Two of my short scripts to be produced in Ontario in September

The cast for this year's festival.

The cast for this year’s festival.

I’m once again thrilled to learn that my work will be included in ASPHALT JUNGLE SHORTS, an annual walking-tour theatre festival in Kitchener, Ontario. I’ve been in it before, and while I’ve never gotten there to see it, the photos and descriptions sound like a blast. Patrons sign up for a walking tour and along the route, live theatre breaks out in various locations.

This year, I’ve got two pieces in the festival:

THREE TREES TALKING
Three trees contemplate the question: If they were human, what kind of human would be they? Cast: Three, non-gender. Running time: One minute.
This was previously produced in England as part of the Gone in 60 Seconds Festival of one-minute plays in 2013; more on that here.

THE WEAKEST FINGER
An adulterous couple meet in a restaurant, and the man points out to the woman that the weakest finger is the ring finger – all seductively, of course. Cast: Two — 1 male, 1 female. Running time: Five minutes.

The show dates are Sept. 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26th.

Here’s some of my previous work in Kitchener that will give you a feel for the event:
* Video of A NICE, RELAXING CUP OF TEA in 2009.
* Photos from REQUIEM FOR A BUZZARD in 2013.
* Photos from CAN I? IN 2014

This means this year I will have had my work produced in at least four countries — the U.S., Great Britain, Australia and now, Canada.

The poster for the 2015 festival.

The poster for the 2015 festival.

So far in 2015: Read the rest of this entry »

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“The One-Word Macbeth” wins another award in Australia

One of the actresses with the award.

One of the actresses with the award. The production was called “blood-curdingly amazing.”

Pop Culture Theatre of Melbourne won another award this weekend with a production of my script THE ONE-WORD MACBETH.

The production took “Most Outstanding Youth Production” in the South Gippsland One-Act Play Festival in Foster, Australia, one of a series of festivals through the Victorian Drama League that the group is entered in.

Next up: Kyneton’s Festival of One-Act Plays in Kyneton on Sept. 4-6 and a date TBA in October in Melbourne.

You can find photos from a previous production in Macedon here and more about the show in general here.

The production was called “blood-curdingly amazing.” One critic said: “Loved the play. A clever concept that’s difficult to do well, but they pulled it off.”

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Photos from “The One Word Macbeth” in Australia

The Melbourne theatre company Pop Culture Theatre is producing my one-act THE ONE WORD MACBETH to enter in festivals around the state of Victoria over the coming months. The first production was July 25 in Macedon, Victoria.

The host theatre, Mount Players, tells me: “They were nominated for best production and best director. They won the youth encouragement award. Also, the girl who played Banquo won the VDL (Victorian Drama League) Most Promising Performer award. So it’s safe to say they did your work proud!”

The awesome poster.

The awesome poster.

Here’s how Pop Culture Theatre described it:

A cold weekend up in Macedon – cold, but fun! The Mount Players put on a great festival and were very welcoming to PCT for only our second outing down that way. All four of our plays went over well, as adjudicator Ray Hare was more than happy to tell all. “PCT strikes again!” he said, frequently, complementing us on our fine work, meeting the theatrical challenges of our scripts with nuanced performances and poignancy. All his words.

This weekend also saw our youth group hit the stage for the first time, with “One Word Macbeth”. And as you’ll see from the results, the kids sure came out swinging!

THE AWARDS
VDL Most Promising Performer Award: Laura Marmion (“One Word Macbeth” and “Birthin’ Baby”)
Youth Encouragement Award – Female: The Cast of “One Word Macbeth”

THE NOMINATIONS
Best Production: “One Word Macbeth” and “This Almost Joy”
Best Director: John Jennings (“One Word Macbeth”)
Best Female Lead: Imogen Martin (“Birthin’ Baby”)
Best Male Lead: Bruce Hardie (“This Almost Joy”)
Youth Encouragement Award: Laura Marmion (“Birthin’ Baby”)

The Adjudicator chose not to give Adjudication awards.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees, and to all for another great festival. Now we have a short break before heading down to Foster in August for the South Gippsland Festival! Stay tuned for details about dates!

And also this note to me:

We are very proud of our girls. The adjudicator noted that on your description you called it a play for 10, 12 or 14. You may wish to revise that as it is very much possible with just 5.

They smashed it. The adjudicator refused to split the Best Youth Actress Award and so gave it to them jointly. They were also nominated for Best Production. Not Best Youth Production, but in the overall category.

And the audience loved it. Festivals are very much a theatre crowd and so everyone knows what is going on which makes the ‘Tomorrow’ section so funny.

The witches.

The witches.

A great close-up of Macbeth.

A great close-up of Macbeth.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Photos (and video!) from Synergy Ensemble Theater on Long Island

Synergy Ensemble Theater on Long Island performed two of my one-minute scripts on July 18 as part of an event to show off the group’s talent to the community. Synergy performed two of my baseball pieces — DEEP INTO OCTOBER and FIREBALLER.

A man working in his backyard envisions himself playing . . . DEEP INTO OCTOBER.

A man working in his backyard envisions himself playing . . . DEEP INTO OCTOBER.

FIREBALLER deals with the curious relationship between God, dinosaurs . . . and a fast ball.

FIREBALLER deals with the curious relationship between God, dinosaurs . . . and a fast ball.

You can find more about Synergy, as well as links to previous productions of DEEP INTO OCTOBER, here.

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Fan mail from an actress in New York

For the first time, I’ve gotten fan mail! From an actress! In New York! I had several short pieces done in a festival there last month and today I got this note from one of them: “After seeing THE COW’S FAULT in the 2014 [festival], I HOPED to get cast in one of your plays and was THRILLED to be play Practical Mouse in AN UNEXPECTED CHEESE PARTY.”

She was referring to one of my entries in this year’s Gone in 60 Seconds Festival of one-minute plays; you can find a photo here.

My fan mail!

My fan mail!

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“Follow The Money: A Modern Fairy Tale” to be produced in California

My short one-act FOLLOW THE MONEY: A MODERN FAIRY TALE is being produced August 7 in Davis, California at a theatre camp that I believe is connected with the University of California-Davis (at least the director is, I know that much).

This will be the second production of that script, which won an audience award the first time out:

FOLLOW THE MONEY: A MODERN FAIRY TALE
A precocious youth attempts to find the secret to the tooth fairy — by kidnapping her. Where do all those teeth come from? And the money? Cast: Six — two female, four male. Running time: Fifteen minutes.
* Produced at New Voices Play Festival, Old Opera House Theatre, Charles Town, W.Va., June 2013; voted best in show by audience vote.

You can find photos from that show here and more here.

Also: There’ll be an encore production of THE SKY IS FALLING in Mankato, Minnesota on August 25.

So far in 2015: Read the rest of this entry »

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Artistic director: ‘You are quite a talent!’

I recently received a very flattering rejection letter from an artistic director in a major U.S. city (major enough to have the quadfecta of sports teams in the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL). Technically, it wasn’t a rejection letter. I’d received that earlier in the day from someone else at the theatre. But then, quite unexpectedly, I got this from the artistic director:

“You recently submitted a number of plays to our festival and I had the pleasure of reading some of them. I really enjoy your work. To be honest, each time I’d open up a play and see your name attached to it, I’d get excited. You are quite a talent! Although I won’t be directing anything for this year’s festival, I wanted you to know that if I had, I would’ve chosen your play Olga. It’s a great piece.”

The director went on to ask if she could share the script with a friend. Naturally, I said yes!

OLGA is a 10-minute play based on Olga Romanova, a civilian who came in off the street during the 2002 Moscow theatre siege — and wound up becoming the first victim. It had a staged reading in December in New York. That script is a spin-off from my full-length script about the Moscow theatre siege, 57 HOURS IN THE HOUSE OF CULTURE. More on that show here.

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