Plays, Plays, Plays! (AKA – “Linda goes to” King’s! and a sneak peek at QUIET COWBOY posters!)

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Confidante and colleague David Reynolds is, by his own declaration, a “theatre machine.”  In the past few weeks he has been involved in productions meetings, rehearsals, table work, and design presentations for not one, but TWO of my plays.  Quiet Cowboy, my full-length play slated for production at Scranton’s Mellow Theatre in January, is one of them.  The other will be staged as part of the King’s College Brown Bag Theatre series as soon as next week (Dec. 6th & 8th @ 12:10 PM; Dec. 7th @ 12:45 PM) – it’s called “Linda Goes to Mars” – a one act that I’d written a few months ago about unrequited love, radio transmissions, and the power of music.  In addition to his full time position at the King’s Theatre department, David is the director of both works (a fact that I am grateful for), and as a machine he is so finely tuned that the mechanisms of my writing are hidden altogether.

This may not seem like a compliment, but I have long held the belief that theatre requires a scant two key ingredients: actor and audience.  That is not to say that a script (or writing, for that matter) is obsolete, or the space, the lighting, or the set.  After all, David is a professional in technical theatre, amongst other things, and his tenacity with each script has been one of fine detail and with a keen eye on design (finding and presenting the “through lines” of a script when called for in set-design).  The point I’m getting to is that David has the ability, through his many “roles”, to make the script “disappear” – to give the illusion that the drama unfolding before the audience is fresh with each production.

Most recently, I’ve found his noble direction taking root in the classroom.  A few weeks ago I was privileged enough to get out of work a few minutes early and hustle over to the King’s Theatre to take part in the auditions for “Linda Goes to Mars.”  David asked me to say a few words about the play (something a playwright should always be prepared to do) and we proceeded to take on all the brave young actors.  In the end, we came up with a nice, excitable cast.

Even more recently, I was invited back to campus, this time to witness (and vote on) presentations from a stage design class.  All six of David’s students did research, preliminary drawings, and final designs in Vectorworks for their design concepts for the set of “Linda.”  All six presented their results on large boards, in color, pencil, and printout – explaining their choices and changes, usually with some textual accompaniment.  They all had sound designs, each with something new and interesting being brought to the stage, and truth be told, when the time came to vote I was nearly catatonic.  I was impressed.  Ultimately, there had to be a winner.  A young lad named Lukas Tomasacci took the honor by majority; I’ve included some photos of his board below.

Luke's Full Design Board

A close up shot of the design progress - The first attempt sits below, and the final at the very top!

The final winning design concept - note how subtle things like the window and chair have evolved...

And so “Linda Goes to Mars” will be presented next week!  Scheduled for midday showtimes at the King’s College Theatre (back of the administration building, y’know the one – it’s got the giant Jesus on top of it), the series is meant for those workers in downtown Wilkes-Barre, who are bored on their lunch breaks.  Admission is free, so if you happen to be around I highly recommend taking in a nice midday show; it’s a good break from the office, and you’ll want to catch this theatre machine before it runs its course.  So come on out and show your support!

Before I sign off this week, I’ve received several questions about the forthcoming production of Quiet Cowboy : When is it?  Where do I get tickets?  Where will it be?!  Well, to ease your troubles, I thought I’d include the posters for the show, designed by the inexhaustible Jennifer Hill. We recently checked it out in sepia and black & white, but I love the “blue TV flicker” edition (my term).  Here they are as .pdf files – enjoy the jump:

QUIET COWBOY posters

Enjoy the show!

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2 Responses to “Plays, Plays, Plays! (AKA – “Linda goes to” King’s! and a sneak peek at QUIET COWBOY posters!)”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    Wonderful! Fun designs. Looking forward to the show tomorrow during lunch. I hear that Jennifer Hill is so exhaustible she goes to bed by nine most nights.

  2. matthewhinton Says:

    Jennifer! Yes and thank you for the comment! I went to see the production this afternoon, and it was great fun. I’ll be there tomorrow, too. I hope you’ll sit with me.

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