Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Support ROMEO & JULIET at the Omni Commons

Support ROMEO & JULIET at the Omni Commons 


I can tell you that this will be an amazing show. Please help them meet their goal. Every little bit helps.


Director: Maryssa Wanlass*
Stage Manager: Michael Truman Cavanaugh*
Instigator / Rabble Rouser: Caitlyn Louchard
Fight Director: Carla Pantoja
Dramaturg / Oracle: Nick Medina
Marketing Wizard: Melissa Nigro
Juliet: Beth Wilmurt
Romeo: Caitlyn Louchard
Friar Lawrence: Lizzie Calogero*
Nurse: Michael Patrick Gafney*
Mercutio: Kelli Crump*
Tybalt: Melissa Ortiz*
Lady Capulet: Carla Pantoja*
Lord Capulet: Mary Baird*
Peter: Phil Wong
Paris: Rotimi Agbabiaka*
Friar John / Abraham: Alexis Wilson
Benvolio: Maria Marquis
Prince: Jesse Caldwell*
*Member, Actor's Equity Association
Romeo & Juliet is a tale of love's triumph over violence and fear; Shakespeare distills this down to its archetypal essence. Kind of a big deal, right? 
We are a motley band of professional actors eager to make really killer theatre. For free. For you. 

What We're Raising and Why 

  • $10,000 to pay all 16 artists on the team. Not a luxurious sum, but a very modest compensation for their time. Because we all have rent to pay and mouths to feed. And because artists work so flipping hard.
  • This is a free offering to the public! We are asking for gifts from those who can give, so that everyone can come to the theatre, regardless of income. 
  • Anything raised over the goal will be split with the Oakland Omni Commons.
  • And hey! March 27th and 28th are benefit performances for the Omni: any donations received at that performance will be give to the Omni so they can keep the lights on and the doors open for all of Oakland.

      No Cash? That's OK!

      • Spread the word! Share Share Share.
      • COME SEE THE PLAY! Bring a friend, bring ten friends! Bring your grandmother and her dog. Bring your neighbor and that guy you met at the laundromat. Come. Celebrate. Enjoy.

      Slicing it Up

      I will be for the first time in a few years, acting in Pear Slices at The Pear Avenue Theatre. Pear Slices is a series of one act plays written by members of the theatre's playwright's guild. It's a lot of fun for both actors and audience alike. So happy to be slicing it up once again.

      The show runs from March 15th through April 5th, 2015

      Get tickets here. Don't miss it!
      Stephanie Crowley and Warren C. Daily in Pear Slices 2015
      photo by Ray Renati

      Friday, February 06, 2015

      Harold Pinter's BETRAYAL at the Pear Avenue Theatre

      This had been perhaps the most challenging play I have directed in the past 12 years.

      I am so proud of the actors in this production. 

      They create magic each and every night.

      Tuesday, February 11, 2014

      Monday, September 23, 2013

      Auditioning, The Eyes Have It

      I love directing and I love watching actors audition. I want to experience them as fully as possible with the material they've been given. I always provide sides to auditioners days in advance of the scheduled day. I want them to have a familiarity with the material; a period of time in which the material can sink in. For theatre auditions, rarely does anyone expect you to have the material completely memorized (as opposed to film).
      For all you actors out there reading this please hear me on this. This one piece of advice I am about to give you can often have the largest impact on the casting director. GET YOUR HEAD OFF THE PAGE, AND SHARE YOUR FACE AND EYES WITH THE CASTING DIRECTOR. Please excuse all the capital letters, but I cannot emphasize this enough. No one wants to watch an actor read. We want to see you! We want to see your reactions, the subtle things, the magic that happens when the ideas and words express themselves in your face and body.
      Now, in order to do this takes some practice. Here's how to do it.
      1. Hold the script in one hand and keep it stationary throughout the entire scene or monologue so that you don't lose your place on the page.
      2. Practice looking down with your eyes only to grab a phrase and stay in character while doing it. Try not to leave the reality of the scene.
      3. Do not start talking until you have transitioned from getting the phrase off the page, to engaging with the reader or your scene partner.
      Just by employing this one skill, you will be making a huge improvement in your auditioning results. At first you may be able to get only a few words at a time from the page, but as you get better at it, this will increase.
      It's going to feel strange at first because you will feel slow and may stumble and have pauses in the wrong place. Don't worry, this will improve. And, it's better to be slow and perhaps a little awkward, than to have your head buried in the page.
      If you agree, disagree, or have any other ideas please feel free to share them here.
      Now get out there and show everyone you brilliance!

      Friday, July 26, 2013

      Donuts Are Forever

      Ray Renati (Arthur) & Brandon Jackson (Franco)

      So, as actors we rarely learn to savor the moments of success. Once a play, or a musical, or film is done, we tend to forget about it immediately on our quest for the next gig. At least that's my tendency. In an effort to change that habit, I decided to pay homage to my last theatre experience and to savor it for a while.

      Let me first of all pay huge kudos to our director, Ann Kuchins, who had to endure the passing of her beloved sister at the same time she was directing this play. It was truly an heroic effort.

      The Donut Shop

      Also I would like to give huge thanks to my co-lead, Brandon Jackson who played the role of Franco. I have tremendous respect for his talent and dedication to excellence.

      My dear friend Pat Tyler, who provided me with perfect costumes and a remarkably realistic fake ponytail, and moreover tons of moral support as I struggled to keep it all together.

      Our wonderful cast, our fantastic set, everything just came together to create what is by many accounts a huge success. Our tiny 40 seat theatre could not accommodate the hundreds of people who heard about our show and wanted to see it. I really wish they all could have. I was also in charge of ticket sales for a while along with another Pear person, and I found it difficult to keep telling people that we just couldn't fit them in.

      On the other hand, isn't that really a dream come true? Yes it is!

      Playing Arthur P. was an experience I will never forget and will cherish for the rest of my life. I had lived with him in my heart for so many months that I feel sad to let him go. Shaving off my beard, cutting my long hair, and putting my script away for good all served as reminders that this wonderful experience has come to an end, but it will remain forever in my heart.

      Thanks, to all. I love you.