Yes, it took me another two years to get back to this blog. Why do I even have it? Yes, 2020 has sucked on many fronts and on many levels, but I am very, very fortunate to be finishing up the two-week Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive. Got to do a deep-dish dive (I wrote deepish, but autocorrect made it "deep dish" and now I want pizza), into all things playwriting. Made some wonderful new friends and connections. It was supposed to be live and in-person in Washington, DC, but, well...COVIDs. Next year!!
ONCE AGAIN, IT HAS BEEN FOREVER SINCE I UPDATED THIS SUCKER!
2018 was a truly exceptional year in terms of my writing making it to stages. I can't begin to express how much it means to me to have so many theatres and creative artists trust my words. It is truly humbling. I didn't get quite as much writing done as I would like, but I'm fixing to end the year by trying to complete two new plays that have been long-aborning. Not a lot on the 2019 horizon in terms of productions, but now is the time that theatres start to piece together their 2019 summer and 2019-2020 seasons, so I remain hopeful.
New projects that are in various states of development include a new musical based on a famed occult figure, a collaboration with composer Cory Gabel on a play that will frighten the tinkle out of you, a Hollywood biographical piece, a drama based on the current scandal in the Catholic Church, an adaptation of a comic novel, and another based-on-a-memoir comedy. LOTS TO DO/not enough time.
I will be taking the week between Christmas and New Year's off, so I hope to complete some of these and get a jump on 2019.
I thank you for supporting my work, visiting my site, and, hopefully, laughing with me into the New Year.
I can't believe it has been over a year since I have updated this blog.
My apologies for being so delinquent in updating my blog. Playwright and work life at BuzzEngine have completely consumed my time. As an unrepresented playwright (meaning I have no agent or management), I have to do double-duty on not only writing, but also representing and contracting my work. As you can see from my "Plays" page, I've already got a lot going on for 2018. Not complaining as this is a total awesome development, but it means things like blogs tend to fall by the wayside.
RAGING SKILLET continues to rage with two new productions plus a one-night only workshop at the Jewish Plays Project with Judy Gold, Kathryn Kates, and Jason Veasey. Once again, John Simpkins jumped into the director's seat and I am truly grateful. It was a fun night. I had to chop a bit out of the play, so I have to go back now and see if we want to reintegrate the old material. Particularly gratified as we received some blowback from certain members of the Jewish community in Hartford that two Jewish theatre companies have embraced the show. It's a Mitzvah!
I LOVED, I LOST, I MADE SPAGHETTI has two productions this year, bringing the total up to 12 professional productions. For some reason, I still haven't gotten the show to New York or published, but such is the life of the unrepresented playwright. I'm happy that theatres and audiences continue to embrace Giulia Melucci's romantic tales of woe and am working on trying to get the production Off-Broadway. Cross your fingers!
My new play RED STATE ROAD TRIP came out of my 2017 vacation to Missouri and Arkansas. It was a very emotional, funny and weird trip. So far, the audiences have embraced it. I'm hoping to get a two-night stand set up for HartBeat Ensemble. Stay tuned. Big thanks to Sasha Bratt for helping me to continue to shape the piece as I think it has an important personal and national story to tell.
BIG THANK YOU to the Windsor Jesters for making their entire 2018 season all about my new work! They will be premiering my comedy THE WEDDING BINDER the first two weekends in May, under the able direction of Rayah Martin. I will be doing a reading of my comedy THE BARONESS, a riff on THE SOUND OF MUSIC this summer. This fall, we premiere the comedy I co-wrote with Mark Twain and William Dean Howells, COLONEL SELLERS: REANIMATOR. It features Steampunk elements and zombies, so it should be fun. Stay tuned!
I knew a blog would be a terrible idea! I will try to get around to updating. For now, please check the MY PLAYS section for the latest. Now back to binge-watching THE YOUNG POPE and throwing shit at my TV.
IT'S ABOUT TO GET REAL.
I am participating in Playhouse on Park's 2016 PLAY IN A DAY event this Friday and Saturday night. Friday, I get locked into the theatre with 3 other playwrights. We write until we finish a new 10 to 15 minute play. We meet with the directors at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning; by 8pm Saturday night, they are performed off-book, fully produced in front of an audience. Should be fun - or a disaster. Come find out! www.playhouseonpark.org
So sorry, dear ones, to be offline for a bit. I changed jobs and have been changing my lifestyle with healthier food, less anxiety, and more visits to the cray-cray doctor. I also appeared onstage with the Hartford Symphony Pops, members of the Upright Citizens Brigade (thanks to Sea Tea Improv), and chaired the TheaterWorks 30th Anniversary Party on Pearl. It's kept me away from the writing desk for a bit, but I hope to gear up again soon. Already co-writing a piece with my pal Scott Stephen Kegler and have to finish a comedy I started earlier in the year. I thank you for sticking with me! Some great things in the offing!
1. COLONEL SELLERS: REANIMATOR is having an encore reading at Cheney Hall in Manchester as part of the Little Theatre of Manchester's EVENINGS @ 7 series on Tuesday, June 14th. The show is a lot of fun and adds just the amount of zombie zest and steampunk pan-drippings to Mark Twain and William Dean Howells' forgotten trashterpiece, COLONEL SELLERS AS A SCIENTIST. Free!! www.cheneyhall.org
2. I LOVED, I LOST, I MADE SPAGHETTI is getting ready to get cranking at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York. The director Michael Barakiva is putting his own spin on things and we have a first-timer behind the pasta crank: TV and film star Larisa Oleynik! She was featured on Nickelodeon's The Secret Life of Alex Mack, 10 Things I Hate About You, Third Rock from the Sun, a recent episode of Law & Order: SVU (or, as I call it, Law & Order: HPV), and my personal favorite, Mad Men. Any of the amazing actors who have taken on this part have admitted to it being one of the biggest challenges of their career, so I am grateful whenever a new lady steps in bocca di lupo, as the Italians say. Larisa and Michael's production begins June 16th and Giulia and I will be there for opening on June 17th. Join us and don't forget to visit www.spaghettiplay.com for all the details and follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/spagplay. Frig, I can't get that link right. Just click on the first part.
It was lovely to reunite and share the stage with my bella, bella Antoinette LaVecchia, who was the first to play Giuila in ILILIMS, at TheaterWorks' 30th Anniversary bash. We're conspiring to FINALLY get this show to New York City. After gigs in Hartford, New Brunswick, Sarasota, Cincinnati, Waterbury, Fort Myers, Ithaca, and (upcoming) Bangor and Stoneham, IT IS TIME! Antoinette and I will personally cook dinner for any prospective producers, so spread the word! Message me via the contact page if you want to chat.
3. BORN FAT is going to New York's MIDTOWN INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL this July!!! So thrilled and delighted to bring April Woodall back to the festival that introduced us back in 2008 when she won Best Actress for my play Gray Matters. As was the case with production of BORN FAT earlier this year, Steve Raider-Ginsburg will be directing the story of Elizabeth Petruccione's weight and life struggles. I'm exceptionally proud of this play and hope you will join us! The dates are:
Wed, July 20 at 6pm
Fri, July 22 at 8:15pm
Sun, July 24 at 1pm
I never realized it was so expensive to bring a simple show to NYC for three performances, but it is. I want to thank the over two dozen donors of my GOFUNDME campaign who helped me raise most of the money I need to pull off this stunt. I've now started a website where you can follow BORN FAT: www.bornfat.org
We also have a very fun Facebook page going for the play: http://www.facebook.com/bornfatplay Like us and follow along! This show is the HAMILTON of non-musical weight loss solo shows, so don't miss it!
More updates soon! xoxo Jacques
I hope you will join me, Virginia Wolf, and director Scott Stephen Kegler for my 5th Annual "PLAY WITH JACQUES" new play reading at the Unitarian Society of Hartford. PIERCE, BORN FAT, THE BINDER (with THE BUMP), and HONEY LABREA - THE LONELY THETAN all had their first readings at this warm, accommodating space.
SAT, APRIL 16 at 7:30, right after I finish working at The Mark Twain House & Museum, I will run across the West End of Hartford for the first reading of my newest play, BETTY JO'S FAN CLUB. This is an idea I have had for at least five years before I finally sat down to write it at the beginning of this year. I have always been obsessed by the idea of cults. I don't want to join one, but I would love to live near one and spy through the bushes. I started mulling over the idea of what would happen if an under-appreciated woman decided to start a fan club for herself by posting on a supermarket bulletin board. I didn't imagine at the time that my interest in cults would collide with this lady from Hamden, but it did. I think the play is twisted in the best ways and has ended up being an odd reflection on the Trump candidacy. I hope you will join me. There will be cake and a free will offering! Betty Jo no longer believes in free will, but encourages you to come see her. Her fan club needs new members.
Aside from all of the nuttiness of this year's Presidential race, 2016 has been a flat-out weird year for me. I started out in January by writing the first draft of THE RAGING SKILLET (which will open in Spring 2017 at my artistic home, TheaterWorks Hartford) and finishing BETTY JO'S FAN CLUB (an idea that I had been kicking around for years and finally wrote for an actress who ended up not wanting to do it). I've done two more drafts of the book for the musical SAVE THE ROBOTS and saw an extreme musical makeover to my book for FLY ME TO MIAMI (now called HAVANA U$A). Other than that, I've been a bit moribund as I have mulled over what to do career-wise. These were all projects I had to do. Other than that, I wasn't very motivated to write.
After seven years at The Mark Twain House & Museum, I am leaving next week and starting a new job at BuzzEngine in West Hartford. Quitting my job was like uncorking my creativity. I wrote two short plays in short order, both for my annual submission for the Fusion Theatre "The Seven:" SOILED and THE LOVE GOITER with local genius Stephen Scott Kegler. I have actually started going to theatre again, too. Maybe I had to break up with Mark Twain to become more of my own writer.