Ken's IMDB picture > your IMDB picture
So this being my first Frontera Fest, I was never really sure about how the whole competition aspect of it went down. I talked to Ken Webster last night before we went on and asked some questions. Imagine two people talking casually, then take it down about 18 more notches. I love talking to Ken. It sort of feels like time is slowing down as you enter Coolville.
JMJ: So, is there an overall winner, or are we all winners at this point?
KW: I think you’re all pretty much winners.
JMJ: So we’re not being timed?
KW: Oh, you’re still being timed.
JMJ: So if we went over, we couldn’t come back on Friday?
KW: You’d probably come back.
JMJ: So they just bring the lights down to…. shame us?
KW: Yeah, pretty much to just to shame you.
I also asked him if there was a sort of Lombardi trophy-like moment, at the end of the festival. He said maybe one could be arranged. Which would be awesome because I really want to pour a cooler of gaterade on Liz Lay.
Jenn Hartmann as Dirty Vickie. And me with SAD, but without my fancy up-do. Photo by Caroline Poe.
We left our competition bloated as the barnacles at the bottom of the bay!!! We going in for more battle on Tuesday and Friday night at 8 pm. There are still tickets left as of today for Tuesday night. See the Austinist’s schedule writeup here.
We avoided the fateful blackout, and came in under 25 minutes, to thunderous applause.
So we won’t know whether or not we go on to compete for Best of Week until 11:30 on Friday night, but what I do know is that we were awesome. Even with a slew of new cues (the rhyming is almost pathological at this point), we ran an almost flawless show and came in under the wire. The crowd loved it from the second Tillery opened her downtrodden whore mouth. Panicked as we were that we would run over, we had to push through, even over deafening laughter and impromptu applause. I got kicked at the end, when Brian was cartwheeling, but since I was wearing about 18 bras, it didn’t hurt one bit. Does all this sound so cryptic and intriguing? Does it make you want to see this show? Well, have no fear, even if we somehow aren’t picked for Best of, we will be staging this somewhere. Stay tuned.
Last night we had a preview of Saint Matilde’s Malady in our rehearsal room at UT. We did a run through right before people showed up. 27 minutes. 27! This filled us with fear and panic. One of the crucial elements of our crushing our competition and winning Best of Fest is not getting disqualified for being over the allotted 25 minutes. We were fearful. Our director was not. Liz Lay, who could have been the Queen of Pirates herself in another lifetime, said, “We’re tired. We’ve been rehearsing relentlessly since last Monday. I fully predicted this runthrough to be our longest. But we are in a good place. Our play is not a hot mess. We know it is golden. We have a challenge people, and our challenge is this. Just keep the train moving at all times. No nested responses between dialogue, no dead air, no holding for laughter. Just go, go, go.” Our friends came in to watch and even with their not-infrequent laughter, we clocked in at 24 minutes. Better, but still scary. So, we had to shave off some of the stage business. Some of the physical comedy, that added to the show, but also could tip us into the red zone on time. That would just be devastating. Because this play is good, and all the talent attached to it is as well. Cross your fingers for us tonight and say a little prayer that we make it all the way through with a minute or so to spare.
Hello lovers. Hoping this long overdue post finds you happy and productive and warm. In my own pursuit of these things, I’ve begun my new year with daily chores and salty whores. But I now find myself two weeks into 2010, with no words at all for those that follow this little adventure I document here. I have been busy. I am always busy. A Christmas Carol closed, the holidays came and went, and I began rehearsals for my first foray into Frontera Fest. The play is an original work by Kyle John Schmidt and directed by Elizabeth C. Lay. “A swashbuckling new play about rage, love, and other sexually transmitted diseases.” Its sort of a Tom Waits song come to life. Whores! Sea Captains! Pirates! Mermaids! I play the brothel mistress, Connie, and I am having some fun with her. Our team is comprised of UT graduate students and former Winedalers, and myself. The only night of the Fest that has so far sold out. If I were our competition, I would be scared.
ST MATHILDE’S MALADY!
January 13th only! A new short play with juggling and textiles!
Written by …Kyle John Schmidt
Directed by… Elizabeth C. Lay
Featuring the formidable talents of:
Talleri McRae …as Tammy the Juggling Prostitute
Chaille Stidham …as Molly Forge the Well-Regarded Prostitute
Jennymarie Jemison …as Connie the Madam
Bryan Gonzales …as Sampson the Young Sailor
Joel Osborne …as Captain Twister
Jenn Hartmann …as Dirty Vicki the Pirate
Get your tickets now for January 13:
TICKETS ARE SELLING OUT INSANELY FAST.
(FronteraFest Short Fringe is a month long festival of short plays (max 25 minutes). Every week, one play from each night advances to the Best of Week showcase, and thence to Best of Fest, and thence to apotheosis. And a tickertape parade. So I’ve heard.)
On the 13th, there’s a great line up of other shorts, including: Packing Memories, by Allison Orr Block, directed by Wendy Bable; Whistle, by Meg Haley (ASW Commission); Things in Life, by Ben Prager, directed by Wynne West; We Are All Volunteers, by John M. Meyer. This is going to be a rock solid night of shows you won’t want to miss.