Alley Stage in Mineral Point, Wisconsin produced my one-man show about the Soviet space program, “Red Moon Rising in the East,” in July 2009.
I’ve just now gotten the video, which is posted in five parts here.
Alley Stage produced the entire show; theatres in Norfolk, Va., and Duluth, Minnesota produced it as a long one-act.
MORE ON RED MOON RISING IN THE EAST:
* Still photos from the Alley Stage production, July 2009.
* Photos from the 40th Street Stage Production in Norfolk, Va., July 2009. More photos here and here.
* Poster for the 40th Street Stage Production in Roanoke, Va., August 2009.
* Review from the Duluth Playhouse production, November 2010.
* Photos from the Duluth Playhouse production, November 2010.
* Poster for the Duluth Playhouse production.
That same month, it was also produced at 40th Street Stage in Norfolk, Virginia. Photos from that here.
The Gorilla Tango Theatre in Chicago will produce my full-length script “Sweets to the Sweet” in September at its Skokie theatre in the Windy City’s suburbs.
If the name of the show sounds familiar, it’s because it comes from Shakespeare. Specifically, Hamlet.
This is my re-telling of the tale — cast in the modern-day, and with the genders reversed.
Or, as my synopsis says:
SWEETS TO THE SWEET
This is the female version of Hamlet. It’s the basic Hamlet story, transported to a modern setting and with all the genders reversed. So Hamlet becomes Hamlette, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern become Rosie and Gilda, Claudius becomes Claudia, and so forth. Instead of being set in a castle in Denmark, this version is set in a suburban home — and opens at a slumber party instead of the nightwatch. And, of course, it’s told in modern language. Otherwise, everything’s here — the skull, the gravediggers, the poisoned swords, the climactic sword fight. And, because the genders are reversed, this script gives women a rare opportunity for a swordfight on stage. If you’ve ever wanted to stage Hamlet, but didn’t think the cast or audience would get the language, or that you didn’t have enough men, here’s the solution. Cast size can range anywhere from 13 to 20, depending on doubling. If 13 — 11 female, 2 male. Or the cast can be expanded up to 20 — 13 female, 6 male, 1 non-gender.
Gorilla Tango reduces that to this on its website:
Lies. Murder. Sword fights. After her mother’s untimely death and her father’s remarriage to the murderer, Hamlette is looking for vengeance in this modern retelling, gender reversed version of Shakespeare’s classic tale.
Show dates are Sept. 7-8 and 14-15.
This will be done with a teen cast, which is how I envisioned the show — as something for high schools or community theatres with youth ensembles.
This will be the fifth full-length script I’ve had produced.
The others are:
* “An Old Story for New Times,” by Attic Productions, Fincastle, Virginia, November 2004.
* “Virginia’s Real,” by Cobb County Playhouse, Acworth, Georgia, July 2006.
* “Red Moon Rising in the East,” by Alley Stage, Mineral Point, Wisconsin (July 2009); 40th Street Playhouse, Norfolk, Virginia (July 2009), The Venue, Norfolk, Virginia (February 2010), and Duluth Playhouse, Duluth, Minnesota (November 2010.) You can find coverage of the Duluth show here and the Norfolk show here.)
* “57 Hours in the House of Culture,” by Studio Roanoke, Roanoke, Virginia, May 2012. (You can find video and photos starting here.)
I’ve had a staged reading of another full-length script, “Klaus,” by the Hollins University Playwright’s Lab, in December 2012 in Roanoke, Virginia, and a reading of “The Ballad of Alejandro Lopez” scheduled in June in New York by the Barefoot Theatre Company. You can find video and photos from “Klaus” here.
A few weeks ago, I departed from my usual rule, which is to never pay to enter a contest.
However, I had a script which I thought was a sure winner for the New Voices Play Festival, an annual new works contest put on by the Old Opera House Theatre in Charles Town, West Virginia.
That script was “The Ring,” a sad little one-act about an elderly woman who breaks into the home of another elderly woman to steal her state championship ring, won many years back in a high school basketball game.
I was also motivated by the fact that a few years ago, I had a staged reading in the same festival of my one-act, “Larry’s New Guardian Angel.” Also, it’s the town where my maternal grandparents once lived, and now are buried.
The rules allowed for two submissions, so I also packed off “Follow the Money: A Modern Day Fairy Tale,” a cute little take on where the tooth fairy’s money comes from. That’s a script I’ve also been proud of, and entered elsewhere, but to no avail.
This week, I was informed that . . . low, “Follow the Money” had been accepted and will be one of four scripts produced June 21-23, with the audience voting on their favorites.
You can find details here.
Here’s my official synopsis:
FOLLOW THE MONEY: A MODERN FAIRY TALE
A precocious youth attempts to find the secret to the tooth fairy — by kidnapping her. Where do all those teeth come from? And the money? Cast: Six — two female, four male. Running time: Fifteen minutes.
I got word this week that my short script “Fishing for Men” has been accepted into this year’s Gone in 60 Seconds Festival.
This is an annual festival of one-minute plays, some of which are produced in New York, others in Great Britain.
“Fishing for Men” will be in the New York version, June 7-8 at Brooklyn College — details here. This will come a little more than week before another one of my scripts hits New York – the staged reading of my full-length script, “The Ballad of Alejandro Lopez,” on June 17 by the Barefoot Theatre Company.
You can find videos of some my previous work in earlier editions of the festival under the “video” category.
Here’s my synopsis of the script — which previously had a staged reading at No Shame Theatre in Roanoke, Va., in spring 2012:
FISHING FOR MEN
A brooding man sits by the water, waiting on a victim to come along. Cast: Two males.
My short script “Busier Than” was produced in June 2012 at the U.K. branch of the Gone in 60 Seconds Festival of one-minute plays.
The video took longer to get up, but here ’tis.
My short script “The Liberal Arts Pirates” was produced in June 2012 at the U.K. branch of the Gone in 60 Seconds Festival of one-minute plays.
The video took longer to get up, but here ’tis.
This script was also done this year as a radio play at Falcon Radio Theatre in Seattle.
It began its life as a staged reading at No Shame Theatre in Roanoke, Va.
I’m thrilled to announce that the Barefoot Theatre Company in New York to hold a staged reading of my full-length script “The Ballad of Alejandro Lopez” on June 17.
The particular details: It’s at 7 p.m. at The Loft near Broadway and East 3rd, specifically 682 Broadway, #5W.
UPDATE: The venue has changed. The reading will now be at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street. To get on the list, you need to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you not familiar with Barefoot, it’s been described as a “scrappy, young Off-Off Broadway company” whose past productions have included the first stage adaptation of Sidney Lumet’s “Dog Day Afternoon” in 2008, and a revival of Lanford Wilson’s “Balm in Gilead” in 2005.
The Boston Globe has called it “a company to notice in New York.”
I’ve had one-minute pieces performed in New York in the Gone in 60 Seconds Festival, and some New York City high schools have produced some of my one-acts. But this is the first longer piece of mine to break into The Big Apple.
As for the script itself, it’s superficially about baseball, but really about immigration. Here’s my official synopsis:
THE BALLAD OF ALEJANDRO LOPEZ
A play about baseball – and immigration. The immigrant-hating and baseball-loving sheriff of a rural Texas county faces a dilemma when he discovers a Hispanic boy who can throw a 90-mile-per-hour fastball. Cast: Ten – four female, six male, but three of those males have small parts.
I’m indebted to Rose Bonczek for helping make this reading happen.