The past few weeks have been full of outdoor performances, Zoom performances… performances everywhere but inside in a theatre building! I’ve been working on several quite varied projects that I’m so excited to share with an audience, so this month’s update will be an eventful one.
Quote of the Month
“Somewhere in our DNA we know that stories are out there to help us understand what we’re doing here on this planet.”
- Theresa Rebeck
Summer views around Cape Ann!
Current & Upcoming at Gloucester Stage
In terms of in-person productions, it’s changeover time at Gloucester Stage. In spite of a quite rainy July, Baskerville wrapped up a very successful and fun-filled run last weekend. I’ll miss this high-energy play, and its delightful cast!
There’s never a dull moment however, as we are already well into rehearsal for the upcoming production of Seared by Theresa Rebeck, beginning performances on August 6. Following the fortunes of a struggling Brooklyn restaurant and its hot-headed chef, this sizzling comedy features a quartet of talented performers and even some onstage cooking. It’s sure to be a complex but rewarding project to mount outdoors, and we look forward to sharing it with an audience!
In addition to the GSC mainstage productions I’m also excited for our series of one-day-only play readings coming up in August, which I’ve been helping to program. These include several dynamic new works which Gloucester Stage is considering for future production. Throughout the month we’ll be offering free presentations of Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, In the Ramble by Mardee Bennett, and a reading of Athena by Gracie Gardner which I will be directing. Not all of these dates have been finalized yet, but I will post details as soon as they are confirmed!
Adventures in Contemporary Verse
Along with my in-person rehearsals in July I had the pleasure of directing a virtual first reading of a new play-in-development, written by a friend I met through Zoom theatre during the pandemic. In Lady Percy Will Not Sing (a problem play in verse) playwright Juliana Liscio explores the experience of the women and lower-class characters who populate the world of Shakespeare's Henry IV from a fresh, witty perspective. I had a blast putting together a large group of actors to bring this vibrant cast of characters to life for the first time, and hope to have the opportunity to come back to this project for a later phase of its development. The Zoom reading was presented as part of the ShakespeareMoves Film Festival this past weekend, and the viewing window has now been extended through this Sunday! If you’d like to check it out, you can watch the recording by registering for the festival with a pay-what-you-can donation.
The Premiere of Premiere the Play!
I’ve been mentioning this project for forever, and the time has finally come… the new play that I directed in podcast format will be released wherever you get your podcasts on August 31! Produced by the Dean Productions Theatre based in Los Angeles, the first season of the Premiere the Play podcast will include eleven new works by playwrights from around the world releasing weekly from August through October. I can’t wait to share Zig-Zag by Philip Catherwood, a play combining sci-fi-tinged world building with a very human central relationship to explore the consequences of political division and technological advancement in a dystopian future imagining of Ireland. Following the Tuesday play release each week, a bonus interview with the playwright will release on Thursday.
A Crafty Closing
This is where I give a little monthly shoutout to the Etsy shop to which I contribute, Queequeg & Paulina Vintage (on Instagram @Queequeg_PaulinaCrafts). We offer an ever-changing selection of varied vintage finds, beautiful hand-knitted accessories, and other exciting crafted items. We’ve just reordered more of our popular “ghost light” greeting cards, and will soon be adding some seasonal fall watercolor cards as well!