What I’m Doing in February

Billy Markham promo photo1. Fast and Furious, January 31 – February 1, Spokane, Washington
Stage Left Theater selected a monologue of mine, “Some Last-Minute Wedding Vow Revisions,” for their short play festival. I can’t be there, unfortunately, but I’m hoping they post a video…

2. SlamMN Erotica Tournament, February 13-15, Kieran’s Irish Pub, Minneapolis
This annual poetry slam has been happening for years, but this is the first time it will be a full-on, multi-day tournament, so I just had to throw my name in the hat and compete. More info.

3. Minneapolis One-Minute Play Festival, February 15-16, Mixed Blood Theatre
I wrote two plays for this one. More info.

4. PROMPT: Sweet Sorrow, February 22, Black Forest Inn, Minneapolis
This is the first in Story Arts of Minnesota’s PROMPT series, which features stories based on, inspired by, or tangentially related to various classic works; this show is Romeo and Juliet. I helped produce the series, and I’m hosting this one. More info.

5. Minneapolis Encyclopedia Show, February 23, Kieran’s Irish Pub, Minneapolis
I’m performing this month; the theme is “Punctuation.” More info.

6. Rogue Festival, February 27 – March 7, Fresno, California
Finally, I’m getting away from Minnesota, where, as I post this, it is currently 43 degrees below zero. I’ll be performing The Devil and Billy Markham by Shel Silverstein.

What I’m Doing in January

So many different things going on in January! Here are the highlights…

1. Celebrity Exception
Black Sheep Theatre in Ottawa, Ontario, has commissioned me to write a one-act, Celebrity Exception.

2. Theatre Unbound’s 24:00:00 Xtreme Theatre Smackdown
January 11, 2014, 8:00pm
The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis
410 Oak Grove Street

I’m writing for this once again, which means that on Friday, January 10, at 9pm, I go into a building and am not allowed to leave until I have written, with a partner, a brand new 10-minute play incorporating elements that will not revealed until I get there. On Saturday morning, while I am sleeping off a long night, the producer assigns directors and actors to each script, and they rehearse frantically until the show starts that night. It is one of my favorite theater events in the Twin Cities. You can buy your tickets here.

3. One-Minute Play Festival
I’ve also been asked to writing something for the 2nd Annual Minneapolis One-Minute Play Festival, which will be held at Mixed Blood Theater on February 15 & 16.

4. The Devil and Billy Markham, by Shel Silverstein
Last but not least, I start rehearsals for this show — the first time in ages I’m performing something I didn’t write. Ben Layne is directing and I’m performing it at the Rogue Festival, February 27 – March 8 in Fresno, California.

A Blurry Photo from the Reading

The reading was at Nimbus Theatre in Minneapolis and I took this dark and terrible photo of this bright and amazing cast:
MIHD reading
From left to right: Ariel Leaf as Izzy/stage directions; Katie Starks as Megan Shepard; Joy Dolo as Gloria Woods; Khary Jackson as Jabari Woods; Mame Pelletier as Nikki Woods; Scot Moore as Detective Jack Louis/Martin Fisher; and Mickaylee Shaughnessy as Prosecutor/stage directions.

More news on this play coming soon…

The Calof Series at Patrick’s Cabaret

I am performing at Patrick’s Cabaret in a new series named after the late Joan Calof, a lovely woman who I had the honor of sharing the stage with in Two Chairs Telling about a year before she died.

PHOTO: Joan Calof

From the Patrick’s Cabaret website:

Joan Calof performed monologues and plays, and often sang at Red Eye Theatre, Cheap Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, and Patrick’s Cabaret. She won several awards for her work, including a Loft Creative Nonfiction Award and a Playwrights’ Center Jones Commission. She was adventurous in her performances, her many travels, and in all her intellectual pursuits. When she passed away last winter she left a generous gift to Patrick’s Cabaret with instructions that it support programming and not be spent on a tribute. By naming this new series after her we’re able to do both.

Each evening will feature two spoken word/storytelling artists and two singer/songwriters to present works-in-progress to an audience that will be encouraged to offer feedback via dialogue with the performers. In addition, throughout the evening we’ll be offering free coffee and baked goods from our wonderful neighborhood sponsors: Peace Coffee & Birchwood Cafe.

The Calof Series
Thursday, October 3, 7:30pm
Patrick’s Cabaret

3010 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis

Spoken Word/Storytelling Artists:
Katherine Glover and Howard Lieberman

Singer/Songwriters:
John Fenner and Nikki Matteson

The Encyclopedia Show

Upcoming performances:

The Minneapolis Encyclopedia Show, is a “live variety extravaganza of curated fact-based art” every month at Kieran’s Irish Pub. Each show has a different theme, and for the 2013-2014 season, I plan to research and write some comical, slightly dirty, completely true, historical story for each of these shows:

Sunday, September 22: Periodic Table of Elements
Sunday, October 20: Civil Wars
Sunday, November 17: Village of St. Louis Park
Sunday, December 15: Exercise
Sunday, February 23: Punctuation
Sunday, April 13: Spices

All shows are at Kieran’s Irish Pub
601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN
$10 Cover/$8 Students or with MN Fringe Button
7:00 Doors/7:30 Show

There are three other shows where I will most likely not be performing: Brains (January 26); Video Games (March 23); and Flightless Birds (May 18).

2013 Summer Fringe Festival Tour

Winnipeg Fringe (July 17-28)

I’m doing Dead Wrong in Winnipeg this year, and I just got my venue and schedule. I’m at Red River College again, which I think is a perfect venue for this show, so I’m happy with that, and most of my time slots look pretty good. The exception is the 10:45pm slot on Monday night — not exactly the ideal time for an intense drama, but we will make the best of it! (“We” meaning me and the two or three people who I imagine will attend that particular performance…)

Minnesota Fringe (August 1-11)

I am up to #6 on the waitlist! Everyone keeps telling me I’m pretty much guaranteed to get in, but we shall see… I’ll be doing Burning Brothels. And of course, since it’s my home town Fringe, I’ll be hanging out whether I get in or not. [Update: I got in!]

IndyFringe (August 15-25)

I’m doing Burning Brothels! I last did Indy in 2009 (with A Cynic Tells Love Stories) so it’s been awhile, and I’m looking forward to going back.

ALT Opening Night

I was at the opening of my new one-act, Alien Love Triangle, on Sunday, and I thought the cast and director did a fantastic job. I was particularly delighted with the physicality of K’Sh, the alien character, who is played by three actors. My only instructions were to NOT do the obvious and have a three-headed monster draped in a sheet or a six-legged horse, but to be creative — and indeed they were. This K’Sh was ever-shifting, with the actors stacking themselves onto each other’s shoulders when K’Sh needed to walk, and then oozing into alternate configurations for more static scenes. I hope to have pictures to post soon…

Alien Love Triangle

part of Freshwater Goes Back to High School
at Nimbus Theatre, April 14, 18, 19, 21 & 25, 2013

Directed by Katie Starks
Robin: Amber Bjork
Max: Joe Swanson
K’Sh: Derek Ewing, Ariel Leaf, Maggie K. Sotos

StoryFest

I’m one of the producers of StoryFest, a full day of storytelling workshops, performances and slams on Saturday, April 13 in Minneapolis. I’m also hosting one of the afternoon sessions: Around the World in 60 Minutes: Travel Stories.

SAM logoThe event is put on by Story Arts of Minnesota (of which I am currently board president) and it is a National Storytelling Network Regional Spotlight Event (meaning they gave us a grant to help put on the event).