I have secured and paid for rights to Michael Frayn's Copenhagen which will be produced in June of 2015 at the Radius Gallery in the Tannery Art Center. It is scheduled to open on June 12th and play through June 28th. There will be only 8 performances and seating will be limited to 40 per performce. Advance tickets will be available through Brown Paper Tickets (once the sales site is set up). Auditions for the three roles in the play, Neils Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, and Margrethe Bohr will be announced at a later date. Neils Bohr and Margrethe are in their 50's, while Heisenberg is in his early 40's. I will be producing and directing.
Copenhagen is an exploration of the meeting in 1941 between Bohr and Heisenberg. As two of the pre-eminent physicists of their time, they also shared a very close, almost familial relationship. But coming for opposite sides of the war, their friendship was destroyed by the secret meeting that was instigated by Heisenberg. What was it that Heisenberg wanting so desperately to convey to his well-respected colleague? Whatever it was lead to Bohr cutting all communication with his former partner. The play supposes a meeting long after the three characters are dead -- they come together once again to tackle what happened. Bohr's wife, Margrethe, acts as a commentator and referee as the two men once more cautiously approach the meeting. A different ending to the meeting could very well have changed the outcome of the war. This material is deep and profoundly disturbing. It is meant for mature audiences who don't need to have things blown up in front of them to enjoy a theatrical experience!
I'm seriously considering producing Michael Frayn's Copenhagen as my next venture. This play is a fascinating study of what might have happened during the famous (infamous?) wartime meeting between Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. Look for future postings as my plans finalize.
My production of Freud's Last Session closed on Saturday, June 21st. It was a very successful run from an artistic standpoint. Many wonderful comments from audience members and several people who returned to the show several times. It is a tribute to my actors, Nick Bilardello and Andrew Ceglio that they enthralled their audiences over and over again. This will be a hard show to let go of because of its deeper meanings and nuances. As the director, I sat through it many times and never got tired of it! If you get a chance to see a local production, I highly recommend it.
What is next for me? I'm not really certain. I will be auditioning for 'Death of a Salesman' in September (to be presented by Cabrillo College and directed by Wilma Chandler-Marcus). And I will be directing one of the 10 minute plays for the 8 Tens @ 8 in January. Of course, I'm looking for another vehicle which will inspire me as much as Freud's Last Session but that may be impossible to find! But I bet there is something out there!
Secured the rights to 'Freud's Last Session' by Mark St. Germain today! Very excited to bring this production to Santa Cruz with a cast of Nick Bilardello as Sigmund Freud and Andrew Ceglio as C.S. Lewis. The production is planned for 6/6/2014 through 6/21/2014 at Center Stage in Santa Cruz. The play, a long-running off-Broadway hit, posits a meeting between Freud and Lewis two weeks before Freud took his own life. It is a battle of wits between two of the great thinkers of our time. Lewis arrives at Freud's study expecting a dressing-down for a recent book of his in which he satirized Freud. Little does he know that Freud has something vastly different in mind. The play is set on the day that Britain entered WWII.
Two Women in a Garden
by John W. Lowell
A formal reading Friday, October 25th · 8PM - Broadway Playhouse, Santa Cruz
Featured readers will be Ann McCormick and Tara McMilin. The play is comprised of two quite different plays taking place in two quite different gardens. 'Charlotte and Olivia' - Charlotte is visited by her friend, Olivia. But is Olivia really a friend, and what is the mission she is on that brings her to Charlotte's garden. The play asks some very pointed questions about friendship. 'Angela and Grace' - Grace is having a garden party and her friend, Angela, shows up to help with the set-up. Grace soon reveals that she has something other than a party on her mind. It has to do with an 'art' installation on her neighbor's front lawn. To what lengths may we go to be rid of an eyesore?
Directed by Brian Spencer for SEETheatre (Spencer Entertainment Enterprises).
Suggested donation is $5.
A short play cycle by Neil LaBute
A Staged Reading, Broadway Playhouse, Santa Cruz, Saturday, October 26th @ 8pm
6 brief vignettes set in the confines of the front seat of a car. A montage that gradually reveals the force of words, what is said and left unsaid and the delicate balance between intention and morality.
Directed by Joan Van Antwerp for Van Antwerp Theatre Company with Jessica Buckley, Lisa Hadley, Megan Parle, Charles Woods, MarNae Taylor, Steve Capasso, Ann McCormick, Marty Jones, Avondina Wills, Robert Forrest, and Ian McRae
Suggested donation - $5
Off to first read-through of John W. Lowell's 'Two Women in a Garden' with Tara McMilin and Ann McCormick tonight at the Broadway Playhouse. We're piggy-backing on Joan Van Antwerp's time, so we may only be able to go through one of the plays, but it will be a start. Looking forward to working with both of these actresses.
I'm pleased to announce that Tara McMilin has agreed to join the 'Two Women in a Garden' project! We'll be having a first read-through (along with Joan Van Antwerp's pieces) at the Broadway Playhouse on Sunday, July 21st. Our first read-through (with Sue Clow helping out) went quite well and showed me the things that I especially like about the script.
Elaine has dropped out of the project to pursue personal goals. Anyone interested in joining the project - please contact Brian Spencer. Thank you.
First read-through of 'Two Women in a Garden' is scheduled for this coming Tuesday. With Ann McCormick and Elaine Sabatino. It will be held in a private garden setting to give us some atmosphere! It's going to be fun to begin work on this project and see where it takes us. There will be a formal reading in October at the Broadway Playhouse (Santa Cruz) at which we'll get a feeling for how the play sounds.
Brian will use this blog to express thoughts on theater in general and on aspects of his own theatrical company.