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An Evening of Grand Guignol: Theatre of Terror

The Players’ Ring Late Night Summer Series will feature An Evening of Grand Guignol: Theatre of Terror with a selection of violent melodramas, suspenseful thrillers, and even a grisly song. Produced by John Herman & Friends. Directed by Michael Ficara, E. Christopher Clark, and John Herman. 2 WEEKENDS ONLY, July 6th through July 15, Fridays and Saturdays at 10:00 p.m., Sundays at 9:00 p.m. To reserve tickets, call (603) 436-8123 or purchase them online at www.PlayersRing.org. And like An Evening of Steampunk & Robot Theatre and An Evening of Apocalyptic Theatre, proceeds will benefit local charities and nonprofits! (More details after the poster!)

An Evening of Grand Guignol: Theatre of Terror (John Herman)(poster #1 by Matt Talbot of MattRobot.com)

Starting in 1897, a deconsecrated church in Paris held a lurid attraction, the Théâtre du Grand Guignol. It was the Moulin Rouge of terror and the cradle of modern horror. Now we are bringing the show to you!

(one of our props)

“An Evening of Grand Guignol: Theatre of Terror” will include new works of horror by Bryan White and E. Christopher Clark as well as an adapted work by John Herman.

Bryan is the creator of Cinema Suicide, the multiple Rondo-nominated blog dedicated to horror in its many formats. Bryan also writes for the popular Zombie Bomb anthology comic book from Terminal Press, and his work is seen in Screem and Rue Morgue Magazine.

Chris is a playwright and author whose latest work Crossroads (or The Piano of Death) opened the Late Night Summer Series. His writing has been published or is forthcoming in Commonthought, Device, Entelechy International, Literary Matters, and Mill City Stories: Tales of Lowell and the Merrimack Valley.

“André de Lorde, original Grand Guignol director, judged success on how many audience members fainted during performances,” says John, who will re-imagine one of the masterpieces of the genre, André de Lorde’s Un Crime Dans une Maison de Fous (1925). “We are considering a special audience section with ponchos provided for blood splatter. Needless to say, this is not a show for children.”

(poster #2 by Jeremy Couturier of couturierillustration.com)

An Evening of Apocalyptic Theatre

A couple argues in a bomb shelter over a dog puzzle. A man gets an unexpected visit from Intergalactic Salvage. CERN scientists experience the romance of multi-verses. “An Evening of Apocalyptic Theatre” debuts nine original short plays including new works by Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author James Patrick Kelly and best selling author of The Great Typo Hunt, Jeff Deck. The show runs at The Players’ Ring Theater March 9th through the 25th. Purchase tickets online at PlayersRing.org and let us know you are coming on our Facebook event page!

(poster by Jeremy Couturier)

Directors and actors are donating their time in an effort to raise money for the Cocheco Valley Humane Society, Jaden’s Ladder, which assists survivors of domestic violence, and the Millspace Project, which is building a civic center for arts, culture, and history in the renovated mills of Newmarket, NH. This is an opportunity to enjoy dynamic theater while also making a difference. I will also shave my head halfway through the show’s run to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except for the U.S. government. Donate to my St. Baldrick’s Foundation page here.

(Producer John Herman –before shaving his head)

I received forty-five play submissions after an open call for writers on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. “Love Song for the Doomed & Other Stories: An Apocalyptic Theatre Anthology” will be released digitally for free under a Creative Commons license at midnight on Friday, March 9th, 2012. The anthology will feature the 45 original plays –as well as illustrations and a companion music album.

The plays presented for the stage run include:

“Love Song for the Doomed” by Matt Gold — directed by Chuck Galle
“Bad Dogs” by James Patrick Kelly — directed by E. Christopher Clark
“Dead Birds” by Jeff Deck – directed by Kathleen Cavalaro
“Collider” by Cullen T. M. McGough — directed by Tara Sullivan
“So Long: a tribute” by Jackie Benson — directed by Kathleen Cavalaro
“As Evidence” by Jefferson Navicky — directed by David Mauriello
“Our Happy Little Hole in the Ground” by Rob Hack — directed by John Herman
“Apocalypse Anonymous” by E. Christopher Clark — directed by Jaqueline Martell
“Hardscrabble” by Brandon “Our Hero” Gretter – directed by Michael Ficara III

(poster by Matt Talbot)

PREVIOUSLY: Last year’s production raised $3000 dollars for charities including A Safe Place, 20/20 VisionQuest, and the Lamprey Arts and Culture Alliance. See An Evening of Steampunk and Robot Theatre. Check back on March 9th for links to companion music, illustrations, and all the submitted plays. And I hope you can come out and support the show!

ALSO: Check out some promo photos from the upcoming production… (more soon!)

(Jasmin Hunter and Lisa Griffin in “Collider” by Cullen McGough. Directed by Tara Sullivan. Photo by PT Sullivan.)

(Jon Cilley and Jacqui Baker in “Our Happy Little Hole in the Ground” by Rob Hack. Directed by John Herman. Photo by John Herman/Jon Cilley.)

 

Update: Forthcoming Apocalyptic Theatre Anthology & Stage Show Details

“Love Song for the Doomed & Other Stories: An Apocalyptic Theatre Anthology” will be released digitally for free under a Creative Commons license at midnight on Friday, March 9th, 2012. The anthology will feature 45 original plays –as well as illustrations and a music album. To celebrate, I am producing a three week run of plays selected from the anthology with a talented team of volunteer actors, directors, and designers at The Players’ Ring Theater. The show runs from March 9th through March 25th 2012. Proceeds from the show go to three soon-to-be-announced charities. There is still time for illustrators and musicians to join the anthology. Get in touch!

In the meantime, the shows selected for the stage run include:

“Love Song for the Doomed” by Matt Gold — directed by Chuck Galle

“Bad Dogs” by James Patrick Kelly — directed by E. Christopher Clark

“Dead Birds” by Jeff Deck – directed by Kathleen Cavalaro

“Collider” by Cullen T. M. McGough — directed by Tara Sullivan

“So Long: a tribute” by Jackie Benson — directed by Kathleen Cavalaro

“As Evidence” by Jefferson Navicky — directed by David Mauriello

“Our Happy Little Hole in the Ground” by Rob Hack — directed by John Herman

“Apocalypse Anonymous” by E. Christopher Clark — directed by Jaqueline Martell

“Hardscrabble” by Brandon “Our Hero” Gretter – directed by Michael Ficara III

Last year’s production generated 17 new plays, 8 original songs, and 8 illustrations. The nine play stage show: An Evening of Steampunk and Robot Theatre raised $3000 dollars for charities including A Safe Place, 20/20 VisionQuest, and the Lamprey Arts and Culture Alliance. The production also garnered national attention with coverage in over 100 individual arts and culture blogs. We plan to do it all again!

CALL FOR WRITERS: Apocalyptic Theatre

It’s the end of the world and I feel fine. I’m looking for original 10-minute APOCALYPTIC one-act plays. All submitted plays will be published on the Web as a Creative Commons licensed apocalyptic short play anthology that will include an original album of music and collection of visual art inspired by the plays. Select plays will be produced on stage at The Players’ Ring Theater of Portsmouth, NH, March 9th through March 25th 2012 with proceeds going to charity.

Last year’s similar production generated 17 new plays, 8 original songs, and 8 illustrations. The nine play stage show: An Evening of Steampunk and Robot Theatre raised $3000 dollars for charities including A Safe Place, 20/20 VisionQuest, and the Lamprey Arts and Culture Alliance. The production also garnered national attention with coverage in over 100 individual arts and culture blogs.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED:

Sign up by dropping a comment below.

DEADLINE:

All plays will be submitted to me digitally: john.c.herman“at”gmail.com with the subject heading: APOCALYPTIC PLAY SUBMISSION. The final due date for play submissions is October 31st, 2011 at midnight. See what I did there? The roster of plays to be staged will be announced December 15th. At that time, they will be fast tracked into production. The remaining plays will be distributed to visual and music artists for the creation of complimentary works.

THE GENRE:

“Apocalyptic” sounds pretty dark, but I encourage you to explore any aspect of it that you wish. I hope to receive comedies, romances, and maybe even a musical. Check out the following link for inspiration: Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

THE WORKSHOP:

In late September, I will host a gathering for playwrights who want to workshop their submissions. The physical gathering will take place in New Hampshire, but there will also be a live web video chat workshop occurring at the same time for playwrights outside of New England. In order to be notified of the exact date, time and location, you must sign up by submitting a comment below.

Next: Sign up. Write a play. Spread the word!

Madcap Jane Austen Show Hits the Stage at ImprovBoston

Wheel of Austen - directed by John Herman

A new improv comedy show I am directing is finally ready for the main stage! Wheel of Austen, an hour-long improvised comedy inspired by the works of Jane Austen plays Fridays in May and June at 8pm at ImprovBoston. Audiences will watch Boston’s top comedians bring a new Jane Austen-inspired novel to life as classic characters encounter new situations.  Throughout each performance, audience members will spin the “Wheel of Austen” as the cast plays with the conventions of Jane Austen’s work in unexpected ways. Wheel of Austen stars seasoned improvisers Noah Sheola, Chris Bujold, Michelle Boncek, Benjamin Scurria, Alex LeBaron, Elyse Schuerman, Lexie Koss, and Jenna O’Brien.

Dates:  May 6, May 13, May 20, May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17, June 24.
Time: 8pm for all dates.
Price:  $16 general admission, $12 for students and seniors
Location: Main Theater at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St, Cambridge MA.
For tickets & reservations, please visit www.improvboston.com

Steampunk and Robot Anthology: Theatre, Music, Illustrations

Here, for your enjoyment, are 17 plays, 8 original songs, and 8 illustrations published under a Creative Commons “Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike” license. Also, come see the companion stage show: An Evening of Steampunk and Robot Theatre! Now playing at The Players’ Ring Theater.

THEATRE: (click below to download a zip file)

17 original steampunk and robot plays by Jessa Rowan, Jacquelyn Benson, Phil Kliger, E. Christopher Clark, Jon Frazier, John Herman, Margaret McAleese, David Mariello, R. Tompkins and Brandon “Our Hero” (sic) Gretter, Judi Currie, Bob Holt, Brian Spielvogel, Sean Myers, Leslie Poston, The Attic Bits, Chuck Galle, and Chris Bujold.

MUSIC: (click a song title to listen)

“Balloon Knot” by Jon Briggs – inspired by “Fabrication” by Bob Holt

“Camping” by Natasha Duchene – inspired by “Camping” by Judi Currie

“I’m Too Much” by Joseph K Murphy and Matt Babcock – inspired by the play “Progress” by Sean Myers

“Of Thee I Sing” by Sean Hurley – inspired by “The Smokers” by Leslie Poston, adapted by E. Christopher Clark and Leslie Poston

“Robot” by Brian Spielvogel – inspired by Untitled #1 by The Attic Bits

“Staring into the Abyss (With Apologies to Dr Nietzsche, Einstein and Chuck Gale)” by robotmonkeyarm – inspired by “With Apologies to Dr Nietzsche” by Chuck Galle

“Wings of Brass” by The Attic Bits – inspired by Oly 33 Motive by Brian Spielvogel

“Zyl” by Phil Kliger – inspired by “Zylphia” by Chris Bujold

ILLUSTRATIONS: (click an image to enlarge)

Art by Matt Talbot - inspired by "Zylphia" by Chris Bujold

Art by Matt Talbot - inspired by "Zylphia" by Chris Bujold

Art by Stephen Bobbett - inspired by "Camping" by Judie Currie

Art by Stephen Bobbett - inspired by "Camping" by Judie Currie

Art by David Chevalier - inspired by "Untitled #1" by The Attic Bits

Art by David Chevalier - inspired by "Untitled #1" by The Attic Bits

Art by Jeremy Couturier - inspired by "The Smokers" by Leslie Poston, adapted by E. Christopher Clark and Leslie Poston

Art by Jeremy Couturier - inspired by "The Smokers" by Leslie Poston, adapted by E. Christopher Clark and Leslie Poston

Art by David Chevalier - inspired by "Progress" by Sean Myers

Art by David Chevalier - inspired by "Progress" by Sean Myers

Art by Matt Talbot - inspired by "With Apologies to Doktor Nietzsche" by Chuck Galle

Art by Matt Talbot - inspired by "With Apologies to Doktor Nietzsche" by Chuck Galle

Art by Stephen Bobbett - inspired by "Fabrication" by Bob Holt

Art by Stephen Bobbett - inspired by "Fabrication" by Bob Holt

Art by Jeremy Couturier - inspired by "Oly 33 Motive" by Brian Spielvogel

Art by Jeremy Couturier - inspired by "Oly 33 Motive" by Brian Spielvogel

An Evening of Steampunk and Robot Theatre

Agents of Queen Victoria search for a secret weapon on the outer reaches of space. A disgruntled robot gets family counseling. A mad scientist aims to destroy the world with the help of a cyber-head and time traveling brothers… “An Evening of Steampunk and Robot Theatre” debuts nine original short plays at The Players’ Ring Theater of Portsmouth September 24th through October 10th. The show starts at 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 7pm Sunday Sept 26th and Oct 3rd, and 2pm on Sunday, Oct 10th. To reserve tickets, call (603) 436-8123 or purchase tickets online at www.PlayersRing.org. Add yourself to the Facebook event page too!

(poster by Matt Talbot)

Local artist and writer John Herman produced the evening, collecting a diverse roster of writers, actors, directors, musicians, and more to bring the shows to life for charity. The directors include Chuck Galle, Emily Briand, Justin Scarelli, Chris Clark, and Tara McDonough. Proceeds earned by the show will be distributed to three charities including New Hampshire Association of the Blind’s 2020 VisionQuest.

The evening includes live music performances by experimental electronic duo The Attic Bits (see them the night before opening night when they play with The Books). Check out the press about The Attic Bits new album, Dance of the Dragon.

The evening also features elaborate steampunk and robot props by Sean O’Connell. Watch the props as they are made on his production blog. In addition to the theater experience, audience members will be given a web address where they can download original music, comic book art, and eight more original plays published as a Creative Commons licensed steampunk and robot anthology.

Reserve your tickets early! Hey look, we are on BoingBoing (one of the most read blogs on planet Earth):

"An Evening of Steampunk and Robot Theatre"

Listed below are:

* Plays that will be released online at midnight September 23rd with original music and visual art created by The Attic Bits, Brian Spielvogel, Matt Talbot, robotmonkeyarm, David Chevalier, Sean Hurley, Joseph K. Murphy, Jon Briggs, Phil Kliger, Natasha Duchene, Stephen Bobbet, and Jeremy Couturier.

+ Plays that will be released online at midnight September 23rd as well as staged at The Players Ring Theater in Portsmouth, NH, September 24th through October 10th, 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 7pm Sunday Sept 26th and Oct 3rd, 2pm on Sunday Oct 10th, directed by Tara McDonough, Emily Briand, Chuck Galle, John Herman, E. Christopher Clark, and Justin Scarelli –with robots and other props made by Sean O’Connell and live music directed by The Attic Bits.

Camping by Judi Currie *
Dead Ringer by David Mariello +
Fabrication by Bob Holt *
G.E. Rock and the Telectroscopic Transmission by Phil Kliger +
Oly 33 Motive by Brian Spielvogel *
Pancakes by John Herman +
Progress by Sean Myers *
Ro-Bro by Jon Frazier +
Seven Sisters by Margaret McAleese +
The Smokers by Leslie Poston – Adapted by Leslie Poston and E. Christopher Clark *
Unplugged by Jessa Rowan +
Untitled #1 by The Attic Bits *
Updates by R. Tompkins and Brandon “Our Hero” Gretter +
Victory by Jacquelyn Benson +
War is Coming by E. Christopher Clark +
With Apologies to Doktor Nietzsche by Chuck Galle *
Zylphia by Chris Bujold *

Update: Steampunk Anthology Project

Hear ye! Hear ye!

I am looking for actors. Want to act in a short play for charity? Want to help out in other ways? Are you already involved and I neglected to mention you below? Send me an email! Let me know what you can offer.

Without further adieu, here is the definitive list of plays to be released in the upcoming Creative Commons licensed steampunk and robot theater web anthology:

Camping by Judi Currie *
Dead Ringer by David Mariello +
Fabrication by Bob Holt *
G.E. Rock and the Telectroscopic Transmission by Phil Kliger +
Oly 33 Motive by Brian Spielvogel *
Pancakes by John Herman +
Progress by Sean Myers *
Ro-Bro by Jon Frazier +
Seven Sisters by Margaret McAleese +
The Smokers by Leslie Poston – Adapted by Leslie Poston and E. Christopher Clark *
Unplugged by Jessa Rowan +
Untitled #1 by The Attic Bits *
Updates by R. Tompkins and Brandon “Our Hero” Gretter +
Victory by Jacquelyn Benson +
War is Coming by E. Christopher Clark +
With Apologies to Doktor Nietzsche by Chuck Galle *
Zylphia by Chris Bujold *

* Plays that will be released online at midnight September 23rd with original music and visual art created by The Attic Bits, Brian Spielvogel, Matt Talbot, robotmonkeyarm, David Chevalier, Sean Hurley, Joseph K. Murphy, Jon Briggs, Phil Kliger, Natasha Duchene, Stephen Bobbet, and Jeremy Couturier.

+ Plays that will be released online at midnight September 23rd as well as staged at The Players Ring Theater in Portsmouth, NH, September 24th through October 10th, 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 7pm Sunday Sept 26th and Oct 3rd, 2pm on Sunday Oct 10th, directed by Tara McDonough, Emily Briand, Chuck Galle, John Herman, E. Christopher Clark, and Justin Scarelli –with robots and other props made by Sean O’Connell and live music directed by Mike D’Errico.

Save the Ioka!

Just got back from the “Save the Ioka” rally in Exeter, NH. Please take a look at the Save the Ioka website and pass it on. Built in 1915, the Ioka Theatre is one of the dwindling number of independent movie theaters in the country. Below is Marc Murai, the man hoping to turn to turn the over-90 year old theater into the Ioka Digital and Performing Arts Center. He inspired the crowd with his thoughts and reflections, including imagery and lyrics from the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha. He is looking to raise $10,000 by Wednesday night at 7 PM. He says if he is successful and can move forward in the theater’s purchase, then the marquee lights will go on at 8 PM. If they remain dim, then we all know what that means.

Marc Murai (by mrjohnherman)

Here are Laurie and Brycen Couture showing their support:

Laurie and Brycen, Save the Ioka Theater (by mrjohnherman)

And here are community members making donations to save the theater:

People Donating money to save the Ioka Theater (by mrjohnherman)