I try to get to the Ukulele World Congress every June, when I can, but this year Michigan Shakes made that impossible. Fortunately, those uke kids love each other so much that even when they're not together they want to be, so a new online event has emerged. A bi-weekly song swap, where we are partnered off and suggest songs to each other to learn and record. Here's my entry for the first week. It's my arrangement of the classic CSN number, Just A Song Before I Go. I had a great time working up the riffs on this one.
Announcements, musings, interesting articles, new uke vids... you know, the stuff.
I'm excited to announce that I will be joining the 2016 company of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. I'll be playing a number of character roles in their season of Richard II, As You Like It, and The Killer Angels. I've heard wonderful things about this company, and I always love to spend the summer at what amounts to adult sleepaway camp with a focus on Shakespeare. I have made some of my closest friends at Shakespeare Festivals like this, and look forward to this new opportunity and experience.
Here we are, Wednesday of week three on The Snow.
Since last I posted, we have completed blocking, built a bunch of shadow puppet sequences, learned a slew of original music and stumbled through the play a couple of times. On Saturday, we move into the theater. That is a bunch of stuff to have completed on a brand new play. What a whirlwind.
A whirlwind made even whirlier by my performance in The Back Room Shakespeare Project As You Like It -- an off book, one rehearsal, one-night-only performance at The County Clare. That happened this past Monday.
Even whirlier, you say? How about a couple of auditions and callbacks -- all of which went well, but are not yet ready to be announced. I will be leaving town for the summer, but where is still be determined. How's that for a cliffhanger?*
In the meantime, come see The Snow, if you can. It is so funny, and a lovely tale well told. Heartwarming, whimsical, crafty, clever, and a raucous good time. All the things you want in a play...
*As soon as I have announcable news, I will announce it.
Looking ever forward to getting back to work on Tuesday. Rehearsals for The Snow, a new play commissioned by First Stage, Oregon Children's Theater, and Majik Theater, begin! The play is a hilariously witty fairy tale about a young boy's epic journey to save his village. It's an ensemble based piece, with a minimalist aesthetic — so, right up my alley — and we'll be making our own music onstage, so I'll be playing some uke and guitar. Additionally, I'll be the movement consultant, collaborating with director Jeff Frank on puppetry, action sequences, and whatever else we may need.
I've had a month off since A Charlie Brown Christmas, which was much needed time, but I've been itching to work on this piece ever since I read some pages way back in Fall 2013. Plus it's a great group of folks — old friends Karen Estrada and Tim Linn are on board, as well as some folks who are new to me, and a cadre of young performers, ready to rock and roll.
The Snow runs February 26 to March 20. You'll want to see it. More info here
I've been toiling in Apple's iweb for too long. Here's a shiny new site with the help of squarespace. Updated photos, press quotes, résumés, you name it. Plus, at long last a section for my work with the ukulele.