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Gyntish Self

February 5th, 2015 1 comment

Poster of Gyntish Self with breakfast plate, utensils, toast, egg, bacon.

The Gyntish Self

I went to Sachsenheim Hall on Tuesday night to observe the rehearsal of my dear friend Peter’s play The Gyntish Self.

One rendition of the play was produced at Carnegie Mellon as Peter’s thesis play a few years back, and I had the opportunity to see it. While it has changed with re-writes and a newly emerging production, the play has lost none of its comedic bite.

Peter’s play is based on the Ibsen play Peer Gynt, which is based on the Norwegian fairy tale Per Gynt. Apparently at the time Ibsen wrote it there was a hullabaloo about the thing, with a bunch of pissed off Norwegians, and I’m sure they’d all be even more incensed by what Peter does with it. However, just like the Ibsen play, Peter’s creation moves seemlessly between the world of today and the deranged lunacy that is Peer Gynt’s mind. Of spontaneous interest to me was that Edvard Grieg wrote In the Hall of the Mountain King for the play and when I was visiting Mike Geither last Friday night for his birthday his son was playing that very song on the piano.

Regardless, the play, so far, is good fun with a great cast and I look forward to the upcoming production! If you wish to contribute to Peter’s production efforts.

For the full multimedia extravaganza .

Manhattan Project: Cleveland Lab

April 10th, 2013 No comments

Manhattan Project Oak Ridge

Manhattan Project Oak Ridge

My good friend Peter Roth did something quite exceptional yesterday, well, he had probably been working on it and thinking about it for a bit longer, nevertheless, yesterday evening he convened the first meeting of the Manhattan Project.

By his own description:

Between 1942 and 1945, J. Robert Oppenheimer gathered the most brilliant minds of the age at Los Alamos, New Mexico to create something magnificent and terrifying. The Manhattan Project – Cleveland Lab seeks to do the same for the Cleveland stage.

Based on the Theatre Lab model taught at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama and inspired by The Brooklyn Generator in New York, The Manhattan Project wants to introduce Cleveland actors and playwrights to each other by organizing a monthly production of brand new 10-minute plays.

Participating artists will meet early in the month and will be broken into teams, each with one playwright. The playwright will then be given a writing prompt to write a new 10-minute play based on the prompt and including all the team’s actors. The rest of the evening the team members will get to know each other and get a feel for each other’s skills and voices.

The teams will reconvene later in the month to perform these plays for each other.

These 10-minute plays are not an end in themselves. Through these small collaborations we hope to build relationships between the two most vulnerable artists in theatre; the actors who put themselves on stage and the playwrights who pour themselves onto the page. Perhaps these 10-minute plays will grow into longer works or maybe these collaborations will become partnerships on larger projects.

I am pleased that Peter invited me and that I am one of six inaugural writers. Upwards of twenty people showed up last night and all were enthusiastic. This is an exciting project and will only grow with time.

If you want to participate, please RSVP at

The first performance will be Monday, May 6, at 8:00pm at Mahall’s on Madison Avenue, which is a kick-ass venue with a good beer selection.

Rock-on, Peter!

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