Friday, October 30, 2009

happy halloween

It's Spitfire's favorite holiday of the year, so we'll be out in the woods handing out Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to the intrepid little witches, ghosts and princesses marching across the lawn.

Great post on the NYITA blog by Shay on Community Boards, check it out:

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Woke up thinking about courage this morning, for some reason.

And I'm thinking of all of the incredibly brave actors I've been able to work with over the years. It's the old definition, being brave doesn't mean not being scared, it means being terrified and yet you keep going.

And I think of the courage of some writers, those willing to lay it out on the stage.

And yes, there are even some brave producers out there, not enough, but some. Those willing to take a chance on a new voice or follow some director on a dark dreamquest clear, at first, only to the dreamer.

It's no fun to be afraid, but sometimes that's the only way you know you're doing something new, I guess.

So let's all go out there and spook ourselves good, what do you say?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

back in the saddle

Home from the road. Spent some time in St. Louis, Memphis and a memorable night in Corinth, Mississippi where I saw a proclamation proclaiming Jefferson Davis as an American Patriot.

Yes. A different land down there, indeed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

going dark

I'm off for a little vacation, back on the 27th.

Gobspeed and good hunting to all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

hello, I must be going

Quick post today, got Jekyll to polish and a bus to catch.

Heard from a guy in Israel who wants to translate The Event.

Scrappy Jack in the Holy Land.

Now that's a movie I'd watch.

Dallas Taylor is lurking in the doorway, but if you look close it could be Michael Jackson, so Rose wins again.

Monday, October 19, 2009

first draft

Stunning autumn day out here in the Poconos, where I'm holed up finishing the first draft of the Jekyll and Hyde piece. Trees are a riot of color standing swaying in front of a deep blue sky.

Saw a black bear the other day. We were in the car and it was at least thirty yards away, just loping through the woods, heading away from us, but man, that gets the old primate brain cooking. We stopped the car and just sat there hooting, watching the beast shamble away.

Busy week ahead, Philly tomorrow, home Wednesday and then out to St. Louis and down to Memphis for a few days on family business. Nice to be on the road again.

Here's a MMMQ for all the hippies and hippies at heart.

I was looking at the cover of the eponymous Crosby, Stills and Nash album. The boys are sitting on the old couch on the front porch, staring into the camera all scruffy and brilliant. But whose that ghostly figure on the back cover, looking through the door?

Is it:

1. Paul Kantner

2. Dallas Taylor

3. Neil Young


4. Jim Gordon?

Winners get a ride on the Marrakesh Express, losers are a long time gone.

Friday, October 16, 2009

huge kudos and a great show

Ruth, Paul, Jen and Phil, take a bow.

Yesterday was the launch of Free Night here in Rat City and the whole magilla was scheduled for Union Square, with booths, installations, a big stage, you name it.

And then the weather rolled in.

These guys scrambled and scraped like the theater pros they are, somehow got the number for the owner of Union Square Theater and moved the whole thing inside, losing only about a half hour in the day's entire schedule.

It was beautiful, with words from Oskar Eustis, Lisa Kron, Mark Russell, Michael McKean, Susan Louise O'Connor and many others, performances by the Neo-Futurists, the TEAM and the extraordinary Cynthia Hopkins, all MC'd by the indefatigable Robert Zukermann.

Quite a show.

Last night I caught Laika Dog in Space, the Neo-Futurists full-length over at the Ontological-Hysteric.

My god, go see this show. Funny, truthful, about something, very silly, great music, honest and they serve piping hot borscht at the end.

Best thing I've seen in quite some time.

Bundle up out there and have a great weekend all.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

change of venue

Ignore previous post.

Just heard that the Free Night event has moved into the Union Square Theater, 100 E. 17th Street.

Nasty out there.

rain or shine

But in this case, rain.

Back in Rat City for the day, this Free Night Union Square launch event is on, baby.

Grab your parka and join us in the park.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

working man

Back down on the farm this week, working in the noon day sun, trying to harvest a show. Crop looks good, we just have to bring it in.

Phillies won last night, so lots of random shouting and irrational happiness all about. This town loves their team.

Rose wins the MMMQ because Rose always wins, but technically the correct answer is Washington, D. C. ("Sail on for the people of Washington, D.C.".)

But Rosie gets her sailing shoes and the forecast is fine sailing ahead.

Monday, October 12, 2009

free night's coming

Big doings on Thursday, MMMQ at end of post:

Where: South Plaza of Union Square
When: October 15 – noon to 6pm

Come celebrate and explore Off and Off Off Broadway theater!

Join hundreds of NYC artists, theater companies and service organizations
in a festive celebration with FREE performances, including;

Kate D. Levin, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, proclaiming that October 15th is, by mayoral decree, “Free Night of Theater Day”,

special musical guests, celebrities, booths, “Fame” flash mob with over 50 dancers,

children’s theater, NYC's top sleight of hand artists, con men & mentalists, makeup artists,

clowns of all shapes & sizes (and ratings), the Ice Capades on roller skates, a dog in space and

a fashion show extravaganza with famous costumes from TDF's special collection MCed by Joey Arias!

Plus Thoughts on the Theater from

Eric Bogosian,

Kathleen Chalfant,

Mike Daisey,

Kamilah Forbes,

Oskar Eustis,

Lisa Kron,

Judith Malina,

Michael McKean,

Scott Morfee,

Susan Louise O'Connor,

Robert Zukerman,

Dean Moss impersonating Vallejo Gantner

and Mark Russell (as himself)

To see the full schedule of events, companies and artists visit

In honor of Columbus Day, our MMMQ examines the great double live album Waiting for Columbus and asks in which U.S. city did Little Feat record part of the record?

Was it:

1. Atlanta

2. New Orleans

3. Washington, D.C.


4. Cleveland

Winners get their own Sailin' Shoes, losers go home with the Apolitical Blues.

Friday, October 09, 2009

up for air

I write to you from the lovely home of Liz and Tony Hostetter, fine folks and theater professionals who are putting me up while we thrash around devising a new take on Jekyll and Hyde.

Doing a lot of group movement work and beginning to drop in a little text. Focusing on decay, transformation and shamelessness. An incredibly game group of actors.

President Obama won the Nobel Prize this morning. Also Teen Beat's "Hunkiest World Leader", which can only deepen the rift betweeen him and Chavez.

Crazy world out there, be careful and have a great weekend all.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

riding the dragon

Doing my Chinatown bus routine again. Just back from Philly where we scoped out the performance space for the Jekyll and Hyde piece I'm writing for Rowan University. Just a big-ass room in the Art Department building, no fixed seating, no grid.

Which means we can get all creative on it.

Touring the whole building we found some other cool spaces, so we're playing with a promenade idea now, take the audience around to different spaces, etc.

It will all change four more times before we open of course, but that's the tip for now.

Ann and Rose win again. Ann because she has the correct answer and Rose because good non sequitors need to be rewarded in this world.

Well done, ladies.

Monday, October 05, 2009

imposters and illusion

Went to an amazing roundtable discussion at The Philoctetes Center over the weekend put together by Mark Mitton. The focus was Laney Salisbury's book Provenance, about one of the greatest art forgery scams in the history of art forgery scams. But Mark also had a government criminal financial investigator up there and Mark himself is a world-renowned magician, so the conversation turned to the psychology and mechanics of the conman, something I always think about when I'm teaching acting or watching a show.

I always tell students that the audience already wants to believe, so the less effort you put into pretending, the happier they are. It's like when you walk into a store already intending to buy a shirt and the salesman starts pissing you off by trying to sell you a suit. And sometimes you wind up walking out of the store without the shirt just to get away from the guy.

Our MMMQ keeps to the theme:

What does Roy Orbison not use in his song Casting My Spell on You?

1. A black cat

2. A cave bat

3. A green snake

4. A dog's jaw

Thursday, October 01, 2009

helping hand

This from Crain's:

Artists in the five boroughs could gain access to new exhibition and performance space and receive entrepreneurial training as part of a series of five initiatives city officials unveiled Wednesday to bolster the cultural sector in the five boroughs.

The new programs will give visual artists a chance to display their work in various city-owned properties, including the Brooklyn Army Terminal and St. George Ferry Terminal; provide free outdoor performance space in the city's parks; train 50 out-of-work entrepreneurial professionals to apply their skill sets to the nonprofit cultural world; help artists develop business plans and provide them with low-cost studio space; and provide $25,000 grants to each of two neighborhood “arts clusters” to help organizations draw audiences.

The announcement came as Crain's held its Future of New York conference on the arts
industry, examining how dwindling attendance and donations have challenged the sector
during the financial crisis.

Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris said at the conference that in addition to the $5.8 billion in economic activity generated by the arts, another $5.4 billion comes from arts-motivated tourism. Half of the visitors to the city last year came for an arts-related activity.

“These initiatives will support our vital nonprofit cultural sector in these difficult economic times,” said Kate Levin, the city's cultural affairs commissioner, in a statement. “They will also provide new opportunities for the city's artists, whose creativity and innovation serve audiences from across
the five boroughs and around the world.”

Officials said the city's 1,400 nonprofit cultural groups employ 40,000 people and generate more than $5.8 billion in annual economic impact through direct spending.

The initiatives announced Wednesday are the latest in a series of moves by the city's Economic Development Corp. to support specific sectors of the city economy during the downturn, with many of the programs focused on entrepreneurialism. Other sectors where programs have been launched include media, fashion and financial services.