Friday, January 15, 2010

A New Day, A New Play

Started memorizing my own play today.  Praying Small, it's called.  Doing it at NoHo Arts Center in April and May with an open ended run.  Basically, that means the play will run for as long as there are butts in the seats.  This is the third of the "big three."  It opened in Chicago with Actors Workshop.  Actually, it opened that theatre.  The inaugural production.  I think it ran for a few months (I stepped in at one point to play one of the supporting roles).  The theatre brought it back the following year.  It's a money-maker for several reasons.  One, it's simple to produce: no set to speak of, a few lights, some sound cues and some good actors.  That's really it.  But the play is about recovery from addiction and generally what happens is through word of mouth the AA and NA community in whatever city it is playing begins to fill the seats.  Of course, it is not really ethical to advertise with that community,  so it really is entirely a word of mouth type thing.  So after bopping around in several other venues it made it to NYC in 2009.   A small company named LoveCreek did it there in a small theatre in the Producer's Club in mid-town.  Saw the DVD some time back.  Clearly some production hurdles there.  But lots of passion.  And now...Los Angeles.  

NoHo is a wonderful facility for the play.  This is the kind of theatre one sees in a movie when the characters are actors and they are rehearsing a play "off-broadway."  There really are no theatres like that in NY.  They are all little shit holes;  horrible places where really fine work is being done in the dirty confines of backrooms of bars, stifling, windowless spaces in the upstairs corner of a bookstore, someone's living room...for all it's lure, NY, aside from the big theatres, is physically a terrible place to do theatre.  But NoHo is a beautiful, little theatre. With a balcony, no less.  

The lead character in this play is a massive role.  I should know, I wrote the goddamned thing. His name is Sam Dean and he is 33 years old.  My name is Clif Morts and I'm 48 years old.  And I've been asked to play the role in my own show.  More on that tomorrow.