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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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On Video: Our Opening Night

May 13, 2016 – World Premiere of “The Secrets of the Magic Pool” at Penang Performing Arts Centre.

I finally got it up on Youtube. We had some technical sound issues that night, a little too much treble in some of the screaming parts. Unfortunately, we don’t have video of closing night, excellent sound, sold-out crowd. But, this one will do. It was a blast to put on, and I’m really proud of my young actors who pulled this off.  Here’s Act I.

Experiencing the Finale

Experiencing the Finale

Last night was the finale of the limited three-show run world premiere run of “The Secrets of the Magic Pool.”

It was everything I had hoped for and more.

First off, the crowd. It was a sell-out! I give it an “A”! Excellent, engaged crowd that got the raucous, rolling laughter going back and forth all over the theatre. It may have been the best crowd that any of my shows ever experienced – even to the point of being a little over the top. But that’s okay. It’s much better than the alternative.

The acting. I give it an “A”. These young actors were superb. A few flubbed lines here and there that the audience wouldn’t even have noticed. Their recoveries were smooth. They performed with such passion and life that the audience couldn’t help but love them. I’m so proud of all of them.

Tech. “A” – We finally nailed it. This was a taxing show for a variety of reasons. 106 lighting cues. Nearly 50 sound cues. Follow-spot.  Tracking 11 microphones. Lots of moving parts. The first show we saw some of the challenges manifest themselves on-stage with some uneven and loud sounds. But this final performance was perfect. A great blend of sound, wonderful scene transitions. Everything was executed perfectly, performed by 4 your techies who never get enough credit.

The story. Well, yes, I am biased since I wrote it. But I am very pleased at the interpretation and the way the actors communicated the story. And based on the audience’s response, it was a huge success.

I hope other theatre troupes will try out the script sometime. It’s challenging yet very fun with all kinds of interesting themes woven through it.

This was such a fantastic night that I’m sorry it’s over.

But with any worthwhile endeavor, it was worth the hundreds of hours of dedication to pull it off.

So now, what’s next?

Oh yeah, now I need to write a new Christmas show for the RLT Players. A writer’s job is never done!

 

What really happens at drama practice

You might think that drama practice is all about working lines, practicing blocking of scenes, digging in deep into the themes of the piece, and pushing the script further than you had it a week ago.

Well, that’s not really true. Here’s what really goes on.

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Yes. Drawing caricatures of the director and actors on the white board. That’s me on the right. I have a really round face but a square head. I was not aware of that. That one in the middle is supposed to be me too, even though I don’t wear glasses or I don’t wear a bow tie. What are these actors smoking?

That’s JP on the left. He’s from Korea and he’s playing the captain of the guard when not posing for whiteboard caricatures. The lady beside him is Yzzy, probably the instigator of all of these drama shenanigans. She’s heading to university next year as a theatre major. Perhaps she should switch to art.

This is the craziness behind the scenes which bring about (eventually) theatre excellence.

Two months more until the world premiere of “The Secrets of the Magic Pool.” Can’t wait!

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The “Boardwalk Melody” Story through Photos

“Boardwalk Melody” – An Original Musical

The Story in Photos:

Frederick, the fisherman, has been chasing Minnie, the ice cream lady, for years. I think she secretly has a crush on him, but she’s most definitely playing hard to get.

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Benedict (blue) works in his aunt Gert’s tourist agency. Gert has hired two girl-crazy teens for the summer. She most definitely regrets it. Rosie (blue) also works there, but the term “work” must be used loosely because she wants nothing more than to be Benedict’s girlfriend. Benedict is not amused.

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Enter Amelia, and her two disciples. She rents a space next to the tourist agency for the intention of opening a revolutionary swimwear store. The prospect of such a shop gets Perry and Tony quite excited.

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Amelia’s conservative feminism comes into an immediate clash with Benedict – prompting him to sing a song accusing her of being a follower of Chairman Mao. Amelia sings in reply that he an ego as big as Lincoln of Rushmore. (It’s a fun song, really.)

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When Frederick sees Amelia and Benedict fighting, he gets an idea. He bets Minnie that he can make those two fall in love. They make a wager where if Frederick wins, Minnie agrees to go on a real date with him. If he loses, he’s never allowed to tie his boat on this pier again. The game is on. Let the plotting and scheming begin. JStef-17Apr2014-7154

 

But every show needs a villain, so in walks billionaire developer Cornelius Summers who intends to raze the shops on the boardwalk and build a casino. Margaret, his fiance and soon to be 6th wife comes in tow. And there might even be a strange connection with Amelia here. Could she really be in on his scheme too?JStef-17Apr2014-7121

Cornelius and his future casino girls perhaps?JStef-17Apr2014-7114

Of course, we have some wonderful dancers who just make everything amazingly amazing. JStef-17Apr2014-7178

 

Fifteen original songs. Seven choreographed dance numbers. Nineteen amazing young actors.

“Boardwalk Melody – An Original Musical.”

Opens Friday May 23 @ Penang Performing Arts Centre.