Live on stage

Warning Shots: A short monologue for young actors

What is this! Two blog posts in one week. What is this madness?

Well it’s been a productive week so far, in fact there may be another blog coming this week as well. You’ll just have to wait around and see won’t you?

Now, to get to the point of today’s posting. A couple of years ago, I saw an opportunity to write a short piece inspired by the American Civil War for a production in Washington DC. In response, I wrote Warning Shots. It is a dramatized retelling of the two attacks on Lawrence, KS before and during the Civil War; the first by “Border Ruffians” (pro-slavery supporters) the second by Confederate leader William Quantrill. In this monologuWare, a young girl named Aella (which means “whirlwind” in Greek and was the name of an Amazon warrior in Greek mythology) witnesses these attacks and tells her story and what she learned.

Warning Shots was performed originally by the EMU Theater company in Lawrence, KS in November of 2015 to great response. Since then, it has kind of sat on my shelf. But I recently asked the daughter of a friend to perform it for a recording. I then “sweetened”the recording and present it to you now.

Warning Shots performed by Jocelyn Goodwin, directed by William J Goodwin, produced and mixed by Everett Robert.

If you would like a copy of Warning Shots you can find it on my Scripts page, at New Play Exchange, or feel free to contact me directly. I am offering this script, FOR FREE to students, schools, and community theaters.

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New Year, New Goals, New Shows

2016 has come to a close and 2017 has begun. In the past I’ve talked about how I’ve wanted to spend the new year blogging more, writing more, producing more content. I think I write a variation of this blog every year. this year, the goals are the same; blog more, write more, create more content.

Lets look at what I’ve written in the past year though. I adapted my play  #JohnDoe from podcast format to stage format and had it performed by my local theater, Hays Community Theater, in late April/early May. You can watch these (not very well recorded but still) performances on my YouTube page.

In late May/early June I worked on three new short plays; The Suicide Club (based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson), A Knack For Living (a play set in the old west), and Moonlight (based on The Moonlight Road by Ambrose Bierce). At least two of these will be performed in the upcoming season of Sherri’s Playhouse, heard on the podcast Chatting With Sherri (the same podcast where Murder At Home and #JohnDoe premiered). In addition, I wrote some new 10-minute plays including Thoughts And Prayers in response to the Orlando shooting in June, which was performed in Kalamazoo, MI.

In December, I started work directing a new play for Sherri’s Playhouse as well, Sherlock Holmes and the Terror By Night Train. I came up with the story, my writing partner wrote the script, and I added in additional material. I’m really proud of this cast and can’t wait to share this story with you. It’s coming January 29th.

What does 2017 hold for me? I’m hoping to get Warning Shots, my monologue for young female actor, into the hands of some students for forensic competitions this year. I’d also like to get Superstar, a 10-minute two-hander, into some students hands as well. Both of these are available here on my website, along with some other free scripts. I’m working on an adaptation of the medieval poem The Owl And The Nightingale,  that I think would make for an interesting contemporary political themed piece.

Other goals include getting #JohnDoe into other theaters, seeing more productions of Tom Sawyer and Allie in Wonderland, getting a production of my adaptation of A Christmas Carol and continue writing about the arts and arts advocacy as needed.

So here is to more blogging, more writing, more content creation in 2017 (it probably won’t happen by the way 😉 )

Dr Suess and the Cat In The Hat (revisited)

Today (March 2, 2013) is the 109th Birthday of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Suess. Geisel  was an American writer, poet, and cartoonist who published 46 children’s books, which were often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of anapestic meter.Although he received numerous awards throughout his career, Geisel won neither the Caldecott Medal nor the Newbery Medal, however, Dr. Seuss did win two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize.

In May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among school children, which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. Accordingly, William Ellsworth Spaulding, the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin who later became its Chairman, compiled a list of 348 words he felt were important for first-graders to recognize and asked Geisel to cut the list to 250 words and write a book using only those words. Spaulding challenged Geisel to “bring back a book children can’t put down.” Nine months later, Geisel, using 236 of the words given to him, completed The Cat in the Hat. It retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Geisel’s earlier works, but because of its simplified vocabulary, it could be read by beginning readers. The Cat in the Hat and subsequent books written for young children achieved significant international success and they remain very popular today. In 2009 Green Eggs and Ham sold 540,366 copies, The Cat in the Hat sold 452,258 copies, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960) sold 409,068 copies—outselling the majority of newly published children’s books.

Below you’ll find my review of the Live On Stage version of Geisel’s most famous work, The Cat In The Hat.

Welcome once again to the Friday Free For all for September 28, 2012. I know I missed Wednesday’s Wednesday With Will, but I’ll make it up I promise. Had some other things to take care of (like working on lines).

Earlier this week I posted a story about the emergence and importance of children’s theater. One of the things it mentioned in that article was that Europe is leading the way in children’s theater, producing works for younger and younger audiences. Today I’m going to review a show that is the emodiement of this growing movement.

Dr Suess’s The Cat In The Hat: Live on Stage (I’m spelling it the way that it is listed on Netflix) is a 30 minute recorded live on stage at the National Theater in London. Directed by acclaimed director Katie Mitchell and starring Angus Wright as the titular Cat. This is how children’s theater SHOULD be. It’s energetic, kinetic, engaging to younger audiences, and true to its source material. And by true to its source material, I mean it is TRUE to Dr. Suess’ original book. One complaint about the live action Grinch and Cat in the Hat movies were that they packed more material into those movies then were in the original stories and deviated from the source material. This doesn’t. Every word that Theodore Geisel wrote is here and nary a word is added.

The acting is top notch as well, as you can expect from London’s National Theater. The actor playing Sally and Sally’s brother do amazing work with almost no lines and Wright’s Cat brings a…well a danger to the role that was lacking in Mike Myers’ performance. But it’s Justin Salinger as the Fish that is a true delight. From his entrance  with a bubble machine in one hand and a Fish puppet in the other, he adds complexity and simplicity to his performance.

That could be said about this entire performance, from Vicki Mortimer’s stage design to Paul Clark’s jazzy score, everything is complex and yet simple. The set is simple (which appeals to my minimalist sensibilities)  capturing the simple ink drawings of Dr. Suess but then the do the famous balancing scene from the book where The Cat balances on a ball along with The Fish in his bowl, a tea cup on his head, etc. I’m not sure how they did it but it’s amazing.

The Cat In The Hat: Live On Stage is available instantly on Netflix.

The Friday Free For All: Dr Suess’s In The Hat Live On Stage

Welcome once again to the Friday Free For all for September 28, 2012. I know I missed Wednesday’s Wednesday With Will, but I’ll make it up I promise. Had some other things to take care of (like working on lines).

Earlier this week I posted a story about the emergence and importance of children’s theater. One of the things it mentioned in that article was that Europe is leading the way in children’s theater, producing works for younger and younger audiences. Today I’m going to review a show that is the emodiement of this growing movement.

Dr Suess’s The Cat In The Hat: Live on Stage (I’m spelling it the way that it is listed on Netflix) is a 30 minute recorded live on stage at the National Theater in London. Directed by acclaimed director Katie Mitchell and starring Angus Wright as the titular Cat. This is how children’s theater SHOULD be. It’s energetic, kinetic, engaging to younger audiences, and true to its source material. And by true to its source material, I mean it is TRUE to Dr. Suess’ original book. One complaint about the live action Grinch and Cat in the Hat movies were that they packed more material into those movies then were in the original stories and deviated from the source material. This doesn’t. Every word that Theodore Geisel wrote is here and nary a word is added.

The acting is top notch as well, as you can expect from London’s National Theater. The actor playing Sally and Sally’s brother do amazing work with almost no lines and Wright’s Cat brings a…well a danger to the role that was lacking in Mike Myers’ performance. But it’s Justin Salinger as the Fish that is a true delight. From his entrance  with a bubble machine in one hand and a Fish puppet in the other, he adds complexity and simplicity to his performance.

That could be said about this entire performance, from Vicki Mortimer’s stage design to Paul Clark’s jazzy score, everything is complex and yet simple. The set is simple (which appeals to my minimalist sensibilities)  capturing the simple ink drawings of Dr. Suess but then the do the famous balancing scene from the book where The Cat balances on a ball along with The Fish in his bowl, a tea cup on his head, etc. I’m not sure how they did it but it’s amazing.

The Cat In The Hat: Live On Stage is available instantly on Netflix.