My blogs have focused on one project exclusively, Love v. Death. Whereas the grant from Creative Pinellas is not a project-based grant, I am utilizing the money to produce a performance of it on Monday, September 23rd, so it seemed appropriate to share the development of this piece on this blog. To update progress on that project, I have cast 3 of the 4 roles, I am negotiating a venue, I have gotten a pledge for free costumes, and everything is on schedule. I am almost finished with the score and libretto.
I have several other projects also in progress at this point and am trying to split my time effectively among them. Sunshine City the Musical is opening at the St Petersburg City Theater in April of 2020. Although Dewey Davis-Thompson and I began work on this musical almost 4 years ago, we have one more rewrite to do! David Middleton and Susan Demers will co-direct the show and at our first production meeting, we discussed elements in the show that we wanted to change for the City Theater production. A follow-up meeting is imminent, since that rewrite is nearly complete.
Once we “freeze” the script, I will have to prepare the score. The production will either have pre-recorded tracks which I will create in my home studio, or a small live ensemble, such as drums/bass/piano. In either case, I’m looking at a month or two of creating the accompaniment to be used at the City Theater. Auditions will be in February. Rehearsals begin shortly thereafter. Once Love v. Death goes up in September, I will have to devote the bulk of my time to this.
I just returned from a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama, where my 10-minute play, Jack & Jill premiered at the South Baldwin Community Theater, as part of the End of the Road Theater Festival and Beach Party. I get such a kick out of having a play produced because playwrighting is not my area of training, expertise, or experience. I co-wrote the book for The Brain That Wouldn’t Die!!! In 3-D!!! with Elizabeth Gelman, but that was an adaptation of a movie screenplay. I am also co-writing the book (with Dewey) to Sunshine City, and have done librettos for my many micro-operas, but to write a straight play—with no music or lyrics? That’s stretching myself. I have dabbled in authoring a few 10-minutes plays, and this is the 2nd play that I’ve had produced. Kudos to the South Baldwin Community Theater for giving new plays a platform for performance, and thanks for choosing mine to be a part of your Festival.
Fate and circumstance toss us all about, and while at the End of the Road Play Fest, I met a fellow playwright/lyricist/composer, Arianna Rose, whose play, Family by Numbers, was also on the program. We shared some of our past work with each other, via email, and have found a mutual respect for one another which we’re going to try and foster into a collaborative relationship. With the 2 projects above both having looming deadlines, the timing may not be perfect, but I want to devote time to writing something with Arianna. I look forward to working together with someone again.