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Archives for : Palace Theatre

Thankful for 2015

I write this while still recovering from Thanksgiving dinner, so I figured it would be appropriate to talk about what I am thankful for in my professional life in 2015, as well as talk about what 2016 will hold for me.

I am thankful that 2015 was the most successful year of my theatrical life ever. I was fortunate to direct seven productions this year, each one teaching me valuable lessons about myself as an artist and as a person. I closed out the directing year with “Into The Woods” and I have never been more proud of myself, nor the cast and crew that I have worked with. To not only finally get to work on Sondheim, but to work with such wonderful people was a dream come true. I cannot wait for another opportunity to work with the Actorsingers, as well as work on more Sondheim.

I would like to thank everyone who gave me opportunities this year, everyone I collaborated with, and everyone who I learned from in 2015. The lessons from this year will stick with me for a life time, and I feel like I am finally coming into myself as an artist.

My 2016 is already quickly filling up. I will once again be working with the Maskers Drama Club of Central High School, first directing their winter drama, Antigone, which I have written an original adaption of which we will use. I will also be returning to the Windham Actors Guild to direct Fiddler On The Roof, which has been on my list of shows to direct for years. My 2016 will also include the spring comedy with Maskers, and I am hoping to self-produce at least two shows with Cue Zero in 2016.

I do have one final project for 2015, though not directorial. I will be returning to the place where I got my start in the theatre world: Manchester’s historic Palace Theatre, where I will be working backstage on their annual production of A Christmas Carol. I am overjoyed that I will get to be going “home for the holidays.”

Hope 2015 was as kind to you all as it was to me, enjoy your Christmas season, and have a happy new year!

Time is a Funny Thing

The other day I realized I had really lost track of time. Not just for that day, but for a few weeks. I had no idea we were so close to the end of November, with Thanksgiving next week, and Christmas being little over a month away. 2013 is almost over, which is a bit of a scary notion.  As of today, I’ve been a graduate of UNH for 186 days, and I’m still attempting to get my footing in the world. I’m not worried that I won’t get everything figured out, I just thought I’d have a clearer idea of what I was doing at this point. I mean, a lot of people tell me I seem to have a better plan than most, but I don’t know, I guess everything is relative.

Anyways, back to what I did this week. Thursday night, Sam and I went to see “Spamalot” at the Palace Theatre, and both throughly enjoyed the performance. It was a very warm and charming production with the highest of quality when it came to sets, lights and the like. On Sunday, I took my mother to see “It’s A Wonderful Life” at Pinkerton Academy, which was a nice little student production. Pinkerton always puts on a solid production when it comes both to their fall drama and their spring musical. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Mrs. West was still directing the productions, as she has been working at the Academy since 1959! Good for her, I hope my career is as long and fruitful as hers. So with these two shows, I am now one away from my goal of seeing ten different productions in the second half of the year, and there are at least two more shows on my calendar for this coming week, so I’ll probably reflect upon all these shows in next weeks post. Also this weekend I’ll be attending WWE “Survivor Series” in Boston. Not sure if most people would count this, but I do, as I have always argued that professional wrestling is the love child of musical theatre and comic books.

Last week I announced that I hope to self-produce an original piece for public consumption before my next birthday. I’ve set a target performance weekend of July 11th and 12th. I have also settled on exactly what I hope to produce. My idea is to do a night of two one-act plays both written and directed by myself. One play will be my play “Cheap Heat” with some re-writes and modifications, and the second will be a new play that I have begun writing this week. Ideally, I’ll have both scripts “finished” by the end of December. During January and February, I’ll get the script for the second play into the hands of very capable actors so we can “workshop” it, work out the kinks, and re-write it into a piece of compelling drama. Working on both pieces will continue into the spring, with a troupe of 4-6 actors recruited no later than mid-May, and formal rehearsals during the month of June. I’ll obviously have to bring in at least one other person to help out behind the scenes, and maybe even a business manager. Of course during these period I’ll be fund raising and advertising the hell out of the show.  I have a few ideas for a performance space, and I hope to nail it down sometime in the near future. I also need to find out a few more details about the business/legal/management end of producing, which I shall be investigating this weekend. I’m being really ambitious with this project, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

This past weekend I attended my first open training session with TheatreKapow, and I LOVED it. It was a great little workshop that crammed so much useful exercises into two hours. We started with a great relaxation exercise, which I am a huge fan of. I am always stressing to both my Sowa Entertainment colleagues as well as my robotics kids that the number one key to a good performance/presentation is being relaxed. After a group body exercise we did a short little active listening scene work, and in that moment I realized since I had been so consumed with directing and writing, I haven’t done any acting since April. Doing this thirty-second, on book cut from “The Seagull” was a great reminder of what I have been missing, and I really should seek out an acting project every once in a while, instead of purely focusing my efforts on directing like I have been over the past few months. While DJing is still partly a performance art, it still doesn’t capture the magic and rush of acting. The TheatreKapow monthly open training session is now marked down on my calender and I will be attending regularly

Speaking of acting, I’m about halfway through “Respect for Acting” and am still in love with the book. It’s been nice focusing on something that’s a bit more foundation level rather than the higher level acting/directing theory things I’ve been looking at over the past few months, as I am sure many of my actors in the near future won’t have as much, or the same type of actor training that I’ve had, and I need to be ready to deal with actors of all experience levels. Uta also discusses a few concepts I hadn’t given thought to before, as well as looking at ones I have but from a different angle, and having this widened perspective will be very helpful as both an actor and director. I am looking forward to applying some of her techniques in the near future.  I’m am also about twenty pages into “Laughter, Pain, and Wonder”  by my former professor David Richman. Since I know David personally, I really can hear his voice in the text, and his seemingly endless insight on Shakespeare, theater history, and directing is always a pleasure to hear. I’ll never forget taking one of his classes and feeling that this man knew everything worth knowing about theater. If asked him a question about theater history, and David didn’t know, I assumed it wasn’t a fact worth knowing, and no longer wondered about it. The last item in the subject of “What is Dan Reading,” I finished “Superman: Birthright” last night, which is a brilliant modernization of Superman’s early exploits. One thing I really love about these hardcover DC collections is occasionally they will include the writers original pitch for the story, which as a writer myself, I love to see thought process, especially when it comes to the Man of Steel. Mark Waid goes over every detail and justification for his choices for the novel, and it really shows his dedication and love for both the character and the history of behind him.

Well, this is certainly the longest post to date. Hope I didn’t bore you. See you all next week!