I am very happy to say that my seminal work, “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room,” is being produced by Elite Theatre Company of Oxnard, CA as part of their 2018 season!
Elite Theatre Company was founded in 1994 and “brings together the local talents of amateurs and professionals who share a passion for theater and who generously volunteer their time on the stage and behind the scenes.” Its complete season “includes 5 main stage productions, youth shows, classes and workshops and special one night only events.” The theatre has focused on promoting and developing new works for over twenty years. At least one of their productions every year is a world premier full-length play, alongside multiple one-acts.
“Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room” will run from August 24 through September 23. I’m very proud to see “Fifteen Men” attain this height after years and years (and years) of developmental work. This is the first “real” play I wrote (“real” being defined as “acceptable for public viewing”) and it has received numerous awards and recognitions. (This includes a staged reading that takes place on January 19, 2018 by Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, MA – come and see it!) In all that time, though, the play has never once been produced… until now.
Thanks very much to Elite Theatre and its Artistic Director, Tom Eubanks!
I have learned with tremendous pleasure that my farce, “Philosophus,” which just received a staged reading in Gaithersburg from Best Medicine Repertory Theatre, is being produced by Alleyway Theatre of Buffalo, New York as part of their 2018-2019 season!
Alleyway Theatre – “western New York’s theatre with a pulse”- is a well-respected theater in downtown Buffalo founded in 1980 by playwright, director, lyricist, and composer Neal Radice. Alleyway has resided since 1983 in “a portion of a former bus terminal building shared by the Buffalo Police Department in the heart of Buffalo’s Theatre District.” It is well-known for proactively seeking and producing new work – at least two full-length world premieres a year – along with a wide array of short plays.
“Philosophus” was the winner for best full-length play of the Maxim Mazumdar Competition. The competition was founded by Alleyway Theatre in memory of actor/playwright Maxim Mazumdar (1953-1988) whose “many contributions to the early growth of the Alleyway were artistically invaluable.” My quirky tragedy “The Beggar of Bethesda” was one of two finalists for the full-length play award in 2016, and it is an honor to be recognized doubly so by Alleyway this time around!
Many thanks to Alleyway Theatre and Neal Radice for this wonderful opportunity!
Yesterday, I trotted on down to Gaithersburg, Maryland to see Best Medicine Rep do a staged reading of my farce “Philosophus” in the Community Room at Lakeforest Mall. The staged reading was directed by veteran director (and rabbi!) Stan Levin and starred Terence Aselford, Terence Heffernan, Deborah Lubega, Rebecca A. Herron, and John Morogiello.
I was extremely impressed with the excellent work from the actors and director, who only rehearsed for the show starting the morning of the reading. It was easily one of the best staged readings of my work that I have ever witnessed. The actors were all wonderfully comedic in their roles and the director made good use of semi-staging to communicate theatricality and farce to the audience.
From left: Evan Morogiello, Terence Aselford, Stan Levin, Rebecca A. Herron, Terence Heffernan, Deborah Lubega, John Morogiello, Colin Speer Crowley
Also, “Philosophus” received two mentions in the local press:
I had the pleasure of speaking recently with John Morogiello, Artistic Director of Best Medicine Rep, about “Philosophus” this past week. I will be doing a short video for the theater, wherein I will answer a few questions about the play. The director of the reading will be Stan Levin. Levin was previously “a documentary film maker for the US Department of Agriculture, field producer for A&E’s Biography of Larry King, and has written and produced radio and TV commercials and government public service announcements.”
The cast is as follows:
VOLTAIRE: Terence Aselford*
COLLINI/DORN: Terry Heffernan
FREYTAG: John Morogiello
FRAU SCHMIDT: Rebecca A. Herron
MADEMOISELLE DENIS: Deborah Lubega
* – Membership in Actors Equity
Looking forward to the show and to the talkback afterwards!!
I learned today that my classical tragedy “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room” has won the Pestoluzzi Prize (for a full-length play) from the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, MA.
This is a special award for me because my tragicomedy “Encore, Encore” won the same award for the 2015 contest (click here to take a little stroll down Memory Lane with me!!!).
This is the first time I’ve won an award twice for the same contest… not too shabby!
“Firehouse” did a magnificent job performing “Encore, Encore” back in 2015 – wonderful actors, wonderful director (Anne Easter Smith) – so I’m looking forward to their newest incarnation of “Fifteen Men.” It is truly a wonderful theater, carved out of an old firehouse – hence, the name – an incredibly professional organization. Everyone was very pleasant to me when I attended their new play festival last time.
The festival itself – entitled “The Long and the Short of It” – showcases one full-length play, one one-act play, and a number of shorter plays. It takes place over two weekends in January, 2018. This is the thirteenth year of the festival, which, in its history, has premiered over 160 plays. Last year, the festival featured 43 actors, 17 directors, and 16 playwrights – a wonderful testament to Firehouse’s commitment to new works!
As winner of the Pestoluzzi Prize, “Fifteen Men” will be performed on the opening night of the festival – Friday, January 19, 2018… so mark your calendars!
I am extremely pleased to report that my classical tragedy “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room” has been announced as winning second place in an inaugural new play competition sponsored by Floyd Community Theatre Guild of Floyd, Virginia.
Floyd Community Theatre “aims to engage, inspire and entertain audiences with theatrical productions that challenge the thinking or open minds of those involved.” They also “provide educational programs in theatrical arts that promote learning to a diverse community while encouraging through the entire process” – a very important contribution. They have a wonderful and extremely active Facebook page.
playwriting competition was their first-ever contest. My play was in the top 10% of scripts and one of five finalists. I am very grateful to Floyd Community Theatre for their consideration and wish them the best of luck. Community theaters are the future of American theater and they are making an important contribution. It’s especially rare for a community theatre to sponsor a new play contest – so kudos to them!