Jefe's House

Tag: boneyards

I did not say “anyways”

by on Jul.21, 2015, under On the Road, Politics, The Press, Theatre

Otherwise the section on Boneyards and me in this National Journal article by Simon Van Zuylen-Wood is accurate except where otherwise noted, which is everywhere. Ever feel icky and used by a fellow writer?

amtrakcapture

LAST YEAR, AMTRAK LAUNCHED an odd initiative called the Amtrak Writer’s Residency. The idea was to send 24 writers wherever they wanted, on a long-distance train, where they would basically stare out the window and type on their computers. The program was bashed by conservatives and lightly mocked on the Internet; yet an astonishing 16,000 people wound up applying. Among the eventual winners were several high-profile media figures, including the writer Jennifer Finney Boylan and the public-radio host Marco Werman.

In mid-March, I met up in D.C. with Jeff Stanley, a 47-year-old Amtrak resident writer who would be taking the Capitol Limited to Chicago, before heading to San Francisco on the California Zephyr. Stanley, who wore an Ed Hardy–style Western shirt, is a playwright, performer, and adjunct professor both at New York University and Drexel University. A fan of all things occult, he staged his latest production in the basement of a South Philadelphia synagogue, where he used a Ouija board and a martini shaker, among other instruments, in an attempt to connect with the dead [see Boneyards].

“Now, supposedly, the old station at Harpers Ferry is haunted,” Stanley tells me, as we approach West Virginia, sitting in his sleeper car. He goes on for a while about a ghost called Screaming Jenny, [Um, no. I spent about 30 minutes between DC and Harpers Ferry explaining to this writer that I had visited Harpers Ferry many times due to my love of history.  I told him that the Capitol Limited runs the route of the former B&O Railroad, and that many times I’ve stood outside the small building that was the Federal arsenal which was seized in 1859 by radical abolitionist John Brown and a group of 20 followers including his son and five African-Americans. They holed up in the arsenal and were thwarted by a detachment of US Marines under the command of a young Robert E. Lee.  In 1865 as the Civil War ended, Storer College opened in Harpers Ferry to educate recently freed slaves.  Years before John Brown’s raid and Storer College, Meriwether Lewis came to Harpers Ferry and waited while a local iron worker created a collapsible canoe according to his specifications. Lewis started out from here in 1803 in a Conestoga wagon following almost the exact same route that is now the very train line we were following. Lewis  met up with Clark near Pittsburgh to continue their journey West.  Talking about the Lewis & Clark expedition got me thinking about Thomas Jefferson who funded it, and I mentioned to the writer that one of the many reasons I admire Jefferson is that whenever a slave in Virginia sued for his freedom Jefferson would represent them pro bono.  All of the above got boiled down by the writer to “but, anyways.”  See below. (continue reading…)

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FINAL BONEYARDS THIS WEEKEND!

by on Jun.14, 2015, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Cara Blouin and the Art Church of West Philadelphia

present
The Body Horror Mini-Fest

as part of the

2015 Philadelphia SoLow Performance Art FestivalAs long as you’re coming to see Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS (6/27, 6/28) why not make a night of it and also check out the rest of the exciting triple bill featuring work by Philadelphia performance artists Joseph Ahmed and Joy Cutler?

at
The Art Church of West Philadelphia
5219 Webster Street (MAP)
Philadelphia, PA

All shows are pay-what-you-can but individual reservations are required for each show, as follows: (continue reading…)

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Voices From the Art Church

by on Jun.06, 2015, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

20150605_135028

The Art Church of West Philadelphia. 5219 Webster Street.

As is always the case for me with a new Boneyards venue, I’ve done a little pre-show ghost reconnaissance. Amazing otherworldly video and transcript below. They’re there and they’re waiting for us.

“Hi folks, Jeff Stanley here … 3 shows coming up on the 19th, 27th and 28th of June.  5219 Webster Street in Philadelphia.

And of course one thing I need to do is see if there’s anyone here with us. And you know what I’m talking about. I have here as usual a P-SB7 Investigational TransCommunication Research Device for listening in on voices of the dead.

I understand this place was built in 1925 and was originally a private residence. It has now been made into a performance space.

250 milliseconds, I’m doing FM, scanning reverse …

Is there anyone out there who’d like to talk to us today?

You might want to go on foot.  (I’m taking this as a hostile spirit telling me to get the hell out but as usual there are multiple competing voices vying to be heard.)

If there’s anyone here who would like to audition and be in the show with me …

No clue.  (presumably no clue what the I’m talking about regarding a show, auditions, and this weird device in my hand).

…you gotta really belt it out.

Not me. (a shy one but three hams are coming up) (continue reading…)

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Murders. Suicides. Embalmings. Divorces. Hauntings. Hilarity ensues.

by on Jun.02, 2015, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Don’t miss my autobiographical stand-up tragedy Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS while it’s at the Art Church of West Philadelphia as part of the 2015 SoLow Fest.

Friday 6/19 @9pm
Saturday 6/27 @9pm
Sunday 6/28 @7pm

Book now.

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Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS Reincarnates in June

by on May.20, 2015, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

solowBONEYARDS will return in 4 weeks in Philly at The Art Church of West Philadelphia as part of the 2015 SoLow Festival. 3 shows –

Friday 6/19 at 9pm

Saturday 6/27 at 9pm

Sunday 6/28 at 7pm.

All seats $10. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for reservation details.

These performances will be part of the Body Horror Mini-Fest including solo shows by Joy Cutler and Joseph Ahmed, produced by Cara Blouin.

 In the meantime if you missed my two-hour Coast to Coast AM With George Noory appearance last month you can check it out here.

Many thanks for your continued passion and support,

Jeffrey Stanley

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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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Yours Truly on Coast to Coast

by on Apr.10, 2015, under Film/TV, The Press, The Truth Is In Here, Theatre

(News Flash: Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS reincarnates in Philly this June at the Art Church of West Philadelphia as part of the 2015 SoLow Fest. Tickets and full details here.)

*

C2Cstanley
Dear Friends, Just a quick note to let you know I’m going to be the primary guest on Coast to Coast AM on Friday night 4/17/15. I’m a longtime fan of this nationwide show so this is a dream come true for me. I’ll hopefully be talking about the screenplay I’m currently writing (LITTLE ROCK, a bio-pic of artist and Navy Ensign Vernon “Copy” Berg, the first officer to legally challenge the US military for anti-gay discrimination; my script is an adaptation of a memoir written by his partner at the time entitled Get Off My Ship: Ensign Berg v. the US Navy by E. Lawrence Gibson), BONEYARDS of course, my ancient hit play TESLA’S LETTERS and my recent experiences on my Amtrak Residency trip looking for ghosts in Chicago’s Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery and exploring the supernatural with the adorable Iowa ghost-hunting family I fell in with for a few days in Colorado (please go here to have your mind blown).

Coast to Coast AM is a North American (United States and Canada) late-night radio talk show that deals with a variety of topics but most frequently ones that relate to either the paranormal or conspiracy theories. It airs seven nights a week 1:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. EST. Originally created and hosted by Art Bell, since 2013 the program is hosted mainly by George Noory. Coast to Coast AM has a cumulative weekly audience of 2.75 million listeners, making it the most listened-to program in its time slot. It’s heard on nearly 570 stations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Guam.

Film industry guests have included screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, screenwriter Laurice Molinari, veteran comedy director Tom Shadyac, Big Bang Theory executive producer Eric Kaplan, and others. The format consists of a combination of live callers and long format interviews. The subject matter covers unusual topics and is full of personal stories related to callers, junk science, pseudo experts and non-peer reviewed scientists. While program content is often focused on paranormal and fringe subjects, sometimes world-class scientists such as Michio Kaku and Brian Greene are featured in long format interviews. Topics discussed include the near-death experience, climate change, cosmology, quantum physics, remote viewing, hauntings, contact with extraterrestrials, psychic reading, metaphysics, science and religion, conspiracy theories, Area 51, crop circles, cryptozoology, Bigfoot, the Hollow Earth hypothesis, and science fiction literature, among others. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the events of that day (as well as alternate theories surrounding them) and current U.S. counter-terrorism strategy have also become frequent themes.

 Where can you hear it?  http://www.coasttocoastam.com/stations

Many thanks for your continued interest and support, and I hope to see you on the radio next Friday night.

Jeffrey Stanley

 

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Bachelors Grove Cemetery EVP session – 3/14/15

by on Mar.29, 2015, under On the Road, The Truth Is In Here, Theatre

(News Flash: Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS reincarnates in Philly this June at the Art Church of West Philadelphia as part of the 2015 SoLow Fest. Tickets and full details here.)

*

This posting is a promised addendum to my 3/14/15 visit to Bachelors Grove Cemetery, a brief stopover during my Amtrak Writers Residency trip across the US. To read about my witch encounter and see my Bachelors Grove Cemetery slideshow read the full entry here. (If you’re looking for the Hotel Colorado ghost photos and EVP session they’re here).

Now for the audio I recorded live from my P-SB7 spirit box at the Fulton family grave. As usual I have slowed it down but maintained the original pitch, boosted the volume and applied a little noise reduction. I stress again, as I’ve done here in the past and in my Washington Post story on this subject, that I remain agnostic about the existence of ghosts, and also view the spirit box as a form of surrealist art; an aural version of the old Exquisite Corpse game created by the Surrealists. That said, a transcript and my interpretation follow: (continue reading…)

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Still’s Still Moving to Me

by on Mar.16, 2015, under The Truth Is In Here

Day 3
3/15/15
The Ides of March

It was many, many years ago that I began my career as a Dramatic Author; and a hard and bitter-fought beginning I can well remember that it was. I was inexperienced, shy, and foolish; without money, without influence. I knew not a single soul connected even in the most distant way with the theatrical world. I knew no one to advise me or give me a hint. For years I danced in impotent frenzy around the high strong walls that guard the city of Dramatic Art. I ran my head against the stones, I tore myself against the spiky gates, I soused myself in the dirty moat, I screamed and cursed, and blubbed. At last, I climbed over and got in… I enumerate the difficulties that beset me only to show to the struggling young besiegers of today how, with the aid of pig-headed obstinacy, sublime conceit, thick skin, and a genius for nagging and boring and worrying human people’s lives out of them, it is possible to force even so strongly guarded a portal as the stage door of the present century.
- Jerome K. Jerome, British satirical playwright, 1888

20150315_11141220150315_111743Today’s a traveling day.  I got up early and wrote for awhile, then spent the remainder of this brisk, sunny morning running 10 miles along Chicago‘s Lake Shore Drive (continue reading…)

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