Jefe's House

Tag: jeremy gable

Bringing Death to Life

by on Apr.12, 2012, under Film/TV, NYC, The Press, The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Philadelphia’s arbiter of good taste, the South Philly Review, sez don’t miss the 2012 Philadelphia Playwright Showcase April 25-28 @7pm.   Buy your tickets here.

Plays & Players Resident Plots Future

A New York transplant, now residing in East Passyunk Crossing, presents his work to Philly crowds

by Jess Fuerst

On March 27, Jeffrey Stanley workshopped his play “UFOs Over Brooklyn,” which has been in development since 2001.

“The intention is a little more of a showcase, for who in Philly might be interested in producing it,” Stanley said.

Stanley is a resident at Plays & Players Theater, along with Jeremy Gable and Brian Grace-Duff, until September. As such, the writer has access to stages and actors, as well as exposure within the local community.

“Promotion is also part of their agenda. They are not necessarily going to produce all plays residents write,” Stanley said. “It’s an introduction to other professionals in the Philly theater world, so there is a publicity component involved when they showcase us and Plays & Players gets to showcase itself.”

A New York transplant Stanley has spent the past year diving head first into the local community. His debut was a one-man show he wrote and starred in for last year’s Fringe Festival, entitled “Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead.”

“Why I did the Fringe was to announce my presence. It worked.  Well, it made them more aware. The decision makers … put me on the radar. They all came and saw,” the 44-year-old said. “It’s a dark comedy and autobiographical. A close relative of mine died of acute alcoholism, drank himself to death, and it’s about my year spent dealing with that.”

The show, which Stanley performed in a basement in West Philly, involved monologue pieces, as well as audience participation. Stanley asked for viewers to help him reach out to his dead relative through the use of a Ouija board, the result of which is the show’s grand finale.

“It culminates with starting them in another room, trying to make contact with the spirit world on my CONT’D at southphillyreview.com>>

 

 

 


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Dead Man Talking

by on Apr.10, 2012, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Not the official residency logo. May cause sleeplessness and suicidal thoughts.

 

Thrilled to let you know about the PDC@Plays&Players Resident Playwrights Showcase (or something unavoidably long-winded like that) happening for 4 performances on April 25-28 @7pm, in which myself and my fellow playwrights-in-residence Jeremy Gable and Brian Grace-Duff will each be presenting excerpts from our newest works-in-progress.

These are not readings or informal workshops but a real night of real theatre for real people. Each of us gets 30 minutes to blow your mind, adding up to an incredible 90-minute show.

Me at the entrance to a 19th century underground crypt at Laurel Hill Cemetery where no one had tread in years, just about to make the descent.

Come early to meet and greet the other artists and me at Quig’s Pub (the private bar on the 3rd floor of Plays &  Players), then step into the hot kitchen that is the Skinner Studio and see what we’ve got in the oven as I kick off the evening.

My macabre, funny, autobiographical piece is called Grave Digger’s Bawl, that’s all you get. Trust me, come see it. It’ll be followed up with a monologue from my play UFOs Over Brooklyn performed by Jordan B. Mottram.

Thine Eternally,
Jeffrey Stanley

WHEN:  Wed. 4/25 – Sat. 4/28 @7pm.  Come at 6:30pm to have a drink at Quig’s Pub on the 3rd floor and meet and greet the playwrights.

WHERE: Plays & Players, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, in Quig’s Pub and the Skinner Studio on the 3rd floor

COST: $10.00 in advance, $12.00 at the door.  Buy one now.

Read more about my work and the Philadelphia residency here.

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Art and the Zen of Bowling

by on Jan.09, 2012, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Fun article in the Philadelphia Daily News about this Thursday’s Scratch Night -

Live Arts salon helps artists make new work

BY MOLLY EICHEL
Philadelphia Daily News

THE NAME “Scratch Night,” a monthly salon from the good folks who bring you the Live Arts Festival, is supposed to connote performing art at its beginning stages.

Left to right: myself, PDC Executive Director Wally Zialcita, and my fellow PDC@Plays & Players playwrights-in-residence Brian Grace-Duff and Jeremy Gable at North Bowl in Philadelphia; October, 2011.

But playwright and performer Jeffrey Stanley thinks of the evening in decidedly nonartistic terms. “It’s like playing a scratch game in bowling,” Stanley said. “It’s a game that doesn’t really count. There’s a safety net and it’s a little off the record.”

Scratch Night is an evolution of Live Arts’ 2nd Thursdays, a similarly minded evening of workshopping the arts during which performers shared selections of in-progress pieces. Scratch Nights will also take place on the second Thursday of the month through May, but the new iteration is meant to engage the audience on a deeper level. “A lot of people have trouble understanding and digesting experimental work. Getting people to talk can be a challenge,” said Craig Peterson, director of the Live Arts Brewery (LAB) and Philly Fringe. “People don’t want to sound stupid, but we want to engage them in ways that are less threatening and more fun.”

Peterson said it’s important for the audience to get a glimpse into the creative process. “These things don’t just come fully formed in [the festival],” he said.

At Thursday’s inaugural Scratch Night, Stanley and playwright/actor Justin Jain will perform their separate works, both of which are CONT’D>> at philly.com

 

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Yes, Virginia, There Is a Ghost Boy

by on Jan.08, 2012, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Photo by Iggy Rocketboy.

Last night my ongoing Ouija-as-theatre experiment continued for another round.   Kristen Scatton of Philadelphia’s Rep Radio, who had already interviewed me several months ago for my 2011 Philly Fringe show, BZ:ABOTD, interviewed me again, this time in the context of my being one of this year’s 3 PDC@Plays&Players playwrights-in-residence (along with playwrights Brian Grace-Duff and Jeremy Gable).

She didn’t want a repeat of my first interview in August so I suggested something different — how about meeting me at midnight on the mainstage of Play & Players on the set of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (which opens January 19th and which is not to be missed) to see if we can contact the ghost of the Small Boy who has been spotted on the stage over the years.  He’s one of 3 spirits said to haunt the hundred-year-old building.

My 1917 original William Fuld Ouija Board.

You can soon hear the full Rep Radio interview and the complete audio of our Ouija session so I won’t go into full detail here. In summary, MALA showed up again in her usual insistent way (MALAMALAMALAMALA) and confirmed that she indeed knew me and had last spoken to me upstairs in Quig’s Pub on 11/6/11.  I asked her if she was doing okay and she said NO.  I told her I wanted her to try and be happier in 2012 because she always seemed sad, and she said OK.

We asked Mala if she knew the Small Boy and whether he was hanging around onstage with us.  He was.  In fact he was standing directly to my right, upstage center, according to Mala. The Small Boy’s initials are AE and he talked about PLAYS and that he was in a play on that stage in 1945.  Does he enjoy living at Plays & Players? NO.  Why doesn’t he leave?  LALALALA (a frequent Ouija answer in my experience, which I interpret to mean la la la la I’m not listening/can’t discuss it).

Broadway and silent film star, early screenwriter and Plays & Players co-founder Maud Durbin Skinner is also said to haunt the building.

In the end, chronically lonely little girl Mala confirmed that she liked the Small Boy and thought he was nice, so I asked if she’d like to stay on at Plays & Players and be friends with him.  She said YES, so I felt good about finding her a much-needed playmate. Apparently in the process I’ve also brought another ghost into Plays & Players’ otherworldly fold. I hope Maud and Leon are okay with that and don’t get angry with me for crowding them out. It’s getting downright lousy with ghosts in there.

Proof of a spirit world, or proof of characters from mine and Kristen Scatton’s fevered imaginations conveyed via subconscious ideomotor impulses?  Take your pick. I’m equally fascinated by both phenomena.  For further reading I highly recommend James Merrill’s epic poem The Changing Light at Sandover.

See you all at Live Arts Scratch Night at the Live Arts Brewery on Thursday 1/12/12 at 7pm. It’s free, there’s cheap beer, and you can RSVP here.

[Maud Skinner photo via findagrave.com]

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Theatre History Needs You

by on Nov.19, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

I loved Plays & Players Theatre in Philadelphia from the moment I walked into the 1911 lobby of this former acting school turned theatre back in fall, 2008.  My first thought was, nice place but is there a ghost? Actors are highly superstitious people, and any good old theatre has a requisite benevolent ghost on staff.  I was delighted to learn that Plays & Players is blessed with not just 1 ghost but 3 ghosts.

I also love history; especially US history and especially film and theatre history, so I was naturally drawn to this historic institution first as a fan, then as a board member and now as one of its 3 current  playwrights-in-residence along with Jeremy Gable and Brian Grace-Duff.  Plays & Players has an illustrious history, including bringing the first works of Susan Glaspell (Trifles) and one Eugene O’Neill (Before Breakfast) to Philadelphia back in the 19-teens.  Bevan & Trzcinski’s Stalag 17, a comic drama set in a German POW camp,  premiered here in 1949 before moving to Broadway and then becoming a hit Hollywood film, and then becoming the inspiration for 1960s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes (yep).   Philly native Kevin Bacon also performed one of his earliest roles on this stage back in the 1970s.

Today another facet of Plays & Players that I love is its commitment to producing 1 world-premiere by a Philadelphia playwright every season along with the classics and modern classics you’d expect. This current season features the hit Pardon My Invasion by local playwright Joy Cutler (it got raves) coupled with upcoming hits by August Wilson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone) and Tom Stoppard (Travesties).

Where was I? Oh right, Plays & Players turns 100 years old this season.  We’ve gotten a matching grant of $10,000 from the Wyncote Foundation.  Matching grant means — you got it — we have to match it in order to get it. So we need to come up with $10K in a hurry.  Rather than pulling an NPR and demanding “any amount, even as little as $50″ like they do during their elitist pledge drives, which makes you want to permanently switch to the nearest corporate Top 40 station for your morning drive, we figure we’ll just ask 1000 people to each give us just 10 bucks, one time.  That’s why this fundraising campaign is called 10 for 100. That’s not $10 a year for 100 years or anything like that. We just want $10 from you.  Right now.

You can easily and quickly donate your $10 by going to this donation page.

Many thanks and Happy Thanksgiving,

Jeffrey Stanley

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Real Paranormal Activity on 11/6 in Philadelphia

by on Oct.24, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

A post-crypt to Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead will happen next Sunday 11/6/11 when in my first official act as a PDC @Plays & Players Playwright-in-Residence I will solicit audience volunteers to use my 1917 original Fuld Ouija Board to try and contact one of the ghosts believed to be haunting the historic, century-old Plays & Players Theatre on 17th Street and Delancey Place in Philadelphia, PA.

I am told that many of the bar staff who work on the 3rd floor in the private Quig’s Pub have spotted the ghost of deceased longtime bartender Leon passing through the room on occasion. Many actors over the years have often encountered the ghost of a little boy standing on the main stage, and others insist that the ghost of famed Broadway actress and Plays & Players’ first president Maud Skinner haunts one of the dressing rooms. We shall see…

The shenanigans start on November 6 at 6:30pm at Plays & Players’ 3rd floor Skinner Studio & Quig’s Pub (RSVP required, see below) as they welcome playwrights Jeremy Gable, Brian Grace-Duff and myself as the three 2011-12 resident playwrights and bid goodbye to the three 2010-11 residents Joy Cutler, Greg Romero and Quinn Eli. There will be a meet-and-greet happy hour from 6:30pm-7pm with a toast to the outgoing residents, brief presentations from the new playwrights (this is where the Ouija board comes in) from 7-7:30pm, and a pizza party celebration from 7:30pm-8pm.

The competitive residency at Plays & Players aims to provide artistic development for Philadelphia’s professional playwrights. The playwrights utilize the Plays & Players Theater to undertake personal explorations of their work, ranging from traditional table reads to finding a quiet space to write and draw to listening to the dreams of visitors.  All activities are playwright driven. So…

Who knows what this year will bring? Find out with us.  RSVP REQUIRED.  Please email Plays & Players Artistic Director Daniel Student at dstudent@playsandplayers.org.

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