Jefe's House

Tag: amherst college

The Changing Light at Sandover

by on Apr.12, 2015, under The Press, Theatre

newyorker-logoAwesome timing from this week’s New Yorker, a review of a new biography of James Merrill by Langdon Hammer.   Merrill’s a major influence to the point that I’ve often made mention of him in my Boneyards and Beautiful Zion playbills and many times here on my blog in reference to those shows. I got a good look at his homemade Ouija board when I was a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College back in 2001 (it’s in the college library’s archive) and I urge all poetry fans or supernatural fans to settle into his epic poem The Changing Light at Sandover sometime.

James Merrill’s Supernatural Epic

A trust fund, a Ouija board, and an unprecedented poem

merrill

 

by Dan Chiasson

“…And Ouija boards: Merrill made the most ambitious American poem of the past fifty years, seventeen thousand lines long, in consultation with one. The result, “The Changing Light at Sandover,” was a homemade cosmology as dense as Blake’s…”  FULL ARTICLE HERE

 

 

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The Great Age reading on 7/12/12 @7pm in Philadelphia

by on Jul.02, 2012, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

The Belle of Amherst

Judge Lord

I’m thrilled to invite you to Philadelphia’s first public reading of my unproduced play The Great Age, a racy romantic  comedy — about Emily Dickinson.  Set in Amherst, MA, the play is a time-jumping, supernatural romp about Amherst College undergrad Leah, an Emily-obsessed young writer and idealistic Wiccan who’s having an affair with her married English professor, Michael.

When she and her classmate Ashiq, a young Saudi prince, steal Emily’s famed white dress from the Dickinson Homestead and hold a seance to contact Emily’s ghost they they stir up a heap of multidimensional trouble and incur the wrath of junior English department faculty, Mary Beth.

Mabel Loomis Todd

The reading of this work-in-progress is connected to my current PDC @Plays & Players Artists Residency.  It’s directed by the amazing Mark Kennedy and features an incredible cast including–

Austin Dickinson

Laurel Hostak, outgoing president of the Drexel University Players, as the brazen young Leah

Anthony Adair as Leah’s friend Ashiq

Kaki Burns, most recently seen in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties at Plays & Players, as Emily Dickinson

David Todd

Kevin Bergen as Emily’s randy brother Austin Dickinson

Mike Hagan is Emily’s long-distance lover Judge Otis Lord

Bethany Ditnes as 19th century social climber and Dickinson family groupie Mabel Loomis Todd

Eric Wunsch, last seen as Dadaism founder Tristan Tzara in Travesties, as Mabel’s swinging husband Prof. David Todd

Sarah Schol as the frustrated and desperate-to-land-a-husband-before-she-gets-any-older Prof. Mary Beth Hodder

Tina Brock, artistic director of Philadlphia’s premiere absurdist theatre the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium (They Bring Good Nothingness to Life) in a variety of madcap roles.

Don’t miss it! Q&A of this work-in-progress afterward with myself, the director, and much of the cast.

WHEN:  Thursday, July 12 @7:00pm

WHERE:  the 1st floor main stage of Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA

COST: FREE

See you there.

[images via poetryfoundation.org and massreports.com]

 

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Take the Leap on 3/27

by on Mar.15, 2012, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Turning 30 is enough to drive you crazy.

At the intersection of sex and religion a frantic hipster and his goldfish take the ultimate leap of faith.

Please join me on Tuesday, 3/27/12 at 7pm at Plays & Players Theatre in Philadelphia for a reading of my unproduced play UFOs Over Brooklyn presented by the outstanding Drexel Players, Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design‘s student-run theatre company. The reading of this work-in-progress will be followed by a brief Q&A.

The wall-to-wall Drexel cast includes Dana Marcus, James Haro, Laurel Hostak, Rose  Koven, John Turnbach and Emily Kleimo.  Go Dragons, baby.

This is my 3rd play reading in as many months, and is connected to my residency as  one of 3 current PDC@Plays&Players playwrights-in-residence.

This particular play has had so many near-misses for production in New York and so many stellar actors reading the roles in public presentations  it makes my head spin (Naked Angels tuesdays@nine, Urban Stages, The Collective, the now-defunct Lightning Strikes Theatre Company, et al) Over the past several years  it took on a life of its own as a favorite for developmental readings (aka “development hell” in theatre parlance) , and also at Amherst College where an early draft was presented while I was a Copeland Fellow there in 2001.

This marks the first time the play has been presented in Philadelphia, and I welcome your feedback.  It’s a very dark, very sexy romantic comedy about two couples and a UFO suicide cult.   See you there.

WHAT:  UFOs  Over Brooklyn

WHEN:  Tuesday 3/27/12 @7:00pm

WHERE: Plays & Players, 3rd floor Skinner Studio; 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia

COST:  FREE but please RSVP to Dan Student at dstudent@playsandplayers.org .

 

 


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