Aug 29, 2015

Aug 24, 2015

CYRANO A-GO-GO in Fresno, CA



In August, I performed at the Nanaimo Fringe Festival. While I am out on the West Coast, I'm also performing my solo show CYRANO A-GO-GO at an event sponsored by the Rogue Fringe Festival in Fresno, California. It is called "The Seattle-To-Fresno Mini-Fringe". There will be lots of other great performers in it as well.

Performances at the Mia Cuppa Caffe, 620 E Olive, Fresno, CA 93728

CYRANO A-GO-GO plays:

Thurs. Aug 27th @ 7:30pm 
Fri. Aug 28th @ 9pm 
Sat. Aug 29th @ 4:30pm

Tickets $10. For more information head over to... HERE


Aug 23, 2015

The Rumbleshanks Tapes Episode 004 is up!

Session 43 - Mongolian Space Elevator

In this episode Agent Hanson tries to uncover what's up with the immense "space elevator" Rumbleshanks has constructed in the middle of the Mongolian desert. 

Also, Jeremiah Hanson learns what it is like to play a guessing game with the Captain.

From the folks that bring you The Bike Soccer Jamboree Podcast, here is a turn towards the weird and frustrating...

You can listen to the delightful sci-fi mayhem... HERE




Aug 22, 2015

CYRANO A-GO-GO at Nanaimo Fringe




"The whole of the piece is well-organized, jumping from past to present, from fiction to fact, between [Brad's] life and Cyrano’s with great aplomb. There’s never a dull moment, and the experience will not only augment your appreciation for Rostand’s masterpiece, but the theater and arts in general." 

 ~ Kris Noteboom, TheaterJones.com


My solo show CYRANO A-GO-GO gets an engagement in Canada this August under the Minion Productions banner. At the 2015 Nanaimo Fringe Fest.

Playing at the Harbour City Theatre, 
Lower Stage, 
25 Victoria Road, 
Nanaimo, British Colombia V9R 4N9. 

From the official press release:

CYRANO A-GO-GO is semi-autobiographical exploration of one restless theatre artist's fascination with the 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. A chance encounter with the script at a suburban public library as a teenager leads to a cruel and wonderful calling. Mixing the personal, historical and literary into a journey through Rostand's play and a meditation on the differences between art and life, McEntire puts a funny, warm, insightful spin on the usual coming-of-age one-man show.

Brad McEntire is the founding Artistic Director of the small Dallas,Texas-based theatre collective Audacity Theatre Lab. He is the creator of several solo pieces including ROBERT’S ETERNAL GOLDFISH (Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, Scranton Fringe Fest) as well as his extensively traveled piece CHOP (New York International Fringe, New Orleans Fringe, Seattle Fringe, Houston Fringe, etc.)

McEntire began development on CYRANO A-GO-GO in 2011. After an initial co-production with the Dallas Shakespeare Festival he took the piece to the Houston Fringe Fest in 2012 and then presented it at the 2015 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival in Addison, Texas where it garnered a “Best of Fest” Award.


CYRANO A-GO-GO plays August 13 thru 23 as part of the 2015 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. Produced under the banner of Minion Productions. All shows at the Harbour City Theatre, Lower Stage, 25 Victoria Road, Nanaimo, BC V9R 4N9.


Here's the full schedule at a glance:

Date
Time
Aug 13 Thu6:00 PM
Aug 15 Sat6:00 PM
Aug 16 Sun2:00 PM
Aug 21 Fri7:40 PM
Aug 22 Sat3:15 PM
Aug 23 Sun4:50 PM

Tickets and more information available at http://nanaimofringe.com




Wanna learn more about the actual play Cyrano de Bergerac? Here's a link to a Study Guide... HERE



Jul 31, 2015

2nd Dallas 1MPF

I did the 1MPF last year and it was (mostly) a blast! It is back again this year and I have two new works in it. Here's the info...



Kitchen Dog Theater and #1MPF Present 
The 2nd Dallas One-Minute Play Festival
Opens August 8! Only 3 performances!

Some of DFW's top directors helm 50 new plays by 30 different playwrights

Raphael Parry, Christie Vela, Jeremy Schwartz, vickie washington, Justin Locklear, and Ryan Lesceleet direct works by Matt Lyle, Vicki Caroline Cheatwood, Brad McEntire, Jonathan Norton, Jeff Swearingen, Jenny Ledel, Bruce R. Coleman, and many more!

*****
 
Saturday, August 8th @ 8:00PM  
Sunday, August 9th @ 8:00PM  
Monday, August 10 th @ 8:00 PM
at
Southern Methodist University's Greer Garson Theatre

Owen Arts Center
6110 Bishop Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75205

Click HERE for more info on directions, parking, and the venue

***** 

There is nothing like the fast-paced thrill of #1MPF! 

DON'T MISS OUT!

Tickets to the One-Minute Play Festival are $20.
Click HERE  to buy tickets online 
or  
call the KDT Box Office at 214-953-1055

 Learn more about the One-Minute Play Festival!



See 50 Brand New One-Minute Plays by 30 Playwrights with Direct Ties to Texas!

This year's Festival features commissioned work by:
Jenny Ledel, Vicki Caroline Cheatwood, John M. Flores, Angela Wilson, Isabella Russell Ides, Jeff Swearingen, Jonathan Norton, Bruce R. Coleman, Brad McEntire, Jason Johnson-Spinos, Jared Strange, Cody Lucas, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Tom Sime, Matt Lyle, Nico Martini, Joshua Kumler, Robin Armstrong, Jim Kuenzer, Samantha Rios, Jake Minton, John Michael Colgin, Gretchen Smith, Janielle N. Kastner, Steven Young, & more!


Directed by Christie Vela, Jeremy Schwartz, Justin Locklear, Raphael Parry, 
Ryan Lescalleet, & Vickie Washington

Curated by #1MPF Producing Director, Dominic D'Andrea 

**This production contains adult language and adult themes.

SEE YOU AT THE THEATER!
Kitchen Dog Theater | http://www.kitchendogtheater.org 

Jun 4, 2015

The Art of Flying Solo

The Art of Flying Solo
   |   KERA Art & Seek  |  June 3, 2015


Bremner Duthie [credit Alexander Howe]

The ability to stand alone in a spotlight and hold an audience’s attention – that seems a basic requirement for any performer. But more than basic, it can make a performer memorable, vivid. The second Dallas Solo Fest opens this week with eight performers who have very different ways to try to keep us watching — and there’s no one else to blame if they don’t. KERA’s Jerome Weeks looks into the fine art of flying solo onstage.
  • The Dallas Solo Fest runs June 4-14th at the Margo Jones Theatre in the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park.
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO INTERVIEW.... HERE

Think of solo performance artists, and you’re likely to think of Mike Daisey or the late Spalding Gray delivering their monologues seated at a table. Or perhaps a stand-up comic like Lily Tomlin with the one-woman show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the UniverseThese are what might be called “minimalist” minimum theater: The artists can play ‘themselves’ or they can portray multiple selves, but it’s one person, one format, one story. This is the theater of talk, albeit often funny talk, compelling talk, full-of-character talk.
Then there’s the opera-trained singer Bremner Duthie. He’s performing his show, ’33: A Kabarett, at this year’s Dallas Solo Fest. Duthie is more a maximalist performer: he sings, he dances, he clowns, he performs in drag.

“Solo performance comes in a lot of forms,” the New Orleans-based theater artist says. “There’s storytelling, there’s dance, there’s movement. There are solo operas. With every show, I just keep adding things. I’m like, ‘Maybe I could do that and I could also juggle.’”
That wide range of solo styles was one thing Brad McEntire wanted when he created the first Dallas Solo Fest last year. McEntire came up through improv and sketch comedy (the Fun Grip duo) and regular theater (Our Endeavors and Plano Rep). But in 2010, he developed his own macabre-comic solo show, Chop (it’s about amputation enthusiasts — “needless to say,” McEntire adds needlessly, “it’s a dark comedy”). And he began performing it on the fringe festival circuit – at places like WaterTower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Festival, where he originated Chop.

But there’s fewer than a dozen outlets in America dedicated solely to the solo artist: the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York, for instance, or the Solo Collective in LA or the Women’s Solo Performance Festival in Pennsylvania.


brad2edit
Brad McEntire at the Margo Jones Theatre in the Magnolia Lounge. Photo: Jerome Weeks

“So I decided,” McEntire says, “to just put together the kind of festival that I’d want to go to. And I had met a bunch of solo performers around the country and kind of tapped into that network. Because there’s a lot of us,” he adds with a laugh.

Actually, solo performance in different formats has obsessed  McEntire for years — long before Chop. He created the Dribble Funk Solo Improv in 2005 and developed the “Monologue Jam” (in which solo improvisers use audience suggestions to “jam” on a storyline). In addition to writing ‘regular’ plays, he hires out, creating “hand-crafted” monologues for people. He’s a tireless founder of things – like the Audacity Theatre Lab, which is officially presenting the solo fest.

What was different about Chop is that it gained a degree of popularity — McEntire’s still performing it at fringe festivals. So given all this mono-theatermania, it’s not surprising McEntire created the Dallas Solo Fest — and launched a website as well, one dedicated to the art form: TheSoloPerformer.com. He even wrote an e-book, Seven Considerations for the Solo Performer (although, he confesses, the book’s mostly a come-on to get people to sign up for his email newsletter).

Long before McEntire was setting up shop as a one-man solo-theater factory and before he created his carry-on, show-in-a-duffle-bag show, North Texas was the home of a godfather of solo theater: UTD professor Fred Curchack (who will play the title role of King Lear this fall for Shakespeare Dallas). Although Curchack has created many more ensemble pieces than solo works, he first gained international acclaim in the ’80s and ’90s for his magical, one-man, performance-art adaptations of William Shakespeare: Stuff as Dreams Are Made On (akaThe Tempest) and What Fools These Mortals Be (aka A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Curchack’s cross-cultural, Jungian-mythological, self-referential mash-ups take the solo show about as far as it can go as a “world art,” a world-encompassing art form. This is theater with an almost Joycean density of wordplay and ritual — if James Joyce ever managed to work Balinese masks and dance moves into Finnegans Wake.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
UTD professor-performer Fred Curchack
Even in his most maximalist shows, however, Curchack will sometimes touchingly, sometimes self-indulgently, bring everything back to just himself, the poor forked creature onstage. Come for the magic, stay for the all-too-human — yet a human who can still, somehow, hold a spotlight.

Solo artists may have an ancient pedigree going back to preachers, medieval minstrels and shamans around the fire, but the current ones are more likely to draw on modern theories of ‘poor theater,’ vaudeville, stand-up comedy, post-structuralism or just their professional need for making-do and getting-paid.

McEntire certainly embodies that last, the all-American, self-reliant, DIY impulse. It can be found in his welter of websites, labs, formats and the solo fest itself. “I’m not averse to collaboration and doing traditional ensemble theater,” he says. “But I firmly believe in self-instigating theater artists. Which is not how we are trained as theater artists. We’re trained to play our roles. And I think there’s a place for that. But I think in contemporary times, the artist is more entrepreneurial.”

For his part, Duthie followed the familiar path of frustration — exiting a typical stage career and entering solo entrepreneurship. He started performing his “one-man musicals,” he says, after years of trying to make it as an opera singer. He performed in the kinds of “really terrible productions” that make a performer happy simply because he got cast. “And I was doing the rounds auditioning as a working actor doing commercial stuff.” He sighs. “And I just wasn’t enjoying it. But I had this little idea for a show about Kurt Weill and the Weimar.”
And it became a hit — he’s toured ’33: A Kabarett around the country, to London, Scotland and Canada, in addition to performing concerts.

This is the performing artist as independent contractor — a very contemporary, libertarian-free-market idea, although for performing artists, the fact of having to do-it-all-yourself is as old as busking. Or perhaps, this is the performing artist as obsessive-compulsive, the narcissist who must control everything, every detail. And who isn’t about to share the spotlight.

But, strictly speaking, Duthie is not a “solo artist” — as if he were the lone creative agent here, like a painter or sculptor. Instead, as with many solo artists, he publicly credits the directors, choreographers and researchers who actually helped him shape the works he writes and performs. This is still theater — somebody’s gotta take the tickets, operate the lights and sound. It’s always a cooperative venture, somehow.

095-bremnerDuth
Bremner Duthie in ‘33: A Kabarett. Photo: Alexander Howe
So how do we distinguish these new sorts of ‘entrepreneurial soloists’ from traditional magicians or singers or that guy who twirls plates?

Both McEntire and Duthie say it’s the narrative. Amid all the singing and joking, solo artists must tell a tale. The story in Duthie’s show ’33 is in the title. Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933.

“When Hitler took power in 1933,” Duthie says, “he didn’t have the power yet to attack the homosexuals, the Jews, the Gypsies and all the people he wanted to get. But he did have enough power to close down and censor the theaters and the cabarets.”

That’s why 1933-’34 saw the great exodus of Germany’s experimental artists: Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, Arnold Schoenberg, Heinrich Mann, George Grosz. They fled because some of the first people sent to what were then the Nazis’ “re-education” camps were theater performers and satirists.

The Weimar Republic’s angry, enthusiastic burst of unconventional sexuality, social unease, economic privation and disturbing art was over. Of course, all of this sounds perfectly familiar to us because of the Kander-and-Ebb musical, Cabaret. But remember, that was a Broadway show. The era — and the art of that era — have more bitterness, more pathos, than Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome.

In Duthie’s performance, an actor comes to his now-ravaged cabaret, only to find his fellow performers have all been dragged off. “But he decides to stick around and do a tribute to his disappeared friends – the singer and dancer, the comedian and the showgirl – and do their acts as best he can,” says Duthie.

So it’s a retrospective, a farewell to what the Weimar once was. But Duthie’s performer decides to stick around to sing and dance only because we’re here. His audience. The audience is one of the seven considerations McEntire writes about for solo performers. The performer has to decide who the audience is in this story she wants to tell. What is the ‘frame’ for the performance? Is she pleading her case to a judge and jury? Perhaps the audience plays the role of therapist or a fellow barstool-warmer listening to the actor’s sad-funny life story.

“Most solo performers speak directly to the audience in some way,” says McEntire. “So the audience is your partner. Not somebody else on the stage. The audience.”
Which would seem to mean no solo performing artist is ever truly alone.


Original article... HERE

[NOTE: This might be the most thoroughly researched article I have ever appeared in. Mr. Weeks dug around online to uncover a lot of stuff I did not tell him directly, including uncovering Dribble Funk and the Monologue Jam.]