Back to My Theater Roots

News flash… I’ve gone back to my roots and have written a full length, two-act stage play called “Deep.” Writing the piece, which is a family drama about marital strife, has caused me to become sentimental about my career in the theater. Outside of working on my new play, I’m not sure of the reason for this sentimentality; I just know that I’ve always loved the theater. The love affair began when I saw plays at an early age. Some were local school theater productions which had me on the edge of my seat. Others were full-fledged, big budget shows in large, notable venues, and on Broadway.

When I was a young boy, around eight years old, I would sometimes coerce my parents into assembling in the living room in our house to watch a haphazard skit that I had thrown together with my two brothers. They were terrible, ill-conceived sketches that had no meaning or structure, and rarely told a coherent story. More often than not they dissolved into mere folly, with my brothers and I rolling around like wild animals on the floor. My parents were troopers for enduring those listless productions.

It’s funny how at a young age I had already been bitten by the directing and storytelling bug. At summer camp a few years later, I wrote, produced and directed a skit in a sketch contest. The play was a parody of the camps’ officials, counselors, and campers. I remember the laughter from the audience. Although I’ve never considered myself a comedy writer per se, I guess the skit was funny, and good enough to win first place in the contest. The reward was a pizza and ice cream party in the mess hall. Ah… the simple pleasures in life.

In college I acted in an assortment of theatrical productions; everything from West Side Story to some original works. Subsequently, I spent several years in New York City, where I wrote, directed, produced and acted in a Theatre Row company. Taking residence on famed 42nd Street, I spent most of time, playing in the Nat Horne and Samuel Beckett theaters. I even had the distinct privilege of work shopping some productions in the notable Playwrights Horizons space. I also performed in numerous venues in Manhattan that didn’t even have a name, but were home to some pretty interesting architecture.

As a resident of the LoveCreek Theatre Company I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and creating original works. The theatre company was a strong proponent of fostering and nurturing original work. In a short period of time we would conceive a production, and stage it with very little rehearsal. It was fun watching the shows evolve and grow on the stage performance by performance. And, the best part was being a part of the process every step of the way. I can distinctly remember that building the sets in the theater were like an event. If you didn’t have anything to do you would congregate at the theater to pitch in. It was a good time.

So, while I prepare to introduce my new play, “Deep,” with a staged reading set for Thursday, May 30th at 7:30pm at the Elephant Theatre, I’m guilty of some reflection about my theater roots. I love the process of conceiving an original work, and watching it come to life before your eyes. I began my career in the broadcasting news business, so I know what it means to tell a good story. I guess we’ll see next Thursday if I succeeded with my latest endeavor. The reading is free, so feel free to check it out. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

No comments yet.

Post Comment