Notes from a Wandering Laptop
Week of April 9, 2017
An eclectic weeks of theater - a super-short run for a super-great new play from Sheep Theater - The Assassination of the Archduke of Austria-Hungary Franz Ferdinand (and it was a comedy) (already closed); another great new comedy at the Jungle Theater, Lone Star Spirits (through 5/7); the); the sad but inspiring story of A Thousand Cranes from Green T Productions (through 4/14); and the over-the-top high energy melodrama of The Ghost Train - a co-production of Mission Theatre and Wayward Theatre at an actual train museum (through 4/15)
The new theater for the new year is piling up: Frank Theatre's Citizen: An American Lyric; Gadfly Theatre's And Then They Fell; 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.
Hotel reservations made. Car getting some basic maintenance tweaks to be ready for the road trip. Trying hard not to overload myself with packing too many projects to take with me. Plus some entertaining movies or books in case I'm stuck in for the night. The guitar, of course. Preparations for the Inge Festival continue. 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. (I've started loading excerpts of the play on the site here - work still in progress...)
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)
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 seems to be set (now I need to finish writing the play to go with it). The first rough draft of getting it into sheet music form is done. Now to pretty it up a bit. Need to keep playing it and get ready to perform it at the next showcase. Found a second song beyond that to start practicing for performance as well - Wake Up When It's Over. Heard it, latched onto it, found chords online, my guitar teaching just riffed the chords and rhythm from listening to it play for the very first time on my iPhone. Starting to understand how that part of the brain works. Mine's edging closer to that territory, too. I still need to start poking around open mics and finding one I feel comfortable trying out. In my 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