I’ve been debating on making a blog a part of this here website for a while now. Mostly because I rarely brag about accomplishments or tell people what I’m doing, but also, what could I possibly contribute to the conversation that hasn’t already been said? Why should I talk about Philly Theatre? Who am I, anyway?
I’ve been going going going for a long time. 5 years, in fact, with small gaps and breaches of judgement scattered in between. In the past three months alone, I have developed, and performed, two pieces during the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, another with Irish Heritage Theatre, and am about to open Sunday in the Park with George down in Delaware. Scattered throughout, there have been readings, award shows, sketch comedy, directing projects, general development circles, and a rabbit (I have a rabbit. He’s cute. Picture below. ) along with the occasional cabaret performance and small gathering of like minds.
I feel excited and scared all the time, as I enter a new year and have nothing I am passionate about on the docket yet. Maybe I’ll take a vacation? Maybe I’ll obsessively check audition sites. Maybe I’ll mentor some other folks. Maybe I’ll just talk shit for a few months and lose all my contacts. 😉
Well, let’s figure this out together, right? Because if you, gentle reader, are on my website, then clearly you’re interested in whatever I have to say in some small way. Watch this space. Maybe something fun will happen. Maybe it’ll turn into some dribble. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll complain about someating loud enough to illicit change. This isn’t Facebook, after all.
The year end "best of" list was just released by DCMetro Theatre Arts for the Philadelphia area, and not one, not two, but THREE productions I was in were included.
Birdie's Pit Stop (and the Tribe of Queers who Fucked Everything Up) with On The Rocks
Dogfall with Iron Age Theatre Company
Macbeth at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre
Very excited! Thanks, DCMetro!
It's really great that people can have Fringe shows that go off without a hitch.
We ain't like other people.
Last year, one show got rained out and another found us being pelted with rocks from neighborhood kids.
Last Friday, 15 minutes before curtain (10:45 at night, mind you) L&I (Licenses and Insurance... a.k.a. The City of Philadelphia) inspectors showed up and attempted to shut down our show. They cited "no live entertainment" was allowed at The Pharmacy. Which is a punk venue. And has been hosting live entertainment events every night for 2 years.
These men then spent the next 20 minutes on a power trip, yelling that no DJs, plays, jukeboxes, or karaoke was allowed in the space because that is "live entertainment." (I almost peed my pants when he said jukebox and called our stage manager a DJ.) They were yelling things about zoning paperwork. Zoning Paperwork that the managers had in their hands.
The real reason they were there was because somebody probably called and complained. Not about noise.... But because we're kind of a weird little troop of people. All covered in sequins and feathers and camo and deer antlers.
Our little tribe of queers listened to everything from the basement. Hiding in a stinky bunker, wondering what the hell was going on, why these men were out so late, and why were they yelling?
The men left, but not without threatening to call the cops, and arrest everybody in the venue, if we performed. Our little audience was buzzing on the stoop outside. So supportive and wonderful and they waited it out.
The Pharmacy, because they're punk rock as shit was like "nah brah. This is happening." Haygen and Elaina took a deep breath, and continued to be the badass professionals they are and opened the house.
We did the show.
The cops did not come.
And here's the kicker.
L&I called the venue at 2am and apologized.
The show is on, ladies and germs.
Birdie's Pit Stop. The Pit That Wouldn't Stop.
So, this summer has been great. I've been doing a Roulette Reading of "Bad Hamlet" (the Bad Quarto version of that most famous play) with my friend Hannah Van Sciver's new company The Greenfield Collective (check them out. Give them money. etc. etc. etc.) in partnership with Lesley Berkowitz-Zak and Joseph Ahmed. Now what is a Roulette Reading, you ask? Well, every night the actors pick a new role out of a hat. We have all read the track once (maybe) in reharsal, and then have to do our best with the tasks at hand while audience members bid on "power ups" (see also: things that are annoying to do while performing Shakespeare) to apply to us.
So it's kinda like Cutthroat Kitchen.... but, like.... with more words. And little to no food.
The first night I pulled Hamlet. The second evening, I was the tiniest ghost/King Claudius you'll ever see.
The following weekend brought an evening with Corambis (you may know him by his actual name, Polonius. Somebody clearly wasn't paying attention) and the next, and last performance, finished strong with Laertes. Both evenings in the second weekend I got to play one half of the Rossencraft/Gilderstone combination, and countless spit takes were performed.
This show is an awesome opportunity to sharpen those improv skills I have become rusty with, as well as an opportunity for us to shake up preconceived notions of Shakespeare.
It's also a ton of fun. And a drinking game. So there's that. Here's to hoping the "Bad Quarto" versions of other classics come forward!
And thank you to every body who joined in on the Tomfoolery.
I sang alongside 7 Broadway Performers and 12 other aspiring artists at the Broadway Artist Connection's cabaret on April 11th at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City. I was named a "Future of Broadway" title, and has been invited back to sing on November 14th in their All Stars Benefit Cabaret. And it was one of the craziest things I've ever experienced.
Video from the performance is in the Media page!
Not one, not two, but four productions I was in were mentioned in DC Metro Theatre Arts' Best of Philadelphia, 2015.
The Taming of the Shrew
Best Performances: Jenna Kuerzi (Katherine)
Stairs to the Roof
Best Direction (Lane Savadove and Dane Eissler)
Love's Labour's Lost
Exit the King
Best Direction (Tina Brock)
Performances: Patricia Durante (Queen Margarite)
Performances: Robb Hutter (King Berenger)
Set AND Costume Design: Erica Hoelscher