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Photos from Cone Man Running in Houston

Cone Man Running is an annual festival of short plays in Houston, Texas. Well, almost annual. I had two shows set for 2020 that got scratched due to the pandemic but they’re now being done in this multi-week festival in late June / early July 2021.

Two border patrol agents in Arizona are on the look-out for illegal immigrants. The veteran explains the desert to the rookie, with a twist at the end. (play) (Directed by Christine Weems; Performed by Scott Searles and David Toscano)

A young assistant at a funeral home misunderstands a widow’s instructions. (play) (Directed by Kacie Adams; Performed by Rafael Lozano and David Toscano)

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‘The Show Must Go On (With Some Exceptions) in Virginia

Some of the action.

In January, Showtimers community theatre in Roanoke, Virginia contacted me and asked if I would write them a script for a special event they were planning in May. What they wanted was a “silly script for a cast of six” that they’d do as an outdoor reading. The catch is that the cast wouldn’t see the script until they stepped on stage. So I wrote the script — THE SHOW MUST GO ON (WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS. To test it out, I held a private Zoom reading with a cast from Canada. Let’s give a shout-out to that cast:

Stage directions: Stacey Halloran
Toby: Robin Bennett
Percy: Mason Micevski
Cee Cee: Emily Bolyea-Kyere
Dee Dee: Arlene Thomas
Third Tree From the Left: Giselle Magie
Director: Lynne McIntee

Showtimers cast the show randomly, so wound up with one man playing a female role and one woman playing a male role:
Toby: Norm Fergusn
Percy: Sherilyn Lawson
Cee Cee: Bev Amsler
Dee Dee: Owen Merritt
Third Tree From the Left: Cathy Fisher
Director: Jayne Brill

All Owen Merritt knew at this point is that he would be playing a woman. So, nail polish and lipstick.

Curtain call. From left: Cathy Fisher, Owen Merritt, Bev Amsler, Norm Ferguson, Jayne Brill, Sherilyn Lawson.

For more photos, see here.

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‘Blood Relatives’ in Seattle festival

I’ve now taken part in 14 quick turn-around play festival. The latest was through the Rainy Day Arts Collective in Seattle although in this new virtual reality, the writers, directors and actors were from all across North America. We gathered virtually on Friday, April 9. I drew these prompts: Who (a bride), What (a game), Where (someplace scary), When (a family reunion and Why (“you’re going to have choose, is it [blank] or me?”). My result: BLOOD RELATIVES, directed by Sally Miller of Roanoke and starring Kelsey Boulton of Seattle as a vampire and Stephanie Kamau of Olympia, Washington as the fiance marrying into a vampire family.

Awesome logo by Dana Hall
The skeptical Valerie (at left) with the vampire Anastasia (right)

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Photos from ‘Veronica’s Dolls’ in Roanoke

Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke County, Virginia produced my one-act VERONICA’S DOLLS in April 2021, directed by Joe Kavanaugh.

The cast, crew, director and playwright.
Autographed copy of the script!

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Video: ‘The Stanley Cup Goes Missing’

Last month I took part in a 48-hour play challenge through This Moment Productions in Chicago. Here’s the video of the show: ‘The Stanley Cup Goes Missing,” directed by Dane Rogers and starring Stephanie Reynolds (upper left), Marc Motiejunas (upper right) and Sarah Hoback (below).

Also, here’s the awesome logo designed by Dana Hall, one of the producers.

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‘The Stanley Cup Goes Missing’ produced in Chicago

I changed the title later.

Well, kind of in Chicago. On March 26-28 I took part in a 48-hour play festival sponsored by This Moment Productions, which is in Chicago, although the theatre had writers, directors and actors from 13 states and one Canadian province.

I drew “thriller/mystery” as my genre, then we were all instructed to use “did you enjoy yourself last night?” as our opening line and “I miss moments like this more than anything” as our closing line. We also had to construct a way to explain why all our characters were speaking virtually and encouraged to make use of all the whiz-bang technology available through the Steamyard platform, including the ability to do a TV-like “crawl.” I was assigned director Dane Rogers of Cincinnati and a cast of three — Sarah Hoback of Cincinnati, Stephanie Reynolds of Des Moines and Marc Motiejunas of London, Ontario. As soon as I heard the opening line, I immediately pictured a lawyer speaking to a client in jail. Surprise! Turns out Marc really is a lawyer — a prosecutor. What I came up with: THE STANLEY CUP GOES MISSING. More photos below:

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Video: Three short plays by Louisana-based group

Pop Up Productions — which is based in Louisiana but used actors from seven states — produced three of my short plays the weekend of March 11-13, 2021: GOD AND THE DEVIL MEET FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH, THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS and THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE INTERNET. Earlier I posted some still photos. Here’s the video.

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Photos: Three one-acts in Louisiana

Well, definitely three one-acts but only kind of in Louisiana. Pop Up Productions actually had 12 actors in seven states to perform three of my one-acts: GOD AND THE DEVIL MEET FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH, THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS and THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE INTERNET.

The cast
The cast
The cast
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Photos from ‘The Sandstorm’ in Texas

Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas planned to produce my ten-minute play THE SANDSTORM in 2020 as part of a festival. Alas, COVID-19 intervened. But the show must go on – and did, in a rescheduled festival in February 2021. Here are Will Montgomery Walker and Robyn Huizinga playing the two parts of a Martian provincial minister whose financial dealings are being investigated by a government auditor (they alternate roles each night). Directed by Lisa Martin.

The minister raises a toast with the last water from a dried-up lake.
The government auditor.
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Review for ‘The One-Word Christmas Carol’

Blank Conversations Theatre in New Mexico left this review of my play THE ONE-WORD CHRISTMAS CAROL on the New Play Exchange:

“ This is a really fun piece. Perfectly chaotic and versatile. We produced a Youtube production and, due to COVID, decided to do it with one actor and a greenscreen! The piece lends itself to whatever way you want to produce it which is perfect for a ten minute holiday play. ”

Here’s that video.

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