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Great Reviews for "The Super Variety Match Bonus Round!" in Orlando!

My play “The Super Variety Match Bonus Round!” opens in Orlando this week, and great reviews are already coming in:

“Super Variety Match Bonus Round, which playwright Deb Hiett premiered in Los Angeles, comes to the Orlando Fringe with a first-rate cast, pitch-perfect projections and set pieces by Samuel Finken and Tori Oakes, and fast-paced direction by Tara Kromer. This surreal stew is overstuffed with a surfeit of subjects, including anti-immigrant racism, grammar-induced orgasms, contaminated tap water, mental health treatment and much more. Improbably, it somehow all solidifies into a satisfying whole. By using the trappings of a wacky, campy fantasy, this play addresses sensitive real-life issues with more empathy than many so-called serious shows, and manages to inject a surprising amount of heart along the way.” — Orlando Weekly

“The loving treatment of the generation divide makes this one the whole Fringe family can connect to (provided the whole family doesn’t mind a couple poignant cuss words). “ — Orlando Sentinel

Get your tickets now!

Huge congrats to director Tara Kromer, and wonderful cast Elizabeth T. Murff, Rod Cathey, Douglas Warren Jensen, and Maria Flores Ragen. So grateful Tara found my play on the New Play Exchange!

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New Play Reading Sunday May 19 -- FREE!

Playwrights Union “First Peek” Reading Series presents the first reading of my new play “Call Time” on Sunday May 19 at 4:30. Tickets are free but reservations recommended (click here).

Synopsis: A group of misfit drama kids break into their abandoned high school auditorium in search of one last night of connection, hope, rhymes, and Fritos.

Starring (in order of appearance):

NEWT:  Sam Christian 
GAGE:  William Smith Walker
KAI:  Crescent Hurley
TATTS:  Seth Meriwether
DEX:  Samantha Mendoza
LEX:  Evie Nootenboom
GUNNER:  Jason Caceres
LILA:  Natasha Tina Liu

Thanks to Playwrights Union and all who support brand new theater!

Photo Credit:  Armen Berenson

Photo Credit: Armen Berenson

Finalist for The 2019 Garry Marshall Theatre New Works Festival!

“The Clearing in the Jacoby” is a Finalist for The 2019 Garry Marshall Theatre New Works Festival!

In this rollicking comedy, set in an ancient Australian forest famous for being an international destination for committing suicide, five very different people find themselves in need of answers, each other, and a government employee named Sharon.

Located in Burbank, Garry Marshall Theatre is interested in new work that is uniquely theatrical, authentically voiced, and has a strong point of view. The New Works Festival presents five new plays in staged readings to help the development process of the playwright, and will take place June 2-4, 2019.

This year, they received over 200 submissions, so being chosen in the top 8 plays is an honor all by itself. Thank you to the selection team at Garry Marshall Theatre for this distinction!

New "Says You!" Tapings in Seattle This Weekend!

I’ll be in Seattle for the live tapings of the NPR radio quiz/comedy show “Says You!” this Friday 4/5 and Saturday 4/6. Shows are at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tickets and more info available here.

SO MUCH FUN to banter and play with such an esteemed gaggle (cluster? murder? pride? hmmm) of smart and witty folks such as Tony Award winner Murray Horwitz, culture critic Carolyn Faye Fox, and Erin McKean, founder of online dictionary Wordnik.com. All hosted by the inimitable (though we will certainly attempt an imitation or two) Gregg Porter, the Seattle radio superstar.

I’ll post the air dates of the shows later, in case you can’t be there in person!

Either I’m applauding ourselves or measuring a small invisible animal.

Either I’m applauding ourselves or measuring a small invisible animal.

Writers Theatre of New Jersey "Soundings Series" on January 5, 2019

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Thrilled that my play “Miss Keller Has No Second Book” will be part of the Writers Theatre of New Jersey “Soundings Reading Series” on January 5, 2019, directed by James Glossman.

The reading will feature Tony-winning actress Maryann Plunkett, Maureen Silliman, Mackenzie Astin, Clark Carmichael, and Hannah Mae Sturges. Ms. Silliman and Ms. Sturges are reprising the roles they created in the World Premiere production at Gulfshore Playhouse earlier this year.

The Soundings Reading Series is designed to test a fairly well-developed play in front of an audience. Authors have five hours of rehearsal with professional actors and a director, and a public reading of the play with guided feedback from the audience.  All readings are followed by a discussion with the author, director, and Artistic Director John Pietrowski.

These readings permit Writers Theatre to connect with its community of patrons and artists to:

  • gain audience insight into the play

  • continue the exposure of the audience to the creative process

  • give our audience experiences with diverse narrative forms.

For tickets, click here. Writers Theatre of NJ is at 28 Walnut St, Madison, NJ 07940, and showtime is 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. See you there!

Performing in Moving Arts Theater Company Holiday Fundraiser!

Come support local theater and see me perform a ten-minute two-hander with the talented Mark Taylor at the Moving Arts Holiday Party/Fundraiser on December 15. We’ll be performing “Yuletime” by Lee Wochner, a moving short piece about a couple finding their way through tragedy during the holiday.

Every year Moving Arts has a holiday fundraising event at the home of one of their Board members. There will be food, drink, auction items, and site-specific plays. Moving Arts will be showing its unique form of storytelling by presenting five plays in different areas around a very nicely appointed house, nestled in the Hollywood Hills.

It all starts at 6:00 p.m. on Sat, Dec 15. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here. Hope to see you there!

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NPR's "Says You!" Live Radio Show!

UPDATE: You can find the podcasts for my episodes of “SAYS YOU!” on iTunes and here (titles: “Buffaloed in Bozeman!”) Check ‘em out!

MONTANA friends! This weekend I’ll be a guest panelist at the live tapings of the NPR word game show “Says You!” in Bozeman (NOW SOLD OUT!!!) Friday 11/9 and in Billings at MSU’s Petro Hall (1500 N 30th Street) on Saturday 11/10. Ticket info HERE.

Come and see us play! Word nerds unite! (And I’ll be sure to post when the shows will be broadcast soon.) Now if only I could find where I stored my winter gloves….

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"Chain Link" Featured in NYC's Nylon Fusion Theatre Company Festival

Nylon Fusion Theatre Company has selected my short play "Chain Link" for their "Best Of 'This Round's On Us' Festival" opening June 27 - July 15 in New York City. I'm honored and excited! It will be directed by the amazing Lori Kee.

The theatre has hosted their short play collection "This Round's On Us" for ten years, and have now selected twelve plays to run in two groups, on alternating dates. Audiences will vote on which short play they'd like to see as a feature-length play, and then Nylon Fusion will produce it (once it's written!) in an upcoming season.

SO PLEASE COME SEE (AND VOTE FOR) "CHAIN LINK!"

My play is in Group A, which runs on the following dates: 
WEEK ONE:
Wednesday June 27th at 8PM
Friday June 29th at 8PM
Saturday June 30th 3PM* (note performance time)
Sunday July 1st 5PM* (note time) 

WEEK TWO:
Thursday July 5th at 8PM
Saturday July 7 8PM
Sunday July 8th 2PM* (note time)

WEEK THREE:
Friday July 13th at 8PM
Saturday July 14th 3PM* (note time)
Sunday July 15th 5PM* (note time)

Tickets are available HERE ($20 in advance, $25 at door) and all shows are at Medicine Show Theater, 549 West 52nd Street (10th/11th).

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Hope to see you there! Here are some pix from the theater (all photos by Al Foote III):

New Reading of "The Escape Thingy" at Moving Arts Saturday May 19 -- FREE!

UPDATE: This went GREAT! Big thanks to all who showed up and supported new work! It's greatly appreciated. And a big thanks to my wonderfully patient director Gabby Griego and my talented cast.

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So excited about the upcoming FREE reading of the latest draft of my new play "The Escape Thingy" at Moving Arts theater company in Los Angeles on Saturday May 19 at 11:00 a.m. Did I mention that it's FREE? Just click here to let us know you're coming but no need to pay anything because it's definitely FREE!

Directed by Gabrieal Griego, the reading will be held at Harmony Toluca Lake, 4301 Cahuenga Blvd. Starts promptly at 11 a.m. Here's the synopsis: Two very different couples meet in an "Escape Room" game night, each needing very different types of escape. The clock is literally ticking as they attempt to solve the puzzles, decide what reality to believe, and weigh the risks of unlocking the door to the dangerous world outside.

The wonderful cast includes Mark L. Taylor, Penny Peyser, Victoria Ortiz, Lizzie Zerebko, and Taylor Jackson Ross. Please come and judge my work right to my face, for FREE!

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My NPR's "Says You!" Podcast Available Now!

Now available to stream anytime you like, the first of my two episodes on the NPR word game quiz show "Says You!" is available here and also on iTunes and Google Play. I had so much fun as a panelist, and you can hear me sweat as I scramble to keep up with my brilliant fellow panelists. Look for the episode titled "Verbs with a View," which was taped in Monterey, CA with a wonderful live audience earlier this year. 

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I was so thrilled to be a part of this fun show (you can find out more about the show here). Stay tuned for my second episode, available via podcast soon...