The Calm Before the Drama Storm

After nine hours of intense rehearsal yesterday for my latest musical, I’m taking a “calm” day at my chosen seasside resort and letting my mind do a little creative writing before the big show starts this week.

Tomorrow we’ll do our bump-in at Penang’s performing arts centre, and then try to accomplish all that needs to happen before our dress rehearsal tomorrow evening.

But in the meantime, I’m more about this:

2014-09-16 14.25.20


Nothing like some cold drinks next to the ocean to let your mind get away from the busyness of life. And here is where I get to create.

Here’s what I’m working on. I started a play a month or so ago which I’m planning on producing in the spring of 2016. It’s a play I call “Censored” because I don’t want to give away the title yet, but I was inspired to write it after watching the film “Into the Woods.” That should give you some stylistic ideas at least.

It is a fable-type story – possibly even an allegory – still working  on it! But  it has some interesting characters – a father trying to marry off his naughty daughters, a blind beggar who seems to be the soul of the village, a princess and her suitor, of course – need to have a romantic aspect. A poor mother who bakes bread, and a witch and driveling villain.

But I still haven’t talked about the main character whom I will at this time keep anonymous.

As you may know, I write and produce drama for the school where I teach. I’ve been doing it for 8 years. These lasts two years were musicals which I love, but they are SO much work. After two massive musicals in a row, I made a conscious decision to back off a little and do a type of drama which I haven’t done before. That’s what I working on. It’s going to be funny and poignant because that’s how I roll!

So on this relaxing, super warm and wonderfully breezy afternoon, I’m delighted to have this time to get creative before all the work of our musical production starts in the morning.

I love living here!


The Unfocused Ramblings of a Director One Week Away

My new musical, “A Tad of Trouble,” has its dress rehearsal in eight days.

That means that I have completely stopped being an author or a writer. I am, for all practical purposes, a mad-man scurrying around trying to keep everything floating and organized.

Months and months of preparation have come down to mere days. I find myself doing strange things about this time.

This afternoon I looked through our ribbon and bag box, looking for last minute props. I found this amazing-looking velvet covered Asian luxury box which is perfect for one of our scenes. I scoured our pantry for diverse things like an umbrella with a hook, a bandanna, and a old glass perfume bottle. I didn’t find any of them, but I did find a cool old bag that fits the time period.

Now I think I’ll go shopping. I need lanyards.

I finished the curtain call order and curtain call song last night.

I also recorded the intro to the second act on Audacity.

I’ve been re-organizing sound files, labeling them in order so the tech crew can follow along.

My stage manager has been writing lists and diagrams for all the actors. My tech supervisor has given me the lighting plan – which needs to be revised.

I’ve been running ticket specials for family members of the cast/crew, having to make several trips to the theatre to pick up the tickets. Then I need to disburse them.

I looked for new music on Amazon that might be nice to play pre-show.

I bought a new battery and memory card for our new camera so I can record.

I’ve been updating our show’s Facebook page daily.

Oh, I can’t forget the set pieces. Finished painting them yesterday and figuring out ways to attach the panels that we have.

That reminds me, I need to go find fluorescent tape.

No wonder I feel exhausted.

Oh, and I have two all-day softball tournaments Monday and Tuesday this week. Great timing.

Don’t expect much from a director one week out before a show. If he or she seems frazzled, there’s a good reason for that.

2015-05-09 09.27.54(above: Stage Manager working on our set pieces.)