Author Topic: (poco) Sforzando, (playwright)  (Read 3992 times)

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2016, 04:31:18 PM »
This is excellent. Even a 50 seat off-off-off is better than sitting in a drawer. And they liked you, they really really liked you! Very pleased for you, Poco.   :)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2016, 11:02:25 PM »
Great news! Congrats!
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2016, 12:10:16 AM »
These are the kind of news I like to read in the morning. Congratulations!

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2016, 11:12:38 AM »
Bravo!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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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 #44 on: September 23, 2016, 08:44:05 AM »
Just when you thought it was safe to go out, the YouTube of my little play about Chopin's Minute Waltz has been finally posted to YouTube. Enjoy! The script is short enough to quote complete.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oysf2h-TGDg&feature=youtu.be

THE MINUTE WALTZ, a 1-minute play
Characters (1F, 2 either)
The pianist: About 15 or 16.
His (or her) friend: Same age.
The pianist’s little sister: As young as possible.
Plus:   Someone to play the four audio clips.
   
Setting: The pianist’s living room. An actual piano is not necessary, though a little toy keyboard and chair would be nice.
Time: Today.
The Music: Four audio files are supplied that can be played through the theater’s sound system.
Production History: Produced as part of Gi60: The International One-Minute Play Festival, Brooklyn, NY, June 10-11, 2016.
The pianist: Steven Fazzolari
His friend:   Caroline Rosenblum
The pianist’s little sister: Safira LaRosa

AT RISE: CLIP 1: The PIANIST is playing the opening of Chopin’s Minute Waltz for the FRIEND, who interrupts after six or seven seconds.
FRIEND Stop!
PIANIST What "stop"?
FRIEND Too slow!
PIANIST What do you mean too slow? Perfect tempo.
FRIEND It’s 140 bars, which means by my calculations if you’re gonna play the whole Minute Waltz in one minute, you gotta play it twice as fast.
PIANIST That's ridiculous.
FRIEND Try again.
(CLIP 2: PIANIST plays somewhat faster.)
PIANIST Better?
FRIEND At that pace, still ninety seconds. Computer?
(CLIP 3: The computer plays twice as fast as PIANIST’S first tempo.)
PIANIST (Interrupting:) That’s stupid! It’s all wrong! Nobody can play it that fast!
FRIEND You could if you were a better pianist!
PIANIST I'm an excellent pianist!
FRIEND Not if you need two minutes to play the Minute Waltz!
LITTLE SISTER (Entering and immediately exiting:) You dummies! It's not a MINute Waltz, it's a MinUTE Waltz.
FRIEND Oh.
PIANIST Oh.
FRIEND Who knew?
PIANIST In that case:
(CLIP 4: PIANIST plays the ending at his original tempo.)
FRIEND Bravo, bravo, bravo!
(END OF PLAY)
"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 #45 on: September 23, 2016, 09:27:56 AM »
Cool!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/oysf2h-TGDg" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/oysf2h-TGDg</a>
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Scarpia

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2016, 10:01:13 AM »
Best one minute of theater I can recall seeing!

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2016, 01:44:58 PM »
Best one minute of theater I can recall seeing!

Actually, it was 1:20. They took slow tempos.
"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 #48 on: September 23, 2016, 02:01:52 PM »
Excellent punchline. I laughed along with the audience.

Sarge
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Mahler, you ought to go see it.
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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Sforzando, playwright (topic renamed)
« Reply #49 on: December 26, 2016, 02:24:26 PM »
I haven't updated this thread for a long time. A fair amount of news, so I'll do it in a sequence of short posts.

First, a bit more news about the Staged Reading fiasco. (This post edited to include this as well, an email from me to the theater's AD and director - of course never answered:)

Quote
Gentlemen:

I never expected to be writing anything like the following. Instead I was hoping to write an effusive letter of thanks to everyone at [Theater] for presenting last Sunday’s staged reading of my play Capriccio Radio as we have been planning for the past six months.

This event did not take place, for reasons that have not been communicated to me. But whatever your reasons, if they had been presented tactfully I think I have the maturity to have accepted them with good grace.

It is no doubt pointless to go through all the details by now. But I chose to approach [Theater] because you seemed like a less bureaucratic organization, open to new ideas, dynamic, and willing to risk (as you put it) “putting rare productions center stage.” And whatever the merits of my play, it is similar in type to other challenging work you have mounted like [some names here].

May I remind you also that my initial request to [DH] was for a private reading of my script where I could see how it plays at no risk to [Theater]. The idea for one or more public readings originated with [DH], who as late as July 14 notified me that “We are still moving forward!” And then after the July 24 rehearsal was cancelled, [MR] told me to expect “an update on where we stand with the show.” That never happened; instead, the July 31 reading was cancelled without notice or explanation, and I had the embarrassment of telling everyone I invited not to come.

I am at a loss to understand your behavior after I have done all I could to support your theater, subscribe, and attend your shows — not to “get something” from you, but because the quality was often quite high — and this is the treatment I receive.

After leading me on for six months, there were any number of ways you could have handled this situation with greater diplomacy. You are both very talented and I hope you have great careers in the theater ahead. But part of being a director is to know how to treat people fairly, and in this case you have both fallen far short.

How you proceed at this point is up to you. You have my word I will not mention this subject again. But I would like to believe that when [DH] said back in February he “loved my play,” at least then he was being sincere.

Yours truly,
[Me]

Then about a month ago, I finally ran into one of the theater's owners (JB), the one friendliest to me, who as it happens is leaving the theater himself because he doesn't like their policies. He assured me the theater liked the play, but had trouble casting it in time. (So why not allow more time? did they really think actors would be just waiting around with nothing else to do?) I was told that another of the owners (PR) was supposed to send me a letter (never happened), and JB agreed the theater's conduct was outrageous.

Last time I emailed JB on another matter, he told me the director (MR) assigned to my play "swore" he sent me an email. JB asked for a copy (and hadn't gotten one). I never got MR's email either. Whom do you believe?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 05:54:19 PM by (poco) Sforzando »
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Sforzando, playwright
« Reply #50 on: December 26, 2016, 02:37:35 PM »
When my Shakespeare play was being performed in September, I invited a budding playwright of my acquaintance to attend. A talented young man whom I won't identify by name, he has a lot of accomplishments for age 23 - medical researcher, artist, cyclist and triathlete, and founder of his college's literary magazine. And while from time to time we've had a few issues, at his best he is also one of the most charming, charismatic, and generous people I have ever met, as well as being a devout Modern Orthodox Jew.

Our meetings inspired me to write a long 1-act play about a devoutly Jewish college student (who otherwise has little in common with my high-spirited friend above) and his struggles to survive in the modern secular world. My student is a talented piano major, and he has conflicts with his roommate who can't understand his need to keep kosher or save himself for marriage, with his father who is divorcing his mother and leaving the faith to take up with an Episcopal girlfriend, and with the sexually alluring young woman with whom he has been paired to perform the Kreutzer Sonata. I submitted the play to Manhattan Repertory Theater and it was accepted immediately (sounds better than it is: it's a pay-per-play theater where it's easy to get in so long as you pay the entry fee) for performances on March 7 and 12. Good news is that my director of choice agreed to direct, and I hope some of you can come.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 05:51:04 PM by (poco) Sforzando »
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Sforzando, playwright
« Reply #51 on: December 26, 2016, 02:46:36 PM »
Next: I submitted a short farce I wrote three years ago (set in a Chinese restaurant) to a 1-act play festival in New York, where it was accepted immediately. (No entry fee, but I have to produce and cast the thing myself.) About 30+ plays in the festival, which has audience voting and the favorites go into a "finals" night with small cash prizes for the winners. The play gets five guaranteed performances (various dates between Jan 12-28), and no sooner was it accepted than it was also selected for a 1-act festival in New Jersey (of 8 plays) in the month following.

Took a while to find a director, but I eventually teamed up with a guy who really likes it. Also took some trouble to find a cast that could make all the dates both in NY and NJ. But one guy who couldn't do the NJ dates has a theater in NY of his own, and he suggested the possibility of doing the play this summer, possibly with some other pieces of mine.

Fingers crossed.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2016, 02:57:48 PM by (poco) Sforzando »
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Sforzando, playwright
« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2016, 03:11:46 PM »
Last piece of news. A theater in NY runs a contest every year based on a theme, where last year was the President Plays. Six 10-minute plays are selected, and each gets two staged readings on the same day. Last year I was a finalist, with a little play about a naturalized citizen from Venezuela who is convinced he is eligible to run for President, even more eligible than Nixon or LBJ. A nice thing is that the theater supplies the director and cast, with no expenses for the playwright, and as it happens my director was the daughter of composer Lukas Foss, a wonderful woman who at 50 could pass for 30.

That is background. This year the theme was anything related to the month of January, and I immediately thought of adapting Chaucer's bawdy and ribald Merchant's Tale, where old man January and his lovely young wife May represent stages in a human life, and he is cuckolded by a hot young stud. It was going kind of flat until I saw a short play by my Jewish friend (above) all in verse, and I decided to write my own adaptation in verse. All of a sudden, it sparkled. I put more care and work into that adaptation than into half a dozen "original" things I've done, and I had high hopes. Well, I made the semifinals (top 10 out of 75+ entries), and who knows why I didn't get into the final six - maybe their committee didn't want adaptations, or my piece didn't mesh with the other plays selected. But even so, the curator for the contest said the theater might want to stage the play in the future. So not all bad news, and I've already sent the play elsewhere, including to a contest where the theme is (shhhh!) sex.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 09:30:35 AM 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 #53 on: December 28, 2016, 07:43:54 AM »
How splendid that there is such abundance of news.  Carry on!
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 #54 on: December 29, 2016, 07:18:22 PM »
Had a nice 1-hour phone conversation with my director for "A Kreutzer Sonata" (that's the play about the Jewish student who is paired with the foxy chick to play the Beethoven Kreutzer), and the nicest news is that he really likes my play - calling it "dramatic, entertaining, and heart-warming." Who would have thunk it, "heart-warming" from an old curmudgeon like Sforzando.

Meanwhile, my artist-playwright friend from posts above is designing the logo for my production. In the words of my director: “I like the design, good use of contrast and gets the idea of the play across in a clear, colorful way.” The design is under my friend's copyright, but I'll link to it once it's posted on the theater's website.
"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 #55 on: December 29, 2016, 07:28:10 PM »
Splendid.  Carry on!
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 #56 on: December 29, 2016, 07:55:04 PM »
Splendid.  Carry on!

Thank you. BTW, does anyone know if I can globally rename the title (subject) of this thread?
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

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A staged reading of my play on classical music
« Reply #57 on: December 29, 2016, 08:05:07 PM »
My thought is, you can change the title in the OP, and that will govern fresh replies. Replies to existing posts with the prior thread title won't reflect the change, but it will cycle out eventually.

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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 #58 on: December 30, 2016, 06:09:37 AM »
My thought is, you can change the title in the OP, and that will govern fresh replies. Replies to existing posts with the prior thread title won't reflect the change, but it will cycle out eventually.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Tried that. Doesn't work.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

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Re: (poco) Sforzando, (playwright)
« Reply #59 on: December 30, 2016, 06:23:53 AM »
Doesn't it?
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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