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AtticScripts

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About AtticScripts

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 10/19/1974

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    jfrost1019
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    http://
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    AtticScripts
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    FrostJosephD

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Jackson, Mississippi
  • Interests
    THEATRE
    music, film, coffee, football (Go Steelers)
    Professional Wrestling
    Digging though stacks of old books in disorganized bookstores, pawn shops, or flea markets

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Playwright/ Theatre Prof
  • About my avatar
    I don't know how to use the Avatars
  • Favorite movies
    Illuminata, Bullets Over Broadway, Cradle Will Rock, Waiting for GuffmanMagnolia, 13 Conversations about One Thing, I Heart Huckabees
  • Favorite music
    Over the Rhine, U2, Yo-Yo Ma, Rage Against the Machine, Sting, Bill Mallonee, Steve Taylor, Glen Hansard, John Paul White, and so much more...
  • Favorite creative writing
    Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Eugene Ionesco, Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, Stephen Adly Guirgis
  • Favorite visual art
    van Gogh, Monet, Pollock

Recent Profile Visitors

831 profile views
  1. Awesome. Love Wilson. Love McDonagh. Love Waits. Wish I could actually see it in Paris.
  2. I generally like Albee's work - Woolf is one of my all time favorites, and I always include one of his works in the Drama Lit classes I teach. I appreciate how he takes a fairly simple conflict and finds a way to make it as striking as possible (like The Goat does with infidelity). I don't know for sure, but my guess as to why Seascape isn't produced much would be the difficulty of the all sand set and making decent lizard costumes - along side the concern about weirding out the audience. I'm also not sure about why it hasn't been filmed, but my guess there would be lack of interest on Albee's part.
  3. In the vein of the "replace the curse words for the TV version" of Blazing Saddles, I'm always on the look out for really REALLY bad replacement words - ones that weren't supposed to be funny, but to get the censoring job done. I actually saw some film (which unfortunately I can't remember which one) on a Saturday afternoon movie, replace "Son of a..." with "Slug in a Ditch." Makes no sense. In or out of any context. Ever. And just recently, I saw another film replace MF with "monkey feathers." Nice.
  4. Grace at NYTimes this should link to an article on NYTimes.com about the play. on that page is an interactive feature that has Redgrave performing a selection from the play - with a slideshow over it.
  5. Agree, with insertion of the words "any chance you might have" ... I have a friend who was working the off-broadway new york scene who told me that sometimes he would go in and improvise a monologue - something that would sound like it came out of one of the blandest of the audition monologue books. He laughed about how sometimes he'd be asked to "do it again, but with more anger" or something, and he'd have to tell them he had another piece that might be more of what they were looking for, then improvise a whole new piece. And no, he never got work when he did that. So it's far from advice, more like a warning... Also, to branch off of what's been pointed out about CONTRASTING is important. This is often assumed to be comedy vs. drama, classical vs. contemporary - and that's a fine broad line to start from. but with my students, I contend that it's just as important to consider tone and character. What I mean is, you could choose a really bombastic Shakespeare clown speech and a bombastic Mamet rant, and in actuality those two wouldn't show that much acting range. I'm actually sending a student out right now to audition at URTA with a Shakespeare that's pretty charismatic (and loud) and a more introverted/ reluctant guy from something contemporary - both are essentially dramatic, but show his versatility quite well.
  6. I got all 10 right (but I gotta admit, one was a complete guess). Greatest American Hero, Barney Miller, Sanford and Son are all time greats. Cheers' song was a great choice. And I liked the way the Cosby Show altered its theme over time with new recordings of the same tune (though the Bobby McFerrin one was the best). And while I loved the show, I have to say that I hated the theme song they chose for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
  7. I'd been trying to avoid this discussion, but it's been sitting on the main page for a month, taunting me - "why don't you chime in, here" - so I suppose I'll at least say something so THAT voice will go away (if only it'll take some of the other ones with it...) I suppose that in a lot of ways, the only real answer has to be a personal one - what you can do, say, and act without endangering yourself. The Lord guides us to parts and opportunities for a variety of reasons, some of them may be about the message of the work itself, sometimes its about being salt and light to fellow actors. I have a friend who did a play recently that he disagreed with thematically, but understood that God had him there for his relationships with the rest of the company. And sometimes, your ability to stand up, say no, and not take a role is what God wishes for a different situation. I did a show not too long ago where I had to sit down with the director and go over with him what I would and wouldn't say - for this play is was taking out two f-words and all casual references to diety (oh god, j.c. and what not). I did this partially out of respect for my professional position as a teacher, but I recognize the effect that it had on the cast and my relationship with that director - that taking a stand meant something, and that my willingness to still be a part of the play (not demanding that anyone else change what they were doing) meant something as well. Was it right to stay? I think so. Was it right to change the words to my part? Perhaps not, but ultimately, the production didn't suffer from a loss of less than 10 words (we were still on track thematically, rhythmically, artistically), and was well received by our audience. Often people split the strong language hairs - being ok with hell and damn, but not "s*** or f***." I know other people who split the strong language hairs pretty thin - being ok with oh god, but not j.c. (the name of the Savior has a particular power, whereas someone who doesn't believe in the existence of a god saying that word doesn't mean someone in particular [this is someone else's argument, not mine]) For me, i've gone back and forth a couple of times - i'll get very conservative for a while, then i'll get all permissive and rebellious (generally not thinking about my audience enough), but for the most part, I try to consider it all on a case by case basis. This is both as an actor and as a playwright. I recognize that words have power, and I recognize the need to use words carefully - which means that sometimes, they should be used. But carefully. And prayerfully. When it comes down to it, there are two things to consider (which I have no intention to explore thoroughly in this posting) 1. Are words capable of endangering us? We often get pretty paranoid about 'losing our salvation' because of these horrible words that a playwright is asking us to say or things we're supposed to do in a play. But Jesus takes the definition of sin beyond the realm of action (speaking, demonstrating) and into the thought life ("looking at a woman with lust in your heart"). so, when I get all Method, and remember a time where I got so mad that I could kill, am I sinning? Direct relation would say yes. But... 2. Are words capable of saving someone? is it possible for a sacrifice on an actor's part to effect positive change in another person? several thousand years of theatre history tells us that this is what theatre is (and should be) for. then, is that sacrifice worth it - or put another way, does that sacrifice afford some latitude for that actor? I hate to say it (especially as a person who acts, and does have SOME corners on what I can or can't be a part of), but this may actually be a separating factor between who really is set apart to be an actor (that designation that defines them as an artist), and who is an amateur (one who loves - not that the person is bad at acting, but who is not designated as an artist). Acting is an interpretive art, to bring someone else's vision to life. Does an actor have the 'artistic right' to choose what they will and will not portray? Maybe they do - saying No to a part may be their only recourse. But to really be able to give yourself to a part once you've taken it, one must be willing to do what is required, not what one feels most comfortable doing. Is a plumber able to say "I'm not comfortable working with pipes that have bends in them." If we are accepting the idea that portraying on stage is NOT the same as performing a sinful act in life, than that latitude exists for an actor to sacrifice some personal dignity in displaying themselves portraying a wrong in order to positively effect their audience. And perhaps, as an actor (a servant artist) it is their calling and requirement to do so. OK, so right now, I'm really just following a train of thought. I'm not even sure if I fully agree with all of this, but I'm putting it out there. If I spend too much more time on thinking about this, I'm going to have to write a full paper or treatise on this subject... But, how awful (and useless) would the theatre be if no one was able to (by law) portray (in word or deed) anyone doing anything bad, wrong, or unacceptable? What exactly would be the point? And if as Christian theatre artists understand that the evil needs to be dramatically portrayed, but won't do it ourselves, is it right for us to ask a non-Christian to come in to do it? Get some unrepentant sinner to be our Judas. I have to stop now - I'll just keep rambling. But I'd look forward to discussing this more.
  8. I hear you - I've been working on making the switch to writing longhand (sounds easy enough, but I have to MAKE myself do it) for that exact reason. On the computer is games, internet, email, and all other kinds of nonsense that I do instead of my writing. Makes the writing time more special, and more effective. Personally, I'm just trying to stay creative. I've stepped up the administrative ranks this past school semester, and more than the time that it takes to do the extra work, it's the amount of ENERGY that it takes. I come home about the same time I did before, but far more worn out. I don't know if getting more organized will allow me to be more creative, but it would give me more chances for the creativity to happen. Though my organization has been very weak as of late (in terms of allowing creative time), there have still been those projects that arrive in my head and MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED - regardless of my schedule. Like I said, I'm trying to be a disciplined creative, but both practicality and my nature step in and block those attempts. But that's no reason not to try.
  9. I'm a big fan of Guiness - of course, it is a meal in a mug. I'm also fond of Anchor Steam beers - out of San Francisco.
  10. Should have mentioned that... I've contacted him in the past about it, and knew he felt that way. Understandably so.
  11. you've hit most of my top favorites... My newest favorite play in the world is a 3 person play called Horizon by Rinde Eckert, but I don't know if he puts the rights out for people to put his plays on without him (he acts in them as well). But how about... All of Beckett... Who's Afraid of virginia Woolf long day's journey into night betrayal (actually, a lot of pinter is small cast) the chairs miss julie master harold and the boys dinner with friends true west american buffalo how small is small? I was thinking of 4 or less, but if you go up to around 8, there's: Importance of Being Earnest Uncle Vanya The Real Thing (stoppard) Streetcar named Desire and more... i'm ashamed to say i've not read or seen Copenhagen, but it's small cast have you thought of small cast versions of classics - greeks or mystery plays? i've done a 5 person Midsummer night's dream that i felt worked really well. also, of plays by Christians, ones I've either read or seen Paper Wings by Gil Elvgren Lifting the Veil by Paul Patton Song of the Bow by Wayne Harrell Ron Reed has a couple of small cast works, i think - i have one or two sitting on my desk to read soon And tooting my own horn, all of my plays have small casts - mostly in the one act range. and I'm terribly fond of most of them ::blushing::
  12. That's an interesting way to look at it - hadn't thought of it from that angle. Of course, the other side is that a theatre doesn't want to be banned from being able to do, say, any Samuel French play. But perhaps the way it really works out is what you're saying, and it's all a hoax - the suing and the banning and the whatever. But as a playwright, I choose words very carefully - for rhythm, for character and for specific imagery. I try to respect the writing as much as possible. That said, I'm working on a new play that opens this weekend, and I've done some judicious cutting - which I know sharpens the scenes - as a result of hours of rehearsal, not out of squeamishness or because it's less lines to memorize. And it's with discussion with the writer - well some discussion, anyway... Whenever I work on my own plays, I always end up cutting and sharpening, but this is new play territory, not tried and tested material. Though we often cut shakespeare, don't we...
  13. I see - they'd do the play but just cut or alter the lines. That's certainly a common option, though not legal unless they ask permission (most people don't ask, and most people don't get caught). I applaud your saying that you'd just not do the play than cut. There are other plays out there.
  14. I really like that film - never read the play. This may seem like a simple question, but I ask it honestly. Are there not language issues with what you're producing? Are you able to be producing this in a lab setting, or are you free from worrying about audience response? Just curious.
  15. I'd agree with Dan when he stressed DICTION over ACCENT. Shakespeare is all about the language, and if the audience can't hear it, they can't understand it. Knowing the context of the story and stressing the importance of the imagery is great, but if a student can grasp the simplicity of just saying the WORDS, and saying them clearly, it is a good 65-70% of Shakespeare. Noticing the collection of similar consonants or vowel sounds - how the words make your mouth move - noticing if the phrase must be spoken slowly or flows quickly; these things are IN THE TEXT and contain the emotion of the moments already - without having to tack on a simplistic "I'm sad right now" kind of emotion. Especially since we're talking about an audition, and not the final performance. My other best advice is to work with him on working with VARIATIONS - specifically with Pitch, Pace and Power. If you stay on any one of them for too long, it becomes monotonous - careful, though, if you vary them for the sake of variation alone, it just becomes kind of spastic. Again, look for the clues in the text. I perhaps have too much to say about this for a posting on a message board... Tell him to break a leg on Tuesday. It certainly is ambitious to do Mackers with Middle Schoolers. It takes a bigger person than myself... Joe
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