Author Archives: rogersbill

CALDWELL’S BOMB AT THE VENUS/ADONIS FESTIVAL IN NYC

Trip Plymale, Eric Kuzmuk, Donna Lee Michaels at the 2015 MITF staged reading

Trip Plymale, Eric Kuzmuk, Donna Lee Michaels at the 2015 MITF staged reading

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.

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A Brief Report and Photos of Caldwell’s Bomb at the MITF

Donna Lee Michaels, Gerald vanHeerden, Drew Valins, Bill Rogers, Trip Plymale, Eric Kuzmuk

Donna Lee Michaels, Gerald vanHeerden, Drew Valins, Bill Rogers, Trip Plymale, Eric Kuzmuk

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.

Meet The Cast of MITF’s Caldwell’s Bomb

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 gerald.mitf@gmail.com

Donna_Lee_Michaels

Donna Lee Michaels

Drew Valins

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.

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Trip Plymale

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

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

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.

*actor appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association, the union for professional actors and stage managers.Caldwell's Bomb web version ( final )

MITF CALDWELL’S BOMB POSTER

Caldwell's Bomb web version-7

Caldwell at the MITF

MITF16-logo-23vMHF Theatricals presents three staged readings of Caldwell’s Bomb during the 2015 Midtown International Theatre Festival.

WHERE: The Main Stage of the Davenport Theatre, 354 W. 45th St. in New York City.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 28, Thursday, July 30, and Friday, July 31. All the readings begin at 2PM.Gerald_vanHeerden_VMHF

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.

Caldwell’s Bomb Selected for TRU’s Writer-Director Lab

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.TRU_Home_Page-2

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.

Bulls are Dangerous To Dance With

NBC posted this shot of bull dancing four days ago

NBC recently posted this shot of bull dancing

Here’s what Harris Stepp means when he talks about “bull dancing” in my new play, Dangerous To Dance With. Looks like a blast, eh?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6rQe0cWac4 (You have to see this to believe it!)

The show opens this Friday (July 18) at 6 pm at Off-Center Theatre 3rd floor @ Crown Center as part of the 2014 Kansas City Fringe Festival. There are six opportunities to catch a performance.

See Martin Tanner’s Facebook Event Page for more details and a link for purchasing tickets.

https://www.facebook.com/events/405649196240505/

 

“Dangerous” Cast Video

Here’s the video we shot to introduce our fantastic cast and the characters they play in Dangerous To Dance With for our 2014 Kansas City Fringe Festival production. What a joy it has been to watch these incredibly talented actors bring my characters to life! I hope you’re able to make it to a performance. It’s not often you see a full-length play with a cast of this caliber for  $10 (with a $5 Fringe Button).

Meet Our “Dangerous” Cast

We’re having great fun preparing to present the World Premiere of my new play, Dangerous To Dance With, at the 2014 Kansas City Fringe Festival.q3704149

I’d like you to meet our dynamic cast:

VRWVictor Raider-Wexler* played recurring roles on television in Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens, and Two Guys and a Girl. Law and Order, Friends, House, Boston Legal, and Married With Children are a few of his many TV guest appearances. He appeared on Broadway in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Gypsy and on the big screen in Pursuit of Happyness and Minority Report. Locally, Victor has appeared with the Kansas City Actors’ Theatre (The Real Inspector Hound, The Mousetrap, The Seafarer, and Glengarry Glen Ross) and at the New Theatre Restaurant (Harvey). He plans to return to the New Theatre Restaurant this August in Murder Among Friends starring Morgan Fairchild.Jim Hopkins

Jim Hopkins* As a resident member of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Jim has displayed his talents in roles as diverse as Lennie in Of Mice and Men, Henry IV in Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Van Helsing in Dracula, and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. He has also appeared at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Great Plains Theatre, and on many other stages around the country.

Vincent Onofrio Monachino 4-2Vincent Monachino* has appeared as Big Jule in Guys and Dolls at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and as the sheriff in Batboy at the Unicorn Theatre. He has also appeared locally at Starlight Theater, Quality Hill Playhouse, and American Heartland Theatre. He has three motion picture credits including Saving Grace B. Jones, written and directed by Connie Stevens.Kelsea McLean

Kelsea McLean was named “Best Local Actress” by the Pitch in 2012. She has appeared in Marvelous Wonderettes at the Maples Repertory Theatre and in Run For Your Wife at Great Plains Theatre. She has entertained local audiences with performances at the Living Room, The American Heartland Theatre, and TYA.

Coleman CrenshawColeman Crenshawscintillating acting talents are well known to local audiences for his work at the Coterie (Number the Stars, Bridge to Terabithia), the MET (The Seagull, The Kentucky Cycle, Rules for Widows, Enchanted April, Awake and Sing!), and for a variety of roles at The Fishtank, The Living Room, Melting Pot KC, and TYA.

*These actors are appearing courtesy of the Actors Equity Association.

The Director: Diane Bulan is a professional actor. She has appeared in numerous commercials, films and industrials, and is a member of SAG. She is also an acting coach, puppeteer, electrician and stage manager.

This is the third time Diane and I have worked together. She directed Death and the Publican in 2010 and was assistant director for Caldwell’s Bomb in 2011. Other recent directing credits: Cinderella Kids (Barn Players), St. Nicholas (Jughead Theatricals), scenes from Playboy of the Western World and Plough and the Stars for the Gaelic Revival at the Irish Center, 24-Hour Play Festivals (William Inge Center), readings of A Body of Water, Art, and Visions of Right (Martin Tanner Productions). Up next: Diane will direct Don’t Talk to the Actors, opening in September at Paradise Playhouse.

The Schedule: There are six opportunities to see Dangerous To Dance With during the 2014 Kansas City Fringe Festival at Off-Center Theatre on the 3rd floor at Crown Center:

6 pm Friday July 18

1:30 pm Saturday July 19

9 pm Sunday July 20

9 pm Tuesday July 22

9 pm Wednesday July 2

4 pm on Saturday July 26

Tickets are only $10 with a Fringe Button!

Hope to see you there!

 

Fringe Schedule For Dangerous To Dance With

I’m pleased to announce that Martin Tanner Productions will present the world premiere of my new play, Dangerous to Dance With, at the Off Center Theatre in Crown Center during the 2014 Kansas City Fringe Festival.

DANGEROUS TO DANCE WITHq3704149

A Dark Comedy Filled With Sex, Greed, and Self-Deception

By Bill Rogers

Directed by Diane Bulan

Set Designer/Stage Manager: R. J. Parish

Our exciting cast includes Victor Raider-Wexler*, Rick Williamson, Vincent Monachino*, Kelsea McLean, and Coleman Crenshaw!

*Equity actors appear with permission of Actors Equity Association

Tickets are $10 with a Fringe ButtonFringelogo2014

Off Center Theatre
Crown Center
2450 Grand Blvd. 
Friday July 18 6:00 PM
Saturday July 19 1:30 PM
Sunday July 20 9:00 PM
Tuesday July 22 9:00 PM
Wednesday July 23 9:00 PM
Saturday July 26 2:30 PM

 I hope to see you there!