Back in NY, Back at the North Pole

Turns out that stage managing a national tour doesn’t leave much time for updating one’s website!  To catch up a bit: Black Grace’s US tour was a marvelous experience and a wonderful success.  We played to great houses in Maryland, Boston, NYC, Minneapolis, and LA.  And it was a true privilege to work with such an exceptional company and to put on such high quality, joyful, meaningful shows again and again.  I can’t wait for my next opportunity to work with Black Grace–it can’t come soon enough.  And I’ve certainly been bitten by the touring bug.

Til the next time I head out on the road for an adventure… I’m back for year five as a part of the management team at Macy’s Santaland!  The glitter, snow, elves, mayhem, and, of course, the Man in Red, are back in full force and I’m delighted to be in the mix.

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On Tour with Black Grace

I’m in College Park, Maryland–City #1 on the Black Grace dance company national tour.  Tech today, performance tomorrow, then on to Boston, NYC, Minneapolis, and LA.  This company is astounding and the choreography is incredible.  I’m utterly delighted to be stage managing this tour.  Check out the details by following this link!

In other news, The Magic Flute with The Little Orchestra Society was a great success and a very silly romp, especially thanks to the brilliant Craig Shemin.

And Out of the Hat 5 with The Workshop Theater may very well have been our best yet.  My play, The Beach, was very well-received and was in mighty good company, alongside exceptional work by Tracy Newirth, Liz Amberly, Ken Jaworowski, Laurie Graff, and Jane Lincoln Taylor.  The Beach is one of my favorite plays I’ve written, and it has potential for a lot more life further down the road–perhaps as a short film, a pilot, or a full-length sci-fi play–so stay tuned!

Wearing All Three Hats!

Time for a long overdue update!

The WorkShop Theater has reinvented itself and is settling in very nicely with the regular crowd at ART/NY.  I had the pleasure of directing two readings last month, featuring exceptional casts and simply wonderful material.

First was the latest presentation of the WorkShop’s InspiredBy Series, Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing.  It was great to get back to working on Stoppard, even in this super speedy context.  We got the laughs, we got the emotion, we got the wit.  We even got the Scottish accent!

The next day I was back in rehearsal, this time for the Pen to Paper developmental reading of Ken Jawarowski’s The Distance.  Ken’s a brilliant writer of intense, unflinchingly human plays.  My four actors tackled some truly challenging emotional work, and the audience response was stupendous.

Switching gears and looking towards the future: The WorkShop’s annual Out of the Hat Festival is back for year 5, and I’m delighted to once again have a play of mine in the mix.  My play, The Beach, is a sci-fi story of hope, expectation, truth, and exploration.  I love it a lot.  The Festival runs October 16-19 at ART/NY (my piece will be read on the 19th).

And in the meantime, I’m getting ready to stage manage the Little Orchestra Society’s Magic Flute: Mozart concert, then head out on the road with Black Grace Dance Company for their US national tour!

 

Wrapping Up Another Great Summer at Spiegeltent

We’re in the last two weeks at the Spiegeltent at Bard College (part of the lovely and marvelous Summerscape Festival) and things are starting to feel bittersweet (as wonderful things do as they come to an end.).  My third season as Production Stage Manager has been full of ambitious, challenging, inspiring shows and it’s been thrilling to watch our team at the tent rise to the occasion again and again.

Some highlights of the summer (beyond swimming in waterfalls and setting off fireworks by the Hudson) include:

John Cameron Mitchell

Lisa Fischer

Nona Hendryx

Spirit Family Reunion

Sam Reider and the Human Hands with Keren Tayar

Club Cumming

…and many more!

Next on the agenda: A return to NYC and some time spent focusing on writing.

SWAN Day and Her Brother’s Keeper

My short play, Her Brother’s Keeper, is one of the featured plays at The WorkShop Theater’s upcoming SWAN Day event.  SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day is a relatively young international holiday, so it’s pretty cool to be a part of it!  The WorkShop will be presenting readings of seven short plays by female members of the company.  I’m proud to be included in this mighty fine group of beautifully talented writers alongside Dana Leslie Goldstein, Kari Swenson Riely, Liz Amberly, J Thalia Cunningham, Tracy Newirth, and Jennifer Fell Hayes. 

Her Brother’s Keeper is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve written.  I always describe it as my film noir play–it’s got a hard-boiled P.I., a slightly cryptic narrator, a femme fatale… and nobody’s quite what they seem or what you’d expect.  I’m lucky enough to have snagged Kari Swenson Riely (wearing multiple hats for this event), Erin Treadway, and Jed Dickson for my cast.

SWAN Day is March 30th, and the WorkShop’s show is at 3pm at 312 West 36th St in Manhattan.  Tickets are free, but reservations are a great idea and you can get one right HERE.

(Also worth mentioning: One of the monologues from Her Brother’s Keeper is featured in Smith and Kraus’s The Best Men’s Stage Monologues 2016.)

 

“Combat Ready” to be Published by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books

Very excited to announce that another one of my monologues will be published in 2019!  “Combat Ready” will be part of Applause Theatre and Cinema Books upcoming
100 MONOLOGUES FROM NEW PLAYS — WOMEN.

I wrote this piece for the wonderful actress Diana Stahl to perform at Caps Lock Theatre’s Pussyfest 3 a few years back, and it’s cool and it’s different from my usual stuff, and I’m really glad I got a chance to create it.  It’s really gratifying to see it head out into the world.

And that makes TWO of my pieces getting published this year!

Lethe, Desire, and Henry VI

Busy is a good way to be, and 2019 continues to entertain.  Lots of projects in various states of production and on the horizon!

Stage Management:

The first of this year’s slew of gigs up at Bard College is up and running at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.  The theater department’s Senior Projects include large scale puppets, cowboys, and a chunk of Cabaret.  An impressive showing from students and staff alike and a crazy stage management challenge.

Just around the corner: On the 26th, we begin rehearsals for Desire, a deconstruction of A Streetcar Named Desire directed by the marvelous Jack Fervor.

Playwriting:

Between these two shows, I’m dashing back down to the city to catch Out of the Hat 4 at the WorkShop, featuring 22 new short plays, including my newest play, Lethe.  In Lethe, Katie Braden and Lori Faiella play Zoe and Hannah, long-estranged sisters haunted in very different ways by a moment of trauma by a lakeside.  My show is part of the first night of the festival, Monday, 2/25, in very fine company with plays by some of my favorite fellow WorkShop members.  The whole week is a real testament to the talent of the company.  The venue has limited capacity, so reserve your free tickets now at this link!

Directing:

I’m delighted to be a part of Michael Hagins’ 8 by 8: The Shakespeare Series.  Michael is striving to be a part of every play in Shakespeare’s canon before he turns 40 this August.  He’s down to his final 6 productions and I’m at the helm of the double-whammy: Henry VI Parts 2 and 3.  Our staged reading is just a few months away, on May 24th in NYC.  Script work and casting are still in the early stages, so stay tuned!  These plays are a bloodbath and feature so many people named Richard and Edward that I may have everyone wear nametags… but they also raise some pretty chilling questions about what kind of person can be trusted to lead a nation and how conflating brutality and cruelty with strength can destabilize a society.  And that’s just what I’ve been muttering to myself about so far!  Wait until I get some actors involved!

Kicking off 2019 with all sorts of good stuff…

2019 is off to an exciting start with projects of all sorts on the horizon.  Let’s go in website order, shall we?

PLAYWRIGHT:

I’ve just completed a new short play called “Lethe” for The WorkShop Theater’s 4th annual Out of the Hat festival.  This year’s festival’s theme is water and I can’t wait to see what my fellow WorkShop members came up with for their plays.  My piece was crafted to suit the wonderful talents of actors Katie Braden and Lori Faiella.  Performances are the week of February 25, so stay tuned!

One of my monologues from “Faith Healer”, the play I wrote for last year’s Out of the Hat, is going to be published as part of Smith & Kraus’s The Best Men’s Monologues of 2019.  Just signed off on the publisher’s proof, so the book can’t be too far away!  This is my second monologue printed by S&K.

DIRECTOR:

Casting is complete and rehearsals are about to begin for “The Twilight Solution” a new short sci-fi play I’m directing as part of The Navigators’ Lift-Off Play Series at the Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City.  This production features robots, genetically engineered cuttlefish, and a doomsday device (not to mention six wonderful actors I’ve never directed before)!  Should be a very good time and a weird and wonderful weekend of shows.  The series runs January 25-27, with my show performing on Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th.  Click here for tickets.  Each night features a different mix of shows and there’s a truly crazy amount of variety, so I say… come to all three performances!

Fun fact: This is also the 4th annual Lift-Off Series.  Four years ago was a good year for clever festival ideas.

STAGE MANAGER:

I’ll be returning to work with The Little Orchestra Society, stage managing the latest of their LOS Kids shows–“Gioachino Rossini! Stories that Sing” the first weekend in February.  These shows are always wacky, fun, and educational.  And the music can’t be beat.  If you want to get your kids hooked on classical music (and probably walk away with a free kazoo), check out the show.  Tickets are available here.

Lots more news to come on the stage management front, with many adventures at Bard College on the horizon.  Til then…

 

The Golden Dove on Governors Island and giant puppets at Bard College

Rehearsals are well underway for A Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya at Bard College.  This epic production, written by Alexander Bakshi, featuring Bard students under the direction of Amy Trompetter, is fascinating and challenging in all sorts of good ways.  The real stars of the show are the puppets–ranging from giant moose to a gaggle of rambunctious devils, with herds of fabric and paper mache deer and a couple of dancing bears to boot.  The music is stunning and the whole process has been a wild ride from my stage managerial perspective.  Looking forward to tech and opening night!  Performances May 18-20 at Bard.

A little closer to home, my children’s play, The Golden Dove, will have its world premiere this spring on Governor’s Island!  Rising Sun Performance Company is producing the production, with the wonderful and inventive Chris Goodrich at the helm.  I caught a snippet of rehearsal a couple of days ago (I even got to help a bit with some set-building) and I’m delighted!  The play is for kids and adults of all ages–free admission, short run-time, and then you’re on Governor’s Island where there are hammocks and a giant slide.  In all seriousness, this play is a lovely little jewel, magical and good-hearted.  At its core is the idea that everyone can, and should, do their part to make the world better, happier, and whole.  If that sounds up your alley, the show opens May 5th (tomorrow!) and runs through October (!!!) on weekends and selected weekdays.  Check out the calendar at the official website.

Looking back on 2017 and forward to 2018

Many updates are in order and, as ever, my not-just-New-Year’s-resolution will be to more regularly update this site with new projects and more photos and video from past work.

To recap:

  • My play, Supertopia, premiered at Summit Rock in Central Park this past summer, produced by Everyday Inferno and directed by Katherine Sommer.  It was a great success, pleasing comic book fans and newbies to the fantasy/sci-fi genre alike.  Rewrites were particularly challenging and rewarding and I look forward to tinkering with the script again in the near future as I re-envision it for other venues and prepare to send the play out into the world.
  • The summer at Spiegeltent was a complete joy.  Phenomenal colleagues in beautiful surroundings, working together to present an amazingly well-curated season of concerts and performances.  And the waterfalls weren’t too shabby either.
  • The end of the 2017 was devoted to once again joining the management team at Santaland at Macy’s Herald Square.  This was my third year as a manager of one of the biggest, most well-loved productions New York has to offer, and I’m very proud of the work we did, from pre-production to the Thanksgiving parade to every visit with the Man in Red himself.

On the horizon:

  • I’m currently putting finishing touches on a script for the WorkShop Theater’s third annual Out of the Hat Festival.  This incarnation of the festival is the first one we’re opening up to the public, so I encourage anyone in the mood for fresh, personal, instinctive theater to come and hear these brand new short plays.  Every time we do this festival, more and more wonderful WorkShop talent gets involved, so it should be a sight to see.  Check the WorkShop website for details, but generally mark your calendars for the middle two weeks in January.
  • Bard College has won my heart and so I’m off to the Fisher Center this spring to stage manage Requiem for Anna Politkovskaya.  The show promises to be fascinating, timely, and insanely creative.  And I finally get to work with giant puppets!  The show runs May 18-20 at the LUMA Theater.  Come and see!
  • And I’ll be back again for my second year as the Production Stage Manager at Bard’s Spiegeltent this summer.  I’m counting down the days!  Can’t wait to see what Mx. Justin Vivian Bond cooks up for us this year.  Tickets go on sale in late February and the season kicks off June 29th.  So stay tuned.