Last night was the final night we were allowed to have the scripts in our
hand. We all tried hard to not carry them. A few of us did keep the
books at bay, and the others them sparingly, at least in terms of the
amount of lines they had. I wouldn't suggest that my lines were delivered
perfectly verbatim as written, but I did quite well and I only called for
line once. Again, to keep this from seeming too big a boast, I'm not
exactly challenged with a hefty number nor volume of lines. Of course,
tonight we are forbidden scripts on stage, from this point forward. We are
now at the official wholly "off-book"
place on the rehearsal journey.
And since I am
I have some good opportunity today to drill myself as close to 100%
off-book as possible. And despite the fact that I just awoke and it's
already noon, and despite that a legion of others are
and will be at the parks, I'm thinking I'll be pacing around in the local
forestry. It is overcast, but there's only a reported 10% chance of
If I do make the nature trek there will
likely be some of those obligatory associated pics.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them
with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the
separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of
mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel
them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the
pursuit of Happiness.
--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among
Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of
these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish
it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such
principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them
shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established
should not be changed for light and transient causes; and
accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more
disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right
themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing
invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under
absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw
off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future
--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such
is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former
Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great
Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all
having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny
over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and
necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and
pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till
his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has
utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of
large districts of people, unless those people would
relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a
right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public
Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into
compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for
opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to
cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers,
incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large
for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time
exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States;
for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of
Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their
migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new
Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing
his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure
of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither
swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies
without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and
superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction
foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws;
giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any
Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a
neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary
government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at
once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same
absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable
Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves
invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his
Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns,
and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign
Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and
tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy
scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally
unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the
high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the
executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall
themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has
endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the
merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an
undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress
in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been
answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus
marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the
ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren.
We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their
legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We
have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and
settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and
magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common
kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably i
nterrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been
deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must,
therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our
Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies
in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America,
in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of
the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name,
and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly
publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right
ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved
from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political
connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and
ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent
States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract
Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things
which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of
this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine
Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our
Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in
the positions indicated:
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
LAST NIGHT'S 100%, FULL-ON, OFF-BOOK STUMBLE-THROUGH:
The rehearsal last night consisted of two firsts. As I've been reporting,
the books are no longer allowed in our hands, as of last night, so it was
a full off-bookstumble-through. It was
also the first time we've been able to run the whole show, all three acts.
To quote one of my castmates, about halfway through Act III, while we
waited in the wings for our cue to enter back onto stage, "This isn't
the worst stumble-though I've been in." Certainly, some lines were
called for. I had to twice. We have two more rehearsals to call for them,
but it probably only means one time through the whole play since we don't
get to run the whole show either time. As of Wednesday, we are on our own.
If we go up, we are on our own to
Last night was that first, excruciating night when we could not
call for lines;
and people went up;
and people stumbled over words; and people paraphrased; and at times like
I didn't go all the way up, but I did stumble over words and I did
paraphrase. In fact, every place I stumbled and paraphrased were places I
have been verbatim on, until last night that is. Though there is one
word, "buddhas," that my mind just doesn't seem to wrap around.
There's been a word or phrase in every play I've done that has wanted to
elude my memory banks.
Tonight I have the night off. I'll spend some of it as Outside
Mullingar's producer, but mostly, I'll drill my lines, few as there
are -- I did stumble over words and paraphrase.
AUDITIONS ARE OVER AND THE SHOW IS CAST:
The Cast of Outside Mullingar:
Aoife* Muldoon *PRONOUNCED: EÉ-FUH
Connie Fowler Strait
So there you have it. The first cast of the 2015/2016 Dayton Theatre Guild
season: two actors familiar with our boards, Teresa and Dave, and two new
to them, Mike and Connie -- though Mike has worked back stage at DTG;
Connie, as I understand it, is new to the area, and this may be her
first local production (*I'll check on that).
There's a meet-and-greet with some of the cast tonight that I can attend
since I have the night off from Hail the Conquering Hero rehearsal.
I'll take care of some producer business with those in attendance and
make arrangements to deal the rest of the cast. I also am still on the
hunt for my booth techs, both sound and lighting.
When I was there this past Monday and Tuesday, I didn't check the outside
mail slot at the theatre or my own mail box in the office, so I can't be
completely sure, but, as far as I know, I have not received clearance to
use dialogue in the promocast. This "communication," which is not
truly the proper word, is essentially one-sided. I found John Patrick
Shanley's agent information, which did not include a phone number or email
address, but only a postal address. So I drafted a focused version of the
clearance agreement I have created for use when needed, and sent it with a
cover letter to the agent. Whether or not I get any response, whatsoever,
is an unknown variable.
Shortly after FutureFest closes I will begin in earnest on the sound
design. Although, in reality and in the crediting, I will be a co-designer,
as I will be working in collaboration with David's own sound design
FORESTRY AND A RIVER:
On Sunday of this past holiday weekend, I took the short trek from my home
to John Bryan State Park,
as I am want to do, to work on my line drilling for Hail the Conquering
Hero. If you happened to have read last Friday's entry you may
remember I said I would likely do that, though it didn't happen on the
Fourth, but rather the next day. And though I have none of those threatened,
annoying pics of me working with my flash cards, I did take some photos of
my environment. Might as well share an almost random selection of those:
My path into the forest canopy from the main picnic
grounds at JB.
A spider I came across that was crossing the path.
It actually stopped and turned toward me as I moved
my camera close in for the shot. I want to think
it was posing, but, of course, it was just probably
on alert because this giant thing was moving in on
After I took this shot, I got closer and almost
got a shot of a water frog but it zipped into the
river too quickly.
One of my favorite spots on the world. I am sure I
have posted pics of this before with similar text.
A good portion of
that novel of mine
was written here, especially at dawn on Saturdays
Some fattish guy, sitting in the woods.
The nearby village of
after I had left the forestry. I happened to see
that particular resident of the village, that Mr.
Sorry, I took no pics, 'cause that really ain't
cool. Didn't bother him, either. I had my thirty
seconds with him a few years ago.
This past Friday contained the loss of two actors with the sorts
of screen presences I covet,
Roger Rees. I
also understand, from a few acquaintances who saw him on stage,
that Rees was equally as compelling on the boards.
Sharif already had a successful movie carrer
in his native Egypt when he made his weighty debute as an
international screen actor in the epic
Lawrence of Arabia,
and appeared in many movies since, including opposite
in her movie debute,
However, it is
that first comes to my mind whenever I hear "Omar Sharif";
that and the card game Bridge. Sharif was a top-ranked contract
bridge player and even wrote a syndicated column on the game for
The Chicago Tribune
which I used to occasionally read. I wasn't interested in the game
and did not comprehend what I was reading -- I just thought it was
cool that an international movie star wrote a newspaper column
about Bridge; it somehow added to his cosmopolitan mystique. That
mystique that emanated from him on screen was the thing, wasn't it?
To me it seems possible that
"The Most Interesting Man In The World"
is a protégé of Omar Sarif's, at least in term of
that sophisticated, stylish aura.
Rees gained his first strong notoriety as an
actor in the highly-acclaimed
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby
in the 1980's, which garnered him both an
Olivier Award, in Great
Britain, and a
Tony Award, in
the U.S., when the production moved to Broadway. He was further
nominated for an Emmy Award for
the television incarnation of the play. I remember him best for a
specific three of his many featured guest appearances on television
series: first as the dashing Robin Colcord on
then as the dashing Lord John Marbury on
The West Wing,
and lastly, as the dashing, but malevolent, James MacPherson on
"Dashing": a friend said Saturday that Rees was one of
those who can easily be the dictionary illustration of the word.
It wasn't a part of his skill-set as much as it was a part of his
essence, his personification. But, beyond that, it was always
much fun to watch his performances. My strongest memory of him on
screen will always be Lord Marbury's ornery dig at Leo McGarry by
purposefully calling for him by the wrong name: "GerALD!"
May they both rest in peace
THE FINAL STRETCH:
Friday evening was our one and only tech rehearsal,
one without a cue-to-cue.
We don't run again with sound or light cues until this Thursday, which is
our one and only dress rehearsal.
Hey, that's the FutureFest experience, or, part of it.
This Friday is the performance. We have four rehearsals left. Tonight and
tomorrow we are off-site, using space we have been loaned by
Westminster Presbyterian Church,
in Downtown Dayton. Wednesday, as mentioned, is our "Final Dress,"
and that's in quotes because "Final" is rendered irrelevant as
it is the only dress rehearsal, and it is our last timer on stage
before the solo performance of the show in front of the FF2015 audience.
Might I add that Wednesday is only our fifth rehearsal on the actual stage,
as well as being our last? Again, such is the FutureFest experience. The
plan is to at least do a line through.
As for my personal battle toward being verbatim with my lines, I flubbed a
few Friday, and yesterday really flubbed a few. Biggest error I made
yesterday was using an entry line from Act II:scene 2 in Act III:scene 2.
I also had another line in that last scene that I badly tripped over.
The character is fine; the Jersey dialect is fine; it's the perfecting
is the current name of the game.
Rehearsals have begun. The crew assembly is underway.
Still do not have the clearance to use dialogue in the promocast. But there
still is time.
THE 2015/2016 DAYTON THEATRE SEASON OPPORTUNITY FOR LOCAL
DIRECTORS TO NOT MAKE THE ALL-TOO-FREQUENT CASTING ERROR OF PASSING OVER
SUCH A FINE, TALENTED (and humble)
ACTOR AS MYSELF:
Last season I was a bit up-in-the-air, especially at the start of the
season, about what I might audition for, save for
Next to Normal
Beavercreek Community Theatre.
Well, too, I guess it was a given that I'd do the Generals
at HRTC, even before their
season line-up was out (and technically that was for 15/16). Since I'm not
really associated with a talent agency right now, and wasn't all of last
season, there was only one screentest for a professional gig. Though, I
did end up cast in The Tooth Man Cometh, but that was off a tip.
I have a firmer idea about what I want to audition for this year. There are
several at The Guild, in
fact, I ended up auditioning for
but David missed his opportunity (as described in the header). I'll probably
Since I can carry a tune I have been requested to audition for
All Is Calm
-- along with every other local male actor who can sing. Certainly I'll
I brought the play in.
Since John Adams in
is one of my bucket list roles, there's little chance I won't be going
after him at
The Dayton Playhouse.
Springfield StageWorks has
not yet announced their 15/16 season. I'm sure about the other Dayton
Playhouse shows -- (except for probably Futurefest 2016), nor Beavercreek
Community Theatre this season, nor the other local choices. I may add to
my list, though. I'm going to try to be a little more in the loop about
local indy movie projects, too. Probably ought to get myself back
associated with a talent agency, as well.
Of course, (for those of you who may have been following along), last night
and Monday we used space generously provided by the
Westminster Presbyterian Church
to rehearse. Monday was the night of brain freezes for much of the cast:
lots of line flubs, which is not uncommon during the final stretch of
rehearsals. I had a few. Last night went very well. None of us could
claim to be verbatim with the script but some of us were very close. I was
with at least one spot where I got it wrong. I was supposed to say,
"The red guys," but said, "The guys in red," instead.
Knew it was wrong as the words crossed over my lips, too.
The good thing is that our characters all are alive on stage. As Director
put it: there really is some good ensemble work going on.
Tonight all the elements are put together, with some special tech cues
being rehearsed for the first time. Our curtain isn't scheduled until 8:00,
and we may get a late start as there are some
that needs to happen before we begin. Plus, there's a bit of physical set-up
for the tech aspects. It's gonna be a late night, I suspect.
Then there's that line through
tomorrow and we're all on our own from that point onward. I will be into
the flash cards more than a little before the performance on Friday, I can
So, last night was that one and only dress rehearsal.
It went "okay," not great, but okay. The energy, at times, was a
little lackluster. There were a few line flubs; I had two, both, I suppose,
minor; actually there were a couple other places where I had word recall
short circuits, just enough to cause little blips in the delivery of the
particular lines. This makes me unhappy.
The next time we do it on stage is the ball game, the actual, one and only
performance in front of a full audience. We do have the
tonight, which is clearly a good thing.
We cast and crew of Hail the Conquering Hero initiated the
FutureFest 2015 weekend last night. I don't have time just yet to give a
detailed accounting of our performance, but I will say that we pulled it
off successfully. I'll get back with more, maybe on Monday, maybe later.
Today starts off with Book of Hours, by Thomas Klocke, directed by
Brennan Paulin (who played Rod in the recent
at Beavercreek Community Theatre).
The cast is made up of William Scarborough, Joe Meyer, Richard Young, Amy
Taint, Chuck Larkowski, and Matthew Smith.
This afternoon it's Return to Goodnight, by Jared Robert Strange,
directed by Debra Kent, and featuring Cheryl Mellen and Rick Flynn.
Today closes with The Consul, the Tramp, and America's Sweetheart by
John Morogiello, directed by Jim Lockwood, with the cast being Maggie
Carroll, David Hallowren, Debra Strauss, and Matthew Lindsay.
I'm not at all sure there will be an accounting of today posted tomorrow.
Again, Monday, or later, is far more likely.
Lots to write. Some photographs to process. So.....
Now that FutureFest has wrapped, I can move on to earnest work on the show.
The producing work is on-going but I will be able to give it more time and
energy. And it's time now to start getting the sound design on the deck.
FutureFest 2015 is wrapped. I saw some great work, by playwrights,
directors, designers, crew and fellow actors. I felt good about my
own work as Wally in
Hail the Conquering Hero, and was flattered by some lovely
And kudos to my castmates in the show, J. Gary Thompson, Terry
Bowers Larson, Cydnie Hampton, Cynthia Karns, Shawn Hooks,
Kathleen Durig, and
-- likewise to our director, Fran Pesch.
It was great to see Adjudicator
in person again, after his five year absence from the festival,
though we didn't get a lot of time together over the weekend. Also
good to see
though again, we didn't connect much. Nice to meet the adjudicators
new to the festival,
Janna Robbins, and
It was also great fun to hangout with the playwrights: our Hail
the Conquering Hero playwright, Rich Amada;
(Return to Goodnight),
(The Consul, the Tramp, and America's Sweetheart), which was
the winning entry; Dan Noonan (Blue Over You); and
Gloria Bond Clunie
(Smoke). It was also nice to meet and have a few talks with
our sixth playwright, Thomas Klocke (Book of Hours, who is
successfully, but slowly, recovering from a serious back injury, so
could not get out and about to hang and socialize easily.
Also great to mix with most of these folk and many FF patrons at
the traditional, annual post-festival Ice Cream Social at
As for Hail the Conquering Hero, yes, I believe the solo
performance of the show went well. Ours was, of course, the
festival opening, and one of three fully-staged performance.
According to others in the cast, some lines were dropped or garbled
by others, but I don't know the details, nor would I report them
if I did, and none were deadly to the scene or the performance. I
moments.... well, two that I am aware of.
One of my goofs was terribly minor, the other, reasonably minor. I
did a slight paraphrase of a line in Act III. Instead of saying,
"In fact, I was telling...," I said something like,
"You know, I was telling...," or something close to
Shortly after that, I made a false entrance back onto stage.
Wally (I) was taken into the off-stage kitchen by Ginny (Terry
Larson). A few minutes later, the phone rings and Ginny yells from
off stage that she'll get it. A few moments later she is to come on
stage, alone, to tell her husband, Tom (J. Gary Thompson),
that his agent is on the phone. Then she exits. A few minutes later
Ginny rushes back on stage, with Wally in tow, with some important
news. While in the wings with Terry, I was thinking about a line I
have later that was always giving me problems. I saw Terry head
back on stage and thought it was her second stage entrance rather
than the first, so I followed her on. When she stopped short and
said, "It's your agent," I realized, Oh, shit! Thus
is the wrong one! So, Wally just casually stopped, turned
around and went back off. I don't think the audience was any the
wiser that it was a flub. At least I stayed in character and didn't
telegraph the error to the audience. I made a false entrance once
in another show and jumped in an "oh shit!" sort of a
manner that most definitely telegraphed the gaffe.
moments aside, all of them, mine and others, it went well enough
that Playwright Rich Amada was pleased. So, there ya go. Now, for
me, it's on to other theatre stuff -- mostly for
-- with an eye on the start of next summer when FF2016 auditions
Hail the Conquering Hero
by Rich Amada
(Friday, July 17 - 8:00 PM)
Directed by Fran Pesch
J. Gary Thompson as Tom Azuric
Terry Larson as Ginny Azuric
Cydnie Hampton as Kimberly Azuric
Cynthia Karns as Marilyn Froling
K.L.Storer as Wally Froling
Shawn Hooks as Bud Peel
Kathleen Durig as Mom
Annie Pesch as Sylvia Sanchez
Book of Hours
by Thomas Klocke
(Saturday, July 18 - 10:00 AM)
Directed by Brennan Paulin
William Scarborough as Zak (Isaac)
Joe Meyer as Fugitive Green
Richard Young as Illuminator
Amy Taint as Angel
Chuck Larkowski as International Style
Matthew Smith as Izzie (Ishmael)
Return to Goodnight
by Jared Robert Strange
(Saturday, July 18 - 3:00 PM)
Directed by Debra Kent
Cheryl Mellen as Irene Deckard
Rick Flynn as Casper Kelly
* * * * * * * * * *
The Consul, the Tramp, and America's Sweetheart
by John Morogiello
Brian Morgan (Stage Manager); Chris Newman (Scenic Design); Marissa
Childress (Lighting Design); Bob Kovach & J. Gary Thompson
(Sound Design); Richard Brock (Light Board Operator); Phil
Wiedenheft (Recording Engineer/Sound Board Operator); Cathleen
Carroll (Costumer); Bob Kovach (Technical Consultant); Jim Garvey
(Program); Rick Flynn (Photographer); Chris Newman, John Beck,
Tina McPhearson (Set Construction).
And now, some photos from the weekend....
The cast & director of Hail the Conquering Hero.
back row: Annie Pesch, J. Gary Thompson, Terry Larson,
Shawn Hooks, & Kathleen Durig.
seated: Cynthia Karns, K.L.Storer, Cydnie Hampton, &
Director Fran Pesch.
I said I felt good about my own work, as Wally, in Hail
the Conquering Hero, and was flattered by some lovely
complements; one of those flattering complements was from
My weekend pass badge. Same seat as the last few
Wall mount for our show.
Rich Amada, author of Hail the Conquering Hero.
FutureFest 2015 winning playwright, John Morogiello
(The Consul, the Tramp, and America's Sweetheart)
The traditional Saturday lunch at
with FF locals and playwright Jared Robert Strange
Playwright Dan Noonan, John Morogiello's wife Besty,
& John at Marion's Piazza.
Playwright Gloria Bond Clunie, in the forefront,
with others at Marion's.
Starting second from the left, Adjudicators Ashley
Rodbro, Eric Peterson, Janna Robbins, & others
Playwright Thomas Klocke, at the end of the table
in black, and Adjudicator Peter Filichia, on the
right in black, with others at Marion's.
Ms. Bond Clunie talks with Annie Pesch in the lobby
of the Dayton Playhouse.
Outside the playhouse before one of the shows.
Outside the playhouse before one of the shows, with
Chuck Larkowski, who appeared in Book of Hours,
Outside the playhouse before one of the shows.
Rick Flynn, the male lead in Return to Goodnight,
in black, with FF2015 Set Designer Chris Newman, in
the hat and in red, & Terry Larson, from my
show, the down right corner of the frame, with others
outside before a show.
In the playhouse lobby.
DPH's Kelli Locker in the playhouse lobby.
Roger Watson, whom I appeared with in my first FF
show, Fake, Jim Gordon (which was also
directed by Fran Pesch). Beside him is his wife,
Chris Watson, who once was the business manager
Playwright Thomas Klocke speaks with a FF patron
in the playhouse lobby.
Outside the playhouse before one of the shows.
The adjudication of the winning play, John
Morogiello's The Consul, the Tramp, and
The last adjudication, Smoke by Gloria Bond
The Morogiellos, post win.
Dodie Lockwood (from Smoke), Mike Rousculp
(also from Smoke), Adjudicator Helen Sneed,
& Ray Geiger (again, from Smoke).
Playwright Jared, Consul, Tramp... Director
Jim Lockwood, Playwright Dan, David Hallowren
(from Consul...), in black turned from the
Cydnie Hampton from Hail the Conquering Hero.
The Illustrious Tay Caplan along with Chuck
Larkowski and others at the traditional post
festival ice cream social at "Chez
Caplan", aka the home of Saul and Tay.
Still at the ice cream social with Book of
Hours director, Brennan Paulin, Megan Cooper
from Smoke, & Ms. Sarah Caplan, who is
always at FF and often on or back
stage at FF.
My director, Fran Pesch (down left corner), my
playwright, Rich Amada (black shirt), Blue Over
You director Saul Caplan, with his arm around
Return to Goodnight's Cheryl Mellen, at the
ice cream social.
Ms. Bond Clunie, Mr. Noonan, & Mr. Amada, with
others at the ice cream social.
Dan Noonan & Jared Robert Strange at the after
party in the roof restaurant at the
Jared & Rich at the after party.
Hail's J. Gary Thompson at the after party.
Hail's Cydnie Hampton & Cynthia Karns
at the after party.
Cydnie & Cynthia, again.
The Smoke adjudication.
The after party at the Crowne Plaza with Cheryl
Mellen in the forefront.
Some goof in the forefront, with Ms. Bond Clunie,
Hail's Terry Larson, and Fran, at the
Tuesday I had a brief production meeting with Director David Shough about
the ambient sound needs of the show. We are co-designing, he choosing the
music, I adding the sound effects and doing the actual overall programming
This should be straight-forward. I haven't looked into my library of sound
effects, but I am 99% sure I will not have to go looking for any, unless
what I have isn't precisely right for the effect we need. That happens
Other times I can manipulate a sound file I already have, play with the
speed, or pitch, or frequency bands, to get the desired audio effect; but
there are occasions where it simply takes a new file; then it's off to
Sound Rangers (always my first
visit) or another on-line sound effects store in search of the right file
for the job.
Rehearsals and preproduction seem to be moving along. There are some ducks
to get in a row in terms of a few props and set pieces, and some other
concerns that are being addressed, but all in all, the production is in
In terms of clearance from the John Patrick Shanley camp to use dialogue
from the play in the promocast; that has not happened, yet. There is, of
course, still time, but I am on the verge of becoming skeptical.
PRODUCING SOME WORK FOR OUR DTG 7OTH:
You may know that The Guild will celebrate our 70th anniversary as a
theatre company the last Saturday in August, the 29th. The festivities
begin shortly after the curtain of the afternoon performance of
Outside Mullingar. Well, I'm on the ad hoc planning committee for
the event and am charged with editing a couple movies to run on the lobby
TV during the event. One will be the DV movie of the spring 2014
illumination of the digital marquee. Peter Wine and I shot multi-cam
footage and I have yet to sit down and edit that out. It's one of several
Guild-related DV movie projects that demand present attention.
Another is the DV movie referred to in the fb post above. We are trying to
gather as many photos of productions, actors, and Guild people from over
the years to put together a slide-show like DV movie. There are also scans
of programs, flyers and other miscellaneous documents of interest that will
be in the mix. I actually don't have all the material yet. I had started
editing together what I do have, between what has been scanned by others
(photos, etc) and some pic I have myself -- and all woefully incomplete
to represent seven decades. At five seconds per image, for what I have, the
movie was up to about thirty minutes. So I went in and cut all the assembly
I had done, then parred down greatly from what I was contributing. I was,
in some cases, using four to six images from one production. Now it's one
for most, two if there's some amazing second pic to use. Mostly I'm going
for the group cast/crew photos when I have them.
And let's not forget I have the Mullingar promocast to shoot, edit
and get out there, due a week before the two 70th anniversary movies. Oh,
and some sound design.
I also will have the two movies about our transition from Salem Ave. to
Wayne Ave. as part of the lobby display at the 70th:
Going Dark and
Broken record; back in the gym after months away; that is all.
For the five or so of you who regularly follow this blog --
and I'm likely flattering myself with that
estimate -- I'm still feeling that "itch to get back behind
the camera in a manner more so than as the director/producer of DTG
promocasts" that I reported on in June, in June on my birthday, as a
matter of fact. My screenplay, Perfect Luv, which has been in draft
for several years now, is still a contender, though, still, as I wrote in
June, there is a short story at
The WriteGallery Creative Writing Web Site
that I am contemplating optioning from the author, as is at least one other
idea I have for a new screenplay from myself.
As before, I am not sure whether I would look at a late-summer 2016 or
late-summer 2017 goal for principal photography,
but I do know that I'd like to have some sort of a decent budget for this
one -- "decent" for a low-budget, non-union independent.
The Chorus for Candice
had a budget of around $900, if I remember correctly; when I first thought
about the budget for Perfect Luv I was in the ballpark of maybe
$20,000 to $30,0000. I may not go quite that lofty as my goal, more so
because I have a great insecurity about raising such finances than for
any other reason. But I'd really like to be able to pay the cast and crew,
as I wrote in that earlier post. More so, I'd like to pay something decent
to everyone, perhaps not
SAG/AFTRA-type money, but more than
token paychecks. So, I guess I'm hoping to pay the higher end of
"low pay movie,"
in whatever ballpark that ends up being.
I suppose what I need to do is sit down and start plotting out a budget.
Of course, it'll have to be a rough one. Until I pick the script, a lot of
projected production costs will be unknown. Not only that, but many ideas
about potential preproduction
needs, such as locations, wardrobe, etc., are going to be equally unknown.
One thing that is not under debate: I will not be shooting it with my
little consumer HD camera. It's nice enough for shooting the promocasts,
but I need something better, whether it be a high-end camera that I rent,
perhaps buy -- I have been thinking
about it -- or the DP
brings in; because, yes, I am most certainly bringing in a DP for whatever
project ends up in production; I just am not proficient enough at
shooting. Whatever goes into production, there's going to be a lot of
preproduction to demand my time along with whatever I am doing as an actor
and as a DTG person.
-- Once again, there's that damned improv movie project from 2008/2009
still looming on the shelf, waiting for me to take it into
postproduction. It just
promises to be such a daunting task to edit together all the sequences, (the
vignettes), into something even comparable to a cohesive story. Equally
daunting is the color correction that the project needs; if that is not
successful then it will need to go black & white like the excerpt from
the project, the short,
Be Or Not. I really
would like to avoid that. I hate to admit it but as much as I dislike
Final Cut Pro X, I do
believe it has a strong color temperature matching function, which no doubt
will be greatly useful to this project.
I spent some of yesterday helping with the construction of the
Mullingar set. As I have intimated before, though probably quite a
while ago, probably several years ago, I am more of a
Tim Taylor when it
comes to set-work carpentry than I would be an
Al Borland, but I am
Still nothing from the John Patrick Shanley camp about clearance to use
dialogue from the play in the promocast; I am closer to that verge of
being skeptical about receiving a "yes."
As you can see from the screenshot of my facebook post from today, I had
a little ticket-buying snafu; fortunately,
Ticket Center Stage
was willing to work with me, cancel the mid-level ticket, and give me a
%100 refund. That doesn't always happen with ticket venders.
To elaborate some on the story, I bought a pretty decent seat, about eight
or so rows back in the center orchestra section -- really not a bad seat,
at all. It was a $65 seat ($70 after the fee). Very close by were seats at
the next tier of pricing: $150. Looking at the seating chart the $85 jump
made no sense, so I opted for that $65 ticket. Then, after I had finalized
my transaction, I happened across the on-line market notice I had read
earlier in the day and saw text I had not noticed before:
***VIP exclusive for true Lewis Black fans***
Get center seats close to the stage, AND meet Lewis in person at
the private post-show party at The Loft Theatre lobby (next door
from Victoria Theatre).
At least one of you five may remember that I met Mr. Black back last
September when he came to a performance of
Miracle on South Division Street
at The Loft to support cast member
Lauren Ashley Carter who
had previously appeared in a play he wrote,
One Slight Hitch,
which, by the way, The Human Race is mounting this coming April. It was a
ten-second encounter, long enough for me to shake his hand and say,
"Mr. Black, I love your work." So, I don't think there's much
chance of him recalling me when we meet again after the October show.
Eighty-five bucks, more. just to meet
the guy in a less random situation. Yeah, I'm an easy mark.
Unfortunately, I will not be in the audience at The Loft this Friday
evening to see Robb Willoughby's new play, Have You Ever Played, Dayton?,
as it is mounted as the first offering of the HRTC
Festival Of New Works
this weekend. I waited just a little too long to try and purchase a ticket;
the show was sold out already. As I told Robb in a text: Yay for him! Boo
for me! But I wish for him to seriously Break A Leg!!!
Before the Lewis Black show, I will be in the audience at
The Schuster for a
performance of the
tour of The Book of Mormon.
I see the Sunday matinée on August 23. That was a steep
ticket price, too: all totalled, $137.
I've spent the week on some producer duties, gathering together all the
material for the program playbill being in the forefront, that which today
I sent off to our graphic designer, Wendi Michael, who does the design and
layout of the programs. Of course, there's also been the keeping tabs on
expenditures and justifying them against the budget. It's clearly time to
be sure all the prop and set piece needs will be met, too.
Tonight I am likely to get the majority of the sound design programmed into
the SCS (Sound Cue Systems) software. The music won't be placed tonight,
as Director David Shough has not yet provided it, but the sound effects
will be placed in the queue. I doubt I have to go out and get any sound
files; I'm pretty sure I have what I need in my library. If I do go out,
as I wrote earlier, it will be because I don't have exactly what will give
the needed effect. Of course, everything, as always, will be subject to
tweaking, later. Since I will build the sound program at home, I will need
to crate a new sound device driver *(a file that assigns channels to
speakers) after I have transferred the cue file to the computer in the
booth. That will allow me to have four channels and isolate sounds to
particular speakers. At home tonight it'll just be a standard stereo
sound configuration -- and that's okay for the build stage.
There's a good chance I'll help with set construction tomorrow afternoon.
I may actually be in early to transfer the SCS cue file for the show and
do all, or at least some, of the work I mention above. Then, with the
exception of a break to buy some sound cable for a separate DTG project,
I'm pretty much guaranteed to have a drill, or a paint brush (or both), or
whatever, in my hand for at least a few hours tomorrow.
A THEATRE AWARDS WEEKEND:
Tomorrow evening, I will attend the 2015 Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame &
Daytony Awards, which will induct local professional director, actor and
into the Hall of Fame as well as celebrating the Dayton area's 2014/2015
Sunday afternoon it will be The Guild's Annual Smorgasbord and Murphy
Awards; the Murphies being our in-house theatre awards.
Congratulations to all the production people and actors who won a 2014/2015
Murphy Award at the Dayton Theatre Guild and to all those who won a Daytony
Award from the community-wide Daytony organization. And kudos to
for his induction into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.
For that matter, congrats to everyone who won an in-house theatre award
at any of the other individual theatre companies in the area.
Naturally, except for tweaks, the sound design is finished. I dropped into
the theatre Friday evening and migrated what I had programed remotely onto
the booth pc, then finished out the programming. To some extent during,
then to a larger extent after, the dry tech on Saturday, I adjusted quite
a bit. After cue-to-cue on Sunday I adjusted more. I have no doubt I will
tweak more during tech week and perhaps after the run opens.
No clearance has come through to use the dialogue in the promocast and
since I shoot tomorrow night and edit on Wednesday, the plan is to do the
DV movie as a VO.
Enter the story of recording the audio commentary of Director David
Shough's VO for the movie:
Recorded it Sunday after the cue-to-cue. At least I thought I
recorded it. Somehow it didn't seem to take. I am sure it was human error;
I'm just not sure what error I made.
Recorded it again. This time I checked to make sure it was recorded
by doing a play back. Then I lost it and I am 99.5% sure I know why and how.
My mind pre-occupied with other production issues and other Guild issues
as well, I absentmindedly unplugged the digital recorder without turning
it off first. I strongly suspect that since I had not saved the second
session as a titled "song" file that I wiped it out of the
buffer where it sat.
Third time's a charm. We did it one last time; I immediately migrated
the commentary to my lap top via GarageBand
to ensure "number 4" would not be a necessity.
Hey! It gave David a chance to hone his commentary.
Right before the Mullingar dry tech on Saturday I attended most of
a production meeting for the next DTG show, The Columnist, which I
am also designing sound for. Nothing but the bare beginnings of discussion
about the needed design.
Note the audition info below. The auditions are a week from tonight and
The promocast has met final cut and is out in the wild. Too bad I couldn't
secure clearance to use dialogue in the DV movie. I had a recent discussion
with someone who holds the same opinion that I use to, that using the
dialogue as I do in the DV movies is probably
and though there is merit to that position, we get into a grey area when
it comes to these promocasts. The purpose is solely to promote a
royalty-paid official production of the play the dialogue would be
extracted from, that is absolutely true, but it's still a grey area. Also,
DTG is a 401c3, not for profit organization, but the use of dramatic
work (stage or screen) in other media, even for the purposes of promoting
the original, authorized production, is contentious. We don't have the
resources for a legal battle, bottom line. Regardless of that little side
trip, the DV movie is up and promoting away.
So Tech Week is almost at a close,
with Final Dress tonight. Since
I wear Producer's and Co-Sound Designer's hats I have been there all week
and can relay that the show is shaping up well. The actors (Mike Beerbower,
Teresa Connair, Dave Nickel, & Connie Fowler Strait) are hitting their
stride; the production crew (Kelly Engle, Mandy Goodwin,Ashlynn Oswald, Sarah
Saunders, Wayne Wolfe, & Avery Woodruff) is perfecting its functions;
the Chris Newman/David Shough set is looking good and the moving parts are
working well -- come see the show to see what that means; sound is
near perfect, thoug it needs some tweaks; Carol Finley's costuming is
complete and looking good, too. Guess it's about time to put on a show.
Crap! -- Naturally, the damned production gremlin
has come out and play a little. Of course, he screwed with me a little bit
Sunday with that whole two failures to record David's commentary for the
promocast, but he decided to make an encore appearance last night. The
During last night's rehearsal some sort of glitch happened to the Show Cue
Systems software and it stopped sending an audio signal. It was not during
a critical sound cue and was fixed by closing and reopening the program. I
wasn't in the booth when the snafu occurred, I was in the house listening
to sound balance, so I'm not really sure what happened, but I am going to
try to recreate the circumstance before the rehearsal tonight, though I am
going to be only approximating from my guess of what that exact
A technical issue peripheral to the production proper also felt the twitch
of the gremlin's fingers. For about a year now, maybe a little less, The
Guild has finally in place a TV monitoring system both in the lobby and in
the greenroom, both receiving a
feed from a camera in the booth showing the performance on stage. The lobby
TV also shows a lobby movie before the curtain. Right now the booth camera
is Camera C, one of my HD
Canon Vixia HF R40's,
those that I use to shoot the promocast. I set the camera up last night
only to find the greenroom TV was no receiving the signal from the booth.
After some trouble-shooting, and a suggestion that I erred in initially
rejecting, I found that the "gremlin," or one of his mortal
minions, had switched (reversed) two cables running into the TV. I cannot
think of any reason why anyone would have a need nor an occasion to do
that save that whoever it was is in cahoots with the gremlin -- they are
also candidates for loss of their fingers and I'm contemplating purchasing
some metal-cutting sheers for the sole purpose.
HRTC ACTING CLASSES:
The next round of acting class sessions are coming up at
The Human Race Theatre Company.
I'm sorry to say that Kay Bosse
will no longer be at the helm, Kay is stepping out of that, in fact, she is
retiring completely, which I believe includes acting on stage. I ended up
doing a lot os class sessions with Kay as the teacher, as well as having
the privilege of appearing on stage twice with her, the first time was my
debut on a professional stage, 2011's
Caroline, or Change
at The Race. I will miss Kay.
The good news to compensate for the bad news is that this forthcoming class
is being helmed by Jennifer Joplin, the Cincinnati actor, who is also a
Human Race resident artist, whom I have seen and greatly enjoyed in several
productions, including the recent
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's
As I've stated here before, I like her work a lot, so there's a strong
probability that I am going to take the class. It doesn't seem to
technically be an "advanced" class, rather it's billed on the
HRTC Adult Classes
page as "Adult Acting Techniques," but I still am prone to enroll.
The classes run Mondays, Sep 21-Oct 6, from 5:30-7:30, which may
pose a little bit of a conflict -- but that's an if on two counts, and even
if the ifs become affirmatives, not an insurmountable conflict.
I've not completely decided but I am more than likely to audition for our
next DTG show,
auditions which are this coming Monday and Tuesday. Of course, either way,
I am the sound designer for the show, this time wholly so. The two ifs
from above, in the acting class section, come in to play here: IF I
audition and IF I am cast, the class ending at 7:30 on Mondays is that
"little bit of a conflict," though the two theatres are less than
a five minute drive from each other, and I am sure I would be excused early
from class the Monday before, and of, tech week.
The Opening Night performance went exceedingly well. Of course, you five
will know that I didn't really get to see the performance; I was, as
usual, the Opening Night house manager. The audience though was most
complementary and appreciative of the show, all the way around.
Looks like we're in for a great run.
Good news on the promocast front for our next show,
Yesterday I sent a follow-up email to playwright
David Auburn, and
he responded in the affirmative to grant clearance to use dialogue from
the script in the promo DV movie.
I have not started working on the sound design, yet. There are other
projects in line first, getting a lobby movie for the upcoming DTG 70th
anniversary party, this next Saturday, being at the top of the list.
I'm still up in the air about auditioning this coming Monday and Tuesday.
There are always those unfinished projects on the back-burner waiting for
my attention, that damned post-production on Vignettes in Bellcreek
and the actual mixing of a much older project, the Heart Walks
album, both at the top of that particular list.
First of all, the house was simply too small last night, less than a half
house and that's just not good enough. The house wasn't full Friday, but
it was larger than last night.
I was again the house manager and I again missed the show, but this time
it wasn't because of house duties. This show is one act with no intermission
so there is no need to set up intermission refreshments. I was occupied
Friday by the setup for the Opening Night Gala. Last night I was in the
office working on the lobby movie for the 70th anniversary celebration next
Just like Friday, the audience loved the show.
Won't be at today's performance of Mullingar. This afternoon I am
taking a trip to Uganda, like many if my theatre colleagues in Dayton
already have or will today.
With the exception of one person, everyone who has seen this visiting
tour production has loved it. Well, hey, artistic awards are often not the
ultimate benchmark of the value of a piece of art -- very often not
-- but nine Tony Award wins is indicative of something good.
It's a cute show and I was entertained. For all its sacrilegious nature
it's actually not all that edgy, otherwise, but then I think creators
and Matt Stone
did that purposefully to give the show a longer shelf life. And it
certainly has a shelf life, doesn't it?
The spoofing of the Mormons and of religion, in general, all certainly is
they-REALLY-went-there worthy, though. But the show is still
ultimately "cute." No Cartmans in the show.
I liked it. I'm not in love with it as others are, but, I liked it.
I finally read
last night. As sound designer, it was about time.
When I got up this morning I shaved my beard off. It's a good bet I will
drop into a barber salon for a haircut after work. I did not audition last
night, and I'm still not 100% sure I am tonight, but it's something like a
99.99999999∞% probability that I will. I seem to be on that path.
There's no question in my mind the lead is a good role for me and that I
am more than just a good choice for the role.
I auditioned last night for
as I said I likely would. I was happy with what I did; what else is there
Ol' Macca is on the same world tour he's been on since 2013 with very few
changes to the repertoire. He's just added a local location, Columbus, Ohio
in October, to the tour. Since I've basically seen this same show twice
already, last summer in Chicago and the summer before in Indianapolis, I
am not inclined to spring for the $275 for a decent seat. However, a friend
has clued me in on a contest to win two tickets for the
via WHIO TV & Radio. The seats will
be fairly close to nose-bleeders, I'm sure, but: free tickets to see a
show I've basically already seen twice..... Providing I win, of course,
which is a long shot.
And it would be pretty cool to hear him do a live version of
which he's added to the show and which I unapologetically love while most
everyone I know correspondingly and overwhelmingly hates.
I seem to be having perpetual voice problems. My throat hasn't felt 100%
"up-to-snuff" for at least a year. I got a sore throat around
last November -- right before I auditioned for
Next to Normal
at Beavercreek Community Theatre --
and have not wholly shaken it since then. Right now it's allergy related.
The point is, as many of you already know, I have been solicited, as have
any males in or close to the Dayton theatre world who can sing and act, to
audition for our DTG holiday extra,
All Is Calm, the Christmas Truce of 1914.
That audition is really not that far away, just shy of six weeks. I need
to start getting my voice in shape. I need to start daily warmup exercises.
Honestly, I should be doing them as a matter of course regardless of
whether there's an impending audition where I need to sing.
Occasionally I do them and then psych myself into discouragement because
some exercises in particular are so rough, because I am out of practice
and out of shape. My voice doesn't perform as well as it can, as it has
before, and I feel defeated by that. It's nonsense which needs to be halted.
While we're at it, I ought to be frequently practicing audition monologues,
which would not only help me keep a nice repertoire of such in shape in my
memory banks but also would keep my actor's voice in better state, both
physically and in terms of acting chops. I have often thought about also
just doing cold reads as a standard practice, just opening up a play I
have never read before and starting. It can't be a bad thing. My
rent-payer does give me
access to a fine collection of plays, classic and contemporary.
The show is not completely cast, yet. Some actors are being auditioned
today. The cast list announcement is being held until the cast is complete.
Of course, there have been leaks but I won't put anything here until the
official announcement from DTG has been made.
The DTG Platinum Anniversary celebration, this past Saturday evening, came
off successfully. It wasn't as attended as it could have been, but I think
that's because we miscalculated getting the word out. I think we thought
we had cast a wider communication net than we did. Oh, well. Besides, I may
be wrong. But for the one-hundred or so people who were there, it was a
Former Guild board member (and past president),
officiated the ceremony. Brief comments were given by the following people,
on the following subjects:
"Welcome to our New Home" -- The state of the Guild --
DTG Board President, Kathy Mola.
"Act One: Guild Origins" -- The early history: The
Dayton Art Institute & the Belmont Park Carriage House --
Board Member at Large
"he Guild Goes Postal: 2330 Salem Ave." -- The Guild
moves to Salem Ave. from Belmont Park -- Carol Finley
"The Hunt is On" -- Finding the Dayton Gym Club Building
-- John Spitler & Brian Buttrey, Board Members at Large
"Movin' and Shakin" -- Moving into the Wayne Ave.
Board Vice President of Operations
"The Plays the Thing" -- How the Play Reading Committee
Picks the Plays for the Board's consideration -- Debra Kent, Board Vice
President of Resources
"The Problems with Three-Quarter Thrust" -- Directing
on the Guild Stage --
& Greg Smith
"The Players" -- Acting on the Guild Stage --
Board Execute & Membership Secretary; Lori Sparrow-Knapp, actress;
Nabachwa Ssensalo, actress; and
K.L.Storer (me), Board
Member at Large
"From our Stage to Broadway: Micah Stock, Ben Magnuson,
Adam Koch" -- Actors & Designers Who Have Moved on to Successful
Professional Careers -- Carol Finley
"We Do it in the Dark" -- Stage Managing, Crewing &
Teching at the Guild -- Melanie Brenner, Vice President of Creative
Operations; Deirdre Root, Board Treasurer; and
Board Member at Large
"It Started with an Egg" -- Meeting at the Guild, then
Getting Married and Starting a Family --
Board Member at Large;
Board Member at Large; Isabella Roberts, Honorary Board Member at
Large and Natasha & Craig's little girl
"Our Heart and Soul" -- Volunteering at the Guild --
and Garry Dowell, Guild Volunteers
"The Guild Groupies" -- The Audience Members at the Guild --
Dr. L. David Mirkin
and Dr. Alan Ross
"A Toast: Gold Mugs" and "Act Well Your Part;
There All the Honour Lies: The Ralph Dennler Board Room" --
The Coveted Guild Mugs for Continuing Volunteers and The Newly
Dedicated Board Room Named in Honor of
Ralph Dennler --
Here are some pictures:
The 70th graphic, obviously.
The birthday cake.
Wall hanging with press and playbill from the
first production, December, 1945, Outward Bound,
as well as a costume and printed material from
He Who Gets Slapped (1957/58 season).
Swords from The Beaux Stratagem (1970/71
season) and a photo of Bill Morse from Da
Plaque, damaged in the 1989 fire at the Salem Ave.
"Blessed is the
person who sees the need, recognizes the
responsibility, and actively becomes the answer."
-- William Arthur Ward.
Horse head from Equus (2002/03).
Two costumes from the first production at the
current Wayne Ave. venue, 2009's Les Liaisons
The Guild's oldest prop (or, set piece, to be
chaise has been in the Guild's possession for
around 65 years. It has appeared on stage many,
many times. It was kept back-stage for cast &
crew seating at both our Belmont Park and our
Salem Avenue locations. It has been recovered
several times for a variety of reasons."
The plaque on the door of the newly christened
Ralph Dennler Board Room.
MOST OF THE 2015/2016 DAYTON THEATRE GUILD BOARD OF DIRECTORS,
(IN PRECISE ORDER FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, REGARDLESS OF ROW):
Barbara Jorgensen (Secretary & Membership Secretary),
Kelly Engle (Volunteer Coordinator), Melanie Brenner (V.P.,
Creative Ops), Brian Buttrey (Web Manager & I.T.),
Harold Fox (Member at Large), Rick Flynn (Member at Large),
Craig Roberts (Grounds Keeper & Staff Photographer),
John Spitler (Publicity), Natasha Randall (Sunshine: i.e.
thankyou's, sympathy cards/flowers. etc.), Isabella (Craig
& Natasha's little girl), Fred Blumenthal (Member at
Large), Patty Smith (House Coordinator), Scott Wright
(Publicity), Debra Kent (V.P., Resources), Carol Finley (V.P.,
Operations), Deirdre Root (Treasurer), Greg Smith *(past
board member), K.L.Storer (Video Media), Jeff Sams
(Building Manager), Kathy Mola (President).
Not pictured: Jon Hung (Legal), Wendi Michael (Print
Media) & Debra Strauss (Daytony Rep).
Photo by Leah Sams
GOOD SECOND WEEKEND, TOO:
Sat as an audience member Friday evening, and, no surprise, I enjoyed the
show. Technically, I have already seen the whole show several times, but,
"theoretically," Friday night I wasn't focused on
listening to sound balance, etc., but, in reality, that was only to a
slightly lesser degree.
I was preoccupied with prep for the 70th on Saturday so I know nothing
about that performance except that the audience was again appreciative.
Yadda yadda yadda so I
didn't see the Sunday matinée, but I feel safe to say
that Weekend Number Two was as good as Weekend One.
& yet another new subject icon with the added bonus of
being an annoying animated gif; I'd apologize but I don't
want to be disingenuous.
One can argue that this is, after all, related to the whole "diary of
artful things," but, truly only remotely. I've been having a recurring
problem with DSL connectivity at home. For the last month or so there have
been these spells where the DSL connection cuts out after less than a
minute after each re-establishment. This has rapidly increased in frequency
to the point that it is the norm. I've spent several sessions on the
phone with service reps from my ISP. We tried verifying the DSL connection
and pinging the signals, yadda yadda yadda yadda.
Monday I called again and told the rep, "We've already verified and
pinged and checked my network configurations, and all that software sort
of stuff. This is either a bad DSL hardwire connection or a bad DSL modem."
The rep made a service appointment for someone from the local phone
company to come out and check on the DSL line. That was for Tuesday. No
phone company technician came on Tuesday. I called the phone company
Wednesday morning and got pretty much this same quote several times from
several different people:
I'm sorry, I can't help you with this particular problem, let me
give you the number you can call for help....
After a few of those deflections it turned out I needed to go through my
ISP, who had to contact the phone company to reschedule the tech call.
Later Wednesday, a phone tech did check on the DSL line at the phone
junction box and found that there was a strong, constant signal. My new DSL
modem is on its way from my ISP. It is, however, being delivered to the
rent-payer so I won't get
it into my hands until Tuesday, at the earliest, since the campus is
closed on Monday.
The argument that this is related is that I do need an internet
connection to conduct much of the business of acting and being involved
with DTG. Although I can
read and send email via my phone. The biggie is that I need a good DSL
connection to upload the DTG promocasts to the
DTG Youtube Channel.
In fact, I had to upload the
Outside Mullingar promocast
using the Guild's high-speed internet while at the theatre, because this
home DSL problem was afoot at the time.
The truth, the bigger truth, however, is that I watch a lot of
Netflix and Hulu Puls.
They're the big staples of my TV watching -- that which I do too much of,
While we're on the subjects of "General Techie Stuff"
& "subject icons," the icon for General Techie Stuff
ought to be updated to show new equipment: nix the old SD camcorder
for one of my current
Canon Vixia HF R40 HD
cameras; replace the outdated four channel mixing box with my
eight-channel digital recorder; swap out the mic for a newer one;
use my present
MacBook Pro with Retina Display;
and my new headphones.
I DON'T WANNA TALK ABOUT IT!
Seriously, it's time, for both projects to move forward a
little bit, or more than a little bit. Since I wasn't cast
in The Columnist, I am not tied up by those
rehearsals. The opening exists....
THOSE WHICH ALSO BROUGHT YOU: Weekends without work; All breaks at
work (including your lunch breaks); Paid vacation; Family &
Medical Leave Act (FMLA); Sick leave; Social Security; Minimum wage;
Civil Rights Act/Title VII -- prohibits employer discrimination;
Eight-hour work day; Overtime pay; Child labor laws; Occupational
Safety & Health Act (OSHA); Forty-hour work week; Workers'
compensation (workers' comp); Unemployment insurance; Pensions;
Workplace safety standards and regulations; Employer health care
insurance; Collective bargaining rights for employees; Wrongful
termination laws; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
(ADEA); Whistleblower protection laws; Employee Polygraph Protection
Act (EPPA) -- prohibits employers from using a lie detector test
on an employee; Veteran's Employment and Training Services (VETS);
Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises); Sexual
harassment laws; Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA); Holiday pay;
Employer dental; life; and vision insurance; Privacy rights;
Pregnancy and parental leave; Military leave; The right to strike;
Public education for children; Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 --
requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount
of work; Laws ending sweatshops in the United States.
Today would have been my father's ninety-sixth birthday.
When I've driven past that park entrance, I've said to myself, I should
check that out. Monday, Labor Day, I wanted to head to some nature spot
but did not want to go to
John Bryan State Park, or
Glen Helen, or
or any of the the usual suspects I routinely frequent; and I did not want
to travel too far. I decided it was time to visit that park on SR. 235,
not much before I get to the on-ramp to I-675 South, most mornings on the
way to work.
I didn't know what to expect, but I did not expect what I came across. This
park takes my breath away. It is 190 acres of mostly open space with a
prairie and wetlands. It is so very foreign from surrounding geography
that it cannot easily be placed at its location by anyone who has not been
witness to its existence.
The novice film maker in me immediately wondered what it would cost per
day to lease the park for some shoots. If it's available at all it would
likely not be cheap. But don't the pictures below suggest wilderness? It'd
be a great location, though the 235 and 675 highways are close enough that
all the audio would have to be Foley
and ADR, because the road traffic
sounds would be picked up. So if you want to suggest isolation, you'd have
to reproduce all of your sound, including dialogue, in order to kill the
But, I digress.
It was 1996 when I moved to my current location, which is about a ten-minute
drive from this park, so my first impression was that I have been missing
out on this local treasure for more than nineteen years. As it turns out,
however, the land was not in possession of the City of Fairbirn until 2003,
and I'm not sure when the park was opened, so it looks like I've been
missing out for more like a decade. But still:
a decade! Its been
right in my own back damn
yard for about ten years or so and I've missed it through lack of
Well, I know about it now. Following are tewnty-one of 100+ photos I took
That main entrance I have been driving by most
mornings for about a decade.
My obligatory "The Path In" shot.
Just about the moment I started thinking:
A movie with horses and winchester rifles....
Prairie land in Southwest Ohio.
Maybe a movie with loincloths and clubs...
How about big men in chainmail armor, swinging
swords and battle axes...?
A postcard (as if the other pics aren't).
Just wouldn't think this was Ohio if I didn't
know better. It's mostly because I haven't seen
a lot of the Ohio prairies that haven't been
developed into urban landscapes.
If you can't read it, the sign on the left says,
"Walking Path Only," and points to the
path up the incline toward the top right of the
More big rocks.
So I took a path that I reasoned would get me back
to my car in the main parking lot. A felled tree
blocked that path, though it wasn't unsermountable
to get by it and continue onward.
Coming to end of that particular trail, my
assumption was that not far beyond this gate was
said parking lot, with my car. As it turns out it
leads into a field of overgrowth about two miles
northwest of the target parking lot.
Wild flowers. I am clueless as to what kind.
If you can't read it, the sign on the left says,
"Horse Path Only."
Once I had doubled back and crossed back across
the prairie, I took a slightly different path than
I had entered the park from, but came upon a gate
that does lead to the main parking lot.
Okay. Well. This is it. I have bowed to the inevitable; soon I will no
longer have a land phone line and will have a cable modem for the internet.
The new DSL modem I just received did not solve the disconnect
problem. The culprit is either the actual line, which a phone company tech
reported as strong and steady in a recent line check, or it's both the phone
jacks in my home. I am not going to bother to have the phone company back
to check on the jacks. Frankly I have been thinking for a while about
upgrading to cable internet anyway, since the fee for my bare-minimum phone
service has increased by just about 100% in the last three years. Dropping
that will, even with the premium increase in my bill from my ISP, put me
about $16 ahead in the game, and that, after the six month introductory
offer that gives me a, additional $12 break per month, to start.
If you're wondering, the last few days, while at home, I have been using
the hot spot feature on my iPhone
to be on-line. Of course, I streamed a few
Netflix and Hulu Puls
shows which ate most of my data bandwidth for the month. So I switched to
off-line to watch most episodes of the one and only season of
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,
that whole season which I bought and downloaded from
iTunes. I also watched DVDs from
Season One of NYPD Blue
and from Season One of Millennium,
both courtesy of Netflix -- A Profiler
DVD should be in my mailbox when I get home tonight.
I still point to the internet's involvement in my acting and other related
activities as why this is a relevant post at a blog subtitled "a Diary
of Artful Things."
Strictly speaking, this not about a trip to the movie theatre, it's about
a movie I bought in light of the internt connectivity problem from above
and from previous entries. Over the weekend, Sunday, I believe, while I
was shopping for various things, including groceries, I came across a
couple critically-acclaimed movies for sale on DVD at cheap, cheap prices,
pretty much what I'd pay to rent downloadable versions of each.
One is Hugo,
the other, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
The former I watched Monday evening after my grand expedition at Oakes
Quarry Park. The latter is on the agenda for soon. Hugo, I must say
I enjoyed quite a bit, but, I'm not surprised. It's a
Martin Scorsese film, for
goodness sakes. I didn't see it in 3-D, I saw it in 2-D and it passed the
crucial test for 3-D movies. If it's still interesting and has good
cinematography in 2-D, it's a good movie; if it needs the 3-D to be
compelling, it's a dud. This one looks good, tells a good story, and is a
great ride. But, like I said: It's a Martin Scorsese film. I look forward
to The Grand Budapest Hotel.
I may have to cancel that plan if certain things materialize in my personal
business. I'd like to go tonight, though. It's because of the break in
cost, I won't lie to you.
It will be good to see
(in the role of Ethan Girard). Josh was Perchik when we did Fiddler on
the Roof at The Race just less than two years ago. Well, if need be,
I'll spring for a full-price ticket; seems I am in that position frequently.
The order is in; this coming Monday a technician comes to the abode to hook
up the the high-speed internet cable modem. Theoretically the appointment
is for 9:00-10:00 Monday morning; I am a skeptic on that score. I have the
whole morning blocked off and will not be surprised if it's afternoon before
I get to the rent-payer; I
am even prepared for the possibility that I can't make it to work, at all.
We are dealing with the cable company, ya know.
I haven't watched them all yet. To be honest, I don't really know why
anyone but me would care about much of this, but I wrote it -- and
you're reading it, I might add.
Yeah, yeah, why I haven't been seizing the opportunity to work on
the dusty movie project or the even more ancient musical album
project, or both, is a good question. I guess: habit and not
having made a clean break from being a 60's TV kid.
There's an essay in
this last point.
I have a few For-the-Love-of-the-Craft sound design gigs in the
works, all at The Guild --
hint: all my sound design gigs are "for the love of the craft,"
at least thus far; and the majority are at The Guild.
If you're one of the five who actually, regularly read this silly blog, you
may know that I am designing sound for the upcoming
I actually will start work on this one, this weekend. The big challenge in
this one will be the SFX
of off-stage, 1960s war protesters.
Next weekend there's an early production meeting for
which will be mounted in January. It's really a table read
so the production team can hear it out loud and identify any design needs
or production challenges/problems. Director
Usually does this for the productions he directs. At least he has for the
last several to which I've been attached.
And, there'll be pizza.
In between those two is our Guild holiday extra,
All Is Calm, the Christmas Truce of 1914.
"Sound Designer" is not the correct term here, and I'll probably
ask the producer to not bill me as such. There's probably not going to be
much, if any, production sound, perhaps a few sounds of war, explosions in
the distance, at the most, and maybe not even that. The task for me here
really will be picking the appropriate pre-show Christmas music.
Wednesday, after work, I spent a couple hours taking care of some business,
thus I couldn't get to The Race
to get in line for "Can Night" tickets for
The Full Monty.
My business wasn't wrapped until late enough that I knew going to see the
show was a futile notion. Instead I borrowed the DVDs mentioned above, went
home and watched Samantha Waters
fight crime, then Homer
almost get Springfield destroyed by the EPA.
Just so you know, I am finishing off today's blog post whilst I
wait for the cable technician to arrive and hook up my new internet
cable modem. I WILL be amazed if the tech shows up during the
appointment time. I am, as I indicated before, a skeptic on this
front. It's almost 9:15 as I get ready to FTP this post over to
the server. The appointment for the tech to show between 9:00 and
10:00 this morning. We'll see.
BACK AS -- "I'M NOT A CLIENT, I JUST PLAY ONE...":
It's a scenario I've done before, two years ago. I'll play the owner of an
upscale bakery in an affluent suburb of a large city. He has a dispute
with a woman who supplies his shop with muffins; it's a breach of contract
There are four sessions days, first two are the interview sessions. I meet
with seven teams over two days. Then two ore days, the counseling sessions,
three weeks later.
This time I read two different characters, each in a different play from a
different budding playwright. One of those was an African American
playwright (one of two in the class), and clearly my character, and my
scene partner's character were both African American. The actors reading
the roles not being the correct ethnicity is not an immediate obstacle in
a dramatic reading, but, not the better situation. It'd be better if
these playwrights could hear their characters' words coming out of the
mouths of people who match the ethnicity.
Michael London has asked us all to steer him and the group toward some
local black actors who might be available and I have sent the word out to
those whom I know. If anyone reading this knows of a Dayton-local African
American actor, shoot me an email and I'll get you in contact with the
group. They have a few more sessions and would love to have the participation
of such actors: KL_Storer@yahoo.com.
HRTC ACTING CLASS:
Friday I enrolled in the forthcoming
Adult Acting Techniques
class series being helmed by Cincy-based, and HRTC Resident Artist, Jennifer
Joplin at The Human Race Theatre Company. As I wrote recently, I have
enjoyed Ms. Joplin's work several times on stage, including the recent
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's
The Monday (5:30-7:30) classes start next Monday and run for the following
I'll have a couple slight schedule conflicts. I'll have to come to one
class late, on October 5, due to the U.D. Law gig; and, I may have to leave
early on Sep. 28, as that is Tech Week
for The Columnist, and as a designer I will need to be there to
monitor the sound, especially given that it'll probably be the sound techs
first night at the con. But conflicts like this have come up before have
never been a problem with the acting classes; of course, that was with
but I have a strong feeling they won't be problems here, either, especially
with both being gig related.
The whole first class was all about theatre games and warmups. This coming
Monday we'll start into some scene work, as well as taking a monologue and
trying several approaches to it. I got the scene work script in an email
this morning, a few pages from
by Craig Lucas.
I do still have to duck out early this Monday, since it's Tech Week for
The Columnist, but I am pushing it until 7:00. The Tech Run isn't
until 7:30 and The Guild is less than a mile from the class.
Last week, after a couple years of hearing, "Oh, you gotta see
it!" I finally watched Joss Whedon's
Much Ado About Nothing,
and it was as good as all the proponents have been telling me. As an
aspiring (or is that "wanna-be"?) film maker, one thing I thought
See! You can tell a story with the camera in a simple production
and be incredibly effective.
You may say, "But, of course, the strong performances
would be a vital part of the recipe." Well, let me tell you,
that is not always the case. Perhaps not usually, but certainly often,
the directors and producers of the infamous Hollywood "high concept"
film have little interest in how compelling the actors' performances are.
They re more concern with telling the "story" with the special
effects and the CGI. Whether the lead character seems like an authentic
human being is of no concern. It's probably not always this bad; in fact,
Whedon has directed some high concept (which is a deceptive term that only
actually means: big-budget action film with a lot of explosions and other
visually exciting effects).
Whedon calls this film, Much Ado a home movie with expensive
equipment -- I believe it was shot with two
Red Scarlets. He's
underplaying it a little. It's a simply-made movie, but quite a few notches
above a "home movie." What it is is a simply-shot movie of lovely
performances by a top-notch cast, well-directed and well-cut. What it is
that is more important to me is a simply-made movie that gives me, as a
truly novice film maker, a lot of hope. It goes back to that idea: You can
tell a story with the camera in a simple production and be incredibly
effective. I could shoot something comparable with my little, consumer-brand
Canon Vixia HF R40s,
even if the end product did not have the cinematic look one can get with
a Red Scarlet camera.
As you five who have been here before may know, I've been nagging myself
lately to get Vignettes in Bellcreek into post-production in
earnest. That which I shot in several segments between mid fall 2008 and
early summer 2009. Watching the Whedon film has been a double-edged sword:
the Yin is that Much Ado... is a bit of inspiration to get the
final cut finished and out there; the Yang, mine ain't gonna be the
effective storytelling that the Whedon movie is.
Now the big problem is that I have probably run out of the time for a
little while. I am likely to be about the have all my evenings and weekends
Being the neurotic Gemini that I am, I am also thinking about a movie
production project I've had in the back of my head for a long time. It's
actually the reason we shot the improv movie that is now Vignettes in
Bellcreek; Vignettes was a trial run, an experimentation and
exploration of shooting multi-camera, to see if that method might be good
for this other concept. Honestly, this particular movie project will not
be embarked upon any time soon. But I am now more apt to want it to
eventually become active.
I haven't posted any self-indulgent photos of me doing
stuff like working on sound any time recently, so here's a
couple from last Sunday afternoon as I worked on sound
design for The Columnist.
As established in previous recent posts, I have a few sound design gigs
(of the non-payment sort) happening. All of these are for The Guild. I was
approached just last night about one for Spring at another theatre. It's
too soon for me to know if I can commit.
Meanwhile, as for the ones that are a go, now:
Last night I watched a run of
to get a better feel for the tones at the start and the end of scenes, and
acts, for that matter. The only music I have settled on is the opening of
the show (Act I). Tonight will probably be the
night I do all or the major portion of music selection, based on the previous
general ideas I had, now married with what I noted last night.
As I told Director
in an email earlier in the week, the ambiance is going to be easy and I
haven't addressed it yet because I know I have the sound files we need. I
did make a not last night of some ambient sound hadn't though of.
Sunday edited together peace protesters for a scene in Act
II. I used the chanting from the 1968 Democratic
Convention in Chicago, "The whole world's watching, the whole world's
watching....." Whether that will be a low constant or something that
is gradually faded out, isn't determined yet. There's some bar
music/ambience in Act I that is the same
Sunday evening I attended a pre-production meeting for
in the director's chair. This one's going to need some sound effects that
are problematic, namely, off-stage canned gun fire, and wind. Niether sound
very good coming out of a speaker on a live theatre stage.
Otherwise I have a lot of ideas and a decent feel for what soundscape this
one will need. I haven't come to absolute terms on what the music should
be, bit I have a good ballpark idea, based on the era it will be placed in,
the ensemble of characters, and the general tone of the play.
Saul has asked for some underscoring in a few spots and though I don't know
exactly what music I will use, I have a strong idea what type will be
There's supposed to be a pre-production meeting coming up shortly for
All Is Calm,
but depending on exactly when it is, I may not be able to make it due to
the commitment to The Columnist. Besides, as stated before, my
sound contribution will be mostly or solely pre-show holiday music.
I'm starting to think about my voice, my throat, in terms of trying to
remember when was the last time I can remember both of them being in great
shape. I don't recall it being anytime recent. I think I've felt a little
bit of a soar throat, at the very least, and maybe at least some congestion
for about a year or more.
Certainly my vocal ability (as per: singing) has taken a hit in recent
years, and certainly the lack of constant practice, and no consistent warmup
routine, plays a big role in that. However, I am starting to be concerned
that there is a health issue also involved.
There is a bit of a mold problem in my home and I am sure that plays a
factor. How big I am not sure. I certainly had vocal problems during
Next To Normal,
but I think that was mostly just the throat and chest cold. But maybe it
was more. I don't recall the same problems with
Fiddler on the Roof
Caroline, Or Change.
I did have a spell of throat problems during Fiddler, but that was
most certainly a winter cold and only during part of the run.
So I'm starting to ease myself into some vocal warmups and exercises.
Need to progress at some kind of good rate.
The auditions for All Is Calm are just around the corner and I have
not yet aggressively worked on either my personal audition choice nor the