Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Back from Vacation!

Hi All!

Just spent a week on Nantucket. It was probably the best week weather wise of the whole summer. Every day was sunny and my wife and I hit just about all the main beaches.

Naturally summer vacation means reading! I brought along The Relic by Eca De Queiroz Studs Lonigan by James T. Farrell, The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor, Thom Pain by Will Eno, and a couple of Tennessee Williams plays I had never read before, I ashamed to say. (Summer and Smoke, Orpheus Descending, and Suddenly Last Summer.)

I finished it all except the Flannery O'Connor, which I had read before in college and on a long cold field excercise in Korea. I think the other book I read on that exercise was Michael Crichton's Disclosure, which I remember being an incredible dichotomy as far as reading experiences go.

Anyway, I am back and blogging. The new theatre season is heating up. What to see?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Fringe Memories

This Guardian article from the Edinburg Fringe Festival brings back happy, harried, and horrible memories of my Fringe Experiences.

The fringe festival gave me some of the best experiences of my life. My first experience in orchestrating a production was a Fringe show with five actors and an incredible array of sound cues. I was Artistic Director, Playwright, Actor, Publicity man, etc. Probably my biggest advantage was my military experience from a few years earlier, which had provided me with the experience of mobilizing small teams to accomplish objectives under stressful circumstances.

When I go to Fringe Festival, I am not looking for the next big hit. I am looking for the quirky, the strange, the daring, the funny. Basically I am looking for the shows that scream out, "I have some talent, I am intelligent, I have this crazy idea that nobody would ever produce or invest in!"

I have to say that I have had some of my greatest or strangest stage memories from fringy productions. One, right off the top of my head, was Roblin Gray's Mumble in Numbskull, an existential clown show which haunts me to this day. A strange little play in which a group of people wore Mardi Gras masks as they enacted a talk show while voices would come over the sound system.

Now, unfortunately, we see the tide turning toward the great Sundance Festival Rising.