Quarto edition

Once More into the Trapeze, Dear Friends

Staging technologies can be integrated so as to seem, if not inevitable, at least natural. I think of the 2004 Danish movie Strings, performed by marionettes, as a particularly moving example.  Well, last weekend I got to see Henry V (on Trapeze) at Burning Coal Theatre in Raleigh, NC. To say that nothing really prepared […]

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Me and Georgeann Eubanks

Radio, plus audience

The Murphey School Radio Show production went quite well, and I garnered lots of kudos for my “Triangle News Updates” script (read by NPR celeb Frank Stasio and novelist Lee Smith) and sponsor jingles. (I could cheerfully make a living at sponsor jingles, I think.) Here I am with emcee and fellow scribbler Georgeann Eubanks, […]

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I’ve Seen a Ghost (writer)

Michael Hollinger’s play Ghost-Writer, receiving its regional premier at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, surely had some great tech behind it last night, including especially Matthew Callahan’s sound design. Everything was a little bit of perfect, deliberate and deliberative, yet finally I left feeling unsatisfied. (more…)

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The Dance of Anger

Just finished reading Theresa Rebeck’s Spike Heels, a play that really knocked my socks off for being so funny, satisfying, and irritating at the same time. She rewrote the Pygmalion myth–not Shaw necessarily, nor My Fair Lady, but a thing all her own, and a beautiful one. (I reckon this is what artists do, isn’t […]

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Ashe County Literary Festival

Plays God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

Well, if there really is a full-time position for the god of playwrighting, it would have to be a job-share arrangement between Melpomene (for tragedy) and Thalia (for comedy). This odd couple sometimes needs an interlocutor–someone deft enough to sound the depths of the long period yet familiar with the iconoclastic bent. Comedy and tragedy, […]

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If it's for an Apple product, you can buy it.

iPray, UUPray, we all pray (sort of)

One of my goals this year is to practice theatrical collaboration, and to that end my loosely knit group of actors called the Ubuntu Players has used improv to develop a three-minute comedy about the uses of prayer for our Unitarian Universalist fellowship. (more…)

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One of the world’s newest plays

At the Dramatists’ Playground in Greensboro last weekend, we created a play called Camelot Club where Arthur is an African-American ball-boy who beats the tennis pro, inheriting his job; Morgan LeFay, whose family founded the club, works her dark magic through her Twitter followers (and her old money);  Guinevere’s a nouveau riches naïf who wants to […]

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Disney lets you cultivate your geniuses.


As an occasional journalist, I love covering topics I know nothing about–although editors understandably want to pigeonhole writers so they have a go-to guy for music, another for sports, a third for coal-mining, or whatever. Part of it is that I place a high value on getting to learn new stuff, which is why my […]

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from Walt Disney's 1940 "Fantasia"

The Tree of Life

To enjoy a tale of Eternity in the context of time, you have to let go of your attachment to narrative.  Much of the heavily advertised new movie The Tree of Life struck me as a fun romp through a new age of computer graphics, something like the abstract expressionism of Fantasia on steroids. (more…)

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Sentenced to death

I’m trying a new litmus test for deciding whether to take up and read, as God suggested to Saint Augustine, and given that God does not speak to me with any real precision beyond the occasional eructation: I examine the first and last sentence of a volume, be it fiction or nonfiction. If I find […]

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