Productions Springing Up!

While the return of spring always makes me feel like the future is possible, I am especially grateful for the news that my two most recent works, One Man’s Trash and Help - Not Just Anybody, will receive productions in near and far flung locations. In case you’re in the neighborhood, here are the details:

  • One Man’s Trash will be part of the Millibo Art Theatre’s Women’s Theatre Festival in Colorado Springs, CO, April 11 - 28. Get tickets here.

When volatile Cee, a white, upper-middle class divorcée visits an exhibit of discarded object art, she is confronted by an unexpected blast from her past and reacts with less than complete restraint. As Nate, an African American security guard, attempts to intervene, their verbal sparring over what separates and unites, and what it means to be trash, leads to unexpected consequences.

  • Help - Not Just Anybody, which recently received a staged reading as part of Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Bite-Size: An Evening of Micro Theatre, will be performed at the Lakeshore Players Theatre 15th Annual 10-Minute Play Festival, in White Bear Lake, MN (Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area), May 30 - June 9. Find out more.

Interrupted in a questionable attempt to reclaim and restore a precious gift underhandedly taken from her daughter, Gail finds herself charmed, forgiven, and transformed by surprisingly welcome assistance from sales clerk Trey.

Enjoy the return of greenness, blossoms and bees, and hope to see you at the theatre!



Something You Should Know

I am happy to announce that my new short play, One Man’s Trash, will receive a staged reading on March 3rd as part of the “Shorts Before The Show” series at Theatre 29’s production of The Mrs. Wheatland Pageant.

Amazing actors Kelly Uhlenhopp and Randy Chalmers, aided by Darren Smith reading stage directions, will bring to life this vignette about Cee, a white, upper middle class divorcée, the chandelier from her past that shows up in an exhibit of discarded object art, and Nate, the African-American security guard who tries to intervene when Cee takes action.

The performance on March 3rd is sold out, but if you want to see some other great local playwrights’ short works and a rollicking comedy by Lisa Wagner Erickson, get tickets here for The Mrs. Wheatland Pageant. Use the promotion code WEEKDAY to get $14 tickets for Tues, Weds or Thurs performances.

Thanks for supporting the arts and go see some live theatre!


The Good News, the Bad News, and the Fun

The Good News: I am thrilled to announce that my short play, Help - Not Just Anybody, will receive a staged reading on November 3rd as part of Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ “Bite-Size: An Evening of Micro Theatre” at BookBar on Tennyson Street. There are two parts to the Bite Size evening: five fully produced works, performed from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.; and two staged readings (that’s where my play comes in), which begin at 9:00.

The Bad News: There are no advance ticket sales to get in to see Help; you’ll have to line up outside BookBar while the 7:30 show is going on to get your spot for the readings (unless you already have tickets to the 7:30 show, which is sold out). When the 7:30 show is over and patrons have left (not all will leave; some will be staying to see the readings) you will be ushered into the building.

The Fun: Think of this like being in college and lining up to get concert tickets. You get to meet new people, complain about what a terrible policy this is, then go out afterwards to a neighborhood bar and hang out with your friends.

Arrive: 8:30 p.m., Nov. 3rd, BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St., Denver (seating is limited - please let me know if you’re planning to attend and do not already have tickets to the 7:30 show)
Procedure: Stand in line outside main door, gab, meet someone new
Reading Performances: 9:00 - 9:30

Hope to see you there!

Come Crawl With Me!

PLAY CRAWL COVER .jpg

Life's comedies and dramas in superbly crafted small theatrical snapshots - that's what you'll see at And Toto Too Theatre Company's annual fundraiser, the Play Crawl, set in stores, offices and other locations throughout Denver's historic Tennyson Arts District.

I'm thrilled to announce that my play Called will be situated at Ohana Yoga & Barre, and is one of eleven short works featured in this year's lineup. The terrific cast of Veronica Straight-Lingo and Julie Kaye Wolf, expertly directed by Kate Poling, is truly sublime.  

I'd love to see you, so grab a ticket or three and come on out and have some fun supporting a unique and vital Denver performing arts organization. 

Date:  Wednesday, June 13th
Time:  5:30 p.m. (plays start at 7:00)
Location:  Meet at Local 46 Bar & Biergarden

Orchid Child - CHANGE OF VENUE

New location for And Toto Too Theatre Company's presentation of Orchid Child:

Bar Max
2412 East Colfax, Denver
~Gourmet Bar menu featuring organic food and boutique spirits 

DATE & TIME (the same): Wednesday, October 26, 6:30 p.m.
        *Food not allowed in performance space (drinks, yes), so come early to enjoy a great meal!
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED:  720-583-3975; Seating is limited

Reminder - Orchid Child, Wednesday 10/26

Don't forget to make reservations to see my play, Orchid Child, presented as the final installment in And Toto Too Theatre Company's 2016 Reading Series!  Our tremendously talented cast includes Emily Paton Davies, Stephen R. Kramer, Missy Moore, James O'Hagan-Murphy, Paul Page, Deborah Persoff, and Kate Poling, with Susan Lyles directing.

Violent and unpredictable, Ada is the child of your nightmares.  Would she turn out differently if her teenage parents could give her away to the “right” family?  Watch two possible futures unfold for Ada, and consider whether or not nurture can really overcome nature.

DETAILS:  

  • Date & Time:  Wednesday, October 26th, 6:30 p.m.
  • Place:  Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, Denver
  • Food & Drink:  The Merc is a full service bar & restaurant, so come early to enjoy a great meal!  
  • Reservations:  TICKETS-FREE; RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. CALL 720-583-3975

Hope to see you there!

Orchid Child - Repeat Bloomer

I had the honor of having my full-length drama, Orchid Child, included in the 2014 Playwrights Revolution at Sacramento's Capital Stage Theatre. Wonderful actors and an enthusiastic audience made the first public performance of Orchid Child outside Denver a resounding success. 

I now have the added good fortune of Orchid Child being presented as part of And Toto Too Theatre Company's 2016 reading series.

It's an interesting experience to take something off of the shelf and revisit it a few years later.  You so easily see the changes in your artistic vision, sensibilities, and knowledge as you react to the pages you wrote seemingly lifetimes ago.  The version that will appear on stage later this month includes completely new scenes, reworked characters, and a slightly different story to tell than in the play's original incarnation.  And it has been a wonderful process - embracing changes, letting go of "darlings" that don't work anymore, and venturing into new territory with old friends.  A blossoming indeed.

Violent and unpredictable, Ada is the child of your nightmares.  Would she turn out differently if her teenage parents could give her away to the “right” family?  Watch two possible futures unfold for Ada, and consider whether or not nurture can really overcome nature.

Hope to see you there!

DETAILS:  

  • Date & Time:  Wednesday, October 26th, 6:30 p.m.
  • Place:  Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, Denver
  • Food & Drink:  The Merc is a full service bar & restaurant, so come early to enjoy a great meal  
  • Reservations:  TICKETS-FREE; RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. CALL 720-583-3975 (We do ask that you purchase something from the venue as they are donating the space)

Streaming in the Sandbox

My new short play, Streaming, is getting its first outing at Rough Draught Playwrights Theatrical Playground Tuesday, August 23rd!  The latest installment in a suite of seven short works focusing on aging created jointly with fiber artist Vicky Kelly (my mom), this is a fun take on technology, generational differences, and relationships: 

Maymay has fully embraced the technological age and infuses her daily life with on-line cooking lessons, texts, Facebook posts and tweets.  Lucy, her twelve-year old granddaughter, isn't so sure about what this means for their relationship as she navigates the difficulties of friendship, love, and identity in this vignette about coming of age in a time of change.

Directed by Susan Lyles, two fabulous actors, Erica Borillo and Mary Higgins, will be bringing these characters to life...and that in itself is something to see.

Details:  

  • Date & Time:  Tuesday, August 23, 7:00 p.m. 
  • Place:  The Walnut Room, 3131 Walnut Street, Denver
  • Cover Charge:  $5, CASH ONLY (please bring i.d.)
  • Food & Drink:  The Walnut Room is a full service bar & restaurant, so come early to enjoy a great meal in good company.  Make sure your server knows you're there for RDP.
  • Parking:  Parking lot next to building and free street parking

Hope you can come out and play!

Crawling Towards Ecstasy

It's that time of year again, when one of the most interesting, fun, and adventurous nights of theater in Denver breaks down the barriers between place and performance and transforms the historic Tennyson Arts District into an immersive, entertainment wonderland.

I'm talking about And Toto Too Theatre Company's annual fundraiser, the Play Crawl.  Featuring ten short new works written by some of Denver's fabulous women playwrights, the Play Crawl can't be beat for variety and surprise.  You'll be led to shops, offices, and street corners, where patrons, benchwarmers, and clerks reveal the stories of their funny, sad, and sometimes absurd lives.

My play, Not Just Anybody, with the wonderful cast of Christy Kurzick & Robert Scott, directed by the equally wonderful Libby Arnold, will be performed at the Bookbar, 4280 Tennyson Street.  Come on down to eat, drink, spectate, and contribute to a terrific organization - I'd love to see you there! 

Date:  Wednesday, June 15th
Time:  6:00 p.m. (plays start at 7:00)
Location:  Meet at the Oriental Theatre, 4335 W. 44th Street

Click here or call 720-583-3975 for more information and tickets.

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Thank you Denver's Westword!

When we first gathered in a room together, the members of the Dirtyfish collective had no idea where we might journey together...or if we could journey together.

Turns out, we've done pretty well, all things considered, schooling ourselves (get it?) by doing, not just talking.  Thank you Denver's Westword for so generously taking notice!  Click here for Westword's Best Of article.

 

 

Wedding Cake Vodka Opens Thursday March 3rd!

Eventbrite - Wedding Cake Vodka

What happens when you start with a bottle of Wedding Cake Vodka (yes, there is such a flavor) and tell a bunch of writers to take it from there?  

Find out by coming to see this hilarious, moving, and provocative first production of Dirtyfish Theater, a playwrights collective co-founded by me, Tami Canaday, William Missouri Down, Lisa Wagner Erickson, Ellen K. Graham, Nina Alice Miller and Jeffrey Neuman.

My contribution to the evening is a short work entitled Fuel:  
 It's Mariel's divorce day, and she's invited her old friends Jody and Bill to come over for moral support.  When she learns that Bill was a Burning Man Black Rock Ranger the same year she was there, Mariel's creative juices fly as she brings the Playa home. Her fiery installation has a critical flaw, however, but Bill steps in to redeem the moment.

Reserve your tickets as soon as possible - seating is limited.  Can't wait to see you there!



Color me Carp

I admit it, I swim with bottom feeders (and love it).  WELCOME to the new playwrights collective, Dirtyfish Theater, that I've co-founded with my peerless peers, Tami Canaday, William Missouri Down, Lisa Wagner Erickson, Ellen K. Graham, Nina Alice Miller and Jeffrey Neuman.

Eventbrite - Wedding Cake Vodka

Our first production, Wedding Cake Vodka, runs from Thursday, March 3, 2016 through Sunday March 6. There's something for everyone in this fully produced evening of new short works written by each of DFT's members and directed by Heidi Schmidt. Destruction, construction, reconstruction, deconstruction, friends, enemies, lovers, animals, plants, minerals....in other words, "we put the stank on the stage!"

My contribution to the evening is Fuel:  
 It's Mariel's divorce day, and she's invited her old friends Jody and Bill to come over for moral support.  When she learns that Bill was a Burning Man Black Rock Ranger the same year she was there, Mariel's creative juices fly as she brings the Playa home. Her fiery installation has a critical flaw, however, but Bill steps in to redeem the moment.

I'd love to see you there - seating is limited, so please reserve your tickets as soon as possible. I promise you'll have a great time!



From Curator to Curated

Last year, as part of the Rough Draught Playwrights production team, I had the honor and pleasure of helping curate and emcee the inaugural Local Playwrights Slam at the Denver Center's Colorado New Play Summit.

This year, I've been asked by Local Slam curators Athena Project, to be one of the participating playwrights -  what a cool 180!  I'll be reading from my monologue, Stuffed, about a woman who taxidermies her husband. Hey, I did my research.

Please come out to hear me and five other fabulous female Colorado playwrights reading from our latest work.  We'll be at the Jones Theatre on February 13th, at 5:00.  Click here for tickets and information.  I guarantee you'll have a great time, and you might learn something about those mounted heads you see over fireplaces.


Come One, Come Crawl!

On June 10th, And Toto Too Theatre Company will host its 5th annual Play Crawl in Denver's Tennyson Arts District, and I'm lucky enough to be one of the featured playwrights again! 

What's a Play Crawl?

  • Twelve fully produced, short short (2 minutes, to be exact) world premieres by twelve Colorado women playwrights 
  • All plays set in situ in various stores and locations throughout the District
  • Experiencing all twelve plays in a small group led by a docent
  • Drinking, eating, dancing and socializing at the Oriental Theatre after the show

What's not to like?  Think of it like Restaurant Week - little tastes of Denver's diverse and eclectic playwriting scene, à la femme.  You'll find my play, Up, Up and Away, at Tenn Street Coffee, directed by Dana Hart Lubeck and featuring the fabulous Laura Adducci and Erica Sarzin-Borrillo.  

Date:  Wednesday, June 10th
Time:  6:00 p.m. (plays start at 7:00)
Location:  Meet at the Oriental Theatre, 4335 W. 44th Street

Click here or call 720-583-3975 for more information; click here to buy tickets.  

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Did You Hear?

The first-ever Local Playwrights Slam hosted by Rough Draught Playwrights at Denver Center's New Play Summit is just 2 days away!  Colorado Public Radio came knocking for more info about the event, and we obliged - my interview with Chloe Veltman aired yesterday during Colorado Matters.  Check out this link and listen to the audio:  http://www.cpr.org/news/story/denver-playwrights-take-stage-new-play-summit

Leslie C. Lewis, Jeffrey Neuman, & Nina Miller - Rough Draught Playwright Producers

Leslie C. Lewis, Jeffrey Neuman, & Nina Miller - Rough Draught Playwright Producers

The Slam will take place at The Jones Theatre, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 14, doors open at 7:00.  For ticket availability, go to the Local Weekend tab of the New Play Summit webpage and contact Emily.  

Hope to see you there - it's going to be a blast!

Full Circle

                                                                                                                                                                         photo by Nicolette Vajtay

                                                                                                                                                                         photo by Nicolette Vajtay

Funny how some things come full circle.  Just three years ago, playwrights Jeffrey Neuman, Nina Miller and I were standing in line on a cold February afternoon to see one of the readings at Denver Center for the Performing Arts' New Play Summit, kvetching about how the event's Playwrights Slam didn't include any local writers.  Out of the sky, a gigantic lightening bolt blasted into our brains, and Rough Draught Playwrights was born, providing opportunities for Colorado playwrights to connect with peers, actors, directors, producers and theater enthusiasts through informal readings of their scripts in front of live audiences.  Since then, RDP has presented new work from over thirty Colorado playwrights on our stage, many of which have gone on to receive awards, productions, and a notable National New Play Network Rolling Premiere.   

Now we are thrilled to announce that Rough Draught Playwrights will be curating the inaugural Local Playwrights Slam during the local weekend of the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit. The Slam will take place in the Jones Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 14 and is free with the purchase of any $10 Summit reading ticket.  Tickets are on sale now and are going FAST, so purchase your tickets here.

We can't wait to see you at this very special event - come out and support our vibrant Colorado theatrical community!

Superheroes Takes Off!

Brian Landis Folkins Photography

Brian Landis Folkins Photography

Come to my play, Superheroes, part of the collaborative work, The Playground, to see what these Real Life Superheroes are talking about...

The Playground runs from November 6 - 22, at the Laundry on Lawrence.   Buy tickets online, or call 720-583-3975.  Date night Wednesday, November 12th - tickets only $11!

Brian Landis Folkins Photography

Brian Landis Folkins Photography


The Action is About to Begin...

Do you want to see these people in action?  

Then come see The Playground, an evening of short works set in an average city park where you'll get a benchside view of everyday heroes, star-crossed lovers, shrewd entrepreneurs, interfering angels and overzealous soccer moms! 

Produced by And Toto Too Theatre Company, the show starts off at dawn with a meeting of the Dark Star Patrol from my play Superheroes, and is followed by works from Colorado writers Nina Alice Miller, Rebecca Gorman O'Neill, Carrie Printz, and Nicolette Vajtay.

Opening night is just 3 days away.  Get your tickets today!

The Playground runs from November 6 - 22, at the Laundry on Lawrence.   Buy tickets online, or call 720-583-3975.

About Superheroes:  Real Life Superheroes are average citizens who don masks and assume unique superhero identities to patrol city streets and engage in charitable activities.  The Dark Star Patrol, a fictional group of Real Life Superheroes, has a code of honor when it comes to crime fighting and altruism.  Newcomer Zygote pushes that code to the limits, and in the process, unravels and complicates relationships between friends and lovers at the traditional dawn meeting.

Cast of  Superheroes , from top to bottom, l to r:  Brave Fairy, Omni, Mantis, Confucius, Zygote, Dr. Intelligent

Cast of Superheroes, from top to bottom, l to r:  Brave Fairy, Omni, Mantis, Confucius, Zygote, Dr. Intelligent

Everyday Heroes Coming to a Theatre Near You!

My newest play, Superheroes, will be featured in an evening of short works called The Playground, produced by And Toto Too Theatre Company in Denver.  The Playground's action takes place over the course of twenty-four hours in a city park, with characters both familiar and uncommon revealing their stories of friendship, love, loyalty and family.   I'll be in the great company of Colorado writers Nina Alice Miller, Rebecca Gorman O'Neill, Carrie Printz, and Nicolette Vajtay for this fascinating evening of comedy and drama.

About Superheroes:  Real Life Superheroes are average citizens who don masks and assume unique superhero identities to patrol city streets and engage in charitable activities.  The Dark Star Patrol, a fictional group of Real Life Superheroes, has a code of honor when it comes to crime fighting and altruism.  Newcomer Zygote pushes that code to the limits, and in the process, unravels and complicates relationships between friends and lovers at the traditional dawn meeting.

The Playground runs from November 6 - 22, at the Laundry on Lawrence.   Buy tickets online, or call 720-583-3975.

Come see this amazing collaboration of writers, directors and actors for a unique evening of theatre you won't want to miss!