Jefe's House

Tag: monologue

Jeff Scratch Fever on 1/12

by on Dec.28, 2011, under The Press, The Sixth Boro, Theatre

I’m thrilled to have been invited to give a brief performance followed by Q&A at Philadelphia Live Arts‘ first ever Scratch Night at the Live Arts Brewery (LAB) on Thursday, January 12th at 7pm and I would love to see you there.

Scratch Night invites audiences into the artistic process and plays a key role for artists who are testing, experimenting and building new ideas.  I will present a portion of my 2011 Philly Fringe show Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead as I continue to develop it for future productions in Philadelphia and New York City.

You might know the show was originally staged in the nontraditional space that is the Blue Grotto, artist Randy Dalton’s blue-lit wonderland in the coal cellar of the 1851 former Friends meetinghouse that is today the Community Education Center in West Philly. I could have seated 40 but I capped it at 16 to keep it intimate and participatory for the audience:

My question is, how can the show be modified to be performed on a traditional stage without losing its magic and intimacy? How can it be performed not for a max seating of 16 but a max seating of 100?  Doable, or should this thing stay in the basement, wherever that basement may be? Come help me find out.

Read more at livearts-fringe.org

or at broadwayworld.com

or at Philadelphia Gay News.

 

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Philly Daily News commands thee to Beautiful Zion

by on Sep.02, 2011, under The Press, The Sixth Boro, Theatre

At the Fringe Festival, there are edgy venues that grip an audience

by Molly Eichel

“ONE OF THE most exciting aspects of the Fringe Festival — the unjuried, anything-goes companion to the Live Arts Festival — is when it draws audiences to places they’ve never been before and might never have a chance to go again, whether it’s a room in an unknown mansion or in the depths of a possibly haunted grotto.

The Blue Grotto

After the demise of a close relative who drank himself to death, Jeffrey Stanley became obsessed with communicating with the dead through Ouija boards.

Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead is a “real dark comedy” about the years he spent trying to talk to the other side. But how could all that eeriness (and humor) be conveyed in a traditional theater space? So the New York expat looked for a stage appropriate for the macabre elements of his decidedly funny show. He found the Blue Grotto in West Philly’s Community Education Center. It’s decked out in thousands of blue lights on light fixtures by artist Randy Dalton. Stanley equates it to a mad scientist’s laboratory. ‘It’s visually stunning, it’s creepy as hell, it’s in the cellar of an old building and it might be haunted,’ Stanley said, ticking off the reasons that the Blue Grotto is perfect for his piece.”

The Blue Grotto at the Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Ave., 8 p.m. Sept. 7-17, $20.”  Tickets and more info here.

Philly Daily News article cont’d HERE->>

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A New Performance in the 6th Borough

by on Jan.26, 2011, under NYC, The Sixth Boro, Theatre

If you liked The Golden Horseshoe: A Lecture on Tragedy, you’ll love the followup, Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead. Join me as I try to resurrect a hidden and dangerous history. Which of you will dare to enter the terrifying Ouija tent of the damned and open a channel to the Other Side for me, live onstage?

Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead is a surreal, 60-minute, autobiographical show about the impact of ghosts – the real kind — and of dream interpretation — the inept kind — on one’s past, present and future.  It’s tragic, and it’s also hilarious.

It’s also a work-in-progress. I’ll be performing it with limited set, script partially in hand, followed by a Q&A, one night only, with support from my friends at the historic Plays & Players in Philadelphia.   The Philadelphia City Paper’s ultra-cool Critical Mass arts blog sez it’s probably going to be good, and they’re probably right, so you should probably come.

City Paper Critical Mass Theatre Preview by Matt Cantor
“It’s a one-man show, but award-winning playwright Jeffrey Stanley isn’t the only one in it. At least, he hopes not. Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead is a 60-minute ‘autobiographical black comedy’ whose supporting cast is made up of ghosts  — if they’re willing to make an appearance, Stanley says. An adjunct faculty member at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, Stanley is workshopping this free work-in-progress in Philadelphia — his new home — at the historic Plays & Players theater.

“Years in the making, the new play combines elements of earlier works, including another black comedy Stanley performed in New York at the Gershwin Hotel under the curation of Andy Warhol pal Neke Carson. Mix that with ‘inept dream interpretation,’ family history, and a Ouija tent, and the result is Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead. The play is ‘about communication between family members while they’re alive and maybe even after they’re dead,’ Stanley says. Expect humor, but also ‘a lot of death, a lot of suffering, a lot of human misery.’

One-man shows or otherwise, Stanley’s works focus on shared experience: in performing his CONT’D AT CITY PAPER>>

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The Golden Horseshoe: A Lecture On Tragedy

by on Nov.09, 2010, under Film/TV, NYC, Theatre

While I’m discussing Medicine, Man and Tesla’s  Letters now being available on the Kindle, I may as well discuss THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE:  A LECTURE ON TRAGEDY.  I conceived, wrote, directed and performed this 75-minute  autobiographical  tragicomedy about family skeletons, Nietzsche, Elvis and a trip to the Underworld in 2003. It came about because I had met Michael Wiener, an amazing performance artist of whom I was a big fan, at a party once. Doubtless I had consumed many martinis, and began blathering on to him about something or other.  At one point he stopped me and said, as I recall it, “You’re a good storyteller. You should come and do something sometime at this show I co-curate at the Gershwin Hotel.”  I was flattered, said sure, didn’t think he was serious.

Six weeks later I got a call from Michael’s co-curator, famed artist and Andy Warhol cohort Neke Carson, asking if I was interested. I said sure, and that I had a whole spoken-word, true story kind of thing worked out.  He said great, why don’t you come by in two days and tell me more about it.  In truth I had no idea what I’d do, so I thought – What’s the best true story you’ve got, Stanley?  What’s the (continue reading…)

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