Yours truly used to make a gag every time I used to visit those franchised coffee joints that have been the trendy place to hang out. No matter where, how, or when I tend to visit these places that offer a vast variety of coffees and related beverages (along with items created mostly for noshing purposes, rather than using as a full breakfast/lunch/dinner selection), one will find at least one third to one half of the attendees there playing with either a laptop, smartphone, electronic pad device, or a combination of all three. As they work away on their gadgets while perhaps sipping on a coffee beverage and/or a snark or two, these folks are working away doing something or another. As to the laptop folks, they are usually typing away on some kind of word processing program, hacking the many words, phrases, or figures that hold some kind of importance. The joke I used to make to those around me, should they care to hear it, goes to the effect that everyone is writing screenplays that nobody wants to buy. These would-be writers are typing way at a screen story that will hopefully become the next big thing to ever grace the movie annals located within the community of Hollywood, USA. Sadly, most (if not all) of these tales for the big (or little) screen will ever make any light of day. In other words, nobody will ever buy them, let alone read them!
I made that joke for the reason that the world of entertainment holds a personal fascination to a selected number of folks. And since yours truly lives and work in what’s been called as one of the entertainment capitals of the world (if not the entertainment capitol of the world), there are a lot of opportunities for those that live around these parts to get into the action. After all, Hollywood and those places that are Hollywood-esque, are just a stone’s throw away to where one may be placed, be it sitting at a coffee house, fast food joint, or any other public place that has a wi-fi connection attached.
This article won’t get into the ins and out on how to bust into this industry as there are too many places to find this info, but it seems that screenwriting, the art of creating a story that is formatted for the viewing screen rather than as a traditional novel to read, is one method of breaking in. (When the term “breaking in” is used, this writer is referring to finding some kind of opportunity of employment, rather than, let’s say, jumping the fence along a movie studio lot!) Although there are many skills one can apply to be involved in some sort of industry function, writing a movie story and/or creating a new TV show idea has its moments.
As one may suspect, there are a lot of movies being created that are made to play in a theatre setting. Most of these pictures are smaller “independent” type of titles that come as fast as they go. And there are the big mega titles that cost millions to create, yet show off profit margins to not only make them profitable, but will open the door as franchise titles that will allow the studios to release spin offs, knock offs, remakes, reboots, and other terms that take the same kind of movie only to milk it to death–or when it stops making money, whatever comes first.
Television programs are in the same method, but on a far smaller scale. One can create a program that can last for years with creating hundreds of episodes. In addition, there are the remakes, spin offs, reboots, and other forms of recycling. Bust of all, one can watch these kind of shows wherever they go when ever they want. Just as long as the viewer has a device that can transmit any moving imagery, electrical power, and an internet connection.
As to writing those screenplays, there are established writers that are known within their industry circles that are paid a good amount of money to hack away on scrips or concept ideals. And there are the writers that know something about the art of writing scrips, and have story ideas and concepts to write about. However, they are not necessary in the same category to those so-called “pro” writers that are paid rather well. Those would-be writers can be found in those coffee houses, etc. hacking away on their “next big thing”. Some will complete these tales to astonish, and perhaps have the opportunity to show their work to somebody with connections, or to have their story remain on their hard drive only to be viewed by the writer and the friends of the writer.
As this writer noted at the head of this article, the line used describes those people that are sitting among coffee places writing screenplays that will never be sold isn’t so much as a joke that yours truly conceived. This is because those screenwriters are really in that phase!
How do I know this fact? Not so long ago, I was at one of those coffee places not too far where I hang my hat. While nursing on a cup of hot java, I was seated near a thwentysomething aged guy that was hunched over his MacBook Air laptop. (Note: Most of the laptops I have seen at these places seem to be Macs, although one will find a PC or two present!) Anyway, this guy was seated there using a dedicated program made especially for writing screenplays that allow proper formatting. I somehow got to have small conversations with this man who was created a spec script to a dramatic TV series that I never heard of. (I think it’s one of those newer shows that are on a streaming network, rather than something on so-called “traditional” TV.). Anyway, after passing some small talk, he told me that he’s attempting to break into the writing business by hacking out a script that takes upon the nature of this series in question. He said he was doing a lot of binge watching, and those marathon viewing times inspired him to create an invisible episode for possible usage.
Although I could have asked his writer if he did have connections to submit this script to those in charge, but I didn’t want to get this guy fired up, believing that I has some inside scoop to this fame. So I said a humble “good luck” or some other form of pleasantry, and left him to his writing. Again, I never got the name of this series, let along getting the name of the guy I spoke with. Granted, he had a lot of gumption and spunk to get himself going. However, he dose have a long road to clime. Then again, that’s show biz!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Falcon Theatre continues its summer season run with Theatre Impro’s TENNESSEE WILLIAMS UNSCRIPTED, an improvised rendition of a piece that could have been created by Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams III, but was actually made up on the spot!
Here’s how this show functions. A rotating group of seven players of mixed genders starts off by taking a simple implied idea suggested from the theater audience, such as noting, let’s say, an animal. (It doesn’t have to be an Iguana!) Once those elements are set in gear, then the team creates their story using the suggested item (or not) with the characters contained that could have been lifted from an actual Tennessee Williams creation but in fact, weren’t! They speak and act in southern dialects, holding the same gumption and gusto (or lack of) found in an epic that reflects the trails and tribulations of those that live (and lived) in the old south. Before long, a very believable yet comical story unfolds: something where the dialogue, actions, and outcomes take place within the aspect of being joyful, tragic, or downright hilarious! Nobody will know what will occur next. Not even those on stage will know what becomes next because everything will be improvised–and we mean everything!!! Just those factors is what makes this show just what it is–a stage production that is totally performed seat-of-the-pants style!
And what invisible Tennessee Williams piece be presented? A play that will be performed for its first time as well as its last time–all in one!
This presentation of a Tennessee Williams play that never existed comes from Impro Theatre, a stage performing company based in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles lead by artistic director Dan O’Connor. This troupe offers inprovational training to actors, actresses, and all points in between, to teach these theatre folk how to make up a play based upon a specific writer, genre, or style set to the theater subject’s modus of operation, nearly mimicking the techniques and methods that the subject has (or had) created. Previous productions from Theatre Impro has taken upon the mode of writers and genres ranging from Jane Adams to film noir. In TWU, the rotating performing team, consisting of (listed in their alphabetical order), Kari Coleman, Lisa Fredrickson, Kelly Holden Bashar, Brian Michael Jones, Stephan Kearin, Lauren Rose Lewis, Brian Lohmann, Nick Massouh, Jo McGinley, Mike McShane, Dan O’Connor, Edi Patterson, Ryan Smith, Michele Spears, and Floyd VanBuskirk, do their damndest to churn out a new and complete Tennessee Williams in just ninety minutes. (Not counting the fifteen minute intermission!)
In addition to what’s performed on stage, Michael C. Smith creates a theatre set that consist of backwater yet slightly run down building facade donned in southern exposer that could be found anywhere from Natchez to Mobile to Memphis to St. Joe!
Directed by Brian Lohmann, TENNESSEE WILLIAMS UNSCRIPTED is a treat for those fans and followers of this classic playwright of the American stage to enjoy, as well as from those that get their hoots from viewing this form of theatre presented in a johnny-on-the-spot style of staging. And if one misses a specific performance, there will be a brand new show to see–and another, and another! One will have plenty of opportunity! Whatever the case, it’s just make up stuff, and one can’t get any better than that!
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS UNSCRIPTED, presented by Impro Theatre and performs at The Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank, until July 31st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM.
For reservations and for more information, call (818) 955-8101, or via online at http://www.FalconTheatre.com.
Visit Impro Theatre online at http://www.ImproTheatre.com
The Morgan-Wixson Theatre closes out their 2015-16 season with the THE ADDAMS FAMILY, a musical comedy about a humble yet gloomy family that operates on their own macabre rules, living in a world that is far outside of their “normal”.
The Addams family themselves consist of Gomez (Aric Martin), his lovely spouse Morticia (Amy Coles), Gomez’s brother Fester (Paul C. Luoma) who is white as a ghost (because he is one?), Grandma (Carley Linehan), and their two kids-the youngest Pugsley (Nicholas Vizzi), and the eldest daughter Wednesday. (Annie Claire Hudson) Rounding out the “living” ones in their household is the butler Lurch (Matthew Artson), who doesn’t say much. In fact, he doesn’t speak but grunts and moans a lot! It seems that Wednesday is in love with Lucas (Scott Senior), a young man who lives a normal life because he is normal! Lucas and Wednesday plans to wed soon. If everyone is going to be “family”, an arrangement is made for Lucas’ mom Alica (Alicia Reynolds), and dad Mal (Spencer Johnson) to visit the Addams estate located in the middle of Central Park-New York for dinner! Will Wednesday and Lucas ever tie the knot that isn’t found on a noose? Can Gomez remain true to his word by not keeping secrets from Morticia? And backing up the living members of this kooky and spooky family is the deceased side of the clan-a group of Addams that have extend for generations. How do they fit in behind all of the gruesome fun and laughs? Quite nicely!
This musical production features a score by Andrew Lippa with book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, and based upon the Charles Addams panel cartoons that have appeared in The New Yorker for many years. Although the sagas of this creepy family has been previously seen on the screen both big and little, their stage presence extends as a very comical yet amusing theatre piece. Granted, it only did an “ok” run when it first appeared on Broadway early this decade, but it plays better when performed on a smaller and more intimate stage setting as the Morgan-Wixson Theatre provides. In addition to a very lively selection of musical scores and singable songs (Daniel Koh provides the transcribed musical direction), the play itself has some genuine wit to it. The wit and humor set may be a few notches upon sitcom level, but at least the comedy holds up throughout from its opening act to its closing moments!
As to this Morgan-Wixson Theatre production, the very large ensemble cast that appear perform very well together, almost like a family would–or should! The costume design as billed as The Theatre Company, Inc., has everyone dressed the way as expected: Lucas and his mom ‘n dad donned in bright colored yet standard outfits, while the Addams (the living ones), are in their black and white–emphasis on the black! (The ancestors are in period outfits painted bleach white from head to toe-skin included!) Thomas Brown provides the set design consisting of the Addams home interior and the cemetery grounds that surround outside of their homestead. William Wilday provides the lighting, making everything seem bright–and dark!
Also appearing in this show is the ensemble that plays the Addams ancestors, consisting of Eileen Cherry O’Donnell, Joel D. Castro, Steve Webber, Steven Flowers, Chandler David, Caniel Koh, Chris Tiernain, Alexis Turner, Kaitlin Moore, Alexandra Senior, Holly Webber, Rosey Murrah, with Lauren Blair in selected performances.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY is ideal for all ages to enjoy seeing a family not as dysfunctional as one’s own. Sure, they may be ooky and spooky, but they are fun! They are ready to please in a heartbeat or lack thereof! Just snap your fingers!
THE ADDAMS FAMILY, presented by the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Guild, and performs at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, until July 31st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. A special talk back session where the cast and crew discuss their performing as well as taking questions from the audience, occurs after the performances held on Friday, July 8th, and Sunday, July 17th.
For more information as well as ticket reservations, call (310) 828-7519 or via online at http://www.Morgan-Wixson.org.
——————————————————————————————————————— In the next issue, Accessibly Live Off-Line’s annual “State of the Union” address! Don’t miss it!
CONNECT WITH US!
ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)
ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2016 Linear Cycle Productions.
All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!