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Friday, March 02, 2012

2 New Plays Are Available

I just finished directing my new script Last Call At The Chez Mort for my local theatre group. Essentially, it's set in the 1940's at a Jazz Night Club or supper club or both. I've always wanted to do a period piece set during this Swing Era. I've watched enough old movies to have that clipped style dialogue and lingo running around my head.
The play actually evolved from a 15 minute piece I wrote for a group in Singapore. They wanted a short murder mystery set in a night club Shanghai in the 30's or 40's with Jazz music and gangsters, so I dove into a bit of research and found some interesting facts. The nightclubs of Shanghai were populated with all sorts of characters from all over Europe - British, French, German, Russian, Americans, a virtual cross cultural collection of people. I had a chance to create some great characters, albeit, limited to a 15 minute story. When Affton CenterStage requested a "new" murder mystery, I saw a great opportunity to expand the piece into a full length play. I kept the European flair with the French Master of Ceremonies and the Russian hoodlum, but I "Americanized" a few other characters so the "Jazz Nightclub" setting would work here. Also this was my first time incorporating "music" into a play. (though it's not a musical per-se)
Since the setting was a Jazz night club, I felt there needed to be some songs and they should be performed live. I found a gifted actress with a great singing voice and a piano player to complete this feat. I must admit it added a whole new dimension to the play. After a successful two week run, I was able to restructure some plot points based on audience reaction and rework any "bits" that didn't work.

Other New Play -Guest Artist

From time to time I hear from other playwrights who would like me to check out a script to offer feedback. I've done so on many occasions.
A few months ago, I helped out a fellow "writer/actor" named Toby Otero who hosts a morning radio show down in Louisiana. He was part a theatre group that produced one of my plays and through the wonders of social media we stayed in touch.

A few months ago, Toby tried his hand at writing his own Murder mystery and sent it to me for pointers. It was a wonderful campy tale of a mad scientist who conducts an experiment on a couple - virtually, swapping their personalities but of course, not everything goes as planned. Especially a major power outage. Couple the situation with other assorted odd-ball characters and you have a great blend of Sci-Fi and murder mystery.
The play was called The Science Of Murder - well long story short, I offered Toby a spot on my website Play-dead to list his script. Please check it out!