- See more at: http://www.bloggerhow.com/2012/07/implement-open-graph-in-blogger-blogs.html#sthash.xZkXNjhB.dpuf W. Simmons & Associates: 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Inaugural Event: WordPlay Tuesdays

Kevin Six gives his thoughts on a valuable new program for San Diego playwrights, actors and theatre lovers.

I was honored to be chosen as one of three playwrights to present work at the first WordPlay Tuesday, a collaboration between Diversionary Theatre and the Playwrights Project. Being chosen makes me feel good. The event, which should grow into something that every San Diegan who loves theatre will attend, is a place for playwrights to present work early on in its development.

So I brought something I'm working on that isn't near finished and got to see what it sounds like with actors and an audience who knew nothing about it. This is a situation as unique as a unicorn because in the world of theatre, the actors are well rehearsed and the audience has a pretty good idea of what to expect due to all the Facebook events, e-mails, preview articles and marketing material. Let's face it,very few people willingly go out to an evening of complete surprises.

The idea behind WordPlay Tuesdays -- at least for me -- is to see just how actor-proof your play is. I cannot tell you how many playwrights blame actors for their plays, that it works when the actors are rehearsed, that blah blah blah. The fact is that if someone can't pick up a script and make sense out of it in a few short minutes it will never get produced.

This is because play readers don't rehearse. The people who read your play are literary assistants, volunteers, writers themselves -- theatre people. And it is they who you have to impress; and you'll note that I didn't mention actors in this bunch.

Actor-proofing is something every good playwright should do because literary people are not good actors. If they were, they would be out acting instead of reading your play. The point being that if it's good, anyone -- regardless of training -- can make sense out of it. So I have a little work to do because some of the readers (playwrights, administrators and trained actors among them) had trouble making sense out of my ten minutes.

I didn't blame them. I also didn't rehearse them; I wanted to see how it read cold. And, thanks to the Playwrights Project and Diversionary Theatre, I got a a pretty good real-life sampling of the kinds of people looking at my play for the first time.

As this program gains in popularity, more professional actors will be enlisted -- either by playwrights who want ringers or because it's just good, free, training for actors. But I was thoroughly satisfied.

Thanks to all who made this happen, especially Cecilia, Derek, Olivia and Heather!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why I like this hat

I like this hat. It looks good one me, it has a cool graphic and nice colors.  I also connects me with 1 billion like-minded people and, while I like to stand out in the crowd, we need to stand together on some things.

Like violence against women.  Do you know anyone who's for that?  What about rape?  Anyone for that?  No?  Then stand with me.

On Feb. 14, 2013 I am joining One Billion Rising -- a global uprising to bring to light something that is not fun to talk about but that every person in the world would say he/she is against.  And you don't even have to get the hat.

If you want more information, visit: 1BillionRisingSD.com or OneBillionRising.org

If you want the hat, visit www.cafepress.com/onebillionrisingsd

Monday, November 5, 2012

Half Baked Theatre

Opinion by Kevin Six

I have been acting since 1977, writing plays since 1990 and directing since 2000, so I like to think I know a few things about how theatre should be produced.  As for new work, I have recently learned that very few people can do it alone. So now I want to talk about what I think is the best way to bring new work to the public.

Theatre, by its very nature, is collaborative so why should the development of the work be otherwise?  Every playwright needs a person he/she can trust to say things no one else can say.  Namely, rewrite this, cut that, don't put this before an audience yet. And the audience should be brought in much earlier -- more on that later.

Playwrights need a trusted adviser because they tend to read more into their writing than anyone else does.  They look at it minutely, get overly attached to things, and sometimes don't  think enough about what other people think.  When other people share what they think, the playwright might think they 're unqualified -- after all, no one but the playwright sweated through the creative process.
What if directors, dramaturgs, actors and even audience members shared some of the load?  The playwright, who understands he/she makes the final decision on what stays in and what is cut, also gets all the credit and a fair share of the money.  The people who take most of the risk -- and reap most of the reward -- the producers -- should help keep the process more collaborative earlier and more often.

And now audiences.  Audiences are specialists in: what they saw, understood (or not) and  how it felt.  This is why they need to be included early and often during the development of new work.  No one is served by a playwright stubbornly holding on to something that doesn't work.  Conversely, playwrights, directors, dramaturgs, actors -- and audiences -- should be given enough time with these things to see if they work.

The early model was easy: get famous, get a commission, put it up and let the audience decide.  Later, producers developed reading committees who funneled worthy plays to artistic leaders.  Later still, there were play development workshops that drew the process out longer. The problem with this process is that it is not as cost effective as producing a flop.  A regional theatre with a healthy subscriber base and a good marketing department can still make pretty good money on a show nobody likes.

We see this all the time in San Diego.

I think that the process should be longer, but not too long, and that producers can and should negotiate watchability into contracts for new work. It makes sense for playwrights and producers to part company -- amicably -- over differences of opinion or if plays don't work.  Producers, who are responsible to audiences, should be able to get out early if early audiences can't make sense of something.  Is there a way to make it pay -- or at least not lose money?

I have always believed that audiences are given either too much or not enough credit but rarely asked what they think.  Audiences should be able to vote with their voices and ticket purchases early and often and the financial risk should start low.  Seeing and speaking at a low-cost staged reading; watching and commenting on a moderately-priced workshop; and, finally, paying full price for a full production.  Or not if a plays don't get there.

In this model, several plays won't get there but the playwrights, producers and audiences actually feel good about the process and want to do it again. If the risks are small and they are rewarded with eventual good work, audiences will take the plunge along with playwrights, actors, producers and dramaturges.  And they can feel, rightly, that they helped to develop new work.

That is why I will produce new theatre like this for as long as I can.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kevin Six published again!

This just in...

We've just negotiated a contract for Kevin's monologue "Stupid" to appear in a highschool theatre text.  Will give you more information as it becomes available.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Talking Woman: the official record

By Kevin Six

The Hollywood Theatre.
Amazing things often happen without there being a definitive record, making the subsequent history report of these amazing things all the more difficult.  This was the case with the Hollywood Theatre, a vaudeville house that spanned the time from the end of San Diego's Wild West origins to its tourtist- destination and military-readiness state of the late forties and early fifties.

Mark Hiss's play Talking Woman takes place in this precarious place, and, by doing so, honors and blesses this odd time in San Diego's history.  But it is not the definitive work of reporting on this time; it is a work of art and, as such, asks as many questions as it answers.

This is good, because that is what art is designed to do -- send us scurrying to the library, the archives, to find an older person who lived in those days...

So the play Talking Woman is not the report of the times and this post is not either.  It is only a faithful reporting of the history of the early development of the play -- from the first draft to the end of the first staged reading.  I believe this is as odd, as explosive, as dangerous, and as dramatic as the art of playwriting gets.  Writers of plays are called playwrights for a reason.

Plays are more wrought than written.  Some playwrights say plays write themselves but I believe that well-wrought characters take on a life of their own.  I also believe that the balance of power has its first tip during the showcase process.  I had the dubious distinction of being the early champion of this piece and, as it turns out, the second person to whom Mark sent the play.

This is the only hint you get.
In his frenzy of creation, in the euphoria that comes from completing a piece, Mark sent it to the artistic leader of a local regional theatre -- well before it was ready to be seen.  The good news is that this artistic leader is ill equipped to answer unsolicited e-mails, even from loyal former employees.  So no harm, no foul.

When I got the play it was too long by two thirds.  It was three plays.  One, a tale of love against the seedy backdrop of a city coming of age; the second, a period musical about 40s burlesque (you think I'm joking but there's more to support this later); and the third a history lesson about San Diego through the eyes of the labor movement.  There is also a bunch of San Diego history, from the tuna fleets, to the desecration wrought upon Little Italy by the coming of the freeway; to Barrio Logan, to the goings on in the canneries; to the problems of soldiers returning from World War II.

The Sexy Read.
It became my job to suggest changes and the first change was that the three four-page monologues had to be trimmed.  I told Mark to make some choices.  "Kill your children," I told him after reading the play the first time.  Now, as the outsider, my job is only to make suggestions.  The emperor of the world created in this play is Mark Hiss and all decisions are his.

We did come up with the idea of a table read, an excellent way to tip the balance of power yet again.  The table read is where you bring in actors, who read the play, obtain a certain level of ownership of their characters, and asking the playwright questions about those characters that he might not have considered.  We chose to do this once in private and once in public.  We also came up with a date by which Mark would have a leaner, trimmer, more manageable play.  A deadline for him to make Sophie's choice.

The excellent cast.
I brought a cast together. The lead, Esmeralda, was a no brainer.  Elsa Martinez, Mark's friend and an excellent actress was actually the person he had in mind while writing much of the play.  She readily agreed.  Then Tom Hall, an actor I've worked with many times, came to mind as the troubled photographer Joe.  Tiffany Tang was an equally easy choice as that of veteran showgirl Betty Spengler.  Don Loper had borrowed a surfboard of mine for a prop in a recent play and, when I picked it up, he became perfect for the comedian/theater operator Curran.  I auditioned with Philip John and he became the perfect former Hollywood cowboy, Shanty.  My friend Tim Carr got to play "all the assholes," as he called them, and Jason Rogers played all the younger roles and the haunting soldier.

Then we got on the radio.  This is because Mark has been involved in PR and editorial content in San Diego for so long.  Listen to the radio broadcast.

Elsa Martinez and Tom Hall.
Mark came down and we had the table read.  Mark realized something that I knew and I realized something that I didn't.  The characters were so well-wrought that the actors didn't have any questions about them.  They knew who these people were.  Mark then realized that the play was too long, something I knew, indicated and advocated for changing.  Then, finally, the audience became the last and most important part of the equation -- and the power dynamic changed yet again.

Mark and I met after the reading and did some surgery to the play.  Here's a delightful video about the first read and the last cuts made before the performance.  Mark was distraught.

The loving audience.
 He thought the cuts decimated the history, that the audience wouldn't be able follow the story and that it might be too soon for an audience anyway.  I countered with a) a more loving audience would never be brought together and b) more cuts, please.  The trouble was the intricacy of the stories and how they were woven.  That and the now-two-page monologues were as thin as Mark was comfortable with.  So we went to war with the army we had.

And the audience loved it.  The heat, the late start and the longish first act did take its toll.  We lost a few audience members after intermission.  The second act started late as the people who left at intermission all had to tell Mark, "It's not the play; the play is excellent.  It's the heat."

One of the casualties of the heat was a party that included my theatre mentor Ole Kittleson and his niece, Dee Ann Johnston, whose father actually owned the Hollywood Theatre.  Mark heaved a sigh of relief that she wouldn't have to see the character based on her father become the heavy in Act II.  Dee Ann brought some great photos of the Hollywood and the dancers from her family's collection.  There are included at the end of this post.

I spoke to a friend who had to leave at intermission.  This great reviewer in San Diego told me, "It's great but too talky.  I love it I feel like I'm back in school."

Moderating a talk-back at 80 degrees.
A great discussion followed the play and the lovingest-of the loving stayed.  Also in attendance were a few theatre lovers who heard the story on KPBS radio.  A great time was had by all.  Many people had comments and both playwright and director had their time to feel justified.  The upshot was that the play was too long -- and that's not counting the two burlesque numbers that we left out.

The audience didn't need as much history, or more information as to why Joe was troubled, and they wanted the talking to get out of the way of the love scene and the ending.  The audience's favorite character was Curran, the good-hearted huckster who sells Esme down river and hen gives her severance pay.

We wrapped up there and repaired to City Deli where actors, director, playwright and close friends talked more about the play.  The upshot there was that Mark realized that because he'd gone so into the history, it would resonate no matter how much he cut it; that the play should continue as a novel; that I really want to make a musical out of the play or the novel.

Elsa also chastised Mark for giving her too long a monologue.  Actors NEVER ask for cuts so this was big.  It was also something I had asked for thrice so there's that. I got home at 1:00 a.m. and was alight with the glow of the event until about two a.m.  Mark was up until 4:00 a.m.

This is the drug that is theatre.  We're all hopelessly addicted and cannot wait until our next fix.  What will it be?  A workshop production?  Will mark take his next draft to a theatre conference for more feedback?  Do I finally get to choreograph a burlesque number with trench coats and hats covering various gadgets?  Will there be a Kickstarter campaign and a backer's audition followed by a national tour?

Yes?  You can weigh in below.  I need a nap.

Here is a slide show of all the photos I have so far on the project.

With love and thanks to all!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Once more with feeling!

Once again, my client Kevin Six will have a monologue published.  This time it will be in a high school classroom discussion and scene study text.  The Publisher is Meriwether Publishing, Ltd. and the editor is Gerald Lee Ratliff.  Congrats Kevin!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kevin Six and Mark Hiss on KPBS

Listen to KPBS' Midday Edition tomorrow (Wed. Aug. 8) at 12:30 p.m. to hear Mark Hiss talk about his play "Talking Woman".  Director Kevin Six will be on air too.

See a reading of Mark Hiss' new play Talking Woman at 7:00 p.m August 11th, Twiggs Green Room.
"Talking Woman"
Talking Woman post card

Talking Woman Play Reading

Sometime San Diego writer Mark Hiss will have his play, Talking Woman read at Twiggs Green Room at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, August 11, 2012.  In Talking Woman, a haunted newspaper photographer and a beautiful burlesque dancer from Tijuana navigate passion and politics in post-World War II San Diego.

Twiggs Green Room, next to Twiggs Coffee House, 4590 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA  92116.  (619) 296-0616.
Lady & Devil

The photo that started it all...

In Mark's words: "her name was Soria Moria. She was a burlesque dancer at the Hollywood Theater, which was eventually demolished to make way for Horton Plaza. She was run out of town in 1949 thanks to an ordinance the city council passed banning "immoral" entertainment. The play is inspired by her story."
Copyright © 2012 KevinSix.com, All rights reserved.
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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Kevin's Monologue "Stupid" to be published

Here’s a brief note from my new publisher…
Just a quick note to let you know that your monologue, “Stupid,” has been selected for inclusion in JAC Publishing’s interJACtions: Monologues from the Heart of Human Nature, Volume IIThank you for submitting it to us!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kevin Six's play to be produced?

Though no promises were made, we just sent Kevin's most recent one act play to a producer for consideration.  The play might just be produced next May.  "Woo Hoo!" says Kevin.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Writers as Artists

This album was re-made as a bowl.  See more below.
Writers will do anything for money -- even create art.  Our friends at BizCenterArt are having a 70s art show and Kevin Six has decided to show there.

His art has to do with finding albums at garage sales and thrift stores, melting them down in a complicated and dangerous process and then molding them into useable art in the form of pencil holders, bowls and boxes.

Kevin has created a boogie wonderland of 70s albums.  From roller disco, to mushy teen idols to hard-driving country rock, these new albums will give you something to put your stuff in.

The art show is on August 25th at Biz Center Art (information here) and we made Kevin a website to showcase the art.

To see for yourself, view the CoolRecordHolders website.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Facebook Photo Dance

Every once in a while, while scrolling through Facebook, you come across photos that were taken seconds apart.  By scrolling back and forth, toy can make the people dance!  I have created two gifs that illustrate my point:

Funny Headline

UT San Diego-Street Night & Day_07_12_2012_114739.PDF: Have your badge ready
and your ray gun in its holster

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


For Immediate Release:

Perihelion Theater Company and Productions presents

(Love is an Action Verb)

written and directed by Karyn Traut
Featuring Dylan Guy

AFTER (nearly) 200 YEARS FRANCES WRIGHT RETURNS TO SCOTLAND!  Once here she takes you on a journey back to Tennessee and the mid 1920’s where she confronts the audience as if on a fund raising trip for her beloved commune, Nashoba.   Describing her upbringing and ideals that led her to creating the commune where slaves could work to earn money to free themselves, women could experience love without giving up their rights of property and freedom to a husband, where blacks and whites could co-mingle and produce children whose skin, according to Frances, would be more suited to the blistering Tennessee sunshine, she reveals her unexpected confrontations, successes and failures.  All at Nashoba were expected to work the land to feed the group.  Ride sidesaddle while clearing trees?  Not for her.  She doffed the billowing mounds of fabric skirts and petticoats in order to ride astride, and… cropped her hair.   Such ‘manly’ couture created nearly as much outrage as her wearing of  --what today would look more like harem --trousers. 

Has she acquired an American accent?  We think so.  Gifted as a linguist who spoke both French and Italian, she apparently had no trouble adapting to the rustic American tongue. Her shocking activities never ceased. She wrote a play, Altorf, actually signing her name to it. By itself such signature created a stir but when the play was performed with an affianced couple’s kiss—it was too hot for the 19th century.  Late in life, Fanny, as she was known, took on workers’ rights.  Was there anything she missed?  Why doesn’t everyone know about her?  Perhaps she was too hot to handle.  Come find out.

Influenced by Pirandello, Strindberg, and American playwright, Megan Terry (who was herself influenced by      Gertrude Stein) Karyn Traut brings Frances Wright from 1820 into the present. Perihelion continues with its tradition of hosting discussions about the content of the play after each performance AND rehearsing on skype -- possibly the first theater company on earth to do so.   In 2011 Brian Wescott was in Fairbanks, Alaska during one rehearsal while actress, Anoo Tree Brod and director, Karyn Traut were in Chapel Hill North, Carolina. This year actress Dylan Guy is in New York City while Karyn Traut is in Chapel Hill, where Perihelion is based.  Dubbed ‘Home of the Healing Play” by Spectator Magazine (of the Research Triangle of North Carolina) in 1998, Perihelion Theater Company, was incorporated in 1989 as an American 501c3 tax exempt corporation.

We are delighted to be returning to the fringe and Sweet Venues where our 2011 production of THE REALM OF LOVE OR FOLDING LAUNDRY garnered 4 stars: “Enlivening, inspiring and immensely thought provoking.” http://www.theatreguidelondon.co.uk/reviews/edinburgh2011-2.htm

Venue 18 – Sweet International 4
Dates: 3rd-17th, 19th-24th, 26th-27th August
Time: 13.10 – 14.00 (includes 10 min
                            Discussion after the show)
Cost:  Aug 3:    
Box Office Tel no: 0131 243 3596 (Active from 1st August)
Contact: Karyn Traut email: Ktraut@nc.rr.com
Tom Traut email: Traut@nc.rr.com
Press contact for Sweet Venues- Lynne Campbell
Email: lynne@sweetvenues.co.uk

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Talking Woman Play Reading 8-11-12

See a reading of Mark Hiss' new play Talking Woman at 7:00 p.m August 11th, Twiggs Green Room.
"Talking Woman"
Talking Woman post card

Talking Woman Play Reading

Sometime San Diego writer Mark Hiss will have his play, Talking Woman read at Twiggs Green Room at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, August 11, 2012.  In Talking Woman, a haunted newspaper photographer and a beautiful burlesque dancer from Tijuana navigate passion and politics in post-World War II San Diego.

Twiggs Green Room, next to Twiggs Coffee House, 4590 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA  92116.  (619) 296-0616.
Lady & Devil

The photo that started it all...

In Mark's words: "her name was Soria Moria. She was a burlesque dancer at the Hollywood Theater, which was eventually demolished to make way for Horton Plaza. She was run out of town in 1949 thanks to an ordinance the city council passed banning "immoral" entertainment. The play is inspired by her story."
Copyright © 2012 KevinSix.com, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mark Hiss' Talking Woman Aug 11

Mark Hiss will have his play, Talking Woman read at Twiggs Greenroom at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, August 11, 2012.  In Talking Woman, a haunted newspaper photographer and a beautiful burlesque dancer from Tijuana navigate passion and politics in post-World War II San Diego.  Twiggs Greenroom, 4590 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA  92116.  (619) 296-0616.

Friday, July 6, 2012

La Mesa’s Biz Center Art Presents “Inside Out” With 70s-Themed Opening Reception Aug. 25

Contact: Midge Hyde, 619-466-3711, midgehyde@gmail.com

San Diego, CA (July 8, 2012) Biz Center Art, the art gallery in residence at the La Mesa Biz Center, is featuring art based on the Biz Center’s funky architecture for its upcoming August show.  Biz Center Art is going 70s for its juried show “Inside Out,” with an opening reception from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 25th.

Biz Center Art gallery manager Midge Hyde says, “We have a very nice arrangement with the La Mesa Biz Center so we’ve decided to embrace the 70s architecture, inside and out, it in a big way.”  Hyde says she’s making a special request for artists to submit art that looks and feels like the 70s, art that includes the Biz Center Art building, and anything else “up to and including painting on black velvet.  Our jury is going to rate black velvet paintings very highly.”

The 70s theme won’t stop with the art.  People are asked to come to the opening dressed in their 70s best, a DJ will spin 70s classics, and Hyde is furiously searching for the fondue pot she got for her wedding.  “The jury’s still out on that one but they are looking into any and all interesting 70s things we can do for ‘Inside Out’,” she said.

Biz Center Art is one of the only art galleries in La Mesa.  Located at 7317 El Cajon Boulevard, La Mesa, CA 91942, Biz Center Art shows the work of local artists in bi-monthly juried exhibitions.  Artists submit their art, at the gallery, to a jury of artists and art specialists.  Art chosen for each show is hung for two months and seen, appreciated, and often purchased, by people who work at the Biz Center or come there for meetings and events.  Opening receptions kick off each art show.

Artists are asked to submit their 70s-themed work at the Biz Center Art gallery from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on August 7 or 8.  For more information, artists, art lovers or curious souls are asked to visit the La Mesa Biz Center (7317 El Cajon Boulevard, La Mesa, CA 91942), call gallery director Midge Hyde (619-466-3711), email (midgehyde@gmail.com) or visit the new website at www.BizCenterArt.com. 

Biz Center Art and the La Mesa Biz Center welcome art seekers during business hours, during evening art openings, and by appointment.

#  #  #

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Finally some Last Frontier Theatre Conference photos

As you know, Kevin is at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez Alaska.  He is totally without telephone connectivity and there is an intermittent wireless Internet connection.  But he was able to get some photos to me and the Associates were able to help me post them.

Kevin with Steven Hunt, a playwright who is not only on the festival program's cover but one who played Kevin in a Fringe performance of his play "Command Performance."  Steven's wife Deborah Gideon played Carol in Kevin's Play Lab performance of "The Art of Love."
Kevin and his wife, playwright Jennie Olson Six, flank first-time playwright Marina Veronica Garritano.  Marina "hit a home run on the first pitch," says Kevin of her play "Sfumato".
The B Room Boys.  It turns out that the first two people that Kevin and Jennie met in Valdez were playwrights who were also showing plays last Thursday and all in room B.  Kevin's "The Art of Love" was first, followed by Brian Walker's (center) FB:a ghost story and David Clark's "BANANAPOCALYPSE".  A fine showing, says Kevin.
Jennie not only got a play into the Fringe, but got it noted on the Fringe Board.  Jennie's introspective "Last Day" was well received by the Fringe audience who are used to edgier faire.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Old JT Photos

Found a few more photos lying around.

Improved Website

www.WSimmonsAndAssociates.com has been updated with all the newfangled thingeys.  If you're looking for a playwright (who doubles as a copywriter), go no further.  Enjoy the new website that Kevin and Bill have been sweating and arguing over all week...

Friday, June 1, 2012

No Problem

ONE: Here’s the problem—

TWO: What problem?

ONE: The problem.Here it is.

TWO: There is no problem.

ONE: Oh, yes there is a problem.

TWO: How can there be a problem?

ONE: How can there be a problem?

TWO: Yes. How can there be a problem?

ONE: How can there be a problem?

TWO: Yes. That’s what I’m asking.

ONE: I should ask you—

TWO: But I already asked you—

ONE: But I want to know more.

TWO: How do you know?

ONE: How do I know what?

TWO: How do you know that you want to know more?

ONE: I always want to know more. That’s why I read.

TWO: Read what?

ONE: What do you mean?

TWO: What I mean is what do you read?

ONE: My point is that I read because I want to know more.

TWO: I thought you wanted to know more than me.

ONE:  Of course.

TWO: I mean that you wanted to know more strongly than me.

ONE: That too.

TWO: What too?

ONE: I want to know more, more profoundly than you.

TWO: More what?

ONE: See? That’s the problem.

TWO: What problem?

ONE: The problem.

TWO: In which I come up short how?

ONE: You don’t know?

TWO: How could I know?

ONE: Wouldn’t you just know? Shouldn’t you just know?

TWO: Obviously if I don’t know, then I don’t know what I don’t know and so, no, I shouldn’t just

ONE: Well that’s a problem.

TWO: Branching off of what problem?

ONE: What?

TWO: What problem?

ONE: That’s what I was saying.

TWO: What.

ONE: That there is no problem.

TWO: What problem?

ONE: What problem what?

TWO: What problem is there not one of?

ONE: What problem is there not one of?

TWO: Yes.

ONE: What does that mean?

TWO: I could ask you the same thing.

ONE: Could you?

TWO: Yes.

ONE: Would you?

TWO: I don’t know.

ONE: But you just said you could.

TWO: Yes.

ONE: Well, why don’t you?

TWO: Why don’t I?

ONE: Why?

TWO: Why?

ONE: What were we talking about?

TWO: You don’t remember?

ONE: Don’t you?

TWO: Maybe I do and maybe I don’t.

ONE: You don’t.

TWO: I might.

ONE: But you don’t.

TWO: You don’t either.

ONE: I never said that.

TWO: You didn’t have to...

For rights and royalty information, please contact W. Simmons & Associates

The Art of Love


The lights come up on an art gallery (preferably an existing one at the San Diego Museum of Art). A museum guard, ANDRÉ, is getting ready for the morning’s first visitor.He is oldish, largeish, dark-skinned and very handsome in his uniform and cap. He IS the American Gallery; as much a resident as the American Masters displayed there. ANDRÉ busies himself readying the gallery: checking on the leaflets, straightening benches and checking the air filter.It is a comfortable life for one who loves art and people.He speaks to the paintings and calls them by name.

Good morning, Miss Bernadetta. Slept well, I trust. Miss Rose, looking pensive as ever, I see. Mrs. Crane. Easy, Doctor Moore. All right, ladies and gentlemen – and landscapes. Time to shine. I want you all to be on your best behavior today, as if you didn’t know what day it is. Tuesday, kids. Tuesday is Mrs. Moore’s day. I know. Now, don’t worry. You’ll be fine. She loves you all the same. Just like I do. All the same. Remember that.

Attention Museum Staff. The Museum will open in five minutes. Please take your stations and remember:

Each guest is a treasured guest, so treat them all as you would your own family.

Not my family. I’ll treat them all like Mrs. Moore if you don’t mind.

As if on cue, MRS. MOORE enters. She is a striking, impeccably dressed woman of advancing years. She is as white as ANDRÉ is dark and as small as he is large. She commands attention because she genuinely nice. She is comfortable in the museum because of her love of art and people.

Good morning Andre! So nice to see you.

Mrs.Moore. Is it Tuesday already?

You don’t fool me, Andre. You got here extra early to rally the troops for my visit. Don’t deny it.

Mrs. Moore. If I spoke to the paintings, they’d lock me up and throw away the key.

Nonsense! How long have you worked here, Andre?

More years than I can remember, Mrs. Moore.

You probably know more than all those young punks who call themselves curators these days.

They have all the degrees, Mrs. Moore.

Yes, but you’ve absorbed so much and you pack heat. And I know you know more than most of them. Last week I heard you discoursing on the Rembrandt.

Well.He’s our Rembrandt. The son of Harmen on the Rhine. The old Dutch Master and pretty good with light and shadow, Mrs. Moore.

You are being altogether too coy, Andre. Tell me something I don’t know about one of these American darlings.

I think you know more than I do.

When did I start coming here, Andre?

Right after I started in the janitorial staff and neither of us wants to know how long ago that was.

All that time alone with the paintings, the sculptures, Andre. Keys to the vaults, the books and the archives. I know you didn’t waste it.

That was a fun time, Mrs. Moore. I could tell you stories…


The lights come up on an art gallery (preferably an existing one at the San Diego Museum of Art). Two couples, fortiesh, enter; the two men (BOB and TED) in front and the women (ALICE and CAROL) behind. They browse at the Asian art and comment.

What does it all mean, Ted? I mean…

It’s Asian Miniature art, Bob. The sultan would hold them in one hand…

No, not that. Life.

Oh, you’re getting all philosophical again. Geez, why don’t you get a corvette and a—

You did it.

I did not.

You did it. You quit your job…

Got laid off.

Took up surfing…

I was invisible.

What do you mean?

All those beautiful sun-baked goddesses and not a one ever said anything to me.

Getting hot chicks to look at you takes money, Ted. Besides what would we do with them?

Bob, we’d do all kinds of interesting things… We’d…

Be asleep by nine thirty! Come on we’ve got great wives, they’re—

Highly critical…


Spending machines…

That don’t cook.

Ooh, this one’s nice. Alice, look at this one.

An Imaginary Gathering of Sages. Carol, I don’t get it. It says Asian art and these guys are clearly Arab.



Yes. It says these guys are dead Muslim saints.

Well of course they’re dead; it’s four hundred years old.

No, Alice. They were dead four hundred years before the painting was painted.

Imaginary, I get it.


The lights come up on an art gallery.An old man, ARTHUR sits before Apollo and Daphne with a bouquet of flowers. He faces the painting but speaks to his deceased wife, ANNNE.

…it seems to me like it’s been the longest set of cold rain I’ve ever seen.Anyways, I brought flowers…Happy Anniversary, Annie darling. I don’t know if you’re here or not but it makes me feel good to remember you like you were. I still don’t know what possessed me to come up to you as you stood before this painting, but I’m glad I did. Apollo and Daphne. You and me. I remember coming in to the museum to get out of the rain, wandering into this gallery and seeing something more beautiful than all the art in the world. You were so determined to become a great painter….

ANNE has appeared. She is most definitely a spirit. She even wears robes like the ones Daphne wears.

You were so handsome in your uniform. So unlike the men I was interested in then; bad skin and paint under their nails. You were different, Arthur. You weren’t afraid to love.

I guess I loved you from the beginning, Anne. I couldn’t help myself. I mean there you were in those over-sized clothes, most of your hair all up, the rest falling into your beautiful face. Those glasses couldn’t hide your beauty. This has to be my destiny, I said, otherwise why am I here? I don’t like art.

But I changed that for you, didn’t I darling?

But you changed that for me. I miss you, Annie.

It’s been interesting. Sometimes it’s painful to see people with so much going for them not getting it at all, but otherwise, it’s been fun to wait for you, darling.

DEVON and MARTIN enter in a flurry of action. DEVON could be ANNE in her younger days down to the wild hair, baggy clothes, and glasses that can’t cover up her beauty. She carries a large bag. MARTIN is a complete nerd but dressed nicely for the occasion and even has a flower in his lapel.

Are you sure he knows where to meet us?

How should I know? He’s your friend, Martin. Didn’t you give him all the information?

Duh. I gave him specific instructions with GPS coordinates.

And he has all the shit?

Couldn’t you refer to our marriage license and Tony’s clerkship as something other than shit?

You know what I mean.

Look, if you don’t want to—

I want to! Do you?

Devon, it was my idea. I just think sometimes that you’re doing it to shut me up.

I’m here aren’t I? I want to get married right in front of (she sees ARTHUR) oh…


DEVON (whispers)
That creepy old guy.  He’s here again.

MARTIN (whispers)
He likes the painting. I’m sure you can understand that.

I just wanted everything to be… I don’t know.

You did?

For rights and royalty information, please contact W. Simmons & Associates

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Patsy Presley and the Patron Saints of Swing

 Cast of Characters: 
PATSY PRESLEY        an Elvis impersonator who thinks she has famous parents
BLUES DADDY JACKSON  a Jordanaire who has seen everything
AARON CLINE          a famous broken-hearted musician
THE PATRON SAINTS OF SWING  the house band: a who’s who of dead Rock-n-Roll and Country Western musicians
JIMMY              a rebound

Musical Numbers:
Overture - Saints
Patsy Presley Theme I - Saints
Death by Miss Adventure - Patsy
Falling Down the Road - Patsy
Blues Daddy’s Theme I - Blues Daddy
The Truck Song - Patsy
It's Me - Patsy, Saints
Enteract - Saints
Patsy Presley Theme II - Saints
Aaron’s Waltz - Aaron
Sadder than Kansas - Aaron
That Radio - Patsy, Aaron
Rock Bottom, Truck Song, Falling Down the Road Reprieve - Patsy
Patsy Presley Theme III - Patsy, Saints
You Got You - Blues Daddy
Aaron’s Waltz reprieve - Aaron
Patsy Cline Medley - Patsy
Take Me Back - Aaron
Rock Me - Patsy, Aaron
You Got You reprieve - Company

[The stage is a garage, empty except for a steamer trunk DSR.US, a garage door opens to reveal a bandstand, which travels DS as the SAINTS play the overture and then sing:]

Hello everybody
Welcome, welcome, welcome
Welcome to the Patsy Presley Show
Hello everybody,
Hello everybody
Welcome, welcome, welcome
Come on now it’s time to go
To visit Patsy Presley
The Queen of Country Music
and the King of Rock-N-Roll
Rolled into one at the bottom of her soul
Patsy Presley
The Queen of Country Music
and the King of Rock-N-Roll
This is Patsy’s story so watch it now unfold.
Welcome everybody
Come on in and sit down
Take off your shoes and set a spell
We are going to tell you
A very silly story
And we hope we tell it very well
About Patsy Presley
Drunk, confused and angry
and she don’t know who she is
She’s about to find out and set the record straight
Patsy Presley
The poor little orphan
Who grew up fast and hard
And never had a day
That wasn’t filled with a little hate
But we’re gonna change that
Right here on this stage now
You will see a creature to despise
Patsy who is angry
Drunk, unloved and fearful
She will change before your very eyes
Into Patsy Presley
The Queen of Country Music
And the King of Rock-n-Roll
Rolled into one at the bottom of her soul

[SAINTS play a song that changes into PATSY’s as they exit through the garage door US.PATSY enters L, Punked out, strung out and strumming an electric guitar]

Jimmy?Jimmy!I really think we should do this song on the tour.When are we leaving?I know I missed a few meetings and 7, 8? OK nine rehearsals, but this song is good.I’ll play loud so you can hear.[she plugs into an amp behind the trunk and sings]

Death by Miss Adventure
Death by Miss Adventure
I don’t care how hard I try
I’m gonna’ love you or I’m gonna’ die
I’m gonna’ love you like thunderheads do
I’m gonna’ love you like rain
I’m gonna love you like the tide rolls in
Again and again and again!
Death by Miss Adventure
Death by Miss Adventure
I don’t care how hard I try
I’m gonna’ love you ‘till I die
I’m all over you like a blanket
I’m gonna mess with your hair
I’m all over you so just look out
Over there, over there, over there!
Death by Miss Adventure
Death by Miss Adventure
I don’t care how hard I try
I’m gonna’ love you till you die
I want to be in your dreams tonight
I’m gonna make you proud
I want to make you scream my name
Out loud, out loud, out loud!
Death by Miss Adventure
Death by Miss Adventure
I don’t care how hard I try
I’m gonna’ love you or I’m gonna’ die
[She finishes by knocking over the amp, which feeds back, then realizes there’s really no one there.]

Wasn’t that shit, tits and ass?Hey, where the hell is everyone?Where did everyone… go? [sees the note taped to the trunk]What?Jimmy?

JIMMY v.o.
Patsy, where the hell are you?We waited around for three hours.Today we waited for three hours.Me and the band have been waiting for three days.We finally had to go. Without you!Patsy, you promised me you’d be here at nine.You promised you were through drinking and using and lying to me.Well, I guess you lied again.But Patsy, I’m telling you the truth.I’m not coming back.Consider us divorced.It will be an easy thing to undo.I’m so mad, Patsy.At you but mostly at myself for believing you, for living ½ of a marriage.I wish I could end this with “I love you,” but I don’t think I love you.I’m not sure either of us were capable of giving or receiving love.And I know one thing, I don’t even like you…Love, Jimmy.

[Patsy goes through the seven stages on loss in 15 seconds]

Augggh!I knew it!God Dam-Muther F- Agh!Never marry on the rebound.Never marry on the rebound.Never marry on the rebound!I knew I didn’t love him and now he doesn’t love me.I knew it.I knew it when I met that motherfucker…I said…

[As she sings, Patsy opens the trunk, which contains one outfit, several pill bottles and a case of Jack Daniels, and mixes up a suicidal brew.]

Should I be fearful of love?
Or should I fall?
Is loving and loosing another,
Better than never loving at all?
Jumping right back into love,
Putting up my heart.
Will it be left in tact,
Or will it be torn apart?
Falling for another lover,
(Who) might turn out like all the others.
Married, buried or carried away,
Leaving me black, blue and gray.
One more boyfriend down the road,
How many more I just don’t know.
Living and loving today,
Is a full time thing.
(But) I think its worth the trouble,
When I’m looking at this ring.
Opening my heart up to him,
Letting go my fear.
Hearing him say, “I love you”,
Whispering into my ear.
- BreakIII
Once I was fearful of love,
But I took the fall.
Falling with all I had for him,
He left me with nothing at all.
Feeling much older now,
Now that it’s done.
Now that my heart’s been plundered,
No love left for anyone.

[As patsy tilts up the suicide potion, a bus pulls up and parks off stage.]

BDJ (offstage)

The Band’s gone.No one’s here.Go away.

But I just got here.

Too bad.The band left me, my husband left me and I’m about to leave.

Where are you goin’ with this luggage?


Nowhere?Well lookey here little lady, I got a bus full of musicians and we need a band singer. We’re going on tour.I thought I heard a lot of beautiful singin a few minutes ago...Do you, ah, have a sister..?

No.This ugly exterior can produce some pretty music, mister.I’m Patsy Presley…who are you?

I am John Lee Jackson but everybody calls me Blues Daddy.

Blues Daddy Jackson.Have I heard of you?

You might have.I have been everywhere, played in about a hundred bands.I know about a thousand songs and I never forget a face.Especially one that shows so much sadness and anger as the one I’m lookin’ at now.

Yeah?Well this face is going to be real peaceful in about five minutes.I’ve had it with all the unhappiness and the running.I always hoped to find out who the hell I am and what my purpose in life is, but I guess I never will.And the pain.The pain in my heart and soul are too much!I can’t blot them out with any amount of drugs, drinking, screwing, fighting…

You might not know who you are but I do.And you might not know what your purpose in life is but I do again.Patsy Gershwitz-

Don’t call me that!

Your purpose in life is to make the world a happier place.

[erupting in laughter]That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard!Me!Happy!Me, happy enough to spread happiness.[laughs] I’ll have you know I’m a specialist in screwing things up.My own parents left me.My other parents were rendered comatose by me.I can make angels cry when I sing sad songs, and sad songs are all that I sing…I am about the last person in the world to be happy. [continues laughing hysterically]

Yeah you look real sad…

PATSY [stops laughing]
Is that what happiness feels like?

You have made people happy and you have loved.You have also been loved but you didn’t know it.And I’ve known people to love you too…

Oh, right. You know me better than I do and you know all about me. Just who in the hell are you, anyhow?

I am a very lucky man. I have seen many wonderful things.I’ve seen a lot of bad and still like the good and I still spread the good.I’ve got news for you, Miss.You are going to learn to be happy and what love is.You have to believe me.I’m your Blues Daddy and I speak the truth.I’ve come to find you. I’ve been everywhere, man, and I’ve seen everything. [sings]

I’ve seen every thing
That a man can see
I’m you’re Blues Daddy
That’s who I be
I’ve seen Lady Day
And I’ve seen Texas Bob
I saw Muddy Waters
Lookin’ for a job
I saw Luke the Drifter
And I saw Kitty Wells
Seen them gates of Heaven
And the gaping jaws of Hell
I’ve seen every thing
That a man can see
I’m you’re Blues Daddy
That’s who I be
I saw Caledonia
Then I saw Lucille
I saw Hank in a Cadillac
(But) didn’t think it was real
I’ve seen the King a swingin’
I’ve seen his Blue Suede Shoes
Seen him alone at Graceland
Seen up close the Blues
I saw Carl Perkins
I saw Jerry Lee
Workin’ at Sun Records
Singin’ harmony
I saw Momma Maybelle
And June Carter too
Johnny Cash in the middle
Didn’t know what to do
- Break
I knew Patsy Cline
I knew John Lee Hooker
Between the two of them
Patsy was the looker
I saw Loretta Modern
I saw Loretta Lynn
I saw the Grant Ole Opry
But they wouldn’t let me in

You know all those people?Did you ever meet the King?

The King of what country?I’ve met a mess of royalty.

No.The King.Elvis?[BDJ laughs]What are you laughing at?

Patsy Presley.I get it.

For your information, I am the foremost female Elvis Impersonator… I wear a wig. So did you ever meet him?I wish I knew him.I dream about Elvis Presley every night…

Yes.He’s holding you in his arms and singing a lullaby-

How did you know that?I’ve never told anyone about that in my life. My, life.

Never you mind about that.There’s plenty of time for stories…

No.No there’s not.I just took enough booze and pills to kill an elephant.

Didja now?

Didn’t I?I don’t remember.

Girl, you are in a state.Now how did you get to be thinkin’ that you’re not worthy of love-

I’ve never told anyone about that ei-

Now come on.Nothing can be that bad.Why don’t you tell your Blues Daddy…

Well for your information, and you’re not my Blues Daddy, I don’t have a daddy.Or a momma. And now I don’t have a husband, a band and I’m not gonna be bringin’ the King to all the lonely people across the nation.They all left me!The band and Jimmy, we had a contract and everything.I guess it’s because I spent the last nine days drunk, pissed off and violent but that’s no way to treat a lady.I’m Patsy Presley.I’m the act!So I’m jacked up on pills and drunk off my ass. So I miss several rehearsals…

No, darlin’ what you missed is the point.You’ve been doing just about everything except what you should be doing.You’ve got some pain and you wash it away with hard livin'.Got no love in you.Now, Ol Blues Daddy gonna take you on the bus...

Oh, no.The last time I got on a Bus I-

Fell in love!

How do you know all these things I’ve never ever told any one, all my secrets?I don’t even remember these things.

For rights and royalty information, please contact W. Simmons & Associates