#MentalHealthPlay goes to NY Summerfest!

mentalhealthplayWe’re in!

The amazing news: #MentalHealthPlay is part of NYSummerfest to be performed Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. and Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. in the beautiful Hudson Guild Theater, at 441 W. 26 St.(between 9th and 10th Avenues).

I keep picturing it in a show tent with bleachers or something, and then I pinch myself to remember it’s in a fantastic theater and this is really happening.

The challenge: Festival rules say we have to show it with a whole new cast after its run at Manhattan Rep Theatre in September-October, 2017.

Rehearsing a new cast for 60 hours, paying actors, directors and crew for their deep presence, acquiring props, some costumes, comp tickets for industry pros at $23/each, and developing the social justice project — even a minimalist budget feels pressured.

Can you feel the pulse of this show making a second, larger burst onto the scene? Will you be part of delivering this project from idea to experience?

Cammerron Baits (the director) and I believe with our souls in this project. We invested blood, sweat and tears into the original project. Time was a big crunch for the Manhattan Rep run (but Huffington Post and Broadway World gave it big love). The one-act needs more audience, more love, more space and time and a new cast will give it a fresh look and attract industry pros.

We’re looking for one love. The person who can and will invest in it, take a risk for this show to have a full length, full run in NYC followed by a tour. We’ll bring back some of the original #MaxFam and some of our second cast who invest in it.

We’re looking for a community to each invest what you can to make it happen. Watch for a crowd-funding effort to cover the initial costs of rehearsal space and related expenses, then a big push over the summer to do it all.

Bottom line: $5,000 bare bones. Anything above that allows us to better invest in the human beings who are devoting time, talent, heart, voice, motion, emotion, and soul.

If you’re an actor in the NYC area, I hope you will submit your stuff for this. Send headshot and resume to cammerronb@gmail.com.

Jed Ryan, writing for the Huffington Post, picked up the unique visual elements and individual performances as well as the whole.

Take a dive with us. Be part of this adventure.


Going to Barbados for “On the Block”

April 26, I will be in Barbados as part of a week-long visit. I aspire to photograph the unique natural world of the island, to get to talk to locals.

However, the pinnacle of the trip happens on the last full day: seeing students from Barbados Community College participate in the first public production of “On the Block” by Glenville Lovell. 

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.01.40 PMLovell is perhaps the most noted writer/creator from Barbados. A playwright, dancer and novelist, Lovell grew up in a chattel house. These structures were built “on the block” and the entirety of the house, including the blocks, could be picked up and moved as landlord-tenant relationships changed or employers migrated their sugar cane operations.

I’ve been assigned a photo-essay about the production by a U.S. theater publication and seek more outlets for the documentary of this beautiful experience.

“On the Block” was the winner of the Frank Collymore Endowment Award in 2010, but has yet to be performed in public.

It has already been a beautiful experience communicating with David and Rosemary of The Gap Theatre in Barbados.

The play happens at the Daphne Joseph Hackett Theatre in Queen’s Park, Bridgetown, which was closed for 12 years until its reopening in 2017.

#MaxFam @ Drake postponed

The students who make up Drake Theatre People and I have decided to postpone the reading of Maximalista #MentalHealthPlay until Mental Health Awareness Week in October, 2018.

With great love for their efforts, and their stated desire to house this play, the New York cast and I continue developing it in the interest of shining a light on what one person can do for people who struggle with mental illness.

This postponement does not mean you couldn’t go sign up for Mental Health First Aid class where you are and become part of the greater solution to the mental health crisis.

With gratefulness…

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