Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Out of the cold

Last night was our first meeting at Venue 515 in Manitou Springs. We were originally scheduled to meet in the Manitou Art Center next door, but the 3-D gallery was being used for an art exhibit so the very gracious and helpful Natalie Johnson let us use Spencer Hall inside the main building.

The space was nice and big, and I loved the various artworks on the walls, but the room was very cold and many of the attendees kept their winter coats on for the duration of the meeting. There were also some comments that the room was echoey. But it was nice having coffee and tea available from Mabel's Cafe, at least until 8, when they closed up shop. We haven't always had that luxury (necessity?) in the past.

We had sixteen attendees, including one new actor, the very talented teenager Victoria, who enjoyed our previous two meetings so much that she decided to become an official, card-carrying member.

The very gifted playwright August Mergelman also stopped by (he wrote The Restless Ghost of Emma Crawford, which played at the Iron Springs Chateau in October). He had to leave early, but he enjoyed the discussion very much and hopes to retrun soon with some of his own stuff.

We read five plays. We started the evening with Grant Swenson's 10-minute drama In Time For Tea. The play was intriguing, with an almost Twilight Zone feel, and the final twist took many people by surprise.

By the way, Grant wrote this play as a submission for the Ashley Crockett Women of Vintage Playwriting Contest. That contest was supposed to have ended in August, but considering that no winner was announced, I'm thinking that Ashley is still open to submissions. I'll find out where's she at with this.

We followed this with the beginning of Sue Bachman's drama Out of the Cold, a short drama that she wrote to explore the boredom and staleness that comes between many long-term married couples. Here the wife makes a decision to break it, and the husband's response let to a long discussion about his motives and where the story should go next.

After that, we read a rewrite of the beginning of Tim Phillips' teenage relationship drama Never Said. He has jettisoned the 1980's sitcom characters he used last time as spiritual guides for the main character Seth and replaced them with the figures of Augustine and Eros. Most of the people liked this much better, as it set up an interesting dichotomy between the anti-sex philosophy of the Catholic saint and the more libertine leanings of the Greek God.

Next we read the penultimate section of Jess's romance drama Georgee's On My Mind. This section had a twist that blew everyon away, although Jess was careful to leave clues earlier on. Unfortunately, it's hard to keep those clues in mind when a play is read over several months. I'm sure we're all eager to get back together again next month so we can see how this one wraps up.

We ended the evening with two more scenes from my fractured fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin, Private Eye. Here we got to meet the two wolves (Big Bad and Virginia) as well as Little Red Riding Hood. Most of the jokes found their mark, while several attendees suggested additional gags that I might end up adding. If you steal, make sure you steal from the best.

As I mentioned earlier, our January meeting will be at Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 E. Cache La Poudre. After that, we'll vote on where we'd like to meet on a regular basis.

Everybody have a great holiday season and we'll see you in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Finding a new home

As you all know, the Drama Lab has amicably parted ways with Black Box Theatre. What's more, Millibo Art Theatre recently informed me that with their move and the planned expansion of classes they'll be offering, they can no longer fit us in to their schedule. In short, we need to find a new home. I have good news. We'll be trying out not one but two new meeting places over the next two months, then vote on which one we'd like to continue meeting at.
Our December meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 9 at the Manitou Art Center in Manitou Springs, 513 Manitou Avenue (just east of Venue 515). We'll be meeting in their one of their galleries which is normally empty but twice a year is used to exhibit 3-D artworks. They're only charging us $20 a night, so if we stay with them, we should be able to drop our dues to $10 per year.
Our January meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 13 at Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 E. Cache la Poudre. They're charging us $50 a night, so if we stay with them, we'll need to keep our dues at $25 per year. We can meet in their theater when they're not in rehearsal or building a set. The rest of the time we'll meet in their lobby.
See you Monday!