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: 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

View Larger Map

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.

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!

Community: The Pack

Tomorrow evening is the first meeting of it's 2010-'11 season of a collaborative feedback group I've been invited to join: The Pack.  The Pack is a division of Packawallop Productions, a theatre company based here in NYC, and I was invited to join by former collaborators Josh Sohn and Laura Pestronk.  I don't know exactly what to expect, beyond the fact that it's a group that fosters work from just about every role in the theatrical process - actors, playwrights, directors and more - and I'm eager to be involved in that kind of critical support again.  Whatever its use to me may prove to be...

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!

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.

NYU: Graduate Playwriting

What, again? Yes: Again. And with the same playwright, same story, no less:
"I'll be playing an extremely aggressive character trying to get a rather disturbing idea put into action."
The playwright has done some revisions, possibly extensive. I'm looking forward to working on the script again. It's not often that I play a hardened character such as this and, as we all know, half the fun in that is finding the cracks.

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!

NYU: Graduate Playwriting

Tonight I'll be working once again with the NYU playwrights as part of their regular Tuesday night class. It's been rather a long time since I've done this, so I'm looking forward to seeing who's around (and who actually remembers me). I'll be playing an extremely aggressive character trying to get a rather disturbing idea put into action. I will, in fact, be playing at least twenty years older than I perhaps ought, due to being (I believe) a last-minute replacement. I like that about these venues; in the work-a-day acting world you have to aim for what people can see you as, but here the play is free.

The ACTion COLLECTIVE: ACT IV - It's All About You

(Ed. - You know, I'm such a jerk somtimes; I forget about Loki here. Below is something I should have posted mid-month, but didn't [in spite of what the post date may claim]. Sorry. Sorry all. Sorry, Loki. Sorry...)

Tonight we kick off The Action Collective's first event of the new year: ACT IV - It's All About You, in which members of our esteemed actors will bring in their own short scripts, cast them in the room and after scant rehearsal, have them performed. It's terrifying, and it's going to be great. For this one we have booked the blackbox at 440 Studios, just to lend it that extra certain dramatic something. Pencils down -- it's time to perform...

The New Me

Tonight I'll be contributing to an independent reading of a new play in development, penned by Margo Hammond. The reading will be directed by Kay Long, someone with whom I have worked a few times in the play-writing labs at NYU. The action of the play concerns itself with a mother and daughter who have suffered ill treatment at the hands of their husbands and who in turn decide to exact a little revenge. I, of course, will be playing the "Ken-doll look-alike" husband of the daughter. They can get me to slick down my hair, but I am not taping up my man parts. I'm Equity, dang it.