Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Auditions for Allentown Production

By Paula Martinac
Time:Saturday, November 22 from 1PM – 5PM
Sunday, November 23 from 2PM – 5PM
Place:Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley
930 N. 4TH Street, 1ST Floor, Allentown, PA

Auditions will consist of readings of scenes from the play. You may bring a prepared monologue, but is is not required. A resume and photo are requested, but also not required.

Friday, February 6 at 8PM
Saturday, February 7 at 2PM & 7PM

Rehearsals will be weekends only, starting the weekend of December 5th and held each weekend up until the February performances, as follows:

Friday evenings:7PM – 9PM
Saturdays:11AM - 6PM
Sundays:2PM – 6PM
Rehearsals will be scheduled by scenes so that you will only be there for your scheduled scenes.

There will be no rehearsal the weekend of December 26-28.

For more info: 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Production for "Their Town"

I'm happy to report that Their Town will get a brand-new production in Allentown, Pa., in February 2009 as part of the National Freedom to Marry Day celebrations. I was thrilled when Dean Hiatt found out about the play at my MySpace page and contacted me, asking to read the script. In just a very short time, he's put together a new theater company and is mounting a full season of exciting work, beginning with The Big Voice: God or Merman? next month. Visit the Rainbow Players Theater Company website for more on what they're up to, and to watch for updates on the upcoming production of my play!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

"The End of the Run"

The play ended its short but lovely run this afternoon, and now the hard work of trying to get it picked up by other companies starts. This is much harder than it sounds. It's already been rejected by a few companies that said things like "We enjoyed reading it, but ultimately decided it wasn't for us." That, of course, is like saying, "We're just not into you," and can be interpreted any number of ways. I know it's not badly written so... what? Too big a cast? Too gay? Playwright's last name isn't Kushner or Vogel? You wish they'd give you more, but they never do - a very frustrating experience that, as a writer, I have never gotten used to.
"So Maybe Elizabeth Edwards Should Be President"

Read this.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Critical Thinking"

The reviews for Their Town are in from two local papers, and, although they aren't raves - every writer's fantasy - they were exceedingly fair (at least to me) and helpful. Here they are: reviews in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and in City Paper.

Amazingly, one loved the inclusion of a statue come-to-life of Thornton Wilder and wished I'd used him more; the other hated it ("nonsensical," in his words) but admitted that the actor played the part well. I can't resist noting that the critic who hated the statue also hated my short play in which a character popped out of a TV set... maybe he doesn't like magical elements on stage.

I tend to agree with both critics that a bit more revision would strengthen the play. I thought it during rehearsals, and the actual performances have underscored certain weak transitions and unclear character points - things the actors wondered about when reading the lines. After the festival, I'd like to put the script aside for a little while and digest before attempting any changes.

Actually, this is something playwrights do all the time - revise a play after it's been produced - but that novelists don't. Well, novelists actually can't, because the thing's been printed, but I'm pretty sure they would if they could. I, for one, have given readings from my novels and cringed at the sound of something or even changed it on the spot, while I'm reading, so it "sounds better."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"Curtain Up…"

Well, if there were curtains in theaters anymore, Their Town's is officially up. We opened last night - good crowd, wonderfully receptive, thrilling that they actually laughed at the jokes! As one of the actors, Leah Klocko, and I discussed after the show, you get so close to the material and lose so much perspective during rehearsals, you forget that the play is funny.

Ok, there was some questionable set stuff ("I hate that lamp post!" the director Adam Kukic told me after the show - it's some sort of big ol' Christmas candle), but hey, this is theater on a shoestring. What's more important is that the ensemble was great - I feel like I know the script by heart at this point, and they had their characters and lines nailed. Particularly exciting to me is that the character of Thornton Wilder - a statue in Grover's Corners' park - really works. Todd Betker plays him with a lot of humor and affection, and his mugging made the audience laugh. Poor Todd wears a suit and hat painted gray, gray face makeup, and gray gloves, so he's pretty hot by the end of the play. But anything for art, right? Originally, the script called for Wilder not to look like a statue, and to play various other parts, too - a la the Stage Manager in Our Town. But it was Adam's idea to have him fully "statuesque," and it was a great call - I intend to write it into the script after the run.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Actors Ready… Actors Go"

Last night was the final tech rehearsal ("q2q") for Their Town, followed by the dress rehearsal - the first time I'd really seen it all the way through without any interruptions. Rev. Janet Edwards joined me, in preparation for our conversation/talkback following the performance on June 17.

Tech rehearsals tend to be kind of boring - you just skip from lighting cue to sound cue or whatever, not running complete scenes. But still, there's something about the stage manager calling "Actors ready…actors go" that is at heart pretty exciting. The magic of theater and all that. There was lots of discussion about where to find the bush that is needed for the park scenes, with Dave, the stage manager, trying (unsuccessfully) to sell me on a large potted ficus he found in the lobby. I have caved on other small things, but I just can't give up the bush.

We got a nice preview in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this morning, from Christopher Rawson - check it out.