Jefe's House

Tag: jeffrey stanley

A Hindu-Appalachian Christmas in the City of Brotherly Love

by on Dec.23, 2015, under Pophood, Shaheb Cafe, The Sixth Boro






A Shaheb’s Guide to India


How a simple father-son craft project became a global, epic diorama

full shot2-001

Five years ago this month my wife Bidisha and I got married a full Hindu wedding in India. Four years ago our son was born.

This past Thanksgiving while carving the turkey at our Philadelphia home I got to the bone that my granny from rural southwestern Virginia used to save and make into a turkey bone Santa sled decoration at Christmastime every so often. It’s a morbid Appalachian thing, you wouldn’t understand. In a fit of nostalgia I decided I’d give it a whirl and introduce my young son to a part of his cultural history.

To make sure I was really remembering correctly I Googled “turkey bone sled” and one of the first things that came up was someone’s Pinterest page about turkey bone sleds with the header, “My granny made these.” Yep, I was on the right track.

The schematic.

The schematic.

My son and I often do multi-stage, multi-day art projects so I told him we were going to embark on this “small” project. I’m thinking the whole thing will be five or six inches long with a couple of ceremonial reindeer pulling it but he insists that it be the full 9 reindeer, and that there be a full moon, and a Pleiades star cluster (the Seven Sisters), Aldebaran (the brightest star in the constellation Taurus and one of the bull’s eyes), a small pine tree like the one we have in a planter outside our house, and our street sign, and snow on the ground, and hovering in the sky above Santa there should be Kartik. Without missing a beat I told him fine but that he’d need to design it on paper first so we’d know exactly what we were making and not leave anything out.

Kartik? That would be the Hindu god Kartik, less famous brother of Ganesh. Kartik is the Pete Best of major goddess Durga’s children. I later learned it’s impossible to find an altar figurine of just Kartik alone, so I convinced him instead to  CONT’D at>>

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Distress Signals

by on Nov.16, 2015, under Film/TV, NYC, Theatre

My Posthumous Friendship With a Civil Rights Hero

berg gibson


Back to School

I met Lawrence Gibson at a turning point in my life. After landing my first literary agent and riding the high of a hit play I had abandoned a relationship and a lucrative day job to devote myself full-time to being a starving playwright. I crashed temporarily on the couch of my generous Uncle Joey and, despite an MFA, sought out only part-time office jobs. I soon found myself with a receptionist gig at one of New York City’s many prominent private schools.

At first the administers was baffled by my application; surely, they thought, I was using the job opening as an entrée into teaching there, but I assured them I had no interest. I just wanted to leave at noon every day. They gave me the job on a trial basis. On my third day I met someone who seemed all but invisible to me, and who would, due to my own self-absorption, stop seeming that way to me only after he died. Then his spirit reached across from the netherworld, grabbed my collar and shook me into noticing him. He also enlisted my help. CONT’D AT MEDIUM.COM>>


Hi Valerie,

Well, you aren’t mentioned in the book but I knew from the New York Times obit that he had a sibling named Valerie. Nice to meet you. I’m surprised not to have heard from you sooner as this isn’t the first time I’ve talked openly of my hope to adapt Get Off My Ship. Please see my previous blog posts at (sadly I never got to talk about it on Coast to Coast AM as I had hoped to do). I trust we’re on the same team in wanting Gibson and Berg’s Navy story told, remembered, and restored to its rightful place in history. I consider them civil rights heroes.

I recently also received an email from someone at the Brooklyn Historical Society asking if I knew Copy’s exact address on Dean Street. They really just wanted to know if he lived on the Brooklyn Heights section of Dean for an upcoming exhibit about gay rights activists in Brooklyn Heights. I’ve told them that as far as I know he lived a few blocks away from Lawrence in Boerum Hill, not the Heights. Steve is also looking through Lawrence’s stacks and stacks and stacks of papers to see if he can find anything but so far has had no luck on a specific Dean Street address for Copy. Is this something you might know? If so I’m happy to put you in touch with them.

As for your posting and your three terse emails via my personal blog, I’ll work my way through them in the order received… CONT’D AT MEDIUM.COM>>


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Finding Francis

by on Sep.26, 2015, under Politics, The Sixth Boro

Looking for the Pope in Philadelphia

20150926_100357On this overcast, blustery fall day I made a lone pilgrimage on foot two miles from my South Philly home to Center City for a chance at glimpsing Pope Francis, “the people’s Pope,” in person.  All the way up Broad Street, Army or National Guard soldiers — I’m not sure which — in green fatigues hung out casually in pairs on every other street corner. They’d been there since last night but I’m not sure why as no Papal events are planned this far south and barely a soul was out. The city seems apocalyptically deserted.


Click to enlarge photos.

Eventually I came to barricades personed by police and military at every intersection to keep out vehicles but as a pedestrian I could pass freely. Finally, just south of City Hall, I reached one of the security entrances to the main event.  The lines were much shorter than I anticipated, and much friendlier.  Soon I was inside the secure zone.



20150926_101707Although I’m not Catholic and have serious disagreements with the Catholic Church and its checkered history, the Pope is a major historical figure and he’s right here in my town so naturally I wanted to be a part of the event.  Like all these visitors from around the world I was one more gawking pilgrim eager to see “the people’s Pope” in the flesh.

Crossing Love Park I got my first glimpse of one of the Jumbotrons, on which the Pope was just starting (continue reading…)

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Kentucky Premiere of Tesla’s Letters

by on Sep.26, 2015, under Politics, Theatre

Paige Neeley as Daisy and Brandon McCoy as Zoran. Photo via The Richmond Register.

I was flattered to hear that my play Tesla’s Letters , which world premiered Off Broadway to rave reviews in 1999, is in production at Eastern Kentucky University, directed by Jeffery Boord-Dill. Break a leg, y’all.






Sydney Marks at Biljana And Baxter Wilhelm as Dragan. Photo via the Eastern Progress.

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When We Were Literate

by on Aug.04, 2015, under The Truth Is In Here

Dear sweet jesus god.


5 Stars

Used these on the Appellation Trail for 8 days and these were awesome.”

As someone from Appellatia I was particularly offended.



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

Cara Blouin and the Art Church of West Philadelphia

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?

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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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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