And in This Corner, Wearing the Producer’s Hat

I and fellow Seattle playwright John C. Davenport founded Red Rover Theatre Company last year in order to put our own work up on stage. So far we have produced a play of John’s last October and a production of my new play Das Ende just closed. Our bold and, […] Continue reading »

Learning by Stages

When actors are learning a role, the most important question they must answer for themselves is “What does my character want in this scene?” Another way they’ll ask that is “What is motivating my character at this moment?” If a character’s want and motivation are lacking, the actor has the misfortune […] Continue reading »

Behold, a New Play Opens

Tonight is a momentous event in the life of an obscure writer. After penning plays for 17 years and having readings and workshops of them, tonight marks the first time a Duane Kelly play is being fully staged. Wunderbar! The play, Das Ende (“The End” in German), involves the composer […] Continue reading »

Pixar Exec Discusses Storytelling

The animation film studio Pixar is responsible for some of the most successful movies of the last two decades, including Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Monsters, Inc., and Cars. The worldwide income of Pixar films is $10.8 billion. For screenwriters and other professional storytellers, Pixar is more […] Continue reading »

Wagner as Monster and Redeemer

Richard Wagner reigned supreme over the arts in the 19th Century. That is not only history’s judgement, it was also Wagner’s. The maestro’s many problems did not include a diminutive ego. Wagner’s abilities rose to the level of genius in the way we think of for Shakespeare and Mozart. (One […] Continue reading »

How Does a Play Open? It’s a Mystery.

John C. Davenport, co-founder with me of a new theatre company in Seattle, was reminding me of a bit in the 1998 movie Shakespeare in Love. For any veteran of the theatre biz this hilarious scene rings with hard-earned truth. Philip Henslow (played by Geoffrey Rush) is the financially imperiled […] Continue reading »

The Artist as Entrepreneur

Do not stop when you’ve written a play. Now go put it up on its feet. Self-produce. That’s the advice award-winning playwright and screenwriter John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck, Doubt) urged on a room of writers during a visit to Seattle last year. He declared that the only way a dramatist […] Continue reading »

Racism at Mid-Century

Producing a musical is a summer tradition at the Guthrie, a leading nonprofit theatre in Minneapolis. South Pacific, which just happens to be my favorite musical, was this summer’s offering and I had the pleasure of catching four performances last weekend. It wasn’t happenstance that I was in Minneapolis. My […] Continue reading »