Friday, October 16, 2015


Perhaps this is a bit premature, but I am on an upswing and have no idea how long it will last. In my most recent assessment, I reflected on stagnancy and a general feeling of malaise. Writing was not happening. In fact, it continued not to happen for some time, as I was locked in my head over the Christie piece, unable to freely enjoy anything until that was sorted.

Tiresias Riddles the Fate
However, since that time I have written two brief pieces for performance. Cleveland Public Theatre's annual Pandemonium benefit was held on Saturday, September 12. My fifteen-minute play Tiresias Riddles The Fates was performed twice in one of the outdoor yurts and though it rained all evening crowds made their way across the sodden parking lot to join us.

The theme for the evening was "transform" and so I was inspired to call upon one of the oldest known transgendered characters in literature. And the Fates? Because women. My daughter encouraged me to create something for the event and I thought if I roped her and one of her friends into it I might actually come up with something fun. Two actor-teachers rounded out the cast.

The CPH Centennial Plays
The other short play, On the Beam, was written as part of the centennial celebration to be thrown next weekend in honor of the Cleveland Play House 100th Season. The Playwrights' Unit was asked to write short plays that tell the history of CPH in 60 minutes. Writing a short piece about the first Cleveland production of The Crucible was stepping into warm and familiar territory, and I was very happy to offer my contribution.

Performances of The CPH Centennial Plays will be in the Helen Theatre at Playhouse Square next Saturday, October 24 at 12:15 PM and again at 4:15 PM. Admission is free, though they are asking that people make a reservation. It's going to be a big, day-long party with events happening all around the Play House complex.

Not sure which performance of the Centennial Plays I will make, but I do know I will be performing in White Rabbit Red Rabbit at Cleveland Public Theatre that same night, Oct. 24 at 7:00 PM in the Parish Hall on the CPT campus.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit
I can't tell you anything about WRRR because I do not know anything about WRRR. It is a play an actor can only perform once, because they are expected not to know anything about it.

I will show up that Saturday night, they will hand me the script, and I will walk out on stage (will I be walking onto a stage?) to perform a play I have not read for an audience. As the play opened last weekend, and folks have been encouraged to see it more than once, it is very possible the audience I will be performing for will now much more about the play than I do, which is nothing.

This evening we had an impromptu reading of a work I wrote last Spring and only recently came back to, what I affectionately refer to as The George Michael Play. It is not my custom to hold a play reading in a bar but I did want to thank the people at Parnell's on Playhouse Square for letting us use the upstairs room this evening.

The George Michael Play
It's a dicey piece of work, but I had two splendid readers, and Khaki, as well as a room of actor-teachers to witness. It has been some time since I made up something entirely original, so many recent works have been adaptations or parodies or sequels or prequels, to create something to entirely me, well it has been a while.

There is also a great deal of work to see or things to do these days, we will be attending the Talespinner Halequinade benefit tomorrow evening, King Lear at Great Lakes later this week, the Play House production of The Crucible the week after that.

I Hate This
Most unusual of all, however, is a production of I Hate This the first weekend of November at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. Brian Cook will be designing, directing and performing this very personal play of mine for his senior thesis. How he came to choose this monodrama, from all those available, is a question I must ask him some day soon. For the time being it is enough to say that his thoughts on the script, and his preliminary concepts for design were enough to satisfy and I have otherwise had no input into the project.

The idea that this particular piece, this most personal stories, could have a life separate from my body, from my own mouth, is in a word reassuring. That I was able to put down the words, that the words alone tell the story, and that they may safely be interpreted by another independent from any additional contributions from me.

I ran a marathon a few weeks ago, the Twin Cities Marathon. Yes, I have been writing, but so much time was spent occupied by that intense, physical pursuit. And I did well. Now, on the other side, I am overwhelmed by all this work; home work, work work, and the writing work. I haven't had a run in almost a week, and I do not like to think that I have to choose between writing and running. Perhaps this time I might be able to keep body and mind together.

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