The Blank Theatre's Young Playwrights Festival: Open for submissions

People have asked me before how I see theatre standing up to the next generation filled with such a high focus on technology, social media sans face-to-face connections, and a lack of interest in the arts. There are challenges, to be sure. There always have been, and there always will be. Theatre is not an easy medium...

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Meet the Winner!

I recently had the pleasure to e-meet the winner of my Christmas Superpowers and Believing in Blitzen Monologue Contest, and this is one talented young actor! Ryan Henzi is from Ankeny, Iowa; he's 10 years old and he's been acting for years already!  Now you can get to know this budding young actor too, and take a look at his great video performance of "Shepherd Superheroes."...

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A Playwright's Top Christmas Movies You Might Not Have Heard of

Everyone can probably give you their favorite Christmas movies, and I definitely love a lot of the classics, like Miracle on 34th Street (with Elizabeth Perkins), Rudolf, Elf, A Christmas Carol (Muppet version of course), It's a Wonderful Life, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause, Love Actually. But there are some that don't get as much attention, and maybe deserve some exploration.  So here are three of this playwright's top films that you might not have heard of, but are worth a watch....

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The Elephant in Every Room: New Work Opens tonight

There is a plethora of new work being produced in New York City, and you'll run into some pretty bad shows, but it's wonderful when you find a true gem in the midst.  While I have not yet seen this show (it opens tonight), I have a good feeling that this is one of those precious stones among the pebbles. Why? Well, for one...

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The National YoungArts Foundation: Resouce for teens

If you're an artist between the ages of 15-18 (10-12 grade), you can considering applying to the National YoungArts Foundation. Applications are accepted in a variety of fields, including cinematic arts, classical music, and writing (to name a few) and you can find the application here (be aware, unfortunately, there is a $35 application fee, but you can get it waived).  So what is the National YoungArts Foundation? Well, in their own words...

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Julie Andrews: Singer, Actress and...Rose Enthusiast?

Who does not have a special place in their hearts for a Julie Andrews movie?  If you don't know Mary Poppins or the Sound of Music, you must, and I mean, must, watch these movies, if for no other reason than to be able to experience a truly large movie of its day (but there are really enough other reasons to check it out). Her career didn't stop there though...

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An Ode to Radio Drama

We all have exposure to actors on the big and small screen, and many of us have the joy to experience drama from stage actors in theatre. But while we do know some of the voices behind animated characters, we don't as often think of the good ole fashioned radio actors anymore. This is no surprise since radio drama has mostly been usurped by television and film.  And believe me, I love a good movie (just saw The Double, which I raved about in a previous post), but there is something quite unique about radio drama.  And I personally have a very soft spot for it.

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Netflix guesses I will give The Double 4.9 stars. It's pretty darn close...

There are certain movies that just stand out to you. Certain ones that speak to you, excite you, energize you. Maybe they feel relevant to something you're going through at the time, maybe they remind you of something you love, maybe they keep you on your toes and your adrenaline goes through the roof, maybe they just make you laugh really hard. But we all have those 5-star-netflix worthy movies...

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An instructor's analysis of my monologue, The Beanstalk

The Beanstalk monologue, featuring Jack of fairytale fame, has been used all over the world, by theatres, at universities, in high schools and middle schools, contests, festivals, and of course for actors' auditions.  Below, an instructor in Australia, analyzes this monologue in terms of structure, tense usage, punctuation, and sentence construction:

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The Submission Guidelines that are stirring up the theatrical community...

So as most of you probably know, playwrights do not make a lot of money living off of their creative words.  And as most of you probably know, artists don't enter the artistic field in pursuit of money. There are various reasons, but most people enter their artistic field because it is what they do. What they can't stop doing.  You paint because you must paint. You write because you must write.  You create because you must create. It's what we do....Still.

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Female performer: Actor or Actress?

I love language.  And not just speaking it, or using it (although I love both of those), but also in dissecting it, analyzing it, trending on it.  I remember very clearly learning how to use double and single quotation marks, along with indenting for dialogue when I was 7 years old. When I was 11, I soaked up the unit on Grammar when everyone else was wishing it would end.

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The "Casting Couch" in theatre--real or cliche?

I recently heard an interview on Studio 360 with playwright, Julie Jordan, who spoke on the realities of the age-old cliche of the "casting couch" (originating with the idea that one must sleep with someone to land a role, although now the phrase is used more generally, for anyone performing sexual favors to advance in a career).   She is calling for Actors Equity to tighten its policies and procedures on harassment, and further, bring more awareness to this issue that is often glossed over in theatre.

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