Pre-Fringe Profiles: 2016 Edition

FringeLogo_Dark_CMYK_FINALFor ease of navigation, the twenty-one Pre-Fringe Profiles I’ve created are below, each linked to their respective haiku. Happy clicking!

 

This play I done wrote:
I hope it causeth laughter.
If not, no refunds.

Is it worth the cost
Truth can be tricky poker
Come see for yourself

Sherlock Holmes and Seuss
A mash-up nobody missed
But why didn’t they?

Three actors on stage
A single light shines above
Many dice boulders roll.

You say “morbid” like
It’s a bad thing; Howard the
Duck will be there, too.

The dark is scary.
Metaphors are super cool.
Who turned out the lights?

Are you ready to
See the expedition north
That goes south at Fringe

In times of crisis
We must fight for our beliefs
And declare no more

Space is deep and dark.
What’s left when you are alone?
Billy Joel and stars.

Eldritch scurrying
Through layers of history
The Rats in the Walls

Eyes watching in dark
Blood hits the stage, together
We all Scream, scream, scream.

Writing words is hard
And now her mind is going
Things could be better…

Hostel, deception
Girl and Boy caught in the fray
What is 10 x 10? 

See if Sherlock Holmes
Can stay sane after meeting
Our Lord Cthulhu

Our lives are a speck
A minute glimpse only
Of what life could be

Looking for devils
Throughout all the Seven Hells
When they are next door.

Life elsewhere can be,
something we all want to see.
And the fun’s on me.

“Just try it. It’s fun.”
She said. “Just pick an apple. 
It’s your last supper.”

Tis the season to
be jolly tra la la la
la la la la la

For fun and laughter
Gilligan and Hamilton
Better than Reese’s

Dance brings happiness
Dance brings people together
Dance empowers all

Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!

Pre-Fringe Profile: Bezubaan: The Voiceless

20160598SHOW TITLE: Bezubaan: The Voiceless
PRODUCER: Bollywood Dance Scene
SHOW DESCRIPTION: The creators of 2015’s best-selling show bring you an original dance dramedy exploring preconceptions, fear, and identity in flamboyant Bollywood style. Happily, we’re never too old to learn or too old to love!
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: These guys have been a force to be reckoned with and I still haven’t made it to any of their shows.
INTERVIEWEE: Divya Maiya (director/choreographer/dancer)

Just who do you think you are, anyway?

I am the artistic director of Bollywood Dance Scene, a nonprofit organization that brings together many like-minded people – Indian and non – to form a vibrant community dedicated to dance, diversity, and inclusion.

We are the creators of MN Fringe’s top-selling shows in both 2014 and 2015. Our last year’s show, Spicy Masala Chai, broke all records to become the highest-selling show in the 22-year history of MN Fringe festival and highest-selling Fringe show in the United States!

So what’s the big idea?

This year we present, Bezubaan: The Voiceless, an original Bollywood dance dramedy exploring themes of immigration, integration, and identity.

Meet Appa, father figure and longtime Hindu Indian immigrant, who struggles with change at the international market he considers both his means of livelihood, and his sanctuary. He, his Desi family, and their Minnesotan friends must face a new addition to their community whose presence could be life changing.

This family friendly show is packed with exciting traditional and contemporary Indian dance styles, from Sufi-Kathak fusion to Swing and Maharashtrian folk to Hip Hop, which punctuate and illustrate the storytelling. 

How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?

Our show touches on deeper themes like xenophobia & Islamophobia which are current and need to be discussed. We however portray it in a light hearted way with lots of dancing in between just like Bollywood movies.

However, the screwiest part is we try to fit in 90+ people on a 23×25 asymmetric Rarig Thrust stage!

Why should I care?

How often do you get to see an inter-generational and multicultural cast of 90 people from all walks of life have a blast on stage? I promise you that you will leave the theater with a big smile on your face.

Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.

Dance brings happiness
Dance brings people together
Dance empowers all

Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!

Pre-Fringe Profile: Gilligan: A Tropical Musical

20160875SHOW TITLE: Gilligan: A Tropical Musical
PRODUCER: Literally Entertainment Productions
SHOW DESCRIPTION: From the team that brought you “Oregon Trail: A Musical” comes a new musical that celebrates and re-imagines one of television’s founding fathers, Gilligan, and his three-hour tour that changed American history
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: Mashups are everywhere at Fringe. A Hamilton/Gilligan’s Island mashup was sufficiently weird to catch my attention.
INTERVIEWEE: Kyle DeGoey (composer/lyricist/co-director)

Just who do you think you are, anyway?

I’m Kyle DeGoey, one of the Co-Creators, along side the ever-so-talented Travis Carpenter, of this year’s Fringe show ‘Gilligan: A Tropical Musical.’ This is Literally Entertainment Production’s 2nd time at Fringe. We hope to follow up last year’s production of ‘Oregon Trail: A Musical’ with another amusing, entertaining show. 

So what’s the big idea?

‘Gilligan: A Tropical Musical’ is a parody retelling of the television hit, “Gilligan’s Island’. We’ve taken these iconic characters from the past and mashed it up with a contemporary musical score in the stylings of Broadway’s sensation ‘Hamilton: An American Musical’. We’ve integrated common themes like legacy and heroism while staying true to the absurdity of the show.

How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?

“Gilligan’s Island” was a celebration of the idea that television is a vast cultural wasteland. Hamilton is trans-formative because of its approach to history and meaningful events. The juxtaposition of the two styles was an interesting thought for us.

Why should I care?

With everything people have going on in their lives, we want to provide a place where people can come to escape into a familiar world of laughter and enjoyment, even if for only 50 minutes. It’s good old-fashion fun. We try to put together a show that we would like to see. And we hope you do too.

Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.

For fun and laughter
Gilligan and Hamilton
Better than Reese’s

Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!

Pre-Fringe Profile: The Most Dangerous Game

20160919SHOW TITLE: The Most Dangerous Game
PRODUCER: Sheep Theater
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Hunting is the name of the game, “The Most Dangerous Game” that it is! A comedic retelling of a classic thriller about a hunter named Rainsford who becomes the hunted when trapped on the island of Count Zaroff.
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: Joey Hamburger is a funny writer who has written funny things in the past that I found funny.
INTERVIEWEE: Joey Hamburger (playwright)

Just who do you think you are, anyway?

My name is Joey Hamburger and I work with my best friends Michael Hugh Torsch and Iris Rose Page to make up Sheep Theater.  We’ve produced seven original shows as a company.

So what’s the big idea?

The Most Dangerous Game is about a really good hunter named Sanger Rainsford who gets ship wrecked and lands on the island of count Zaroff who’s this guy who likes hunting – a little too much – and he really wants Rainsford to hunt with him, but Rainsford is like “what do you hunt?” and Zaroff’s like, “oh boy!”

How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?

The Most Dangerous Game is a cool story with lots of good details that really stand out.  I think it’s funny how we go our whole lives never really knowing what it’s like to be hunted on an island so I wanted to bring that experience to an audience.

Why should I care?

It’s funny, it’s dark, it’s physical, it’s fast, it’s loud, and overall it’s a great company to work with and perform with and that comes through in the work.  I’ve got five words for you: Jacob Mobley, Robb Goetzke, Michael Hugh Torsch, Iris Rose Page, and musicians Willow Waters and Kellen Parkinson.

Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.

Tis the season to
be jolly tra la la la
la la la la la

Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!

Pre-Fringe Profile: Apple Picking

CAVEAT: I have collaborated *extensively* with Ben San Del in the past — we have been writing and comedy partners for years — and I have seen several early drafts of this script.

20160815SHOW TITLE: Apple Picking
PRODUCER: Ben San Del Presents
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Two couples go apple picking. It escalates from there. A darkly comic, psychedelic crime thriller from the creator of encore-winning Fringe plays A Nice Guy’s Guide to Awkward Sex and Minnesota Middle Finger.
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: This is a deceptively clever script.
INTERVIEWEE: Ben San Del (writer/director)

Just who do you think you are, anyway?

Oh, man, this is a broad question. I mean, wow, where do I start? Um, so, I’m Ben San Del, local playwright and stand-up comedian and 10-year Fringe veteran, and I’m resisting just copying and pasting my standard bio here, as that seems like a lazy move, but because I’ve been battling chronic insomnia the last two weeks, like I always do when it gets to the final days before show debut, being lazy right now sounds pretty damn good, except at this point I’ve now spent as much time writing about being lazy as I would have if I had just written up a proper description of myself, and I feel like I’ve really worn out my welcome for this question, so I guess, before I move on, I could share one more thing that’s already at this point I’m sure pretty obvious: I have a bad habit of writing run-on sentences. 

So what’s the big idea?

This is my third ensemble show for Fringe and eighth Fringe production overall. It’s about romantic dates that go awry deep inside an apple orchard where two couples get wrapped up in life-threatening conspiracies of their own making. In a darkly comic, psychedelic setting, Apple Picking explores the nature of identity and reality itself. With talking trees. 

How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?

It is screwy, isn’t it? Well, on a long road trip I drove past one of those recreational apple orchards, where people go to pick their own apples for fun, and I thought, “what if that family-friendly orchard were a front for a crime organization run by a murderous mob boss?” I thought that would be a fun idea to start with, and see where it goes from there during the writing process. It went to some pretty weird places. 

Why should I care?

I guess, first, I can point to my track record. My last two plays were well-received at Fringe. A Nice Guy’s Guide to Awkward Sex and Minnesota Middle Finger both won the audience encore slot. Apple Picking is my most experimental play, not as safe as the romantic comedies and straight-up dramas I’ve done in the past, but if you want to see veteran actors Mo Perry, Natalie Rae Wass, Jason Ballweber, Christopher Kehoe, Rachel Petrie and Joshua Scrimshaw use their exceptional talents to tackle a twisty concept like this, then Apple Picking is your show.

Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.

“Just try it. It’s fun.”
She said. “Just pick an apple. 
It’s your last supper.”

Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!

Pre-Fringe Profile: Skywatch! Or the unofficial official investigation of possible alien landings on a small mid-western wheat field

CAVEAT: While I have not collaborated closely with Larry, we have a more than passing acquaintance via various storytelling events and the Fringe circuit.

20160793SHOW TITLE: Skywatch! Or the unofficial official investigation of possible alien landings on a small mid-western wheat field
PRODUCER: Blue Moon Theatre Company
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Finding life from other reaches of the galaxy is just a matter of time, but Barry and Carl can’t wait; they want to meet an alien NOW! Join this laugh a minute voyage departing from a mid-western wheat field.
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: Aliens! And I, too, have been geeking out about recent Kepler discoveries.
INTERVIEWEE: Lawrence Ripp (playwright)

Just who do you think you are, anyway?

I am a 37 year vet of The Twin Cities Theater Scene with many hats worn over the years.  Actor, producer, playwright and director sometimes all at once.  I am also becoming very well known as “Sir Sydney Soapington”  The Baron Of Bubble! a character I’ve created to go along with my big bubble act I do at fairs, festivals, parties and you name it.  Bubbles are always welcome and make Great BIG bubbles!

So what’s the big idea?

Skywatch is only part of the title to my show. The FULL title says it all.  “Skywatch!  Or, The unofficial, official investigation of possible alien landings on a small Midwestern wheatfield.”   Crop circles meet Laurel and Hardy is another way to look at it.

How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?

I have a very big interest in life off the planet.  I have a dream of science finding conclusive evidence of life off our planet during my lifetime however slim those chances are.  This play is an extension of my own obsession with this idea.  The characters say things I believe in and their dreams are my dreams.

Why should I care?

Skywatch was first written and produced in 1993 and was met with success on a brief tour of venues in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  It is funny!  I wrote it to have at least 2 laughs per minute and hopefully more.  I never thought it got seen enough when it was first produced so I’m bringing it back. Why now? NEW PLANETS are being found just about every day by the Kepler telescope and soon the Webb will bring even more planets to light.  Skywatch is up to the minute and timeless. 

Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.

Life elsewhere can be,
something we all want to see.
And the fun’s on me.

Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!

Pre-Fringe Profile: Damned If You Do

CAVEAT: I have worked on a number of projects with Kelvin Hatle (and most of his cast) in the past.

20160931SHOW TITLE: Damned If You Do
PRODUCER: Schroedinger’s Dog
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Work is Hell. Marriage is Hell. Life is Hell. But most of all, Hell is Hell. Come join a fresh-faced devil on his first day on the job. It’s going to be… dare we say it? Hell.
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: Kelvin is an inspired comedy writer/performer, and I’m a sucker for stories set in the underworld, so…
INTERVIEWEE: Kelvin Hatle (writer)

Just who do you think you are, anyway?

I’m a middle-aged, follicly-challenged nerd who has been doing theater and improv for a distressing number of years. People may best know me from shows with The Scrimshaw Brothers and Vilification Tennis, or from one of the four one-person shows I’ve done at the Fringe (Death Perception, Someone Is Wrong On The Internet, The Press Conference At The End Of The World, and Giving Grief.) Once I got recognized from an improv show I did at Knuckleheads in the Mall of America, roughly five years after they stopped doing improv shows. I consider that one of the most gratifying pieces of feedback I’ve ever received. I also just watched season 2 of Rick and Morty. 

So what’s the big idea?

It’s a comedy about four devils in Hell. One is a noob, the other three are vets. Hell isn’t what it used to be, which ironically makes new Hell more Hell than old Hell. Did I mention it was a comedy?

How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?

I wish I could remember. My material tends to mutate rather drastically from the original idea, and this one followed an even more serpentine path than usual. All I recall is that I really wanted to do something with multiple actors, and that this really screwed with my usual working method of gross procrastination. Somehow, I wound up with the idea of three or four devils arguing about the nature of evil. But straight philosophy can make for boring theater. Then it moved on to three devils tormenting a new soul in Hell, but the new soul is too genuinely nice and decent a guy to be tormented. I couldn’t come up with an ending for it. Finally, I arrived at my current script, sort of a messed up workplace comedy with a twist.

Why should I care?

it follows the rough arc of most of my other material: Absurd comedy with serious underpinnings, and a heartbreaking climax. People tell me I’m good at that sort of thing. It has Dawn Krosnowski being evil in a cocktail dress. It has Nick Glover as an enthusiastic dope. It has Lana Rosario getting pissed off at dumb crap. Also, it’s pretty funny.

Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.

Looking for devils
Throughout all the Seven Hells
When they are next door.

Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!

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