Notes from a Wandering Laptop
Week of February 19, 2017
We've had a great run with really fun audiences game to experiment with us on random play structure from a jumble of assorted scenes these past three weekends, and we've got two more days and four more shows to close out the run this coming weekend Saturday 2/25 and Sunday 2/26 at 3pm and 3:30pm. Come join us for the grand finale of Create A Play On The Bus. FREE and open to the public.
Come join Michael Hentges, David Schlosser, and myself one last time as we guide the audience through creating a play in under half an hour on Valerie Borey's Vehicle of Expression in the Art Shanty Projects community. Due to the little burst of warmer weather and thinner ice, the Art Shanties have been moved to shore. We'll either have snow or mud or a combination of the two, so bring your boots. All the many shanties are much closer together now so enjoy the cozy community and hit as many as you can. The shanties are open for visiting from 10am to 4pm, and our plays are available to you in the final hour between 3 and 4pm.
I've posted a fuller description with dates, times, cast and playwright list. Check out the full list of shanties and performances you can come visit on White Bear Lake next month - full schedule here and directions here.
Newly posted: Minnesota Jewish Theatre's beautiful and moving production of The Whipping Man closes this coming weekend (2/26); still one more week after that for both Classical Actors Ensemble's As You Like It (3/5), and Walking Shadow's Marie Antoinette (3/4); and yet another week after that before we lose Jungle Theater's sexy tale of Anna In The Tropics (3/12).
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.
Little Lifeboats is building the bracket of actor video performances as I write this. More details soon.
Two other local playwrights (Abby Swafford and Duck Washington) and I were asked to write a new monologue that could work in two lengths: a two to three minute section for initial use, then a full length of around eight minutes for the grand finale of an event called Monologue Madness (modeled after a March basketball competition I think we've all heard of by now).
Online voters from the general public will soon determine who moves from the Sweet Sixteen bracket down to Eight and then the Final Four. On March 28th at the Bryant Lake Bowl, the Final Four actors will compete live with the full eight minute versions of the monologues. The live audience votes for the winner (both actor and monologue), who both get a prize. Once the bracket goes live for voting, I'll post a link. I'm super curious to finally see different people's interpretation of the monologue I wrote. Watch this space...
In a weird wrinkle of the schedule, my last songwriting class is the very same night as the Fringe Lottery to determine whose lucky ping pong balls make the cut to be on the schedule and where everyone else falls on the wait list. Good luck next Monday, 2/27, everyone. I'll check the list the next day and start plotting my August Fringe binge with Mom.
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.
Four weekly sessions is not enough time for all the songwriting advice my guitar teacher Ryan Smith has in his brain. We're coming up on the last class next Monday 2/27 and with some luck I may just barely have a new song. Got the chords all set up early in the week. Just the other day the lyrics poured out of my head. Now I need a melody. 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. Also cuing up the latest song to learn for playing in a student showcase, Lyle Lovett's "God Will." 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.
Mistletoe #1 and #2 to be published!
Mistletoe #1 and #2 are slated to be part of Smith and Kraus publishers' upcoming anthology "105 Five-Minute Plays for Study and Performance," due out this spring. 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)
Here, if you're curious
Here, if you're curious