Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Fringe 2005 Ping Pong Ball Awards

The "I've A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore" Award, Part 2

Emigrant Theater

An alternate universe of the "No Exit" variety:

"Dead Wait - With a cigarette in her hand and a head on her shoulders, Jayne Mansfield holds court while two slain waiters search for meaning in their deaths. With the right people in the wrong place at the wrong time, Kreitzer’s play explores the American obsession with celebrity and the fulfillment we hope it provides."

There's a few reasons this one's on my radar.

First of all, the play is written by Carson Kreitzer, who I think is a supremely gifted playwright. When I served on the panel for the Theater Fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board a few years back (before the governor gutted their funding. Thanks, Tim), I had the pleasure of reading her play "Freak Show," and I've been a fan ever since. I've attended three other Twin Cities productions of her work - "Slither" at the late and much-lamented Eye of the Storm Theatre, and "Self Defense" and "The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer" both at Frank Theater. Even when the productions were uneven, her way with language was always entrancing. So I'll pretty much see anything with her name on it, and heartily recommend it to others.

Secondly, Emigrant Theater is a new theatre in town dedicated to producing the work of living playwrights. As a living playwright myself, I know we need all the friends we can get. It's why I love the Fringe. And why I'm going to give these folks an audience member. They recently had a launch party and reading of a new play by Alan Berks (of Fringe 2004's Goats fame)

Third, I love a good Jayne Mansfield joke. (Oh, c'mon, look it up).

If you're interested in getting a sample of their work prior to the Fringe, they're having their first full production in April. It's a new play entitled "The Presence of Children," written by Matt Di Cintio - the scribe behind 2004's Fringe entry from Outward Spiral Theatre Company - The Valets.

For details on the exact when and where of the production, go to their website listed below, or it'll also be listed in my Theatre Recommendations on my site.

To learn more about the new kid on the block, visit

[To see the rest of the Ping Pong Ball Awards, click here.]

(For more of my writing - plays, past blog entries and more - visit

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