Tag Archives: theatre

Tony Award Recap

So my company
just won a Tony Award;
I’m so hungover.

Ghost Light

When double lives are done
and every curtain has come down,
after echoes that once filled
the air have settled to the ground,
a glowing guide remains alight
throughout forgotten times
should those who fled return
to find that which they left behind.

The Call

THREE FRIENDS (”B,” “C,” and “D”) stand in a circle, laughing and drinking and generally enjoying themselves, as friends are wont to do.

“A” stands downstage from the group, talking on a cellphone

A
Uh, yeah no, um…thanks. For calling. Yeah, no,
I know. Yeah. I’ll, um, I’ll talk to you later I guess.

“A” hangs up the phone, rejoins the group.

B
What’s up?

A
Nothing. Kerry, um…. Kerry died.

C
Oh. Oh my God.

B
Wow, um. I’m so sorry. Are you okay?

A
I…Yeah. I guess. Uh… (beat) Yeah.

“A” downs his/her drink.

BLACKOUT

The Stage or the Curtain

2 years ago, I lost my oldest friend. I had gone back to my hometown to attend our Boy Scout troop’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. I was a pretty terrible Boy Scout (I collected all of the arts merit badges — and plumbing, ’cause it was funny), but Mike was one of the people that I was most looking forward to seeing. Sure, we both had our own separate lives now, but he was always like family to me. Plus, I was really looking forward to teasing him for getting poison ivy on his balls at Camp Sequassen, because let’s face it, that was pretty hilarious.

Mike never made it to the party. Only a few of us knew why.

His wake saw over 500 people descend upon our suburban Connecticut town. It was an incredible outpouring of love and support; in a way, that made it worse. Maybe if Mike had seen the amount of people who turned, the number of lives he’d touched — maybe he wouldn’t have thought of his own life as being so expendable.

Maybe. Maybe not.

At the reception following his funeral, a few of Mike’s friends put together a slideshow with memories of him. These were friends that Mike had made in more recent years, especially at college, and most of them had never met his family until that week. The slideshow concluded with a video of Mike performing The Decemberists’ “I Was Meant For the Stage” at an Open Mic night. I had forgotten that he had finally stepped out from the backstage of the theatre and began performing (I think we scarred him in 7th grade during the filming of our home movie sequel to The Story of Rikki-Oh).

If I have ever seen a ghost, it was in that video. I still remember the exact moment during the song that Mike’s mother lost it, when he sang “Mother, please be proud / Father, be forgiving / even though you told me / ‘Son, you’ll never make a living.” I don’t know how much Mike’s college friends knew about his life in high school, but the song choice was frighteningly poetic; my mother even thought it was an original, autobiographical song that Mike had written himself.

That night, I followed the funeral crowd to Mike’s favorite Thursday Karaoke bar, and sang in his memory. It was strange, seeing all of these people with so much love for my friend — and not knowing who any of them were. That’s just the nature of things, I suppose, as we can go on to new places and start different lives. I listen to his friends share memories and stories, and I wish I could chime in or relate, but again, it was a different life for me. Still, it always comforted to know that he had continued to grow as a person, but never really changed at the heart of himself.

Each year, around this time, I try to make my way back to Hamden; there’s always a walk, or a fundraiser, some event in his memory. Everyone else — the friends I met at the services, extended family — they sit together, laughing and chatting and sharing stories. I feel bad inserting myself into their world — I don’t mean to rob their grief for myself, nor do I mean to intrude on their celebration. I know sometimes they wonder who I am, what my connection to their cause is. If they’d ever ask, I’d tell them, don’t mind me; I’m just here for Mike.

Absence

No entry this week —
I am in tech for two shows:
Bus Stop and Enron.

Mustache Mustache?

If Irony is defined as the opposite of the literal meaning of a thing, then why do we refer to the Ironic Hipster Mustache as being ironic? If we expect a hipster to have an ugly mustache, with the intention of being ironic, then isn’t that precisely what we expect it to be, and therefore, not ironic?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t have the time for a proper post this week. However, for the LA readership, should you need your weekly dose of the Dunn, should make their way to the Lounge Theatre at 6201 Santa Monica Boulevard this Thursday evening, where there will be a performance of my original one-act play, Fixing a Hole (which was inspired, in part, by this Five by Five Hundred post from last year by former contributor Andy Michaels). It’s an evening full of visual art, music, and one act plays, also featuring the work of former Five by Five Hundred’er Giovanni Mooring, and it only costs $14, all of which goes to “raise funds for a tour across the US visiting low income communities that can’t afford art programs, and presenting their students with interactive workshops that will raise self esteem and open their minds to a different way of expression.”

So Thursday night. 6201 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles. Go see my play. Got it?

The Company Bow

A sundial, sitting at the edge of a skirt, is feeding
on decay from proscenium walls. The crumble of
its majesty is Grecian in its tragedy, but hardly
as memorable as the long forgotten luster
of the golden laurel leaves that adorn the façade.

The space below is filled with rows
of wine-stained lips, each frozen in
a petrified reach to kiss the sky
and hide its eyes from the dying
desolation that they themselves
once wreaked upon the stage.

If only these mouths were open, they could taste
the stuffy air staled by every clapping palm,
every whistle, every pleading whisper, and the
last recited lines whose echoes still fill the space—
they are always trying desperately to escape
but only can reverberate off of
floorboards drenched with rain
and tears, cleverly constructed
arches that have failed to do their job,
and of course, the final curtain.