All good things must come to an end, sadly. Our hilarious production of Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum closes today after delighting audiences and critics alike. Below are some swell images by Jason Nuttle Photography.
Huge thanks again to the one and only Jen Werner, our utterly fantastic director, Caryl Fantel, our wonderful music director, Ariel J. Reid, our delightful choreographer, Suzanne Clement-Jones, our tireless production stage manager, and Jynelly Rosario, our superb assistant stage manager. And an extra thank you and shout out to Producing Artistic Director Andrew Kato, who makes everything possible at the gorgeous Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Another round of thanks to our amazing backstage crew, our musicians, and all the front office folks who keep the theatre humming and keep the great shows coming. And thank you to all the friends, family, and utter strangers who came to see Forum and share in our zany antics for a couple of hours. Your support means the world to us all.
This was my fourth show at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre—and my first since their remarkable expansion, which now makes it the envy of all regional theatres. The facility has incredible potential. But nonprofit theatres are still hurting in a big way due to the covid lockdown. High costs during covid meant the theatre couldn’t finish the renovations as planned. If you have anything to spare this holiday season, I can think of no theatre more deserving of your donation than the Maltz Jupiter. I hope you’ll consider a donation today. They give a lot of artists work, and treat us all with respect and love. That is not a given in this business. They are leading the way.
On to my next projects after the holidays! More info soon. ❤️
Below is the first review for the just-released audiobook of E.H. Gaskin’s wonderful sci-fi/fantasy novel Rattle Man which I recorded in October.
I love this story and am honored to have become its voice. I’m so glad to know listeners are enjoying the fruits of our labors!
If you listen to the novel and enjoy it, please do leave a positive review on Amazon, Audible, and/or Apple. Every single good review helps boost visibility and sales for Ethan’s wonderful first novel. It’s so hard for a new author and a new novel to get noticed these days, so your vote of confidence really helps. Thanks in advance!
I’m still waiting for a producer to figure out this needs to be a major motion picture!
I’m so excited! At last the audiobook of Rattle Man by talented young author (and former performance coaching student) E.H. Gaskins is OUT!
I am thrilled and honored that Ethan asked me to narrate this tale, the first of three in his new Ymiran Chronicles series. If you are a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, you will absolutely LOVE this new book. Wonderful characters, great scenes worthy of any space opera, and a fairy tale twist: the book is Ethan’s own spin on the classic Rumplestiltskin tale. I won’t spoil any of the surprises—and there are a bunch of them!
I spent 24 hours in the recording booth with the wonderful folks at Voiceworks Audio creating 52 speaking characters to bring you this almost 13-hour science fiction audio adventure. Great studio, and this story is a great a ride!
You can buy the audiobook on Audible, Amazon, or Apple today. And if you enjoy, I hope you’ll spread the word to your family and friends. This is a terrific first novel. Not only does it deserve a lot of reads/listens, it deserves to become a feature film! I hope some smart producer out there is looking for the next Guardians of the Galaxy—because here it is!
Gosh, I’ve been so busy rehearsing I haven’t had time to post here about our great production at the fabulous (and gorgeously expanded) Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, FL. But I’m so excited to announce the opening of our hilarious (and tuneful!) production of Sondheim’s classic A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum!! I play Senex, the show’s “dirty old man.”
What a cast and production team we have! And it’s also a meaningful reunion; Colin and I worked with both Director Jen Werner and Musical Director Caryl Fantel on The Mystery of Edwin Drood at this same theatre back in 2019 just before lockdown, and we love them both dearly.
If you’re in the Jupiter, FL area, I hope you’ll buy tickets right away and join us at the Forum! We play only 12/1-18, and tickets are starting to fly after great word of mouth from our previews. You can buy your tickets here!
I’m grateful and honored to be a part of this terrific company at this wonderful non-profit theatre. If you can see your way towards making a donation to the theatre as well, they would greatly appreciate it. Covid his all theatres really hard, especially the non-profits. And the Maltz Jupiter Theatre deserves your support.
The contracts are finally signed, and at last I can share the news:
I’m thrilled to announce my next audiobook project is the wonderful sci-fi fantasy novel Rattle Man by fabulous young author (and former coaching student) E.H. Gaskins! This remarkable first novel is an insanely creative retelling of Rumplestiltskin as an adventure-filled Norse space opera. I think Hollywood will snap this one up fast. It’s terrific and so cinematic. Great characters, great action, and all-around wonderful storytelling. Fans of Star Wars and Dune will love it. Recording starts Monday 10/3! 🎉🎤🎧 #audiobooks #narration #fantasy #sciencefiction
The audiobook will be out before the holidays. But if you want to buy the book in the meantime, you can do that here.
I’m so excited. And grateful. This is a major gratitude post. I count a LOT of insanely talented and kind actors and directors as my friends. That’s something to be grateful for right there. But a couple of weeks ago, a dozen or so of those very busy friends took time out of their performance and work schedules to take part in a Zoom reading of the new blank verse comedy I wrote this April as part of the Dramatists Guild’s End of Play Challenge.
Everybody jumped in and gave their all to this crazy new piece. Now, you might well ask: what possessed me to write a 12-character blank verse riff on a famous Shakespeare play? I’ll tell you: this is a queered version of the classic play, and I wrote it for a couple of reasons: 1) I never quite “believed” the heterosexual romantic pairings at the end of the original play and wanted to set that “straight” (as it were), and 2) I wanted to create a challenging, exciting, loving, funny, joyful, poetic, pro-LGBTQ+ play with really great roles for myself and some of the fabulous actor friends I know.
And you know what? I did. Even in this first version, hearing it aloud with a wonderful cast proved to me the play works like gangbusters. One of my director friends, a Shakespeare expert, told me afterward what I’ve already accomplished is “astounding”–and coming from him, that’s amazing praise. My actor and director friends also gave me fantastic comments afterwards, and I am already hard at work on revisions. I don’t know yet who will produce this ambitious play, but I know the world needs it now more than ever. Stay tuned!
And once again: my heartfelt thanks to all who took part in this first reading. You have helped me more than I can say and I am deeply grateful. ❤️
A quick update: I’ve been asked to narrate a wonderful new sci-fi fantasy novel that just had a really successful KickStarter campaign! What makes it even better is it was written by one of the grad students I coached at Western Colorado University last year.
This book has everything: quirky, appealing characters, a clever and ever-twisting plot, and a great mix of small scenes with large space operatic set pieces. With about 52 speaking roles, I have my work cut out for me! This is the first book in a series and I for one can’t wait to read the next installment.
I’ll share more info once we have contracts signed. Stay tuned for news later this summer!
Back in 2020 (you know, when that pandemic thing started…), the Dramatists Guild created an annual playwriting challenge called End of Play, to encourage its members and all playwrights to carry on with creating new works despite the global lockdown that prevented theatrical performances.
The premise is simple: On April 1, you declare what new play you’re going to write that month (or a complete rewrite of an existing piece). And then on April 30, it’s “pens down!” and you report whether you met your goal. I didn’t participate that first year, but I did in 2021. To my astonishment and delight, I found I’d written a full draft of a new solo play by April 16th! I went on to finish a second draft by April 30th and am eager to put that new solo piece on its feet. It’s a bold and surprising new take on a beloved classic.
I signed up for End of Play 2022 with a crazy idea in mind: I wanted to “queer the canon” and create my own version of a famous Shakespeare comedy–in blank verse! I spent April 1-2 creating my outline, and started writing on April 3rd. By April 17 I finished my first draft of this new full-length play. And now as we approach April 30th, I’ve completed a second draft. It’s 12 characters (including two not in the original Shakespeare play), entirely in blank verse, and delivers a very different ending for our various couples! I’m still astonished I was able to write a full-length play in blank verse (which I’ve never tried before) in less than a month. But you know what? I’m thrilled with the results. Next up: I need to pull together some of my incredibly talented friends and do a reading so I can hear it aloud!
Get ready, world–I’m really proud of both of these projects, and I plan to get them produced. And they might not have happened if not for the magic of external deadlines, courtesy of the Dramatists Guild’s wonderful End of Play program!
I love it when one job leads to another in this business. And I’m grateful that it’s happened a lot for me over my career. Some years back, I performed in a new play for writer Sam Affoumado. In fall of 2021, I got an email from Sam that he was taking part in the inaugural season of the Playground-NY writing program (enterprising founder Jim Kleinmann now has Playground festivals in a number of states!), and had a role he wanted me to play in the Zoom performance of his new short play. I had great fun doing that, and then found myself being asked to come back month after month to perform roles in other plays by other talented new writers. I also recently appeared onstage in another of Sam’s short plays, The Finalist, here in NYC.
This past Monday, I took part in the Playground-NY season finale, playing “H.D.” (aka Humpty Dumpty) in the very witty short comedy A Great Fall by Christian Missonak. As a lifelong Lewis Carroll buff, I was delighted to take on this classic role with Christian’s own clever spin. If you’d like to watch a recording of the six plays (A Great Fall is first in the lineup), you can watch it here until June 30th! The performance was directed by Sylvia Cervantes Blush, and features Michael Barrett Austin as Nathan and Krystal Mosley as Alana.
And in fact, this was not my first go-round as this short-tempered egghead. I played Humpty in an original musical called Looking Glass! back when I was an undergraduate at Harvard.
I love working with writers and helping them develop their new scripts. If you’ve got a role you think I’m right for, don’t be shy about asking me to take part in a reading.
On Sunday, March 27th, I’ll be appearing in TADA’s Emerging Artists New Works Series. Talented playwright and director Sam Affoumado has asked me to take on his surrogate role of The Playwright in his new 20-minute comedy The Finalist, about a disgruntled playwright’s confrontation with two theatre interns who make the mistake of rejecting his script! It’s clever, funny, and sweet as well. It also speaks a lot of truths that need to be heard.
The performance will take place at TADA’s theatre at 15 West 28th Street, NYC, on 3/27 at 2pm Eastern. It’s one of three short pieces on the 2pm bill. Seating is very limited; if you’d like to see The Finalist and two other new works, you can buy tickets here.
I love working on new scripts, both short and full length. If you’re a playwright with a role that’s a good fit for me, don’t be shy about asking me to take part, whether it’s a reading or fully-staged performance!