March has passed and the weather is picking up. It’s easy to forget the piles of snow that sat collecting dirt on the streets of NYC during this month as the temperature rises – and the easier it is to forget, I say, the better.
This month has been fast paced and productive for me. As mentioned in my last update, my newest piece MAGIC? in collaboration with Christopher Erlendson got accepted for performance to Dixon Place for a mid-April performance. Over this month, Christopher and I have busied ourselves with revising the script – a gargantuan task given that the whole play rhymes. We’ve also partnered up with the talented Kelly Catlin, a world class flutist and composer who will be scoring the show! Additionally, we have completed casting the show, sending out our press release, and creating a promotional video. It has been a lot of work, but that’s what it takes to bring work from a page to a stage.
Below is the video we made, featuring some of the artistic goals in creating the work. (Thank you to Mohammed Rabbani for creating this film!)
Details of the show are below:
Magical crimes, told in all-rhymes, chaos arrives, will magic survive?
See it April 19. Tickets are $15 presale ($12 for students) at http://dixonplace.org/performances/magic/
Synopsis: Strange reports of magicians losing their powers make their way to the royal magistrate. When two tricksters arrive with their fake magic show, the royal magistrate believes they have found the root of the problem. Facing arrest, the two escape to a mystical forest where they discover the true cause of why magic is disappearing. Having to choose between risking the wrath of the royal court or taking their discovery to their graves, the tricksters must decide whether saving a kingdom is more important than saving themselves.
March was also exciting in that I was interviewed by a student in Brooklyn College for my writing and involvement with Write the Night (a creative writing workshop series). The article focuses on my dedication to the creative arts and my change in career from medicine to the arts. One special person mentioned in the article is Dean Maria Conelli who has provided continuous support to my pursuit of this craft and has helped me shape my experience in medicine as contributory to my vision as an artist – a hearty thank you! (A photo of the two us, from my days as an undergraduate is to the right.) You can read the full article here.
Another one of my shows JUNG & CRAZY in collaboration with Robert Keller, was aimed for production this June at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, with details to be finalized early March. After much deliberation, Robert and I have agreed to cancel the show’s debut. This was a tough decision, but after weighing all the costs and benefits, we realized it would be a great strain to put on the show and we’d rather wait for a better opportunity with fewer obscurities in production. Such a decision, I think, is demonstrative of growth in both Robert and I as creators in that we are weighing each opportunity, investigating its costs and benefits and being selective about presentation. By making the most out of our presentation, we will result in higher quality experience for ourselves and our audiences.
Thanks for following! I hope to see you at the April performance of MAGIC? If you cannot make it, do not despair. This is but one stop along the train of performances and this work amongst my others are sure to perform again soon!
February is usually a tough time for me to stay focused and productive. The weather and short days of this time of year usually puts me in a lull where I feel immobilized and lethargic. This February, however, was different in that I surrounded myself with positive and energetic people and was able to overcome my usual hebetude. Also, my collaborators were helpful in keeping me present, focused, and positive – thank you Robert and Christopher.
I began the month by attending a Write the Night workshop (on Feb 1st) – I find that being around other writers make me more productive and energetic, necessary items in the lull of winter. The workshop series which aims at cultivating a creative community in NYC is completely free and takes place about once a week around NYC.
In the first week of February, I had a developmental staged reading of MAGNIFICENT SCIENTIFIC (a drama about medical research) in from of a sold out audience. The audience at the reading was extraordinarily helpful and provided exceptional feedback. I know what needs to be done to complete the next draft of the script and am currently at work in doing so.
The development reading of MAGNIFICENT SCIENTIFIC went wonderfully thanks to the exceptional actors and attendees. Cast from L to R: Victoria Giambalvo, Nathaniel Moore, Jazmin Williams, James Lorenzo, Eric Kirchberger, Aron Landy, Matthew Axil.
Mid-Febrary, I held another developmental staged reading of JUNG & CRAZY (a dark comedy about love, anxiety, and the ghost of Carl Jung) in NYC. My writing partner Robert Keller just moved to LA so he was unable to make it – but thanks to technology, he was able to command a virtual presence. The two of us got great feedback from this audience and got what we need to complete our next draft. Also, Robert and I are taking JUNG & CRAZY to the Hollywood Fringe Festival this June – after our reading, we began planning our summer production!
The development reading of JUNG & CRAZY went wonderfully thanks to the exceptional actors and attendees. Cast included: David Cutler, Stephanie Chloe Hepner, Danny Hoffman, Adam Schroeder.
Christopher Erlendson and I applied some lengthy hours to writing MAGIC? (an all-rhyming absurdist drama suitable for children and adults about magic, creativity, and discovery) and are nearing completing a first draft.This is way ahead of expected schedule because (dramatic music swells) the show was invited to perform at Dixon Place on April 19th! Dixon Place is a venue dedicated to the emerging artist – Christopher and I are very grateful to receive this opportunity to present our work. Over the next 2 months, we will finalize our script, cast and design the show – we have our work cut out for us! Put it in your calendar for now (Wednesday evening, 7:30PM April 19th 2017) – tickets will be available at a later point.
Lastly, my friend Florence Kim interviewed me for The Arts at Henson-Parks, a non-for profit dedicated to the arts in the community. Read the full article here. Thanks Florence for the writeup!
Thanks for following! Stay positive and surround yourself by good people. (Cats count.) Apollo and I say hello from Harlem.
January and 2017 has gotten off to a wonderful start. Let me fill you in on what happened this past month and what you can expect in February.
January began with my traveling up to Toronto to develop JUNG & CRAZY (a dark comedy about love, anxiety, and the ghost of Carl Jung) with my writing partner, Robert Keller. I was there for 4.5 days in which time Robert and I revised the first act and wrote the second. Such a pace was intensely rigorous but we got it done! At the end of my stay, we had a staged reading of the first act (for development towards Fringe production) with incredible actors and excellent feedback. Robert and I are further revising the script and are presenting the latest draft at a staged reading on February 19th in NYC. Details can be found here: LINK
The development reading of JUNG & CRAZY went wonderfully thanks to the exceptional actors and attendees. Cast from L to R: Vicki Kim, Robert Keller, Jerome Bourgault, Alona Metzer.
For most of the rest of the month, I revised MAGNIFICENT SCIENTIFIC (a second time, I couldn’t help myself). The script is a drama about medical research and aims at exposing some of its problems. I am presenting this at a staged reading on Feb 6 (tickets including standby are completely sold out – people care about this project!). I’ll let you know next month how it went!
The script MAGIC? (a family-friendly drama about magic and creativity in all rhymes) which I am collaborating with Chris Erlendson is on its way to completion. We are currently 25% finished the script and should have a first draft completed mid March.
WRITE THE NIGHT a creative writing workshop/community grown out of Brooklyn College's STUCK IN THE LIBRARY has officially launched its expansion in NYC. With over 6 workshops each month, the initial stage of adding this writing to community to NYC’s creative-sphere has been taken. Join me for a writing workshop if you’d like! They are 60 minutes in length, free to attend, and open to writers of all levels. For more information and register visit: www.WritetheNight.org
Thanks for following up! Hopefully February will prove to be just as rewarding as January. Come out to join me for a reading or writing workshop. Stay warm!
December has been a crazy month! Thanks for checking in, let me fill you in on what happened this past month and what you can expect in January.
The short play MAGIC? is being extended into a full 60 minute script in a new collaboration between the piece's director Chris Erlendson and myself. Moving forward, Chris and I aim to write the piece together sharing writer responsibilities -- Chris will retain his Director's cap and I hope to acquire an Assistant Director's hat. The extended piece is a lot sweeter, rhythmic, and magical than the original 10 minute version. Here, Chris and I take the viewer into a world where magic, a once overadbundant commodity, is vanishing. A group of charlatan magicians who use their imaginations to perform tricks get framed as culprits of negating magic when in fact they were doing nothing wrong! How these vegabonds rediscover true magic and prove to the kingdom its use is a magical story we hope to tell in entire rhyme! Timeline of this project is still being determined!
MAGNIFICENT SCIENTIFIC, a drama about medical research is in its final stages of revision after a closed development workshop. This project may seem stagnant because of how quiet I've been about it but in January I will schedule a development reading (when and where to be determined) and will kick off some serious work on this script. After the first week of January, draft 3 of this script will be complete -- a gargantuan accomplishment given the script is 85 pages long and is being rewritten for its the 3rd time. Yes, that's a lot of writing but even more yesses, that's a lot of revising. Soon you will help me get to draft 4 and 5!
Thanks for following up! Hopefully January will prove to be just as rewarding as December. Wishing you a happy New Year. 2017 is here, and so are you! Let's make things happen.
December is an exciting month. Right at its get go, my co-writer Robert Keller and I presented in a developmental reading our first draft of JUNG & CRAZY, a dark comedy about anxiety, love and the ghost of Carl Jung. The purpose of this reading was to engage theater connoisseurs in a closed setting for feedback on the work, which we did recieve in excellent porportions. Thank you to Robert Keller, Tara Merdjanoff, Adam Schroeder, and Victoria Giambavalo for reading! Robert and I aim to complete the next draft of this play over the next month, so stay tuned!
Later this month I'm particiapting in the LeeLa NYC Festival "A Play in a Day" which is where writers, directors, and actors have one day (combined) to complete a short play. The results of this day of labor will be displayed at 8:30pm on Sunday December 11 at Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Avenue Astoria, NY 11105. (Nearest Train stops: N, Q to Astoria-Ditmars Blvd) Tickets are only $5. Link to event: here Link to facebook event: here
More happening this month are the continuation of Write the Night in both Harlem and Washington Heights. I'll also be collaborating with Chris Erlendson on MAGIC? to extend it into a full length play!
A happy December to you!
Thanks for subscribing to my monthly updates. This part of my website will be the place where I get to tell you things. Let me share with you how my November has been.
Early in November, my new short play MAGIC? performed at the LIC 1 Act Festival where it was nominated for an award thanks to the wonderful talent of those involved. The piece which is a mostly all-rhyming absurdist comedy received positive feedback so Chris Erlendson (the show's Director) and I are in talks of lengthening the piece...
Later in November, my Fringe collaborator Robert Keller and I have begun writing our piece JUNG & CRAZY, a dark comedy about anxiety, the ghost of Carl Jung, and anxiety. We're having such a great time writing it and hope our positive energy transmits through the words of the piece and allow for a good laugh (and cry).
Lastly, Thanksgiving has arrived and beckons a proclamation of gratitude. I am thankful to my loving grandparents Asher and Rachel Rubin who are my greatest fans and supporters. I'm also grateful for my twin brother and fake triplet Moshe and Ilona Bressler who provide me with great food and emotional support. A big hoorah to all my friends, writing buddies, and theater cronies.
Stay tuned for December's newsletter because it's coming real soon!