Author Archives: rogersbill
Thanks for all the messages of support and best wishes for our Actors’ Equity Approved production of Caldwell’s Bomb in the 2016 Venus/Adonis Festival. According to the organizers, this is now the second largest playwright-centered festival in the country. It certainly drew a large number of strong, well-acted plays this year, so we’re proud that we were invited back to New York City as one of the finalists. No production garnered more than the four nominations we received: Best Play, Best Director (Gerald vanHeerden) and two best actor nominations (Michael Gnat* and Matthew Tyler Horn*).
This was a wonderful experience. We enjoyed every minute of the festival and made a host of new friends and contacts in New York City. While we didn’t come away with the top prize, we had a very good run!
Thanks again for all the good vibes of support!
*These Actors appeared courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.
We just learned that the Equity Approved Showcase production of Caldwell’s Bomb has been nominated in the BEST PLAY category at the 2016 Venus/Adonis Theater Festival! Our director,Gerald vanHeerden, is a nominee in the BEST DIRECTOR category, and both Michael Gnat* (JIMBO JOLLEY) and Matthew Tyler Horn*(CALDWELL DUCEY) have been nominated in the BEST ACTOR category. Some of you may know Tyler Horn. He earned a graduate degree at UMKC. We have an encore performance on Wednesday, March 9 at 6PM at New York City’s Hudson Guild Theatre.
*These actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.
Here’s what Broadway World has to say: http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/CALDWELLs-BOMB-to-Encore-as-Finalist-in-2016-VenusAdonis-Theater-Festival-20160307
Caldwell’s Bomb’s run in the 2016 Venus/Adonis Festival http://venusnytheaterfestival.com/caldwells-bomb/ begins February 23 at 9PM with additional shows at 6:15PM on February 24 and 6PM on February 27. It all takes place on the stage of New York City’s Hudson Guild Theater which is located at 441 W. 26th St. (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
If you can’t make the shows, please tell your friends in New York City about us! For tickets, go to:
I’m pleased to announce that Caldwell’s Bomb has been selected to participate in the 2016 Venus/Adonis Festival in New York City. This festival runs from January 4 through March 10. According to the organizers, it has become the second largest playwright’s festival in the country. Have a look at the website: http://venusnytheaterfestival.com/
Gerald vanHeerden, geraldvanheerden.com who directed the staged readings of Caldwell’s Bomb at this year’s Midtown International Theater Festival, will direct three performances of the play during the last week of February at the Hudson Guild Theater 441 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001. I’ve had several staged readings in New York City, but this is the first time one of my plays will have a full production there.
Janet and I are catching our breath after an exhilarating summer of theater on the coasts. I attended the 3rd National Conference of the Dramatists Guild in La Jolla, California in mid-July, and, after a three-day turnaround in KC, we were off to New York City for the Midtown International Theatre Festival’s Equity Staged Readings of Caldwell’s Bomb. Gerald vanHeerden, the Artistic Director of Plays for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, produced and directed the three readings on the Davenport Theatre’s main stage.
Gerald assembled an excellent cast, and we were quite pleased with attendance and the enthusiastic reactions from our audiences. Gerald and I have agreed to continue discussing ways to bring the play to a wider NYC audience.
I was pleased to have the company of Herman Johansen and Vicki Vodrey, two well-known members of Kansas City’s theater community at the final reading of Caldwell on July 31. They are each in NYC to produce their original plays in the New York International Fringe Festival. Herman, who produced and directed Caldwell’s Bomb during the 2011 KC Fringe Festival and produced Dangerous To Dance With in the 2014 Fringe, flew in from his home in Los Angeles to produce and direct his new play, Fading Light. Vicki will present her play, Hard Day’s Night. Two other close New York friends, Mike DeCuollo and playwright Satinder Sood, also attended that performance.
Thanks to Bob Johnson of Bitten By A Zebra Photography for the photos he shot through the performance! Photos
The cast of CALDWELL’S BOMB in order of appearance:
Eric Alexander Kuzmuk appeared as EARL, Trip Plymale* appeared as JOLLEY, Drew Valins* appeared as CALDWELL and Donna Lee Michaels appeared as DEENA.
Gerald van Heerden was our Producer/Director, Jana Llynn* was our Stage Manager, and Marcie A. Friedman* was our PSM Sub for the performances of 7/30 and 7/31. Jeremy Duncan Pape was the production manager.
*actor appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association, the union for professional actors and stage managers.
It is a pleasure to introduce these talented actors as the cast of the 2015 Midtown International Theatre Festival’s Equity Staged Readings of Caldwell’s Bomb! Check the links to learn more about these actors.
The readings will be on Tuesday July 28, Thursday July 30, and Friday July 31. All the readings begin at 2PM on the Main Stage of the Davenport Theatre, 354 W. 45th St. (between 8th and 9th Avenues), NYC. Seating is limited. There is no charge. For reservations go to firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Lee Michaels is Deena Ducey. Donna has appeared on stage in such plays as An Inspector Calls, The Sisters Rosenweig, and The Bald Soprano. Her many TV and film credits include Good Wife, Ugly Betty, Thirty Rock, All My Children, Guiding Light, and As The World Turns. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA.
Drew Valins* is Caldwell Ducey. This well-traveled and talented actor has appeared on the NY stage in productions ranging from the classical to the comic. He demonstrates his incredible versatility by becoming an ape who has learned to behave like a man in his one person show, A Report To An Academy, based on the short story by Franz Kafka. Drew has lived in Israel and France and speaks Hebrew and French as well as Caldwell’s brand of English.
Trip Plymale* is Jimbo Jolley. Trip reprises the role he read so wonderfully during the Dramatists Guild’s Friday Night Footlights Reading Series in 2013. In his long and critically acclaimed career, Trip has played such all-American characters as Charlie Brown and Huck Finn. He’s been on stage in The Sound of Music, Greater Tuna, The Robber Bridegroom and many other plays and musicals. He has a credit not many can claim these days: he sang on the Arthur Godfrey Show.
Eric Kuzmuk is Earl. Eric has performed a wide variety of roles on NY stages. He has portrayed Henry VIII in A Man For All Seasons, Sagot in Picasso at the lapin Agile, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Mayhew in Witness For The Prosecution. He is a council member of the Episcopal Actor’s Guild, a non-sectarian charitable organiation.
Gerald vanHeerden is the Producer/Director of this MITF reading of Caldwell’s Bomb. Mr vanHeerden has an impressive list of directing credits for both plays and musicals. He is the Artistic Director of Plays for New York’s Midtown International Theatre Festival and the Resident Director of Break-A-Leg Productions. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
WHERE: The Main Stage of the Davenport Theatre, 354 W. 45th St. in New York City.
This is my first collaboration with Gerald vanHeerden, MITF’s Artistic Director for Plays and resident director of Break A Leg Productions.
I met Gerald when he chose Caldwell’s Bomb as a play he might like to develop at Theatre Resources Unlimited’s Writer-Director workshop in April.
Go to Caldwell’s Bomb to learn more about the play and its production history.
Last Saturday, April 18, 2015, I participated in a Writer-Director Lab organized by Theatre Resources Unlimited (TRU) at the John DeSotelle Studio in New York City. TRU is the organization that presented a reading of Wild and Willful Women, the musical I co-wrote with Daniel Doss, at New York’s Engelman Hall in January 2014.
The Writer-Director Lab offered ten experienced New York directors the opportunity to select playwrights with whom they might like to collaborate in future productions. Gerald vanHeerden invited me to join him for this Lab. Mr. vanHeerden is a resident director with Break A Leg Productions and the Artistic Director of Plays for New York’s Midtown International Theatre Festival.
A distinguished panel of theater professionals including Bob Ost, the Executive Director of TRU, Broadway producers David Garfinkle (Spiderman) and multi-Tony Award winner Jennifer Manocherian (Spring Awakening and many others) and theatrical attorney and mediator Eric Goldman observed the discussions between writers and directors and offered advice.
As a result of this Writer-Director Lab, Mr. vanHeerden and I have agreed to continue our discussion of a possible New York production of my play, Caldwell’s Bomb.