“Fifteen Men” got a mention!

As I have mentioned, my play “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room” is being produced this August by Elite Theatre Company of Oxnard, CA. The play runs from August 30-September 31 and will be the world premiere production of the piece after many, many years of staged readings and festival wins (over 10!).

In that regard, the hosts of a new Ventura County theatre podcast recently published their first episode on Soundcloud. In that episode, they praised Elite Theatre and also provided a summary review of the 2018 seasons of eight Ventura theaters, including announcing all the Main Stage shows at Elite.

You can listen to the podcast below:

  • Elite is mentioned starting at 17:35
  • My play is mentioned starting at 19:11

Thanks to the Firehouse!

With great pleasure, I witnessed my play “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room” being presented by the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

“Fifteen Men” won the Pestalozzi Prize:

“The Pestalozzi Prize … is awarded in honor of the now-dissolved, non-profit Pestalozzi Foundation set up by Herman C. Honegger after World War II to create educational opportunities for underprivileged children whose education was disrupted by the conflict in Europe. Later, the children and grandchildren of Mr. Honegger continued to fund children’s education and art projects. The New Works Festval prize is a gift from the Honegger family.”

I have to take my hat off to the wonderful direction of Ellen Dempsey and her great cast of actors and actresses: Charles Van Eman (Warren G. Harding), June Kfoury (Florence Kling Harding), Timothy Kenslea (Harry M. Daugherty), Ashley Risteen (Nan Britton), and Doug Brendel (George Harvey). Charles and Ashley were especially wonderful, showing me the dramatic potential of scenes that have been underperformed in prior readings.

After the show, I engaged in a talkback with the audience, moderated by festival stalwart and author Anne Easter Smith.

Here we are, in all our glory:

Firehouse Talkback

From left-to-right: Anne Easter Smith, yours truly, Ellen Dempsey, Charles Van Eman, Ashley Risteen

Once again, thanks to Firehouse Center for the Arts for a job well done – a truly professional organization!

Great article – check it out

I came across a great article today about Firehouse’s new works festival that highlights my play “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room.”

2018 takes the stage: 16th annual New Works Festival celebrates New England playwrights

“Ellen Dempsey is the director of the 2018 full-length play “Fifteen Men In A Smoke-Filled Room” written by Colin Spear-Crowley of Westport, CT.

“The play is about Warren G. Harding and is set in 1920 at the Republican Convention,” Dempsey said. “It’s very much based on fact. The author calls it a tragedy and I think that holds true. In a lot of ways nothing has changed in the last 100 years.

“There was a lot of political maneuvering and the intrigue of hiding a political mistress. Did people really know and hide it, or did they not know? Mrs. Harding was a believer in psychics and a psychic told her that her husband would be elected and would die in office, and he did.”

Playwright Spear-Crowley is “a very good writer,” Easter Smith said, “and his stage direction is almost as good as his dialogue. He writes, ‘Don’t underestimate Mrs. Harding. She’s a tank in a bonnet.’”

“The play is political,” Dempsey said, “but it’s a human drama.””

Looking forward to the show tonight!

Firehouse Theatre Billboard

“Fifteen Men” coming up!

Tomorrow, I will be attending the opening night of the Firehouse Center for the Arts new play festival where my play “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room” will be given a staged reading.

A wonderful article was published today in the Newburyport News about the festival, which neatly sums it up and helps to illustrate the collaborative effort it represents.

“Serving up New Works – Fresh plays take the stage for annual festival at Firehouse”

Some excerpts:

“Welcome to New Works, the world of the unexpected, where newness and spontaneity forge communal bonds among writers, directors, players, crews and audiences.

Over four days this weekend and next, 40 actors will perform 17 jury-selected works by New England playwrights at Newburyport’s Firehouse Center for the Arts.

The original plays, selected from around 200 entries, include a full-length on Friday, Jan. 19; six 10-minute shorts on Saturday, Jan. 20; two one-acts on Friday, Jan. 26; and eight shorts on Saturday, Jan. 27.

The article includes this photo from my play:

Fifteen Men Scene - Firehouse

From left to right Doug Brendel, Charlie Van Eman, and Ashley Risteen

A nice little emblem!

Today, Writer’s Digest sent a nice emblem my way in recognition of my play “Whit(e)man” being given an Honorable Mention in their annual writing contest for 2017.

“Whit(e)man” was one of 5,100 works submitted to the contest, with very few rising to the rank of “Honorable Mention” (less than 15%) so I’m very proud of this accomplishment.

In all its glory….!!! … … …

Writers' Digest Award Emblem

Next up… the Firehouse!!

The date for the staged reading of “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room” is fast approaching!

The play will open the festival and be performed on Friday, January 19th at 8pm.

Firehouse Center for the Arts Festival Information

“Fifteen Men” is being directed by Ellen Dempsey and stars Charlie Van Eman, June Kfoury, Doug Brendel, Ashley Risteen, Timothy Kenslea, and Terry Blanchard.

Tickets can be purchased here!

“Fifteen Men being produced!

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

Elite Theatre Company

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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 3.34.39 PM

Thanks very much to Elite Theatre and its Artistic Director, Tom Eubanks!

“Philosophus” at Alleyway!

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 Marquee

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.

Alleyway Theatre

“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!

Philosophus at Alleyway

Many thanks to Alleyway Theatre and Neal Radice for this wonderful opportunity!

More news to come soon!

Thanks to Best Medicine!

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.

Community Room

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.

Philosophus Cast

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:

Many thanks again to Best Medicine Rep and John Morogiello!