Tuesday, December 11, 2012

An avalanche of envelopes

When we stepped into the Millibo Art Theatre for our monthly meeting last night, we were immediately overwhelmed by envelopes. Great stacks of them everywhere. On the ticker counter. On the merch table. Covering a card table they set up for the day. I mean everywhere.

Turns out Jim and crew were sending out the annual newsletter to the 3000 people on their mailing list. And they had big news to share.

As part of this year's IndyGive campaign, they're trying to raise $10,250 to help them move into an expanded space at the new Ivywild urban development district. The new space will include a state-of-the-art theater with seating for 120 as well as dedicated rehearsal and classroom spaces.

Not to mention space for Colorado Springs' biggest and most exciting playwriting group.

If you'd like to contribute to this ultra-worthy cause, visit the MAT's IndyGive page.

Oh yeah. The meeting. We had 11 attendees, which isn't bad considering how busy everyone is this time of year, and 6 of those were writers (including the playwriting team of Mark and Lauren Arnest).

We started out with Charlie Ammen's 10-minute relationship drama Daddy. He revised it one last time to make the protagonist more active. But now he's done with the piece and wants to see it produced before he makes any more changes.

We followed that with the second part of David Overbey's full-length drama, 00:00. This one's hard to categorize, but it's about a media studies professor who's unable to relate to anyone except a wisecracking prostitute. It's been interesting seeing this one develop.

Next up was the end of Mark and Lauren Arnest's one-act comedy The Cafeteria. This dystopian view of corporate culture seemed polished already--and it should, as it's been produced before--but the Arnests came away with some ideas to heighten the tension at the end.

And we finished up with part 2 of my restaurant farce, Chef's Surprise. I still don't know where I'm going with this thing and still just taking it scene by scene. But there was a rather lengthy discussion of the proper pronunciation of bearnaise sauce and how to exploit it for the purposes of a (very bad) pun.

After the meeting, Jim mentioned that the MAT has had a good run of 10 minutes plays and would now like to try something different. That's why they're going to start looking for one-acts next year. If you have anything ready for them, they'd be happy to take a look at it. Just bring it by to one of our meeting.

Finally, if you're looking for something to see this holiday season, you might be interested in the Christmas drama A Candle in the Window, which runs December 13 to 15 at the University School of Colorado Springs. Drama Lab member Nancy Holaday is directing and Buck Buchanan is one of the leads. For more info, click here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Slow but steady

They said it couldn't be done, but we did it. Last night, we read six scripts in 2 1/2 hours. And what a great lineup it was, too.

We started with Daddy, a 10-minute relationship dramedy by one of our new writers Charlie Ammen. Next up was the first part of The Cafeteria, a dystopian business comedy by our other new writers Mark and Lauren Arnest. After that came the third part of The Decibelles, the edgy girl band musical by Tim Phillips. We moved on from there to the beginning of Chef's Surprise, a one-act restaurant farce by me. Next we read the first part of Selkie, a musical drama which co-writer Katherine Perrone based on the Scottish folktale The Seal Wife. And we wrapped up with the first part of 00:00, an experimental drama about a lonely professor by David Overbey.

Whew! A lot of scripts--some moving, some funny--but all wonderful.

Of course, to get out of there by 9:30pm, I had to keep discussion to 10 minutes per play, but it seemed to work. The pace of the evening stayed light and brisk, and all of the writers got great feedback. It seems like all the best ideas come out in the first 10 minutes anyway.

And with all seven writers signed up to bring something next month it looks like it'll be another full night on December 10.

For this reason, I'll keep to the 10 minute rule. And I'd also like to cut back on the number of pages per play from 20 to 15.

Sure, it'll take longer to get through each play. But if you think about it, each writer will end up with more feedback because we'll be breaking each play into more bits.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. We had a total attendance of 13, with one new actor, Katherine's husband Matt, who showed a real flair for accents as a gloomy Russian waiter.

Anyway, thanks to all who came. And thanks too for bearing with me as we manage our slow but steady growth.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

All paid up

We had a small group last night, just ten of us, but we read some really good plays and heard some excellent performances.

I was especially glad to welcome Mark and Lauren Arnest back to our cozy group. Both have written for the Gazette (Mark was the arts writer for many years), and together they've written several produced plays. Their short comedy The Shrine of Blowbar was performed as part of FourPlay last year at the MAT and their full-length farce Maynard Dines In premiered a decade ago in Midland, Texas after being named runner-up in the McLaren Memorial Comedy Play Writing Competition. They promise to bring some of their stuff to next month's meeting.

Last night was a first of sorts: all of the plays were full-length. We opened with the start of Katherine Perrone's gritty child abuse drama Jade. We followed that with the start of Tim Phillips' rockin' girl band drama The Decibelles. And we wrapped up with the end of my backstage farce Kill the Critic!

There was some discussion of doing a full production of Kill the Critic!, if we can find someone willing to put up with all the physical abuse as the dead theatre critic. So keep your eyes open for developments on that front.

One big piece of news. I've now collected dues from 12 members, which means we've covered our rental cost at the MAT for a year. Any dues we collect from future members will be split between MAT and the Drama Lab and will go towards all sorts of edible goodies. Thanks to all for your prompt payments!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sarah rules

Theatreworks usually has interesting guests for their Prologue Lecture series, but next month's offering promises to be a blockbuster. They're going to host Sarah Ruhl, the Pulitzer- and Tony-nominated playwright of In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, Eurydice, The Clean House and Dead Man's Cell Phone.
Unfortunately, they scheduled it for Monday, October 8, the same night as our next Drama Lab meeting (don't they check these things?). Sarah Ruhl is a must-see for our writers, and probably a large chunk of our actors, so I'm postponing Drama Lab until Monday, October 15.

I think it would be fun to go to the Sarah Ruhl talk as a group. The problem is that she's going to draw a TON of people. Kevin Landis of Theatreworks has already heard from one high school drama teacher in Denver who's planning to bring her entire class of students. He promised that everyone who wants to see Ruhl will see her, but I'm not sure how he plans to do that.

To be on the safe side then, we'll probably need to get there early. If you're interested in joining me, let me know. We'll figure something out.

For more info on the talk, visit the Theatreworks web site.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy birthday to us!

We had a small but cozy meeting last night, with nine attendees including one newbie (our newest writer, Katherine Gee Perrone). We started with a fun 10-minute play by Tim Phillips titled Esau and Jacob. Next up was part 3 1/2 of my full-length farce, Kill the Critic! We finished with part 1 of an intriguing family dramedy by Katherine very tentatively titled The Mormon Mom Play.
Jim Jackson also popped in to remind everyone of the playwriting contest for their upcoming FourPlay show. The theme will be announced at 7pm on Friday. Stop by the MAT or check their website at that time to find out what it is. Writers will have 44 hours to complete their play. If you think you want to participate, call 465-6321 before Friday to let him know you'll be writing.
Also I made one last pitch for my staged reading of The Butler Did It! this Saturday. Visit to reserve your free (yes, free!) tix. And thanks to everyone who brought costumes. You guys are going to look great!
Our next meeting is Monday, October 8. If you haven't paid your dues (dirt cheap at $25), you'll need to do so by Oct 31. Thanks!
And yes, as of September 12, the Drama Lab is one year old. We celebrated in our usual way, with cookies instead of cake. Here's to many more years--and cookies!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The butler did what?

The Drama Lab is a truly wonderful thing, giving actors an opportunity to practice their craft and writers the opportunity to hear their short works brought to life.

The one thing that's been a challenge for us is longer pieces. I've brought a couple of full-length plays to the Drama Lab, breaking them up over several meetings, and while I've gotten some excellent feedback this way, it doesn't give me a grasp of any pacing or continuity issues. It's also hard to tell how well the actions will work.

Which is why I'm pleased to announce that I will be producing a staged reading of my play The Butler Did It! on Saturday, September 15. We did readings of it from January to March this year, and now we're going to really put the pedal to the metal by adding a set, props and costumes.

The play is a comedy/mystery about a butler who gets falsely accused of murder and must prove his innocence while tied to a chair. The cast includes many of our regular actors:

JENKINS -- Craig Engle

SARAH JANE -- Linda Roeming



GRAM -- Karann Goetsch

KAT COVINGTON -- Nancy Holaday


FATHER TIMOTHY -- Buck Buchanan

EDWINA CORRY -- Mary Sprunger-Froese

There will actually be two readings next Saturday, one at 3pm and one at 7pm. The location is the Little Theatre at the University School of Colorado Springs, 2713 W. Cucharras. Nancy is the drama teacher there and she was extremely generous in offering us the use of her space.

Tickets are free, but must be reserved ahead of time. To get yours, click on the button below:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Eventbrite - Staged reading of THE BUTLER DID IT!" /></a>

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Paying the piper

A year ago, when I first approached Jim Jackson and Birgitta De Pree about hosting a playwriting group at the Millibo Art Theatre, they loved the idea and agreed that we could use their venue for free the first six months while we worked to attract new members. After that, they would charge us a nominal fee.

That six months became a year, which was more than generous on their part. But now their board has voted to require a fee of all outside groups.

The fee I negotiated is $300 per year for twelve monthly meetings. That breaks down to $12.50 an hour. If you've ever had to rent a theatre, then you'll know how incredibly cheap that is. When I was running Pikes Peak KidStage, we would often do our shows at District 20 school auditoriums, and they charged $200 an hour.

So I think we can swing this. The challenge is finding a convenient and equitable way to do so.

One thing I don't want to do is a charge a per-meeting fee. That would be a constant headache to collect.

Instead, what I would like to do is charge all writers and actors a $25 annual membership fee. I think we have at least 12 people who would be willing to join, which would meet the $300 fee. If we get more people, the extra money would be used for cookies and other goodies. If we get a lot more people, we could reduce the membership fee.

Spectators would always be able to attend for free. Besides encouraging a large and enthusiastic audience, this would give potential writers and actors an opportunity to check our group out before they commit.

I hope this won't be a financial burden to anyone. Let me know what you think.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Playwrights, start your laptops

Jim Jackson took some time during this month's meeting to let us know about Four Play. This showcase of four short plays is returning in September, and Jim encouraged the writers of the Drama Lab to submit.

This is a wonderful opportunity for local playwrights to get produced. Last year, the MAT received 17 submissions and produced--you got it--four. That might seem like tough odds, but most 10-minute festivals get 300+ submissions and produce only 10. So this contest is well worth the effort.

All sscripts must include the prompts that will be announced at the MAT (1367 Pecan St.) and on their web site at 5pm on Friday, September 14. The deadline is 1pm on Sunday, September 16, giving the playwrights a scant 44 hours to complete their plays. (I talked to one of the winning playwrights from last year, and he told me he cranked out his script in one 6-hour binge on Saturday night.)

Jim did offer one piece of advice to help contestants improve their chances. It's all about producability. You may write the cleverest, most amazing play in the world, but if it's hard to produce, it's not going to be selected. The MAT puts these plays together in just a week, so there can't be any unreasonable technical challenges in terms of sets, costumes or special effects.

There's no strict length limit, but pieces should be around 10 to 20 minutes. And stay away from those casts of thousands. Three to six actors seems to work best.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When inspiration strikes

With the start of the new school year, a few of our regulars weren't able to make it yesterday, but we had a good meeting with 11 enthusiastic attendees and a record number of cookies.

We started off with the first part of a sci fi drama titled The Outcasts by Tim Phillips. We followed that with a 10-minute relationship comedy titled Kinda, Sorta by David Overbey. After that we read the beginning of the freaky The Infinite Lives of Hernandez Polk by Jeff Keele. And we wrapped it all up with part 3 of my backstage farce Kill the Critic!

David told me that he hadn't planned to write anything this month. But then, just a few days ago, an idea popped into his head and he spent the weekend scrambling to get it down in time for the meeting.

So if you've been tempted to bring something to The Drama Lab but you're not sure if it's ready, there's just one thing to do. Have me add it to next month's slate. There's nothing like a deadline to help you get it done.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Packing them in

Wow! That's all I can say after last night's meeting. (Although I'm sure I'll think of something more.)

We had 26 people show, including one new writer and three new actors. Fortunately, we had five plays to read, so everyone who wanted to act got a chance to do so.

Unfortunately, we ran out of cookies. I was simply unprepared for the number of people who came. But I'm glad they did and I'll be sure to buy more cookies--lots more--in the future.

We started out with the first play by Jeff Schmoyer, a very funny 10-minute sci fi comedy titled It Could Be Hell. We followed this with the latest rewrite of Tim Phillips' fairy tale adaptation Grimmland. It's been fun watching this work develop and tighten. We then dove into the second part of my backstage farce Kill the Critic! Next up was our newest writer David Overbey's wacky one-act comedy about a pair of very spoiled kitties The Return of the vonGoodnesses. And we finished up with a thought-provoking exploration of faith titled The Great Whatever from Washington state playwright Barbara Lindsay.

The only problem? The meeting ran really long. Like three hours long.

Although some people said they were happy to stay as long as we had stuff to read, most of the crowd had left by the time we started the last play and it seemed like enough fatigue had set in that we weren't able to give the script its due.

Which reminded me that once before we had done five plays in one night, and while that meeting only lasted a little over two hours, it also felt long.

I think four plays is the right number, maximizing opportunities for our actors to perform while stopping before people start getting tired.

So I'm going to set a maximum of four plays per meeting. And local scripts must take precedence, so any guest scripts will be postponed if we already have four scripts from playwrights in attendance.

After all, if there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that you always want to leave 'em wanting more.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hot fun in the summer time

While outside temperatures shattered records--Colorado Springs hit a high of 97 degrees on Monday--the playwrights and actors of the Drama Lab enjoyed the coolness of the MAT's cozy 87-seat theatre.

I was especially pleased that with vacations and all the other activities of summer, we managed to get 13 attendees. The only problem? We ended a half hour early because we only had three scripts. But I've got some ideas to try to up that count for future meetings (more on that in a bit).

We started with a brief excerpt from Tim Phillips' latest take on fairy tales, Grimmland, this time focusing on the fascinating but little-known character of Bearskin. We followed that with the beginning of my full-length farce, Kill the Critic! And we ended with a sweetly funny Christmas story from Ohio playwright Maureen Brady Johnson, The Singular Tree of Deanna and Will.

This month, I experimented with having someone else read the stage directions for my play (thanks, Jeff!). In the past, the playwright has always read their own stage directions, but I know that when I do that, I tend to use the script as a crutch. It was very freeing for once to set down the pages and just focus on the sound of the words. It also helped me catch some problems with the dialogue that I might have missed otherwise. I highly recommend that the rest of you give it a try.

Next month, it sounds like we may have a full slate of scripts, which is wonderful. But in the interest of keeping the flow coming, I'm going to try a couple of things. One is to reach out to more playwrights from around the country to send in scripts. This may never be as satisfying as having the playwright attend, of course, but it will help in one of my main goals: obtaining enough scripts so that every actor gets to read at least once, and hopefully twice.

The other thing is that I'm going to open up readings to screenplays. Jeff Schmoyer brough a screenplay a couple months ago and it was a fun read. Next month, Roy Kieffer wants to bring a screenplay-based monologue that a friend of his wrote. Of course, as a group that gets free use of a theatre, we want to keep our focus on plays. But reading one screenplay a month should help cross-pollinate our writing and will give even more for our actors to read.

Oh, and thanks Paula for the M&M cookies. They were great!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Next month's meeting moved to June 18

I have to do this, but I'm going to have to postpone our next meeting unitl Monday, June 18. I'm moving into a new house the week before and I'm going to need every spare minute putting my life into boxes.

I apologize for the inconvenience. I hope everyone is still able to make it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Grab bag

Another great meeting on Monday. We had eleven attendees, all regulars.

We started with a pitch by Nancy Holaday for her decidedly non-Disney version of The Beauty and the Beast, to be performed at the Louisa Performing Arts Center on June 8 and 9. The show is produced by BlackBoxTheatre and Nancy's students at the University School of Colorado Springs and is recommended for ages 11 and up. All funds raised will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

After that, we dived into the readings. We had a real grab bag this month: the finale of my comedy/mystery The Butler Did It!, the first part of Jeff Keele's adaptation of Paradise Lost (which he's working as an independent study project at UCCS) and Maureen Brady Johnson's children's eco-play A Skinks Tale.

Maureen is the Ohio playwright whose 10-minute play All Things Shall Pass was performed as part of the Six Women Playwriting Festival at the MAT last month. She doesn't have a regular playwriting group and asked if we would read it. I just emailed her the feedback and she wanted to make sure I thank everyone. She really appreciated all the comments. Next month, we'll read her Christmas play The Singular Tree.

I have already talked to some of you about doing a full staged reading of The Butler Did It! The purpose of this is two-fold.

One purpose is to read it all the way through in order to check for continuity, pacing and--horror of horrors!--plot holes. That's almost impossible to do when you read it in 20-page sections over 5 months. The other purpose is to gauge audience reaction.

Actors will be able to read off the scripts, and all rehearsals and performances will be done over one weekend to keep the time commitment down.

I'm just waiting for a date when the MAT will be free. Right now, it looks like it'll be in August or September. I'll let you know when we pin it down.

And I'm happy to announce that the Drama Lab will continue meeting through the summer. Our next meeting is Monday, June 11. See you then!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A good thing going

Okay, so I just have to share this. I talked to four of the playwrights from the Six Women Playwriting Festival last night and they're very jealous of The Drama Lab.

Turns out that their playwriting groups typically consist of three or four playwrights reading each others' work at one of their homes. They couldn't believe we get up to 20 people at our readings and meet in a real theater and have experienced actors read the plays.

In fact, Maureen Brady Johnson (she wrote All Things Must Pass) asked if we would read one of her 10-minute plays and send her the feedback. I never thought about doing something like this, but I'm always open to new ideas so if it's all right with all of you, I think we should give it a try (I'll take care of sending her the feedback).

Anyway, I just want to thank everyone for their continued support. It's you who've made the Drama Lab the success that it is!

And I want to send a special shout-out to Birgitta and Jim for letting us use their wonderful theater in the first place. Thank you so much!

Onward and upward!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

By leaps and bounds

Yep, that's how much we're growing. We had a whopping 21 people at our meeting last night, including 2 new readers and 2 new writers.

We started out by reading part 4 of my full-length comedy mystery, The Butler Did It! (No, we don't know who did it yet.)

Next we read Going Feral, a short wacky comedy based on a "hard-core" animal lover that Tim Phillips knew.

After that we read two hilarious scenes from Will Triangle, a detective spoof by Jeff Schmoyer, who has been one of our most insightful commenters over the last few months. I was glad to see him take the plunge into the playwriting waters.

We finished up with the first part of an ambitious adaptation of Paradise Lost by Jeff Keele, who has done a considerable amount of work with THEATREdART. One of our new readers, Buck Buchanan, got rave reviews for his sonorous reading of the part of Lucifer.

By the way, the interesting thing about having so many people is it makes my earlier poll question a moot point. If we I'd asked everyone whether they'd prefer to move the meeting date when we need to so that we could always get the stage, or keep the meetings on the second Monday and use the back room when we have to.

Well, if we keep getting 20+ people to our meetings--and I hope we do!--there's no way we can make the back room work. So if you guys can stay flexible, I promise I'll send out notice of any meeting changes as soon as I know.

Anyway, I've already confirmed with Jim Jackson that the stage is available at our normal meeting time next month, so let's plan to get together on Monday, May 14. Same MAT time. Same MAT channel.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April meeting moved to Monday, April 16

The MAT is always a crazy place, what with classes and rehearsals and shows going on seemingly round the clock. But next week will be even crazier than usual because the MAT will be rehearsing not one but six casts for the upcoming Six Women Playwriting Festival.

For this reason, Jim has asked that we move our meeting to the third Monday of the month, April 16. This works out better anyway because it means we'll get to use the stage.

So I hope everyone can make it on the 16th. And believe me, we'll need you! We've got a record five pieces scheduled to be read.

Our May meeting will return to the second Monday of the month, May 14.

Monday, March 26, 2012

And the results are in

For our April meeting, Jim has informed me that we'll need to use the back room as the stage will be needed for the Six Women Playwriting Festival rehearsals. We met in the back room for our November meeting, when we were bumped by the FourPlay rehearsals.

Now the back room is a perfectly serviceable area, and I don't mind using it when we need to. But I think a large part of the appeal of the MAT is having a stage to perform on. It just feels more--I don't know--theatrical.

It's possible that we could get the stage if we're flexible about our meeting day. But don't worry. I would never move it from Monday. That just seems to work so well for everyone.

But what if we moved it to the third Monday? Or even the first or fourth Monday?

The only problem there is that I've posted our meetings on several web sites, such as PeakRadar and I've always stated that our meetings are the second Monday of the month. So there's always a risk that we might miss out on new members.

On the other hand, I'm not aware of a single member who first learned of our group from one of those sites. It's all been from this blog or word-of-mouth.

So I sent a quick survey question to our members asking what they'd like to do.

And now, the votes are in. Four people preferred the stage. Two people preferred staying with the second Monday.

But, as usual, numbers don't tell the whole story. The people who preferred the stage tended to be passionate about it. The people who preferred the second Monday were willing to go with the crowd. (I'm mildly pro-stage but did not include my vote in the total.)

So I think we'll try experimenting with moving the meeting, at least for a month or two.

Of course, I'll have to talk to Jim first as it's his and Birgitta's theater and they've been more than generous in letting us use the space for free. So until I hear back from him, we're still on for April 9.

But I'll let you know through this blog, Facebook and email as soon as I get the okay to change it (if I get the okay to change it).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How the experiment worked

Last night, we had one of our best meetings yet. We had an enthusiastic fourteen participants, including one new writer and three new actors. And the newbies hit the ground running, with each of them taking part in at least one of the readings.

And talk about an inclusive group. We had people from their teens to their 50's.

We read three pieces: part 3 of my full-length mystery-comedy, "The Butler Did It!", a rewrite of Tim Phillips' short comedy "King Solomon Gets Horny" and Paula Buist's short comedy "Cherry Blossoms in the Rain".

Our experiment worked reasonably well. Even though I got the scripts out late (writers never stop tinkering), nearly all of the cast members were able to read them ahead of time. And the reading went much smoother. There was less stumbling over lines and nearly everyone seemed to have a solid grasp of their characters.

The one thing I missed was laughter from the cast. Normally, I know a joke works if the cast cracks up when they first come to it in the script. In this case, the cast was already familiar with the jokes, so there were fewer laughs to begin with.

On the other hand, it could be my script. Maybe it just wasn't that funny.

Anyway, I think the experiment worked well enough that I'd like to try it again. And this time I promise to get the scripts out a full week before.

Monday, March 5, 2012

An experiment

I'd like to try something new this month. Some of the actors have told me that they'd like to get the scripts ahead of time--maybe around a week--so that they can be better prepared for the reading.

I think this is a good idea. Reading the script at home will help the actors understand where each role fits into the bigger picture, enabling them to figure out how to play their part in the first place. And it'll give the actors more face time with the story, and this should help them uncover more flaws in the plot or inconsistencies in the characters.

Of course, some playwrights may not want their works made so easily available on the Internet. I understand this. No one wants their work stolen.

But one thing I've learned is that you don't want to be overly protective of your work. If you want it to have a life of its own, you've got to send it out into the world. And besides, the risk of having a play ripped off is more remote than people think. Every writer I've ever met wants their own work to succeed, not someone else's.

So let's give it a shot and see how it works.

If you're an actor and you're planning on coming to the next meeting, send me an email. I'll send you a PDF of each script.

If you're a writer and would like to participate, email me the pages you're planning to share (either a Word or PDF file will work) and I'll take care of sending them out to the interested parties.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Onward and upward

Our cozy little group isn't so little anymore. And I couldn't be happier.

We read a record number of pieces last night: four. They ranged from Barbara Summerville's short, dark piece about two women stuck in a very literal Limbo to Tim Phillips' rewrite of his fairy tale adaptation, "Rose Red and Snow White". We were graced with the presence of our youngest writer yet, an extremely talented 16-year-old named Sean Patrzik, who was seeking some advice about turning his gritty war story, "WWII in Real Time" into a play. And we wound up with the second installment of my full-length mystery-comedy "The Butler Did It!"

We also had lots of new people show up, for a total attendance of fourteen people. Due to a teen improv class that was taking place in the theatre, we were moved in the the back room so I want to thank everyone for going with the flow and making the best of it. It was a little crowded, but that just made it cozier.

Oh, and Mary brought some delicious homemade cookies. Thanks, Mary!

I'll keep bringing cookies each month, but if you've got something you'd like to add, go for it! You can never have too many desserts.

See you all at our next reading on Monday, March 12.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A cast of thousands (or at least eight)

We had a great meeting last night with a record number of attendees: fourteen. And man, did we need them! Both plays that we read had big casts and we really worked the actors.

We started the evening with a reading of Tim Phillip's one-act play, "Servants of Death," an innovative play in which figures from various mythologies including Baba Yaga and the Roman god Mars tempt a pair of modern teenage girls.

We finished up with the first 20 pages of my full-length comedy, "The Butler Did It!" This play centers around a very proper English butler who must solve a murder after being falsely accused -- and tied by his accusers to a hardback chair.

The hard-working actors availed themselves well, with lots of lively interaction and laughs all around. I especially appreciate the contribution made by our three new actors who were drafted at the last minute.

Great job, all!