The Amphibians at JOOK!
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hearing my play The Amphibians out loud, courtesy of the wonderful folks over at JOOK in Memphis as part of their First Look series. The actors were wonderful, and I got some great insight on how today's teenagers are educated about climate change, and what that might look like in the future. You can also head over to JOOK's Instagram for an interview with me about new work, climate change, horror movies (naturally!), and more.
Thanks to JOOK and all of the other companies who have helped me to continue to develop this play. I'm hoping we get to see it fully produced in the near future!
The B. Iden Payne Awards—which recognize outstanding theatrical performance, production, and design in Austin, Texas—took place this past Monday, and Jarrott Productions' world premiere of my play The Frog Prince nabbed four wins out of our 11 nominations!
Outstanding Production of Digital Theatre (Audio)
Outstanding Direction of Digital Theatre (Audio) – David R. Jarrott
Outstanding Lead Performance In Digital Theatre (Audio) – Jacqui Calloway
Outstanding Featured Performance In Digital Theatre (Audio) – Karen Jambon
Congrats to all, and big thanks to the B. Iden Payne Awards Council. I'm hoping this isn't the last we've seen of our little show, so keep your eyes peeled for more Frog Prince news!
Duckass at Webster University!
Tonight, my short horror play "Duckass" goes up at Webster University, as part of the Conservatory's 2021/2022 ET Season!
It's a script that's near and dear to my heart, as it pays homage to the EC Comics from the '40s and '50s. And seeing as it's the first production of the play, I really wish I could be there to see it. In the meantime, check out the nifty graphic created by director Erik Peterson below.
There might be some more cool "Duckass' news on the horizon, so stay tuned!
Kaiju at The Workshop Theater!
A couple of months ago, I was selected for The Workshop Theater's Fall Intensive here in New York, where I've been developing my new play Kaiju!
It's my first writer's group I've ever been a part of, and the Workshop staff—along with a small group of incredibly kind and talented playwrights—have helped me bring out the best in the script; elements that I wasn't fully sure were even there. The Workshop Theater is specifically focused on new-play development, and I recommend that every playwright check them out. They've got a wide range of programs, from writer's groups to labs and readings.
Thanks to The Workshop Theater for supporting my work, and stay tuned for more Kaiju news soon!
Jarrott Productions' audio production of my play The Frog Prince has been nominated for a whopping (hopping??) 11 B. Iden Payne Awards!
Outstanding Audio Production
Outstanding Direction – David R. Jarrott
Outstanding Lead Performer – Jacqui Calloway
Outstanding Lead Performer – Toby Minor
Outstanding Featured Performer – Janelle Buchanan
Outstanding Featured Performer – Karen Jambon
Outstanding Featured Performer – Beau Paul
Outstanding Featured Performer – Rupert Reyes
Outstanding Small Cast
Outstanding Original Score – Dave Cooper & The One-Man Frog Band
Outstanding Sound Design – Craig Brock
For the uninitiated, the B. Iden Payne Awards Council recognizes outstanding theatrical performance, production, and design in Austin, Texas. If you're on the council and need to submit your votes, you can listen to the play FOR FREE for a limited time via Jarrott's website. Or if you just want to listen for your own personal enjoyment, that's great, too!
Big thanks to the council for recognizing our work, and big thanks to Jarrott Production for doing such beautiful work with my play!
Press For The Frog Prince!
We're a little over halfway through Frogust, and my adaptation of The Frog Prince has gotten some really nice press!
The Austin Chronicle calls it "one fine-ass studio production" that's an "acerbically modern and politically savvy take on a classic fairytale."
Louise Penn of LouReviews over in London praised the script for "ooz[ing] suggestive puns, as well as addressing the quite troubling premise that an animal that once was human might take advantage of its size and vulnerability to cross a behavioural barrier."
"The Frog Prince looks at the fanaticism of fairytales," she continues. "If you are familiar with the collections assembled by Angela Carter, you will know that these myths and tales are often given a sexual or erotic tinge, and such is true of this audio play, as it addresses some difficult topics in an amusing and immersive way, with a touch of music as it goes."
Finally, director David Jarrott and I had two really fun Austin radio interviews over at KUT and KOOP-FM. Big thanks to Michael Lee, Lisa Scheps, and Nicole Shiro for talking with us!
Check out all of our press so far (and any future reviews we get) over at Jarrott Productions. And be sure to get your tickets before Frogust ends and the show croaks for good!
Frogust Is Upon Us!
Jarrott Productions' world-premiere audio production of my play The Frog Prince is now available to stream!
I'm truly blown away by what the team did with my little show. Tickets are $10 per household through August (Frogust) 31st. You can get them here.
It's meant so much to be able to work on an actual play during the pandemic, and I would love for you to check it out. So hop on over!
In one of my final playwriting workshops at UT Austin, we were tasked to complete just the first page of 10 different scripts that we had always wanted to write, but had never gotten around to starting. For one of my plays, I chose a dark and subversive version of "The Frog Prince," one of my favorite fairytales from childhood.
As school ended and the pandemic raged on, one of my colleagues Minghao Tu and I challenged each other to actually complete one of the scripts we had begun in that workshop. A few months later, we both had complete drafts, and a few months after that, I was lucky to get some interest in The Frog Prince from one of my favorite Austin theatre companies, Jarrott Productions. They'll be releasing a world-premiere audio version of my script on August 1st (or as we like to call it, Frogust 1st), and if you're in Austin, you can even attend a live (outside) listening party at the beloved Butterfly Bar at The Vortex. Tickets are free if you RSVP, which you can do right here.
Check out Jarrott Productions' website for more info, including our incredible cast, crew, and design team. Despite not being a physical production, there are so many cool features, from the comprehensive sound design to an original score and evocative caricatures of each character. Endless thanks to David Jarrott, Will Douglas, and the rest of the gang for giving me an actual show during a time when those opportunities are very few and far between. We're so excited to unveil this to the world!
My play The Amphibians is a Semi-Finalist for New Works Festival 2021, produced by the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank!
From this list, five Finalists will be chosen for virtual readings on September 24th, 25th, and 26th. It's always a good feeling to make it past the first round of reviews, and you can check out all of the Semi-Finalists here.
Congrats to all of the others, and big thanks to the team at Garry Marshall!
My short play "A Seed" is in the Top 30 for the 46th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival! Normally, this would mean an in-person week of readings for all of the scripts, followed by six winners published in an anthology by Concord Theatricals. But as the American theatre world is slowly coming out of COVID, everything is going to stay virtual for a little bit. I know I've said it before, but it means the world to get these kinds of opportunities while the art form remains digital.
The OOB Festival will be announcing its six winners via Zoom on Thursday, August 12th, so be sure to check the website for details on how to register. In the meantime, you can read more about the play, as well as an interview with yours truly, at this link. And you can download the script in its entirety over at the New Play Exchange.
Thanks so much to Samuel French and Concord Theatricals for the opportunity, and big congrats to the other playwrights! Excited to check out everyone's work.