Author Topic: (poco) Sforzando, (playwright)  (Read 7109 times)

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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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(poco) Sforzando, (playwright)
« on: May 06, 2016, 12:32:24 PM »
Two staged readings of my full-length play on classical music have been tentatively scheduled at a small theater about 45 minutes (by train) east of New York City, on June 17 and 24. The subject is a classical radio station that is under new management, and is expected to restructure its format in order to become more profitable. If anyone in the area is interested in attending, please let me know, either by private message or on the board. Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 06:09:00 AM by (poco) Sforzando »
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2016, 04:01:31 PM »
Congratulations are in order. Hope the turnout is huge and the play's success beyond your wildest dreams.
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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2016, 07:32:19 AM »
Congratulations are in order. Hope the turnout is huge and the play's success beyond your wildest dreams.

Thank you for your kind thoughts. It's a very small theater so by definition a "huge" turnout is unlikely, but hopefully they will advertise effectively enough to fill the house (or I can invite all my friends).
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2016, 09:22:14 AM »
Splendid!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2016, 04:52:18 PM »
Thank you for your kind thoughts. It's a very small theater so by definition a "huge" turnout is unlikely, but hopefully they will advertise effectively enough to fill the house (or I can invite all my friends).

You're welcome. Keep us all updated.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2016, 08:31:59 AM »
Not that anybody's holding their breath (except me), but the dates for my reading have been postponed until July.

But meanwhile this past weekend at Brooklyn College, NY, I had a very short play performed as part of a group of 25 1-minute plays for actors between ages 10-16. What better topic than Chopin's "Minute Waltz," and in my play, a young pianist quarrels with his friend over the tempo of that piece until the pianist’s little sister sets them both straight.

That took more time to write than the play takes to perform, but I'm told all the plays will be uploaded to YouTube and I'll post the link when it's ready.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2016, 08:40:11 AM »
That took more time to write than the play takes to perform
Surely true of the Chopin, too.
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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2016, 09:50:35 AM »
Well, and you don't want people to say "You probably took less time to write that, than it takes to perform the play."

. . . but I'm told all the plays will be uploaded to YouTube and I'll post the link when it's ready.

Do, thank you.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2016, 10:28:25 AM »
Well, and you don't want people to say "You probably took less time to write that, than it takes to perform the play."

No, actually the play took about an hour to write and 4-5 drafts all told (mainly cutting, since it could not exceed 1 minute in playing time). Not counting the music clips which took another two.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2016, 10:30:11 AM »
Kind of a fun project, to have to cut something to such brevity.

Even for my 20 15-second piano pieces project, it was all building up . . . I designed short.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2016, 10:36:15 AM »
Kind of a fun project, to have to cut something to such brevity.

Even for my 20 15-second piano pieces project, it was all building up . . . I designed short.

And you're a much better composer than the person I believe you were alluding to.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2016, 10:39:42 AM »
;)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2016, 12:54:22 PM »
For those in the New York City area, this reading will now take place on Sunday, July 31, at 2:30 PM. I was originally expecting two performances, but for now it looks like just one. The theater is close to the Wantagh station on the Long Island Railroad, about a 45-minute train ride from Penn Station in New York. I don't know how many of you can make it (it seems like the people most interested are dispersed all over the country and even the world), but if anyone would like to come, tickets are just $15 - cheap!
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2016, 04:58:15 AM »
Splendid, good luck!  We have an event here in Boston the 30th, so I expect recuperation the following day.  Look forward to your report!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2016, 08:08:20 AM »
Splendid, good luck!  We have an event here in Boston the 30th, so I expect recuperation the following day.  Look forward to your report!

That's quite all right. NY to Boston doesn't sound bad at 200 miles distance, but with traffic it can turn into a 5-6 hour one-way trip and last year it took me 4 hours just to drive home from a play in New Haven. I took the round trip once about 10 years ago, and that was 10 hours on the road. Now that I have been authoritatively identified as "geriatric," I am even less likely to head up to Beantown unless I'm staying for a few days!

"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2016, 08:36:48 AM »
Now that I have been authoritatively identified as "geriatric,"

Time to start chugging the Geritol.  ;D

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Offline Cato

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2016, 04:20:43 PM »
Time to start chugging the Geritol;D

Sarge

Do they still make that?  They used to have commercials showing frumpy grumpy post-menopausal women who turned into cougars after a few swigs of Geritol!

e.g.

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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2016, 05:38:47 PM »
Do they still make that?  They used to have commercials showing frumpy grumpy post-menopausal women who turned into cougars after a few swigs of Geritol!

Talk about a digression . . . .

Well, at any rate, met today with the director and started discussing casting and other issues. Two rehearsals next week, a last run-through, and on with the show July 31. Now I just have to hope the director likes the play, as well as the cast, and then the audience.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2016, 07:18:26 PM by (poco) Sforzando »
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2016, 12:55:19 PM »
Well, for the one or two people who might be interested: the worst outcome has happened, and sometimes I wonder why I even bother. Some of you already know some of this. Last winter I pitched (as they say) my play to the artistic director at a local theater where I thought it would fit in. He read the script, told me he loved it, and offered me one or more staged readings sometime during the summer. Fast forward past some of the details, and a couple of weeks ago I was finally given a single date, today, July 31, which I was told was the only free date left this calendar year. Met with the director on the 17th to discuss casting, publicity via a FaceBook page, videotaping, etc., and we came up with a rehearsal schedule. On the date of the first rehearsal last Sunday morning, I arrived at the theater to find it locked, and checked my landline to find the director had left a voice mail saying some of his actors had conflicts that day and he’d try to schedule first rehearsal on Tuesday or Wednesday instead. Wednesday comes and goes, nothing has happened, so on Thursday I sent an email asking what was going on, and I’ve had no response. On top of that, another play scheduled for a staged reading yesterday has gotten its FaceBook page and was presented as expected.

In other words, they cancelled my reading, without notice, explanation, or discussion. I admit my play is intellectually demanding; it's all about the state of classical music in our society and makes references to all kinds of composers everyone here knows but might not be known on the outside. And I don't know of any other play that has done this; the few plays on classical music I know invariably deal with composers or performers; mine tries to deal with broader issues and several people on this forum have read it and seem to think it has some merit. What's more, this theater has done some similarly demanding things like Alan Bennett’s The History Boys and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; I approached this place because I thought it would respond to more challenging work, and as I say, the artistic director claimed he loved it and we have been negotiating for the past 4-5 months with every expectation that the reading would take place.

If they had rejected the play from the start I would have been disappointed, but rejection is the name of the game in theater. But they did accept it, I have a trail of emails to prove as much, they did set a date, and I had reasonable expectation they would take the necessary steps to cast, rehearse, and promote the event. What’s far worse than initial rejection is getting something accepted and then having the plug pulled at the last minute for unspecified reasons. My one faint hope is that maybe a date will open in the future and they’ll try again, but it's unlikely. I have sent a letter of polite but firm letter to the theater owner, not getting emotional but simply pointing out all the facts, and basically how I was led on for months before the whole thing fell apart just last week. It’s not as if I have anything to lose, and under the circumstances I have every right to complain.

I do have a couple of other faint leads for this play, but I'm basically ready to throw in the towel as a failed effort on my part. Or I could keep trying; Margaret Edson's play W;t was rejected by 60 theaters, and then everyone wanted to do it (all we like sheep) because it won the Pulitzer Prize. Of course it's easy to argue that the reason they rejected my play was because it was good; but that's Saul Dz. thinking and I'm not Saul Dz. It could well be that it's not a good play. But the reading at least would have helped me see if that was the case, and now I won't have that opportunity.

A lousy week all told.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 12:56:51 PM by (poco) Sforzando »
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2016, 12:56:31 PM »
That bites. Sorry for you, friend.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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