Spooky Oasis

Today is Halloween and to celebrate all things spooky, I wanted to share this script of mine that was recently featured at an evening of live radio theatre!

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It’s a genre I’ve absolutely fallen in love with over the past couple of years, thanks no doubt to local groups such as the Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society and Conundrum Collective. Between them and some others, I try to lap up as much radio drama as possible and taking note of the technique’s specific to the format has posed an exciting challenge to say the least. One’s dialogue, for instance, has to be as specific as possible so as to accurately convey the scene your writing. Remember, there are no visuals! So if it being “sunny outside” is integral to the story, then make sure you have a character say something about the sun. It’s things like that that can trip you up and as I listen to my first recorded script, I realize I could have done a better job with…

Anyways, give a listen here! The Oasis starts at around the 14:00 minute mark.

Listening to this, I certainly took my notes for revisions, etc. but all that aside, I was just giddy listening to Small Fish Radio Theatre’s adaptation of The Oasis. Performed as one piece in a larger narrative, the story tells of a post-apocalyptic world where the inhabitants of a small desert outpost struggle to survive dehydration, marauding raiders and the fact that the sun’s rays are literally getting hotter and hotter by the minute. It’s an idea that’s gone through several revisions in my brain (first coming to mind as a stage play in the winter of 2016 and now finally, a realized radio play).

Now I can’t wait to churn out all the ideas I’ve got and see who’s willing to produce them. That goes for myself too. Radio drama has been seeing a bit of a renaissance lately thanks to the popularity of podcasts and I’d love to take a crack at something longer than 10 minutes. Whole serials! Half hour programming! Advertising!

OK, slow down than there cowboy. First write another and take it from there.

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The Year of Women and Frankensteins

Well, it’s October again and just as with the past two Halloween seasons, my play Frankenstein lives again!

This time around, the show is being produced by River Company, a troupe who not only knows how to stage plays, but also design one really stellar Franken-bird.

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The genesis of the project started with a dear colleague of mine, Allison Eddyblouin (as seen in Heartwood’s Our Town), approaching me about production. What caught her eye about my adaptation, was the central focus of the Elizabeth character, and how well it would fit into the season theme of “Year of Women”. Not to mention, it happens to be 200 years since Mary Shelley published the famous tale. With all that, I’m happy and honored that my own version as found yet another incarnation three years running.

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Frankenstein from the Hampstead Stage Co. Dir. by Jay Pastucha. 

Therefore, if you happen to be in coastal Maine this October and are in the mood for a classic spooky tale, featuring a strong female character, I’d highly recommend! Torie DeLisle directs and more info can be found here: http://www.skidompha.org/event/river-company-production-trifles-frankenstein/2018-10-20/

 

“Let’s Play Two!” – William Shakespeare

Lots of news to report since my trek through rural Minnesota playing City Mouse during the summer… in July… now it’s October… and most definitely fall!

So what change does the season have in store for me? To start, I’m in two rehearsals for Measure for Measure and Women Beware Women, two Jacobean classics running in rep, presented by Classical Actors Ensemble. Diane Mountford directs the former, more familiar title while Joseph Papke is helming the lesser-known, but no-less dynamic Women, written by Thomas Middleton.

CAEAs for myself, I have the honor and joy to play two wildly contrasting characters – that lying scoundrel, Lucio (Measure) and the hapless, rebellious young lover Leantio (in Women). They’re both so rich in motivations and relationships with others, that I’m really relishing the chance to sink my teeth into ‘em.

Measure for Measure, for instance, has long been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays ever since I performed the famous Claudio/Isabella scene in college. While traditionally listed among the comedies, the show is now more thought of as a “problem” play. For while it may end in (several) marriages, those unions stand in hard contrast to the overwhelming themes of sexual politics, abuse of powers and the general moral degradation of a society.

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Nonetheless, there is hilarity that ensues, mostly around a group of bawds, punks and mistresses –  a group to whom Lucio counts himself among. Often described as a rogue and a scoundrel, he’s always quick with a sexual pun and never shy to boast of his conquests. However, there is a heart of gold under that scurvy disposition, and we see this more noble side when he’s working to free his buddy, Claudio, from the misguided chains of imprisonment. I know, I know, still pretty heavy… but I promise it’s a good blend of both comedy and drama. You know, like a dark comedy.

But I get it. If this holiday season you’re looking for something a little more dark and twisted then Women Beware Women is the show for you. I play a young, lowly Florentine named Leantio who’s fallen in love with a rich Venetian girl named Bianca. Naturally, I steal her away to Florence and promptly lock her up in a tower so no other man may ever look upon her.

Just when you think it’s going right.

What follows then is a story about the perils of sexual abuse, power and good ol’ fashioned revenge killings. Aaahhh, there’s the tragedy we were looking for in Measure!

Q: Sounds good. But it’s not Shakespeare?
A: Nope. Believe it or not, but Shakespeare wasn’t the only guy writing plays back then. Just like in our own world, there were lots of playwrights churning out work. Thomas Middleton happens to be one of the few who remains popular into our 21st century.
Q: But not as popular as Shakespeare, right?
A: I mean, no… but he sounds a lot like Shakespeare and he’s pretty good in his own right!

So there you have it folks. Measure for Measure and Women Beware Women coming soon, featuring some super talented women and men in both casts. Full information can be found below, as well as at classicalactorsensemble.org.

Classical Actors Ensemble presents

Women Beware Women
by Thomas Middleton
directed by Joseph Papke

and

Measure For Measure
by William Shakespeare
directed by Diane Mountford

Playing in alternating repertory
November 30 – December 23, 2018

7:30pm Thursdays – Saturdays, and 2:00pm Sundays
Pay-What-You-Can Performances on
Mondays, December 10th & 17

Performing at the Gremlin Theater
550 Vandalia Street, St. Paul, MN 55114

Tickets: $18 – 42

Featuring
Tom Conry*
Timothy Daly*
Samantha Fairchild
Lolly Foy*
Eva Gemlo
Jackson Gray
Vincent Hannam
Jacob Hooper
Hugh Kirsch
Charles Numrich
Samantha V. Papke*
Tristen Sima
Tyler Stamm
Daniel Kristian Vopava*
Madeline Wall
Joe Wiener*

Tech/Design work from
Chava Curland
Lolly Foy*
André Johnson Jr*
Kaija Pellinen
Dietrich Poppen*
David P. Schneider
Miranda Shunkwiler*

* denotes CAE Core Artist