“Fifteen Men” a semi-finalist

I learned today that my play “Fifteen Men In A Smoke-Filled Room” is a semi-finalist in a new play contest sponsored by Silverthorne Theater Company. The theater received 425 submissions and my play was one of the top 40 chosen by the play-reading committee. The readers “found the characters and dialogue (of the play) compelling.”

Silverthorne Theater CompanyI am grateful to Silverthorne for their consideration and wish them the best of luck with the rest of their season!

Enter “Shadows of Men”

I am pleased to announce that I have recently finished a new play – “Shadows of Men.”

I have been working on this play for the past 7 months or so. I have long meant to write a play about this particular incident in history because it touches a theme deep in my intellectual heart. The play itself is a story about the dignity of the individual and the survival of human friendship and loyalty across the abstractions of man-made ideologies.

In terms of plot, “Shadows of Men” is a two-hour historical drama about the search by novelist John Dos Passos for his dear friend, José Robles, who mysteriously disappeared during the struggles and turmoil of the Spanish Civil War. This obsessive search ends up isolating Dos Passos from many of his literary colleagues – especially the blustery Ernest Hemingway – who believe that Dos Passos’s focus on friendship is rather pedestrian when the survival of “democracy” is at stake. As Dos Passos investigates his friend’s fate, however, he gradually begins to understand the madness swirling around him, exposing a murky, cold, often heartless world where human beings are subservient to the abstractions for which they fight.

Ernest Hemingway and Others in SpainYou can read a synopsis of the play here and a sample here!

Great show at the Firehouse!!

I want to extend my sincere congratulations to Anne Easter Smith and the wonderful cast she got together for the staged reading of “Encore, Encore” last night! The cast was superb and Anne incorporated many theatrical elements in the performance that are typically lacking for staged readings – including lights, sound effects, and stage action. The play was very much brought alive by Anne’s ingenuity and the excellent work by the cast – especially Gina Colombo. Gina was a fabulous Dorothy, balancing the sweet with the sour, and Michael Johnson brought great feeling and depth to the role of Eddie.

I would also like to thank the audience members who attended the performance (we almost had a full house of 200 people). The Firehouse Center for the Arts draws from a supportive and talented community of actors and artists, which adds a special level of professionalism to their theatrical work. The audience was clearly engaged in the show and the post-show feedback was rich and insightful, clearly coming from an audience with a knowledgeable perspective of the theater. The members of the Firehouse itself were also extremely welcoming and kind.

EE FirehouseA special thank you to director Anne Easter Smith and Firehouse Artistic Director Kimm Wilkinson for their warm support!

Next up… the Y.E.S. Festival!

New Works Festival opens

The New Works Festival at the Firehouse Center for the Arts opens tomorrow with my play “Encore, Encore!”You can check out the following press releases for more information:

The Firehouse Center for the Arts opens its 13th annual New Works Festival, which runs for two weekends — Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23 and 24, and Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30 and 31. All shows start at 8 p.m.

“Providing insight on the play-writing process from conception to presentation, this festival allows us to share with the community a rare and special look at the abundant talent that surrounds us,” according to the Firehouse.

This time around 191 plays were submitted from all over New England and were judged by an independent panel of theater professionals in blind readings.

Come and check out the festival!

Article about “Encore, Encore”

I was interviewed the other day by Ann Reily, Editor-in-Chief of Newburyport Magazine, for the staged reading of “Encore, Encore.” Ann “grew up in Amesbury and has more than 13 years of experience as an editor and reporter.” She interviewed the director of “Encore, Encore” (Anne Easter Smith) a few days before she interviewed me. Ann Reily wrote her article for the local Newburyport News.

“Encore, Encore” is the opening play of the New Works Festival at the Firehouse Center for the Arts. The cast includes Gina Colombo, Tim Gurczak, Sanford Farrier, Eliot Johnston, James Manclark, Julie McConchie, and Michael Johnson. Many thanks to Jim Vaiknoras for the rehearsal photo below.

Encore Encore RehearsalYou can check out the article here!

NKU announces Y.E.S. winners

Northern Kentucky University has put out a press release announcing the three winners of their 2015 contest. There are also some other press releases about the festival from publications in the Cincinnati area. Northern Kentucky University is located within greater Cincinnati and attracts attention in the nearby theatrical community.

Check out the articles below!

NKU Announces Three World Premieres for Y.E.S. Festival

Here’s the Lineup for this Year’s Y.E.S. Play Series at NKU

NKU Announces 2015 Y.E.S. Festival

Great first rehearsal

I was very fortunate to be able to make it up to Newbury, MA to attend the first rehearsal for the staged reading of my play “Encore, Encore” at the Firehouse Center for the Arts. The rehearsal took place in a small black box theater owned by noted playwright Steve Faria (thanks, Steve!). I met almost all the cast members for the play. I was very impressed with everyone and thoroughly enjoyed hearing them read the script out loud. Actress Gina Colombo will make a wonderful Dorothy Parker.

I also took the opportunity to walk around nearby Newburyport, where the Firehouse Center is located. Newburyport is a beautiful, quaint New England town – a cross between Cape Cod, MA and Newport, RI – with brick sidewalks and buildings from the 18th century.

Among other things, I came across the Firehouse itself and the New Works Festival poster in their window (can you find my name?):

PosterFirehouseAdded to that, I also took some other pictures of the town:

Newburyport 2Newburyport 3Newburyport 1

Get your tickets now!

Tickets for the staged reading of my play “Encore Encore” are available on the website of the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, MA. Event-goers can purchase a pass to all four days of the festival for $40 or a ticket to an individual evening of entertainment for $15.

“Encore Encore” won the Pestalozzi Price for full-length play and is the only full length play being featured in the festival. My work opens the festival at 8pm on Friday, January 23, 2015.

Firehouse AdTickets are available for purchase here.

Y.E.S showtimes announced

The final schedule of performances for the 2015 Y.E.S. Festival of New American Plays has been announced.

I’m happy to say that my play “Encore Encore” will be opening the festival on Thursday, April 16 at 8pm.

Additional performances are as follows:

  • Saturday, April 18th at 1pm
  • Monday, April 20th at 8pm
  • Thursday, April 23rd at 8pm
  • Saturday, April 25th at 8pm

The director of the play will be the very talented Ed Cohen. More information about Ed is available here. I have already had the pleasure of speaking with him at some length about “Encore Encore” and look forward to working with him further.