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  • cogswellmatt77

Fringe Lottery

In 2015 I began writing what eventually became One Angry Gay Man. A workshop happened with The Forge Theater Lab The Forge Theater Lab - Home on February 14 and 15, 2020. A film version of the play was directed by Samantha deManbey Her Republic Films - deManbey Productions in May 2021. That film ran online with The Forge's Past Tense series of filmed plays in June 2021. Then it ran online for Providence Fringe Festival in July 2021. I put the film version on my older (and regretfully deleted) YouTube profile, and it is available on my newer profile.

I've revised a couple segments from how it originally appeared (in the film version), but it mostly became an abandoned artifact. I wasn't going to revisit it, but then the idea of Providence Fringe Festival came back into my mind. My first thought was to create a new piece for the online part of the festival, but since I don't currently have the technical expertise and equipment to make that come true, I thought about revising the show as a live performance. I've already applied for the non-juried lottery. I'll know around early May if the show was accepted, if last year is any indicator.

Knowing I may be able to perform it live again will be a good motivator for me. I've been wanting to perform in person again, but I'm in no rush to join a full production. The in-person festival is quite populated, but I imagine it will be different as a solo performer in terms of how many people I'd be involved with actively. Yes, that anxiety that has affected my career advancement is still part of my repertoire, but I keep trying to face that with these opportunities.

When The Forge proposed that the play would be performed again, I wanted to get in better shape. I did not. It was particularly noticeable on film, especially in that dreaded red shirt choice. This show requires stamina. Having this as a goal in five months and change would add an additional level of motivation.

The piece needs some serious revision, such as when it comes to Jacob. His use of internal dialogue worked fine on film but was confusing live, and I don't intend to use recorded voiceover for the festival. So, one of my challenges will be how to tell that storyline without the use of voiceover. I want to re-include a character who was cut from the film version. I may give more stage time to some of the characters or include some new characters. There is only so much I can do in a suggested 45-minute piece. The re-writing will be good for me. Unfortunately, the only real motivator for me to commit to a piece is when I know it will be (or in this case, may be) performed. I still haven't learned how to get past that mental block. Regardless, this is a good thing. Especially with my extended sickness, I haven't been eating well out of the need for comfort food. Returning to live performance, by then over 29 months since I last performed in front of an audience in place, would be a good motivator for me. If the show is not selected, it would still be important for my health and career to retain a firmer grasp on this instrument.

I'm attending a free acting class tonight with someone I've seen online, who is friends with other playwrights and theater types I know. A few playwrights have been in touch about various levels of collaboration, whether it be speaking with my class or finding the right piece for us to act in. Good things are happening.

Ugh, that shirt.


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In December 2018 a very short 'play' of mine, which was more like an SNL skit, premiered in front of a live audience. Before then, it had been twenty years since my words were the context of a perform