Straight Faced Lies garners SIX nominations from Planet Connections - for outstanding production, outstanding playwright, ( Mark J. Williams), outstanding director, (me), and acting nods to Hannah Wolfe, Dan Hilt and Thom Christensen. Congratulations! Award ceremony on 8/4/13. So excited and proud to have been part of this production this year.
For the third year in a row I'm participating in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity here in NYC. This year I'm directing the world premiere of Mark Jason William's STRAIGHT FACED LIES. We opened Sunday night to positive feedback from the audience and the audience last night seemed to laugh non-stop (which made me happy!) Sometime today we should see a review from Martin Denton at NYTheatre.com - will post it when it's up! It's been fun to work on this - the cast is very talented, the script is a delight -- and this year I don't have the added responsibility of being the producer as well as the director, which certainly simplifies things! Hope you can make it out to see one of the last four shows - I know there are seats left to our show today 4:00 p.m. at the Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette St, NYC - see you there? https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/921739
Melissa Skirboll talks to Patrick Hickey at Review Fixhttp://reviewfix.com/2012/05/review-fix-exclusive-interview-with-the-closet-director-melissa-skirboll/
5 Things To Know about the Closet at The Happiest Mediumhttp://thehappiestmedium.com/2012/05/the-closet-5-things-to-know-about-the-show-before-you-go-2012-planet-connections-festivity/
Finally! We get to be in the theatre - if only for 30 minutes to load in our set pieces - but still! We're all excited to see the space we will be performing in. The crew from BED is coming to pick up my bed - I donated it for the performances; both BED and THE CLOSET need a bed and I have been wanting to replace mine for some time. I was going to wait until I moved; but I figured this was a great opportunity to clear out some of the old and put it to good use. So they are coming to get the bed and our other set pieces. We get to load it into the theatre and see what we are dealing with. Thursday we have our tech rehearsal and then WE OPEN SATURDAY!!!!!
I just want to take a moment to share here a little about the people I'm working with; this is a small production but it is full of incredible talent and professionalism.
The two actresses I am working with are pushing themselves further and further each time we rehearse. I find myself getting chills each time we meet - even though I've now seen it 100's of times, each time they bring something fresh and profound to play that moves the story into an even more profoundly disturbing place. Thank you Maureen Van Trease and Susan McBrien for taking this journey with me and trusting me along the way.
And Steven Albano - our stage manager. In his NYC "professional" debut is doing a yeoman's job at keeping us on course. Thank you for rising to the challenge, for being cool, calm and in control - and for being able to translate my directions when they aren't making sense!
And my graphics partner; William Johnson. What would I do without you? You donate your time and creativity to support my vision and I am profoundly grateful to have you in my life as a friend, a collaborator, a co-creator and co worker. He takes the ideas I have bouncing in my brain and gives them shape.
And last, but certainly not least, the playwright. Amy Gray Piper wrote a play that I loved from the get go. And then she willingly let me take it and shape it. I am so thrilled to be given a chance to tell the story she wrote. And so touched that she trusted me enough to give me carte blanche in shaping it. Amy, I hope you find we gave the story wings, and that it matches or even surpasses your vision for it.
I've been incredibly blessed on this journey to have such amazing people to collaborate with; theater is a group project and it can be a trial if all the members aren't working well together. This has been a dream team and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I hope you get a chance to see what we created together; I think it will knock your socks off!
Thank you all - I've been having a blast working witha ll of you!
Last night me and my super talented friend William (he played Joe in last year's production of Hell is Where the Heart Is) sat down and worked out our postcard/flyer/poster design for The Closet. (A big thank you to William Johnson!) That's a copy of it above this post.
The Closet by Amy Gray Piper will be part of the 2012 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. I'm directing it (and with my production company LifeDream Productions, producing it.) Maureen Van Trease (Last year's winner of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play for her work in Hell is Where the Heart Is) and Susan McBrien (2010 winner of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical for her work in BJ: A Musical Romp) will be starring. Ameer Mohammed will be Stage Manager and for that I am thanking my lucky stars!
This is gonna be a good show!
My life is fun!
Anyway - the two readings in Feb went GREAT! It was both challenging and exciting to jump in as director on projects that were already cast with people who didn't know me from Adam...and get a polished and professional performance together in almost no time.
Plus I was able to get a short play written and submitted by the deadline for the Abingdon's next Benefit Play series: The Gossip Plays. I thought that would be a fun topic to write around, but truth be told I banged my head against a brick wall for weeks trying to come up with a concept that wasn't completely trite and overdone. I'm not 100% sure I accomplished that goal, but I feel good about what I did write. And if it gets accepted I'll let you all know.
In the meantime...I don't think I mentioned this before (and talk about burying the lede!) LifeDream Productions (that's me!) will be producing a new play by Amy Piper, to be directed by me starring Maureen Van Trease and Susan McBrien in the 2012 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity this June!
I am so excited to be working on this piece THE CLOSET - I think it's a perfect play for the festival circuit and from the first time I read it I have wanted to put my directorial mark on it. Susan and Maureen both have won acting awards at the Planet Connections festival in past seasons (Maureen for playing Marie in my play HELL IS WHERE THE HEART IS last year!) and I think they are perfectly matched to bring these characters to life.
And the extraordinary Ameer Muhammad has agreed to bring his talents to bear as Stage Manager which is an extreme blessing for this producer director.
Of course things could change between now and June - all of the people involved are so incredibly talented that it would not come as a surprise to me that someone would want to hire them and pay them much more than showcase code stipend - and if that happens the show will go on and we will adapt....but I have a pretty strong feeling that this is the team to watch!
Musings on creating...and whatever else it is that I do. hypnosis, life coaching, writing, acting, directing, taking leaps of faith, etc.