Another Op’nin, Another Show

The road-weary theatre company in Cole Porter’s delightful 1949 musical Kiss Me, Kate raises the Act One curtain by singing “Another op’nin, another show,” After 18 years of writing plays, I was losing faith that I would ever have the occasion to sigh Porter’s famous lyrics. Until now, that is, […] Continue reading »

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 »

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 »

Perils of a Passive Protagonist

“Never have a passive protagonist” is taught on the first day of Scriptwriting 101. Nevertheless it’s a mistake beginning and even advanced writers commonly commit. The advice rests on the fact that audiences are bored by main characters who can’t make decisions, don’t want anything, remain in a state of […] 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 »