Friday, November 14, 2008

Author, Author

A few words about our playwright:

I met Chris Weikel a few years back when I was the litarary manager of a small LGBT producing a one act festival. Chris submitted a play to us called SPEAKING PARTS. We didn't end up doing the play but I loved it. At around the same time I joined a larger OOB company of which I'm still a member called Emerging Artists Theatre. Chris was also a member at that time and was at the first meeting of the Company that I attended. I introduced myself and told him that I loved his play and that someday I hoped to work on it. Years later this ended up happening when TOSOS produced SPEAKING PARTS as act 3 of MOVIE LOVER.

Our first collaboration as playwright/director was with Chris' GARETH AND LYNETTE for Emerging Artists. It's a update/modernization/Xena-Hercules, the TV series-ization of Tennyson's epic poem. It went over like gangbusters. The following year we did PENNY PENNIWORTH--Chris' satire of all things Dickens for Emerging Artists which was also a big success. TOSOS produced both G&L and PENNY as it's own evening called TALES TOLD and PENNY has gone on to have it's own life. It has been published by United Stages , produced regionally and TOSOS produced it as part of the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival where it become a "Must See". Chris has since expanded the script and we're currently looking for a new home for the new improved Penny.

Since then Chris has been awarded the Robert Chesley Award for Emerging Playwrights from the Publishing Triangle, the Irv Zarhower Award and is currently a Dramatists Guild Fellow.

PIG TALE started in Tina Howe's class at Hunter College. The original title was PIG BOTTOM. As the play grew, the old title was scrapped for the new one. We did the first full reading of the script at TOSOS as part of this years Chesley Chambers series. So we're very excited about being able to part of the next stage in the play's life. Also, kind of cool that the new script's first read thru is at Hunter College in the same room the first scenes were ever read in.

I'm going to look for some more pic from the Chesley/Chambers reading and I'll let Chris fill in some of the play's history. More later!

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