Posts Tagged community high school

Video: “Lady Macbeth’s Lament” at Liminal alternative artspace

At the season finale for the reading series at the Liminal alternative artspace, I lucked out. Organizer Cara Modisett had multiple students interested in reading/performing, and I had multiple pieces available.

Here’s Chantel Wilson, a student at Community High School of Arts and Academics, performing a staged reading of my short piece, “Lady Macbeth’s Lament.”

This was on May 21, 2013 in Roanoke, Va.

Here’s my official description:

The ghost of Lady Macbeth laments that Shakespeare never gave her a name. Cast: One female. Running time: Three minutes.

I also explored the question of my Lady Macbeth doesn’t have a name in my one-act, “Macbeth, the Prequel.” You can find video of a production of that script here.


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Video: “The Misunderstood Muse” at Liminal alternative artspace

Eric Sutton and Ashley Meador perform a staged reading of my short piece “The Misunderstood Muse” at the Liminal alternative artspace in Roanoke, Va., on May 21, 2013.

The Liminal is attached to Community High School of Arts and Academics, where Eric and Ashley are students. The space hosts regular readings, often tied in with the school’s curriculum. This was the season finale and was an “open” reading.”

Of note: Whenever I find myself lacking an idea, I try to write a “muse” piece. Let’s just say I have a lot of “muse” pieces now!

Here’s my official description:

A muse takes offense at her writer because he’s changed her idea. They fight, she leaves and gets her revenge. All in three pages. Cast: Two — one male, one female. Running time: Three to five minutes.

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Video: “Coyote” at the Liminal gallery in Roanoke, Va.

The Liminal gallery (housed in the same building as Community High School) in Roanoke, Va., hosts monthly readings. They’re built around a particular theme — usually something on display in the gallery, or something students are studying.

Writers from both the school and community are invited. Most of these are short story writers, but I’ve been going — and reading organizer Cara Modisett has been kind enough to recruit students to perform my work.

For the Nov. 29, 2012 reading, the theme was based on “Children in the Shadow of Conflict: Selected Novels and Cultural Perspectives,” a course being taught at the school.

Hannah Garry performed my piece “Coyote,” about how an illegal immigrant had to pay off a “coyote” — one of the border crossing guides — to get her family across. It was inspired by a newspaper story I read some years ago about how dangerous such crossings can be because many “coyotes” are quite unscrupulous.

Immigration is a theme of another one of my works — the yet unpublished and unproduced full-length script “The Ballad of Alejandro Lopez,” which is currently under consideration at a theatre in New York.

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Video: “The Cherry Tree Near Loos” at Liminal gallery

Here’s another video I’m a little late in posting. The Liminal gallery in Roanoke, Va. hosts periodic readings, often in conjunction with an exhibit or classwork at Community High School, the private school with which it is associated.

On March 27, 2012, the theme was “place.” Community High School student Sahar Babi read my monologue “The Cherry Tree Near Loos.”

It’s a true story that I came across in reading once about World War I. A British soldier was killed in a tree in no man’s land, and the only way the British could retrieve his body was to bombard the tree.

I’m indebted to Cara Modisett, who organizes the readings, for finding someone to read the piece.

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Video: “The Secret Lives of Goldfish” at Liminal gallery

I have a series of short pieces called “The Secret Lives of Goldfish” in which I take a humorous look at two goldfish, one of whom has delusions of grandeur, the other of whom is very much aware of its piscene limitations.

One of those pieces — “The Secret Lives of Goldfish, volume 4: Hot for the Deep Sea Driver” — was performed as a staged reading Oct. 25 at one of the regular readings hosted by the Liminal alternative artspace gallery in Roanoke.

Two students from Community High School — Celine Anderson and Frank Finch — were the goldfish in question.

(There’s a male version of this particular piece. That’s volume 3: “Hot for the Mermaid.” Same piece, just genders reversed.)

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Video: “Q Downsized” at the Liminal gallery

The Liminal Alternative Artspace in Roanoke, Va. hosts a monthly reading. It is geared toward writers of all sorts, though attracts a lot of poets and short storywriters. I’d never been to one of the Liminal readings, but the organizer, Cara Modisett, invited me to participate so I did.

The theme for the December 2011 reading was “downsizing.”

This shows my limited imagination: To me, spending my day in the business world, downsizing only meant one thing. Layoffs. A reduction in force. Job losses.

Conveniently, I had a piece that fit perfectly: “Q Downsized,” in which the letter Q is “let go” from the alphabet. Cara helped me find two students at Community High School to perform — Lilly Carr and Karl Kaiser.

To my amazement, everybody else at the reading that night had a very different take on “downsizing.” To them, downsizing meant . . . moving into smaller living spaces, downsizing lives, dreams, and so forth. There were some very powerful — and very sad — pieces read.

Then, at the end, came this piece, which was quite different indeed.

Fortunately, the audience howled with laughter.

The video for this is just now going up online, so that’s why it’s out of order. I had another reading in January at Liminal, “White Goes First” to match the Martin Luther King Jr. Day theme.

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“White Goes First” at Martin Luther King Jr. Day reading

A few years ago, I read a wire story in The Roanoke Times about “street chess” in Washington, D.C.

The style of “street chess” among African-American players in the nation’s capital is apparently nothing like the version we know from international competitions — faster and louder, for one thing.

The story noted that the chess rule that the white players always go first quite considered quite ironic. That led to this piece “White Goes First.”

It’s been performed several times. This staged reading was at an event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2012 at the Liminal Gallery at Community High School in Roanoke, Virginia.

Bryan Hancock plays “black,” Chad Runyon plays “white.”

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