It’s Opening Night . . .

Well, its finally here.  It’s a day I’ve been waiting for . . . dreaming of . . .anticipating . . . for a very long time.  Tonight, CHASE THE DRAGON opens.  This is my first play, the first major project I’ve ever finished, and I am extraordinarily proud of it.

If it weren’t for the wonderful artistic directors at Cincinnati LAB Theatre (Bob Allen, Elizabeth a. Harris, and Jared D. Doren) I wouldn’t be getting the opportunity to present this new work to an audience and for that I am exceptionally grateful.

I would have needed about 5 pages of my own in the program to thank everyone the way I want to.  Fortunately for me, I can write as much as I want here on this blog and I intend to do that.  Indulge me, please, because one only writes one first play.

First, thank you to all the folks who read the various drafts and gave feedback.  I’ll forget some but I’m exceptionally grateful to Ray, Katie, Tom, Ed, Nik, Jacob, Jordan, Carolyn, and others who took time out of their busy lives to give it a read.

Thank you to my unending support system.  I have the best cheerleaders in the world. Jon, Dallas, DJ, Connie, and David – this would never have happened without your encouragement and gentle pushes to put myself – and my work – out there.

I’d be remiss not to thank God for literally everything.  With Him all things truly are possible.

Thank you to the folks who read the initial draft: Daniel, Jon, Kelsey, Ben, Rupert, and Piper were incredibly gracious with their time and talent and David and Angela were generous to offer up their dining room table as a place to begin working on it.

A huge thank you to the cast who will bring this show to life tonight:  Carter Bratton, Bob Allen, Rupert Spraul, Tess Talbot, and Henry Howland are phenomenal and I cannot wait for an audience to see them tell this story.

Thanks to our stage manager, Annette Ouchie, who has worked incredibly hard to keep everyone on task and keep us organized as we workshopped the project.

And finally – and most importantly – thanks to Jared D. Doren.  Jared is perhaps the most underrated director in town.  I’ve thought that about his other work and now that I’ve seen him in action I know what a fantastic talent he is and incredible theatrical mind he has.  He saw something in this script that I’m not sure I even saw and I can’t imagine ever writing another piece without someone like him to help edit, shape, and grow it.  I hope this is just the start of a wonderful artistic partnership.

CHASE THE DRAGON is just one of four new works being featured by Cincinnati LAB Theatre over the next two weekends.  I saw JUDAS tonight and its a beautifully written piece by Elizabeth a. Harris.  Her mesmerizing poetry is something I wish I could write; Brian Berendts and Derek Snow tell this story of friendship intimately and the staging is beautiful.

Plus there’s readings of Brian Griffin’s 3SOME and Valetta Anderson’s MEDUSA IN YOU.  The full schedule can be found on Falcon Theatre’s web site.  Cincinnati LAB Theatre is now an affiliate of Falcon and its going to be a fantastic partnership I think.

Anyway, enough of all this sap.  I hope to see you tonight, Saturday, or next Friday at CHASE THE DRAGON and you should definitely check out the other shows in the New Works Festival, as well.  It’s only $25 for an all access pass and that’s quite a steal!

I’ll see you at the theater!

judas brian pic