Posts Tagged ‘plays’

Seattle Celebrity News!

March 28, 2014

Lazzo Laughs6WEb Lazzo Laughs9bWEb

Troupe Comique to Make a Movie

While shooting promo photos for the upcoming Midnight Mystery Theater, (Coming to the Eclectic Theater in May.  Watch for it!), Mystery Theater writer/director and producer John Ruoff, revealed in a private chat that he was planning to produce a full length silent movie utilizing the Theater Comique players.  This is all he was wont to say.  (And, of course, it’s just about useless speaking to a mime, except to say that they appeared very excited!)

John Ruoff / Artistic Provocatuer

John Ruoff / Artistic Provocatuer

Midnight Mystery Theater Players

Midnight Mystery Theater Players

Photos by Carl Nelson


From the Editor’s Post…

October 28, 2012

Editor’s Note:  I was thinking a little bit about plays…

From “Saving Harry” with Chuck Brastrup and Daniel Woods.

Getting ‘Stupid’ Right

The most important part of crafting a play is getting ‘stupid’ right.   Plays can have great dialogue, ready wit, sparkling language, lots of drama, but if they don’t get ‘stupid’ right, there’s a good chance it will not be a hit.  ‘Stupid’ is that thing below all the language which makes everything move.  Some playwrights are born getting ‘stupid’ right and some have to really work at it.  ‘Stupid’ is what young people drink to become.  ‘Stupid’ is what happens in extreme situations.  ‘Stupid’ is what the young woman who has the handsome software engineer boyfriend over for dinner says, after she’s heard about Moore’s Law for what seems the fifteenth reference, as she pours him some wine, “I think,  tonight, I’m going to have to get you a liiitttttle stupid.”

Responding to stupid is something everyday audiences are good at; cultural mandarins sadly, not so good.  Cultural mandarins (and many critics) are like alcoholics; it’s hard to get them drunk; it takes a lot, and when you do it’s often on stuff which will make you go blind.

Photo by Carl Nelson

From the Editor’s Perch

August 12, 2010


Playwrights often talk about story as if it were an end in itself.  But indeed, a good story usually serves to show us what we are made of.  That’s why I think it works, when casting about to find a story, to look at the ingredients one has… just like going to your kitchen and seeing what ingredients are available for something to cook.  Can anything be made of that?   Oftentimes a play, which a playwright is up to his elbows in, may be lacking something as basic as flour.  Good luck baking a cake without that!  But add flour, and you immediately begin to see a story unfold about how your cake came to be.

Often though, the ingredients are already there for a good story – just not nearly enough of them.  For example, I recently directly a play which no one I spoke with (excepting the playwright, I would suppose) had much hope for.  But in working over the play with the actors, it became apparent that what was missing was hierarchy.  We added a big dollop of hierarchy and the thing was a big hit. 

How does one add hierarchy?   And did I have to force the playwright into a re-write to accomplish this?  The answer is “No” and “No”.   The hierarchy was already there, in the form of a big, bipolar security guard.  We simply added hierarchy by having him do more.  He patted a fellow down.  He intimidated with his flashlight.  He shocked with a fake severed head.  He brought the play to life!  Most people in an audience are like that husky in his dogsled traces – they need see that asshole ahead of them.  Did we need a re-write to accomplish this?  No!  People love to see actors on stage say one thing and do another.  It couldn’t be more like real life.

And people talk about story as if there were more than one (for each life).  I think it would make more sense to talk about ingredients.  Our lives are like pies, cakes, stews, steaks, salads… etc.  Our lives are made of the ingredients that have gone into us.  You can talk all you want about changing your life, making changes, re-inventing yourself… but whenever people gather – no matter how you try – if you’re a pie, then you’re going to be served when the pie is served.  If you’re a steak, you’ll find yourself in a different crowd and served at a different time.

Photo by Carl Nelson

Model:  Mr. Schn00dle

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