Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Further Adventures Of...

Written by Kathleen Warnock
Directed by Eric Chase
Produced by TOSOS

Nominated for: Outstanding Original Short Script, Kathleen Warnock; and Outstanding Ensemble: Tim Burke, Mark Finley, and Jamie Heinlein

Photo by Katrina del Mar

About the Production
TOSOS (“The Other Side of Silence”) endeavors to “explore the unique LGBT experience and cultural sensibilities in a life-affirming and respectful way.” In Kathleen Warnock’s play The Further Adventures Of..., a woman explores her childhood fascination with a 1950’s Sci-Fi TV show and what it reveals about her own sexuality.

Producer Barry Childs, Playwright Kathleen Warnock, and Ensemble members: Tim Burke, Mark Finley, and Jamie Heinlein talk about developing this work from the page to the stage.


What attracted you to this production?

Jamie: I have known the playwright for almost 30 years. She wrote the play originally for a 24 hour play festival where she had pulled my name out of a hat as an actor and was given 3 words that had to be used in the play. It was 10 minutes to start and has grown over the years.

Kathleen: Once this was a 10-minute play. We had great fun doing it all over the place, and it was even published in a "Best 10-Minute Plays" anthology. Then, when I had to step in for the leading lady at the last minute, I realized (while I was acting in it), that there were ways that the play could be expanded. I know it's still considered a short play, but its time span is now over 50 years (actually, over a million years).

Mark: I love how the camp elements reveal the truth of the story

Barry: I was really drawn to the subject matter and how it is handled. The secret affair between the male stars in the TV show is never trivialized, it is simply taken for what it is.

Tim: TOSOS is the oldest LGBT theatre company in NYC. I have always been drawn to their work. In 2014 I had the opportunity to work with TOSOS or the first time in The Wind Behind us, part of the Unchained Theatre Festival in Long Island City. Kathleen Warnock's play is fascinating on many levels, as it explores our inner voice as it guides us in the formation of identity, as well as the masks that we wear, from the time of Golden Age of Hollywood to the present.

What was your favorite part of working on this production?


Kathleen: We created a kind of dream team for this production: Eric Chase, whom I'd been wanting to work with since he directed a short monologue I wrote; Jamie Heinlein, whom I'd written the original play for; Mark Finley, who made the role of The Commander his own; and the final piece was Tim Burke, who stepped in to the role of the Prince, which had been a bit of a revolving door before that.

Mark: The script, crew, company and the chance to create 4 distinct characters.
Tim: Developing the play was collaborative the actors, writer and director, as well as the assistant director. Each time we rehearsed and performed, the play evolved and grew.

Barry: It just felt so easy - The cast, playwright and director were all in sync with each other and it made watching rehearsals a joy.

Jamie: The character is great - not many parts so full of character growth and discovery for a woman my age so that was amazing to work on. Plus I love working with every single person involved in this show so it's a treat!

What was the most challenging part of working on this production?

Tim: Playing multiple characters, male and female, from a child to elderly. We developed a "neutral" character, to watch each scene from onstage, staying part of the action, even if not part of the scene. Then a simple physical gesture or movement to embody the next character and join the scene.

Kathleen: We have been so peripatetic: at Dixon Place, in Provincetown, in Ireland, the Upper West Side, and now the Fringe. We know we have a good show, and we work hard to make it fit the space we are in, wherever we are.

Jamie: Lots of direct address to the audience. I love the interplay with other actors and forgetting the audience - which isn't possible here.

Barry: That is a bit hard to say, as this was one of the 'easiest' shows I have ever worked on. I guess I would say that the play has a loyal and small following, so getting the attention of a larger audience has been a challenge.
Photo by Katrina del Mar

What was the most unique thing about working on this production?

Tim: The play started at a 24 hour play festival, but when I joined the project, the playwright had just completed the additional material, from 10 minutes to one hour, and 6 new characters. Very exciting, and intimidating, as we had two weeks before the 2014 Hot! Festival on the lower east side.

Jamie: The whole "born of a 24-hour play festival" comes to mind again. The required words form the festival are all still in the play - but no one would ever know they weren't organic.

Kathleen: I've never worked on, or enjoyed working on, a show for such a long time, and it never gets old. I end up making changes in every production, working within the current structure, and every time we do it, it feels deeper and richer.

What did you want the audience to come away with after watching The Further Adventures Of...?

Barry:  I would say that the story told in the play illustrates how far we have come as a society in accepting same sex relationships and how far we still have to go.

What was it like working with TOSOS?

Tim: They love what they do, and the material is meaningful, and often quite personal. They do theatre because they live it, love it, and believe in its importance.
Jamie: Immense fun & respect from everyone!

Mark: One of the things that is unique about us is that we always focus on supporting non-mainstream LGBT work.

Kathleen: TOSOS is my home. Its founder, Doric Wilson, invited me to join, and it's given me more joy and satisfaction as a working theater person than almost anything else. Not just my shows: but we've put on some wonderful, important plays, and I'm proud of that.

What was it like working with Kathleen, Tim, Jamie, and Mark?

Barry: These nominees were an incredible team. They all work together so well, it was as if they all share the same mind.

You can follow these artists on Twitter
Jamie Heinlein -  @jimmyjameynyc
Kathleen Warnock - @kwarnockny


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