Tag: plays & players
Before proceeding I urge you, gentle reader, to read and view the previous show’s (10/17/13) seance summary as there is a direct carryover with this one culminating in my effort to conduct a “Buddhist exorcism,” for lack of a better description, on the 2-year-old “V,” a recent arrival at the synagogue and not one of the 12 original ghosts at this location that I call the Synagogue Saints.
All caught up now? Great, you may proceed. At the show’s climax audience volunteers Eric and Kristen personed the board. We at first assumed we were speaking with an adult spirit (or subconscious ideomotor impulse, depending on your beliefs) but then it kept spelling MAM, MAM, MAM over and over. At first we thought it was their initials but it told us NO.
Do you know anyone here? YES.
Yep, there was indeed a Laura in the house who looked decidedly freaked at seeing her name spelled out on the Ouija board. How do you know Laura?
The response was more MAM over and over again.
LAURA: I don’t know anyone with those initials.
ME: It’s talking like a child saying the same word over and over. I think we’ve got a kid here.
MY USHER SUSAN: Do you mean MOM? YES … MAM, MAM, MAM.
Indeed the repetition was childlike and rather sad. We imagined a young child calling for its mother over and over and not sure how to spell it. This is extremely similar to my encounter with young MALA/MALALA 2 years ago during BZ:ABOTD who wound up following me from the Blue Grotto in West Philly to Plays & Players Theatre and taking up residence there but that’s another story. In short, it seems children who have died violent deaths are particularly frightened and stuck, not sure how to move on. Heartbreakingly, they especially want to find their mothers.
Where’s your real mom? KILLED.
Who killed her? (continue reading…)
Up next at Plays & Players theatre in Philadelphia, from Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks comes a remarkable story of an African-American man who looks just like Abraham Lincoln and can be shot by would-be John Wilkes Booths for a small fee as a carnival attraction.
When the black Lincoln impersonator disappears into the Great Hole of History his wife and son go to find him. Questions of race, family, legacy, and the act of theatre itself play out in a surprising and emotionally stunning journey.
Leave it to artistic director Daniel Student and Plays & Players’ unique vision and desire not to do the expected with any play: as a timely opening act to The America Play every night several world premiere shorts commissioned from local playwrights collectively entitled “Other American Cousins“ (named for the play President Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated, Our American Cousin) will examine “other” Americans’ places in today’s world.
This surrealist depiction of American history lands in Plays & Players’ third floor Skinner Studio as the season’s final production April 4th-21st.
As a former PDC @Plays&Players playwright-in-residence and current board member I’m thrilled that P&P keeps bringing it on.
See you in the sixth borough. Tickets.
It takes a village…
THE AMERICA PLAY
Directed by Suzana Berger
Starring Lindsay J. Daniels, Langston Darby, Tanya O’Neill, Kirschen Wolford and Steven Wright
OTHER AMERICAN COUSINS
Directed by Malika Oyetimein, written by Quinn D. Eli and Kimmika L. H. Williams-Witherspoon
Set Design by Colin McIlvaine
Light Design by Andrew Cowles
Costume Design by Erica Hoelscher
Sound Design by Toby Pettit
Prop Design by Alyssa Velazquez
Dialect Coaching by Melanie Julien
Assistant Direction by Jeffrey Hyman
Dramaturgy by Lena Barnard
I’m thrilled to invite you to Philadelphia’s first public reading of my unproduced play The Great Age, a racy romantic comedy — about Emily Dickinson. Set in Amherst, MA, the play is a time-jumping, supernatural romp about Amherst College undergrad Leah, an Emily-obsessed young writer and idealistic Wiccan who’s having an affair with her married English professor, Michael.
When she and her classmate Ashiq, a young Saudi prince, steal Emily’s famed white dress from the Dickinson Homestead and hold a seance to contact Emily’s ghost they they stir up a heap of multidimensional trouble and incur the wrath of junior English department faculty, Mary Beth.
The reading of this work-in-progress is connected to my current PDC @Plays & Players Artists Residency. It’s directed by the amazing Mark Kennedy and features an incredible cast including–
Laurel Hostak, outgoing president of the Drexel University Players, as the brazen young Leah
Anthony Adair as Leah’s friend Ashiq
Kaki Burns, most recently seen in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties at Plays & Players, as Emily Dickinson
Kevin Bergen as Emily’s randy brother Austin Dickinson
Mike Hagan is Emily’s long-distance lover Judge Otis Lord
Bethany Ditnes as 19th century social climber and Dickinson family groupie Mabel Loomis Todd
Eric Wunsch, last seen as Dadaism founder Tristan Tzara in Travesties, as Mabel’s swinging husband Prof. David Todd
Sarah Schol as the frustrated and desperate-to-land-a-husband-before-she-gets-any-older Prof. Mary Beth Hodder
Tina Brock, artistic director of Philadlphia’s premiere absurdist theatre the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium (They Bring Good Nothingness to Life) in a variety of madcap roles.
Don’t miss it! Q&A of this work-in-progress afterward with myself, the director, and much of the cast.
WHEN: Thursday, July 12 @7:00pm
WHERE: the 1st floor main stage of Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA
See you there.
[images via poetryfoundation.org and massreports.com]
Michael Moore Speaks at Plays & Players
1714 Delancey Place
Michael Moore’s documentary SiCKO was released in 2007 to widespread acclaim. A straight-from-the-heart portrait of the crazy and sometimes cruel U.S. healthcare system, SiCKO is told from the vantage of everyday people faced with extraordinary and bizarre challenges in their quest for basic health coverage.<
Join Filmmaker Michael Moore, Health insurance industry whistleblower and Deadly Spin author Wendell Potter, and SiCKO’s Donna and Larry Smith, Reggie Cervantes, Billy Maher, Julie Pierce, Lee Einer, Dawnelle Keys, Adrian Campbell Montgomery, and more for a Q&A about the film’s impact on their lives five years after its release.
Tickets available here: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/paievent/event/10984/
And don’t forget…
Today’ Philadelphia Inquirer. Thrilled to be a playwright-in-residence and now a board member at Plays & Players…
By Amy S. Rosenberg
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
…At Plays & Players, the old guard has turned the reins over, somewhat reluctantly, to the youngsters: Daniel Student, 30, producing artistic director, and Rachel Dukeman, 28, managing director, both former volunteers who are now on staff. The two have a master plan to save the building, with $2.5 million in renovations and a vision of reinvigorating the private social club and remaking the house company as a professional group for emerging actors and playwrights.
“We’ve become relevant again,” said Student.
Thrilled to be attending Tom Stoppard’s mind-bending Travesties on opening night this Thursday 6/7 at 8pm at Play & Players. Drinks in Quig’s afterward. See you there. Tickets just 15 bucks. Not bad at all for a professional quality production of a terrific play.
With Cathy Mostek, Jim Ludovici, Bob Stineman, Andrew Carroll, Kaki Burns, Eric Wunsch, Kristen Norine and Tim Rinehart. Directed by Candace Cihocki.
Travesties takes you on a stylistic joy ride through an imagined meeting between James Joyce, Vladimir Lenin and Dadaist Tristan Tzara who all lived in Zurich during World War I.
When Joyce casts British consular official Henry Carr in a performance of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnestin the lead role of Algernon, Carr finds himself immersed in a wacky and wonderful world of Wildean wit, Joycean limericks, Leninist ideology, and sheer Dada anarchy.
The Plays & Players organization began in 1911 as a social club devoted to expanding and developing new theater experiences for and by its membership. The first President, Maud Durbin Skinner, was the wife of the famed American actor Otis Skinner. What is now the Plays & Players building at 17th and Delancey, originally called the “Little Theatre of Philadelphia,” first opened its doors in 1913 to produce “American plays of ideas,” an underrepresented genre at the time. The building later became the official home of Play & Players.
It’s my pleasure as a Plays & Players board member to invite you to the 3rd and final 100th anniversary reading and fundraiser next Monday 5/14 at 7pm. All year long we’ve been presenting readings of plays that were performed at Plays & Players 100 years ago during its first season in 1911-12.
This final reading is the most star-studded of them all. The play is An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, directed by Daniel Student, and features features Sylvia Kauders (Witness, American Splendor, The Wrestler, Sex and the City, The Sopranos); Fox 29′s Good Day co-anchor Karen Hepp, City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, Revenue Commissioner Keith Richardson, restaurateur Jack Roe, Barrymore Award winning actors Madi Distefano and Amanda Schoonover; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone‘s Kash Goins and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens creator Isaiah Zagar among others.
This final reading and fundraiser kicks off our Next 100 Years campaign to renovate and restore our beautiful old building which is a National Historic Landmark. For the past six months the acclaimed nonprofit Community Design Collaborative has been working with Plays & Players to create a 10-Year Master Plan with recommendations on sustainability and accessibility under the direction of Philadelphia’s leading architectural firm Studio Agoos Lovera. The May 14 reading will feature raffle drawings, a silent auction, and a chance to hear about the Master Plan.
$50 VIP – Reading and Meet the Cast post-show reception from 9-10pm at Quig’s Pub
$25 – Reading
$10 – Reading artist/industry ticket
Thanks so much, and I hope to see you there.
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>>
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.
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.
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.