seen so many shows there- Assassins, Lovers Leapt, A Year with Frog and Toad, Other Desert Cities- and all of them have been excellent. The latest show I saw, Dracula, was amazing- fun, scary, quick paced, and entertaining. The night I saw it, the house was sold out, and the whole place had the kind of energy running through it you usually find at a rock concert. Which is, I believe, how theatre should be. The cast was excellent, the set gorgeous, the lighting amazing, the costumes beautiful- and the script the chose outstanding. I had recently read the Bram Stoker original, and was hoping I would enjoy the stage version as much as I loved that weird, one of a kind novel. And my expectations were exceeded. The play started with Renfield- played with insane glee and just the right amount …

HELL OF A TOWN, HELL OF A MONTH

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August, and for that matter July and June, has been what you might call hectic. Or crazy. Or glorious. Or some mix of all three. I sometimes feel like I am running through several dreams, or reality shows, or alternate timelines that have all converged in what I perceive to be me.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I teach theatre, I direct theatre for young people, and I write scripts for both the stage and screen. The money isn't fantastic- yet- but I can't imagine pursuing anything else in this life. That's one of the things people tell you in the performing arts business- if you can picture yourself doing anything else for a living- do it. Which always seemed bizarre to me. How could anyone picture doing something else? I eat, drink, sleep, breathe, dream stories. It's my drug of choice, and I will not give it up. I don't think I could, really. I've quite smoking and drinking- both cold turkey. But no way in Hell can I, or will I, ever give up the wi…

APRIL'S PRESS RELEASE

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So, tickets are now on sale for April's Fool, and we are in full promotion mode. That means many emails, Facebook invites, text messages, tweets, and whatever else it takes to fill those seats, and to get the members of the press to show up- because, love them or not, a good review can make all the difference for a show- especially if you don't have thousands of dollars to spend on publicity. We've gotten some responses, and a little traction already- in fact, the first article about the show came out last week on Broadwayworld.com, and the hope is that this is a harbinger of things to come. You can click HERE to see that article. I also did an interview for Indie Theater Now about the process of writing the show- you can see that HERE. And soon, also on Indie Theater Now, you will be able to read our director Bronwen Carson's thoughts on the play.

And if you are planning on coming, I will be at the opening performance- August 9 at 4:15 at the Connelly Theatre. Get you …

GET CAPE. WEAR CAPE. DANCE

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Sometimes, you get to see a little magic in this life. Not all that often- but I suppose that's what makes it all the more wondrous when it occurs. I've been directing a week long theatre camp this past week, which will culminate in a performance of an hour long stage version of Harriet the Spy. The age group is kids going into third grade to kids going out of sixth grade. So there can be moments that are a little trying- like when one of the younger kids went on a half hour long crying jag after losing at a game called Mafia- a charming game of imagination involving murder, trial, and execution. But now and then, when I am teaching the younger artists of this world, something happens that makes it all worthwhile- makes me so happy to be alive in a world that has human beings in it. I got two such moments on Friday.

First moment. We were rehearsing a scene where Ole Golly is saying goodbye to Harriet. Old Golly is Harriet's nanny/friend/adviser/teacher. She lives with Harr…

FATE, IT SEEMS, HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR

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That's the tag line for April's Fool. And I dig it. I've been writing this play for a little over a year, and I am in love with it. I am in love with all my plays, of course. When you write a play, it becomes one of your children- and you love it unconditionally. Whenever people ask me which play is my favorite, I truly can't say. I love them all.


April's Fool is set to have it's world premiere this August at the New York International Fringe Festival, and I am soooooo excited. The Fringe is where my first play, Last Call, premiered. It's where I became addicted to writing. It's my birthplace as a playwright- and something about this whole experience feels so right it's more than a little freaky-deaky. First off, the director- Bronwen Carson- gets me and this play like she's psychic or something. Second, the show is being produced by my great friend Craig Nobbs- who is just such an inspiration to me with his attitude and work ethic and general a…

FLOYD AND CLEA KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES

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Why is it that every time I write about the theatre at the Fine Arts Center of Colorado, I start with
the words "yet again"? As in, yet again, under the direction of Scott Levy, the Fine Arts Center provides the best theatre in Colorado. It's really amazing- over and over and over, I have seen shows there- and always, they remind me why I love theatre: because, when done right, it's exciting, and fun, and relevant. I know there are those in the theatre community who bemoan the state of theatre in America- who complain about finances and donors and whatever else- but those people need to wake up and smell the coffee and get their collective butts to the FAC.

The theatre, I am happy to report- is alive and well and living in Colorado Springs. Case in point: the Colorado premiere of Floyd and Clea Under the Western the Sky. What a friggin' great show this is. Entertaining, moving, unique- this production shakes the dew out of your eyes and reminds you that you are …

SUMMER AT REEL KIDS

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Hi there!
I'm writing this to let you know about some summer theatre/film camps I'll be teaching at Reel Kids in Superior. Would love to see you there. Here is the email we've been sending out:
Summer classes have officially kicked off here at Reel Kids, and we couldn't be more excited! Fresh off our closing performance of Dear, Edwina Saturday night, today was our first day of rehearsal for The Secret Garden (opening June ?), and our first day of class for production design. Secret Garden, one of the most beautiful musicals of the past few decades, is based on the classic novel of the same name, and performs June 27th, 28th, and 29th. We hope to see you at the show!
June 16-20, we are offering Hogwarts Film Academy- a week long class where students can film their favorite scenes from the Harry Potter Stories, casting themselves as their favorite characters. Students can write their own scripts, or use material from the screenplays. Click here for more information. Fo…

25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE & DISNEY'S ALICE IN WONDERLAND

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HEY YOUNG ACTORS IN THE DENVER/BOULDER AREA!
I'm directing two shows at Reel Kids this summer:
Disney's Alice in Wonderland &
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

If you like these shows, having fun, making friends, and living life to the fullest, you should join me.

I mean, imagine being in this number:




Or this one!

Yes, you will have to work hard. Yes, you will have to have fun.
Those are the two golden rules of theatre.
See you at Reel Kids.
For more info, click HERE.

FAC KICKS IT IN THE ASS WITH NEXT SEASON LINE UP

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The Theatre at the Fine Arts Center of Colorado Springs is one of my favorite theatre companies in Colorado. The reason is simple- they create exciting, pertinent theatre that engages the mind and soul, on a visceral level. I believe that theatre should be like a good rock concert- an almost tribal event where you gather together with strangers, sit or stand in the dark, and for a few hours become one- a united tribe grooving together in the darkness. I have seen many shows at the FAC since Scott Levy became Artistic Director, and they have all been fantastic. Highlights include Hairspray, Lovers Leapt, and Other Desert Cities. I can't wait to see there upcoming Colorado premiere of Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky, which opens June12.


Not only do they have a great main stage, but more and more they are using a second stage for smaller shows, staged readings, and their Rough Writers series- a festival of new work that spawned, among other things, my latest play APRIL'S FOO…

APRIL IN AUGUST AT FRINGENYC

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April's Fool is in! Repeat: April's Fool is in! I am Fringe-ing it this summer. That's right- I am going to be a participant in the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival with my latest play, April's Fool. I am excited, a little scared, and very happy.

April's Fool, my metaphysical comedy that was first developed by the theater at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center- Scott Levy, artistic director- and recently given a reading as part of the Playwrights Festival at The Western Stage of Salinas- Jon Selover, artistic directcor- will be given it's first full production in August, marking my first full length play to be performed in NYC in almost 8 years.

I want each of you to come see it. I don't want any excuses. I want your butts in seats. That sounds a little kinky, and I don't care. Just be there- it's this August, in NYC- the best time of year to be in Gotham.  And if you haven't already- visit our Facebook page and "like" it.…