Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Not Fair!

The Brits are unfair! Rumor has it that Sarah Ferguson may
be moving to New York. Is there not some hamlet anywhere in the British Isles willing to offer sanctuary to Sarah Palin?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

BCTCO Playwriting Competition

I've just been elected to the board of a theatre company. With the thought of actually contributing something, at the first meeting I suggested they start a playwriting competition. They liked the idea. Here 'tis.

BCTCO Playwriting Competition

Bread & Circus Theatre Company (BCTCO) is pleased to announce its first ever playwriting competition. From submitted manuscripts, the theatre will produce an original play in August, 2010

This competition is open to all playwrights.

Only full-length plays will be accepted, submitted in standard script format.

Scripts may be submitted via e-mail to or by mailing a hard copy to:

188 Midcliff Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43213

Entries for the 2010-2011 season must be received by midnight on June 15, 2010. Hard copies submitted will be returned only if accompanied by an SASE with sufficient postage.

The winner will be announced in the July Bread & Circus Newsletter.

There are no fees or other requirements to enter this competition; however, guidelines for entries are the same as for any other play produced at Bread & Circus.

• We are a family oriented theatre. Profanity and nudity are discouraged.

• We have limited stage space, so plays with multiple settings, while not automatically rejected, are not encouraged. We favor plays with simple or one-set requirements.

For further information, contact Bread & Circus Theatre Company at or call 614-470-4895.

Monday, May 10, 2010


The gypsy caravan is calling again. Wanna cross byways of Europe for a month. A few scenes, sad music, dark wine and eyes, going thru motions in silent forests. Horses. Dog. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent ...

Yeah, yeah, you’re undoubtedly going to hear a lot about this in the next few months. But the story so far has been unique in my experiences – so I thought I’d share some observations as I go along …

Some time ago, around Christmas I think, a theatre I frequent announced their 2010-2011 season. I like this little group, gutsy they are – normally their offerings are lesser known works by famous playwrights, and occasionally they throw in a classic – last season it was Shaw, this season Noel Coward, and starting in the Fall, Shakespeare.

I remember hearing me say it. I was talking to the Artistic Director and said,
“Wow! You’re doing Richard the Third? I’ve always wanted to do Richard the Third!”

So now I’m directing Richard the Third. And what’s the moral here? Altogether now:


So in December of 2009 I was contracted to direct R3 in November 2010.

Fine. Eleven months to think and plan.

And worry. What have I done?! This is Shakespeare. Shakespeare! Who in their right mind would trust me with arguably the greatest playwright who ever lived? I had (and have) visions of the British cutting off diplomatic relations, and blockading harbors, and unmanned aircraft being aimed at the theatre, and Sean Connery telling me he saw the show and was shaken but not stirred …

And they would be so right. Benny Hill is my inspiration. Ohgodohgodohgodohgod what have I done?

Here was my first hurtle. I was handed the script, and told to cut 45 pages out of it.


“It’s long,” I was told. “Lots of repetition. Lots of references to people nobody cares about. You'll have fun.”

Oh-h-h-h-h …

So I cut 42 pages. I have, after all, some principles. Maybe, with luck, when I die I’ll only be sent to the fifth level of hell …

In April the theatre held unified auditions, meaning they cast not a show, but a season. Out of the 44 characters written into R3, I was able to cast three – all women. Whatever you think of Willie S, he wrote strong women characters. The three actresses I have could eat their male counterparts for lunch.

And that’s where I am at the moment. There’s more – much more. Actors shy away (Ha!) and now I’ve learned that three productions of the same play are going to be produced roughly at the same time in the same city.

Can it get any better than this?


Monday, May 3, 2010

Soft You Now ...

Script Frenzy has ended. They wanted 100 pages in 30 days, they got 104 pages in 28 days. They gave Julie and I a logo saying that we are winners (as opposed to the one that simply concedes that we would be capable of covering a good sized wall with words ..

I have mostly sort of completed casting for the production of RICHARD III that I'm scheduled to direct in the fall. It was a surprise, then, when I stumbled across auditions mentioned on Facebook. Oops - auditions are for another company. I forgot that THREE productions of the play are scheduled to open within weeks of each other. (Who came up with that idea?)

I just finished seeing RENT, and writing reviews for A THOUSAND CLOWNS and I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER. My fingers hurt.

I am unaware of any politicians doing anything profoundly outrageous so far today, resulting in no heavy breathing on my part (and no cause for consternation and/or bemused interest from friends who live in civilized countries.).

Julie is off swatting at the windmill down the street, and the gauntlet Q threw at my feet I will pick up - tomorrow.

For the moment, then, the sun is shining and the weather is balmy warm. I'm going to take my drink, sit in the lawn chair I should have taken in last fall, and just smell the dandelions.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Response

I received this comment on my last post:

balcony39 has left a new comment on your post "Okay. I'm About To Intimidate A Windmill. Again":
As a foreigner, tho' frequent visitor to the USA when I first started to read this I seriously thought the Gov of Arizona had it in for illegal aliens (from Mars etc.) You guys and your politicians are so wacked it seemed utterly feasible. Then I read on and I saw the raw ugly all pervasive face of rising hard right Neo Nazism. Ugly, Ugly, Ugly!!! Think on In Xanadu. Read a bit of history and see how the little stuff, and such a nasty bill is not a small thing, leads to the total erosion of human rights. Good luck!

I thought the observations from balcony 39 deserved more than simply being buried in the comments section of my post.

First of all, I sincerely apologize for the appearance of having “wacked” politicians. The United States of America is a republic, and republics constantly evolve, and sometimes it’s not pretty. If you read our history, you will note that regardless of whatever direction we lurch, eventually – and it could take years – the will of all the people dominates.

To compare the Arizona law to Neo Nazism is to focus on the wrong period of history. (And, respectfully, it’s condescending of you not to look deeper.) Unlike Nazi Germany, this is not a national law, it is a state law, and every civil rights organization in the country is lining up to take a shot at it. They are doing this because they can do this. On the national level, our President has people examining it – closely. Already parts of this law have been revised, and this is before it even goes into effect. This is literally the will of the people in action.

The real problem here is one of attitude. The “aliens” of today are regarded the same way African Americans were regarded in the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. I suspect that earning respect and equality today will be every bit as difficult as it was 60 tears ago.

But you have to start somewhere.