Month: April 2013

Changes changes changes

So I know I haven’t been the most blog active lately but that’s because I’ve been busy putting together a performance. This weekend I performed THE WAY OUT PLAYERS RIDE AGAIN or THE FASTEST PLAY IN THE WEST, a parody of melodramas for 3 actors. I was privileged to perform this show as well as write, direct, and produce (a challenging task I tell you) and got to perform with my brother and a very talented 13-year old actor, who stole the show and humbled me with his professionalism (with a day’s notice, he had his lines memorized), his willingness to do whatever asked, his stage presence, comic timing, and general good attitude toward everything. Way to go Nathan, and thank you again.

This brings me to the point of this blog, some new changes! I have updated a few of the pages on my website, including the Video page, so check them out and look for those changes!

To conclude this post, a picture of…THE WAY OUT WEST PLAYERS!

The Way Out West Players

The Girl From Bleecker Street

THE GIRL FROM BLEECKER STREET is a fun, innovative look at the theater world reflected in the audition process of one young actor.

Kristen is a young, teenage ingenue in waiting. She dreams of singing, dancing, and acting on Broadway and does everything she can to realize that dream, dragging her parents along to failed audition after failed audition. In the process, Kristen, like anyone in this situation at her age, begins to get depressed and frustrated, deciding that her last audition is going to be her make or break audition. She prepares hard for the role of Cosette in a production of Les Miserables…only to not get the role. It is in this heartbroken state she meets the mysterious Mister Nathaniel, who asks her to audition for the role of Alice in his new theater on Bleecker street, just blocks from where she lives.

This is a quick read, this is, like I said, a great look into a world we don’t often get to see, the world of theater and the stiff competition and rejections that come with it and how those rejections affect young actors. It also provides us a chance to glimpse how a meeting here can lead to an audition there and reminds us how small the theater world can really be.

As a fan of Alice In Wonderland (and someone who has adapted it [loosely] for the stage) it was fun to see it become a major plot point in the story. It was obvious that the author, J.R. Meehl, is a fan of Alice In Wonderland. It’s also obvious that Mr. Meehl has had experience in the theater, his descriptions of the audition process is right on.

There were a few things I didn’t care for, I would have liked to have seen Kristen’s friend Meg have a bigger part. As a playwright, actor, and director working often in TYA, I have seen that young actors support systems often include their friends and it would have been nice to have seen Meg play a larger role. I also felt that the beginning dragged just a little. I also had some formatting problems, there were letters missing and odd spacing.

Overall, I felt that this was a good story though and was fun to read and I have a feeling I’ll be reading it again.

NEW VIEWS OF OLD STORIES

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Hazel Hart at the Kansas Writer’s Association Scene Conference for Keyhole Conversations! Check out the video of our conversation

Keyhole Conversations

everett roberts promo final

Hazel Hart plays host at the KWA Scene Conference in March as she interviews playwright, Everett Roberts, to discuss his latest plays, The Absolutely True Story of Tom Sawyer as Told by Becky Thatcher, and Allie in Wonderland. Hazel found a not-so-quiet table with good lighting, and Everett gave some intriguing hints about Becky Thatcher’s views on Tom Sawyer. Both plays are available from heartlandplays.com. Check out the vlog below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

everett roberts

 Hailed as “one of our best new children’s authors” by Heartland Play Publishers, Everett Robert is an award winning author, playwright, actor, and director with over 20 years of experience.

 A Kansas Native, he graduated from Colby Community College with an Associates of Applied Science in Radio and Television Communications and an Associates of Applied Arts in English with a Drama Emphasis and currently attends Fort Hays State University. Everett is a member of…

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Everett Robert, Featured KWA Writer

I was featured in the debuted article on the Kansas Writer’s Association’s website profiling Kansas Writers. Check it out!

Everett Robert, Featured KWA Writer.

Eyes Like Stars: A book review

Eyes Like Stars cover

Few books move me the way that Lisa Mantchev’s debut novel Eyes Like Stars did.

First off, fair warning, Mantchev is an old friend of mine from the mid 90s. However time and space and life being what it is, I fell away from many friends from that time in my life. Then Facebook came and a couple of months ago, I reconnected with this old friend, found out she was a published author and her book was about a magical theater.

Well, I’m an actor, a director, and a playwright and this seemed like the sort that would be right up my alley. But I resisted. I wasn’t sure why but I did. Perhaps the gods of the theater weren’t smiling on me? Perhaps Puck or Thespis or Ariel were conspiring against me. I’m not sure. I kept suggesting the book to everyone I met but not reading it myself.

I then bought it one day on Amazon. I had some credit left on a gift card and decided to use part of it on this.

I’m glad I did.

Few books move me the way this book did.

I repeat that for dramatic reasons but also because it’s true.

Eyes Like Stars is about the magic of the stage, about the power of writing, about a young girl finding her way and her place in the world, and is also about a girl finding her mother.

I love the theater, as I’m sure you know, and found my “home” on the stage, just as Beatrice Shakespeare Smith did. I am a playwright and director, just like Bertie. And I’m adopted.

I suppose at this point I should give somewhat an overview of the book. Eyes Like Stars is the story of Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, an orphan girl who lives at the Theatre Illuminata, a magical place where every character in every play ever written resides and performs. However after an a accidental mishap, Bertie, as she is known to her friends, is told she must make an invaluable contribution to the Theatre or be forced to leave forever. Bertie, with help from a pirate from The Little Mermaid, and four of the fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, decides to become a Director and restage Hamlet in Ancient Egypt. But what follows is something unexpected and original.

This isn’t Twilight transposed to the theater, this is wholly unique. This is…well it’s magic. It made this writer of theater believe in the power of theater again. It made me long to see the stars in the eyes of young actors as they discover the power of theater too.

Also Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed are awesome!

Read this book! Not because Lisa is a friend of mine, but because she is an amazing writer who has told an amazing story filled with rich characters. And if you don’t believe me, how about this quote from Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games:

“All the world’s truly a stage in Lisa Mantchev’s innovative tale, EYES LIKE STARS. Magical stagecraft, unmanageable fairies, and a humorous cast of classical characters form the backdrop for this imaginative coming-of-age.”

I highly recommend this book for all ages. You can buy it using the link below.
Eyes Like Stars: Theatre Illuminata, Act I