Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Playing some Texans
For the last several weeks, my time has been dominated by my theatre practice, with productions of two plays in three cities. And the whole phase had a distinctly Texas theme.
The first project was Greater Tuna, a very popular play by three guys inspired by their own Texas upbringing. There were some previous posts on this blog about our production at the No Strings Theatre Company in Las Cruces with photos and video and stuff -- see here, here, and here. The show calls on two actors to play 20 characters, and I undertook this challenge along with Las Cruces actor David Reyes.
After a very successful run in Las Cruces, we brought the show to Deming's outdoor theatre at Voiers Park. (See here.) Turnout was not overwhelming, but the folks who came out enjoyed the show very much. An image from our performance in Deming is above, captured by photographer Dan Gauss.
No decision has been made yet about whether we'll put up the play's sequel, A Tuna Christmas, next year. It has been requested by numerous NSTC patrons, and I get the feeling David wants to do it. Personally, I've never seen the play and I haven't read the script yet.
While we were still performing in Las Cruces and moving the production to Deming, I went into rehearsal with Frontera Rep, a new theatre company based in El Paso. Frontera opened its season, and El Paso's Tom Lea month, with an original play by Camilla Carr about the artist, Tom Lea, entitled Tom Lea: Grace Note In a Hard World. Here is an article about the project from the El Paso Times (click here) and there are lots of photographs of the cast in costume here at The Art Avenue.
I played Lea's father, the elder Tom Lea, who was mayor of El Paso at the time of the Mexican Revolution. In El Paso, the elder Mr. Lea is very much a larger-than-life figure, renowned for toughness. To believe the local lore, this guy made Clint Eastwood look like a hamster. I did my best with that assignment.
With both these shows closed, the Texas plays are done for now, and I begin a long rehearsal process on a personal project. I have been granted the rights to be the first person to perform Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare's play, An Iliad, a piece for one actor and (optionally) one musician. They have written a wonderful theatrical script based on Homer's epic, and I'll start performing it in Las Cruces in February with hopes of performing it other locations.