AVENUE Q at Theatre Too and MOBY DICK at Hip Pocket Theatre

This is going to be my last post for a while, on Wednesday child #2 will join the world and I will be occupied with familial duties so this weekend was my last show weekend for a while. What a weekend it was. I only saw two shows but they were both as varied in tone and scope as I could hope for. Previously, I reviewed the Denton production of AVENUE Q and when I heard that Theatre Three was producing the show in their smaller Theatre Too space I was reticent to review another production. I went to support my friend and colleague Olivia Emile as she reprised her role in Dallas and to see what was going on with the Theatre Too space this season. I have seen a number of shows in the downstairs space and if you haven’t seen a show there, it is a small, closed in space with low ceilings. When the audience stood at the end of the show, at least one person bumped into a lighting fixture that didn’t seem as low when said audience member sat down. As small as the space is, I have always been surprised at how completely the artistic team transforms the space into something new, it never has the same feel.

The regional professional premier saw the return of two members of the Denton cast, Emile and Matt Purvis, in their previous roles and something that I wanted to see in Denton but didn’t, original puppets. Michael Robinson and Dallas Puppet Theatre created an original set of puppets for this production and it is worth going to see this production simply for the puppet design. They are expertly crafted and thoughtfully designed and lend an air of DIY to this production which could easily pass as showcasing the book and music by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty. The cast and crew are clearly not satisfied with recreating the Off-Broadway hit, they are putting a unique stamp on the show, something I was pleased to see. I’m not going to spend a lot of time telling you to see the show, if you have heard of it and are interested, this is a solid production that communicates the sentiments and unique qualities of the show admirably. What this production, directed by Michael Serrecchia, does is condense the cast to 7 actors and tighten up a huge musical to fit inside of the 99 seat Theatre Too space. Not an inch of the set is wasted and as elements move quickly on and off of the playing space, each change is enough to suggest the different locations of the show that do not “live on Avenue Q.”

Tickets and information are at http://www.theatre3dallas.com

MOBY DICK 

 

The second show I saw this weekend, MOBY DICK, at Hip Pocket Theatre in Fort Worth was about as far away from AVENUE Q as one could imagine. If one were imagining a stage adaptation of Moby Dick, I don’t think that it would come close to what actually transpired on the stage on Silver Creek Rd. I always enjoy going to Hip Pocket Theatre and try to make it at least once or twice a summer to catch what is often innovative and thoughtfully created theatre. I checked the radar before I left Denton and it looked like a storm might be blowing but all we had in Ft. Worth was a brief power outage before the show and some dust kicking up. When we moved into the space shortly after sundown, the breeze was welcome and the cooler weather brought in by the clouds tamed the Texas heat, by the time the lights dimmed, I was ready for what creators Lake Simons and John Dyer had waiting for me (and the rest of the audience).

In this nearly wordless production, a cast of 7 chorus (four female, three male) and Michael Joe Goggins as Ahab brings the audience along on what I think of as a meditation on Melville’s tale. The book, which I have to admit never reading, has achieved a status as long and convoluted but still being one of the cornerstones of American literature. This production includes many of the touchstones of what I have come to expect from Simons/Dyer collaborations: densely textured soundscapes, intentionally meditative pacing and a sense of wonder and fascination with the world. What this production had that I haven’t seen before from these two is a sense of dread, first hinted at in the droning tones that underpin Dyer’s soundscape. It is as though one were taken into an embrace and held close while being told a chilling story, whispered into the ear. I was drawn into the piece from the beginning with movement suggesting a sea and the creatures in it and released at the end with a similar motif but altogether darker. Simons and Dyer have created a condensed version of Moby Dick that leaves little out and fills the Silver Creek Amphitheater with the forbidding Atlantic Ocean where Moby Dick takes place. 

I never cease to be amazed at the creativity this pair brings to a piece, even though the play clocked in at around an hour, I never felt like I was being rushed in my enjoyment of the props, costumes and puppetry elements that flowed in and out of the space like so much flotsam and jetsam. One moment that found particularly arresting was when Ahab came into the space and “laid” in bed. A sheet and pillow were brought out and while Goggins fought a nightmare in his head, a light was brought out and the sheet became a screen where we saw one of his battles with the great white whale played out in shadow. When the whalers set out in their boats to kill the first whale, two bamboo poles tied at one end created the illusion of boats at sea. I was amused that Simons even included the processing of a whale in the show, an element that normally derails a reading of the novel became an example of the monotony that whalers could expect. When the final moments of the piece arrive, it is with foreboding that the audience sees the white whale return to claim Goggins’ tortured, intense Ahab. 

I can’t recommend seeing this show enough. Get there early and enjoy the backyard music and brews before the show. 

Tickets and information are at www.hippocket.org

So there you have it, the last post for a while. Both of these shows are running through the end of the month at least. I hope to be back with you all again soon but for now, get out and see some theatre!

 

AVENUE Q

Director, Michael Serrecchia
Musical Director, Terry Dobson
Costume Design, Michael Robinson
Puppet Design and Construction, Dallas Puppet Theatre - Pix Smith and Michael Robinson
Set Design, Jac Alder
Lighting and Sound Design, Scott Guenther

 

Cast

Kate/Lucy, Megan Kelly Bates
Nicky/Swing, James Chandler
Christmas Eve, Olivia de Guzman Emile
Gary Coleman, M. Denise Lee
Brian, Chester Maple
Princeton/Rod, Matt Purvis
Trekkie/Swing, Michael Robinson

 

MOBY DICK

Director, Lake Simons
Composer, John Dyer
Costume Designer, Diane Simons
Lighting Designer, Nikki DeShea Smith
Puppetry and Props, Lake Simons

Female Chorus, Elizabeth Parker, Susan Ridgley, Mimi Kayl-Vaughan, Elysia Worcester
Male Chorus, Marcos Barron, Allen Dean, Joshua Sherman
Ahab, Michael Joe Goggins

 

A Rock Musical, A New Play and A Reimagined Classic: One weekend, three shows

This weekend I was all over the Metroplex seeing three very different shows by three very different companies. Thursday night I was at Theatre 3 for BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, Friday night I was down at Nouveau 47 for The Vanguard Players world premier of THE BLOODLINE written and directed by Michael Ward and Saturday evening saw me in Fort Worth for Pantagleize Theatre's WOYZECK by Georg Buchner, adapted and directed by Kami Rogers. Each of the three plays had it's strong moments but here is the breakdown, show by show!

BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON at Theatre 3

About a year ago, I was helping Dan out around Theatre 3 where he is the TD and I noticed a poster advertising BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON in the summer of 2012. No offense to Theatre 3, but this is not at all what I expected given the previous shows produced on their arena stage. I had been to THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at T3 and a couple of shows down in Theatre Too but this musical, this middle finger in the face of the establishment, didn’t really seem to be the kind of show that would cater to the audience that Theatre 3 has built over the last 50 seasons. Regardless, I was excited to see what Bruce Coleman, director, would do with the hot hot hot property coming out of NYC with a polarizing figure like Andrew Jackson at its center. I knew all about Jackson from growing up in Montana (where there is a healthy Native American presence) and reading Sara Vowell’s Trail of Tears memoir and when my wife asked me about him, I said that basically, he would get along well with Hitler (little did I know that this would come in to play in the show). 

This show, for me, was centered on Cameron Cobb, obviously as Andrew Jackson, but what made the show click for me was the ensemble. Cobb captured the complex and contradictary nature of Jackson expertly and with Austin Struckmeyer backing him up as "The Bandleader" the force was enough to carry the show through its most depressed and slow moments (moslty in the second act). When Cobb sang alone, backed only by the band, it felt as though one of the older patrons of the theatre had called ahead and asked them to turn down that damn rock and roll music; the volume of the band was too low to carry the Rock aspect of the rock musical. With the ensemble the group of voices was strong enough to allow the band to let go of the reins and not worry about drowning out the voices. In speaking with some of the crew after the show, they said that the speakers couldn’t handle much more volume which is a shame. This group of musicians and singers would have been much better served with strong, loud sound from the PA and for that to be the overriding impression is sad. The intense moments were lacking because of the volume, mics went out forcing Cobb to sing over the rocking band. The actors compensated as much as they could for these problems but without adequate voltage behind them, they were forced to pull back. A comment was made during the curtain speech about how much the actors wanted to bring this story and show to the audience, the earnestness of the company cannot be denied. Neither can one fault the talent level of the group, solid performances were turned in by the majority of the group. For me, the disconnect came from the lack of oomph, the ambience that should have been created by the overwhelming music was lacking and caused me to sit back and analyze where I should have been caught up in the emotion of the piece. 

The other standout in this strong production was the design. Set design by David Walsh was impeccable and Coleman’s costumes were at moments inspired and at other moments adequate. The set, as in the NYC version of the play, was littered with the detritus of the early 19th century and the details in the set are what gave the production as a whole the push over the top in my estimation. Lighting by Paul Arnold was nuanced and effective, and at the same time it captured the rock show vibe that the production calls for.

 

Check out BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON at Theatre 3 through 7 July.

More information can be found at www.theatre3dallas.com.

 

 

THE BLOODLINE by Michael Ward, Produced by The Vanguard Players, Presented by Nouveau 47.

 

A few years ago, when I made my first trip down to TETA in Dallas, I caught up with a colleague from university who, as it happened, was having a reading of his play as part of the proceedings. Michael Ward and I overlapped at UT-Tyler briefly when he came back for some graduate work while I was finishing undergraduate work in theatre and he asked me to read in his hour-long cutting of his award winning play, THE BLOODLINE. When I found out that he was going to be presenting his play in its entirety at Nouveau 47 this weekend, I made a point of going down to catch the show.

The script follows two interconnected stories, one taking place in the late '90s and one taking place during WWII. Rachel and Jeremy are about to be married and as a wedding gift, Rachel researches Jeremy's genealogy and finds out that he is the grandson of Ivan Metzger, a stand in for Josef Mengele. Rachel, a Jewess, has also just received the memoirs of her grandmother and as she reads, discovers that her grandmother knew Metzger in Auschwitz as a horrid war criminal. The plot continues to examine the story in the concentration camp and in the present day as the two lovers try to figure out how they will either move past the device or split from each other and let the past destroy their future together. 

The Vanguard Players, mostly current and former students of Tyler Junior College, put their hearts into this production. They traveled back and forth from Tyler to bring their production to the Metroplex and their earnest attention to the piece cannot be denied. They all turned in solid performances and did their best to bring the world of the play to life in the two hour performance. I couldn't help but feel like the production hit one note, over and over. Actors played at one level and seldom moved into nuance, allowing the drama of the piece to stain every moment. The actress playing the grandmother in the concentration camp played the anguish of her moment in time at the same level leaving her little room to go. One could write off the underdeveloped characters to the age of the actors, but that would be doing a disservice to the age. Rachel's mother spoke with all of the words of a Yiddish mother but the actress missed the cadence of the speech rendering the possibly comic moments flat and lifeless. The same with Rachel's good friend Tina. Her line readings left little of her character to be seen, she was a device not a fully developed character. In spite of the shortcomings, the majority of the actors presented their roles to the best of their ability and that can't be ignored. I only hope that with this round of performances under their belts, they will continue to explore the depths of the characters in their run in Tyler. 

Ward's script is fraught with "you know I..." and "I know you know...", something that I found tiring after a while. Show us what they know, don't have the characters tell us what they know! The driving theme of forgiveness did not get in the way of some truly dark and harrowing moments, particularly in the concentration camp. I heard gasps from the audience during scenes of rape, murder and torture that couldn't be faked. 

I sat down with Ward and talked with him after the show, enjoy the interview below:

 

If you are in the Tyler area, check out their performances next weekend at the Tyler Civic Theatre.

http://tylercivictheatre.com/production/2012-2013/the-bloodline

You can find out more information about The Vanguard Players at their Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/thevanguardplayers

 

WOYZECK at Pantaglieze Theatre, Fort Worth

Having never been down to Pantaglieze to see a show, I was excited to see something there. Again, I knew a number of people involved in the production from grad school at TWU and I was interested to see what they were up to. Walking into the space, I was reminded of some of the venues I saw in Edinburgh in 2008 as part of the Festival Fringe, intimate, slightly cobbled together but nonetheless and excellent space to see theatre in. Exposed grid, lighting instruments and a curtain drawn across the proscenium were elements that spoke to the fringey quality of the work. This is not a bad thing, it is something that I have come to prize in work that I see and participate in, it would not be unheard of to see some great theatre in such a space. WOYZECK did not disappoint. In this adaptation, director Kami Rogers places the action in the "indeterminate past" and as part of a traveling freak show. I am not familiar with the original script so I was able to evaluate what I saw on its own merits and it certainly exceeded my expectations. 

Elizabeth Lambert as The Ringleader was at points terrifying and yet one felt that she was in control of the action, she was somehow manipulating the action and the actors to portray for the audience the darkness that resides in the human condition. The title character portrayed by Michael Muller was complex and railing against the fate laid out for him as one of the poor. His lady love, Marie, portrayed by Madeleine Bourgeois, had the vacant, beguiling attitude of one who has seen much of the world and yet continues to try and see the good in people. The company was rounded out by the sinister Seth Johnston as The Knife Thrower, Billy Ayers as the boorish Strongman and Timothy Crabb as the put upon voice of reason as Andres the Clown.

Situating the action of the play in the Carnival was a brilliant stroke by Rogers because all of the action we saw took place "backstage" while the carnival continued in shadow behind the curtain. In essence, the behind the scenes action was more important than what was happening on stage. The characters either fought against their role in the traveling company or accepted it and Woyzeck was trapped in between, neither a part of the act nor accepted as part of the company. 

The actors in this production were almost all young and yet they were able to pull complex characters and motivations out of lightly drawn renderings. Muller and Bourgeois were a believable couple and brought the only sympathy of the company. This show, while portraying rape and murder, succeeded in giving a glimpse of possibility before falling under the hopeless veil that pervades much of the drama of the period Buchner wrote in. 

Pantaglieze has a gem in this production, something that perfectly fits the space and mission of the company while creating something new and engaging. It is a shame that the show has closed, if it was still running I would be lining up to see the freak show.

Check out pictures and more information about upcoming Pantaglieze Theatre:

http://www.pantatheatre.org/

 

Nouveau 47: Nouveau Exchanges ORPHAN ECHOES

 

Yesterday I met up with Olivia Emile, 1/3 of the writing team behind AS WE LIE STILL and a good friend, to head down to Nouveau 47 for the penultimate night of the Nouveau Exchanges festival the closes tonight with a performance by FTP Comedy and a big ol’ party (which I will not be at, unfortunately). The reading last night was ORPHAN ECHOES by Bezachin Jifar, an Ethiopian playwright studying at the Actors Studio of Drama in NYC and it was both enjoyable and consternating. The story revolves around the relationship of Amsalu and Jade, a couple whose relationship unfolds over a series of phone conversations that take place from 2001-2012. We enter the action at the climax of the piece, Amsalu is stuck in a cave on top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park at the height of a storm and Jade is stuck outside their home, evicted and living in the car; the storm and disaster of eviction both heralding the markers of the couple’s relationship. The cave, whether the playwright realizes or not, is a perfect allusion to the story of Elijah and the Cave. Elijah goes to a mountain cave to wait for Yaweh and waits through a storm and fire and other forces of nature only to find him in a still small voice. If I were to say one thing to the playwright, it would be along the lines of finding the tropes or mythologies that echo/mirror your story and exploit the hell out of them! This doesn’t happen in the play, but it could. 

Jifar, a tall, well spoken man, was present at the reading and it was interesting to see his reactions to hearing the work read aloud by two such gifted actors. Diana Gonzalez and Brandon Potter were both delightful and nuanced in their portrayals of the characters. Director Christopher Eastlund did an admirable job of finding the meaning behind sometimes troubling dialogue and navigating the cognitive leaps that forced into a relationship talk some kind of philosophizing about digital echoes of conversations. The topics in the play cover religion, relationships, faith, love, disasters, technology and recession; herein lies the challenge. As this festival highlights new work, the play in question is clearly in development, there is a lot of room to grow and a lot of editing that needs to take place before the play is ready for a full production. The story is almost exclusively focused on Amsalu, he is the empathetic, artistic young man and his foil is Jade, a poet who peppers her conversation with poems, her own and tidbits memorized from other poets. Jifar’s play, at this point, contains many good moments but lacks the clarity of vision that could turn this play into a successful production. The cell phone conceit is neither here nor there; I enjoy seeing characters interact with each other and over the phone it is difficult to build the kind of chemistry between to character that one wants when relationships are the focus of the play. Or if religion is the focus of the play. Or if disasters are the focus of the play... You get the point. 

Nouveau 47 has done a fantastic job of building an environment where young playwrights have a space to see their work take a few steps out of the nest and test the wind. The panel last night was decidedly more focused on the text and on the further development of the playwright than was the panel I was on last week. Hopefully Jifar walked away with some insights into his own play that he can funnel into something worthwhile.

If you can make it down for tonight, there is a reading at 5:00 and a party at 7:00. Go and have a good time celebrating the new works that have had their first readings, hoping they aren’t the last and looking to the future of new works in DFW. 

http://www.nouveau47.com/exchanges2012/

IF YOU START A FIRE [BE PREPARED TO BURN] at Nouveau Exchanges, Nouveau 47

Last Saturday, a week ago I know, I went down to Fair Park to be a part of the developmental panel for N47's reading of Kevin Kautzman's IF YOU START A FIRE [BE PREPARED TO BURN] directed by Michael Federico and starring Brian Witkowicz, Dana Jensen and Aspen Taylor. I met up with Kevin beforehand to talk about the musical that I have been writing with Patrick and Olivia Emile, a couple of Denton business owners and old hands at the DFW music scene. Last week, before the crippling heat that will be summer came in, it was a beautiful night to be out and walking around Fair Park and Exposition Ave. Something I love about readings of new work is the sense that anything could happen, there is a flavor of the unknown about what is about to take place. I was asked to be on a few developmental panels this time around and I don’t want to air things that happened in the response to the reading, but the focus of a reading is on the text rather than on the performance. That said, the performances were funny and engaging and the text, well...lets get to the text, shall we?  Once I walked into the theatre and let myself be taken for a hilarious ride on Kautzman's text, I knew it was going to be a night that ended well. Kautzman's script is one that perfectly captures the head space of the internet generation; episodic, profane and...intelligent. After reading and seeing enough of Kevin's work, I have come to expect a certain amount of philosophizing from his characters, in this case a dropout philosophy student and his MBA seeking girlfriend. The characters inhabit a space in the current recession, neither completely disenfranchised nor completely alright financially; Chris and Lucy are exactly where I have been for a majority of my adult life, the limbo between high school and adulthood. It shouldn't come as a shock that I love the script, I have looked at it for production in the past and will continue to consider it in the future. In the spirit of the talkback, I will focus on the text in this review. Underneath the hilarious premise of the piece, that an unemployed college dropout and his girlfriend start sex-cam sites in the same apartment, is a troubling voyeurism/personal limits question that confronts the audience. Told in two acts with multiple scenes, the play tracks the...success of Luxxx and Crixxx as they become internet entrepreneurs. Chris makes a point early on about controlling ones entry into the American Dream, one that I think is the point of this play. Control. Being able to control your own destiny and to make sure that you get everything that you think you deserve in life. Control is also at the root of the breakdown of the story, the characters see their ability to control waning as the true nature of live shows becomes apparent. In one episode, an episode with a large cucumber, Big (underscore) Ben, played by Tom Parr IV, asks Crixx to place said cucumber in his bum, the humor gives way to uncomfortable which gives way to a feeling of violation as Crixx performs with the cucumber. When I read the script, this scene was troubling on paper. It made me feel like something creepy was happening and the funny/sexy part of the scene fell away. In performance, Parr was so funny that it overshadowed what I think was the playwrights intent; to make the audience feel that their boundaries were being pushed and that, like it or not, we were seeing some kind of vegetal rape happening.  Chris becomes disenchanted with his new found fame and regular paycheck, Lucy becomes the powerful businessperson who won’t say no to a client. She pushes Chris, who was the originator of the website idea, beyond his boundaries with the same Big (underscore) Ben when she accidentally steps on camera during a session. We end the play in a large mansion with Chris in one room and Lucy in another each absorbed in what has been gained through the experience.  It should be pointed out that large portions of the text are either messages back and forth or chats within the camshow environment. Kautzman has succeeded in creating a play that requires technology to be integrated into the performance, something that I find interesting and challenging at the same time. In creating work that requires technology, Kautzman reminds us of the nowness of the piece. If a theatre was interested in producing the script, it would only take the right group of people, with the right tech brain, to make it happen. It isn’t a script for every theatre, but it could be quite compelling to see fully staged if the technology were allowed to become part of the play in the design rather than a gimmick. In the text, it isn’t a gimmick, it’s a given.  Kautzman had a production of IF YOU START A FIRE in Ypsilanti, Michigan and one coming up in NYC in May.  I’ll be back down in Fair Park tonight for the reading of ORPHAN ECHOES by Ethiopian playwright Bezachin Jifar who will be in attendance at the reading. Come out and take part in the fun! The reading is at 8 and it’s Pay-what-you-can and BYOB!  

Last Saturday, a week ago I know, I went down to Fair Park to be a part of the developmental panel for N47's reading of Kevin Kautzman's IF YOU START A FIRE [BE PREPARED TO BURN] directed by Michael Federico and starring Brian Witkowicz, Dana Jensen and Aspen Taylor. I met up with Kevin beforehand to talk about the musical that I have been writing with Patrick and Olivia Emile, a couple of Denton business owners and old hands at the DFW music scene. Last week, before the crippling heat that will be summer came in, it was a beautiful night to be out and walking around Fair Park and Exposition Ave. Something I love about readings of new work is the sense that anything could happen, there is a flavor of the unknown about what is about to take place. I was asked to be on a few developmental panels this time around and I don’t want to air things that happened in the response to the reading, but the focus of a reading is on the text rather than on the performance. That said, the performances were funny and engaging and the text, well...lets get to the text, shall we? 

Once I walked into the theatre and let myself be taken for a hilarious ride on Kautzman's text, I knew it was going to be a night that ended well. Kautzman's script is one that perfectly captures the head space of the internet generation; episodic, profane and...intelligent. After reading and seeing enough of Kevin's work, I have come to expect a certain amount of philosophizing from his characters, in this case a dropout philosophy student and his MBA seeking girlfriend. The characters inhabit a space in the current recession, neither completely disenfranchised nor completely alright financially; Chris and Lucy are exactly where I have been for a majority of my adult life, the limbo between high school and adulthood. It shouldn't come as a shock that I love the script, I have looked at it for production in the past and will continue to consider it in the future.

In the spirit of the talkback, I will focus on the text in this review. Underneath the hilarious premise of the piece, that an unemployed college dropout and his girlfriend start sex-cam sites in the same apartment, is a troubling voyeurism/personal limits question that confronts the audience. Told in two acts with multiple scenes, the play tracks the...success of Luxxx and Crixxx as they become internet entrepreneurs. Chris makes a point early on about controlling ones entry into the American Dream, one that I think is the point of this play. Control. Being able to control your own destiny and to make sure that you get everything that you think you deserve in life. Control is also at the root of the breakdown of the story, the characters see their ability to control waning as the true nature of live shows becomes apparent. In one episode, an episode with a large cucumber, Big (underscore) Ben, played by Tom Parr IV, asks Crixx to place said cucumber in his bum, the humor gives way to uncomfortable which gives way to a feeling of violation as Crixx performs with the cucumber. When I read the script, this scene was troubling on paper. It made me feel like something creepy was happening and the funny/sexy part of the scene fell away. In performance, Parr was so funny that it overshadowed what I think was the playwrights intent; to make the audience feel that their boundaries were being pushed and that, like it or not, we were seeing some kind of vegetal rape happening. 

Chris becomes disenchanted with his new found fame and regular paycheck, Lucy becomes the powerful businessperson who won’t say no to a client. She pushes Chris, who was the originator of the website idea, beyond his boundaries with the same Big (underscore) Ben when she accidentally steps on camera during a session. We end the play in a large mansion with Chris in one room and Lucy in another each absorbed in what has been gained through the experience. 

It should be pointed out that large portions of the text are either messages back and forth or chats within the camshow environment. Kautzman has succeeded in creating a play that requires technology to be integrated into the performance, something that I find interesting and challenging at the same time. In creating work that requires technology, Kautzman reminds us of the nowness of the piece. If a theatre was interested in producing the script, it would only take the right group of people, with the right tech brain, to make it happen. It isn’t a script for every theatre, but it could be quite compelling to see fully staged if the technology were allowed to become part of the play in the design rather than a gimmick. In the text, it isn’t a gimmick, it’s a given. 

Kautzman had a production of IF YOU START A FIRE in Ypsilanti, Michigan and one coming up in NYC in May. 

I’ll be back down in Fair Park tonight for the reading of ORPHAN ECHOES by Ethiopian playwright Bezachin Jifar who will be in attendance at the reading. Come out and take part in the fun! The reading is at 8 and it’s Pay-what-you-can and BYOB!