Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thank you for THIRTY-THREE

I am thrilled to write that the performance of THIRTY-THREE on Monday night, March 22nd, was a wonderful experience.

"Thirty-Three Man". Photo by Tom Gattone.

An enthusiastic audience of about 30 showed up and all seemed to have a really fun time. I am very happy with how well the show came together-- with how unique an experience we created, with how much fun it was, and with how creatively we all engaged each other. I love that we created something that was more of an event than it was a play.

Having not performed much at all in the last ten years, I was incredibly nervous, but it helped considerably to see so many friendly faces show up at the theater. From what I could tell, everyone showed up anticipating a good time, and that helped us all a whole lot.

As for the performance-- there are things I wish I could have done better, but I am extremely proud of what we shared on Monday night. I feel certain that we gave the audience a totally fun evening that was unique and memorable.

And once the show ended-- no one left. The audience stayed at the Rotunda for some time, continuing to commune with each other, to enjoy the food (the show provides both Moo Shoo Pork and Moonpies) and to enjoy the experience. This, to me, is what I always hope for-- for the performance to continue even after it's over.

This communion was made possible by the extraordinary work done by collaborators Ken Kaissar (director), Clifford Hall (sound design), Nicole Garman (projection design), Megan Slater (recorded voice), and Mike Vernusky (music composition). Everyone truly did outstanding, creative, imaginative work. And well all had so much fun!

Big thank yous to the collaborative team, to Gina Renzi and the Rotunda, to Drexel University, to all the awesome people who showed up Monday night, and to all the Awesome People whose gifts made this event possible.

rock on,


Friday, March 19, 2010

Collaborative Team in Rehearsal for THIRTY-THREE

Greg Romero (as "Thirty-Three Man") and Director Ken Kaissar (photo by Tom Gattone)

As we gear up for our March 22nd presentation at The Rotunda, Wednesday's rehearsal of THIRTY-THREE brought in almost the entire (awesome) collaborative team for this project.

Director Ken Kaissar and I welcomed the rest of the team to the rehearsal space (big thank yous to Drexel University!) for a productive and fun evening. Photographer Tom Gattone was also present, documenting the rehearsal for us.

Seen here is Megan Slater (The :nv:s:ble Play, Hysteria) working with sound designer Clifford Hall (Noises Off, The Seagull) on the pieces "A Dream About Pear Trees" and "A Peacock at My Parent's House".

Megan Slater (as "The Peacock Lady") and Sound Designer Clifford Hall (photo by Tom Gattone)

Also at rehearsal was Projection/Visual Designer Nicole Garman, seen in the photo below, as we worked on the opening piece "Thirty-Three Man". Ken, Nicole, and I also continued working on "Benoit Spills the Gay" and explored various ways to perform "Father Goes to the Aquarium on Monday and the Arcade on Thursday". We also continued our ongoing brainstorm, continuing to ask questions about the overall design of the production, how the pieces fit together, and how to make this as interesting, dynamic, and memorable a performance as possible.

Greg Romero (as "Thirty-Three Man") and Projection Designer Nicole Garman (photo by Tom Gattone).

We are all very excited by the challenges of this unique event, and we all look forward to the continued work and the eventual sharing of it with an audience.


The Collaborative Team:

Nicole Garman (projection designer) is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she studied architecture and creative writing. She was also a member of the Varsity rowing team and gives a fantastic, well-informed tour of the Penn campus.

Clifford Hall (sound designer/composer/violist) While attending Peabody back in the late 90s, my comp teacher told me to learn the violin so I don't write too ridiculous things for the instrument. My rebellious streak took to the viola. Meanwhile, composition took me to the theater (The Seagull, Tartuffe, Noises Off, HMS Pinafore, Ragtime). When not writing music, it's all teaching orchestra to the Youth of America. Up on the horizon: staging and recording my one act musical "That is Life!" (you can learn more about me at my website:

Ken Kaissar (director) just directed Noises Off at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center. His work has been seen mostly in New York City where he directed in the Culture Project’s Women’s Center Stage Festival and at the Epiphany Theatre Company where he directed a new production of A Doll House. He is also a playwright and his adaptation of The Canterbury Tales was commissioned by Columbia University in 2008. Ken holds a BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University .

Greg Romero (playwright/performer) has seen his works performed in New York, Philadelphia, Austin, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, New Orleans, Louisville, and in elevators, porches, warehouses, loft apartments, punk stages, living rooms, museums, hotels, sidewalks, basements, gardens, and in the bathrooms of Actors' Theater of Louisville. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas and was the first-ever Resident Writer for the ArtsEdge Artist Residency. He currently teaches at Drexel University.

Megan Slater (performer) has worked with Azuka Theatre, Flashpoint Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Simpatico Theatre Project, The Wilma Theater, and most recently Philadelphia Theatre Workshop.

Mike Vernusky (additional music composition) is a composer, performer, and sound artist. He writes music for concertized, theatrical, and filmic environments, primarily through the use of electronic media and live performance. Vernusky won the Grand Prize in Music for the Digital Art Awards in Tokyo and holds degrees from The University of Texas and Mercyhurst College. His music is published on MIT Press, Capstone, Spectrum Press, and Quiet Design.


Greg Romero and Ken Kaissar (photo by Tom Gattone)

For more information about THIRTY-THREE, you can visit here or here. You can also find us on Facebook.

We hope to see you on March 22nd!!



Wednesday, March 03, 2010

THIRTY-THREE at The Rotunda

Conceived and Performed by Greg Romero
Directed by Ken Kaissar

Created and Inspired by:
Alexandra Bassett, Ilana Brownstein, Hugh Craig, GerRee Hinshaw, Kate Houlihan, Deven MacNair, Nancy Mouton and Chester Forest, Dustin Puryear, Greg Romero, Sean Schneyer, Hank Schwemmer, Don Slater, Heidi Taylor, Angela Turner, and Jeff Williams

Additional Gifts by:
Jodi Alonzo; The Burn Ward Theater Company; Deena Gerson; Wanda, Doyle, and Kristi Reeves; and Pat and Johnie Romero


WHEN: Monday, March 22nd, 2010; 7:33 PM

WHERE: The Rotunda
4014 Walnut St
Philadelphia PA

ADMISSION: Bring a gift!


Last year I asked every person I knew to give me three dollars. I was trying to create a "patron collective" in an effort to give myself continued time to work on a number of artistic projects.

I have been incredibly moved by the response.

As a return gift, everyone who offered their generosity has their name archived inside the creative works I created last fall. For all time.

The full list of Awesome People is found here:

And for people who were especially generous, I promised I would create and perform something, anything, just for them.

And that's what THIRTY-THREE is (it's also how old I am).

It is a gift-exchange, a theatrical promise kept, a dare, a rite of passage, a live performance inspired and created by friends originating from a place of generosity and challenge and a sense of fun.

And it will be performed by me, even though I haven't performed much at all in the past ten years.

At THIRTY-THREE you will see: a wrestler, a thanksgiving dinner, an affair with a turkey, Hideki Matsui, Mou Shou Pork, birth, death, dreams, pear trees, Moonpies, phone calls with love on the other end, a multi-gender prostitute, a ghost, a peacock, an alien, and my mom.

You will see some of the most personal writing I've done since The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard.

And this all scares me to death (in a good way).

I look forward to sharing this experience with you, and ask that you bring the gift of your attendance, as well as a gift for me, Ken, or The Rotunda.

We promise to give you many gifts in return.

Big thank yous to all the gift-givers, to Gina Renzi and The Rotunda, and to Ken Kaissar for his direction.


Greg Romero

p.s. if you plan to attend, you can RSVP here.