Sunday, December 14, 2008

Getting Aboard the Bandwagon: Facebook

Ah Facebook that addictive time waster. Everyone is joining, and so has Playlab NYC.

If you are an actor, director, writer, designer, or a patron look us up and become a Playlab NYC fan. Spread the word and invite your friends to join us as well.

Facebook give you the opportunity to connect with other theater artists and patrons of the arts.

Facebook gives Playlab NYC the opportunity to keep you informed about our newest developments. Upcoming auditions and chances to submit your scripts, as well as upcoming readings and shows.

We might be a small company now, but with Facebook you can watch us grow.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

“Intellectual Property” Postponed

The time has come for me to admit that Playlab NYC is going to postpone “©” our evening of theatrical mash-ups, fan-fiction, and parody. It was a very important goal of mine to make sure that Playlab NYC produce two offerings during our first season. Given the financial climate of the country that just isn’t possible.

As we head into the holiday season it will be impossible to raise funds. Given the bleak outlook for established companies this year, I do not see how a fledgling theatre is going to able be to find donors.

I had sent out numerous rejection letters, but had held back on a small number of scripts. If you haven’t heard from me about your submission, I am sorry. It was simply because I continued to hold out hope of getting the show in front of an audience. Managing Director, Jennifer Wilcox and I became more wrapped up in raising the money than tending to the artistic side of the company.

Once it became clear to us that we were not going to be able to present the show in a traditional venue, we attempted to re-conceive the evening as a once a month presentation at a local coffee shop. Jennifer recently finished up a business plan so that we could pitch our evening to the owners, however the shop has just closed its doors. With that final possibility gone, we are out of short-term ideas of how to produce the show.

During the winter Playlab NYC is going to lay low and regroup. We will be back again soon. “©” is an idea we very much believe in, and Jennifer and I are going to find a new way to make sure that it comes to the stage. I will sit down in the next couple of weeks and contact each of the remaining playwrights who have submitted their work.

I am embarrassed by the situation. If you hadn’t heard from us it was simply because I liked your submission and was hoping to include it. My apologies.

Have a great holiday.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Field Trip: The Witches

As part of Playlab NYC’s desire for community outreach and to support our local theater companies, we venture out from time to time for a Field Trip.

Last weekend I went to see The Red Door Theatre Company’s production of Roald Dahl’s The Witches at Socrates Sculpture Park. Adapted from Dahl’s 1983 children’s book by David Wood The Witches is the story of a boy and his Grandmother, who defeat a coven of witches in a seaside hotel.

Geared toward children, I found Artistic Director Kate Erin Gibson’s direction charming. The little boy played by Natasha Warner, was also a cutie pie. She was even better after being turned into a mouse by the Grand High Witch. Bruno Jenkins, played by Christopher Johnston was also terrific. He has whining down and his mannerisms were as good as if he was my own two-year-old when he gets a little tenacious.

There happened to be a family from England at the park to see the play. The little boy in the audience was so excited because he already knew the story, and this allowed the cast of witches to tease and play with him. Because of the nature of outdoor performances and Socrates Park, the actors played all out. Any wind, helicopters, or cars that go by overtake the actors’ voices in a second. This background noise really just encouraged the actors to play louder, and that kept the audience engaged.

The main complaint I have about the production is David Wood’s writing. There was a moment when I thought the actors had looped through to the beginning of the play by accident. This was only ten minutes or so into the play! Instead of actually watching the action, I scanned the audience for the director to see if the cast had lost their place. No, she watched along with the audience. So I glanced up to see that they're still repeating the action from before - and in a second they continued on with the play. This happened every ten minutes or so throughout the whole play - the cast recapping what had just occurred. It was confusing and irritating.

Other than that, I had a wonderful time. I wish I could have taken my little one, I believe he would have enjoyed the show.

Sunday, October 12, 2008 "Zombie-Zombie"

At Playlab NYC we like to spend our time surfing the internet like everyone else. Sometimes we stumble across a video that strikes a chord and we just have to share.

On August first, movie news website posted a short stop-motion remake of John Carpenter's The Thing using 1980's G.I. Joe action figures. The project was directed by Simon Gesrel and Xavier Ehretsmann, and it seems to be a music video for a French electronica team called Zombie-Zombie.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Field Trip: Much Ado About Nothing

As part of Playlab NYC’s desire for community outreach and to support our local theater companies, we venture out from time to time for a Field Trip.

On Saturday August 24th, Kevin and I took our son, Edison to Astoria Park. As we were walking toward the playground, chalk advertisements along the way told us of some free Shakespeare later that afternoon. I love watching Park Theater, so we decided that after Edison’s nap we would go, which is perfect because he gets up about 3:30 and that would get us to the 4:00 show. I packed up a picnic of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we were on our way.

There was already a crowd full of little families as we walked to the North Lawn. Curious Frog Theatre Company Executive Director ReneƩ Racan Rodriguez adapted and directed the 90-minute show with a cast of eight. From the difficulties of different terrain in all our city parks, the staging worked well. The actors used the audience for wing space and entrances. Edison is only 2 and he got antsy about a half hour into the show - about the moment we were out of sandwiches. Kevin diverted his attention further back behind the audience so Edison could run around like a crazy person. This allowed me to watch the show better anyway. It was at this time I realized that the whole concept of the show was based around the US Open, for example the watchmen were tennis ball catchers. The cast showed a sense of closeness with each other, for they really seemed comfortable in each role the actors were playing. I loved the scenes with the night watchmen, Dogberry and Verges. Alvin Chan and Devin Moriarity who play the latter two characters were great having fun with the uppity-british English accent.

Curious Frog Theatre Company is an Astoria based company that started in 2007, and it looks like they already have a great core group of actors. Reading their website they are looking to develop an annual Shakespeare Festival that showcases a more diverse group of actors in major Shakespearean roles. They also hope to perform throughout more communities that don’t have an easy access to theatre, and that’s a great feat - congratulations to CFTC for their valiant efforts!

Check out Curious Frog at

Sunday, August 10, 2008

In the Works: Improbable Plays

About ten days ago Playlab NYC got a group of friends together to have an informal reading of a collection of short plays by our Lab Assistant Jon Steinhagen.

Titled THE IMPROBABLE PLAYS, the collection includes eight short plays:

“Everything But…”

An unhappily married couple have their daily antagonism kicked up a notch when their crafty kitchen sink let’s its special knowledge overflow.

“The Last of the Intruder”

The story of Goldilocks gains a new perspective when Papa Bear and Mama Bear tell their side of the story to a nosy reporter.


A dieting woman at a fancy restaurant has the misfortune to order Jell-O for dessert while in the presence of all her favorite sweet treats sitting on a nearby dessert cart.

“Panda Expressed”

New methods for increasing the world population of pandas lead to the sordid humiliation of a panda porn star.

“Reunion of the Reserve Heads”

Solid limestone reserve heads over five thousand years old are discovered in an Egyptian tomb and end up reacquainting themselves to life in the British Museum.

“Typical Abnormal Behavior”

An adulterous couple is treated to a shocking display of giraffe hi-jinx while having a rendezvous at the local zoo.

“Second Line of Defense”

A Southern belle and a queen bee relate the mysterious events leading up to a Yankee’s death during the Civil War.

“The Tempest Prognosticators“

Six leeches find themselves trapped in a mid-19th Century device for predicting storms and begin to question the meaning of life.

We had a last minute addition to our informal get together in a form a new play titled “Shelf Life.” In shelf life three movies on a shelf, including a silent movie, an early talkie, and blockbuster action film try to figure out what they have in common.

Reading for us were: Kirsta Peterson, who played Lady Macbeth in the Red Door Theater production of Macbeth that I had directed back in October; long time friend John Pieza, who was a part of April’s Loss Breath workshop; and from Playlab NYC’s inaugural production The Tempest, Bob Stack and Jonathan Weiner. And because we lost an actress at the last minute our own Managing Director, Jennifer Wilcox joined in the reading.

The reading while cold was very productive and we received great feedback from the actors. Of the nine titles, the highlights of the evening were “Layers,” “Panda Expressed,” and “Second Line of Defense.” Playlab NYC is passing along the actors’ notes and questions to the author. I’m sure this isn’t the last we have heard of Jon Steinhagen’s IMPROBABLE PLAYS.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Theatrical Piracy: Beautiful Stories

So over the Fourth of July weekend my wife Jessica and I took the girls to my parents’ house in Ohio. A visit Gran’ma and Gran’pa sort of thing.

I was in the basement looking though my warped water stained comic collection. A side note to comic collectors: Don’t store you comics in the basement, especially basements prone to flooding during summer rainstorms. Fortunately the “important” comics, the Daredevil Born Again arc, Watchmen, Electra: Assassin, and Ronin had long since left my parents’ house. So I was left quietly mourning for my Spiderman issues of the Kraven’s Last Hunt storyline, and Secret Wars. It was a pity about the loss of GI Joe issue 21 though.

It was in the basement that I reconnected with the inspiration for one of my first forays into the dark underbelly of theatrical plagiarism:
Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children. Written by Dave Louapre and drawn by Dan Sweetman, BSFUG was not a very traditional comic. The two dozen or so issues published in the early 1990’s were self contained short stories with illustrations, published in comic book form.

It has probably been fifteen years since I looked at those comics. Looking back on them, I see that what appealed to me about the stories were that most of the issues felt like little one acts. Single set, and only a couple people. So that is exactly what I did with an unauthorized (Do I have any other kind?) adaptation of a couple of issues of the comic back in college.

Issue #12: “Beneath the Useless Universe” was a variation on Death Takes a Holiday. With Death becoming a houseguest who over stays his welcome in the home of an elderly African-American man with the weathered face of a Delta Blues musician. Death learns to use a yo-yo and tries to name the old man’s pet goldfish.

Of course we didn’t have any male African-American students in the theater department let alone elderly ones, so you would have had to use your imagination watching the show.

Issue #14: “Dangerous Prayers” was the story of a woman who wakes up one day and decided that she isn’t going to get out of bed anymore because the world is too…well, I don’t really remember why she didn’t feel like getting out of bed.

The illustration that really drove the shape of the “Dangerous Prayers” script was a picture of the woman in bed surrounded by a bunch of men with leaf blowers. The illustrations made the outside world such an intrusion in her interior world. I conceived of a Greek chorus that was ever present in her bedroom acting as her answering machine, her radio, the people at her job, etc…

BSFUC was the first and last directing effort, to the best of my knowledge, of Playlab NYC's Managing Director, Jennifer Wilcox. The show’s ensemble cast included in its numbers Playlab NYC Artistic Director, Kevin Hale, who gave up acting shortly after the show. Come to think of it, in retrospect it seems to have nearly driven both Jennifer and Kevin right out of theater all together.

The show ran for two performances, and there doesn’t seem to be much incriminating evidence that survives. Nothing I could find, no pictures, no scripts. I did come across a program though…written on a typewriter.

I recall toying with doing a second night of one-acts the next year. I was pretty keen to tackle Issue #10: “Where the Tarantulas Play.” A love story set against a failing petting zoo in the desert was a personal favorite. But it wasn’t to be.

Gosh looking back at these I wouldn’t mind tackling the adaptations again…

Sunday, July 6, 2008

What We Eat: The Artistic Home

This is intended to be the first in what I hope will grow to be a series of entries about the works that have influenced the direction in which I am working to take Playlab NYC. My attempt to share the books, movie, and plays I have consumed.

The Artistic Home:
Discussions with Artistic Directors of America's Institutional Theatres
by Todd London

Published by Theatre Communications Group in 1988, The Artistic Home was written by Todd London, the current artistic director of New Dramatists. The slim volume is a summary of 13 meetings between the artistic directors of more than a hundred of America’s non-profit professional theatre companies. Peter Zeisler, who passed away in 2005, wrote the foreword. Mr. Zeisler was long associated with TCG, and was instrumental in the founding of the Guthrie Theatre. The introduction by Lloyd Richards, who passed away the year following Peter Zeisler, is perhaps best remembered for his work as dean of the Yale School of Drama in the 1980’s and his close collaboration with August Wilson.

The Artistic Home is split into five sections that examine a number of issues that regional theaters are facing: artists, audience, and day-to-day operations. We often read about the struggles of individual artists, the daily rejection, but here Todd London offers us a look into the struggles of theaters trying to find new directions. Directions where they can better nurture artists, and bring audiences to them. New directions that will allow the theatres to not only survive themselves, but flourish.

This is not a how to book for running theatre. Rather it is a book stuffed with ideas. A book that works for me much like my favorite issues of TCG’s American Theatre Magazine. They both serve me best as a jumping off point for my imagination. It is a book of “What If’s”

I have read reviews of the book that claim that the book is only useful if you are running a large theatre company, I couldn’t disagree more. To my thinking some of the approaches and ideas that are discussed are probably impossible to pull off encumbered with a forty-year history and a large board. However if you are at the very beginning at the birth of a new company there is some flexibility in trying out the ideas thrown around in these pages. Also, there isn’t a board member at any theatre to whom I wouldn’t give a copy of this book.

The best description of The Artistic Home comes from Peter Zeisler. He says in his introduction that reading the book “is like walking in on a high-powered brainstorming session” with the leaders of the regional theatre movement in this country. He goes on to say that the book exists as a starting point for further conversations.

I would love to see a new edition of the book. If not a whole new book then I think at the very least the time has come for a revised edition. Every several years, American Theatre Magazine publishes a kind of regional theatre check in, with a large articles devoted to conversations that follow the same format as Mr. London’s book. Why not compile those into a series of appendix that allow us to see the evolution to where things are now, twenty years later? I would also like to see the model of the books approach applied to Off-Off-Broadway companies.

My copy is becoming dog-eared and filled with marginalia. It is something that I dip into every few years for inspiration of what my theatre company could be.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Peter Breaks through

In college, my directing teacher, Bob Hetherington was once talking about a production of Peter Pan he directed at the University. He said that the best performance of the show that he saw was the run through just before going into technical rehearsals. That final day in the rehearsal studio was, for him, the most magical, before the scenery and costumes. It was more imaginative and more pure, watching actors pretending to fly, like children, than it ever was watching them hooked into harnesses and flying about the stage.

Bob’s story sparked something in my imagination that I have never been able to shake loose. Why not do a rehearsal hall production of J. M. Barrie’s famous play? Something that captures the feeling of story time in kindergarten, by inviting people to grab a carpet square and sit on the floor and watch a story unfold.

Matt Lageman was an actor I had worked with in nearly every show I directed at WSU, from my first to my last. I liked him very much, but he always seemed to end up playing the second banana in my shows. It was my intention to build the show around him. Matt was to be my Peter Pan, and the role of Wendy was to go to Lisa Roth. Lisa was an actress who’s work I always enjoyed, but who seemed underutilized in the theatre department.

Matt’s parents told him he couldn’t act in any shows because of his grades. For whatever reason he listened to them, and he told me that it he couldn’t be in the show. I couldn’t imagine doing Peter Pan with anyone else and it never came to pass.

If anything my desire to do a production of Peter Pan free of technical considerations and full of imagination is stronger now than it was fifteen years ago.

I look forward to a day, next spring, when Playlab NYC can bring it to you.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude: The Tempest Edition

In honor of the Tony awards this weekend…

Oh my goodness. I can’t believe it. [Carefully removing a stack of notecards from inside my jacket pocket.] I don't have anything prepared. Wow. Thank you. [Flipping through the cards.] I'm speechless! So many people to thank. Wow. [Pause. Inhaling deeply.]

My sincerest thanks to all the members of our immensely talented cast. Bob, Molly, David, Major, Johnson, Jonathan, just to be included in a group with you all is an honor. I'd like to thank our director, Kyle Grant, our stage manager, Colleen McKeever, and all the people at the Juilliard School for their generous help with props, costumes, and rehearsal space. Elizabeth, Traci, James, Kathy, Joe, Mary, and Marion. Thanks to all of them.

I've been thinking a lot about fathers in the course of this, and I'd like to thank my own father, as well as my own fine boy, Edison. I'd also like to thank Jennifer Wilcox, Playlab NYC’s Managing Director and my [Gazing into the audience.]

To the audience, all those who came out to watch the show, it is to you whom I feel the deepest gratitude forgive me if I say just simply, "Thank you."

I’d like us to take a moment to remember all the visionary people who said “yes” but whom we lost during the course of the production. [Begins tearing.] Todd, John, Mick, and of course... [Orchestra begins to play.] No! Zoiks!! Don't start playing that music, I have forty-two more people to thank! Our Lab Assistants, Jon, Rob, Heather! My brother Eric, the crowd down at the Bel-Aire, Tara and the staff at Socrates Sculpture Park. And finally a shout out to God for not making it rain even more than you did, and for not striking Molly with lightning. Thank you all very much indeed. Oh I forgot, thanks to...

[Music swells. Looking lost I wonder off stage in the wrong direction.]

Acceptance speech jokes aside, my sincerest thanks.


This blog was created in part using the Radar Oscar Acceptance Speech Generator by Willa Paskin.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I've Got No Strings to Hold Me Down

When we began talking with Kyle Grant about directing out production of The Tempest one of his ideas was to use puppets in the roles of Ariel and Caliban. Kevin and i had been talking about exploring puppetry as a part of or vision of Playlab NYC, and this gave us a chance to dive into it with our first show.

We found Ariel at an antique store disguised as a carpet beater. Caliban grew from a couple of puppetry books including The Complete Book of Puppetry by George Latshaw and 101 Hand Puppets: A Beginner's Guide to Puppeteering by Richard Cummings. The real breakthrough for us in creating Caliban was a picture of a death puppet found in Eileen Blumenthal's Puppetry: A World History.

David Ledoux with the mockup of Caliban is in the middle working with Kyle, our director. One of the challenges in designing Caliban is that he needs to be able to use props, lugging wood and drinking from a jug. In the left photo, Molly Garber holds Ariel. You can see that at this stage Ariel's wire frame tends to disappear into her surroundings.

In the pictures below Caliban starts to take shape. We created him using a couple commedia dell arte masks and paper mache. Kevin worked on the head. I'll be working on the costume over the next couple of days. I have the perfect fabric for him. It flows great; it's light and it's just the right length. I'm eager to get it finished for David when we begin dress rehearsals on Wednesday. He's grown skilled at using the prototype and I want to give him as much time with the finished puppet as I can.

Below is Ariel again with Molly. the challenge with Ariel is that since she is a found object and not a traditional puppet how do we make her expressive. We've added some colored ribbon and fabric to the wings to improve her visibility for the audience and to give the wire frame some life. The puppet is quite beautiful with all the bead work. It's as if she was washed up on shore and Prospero created this creature out of polished stones and wire.

Working on this puppets continues to be quite a task. This has got to be one of the most ambitious projects I've ever done. I've never built puppets before, so I hope that this first endeavor goes over well. The show is next weekend and Ariel is nearly done, but we really need to get in gear on Caliban. I look forward to sharing the production shots next week to show the final results.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

All the Blessings of a Glad Father

I have been asked on more than one occasion over the last three months, “Why The Tempest?”

The first impulse, and the most superficial, came while directing Macbeth for Socrates Sculpture Park’s Halloween Harvest Festival. If you have ever been out to Socrates, you are no doubt aware of the unique design of their cobblestone stage. As wonderful as that performance space was in the role of Macbeth’s the blasted heath, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it would be even better standing in for Prospero’s not so deserted island.

Beyond that impulse, the compelling reason to produce The Tempest for me is Prospero’s relationship with his daughter. It is because of his tenderness and care with Miranda that Playlab NYC celebrates Father’s Day with The Tempest.

Shakespeare’s plays are filled with fathers. In Linda E. Boose’s article “The Father and the Bride in Shakespeare,” she points out that fathers and sons appear in the action of twenty-three of the plays in the canon, and fathers and daughters in twenty-one. Unfortunately few of Will’s patriarchs are deserving of neckties or homemade ashtrays. Oh sure, we hear wonderful things said about King Hamlet, but none of the dead king’s actions on stage amount to much more than, “Me, me, me.” No one wants to be a stepchild in the household of Titus Andronicus. And the less said about Lear’s parenting skills the better.

But in The Tempest, we have a father who genuinely cares for his child’s well-being. Prospero has his faults of course, which parent among us doesn’t. Like Shakespeare’s famous magician, I’m not always very patient with my two-year-old, and I worry that my son isn’t listening to me as closely as he should. Between you and me, I too look forward to my child’s nap time so that I can plot revenge with my imaginary friends. As a father though, I would certainly use all the power at my command to see to my son’s education and happiness.

Prospero’s character lapses never get in the way of his relationship to his daughter. He tells Miranda early in the play, “I have done nothing but in care of thee.” As an audience we never are given reason to doubt him. Prospero is the most successful parent of all of Shakespeare’s fathers. I hope that you will come out and join our celebration of dads this Father’s Day weekend.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Decided Loss

In New York, there seems to be a variety of theater companies reviving plays or musicals that have fallen into neglect. The Mint Theater Company and Musicals Tonight! are not only two such organizations, they are probably the most dedicated to preserving forgotten works.

Both the Mint and Musicals Tonight! have done award-winning work when it comes to unearthing lost treasures of our theatrical heritage. I find it unlikely that David Mamet would have adapted Harley Granville-Barker’s The Voysey Inheritance if it hadn’t been one of the Mint Theater’s many successes. And I will take the Equity Showcase Code presentations of Musicals Tonight! over City Center’s Encores! series any day. Whereas Encores! feels that Hair is a neglected show, Musicals Tonight! is bringing affordable presentations of lesser-known works by Irving Berlin, Rogers & Hart, and Victor Herbert to audiences again.

That said, from time to time I have come across scripts or references to some neglected little theatrical bauble, and I say, "Wow, I would like to see that on stage." And the person next to me usually says, "Did you say something to me?"

E. E. Cummings’ play HIM, Offenbach's Le voyage dans la lune, Dion Boucicalt's play Vampire, and Victor Herbert's adaptation of Little Nemo in Slumberland are the ones that immediately spring to my mind. But the one that calls to me the strongest is Professor Ralph’s Loss of Breath.

Like the Cummings play, I came across Loss of Breath in the Dunbar Library while attending Wright State University. On the third floor was the collection of plays. A collection that was such a mess you could never find anything for which you were actually looking. The only way to make use of your time, trying to find scenes for class work, was to sit on the floor and immerse yourself in the stacks. I confess that I spent a lot of time and money at the library’s copiers with out of print books, making myself whole copies.

Seventeen years later and I continue to be so tickled by the Professor’s puppet show, that I have been working for the last year to adapt it into a live action theater show. If you ask me Playlab NYC’s first toe in the water as a company was the two weeks in March that I was able to spend with my friends John Pieza and Todd Courson working on the text. Having the luxury to play with not only the original text of Poe’s short story, but also my photocopy of the original puppet script from WSU as well. I am indebted to John and Todd.

I hope that if you ever find yourself in Dayton, Ohio with a couple of hours on your hands that you will go to the Wright State Library and seek out Professor Ralph’s forgotten treasure.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Adventures in Theatrical Piracy!

Have you always wanted to shout insults at some poor Blockhead? Always wanted to allow friends to trash your living room? Maybe you should throw your very own “It’s a Rocky Horror Christmas, Charlie Brown!” party.

RHXCB was born out of a mistaken belief that everyone in America, nay in the world (!) knew the perennial Peanuts holiday special. Backwards AND forwards. I have since been surprised to learn that I am the only one with the cartoon dialogue on vinyl, and the only one who spent their childhood listening to it year round much to the chagrin of my sister, who to this day won’t even let her own children watch the special for fear that they’ll want an aluminum Christmas tree.

I also have a strong belief that “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has a number of things in common with The Rocky Horror Picture Show; a dance number that everyone knows, a floor show, and most importantly slowly paced dialogue with odd pauses that were ideal for audience partici—pation.

Looking at RHPS it always seemed to me that there were essentially five different kinds of audience participation.

1. The use of props
2. Talking back to the screen
4. Some mild virgin hazing
5. Acting out the action in front of the screen

So I took these five points and applied them to Charlie Brown. Throwing foam packing peanuts and pine needles, reciting the story of the first Christmas with Linus, decorating a virgin as a Christmas tree at the finale, and a lot of yelling at the TV.

Because I figured he would get a chuckle out of it I shared my audience participation with a friend of mine. He ended up asking if he could use the Charlie Brown mash-up as a kind of party game. His idea was the TV special was just short enough for the joke to not wear out its welcome.

To say my friend takes everything way too seriously, would be an understatement. One of the things I point to as proof of him over-thinking everything is that he actually did a workshop of my "script," and then gave me notes!

The first year my friend, Kevin hosted the party, he told me eight people were there. And four of them lived in his apartment at the time!

This is, I think, a picture from the second year Kevin and his wife Jennifer tried to host the party.

They sent me a copy of this when they wanted to convince me to come out and help them host the party. If I remember correctly there is a picture from a different angle showing them watching Food Network? Needless to say after I got done laughing at them, I agreed to come help them with the party.

Now I don’t want to brag, but this is what the party looks like when I am there to help out.

So if you run into Kevin or myself ask us about getting the instructions on how to host your own party! Also if you are a member of Facebook, you can check out the "It's a Rocky Horror Christmas, Charlie Brown!" fan page.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

An Attitude of Gratitude

As Playlab NYC launches, I think that it is important that we thank Kate Gibson. Kate is the Executive Director of The Red Door Theatre Company, a company she founded two years ago. Red Door is dedicated to providing opportunities for theater artists, at various stages in their careers, and to producing shows in a risk free environment. She has been working hard over these last couple of years to create a supportive, creative community for the people that have joined her at the Red Door.

I first met Kate eight years ago when she came to assist at Professional Artists, a talent agency where I was working as an agent. And in 2001 just before she went to grad school, I had the opportunity to direct her in the role of Grace Galt in Emma and Company at the Wings Theater.

Last August, The Red Door Theatre Company was preparing to present Macbeth as a part of the Halloween Harvest Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park. When she lost her director, Kate asked if I would be interested in directing. I was flattered and the experience was a needed kick in the creative pants.

It was while working on Macbeth that I thought The Tempest would be an excellent choice for the stage at the Sculpture Park. It was during rehearsals that Kate introduced me to Kyle Grant who joined the show as my assistant director and stage manager. Kyle will be directing our maiden production. Through Kate’s efforts at building her creative community I was able to meet many talented people some of whom I hope you will have the chance to see in our own Playlab NYC productions.

So thank you Kate.

I encourage you to take a moment to see what The Red Door Theatre Company is up to.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Kevin and I have been thinking about this venture for a long time. We started talking more seriously last year. Kevin was directing an outdoor performance and he asked me to help him coordinate the props and costumes. After the project was over we realize that we work well together. As we were watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV, we decided that 2008 would be the year for us to get our act together and get this theater started.

We will be starting with Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I hope that this show will set the tone for years to come.

So here we are, we hope you enjoy watching our theater grow as much as we will.