Don Fried — Playwright & Author

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Seascape, the Pulitzer Prize Winning play by Edward Albee, will be appearing at the Theater Company of Lafayette, Colorado, June 4th – 26th.  (OK, so it’s not a play that I wrote, but it’s just as good!)

Today, Foreword Reviews announced the finalists for their annual Book of the Year Awards, and Ups & Downs by Don and his son, David Kassin Fried, made the list!

First, second, and third place winners in each category will be announced in New York City at Book Expo America on May 25th, along with  two Editor’s Choice Prizes of $1,500 each. Ups & Downs is among 8 finalists in the Travel Essays category.

There were fantastic articles on the premieres of Postville and Shakespeare Incorporated this past weekend:  Friday in the Longmont Times Call and Sunday in the Boulder Camera.

Senior Moments, my latest full-length play, premiered the weekend of January 8th at the Theater Company of Lafayette, Colorado.   The theater was absolutely packed for all 3 performances, and we had to turn away quite a few people.  We’re considering putting on an additional run this summer, so watch this space.

Thank you to the Longmont Times-Call and the Boulder Camera for their great coverage.   Click here to read the Times-Call article.

Moments is made up of five funny, touching, slightly naughty short plays for and about people living in retirement homes.Moments consists of five funny, touching, slightly naughty short plays for and about people living in retirement homes.

A few weeks ago, my 10-minute play “The Code” won first prize in the 2009 Front Range Playwrights’ Showcase at Coal Creek Community Theater in Louisville, Colorado.  “The Code” is the first play in Senior Moments, a series of 5 short plays I’ve written for Tim Englert and Ellen Ranson, two actor friends of mine, to present at senior residences.

Tim and Ellen — they’re “well-seasoned” adults — call themselves the “Silver Circuit” when they tour performing plays for older audiences.  Earlier this year, they told me that they were having difficulty finding two-person plays for one older male and one older female actor to present at senior residences.  They asked me if I’d be interested in writing something specifically for them. I jumped at the chance.

The last two plays I’d written were Shakespeare Incorporated and Postville. Both are large cast, large set, full-length plays and, frankly, I was burned out.  So the prospect of working on short, comedic plays was particularly appealing.  Especially something with strict requirements — one elderly male and one elderly female actor, minimal set and production requirements — and one which would have have more or less guaranteed productions when I was finished.

Senior Moments is now finished and Tim, Ellen and I are scheduled to present it in a dramatic reading at Golden West, a large senior residence in Boulder, on September 24th.  After that, they’ll start to perform it at homes for the elderly up and down the Front Range in Colorado.

Today there was a wonderful article in the Boulder Camera newspaper about Tim, Ellen, Silver Circuit, and “The Code.”  Take a look.

I heard yesterday that my “Postville” play was selected as one of the winners in the 2009 Playwrights Showcase of the Western Region playwrighting competition.  The competition was open to writers from the 23 states west of the Mississippi River.  During the Showcase (some time from August 5th – 8th), “Postville” will have a staged reading at the Curious Theatre in Denver.

The award is certainly comforting after the flagellation I got from the activists and superannuated playwriting professors at the reading at StageWest in Des Moines.  From the audience reaction I knew the play was better than that, but it’s still nice to get some recognition like this.

The other good news is that “Shakespeare Incorporated” is going to be produced in London, either this Autumn or early next Spring.

Last summer, when “(Not) At Home” was being produced at the Boulder International Fringe Festival, the Fringe folks contacted me to ask if I’d be willing to house some out-of-town artists.  I looked at the list and noticed that some of them were from the U.K.  Maybe I’ll make a contact that will help in marketing my work in the U.K, I thought.  So I agreed to house a Brit.

Sure enough, I made contact with Andy McQuade, a wonderful actor and the Artistic Director of the Second Skin Theatre Company in London.  I gave him a copy of “Shakespeare Incorporated,” and he loved it.  About 6 weeks ago he contacted me, and we’ve signed a deal for him to produce “SI” in London.  He’s looking for a suitable theater venue now.  I’ll post more when things are finalized.

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

In case you didn’t recognize it, this is my happy face.smileyface

shakespeareMy play, “Shakespeare Incorporated,” which is a zany, but historically possible treatment of who really wrote the works attributed to William Shakespeare, has been selected as the grand prize winner in the Rocky Mountain Theater Association 2009 Festival full-length play category.  (I’m so excited!)

I learned today that StageWest of Des Moines, Iowa, will be doing a public reading of my play inspired by the events in Postville, Iowa.  (See my post, “They’re Hijacking My Play,” and the Iowa Independent and Des Moines Register newspaper articles.)

A public reading of this type is a critical step in the development process of a new play and is an indication of serious interest in progressing to a production.

In case you are going to be in or around Des Moines at the end of March, the reading will be at 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church.