Today, Texas Nonprofit Theatres announced that my play “Philosophus” is one of three plays chosen to be produced as part of the 2018 6th Biennial TNT POP New Play Project!
Not only that, but I got myself a nifty little mention:
Many thanks to Texas Nonprofit Theatres for this great honor!
I’m happy to say that my drama “The Beggar of Bethesda” was a semi-finalist in a new play contest sponsored by Garry Marshall Theatre of Burbank, CA!
The Garry Marshall Theatre was founded in 1997 by noted director Garry Marshall and was renamed in his honor in 2017. It is “a nonprofit organization providing innovative performances, educational opportunities, and storytelling activities for all ages, year-round”… “located in the heart of Burbank and Toluca Lake’s entertainment industry.”
“The Beggar of Bethesda” has been a finalist in two other contests, as well.
Many thanks to Garry Marshall Theatre for the consideration!
I am extremely honored to report that my historical farce, “Philosophus,” is a winner in the 2018 6th Biennial TNT POPS New Play Project!
Texas Nonprofit Theatres (ie: “TNT”) “was formed in 1971 to encourage programmatic and managerial excellence in the nonprofit community and professional theatres of Texas.”
Its purpose is to:
- to promote high standards in theatre arts
- to continue to provide professional training and development for individuals involved in theatre
- to promote the development of educational theatre
- to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas by persons engaged in theatre
- to aid and encourage the formation of new theatre groups and support established theatre organizations
- to provide information and advocacy for the needs of theatres in Texas within the limits of the law
Every two yeas, for the past 12 years, Texas Nonprofit Theatres has sponsored a biennial new play festival. They accept 100 scripts from writers throughout the United States and conduct three stages of readings by a number of theatre professionals. In fact, two of my plays – the historical drama “Shadows of Men” (2016) and the tragicomedy “Encore, Encore” (2014) – were prior finalists in this contest.
“Philosophus” is one of only three plays that will be produced by member theatres of Texas Nonprofit Theatres. In my case, the producing theater is Henderson County Performing Arts Center (more on them later!) located in Athens, Texas.
Thank you so much to Texas Nonprofit Thetaers for their (years) of trust and also to Henderson County Performing Arts! I look forward to working with both groups and attending the opening night of “Philosophus!”
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
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:
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!
I came across a great article today about Firehouse’s new works festival that highlights my play “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room.”
“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!
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”
“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:
From left to right Doug Brendel, Charlie Van Eman, and Ashley Risteen
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….!!! … … …
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.
“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!
Elite Theatre Company has officially posted my play “Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room” as part of their 2018 season.
Check out their website for a nice little description of the play and an early sampling of some artwork.