Monday, November 26, 2007

That Cockfighters Trilogy Report and a Rattlers Reading

Sorry I have been out of touch! It was the holiday monster that swallowed me whole. My parents came to visit for Thanksgiving, so I have been busy getting ready and then hosting them the last couple of weeks. Sanity has resumed.

I left off promising to write about the reading of my three plays Cockfighters, Tumblewings, and Godsbreath in Los Angeles on Nov 11th. Here goes:

It went extremely well. The readings were held at the old Evidence Room main performance space-- in the new Bootleg Theare. We read straight through all three plays with breaks for snacks and lunch.

Cockfighters featured stand out performances from: Paul Dillon, the original Killer Joe in Tracy Letts' Killer Joe (DWIGHT); amazing local regional actor Hugo Armstrong (CD); playwright Ann Noble, who acts as well as she writes, (TAMMY); and Westley Thornton one of my favorite and most missed LA actors (perfectly cast as CLARENCE). Hugo was my marathon actor, appearing in all three of the plays (CD, BUCK/JACOB, CD)-- he was an amazing Buck in Tumblewings! Jessica Hanna was brilliant as his wife and sparring partner RANETTA, and I was delighted to see Mike Genovese reprsie the beautiful work he did in a reading last year as COY. Godsbreath had a troubled second act, I discovered (that is where I will be focusing the rewrites) but Paul Dillon's astonishing work as HEP kept the play afloat even over troubled waters. And it was great to see Corryn Cummings reprise the role of LOGAN, which read in a Moving Arts reading earlier this year.

Rewrites will focus on Tumblewings (tweaks) and Godsbreath (overhaul of ACT II). Cockfighters held up pretty well. Still don't feel like I have nailed CLARENCE's monologue to SHIRL's body-- so I may do some tweaking there.

Big thanks to the producers, Jessica Hanna, Mike Dunn, Darin Anthony, and Danny F. It was a big undertaking and offered nice munchies and lunch for people. The day didn't really feel long until we hit Godsbreath's second act. That is much better than I expected! Will keep you posted as the work progresses on this one. The ball is in my court to get rewrites done.

Then, since seeing three of my plays read in a week is clearly not enough for me, I got to see Flux Theatre in New York do a table readng of my new play Rattlers on Sunday Nov 18th. The ensemble members took turns reading the roles and we all had a great time. I don't think anyone had read the script in advance (maybe Gus had) so it was great to see what everyone thought about how the story unfolded. There are clearly some tweaks to be made, but I think overall the script is pretty solid.

That is probably more than you are interested in knowing about how things went, so I will stop there. I got to see Chuck Mee's Queens Boulevard while my parents were in town and will try to blog about that soon.

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