Tag Archives: playwright

Don’t Miss Gravedigger – The Plays of Mark Borkowski!

HAPPENING AT THE WALKING FISH:Join us at B. Someday Productions and the Walking Fish Theatre for three original one-acts plays from the award winning playwright Mark Borkowski, beginning on May 5 and running through May 23rd.  Mark is a Fishtown native, and his oh-so-real characters and intense writing are inspired by experiences and encounters he had in the neighborhood.  Mark has been joined by a veteran cast of actors and producers who were all drawn to these plays for one reason – Mark’s undeniably exceptional playwriting.  Actor Kenneth McGregor, known around the world for roles in films such as Cocktail in which he starred alongside Tom Cruise, X-Men, and The Muppets Take Manhattan, turned down two other roles for the opportunity to bring Borkowski’s script to the stage.

In “ A Gravedigger’s Tale” you will meet a gravedigger, junkies, crack whores, and gamblers, who all assume they’re going to get healthy tomorrow – until tomorrow comes.  You will see if their compromise of lack of compromise is going to kill them or if they will see another day.  In the “Mutilation of Saint Barbara” you peer into the life of a couple on the verge of ending a six-year relationship and in “Twilight’s Child” you watch the intimate moments between a husband and wife as they wrestle with the death of their child.  As you watch this gritty and gripping show, you will find new ways to explore the relationships between human beings.  The hauntingly truthful dialogue will captivate you as you realize quite distinctive versions of the happy ending.

Mark Borkowski is now living in New York and has garnered numerous awards including a Sterling Award for Best Play for “The Kids are Awake”, a Best Actor award in the 2008 Portugal Film Festival, has been published twice in Anthologies of Best Plays, and has received glowing reviews from coast to coast.  Producing these plays at the Walking Fish Theatre has been a homecoming of sorts for Mark and we hope you can join us for these fiercely original and spellbinding plays!

The production takes place at Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, 19125. Tickets are $18, or $12 for students and seniors. For more information call 215-427-9255 or email info@bsomeday.org. Pay-what-you-can preview performances will take place on Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6.

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For the benefit of Mr. Gravedigger…

February 19, a gray stone house on a quiet street, a gravedigger’s tale. These sound like necessary ingredients for a murder mystery, but instead they were parts of our cozy, bright Victorian Happy Hour Salon to benefit the upcoming mainstage show, Gravedigger: The Plays of Mark Borkowski.

L-R- Actor Kenneth MacGregor, playwright Mark Borkowski, and Board President Marne Castillo.

Marne Castillo, the newly elected Board President for B. Someday Productions, the resident company of Walking Fish Theatre, opened her new home to us for delicious beverages, snacks, mixing and mingling. Monsieur Thujone of The Absinthe Drinkers was our master of ceremonies and bon vivant and Melissa Santangelo of The Oubliette Ensemble provided lovely harp music.  Raffle prizes were provided by El Quetzal, The Music Fountain Cafe, Historic Philadelphia, The Aramingo Diner, The Philadelphia School of Burlesque, and many more.

Mostress Vicki performs a tarot reading for a guest.

Mistress Vicky performs a tarot reading for a guest.

Most importantly, excerpts from our upcoming show were read by the cast. The plays in this show- A Gravedigger’s Tale, The Mutilation of Saint Barbara, and Twilight’s Child, were all inspired by things that Borkowski witnessed while growing up in Kensington.

Salon guests watching the dramatic readings. The playwright is at center.

Salon guests enjoy dramatic readings in Ms. Castillo's foyer.

The stories in Gravedigger are not for the faint of heart. They are spellbinding tales with unique characters, and every one has their own exclusive version of a happy ending. Surrounded by the luxury and kindness in Marne’s home, seeing and hearing these excerpts of these gritty, gripping plays was like having a visitation from a ghost.

The plays will come to life in full this May, the 5th through the 23rd, 2010. We’re proud to say that thanks to the help of Marne Castillo, our board members, and all of our supporters, we did make our goal for this fundraiser.  To those of you who helped us, we are grateful for your support of our programs and mission.

If you missed this fantastic party, don’t fret- keep your calendar clear for The Spring Blues Soiree on April 10!

Managing Artistic Director Michelle Pauls and longtime supporter Dr. Bob Wallner.

We’ll have entertainment by New-Orleans-style blues band New Pony, in the garden-cottage setting of the Angler Movement Arts Studio in Fishtown. Wear your best party dress and kick off your shoes to dance! keep your eyes on walkingfishtheatre.com to purchase tickets with no handling fee.

Hear all about it with Rep Radio!

Darnelle Radford of Represented Theatre Company came over to visit us last week. He produces REP RADIO, a unique and insightful show about theatre production in the Greater Philadelphia Area.  Darnelle took some time to chat with Michelle about Walking Fish Theatre and our programming, and then with the cast about the puppets and the show.

Have a listen to our interview!

You still have a few chances left to see The Good Puppet of Szechwan. It will be playing on Wednesday, November 18 and  Thursday the 19th at 7pm, Friday the 20th and Saturday the 21st at 8pm, and finally on Sunday the 22nd at 2pm.

Get your tickets now and save time at the box office! There’s never a handling fee.

Behind the scenes video of The Good Puppet of Szechwan

See a bit of rehearsal and hear director Stan Heleva’s modus operandi and raison d’etre in this short video by filmmaker Mike Spano. Find out what it is about this story that’s compelling and relevant, and what makes it so magical.

It might not look completely magical right this second. When this was filmed, the puppets were functional but unclothed and unpainted. We’ve come a long way since then, so you’ll be able to see big differences when you come see us on November 6. For more information, visit our website. Thanks!

Thank you for your patronage and Salon support!

Our Salon benefit on October 10 was a tremendous success! Thanks to everyone who volunteered, attended, bought raffle tickets, or otherwise enjoyed our event. It’s not only the whole B. Someday crew that wants to thank you. We also managed to get a brief interview with our guest of honor, Bertholt Brecht, who was surprisingly enthusiastic for a man who’s been out of the theatre scene for the last 30 years.

Bertholt Brecht, our guest of honor, honoring his guests.

Bertholt Brecht, our guest of honor, honoring his guests.

WALKING FISH ONLINE: So, Herr Brecht, did you enjoy yourself this evening?

BERTHOLT BRECHT: Entschuldigen Sie, bitte, but you can call me Bertholt, and of course, I had a wonderful time.

WFO: What did you like best about it?

BB: Where to begin? I have to say that the Salon is not only the past but also the future of art. And this reizende Dame, this lovely lady Carol Smythe, who opens her

Carol Smythe and Dave Bodoff in her garden

Carol Smythe and Dave Bodoff in her garden

home to us, such a generous woman, and her home and garden are so elegant. In the old days the nobility would open their homes for the artists to come and perform for their friends, because you know, coal, it’s not cheap stuff keeping the place warm. So you have the salon in your home, and people are invited, they come and perform their music, their poetry, perhaps they read the plays, although the audiences, they

Excerpts from The Good Puppet of Szechuan were performed at the Salon.

Excerpts from The Good Puppet of Szechuan were performed at the Salon.

want to see the set, ja? So maybe not so much the plays performed at salons, although you certainly did very well with the reading here tonight, and the lovely music from Melissa Santangelo. Maybe the plays in the living rooms are they way to go- ask Vaclav Havel. It’s where art becomes more personal- do we keep theatre at a distance, on the stage, or do we invite it into our some? Something to think about.

WFO: What did you think of the refreshments?

BB: I was very surprised by that kind man Bob Murphy and his ice cream from The Music Fountain. I usually prefer to just, uh, settle down with some whiskey and

Bob Murphy of The Music Fountain Cafe serving up sweet treats to the guests.

Bob Murphy of The Music Fountain Cafe serving up sweet treats to the guests.

tobacco and a good book and I’m good for the night. But the ice cream was delicious. Also, it was fantastic to taste the wines of Germany again from the gentlemen from Moore Brothers. But this is what theatre should do, and back in my youth I was angry but now I’m optimistic, it’s a way for people to come together and share their resources, and so many places gave delicious desserts and refreshments. You got the whole

Greg Morre, right, of Moore Brothers, serving German specialties to our guests.

Greg Moore, right, of Moore Brothers, serving German specialties to our guests.

list, ja?

WFO: Oh, yes. We were generously helped by Hinge Café, Mercer Café, Ida Mae’s Bruncherie, Rembrandt’s, George’s Pizza, The Aramingo Diner, Brown Betty Dessert Boutique, Wegman’s, Darlings Café, and like you mentioned, Moore Brothers Wine, the Music Fountain Café, and Palm Beer.

BB: I’m glad you know all that, because even in my forties I had to write stuff down and put it in my pocket. But you know what I can’t forget, is seeing all my old friends again, my lovely wife Helene, my good friend, that young man, what’s his name, changed his name to Peter Lorre? I love him. And of course the good Kurt Weill, he stopped talking to me after he went to New York, it’s been over half a century, but that “Mack The Knife,” it’s still a catchy tune.

WFO: There were some other friends of yours there as well, weren’t there?

Bertholt Brecht has a weakness for witty women.

Bertholt Brecht has a weakness for witty women.

BB: Well, I hope Ruth forgives me my sins, or at least I hope she quit smoking. And Elisabeth, people should know how much of The Threepenny Opera she wrote, it’s true.  Now, new people, that I did not know before, I am enamored of that Liz Bradley and Kaki Burns who did so much to make everything perfect, and that T. J., he is a wunderkind. But that Senator Joseph McCarthy? How’d he get in the door?

WFO: He said he wanted to contribute, he was anxious to meet you.

BB: Well, he should meet somebody else. You know, actually, I’m glad he was there. People like him should see what freethinkers can do, what happens when you bring people together and they give generously and make

L-R: Michelle Pauls, Sarah Corlett of the NKCDC, Bob Murphy of The Music Funtain, and Stan Heleva.

L-R: Michelle Pauls, Sarah Corlett of the NKCDC, Bob Murphy of The Music Fountain, and Stan Heleva.

art. But maybe that’s something that Senator McCarthy doesn’t get. So, the point is, many good people, good friends, good ideas, all coming together. That’s why we make theatre in the first place. This Stan Heleva, building this theatre, adapting my play, he is an ubermensch. I like him very much. He told me the play opens on November 6, so that’s not too far away. I like this with the puppets very much, seeing them change over time in production, I think this is sehr gut. They start out puppetssimple, they get more and more complex.

WFO: So, in retrospect, after having said all this, let’s revisit the original question; what did you like most about the party?

BB: All right; the ladies. Always the ladies. I might have been a Marxist and a curmudgeon, but I could never resist their sprightly charms.

ladies in black

Last call till Fall!

Holy cow, we’re getting into the last two weeks of Walking Fish’s season. if you’ve been meaning to get down to Walking Fish for some good times, now’s your last chance until September.

119498468245756232stylized_yoga_person_ger_02.svg.med Yoga for Everyone, led by Hannah Tsaporis Mcleod, is on Sunday the 21st at 12:15. Celebrate the Summer Solstice by feeling good about your body. This class is only $10.

122577036772136524PrinterKiller_Acoustic_guitar.svg.medOn Wednesday, June 24, we’ll have the final Humpday Hootenanny of the spring. Bring your acoustic instrument or just open ears.  Free coffee, and other beverages are available for a donation. We start at 7pm. Bring some friends! Sponsored by Torreo Coffee.

Friday, June 26, Saturday June 27 and Sunday, June 28 at 8pm is High Dramma Sketch Comedy’s Season Finale Best of Awesome Show. Never seen High Dramma? Just want to catch the Greatest Hits? This weekend we’ll have the best sketches of this previous season. High Dramma’s shows often sell out, so order your tickets now! Don’t forget, our Recession Buster Special means your ticket is only $10.  That’s $5 off the regular price!

Jen, Jackie, Zac, Cregoe, D.C. and Johnny take the boo out of taboos.

Jen, Jackie, Zac, Cregoe, D.C. and Johnny take the boo out of taboos.

It’s going to be a long hot summer, but we’ll be spending the time scheming some great plots for you for next season. Want to know what’s up our sleeve? Come to the Season Announcement Reception on June 27 at 6:30 pm, when we’ll be telling you everything these is to know about our great new mainstage plays. We’ll have some short readings and tasty snacks, plus a question and answer session. Then grab a ticket and stick around for High Dramma.

Don’t miss it! Get your tickets at walkingfishtheatre.com, or call 215-427-WALK.

Ten Questions for Alex Dremann!

Once again, and throughout the run of FRESH FISH 2.0, we’ll be interviewing our playwrights. Alex Dremann is the genius behind WET PAPER BAG.

What first motivated you to write plays?

I started writing fiction in my early teens, so I’ve kind of always been writing.  I took a screenwriting class after I graduated college and started writing a screenplay opus with 10-15 minute scenes of just two people talking.  My teacher sat me down and told me I was a playwright and I should just own it.

From where did WET PAPER BAG originally come?

I have no idea.  I guess the original spark was just that I liked the idea of a scrawny little man trying to overpower this much stronger and bigger woman.

Alex Dremann offers us an enlightening analysis of the criminal mind with WET PAPER BAG.

Alex Dremann offers us an enlightening analysis of the criminal mind with WET PAPER BAG.

What other plays have you written, of which you’re particularly proud?

I’ve written lots of short plays and a few full lengths.  I think I’m proudest of the full lengths “Split Pea Pod” and “The Invisible Play”.

What other theatre arts do you practice?

I’ve directed twice and I really want to be good at it, but I’m not.  I’ve produced a few shows for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

Have you ever been mugged?

No, but a friend of mine was mugged last year.  He was far less upset by it than I was and I was home safely watching TV when it happened.

What was your most memorable theatrical experience?

There was a really cool moment in one of my first productions in grad school of a play called “Ye of the Chickpea-Sized Bladder” where the audience really roared with laughter for the first time that I will never forget.
What teachers have affected you as a writer and why?
My high school English teacher Mrs. Eaton really inspired me mostly by just encouraging me to write what I want to write.

What would we find under your bed?

I have a very small apartment so right now a lot of junk.  It’s serving as a horizontal closet right now.

What are you reading these days?

I’m halfway through the play “Becky Shaw” by Gina Gionfriddo.

If you could host a dinner party with any three people, currently living or not, who would you invite and what would you serve?

1. David Foster Wallace

2. Noel Coward
3. Janeane Garofalo

Pie.

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As of today, you have only six more chances to catch FRESH FISH 2.0. Get your tickets in advance at walkingfishtheatre.com, where there’s NEVER A HANDLING FEE!