“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.

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

Back to the Firehouse!

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 Logo

“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!


“Fifteen Men” recognized

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 Playwriting Competition

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!

Thank you, Floyd Community Theatre Guild!

“Fifteen Men” a finalist

I’m very proud to announce that my play “Fifteen Men in A Smoke-Filled Room” was a finalist in the HRC Theatre New Playwriting Competition.

HRC Showcase

HRC Theatre Showcase is the “premier theater company of the Hudson River Valley.” It is based in Hudson, New York and was founded in 1991 by a group of dedicated theater artists (although the current name came later). The organization has always centered its mission around “the development of new plays and the presentation of classics.” Its new play contest was premiered in 1993 and currently garners upwards of 160 entries per year.

I am very, very honored to have “Fifteen Men” honored as a finalist in this year’s contest. My work was one of 14 plays (out of 130 submissions this year) to be so honored.

I have been invited to re-submit the work next year and will revise the play in preparation for that. It remains one of my personally best-loved and most sentimental plays.

Thanks to Elitch Gardens!

What a sublime pleasure it was to attend the staged reading yesterday of my long-lasting play “Fifteen Men In A Smoke-Filled Room!” I arrived in Denver on Friday evening and attended the reading that night. I also had the opportunity to explore the fascinating city of Denver and its surrounding suburbs.

On my travels, I took this picture of the beautiful Historic Elitch Gardens Theater, nestled snugly between luxury condos in the wonderful West Highlands area of Denver:

Elitch ColinAnd look what I found posted on one of the front doors:

Eitch PosterAnd, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, what a lovely program:

Elitch ProgramThe play was directed by the lovely Bev Newcomb-Madden, who I had the great joy of meeting in person on the night of the show. (Bev and I had previously talked over the phone about the play.) Bev managed to find a great cast for the reading. I was extremely impressed with the performance of the actors and actresses in what is actually a dense, difficult play to perform. The actors brought tremendous power to their roles – especially the two female characters.

Thanks again to festival producer Gavin Mayer for his leadership and the wonderful opportunity to have my play performed!

I wish the best of luck to the Historic Elitch Gardens Theater as it continues its renovations over the succeeding years!

Great articles about Elitch!

There are some great articles and news pieces that have been published in the Denver area about the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre and their New Works Festival.

You can also go here to see some pictures from the first day of the festival!

Colorado, here I come!!

Live theatre back at Elitch!

My play “Fifteen Men In A Smoke-Filled Room” is being given a staged reading this upcoming weekend at Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre in Denver as part of their New Works Festival!

The festival will mark the long-awaited and much-desired return of live theater to a respected theatrical landmark after decades and decades of undeserved and undesired retirement.

Check out this great article about the New Works Festival for more information!

“The New Works Festival will be held from Aug. 20-22, and it will mark the long-awaited return of live theatre to the actual Elitch Theatre stage. The goal of the festival is to discover strong stories and foster them from the beginning stages to an eventual mainstage production. The top two productions as chosen by audiences and an invited selection committee will continue to be workshopped. In the third year of the festival, one work will be presented as a fully produced world premiere as part of the Elitch Theatre’s 2017 season programming.”

See you there!

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!