Reading: The New Me (3)

Writers amaze me. The real ones never stop working when they believe in what they're writing. In a little over fours years, this is the third time I'll be appearing in a reading of a new version of Margo Hammond's The New Me. I'll be playing the same role as last time, back in 2010 - that of a private investigator who becomes a bit more personally involved in the affairs of the play than he had perhaps planned. Once again, too, I'll be working with one of my favorite directors, Kay Long.

This time, however, the reading is open to all and is being held at The Dramatists Guild:

6:00 - 7:30 pm
Frederick Loewe Room
1501 Broadway, Suite 710
New York, NY  10036

I love playing detectives. Join me, won't you...?

Liars' League: Marriage & Divorce

This Wednesday I'll be making my first public appearance since siring my offspring, presenting a reading of the short story Don DeLillo, by C. D. Rose. It's part of an excellent reading series called the Liars' League that I got to experience for the first time last summer, wherein actors are recruited to present works of fiction as best they can. The story I'll be presenting is a great, round-about retelling of a literary couple who come to a crossroads in their relationship.

Great dialogue is only troubling when you're the one who has to present both sides of it. Come see how I do.

Liars’ League NYC presents: Marriage & Divorce
7:00pm Wednesday, 3rd October 
KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (between Bowery and 2nd Avenue)

Reading: On Rachmaninoff's Birthday

Tonight I'll be appearing in a private reading of On Rachmaninoff's Birthday, a three-act play by Alejandro Morales. I'll be playing Vladimir Nikolayovich Zubokov, a repressed Russian piano student in Leningrad in 1960, as well as the same fellow in Cuba, in 1989. I'm looking forward to it (even scraping the rust off my Russian dialect), as I like the script and have yet to work with Alejandro. I've met him through my association with Packawallop Productions. Communism: still bringing people together.

Packawallop: The Lounge Series

Tonight I'll be playing Garrett Pruitt in a scene from Christina Gorman's play-in-development, Far From the Trees, as a part of the development arm of Packawallop Productions. You may remember Christina as the playwright of the last show I performed in, Sacred GroundThe Lounge Series are regular events in which The Pack presents some of what's been brewing for playwrights in their regular meetings. I was fortunate enough to join The Pack last year by invitation and support from Christina, Josh Sohn and Laura Pestronk. It's a tremendously supportive group that doesn't shy away from honesty in its feedback, to boot.

Garrett is a nice role, from what I've read - I wish I could play him out in his entire arc. He's a disenfranchised doctoral candidate in astronomy, stuck back at his tiny home town after a terrible research mishap that cost his family plenty. In the scene we get to play tonight, he antagonizes a young researcher who's come in search of some petrified trees his uncle recently discovered on his land. It's fun, and tactical, and pithy. He's kind of a prick. Like I said: Fun.

Reading: Princess

A year-and-a-half ago I performed in a short play called Princess, by Jason Schafer. It has been expanded into a screenplay, greatly revised, and yet somehow I'm still involved! In tonight's reading - free and open to the public - I'll be playing Heath, a father of a different stripe than the one I played back in 2010. The details:


Princess
@ The Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street between 6th & Varick) at 7:00 pm.

CAST:
Ben Curtis ... North
Liz Douglas ... Marina
John Gardner ... Ace/Dean
Shira Levin ... Screen Directions
Michael Gnat ... Pappy/Pastor Bob/Policeman
Ian Scott McGregor ... J.J./Griffin
Heidi Schreck ... Gretchen
Jeff Wills ... Heath
Amy Wilson ... Sarah

Reading: The Memory Play

Tonight I'll be participating in a developmental reading for Josh Sohn's new full-length play, The Memory Play (not sure if that's a working title or not). I'll be playing Gabe, the one whose memories are ostensibly at play in the action as he hashes through some romantic history with the dubious assistance of those who were involved. It's exciting to continue working with Josh, to be privy to his development as a playwright over a course of years, and in varying roles. And hey - you can attend, if that's your interest. Please email me so I know you're coming. Everything's kicking off at about 6:30 here:

Pearl Studios, Room L
519 8th Avenue, 12th Floor
New York, NY


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Reading: Summer Night in a Goldfish Bowl

This Monday evening I'll be participating in a reading of Summer Night in a Goldfish Bowl, by John Watts. It's a story set in Newark on the eve of the 60s, and I'm personally celebrating the fact that we'll be using dialects; that doesn't always happen for a reading. I'll be playing Michael, a middle-aged father traumatized by war. The reading will be held at the historic Players Club just off Gramercy Park.

Reading: Various Shorts by Nat Cassidy

Nat Cassidy; evil genius.
Tonight I'll be reading various roles in several short plays by friend-o-mine Nat Cassidy. The plays are mostly under ten pages, and all in one sense or another address intimate relationships. Love, in most cases. I'm not sure of all I'll be doing, but I know one of the characters is a really sweet, romantic guy who has to confess to the girl he just hit it off with that he tracked her down after seeing her in a pornographic video. So, you know: really mainstream, middle-America type stuff.

NYU: Festival of New Works

Today I'll be performing in a reading of Jeremy Greenberg's screenplay, Song of Zion, at NYU. The script tells the story of a young Hasidic man who discovers punk culture and comes into conflict with his community and its expectations of him. I'll be playing the young man's older, estranged homosexual brother, who finds him once he's growing away from their family and religion and urges him to turn back. Conservative, I can do. Properly pronouncing Hebrew . . . we'll just have to see . . .

Reading: The Widow Ranter

Tomorrow I get the opportunity to redeem myself for a reading I had to miss last year, by participating in the latest reading of it.  I'm talking about a developmental reading for Adrienne Thompson's The Ranters, based on the play The Widow Ranter, by Aphra Behn.  The reading is closed and for the purposes of further revision, but Adrienne (whom I know through my work with NYU's playwriting division) has been collaborating with Karen Carpenter on the script, so I'm excited to see how things go.  I'll be playing someone well out of my range - the 60-something Colonel Junius Ranter - but that's fun stuff too.  I like bluster; especially the English variety.

Reading: Closure

I'm posting after the fact, and radically pre-dating, in the interests of keeping my involvement in a play that's still in development discrete.  I swear it's that, and not me being behind on my posting.  Honest.

Tomorrow, November 8th, I'll be participating in a developmental reading of James B. Nicola's latest script, Closure.  (You may remember James as the director of a reading I participated in earlier this year: Joseph Warren.)  The reading is for feedback and revision purposes, but will also be before a small audience to harvest responses and critique.  It's difficult to explain my role without betraying some mysteries of the plot, but suffice it to say that I will be tested in my dialect flexibility and accuracy - I'll be going for Cockney, Brooklyn, and a tongueless chap in addition to my plain ol' normal (somewhat) neutral dialect.  Wish me luck!

Reading: The New Me

Today I'm reunited with several people through work of Artistic New Directions and a playwright, Margo Hammond.  I participated in a developmental reading of her play The New Me back in October of last year, and now I'm back in a different role - that of the private investigator who develops a romantic interest in his suspect. This reading also reunites me with Princess and Laid Plans director Kay Long, and occasional NYU pal, Christa Kimlicko Jones.  It's at 7:00 pm Sunday at Shetler Studios.

Reading: Speaking to the Dead

Tonight I'll be participating in a reading of a new one-act musical by Sharon Fogarty entitled Speaking to the Dead.  I'm connected to Sharon through various friends stemming from Manhattan Theatre Source, including Daryl Boling and Jason Grossman, with whom I recently worked on Love Me.  This reading is a sort of introductory rehearsal for a brief run as part of a festival going up at the start of December, and I'll be playing a game-show host who falls hard for the psychic featured on said game show (played by fellow Love Me alum Kaira Klueber).  It's fun, and doesn't require me to sing, just fall down a lot.

Reading: Southampton Writers Conference, yet again

This Friday the 30th I'll be returning to the SWC's playwriting division, this time on invitation from playwright Thomas Higgins. He's having a reading of his new play, Wild Animals You Should Know, in which I'll be playing an enthusiastic scoutmaster - Rodney - with a secret. (Said secret being the one you probably immediately imagined.) Joe Mantello will be directing the reading, which I confess is rather a thrill, and we'll rehearse for a few hours during the day before performing the invitational reading that evening.

Reading(s): Southampton Writers Conference

More than a touch late on announcing this one, but since it's the sort of thing that requires ID badges (we need stinking badges) I don't feel too bad. From July 21st through the 25th I worked as an actor at the Southampton Writers Conference, with the playwriting division. This was in conjunction with the The Ensemble Studio Theatre, and involved working with all the playwriting attendees on their workshopping, as well as acting in two invited developing plays:
  • Tom Rowan's Burning Leaves; in which I once again played Matt Leland, a former NYC actor who moves to a midwestern town called Pittsville to teach high school theatre and discovers that work to be more personally challenging than he could have possibly expected.
  • Ben Rosenthal's Neptune Kelly; in which I played Edgar Thorne, another teacher, but this one from a small town in the Northeast who is coping with a recent, rather extreme decision he made for himself.
Stay tuned and hear what teacher I'll play next!

Reading: Joseph Warren


This Friday kicks off three performances of a staged reading of a new play: Joseph Warren: A True Patriot. It's a drama by Robert Blecker, directed by James B. Nicola, and I'll be playing the titular character, an often over-looked major player in the early stages of the American Revolution. (Yes: That guy on the right there -- typecasting...?) The performances will be held at the New York Law School at 185 West Broadway on the following dates and times:
  • Friday, April 23 at 7:45pm
  • Saturday, April 24 at 4:30pm
  • Monday, April 26 at 6:15pm
Those wishing to attend should contact Jessa [jfarkas{at}nyls.edu] specifying which performance and how many seats. Let me know, too, so I can direct my oratorical prowess in your general direction.

NYU: F%^&@d Up

Tomorrow night I'll be playing a dad again (we are looking at my next two decades' worth of roles, here) in Olivia Peterson's full-length play-in-progress, F*cked Up (punctuation substituted by me). I play the father of the central character, who is a young woman with an alternate persona at her side whom only she can perceive. I get to flex a southern American accent in this piece, which is great fun for me and reminds me of some of my early professional experiences. As with most of these Tisch gigs, it is limited in attendance to those enrolled in the class, so you won't be able to hear my Dixie dialect if you're not a student and, for that, I am most sorry.

Reading: Goldsboro

This evening I will be entering, for the first time, the esteemed Players club, in Gramercy, for a developmental reading of Nat Cassidy's new work in progress. Goldsboro is a play about mutants, which will surprise virtually no one who is already familiar with Nat's work. (When's that vampire play coming out, Nat? Vampires are HUGE...) I'll be reading the role of Jonathan, not a mutant (aw) but he has a tremendous rolling monologue that opens the play, and he's kind of a dick. So, you know: Fun!