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.

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Friday Experiments, Ramblings and Updates

pexels-photo-891677.jpegHere it is, a sunny Friday in March and we’re not sure if winter is yet behind us.  In terms of production work here at Historic Occasions, I thought it would be good to give you an update on where things are, or aren’t.

I’m directing Doublewide, Texas at CAT Theatre in June.  The cast is complete and we have our first read-thru on Sunday evening.  I’m excited and looking forward to getting to work with some amazing people.

My script, Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy, is complete and has, at this point, been submitted to one contest and there will be two more submissions in April.  While I can’t share the details, there’s also a very strong possibility that the show will be produced here locally within the next year.

Speaking of the next year, I’ve got a pending contract to direct a show in Spring 2019.  I can’t yet share the details, but the announcement will be made in early April.

On more exciting news, about which I must be even more vague, a random Facebook conversation this past week may lead to a dream opportunity to direct, produce, or act in…maybe all three, one of my favorite shows.  The first meeting is Tuesday and there’s lots talk and dream about.

So, why all this rambling on a Friday on this blog and not my regular blog, The Write Side of My Brain?  In part, because I’m sitting in Panera and figuring out how I can, indeed, blog from the iPad.  Work with me, I’ll be sixty in a few months.  So, this is somewhat revolutionary.

Plus, while I post here randomly, I’m taking a two-week break from the other blog.  Just some time to regroup and figure out the balance between the writing and the production.

It’s also a bit of a shift for this blog.  For years, Historic Occasions has been the framework for meeting and event planning, but that’s shifting to theatrical productions and historical events.

Don’t get us wrong, we can still produce a kickass meeting for you, whether it’s a conference, or a wedding reception, or just for grins.

But, this blog, as well as this  company, is a work in progress.  Stick with me here and you’ll be able to follow that progress.

Have a good weekend.

 

Copy of Declaration Found Behind Wallpaper

The document, which belonged to James Madison, is one of 200 facsimiles commissioned in the 19th century

From the Smithsonian Magagine.

Within 40 years of its signing in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was starting to show signs of aging and wear. So in 1820, John Quincy Adams commissioned printer William Stone to make 200 facsimiles of the precious document. As Michael E. Ruane reports for the Washington Post, one of these meticulous copies, long believed to have been lost, recently resurfaced in Texas.

Read more.

Welcome to Historic Occasions

Historic Occasions is a Richmond based production company specializing in dramatized historical events, theater, parties and more. Our managing director, Michael Fletcher, brings over 30 years event experience and has produced events across the country from Nashville to Seattle. Event locations in Washington DC include the Japanese, British, and German Embassies, The White House, and Capitol Hill.

Whether a five-person committee meeting or a five-day conference for thousands, we’ve successfully planned them all.

Historical events include a Renaissance Ball, a festive evening of English country dance and drama and interactive murder mysteries.

Michael is the author of Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy, an original stage production scheduled to premier in Richmond, Virginia in October, 2018.

Michael also provides writing, editorial and graphic design services (Michael R. Fletcher VA) and blogs on a weekday basis at The Write Side of My Brain.

Let Historic Occasions help you Celebrate the Past and Create the Future.

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 http://www.cattheatre.com/auditions.

Who was St. Valentine?

 

We all know the contemporary and cultural references for Valentine’s Day. But do we know the origins?

St. Valentine is a 3rd-century Roman saint. He is commemorated on February 14 as that was the date of his execution in 269 A.D.

Different church traditions recognize or do not recognize Valentine. But who was he?

As the story is told in at least one version, Valintinus was arrested and imprisoned for marrying Christian couples in a time in the Roman Empire when helping Christians was considered a crime. Other stories say that he defied the order of the emperor and secretly married couples so that husbands wouldn’t have to go to war.

The celebration of St. Valentine’s Day also has many possible origins. In 14th Century England, Geoffrey Chaucer was among those whose writings associated February 14 with romantic love. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds paired in mid-February. This became associated with Valentine’s romance.

Just as St. Nicholas has morphed into the modern day versions of Santa Claus, St. Valentine probably never expected that he would be remembered with chocolates and flowers.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

Why Roses?

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”

– Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

The National Retail Federation projects that American consumers will spend an average of $143.56 on Valentine’s Day. Total spending is expected to reach some $19.6 billion.

Nineteen. Point. Six. Billion.

Let that sink in for a moment.

But how did red roses come to be the flower associated with red roses.

In Victorian England sharing emotions and affections was at best a difficult thing. It just was not considered acceptable to flirt openly and even some forms of conversation were frowned upon. The Victorians used bouquets of flowers to express feelings to their loved ones in a system that became known as “floriography.” There were even special dictionaries to guide one in the understanding of the meaning of certain types of flowers.

During this time, roses became to be seen as a symbol of romantic affection.

Tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day, it’s Rose’s turn.

 Cover Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash