Cast for “Fifteen Men”

The Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre has announced the cast for the upcoming staged reading of my play “Fifteen Men In A Smoke-Filled Room.” The play will be read at 6pm on August 22, 2015 at the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre.

The cast is as follows:

  • Warren G. Harding — T. David Rutherford
  • Florence Kling Harding — Alex Ryer
  • Nan Britton — Maggie Sczekan
  • Harry M. Daugherty — Mark Rubald
  • Ensemble Man — Gregory Price

A special thanks to the Dramatists Play Service, who are helping to sponsor the event!

Dramatists Play ServiceYou can read the full announcement here!

Article about Elitch

An article came out today in a local Denver newspaper about the New Works Festival sponsored by the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre. The New Works Festival will mark the return of live theater to the beautiful building that has housed so much theatrical history.

Elitch InteriorThe following six plays will be read during the festival:

  • “The Consul, The Tramp and America’s Sweetheart” by John Morogiello; directed by Jennifer McCray Rincon
  • “The Mess of Us” by Moss Kaplan and Greg Ungar; directed by Kate Marie Folkins
  • “A Good Indian” by Steven Cole Hughes; directed by Pat Payne
  • “In the Closet” by Siegmund Fuchs; directed by Robert Brown
  • “Fifteen Men in a Smoke Filled Room” by Colin Speer Crowley; directed by Bev Newcomb-Madden
  • “Lady” by Tim Nevits; directed by Robert Michael Sanders

Bev Newcomb-Madden will direct my play; she is a veteran director in Colorado who has directed the most plays of any other woman in Colorado history.

You can check out the remainder of the article here!

“Encore, Encore” (literally!)

My play “Encore, Encore” has just been announced as the winner of the Inkslinger Playwriting Competition. The competition is sponsored by Southeastern Louisiana University of Hammond, Louisiana.

SLUSoutheastern Louisiana University is “the state’s third-largest public university, boasting more than 15,600 students and more than 60 degree programs.” The organization attained university status in 1970 and was the fast-growing college in the United States in the 1990′s. SLU (as it is called) consists of five colleges with 26 academic departments and programs offering a total of 71 degree programs (4 associate degree programs, 48 baccalaureate degree programs, and 19 graduate degree programs)

The Inkslinger Playwriting Competition was founded in 2014 by Associate Professor of Theatre Jim Winter, making “Encore, Encore” the second winner of the festival.

“Encore, Encore” will be given four performances from March 8-March11, 2016 and is already on the calendar of the university’s 2016 theatrical season:

EE Announcement SLUMany thanks to Southeastern Louisiana University for this great honor!!

“Fifteen Men” onstage again

I learned today that my play “Fifteen Men In A Smoke-Filled Room” is one of six winners of a new play contest sponsored by the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre.

Elitch Gardens FestivalThe New Works Festival is the first of its kind sponsored by the Historical Elitch Gardens Theatre and represents the premiere venture of the organization after its 2015 re-launch.

The Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre is nestled in Denver, Colorado and was built in 1890. “The theatre has been described as “one of the cradles of American drama.” The stage has hosted such stars as Grace Kelly, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Cybil Shepard, Vincent Price, and many more. The theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and locally landmarked by the City of Denver in 1995.”

Historic ElitchHistoric Elitch 2Since 1990, the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre has been closed down for a sustained period of renovations, assisted by the Office of Economic Development in Denver and a grant of $425,000. You can see a great story about the theater on local Denver TV here! Elitch Gardens trumpets the New Works Festival as “marking the return of the Elitch Gardens Theatre as a vital component of Denver’s cultural landscape.”

The New Works Festival involved the submission of some 90 theatrical works from playwrights around the United States. The plays were then judged by an esteemed panel of experts, including many local and national theatrical professionals, such as author Christina Crawford, Broadway actress Billie McBride, casting and literary agents, directors, and Elitch Theatre alumni.

The festival will take place from August 20-August 22, 2015, with my play being read at 6pm on Saturday, August 22.

Great job, NKU!

I want to take this opportunity to thank Northern Kentucky University for a great production run of my play “Encore, Encore!” The Y.E.S. Festival ended this evening with a wonderful 5-show run of my play and two other great plays by David L. Williams and Joe Starzyk.

Kudos to Northern Kentucky University for hosting such an expansive and generous new play festival. It’s very rare to find an institution that invests so much in new work and does so much to give playwrights the opportunity to see their work given a full production.

Thanks to Rick Pender

Theater critic Rick Pender (who wrote a nice review of “Encore, Encore” – see here) gave the play another quick nod before its close this Saturday.

“If you’re into works that are hot off the press, you have this weekend to still catch productions at Northern Kentucky University’s Y.E.S. Festival, onstage through Sunday. The best of them is Colin Speers Crowley’s Encore, Encore, making its final performances on Saturday at 8 p.m. It’s about the caustic drama critic Dorothy Parker and her sad, failed marriage; well-written and sparklingly performed by a student cast, directed by Ed Cohen.”

Many thanks to Mr. Pender for his support!

Review #2 of “Encore, Encore”

I’m pleased to say that “Encore, Encore” was reviewed by Rick Pender of the Cincinnati CityBeat. Mr. Pender is Managing Editor of The Sondheim Review and also past chairman of the America Theatre Critics Association. He wrote a very favorable review of the play and gave well-deserved accolades to some of the play’s cast.

You can read a full copy of the review here – but here are some highlights:

“I caught Crowley’s excellent tragicomedy Encore, Encore on Monday evening. Parker was a founding member and initially the only woman in New York City’s legendary Algonquin Round Table, a group of renowned columnists, playwrights and satirists in the 1920s. The play traces her meteoric writing career and her turbulent personal life. We see her become established as the sharp-tongued drama critic for Vanity Fair, and we witness the deterioration of her marriage.

NKU senior Victoria Hawley played the central role in a production directed by veteran guest director Ed Cohen. Crowley’s play, which uses Parker as its narrator as well as its central character, digs deep, providing a portrait of a vulnerable woman who lived her life in the spotlight and never found real happiness.
 
Hawley portrays her from her first confident days at Vanity Fair, through her friendships and relationships with New York’s literary elite. She was known as flippant and brittle, a source of quick-witted, often obscene remarks, and Hawley handles them well — while also conveying Parker’s frustration and vulnerability.

NKU junior Hunter Henrickson rises to the challenge of playing Parker’s husband Eddie. He went off to World War I in France almost immediately after their marriage, returning after two brutal years in the field nursing service, shell-shocked and seriously dependent. Her intervening success became a source of friction and embarrassment between them. Henrickson showed Eddie’s initial, inebriated charm and did a fine job of playing the broken man he became. The show’s other fine performance came from junior Connor Moulton as Parker’s brash writing friend Robert Benchley, a steady source of insouciant foolishness.”

Review #1 of “Encore, Encore”

“Encore, Encore” received a great review the other day from the independent student newspaper of Northern Kentucky University – “The Northerner.”

You can read the full review here – but here are some highlights:

“Dorothy Parker’s quick wit, silver tongue, and harsh criticism made her one of the greatest voices of the early 20th century. Behind her rough exterior, however, lied a tragic, tormented soul that wanted nothing more but to leave behind her home life. This is “Encore, Encore.”

….

Playwright Colin Speer Crowley does a wonderful job of guiding the audience through Parker’s life, touching on the many facets of early 20th century life. It was America’s first taste of war on a global scale, and the toll that combat took on the brave men in The Great War was not brushed aside in “Encore, Encore.”

….

Tonally, “Encore, Encore” goes back and forth, but it never feels confused or rushed. Dorothy is always quick to make a clever retort or double entendre, even in the most dire of situations. There was always an ever-present feeling that beneath the humor, charm, and wit, there were dark feelings and emotions right behind it – as if the terrible situations Dorothy faced had to be masked by her critical persona.

….

The overall plot has a tendency to hop around from time period to time period. At times, it confused me when a certain sequence would occur in the timeline of the entire play, but by the end all of the plot points were honed in and made perfect sense. Characters would cross paths in different periods, making emotional impacts later in the play hit even harder.

….

“Encore, Encore” feels like a great start to NKU’s Y.E.S. Festival, offering both the hilarious and harrowing escapades of one Dorothy Parker.”