A New Play Chosen for Festival

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I was quite pleased to get this email last night. My new, yet-to-be-performed short play will be performed as part of the SS Theatre Festival in Kuala Lumpur. The festival will be sometime in late September or early October.

I was especially happy that this script was selected (I chose two, but only one per playwright is accepted) because it is quite different for me. As the title suggests, it’s a satire set in the office of a new government agency called the “Industry Review Board.” This new agency calls a writer in for a meeting to see if his writing has been compatible with the changing tones of society.

I really like this play because it has passion and gives the audience quite a bit to think about.

I’ll have lots more about this play and my participation in the festival in the months to come, but I wanted to share the good news!

Insight into Writing my New Show (2 of 3)

Here’s part two which highlights the writing behind a few of the dramatic sketches which go live for the first time ever next week at the opening of “For All Generations.”

sketch fact sheets last princess“The Last Princess” is one of those comedy sketches which suddenly turn dramatic. I like those. I purposefully started it light, with a spoiled princess who lives within a utopia, Xanadu, constructed by her repressive father, King Antoine. The princess gets upset when she thinks her pink fluffy boa is not as soft as it was the day before. She insists that her attendant throws it away, which she does. But the next day in Xanadu, when one of her subjects asks her where the boa is, the princess demands it back. Ultimately she decides to go down the chute to find her boa only to discover that there is a cruel and oppressed world out there that she never knew about. This play actually touches on a common theme in many of my writings – overbearing and authoritarian governments who shackle the people. The hilarious beginning is turned on its head when the princess has to decide what to do with her new found knowledge. There is sure to be a confrontation with her father. It’s a fun script that holds a lot of underlying meaning.

sketch fact sheet minute problem

This is one of those mostly meaningless fun scripts which are full of bad puns and lots of cheap laughs. In many ways, it almost strays into kids’ theatre with crazy gestures, yelling, running around, and lots of confusion. The premise is simple. A grandpa sets a trap for his granddaughter simply to drive her crazy. I thought of this when I was checking out at a superstore one day, staring at a clock shop. Bad pun after bad pun related to time kept flowing through my brain, so I decided to make a crazy little play about it. Our actors are hilarious in this one.

the will

“The Will” is just wild and crazy – like my actors. For the first time ever, I specifically crafted a role for each of my actors – they even play themselves in this skit, using their own names. The script is centered around the death of a billionaire patriarch who gathers everyone for the reading of the will. Here are the characters: the executor, crazy son Joseph who thinks he’s a butterfly, gold-digger 9th wife, vain movie star, corporate CEO, airhead blogger, bipolar sister, the butler, half-Indian senator and adopted son, a disgruntled employee, and the forgotten son who is always overlooked. This is the longest piece of the night because everyone has a substantial role. But I’ve got the running down down to 15 minutes which is do-able. It’s a fun script, and all the actors are great.

I’m lucky to have such a great group of young actors to work with.

Part three soon!

 

My Play Heading to Sydney, Australia!

I was super excited to find out yesterday that my short play, “A Pinch of Fate, A Shot of Destiny”, was chosen by a director to be produced as part of the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival Sydney 2015.

It’s billed as the largest short-play festival in the world. This is very exciting for me to see one of my plays make the big time! (so to speak)

“A Pinch of Fate, A Shot of Destiny” is already an award-winning script. It was chosen as Best Script in the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival Penang 2014 just last month. In addition, my drama group, The RLT Players, will be performing it at penangpac in November. So now it’s getting quite the legs!

The story revolves around the Grim Reaper showing up to take Rebecca who is about to be hit by an on-coming bus. However, Mitch unexpectedly shows up and foils all of the Grim Reaper’s plans. It’s funny, clever, and a little sweet. We are having a lot of fun putting it together for November, so I hope the Sydney crew will have just as much.

So in the meantime, I’m happy to see my plays going international. Now if I could only get there to see it. That’s going to be a problem.

Short & Sweet Sydney 2015

Opening night – Short & Sweet Theatre Penang – A Synopsis of Two Plays

Wednesday, September 3 opens the third annual Short & Sweet Theatre Festival at the Penang Performing Arts Centre. This is the third year that I have been involved in this festival, and I’ve had a lot of fun along the way. This year, like last, I’m directing one piece and another one that I have written is being directed by someone else.

How does it work? Playwrights send in their best short plays of 10 minutes or less. About 10 plays are shortlisted to be produced. Directors are assigned and actors recruited who will then compete in a bunch of categories such as Best Script, Best Director, Best Actor, etc …

This year I’m directing a piece called “The Surgeon’s Creed” written by Eoin Carney. It’s a fun little piece about a cocky surgeon who meets another “surgeon” at a party, though he’s about to get a big surprise when he finds out that they aren’t exactly the same kind of surgeons. As director, I put another spin on the script by casting the other “surgeon” as a female and the cocky surgeon is trying to pick her up. It creates a lot fun tension on stage. I cast my daughter alongside one of my fine young actors from school. It’s going to be funny.

The play I wrote is called “A Pinch of Fate, A Shot of Destiny” in which the Grim Reaper (or whomever you want to call him) comes to pick up his next victim, Rebecca, who is scheduled to be flattened by a bus on that particular morning. However, Mitch misses his own bus and ends up at the wrong corner on the wrong day which enables him to miraculously save Rebecca’s life. This angers GR so much that he plots to get back at both of them. This piece is being directed by Matthew Koh and starring Sudhan Nair who both recently directed a revival of the Malaysian theatre piece “In a Nutty Shell” here in Penang. Mitch and Rebecca are being played by two of my young talented actors from my school. I haven’t seen too much of what they have done with the script, but I can’t wait to see it. I’m sure it’s going to be really fun.

Short & Sweet Penang runs from Sept 3-6 with 10 plays being performed each night. The awards ceremony will be held after the show on the 6th.

Come on out if you are in town!

Short & Sweet Penang

Our new show – “For All Generations”

Today I organized the read-through for the nine new scripts that I wrote (mainly) this summer which will be produced as a show called “For All Generations.” It will be performed by my lovely and fun drama group called The RLT Players. This is our fourth year to be producing a cohesive work of short plays, centered around a theme. Here’s an overview of the scripts in no particular order:

A Pinch of Fate, A Shot of Destiny – The grim reaper meets his match when Mitch shows up to unexpectedly rescue his next victim. (This one is also being performed as part of the Penang Short & Sweet Festival in early September.

If Love is a Crime, String me up – in 1852, a runaway slave finds herself on the doorstep of a northern lady, who makes great biscuits and has a tender heart

The Will – a billionaire decides to play an evil trick on the freeloading relatives who show up at his funeral expecting a payday

A Minute Problem at the World’s Last Clock Shop – A silly comedy about a grandfather playing a trick on his granddaughter who wants to buy him a birthday present

More Heart, Less Attack – Two mothers and two sons, fundamentally misunderstanding one another have a chance to bridge the gap of understanding between them

The Last Princess – When the spoiled princess of evil King Antoine finds out the truth about his barbaric rule, she is determined to end the family’s legacy.

A Woman at War: A Musical – Dedicated to all the women who fought for their love on the homefront. (This will also be part of Short & Sweet KL Musical Festival in September.)

Revenge of the Grandparents – A child, spoiled by her grandpa, has no idea what her parents are plotting to do once the child grows up and has children of her own.

What was it like – A series of questions and statements meant to trigger thought and discussion about understanding the previous generations before it is too late.

“For All Generations” – November 21-22 @ PenangPAC.