Friday, July 17, 2009

Pictures from Heads in Chicago

Heads in the Alcyone Festival 2009, produced by Halcyon Theater, in Chicago, IL.

In "Heads," a British embassy worker, an American engineer, a newscaster and a photojournalist are taken hostage in Iraq. What they find out about each other and about themselves is the focus of the play, which was first produced in Los Angeles, CA at the Blank Theater (Best of 2007 -- LA Times), in Chicago, IL and this fall in Denver, CO.

Harold Wolfe takes off the tape. Caroline Conway figures out she's in the shit.

Photojournalist Jack Velazquez meets journalist Michael Apres,
from the Hartford evening news, who does not yet have dust
on his combat boots..

He likes Bob Dylan songs, she is a little bit in love with Elton John.

"What did they ask you? You have to tell me!"

"Are you cold?"

That didn't go so well.

"I want you to hold me tonight."

"I'm going to do something, Michael."


HELP is gone.

Begin again?

**Photos by Adam Dodds.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I was in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend to see Halcyon Theater's production of "Heads" in the Alcyone Festival 2009. It was a lovely visit. I'd never been to Chicago before, so it was great to check out the city -- from ferris wheel rides and Garrett's "Chicago mix" popcorn on Navy Pier to crazy (crazy!) illegal fireworks in the park to the Art Institute of Chicago. I needed more days to explore!

Attending the festival was great fun. I met Artistic Director Tony Adams and his wife, my director, Jess Hutchinson, and my actors. The festival was held over six weeks, in a theater in the basement of a church. Not only did I get to see my play, but also "Fucking Parasites," by Swedish playwright Ninna Tersman. I loved it! A wonderful two-hander about two teenagers in limbo in an immigrant detention center. Great to meet all the passionate folks involved with making this festival happen -- productions of six plays on the subject of terrorism, all written by women. Thanks so much for including my little play in the mix, Tony!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Leonard's Voice" in the Car Plays at Moving Arts

My short play "Leonard's Voice" premiered at Moving Arts "The Car Plays" 2009 event this last weekend. What a great event! Twenty plays in twenty cars -- each performed fifteen times during the course of the evening, to an audience of two people at a time.

This unique site specific theater event was originally created by Paul Nicholai Stein, Moving Arts' former artistic director. It was performed this year at Woodbury University, up in Burbank -- a great location, quiet and spacious, just off I-5. I'm hoping it's going to be a yearly signature event for our company. It's just too much fun not to do it again! Plus I can't stop writing them...

Gearing up! Julie Briggs -- Moving Arts co-founder, actress and LA Stage Alliance staff person -- kindly loaned us her wonderful Oldsmobile to be featured in "Leonard's Voice." Other cars this year included a dilapidated rock band's old black van, a crash test dummy car, a clown car and a car that was "under water." The cars were carefully arranged in rows of five. Audience members bought a ticket for one row -- which was five plays, or approximately an hour's worth of theater.

My director, Darin Anthony, talks to our actors on Wednesday night's dress rehearsal. From left to right: director Darin Anthony, Michael Lorre (Leonard), Helen Slayton Hughes (Leonard's mother) and Stephanie Erb (Leonard's voice). Not pictured, but a wonderful help to this production was our sound designer, Dave Mickey. He rigged up a sound system so the audience could hear the voices in Leonard's head (played by Stephanie Erb, who was talking back and forth with him from a hidden car nearby).

Leonard's head hurts. His mother is con- cerned...

"Have to is have to, Leonard."

My wonderful actors! Michael Lorre, Stephanie Erb and Helen Slayton Hughes.