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On Labor Day weekend, most people were probably thinking about the end of summer, or the beginning of fall, but my thoughts were on Christmas. We held the first rehearsal for my touring Christmas show, EXCHANGE OF GIFTS. Here are some photos.
By the way, our only Roanoke show is now SOLD OUT — three months before the event.
MORE ON EXCHANGE OF GIFTS:
My short play TROUBLESHOOTING was named “best original script” in the annual Foster One Act Play Festival in Foster, Australia — but I couldn’t accept the prize because it’s reserved for an Australian writer. Still, the honor! As Gemco posted on their Facebook page: “We are so proud that Dwayne Yancey was awarded best original script for troubleshooting! We have chosen not to accept as this award is for an Australian writer, however we are chuffed nonetheless!”
“Chuffed,” by the way, is Australian slang for “pleased.” I’m chuffed, too!
Gemco Community Players Theatre performed TROUBLESHOOTING and several other scripts (that weren’t mine) at the festival Aug. 24 in Foster in the State of Victoria. Michelle Drinnan was nominated for Best Female Actor for her work in TROUBLESHOOTING. She also won Best Supporting Female Actor for her work on another show. Meanwhile the judges gave special prizes to Michael Young, who appeared in two of the other shows. That’s relevant because he appeared last year in my play THIS ROSE HAS THORNS, produced by the student theatre company at Deakin University in Melbourne.
Eight times in the past 12 years, I’ve been a writer in the Overnight Sensations 24-hour play festival in Roanoke that Hollins University and Mill Mountain Theatre produce each summer. A few weeks ago, I saw where Ixion Ensemble in Lansing, Michigan was holding a 24-hour play festival and were looking for writers. I emailed to apply, citing my Overnight Sensations experience. They said thanks, but we’re already full. OK, no problem, moving on. Then last week they emailed me to say, oh, someone got sick and had to drop out, still available? I was. So over the weekend I took part in my first 24-hour play festival remotely.
About 10:30 Friday night I was emailed the prompts:
-Use at least one of these names: Chad, Melissa or Paige
-Words to use: Art, cheesemaking, urban and beat
Dialogue: “You can’t make me…” Or “It is if the cheese is talking”
Only real guidelines: ten minutes and you only have three actors.
By Saturday morning I had written and emailed in WAITING ON THE 10:15. I was under the impression all the teams were two women and one man, so I wrote it with two female gunfighters. Turns out my cast — randomly assigned — was two men and one woman so I’m guessing one of the guys played “Melissa.”
WAITING ON THE 10:15
Two female gunfighters appear to be ready to square off against one another in the streets of an old western town. They’re waiting on the undertaker to pronounce when it’s high noon – timed to the arrival of the 10:15 train, which is always late. We eventually learn, though, they were not gunfighters at all, but makers of cheese. Their batch of Swiss cheese hasn’t come out well, so they’re about to shoot holes in it. Cast: Three – two women, one man.
* Produced by Ixion Ensemble, Lansing, Michigan, Aug. 18, 2019, as part of a 24-hour play festival.
My 10-minute play THE DEBATE AT BOSWORTH FIELD was included in the Fight Like a Girl! festival in Manchester, Great Britain — a fund-raiser to fight cancer. Don’t have any photos from my piece but here’s the curtain call with all the casts. Pretty sure that’s producer Andy Pilkington in the yellow.
THE DEBATE AT BOSWORTH FIELD
Imagine if Richard III and Henry Tudor had met in a campaign-style debate instead. This time, Richard wins. Cast: 8 – 5 male, 2 female, 1 non-gender.
*Produced by Fight Like A Girl Festival, Manchester, Great Britain, Aug. 15-17, 2019.
My 10-minute play THE BEAUTIFUL OGRE AND OTHER FAIRY TALES was produced Aug. 2-3 in Akron, Ohio by KenMore Kreative. This marked the 14th production of that script. Here are photos, courtesy of Yulia Gray.
More photos below.
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Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from the June 30 photo shoot for the publicity photos for EXCHANGE OF GIFTS, the Christmas tour that will be touring Virginia in December. Full list of dates here.
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I’ve put together a touring production of my Christmas play EXCHANGE OF TOUR that will play at nine different venues in western Virginia in December 2019. Kerry Plank, a veteran of Roanoke Valley theatre, will direct the show. The cast consists of Kaiya Hoagland, Lyndsey Hanks, Olivia Hunter.
Here are the show dates and times:
Friday, Dec. 6: Roanoke, Theatre 3, 7 p.m. SOLD OUT
Saturday, Dec. 7: Galax, Rex Theatre, 7 p.m. (Tix available here.)
Sunday, Dec. 8: Blacksburg, Beliveau Estate Winery, 3 p.m. (Tix on sale after the grape harvest).
Friday, Dec. 13: Critz, Reynolds Homestead, 7:30 p.m. (Call 276-694-7181 x 27 for reservations; no online sales).
Saturday, Dec. 14: Monterey, Highland Center, 7 p.m. (Tix available at the door only)
Sunday, Dec. 15: Clifton Forge, The Masonic Theatre, 2 p.m. (Tix will be available here)
Friday, Dec. 20: Bedford, Bower Center for the Arts, 6:30 p.m. (Tix available here.)
Saturday, Dec. 21: Axton, Mountain Valley Brewing, 2 p.m. (Call 276-833-2171.)
Sunday, Dec. 22: Lynchburg, Riverviews Artspace, 3 p.m. (Tix available here.)
For tickets, see each venue.
Here’s what the show is about:
EXCHANGE OF GIFTS
A sweet Christmas story with a message. Three foreign students studying at colleges in the United States find themselves snowbound at an airport for Christmas. One is from Australia, one is from Canada, one is from Russia. Adventure ensues — involving broken chairs, computer hacking, and a health scare. By the time it’s over, each one has learned something about themselves that changes the direction of their lives. Cast: Three women of college age.
* Staged reading by Attic Productions, Fincastle, Virginia, November 2017.
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