“TAKING FIVE WITH…” is an interview series where I chat with someone in the performing arts, or an arts supporter, for FIVE minutes to find out how they've been doing, what they're working on, and what's coming up for them down the road.
In this quick and quirky first episode, I chat with a very talented actor and producer about their road to Broadway, what they’re working on now, and we wrap it all up with five spontaneous words of cheer that will leave you smiling!
Hope you can take five out of YOUR day to check out “TAKING FIVE WITH…”!
And please feel free to let me know in the comments what you think and who YOU would like to see as a special guest on the show!
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While life has been difficult in one way or another for just about everyone lately, I was recently reminded that it can also deliver nice surprises right when you need them.
About six weeks ago, I answered a call for submissions from a theatre company in the United Kingdom called INK. They were seeking two-minute duologue plays designed for radio.
I've certainly written very (very) short plays before, but not specifically geared for the radio. But I thought, what the heck. I'll give it a go.
I had a premise for the play, and the first draft took me roughly 30 minutes to write. I then returned to it the next day, made a few edits and then fired off my brand new two minute duologue, Finding Balance to INK.
To my surprise and delight INK selected the play for broadcast on BBC Radio Suffolk!
I don't believe any of my work has ever been performed by a U.K. theatre company before, so I was especially excited by the news.
The artistic team at INK and Jon Wright of Radio Suffolk who interviewed me after the play live (eek!) could not have been kinder, and the actresses, Jill Freud and Esther Freud (yes, they're related to THAT Freud) who performed the piece were terrific!
If you'd like to hear my very (very) short play followed by the interview, just click on the BBC Radio Suffolk logo at the top of this post. After a few seconds of earwormy dance music, Jon segues into his intro of the play.
Hope you enjoy it! 🤞
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I'm a HUGE fan of LinkedIn. I've been a member for close to 10 years now, and I'm pretty active on the platform. It's way more than just a place to hunt for jobs and it's definitely my favorite of all the social media platforms out there by far. It's a place to network, learn, meet people from all over the world, and yes, job hunt, but it's also where I get the most promotional bang for my (free!) buck.
In fact, here's an article I just published there.
I otherwise post on LinkedIn in my regular feed pretty often. Let me know you found my website and send me a connection request!
Looking for someone to write an article or blog post for your organization?
So many industries are taking a hit as a result of Covid-19, but I would argue that no other industry is experiencing the level of devastation that Broadway, other live entertainment and cultural organizations and arts professionals are experiencing. The arts and entertainment industry and its jobs were the first to go...and they will be the last to come back.
The hit to the theatre industry in New York City, from Broadway on down, also affects the many restaurants and bars, hotels, parking lots and retail shops that rely on the theatre to keep their businesses afloat. New York City will not fully recover until Broadway is back. Tourists come to New York largely for Broadway.
Yet, while we all wait to see how Broadway can come back amidst Covid-19, there is currently no financial support in sight for arts and culture from the federal government. Hoping this changes, as I fear that many lives that are directly connected to Broadway -- mine included -- could become very challenging, very soon, especially if Congress does not vote to extend the $600.00 unemployment supplement.
I am confident Broadway and theatre in other parts of New York City and beyond will eventually come back, but it will take a while -- and, sadly, not all the organizations will be able to hold on long enough to return.
In the meantime, I hold on to my many happy memories as a playwright, musical theatre writer and theatre industry professional to keep my spirits up. To that end, I recently shared one of these memories as part of a challenge that has been circulating on social media. If you've EVER worked in the theatre in any way, be sure to share your own favorite memory on your social platforms!
To all professionals in the film, television, theatre, entertainment, and arts world, join the challenge to post a photo of you in your job. Just a picture, no description. The goal is to flood social media with our profession. #SaveTheArts 🎭💔
🗣️< MASSIVE shout out and special thanks to Metropolitan Playhouse, Producing Artistic Director Alex Roe, Director John Long, Artist Danny Licul, and our amazing cast: Maxwell Bartel, Alia Chapman, and Kim Yancey-Moore!
🗣️< The reading of my brand new short play Grassroots on June 27th was AMAZING!
🗣️< And -- despite our physical separation -- the talkback afterward was deeply felt and thought-provoking!
🗣️< And the Zoom after-parties were a total blast! 🥂🤪
🗣️< I'm so thrilled and grateful that I got to meet so many new lovely and talented individuals through this process!
🗣️< Like everyone else, I miss the live theatre experience, but, at the same time, I find myself connecting with people I would have likely never otherwise met...
...and this continues to be a gift.) ❤️
My interview with Matt Williams is now one of my new favorites.
In our in-depth exchange, the veteran sitcom writer-producer -- and playwright -- opens up about his career path and his widely publicized "epic battle" with Roseanne back in the day and how that ultimately led him to his next best thing.
Williams seems like he will always be a playwright at heart, though, despite his TV success. And, as he prepares for the Off-Broadway world premiere of his latest play, Actually, We're Fu**ked at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre, he describes the impulses that drove him to write the piece and why this "old white guy" thinks he has the perspective to tell a story about four potentially "fu**ed" Millennials.
Backstage.com recently included Mad Libs Live! in a feature publicizing an upcoming production of the show near Austin, Texas!
What's so extra super-cool about this production, though? The cast may include kids as young as 14! I don't think any MLL productions have cast kids so far, but it's an exciting idea on all kinds of levels and I look forward to more young talent participating in future productions!
In the meantime...put on your cowboy _____! Texas! Yee-haw!
National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s production of Fiddler On The Roof will transfer to an Off-Broadway, commercial run this January. Find out in my exclusive interview with CEO of NYTF Chris Massimine why this special production and NYTF's other cultural outreach strategies could be an essential antidote for our current social and political climate.
How exciting it was to have Mad Libs Live! perform at The Bushnell last month to a packed crowd of excited kids! This was the first of several engagements the show will play in the 2018-2019 season ahead of the full tour that begins in the Fall of 2019.
For more info on where we will be playing, or to book the show, please contact our friends over at Off Broadway Touring!
ROBIN'S NEWS & VIEWS!
Recent news and latest updates on my writing and artistic projects. Also check back here for occasional tips and observations on creative writing and theater!
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