Summer in Four Photos

2018-06-20 12.05.57

Mom’s Rhubarb Pie

2018-06-19 20.30.07

 Baseball at the Best Ballpark in America

2018-06-20 16.13.18

Fun with Family

2018-06-19 18.24.33

A Gift for My Grandson

 

Advertisements

Pre-Order Now Available: The African Connection

THE AFRICAN CONNECTION, book 2 of THE FORGOTTEN CHILD TRILOGY is now available for pre-order on Kindle. It will release on July 6. Grab yours now and get ready for part two of the unique adventure into the 20th century – this time into the heart of Africa.

PRE-ORDER THE AFRICAN CONNECTION HERE!

The action continues one week after the explosive ending of book 1.

SHORT BLURB: In part two of The Forgotten Child Trilogy, enigmatic beings from the realm beyond—Bee & Ash—team up once again with old Manhattan businessman Francis Frick. Joined by a mysterious new recruit, Frick must fight to bring Ulrich to justice and continue searching for the truth about the forgotten child.

theAfricanConnectionFRONTLARGE

If you haven’t read book 1 yet – A MAN TOO OLD FOR A PLACE TOO FAR – there’s still time to catch up on the story before the release of book 2.

Book 1 HERE!

I would love to hear your thoughts on these stories. Thanks for your support.

Forgotten Child Trilogy Book1 FrontCoverFinal

THE BIRTH OF TECHNICOLOR in Brooklyn

I had the privilege of watching the world premiere of my play THE BIRTH OF TECHNICOLOR at the Gallery Players’ Theatre Black Box New Play Festival 2018.

Here I am, excited standing outside the theater.

gallery

The play was adeptly directed by David Thomas Cronin and beautifully acted by two talented actors: Elizabeth Pickering Hopland (who played the character Black & White) and Danielle Ferretti (who played Technicolor). Here we are basking in the aftermath of opening night.

gallery1

You’ll notice Elizabeth was too quick with taking off her make-up since she didn’t know the nosy writer would be there requesting a photo after curtain call.  So I grabbed a promotional photo from dress rehearsal so you can see what she looked like.

blackandwhite

Yes, fabulous. Both of them. And they shined on-stage with terrific chemistry and point-on timing. It is always such a treat for a playwright to see a new work come to life. This is a quirky and funny play which honors the throwback golden era of cinema with loads of references to many of the great black and white films of all time.

This was the very first time I have ever gotten to see one of my plays in America. I’ve spent so much time overseas and produced many different shows in some unique venues, but it was special to finally be able to be there in the Big Apple at Brooklyn’s “premiere off-Broadway theater” to see a great show.

I tip my hat to all involved including Sue and Dominic who produced the show.

Hopefully, there will be many shows to come.

In Brooklyn This Week: “The Birth of Technicolor” @ Gallery Players’ Theater

If you are in the NYC area this weekend, don’t miss the world premiere of my play “The Birth of Technicolor” at the Gallery Players’ Black Box New Play Festival. It is one of four plays which will be performed Thursday June 14 through Sunday June 17. (Thurs-Sat @ 7:30 & Sunday @ 3:00)  I will be on hand Thursday and Friday evenings. Hope to see you there!

The play itself is a cute little thing. Black & White Film and Technicolor Film show up to give an audition to famed movie director DW Griffith. Each of them want the starring role in his next film. It doesn’t take long for Black & White to feel threatened by Technicolor’s brash and colorful personality. Eventually they each perform a death scene for the director, but the outcome is not what either of them expects.

Play: The Birth of Technicolor   Written by Mark W Sasse

Directed by David  Thomas Cronin

The Gallery Players
199 14th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

blackbox2018.jpg

A (Really Good) Week in the Life

Some weeks are ordinary.

This is not one of them.

The daily rhythm of life can, at times, pull us away from that which we most desire on this earth – connection, family, and the glimpse of a dream.  All of that stuff is happening to me this week, and it dwarfs whatever daily gripes or complaints I may have had during this past year.

It all started as my first year of teaching theatre finished in Saudi Arabia, and so we headed “home” to the USA for a blissful summer of family, friends, and functions.

The festivities started when we arrived in New York and were whisked away to see my first grandson for the first time ever. Wow doesn’t begin to describe it. I shall, at another time, write more fully about what becoming a grandfather means to me, in addition to what it means to time–I’m not as young as I once was. But the joy that a four-month-old brings a family is palpable by the minute. Joy oozes from the cries, the coos, the laughter, and the smiles. Those smiles. Wow. Those smiles. I was overcome with joy and so proud to be a grandfather.

I also made it home in time to witness the baptism of my grandson with the child’s other grandfather, from Korea, able to officiate over the ceremony with all of the family from both sides of the world present. It was a precious moment, good enough for mounting on a greeting card.  I hadn’t seen any of my children in six months due to the nature of my work, so it was special to all be together to say the least.

Now, my first week back in New York will end on a far more insignificant note: I, for the first time, get to see one of my plays produced in New York City.

While it may pale in comparison to holding my grandson, it will, nonetheless, be a remarkable moment to sit in the audience at the Gallery Players’ Theatre in Brooklyn to watch the world premiere of my short play: “The Birth of Technicolor.”

Yes, I feel blessed.

 

Like to Write Book Reviews?

I’m excited for the release of second book in my very first trilogy. If you like to read and review novels, drop me a line at Mark@mwsasse.com and I’ll hook you up with a review copy of my latest. If you haven’t read the first yet, I’ll get that for you too.

My only request: be honest!

Here’s the tagline for The African Connection:  Fruit, Faeries, & Fascist Dictators. The Adventure Continues.

Check the links below to learn more about the books and the series. Thanks!

reviewcopy promo

Goodreads

Amazon

For the Glory of Stagecraft: Broadway Flats

Stagecraft. It’s an art form without limits in many ways because the artistry of stage craft can achieve stupendous monumental artistic heights. Most theatre productions, however, are not quite so grandiose in reach – including my own productions. My artistic abilities certainly have their limitations. I depend greatly upon actual artist to draw and paint and create much of the visual magic which takes place on stage.

I am, however, interested in stage craft, and I’ve been learning the different methods of creating backdrops and visual textures on stage. One indispensable part of building a set, in my opinion, is the Broadway flat. Essentially, Broadway flats are wooden frames with taut muslin fabric stretched across them. Here, let’s look:

2018-04-17 15.58.20

This is the backstage view of the flats we made for our show “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” I decided I wanted a static background which represents the entire show. So we built the frames, stretched the muslin over it, and treated the fabric with diluted white glue which helped to tighten it so would be good for painting. You’ll notice that Broadway flats (ours were 8 ft  x 4 ft) need wooden jacks which support the flats. The jacks were attached to the flats with metal l-brackets and then attached to the stage floor with small screws. Weights or sandbags would also work if you aren’t allowed to screw into the flooring.

Here’s what the front looked like:

2018-04-15 16.46.15

These cloth flats have the illusion of being solid wood. Even my tech person didn’t know they were made out of cloth. What’s great about them is that they are very light to move in case you need to strike the set during the show, and very cost effective because when the show is finished, you can paint over them for the next show.

I also love to use them for colored textured on stage. When painted white, they can be splashed with color or the pattern from a gobos to create great visual backdrops for drama, dance, or music.

Creating Broadway flats was one of the first things I wanted to do at my new school since they didn’t have any. In my opinion, they are an essential element of theatre production, and a really enjoyable project to make with students.

This particular backdrop added a lot of color and life to our production.

So, do you love Broadway flats as much as I do?