Notes from a Wandering Laptop
Week of November 20, 2016
My playwright friend Valerie Borey is spearheading an Art Shanty project out on White Bear Lake in February 2017 which is actually a bus called the Vehicle of Expression, dedicated to the various categories of the written word through art and visitor interaction - poetry, fiction, etc. She asked me to head up the playwriting portion of the project for a play on the bus. It's called Create A Play On The Bus, and you can find us listed here with the other performing artists working with the Art Shanties this year. I recruited Charles Campbell, Hector Chavarria and the Fire Drill duo of Emily Gastineau and Billy Mullaney to join me in writing material. We're composing short two person scenes that will be chosen at random by number by the audience members on the bus. Those audience members will determine the order and content of the play of the day, and they can either participate in reading themselves or hand off the scenes for actors to perform. The various scenes are all still under construction but we're excited about the prospect. Also, we got some grant money for performance from the Art Shanty people, which puts us on the official performers program (and means we can pay our collaborators something). It's a nice vote of confidence as the project comes together. This week's update: the bus has been purchased, so we know what our rolling theater on wheels now looks like.
Ongoing: a truly lovely production of Sara Ruhl's latest play The Oldest Boy at the Jungle (renews my faith in theater), and a fantastic new musical from 7th House Theater, The Passage or What Comes Of Searching In The Dark (review to follow, but don't wait, go see it)
Other recent reviews for past shows include: Fearless Comedy's Masquerade At Bernard's, The Recovery Party's Why We Can't Have Nice Things, Skewed Visions' Losing Kantor, Theatre Coup d'Etat's Antigone, Loudmouth Collective's Waiting For Waiting For Godot, Walking Shadow's The River, Denzel Belin's Dirty Story, Fire Drill's August performing artists' showcase Boiling Point, Off Leash Area's AfterWind, Jungle Theater's Le Switch, Skewed Visions' EX(remade), Gadfly Theater's Final Frontier new short play festival, Heroes and Villains edition; Park Square's Sons of the Prophet, Sandbox Theatre's Queens, Theatre Coup d'Etat's The Glass Menagerie, Walking Shadow's The Christians, 20% Theatre Company's 3rd annual Q-Stage showcase of new queer work - Set A, also Set B; Live Action Set's The Sparrow, Swandive Theatre's Kid Simple, a radio play in the flesh, Mixed Blood's Charm, Mission Theatre's Everything's Free, Workhaus Collective's Lasso of Truth, Theatre Coup d'Etat's Fight Night, Classical Actors Ensemble's spring rep of Julius Caesar and Macbeth, Nautilus Music Theater's The Fantasticks, Billy Mullaney's Semester Project, Lecture 1; Open Window Theatre's Everyman, Savage Umbrella's June, Walking Shadow's The Aliens, Sheep Theater's Tamburlaine, and Small Art's You Bring The Party.
Now that the song for TV Boyfriend, "A Guy Who Can Fly," is all tidied up in sheet music form, the next project is to do the same for the first of the songs I'm redoing for the play Love's Prick - the St. Valentine song. My teacher is trying to help me learn how to recognize things by ear. This will be a slow process, which he of course makes look ridiculously easy. We're also searching for the next song to do in performance at the next student showcase in March. The most recent student showcase just completed last weekend covering Mary-Chapin Carpenter's "Never Had It So Good" went really well.
The reading of the full script of TV Boyfriend presented by Little Lifeboats last month went great. I was fortunate to have a wonderful cast - Michael Terrell Brown, Suzanne Cross, Antonio Jordan, Freya Richman, and David Schlosser - led by director Lucas Skjaret. We had a really nice turnout and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the play. There was also a very helpful feedback session afterward. Got some ideas to noodle over for the next set of rewrites as I keep sending the play out into the world. Thanks to all who helped make it happen, and all who came to see what we had up our sleeves for this new play. Now it's time to finish loading the TV Boyfriend excerpts onto the site here, as well as last year's holiday show offerings, and the online dating play done this year by Freshwater Theater. TV Boyfriend is underway and you can see that take shape by clicking here
Mistletoe #1 and #2 to be published!
Mistletoe #1 and #2 are slated to be part of Smith and Kraus publishers' upcoming anthology "105 Five-Minute Plays for Study and Performance," due out this fall. Along with Mistletoe #3 and #4, and Pitching Christmas #1 through #3, Mistletoe #1 and #2 were part of Little Lifeboats' 2015 holiday show "I Never Eat December Snowflakes." (All of which reminds me, I need to upload those scripts to this website. And hey, if you're planning ahead and looking for some holiday shorts, all of the Mistletoe and Pitching Christmas scripts are part of my Short Plays Volume 4)