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What does

YOUR

audience want?

Our Cover John Ebbert J&G’s Orchestration Consultant

Lets Save The SurfLight

The invisible orchestra! (just PressPlay™)

Theatre

AACT Festival 2010

Community Theatre review! Sugden Theatre / Naples Players, Venice Theatre, Ocala Civic Theatre, Manatee Players & Theatre Winterhaven

J&G Production

Catalog Winter/Spring 2011


What ’s so Special about J&G

TALK TO THE AUTHORS! Ever wish the authors were as easy to approach and talk to as your best friend is? Ours are! We hope you will contact us to discuss all your special venue needs with us and the authors of our works. We will work hard to make adjustments for your unique needs. NO DEPOSITS! On performance materials! You KEEP them, so there’s no extra expense in making copies or in return shipping costs. ANCILLARY PRODUCTS! Have you been looking for ways to make more money with your shows? Well, we develop a line of products for each work, just for you! T-shirts, CD’s, books, candies, sunglasses and other specialty items are carefully chosen to flatter each show. GRAPHICS & PRINTING ASSISTANCE! We have our own graphics department complete with digital print shop and can assist in the creation of advertising art, posters, programs and other materials. We give you everything you need to market your production of a J&G play or musical, including rights to use the custom artwork we create!

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AUDIO ASSISTANCE! With a complete music studio on site, and one of the industry’s leading orchestration consultants on the team, J&G creates stunning recordings of performance music, vocal demo cd’s and our amazing new Press Play™ system. Press Play gives EVERY theatre, regardless of size, the ability to produce musicals and incorporate pre-recorded sound effects into their J&G productions.

345-5550

www.

JandGUnlimited .com

DIRECTOR ON STAFF! J&G is proud to announce that 44 year theatre veteran, Ralph Maffongelli, is now a part of the J&G team. Formerly Director of Theatre for the Sheboygan Theatre Company, with various degree’s in theatre, Ralph not only assists our clients in fitting them with the right J&G production, but also reviews each completed work from the perspective of a Director, before it is provided to our theatre clients.


What’s Inside... Editor in Chief, VP of Marketing: TRACY RENEE Contributing Writers: RALPH MAFFONGELLI GARY MURWAY JUDITH SAPPERSTEIN TRACY RENEE Layout & Design: TRACY RENEE Advertisers: ERNIE MIRAGLIOTTA (p 15) MUSSON THEATRICAL (p 27) MERIDIA AUDIENCE RESPONSE (back) J&G is a theatrical licensing company based out of beautiful Bucks County Pennsylvania, conveniently situated between New York City and Philadelphia. J&G represents the creative musical composition and play writing team of Judith Sapperstein & Gary Murway supported by music and theatre and music greats such as Ralph Maffongelli and John Ebbert. Please be sure to visit our website on a regular basis for timely updates, new additions and company news/events. That URL is:

SM

unlimited, llc.

Where creativity meets applause!

SM

Article Sapperstein & Murway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 3 BLOOMIN (Musical). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 4 FEET (Dance-i-cal). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 6 COVER STORY Magical Orchestrations, J&G’s Orchestration Consultant, John Ebbert. . . . . p 8 FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES (Comedy/Play). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 12 Article What does YOUR audience want? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 14 HANK THE TABLE (Musical) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 16 Article Help keep the SurfLight Lit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 18 HUH? ... Vote for who? (Musical). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 20 Article PRESS PLAY, The invisible orchestra! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 22 LAIME INVENTIONS (Comedy/Play). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 24 Article Community Theatre Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 26 MOTHER TRUCKERS (Comedy/Play). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 30 Article Festival in Paradise, AACT 2010 Festival in Venice Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 32 REGAL’S LAST RESORT (Comedy/Play) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 34 Article Theatre Unexpected, Virtual Theatre Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 36 SO THERE WAS THIS RAT (Comedy/Play) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 38 THIS MAN IS AN ISLAND (Drama/Play). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 40

http://www.JandGUnlimited.com Members Of:

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2010/11

AACT Members, be on the look out for more details inside this issue about the 25% member discount on materials, just for being a member of AACT!

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Just

PRESS PLAY

TM

http://www.JandGUnlimited.com main office:

215-345-5550 creative@JandGUnlimited.com Now, with J&G’s new Press Play program, musical theatre is available for EVERYONE! No extra cost, very easy to understand and operate, Press Play gives you all the music and sound effects you need to put on a J&G Musical and all you have to do is press a button.


Sapperstein and Murway by Tracy Renee Byrne

So often we're asked about Judith and Gary's history, how they got together, how this all began. It occurred to me that it's actually the makings of a great story, so I managed to get them to sit still for a few minutes for me and asked them a few questions…

So tell me, how did you two get together? GARY: Which time?

Excuse me? JUDITH: The truth is, we first met and worked together in the early 80's. And then, for some strange reason that we can't seem to figure out ourselves, we went our different ways until that infamous day in June of 2007.

That's interesting. Why don't we start with the first time. GARY: All I know is, I was working a club gig one night, and she and her husband were there. During a break, her husband, Gerry, asked me to call her up to sing a song. I remember it distinctly. He said, “Believe me, you won't regret it.” So I did. And he was right. We clicked right then and there, and from that moment on, she sang with me every weekend. JUDITH: It was like magic. Right off the bat we could think out of each other's heads somehow. Gary is, of course, a long-time professional performer, but I used to love to push the envelope. I would modulate up or down in the middle of a song, and even added my own tricky endings, but he always knew, by instinct, just where I was going, and I could never stump him. GARY: We set up a four track studio in her basement and began writing and recording our own stuff. That's when we wrote “Morning Song” and “Watch Out”. We used them in “Bloomin!”

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

JUDITH: Yeah, we did a few commercials and such, but then I got caught up with the Keswick Theatre. It all started when I auditioned for the part of a Ziegfeld Girl in “Funny Girl”. I got the part, and was hooked. From then on I was in several other productions, including playing the part of Mama Rose in “Gypsy”. Right after that, I was asked to write a musical along with the theatre's musical director, Don Whyte. We wrote “By George”, which covered the life of George Gershwin. It was a big success. GARY: Yeah! I suppose that was it. She went on to the world of theatre at that time, and I stayed in musical performance, where my strengths were. And we sort of grew apart. JUDITH: Until that phone call in June of 2007. Out of the blue he calls me and says, “Hey, partner… How ya been?” Gerry and Gary and I had dinner on our veranda, during which I happened to mention a little thing I was working on over the years called “Bloomin!” And the rest is history. We were back at it as if no time had passed. I can't explain it. There's just something that happens when the two of us get together. Sparks fly and all sorts of weird characters get born, and all this music starts soaring through the air, and we just have to write it down. GARY: All I wanted was a free meal and next thing I know… I'm involved in the greatest career change that I could ever imagine.

As you can see, I didn't get much of a chance to ask more than one question. Look for more in our next issue. For now, I think its time to untie them and let the magic flow again, funny how they didn’t seem to mind being tied to their chairs. They're working on their next musical … oh, I cannot wait to get this one out to you. I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard, and they're no where near done just yet. Keep checking our website for it.

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COMEDY - MUSICAL FULL CAST VERSION: CAST SIZE: 32 - LENGTH: 1 hr, 40 min CONCERT VERSION: CAST SIZE: 9 - LENGTH: 1 hr, 40 min + Intermission & scene changes SYNOPSIS: Bloomin is a musical journey through a year in the life of a garden. Mother Earth guides the audience through each season with her sweet yet short-tempered Southern Belle demeanor. Spring arrives awakening the flowers, who sleepily emerge from their frozen winter beds. They greet Mother Earth and sing their Flower Quartet. The Night Creatures rap out their "Night Music" along with the light show and the squirrels are on the rampage, driving poor Dirt insane, Argyle has misplaced his nuts and everyone shudders when the Dog comes around. Summer unfurls -- Eggplant, Jalapeno Pepper and Miss Tomato live here. There's even an evil Weed with questionable intentions for the voluptuous Miss Tomato. The Happiest Bumble Bee

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flies through the garden, singing while he's pollinating. But everything is ok -- These veggies really know how to kick it back and Fiesta. Autumn breezes in. Meet the adorable Seedling Mum who is absolutely certain that butterflies are related to fairies and is determined to prove it! The Mums are trying to keep the Gardener's secret from Mother Earth, but to no avail; it seems the Gardener has been tampering with her system again...that Pumpkin is gigantic and if the smell of his fertilizer intolerance isn't enough ... in comes Shanelle the skunk. A know-it-all teen with an attitude. Finally, Winter spreads across the land. Mother Earth sure could use the rest. Her Evergreens prepare to stand guard over the sleeping garden while the Winter Fairy puts it all into perspective, singing "Life is a Cycle." All the fall flowers and veggies are sound asleep, except one little Seedling Mum fighting hard to stay awake to catch a glimpse of the Winter Fairy. All original music, adult humor hidden beneath the layer of kid-friendly characters and dialog. Bloomin is a musical production for audiences of all ages.

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011


The Musical Written by

Judith Sapperstein and GaryMurway

Illustrations & Design by Tracy Renee

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

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COMEDY / DANCE-I-CAL SYNOPSIS: Our feet have always been necessary in carrying us from one place to another. But as these colorful characters from all across history will surely be glad to tell you, walking and running is one thing, but THE DANCE is Soooooo much more!

A Choreographer's dream, FEET tells a part of the story of “Dance” beginning with the Minuet and traveling all the way up to Rock and Roll. In doing so, we meet many wonderful and interesting characters along the way. Unlike other dance recitals and programs, this show uses the style of a Broadway Musical in that it has a great story to tell through the dialog of some really delightful characters, but instead of the dances being included to flatter the show, the dances ARE the show. In this case, the script is created solely to FEATURE the dances. Introduced through the witty barbs of a Colonial Couple, the show starts with the Minuet, moves on to the Waltz, the Waltz one-step, and continues on to the “Peabody”. We then travel out West to feature the Western Dances, after which we return to the East where we go to Harlem. Let's not forget the sensual dances that are the Flamenco, the Tango, yes and even the Pasodoble. We, of course, include the Roaring 20's, through the boogie woogie and finally… Rock n' Roll. And just so the teens of today don't feel left out, we end with a bit of “Hip Hop”. FEET will have 'em dancing in the aisles for sure, and why not? What could be more complementary to the performers than the desire of the audience to participate. The script is funny, the dances are wonderfully reminiscent, and it promises to be a wonderful complement that features the talent and efforts of the Choreographer.

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STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011


A Musical by Judith Sapperstein & Gary Murway

FEET

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

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Magical

by Tracy Renee Byrne

Orchestrations About J&G’s Orchestration Consultant, John Ebbert

John's father was a vocal coach, a trained operatic tenor and until John was five years old, there were always voice lessons taking place in the house, lessons that left an imprint on the very young John. Piano lessons started at the tender age of five. Not a prodigy to his own way of thinking, yet he had this innate ability to pick up sounds, by ear, from very early on. The older he got, the more complicated the music he could pick apart, just by listening to it. Amazingly, at 12, John discovered an entire world beyond rock and roll … jazz. “In 1957, 'Peter Gunn' was the first TV show to use modern jazz in the music score and Henry Mancini composed the music. That opened up an entire new world for me,” John shares with a chuckle. From that point on, it became a passion to learn more. But no one taught modern jazz techniques in Lancaster County, because no one really understood it. He traveled all over trying to find a teacher who could help him. “It was extremely frustrating!” Never the less, he created his first written music and amateur band at 12, moving on to paid gigs by 16. “That's an interesting story actually,” John shares. “When I was 16, there was this rock and roll group made up of a bunch of much older guys, but they did not have a keyboard player. They played at local farm shows and such, and I would follow them around. I really wanted in their group,” he continues. “One day, I asked to sit in and rehearse with them. Before the session was over, they'd made me an official member of the band.”

Well-known in the music industry, John Ebbert has made quite a career and name for himself as a professional composer, arranger, orchestrator and jazz pianist … a writer and musician to boot! But where did this “Magician of Music” get his start, where's he been through the years, and what is it this “Orpheus of Orchestration” does for J&G Unlimited? Born into a world where music enveloped him, surrounded and floated in and around him, cradling him with its alluring caress; filling his body and soul with his very first breath. Some might call it destiny or fate, but for John Ebbert, it was just a natural consequence of his family, home and upbringing.

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After that, John was off to Temple University. There was a great deal of prejudice surrounding jazz in those days, and jazz education was not part of the typical music college curriculum. Still having this insatiable urge to study it, he began asking around and quickly learned that everyone interested in jazz was studying, outside of school, with Dennis Sandole. “Everyone kept insisting, 'go study with Dennis Sandole,' so at 21 years of age, I found myself studying with Dennis, practicing four hours a day with him, yet still handling a full-time music college curriculum and practicing hours a day for my classical teacher, George Sementovsky,” he said. “The good news is, I kept on top of it all and still managed to party with my fraternity,” he added with a laugh.

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011


Knowing now that John and J&G's own Gary Murway were both students of Dennis Sandole, I asked John who else might have studied with Dennis, to which John chimed in eagerly, “John Coletrain, James Moody, Art Farmer, Pat Martino, Jim Hall maybe. There was this guitarist, Mike Warren, a senior at Temple while I was sophomore. Mike went on to become famous on the West Coast conducting Donna Summers records. Diana Ross' guitarist used to fly in to take lessons from Dennis all the time and his lesson's were right after mine. Years earlier, Rufus Harley, the jazz bagpipest, was scheduled right before me. You never knew who you were going to suddenly meet in his studio.” But how did this Rock, Motown, Jazz enthusiast get into orchestration? “Well, I studied orchestration at Temple. I remember Bill Frabizio, now Dr. Frabizio, head of the music department for years at what used to be Beaver College, now Arcadia University. He taught at Temple back then and was my orchestration teacher,” John shared,

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

the light of memory glinting in his eyes as he spoke. It turned out that since jazz was not a legitimate part of the college curriculum, as most great teachers would do, Dr. Frabizio thought outside the box and formed weekly non-credit rehearsal sessions for all students who were interested. We had an entire 17-piece student big band at our disposal for prospective writers to hone their arranging skills. Even after it was discontinued, the students kept it up. “I remember my first big band arrangement was atrocious! But … the second was an original piece I wrote in 1967, right before I started with Dennis, and that was one of the best things I'd ever written at the time, actually still performable today. Believe me, I'm humble, but it's not like the stuff I'm writing now. It still does hold up really well though, considering it was my first real piece,” he adds. In reality, this 2-movement work, with no other title than “2 movements for big band,” was used for decades by other college and high school jazz bands. “When I did my big Haverford

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concert in 76', where I premiered my jazz suite, I included '2 movements for big band' in the repertoire and the crowd went wild. And this was years after being out of Temple,” he added. Even today, John runs into people he has never met before, who hear his name and feel inspired to pick up a sax and play the lead melody from the first. It is that prevalent in the higher educational system. “It's funny, I didn't even feel like I knew what I was doing back then, I was just learning. It was such a great honor!” John said. Unbeknownst to John, someone was in the audience in Haverford, listening. This same someone was working at Queen Village Recording Studio and based on what he heard, recommended they look into this new guy, John Ebbert. Apparently, he was not alone in his recommendations. At the time, Queen Village Studio's Karen Young had the hit record, “Hot Shot,” which got the in-house orchestrator out on tour with her to promote … leaving the position open for another arranger and John stepped in to take over. John worked on many projects in those days, including music for commercials and occasionally corporate film work and documentaries. While there, John orchestrated an entire album for “Cindy and Roy,” not exactly a household name, but very big nationally in the disco world. John reminisces, “they had two big hits off that album I did for them, one was disco, 'Can You Feel It?' That was a giant hit that still has a cult following today. The other was a ballad called 'While We Still Have Time,' written by them, with the rhythm track arrangement done by John and the string arrangement by Suzanne Ciani, who later became a famous New Age composer.” He continues, “the original cut was so beautiful because there were so many good singers.” John went on to write some original music for Cindy and Roy, also composing music for TV and radio commercials and continued orchestrating and arranging for other artists during his time at Queen Village. When the work began to run dry, he followed studio manager Wally Hayman to Sigma Sound Studios and continued the same kind of work. In 1985, he went to Modern Video/Audio Productions, where he spent the next 12 years as the in-house composer. “Modern

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STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011


Video/Audio Productions took up the entire 33rd floor of 1600 Market Street. It was fabulous and we were the center of the business for a while,” John said. At that time, Modern Audio was the premiere commercial and video production house in Center City Philadelphia. John took an interest in Opera when he returned to graduate school at Temple to get his Masters in Composition, just this past decade. “I took this extensive course on Wagner's Ring Cycle. I remember we had to memorize 99 light motifs and identify them in one of the final exams,” he shared. “I came out of that course realizing I could write an opera.” After graduation, John began looking for subject matter on which he could write a major orchestra/choral work, not unlike Carl Orff's “Carmina Burana,” or Igor Stravinsky's “Symphony of Psalms.” During his search, he stumbled across a question on the Internet that asked, 'who was the first vampire?' It was an oversimplified description of Lilith, supposedly Adams first wife and the very first vampire. The more research he did, the more he realized that this was the subject matter for his choral piece. It was so extensive however, and such a compelling story, he soon realized that it was begging to be an opera, possibly even a two or three opera cycle.

one of their biggest albums; John Ebbert has proven himself time and again to be one of this century’s shining examples of talent. Today he consults on and edits the music orchestrations for Sapperstein & Murway’s musicals including Bloomin, HUH? and Hank The Table. “As we finish each new musical, several more already in progress, we will call upon Jack to provide the finishing touches to make them so memorable,” says Gary Murway, one-half of the amazing play writing/composing duo. “He's such a perfect fit because of the broad musical genre background he has,” Gary continued. “Bloomin alone has everything from latin to opera, gospel to country. It has a broad spectrum of styles, each tune carrying on the minds and tongues of everyone who listens to them, long after the music ends,” Gary concludes. “It's a lot of fun hearing people having one of our tunes stuck in their head, humming it over and over,” Judith chimes in. Well, there you have it, one more amazing puzzle piece rounding out the powerhouse of a team here at J&G Unlimited. Visit our website: http://www.JandGUnlimited.com for more.

So how did Jack become a part of the J&G team? “Gary had heard me speak one night, at a Meeting of the Solo Musician's Network and asked if I would be interested in score editing for J&G, as they wanted their scores and parts edited to professional standards. The rest is history. I love the fact that everyone at J&G is so down-to-earth, good at what they do and really fun to interact with. They’re going to go far!” John said. “It was like stepping through the proverbial looking glass, and you can never go back!” What an amazing journey, for an amazing man. From jazz to rock, Motown to opera, Cindy and Roy to Sister Sledge for whom he'd arranged five tunes on

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

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COMEDY CAST SIZE: 11 LENGTH: 1 hour 20 minutes + Intermission & scene changes SYNOPSIS: President Arnot Thinkinear is a self-serving egomaniac who has stupidly followed the economic plan of a private sector billionaire and the result is that the country is in a financial shambles. Suddenly, without any warning, a large UFO lands on the mall right near The White House. Are they friendly or here to invade our planet? Turns out they need our help. They need our spent uranium. They use it as fertilizer to make their "nourishment substance" grow. Their planet is starving and they need help right away. Ironically, their space craft emits a substance that is initially thought of as a possible contaminant, but later found out to be platinum.

Eureka! A solution to correct the economy. Although, the President can't resist trying to siphon off some for himself and his Chief of Staff, Powers Wayning. They are caught red handed by General George S. Trojan and his troops and exposed by Chase Storyman and Lilac Hellowitz of YMI News. General Trojan becomes fast friends with the three Aliens. Learning their unique customs becomes an interesting twist. The General retires from the Army and answers his country's call to run for President. The country is saved by "President" Trojan and his new friends from the Planet Quirdmut. The play is positively wacky and promises no end of laughter. It ends with Chase Storyman and Lilac Hellowitz being invited to visit Quirdmut along with a Diplomatic Party from Washington DC. This visit is recorded on an audio CD and made available for purchase on the way out of the theatre so that the audience can hear the result of the trip. (A great ancillary to make additional money for the Theatre.)

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STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011


For Mature Audiences

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What Does YOUR

Audience By Ralph Maffongelli

Want?

The theatre is dead! It costs too much to put on a musical! A drama can't make it in New York! The Great White Way is all revivals. There are no new plays! Broadway is only for tourists! Everybody's on the internet! Young people can't stop texting long enough to watch a performance! Live entertainment is a thing of the past! No doubt you've heard all these things before. If you're a pessimist then throw out this catalogue, close down your theatre, lock the doors and go off to sell real estate or life insurance. If you're an optimist then lay this catalogue aside, sit back and continue doing just what you're doing without any changes as you blissfully tell yourself, “My theatre isn't half empty, it's half full.� But if you're a realist read on! The truth is that theatres today are facing tremendous challenges. Finding and keeping an audience is extremely difficult. As technology progresses and the culture moves forward there will constantly be innovations that change perceptions, attract a lot of attention and distract from what was previously popular. Remember that radio was going to kill the theatre. Movies were going to kill both theatre and radio. Television was going to kill the theatre, radio and movies. Then pay television was going to kill network television. Now videos threaten to destroy both movies and TV, while the internet threatens to kill everything that came before.

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Yet all of these entities have survived. How? By changing with the times. Movies were once silent films. Then came 'talkies,' Cinemascope, Technicolor, IMAX, computer generation and now real 3-D. TV was once a small black and white picture on three networks and as many channels. Radio was once just broadcast, now it's 'streamed.' Ignoring the evolution from the Greeks to the Absurdists, the theatre itself has changed tremendously in just the last fifty years. The Golden age of Musicals of the 1950's, with its simple book and a score of songs which advanced the plot, has given way to much more complex pieces that are sung through and produced with a theatricality Rodgers and Hammerstein would never recognize. Full-size helicopters, chandeliers that threaten the audience, puppets that go far beyond the traditional concept, people turned into furniture, dancers performing up and across the proscenium arch, cars whizzing through the air, actors careening all around the theatre on roller skates and characters flying up to the third balcony are just a few

examples of the special effects audiences have come to expect. Straight plays too are no longer just the wellmade scripts dramatizing a story in the manner of O'Neill, Williams and Miller, but rather highly theatrical pieces written in all sorts of styles and delving into the kinds of subject matter our culture is now willing to explore.

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011


So where does that leave those of us who are trying to attract spectators willing to leave the comforts of their living rooms, travel some distance, sit among a group of strangers and spend two or more hours watching living, breathing people act out a theatrical story in real time? We too must change! We must change the way we think, the way we view our audiences, the way we select our seasons and the way we perceive ourselves. The old theories and ideas have to give way to new approaches. Like the expressions at the beginning of this article that can't be accepted as gospel, there are a number of maxims about what audiences want that must be rethought. Audiences don't want to think. They don't want to cry. They want to relax. They want to forget their troubles. They want to get away from their problems at work. They don't want to be reminded of world issues. They just want to be entertained. They want to laugh. They only want comedies and musicals. If they haven't heard of it they won't come, but if we keep doing the same old stuff they still won't come. How many times have you heard producing groups say, “We do four shows: three for them and one for us”? The implication is that those presenting and those watching not only have entirely different likes and dislikes, but also are at odds with one another, if not at war. This is certainly not the community theatre of

Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides or that of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. It is my belief that audiences are willing to think and to cry and to deal with world issues and to confront both their own problems and those of others. This is not to say that they don't want to be entertained. What they don't want to be is bored. They want their attention held. They want the same thing from live theatre that they have come to expect from their computers, blackberries, ipods, I-Phones, video games and the internet: to be engaged. So the solution to the current challenge of finding, developing and retaining audiences for live theatre is not to select only one kind of material, but to select good material of all kinds. It can be old material or new material. It can be straight material or musical material. It can be serious material or comical material. It can be name recognition material or unknown material. But it must be good material. No, the theatre is not dead nor is it in danger of dying. It just needs to be aware of the cultural changes, adapt and keep up with the times. It must throw out old, outdated beliefs about audiences and their preferences and replace them with real-world, current ideas about spectator expectations.

Computers & Music Complete Home Studio Design and Build Custom built “Quiet” Computers Custom Studio Furniture Soundproofing and Sound Treatment Software and Hardware Installations Troubleshooting and Repair MIDI and Audio instruction – PC and MAC ProTools – Cubase – Logic – Sonar

Call - Ernie Miragliotta - 609-658-1221 STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

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MUSICAL COMEDY CAST SIZE: 12 LENGTH: 1 Hour, 50 Minutes + Intermission & scene changes The Declaration of Independence has just been signed, and Philmore Fothergill is MORE than aware of the serious times that are ahead. He makes a strong commitment to be a vibrant part of the Revolutionary War effort, but the distraction of the beautiful Miss Millicent Galloway is almost more than he can handle. Millicent's Father is a British Loyalist, and Philmore is a wealthy Philadelphia ship owner who is secretly supplying the Colonial Forces with arms and ammunition. Philmore also finds himself secretly operating as a s p y. I n h i s position as

a Gentleman, it is quite easy for him to associate with the Loyalist Gentry in order to learn what he can to pass along to General Washington. If it were not for his trusty friend, Elias Gusset, his efforts for the cause might never find success. Much of the tale is told by Master Fothergill's furniture. After all, THEY were there when it happened. The story winds up in the Present where we find that the Fothergill home has been put on the National Registry of Historic Homes. Philmore's story of heroism has been lost in time and his proud and loyal furniture is distraught at not being able to get his wonderful story told. Once again, GUSSET, comes to the rescue. But, this time it is his ancestor, Melvin. For some strange reason, Melvin can hear the furniture speak. He is the ONLY one. The furniture is finally able to pass on Philmore Fothergill's hidden diary which tells the whole story. Though there are many funny fictional characters in this story, the historic events have been kept in order, and the music is h a p p y, s w e e t , a n d inspirational.

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TM

a musical by

SAPPERSTEIN and MURWAY

Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

Artwork by Tracy Renee

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Help keep the

SurfLight by Ralph Maffongelli

Lit

J & G is donating this space to communicate an urgent message regarding a venerable theatre which is in financial trouble. The call recently went out regarding the fact that New Jersey's Surflight Theatre may be forced to close its doors in a very short time if it is unable to raise approximately $500,000. Surflight Theatre is located on Long Beach Island, a popular barrier island off the coast

of New Jersey, forty-five minutes north of Atlantic City. The Beach Haven, NJ, troupe was founded by Joseph P. Hayes in 1950. His dream was to offer theatre and theatre training for actors and technicians, and it has successfully done so for all these years to the delight of it's' audiences. Today's programming, sixty-one years later, reflects the accomplishments of his extraordinary vision—an achievement that is readily seen in the success of actors and technicians who credit their good fortune in a

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challenging industry to the early training they received at Surflight. I too began my career at Surflight many years ago. It is where I learned most of what shaped my professional life. Starting in the mid-sixties I was, for six years, the resident stage manager and director of children's shows at Surflight. For the last three of those years I also directed mainstage shows and then came back as a guest director for three successive seasons. It was at Surflight that I learned the practical skills which allowed me to work for more than forty years in a variety of theatre settings, so you can imagine my dismay at the thought of such a loss. The Surflight Theatre is well loved and attended by the community and surrounding areas, as well as many people from all sorts of places who choose vacation there. It has no trouble filling the seats, but it obviously needs some real help in the management area. Thankfully, this wonderful theatre has just received the biggest boost ever. Roy Miller (right), a fellow alumnus of Surflight accepted the call to take over the theatre and help bring it back into solvency.

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Roy, of course, is a successful and more than experienced Broadway Producer who, as a youngster, was an apprentice at Surflight as well. He did not hesitate to come running when he heard that the Surflight needed him. As the new Producing Artistic Director there is no doubt that, Roy Miller will get it back on track so that the quality performances that this theatre is famous for can continue for the enjoyment of generations to come. Thankfully, many have already generously heeded the call for help, but the required goal has not yet been met. If you can contribute in any way you would be doing a great service not only to this theatre, but to the art form as well.

Remember, when one curtain can go down they can all go down. Please help the Surflight Theatre by stopping by the theater at Engleside and Beach avenues in Beach Haven, New Jersey, or by calling the box office at 609-492-9477, ext. 1. Checks can also be sent by mail to: Surflight Theatre, P.O. Box 1155, Beach Haven, NJ 08008. Thank you for your help! The SurfLight theatre can be found online at http://www.SurfLight.org. Please visit the website and learn more about this amazing theatre’s history and impact on the theatrical community as a whole.

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MUSICAL COMEDY CAST SIZE: 33 - (Has been performed with 17) LENGTH: 1 hour, 40 minutes + Intermission & scene changes HUH? puts all the chaos, backstabbing and cynicism of a Presidential Election into music and dancing. No actual political messages are necessary -- and none are offered! The behavior of all those involved is plenty funny enough! For instance, why do people think that if a candidate holds a baby, it makes him better qualified to hold the office? Suppose he doesn't really like babies. Meet Maxwell Carbondale and Ambassador Wainright, our two candidates. Their behavior comes as no surprise as we see them make their usual politician style mistakes. Enter our heroine, Ethel Rupert, a reporter for YMI News. Ethel tries her best to hold it all together by sticking to the higher ideals to which we all should aspire, but her media associates do their best to make it as difficult as they can for her. Still, she continues to look at the world through her "Rose Colored Glasses" and refuses to give up on trying to always do her highest sense of right. She meets with convicts, nanny's, joggers, hookers and little old men in the park -- to name a few. THEY seem to understand and appreciate her. And, let's not forget that little old lady that seems to show up every time the chips get low for Ethel. HUH? does not speak to any political agenda whatsoever. It simply looks at all the players in the political world we know today, and has a wonderful time at their expense. All this coupled with exceptional music and exhilarating dance numbers throughout. In the end, the people actually do have a voice when, by a surprise landslide vote, the write-in candidate wins the election. Ethel is truly surprised when she finally finds out ... she's the new President of the United States. "Only in America," she exclaims to raucous cheers and applause. PAGE 20

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Just

PRESS PLAY

TM

The Invisible Orchestra! By Gary Murway

So, your local Community Theatre is finally doing a Musical! You LOVE Theater, and you have always enjoyed the quality of the Plays they have put on. Even though it is a small theatre and an all volunteer group, they really are quite Professional. But now… A Musical? It takes a lot to put on a Musical. And where are they going to get the Musicians? Not only THAT, but… Where are they going to PUT the Musicans? You know that Theatre, and there's not a lot of room in there. Curiosity is getting the better of you. You love Musicals, and you really love to support your local Community Theatre, and… Well???... You really haven't got anything else to do that night, so… whadaya say? Let's give it a try. The big night has arrived. You enter the Theater and find your seat. There's not a Musician in sight. PAGE 22

How in the world are they going to pull it off? Finally, the lights go down, the curtain comes up, and the show begins. You find you are listening to a full blown Professional Orchestra, the Performers are well rehearsed, and you are really glad you came. And WHY?... Because the Theatre is using the “PRESS PLAY” Performance System. PRESS PLAY was developed by J&G UNLIMITED, out of a strong need. There are so many wonderful Community Theatres that have such great talent available, but they just don't have the facilities, the space, or the equipment to handle any amount of Musicians, let alone a full Orchestra. The PRESS PLAY System provides CD's with all the music in their proper line-up, and even the Sound Effects, where needed. Of course, there

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is also a full list of simple Operating Instructions. Your Music Director, and Sound Technician can work together effortlessly to create a flawless performance. BETTER YET! Wait until you hear the price! PRESS PLAY is provided at no additional cost. When you opt to perform a J&G Musical, as part of the Standard Materials Package, you can request either the “Full Music Scores”, OR the “PRESS PLAY” Performance System. You don't have to purchase both. Your Materials Package also includes full Piano/Vocal Scores, as well as a Demo CD with Vocals to help Performers understand what is necessary with regard to performance style. All this, coupled with the fact that you do not have to return your materials (including PRESS PLAY) means that your Theatre is not burdened with heavy deposit fees or return shipping costs. STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

OH! And one more thing. With PRESS PLAY, The Director and Musical Director will have the luxury of being able to rehearse the cast with the sound of the Full Orchestra right from the start. By the same token, the Performers will have no “unknowns” when rehearsing. What they hear from the start is what they will be performing to on Stage. Your Performers will love the fact that the Music happens exactly the same way each time it is played. Therefore, they can be comfortable knowing that the Music is totally reliable. The PRESS PLAY Performance System is just one more thing that J&G provides in order to help Theatres to keep the costs down and the quality up. Give it a try… You're gonna LOVE it! PAGE 23


COMEDY CAST SIZE: 12 LENGTH: 1 hour, 30 Minutes + Intermission & scene changes Efram Davenport is a very dashing, fastidious and wealthy elder gentleman. These are supposed to be his retirement years but peace and quiet do not seem to be the order of the day. Living with him are his daughter, Lavinia; her two children, Trudy and Nigel; and regrettably, his son-in-law, Ogden Laime. While Nigel delights in the pictures of naked tribes-women in the National Geographic, and Lavinia and Trudy are sweet, agreeable, kind people; Ogden on the other hand is a definite problem. The arrogant, pompous and self-centered Ogden Laime wants to go down in history as one of the world's greatest inventors, but he has no talent as an inventor himself. His solution is to hire true inventors to create great things for him while his business, Laime Inventions, maintains ownership of everything his employees create. This might not be so bad except that he is infamous for cutting corners. "Mr. Laime's Inventions" have a habit of not working out so well and for some reason, the Mayor always

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seems to be in the wrong place a tthe wrong time. For the sake of his daughter and grandchildren, Efram Davenport is continually picking up the pieces from all the disasters. After firing one of his inventors, Percival Good, and following the "sound" advice of his clever and inlove secretary, Ms. Caruthers, Ogden releases the object of her affections (Percival), from any contractual obligations to Laime Inventions. Soon after leaving Laime Inventions, Percival's simple yet amazing "Good" inventions skyrocket to major acclaim and financial success, causing Ogden so much angst, he begins to lose touch with reality. Laime Inventions is a humorous journey through the lives of this turn-of-the-century family as they navigate their way through the industrial revolution to find love, success and happiness.

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Community Theatre Review By Judith Sapperstein

The Winter of 2010 here in beautiful Bucks County, Pennsylvania was really… well... we just weren't in the mood for it, so Gerry and I decided to run away from home for the whole month of February. Our dear friends, Rick and Jane Baker, have a beautiful home in Naples, Florida, so we decided to take them up on their long standing, and generous offer to make use of it. I don't know what possessed us, but we thought it might be nice to take our little Cocker Spaniel, Daisy with us. This, of course, necessitated “Driving” instead of “Flying”, so that we could take all the necessities for a month's stay for two adults and a neurotic dog. We traveled South on I-95, across Florida on Route 4, and down the west coast on I-75 to Naples. It was two and a half days of fast food, quick access motels, and lots and lots of monotonous driving on interstates, but we finally found ourselves sitting by the water, and enjoying the warm breezes. And, THEATER! Florida has some really wonderful theaters. Our first theater excursion was to the very lovely SUGDEN THEATRE, home of the PAGE 26

NAPLES PLAYERS. We saw the most delightful performance of “Almost Maine!” After the show, we got to talking to several of the other “Snow Bird” audience members, and they had nothing but rave reviews for ALL the works that they had seen done by the NAPLES PLAYERS, on their many trips to their second homes there. The next day… I found out why. I met Dallas Dunnagan, Artistic Director for the NAPLES PLAYERS. HI DALLAS! (If you happen to be reading this.) Dallas was kind enough to give me a tour. (Not just the 50 cent tour either. I got the whole works.) The SUGDEN has all the bells and whistles. From the Performers, to the Set Designers, to the Rehearsal space, and the Costume Department, they truly operate in a well trimmed and professional manner. I was quite impressed. OH! Speaking of their Costume Department… While we were looking at the racks and racks of well catalogued apparel, Dallas impishly pointed out that they have one of the largest collections of beautiful fur coats you've ever seen. I was a little confused. I mean… Fur coats?... Florida?... I don't get it. But it all made perfect sense when she explained how STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011


many people move to Florida from up North and don't need their fur coats any more. Sooooo… Logically, they donate them to the Theater. The NAPLES PLAYERS then get to do works like “Almost Maine” in style. (Plenty of Mink!) What can I say? It works out great for everybody concerned. Except maybe the performers who have to perform on a Florida stage under the hot lights wrapped in fur. Now you know why they say Actors “Suffer” for their art. About a week later, I got a phone call from Ralph Maffongelli, our Promotions Manager. Ralph suggested that I take a little day trip up to THE VENICE THEATRE to meet his old friend, Murray Chase. Murray is the Executive Artistic Director at the VENICE. Now, Venice, Florida is about a two hour drive from where we were in Naples, but I figured… “What the heck!” I love to visit theatres and meet with the ones who love them.

he and his lovely wife Alice, represented J&G at the Festival, and a good time was had by all. OH! And we DID make some new theatre contacts that were quite worthwhile. THANKS MURRAY!!! Well? As is always the case, all good things must come to an end, and so it was with our month long stay in Florida. When we realized it was time to head back home, we weren't really all that anxious, and it wasn't as though we had to get home for the dog, or anything. (Daisy was having a great time… She LOVES to go “Bye bye car!”) So, we decided to sort of “Mozzie” out of Florida. Besides! Ralph called again, and he said he had some more people he wanted us to meet.

My hubbie, Gerry, opted to stay home with Daisy for the day, and off I went. And, I'm oh so glad I did. My visit with Murray was great. The VENICE THEATRE is lovely, I got another wonderful full course tour, Murray and I sat a while in the balcony and chatted about all things theatre, and we ended up having a delightful lunch together at a local favorite haunt of his. Additionally, Murray informed me that AACT was having its Summer Festival at THE VENICE, and suggested that J&G take a table there to show off our wares to all the different theatre people that would be there. We took his advice and, since Ralph heads our Sales Division,

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The next thing we knew, we were all packed up, (we cleaned up the house good first, of course) and we headed North on I-75 toward Ocala to meet with Ralph's friend Mary Britt at the OCALA CIVIC THEATRE. I arranged to stop on the way to visit the MANATEE PLAYERS, in Bradenton, Florida. The theatre is right on the water, next to a marina. How nice is THAT? Greeting me at the door with her great big smile was Leona Braun, Education and Community Outreach Coordinator at the MANATEE. Leona just oozes hospitality, and I never felt more welcome. Suddenly, out of nowhere, appeared Rick Kerby, Managing Artistic Director. Rick was great! He showed me the basics of the existing Theatre, but quickly informed me that they were in the process of building a new theatre. As any proud Father would do, he told me all about his new baby. They will have a complete Performing Arts Center with State-of-the-Art… EVERYTHING! Wow! How exciting. I really look forward to visiting that place when it's complete. GOOD LUCK, GUYS!!! Well, continuing down the highway, we finally reached the pretty little town of Ocala, Florida by dinner time. It was a good thing, too. We were starved! We had the best steak dinner I can remember in a long time at Mark's Prime Steak House. After a good meal and a good night's rest it was time for… what else?... Theatre! PAGE 28

The OCALA CIVIC THEATRE was performing “The Big Bang”. Let me tell you, people… THAT is a funny show. But, it was even funnier because it was performed by Bruce Clayton and Patrick J. Stanley. They were a RIOT! Steven Shane Bass was Music Director, and he was on stage the whole time and performed all the music on the Synthesizer. He truly was a one man Orchestra, and terrific at it. The three of them really worked hard for their well deserved standing ovation. After the show, I met with Mary Britt, Executive Director, and old friend of Ralph's! We chatted for a bit, and she was extremely sweet and welcoming. However, since it was right after a show, Mary was running around like a crazy person, so she introduced me to Board Member, Clark Dougherty and off we went. Clark gave me a delightful tour of the Theatre, and we laughed and we joked, and by the time we were through, I found myself singing and dancing scenes from our musical, “Bloomin” out in the parking lot. Clark was a LOT of fun. HI CLARK! We had a great time with all the people we met, but we finally decided to head home. So we went back down I-75 just a little and hopped onto Route #4 to head East. The plan was to pick up I-95 and head home. Ahhh! But, “NOT SO!” said my good friend Ralph. “I have one more person you simply MUST meet.” Ralph called ahead, and we stopped at THEATRE WINTERHAVEN to meet Norm Small.

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Norm is the Producing Director there. What a sweetie pie. Ralph was right. Norm was certainly worth meeting. He does a lot of theatre work with young people. An admirable task, to be sure. Just listening to him talk about his work with those kids was so very heartwarming. The theatre is over 300 seats, and quite nice. I'm so glad we stopped there. Well! That was it. From that point on we had a very uneventful trip back up the Interstate, and the rest of our journey home was mostly all about “Driving Miss Daisy” (and walking Miss Daisy, and feeding Miss Daisy.) By the time we got home, that dog was having such a good time, we couldn't get her to get out of the car to go into the house. NO KIDDING! She just wanted to keep driving. I literally had to drag her out of the car, and she ran around the car and hopped back in through the open door on the other side. In any event, Gerry and I were glad to be home. It's always wonderful to go on an adventure, but “Dorothy” is right… “There's no place like home!”

Members of

License any of J&G’s works and save 25% off the total cost of materials!

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

J&G Unlimited has always been strongly committed to furthering the theatrical community and the quality and diversity of the works we have available to perform. Our objective is not to just license a play to you ... NO! We want to build a long-term relationship with you and your organization, one that will benefit us both and help further our goals of great theatre everywhere. Because of the like-minded commitment of the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) to our own and both organizations’ desire to help theatres in every way possible, J&G now offers this exclusive deal for members of AACT!

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For Mature Audiences

COMEDY CAST SIZE: 4 LENGTH: 1 hour, 30 Minutes + Intermission & scene changes SYNOPSIS: Maxine and Charlotte are sisters. Two buxom and full figured women who have worked hard all their lives and never quite gotten out of "Trailer Park" status. Although they have a tough exterior, they are actually very good people. Maxine's husband has just died of a sudden heart attack while he was on the road with their brand new Peterbilt Truck. Maxine reveals to Charlotte that Nelson's heart attack could

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not have come at a worse time. They just bought the new rig, and Maxine is left in debt up to her eyeballs. Trying to help, yet feeling at a loss, Charlotte says, "It's a shame you can't just pick up where Nelson left off." Charlotte, of course does not really mean it, but Maxine suddenly figures‌ "Why NOT?" And so the adventure begins! And, while they're at it, they will take Nelson's ashes with them, hoping to find just the right place to spread them where he would be most happy. The two women, assisted by Maxine's loveable yet intensely micromanaging neighbor, Mary Ellen, pack the truck and take off on their first run. They get off to a bad start by taking a wrong turn and creating a major incident in a "NO TRUCK ZONE," but soon feel reassured when they meet "Sugar Daddy" on the CB radio followed by Roy McCoy, a strange little guy with very big feet. Is it true what they say about a man with big feet? Things get complicated when they meet a hooker named Trixie at Rosie Mae's Truck Stop. It seems Trixie knew Nelson quite well and Maxine is not amused. It now becomes painfully apparent that they have found just the right spot for Nelson's ashes. In a roaring fury, Maxine locks herself in the Ladies Room, gives her farewell speech and flushes Nelson down the toilet. After all, he loved the water, the ladies, and Rosie Mae's Truck Stop. What could be more perfect? With Maxine finally reaching "Closure", the two women climb back aboard their shiny new truck and take to the road with the goal of putting their past behind them and looking forward to what lies ahead. LOOK OUT‌ Here come the Mother Truckers. "The road" will never be the same again!

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Festival in Paradise J&G at AACT Festival in Venice FL, 2010 by Ralph Maffongelli

If it was hot outside this past June in Florida, the theatre performances inside the Venice Theatre were even hotter. J&G Unlimited was there at the American Association of Community Theatre's fifth international theatre festival, titled Festival in Paradise. Featuring troupes from as far away as Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, Singapore and Spain, the event could not have been more diverse. The United States was of course also represented by the Players Theatre of Sarasota, who presented a shortened version of “The Who's Tommy,”and by Loveland Follies, a show put together as a partnership between Venice Theatre and

J&G’s Ralph Maffongelli (right) with Jamey Pellegrini of the Pacific Okinawa Players

J&G’s Ralph Maffongelli (left) with Rebecca Ryland of Heartland Plays the Loveland Center which involved developmentally challenged adults. While my wife, Alice, and I were on hand to acquaint theatre people from across the country and literally around the world with all the plays and musicals licensed by J & G, we had the opportunity to see some wonderful theatre. From the beauty of a traditional Chinese opera by the Singapore-based Chinese Opera Institute to the incredible techniques of Commedia dell'Arte by Italian troupe, Maner Manush of Rome, the event was a fantastic tour of theatre history. The variety of theatre styles was itself absolutely incredible. While Brazil's offering was a one man puppet show, Poland's was performed by six young actors who spoke not a word while moving about in obviously carefully choreographed patterns. And talk about

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minute by Tim Mooney's one-man show, "Moliere than Thou.”

Ralph Maffongelli with the Folkmanis Puppets from Bloomin™. cultural cross-pollination, there was a truly stunning performance of the very American Helen Keller story by the Russian troupe entitled “She Who Made the Miracle.” Venice Theatre Artistic Director, Murray Chase, and his entire staff did an incredible job of hosting and presenting the festival. While I'm sure there were challenges and problems (would it be live theatre without them?) they certainly weren't visible. Planning, cocoordinating and executing an event like this is a monumental task. While a number of companies who had been invited were forced to drop out late in the game, a troupe from Zimbabwe had problems getting a flight out of the country and was replaced at the last

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The week-long festival also featured workshops, networking, parties, award ceremonies and vendor's tables. Of course most of our time was spent at our own J & G booth which displayed all the full color scripts from Bloomin and HUH? to Friends in High Places and This Man Is an Island. A video about J & G ran non-stop, while we handed out J & G pens, catalogues, brochures, CD's with all the scripts and songs and the especially popular “rose colored” glasses, an ancillary product for HUH?, a pair of which is worn by the leading character in the musical. Also adorning the table were the Folkmanis Puppets, whose company is partnering with J & G and whose cuddly creatures are a part of Bloomin's concert version. Given all the people who wanted to buy these wonderful characters, we could have paid for the trip had we been selling them! All in all Alice and I had a fabulous time at the festival and met some truly wonderful people who came from as close as Florida to as far away as Alaska and throughout the world. Whether we could speak their native tongue or not, we communicated through the universal language of theatre.

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COMEDY CAST SIZE: 10 LENGTH: 1 hour, 30 minutes + Intermission & scene changes It's 1996 and the town of Regal, South Carolina is going bankrupt. The town grew up surrounding the Regal Typewriter Company and with the advent of the computer, nobody wants typewriters anymore. The town founder, owner of the Regal Ty p e w r i t e r C o m p a n y, C o l o n e l Beaumont, dies of old age and having no heirs, leaves his entire estate to the town of Regal. Through much discussion, it is decided that, with all the experienced talent on the Board, the best thing to do is to turn the Factory into a Shopping Bazaar and the Colonel's large home estate into a posh Hotel Resort and Spa. On the Board is an Attorney, an Accountant, a Building Contractor, an Interior Designer, a High School Gym Teacher, a Real Estate Broker and Daisy Biskett. Daisy is the owner of the local diner and has written and published a cook book.

Masood, being the clever businessman that he is, has his own agenda. The greed sets in and everyone see's an opportunity to get rich quick. Finally depleting the town coffers of all working capital, they must make an accounting at a Town Hall meeting, but they have backed themselves into a corner. Miraculously there is an anonymous buyer that wants to purchase the Hotel Resort at a very good price and quickly. However, the Townspeople become suspicious after the council sell's the Hotel and restores the town's bank account with the proceeds. The Townspeople rebel until finally, Daisy Biskett can't take it anymore. She hysterically announces that SHE is the buyer. She has made so much money from the sale of her cook book, that she is more than able to make the purchase. There is greed, fist fights, a secret sexual tryst, unrequited love, several 20% off sales and in the end, there is even talk of a bordello.

Then there is Masood Habibi. He is the owner of Habibi Fine Rugs, which always seems to be running a 20% off sale. PAGE 34

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For Mature Audiences

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Theatre Unexpected Reporting on Theatre in the Virtual World By Tracy Renee Byrne The click and whir of your hard drive kicks in as you ready your computer for this evening's events. The screen flickers to life, illuminating the hard-top world of your desk with its pixilated goodness. You click the tell tale little icon representing a little green hand and log in. Suddenly, not unlike in the movie, “Avatar,” you awaken in another body, a pixilated form of what you wish to look like and how you wish to present yourself and you teleport off on your journey to other worlds, shopping spree's, fashion shows, live music concerts and yes … Live Theatre by J&G Unlimited. Arriving at The Pyramid Theatre on Park Avenue, owned by J&G and operated by J&G's Vice President of Marketing, Tracy Renee, you feel immersed in an elegant world of art deco theatrical delights. The show is about to begin. Hurry, you won't want to miss a thing. You settle your Avatar into your seat after walking from a 1920's art deco lobby into the all encompassing experience of the realm of magic. Transported through the veil between two worlds just by walking through the door to the auditorium, you find yourself in the care of

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magic. You shift in your cave seat, the house lights dim and the green and blue glowing lights illuminate the set, complete with waterfalls, rocky mountains, trees and … fairies. The most beautiful fairies you ever have seen, flit and fly about on the stage in a seemingly haphazard display of free spirit until suddenly you realize, they are in a dance formation. Well known in Second Life (SL), “Dazzlers Dance Troupe” begins to amaze you with their well choreographed opening number, warming you up for what is to come. A rather disheveled sorceress suddenly breaks the mystical hold of the dancers upon the audience, begging for sanctuary…and the story begins. One of love lost over time and neglect and a total lack of care about one's self and one's appearance. This year's “Fashion in Fantasy” produced by Tracy Renee's SL production company, Swirl, and written by Real World playwrights Judith Sapperstein & Gary Murway shocks and amazes SL residents as combining a fashion show and a musical is definitely something quite new! The virtual world of SL and it's millions of residents, over 60,000 of which are online together at any given time, is this

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http://www.GiveItASwirl.info. Just search for “reviews”. Some may ask why this is important. To which Tracy replies, “It is vital to keep reaching out in new ways to new and old markets alike. If we stop evolving, we stagnate and in this business, stagnant means death. This medium also gives us an exceedingly affordable way to test our works, to both domestic and international audiences, with speed and efficiency.”

century's newest platform for trying out the new and never before explored; for product test marketing; reaching the “stay at home” market which includes the handicapped; and to introduce people to various performers and forms of entertainment. With its own carefully managed economy, revenues earned in this virtual world can be “cashed out” to physical world currency. SL brings virtual clothing and accessory designers, magazine publishers, graphic artists, marketers, models, actors, singers, entertainers, performers, business people, Fortune 500 businesses … just about any sort of creative talent you can think of…together in this fascinating new medium. A resident since 2005, Tracy is a virtual clothing designer since 2008, modeling agency and fashion show producer since 2009 and Art Director for SL's largest fashion and entertainment magazine, The Best of SL (BOSL). Utilizing her connections and notoriety in SL, she now incorporates this amazing virtual world medium as a platform for working out any kinks and test-marketing the new works represented by J&G Unlimited. As part of this new venture, Tracy has created an attractive theatre for J&G inside SL, known as “The Pyramid Theatre on Park Avenue.” The Pyramid is host to many J&G events created and managed by Tracy through her Avatar, Filipa Thespian and Filipa's SL production company known simply as, “Swirl.” In addition, other SL Avatars rent the Pyramid Theatre venue to put on their own shows, parties and events. The last big show produced by Tracy in SL, “A Fashion in Fantasy,” turned out a theatre filled with a “star studded,” audience, providing amazing reviews from publications and guests alike. These reviews can be found on the website,

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

Video recording our shows is no problem either, giving J&G the ability to provide the full show, online, for prospective licensors of J&G works to peruse. Such recordings can instantly include audience reviews, cast interviews, the sound and video of the play or musical as well as providing costuming and set ideas, giving J&G a more creative way to s h a re p ro d u c t i o n notes with producers and directors … using highly effective visual mediums. If you find computers and the world of the i n t e r n e t a comfortable place to be, and you wish to take a peek or better yet, participate in an upcoming J&G production in some fashion, Tracy invites you to contact her Second Life Avatar, Filipa Thespian! “I'd love to bring more theatre professionals to SL and help bring theatre to life for residents who have such a hard time of late finding things to entertain them.” Second Life is found on t h e w e b a t www.SecondLife.com . Joining is free and easy and once you're in, just search for people and type in 'Filipa Thespian.' “I'm just bustin' a gusset to get to know you!” Be sure to visit www.GiveItASwirl.info to see more show photos and learn more!

Filipa Thespian in Second Life PAGE 37


a comedy by

Sapperstein and Murway

illustrations by

Tracy Renee

PAGE 38

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011


For Mature Audiences

COMEDY CAST SIZE: 9 LENGTH: 1 hour, 20 minutes + Intermission & scene changes

Myra Guthrie has lost her Mother. Her Father, Virgil Eldridge, is completely heartbroken, and her husband, Carl, insists that he come to live with them. After doing so, Virgil makes a new friend, Dave McMenamen. Some sort of chemical reaction happens, or something, when Virgil and Dave get together. The mischief meter goes WAY up, and they get into all SORTS of trouble. They have both been hard working men all their lives, and now that they are in their 70's, they figure it's time for a little FUN! Additionally, Myra has five close girl friends. They LIVE for Mah Jongg. As a group, they feed off of one another, and CONSTANTLY jump to the wrong conclusions with regard to just about everything.

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

Myra is at her wits end, trying to keep Virgil and Dave in toe, when she gets that terrible phone call that no one ever wants. Carl has been in an accident and has been rushed to the emergency room. Myra falls apart, and suddenly, Daddy reemerges into that strong "in charge" man that she knew she could always count on. Through it all, she manages to come to know, understand, and love her Father stronger than she ever has. This is a charming, funny story about family and friendship...and an Ostrich! OH! Also a RAT!

PAGE 39


For Mature Audiences

DRAMA CAST SIZE: 12 LENGTH: 1 hour, 30 minutes + Intermission & scene changes Miguel Gutierrez is living and working in the US. He is suddenly called home to his Island birthplace. Miguel was born on the fictitious Caribbean Island of Herencia. His parents died in a small plane crash when he was only ten years old, and he was raised by his Grandfather, Juan Ruiz Gutierrez, who is now ninety-six years old. Miguel assumes that he is being called home because something is wrong with his beloved Grandfather, but he is totally surprised when his Grandfather greets him, on the front porch of the family plantation, and obviously in fine health. Miguel is the heir apparent to the entire Island which was given to his ancestor as a land grant by Queen Isabella in the late 1400’s. There is a plot to kill him before he is able to produce an heir and thereby break the line of inheritance. The evil Kofi Luma and his son Vega are the culprits. It is also discovered that the plane crash that claimed the lives of Miguel’s parents was not an accident after all. They were murdered! Miguel has a surprise of his own when he announces that he is planning to marry the beautiful “Naya” who happens to be the daughter of Dante, the devoted attendant to Juan Ruiz.

PAGE 40

Then there is “Mama Lena”. The wonderful Grandmother of “Naya” who takes it upon herself to use her skills at “Voo Doo” to try to solve the problem at hand. The Island people are devoted to the Gutierrez family as shown by the scenes in the local Island Bar. There is a very interesting character in a man who is nicknamed “GOTU”. He is the guy who knows how to procure all sorts of things. Everyone knows not to ask HOW he does it. They are just content to know that he can. He always manages to show up when needed, with required items in hand. In the middle of it all the attractive barmaid, Lorna, introduces a little light levity by singing an Island song called “Dee Island Way”(music CD provided), at the request of those in the bar. In the end, the villains outsmart themselves. It is their intention to send a bomb to the wedding of Miguel and Naya, concealed in a wedding present. But, unbeknownst to them, they are secretly overheard by GOTU as they are making their plans, and he manages to send the package back to them. The bomb explodes during the wedding, alright, but it does so at the warehouse where all the enemies have gathered. Everyone is totally surprised to find out that GOTU has intervened in this way, since it is NOT in his nature to “get involved”, so to speak, until he makes the final revelation that the pilot of the small plane carrying Miguel’s parents to their death was, in fact, his brother. He was avenging his brother’s death.

STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011


STAGE WRITE MAGAZINE, WINTER/SPRING 2011

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Stage Write Magazine J&G Unlimited, LLC. 80 Forest Drive Doylestown, PA 18901 Address Service Requested

Audience response systems are used by corporate users every day of the week. Show these users you know how to service them by having an audience response system available at your theater. Make additional revenue while your theatre would be dark. Meridia makes it easy to provide an audience response system. Give us a call at 610-260-6800 or email us at rsvp@meridiaars.com.

Stage Write Magazine W/S 2011  

A publication dedicated to theatre and includes the full catalog of works for J&G Unlimited, surrounded by fascinating and helpful articles...

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