Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Previews for "Arlecchino Am Ravenous", March 23rd

Mark Jaquith previews my March 23rd performance of Arlecchino Am Ravenous at Stone Soup Poetry on his Cambridge Community Televisionblog. It features a number of photographs showing my work with my mime and commedia dell'arte students at Open Air Circus.

Stone Soup's own blog also has a nice photograph by Bill Perault that I haven't seen before. I'm not certain when it was taken, but I'm guessing that it's a few years old at the very least.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Total War Semi-Finalist in Dorothy Silver Playwriting Competition

Today, I found the following letter, dated March 3, 2009, in my mailbox:

Dear Ian,

On behalf of the Dorothy Silver Playwriting Competition Committee, thank you for your entry to this year's contest.

Your play was selected as a semi-finalist amongst a group of 73 plays which is a noteworthy achievement. Regrettably your play,
TOTAL WAR, was not selected as a finalist. We appreciate your participation in the competition and wish to encourage you to continue writing and to resubmit plays to us in the future.

This just days after I received the following email, dated March 6, from the dramaturgy fellow of another theatre:

Although [name of theatre withheld since this was not a competition]is not able to provide a home for your script, I found its dialogue and situation compelling. I would highly encourage you to continue submitting TOTAL WAR to other venues.

If I am to take anything from these "rejections," it's that I was right to trust my intuition (and encouragement from certain friends) to embark on this undertaking, and ignore those who discouraged me.

Until I hear otherwise, the next step is casting for the staged reading in April.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Call for Actors For Staged Reading of "Total War"

As part of my development process, I have decided to self-produce a staged reading of my play, Total War taking place on Sunday, April 26th at 8pm at Outpost 186 in Cambridge. I am now recruiting actors to assist in this process. As this is simply a reading of a work in progress in front of a small audience, there will be no blocking. I will not so concerned about the look or age of of the actors. I will be more concerned with their interest in the story, and their enthusiasm and insights into the characters. I will be available to answer any questions actors have about the characters prior to the reading.

To quote the press release:

Ian Thal hosts a staged reading of his play, Total War, a five-act play set at a Catholic university where the student newspaper has published a Holocaust denial advertisement. While faculty and staff attempt to show solidarity with the small Jewish community on campus, an anarchist-cell using the nom de guerre of “Total War” begins a campaign of guerrilla art attacks before a predictable dialogue on free speech and religious pluralism can begin.


The staged reading is for an audience to experience a stripped-down version of a work-in-progress, and an opportunity for the author to listen to actors and solicit feedback.

If you are an actor and this sounds interesting, continue reading:

Dramatis Personae:

Duane McCormack: Male, early 20s. Editor-in-Chief of The Dustbowl Pulpit. a student newspaper.

Edith Havilland: Female, early 20s. News Editor of The Dustbowl Pulpit.

Donald Crincoli: Male, early 20s. Associate Editor and photographer for The Dustbowl Pulpit.

Jonah Gringer: Male, mid-20s. Jewish graduate student in philosophy at a Catholic university. Andrea’s lover.

Andrea Kunst: Female, early-20s. Junior in geology, Jonah’s lover, work-study student in office of Doncaster.

Father Aldobrandini: Male, early 40s to early 50s, Professor of philosophy, Jesuit priest. Ideologically opposed to Bullock.

Erica Weiss: Female, early 20s. President of Jewish Student Association, at a Catholic university. Senior in political science.

Father John Bullock: Male, early 40s to early 50s, Professor of philosophy, Jesuit priest. Ideologically opposed to Aldobrandini.

Richard Doncaster: (Male, late 30s to 50s) Dean of Students at a Catholic university.

Campus Police Officer: (Male, late 20s to 50s) appears in one scene and likely doubled by the actor playing either Aldobrandini, Bullock, or Doncaster.

The role of Doncaster might be doubled by that of the actor playing Aldobrandini.

A reader for stage directions will also be needed.

I'm sorry that my budget does not allow for a stipend for the actors, but snacks and beverages will be provided.

Interested? Drop me a note about which roles interest you. Resumes are helpful but not necessary.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Monday, March 23: Arlecchino Am Ravenous

Monday, March 23, 2009 at 8pm at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery:

Stone Soup Poetry presents Ian Thal performing his short, one-man play, Arlecchino Am Ravenous, a blend of literary satire and physical comedy. Arlecchino is so driven by hunger, as to eat flies, his own fingers, and even his own stomach, before he ravages both the heavens above and the hells below in search of a meal. The piece developed out of a series of improvisations inspired by a reading of Italian Nobel-Laureate, Dario Fo. The show will also include several shorter performance pieces that combine mime and poetry.

Ian last appeared at Stone Soup Poetry as part of a reunion of Cosmic Spelunker Theater. This will be his first solo performance at the long-lived poetry venue since 2001.

Lynne "The Prize Lady" Sticklor will host the event.

Out of the Blue Art Gallery
106 Prospect Street
Central Square
Cambridge, MA.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Playwright Binge

At Art Hennessey's encouragement, I joined the Playwright Binge. During the month of March, bingers attempt to market their plays to at least one theatre or festival per day and periodically report on their efforts.

As of the evening of March 2nd, I had made five such submissions, a few inquiries, and made a list of another half-dozen potential venues. The opportunities I'm currently seeking for Total War are more for development and workshopping, but Arlecchino Am Ravenous is ready for production whether I am playing the role or not.

Now with the other commitments I have this coming month: Performing with i Sebastiani, performing Arlecchino Am Ravenous at Stone Soup, and starting pre-production for the staged reading of Total War in April, I may not be able to keep up with the Binge, but any marketing is better than no marketing. I actually gave myself a headstart by submitting work for March deadlines back in January and February-- somehow this is the one area of my life where I try to do things ahead of schedule!