Friday, August 30, 2013

A Short Play Makes It All Happen Again

The Past

Long before I became known (if I am known - who knows?) for comedy murder mystery plays-   I wrote music reviews for a local entertainment newspaper (under the pseudonym Jim Cult) and later I wrote sketches for a local improv/comedy group. - Which of course only leads to the harder stuff...

I tried something a little stronger and a bit longer - a one act play. I tinkered around with it for a few months and cranked out something called " In Between Days" - which was about a few arty college grads who realized they have useless degrees.  Through the generous guidance of college professor who taught playwriting - my one act was produced and staged for a writing conference. What a better way to learn than to see and hear your play in front of a live audience.

Fast forward a year, I got ambitious entered a One Act Play contest in St Louis with  "The Favor" - about a suicidal man seeking his own demise and death in a bad neighborhood. The Favor was picked as the one the finalist - hence produced and staged in front of a live audience. I also received a nice review in the local paper.

Here is where -  I somehow jumped the shark as it were -  on a whim or a bet - I wrote a murder mystery for a local group and well - the rest is a cliche.  I became known as a murder mystery playwright. (In some eyes this is NOT a real playwright. The kind that Adam Szymkowicz  would never even ask to interview for his "I interview Playwrights thing. Whatever. It's fine. )

Present Day

Rahul Reddy - an actor from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh in India -( who had appeared in one of my Murder Mysteries over there) - contacted me and asked if I would like to submit a work into short play contest held by Dramanon Hyderabad .

 A short work? You mean a Real work  Not a murder mystery?
An honest to goodness real play - the sort of play I started out writing? You know, before the shark jump?


Ok. Yes, I would very much like to submit something. I did. It was accepted into the competition and will go through the preliminary performances this weekend. If it makes it there - it will be onto the finals.
The play is called "The Thing That Happened."   And really the thing that happened is someone from halfway around the globe snapped me back on the play path. We will see what happens.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Duncan Little Theatre wins with "I'm Getting Murdered In The Morning"

As reported in the Duncan Banner (Duncan Oklahoma) :

Darrel Ashford has a few reasons to celebrate. Not only was he and his wife, Tana, named the outstanding  Duncan Little Theatre  volunteers for the 2012-13 season during Saturday’s Limelight Awards, he won Best Director for "I'm Getting Murdered In The Morning" which also won Best Production.
And as he received the awards, Ashford gave credit to his cast instead of himself. This was his first attempt at directing, and “Murdered” was a rare dinner theater for DLT.
“This doesn’t belong to me,” Ashford said, as he accepted the Best Production award. “This belongs to my cast. It was a great production.” 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Up For Awards - Congrats to Vacaville Gaslighters

The Vacaville Gaslighters Theatrical Troupe in Vacaville California are among the nominees for the 29th annual "Arty" nominees for 2013. Categories range from High School productions to Community theatre: musicals, drama and comedy. Vacaville is up for 13 nominations in various slots from best director to best costume design.

Of course the reason I mention this is that a few of these nominations are for productions of my plays. Both "Last Call At Chez Mort" and "Dead Air" have found their way into the nominations. "Last Call" even made it into the category of "Outstanding Production in Adult Comedy".

Vacaville 's production of my script "Death Of A Doornail" did win in 2011 for Outstanding Comedy Production so here is wishing them all the best for this year!