NYTE Alumni Playwrights Continue To Make A Splash

October 26, 2007

It’s been a good week for NYTE’s alumni playwrights, and it just keeps on getting better. New York Press‘s “The Best of Everything 2007” issue, which hit the street yesterday, gave a shout-out to both Plays and Playwrights 2007 alum Taylor Mac (for “Best Use of Glitter and a Ukelele to Tell a Story”) and Stolen Chair Theatre Company (for “Best Genre-Bending Nonprofit Theater” – their co-founder, co-artistic director, and resident playwright, Kiran Rikye, wrote The Man Who Laughs, which was published in the NYTE anthology, Playing With Canons).

Once again, my congratulations go out to our fantastic alumni playwrights. Kiran and the rest of the Stolen Chair gang deserve all the kudos they’ve been receiving over the past couple of seasons. And, with the kind of recognition Taylor is finally getting, it probably won’t be long now before he’s an even more permanent fixture on the New York theatre landscape. Bravo, everybody – take a bow!

Kiran spoke to me about The Man Who Laughs last November, which you can read all about here. And, I once again divert your attention to my interview with Taylor about his play, Red Tide Blooming.

(Don’t forget that you can keep track of all our alumni playwrights in the Plays and Playwrights blog. Honestly, there is some good stuff over there, and the playwrights always have something going on that you’ll probably want to know about. So check it out!)

It’s Showtime Again

October 23, 2007

You may have noticed that I’ve been missing in action for a few weeks. That’s because the universe has been keeping me plenty busy. In addition to my everyday duties here at HQ, I’ve been doing a lot of acting, most of which has kept me in constant contact with several reviewer colleagues and several past and future Plays and Playwrights alumni.

First off, there’s my current show, which opened almost two weeks ago. It’s good, nasty Halloween-type fun featuring new works by James Comtois (author of The Adventures of Nervous-Boy, published in Plays and Playwrights 2007), Qui Nguyen (co-author of Vampire Cowboy Trilogy, from Plays and Playwrights 2005), and Mac Rogers (whose play, Universal Robots, will appear in the forthcoming Plays and Playwrights 2008), and it has been a lot of fun to work on. The show is full of stage combat and special effects, all of which is cool but a totally new experience for me. The Nosedivers are old pros at this kind of thing, however, and they have made everything very comfortable for the newbie. It’s been a pleasure working with them, and I’m grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to share the stage with two of my favorite indie theater mainstays, Jessi Gotta and Anna Kull. This also marks the third time I’ve worked with my talented nytheatre.com colleague Gyda Arber, and we just have more fun together with each passing show. (Gyda and I aren’t the only nytheatre.com reviewers involved in this show, by the way: co-author James is one of our contributors, as are co-directors Pete Boisvert and Matt Johnston.)

For those of you keeping score at home, this is also the show in which I infamously drop trou. Since I last wrote about that, the concept for that part of the show changed a little bit, and I am now less nude than I thought I would be: the front of me has been sort of covered, but the back of me is still on display, from head to toe, for all to see. (Gyda and I are united in nude rookie solidarity: she goes topless in another part of the show. We’re like war buddies now.)

The surprising thing I’ve learned about the whole nude endeavor is that it’s no big deal. Once the initial shock/impact/whatever-else-you-want-to-call-it wears off, it comes to be regarded as just another part of the show, something as ordinary as a costume change or a scene transition. Backstage, my castmates have adopted a seen-one-naked-bod-seen-‘em-all attitude towards the whole thing: Oh, look, there’s Mike’s butt again – wanna run lines?

However, the current show has been the tip of the iceberg as far as my recent activities go. I’ll have more to report in another blog post later this week. Stay tuned.

Plays And Playwrights Alumni Make A Splash

October 20, 2007

My congratulations to two of NYTE’s Plays and Playwrights alumni for making a splash in this week’s “Best of NYC 2007” issue of The Village Voice: Taylor Mac, author of Red Tide Blooming from Plays and Playwrights 2007, was cited as “Best Be(a)st” (an inside reference to one of Taylor’s previous shows); and Thomas Bradshaw, whose play Cleansed will be included in the upcoming Plays and Playwrights 2008, was picked as one of the “Best Provocative Playwrights.”

It’s nice to see Taylor and Thomas getting this attention because they both deserve it. Aside from being magnificently talented artists, they are both very nice fellas, and I’m glad they’re getting some public kudos. Well done, gentlemen!

Taylor did a nice interview with me about Red Tide Blooming earlier this year, which you can read here. And Thomas and director Jose Zayas talked to The Boss about Cleansed in this podcast from back in February.

(By the way: you can stay up-to-date with all the comings and goings of NYTE’s alumni playwrights over in the Plays and Playwrights blog. If you haven’t checked it out yet, hie thee over there pronto. I’m just saying…)