Everyone needs a vacation. Even though I did do some work (on the beach is not a bad place), I did manage to turn it off for a little bit. While away, I learned some useful nuggets of information:
1. Life does go on around you;
2. Always have multiple projects going on;
3. Be kind to people;
4. Every experience is a life lesson;
5. Art is reflective of the environment; and
6. Being a workaholic doesn’t guarantee accolades. Stop and smell the roses and be the best me.
And with that, I would like to congratulate Madame Infamy on their sold out shows and wonderful reviews. I would also like to thank them for asking me to be on their team. A wonderful experience. I am now on the team of The Pawnbroker as their publicist so you will be getting an invite to see the show in a few days.
Also, I will be adding new features to Theatre Beyond Broadway that will be helpful to you wonderful artists.
In the meantime, tune in tonight to Salon Radio as I am interviewing Katelin Wilcox and Jennifer Curfman (The Pawnbroker) and Danielle Earle on her upcoming film Lover’s Game. Tune in at 9pm on http://www.cityworldradio.com.
And see you at the show!
Truth be told, my upcoming article for The Write Teacher(s) is about participating in the many theatre festivals offered in our country. I wrote about the experiences of being in a festival and the benefits of having your show as part of it. Then Ken Davenport wrote an excellent blog on the many festivals around the world but went even further and listed them. I want to personally thank him for doing this because I had started the research.
This morning I sat down with a printout of the shows participating in FringeNYC. There’s no way I am going to be able to see all of them but I did highlight 45 of them including The Pawn Broker (I’m doing their PR). The next step is to then cull from those 45 what will fit in my schedule. When I did the Fringe tour last year, I think I saw about 15 because I didn’t fully plan the tour a month in advance. I was busy working on Naked In Alaska and See Jane Give Up Dick that I totally spread myself thin. I also was working with the EstroGenius Festival on their season. Festivals are great way to get your production in front of an audience. Like Ken says, you are definitely one in a million and you have to work 5 times as hard to get your piece to stand out. At the end of it, though, you come out ahead because you’ve learned how to produce a show.
Here’s the list:
Theater Festivals From Around The World
The Big Ones:
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh, Scotland
Festival of New Musicals, New York, NY
London International Festival of Theatre, London, England
New York Musical Theatre Festival, New York, NY
New York International Fringe Festival, New York, NY
Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA
Other Awesome Ones:
Bard SummerScape, Annandate-on-Hudson, NY
Barrington Stage’s Musical Theatre Lab, Pittsfield, MA
Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stockbridge, MA
BSU Discovery New Musical Theatre Festival, Muncie, IN
Children’s Musical Theatre Festival, New York, NY
Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Shepherdstown, WV
Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset, VT
Downtown Urban Theater Festival, New York, NY
Dream Up Festival, New York, NY
Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin, Ireland
Estrogenius, New York, NY
Festival of New American Musicals, Los Angeles, CA
Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, Auburn, NY
Fresh Fruit Festival, New York, NY
Frigid Festival, New York, NY
Junior Theater Festival, New York, NY
KO Festival of Performance, Amherst, MA
Midtown International Theatre Festival, New York, NY
Minnesota Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, MN
National Black Theatre Festival, Winston-Salem, NC
The New York Children’s Theater Festival, New York, NY
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, OR
Pacific Playwrights Festival, Costa Mesa, CA
Planet Connections Festivity, New York, NY
Revolutions International Theatre Festival, Albuquerque, NM
Rogue Festival, Fresno, CA
The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, New York, NY
Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, SC
Strawberry One-Act Festival, New York, NY
Thespian Festival, Lincoln, NE
United Solo Theatre Festival, New York, NY
Village Theatre: Festival of New Musicals, Issaquah, WA
The West Village Musical Theatre Festival, New York, NY
World Stages International Theater Festival, Washington, DC
Happy Monday, readers! Just a quick note that I will be on vacation until the 28th. That means I will not be updating TBB this coming weekend. If you are participating in FringeNYC, please let send me your show information as well as a FB invite. I enjoy attending as many shows as possible in the Fringe and am currently working on my calendar. Break legs and thank you for creating theatre!
Tix for $35.50 with discount code (Telecharge price $59.50+fees)
Who doesn’t know about Sally Hemings and Marie Antoinette? At this point, we enjoy the tabloid history of both women because it’s dangerous and sexy at the same time. There’s also a part of me that thinks that the scandals of yestercentury would make a good E! True Hollywood Story or Vh1 Special. When I was approached about doing the PR for Madame Infamy in NYMF, I was intrigued especially when Jp told me why he had to write a musical about these women. And here is why:
Many years ago while I was on tour stage managing a show, I came across a book on Sally Hemings because I had always been fascinated by the myth of her. I wound up reading the book cover to cover in record time because I became enthralled by the possibility that our third president of the United States could have fathered children with his slave. After I finished the book, I thought this would make an incredible play but always felt that she would need a “sister voice” in solidarity.
Many years later while I was in living in LA, I treated myself to the movie Marie Antoinette. The only thing I knew about Marie Antoinette was that she was Queen of France, she was beheaded and she said “Let them eat cake”. Though this movie was beautiful visually, it left me with a lot more questions than it did answers. This led me straight to the biography section of Barnes and Noble, where I picked up the copy of Antonia Fraser’s “The Journey.” Viola! What I found was not only an incredible detail of a fascinating life but I found my sister voice to my first love, Ms. Hemings.
I learned that these two seemingly different women, one a slave and one a queen could have lived parallel lives and quite possibly even have been in the same room and space at one time. Madame Tussaud was the added jewel that cemented the fate of this musical coming to fruition. I had a woman who was present at the time that both these women lived in France. She observed people and could have possibly known both of them as she has access to each. It could not be more perfect… thus Madame Infamy was created.
The title refers to all three women because each of them have become historical legends in their own right. In fact three full musicals could be written about each of them, but I am a visionary and that would be too easy. So one musical that covers the lives of three very different women who are connected through chance was far more my style.
Madame Infamy runs in NYMF (New York Musical Theatre Festival)
Performance Dates: Wednesday, July 23rd at 8:00pm; Thursday, July 24th at 9:00pm; Friday, July 25th at 5:00pm;Saturday, July 26th at 9:00pm; and Sunday, July 27th at 1:00pm
Performance Venue: The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center at 480 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036
Click HERE for more info.
I’ll be honest. I don’t watch web series. It’s not that I don’t want to watch them but because I don’t hear much about them within my circle. Now it is completely plausible that my friends do talk about them but I am not paying attention. So when Ian – not my husband – was brought to my attention, I figured I would check it out. Especially since its star, writer and director is Ross Evans, Associate Director of the Award-winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
How many times have we had a moment that drifted us off on a magic carpet ride to a galaxy far far away? Then when we return to reality wondered if we narrated the whole scene aloud? That’s a moment in the life of Ian. Each episode delves into Ian’s moments and plays them out through our favorite cinematic genres. In 25 Candles, Ian takes us back to John Hughes’ 16 Candles; A Light, Doll reignites film noir; The Fly Goddess harkens to the sci-fi style of The Fly; Egg, Roll, & Fight (my favorite) is Kung Fu hilarity; Clean Up Your Plate features the Chicagoesque legginess of the Broadway musical – you always need one musical episode; and The Showdown is your favorite Spaghetti Western.
Each of these episodes are about 5 minutes long and absolutely delightful. I enjoyed the absurdity, the pop culture references as well as the humor. And now I am hooked. So watch them with me. Click on the thumbnail below to see the whole series.
Thanks for sending me your show information. I am looking forward to this busy summer even though I am going on vacation soon. Please send me your info as I will not be updating the site the week of July 20th. Especially for those of you who are in the Fringe.
See you at the show!
Special Discount Offer for my TBB subscribers! 50% off tix. See below for more info.
Tix for $35.50 with discount code (Telecharge price $59.50+fees)
I have emerged from it feeling rather raw and tender and open. And sometimes, perhaps this is a necessary and good place to be.
Life is really, really hard. I don’t mean this in a pessimistic way. It’s just really hard. It never lets up. I don’t think, while on this earthly plane, we are meant to ever really understand why awful things happen to very loving and wonderful people or why we suffer such devastating loss. No one is exempt. But perhaps what we can understand is that the only thing we do have influence over is how we respond to what life hands us. Once again, I see that it is not what happens to us but the story we craft about what happens to us that we should hold as holy, beautiful, and absolutely crucial.
We lost a friend, my beautiful circle of friends and I. He was the brightest light of any of us and I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that he is not physically here anymore. You’ve been there; this has happened to you. When it happens, I experience a moment where I feel my own life is suddenly jammed into perspective. And then there are the odd days that follow, when we are left to collect our own struggles and our own pain that we left momentarily at the threshold of another’s tragedy. But there is a new tenderness that we find in ourselves. There are blessings that we are reminded to count that we, up until that moment, were too caught up in our own muck and mire to give thanks for. There are lessons hidden within the hideous, and gifts within the seemingly senseless, that are waiting to transform us but we either choose to open our eyes to them or we do not. It is a choice.
I’m thankful for the recent days of my own tears and melancholy and heaviness of heart. It has burned its purifying fire in an intense, sharp, and expeditious way and left me exhausted, vulnerable, open, compassionate, and very, very tender. I think this is how love finds its way into us. I think, in this way, love also more easily finds its way back out to the people who have the courage to sit with us in those moments.
We have such hard shells. We are told so often to be strong, to persevere. I don’t think this serves us very well. And I think true strength is being able to go fully into your pain and allow it to soften you, peel back your layers, to transmogrify your callouses, clear your slate, and be a more intimate and loving human being.
If we can understand that, if we understand nothing else, if we can truly grasp that that is our story, then perhaps we can sit with each other more often and offer up the most heart-breaking pieces of ourselves and open up that sacred space for love and joy to enter.
I am healed by your tears and my own. Come sit with me.
Valerie G. Keane is very honored to be part of the current Queens literary scene. Her work was recently published in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of the Newtown Literary Journal and she is the founder of Poetry & Coffee, a very juicy discussion group in Queens for writers and readers, where the only rule is that you cannot read your own work. When asked if she is a poet, Valerie says, “I still don’t know how you qualify as one and no one seems to know where the application form is.”
It’s not too often that I hear about a show, plan to see it, the opportunity passes and then the opportunity reappears. Last summer, They Call Me Q was on my list but I just couldn’t make it with all the shows on my summer tour. When I saw that Q (Qurrat Ann Kadwani) was doing an Off-Broadway run, I knew I was going to make it happen. And I did and Theatre Beyond Broadway became a sponsor. All very fast and very exciting.
Why this show? Well, there isn’t a one woman show written by and starring an Indian actress from the Bronx who talks like a New Yorker. This is something I can relate to as I am an Indian actress from Manhattan who talks like a New Yorker. There aren’t that many of us from our generation (born mid-70s – early 80s) who talk about being the only little Indian girl in our neighborhood.
Q flawlessly transitions through 13 characters (her homegirls, her friends in India, her parents, her caucasian teachers and more) to tell the story of her upbringing in this urban jungle while trying to maintain her Indian heritage. As she transforms, one sees that the true experiences of her past either enhanced or affected her. Q tells her story on a simple set using a few costume pieces to differentiate the characters. The performance is subtly highlighted by sound and lighting which enhances her storytelling. Under the co-direction of her brother, Obaid Kadwani and Claudia Gaspar, Q is pushed to integrate all aspects of her life in this one woman show.
So what I’ll say is the same thing I said when I started my interview with Q on Salon Radio:
1. If you are in New York City, go see this show.
2. If you are a New Yorker, go see this show.
3. If you are a New Yorker of Indian descent (Southeast Asian, Trinidadian, Guyanese, St. Vincent, etc.), go see this show.
And guess what? Q has three shows left.
TBB subscribers! Get 50% off tickets by using Discount Code: MQSpecial
They Call me Q, written and performed by Qurrat Ann Kadwani
11/23 @ 2pm
11/30 @ 2pm
12/7 @ 2pm
St. Luke‘s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street (just west of Eighth Ave.)
For more information, visit www.theycallmeQshow.com.