Little Theatre of Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia hosted a Zoom reading of my play RED MOON RISING IN THE EAST on May 13, 2020. This is a one-man play based on the story of Sergei Korolev, the father of the Soviet space program. He was a force of nature who almost single-handedly willed the Soviets into space, battling both the odds and his own government. However, his name was a state secret in the Soviet Union so he’s still little-known in the West, even though all the big firsts — the first satellite, the first satellite to the moon, the first man in space, the first woman in space — were all his doing. Bill Armstrong performed this role in 2009 at 40th Street Stage in Norfolk, then again in 2010 at The Venue in Norfolk. Here he is again.
Here’s a link to previous productions of this show.
Bonus: At the end of this video is a Q&A with with actor and playwright.
New York actress Miranda Jonte is riding out the pandemic in Houston, where she’s performing virtually over Facebook as Back Porch Theater. Here she is on May 9 performing two of my pieces, LADY MACBETH’S LAMENT and DELICACIES.
Best of all are her descriptions of my work: “Quirky, knowing . . . dark and droll . . . dark and funny.” Those are the best blurbs of all time!
Four years ago — in 2016 — Emily Clark directed my one-act CATCH OF THE DAY at Michigan State University. Out of the blue, I got an email from her recently. She and several others had put together OnLive Theatre and were planning r a virtual theatre camp for kids. I sent her some and she wound up picking my CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT. On May 9, it was produced virtually over Zoom with a cast of nine kids, who probably ranged from 10 to 16, a little unclear on that. It was a remarkable performance. All the kids were rehearsed virtually and had to costume themselves with whatever they could find at home. It was a really creative performance that shows just how much can be done virtually.
Phoenix Tears Productions in Orlando, Florida produced my 10-minute play CHEF PIERRE DOES NOT DO SIMPLE as a livestreamed video on May 5 as part of an evening of other livestreamed shows.
That’s Kira Silverman as Chef Pierre, Madison Payne as the producer and Shayna Leigh Silverman as the other TV person who comes in near the end.
On May 2, I held a reading via Zoom of TRUE NORTH with an all-Canadian cast. Here ’tis.
Stage directions: Robin Bennett (Guelph, Ontario)
Aurora: Ella Kennedy (Hamilton, Ontario)
Gordo: Shawn Vincent (Kitchener, Ontario)
Canadian Translator: Arlene Thomas (Kitchener, Ontario)
Ursula: Emily K. Bolyea-Kyere (Hamilton, Ontario)
Vursula: Samantha Devries (Beamsville, Ontario)
Wursula: Sundance Nagrial (Toronto, Ontario)
North Star: Mason Micevski (Hamilton, Ontario)
A quirky love story, of sorts. The North Star has abandoned his post in the sky, tired of all the pressure. He just wants to have fun. He is pursued by three Arctic mermaids, guardians of the northern realms, who want to persuade him to return to the sky. They pop up in the backyard hockey rink of a teenage girl in rural Manitoba and persuade her, however reluctantly, to go after the North Star. After all, mermaids don’t have legs and now that the North Star is inland, they’re unable to do much. The girl agrees, but only because the mermaids promise to leave her backyard hockey rink, which they have punched through. Meanwhile, a neighbor boy has a crush on the girl, which appears to be unrequited. They often play hockey, which always ends with her knocking his teeth out. In the end, the girl and the mermaids devise a plan to persuade the North Star to return to the sky, and it all comes to fruition at a Winnipeg Jets hockey game. Lots of unusual costuming opportunities and physical humor. Cast: Seven – 2 male, 4 female, 1 non-gender.
On April 24, I did a reading via Zoom of my play AN IMPROPER EDUCATION FOR AN IMPROPER LADY with an almost all-Australian cast. This reading reunited the two leads of the 2018 Melbourne production of THIS ROSE HAS THORNS, along with their direction and another cast member.
Stage directions: Emma Newport
Rose: Ashlee Lambton
Lily: Bianca Heard
Lord Havalot: John Jennings
Augusta: Katerina Yancey (a last-minute stand-in from Virginia)
Calliope: Georgia Smith
Sydney Melbourne Brisbane IV: Matthew Carcassi
AN IMPROPER EDUCATION FOR AN IMPROPER LADY
Two orphans in Victorian London pass themselves off as governesses. They find themselves employed by a minor nobleman who is trying to get his niece married before she’s 21, so he can inherit her late father’s estate instead of her. The girl appears quite mad but, in fact, is merely faking it to discourage suitors. When the governesses are instructed to get the girl presentable for a new suitor, comedy ensues. Cast: Six – four females, two males.
The Coronavirus One-Minute Play Festival produced 625 one-minute virus-related plays over six days in April — with a different batch of plays being performed each night, via Zoom, by a different theatre. My short piece PRIORITIES IN AISLE 14 came on the final night, April 17, and was performed by students at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.