Friday, May 4, 2007

Recent Theatrical Outings

Quick note my recent theater outings.

I caught Adam Szymkowicz's reading for Incendiary at Ars Nova on Monday. Had already seen and enjoyed this play at SCR's newSCRipts a months or so ago. This new reading featured an even better cast in an intimate venue. It was fascinating to see the script go from a 300+ seating venue (SCR's Argyros stage) to the little, gem-like matchbox that is Ars Nova. The SCR actors can not be in the slightest blamed for pushing a little in their reading, but it was excellent to get see the show without the actors feeling any pressure to reach the seats in the back. Adam had tweaked the script a little and it is in fine, tight fighting form. Looking forward to seeing it again in production sometime soon. Although first, Adam has a play in the New York Fringe Fest (check out his blog, in my bloggings link) that sounds like fun.

Also saw the production of Romeo & Juliet that my friend Stephen Davis directed at NYU's Stella Adler studio for third year acting BFA candidates. It was great! Stephen did a lovely job with that problematic last scene-- having the lines done by masked actors and keeping the focus on a beautiful, acrobat resurrection sequence for Romeo and Juliet. Just a searingly lovely final image-- not easy with newbie actors and a budget of around $0. Kudos all around.

And I got a comic book and play signed by playwright and comic book author Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa yesterday. As part of the Spiderman movie launch, Marvel comics is sending some of their writers and artists to comic book stores to sign Spiderman stuff. Roberto writes the Sensational Spider-Man title. I know him from a workshop he led at the Kennedy Center Summer Intensive last year. I only got to chat with him a few minutes, but he talked about his recent newSCRipts reading at SCR (they are reading everyone I know except me, apparently) of a new play of his. And the play of his I saw a reading of at the Kennedy Center is now being produced at Steppenwolf. Fun times. When things settle down for him I am trying to talk to him into going for coffee.

On the horizon: Friend and fellow playwright Peter Snoad will be in town for his reading May 14th conducted by
Reverie Productions. The play is The Boiling House and it is a finalist for the Reverie Productions new work series. Peter and I were both finalists in the Hinton Battle Theater Lab's contest last year and met at the premiere of Idlewild, where the company announced the contest winner. Louise Rozett is also a finalist with her play Brake. I am intending on taking in her reading this Sunday, May 6th. Louise is a fellow DePaul alum-- she was getting her MFA in Acting while I was there getting my BFA in Acting. We overlapped by a year or so. I think the first time I met her we had both volunteered over Christmas break to help an MFA Directing student (name lost over the years) by acting in his adaptation of Herman Melville's Bartelby the Scrivner. So, I remember Louise as an earnest, pony-tailed young actress good-heartedly essaying Melville's text in this rather ill-advised adaptation. Can't remember who Louise played. I think I played Bartleby-- although that may just be vainglorious posturing on my part-- I don't really remember much about the whole project. A mercifully hazy veil has been drawn across the whole project in my mind.

Also planning on taking in Kristen Palmer's reading for her play The Melting Point on Sunday May 13th as part of the
Soho Writer/Director Lab. Crushed that I missed Annie Baker's reading on the 23rd. I took a Mac Wellman workshop with her last year and LOVED her in-class work in that workshop. I still occasionally find myself wandering around singing "Asperger's/Autism, Asperger's/Autism" in an annoying manner to a tune Annie made up for an exercise she wrote based on The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jose Luis Borges. I guess you sort of had to be there for that to make any sense. But she's great.

Also going to the
Peculiar Works fundraiser on May 15th. They are raising money for an historical theater-based walking tour of the East Village in June. Judith Malina will be performing at the benefit. Cool, huh? And there is a silent auction. Woo hoo!

Tonight I am going to meet Atlanta playwright and friend Pamela Turner. She is in town and seeing Coast of Utopia tonight. And then, oddly, work is sending me to Atlanta Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and I will get to have dinner with Pamela! We hung out together at the Kennedy Center Summer Intensive and I can't wait to catch up with her.

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