Don Fried — Playwright & Author

Posts Tagged ‘Theater

The San Juan Capistrano Patch gave a rave review of last weekend’s opening of Getting Betta at the Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano.

Click the picture or here to follow the link to the review.

1.  Senior Moments is going to be presented at the FronteraFest Long Fringe in Austin, Texas, January 22nd – 30th.  Tim Englert, who has been the male role in all the U.S. productions of Senor Moments so far and who recently moved to Austin, will be joined by fantastic Austin-based actor Lana Dieterich.  The production is being directed by long-time Austin actor/director, Douglas Taylor.

Senior Moments will be presented at the AACT (American Association of Community Theaters) Regional Finals at the Bas Bleu Theatre, Fort Collins, Colorado, March 11th or 12th.

Senior Moments is being published by ArtAge, a publisher that specializes in plays suitable for senior actors and audiences.  It will be available in the next few months.

2.  Getting Betta will be premiering at the Theater Company of Lafayette (Colorado), March 4th – 26th.  It will be performed in repertory with Robots Like Us (6 new plays commissioned by TCL) in the Machines Like Us play festival.

Getting Betta will be performed March 18th – 27th at the Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano, California.

3.  Bodice Ripper will have a public reading at the Theater Company of Lafayette April 8th.  The play will be produced by the Second Skin Theatre Company in London, England, some time during 2011.  I’ll be moving to London this summer to work on Bodice Ripper and productions of other of my plays in which Second Skin is interested.  If things work out, I could be there for a couple of years.

Two years ago I couldn’t get anyone to read the scripts of my plays.  (Not even my wife, Rhonda!)  Life just keeps getting betta and betta.

Senior Moments was presented 3 weeks ago as Coal Creek Community Theater’s entry in the Colorado Community Theater Coalition Festival at the Nomad Theater in Boulder.  The production took 3rd Best Production, and Tim Englert won the Best Actor prize.  That’s not bad for a show with 2 actors, a table and 2 chairs; we were up against productions with up to 40 actors and full-stage sets!

Senior Moments will have 6 performances between August 19th and 28th at the Boulder International Fringe Festival.   I’d love to see you there if you can make it.

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.

Well, this past Monday was April 20th.  That may not be significant to those of you who don’t live in the Boulder area, but 4/20 at 4:20 p.m. is the traditional Smoke Out on the University of Colorado campus.  And what that means is that somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 people show up to smoke the evil weed.  (Ostensibly to lobby for a change in marijuana laws.  Yeah, right!).

boulder-smoke-outOver the past several years the University administration and the police have tried a number of creative means of discouraging the festivities.  These have included blocking off the entrances to the chosen location and turning on the sprinklers.  Last year they filmed the crowd, posted photos on the Internet, and offered a reward for anyone who would identify a “perpetrator.”

In the run-up to this year, the administration simply asked students and the public nicely to stay home.  That didn’t work any better than previous years’ strategies had.

I had a meeting in the front lobby of the University Theater building at 5 p.m. on Monday, and as I approached the area where on-street parking is usually plentiful, I realized that Monday wasn’t a usual day.  20 minutes of searching and about a mile and a half further, I found a place to park and walked back to the campus.  I haven’t seen crowds like that — both in terms of numbers or appearance — since Woodstock.  (Which, by the way, I got within 14 miles of and then said “Screw it” and left.)

Immediately after the end of my run as Darwin in “The Debate” I shaved my beard and got a hair cut.  So instead of looking like a sympathetic and possibly participating overaged hippie, I look like an overaged suburban voyeur.

As luck would have it, the center of the Smoke Out was in Norlin Quad, right in front of the University Theater.  Talk about a contact high!  From a quarter of a mile away the smell was noticeable — not that I would recognize what MJ smells like, you understand.  From 200 yards away, the clouds were visible.

boulder-smoke-out-2I’m afraid I don’t remember much about the meeting.  I do remember being terribly hungry and going out for pizza afterward.

What was I writing about?

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

wolfLet me begin by stating categorically that, in spite of popular opinion, I am NOT a dirty old man.

Yes, I take classes at the University of Colorado Theatre Department.  But I can assure you that the fact that 75% of the students in that department are good looking women between the ages of 18 and 22 and in fantastic shape  had absolutely nothing to do with my decision to pursue my theatrical education.  It was  completely unexpected.  And it would have been terribly sexist of me to abandon my choice of a second career simply because I noticed that my heart rate was hovering near 140 beats a minute from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  (Which just happened to coincide with my Introduction to Theater class.)  I’m sure you agree with me on that.

Neither was my decision to take acting classes at all influenced by the fact that those classes, in particular, tend to be very “hands-on” affairs.  I mean, lots of men approaching sixty have frequent opportunities to embrace 20 year-old women, don’t they?

My classmates seem to sense my detachment and professionalism, and accept me as they would any other student.  The fact that they immediately grimace when they are told that they have to play a “close” scene with me shows how quickly and completely they are throwing themselves into their theatrical roles.  What a bunch of troopers!

Now that we’ve gotten any doubts in that regard completely out of your heads, I have a confession to make.  As a young man I was obsessed with sex.  (Try to control your shock.)

There was a statistic that was bandied about when I was in my early twenties.  “The average male thinks about sex every 11 seconds,” it said.   I remember being absolutely astonished at that figure.  My reaction was, “What in heaven’s name do they think about the rest of the time?”

As I got older, I realized that such an obsession wasn’t normal or healthy.  Quite apart from distracting me from my career, it was becoming increasingly exhausting.  So I set out to break myself of the habit.  And I’m happy to say that I’ve succeeded.  It took nearly 40 years of hard work, but I can honestly say that these days I don’t think about sex more than once every 15 seconds.  Approximately.  On average.  Sometimes, of course, it’s more often.

All the same, that’s quite an accomplishment.  Aren’t you proud of me?