Tag Archives: Sheherezade 14

The Stage Is All the Worlds (Weekly Photo Challenge: Room)

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Good Evening:

This is the sold-out house that greeted the world premiere of Sheherezade 14, the short play festival that includes my own world premiere, The Duck:

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Surprisingly decent shot for an iPhone 4, given the lighting. Set up for the first play, that stage had to serve as the backdrop for 8 different worlds, including 6 rooms. In order from beginning to end:

  1. Dissonance (playwright: Terry Anderson): an absurd Dadaist, Pirandellian landscape.
  2. Almost Like Being Alive (Steve Koppman): a coffee shop.
  3. The Interview (Madeline Puccioni): a bar.
  4. Photo Dynamic Therapy (Jennifer Lynne Roberts): a bedroom.
  5. Reframing Rockwell (Jim Norrena): Norman Rockwell’s studio.
  6. The Box (Madeleine Butler): a museum storage room.
  7. The Duck (yours truly): Hope Judith Hauser’s front yard.
  8. Brew, Drink, Repeat (Bridgette Dutta Portman): A coffee shop that exists outside the space/time continuum.

One stage, one room, eight worlds. I think Shakespeare had it backwards.

Anyway, we had a great opening night; full house, actors in top form. When it works, theater is quite the universe.

Vonn Scott Bair

The Duck World Premiere, June 7-28!

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Good Evening:

And good heavens…less than two weeks until my next world premiere, The Duck at the 14th annual Sheherezade festival of very short plays at the Exit Theatre in downtown San Francisco.

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My life has gotten rather a bit maddening this month of May. Between rehearsals and performances for Jinshin Jiko at the Fringe of Marin theater festival, plus meetings & correspondence for a film project in the first weekend of June (I’m the screenwriter), I haven’t had a chance to attend more than the first rehearsal of my own play The Duck (you can read the seven page script here and here).

Normally, I prefer to attend a few early rehearsals and a few late ones. The early ones so I can listen to my howlingly bad tone-deaf dialogue and fix the script, the later ones so I can marvel at how the cast and crew have salvaged the show. This time around, people keep saying the same two words, over and over. The second most common: “stunning.” The most common? “Beautiful.”

I feel most curious to see the first run-through of the entire show; apparently, I have something good.

Director Wesley Cayabyab selected an amazing cast that carries the play to whole new levels, and they have worked very hard on a challenging little play, even if only 7 pages long. Here are two of the actors, Rick Homan as an FBI agent, and Leontyne Mbele-Mbong in the lead role as the amnesiac Hope Judith Hauser.

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The third member, Cameron Galloway, is one of San Francisco’s best comedic actors, but as the other FBI agent, she is tackling one of her most serious roles.

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I keep hearing that The Duck looks really good at this stage, but knowing almost nothing of the rehearsal process, it feels like I have a surprise present awaiting me in June.

Anyway, Wily West is a terrific small theater company based in San Francisco, which has produced a number of Sheherezade short play festivals, an annual event of the Playwrights Center of San Francisco. If you need just one more reason to visit my home town next month, Sheherezade 14 might prove the perfect “just one more reason” you need.

Vonn Scott Bair