Theater by Design

As you may recall, the show I directed, Doublewide, Texas is currently playing at CAT Theatre through June 16.

CAT recently announced their 2018-2019 Season, their 55th. As I have for the past few years, I designed the promotional graphics.

Boeing, Boeing by Marc Camoletti, Beverley Cross, Francis Evans
September 7 through 22, 2018
Come fly with us in this 1960 French farce adapted for the English-speaking stage that features self-styled Parisian lothario Bernard, who has Italian, German, and American fiancées, each a beautiful airline hostess with frequent “layovers.” He keeps “one up, one down, and one pending” until unexpected schedule changes bring all three to Paris, and Bernard’s apartment, at the same time.

A Doublewide, Texas Christmas by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten
November 30 through December 15, 2018
Our favorite trailer park gang is back. In this outrageously funny sequel to “Doublewide,Texas,” it’s Christmas-time in the newest – and tiniest – town in Texas. And it’s beginning to look a lot like trouble in Doublewide. Not only are the trailer park residents dealing with the stress of the holiday season, but they’ve just discovered that Doublewide is being doubled-crossed by the county. With their official incorporation papers in jeopardy, these eccentric Texans throw themselves into taking on the “Big Guys,” starting with the county-wide “Battle of The Mangers” competition.

Becky’s New Car by Steven Dietz
February 8 through 23, 2019
CAT’s entry into the Acts of Faith Theatre Festival asks if you have ever been tempted to flee your own life. Becky Foster is caught in middle age, middle management and in a middling marriage—with no prospects for change on the horizon. Then one night a socially-inept and grief-struck millionaire stumbles into the car dealership where Becky works. Becky is offered nothing short of a new life and the audience is offered a chance to ride shotgun with her. This is a story about choices and consequences, about taking that different road you always wondered about.

BINGO! The Winning Musical by Ilene Reid, Michael Heitzman, David Holcenberg
April 19 through May 4, 2019
Come play bingo with us in a musical comedy about a group of die-hard bingo players who stop at nothing to get to their weekly game. In between the number calling, strange rituals and fierce competitions, love blossoms and long-lost friends reunite. These lovable characters spring to life with a smart, funny script and bouncy, hummable score. Audiences will be laughing in the aisles when they aren’t playing games of bingo along with the cast!

Office Hours by Norm Foster
June 7 through 22, 2019
It’s Friday afternoon in the big city and, in six different offices, six different stories are unfolding at the same time. However, they are all connected somehow, from the figure skater on the ledge to the novelist in the closet. The characters are all intent on holding their lives together by keeping reality at bay, and the denials are achingly funny in this sometimes sweet, sometimes sad, sometimes poignant race toward quitting time.

Have graphic design needs for your project? Hit me up in the comment section.

When you’ve done all that you can…

It’s Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day.

Did you remember to pause and be thankful for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom? That’s what Memorial Day is.

Independence Day (everybody has a Fourth of July) is when we celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Veteran’s Day is when we honor all veterans.

Pretty simple really. But sometimes in all the hoopla of sales and picnics and pool openings, things get a little fuzzy.

I don’t have time for things to get fuzzy this week. If you’re reading this on Tuesday morning, as you should be, then I have exactly three rehearsals, one of which is an Invitational Dress Rehearsal (IDR) for Doublewide, Texas.

Doublewide, Texas opens this Friday, June 1, at 8:00 p.m. at CAT Theatre.

And when that curtain goes up at 8:00 p.m., I’m done. At that point there’s nothing left that I can do for the show. Good or bad. Right or wrong.

Years ago, when I was a Meetings and Convention planner in DC, I used to plan five-day annual meetings that would have somewhere between 1,000-2,000 attendees. The final event was the annual awards banquet. I knew when that banquet began that, other than the cleanup and the going home and the paying the bills, I was done. There was nothing else I could do.

The catering staff knew that the bottle of red wine went immediately to the right of my spoon.

Then, I remember that one time in Seattle when the convention center staff, and meeting attendees kept sending drinks to my table. At one point there were some 6-8 glasses in front of me. Granted, at least one of them was water.

No, I didn’t finish them all. But I did dance very well that night.

That’s another story.

No one will be putting a glass of red wine by my seat in the theatre on Friday night. There will be wine at the Opening Night Reception, but I don’t think I’ll get close to six or eight glasses.

But, like I said, when the lights go up on stage it’s out of my control.

Truth is, I’ll be letting go after the Thursday night dress rehearsal.

The realization of that hit me last week.

I’ve lived with this play and these characters for the last year. And I’ve worked with these actors and this crew since March.

On Friday night, my work, other than showing up for strike, will be done.

They’re ready. I’ve no doubt about that.

I’ve done the best I can. I’ve been blessed with an incredible cast and crew.

You will be missing out if you don’t see this show.

Saying goodbye won’t be easy.

But, I think back to nearly four years ago when I found it quite difficult to say goodbye to Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure and the quote that summed it all up.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

– A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I’ll be saying goodbye to Doublewide, Texas, but there are other projects ahead.

Two that I know of and can speak of…

Playwright, Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy
River City Community Players
Performed at John Tyler Community College
October 5-14, 2018

Director, You Can’t Take It With You
Williamsburg Players
March 29 – April 13, 2019

There’s more in the works, along with the novel, and maybe at least one more script.

But, for now, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my time in a little trailer park outside of Tugaloo, Texas.

Y’all come.

Cross posted at The Write Side of My Brain.

Exciting News


After nearly three years of writing and editing, a local read thru that brought more revisions, and a lot of rethinking and final revisions, I am pleased to announce that my script Clean Dry. Socks: Diary of a Doughboy will be produced this October 5-14 by River City Community Players.  The performances will be at the Midlothian Campus of John Tyler Community College.

Put me down for a bundle of nerves and excitement.

More details as I have them.

Production Updates

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.
– Thornton Wilder

Things are progressing on the theatre front.  You already know that I’m directing Doublewide, Texas at CAT Theatre, June 1-16, 2018.  The show has been cast, rehearsals are well underway, and set construction started this weekend.

The new news, if you will, is that this week Williamsburg Players announced their 2018-2019 season. I will be directing the classic comedy You Can’t Take It With You written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, March 29-April 13, 2019.

There’s more news coming with regard to my original script Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy, but I can’t quite talk about that yet.

All of this means a lot of juggling, a lot of prioritizing, and figuring out what is, and isn’t going to be done.

That’s all to say that the productions will go on. And we’ll keep building this business.

Have a production need? Have an event you need produced? That’s what I do.

More news is coming.  Stay tuned.

I’m directing a thing

Here at Historic Occasions I talk about the script I’ve been working on that is closer and closer to completion.  But that’s not all we offer.

This spring I’ll be directing Doublewide, Texas, the final mainstage show of CAT Theatre’s 54th Season.  Auditions are coming up.

Here’s the official announcement:

CAT Theatre will conduct auditions for Doublewide, Texas by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten (Dixie Swim Club, The Red Velvet Cake Wars) on Sunday, March 11 and Monday, March 12 at 7 pm. Auditions will be held at the theatre at 319 North Wilkinson Road, Henrico.

Doublewide, Texas runs from June 1 through June 16, 2018.

Doublewide, Texas rounds out CAT’s 54th season with this hilarious, fast-paced comedy, where the inhabitants of one of the smallest trailer parks in Texas – four doublewides and a shed – are thrown for a loop when they realize the nearby town of Tugaloo is determined to annex them. Friends, enemies and neighbors realize they’ll have to work together to defeat the encroaching annexation if they – and their way of life – have a snowball’s chance to survive being swallowed up by ‘the big guys.’

Director Mike Fletcher is seeking three men and six women. All actors will be paid. NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY.

The characters are as follows (ages are flexible):

• Joveeta Crumpler (F, 40s) — vivacious and driven, she has had it up to here, having been passed over again for a promotion at work.
• Caprice Crumpler (F, 70s) — Joveeta’s beer swilling, feisty mother who tends not to dress her age.
• Norwayne “Baby” Crumpler (M, 40s) — Joveeta’s good ol’ boy brother who is taking his participation in a womanless beauty pageant way too seriously.
• Big Ethel Satterwhite (F, 50s) — nurse at the Stairway to Heaven Retirement Village. She’s nobody’s fool but a fool at heart.
• Geogia Dean Rudd (F, 40s) — ball of fire, owns a diner, takes in every stray animal she comes across
• Lark Barken (F, early 20s) — baby on the way and down on her luck, looking for a job and a place to stay.
• Haywood Sloggett (M, 70s) — curmudgeon who lives across the road from the Crumplers and loathes their “trailer-trash” ways.
• Lomax Tanner (M, 40s) — officious city manager.
• Starla Pudney (F, 40s) – the mayor’s conniving, high-maintenance wife

Audition sides will be selections from the script. The sides are posted at

Well, Hello Dolly!

On this day in 1964, Hello, Dolly! premiered on Broadway with Carol Channing in the lead role.

The play was based originally on an 1835 English play, A Day Well Spent, by John Oxenford. Johhann Nestroy adapted that into a farce called Einen Jux will er sich machen (He Will Go on a Spree or He’ll Have Himself a Good Time). In 1938, Thornton Wilder adapted the Nestroy play into The Merchant of Yonkers, which was a flop. He later revised it into The Matchmaker in 1955 in which he expanded the role of Dolly, played by Ruth Gordon.

Orignially the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi was written for Ethel Merman who turned it down. Mary Martin also turned it down. Both later played the role.

The role eventually went to Carol Channing who made it her signature role. The show become one of the most iconic Broadway shows. Pearl Baily starred in an all black version of the show in 1967.

The orignial production won a record-tying 10 Tony Wards (tied with South Pacific). That record held until 2001 when Mel Brooks’ The Producers won 12.

Carol Channing won the Tony Award for Best Actress. Also Tony nominated that year was Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl. Streisand would later play Dolly in the film version of the movie and in 1969 won an Oscar for the lead in Funny Girl.

Hello Dolly was revived on Broadway in 2017 with Bette Midler playing the lead. The Revival won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. Middler won for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, and Gavin Creel won for best actor.

Summary from Wikipedia.