Saturday, March 19, 2011

UNDER MY COAT to be Revealed in New York City

My short play, Under My Coat is the Truth, will play for one night in New York City, at 7:00 pm on Sunday, March 20th, 2011. Produced as part of the One-Minute Play Festival by Adaptive Arts Theater Company, the piece will go up at the IRT in the West Village, along with 32 other one-minute works.

The play is directed by Adaptive Arts's Artistic Director, Marielle Duke, who I worked with previously as part of Boomerang Theatre Company's crazy awesome workshop production of The Travel Plays (October 2009).

I'm thrilled that this short play is now in its third production (and will go up in a fourth during April in Philadelphia), originally produced as part of Specific Gravity Ensemble's Elevator Plays and, most recently, as part of the Don't Blink Short Play Marathon produced by Three Wise Moose in Anchorage, Alaska (October 2010).

This New York presentation will be unique in that it is the first to cast two females (instead of two males) in the roles of "John" and "Harrison".

Big thank you to Marielle Duke, and the good folks of Adaptive Arts Theater Company (an off-off Broadway Theater company dedicated to raising awareness of Autism) for the opportunity to share my work again in the Big Apple.

For more information about the event, please click here.

rock on,


Sunday, March 13, 2011

DALLAS at the Annenberg Center

On Saturday night, March 12th 2011, my collaboration with electronic music composer Mike Vernusky, DALLAS, took the stage of the Montgomery Theater in the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

Aaron Oster (Clinton Hill) and John VanZelst (Man Behind the Counter). Photo by Jules Victor.

As part of the MERGE program produced by the Annenberg, me and Mike's 10-minute electro-theater piece shared the stage with six other short works, most of them created by Philadelphia artists. The "merge" theme comes from producer Brian Grace-Duff's interest in creating an evening of theater that collides local professional work with student-driven work as well.

With DALLAS, we even "merged" within our project, as it was performed by a mix of Philadelphia-area professionals Darin J. Dunston, Haley McCormick, and Aaron Oster with Drexel University students Laurel Hostak and John VanZelst.

John VanZelst (Man Behind the Counter), Darin J. Dunston (John F. Kennedy) and Haley McCormick (Jacqueline Kennedy). Photo by Jules Victor.

The event as a whole was a success in many ways-- the performances played to a near sold-out house of 110 seats, with each of the 7 events showcasing strong, original work. The event was well organized, enthusiastically received, and offered the opportunity for new friendships among artists of the seven different groups who merged together for one night.

Aaron Oster (Clinton Hill), John VanZelst (Man Behind the Counter), and Laurel Hostak (Waitress). Photo by Jules Victor.

The DALLAS project itself was its own reward. This was the piece's first full-production, and it was, as always, a gift to see the work come to life through the creative choices made by brave, talented actors. This process, though a short one (we rehearsed for a total of 10 hours over 4 meetings), was committed, creative, and full of discovery. Also the director of the piece, it was completely satisfying to work with such a smart, thoughtful, and enjoyable group of artists.

Haley McCormick (Jacqueline Kennedy) and Darin J. Dunston (John F. Kennedy). Photo by Jules Victor.

Big thank yous to Brian Grace-Duff for organizing, producing, and inviting me to participate in this event; to Drexel University for its continued generosity (especially Nick Anselmo who picked up the tab for a caravan of supportive Drexel students to attend the performance and then helped me carry two 3 foot by 3 foot tables across West Philadelphia after the event!); to the Dragons who showed up to support their classmates; to Michael Kranes and Cody Kirk whose voices (as Arlen Specter and Clinton J. Hill) continue to come through the walls; and to Dianna Marino, for whom the play was originally written.

Aaron Oster (Clinton Hill), John VanZelst (Man Behind the Counter) and Laurel Hostak (Waitress)

HUGE thank yous as well to Jules Victor, for all of the amazing photographs.

rock on,


Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Sunday evening, March 6th 2011, seven Drexel University students and I shared the discoveries we made during our 8-week laboratory workshop on THE BABEL PROJECT.

Emily Kleimo (Worker 4) and JuliAna Nawn (Worker 3). Photo by Jules Victor.

Staged in the Filbert Space/URBN Center Annex, and presented as an "open rehearsal", the performers and I were greeted by a supportive and friendly group of 40-45 fellow students, friends, and family for this hour-long event, which included scenes/moments from the play colliding with live music/rhythms created by the actors, colliding with structured interruptions/activities and electronic music. Together, we experienced the first-ever public viewing of this particular collaboration between me (script, direction) and Mike Vernusky (electronic music composition).

Allison Brobst (Office Worker 1), Emily Kleimo, JuliAna Nawn, and Grace Buttery (Office Worker 2). Photo by Jules Victor.

It was a wonderfully fun learning experience for all of us, and it was incredibly enjoyable to be with these talented, creative, enthusiastic young actors for roughly 40 hours of rehearsal time. A true ensemble project/process, the actors all contributed considerably to creation of the work, and to all elements of production and design. I am very proud of all of them for the commitment, bravery, sense of humor, and willingness to explore the unknown, and feel privileged to have worked with all of them.

Katie Lynch (Worker 5), Laura Calderone (Worker 6), and Nikki Zusman (Bartender). Photo by Jules Victor.

Big thank yous to Nick Anselmo and the entire Drexel University family for their continued support of my creative projects, and to all the lovely people who participated in this evening of discovery.

rock on,