Monday, November 12, 2012

Two Shows, Two Slices of Life

I am now finishing up with one of the most demanding times of my life. Being somewhat out of my mind, I decided to both direct a play and rehearse and perform in a musical, at the same time. I always knew I could do it, the problem I was having was the concern that I wouldn't be able to direct the play, The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard, with the commitment that this show requires. I was concerned mostly about letting down the actors, who were all excited about the project. It turns out that my worries were unnecessary in that the show has been a huge success. What I learned from the whole experience is that those of us who obsess with getting things "right" sometimes spin our wheels doing unnecessary work just so that we feel like we're doing something useful. The bottom line is that I simply didn't have time to do anything other than what was absolutely necessary to make sure that the story was being told well and with heart. The set is simple, the costumes are simple, the props are basic. Fortunately, I had the help of a top notch lighting designer, Ed Hunter, who made our stage look beautiful. I did spend a lot time on the sound. But mostly, I concentrated on the acting, collaborating with the immensely talented company of actors that I was fortunate enough to find. It's been quite a ride and a great learning experience.

The Cast of "The Game Show Show"
The Game Show Show at The Retro Dome
Michael Champlin & Carla Pauli
Michael Champlin & Carla Pauli in The Real Thing


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mrs. Warren's Profession Directors Note

Diane Tasca & Rosie HallettI just finished directing the great Shaw play at The Pear Avenue Theatre. I just thought I'd share the note I wrote for the program.

From the Show Program...

There is a figure that inhabits the Egyptian wing of The Louvre in Paris called, The Seated Scribe. It was sculpted by an unknown artist sometime between 3800 and 1710 B.C. It simply depicts an Egyptian scribe sitting crossed – legged, holding a partially rolled papyrus scroll in his left hand. His right hand must have held a brush, now missing. If you were spending a day racing around The Louvre, you could easily just pass it by. However, if this scribe happened to catch your eye as you were hurrying off to see the Mona Lisa, you might just be stopped in your tracks. What appeared, from a distance to be rather ordinary, may suddenly move you to the very core of your being. For this little scribe has eyes that seem to look through you. His eyes penetrate your walls of pretense. All at once you see that he sees you, really sees you, and you become captivated, unable to look away. You might even stay there for an hour or so just staring in wonder. And so it is with Mrs. Warren's Profession. The more you hear the words spoken through the voices of talented actors, the longer they work their way into your mind, you realize that you have had the good fortune of being forever changed by something universally human and infinitely wise.

The show runs through July 15th.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

A Birthday Wish to The Bard

Sometime within the last week in 1564, the world's greatest playwright was born in the small village of Stratford Upon Avon.

Happy Birthday Mr. Shakespeare!


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hoody Tribute to Trayvon


Hoody Tribute to Trayvon, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
We must lay down our guns in this country. We must lay down our hate. We must put love first. Time is running out.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kathleen Turner Makes 'High' Sore

Saw "High" with Kathleen Turner on Thursday. As always her performance was passionate and riveting. The play's message is not all that hopeful and is riddled with Catholic doctrine. It also includes a sudden manic nude scene that seemed sort of odd. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the show, even though I left feeling a mini existential crisis. It deals with a hopeless addiction of a horribly abused young man. It ends with without a message of hope. This is fine, but many

theatre goers will shy away.— at The Curran Theater.

The last time I saw Turner on stage was a few years ago with Bill Irwin in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe". I became an instant fan of her. She seems to fully give over her true self when she performs. She has so much passionate and commitment to each and very moment, that you simply cannot take your eyes offer her. And she inhabits this odd, but alluring deep, gravelly baritone voice that simultaneously sounds gruff and voluptuous.

High is playing at at The Curran in San Francisco through March 25th. If you want to still see the show, you have to hop on over to Minneapolis wear it runs for a few days beginning April 18th. The official web site of the tour is here: .

Video trailers:






Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bus Barn's "Doubt", Excellent.

I just wanted to say something about Bus Barn Stage Company's recent production of "Doubt", by By John Patrick Shanley, that closed last weekend. I found it to be an exquisitely acted and directed piece of theatre. I saw the play a few years ago with Cherry Jones in the leading role, and this production was every bit as good as the Broadway tour. Congratulations to the entire cast and crew of this beautiful play.



Geoff Fiorito (Father Flynn)

Michelle Ianiro (Mrs. Muller)

Melinda Marks (Sister James)

Diane Tasca (Sister Aloysius)


Virginia Drake (Director)