We’re On the Air!
And we are on the air! Tune in and listen to my play, Mundy Tuesday Friday, on this podcast! It’s free and available now at these fine podcast websites: https://rss.com/podcasts/theatrical-shenanigans/… https://open.spotify.com/show/54qD1COB9WRnH4HMrq142H…
Mundy Tuesday Wednesday and Curtain Call
I’m looking forward to this. I hope you’ll tune in. So many of my friends on LI can’t get to a theater where my plays have been performed, so here’s a perfect way to experience one of them from the comfort of your own home. It’s free and the plays are archived in case you make it on the debut night.
My play, Mundy Tuesday Wednesday is presented as a radio play beginning Sunday, January 15 produced by Theatrical Shenanigans. Here’s a link: https://lnkd.in/gFNtXHJF
Mundy Tuesday Friday was a comedy play I wrote when I got back into theater. I had this idea for a play about this group of people and it just wouldn’t leave me. I wasn’t actively writing at the time, so to have this one idea just stay with me seemed important. It was if the jokes poured out of me. I wrote it. It seemed good to me and then I had to figure out what to do with it. That, friends, led me to discover the “joys” of submitting plays to theater groups all over the world.
I’m still doing it four years later, still writing plays and trying to get them produced. I’ve been fortunate to have had a few plays performed outright by theater companies here in the U.S., and recently, had one of my plays performed in the UK (Theatrical Shenanigans, who is producing this play, is also based in the UK. I may have to move). I’ve also had several Zoom productions, during the shut-down, and have had many staged readings.
Following this production, I am directing my play, Curtain Call, for The Drama Workshop’s Home Brew VI, here in Cincinnati (Cheviot, actually), Ohio. We open January 20. This is a play about the theater and actors, and I have a wonderful cast. It’s also very funny. Tickets are at thedramaworkshop.org and they will sell out, so plan accordingly. #theater #playwright #director
What’s Happening in 2023?
Happy New Year everyone! I have some important announcements to make before we get started. Please feel free to take notes. You may need your calendar to circle the important dates. We’ll start at the beginning and work our way down.
January 15 will be the debut of a radio adaptation of my play, Mundy Tuesday Friday. This is a very funny comedy about love in the workplace and is in the vein of the screwball comedies from the 40’s, like His Girl Friday and The Philadelphia Story. This is produced by Theatrical Shenanigans (check out their FB page, they have a whole season of plays in their schedule) and the marvelous Rachel Feeny-Williams, who is herself a remarkable playwright.
Mundy Tuesday Friday can be found on these fine podcast platforms:
There is no charge for listening and it’s available worldwide (so all my friends in other states and countries can listen to it. It’s also archived, so if you don’t get a chance to listen on the 15th, you have a while to hear it. If you do listen to it, let me know how you liked it.
The second thing I want to tell you about is closer to my home here in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m directing my play, Curtain Call, for The Drama Workshop’s production of Home Brew VI. We open Friday, January 20, and run that weekend. Details at https://thedramaworkshop.org/. Tickets will go fast. We usually sell out each performance, so get them now. Home Brew is an evening of ten-minute plays written by local playwrights. I’ve participated in the past two productions and I love it.
Curtain Call is my tribute to Noel Coward, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, based on a true story from their production of Coward’s Design for Living in 1938. It’s very funny and features Karen Romero, Steve Krieger, Michael Scarpelli and Allie Webber.
So that’s it for now. Thanks to everyone who has supported my theater work these past couple of years. 2022 was a great year for me, back after the shut-down. I directed two well-received plays (You Can’t Take It With You for Village Players and Let’s Murder Marsha for Beechmont Players) and had a play, The Ten Minute Play (with a Nice Picture of Jimmy Carter), performed in London. I was also interviewed for an article in The Dramatists magazine and got paid the most money I’ve ever made in the theater for a play that the theater company decided not to produce.
My Play, Curtain Call, Will Be Produced
I’ll be directing my own play, Curtain Call, for The Drama Workshop’s Home Brew series January 20-22, in Cheviot, Ohio (Cincinnati metro).
Details are here: https://thedramaworkshop.org
Curtain Call is my tribute to Noel Coward and Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. During rehearsals for Design for Living in 1932, Noel wasn’t used to working with the perfectionists Lunts, who changed things liberally before opening night. I wanted to give my interpretations.
New Dramatists Guild Article for Cincinnati Playwrights
I was interviewed for this article for the @dramatistsguild about Cincinnati playwriting opportunities. https://dramatistsguild.com/thedramatist/ohio-cincinnati-update?fbclid=IwAR1dUUZluhaIoe44nYuN0Dq7pR1bbYAN1TWYNPL9lzxvhrXztWYwmvC4Prg…#WritingCommnunity#theater#writerslife
Village Players Present “You Can’t Take It With You”
Little article about my Moss Hart and George Kaufman show I’m directing for Village Players in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky.
Curtain Call Gets Another Performance
My play, Curtain Call, about two actors who are quitting a show because their performance isn’t up to their high standards (ok, it’s really about the Lunts) will be part of the North Street Playhouse production on Nov 5 & 6, in VA. http://northstreetplayhouse.org #theater #Broadway
The Playhouse is located in Virginia, 34 Market Street, Onancock, VA 23417. I wish I could be there.
Look at some of my earlier posts nearby to read about Curtain Call. It’s very witty. It’s really about Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne and Noel Coward.
Auditions for You Can’t Take It With You
Tomorrow and Monday (10/17 at 2 pm ET, 10/18 at 7 pm ET), auditions are being held for You Can’t Take It With You by Moss Hart and George Kaufman at the Village Players in Ft. Thomas, KY. I’m directing the show.
I’ve been saying since we announced the show that this play is an actor’s dream. It is filled with characters that actors should want to play. Each character is unique to the situation bringing their own substance to the play that becomes the Vanderhof family. I want to highlight some of the characters in the show and why you should be thinking about auditioning.
It’s easy to single out Martin Vanderhof, the Grandpa in the play, as the central character. Every member of the family is guided by his own philosophy. He lives as he pleases, free and doing anything that makes him happy. His family has taken up that message, as have others who come into their lives, and the result is a warm, loving family, full of support to one another. Martin is not an overbearing character but leads by quiet example.
The whole play revolves around Alice, Martin’s granddaughter, who has a job outside the home and has a sense of the reality of the real world. Is she confused? Yes. She loves her family but wants to present them to her fiancé’s family as normal. Does she succeed? No. But her conflict over what her family really is and what she wants them to be is the heart of the show. Alice is more than just the normal character in a play of odd characters. She is complex and has depth.
The Russians are coming. Boris Kolenkhov had escaped Russia just before Stalin’s Great Purge, during which many artists were being arrested and killed. He is happy to be in America, where he can pursue his own vision of happiness, which includes being Essie’s dance instructor, and a friend to Martin, with whom he can discuss political ideology. He’s big, demonstrative and passionate.
The other Russian in the play is the Grand Duchess Olga Katrina, who also escaped Russia and is now working at a restaurant. The family fawns over her and she immediately fits right in. Her part is wonderful and can really stand out among the cast.
For more information about auditions, the play and the characters, visit https://www.villageplayers.org/auditions.
Thoughts on “Curtain Call”
(My play, Curtain Call, a comedy about famous actors worrying about their performances, will be part of PlayZoomers evening of live, online theater, Friday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m., ET, and Saturday, October 23, at 9:30 p.m., ET. Tickets are on Eventbrite. Visit www.playzoomers.org for more info. I hope to “see” you there.)
Thoughts on “Curtain Call”
I posted on Facebook the fact that a play I have written called “Curtain Call” is being performed later in October. I mentioned that the play is about actors who are worried that their performances weren’t up to their usual standards.
That resulted in a friend of mine commenting that “Are people really interested in what actors think?”
Fair question. I never really thought of it that way. “Curtain Call” is what we call a “backstage” comedy, revealing the behind-the-scenes action. It’s a device that gives us the true motives of the actors performing in a play that are often far different than what they present on stage. Plenty of playwrights have used this backstage contrivance to advance their play, such as “The Royal Family” by Kaufman and Ferber, “Present Laughter” by Noel Coward, “Noises Off” by Michael Frayen, “A Chorus Line” by Hamlisch, Kleban, Kirkwood and Dante, “Kiss Me Kate” by the Spewacks and Cole Porter. Now perhaps I shouldn’t compare my play to those above, but the principle is the same. Audiences will care what actors think as long as it’s entertaining them.
Providing the entertainment in “Curtain Call” are three actors, two of them who are based on the true antics of perhaps the greatest acting team in American theater, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, and the other is based on Noel Coward. They were perfectionists, constantly talking about their roles, day and night, and how to improve their characterizations. On the day before one of their long-running shows was about to close, Lynn mentioned to Alfred that she was going to change an inflection on how she delivered one of her lines to get a bigger laugh.
In “Curtain Call,” my character, Lydia Francis, ever the perfectionist, tells her husband, Allen Hart and the playwright, Neil Collins, just how Allen threw off her performance.
It started in Act One.
The lunch scene.
Yes. Allen placed the glass on wrong side of the serving tray.
I don’t know what got into me. A total lack of concentration, I suppose.
That concerned me.
Oh, it concerned you, did it?
Yes. I saw it right away. Of course, I looked at Allen and saw the terror in his eyes. That threw me. I panicked as well and before I knew it, my head was moving back and forth as I delivered the lines.
Back and forth?
Ever so slightly.
But it threw me off. I nearly forgot to serve the finger sandwiches at the proper time.
I don’t know how you ever recovered.
I didn’t. I was thinking about it for the rest of the play.
Hopefully, that answers the question “are we interested in what actors think”. We need to look at them as not just actors, but as characters about which we care and take an interest and laugh at their hard-driven perfectionism.
I hope many of you will “stop by” to see the play. I think you’ll enjoy it.
In 2020, who knew what would happen? In January, Lily Blossoms, or Modern Subdivision Zoning in the Present Day was given a staged reading through the Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative. Also, a monologue from Lily Blossoms was performed by Darkhorse Dramatists in Syracuse, New York.
The Sequel to Citizen Kane was given a reading in March 2020 by Miami (of Ohio) University’s Miami Writes program. And then everything shut down. As a director, I had six shows canceled, hopefully to be rescheduled. One play I was going to direct, Let’s Murder Marsha, has been rescheduled for 2022.
In October 2020, The Janus Circle was performed via Zoom by the Philadelphia Screenwriters performance group.
The Sequel to Citizen is scheduled for November 2020, performed via Zoom by New City Players in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.