Dinner with Orson Scott Card

Tonight I found myself sitting next to Orson Scott Card and his wife at a dinner sponsored by TOR publishers.  I got there because of my day job as a librarian, but I mention it here on my theatre blog because tonight I learned that in addition to being the author of Ender’s Game and other popular science fiction novels, Card is also a playwright and theatre director.  He is also starting to produce audio books.

I wish I could have been taking notes as he talked about his approaches to directing Shakespeare!

But what I do remember in detail are his comments about script development and the importance of making a script “actor proof.”

He said that he learns a lot by listening to actors as they read aloud one of his new scripts.  If they read a line wrong, he can try once to explain to them what he had meant when he wrote it, but mostly he just takes the wrong read as a cue to himself to re-write the line so that even when he is not there to explain the meaning, an actor will get it right on his (or her) own.  He told me it is the writer’s responsibility to write in such a way that actor always gets it right.

It was a pleasure to hear Scott (yes, I call them “Scott” and “Kristine” now) talk about his work.  All of it.

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

Theatre Review: “Honk!” at Buck Creek

Kari Ann Stamatoplos and Trevor Fanning in “Honk!” at Buck CreekLast Saturday evening I drove south through a blinding rainstorm to see one of the final performances of “Honk!” as presented by the Buck Creek Players.

I knew I would not be able to write about it in time to help anyone else make a decision about whether or not to go see it, but I had several reasons for wanting to see it just for myself:

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Theatre Review: “Mind Over Matt” at the Red Barn

The cast of “Mind Over Matt” at the Red Barn TheatreLast Sunday evening I drove over to Frankfort in Clinton County to see the season opener at the Red Barn Summer Theatre.  This production of “Mind Over Matt,” written by Scott Haan, is a world premiere.  It was directed by the Red Barn’s artistic director, Stephen L. Henderson, with technical direction by Martin L. Henderson.  Cathlyn Melvin was the assistant to the director.

It is a funny play, very “clean” in terms of language and content but also filled with deliciously awkward situations and clever word play.  Some of the puns made me groan, but mostly I laughed a lot. 

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Theatre Review: “Swing!” at the American Cabaret Theatre

Phoebe Tamble and Nic Herring in “Swing!” at the ACTLast Thursday night, I drove downtown to the American Cabaret Theatre (ACT) to see “Swing!” as directed and choreographed by Kenny Shepard and Carol Worcel, with musical direction by John Austin Butsch.

This high-energy collection of songs and dances from the 1930s and 1940s is a TREAT.  It is gorgeous to look at and it sounds great.  On my drive home, I just kept thinking about how restored I felt.  I hadn’t even known I needed a beauty fix until “Swing!” fulfilled that need in me.

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Theatre Review: “Peter Pan” at Beef & Boards

Jeff Stockberger and Jon Lambert in Peter Pan at B&BI was heading around I-465 on my way home from seeing “Those Crazy Ladies…“in Lebanon and thinking about what to have for supper.  Suddenly, I realized where I was.  “Hey!  There’s Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre!  Isn’t there a suppertime show on Sunday evenings?  Maybe I can see ‘Peter Pan’ after all!”

I have been trying to keep my theatre habit a habit rather than an addiction, especially since gas prices have made transportation a much more significant part of my theatre budget, but I had been really wishing that I had time to see Jeff Stockberger again.  I enjoyed his work in “Run for Your Wife” and he plays Captain Hook in “Peter Pan.”

To my delight, I was just in time for the Sunday evening show and there was a seat available at one of the “twosie” tables.  The box office person told me she was waiving the fee that B&B usually charges single diners, so that was nice, too.

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Theatre Review: “Crazy Ladies” at Center Stage

The cast of “Those Crazy Ladies…”On Sunday afternoon I took I-65 northwest of Indy to Lebanon, Indiana to see “Those Crazy Ladies in the House on the Corner” at the Center Stage Community Theatre.  It was written by Pat Cook, directed by Doug Davis, and produced by Sally Dunlap, with technical direction by Adam Hyson.

I think I have only seen one other play by Pat Cook – “Dad’s Christmas Miracle” at Buck Creek last December, before I started this blog – but I suspect that Houston-based Cook is a popular playwright for community theatres.  I imagine that all of the 100+ plays that he has written are packed with funny lines and funny situations, often related to exasperating but lovable families.

That is certainly true of “Those Crazy Ladies in the House at the Corner.”  Continue reading Theatre Review: “Crazy Ladies” at Center Stage

Theatre Review: “Voices from the High School” at Spotlight

On Saturday night I drove over to the east side of Indy to Beech Grove to meet Jim LaMonte and Jeremy Tuterow at the new, Main Street location of the Spotlight Players for a tour.  It was very exciting!  The new location will open in October. I am going to post about that separately in a few days.

After the tour, I went to the current location in a church basement to see the Spotlight Players’ production of “Voices from the High School.” It was written by Peter Dee and directed by Jeremy Tuterow.  Colton Irwin was the assistant director.  Linnea Tuterow is the stage manager.

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Theatre Review: “Some Men” at the Phoenix Theatre

(back LtoR) Matt Goodrich, Dave Ruark, Jon Lindley, (front LtoR) Scot Greenwell, Greg Howard, and J. BlakemoreOn Thursday night I drove downtown to the Phoenix Theatre to see “Some Men,” written by Terrence McNally and directed by Bryan Fonseca.

Oh. My. Goodness.  There are some ATTRACTIVE men in this show.  And sometimes they are naked.  In a good way.  Right from the beginning.  Just so you know.

In other words, dress lightly (the Phoenix’ air conditioning does its best but it is no match for the hotness in this show) and keep your program handy to use as a fan.

Ultimately, however, this show is about much more than male nudity or even gay male sexuality.   It is about important events in the history of gay men in the United States and, even more interestingly, it is about the complexity of the American gay male experience.  This, in turn, makes me think about and appreciate the complexity of the human experience, including my own.

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Theatre Review: “The Fantasticks” at the IRT

Most of the cast of “The Fantasticks” at the IRTLast Saturday night I took a guest with me to see “The Fantasticks” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre.  I had been looking forward to this show ever since the IRT first announced its 2007-2008 season.  I had seen only one other production of it, and only very recently, but I had good memories associated with it from way back.

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Rachael’s Cafe – Bloomington, IN

I was supposedly “off duty” last Friday – i.e., I was not going to a show and therefore I would not be blogging about that particular day.  However, my brother introduced me to a magical new open microphone place that I would like to tell you about.  It is called Rachael’s Cafe.  It is in Bloomington, Indiana, just a block or two south of the public library.  It has only been open for a couple of months. 

Continue reading Rachael’s Cafe – Bloomington, IN