Kyosai

kyosai ghost painting circa 1860

I stumbled upon this Japanese painter a few weeks back when I was looking for something – some image – to be a sort of a mock-logo for this upcoming performance of SATURDAYS IN THE DARK (until I could create something a little more substantial) and I just fell in love with his work. There’s a touch of whimsy, a touch of the macabre, and a touch of the gruesome. Just what I was after to evoke the mood of what I was getting at in the work.

And without further adieu – the plug 😉

My Birthday Bash is this Saturday, November 7th @ 9:30 pm. And to celebrate another year, I’m joining forces with writers JOSH COX and MALLORY WESTFALL to present the first in what hopes to be an ongoing endeavor…

SATURDAYS IN THE DARK.

Theater that’s a little bit horror, a little bit speculative, a little bit magical, a little bit noir…

An evening of new theatrical works that are frightening, funny, quirky, strange, macabre, and evocative.

With the talents of COLLIN WARE, MOLLY ROBERSON, THOMAS DeMARCUS, and DANA BERGER – the evening promises to be a real treat.

There will be food and drink and live music and games and a few surprises!

Party begins at 9:30pm and the show begins at 11:00pm.

The party’s in Jackson Heights at:

4232 79th Street 2nd Floor
Elmhurst, NY (don’t sweat, that’s not out-of-town, that’s Queens!) 11373

It’s near the Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue station – the second express stop off the E-Train and F-Train. You can also get there by taking the local R-Train to the same station or by taking the local 7-Train to 74 Street-Broadway (same station, different name for the stop).

See you there.

Jason’s Birthday Bash this November 7th!!

Long time no post…

Life has been crazy and there has been little time to visit the blog because I’ve been writing new material for this new theatrical series that I’ve been playing with.

kyosai_ghost_2 (cropped)

Working title for the series is SATURDAYS IN THE DARK. I’ve been imagining it would be a thing…yeah…let’s just call it a “thing” for the time being…an experience???…yeah…let’s call it and “experience”…that would happen every few weeks – on saturday nights – that would involve performances of the creepy and the profane. Dark pieces. Horror pieces. Maybe a sci-fi piece or two. A party might follow. Food and drink and talk and digest the whole thing that has just been viewed.

Why Saturday nights? Saturday night was the one night of the week I would curl in front of my t.v. when I was a kid and get the hell creep-ed (crept?? 😉 out of me by the likes of “The Outer Limits” and “The Twilight Zone” and “Doctor Who” and “Night Gallery.”

Fellow writers Josh Cox, Mallory Westfall, and I have started working on some new pieces which are proving to be quite “grand guignol.” Very horrific. Sometimes funny. Often creepy. Certainly fun to write.

And before we start throwing it to the masses – I’ve decided to give a little party where our close friends, trusted colleagues, and long-time admirers (I’m sure we have at least a few – you lovely little heathens) where you would get a taste of these ghoulish pieces first.

The party begins at 9:30pm. The reading begins at 11:00pm. At midnight – there’ll be a champagne toast and the birthday bash will continue!

We’ll have food and drink, games and prizes, and a little live music!

It’s in QUEENS – but don’t let that SCARE YOU.

It’s near the Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue station – the second express stop off the E-Train and F-Train. You can also get there by taking the local R-Train to the same station or by taking the local 7-Train to 74 Street-Broadway (same station, different name for the stop).

The party’s at

4232 79th Street 2nd Floor
Elmhurst, NY 11373

There is a SUGGESTED DONATION of $10 – $15. FEEL FREE TO GIVE WHAT-YOU-CAN.

I’m hoping this proves to be a success and we can start looking at making this thing a more polished affair in the city – perhaps just after the start of the New Year.

Stay tuned for more details!

us in oslo

antonioni

a nice little shot of brendan, tone and me taken by michael in oslo. i’m working on a new project with brendan and … with a little luck … will have the first pass of a draft done in a week or so. it’s turning into a strange little piece – a noir piece that still feels somewhat h.p. lovecraft-ian. keep an eye out for details soon.

congrats to ben kato & FIST IN THE POCKET for Drama Desk Nomination

drama desk nomination…

outstanding lighting design of a play, ben kato, “Washing Machine”:

Drama Desk Link

not bad for a little company on its first outing…everyone's work on the thing was stunning! and ben's work is truly beautiful! congrats!!

norway…

brendan & statue posing

norway. it’s a ponderous little country. it’s also stunningly beautiful! Wandering through the Vigeland Sculpture Park with friend and colleague – the always poised Brendan McCall.

brendan & tone at a cafe

having coffee with an extraordinary young artist we had the pleasure to work with while we were teaching in Oslo. Tone Pyromama Malina Brustad!! If I have my druthers – we’ll be working with her on a solo piece of hers here in NYC soon. I’m looking at doing a companion piece to it. Very exciting stuff!!

more to come very soon when I get some free time!

getting back to work

it’s been a while – but we’re now getting back to work on theatrical endeavors after life got in the way. i’m writing my newest piece in earnest (a roman noir-ish play with music called “Doghouse”) and Michael is doing a piece at the Field. And – we’re heading to Norway in March (my passport just arrived on Monday) to teach some classes at a school run by our dear friend and colleague Brendan (who did the movement for “Washing Machine”) – so things continue to happen. Looking forward to it all. Hopefully – there will be a reading of the new piece in the very near future. And hopefully Michael’s piece at the Field will turn into something that will have a life in the future. New projects and new experiments are imminent. stay tuned.

time out NY review…

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it’s a surreal moment for this little NYC rookie playwright to have his first Time Out review (as a writer) one page over from an essay on Atom Egoyan (“The Sweet Hereafter”) directing Beckett (“Eh Joe”)…both men factor into why i’m here in the city that never sleeps (unless you’re in my neck of queens) beating the proverbial (and sometimes literal) pavement in the first place. I saw “Sweet Hereafter” at a really important point in my life. It made a real impression and I’ll never forget it…Russell Banks’ book (which is exquisite in its aching simplicity) also was hugely influential in me becoming a professional writer…certainly informed the way I started the writing of WASHING MACHINE…creating characters as voices in a novel before starting to wildly cut and paste them together in a haphazard manner…michael and i constantly trying to keep our audience off-guard while never losing the narrative.

everyone continues to be great involved in this show and i wouldn’t hesitate to work with any of them again.

very cool.

Review at TimeOut NY

New photo and new reviews…

Dana in Machine 6259

Review at NYTheatre.com

Playwright Anne Phelan’s blog

Patrick Lee’s review at Show Showdown

Thanks to EVERYONE involved in this show for giving it their brilliant best!

Watch out for this woman…

DanaMassEmail3

Dana Berger is something else! Her passion and commitment was absolutely stirring last night. And she has found nuance in these characters that I could never write. It’s similar to the way a violinist finesses a strain of music. A composer could never scribe that kind of inflection. It’s really something else.

Do yourself a favor and come check this girl out.

Tickets for “WASHING MACHINE” are available at www.theatremania.com

One preview down…opening Monday…

Everyone’s scrambling around – doing their brilliant best to get everything in order to open this little show (thank you ALL – You’re all Mike and my Brilliant Best!).

Watching the first preview last night…it’s strange to realize – with all the ado and all the dragging of lights and sound equipment and set pieces about the white floor – it’s a tiny little show about a tiny little moment that effected so many people. It’s galvanizing when I think about it.

I went back to the Post article that started the whole process and was struck again at how someone as small and – in the grand scale of the universe…at first glance at least – fairly inconsequential made such a huge impact at the moment of her death.

We just don’t seem to appreciate what we have or what it means until it’s removed. Living in the city – I certainly find myself facing the terrifying notion that people don’t really matter to you until they’re on your doorstep or in your closed circle.

And here was a small town where a child’s death MATTERED! Painfully mattered! Changed the face of the town!

And I was struck by the mystery again. What the hell happened??? What caused this? Why her? Why now? Why in that place? What about that place brought about that tragedy? What was it about that unique collection of people that brought about this horrible thing?

It’s cliche…but I wrote the damn thing because I didn’t know and had to find out. I was sort of brought into this project – a sort of hired hand – but by the time the final draft came off the press – I was writing this thing totally for myself. To figure out why and how something like that could happen.

Because – in the midst of all the theatrical hocus pocus…it’s all boiled down to a five-year-old girl in the most desperate moment a human being can have. How would any of us as adults handle that? How does a child handle something like that?

I wrote this to find out.

And it all has begun…official opening on Monday…

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