Monday, March 30, 2009

Fewer Artsy Posts it seems

The difficulty with continuing to post while so entrenched in a show, is
that every thought I have abut art is about the show. And so of the stuff
I am thinking about doesn't really need to be aired out. I don't have to
write extensive posts about production difficulties. Also, i don't want to
turn this blog into a place where i am constantly high fiving myself for
the public every time we have a good rehearsal. others have said it, and I
concur... it is sometimes easier to write about theatre when you are up in
your knees doing it.


Grand Guignol Website

Friday, March 27, 2009

Layman's Blues aka Producing Rant

Trying to get these damn cards for the show has turned into this damn ridiculous task. The vendor sends me proofs with notes/instructions that the person on the phone admits are unclear. I can't make the required changes to the artwork until I get home to my computer where I have graphic design software installed. By then the vendor's office is closed, and lo and behold... today is day 3 that they tell me there is yet another problem with the artwork.

The whole thing could be solved with specific directions created for lay people who are the majority of folks who are going to be using a site like this anyhow. What all this means probably is that they wont go to print on the job until Monday which will delay my receiving the materials for a week! Still plenty of time to get the cards and get the word out. But, I am over it! This task should have been taken off the todo list Tuesday!

Producing rant over!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stuff and Stuff

So it seems that the amount of time I spent actually making theatre greatly effects the amount of time I can dedicate to blogging. That... and being sick the past two weeks. The number of shows I've been seeing has dropped to nil, but I knew that could happen once rehearsals started to kick in. This flu thing didn't make matters any better in that dept either.

I wish I could have gotten to Lost Shakespeare Play. I have a lot of respect for the folks involved in that, but schedules and illness stopped it. I also wanted to see Laika's Dream at Building Stage's puppet festival, but...see above.

You may have noticed that I've been putting up scenes for a work in progress call Rough Cut Fairy Tale (link to scene one). This is a piece that will be constantly developing in small ways here at the blog until the show goes up later this summer at Right Brain Project.

The majority of my thought process right now is being consumed by all things Mammals. Our production of Devils Don't Forget is still a month away, but I've been busy doing that thing I do (which appears to be everything). I am really excited for this show, and that has alot to do with this cast. They are amazing. Please come check out this show and invite some friends from facebook as well!

Also, I am in mid rehearsal for Side Project. This show I think is going to be a great little piece. The gang we've recruited to perform the piece is nice. It might be the first time in a long time that I'm working with actors that I didn't know before I saw them at auditions. That is kind of exciting. It forces me to reanalyze my process.

There are other projects as well, but I've got to start putting first things first and worry about those bridges after I've crossed a few spans between here and there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Devils Don't Forget

The Mammals Theatre Company presents


written and directed by Bob Fisher

“It's like Dario Argento putting flowers on the grave of Raymond Chandler” - Nick Green w/The Reader

DEVILS DON'T FORGET – An amnesiac tries desperately to not remember his past, convinced that he was an accessory to some unspeakable evil. But his amnesia provides no refuge when devils he had hoped to forget return to collect their due. Inspired by 50’s hardboiled noir as well as classic Grand Guignol, DEVILS DON'T FORGET is an atmospheric descent into a metropolis populated with Femme Fatales, Punch Drunk Gangsters, and Shadowy Figures seemingly supernatural. It is the story of a man who tries to escape a demonic global conspiracy using self induced amnesia.

DEVILS DONT FORGET is the second of three plays in a cycle entitled THE NOIR TRIPTYCH. Part One was BREED WITH ME, originally presented in Spring of 2003 (Highly Recommended, Chicago Reader). Part Three, THE MEATLOCKER is currently targeted to premiere in winter of 2009.

To find out more go to the Mammals blog at

Cast: Dennis Frymire, Susan Myburgh, Don Hall, Gabe Garza, Nicolle Van Dyke, Katherine Swan, Anya Clingman, and Adam Dodds

Asst Director: Brian Seitel
Costume Design: Sarah Elizabeth Miller

Performance Dates are as follows
May 1,2
May 8,9
May 15,16
May 22,23

All performances are at 8pm – BYOB
RBP – Rorschach Space
4001 N. Ravenswood Ste 405
Chicago, IL 60613

Performances From May 1st thru May 16th are free admission. Donations will be graciously accepted. May 22nd and May 23 will be closing weekend fundraisers. Tickets for May 22nd and May 23rd are $15.00 (post show party and drinks included)

Reservations can be made by calling 866-593-4614

Things lately

Have I told you that being sick sucks? Well, it is getting better anyway. I am feeling a little stronger each day since this thing started, but I am still not 100%. Yesterday I had a small patch of time where I almost felt perfectly healthy. It was extremely weird and wonderful. The hardest thing to do at such a time is not to get dressed and go for walk or something, because I know that if you just give it 15 minutes or so and I'll be back to that shitty shitty feeling in my head. I've been told this shitty feeling could a dozen different things (usually by the same doctors). Virus, Seasonal allergies, Indoor Allergies, sudden onset of side effects from pills they put me, etc.etc.etc. Personally I think it is a combination of seasonal allergies and pill side effects. I think my body can handle either one but not both. So, we are taking a 2 week vacation from the pills. Alas...

The hardest part of the this whole thing has been having to cancel rehearsals. I don't like cancelling any rehearsal. Rehearsal is usually the best part of my day.

Despite that, the rehearsals that we have been able to do for Devils Dont Forget have been wonderful. I am always so pleased with everything the actors are bringing to the space each night. It is a little hard to only get to rehearse with most of them 2 nights a week, but so far they've all been doing their homework and it shows.

I can't wait for people to see this show! I am so proud of this cast!

Play's I'd Like to See

Plays I'd Like to See

Werewolf versus Bigfoot

One hungers for blood beneath the full moon...

the other yearns for isolation from the prying eyes of modern man.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rough Cut Fairy Tale Scene % Percentage

Scene %

(Birdy and Turtle)

Can you tell me something nice about her. Anything nice at all?

What does that mean?

Every story is about how she worried. How she attempts to control us from beyond the grave

It is for our own good

But, it is at odds with my dreams

Your dreams are worthy of you. Mother knew that

See, this is exactly what I mean. Always this kind of talk when we talk about mother. A scowl and pointing finger from beyond the grave. Did she ever do anything other than scold and warn?

She loved us

Well then I want to hear about something loving

She used to sing to us.

OK, that's nice what did she sing?

"Slow and Steady wins the race"

Of course she did

Close you eyes and I'll sing it to you. I love that song!


Brian Williams

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Plays I'd Like To See

Plays I'd Like to See

Ode to a Fourth Grade Fantasy

Escaped convict builds an armored motorcycle that can talk. They become best pals and plan on pirating a hellish path through the American wastelands till they discover the Devil is recruiting minions at all the trucks stops in all the states in a bid to take over the world.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Rudolph Wurlitzer's Drop Edge of Yonder

Sort of a literary equivilent to Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man.

Anyone who enjoys reading any Cormac McCarthy has no business passing on this book. Perhaps the most enjoyable read I've had since Harry Crew's Feast of Snakes.

The novel has a website, a little bit dizzying, but maybe that is a good thing.

This guy is my new favorite author. I think I'm going to have to buy all his books.


This is pretty amazing stuff.

Poetry matters

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene Twelve)

Scene Twelve

(Birdy and Snailman)

I did it

Where is she?

I left her

Bring her here


We'll use her


To serve us


I want her body to make our slime.

I thought you wanted me

I do. I do

Then forget her. You can't have us both.

Ok..ok...shhh shhh

Meatlocker Sneak Peak

click to enlarge

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene Eleven)

Scene Eleven

(Turtle and Birdy)

I know what you're thinking. I know you're thinking about leaving me

Yes I am.

Leaving our nest, our shell.

I have to

You can't

I will

Mother was wrong!

Mother! Did we ever have a mother?

Yes! And she loved us! You don't talk about her! You don't get tot talk about mother!


You are evil. Mother was wrong. She told me I had to protect you from the world, from all the evils of the world. But when I look at you all I see is evil.

Don't tempt me

Selfish, selfish evil!

Fine, I'm leaving

You can try. But you're tied to the shell. The spell of the shell. You have to return.

(Birdy takes the forks and pries the top shell off of the bottom. Turtle falls into a coma. Birdy flees)

I told you not to tempt me!

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene Ten)

Scene Ten

(Box Man follows Birdy home)

You're thinking about shells. There is a difference between a turtle's shell and a snail's. A turtle's shell can feel confining but there are at least a couple ways to crawl out of it for a time. With a snail's shell, it is much prettier no doubt, but once you take your first turn in, you're lead to another and another, all the while the road gets narrower and narrower. As the portal gets smaller so too shrinks your will to ever climb out. You'll glaze over. You'll swim in the slime. Your will to ever set out on your own, to be your own person, it will just evaporate. And, you'll be at the mercy of the mollusk. Believe me, you are the prettiest thing a male could set his eyes on, but after a month of dunking into smile, the apple with lose a little of its shine and then your Snailman might start taking you for granted.

(He hands Birdy a pair of little forks)

You're going to do what you're going to do. But you can use these to help crawl back out if you ever change your mind.

(Birdy walks away)

When you change your mind.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene Nine)

Scene Nine

(Snailman speaks with Birdy who is drunk on the slime emitted from Snailman's fingers)

Have you considered my offer

Yes. I think I'm ready.

What are you prepared to do?

I was just going to slip my key under the door tonight and come back here.

But, she wont be able to let go of you so easily

She'll have no choice

If you truly want to break with her then you will have to crack her shell


You are bound to her because of her shell. It is both your shells. A shell is a hard thing to become unbound from

But she'll need the shell after I leave.

She'll use the shell to stay strong, and then she'll use that strength to bind you to her. I know what I'm speaking about. I have experience with shells.

So, I can't just leave one shell for another?

I wont let you in this shell until I know that your mine. All mine.

But, if I crush the would kill her.

I don't think so. She isn't really a turtle.

She's been a turtle as long as I cant remember?

How is it you became sisters?

We've always been sisters

A Bird and A turtle? Sisters? What sort of specie are you then?

I don't know.

You're parents?

I don't know.

I think your sister pretends she is a turtle. If I am right, she'll survive when you crack the shell

I wont do it.

(He pulls his finger away)

Then leave me.

(She grabs for the finger, he withholds)

What are you prepared to do?

I don't want to hurt her.

I think you should leave

When can I return.

You know my mind.

I can't

You will come to hate her. And when that happens, you will do it. And, I'll be here waiting to embrace you, waiting to nurse you not with one, but with all ten fingers...all ten toes. If you break her shell and give yourself to me, all my appendages shall yours.

I don't know.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene Eight)

Scene Eight
(Birdy Talks to a doll. Turtle spies)

I'll admit I've made some mistakes, but that is not going to be the reason why I stop living. I have seen the results of fear and I do not want to live my life that way.

Every mistake is another anecdote to my life. When they read back the book that was written about who I was and what I did, I don't want it to read..Birdy was a good girl who never got into any trouble and as a result never had an exciting day in her life. Among Birdy's great skill set were washing dishes, cleaning windows, monitoring the behavior of small children, and making babies stop crying.

I want them to say that she was a wild one unlike any other that has come this way. I want them to say she took every opportunity to drink deep from the cup of life. That when offered a chance at adventure, Birdy always said yes!

I love my sister, but I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to live like this. Her fears didn't bother me quite so much when I was a child. Back then I wasn't aware of all the thing life had to offer that she was constantly turning away on behalf of us both. When I think about the kind of wild child I might have been without her acting as a constant joy kill, a perpetual barrier to me from myself... Well i could have been a pirate or a scientist anything other than a homemaker and nest builder.

Sometimes, I hate Turtle. I hate what she has become, and what she would has become of me!

(A quiet prayer to her sister who, she thinks is not listening)

Don't make me hate you Turtle! Don't make me hate you!

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene Seven)

Seven Scene
(Turtle and Birdy discuss Turtle's day)

I saw a man today. I thought he was one of your men.

I only have one man.

Snail man, Box man...

The Box man is not 'my' man. He is just a man. So,

He was wearing an overcoat. I thought he might be some sort of serial rapist, child molester, or an exhibitionist at the very least

Did he flash you


Too bad. You could use a good flashing

He must have caught me looking at him, because he quite suddenly took a detour from what had to have been his route and started to follow me.

What did you do?

Well, at first I tried to ignore him. I told myself that it was all in my head, but then without being able to control myself I picked up my pace and then I could hear him picking up his pace behind me.

Where was this? Were you in a public area? Was it just the two of you?

That is probably why I didnt break into a sprint. That and I had the shell with me too. It was too heavy for me to be able to run.

You don't have to carry that thing on your back everywhere

Yes I do!

Anyway, what happened

Well, I was trying not to hyperventilate. I knew the street was full of other people, and I hoped that someone would have the decency to stop this man if he tried to do anything uninvited and lurid. I saw that there was a crosswalk ahead and that the light was turning yellow. So, I tried with all my might to speed up in the hopes that I could use the red light and oncoming traffic to seperate myself from this predator, but I couldnt get there in time. The onslaught of cars glued me to the curb. Then like he was beside me trying to pretend that he was oblivious to me, to my desire to be undisturbed, unmolested. He slowly reached for the button of his overcoat. His breathing became pronounced. He twisted evilly at the button unaware of his force til it popped off his chest like a cola cap. I could hear a slow fizzing soda pop sound. Something was shaking inside him fighting to push through his bottle top. His fingers toyed with the flaps of his jacket. I tried to scream but I couldn't. My throat wouldnt work. I clenched my fists preparing to beat off his advance. I closed my eyes. And then... nothing. I slowly opened my eyes and turned. His coat was wide open but all I could see was rows of pirated DVD hanging from the inside of his overcoat.

He was trying to sell you a movie

He was filthy. I got off lucky. He could have tried to force his carnality on me.

What world do you live in?

This world! Understand that? I live in this world! You're the one pumping her body full of chemicals to escape to another place!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who has time to post?

Man o man. I am running running run...

Haven't found the time yet to really sit down and write a post, but this past weekend was pretty damn full again. Watchman, Strange Interlude, Zift, Callbacks for Blessed Child, WNEP board meeting, Side Project production meeting...

(wake up bob...wake up!)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Do you have a spare moment to talk theatre, life, etc?

So I have been drinking deeply from the cup of life lately. It has made my life wonderful. It has also meant that I wonder if I'll ever have free time again. I am sure that I will, but hyperbole aside... It would be great to sleep in on the weekends again.

Some of the things I've been up to lately.

Seeing stuff!

Tonight - Watchmen!

Saw Timeline's Not Enough Air. It was my first Timeline show since 1999 when I first came into the city. I guess I always had a warm feeling when I thought of them because PJ Powers was pretty decent to me when I first came to Chicago. The show was very impressive, and my buddy Mary Jo Bolduc (soon to be a character in THE MEATLOCKER graphic novel) was understudy.

Tomorrow I get to see Strange Interlude at the Goodman. This will complete my O'Neill Fest experience. Aside from Emperor Jones (which I saw way back in the day at the Wooster's Performance Garage anyway) I will have attended the entire fest. I am so sorry to see it end, like a big fat novel one enjoys over a couple of months and realizes there are only 20 pages til it is finished. I hope to write something comprehensive about how impressive this festival was, and why I hope the Goodman will continue this sort of programming.

Next week I've be checking out the Puppetry & Toy theatre events at Building Stage and hopefully getting to see The White Airplane by Darren Callahan (a friend to the Mammals).

Last weekend, I sat through a total of 16 hours of auditions between 2 days (you try that!). I also saw Mourning Becomes Electra (awesome) as well as attending the first House Show I've ever seen, Rose and the Rime.


Right now we are trying to find a replacement for a friend who had to drop out of the next Mammals show Devils Don't Forget. Also, I am beginning to write preliminary notes for Right Brain Project's summer show. This Sunday morning is callbacks for Halcyon's Alycone Fest. I am directing Blessed Child by Astrid Saalbach (an amazing play). After that zooming over to Don's for WNEP company meeting (I am a recently inducted company member), and after footing it to the Side Project for Production Meetings for Atom Smashers part of the Cut to the Quick Play Festival.




you can imagine

I am exhausted. But, it is a good sort of exhausted. However, today I have started looking at the calendar and penciling in "Free Time" on various dates (times where I don't have to be anywhere and where I will not schedule to be anywhere other than in front of the TV, or enjoying air conditioning at the Movies, or sitting in the Starbucks reading, or trying to cultivate my personal life. You know that sort of thing. But, it is wonderful to be in this sort of place right now. Wonderful that the weather is turning, baseball is on the TV... I am ready for this to be the best Summer yet!

Bring on the warmth!

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene Six)

Scene Six

(Birdy and Snailman at his rave)

I want another finger full of that stuff you got

You and everyone else

Hey, I thought we had something here?

No offense, but how do we know I'm not out of your league

Hey, stow the conceded crap fella

(Snailman shrugs, goes to flirt with another girl, Birdy starts shaking)

Is this the DTs? Or am I scared of something and that's what is making me shake?

I sure hate watching you shake

Well then do something

You ought to hang out here more often

I'm here almost every night

Then you go home

To Turtle

You ought to think about hanging you hat here.

I do like you

I want you. I want to know where you're at. I want you here where I can give you the finger anytime I want


Think about it

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene 5)

Scene Five

(Turtle and Birdy before dawn)

Why did you do it?

I thought he knew what he was doing

He is shabby unkempt ugly

The ugly ones are usually smart

Did he break anything

I'm resilient.

Don't go out tonight. Take a night off.

I don't have to go out tonight

You shouldn't let a box man like that rub himself all over you.

It was worth it?

How could it be worth it?

(Birdy pulls out a piece of cardboard)

I got this while he was moaning and groaning.

We shouldn't have that here in the nest

Relax. It's probably only a week's worth anyway

I don't like it

More for me

(Turtle starts crying)


It just breaks my heart thinking about all the dirty things you have to do to get cheap thrills

Ugh! It aint just a cheap thrill. It is life Turtle. This...this is real. This is living! I can't sit here and home and let you braid my hair forever. I aint old. You aint either. You ought to try a little, before it is too late and you aint nothing but walking dead.

I've seen what this stuff can do

Have you ever done it

(pause) No

Why did you pause?


You paused

No I didn't

Yes you did

I hiccuped


Yes! You've got me so upset! I always get hiccups when I'm upset!

I didn't see you hiccup

(She hiccups and bubbles over)

I'm going in the box

Fine! I'm going to bed



Ok you can click on the image and check it out. This is sculpture and it is excellent. Go to the site for a better look.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene 4)

Scene 4

(Birdy stuck outside Snailman's club, Man in a Box is there)

I can't get in

Why not. Can't they recognize a beauty when they see it?

Too full I guess

Can't they understand your unmistakable hotness

There's a cop squad waiting for a reason to run in there and roll some heads

Are they blind to divinity of your thighs, and holy cow that is some soft soft skin
Give me some space man

I got some space for ya, outer space for ya

Put your hands in your back pockets, then tell me more

This box is my club. It aint much from the outside, but step inside beautiful

(He tears off a piece of cardboard and puts it on his tongue)

Do as i do

Let me countdown first.

Countdown to launch. Launch to space.

10, 9, 8... Ok give me some of that box already

Show me your box. I'll show you mine.

I aint that into you

Well, then throw your pearls before the swine that wont let you inside cause they can recognize a beauty when they see it

Lookzy but No Touchzy

Alright, but I want a nice long look

Lets do this

Start the countdown over

(Birdy shows Boxman her box)

10, 9,8


7, 6, 5, 4,

(Birdy stops)

What happened

Houston, we have a problem


Not yet


Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene 3)

Scene Three

(Turtle and Birdy at breakfast)

Relax please

Not now

But I need you too


I can't relax if you don't

I said not now

But, I should have some say when we relax


Because I am the one who tends the nest

I said Thank you

That's all? Thank you and good day to you whenever it suits your purpose

Stop whining

I tend this nest everyday

Do i have to thank you again and again over and over every morning?

Why not

How many times must I thank you

Is it really that hard? Really that much of a chore to thank me for the gifts I provide

It felt like a gift before all this

It is still a gift

No, a gift wouldn't have so much tedium attached. Gifts are for good times. Or they aren't gifts

The gift is for not good times. The gift is good times.

They why are you bringing me down?

Please I need you to do this

Kiss me bye. I'll be back whenever

Monday, March 02, 2009

Rough Cut Fairy Tale (Scene 1 & 2)

Working on a bit of script for RBP right now. This is the first scribblings.

Scene One

(Two sisters Birdy and Turtle)

I’d like very much for this is light and easy

You don’t know the meaning of heavy and hard

I know you

Yeah? So?

You’re heavy and hard

I am turtle

I am not a turtle

You have been sitting on my shell

I’ve built a nest there

So you’re a bird

And, I bring you so many things

From your travels

Turtle is very stable, too stable to soar

Ha ha

Where would you get all the little objects if it weren’t for me

I’d have to learn to live without them

I could never do that

You don’t know that. You don’t know what you can and cant live with out because you’ve been giving everything you ever wanted

You sound bitter


What then

I’d just like to hear a thank you. You have these things because I let you nest on my back

Thank you…What? What?

Do you mean it?


Well, then can’t you say it like you mean it?

I did. If I mean it, I mean it, and it doesn’t matter how I say it.

Not true.

How should I say it

Say it slow and soft. Say it like a dandelion would


Forget it


Scene Two

(Rave. Snail Man walks over real slow. Looks at Birdy)

Put my finger in your mouth

(Birdy does)

How does it taste?

Slow, languid.

It tastes languid.

Slow spring bloom

Paint drying



That sound boring. This is not boring
Summer rain that wont hit the asphalt

It cant man. It cant. Why would it want to

I beat my wings and fly fly fly, but this is different

Float, like cool whip.

Give me your other finger