Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

Table Tennis Terrors

October 31st, 2016

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I know what you’re thinking – “I hate this time of year! I get so sick and tired of all of the ping pong Halloween plays.”

Sorry – here’s another one.

I wrote this short little ditty for a fundraiser that Promethean Theatre Ensemble was doing at a ping pong bar.  Check Promethean out – they do good work!

And then the incredibly talented Greg Owens was kind enough to post a recording of the script on his HIGH COUNTRY DRAMA podcast.

It features me and Brian Pastor.

Here it is – the table tennis terrors of… “Table Tennis Terrors.”

Happy Halloween!

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Tomorrow night (Tuesday 10/11) my short Halloween play “Oscillating Sasquatch” will receive a staged reading by the good people at Dandelion Theatre as part of their THE MAKE READY.

Goth-punk-hillbilly girls robbing a grave – what could be better!

Tuesday, October 11

7:00

Dandelion Theatre’s THE MAKE READY

Featuring “Oscillating Sasquatch”

The Galway Arms

2442 N. Clark – Chicago

Come see “Jesus Saves” by Eoin Carney, a very funny short play that I’m directing for Otherworld Theatre’s PARAGON Play Festival.  It features the out-of-this-world talents of Conor Clark and Martha Reddick.

PARAGON is a short-play festival dedicated to furthering Otherworld’s mission of growing the genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy Theatre through the discovery and promotion of new artists and works.

This wonderful festival will feature 40 Plays in 2 Days.

Here are the details:

Sunday, October 2 at 3:10

“Jesus Saves” by Eoin Carney

directed by John Weagly

featuring Conor Clark & Martha Reddick

The Public House Theatre

3914 N. Clark Street in Chicago

Block Tickets for the festival (from break to break) can be purchased at the door for $7.

Day Passes are $15.

Weekend Passes are $22.

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RIP Edward Albee

September 18th, 2016

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It’s weird to me to think that I do the same thing as Edward Albee.  I suppose technically we’re both playwrights, but you can’t really compare Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to one of my six-minute plays about sock monkeys or dead dwarves or two guys talking about convoys.

Throughout my life, I’ve been exposed to many of the great writers for the stage.  Whether in college or working at one of the many theaters that have employed me or just as a theater-goer, I’ve seen or read plays by all of our celebrated playwrights.  While I enjoy all of them, some I connect with (Harold Pinter, John Guare, David Mamet, Sam Shepard) and some I don’t (Clifford Odets, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller).  Again, not a question of quality or enjoyment, just the idea of “I want to do that.”

Edward Albee is one of the one’s I connect with.

I didn’t realize it at the time I was writing it, but my play “King Kong Doesn’t Speak” is very heavily influenced by “The Zoo Story” and several of my plays owe a debt to Seascape.

He changed theater and gave us a new kind of drama.

Rest in peace.

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R.I.P. Gene Wilder

August 29th, 2016

About 10 years ago, while I was a tour guide for Wendella Boats in Chicago, my co-worker Jacob and I were sitting around waiting for our next tour to start.  Jacob turned to me and said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if Gene Wilder came on board and took a tour today?”

What a wonderful, joy-filled idea that was!

Since then, that idea has perked up any day that was a little slow, a little down, a little blah.  “What if Gene Wilder stopped by today?”  The notion puts a smile on one’s face.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Young Frankenstein.

Here are some of my favorite Gene Wilder movies:

Bonnie and Clyde, 1967

The Producers, 1968

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 1971

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask, 1972

Blazing Saddles, 1974

Young Frankenstein, 1974

Silver Streak, 1976

The Frisco Kid, 1979

Rest in peace.

 

 

Cthulhu in Kalamazoo

August 23rd, 2016

This Thursday in Kalamazoo see my Lovecraftian short play “Strange Aeons and Free Hot Dogs” as part of POLITICAL SHORTS: A TALKBACK WITH THE CANDIDATES.  This fine program is being done by the good people at Fancy Pants Theater and the Kalamazoo Jaycees.

Here are the details:

Thursday 8/25 at 7:30

Fancy Pants Theater and the Kalamazoo Jaycees present

Political Shorts: A Talkback With The Candidates

Featuring my short Cthulhu-inspired play “Strange Aeons and Free Hot Dogs”

The Epic Theatre

359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Drive

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Are you in a place that’s not Kalamazoo, but you’d still like to experience “Strange Aeons and Free Hot Dogs”?  Why not buy a copy and read it to yourself?  It’s included in my short play collection TINY FLIGHTS OF FANTASY, which you can purchase at Amazon.

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The Last Abbie Fest

August 15th, 2016

This weekend (August 19, 20 & 21) will be Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s last Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins Festival.  The annual performance mashup celebrates the anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair of 1969. Three days of non-stop entertainment including more than 50 theater groups and performers.

I first participated in Abbie Fest 20 years ago in 1996.  I’ve done my plays at Abbie Fest, I’ve done plays by other people and other people have done plays by me.  It was always the perfect environment for those of us that want to do something a little bit off the beaten track or maybe don’t fit into the mold of Chicago storefront theater.  Since I mainly write short-short plays, I could produce a six-minute script and have it performed at 9:15 on a Friday night.  Or 1:40 on a Saturday afternoon.  Or 7:05 on a Sunday morning.

This year my company (Iguana Productions) will present “Convoy Tony and Convoy Troy Talk About Convoys.”  It will feature my friends Brian Pastor & Conor Clark (I always did my Abbie Fest shows with friends, because what’s the point in doing stuff any other way?).  It’ll be 8 minutes of absurd silliness and hopefully people will enjoy it.

Here are the details:

Iguana Productions presents:

“Convoy Tony and Convoy Troy Talk About Convoys”

Written & Directed by John Weagly

Featuring: Brian Pastor & Conor Clark

Convoy Tony and Convoy Troy both love big rigs, CB radios and convoys – but do they both love the truth?

Friday August 19

9:00pm

The Den Theater – 1333 N. Milwaukee in Chicago

Part of the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins Festival 28 – The Last Abbie Fest

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Next Tuesday August 9th, come see (and maybe participate in) a reading of my very Monty Pythonish very short play “Statistically Sleeping.”  It’s part of The Make Ready, which is done every other month by the good people at Dandelion Theatre.

Here are the details:

Tuesday, August 9

7:00

The Make Ready

Featuring “Statistically Sleeping” by John Weagly and other short scripts by other talented playwrights.

Vagabond School of the Arts

4001 N. Ravenswood, 5th floor

Chicago

Presented by Dandelion Theatre.

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This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to see film director/composer John Carpenter perform live.  He played music from his films (while clips played in the background), as well as tracks from his two recent albums (Lost Themes I and Lost Themes II).

It was amazing – 13 year old me fainted 27 times!   A live representation of the soundtrack of my life.

Here, in my opinion, are the 5 best John Carpenter scores:

Halloween, 1978

Escape from New York, 1981

Assault on Precinct 13, 1976

Big Trouble in Little China, 1986

They Live, 1988

And, special mention, the song “Benson, Arizona” from Dark Star, 1974.

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Breaker! Breaker!!

June 13th, 2016

Breaker! Breaker!

Tomorrow night (Tuesday 6/14) my short play “Convoy Tony and Convoy Troy Talk About Convoys” will receive a staged reading by the good people at Dandelion Theatre as part of their THE MAKE READY.

Tuesday, June 14

7:00

Dandelion Theatre’s THE MAKE READY

Featuring “Convoy Tony and Convoy Troy Talk About Convoys”

The Galway Arms

2442 N. Clark – Chicago

Be there or be square, Good Buddy!

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