Posts Tagged overnight sensations

Video: ‘A Couch for Luxury and Damned Incest’

Here’s video of my 10-minute play in Overnight Sensations 2019, a 24-hour play festival sponsored by Hollins University’s Playwright’s Lab and Mill Mountain Theatre. An earlier post detailed how the event works. Thanks to director Amile Wilson for the video (and the great direction!).

Drifer: Gianni Palmarini
Bed: Bailee Adams
Chair: Nancy Lawrence
Couch: Kelly Anglim
Desk: Gene Marrano
Table: Walter Dodd

MY PREVIOUS OVERNIGHT SENSATIONS: Read the rest of this entry »


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Overnight Sensations 2019: The making of a 24-hour play

For the eighth time in 12 years, I was one of the writers in Overnight Sensations, a 24-hour play festival organized by the Hollins University Playwright’s Lab and Mill Mountain Theatre. I drew dream play in a furniture factory with a specific line of dialogue from Shakespeare. What I came up with: A drifter seeks overnight accommodations in an abandoned furniture factory. He blows some notes on a saxophone, which makes pieces of furniture come to life — and they want to perform Hamlet. Conveniently, Hamlet mentions a bed, a table, a couch, a desk and a table, so everyone has a part in A COUCH FOR LUXURY AND DAMNED INCEST. Here’s how it all went down:

1. Friday night. We gather at Mill Mountain Theatre, with Todd Ristau presiding.

2. The six writers draw their director from a hat. After that, the writers and director alternate in drawing a cast, a genre, a setting and a theme — which this year came in the form of a line from Shakespeare that we had to use as dialogue.

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More photos from Overnight Sensations 2018

Here are some more photos — from other photographers — from Overnight Sensations 2018 and, in particular, my piece THE DENMARK COUNTY BARBERSHOP QUARTET PRESENTS . . . .

The Denmark County Barbershop Quartet. Photo by Dan Smith.

Reilly Lincavicks with the skull of Yorick. Photo by Todd Ristau.

Michael Mansfield directs the quartet. Photo by Dan Smith.

The big finish. Photo by Dan Smith.

More photos below:

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Photos and videos from “The Denmark County Barbershop Quartet Presents . . .”

My 7th 24-hour play festival with Mill Mountain Theatre and the Hollins University Playwrights’ Lab resulted in THE DENMARK COUNTY BARBERSHOP QUARTET PRESENTS . . . in which a ragtag barbershop quartet presents Hamlet to the tune of “In the Good Old Summertime.”

From left: Ally Thomas, J.P. Powell, Reilly Lincavicks, Bob Moss, me (kneeling), Erica Muyst, Chris Shepard and Michael Mansfield.

Below is rehearsal video from a short song about the Hindenburg, followed by the big finish about Hamlet.


* How the process unfolds

* Rehearsal photos

* Lots more photos here.

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Photos from “They Always Blame The Snake”

Here are photos from THEY ALWAYS BLAME THE SNAKE, my entry in the 2017 edition of OVERNIGHT SENSATIONS, the 24-hour play festival sponsored by Hollins University and Mill Mountain Theatre. My prompts: The reptile house, a farce, and the theme “do you trust them or do you not want to suspect them?”

Claire Hilton is the paranoid chameleon who wonders why the new arrival, the snake played by Bonny Branch, is in pain.

The result: Two bumbling criminals break into the reptile house, having tried to smuggle cocaine into the country in the belly of a snake shipped to the zoo. Instead, they find a DEA agent inside.

These photos come courtesy of Dan Smith and Susan K.

More photos and details below.

Claire Hilton, the chameleon, talks to Janemarie Laucella, the iguana.

Amanda Mansfield makes a fantastic, and grumpy, turtle.

Neil David Siebel and Stephen Baltz as our two bumbling criminals.

We move toward the climactic scene.


2007: “Stuck on You,” a farce about a glue gun gone bad at a prom.
2010: “A Vampire Soap Opera,” which is pretty much what it sounds like.
2011: “Strong As a Bull,” a horror piece about steroids and baseball — in the 1800s.
2012: “The Keys To the Universe Next Door,” a science fiction horror story about a woman trapped in an alternative universe.
2016: “The Zookeeper’s Arm,” about a murder in the zoo.

More from 2017:

Preparation and such explained here.

More photos of the whole process.
Rehearsal and production photos from the Hollins Playwright’s Lab
More photos from Dan Smith

Some of the responses I got:

“Your play was my favorite.”
— Celie H.

“Loved your piece.”
— Sherilyn L.


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Photos from Overnight Sensations 2017

For the sixth time in ten years, I was invited to take part in OVERNIGHT SENSATIONS, the 24-hour play festival that Hollins University and Mill Mountain Theatre produce each summer in Roanoke, Virginia. (If you’re a stickler, it’s the sixth time in 11 years, because the event skipped one year when the theatre was under renovation.)

Here are some photos of how it went down.

Packed for the adventure.

More photos below: Read the rest of this entry »

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Photos from “The Zookeeper’s Arm” in 24-hour play project

The cast of THE ZOOKEEPER'S ARM. From left, Paul Stober, Nicholas McCord, Amanda Mansfield, Ronald Blanks Jr., Bayla Sussman, and John Bergman. Photo by Susan K.

The cast of THE ZOOKEEPER’S ARM. Photo by Susan K.

For the fifth time in ten years, I was one of the writers to take part in OVERNIGHT SENSATIONS, the 24-hour play project put on by Mill Mountain Theatre and Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Everyone gathers on Friday night. The playwrights draw out of a hat the name of their director — I drew Maura Campbell. She drew the cast. Then I drew the genre (crime drama), the setting (the zoo) and the theme (“from the jaws of hell, I stab at thee”). Then the writers are whisked off to the Hollins library to write. By 8 a.m. Saturday, we’re expected to have a 10-minute script. The morning is spent going over revisions with the director, a production meeting — then the cast shows up for rehearsal at noon. At 8 p.m., the curtain goes up.

Here are some photos from this year’s festivities:

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