So, I should probably have posted about M*A*S*H before, you know, the show opened. At least I posted it while it still has three performances to go… not that I expect this site will generate audience for the show.
Anyway, I directed M*A*S*H and have a wonderfully talented cast and crew. It’s been a fantastic experience and I will be sad when it is over.
In other news, we’re having the BIG tree in our back yard taken down today. It has rot visible high up at the site of where an old branch was removed years ago and we were thinking its was local to that spot until a piece of bark right at the ground level blew off in a wind storm two weeks ago and we could see the rot underneath. So, rather than wait for it to call on our house, we called the tree peeps to take it down. This makes me incredibly sad as this was a huge, beautiful tree, a swamp maple, and losing it means a lot less shade in our yard. A lot less.
We’ll plant some new trees to make up for it but it will be years before they give us real shade in the summer.
And that’s all the news to report today.
Hot on the heels of a return engagement of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) (which I sadly forgot to blog about before it happened), is the next show I’m doing: Little Shop of Horrors. I don’t think the show needs any introduction. I’m playing Mr. Mushnik (the shop owner) and details of the show are on the poster (here) and the link (above).
I am in the midst of revising Take Control of Podcasting (a fascinating venture given that Apple has gutted GarageBand of all the useful podcasting features) and in order to actually be able to speak from knowledge (rather than from memory) I needed to start podcasting again. It so happens that Swamp Meadow Community Theatre, where I have been acting, directing, and doing tech these last four years, is in some need of social media marketing. So, I proposed starting a new podcast to promote theater activities.
A few weeks later, I have produced two shows with another two planned. I may only do this in the run up to actual shows but we’ll see how much content there is to be had in the quiet times between productions. At any rate, it’s great to be back to podcasting. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed it in the last few years. I doubt I will start a new one up for just myself. But I enjoy producing one for others and may even look to expand on that.
Opening next Wednesday, Jack is appearing as “Father Wolf” (Mowgli’s father) in The Jungle Book, a production of Swamp Meadow Summer Children’s Theatre! I was an assistant director and am helping run sound as well.
All of the kids (and adults) have worked really hard on this so come on out and see the show!
This October, I’ll be starring in Swamp Meadow Community Theatre’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as Randle Patrick McMurphy. This I’d my first leading role since I played The Boy in The Fantasticks in high school.
If you have seen the play before or if you have read the book, you know that this is quite different than the movie. While I like the idea of playing a role that Jack Nicholson made famous but ultimately, I am playing a very different character than he did.
To prepare for the part, I have been dieting and exercising a lot, practicing card tricks, and getting in touch with my inner sociopath. All very exciting!
Anyway, I am very excited and not a little nervous. So call the box office and reserve your tickets! Now!
Come one! Come all! Dracula is being performed by the Swamp Meadow Community Theatre starting this weekend with yours truly as the blood sucking fiend himself!
Be frightened at the blood curdling horror!
Be amazed by the fantastic action!
Be floored by my hair-dye job!
Oct 30 at 2:00PM and 7:00PM
Oct. 31 Halloween at 8:00 pm
Nov 5, 6, at 7:00 PM
And Nov 7 at 2:00 PM
Captain Isaac Paine Auditorium
160 Foster Center Rd. Foster RI
(At the intersection of Rt 6 and Rt 94)
$10 Adults $5 Students & Seniors (Family pricing $30 max)
Box Office 401-397-6671 or @ swampmeadow.org
See the official web page for more details.
I auditioned for the next Swamp Meadow Community Theater production, Dracula, last Friday. I read for Dracula, Van Helsing, Jack Seward, and thought about reading for Quincy Morris or possibly Renfield. I decided to avoid Renfield as I was concerned about getting locked into being a character actor. Henry was a blast in The Fantasticks but I am more interested in playing a fully formed character rather than someone who is more caricature than character. I figured I was best for Van Helsing given my physique and that I have dutch relatives I could call on the phone to get the accent down. I read Dracula on a lark but not really expecting to get it.
I was pleasantly surprised when I got the call that I was cast as Dracula. I have been getting more excited by the day since I found out. Dracula is, in many ways, the polar opposite of Henry. While both demand attention, they do is in completely different ways. Henry demands people look at him, demands the spotlight (literally), and goes out of his way to emphasize his age or frailty to get attention. Dracula commands attention by sheer power of personality. He has a palpable strength, an underlying malice, and radiates power. When he is in a room (or on the stage) all eyes are on him because you can’t help but look at him. He does nothing specific to call attention to himself and yet he gets that attention. He is also, in the words of the director, a thug. He’s a warrior, a strategist and tactician, and conniving. He takes what he wants but can be subtle when necessary. He’s going to be a fascinating character to get to know and I can’t wait to start rehearsals and get to know the rest of the cast.
Until then, I am reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula (for the first time!) and getting to know Dracula through his words. The play is inspired by the book rather than being an adaptation and the character will not necessarily be the same. But it’s a good place to start. I also want to re-read The HIstorian though not for character research so much as because it was just such a great book. And I am walking every day now. While the director doesn’t need or want the thin-as-a-rail stereotype and prefers a broader-shouldered figure, I am feel that I have some work to do to get my body where I want it for this role.
This all reminds me of when I was in High School. I had had a long run of playing comic relief parts. When Oklahoma came up my junior year, I read for Will Parker assuming that that was the role I would be getting. The director asked me to read Jud Fry and I did to humor her. But she cast me in that role saying that there was something chilling in the way I read it. It ended up being one of the best experiences I had as a young actor (the best being playing Matt in the Fantasticks at about the same time).
The show goes up around Halloween. The next four months are going to be a lot of fun!
After 25 years, I have finally fulfilled a longtime dream of mine: to get back on the stage and do a play again! In a few short weeks I will be appearing in the Swamp Meadow Community Theater’s production of The Fantasticks. This is one of my all time favorite shows. I performed in it in high school as Matt, the male lead. Now I am playing Henry Albertson, an old actor, quite theatrical and vainglorious for his supposed glory days and lost youth. Every time I have seen this show (and I have seen it many times over the years) Henry has always stolen the show so, as you would expect, I am having a ball with the part. You can reserve your tickets at the Swamp Meadow Box Office and show dates are May 21, 22, 28 and 29 @ 7:00 pm and May 23 and 30 @ 2:00pm at the Isaac Paine School in Foster, RI.
I have been regularly photographing rehearsals (any that I am in are courtesy of my son who came to a rehearsal) and just having so much fun. The cast is great and the show promises to be, if you forgive the pun, fantastic.