Notes from a Wandering Laptop
Week of March 26, 2017
We had a final four, but one of the actors doing my monologue who made the cut was felled by bronchitis. So we're down to a final three - John DeWitt doing a new monologue by Duck Washington; David Schlosser doing a new monologue by Abby Swafford, and Tyler Ecklund doing a new monologue by yours truly. These guys all did the two minute version/excerpts previous for the video online voting portion of the competition. Now they're doing the full eight minute version of their monologue, and the live audience votes for the winning actor and monologue this coming Tuesday, March 28 starting at 7pm at the Bryant Lake Bowl (doors open at 6pm). There's a halftime show by the Big Gay Mexican, Hector Chavarria, too. Tickets $12. You can buy online or at the door. Come out and support Little Lifeboats, new writing, and courageous actors and their marvelous powers of memorization. See you there!
A play I wrote for a new script call a couple of years back didn't make the cut with that local theater company, but it meant I had a new one act script to send out and about on the competition circuit. This search yielded it's first big result. I've been chosen to be part of the Inge Theater Festival (the predecessor to the Great Plains Theater Conference that took on my play Leave several years ago). It's coming up next month, April 19-22, 2017. I've never heard the play read outside of writing group meetings, never worked with a director or actors on the piece before. So that'll be exciting, and hopefully helpful to its development. It'll also get it up in front of a live audience, and solicit some feedback from other festivalgoers. It's a chance to get out of town, spend some time on the road driving down and back, and I can use it as a writing retreat of sorts. Still working out the details but I'm looking forward to it. (And this reminds me I should post some excerpts here on the site for that as well. So many updates...)
Mistletoe #1 and #2 are included in Smith and Kraus publishers' new anthology "105 Five-Minute Plays for Study and Performance," now available for pre-order on Amazon and other friendly venues. They have a fun twitter feed with tweet-synopses of all 105 plays being posted, so check that out for a giggle (I saw mine float through the other week). Along with Mistletoe #3 and #4, and Pitching Christmas #1 through #3, Mistletoe #1 and #2 were part of Little Lifeboats' 2015 holiday show "I Never Eat December Snowflakes." (All of which reminds me, I need to upload those scripts to this website. And hey, if you're planning ahead and looking for some holiday shorts, all of the Mistletoe and Pitching Christmas scripts are part of my Short Plays Volume 4)
Closing This Weekend: I have a lot of issues with Gadfly Theatre's production of And Then They Fell, but Tira Palmquist is a great writer, and the central hero of the piece is a trans teen boy, so it's worth checking out for those reasons alone (thru 3/26)
The new theater for the new year is piling up: Savage Umbrella's The Awakening; Illusion Theater's Thurgood; Jungle Theater's Anna In The Tropics; Theatre Unbound's Mere Trifles; Minnesota Jewish Theatre's The Whipping Man; Classical Actors Ensemble's As You Like It; Walking Shadow's Marie Antoinette; Illusion Theater's Miranda; 7th House Theater's Rhinoceros; Sandbox Theatre's Big Money; Mosaic Productions' Almost, Maine.
Posted a Top Ten list (of what I saw) for theater in 2016, with links to pretty much everything I wrote about good, bad and indifferent over the past year. Check it out.
In a weird wrinkle of the schedule, my last songwriting class was the very same night as the Fringe Lottery to determine whose lucky ping pong balls made the cut to be on the schedule and where everyone else fell on the wait list. The list of how it all shook out is posted online now. Time to start plotting my August Fringe binge with Mom. Much research ahead of me.
Meanwhile, the Top Ten post also had a Fringe-specific Top Ten for 2016, if you're curious. My 2016 coverage of the Minnesota Fringe Festival in its entirety can be found in my blog's Fringe archive for 2016.
The song for my new play Spellbound is taking its final shape. Got the chords, melody and lyrics working together pretty well, and I can do a decent job playing and singing it. Time to start polishing it (and finishing the play it belongs to, of course). The performance of Lyle Lovett's "God Will" at the Twin Town Guitars student showcase at Whiskey Junction the other weekend went well (though honestly, I did better work in rehearsal or my weekly lessons for some reason - consistency in performance; the journey into the world of open mics may be in my future). In my regular lessons, we're reviewing the basics of individual notes, so I'm better at sounding things out - not everything can be done with chords. He's trying to help me learn how to recognize things by ear. This will be a slow process, which he of course makes look ridiculously easy. Meanwhile, now that the song for TV Boyfriend, "A Guy Who Can Fly," is all tidied up in sheet music form, the next project is to do the same for the first of the songs I'm redoing for the play Love's Prick - the St. Valentine song.
Here's why I read my last think piece on the death of American democracy back on December 1st, and some helpful hints for living under the new regime from a historian who's seen it all before.
Here, if you're curious
Here, if you're curious