Jefe's House

Tag: maud skinner

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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Dang. Sadly No EVP.

by on Feb.05, 2012, under The Sixth Boro, The Truth Is In Here, Theatre

Please enjoy my 2nd Rep Radio interview. This one happened on 1/7/12 at midnight on the stage of Plays & Players, and it’s the aforementioned live ouija board session in lieu of a traditional interview, in hopes that interviewer Kristen Scatton and I could contact one of Plays & Players’ 3 resident ghosts, and we did with help from my frequent Philly ghost pal Mala.  Sadly the recording contains no voices from the dead, aka, electronic voice phenomena.  Why does it always work so well on Ghost Hunters?

 

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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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Drinks at Quig’s Are On Me

by on Oct.15, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Plays & Players Theatre on 17th and Delancey Streets in Philadelphia, PA.

Fresh on the heels of a highly successful Philly Fringe show I am delighted, surprised,  and thrilled to have been named one of Philadelphia’s three 2011-12 PDC@Plays & Players Playwrights-in-Residence.

The Philadelphia Dramatists Center (PDC) is a membership community of playwrights, collaborating artists and audience members dedicated to creating and nurturing new work.  PDC develops resources, stimulates creative partnerships and participates in the ongoing national dialogue about how and why theater is created.

The historic Plays & Players Theatre turns 100 this year. It  began in 1911 as a private social club, similar to the Players Club in Manhattan, devoted to expanding and developing new theater experiences for and by its wealthy membership. The first President, actress Maud Skinner, was the wife of the famed American actor Otis Skinner.  The Plays & Players Theatre building on 17th and Delancey, then called the “Little Theatre of Philadelphia,” first opened its shows to the public in 1913 with a mission to produce “American plays of ideas.” And they meant it.   Plays & Players sought out and produced cutting edge work by America’s newest playwrights including Philadelphia premieres in 1916 and 1919 of  some of the earliest plays by Eugene O’Neill (Before Breakfast) and Susan Glaspell (Suppressed Desires and Trifles), the world premiere in 1949 of Bevan & Trzcinski’s acclaimed Stalag 17 before it moved to Broadway, and an early performance by actor Kevin Bacon in 1974.  Once an exclusive club, Plays & Players has grown over the years into a professional quality theatre devoted to supporting established and emerging Philadelphia artists in practicing and performing their crafts.

I know what you’re wondering: is it haunted? Finding out will be my first order of business.  I am told that many of the bar staff who work on the 3rd floor in the members-only Quig’s Pub have spotted the ghost of deceased longtime bartender Leon passing through the room on occasion, then there’s the oft-spotted ghost of a little boy standing on the mainstage, and others insist the ghost of Maud Skinner haunts one of the dressing rooms. We shall see…

Here too is a terrific video tour of Plays & Players made by mysterious stranger Lance Davis last month.

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