Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eye IN THE SKY Ep. 4

In the winter of 2008 Audacity Theatre Lab commissioned playwrights from around the country to respond to a simple phrase:

"For one week in the middle of the summer a giant eye appears in the sky over the city. At the end of seven days it disappears as suddenly as it had originally materialized..."

We recieved submissions from members of 13P, New Dramatists, Austin Script Works, as well as from a host of local writers.

Episode 4 includes pieces by playwrights Gary Winter, Jeff Swearingen and Chris Alonzo. It features vocal performances by Oscar Contreras, Kelly Renee, Ruth Engel, John Flores, Brad McEntire and Chris Alonzo.

Listen HERE.

Congrats to Arianna for HELLO HUMAN FEMALE: The Remount!

Arianna Movassagh was named one of the "Outstanding Female Performers of 2010" by Alexandra Bonifield on for her work in Audacity's HELLO HUMAN FEMALE: The Remount last January.
Mucho thanks to Arianna and the rest of the cast (Becca Shivers, Jeff Swearingen, Jeremy Whiteker, Tyson Rinehart and Johnny Sequenzia) as well as playwright Matt Lyle, lighting designer Jaymes Gregory and director/designer Brad McEntire.
Read about it here.

VOLUME OF SMOKE makes TOP 10 of Dallas Observer

Audacity's production of VOLUME OF SMOKE also makes the Dallas Observer's list of TOP 10 PRODUCTIONS OF 2010. Many thanks to Clay for a kick-ass script, the audiences, theatre writers and friends!
Elaine Liner called the show "Simply one of the most moving evenings of theater of the year."

Read about it here.

Top 20 of 2010!

The ensemble of ATL's VOLUME OF SMOKE (March 2010) named Audacity's production of VOLUME OF SMOKE by Clay McLeod Chapman one of their Top 20 Productions of 2010. Congrats to Director Ruth Engel, Lighting Designer Jaymes Gregory, Set Designer Brad McEntire, Sound Designer Paul Lisle and actors Rhianna Mack, Angela Parsons, Elizabeth Evans, Chris Piper, Oscar Contreras and Tyson Rinehart. See the rest of the list here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nouveau 47 Reading

On December 13, 2010 Audacity teamed up with Nouveau 47 Theatre to present two staged reading of works-in-progress by Brad McEntire. The evening was a success with a good turn out and great feedback.

Tasia Munoz, Jeff Hernandez, Angela Parsons and Oscar Contreras

Nouveau 47's Lacy Lynch facilitates the Talkback

Oscar Contreras and Angela Parsons backstage at the historic Magnolia Lounge

Goofing around before reading I HAVE ANGERED A GREAT GOD

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ruth Engel performs in Oklahoma

ATL Artist Ruth Engel was invited to present an original monologue at the Feastival of Lights on December 11, 2010 in Claremore, Oklahoma. She wrote and performed a short stroy called THE SERVANT, about a servant of one of the Magi.

Ruth Engel rehearsing THE SERVANT

And in performance.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Spotlight On: RUTH ENGEL

Ms. Ruth Engel

Continuing our series of profiles of the great artists associated with Audacity, we now present... Ms. Ruth Engel

Q: Hometown?
A: Keene, Texas

Q: Strangest Theatre-related job?
A: This is not exactly the strangest job, but a theatre job is an odd reason to fly to South Korea. I traveled to South Korea for a week to be the equivalent of a stagehand in a religious production at a University.
Then, some might consider this strange; I have and do take great pride in making clothes/costumes for puppets.

Q: What experience(s) made you want to go into the theatre?
A: My entire journey towards theatre is a long one, but the shorter version begins with my dissatisfaction on continuing work for a PhD in English Literature. You see, I went directly on to Master’s work in English after I graduated college so I never felt a scholastic completion with my college graduation like many of my friends did. But once I completed my Master’s degree in Literature I started to feel some of that completion. So I taught for a bit but if did not take me long to start to get restless so, while still teaching, I started taking Literature PhD classes. It was after a year that I knew that I craved another direction in my education. It was at that point that my brother suggested Drama. Now, I had always loved theatre and drama and had dabbled with it since elementary school, but I had never thought of it as a career. But I did some research, applied to the graduate program at Texas Woman’s University (I had some unusual circumstances since none of my undergraduate work nor my graduate work had anything to do with theatre), and was accepted. I told myself that I would try it for one semester and if I was not happy, then I would move on and find something else. After about two weeks of classes I was hooked and have never looked back.

Q: Tragic flaw?
A: I over think and question everything far too much.

Q: If you could change one thing about theatre, what would it be?
A: Its perception – the way many people view it. Theatre is magic but only because life is magic. So often in our society we do not stop to see the magic of life and therefore, we do not recognize the magic in theatre.
Also, if I could I would eliminate “bad” theatre (occasionally, including a few of my own production as well).

Q: Who are or were your theatrical influences?
A: This is a slightly difficult question for me to answer because many of my influences in the theatre are not solely restricted to theatre. Due to my background in British literature, the lives of many of the early women writers (such as the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen, for example) inspire me. The fact that they loved writing so much that they wrote under pseudonyms just to get their work out to the public inspires me. I have also been influenced by the great Greek and Roman philosophers. I see life and the philosophical questions of life present in theatre. As someone who loves to dwell on those fundamental and yet complex questions, theatre has given me a canvas to playfully examine what the greatest minds have wrestled with for ages (however, still not coming up with any answer). And lastly, I would also have to say that I have been influenced by Margo Jones and Paul Baker (especially since I have grown up in the Dallas area), and Peter Brook.

Q: What kind of theatre really excites you?
A: Making theatre. I know all theatre has to be made, but the very act of making it: building puppets, creating characters, building a set, telling a story that has never been told (at least in that way), and touching someone’s life - that thrills me to the core.

Q: What is in the near future for you as far as your work in the theatre?
A: Well, currently I am working on creating three one-woman historical pieces about three extraordinary women in the early 20th century. The first one that I am working on is about the life of Sara Murphy, then, next up will be a piece on Violet Jessop, and lastly the life of Ruth Draper. All three amazing women were quite humble, but left a tremendous impact on those around them.

For more information on Ruth Engel visit her website at:


Saturday, December 4, 2010

CHOP in 2010

It has been a good run troughout 2012 with CHOP. After World Premiering the piece at Addison Water Tower Theater's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival in March, Ruth Engel (my tech gal) and Andy Merkel (Director) have managed to get the piece seen by a variety of audiences at a variety of venues. This is what Audacity is leaning more and more towards... small, nimble, hard-hitting productions that travel about and spread the mirth over a relatively long development timeline. Below is the venues lisdt of this year, but I plan to contune to perform the piece throughout 2011 and maybe into 2012 as well.

2010 DATES

New Orleans Fringe Festival
November 17th at 9:00 PM, 19th at 7:00 PM, 20th at 11:00 pm
Party World
3621 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117

One-Night Benefit Performance in Dallas
November 3rd at 7:30 PM
The Continetal Lofts Gallery
3311 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75226 (Between Trunk & 2nd Ave. in Deep Ellum).

Phoenix Fringe Festival
April 8th at 7 PM, 9th at 10 PM, 10th at 1 PM & 8:30 PM, 11th at 5:30 PM
The Chocolate Factory
1105 W. Grand Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85007

College of Santa Fe
April 6th at 3 PM
Weckesser Studio Theatre
1600 Saint Michael's Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

Out of the Loop Fringe Festival
Water Tower Theatre
March 4th at 7:30 PM, 7th at 5 PM, 11th at 7:30 PM & 13th at 5 PM

15650 Addison Road, Addison, TX 75001
~ Brad McEntire
Playwright/performer of CHOP

Friday, November 26, 2010

Staged Readings at the Magnolia Lounge

Projects-in-Progress by Brad McEntire
On December 13 at 7:30 PM, Audacity Theatre Lab will present Staged Readings of two works-in-progress by Brad McEntire.


Robert von Ritchie Ritchie has somehow upset a Great Tiki God with anger-control issues. Robert retraces his steps over the past few days to discover where he ran afoul. It might be easier if he weren't constantly on his cell phone talking with his now ex-girlfriend Martha, who barely made it into Mensa. A brief satire of modern public etiquette. Newly expanded to feature a kick-ass hip hop opening number.


Roy has been dumped by his girlfriend. She snuck back to Earth on one of the last shuttles and Roy finds himself stuck on Mars. Now, the colonists are rioting and he has just enough time to send one last broadcast home before the bio-dome cracks wide open.

WHEN: Monday, December 13, 2010 at 7:30 PM

WHERE: At Nouveau 47 Theatre in the historic Magnolia Lounge (Margo Jones Building), Fair Park, 1121 First Ave., Dallas, TX 75210.

COST: $5 suggested donation (includes FTP Comedy Troupe performance after the reading), BYOB.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Five Things I Like About Sara Murphy

Sara Murphy, with her legendary pearls draped over her back for sunbathing, and Ada MacLeish (under umbrella), La Garoupe beach, Antibes, 1924.

ATL artist Ruth Engel is currently developing a series of biographical pieces for the stage. Each will feature a historcal "strong" female from the early 1900s. The first in the line of "historical portraits" will involve maven of the Jazz Age: Sara Murphy.

Sara Murphy, along with her husband Gerald Murphy, were wealthy, expatriate Americans who moved to the French Riviera in the early 20th century and who, with their generous hospitality and flair for parties, created a vibrant social circle, particularly in the 1920s, that included a great number of artists and writers of the Lost Generation.

Engel lists out below a few of the things that she has learned so far and come to love about Sar Murphy:

1. She was a consummate hostess

2. She was classy in a way that she wore a string of pearls when she sunbathed on the beach.

3. She had such a magnetic personality that everyone loved her.

4. She was compulsive neat freak (I can identify) to the point that when she and Gerald traveled with their three kids on trains she would always take their own linens for her kids to sleep on.

5. She had a big heart.

Look for workshops of Engel's Sara Murphy project in the spring of 2011.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

EYE IN THE SKY: Episode 3 in online!

In the winter of 2008 Audacity Theatre Lab commissioned playwrights from around the country to respond to a simple phrase:

"For one week in the middle of the summer a giant eye appears in the sky over the city. At the end of seven days it disappears as suddenly as it had originally materialized..."

We recieved submissions from members of 13P, New Dramatists, Austin Script Works, as well as from a host of local writers.

Episode 3 includes pieces by playwrights Jason Tremblay, Crystal Skillman and Ben Walker Sampson. It features Dallas actors Oscar Contreras, Kelly Renee, Bryan Pitts, John Flores and Brad McEntire.

Click HERE to listen.

NOTE: Strong Language. NOT for the workplace.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The "Why" behind CHOP

"Brad McEntire"
CHOP written and performed by Brad McEntire. Directed by Andy Merkel.
I'm writing this post because I feel it is important, as an artist, to be clear about the purpose behind any work put out into the world. In this instant, I'm gearing up to present CHOP again (in Dallas for a benefit show to raise awareness and a few donations, and then at the 3rd Annual New Orleans Fringe Festival in November).

In the past I've written on the "from where" I got the idea to put together CHOP. I've written that the piece grew out of two separate incidents in my life. 

CHOP is, first off, the outgrowth of an aborted play I wrote in Grad school to fulfill my graduation requirements. That play was written against the pressing countdown of a Thesis deadline. It was also formulated to get a grade and not necessarily to be performed. Thus, for good or ill, I do not feel it was the best artistic expression I could produce. 

The structure of that Thesis play was a series of slowly interconnecting monolgues delivered by six different charcaters. One of the characters out of the play, a man that has a bizarre, tragicomic date, provided the platform for the protagonist in CHOP. And for that I am grateful to have spent many hours creating that Grad school play in the first place. 

Secondly, I spent some time in Hong Kong in 2006-2007. It was major culture shock. I felt isolated and distanced not just from a basic understanding of the Chinese and their culture there in Hong Kong, but distanced from my own ability to reconcile this misunderstanding. As hard as I tried, I could not create a context for the disconnect I felt. This sense of isolation fed into CHOP, which I, in fact, started to write just before leaving Hong Kong.

One of the things I have been struggling with over the past year is the "why" behind my art and the art created under the Audacity Theatre Lab banner. Everything must spring from the why

The why is the reason I have decided to spend much more time creating theatre from scratch than producing/performing established plays by others. Instead of doing "covers" of other artist's "songs" I have decided to create my own. So, keeping in mind I actually have an individual and novel something to say in the world, the question of why I need to say it (specifically with this play) is of considerable importance.

Originally, when I began creating the piece, I operated on a rather shallow motive and would explain myself with the  phrase "I want to communicate my message to audiences." But this is a non-starter. By the virtue of it being a work of art, of course, it will be a source of communication. But why a performance? Why not just write it into a story? A blog post? A short film? Why does it need the immediacy of performance?

Digging deeper, the message is a narrative and in order to have full impact, CHOP must be delivered as a theatre performance. For full effect it has to unwind over time. And it must happen in three dimensional space. The force of movement and voice is part of it.

Still deeper, as I question the purpose of CHOP, I am led to question why I do my theatre at all. What does it lead to?

So, the real question becomes "Why is it we do what we do? Why is it I do what I do?" 

As I dig and truly meditate on the situation, I find all roads lead to love

Glory? Money? Recognition? Intellectual curiosity? Appreciation? Everything eventually boils down to our need for receiving, and giving... Love. 

I do theatre because I love it and because it is a vehicle for connecting us (the artists, the audience, all of us), first to a common event, then to ourselves, and then to those around us. And when the vehicle works like it should, we develop deeper human connection. Deeper connection makes us happier. And the world goes around much smoother. 

From this basis of joy and love comes the domino effect of understanding, education, illumination... and that basic level: communication, or course. I love what I do and the sharing of it is an act of love. That love magnifies in the world through connection. What else is there?

Before I get too far off on a new-age rant, let me ground this line of thinking with this: the "how" is the meat and bones practical part of this vehicle, Theatre. The act of Theatre. CHOP is presented as one man (and by one man onstage) trying to figure out his place in a world he feels very distant from. He floats along the surface of it, observing, but not participating. He lacks connection.

Therefore, the play is the story of the man finding connection (Love - of himself, for another and for a greater group outside of himself... which happens to be an underground amputation). In the story he finds his own unique vehicle for making connections happen.

I like the symmetry.

None of these insights will help me market the play. None of these insights ill help me explain the story of it to would-be audience members. This thought process is for my own clarity. It is a thought process I hope to use on every project from here forward.

Everything must have a clear reason, a clear "why."

As I begin to work on the piece once again in preparation for the November performances in New Orleans, I hold close the "why" behind CHOP. I do it out of love.

More info on CHOP... HERE

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Mr. Oscar Contreras

 This is the first of a five part series of profiles with the artists that make up Audacity Theatre Lab. First up... Mr. Oscar Contreras.

Q: Hometown?

A: Born in Rio Verde, San Luis Potosi, Mexico and grew up in Fort Worth, Texas (Diamond Hill)

Q: Strangest Theatre-related job?

A: Dressing in drag for a company training seminar on diversity "It's what makes us special!" To this very day I get shivers down my spine and wonder what the hell made me say "Yes, I'll do it"

Q: What experience(s) made you want to go into the theatre?

A: I needed one more credit to graduate from High School and my options were P.E. or drama and there was no way I was going to go into the boys locker room, so I decided I would go into Drama.
I was pretty guarded and shy most of my youth and I remember my first couple of drama classes, I was told to express myself in any way I wanted... I was told to act up and it would be ok... I was told that I was allowed to not be myself and everything would be fine and for a gay boy growing up in a pretty rough area in Fort Worth I always had to hide who I really wanted to be... so this theatre thing was LIBERATING. My first role was in the play Everyman and I played the role of Death, it was fascinating I got to play such a dark, sinister role, announce the death and take the main character to hell... and then go home and drink chocolate milk and watch cartoons... it was great and I was hooked.

Q: Tragic flaw?

A: Over thinking... needing for everything to make scence in my head before I take the next step.... it makes writing a play just the worst experience.

Q: If you could change one thing about Theatre, what would it be?

A: I'd like more embracing of the talent that surrounds us here in Dallas... Really, I'd love a more open attitude to taking a risk and giving a chance to Dallas actors, playwrights, and artists. The artist you are looking for in New York is right here... It's just going to take a bit of work and a bit of getting to know who you're surrounded by... We are our own Big Apple, it's just battered and deep fried!!

Q: Who are or were your theatrical influences?

A: Only a few people come to mind... an acting coach I had named Elizabeth Rothan, the way she devoured the stage with her presence and the way she made sure everyone in the audience was getting the very best from her performance was amazing... Another is Julie Taymor and her way of showcasing women as the powerful being they are is really fantastic.

Q: What kind of theatre really excites you?

A: I love theatre that pisses me off... theatre that takes a chance on with something new... new works are just fantastic, not pretensious theatre, just theatre thats going to keep you accountable for being an audience member. That kind of theatre is a gold nugget.

Q: What are you working on next?

A: I will be producing next and working on some writing projects... but really you should see the "Tragic Flaw" question.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

McEntire talks about ATL on video and podcast at

Interview with Brad McEntire of Audacity Theatre Lab from Christopher Taylor on Vimeo.

There is also an extended audio podcast at

Thanks to Chris and Dan for the good talk and good beer at the Amsterdam Bar

Ruth Engel tackles early 20th Century

Gerald and Sara Murphy

Titanic survivor Violet Jessop

Monologuist Ruth Draper
ATL Managing Director Ruth Engel has announced plans to create a theatre piece about several early 20th Century historical personalities, including Gerald and Sara Murphy, Violet Jessop and Ruth Draper.

These historical persons may be a presented as a series or interwoven together as a single piece.

"It is a long term project," Engel reports. She is in the research stage at this time.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Recording Episode 3

From L: Oscar Contreras, Renee Kelly, Brad McEntire, John Flores, Bryan Pitts

Busy weekend here at the Lab. We got a great group of actors together to record Episode 3 of the EYE IN THE SKY PROJECT.

Ace audio guy John Flores even did double duty, both recording and acting in a few pieces.

Episode 3 will include pieces by Jason Tremblay (Austin), Crystal Skillman (New York) and Benjamin Walker Sampson (Brooklyn). Should be up in a few weeks.

For more info on what the EYE IN THE SKY PROJECT is, visit the ATL website here.

Super special thanks to the Undermain Theatre for providing us a place to record.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stage Directions Interview with ATL A.D. Brad McEntire

... and Ruth Engel makes a cameo appearance, too. Chris Taylor and Dan Purcul of the STAGE DIRECTIONS blog interviewed McEntire recently on the patio of the Amsterdam Bar in Dallas' Exposition Park for a video/podcast about the new directions Audacity is heading and the EYE IN THE SKY PROJECT. Interview should be up soon. Check back for more details.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

CHOP going to New Orleans!

We just got news that Brad McEntire's solo piece CHOP has been accepted for the 2010 New Orleans Fringe Festival. We are thrilled to be one of the 30 shows chosen out of over 120 that applied. We are super-pysched to return to New Orleans! We had a ball there in 2008 at the first ever New Orleans Fringe Fest, with THE LAST CASTRATO.

More details as they come in. For now, we know where we'll be November 17-21, 2010.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

We're on break

In case you haven't noticed, we at ATL are on a summer break. In fact, we have gone back to the "lab" and are putting some pretty hard questions to pretty much every assumption we have about how we do theatre. As you can imagine this takes some brain-time.

A.D. Brad has some thoughts on a few things over on his blog, such as:

Does Theatre Have to Be of Service?

Do Tickets Always Have to be Cheap?

We'll be back later in the year, better than ever. In the meantime, the website has all the fun you'll need to tide you over.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tracking Peter Brook

Artistic Director Brad McEntire and Managing Director Ruth Engel recently travelled to Sydney, Australia to see one of the last productions directed by Peter Brook.

They also petted koalas and stuff.

You can read McEntire's article on Peter Brook's production ELEVEN & TWELVE here.

You can see the photostream of pics from the trip here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jeff Swearingen: Ultimate Best Actor in DFW!

Congrats to Jeff Swearingen, Associate Actor for ATL. He recently won (co-won) Best Actor in DFW from the Pegasus News' 2010 Ultimate Best Awards.

Apparently, Pegasus News made up a new awards competition (Dallas likes competitions) compiled from a number of other awards competitions in town. In fact, to be nominated for an "Ultimate Best" you have to have won some other award from some other media outlet in DFW.

Congrats to Jeff for being Ultimate Best!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blork in a Jar!

Candice at the blog non*sense really liked Blork in the Audacity Theatre Lab production of HELLO HUMAN FEMALE. In fact, she even made her very own adorable Blork dolls. These are awesome!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Give some CHOP feedback...

So, hopefully you've had a chance to see CHOP, either in Addison or Santa Fe or in Phoenix. The piece continues to evolve and is very much a work-in-progress. I continue to whittle away on it and I'd very much like your feedback.

Feel free to put your thoughts, impressions, likes/dislikes, criticisms and more in the comments section below. You, the audience, are the last ingredient of and the ultimate destination for the piece, so join in the dialogue of the process.

For more info on the backstory and the history of the process of CHOP visit here.

Thanks. ~Brad

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CHOP feedback from a fellow solo performer

I recieved this really generous quote about CHOP from Martin Dockery today in my e-mail. Martin and I both had one-man shows at the Phoenix Fringe Festival earlier this month.

"For anyone who's ever felt themselves to be lost in the modern day Labyrinth of office cubicles, sinking ever deeper into a life of irrelevance, CHOP proves that meaning can come from the most unexpected places. The same can be said of Brad McEntire's engaging performance, turning a story about a loner's introduction into the world of amputation fetishists into a universal tale about finding one's own place in life."
~ Martin Dockery, Storyteller and Solo Performer,
Creator of THE BIKE TRIP

Friday, April 23, 2010

Audacity at PLAN of North Texas Benefit Art Show

Oscar as The Reverend

Angela as The Actress as The Reverend looks on.

ATL actors Oscar Contreras and Angela Parsons donated a bit of their time, last night, to perform a scene or two from our recent show VOLUME OF SMOKE by Clay McCleod Chapman.

The wine and cheese reception benefitting PLAN of North Texas was held at the Creative South Gallery at the Continental Lofts, 3401 Commerce Street, Suite 100 Dallas, TX 75226 (West of 1st in Deep Ellum).
Friday, April 23, 2010. Benefit ran 6-9:30 PM (Audacity went on around 7:30 PM)

Audacity was invited out by Carlton Odom, the curator of the event, who had seen VOS at the Bath House last month. We were glad to help the Planned Living Assistance Network (PLAN). PLAN is a care model originated by parents to provide long-term support for their loved ones with mental illness or other physical or mental disabilities. The mission of PLAN of North Texas, is to provide future care planning services to parents and their adult children with a disability.
More info on VOLUME OF SMOKE at the ATL Website

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CHOP at the Phoenix Fringe Festival

 McEntire performing CHOP at the PHX:fringe

Engel and McEntire with Brooklyn-based solo artist Martin Dockery 

McEntire outside the venue The Chocolate Factory

McEntire and Engel have recently arrived back from the Phoenix Fringe Festival. They were out there representing north texas with the Audacity show CHOP. They ate well and met some swell fellow artists from around the country.

To read ATL Artistic Director Brad McEntire's journal of the severasl day event visit:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

CHOP goes to Santa Fe & Phoenix

Playwright and performer Brad McEntire World Premiered his twisted little one-man show at Addison Water Tower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival. CHOP is now off to represent North Texas at Arizona's 2nd Annual Phoenix Fringe Festival. Along the way he'll also stop in New Mexico to present the show at the College of Santa Fe and chat with theatre students there.

CHOP concerns a man at a loss about what to do with himself, plagued with a profound sense of isolation from the busy, happy, productive people in the city around him. A chance encounter with a mysterious tattooed woman introduces him to a unique subculture of amputation fetishists and what might turn out to be his true calling. Details on the play here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

ATL's McEntire chats with Transcendence

ATL Artistic Director Brad McEntire recently met the artists involved with Transcendence Theatre Company. He also recently submitted an article on the work Transcendence is doing (including an interview with Artistic Director Amy Miller) to

Click here to read the article.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

VOS: Notes On the Play

About the Play
This historical investigation of a horrific accident and the aftermath it caused appealed to Director Ruth Engel for a variety of reasons, chief amongst them that positive change and enduring perspective can come out of the most terrible of events. Receiving its Regional Premiere in the Southwest, Audacity is pleased to present VOLUME OF SMOKE.

For more information about the event, here's an informative article. And here's another one.

About the Playwright
The NY Times says there's "...a new generation of theater artists reared on a diet of vampires, zombies and charming serial killers. Call this movement the Theater of Blood, after the Vincent Price movie about a Shakespearean actor who kills critics, after torturing them with a hammy monologue. (It still gives me chills.) At the forefront is Clay McLeod Chapman, whose “Pumpkin Pie Show” channels the spirit of H. P. Lovecraft." -- Jason Zinoman, "A Creepy Threesome," NY Times, (10/19/09)

Clay McLeod Chapman is the founder of the Pumpkin Pie Show, a dynamic story-telling caberat well known in New York City. "If Chapman keeps up with the oddball characters, well-crafted stories, and critical plaudits, that Faulkner guy better watch out," the Village Voice’s Alexis Soloski wrote in a review of Clay McLeod Chapman’s Pumpkin Pie Show. Author Tom Robbins said of Chapman’s work, “Like a demonic angel on a skateboard, like a resurrected Artaud on methadrine, like a tattletale psychiatrist turned rodeo clown, Clay McLeod Chapman races back and forth along the serrated edges of everyday American madness, objectively recording each whimper of anguish, each whisper of skewed desire. This is strong stuff, intense stuff, sometimes disturbing stuff, but I think the many who admire Chuck Palahniuk will admire Chapman as well.” Clay McLeod Chapman is the creator of the rigorous storytelling session the Pumpkin Pie Show. In its ten years of existence, the award-winning Pumpkin Pie Show has toured extensively throughout the world – traveling to the Romanian Theatre Festival of Sibiu, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the New York International Fringe Festival, the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the Edmonton Fringe Festival, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, the Dublin-based thisisnotashop art space, IGNITE 06 Festival, the Women Center Stage Festival and the Impact Theatre Festival, just to name a few – as well as such various venues as colleges, theatres, and theme parks in and around the country. The Pumpkin Pie Show continues to perform in New York City—including PS 122, the DR2 theatre, the Ohio Theatre, La Mama, the Red Room, the Kraine theatre, UNDER St. Marks Theatre, the CSV Cultural Center, the Zipper theatre, the Belt theatre, Culture Project, Galapagos Art Space, Speigeltent NY, the Bowery Poetry Club, the Brick Theatre, and Coney Island, USA. 

For more information on Clay McLeod Chapman click here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Oscar Contreras and Angela Parsons

Tyson Rinehart

Angela Parsons
Chris Piper and Rhianna Mack with cast

Elizabeth Evans

Friday, March 19, 2010


VOLUME OF SMOKE by Clay McLeod Chapman has opened to good reviews here in Dallas.

Here on TheaterJones

Here on the Dallas Observer

Here on the Dallas Morning News

On December 26th, 1811, the Richmond Theatre burned to the ground. Over 70 people perished, many trampled to death in the chaos. The incident made headlines as far away as Germany and gave rise to the Second Great Awakening.

From one of America's most unique emerging playwrights comes this historical account of grim humor, heart-breaking tragedy and profound heroism.

Plays March 11-27,2010 at the Bath House Cultural Centre.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

HHF at the Columns

Yesterday, March 8th was the DFW Column Awards, celebrating local theatre here in Dallas. Audacity's HELLO HUMAN FEMALE was up for six 2010 Column Awards and took home two. Jeff Swearingen won Best Actor in Dallas (Non-Equity) for his portrayal of Blork and Arianna Movassagh won Best Actress in Dallas (Non-equity) for playing Tamela.

We also put on the "Somewhere Out There" number at the Awards ceremony. We were delighted, too, that HHF was the only "straight" play represented in the evening's entertainment.

Friday, March 5, 2010

CHOP opens

CHOP opened last night for the world to see. It World premiered at Addison Water Tower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival. Out of the 10 or 12 folks in the audience on this Thursday opening, two were critics.

Mark Lowry at enjoyed it... kinda.

He pegs it pretty dead-on that it is a solid festival piece. Which is true, I think.

A fellow I've never heard of named David Novinski came out to cover it for D Magazine's new FrontRow reviews/arts coverage section online. He did not really get into the spirit of the piece, but did offer one observation that will prove helpful.

The piece is smart, littered with mythological and scientific references. I had a line or two in before that explained that the character in the show was a temp and had lots of time to fill, so he turned to reading ("I had plenty of time to read. I'm a reader."), but I cut that line last week. It might be a good idea to put it back in for those folks, like Mr. Novinski, who get caught up in overly logical detail points in the story.

I also admire Mr. Novinski's review in that he both embodies and illustrates a very typical attitude among lots of my audience members in Dallas. Some are really adventurous and open, but some bring into the space a stuffy, uptight closedness. Their tastes run very fickle. This isn't malicious or purposeful on their parts, but it happens. They can't really let go and have fun and engage fully. I'm not sure why this is, but maybe it has to do with the wider culture becoming more isolated through personal technology.

Anyway, now that the very first showing ever for an audience has taken place, i can get down to the real work on CHOP. I can learn about the piece through the audiences eyes.Here's to the continuing adventure...

Mark Lowry's review here.

David Novinski's FrontRow review here.

~ Brad