(No) Armed with a bottle opener and an imagination…

I’m back on stage! This time it was for a developmental stage reading for Richard Medugno‘s “THE MISADVENTURES OF NO ARMS NORMAN” directed by Susannah Greenwood.

For those that don’t know what a developmental stage reading is: It’s a time when the playwright can hear/watch his piece be performed as a reading from live actors with a live audience. It’s another way for the author to gauge how the play lives and breaths with other factors working with it. The playwright will then receive feedback from the audience in the form of a post-show discussion that includes a Q&A session from both the playwright and the audience.

Usually a rehearsal (or two…or three) are scheduled in advance to prepare the actor’s…but for this particular piece, the cast only met once—and I couldn’t make it! So, we showed up to the venue, City Lights Theater Company, early and went straight to work. What awaited us, when we arrived, was nothing short of hilarious…

Oh, you know, just a ridiculously large penis...with some generous manscaping...

But hey, we didn’t come to dick around *cackle*…we came to work!

The neat set for EQUUS serving as the evening's general set.

We spent about an hour hashing out some rudimentary blocking that presents the reading in an accessible way. For this reading, I play LUIS, a mexican gangster. The script called for me to have a knife, but with such short notice–no prop knife was to be used. Instead, I was given a metallic wine bottle opener. Woot…good thing I’ve been working my imagination out. This was my first time meeting and working with Rich Miller (playing No Arms Norman) and Lynz Floren –they were both quite excellent!

I later found out that the giant penis that was sitting quietly in the audience was being used by my friend, Max Koknar who was doing a couple of readings that evening.

A peek backstage reveals much…

That's the extent of my documentation where the penis is concerned...

Before I could say, “To the tip!”, I was in the wings ready to grace the stage.

Last minute script crunching!

The evening wrapped with the aforementioned Q&A session with the playwrights and some of the directors involved. What a happy bunch, heh!

Susannah and Rich are on the far left, second row...

Mmmm, stage. A whole other beast.

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