Apr 25, 2013

Big Sexy 2013 Poster


So, the Big Sexy Weekend of Improv is near, one again. Produced by the Alternative Comedy Theater, this intimate festival will be presented this year at the Pocket Sandwich Theater in Dallas. I'll be hosting the Monologue Jam as I did last year. No Fun Grip, which is kind of disappointing, but I will be teaching a workshop on Saturday the 25th of May. Details coming soon.

As I have done the last two years, I designed the poster image, since my little webcomic site Dribble Funk Comics is a co-sponsor.

Apr 23, 2013

ODO! XX follow-up

As I wrote before, I did Rover Dramawerk's One Day Only! XX 24 -Hour Play event last weekend. I had mixed feelings about the project given my history with the One Day Only! format. I won't go into serious detail about a lot of my reservations about the event. Though I discovered some wonderful stream-linings to the format by Rover, overall the experience left me cold and very artistically unsatisfied.

Let me 'splain....

On the plus side, the schedule, facilities and operations mostly went really smooth. The organizers had made some great strides over the years to make the whole thing a more well-oiled operation. From check-in to artist photos to intro games to an off-site rehearsal hall used by the playwrights for writing the pieces. Most of the participants seemed friendly and enthusiastic*. And I came out of the event with the foundations of a really fun one-act that I can use in other quarters.

On the not-so-plus side, the organizers were just a little too snarky. I remember them being a bit sacastic and chip-on-the-shoulder types the decade or so ago when I last worked with them, but there was a definite cynicism in the air. Don't get me wrong, I actually like all the people that organized the event. They are driven, capable and really decent, warm folks. Not bad theatre-makers, either. But my experience over the weekend was, I suppose, as an outsider showing up to a really "inside" group and being treated as... well, an outsider.

The general vibe was that they were doing the participants a favor by letting them be involved rather than the other way around. After all, this was a financially profitable affair for Rover. But none of the participants were paid at all. Besides the overall kinda superior attitude of the folks running the event, the biggest beef I have with ODO! XX was the production of my play.

I understood the nature of the event. But I didn't expect such a travesty. The director seemed to be doing the best he could and half of the actors were pretty good. the others were horrible. One lady, in particular, was deplorable. Listen, I hate to say it so bluntly and I seldom just straight out lay into a single person, but this lady... OMG! And she was playing the character with the best lines and funniest part. Complete waste. I was really really embarrassed by the whole thing.

Maybe the folks doing it didn't understand it. But I figured someone would have called if they had had questions. I also realize I don't write "easy" parts or "easy" scenes. The other plays that I saw were pretty standard community theatre style scenes... a suburban dinner party, a wacky customer service phone call, etc. Maybe they were more accessible. Not better, just easier.

My play took place after a plane crash. The survivors were on a life raft in the middle of the ocean. There was a mad scientist and three test subjects from his genetic experiments. I called it SHARK BITES AND SIDE EFFECTS.

I have progressed to a point that I need really capable comedic actors for my stuff. In fact, that might be the crux of the whole thing... I've grown past the ODO! format. It is a nice thing for people that are new to theatre or less experienced artists trying to build networks or practice. Over the last ten years I've become a professional. For me, at this personal point in my development as a theatre artist, it felt like a step backwards.

Jason Rice of Rover Dramawerks giving the schedule to the participants

The stage and what there was to work with at the Courtyard Theatre

Rover supplied laptops to help insure no one brought in any pre-made works

SHARK BITES AND SIDE EFFECTS in performance... doesn't look like a lifeboat.

SHARK BITES AND SIDE EFFECTS in performance.
The older lady with the best lines also was the one furthest from being off-book.

There was also a confusing use of props and costumes.
This guy was dressed like Gilligan for some reason.
And despite there being no mention of whales in the piece, an inflatable one made it's way into the show.

* some of the participants were openly prideful that they had done several ODOs before. I didn't tell anyone that I had started these over a decade ago and oversaw the first 4 of 'em. It was amusing. Jason Rice finally pointed me out to the participants with a weird sorta backhanded intro "This is Brad. He started these things. But we've made them better..." Truthful... yes. Tactful... no.


Apr 18, 2013

One Day Only! XX


The summer of 2000 I was in Dallas and had just recently started a theatre company called Audacity Productions a few months prior. At the time I was operating between Dallas and New York City. I had done some work in NYC as a playwright, lighting board op and actor, but had landed a gig in the autumn on 1999 as a theatre teacher at a public high school in my hometown, a suburb just outside of Dallas. The fellow they had hired had quit mid-semester and I applied and almost instantly got the job, despite only being a year out of undergrad and having absolutely no teaching experience whatsoever.

I would retrun to NYC the following summer, but I figured I'd start making theatre while I was in the Dallas area, so my friend Tiffany Kellerman and I formed Audacity Productions. After doing one staged reading and planning out a production of Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT, I realized I just didn't know very many people in Dallas. I needed to do a project that let me meet a bunch of theatre types all at the same time.

On September 3, 1999, I participated in Crux Productions' 24-Hour Plays Fest in New York at the Ohio Theatre. I thought it was an excellent concept. I remember it well because it was a weekend or so before my birthday, which overlapped Hurricane Floyd. 

I found out years later, Tina Fallon, the mastermind behind the 24-Hour Plays had been inspired by Scott McCloud's 24-Hour Comics event. And in turn, the 24-Hour Plays inspired the 48-Hour Film Festival, which then inspired a bunch of 24-hour film events around the country (including the 24-Hour Video Race here in Dallas hosted by the Dallas Video Festival ). The 24-Hour Plays are still running and have, in fact, spread around the world.

So, having a theatre company of my own and, by a fortunate twist of fate, access to a college black  box theatre (Collin County College's facilities at the Spring Creek Campus in north Plano, Texas), I did my own version of the 24-Hour Plays.

May 19-20, 2000 Audacity Productions gathered together more than thirty actors, writers and directors. In the course of 24 frantic hours five plays were produced, from scratch, as full-scale productions for live, paying audiences. The project was called ONE DAY ONLY! A highly truncated short play festival, it involved locking five playwrights together in a cheap motel room over night as they wrote five separate scripts based on ideas they drew from a hat. Directors lead actors in the blocking, rehearsing, memorizing, and teching of the shows over one hectic twelve hour stint.

I only meant for it to be a one-shot event.

But, in that first One Day Only! two of the participants were Jason and Carol Rice, a married couple who had just returned to the DFW area and were thinking about starting a company of their own. That company became Rover Dramawerks which has gone on to ba a really solid organization in the city of Plano over the last decade (I got to direct their first production in July of 2001, Edward Albee's EVERYTHING IN THE GARDEN). The Rice's approached me after the first ODO! and wanted to continue it. Not overly enthusiastic, but not against the idea I said okay. So, Audacity Productions and Rover Dramawerks teamed up for three more of ODO!s. 


Playwright Greg Romero draws from the "hat" in 2002's One (More) Day Only!

By 2004 I was ready to move on. I gave the Rice's my blessing and went on to develop Audacity Productions in other directions. Jason and Carol kept at it and now, 13 years later, One Day Only! 20 is seeing the light of day. My hats off to them. It has gone on from a one-shot art-event to become a kind of small-scale institution.

And I'm returning to be a part of it. I'm not entirely sure what to expect, but I'm pretty excited about it. I will be writing a play as one of the seven writers on the project.

Here's the info. Come out if you get a chance...

Rover Dramawerks presents
One Day Only XX
Saturday, April 20, 2013

at the Courtyard Theater of Plano

7 Short Plays ~ Concept to Curtain ~ 24 Hours

This is Rover's TWENTIETH installment of 7 writers, 7 directors, and about 40 actors creating seven short plays from concept to curtain in just one day.

And you can witness history by being in our audience! That's right - you can say, "I was there to see seven world premieres."

Tickets are just $12.00!

At the Courtyard Theater, 1509 H Avenue, Historic Downtown Plano.
Visit our website at www.roverdramawerks.com for more information.


CARTER STUBBS on TheaterJones.com

Carter (Kasey Tackett) and Felicia (Lauren Belmore) in CARTER STUBBS TAKES FLIGHT

Review: Carter Stubbs Takes Flight | Sundown Collaborative Theatre | Greenspace Arts Collective - Denton

To the Moon, Carter!


Sundown Collaborative Theatre's Carter Stubbs Takes Flight is playful and poignant.

by published Thursday, April 18, 2013

Denton — Destiny is an oft-overused word. Like so many hyperbolic words—awesome, genius—people tend to use the word “destiny” rather loosely as well. And that can cloud a very important meditation on the meaning of the word. What exactly is destiny?

Carter Stubbs Takes Flight, a new play by local theater and visual artist extraordinaire Brad McEntire, produced by Sundown Collaborative Theatre, both examines and exemplifies the concept of destiny.

The play itself follows a familiar Everyman type, Carter (Kasey Tackett). Carter is feeling rather disaffected with life. His marriage with Felicia (Lauren Belmore) is crumbling, his Boss (David Helms) is riding him, and he’s miserable. But things start to change for Carter when he strikes up an unlikely friendship at work with the soon-to-retire Henry (Robert Linder). Henry instills in Carter the concept of taking flight, or following your dreams. After decades of the daily grind, Henry, aided by hindsight, has found a new clarity in life and eagerly anticipates his impending freedom.

However, things don’t go as planned for Henry, and Carter finds himself with a gift from the sage old man: a rocket pack, both actual and metaphorical as it turns out. And with that,Carter Stubbs takes flight.

McEntire’s writing style is, to put it simply, playful. But the playfulness belies an underpinning of complex themes that weave through the out-of-sequence story and tie it all together with stirring deftness. It’s fun and poignant, never too preachy or schmaltzy. The play grabs hold of the audience’s attention without relinquishing it until the story’s completion.

The group at Sundown Collaborative make the perfect partner for McEntire’s work. It’s one of those great times when one plus one equals more than just two: McEntire with his inventive text and Sundown with their patented, unique process and staging.

Under the masterful direction of Tashina Richardson, the cast of Carter Stubbs Takes Flight absorbs the delightful absurdity of the script and makes it their own.This is especially hammered home in Linder’s performance. Playing three roles, Linder completely lets loose of all pretension and inhibition, imbuing his characters with an engrossing physicality. More than anyone else, he connects with the material on an almost psychic level. He’s the most delightful part of the show.

Of course, that’s not to say the rest of the class isn’t excellent. They are. Helms, who plays two roles, brings a fiery intensity to both while fully distinguishing them from one another. He’s a perfect foil to Carter. But so is Belmore. Her manic portrayal of Felicia has the possibility of drifting into annoying melodrama, but she maintains a sharp comic edge.

In fact, the only complaint would be that Tackett, playing the straight man to this crazy cast of characters, sometimes struggles to match the level of those opposite him. Belmore and Helms especially get right up in his face and read him the riot act on several occasions. And though his character is meant to be a little understated, the sometimes mundane reaction is jarring in its contradictions.

This show required a high level of technical accomplishment by the Sundown team, and they were up to the challenge. Richardson’s and George Ferrie’s set design is creative, employing rotating backdrops to signify setting changes. And Irvin Moreno’s prop design, especially of the rocket pack, is also impressive.

Carter is a man in search of his destiny. And while it would be a spoiler to say whether he finds it or not, one thing’s for certain: Brad McEntire and Sundown Collaborative Theatre working together does feel a bit like destiny, and certainly makes the audience feel they’ve found the paradise that Carter himself is seeking. The euphoric result will negate the audience’s need for any rocket pack—they can take flight with Carter Stubbs just by sitting in their seats.

◊ Carter Stubbs Takes Flight continues through April 21 in Denton; and then April 25-27 at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park (home of Nouveau 47 Theatre).

Original article HERE.


Apr 17, 2013

WATCH THE SKIES website


I acted in a short film from Stump Film Company that just completed post-production a brief while back. The movie is called WATCH THE SKIES. Stump Films has put together a great website where you can watch the trailer as well as get info on the cast and crew. 

Check it out HERE.

Apr 16, 2013

SuddenLink commercial



Several months back I did a commercial for SuddenLink. It is now being shown on television in Oklahoma. My elatives now believe me when I say I work in the performing arts.

Apr 15, 2013

CARTER STUBBS in the Denton Record-Chronicle

Kasey Tackett (Carter) and Lauren Moore (Tahalla) in Brad McEntire's CARTER STUBBS TAKES FLIGHT
[photo credit: sundown collaborative theatre]

TALES OF AN UNHAPPY MAN

Sundown premieres fresh play,‘Stubbs,’ by TWU alum

Sundown Collaborative Theatre, Denton’s busiest indie theater company, will open its upcoming show April 11.
 
Sundown Collaborative commissioned Carter Stubbs Takes Flight from Dallas writer Brad McEntire. The play finds Carter Stubbs in the quicksand of good old American ennui. He’s unhappy. His wife is unhappy. And Stubbs’ job isn’t the height of excitement either. When a handful of misfortunes hit at once, Stubbs opens the escape hatch. He lands on a strange Pacific island, where he can examine his true nature without being molested by the obligations of gainful employment or the happily-ever-afters promised by tradition. The play comes to the crucial question: Can Carter Stubbs make a new life?
 
Tashina Richardson directs.
 
McEntire gathered his theater education from the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico before venturing to Denton, where he earned a Master's degree at Texas Woman’s University, with a concentration in playwriting. He’s a familiar face in the North Texas theatre scene, as the founding artistic director of Audacity Productions from 1999 to 2006. He’s now the artistic director of Audacity Theatre Lab, a post he’s held since 2008.
 

CARTER STUBBS TAKES FLIGHT

Who: Sundown Collaborative Theatre
What: a fable by Brad McEntire
When: 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 11-13, 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, April 18-21, and 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 25-27
Where: April 11-13 and April 18-21 performances are at Green Space Arts Collective, 529 Malone. April 25-27 performances are at Nouveau 47, 1121 1st Ave. in Dallas.
How much: $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens. For reservations, call 940-220-9302. Rated R for mature themes and strong language.
 
Original post HERE.

Apr 10, 2013

Bike Soccer Jamboree has moved!


The brave little podcast that I co-host and co-produce Bike Soccer Jamboree has moved. Because Posterous was bought out and is closing (where we have been for almost a year), we had to find a new home. Now you can find the episodes on the pop culture and arts website Sensational Adventure Club.


All the old episodes are posted as well as quite a few new ones. Jeff Hernandez has taken over the management of the episodes and fashioned new intro music (which sounds nothing whatsoever like the music from the popular Nerdist podcast). He has also decided not to edit or curate the episodes any longer, so what you get is the raw ummms and uhhhs and weird awkward pauses that make the episodes so very enjoyable to listen to. I am still coming to grips with these new changes, but since my laptops were stolen last month, I am sans the technology to do anything about it currently.

Anyway, check out the new home of Bike Soccer Jamboree. There are some other neat articles, comics, and related media on Sensational Adventure Club as well. That site, itself, has just been launched and will evolve and grow more and more as time progresses.

Thanks for listening. Check out the Bike Soccer Jamboree Podcasts HERE.

CARTER STUBBS trailer


CARTER STUBBS TAKES FLIGHT... World-Premiere April 11, 2013. Tickets and info at www.SundownTheatre.org

Apr 9, 2013

CAMP GIRLS reading

The cast of the reading of CAMP GIRLS AND THE GHOST MONK at Nouveau 47 Theatre, Dallas TX

Last night Audacity Theatre Lab held a developmental reading of Matt Lyle's play CAMP GIRLS AND THE GHOST MONK. Small but really engaged audience. Actors did a swell job. I produced, directed and read for it. We taped it to send to the playwright.

Viva la New Theatre!

Apr 7, 2013

CARTER is on the way...

CARTER STUBBS TAKES FLIGHT in rehearsal

Just a week until the world gets to experience CARTER STUBBS TAKES FLIGHT. Info HERE.

Apr 1, 2013

Inspired by Tim Crouch


I just happened upon UK-based theatre artist Tim Crouch online. He creates in a way similar to my own and I freakin' love his website. I particularly love his bio. It is as if he articulated what I do (or am striving to do) in the best, most simplified way:

Tim Crouch is a UK theatre artist based in Brighton. He writes plays, performs in them and takes responsibility for their production. He started to make his own work in 2003. Before then he was an actor.
Tim works with a number of associates and collaborators to produce his writing. There isn’t a company structure; things and people are brought together when they are needed. The starting process has always been a text written by Crouch. Early work was made in response to a self-generated impulse to tell a story or explore a form. This impulse is still the first motivation but, lately, it’s become slightly more formalized through the involvement of various commissioning theatres and organizations.
The world and the web are big places. We all pull from everywhere. It is just inspiring and refreshing when one comes across, not only a kindred spirit, but someone who pegs your own modus operandi so well (He has a very "odd" and idiosyncratic perspective in his works. He does one man shows. He has a play about Caliban. He even has a pen and ink drawing of himself on his landing page... so many parallels...). We differ, of course. For example, he incorporates multimedia and some of his pieces are unapologetically provocative. Still, it is like finding a weird doppleganger of yourself as an artist halfway around the world... and being impressed with him.

You can check out Tim Crouch's stuff HERE.