Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The View From Here #174: "Man Cave;" The Fundraiser


-->

Hello, Friends,

This may be the most challenging part of what I do.

And, from the looks of it, I do a bunch of challenging things.

I’m used to selling tickets, and selling bookings. I’m not as good at it as I would like to be, but that’s kind of the territory of my “job,” and I do need to eat.

As someone who makes a living as a one-man show, there’s probably/certainly something in my psyche that avoids “dependency.”

Yet, much as I might try, there’s no escaping dependency: I depend on a board of directors, a manager, a venue, a school, a technician, an audience, and the willing suspension of disbelief.

Every time I launch a new show, I depend on the words, the story, the message to carry me through, to make a statement and for that statement to be both meaningful and important. And that audience, those reviewers, those hosts and these ticket-buyers... mostly back me up in the bargain.

But there’s that gap: that period between thinking up the new show, and fully producing the new show (writing, memorizing, costuming, propping, photographing, video-ing, graphic-ing, press-releasing, promoting…) in which the work is all happening, and the money has not yet begun to pay the bills for all of those “-ings”.

Broadway producers know how this works, and raise millions upon millions in a scheme which will theoretically be of profit to their backers.

As a not-for-profit organization, I don’t have Backers.

I have Angels.

There are people out there who take the leap of faith alongside me, that believe what comes out on the other side will repay the common good of this viewer, that audience, this classroom, that school, this community, that…? They believe in our mission: "to inspire, inform, enlighten, educate and entertain..."

And they invest in that vision: that THIS understanding of THIS writer or THAT thing will make THAT community more sensitive, intelligent, conscious, aware, capable… Sometimes, sight unseen, they invest in what they believe might be returned to the community, a possibility waiting at the other end.

And I struggle with seeking that support. Because, I haven’t provided the payoff quite yet, it’s only barely begun to appear in front of people, and the reviews have only begun to trickle in. And it’s much easier for me to laugh along with the cynicism, than to be so unfashionable as to bang the drum for a “cause.”

Or, maybe it's because I'm so completely connected to "the thing" that I put my own self-worth at stake every time I suggest that you might want to support "it."

So, my resistance and procrastination kick in, and I spend a long week, composing and justifying a fundraiser that makes the case for the value of “this thing,” before approaching you with the important question.

Which is this:

There’s this thing I created.

It’s called “Man Cave, a One-man Sci-fi Climate Change Tragicomedy.”

I think it’s important. 

It came out really good... better than I expected.

I think it can make a difference for people.

I pretend that I’m joking when I say, half-sincerely, that it might make a difference for the planet. ("Saving the planet through acts of theatre since 2002.")

I’m embarking on a long trip and a large campaign to get it in front of bunches of people.

I’m trying to raise some of the money up front, so that campaign can make a big splash early, and send the ripples from that splash out as far and wide as they might.

I’d love to have your support, and to have you along for the ride.

Would you check out the project, and send a little something our way?

And, maybe, share it with your friends?



Thanks for helping me make a difference.

Tim


Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre Tour Schedule


(Already-booked dates in GREEN; Tentative bookings in RED)
MTT = “Moliere than Thou”; LoS = “Lot o’ Shakespeare;” GSAT = “Greatest Speech of All Time;” SH – “Shakespeare’s Histories” BH – “Breakneck Hamlet;” BJC – “Breakneck Julius Caesar”  MC – “Man Cave”
           
SUMMER, 2018

Jun 16-23     Port Fringe (BJC)
July 9-15       Son of Semele Solo Creation Festival  (MC)
July 27           The Moorings, Arlington Heights (GSAT)
Aug 2-5:        AATE MINNEAPOLIS
Aug 2-12       Minnesota Fringe Festival (waiting list)
Aug 16-26    Indy Fringe Festival (BJC)
Aug 30-Sep 3  Chicago Fringe Festival (waiting list)

FALL, 2018

Aug 29-31     Gulfport High School, Gulfport, MS (LoS)
Sep 4-7          ILLINOIS, INDIANA, MICHIGAN, WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA
Sep 5-8          Arts Midwest Conference, Indianapolis, IN
Sep 10-11     Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts
Sep 12            NEBRASKA
Sep 13-15     EdTA National Conference, Denver, CO (Booth, Workshop)
Sep 16           Dangerous Theatre (Man Cave)
Sep 17            NEBRASKA, SOUTH/NORTH DAKOTA, WYOMING
Sep 18            MONTANA, IDAHO           ,           
Sep 19-20      IDAHO, UTAH, COLORADO
Sep 21           Broomfield Auditorium, Denver, CO
Sep 22-23      COLORADO
Sep 24-25      COLORADO, UTAH, NEVADA, CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON, OREGON
Sep 25            CALIFORNIA
Sep 26            ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO
Sep 26-29     TETA THEATREFEST Dallas, TX                                                  
Sep 27-28      TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, KANSAS
Sep 29-30      KANSAS, NEBRASKA MISSOURI
Oct 1              MISSOURI, IOWA
Oct 2              IOWA, ILLINOIS
Oct 3              ILLINOIS, INDIANA
Oct 4              INDIANA, MICHIGAN
Oct 5-7          ILLINOIS, INDIANA
Oct 8              INDIANA, MICHIGAN, OHIO      
Oct 9              OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA
Oct 10            PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK
Oct 11            NEW YORK, NEW ENGLAND
Oct 12-14      NEW ENGLAND
Oct 15            NEW ENGLAND, NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA
Oct 16            NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY
Oct 17            NEW JERSEY, DELAWARE, MARYLAND, D.C.
Oct 17-18      U-Delaware, Newark, DE
Oct 18            DELAWARE, MARYLAND, D.C., VIRGINIA
Oct 19            D.C., VIRGINIA, MARYLAND
Oct 20-21      MARYLAND
Oct 22            VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA
Oct 23            NORTH/SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct 24-28      Virginia Theatre Association, Norfolk, VA?
Oct 24            SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA
Oct 25            GEORGIA, FLORIDA
Oct 26-28      FLORIDA
Oct 29            FLORIDA, GEORGIA
Oct 30            GEORGIA, TENNESSEE
Oct 31            TENNESSEE, KENTUCKY
Nov 1             KENTUCKY, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA
Nov 2             Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, KY (GSAT)
Nov 2             VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA
Nov 3-4          WEST VIRGINIA
Nov 5             OHIO, KENTUCKY
Nov 6             OHIO, KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE
Nov 7             TENNESSEE, KENTUCKY, ALABAMA
Nov 8             ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI, ARKANSAS
Nov 9             MISSISSIPPI, ARKANSAS
Nov 7-11       InFringe Festival
Nov 10-11     LOUISIANA
Nov 12           LOUISIANA, TEXAS
Nov 13           TEXAS, OKLAHOMA
Nov 14-15     TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, KANSAS
Nov 15-18    Texas Thespians, Gaylord, Texas
Nov 16           TEXAS, NEW MEXICO
Nov 17           NEW MEXICO
Nov 18           NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA
Nov 19           ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA
Nov 20           CALIFORNIA                         
Nov 21-27     CALIFORNIA, HAWAII, OREGON, WASHINGTON, NEVADA
Nov 27          Mount Hood Community College, Gresham, WA
Nov 27          Troutdale, OR/Vancouver, WA (MTT)
Nov 28           NEVADA, UTAH
Nov 29           UTAH, COLORADO
Nov 30           COLORADO, NEBRASKA
Dec 1             NEBRASKA, IOWA
Dec 2-4          IOWA, ILLINOIS

WINTER/SPRING, 2019

Jan 3-6           MLA Chicago
Jan 7-18        Illinois Events
Jan 10-12      Illinois High School Theatre Festival
Jan 13-Feb 16  Available for Residency
Feb 17-18      ILLINOIS
Feb 19            MICHIGAN
Feb 20           North Park College, Naperville, IL (MTT) 
Feb 21            INDIANA, OHIO, WEST VIRGINIA
Feb 22            WEST VIRGINIA, OHIO, KENTUCKY
Feb 23-24      KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI
Feb 25            MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA
Feb 26            ALABAMA, GEORGIA
Feb 27-Mar 2 SETC Conference, Knoxville, TN
Mar 3-4         GEORGIA, FLORIDA
Mar 5-6         FLORIDA
Mar 7             GEORGIA, SOUTH CAROLINA
Mar 8             SOUTH CAROLINA, NORTH CAROLINA
Mar 9             NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA
Mar 10          VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND
Mar 11          VIRGINIA, DC, MARYLAND
Mar 12          D.C., MARYLAND, DELAWARE
Mar 13          DELAWARE, NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA
Mar 14          PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY, NEW ENGLAND
Mar 15-16    Boston, MA (BJC)
Mar 15          NEW ENGLAND
Mar 16-18    NEW YORK, NEW ENGLAND
Mar 19          NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA
Mar 20          PENNSYLVANIA, OHIO
Mar 21          OHIO, MICHIGAN, INDIANA
Mar 22-25    Three Brothers Theatre, Waukegan, IL
Mar 25          ILLINOIS, IOWA
Mar 26          IOWA, MISSOURI
Mar 27          MISSOURI, KANSAS, ARKANSAS
Mar 28          KANSAS, ARKANSAS, OKLAHOMA, LOUISIANA
Mar 29          LOUISIANA, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS
Mar 30-Apr 1 TEXAS
Apr 2              TEXAS, NEW MEXICO
Apr 3              NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA
Apr 4-5          CALIFORNIA, NEVADA
Apr 6-8          CALIFORNIA, NEVADA
Apr 9-10        UTAH, COLORADO
Apr 11            COLORADO, NEBRASKA
Apr 12            NEBRASKA, MISSOURI, IOWA
Apr 13-19      ILLINOIS, WISCONSIN, INDIANA, MINNESOTA
Apr 22-23      WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA
Apr 24            NORTH DAKOTA, SOUTH DAKOTA
April 25-28    Oregon Fringe Festival (estimated dates)
Apr 25            NORTH DAKOTA, SOUTH DAKOTA, WYOMING, MONTANA
Apr 26            WYOMING, MONTANA, IDAHO
Apr 27-29      IDAHO, WASHINGTON, OREGON
Apr 30            WASHINGTON, OREGON
May 1            OREGON
May 6            OREGON, CALIFORNIA
May 7            CALIFORNIA
May 8            CALIFORNIA, NEVADA
May 9            UTAH, COLORADO
May 10          COLORADO
May 11          KANSAS
May 12          MISSOURI
May 13          TENNESSEE
May 14          GEORGIA, FLORIDA

SUMMER, 2019

April 25-28   Oregon Fringe Festival (estimated dates)
May 15-26    Orlando Fringe Festival, Orlando, FL
May 29-Jun 9London Fringe (est. dates)
Jun 6-10        Dallas Solo Fest (2018 dates)
Jul 11-15:      Regina Fringe
Jul 24-29 (2017): Providence Fringe Festival

FALL, 2019

Sep 11-14      Educational Theatre Association Conference
Sep 16            ILLINOIS, INDIANA, MICHIGAN
Sep 17            INDIANA, MICHIGAN, OHIO
Sep 18            OHIO, KENTUCKY, WEST VIRGINIA
Sep 19            PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK
Sep 20            PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK, NEW ENGLAND
Sep 21-23      NEW ENGLAND
Sep 24            NEW ENGLAND, NEW YORK
Sep 25            NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY
Sep 26            PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY, D.C., MARYLAND, DELAWARE
Sep 27            D.C. MARYLAND, DELAWARE
Sep 28-29      MARYLAND
Sep 30            MARYLAND, D.C., VIRGINIA
Oct 1              VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA
Oct 2              NORTH/SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct 3              SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA
Oct 4              GEORGIA, FLORIDA
Oct 5-6          FLORIDA
Oct 7              FLORIDA, GEORGIA
Oct 8              GEORGIA, TENNESSEE
Oct 9              TENNESSEE, ALABAMA
Oct 10            ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI
Oct 11            MISSISSIPPI, ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA
Oct 12-13      LOUISIANA, TEXAS
Oct 14            OKLAHOMA, ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA, TEXAS
Oct 15            TEXAS, OKLAHOMA
Oct 16            TEXAS, NEW MEXICO
Oct 17            NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA
Oct 18            ARIZONA, NEVADA, CALIFORNIA
Oct 19-21      CALIFORNIA
Oct 22            CALIFORNIA, NEVADA, OREGON
Oct 23            OREGON, WASHINGTON, UTAH
Oct 24            OREGON, WASHINGTON, IDAHO, UTAH
Oct 25            IDAHO, MONTANA, WYOMING, COLORADO
Oct 26-27      MONTANA, COLORADO
Oct 28            SOUTH/NORTH DAKOTA, WYOMING, COLORADO
Oct 29            NEBRASKA, KANSAS
Oct 30            NEBRASKA, KANSAS, MISSOURI
Oct 31            MISSOURI, IOWA
Nov 1             IOWA, MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN
Nov 2-3          MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN
Nov 4-5          WISCONSIN, ILLINOIS
Nov 6             ILLINOIS, IOWA, MISSOURI
Nov 7             MISSOURI, ARKANSAS, OKLAHOMA
Nov 8             OKLAHOMA, TEXAS
Nov 9             TEXAS, LOUISIANA
Nov 10           LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI
Nov 11           MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, TENNESSEE
Nov 12           TENNESSEE, GEORGIA
Nov 13           GEORGIA, FLORIDA
Nov 14           FLORIDA
Nov 15-17     FLORIDA, SOUTH CAROLINA
Nov 18           SOUTH CAROLINA, NORTH CAROLINA
Nov 19           NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA
Nov 20           VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, D.C.
Nov 21           DELAWARE, NEW JERSEY
Nov 22           NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NEW ENGLAND
Nov 23-24     NEW ENGLAND, NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA
Nov 25           PENNSYLVANIA, OHIO, KENTUCKY
Nov 26           OHIO, MICHIGAN, INDIANA

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The View From Here #173: Winter-Spring 2018

Yes, this is what you think it is...
I peek up from a really full Winter/Spring tour to notice that it’s now been almost five months since our last “View From Here” blog entry (Dec 28). I wanted to squeeze something in before the end of the year, just as a reminder for any end-of-year donations, but this May-August period is generally the most trying phase of the tour, as Fringe festivals don’t tend to bring in a living wage.

Much of these months have been caught up with writing two new shows and memorizing one of them. I’m amid the final pages of draft four of the “Shakespeare Authorship Play,” which has been paused the last month or two due to the sudden need to have the “Climate Change Play” (now titled “Man Cave”) ready to perform NOW! (More on that below!)


Northeast EdTA Opening Panel Audience
Early January found me traveling in a direction I rarely go in the colder months. I had a booking of “Moliere than Thou” in Pelham, NY that I only vaguely remember so many months later, although my notes remind me that the French teacher wrote back, “Your show was amazing and definitely an unforgettable experience for the students.”



Tim, Karen Sklaire Watson & Shirlee Isakovich
Pushing even further into snowy weather, I was a featured presenter at the Northeast Educational Theatre Association, meeting in Portland, Maine. Of course, I avoid Maine in mid-January, but the opportunity to share this work with a large bunch of theatre kids was too tempting. I arrived a few days early and visited with Gale, my Orlando friend (who has a winter home in Maine), and it snowed heavily every day.

Over the two-day EdTA event, I was part of an opening panel, gave three workshops, and performed “Lot o’ Shakespeare” twice. It was great getting to know my fellow panelists, Karen and Shirlee (Actress & Costume Designer, respectively), and perhaps most fun presenting “Lot o’ Shakespeare” to audiences who were big fans of Shakespeare and responded warmly to each monologue.

One step ahead of the snow in Pennsylvania...
After the show, one student stopped me in the cafeteria to let me know, “I never imagined that I would actually enjoy Shakespeare…!”
 The real challenge arrived in hitting the road again: I had only three days to get from Maine to Georgia, and a snowfall on my get-out-of-Maine day would have made the trip impossible. Almost on cue, after a week of snow and freezing temperatures, the sun came out, and the temperature topped 40 degrees. I raced out, reaching Pennsylvania on the first day, North Carolina the second and Columbus, Georgia, the third.


In Columbus, “Breakneck Hamlet” was part of a department-wide event. Columbus State has a healthy enrollment of 120 theatre students, and I could hear and feel their excitement from the other side of the curtain well before I began (they were cheering the pre-show announcements).

San Diego Sunset #1
The show felt great, and wrapped up with what I posted was a “massive standing ovation.” This was one of those days that reminded me that, in spite of the driving and the struggles, I really do love my job.

While I can generally pick up a couple of shows within some two-or-three days’ drive, I lay out my schedule about 18 months in advance of actual performances, and every now and again there is a gap where events don’t fill in on my mapped-out agenda. This was one such gap…! With a long drive from Georgia to Oregon, I decided to make the most of it and drop in on as many friends as I might at each step along the way.
Tim & Victoria

I pushed west, with quick visits in Forth Worth, TX, Las Cruces, NM, and Tucson, NM. In San Diego, I managed to catch up with April’s foster-daughter, Victoria (now attending San Diego State), as well as Betty Anderson and cousin
San Diego Sunset #2
, Marty McGee. From there I pushed north, dropping in on Lucy Wang in L.A., Kirsten Moomey in Santa Clarita, Jayne Day in Fresno, Marina and Steve in Chico, Cil Stengel in Ashland, OR (where I dropped off more of my books at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival gift shop), and Pat and Kathy in Salem, OR, before finally landing in Portland, OR for my next show (and visits to Powell’s Books and Jeff Desautels, of “Box of Clowns” while I was there).

Along the way, the Tim Mooney Rep picked up another major donation from a semi-anonymous donor, contributing $5,000 through the Sunflower Road Foundation!

The performance of “Moliere than Thou,” coordinated by French teachers from three different Portland-area schools, was extremely well received (and they started talking about a return event for the coming Fall). Also in attendance was my semi-distant cousin, Karen Martin (only discovered and met a year prior) and her husband and daughter, who now saw me in performance for the first time ever.

Once again, I headed east, with stops in Coeur d’Alene, OR, Missoula, MT (visiting Joe Proctor, one year post-heart-transplant), before continuing on across the northern tier to Chicago.
What is this a close-up of?

Car frost from Montana
Following a quick Chicago stop, I was back on the road again, with an Indianapolis performance for 160 high school English students at Riverside High School! I had performed both “Breakneck Hamlet” and “Breakneck Julius Caesar” to their “sibling school,” Herron High School, in previous semesters, but “Lot o’ Shakespeare” seemed to go over even better than either of those.

Lot o' Shakespeare at Riverside High School
Following a quick Q&A, I was back on the road to Delaware, Ohio, where the local Shakespeare Club booked “Breakneck Julius Caesar” for a large auditorium to bursting with 650 students from several local schools. The show felt better than ever.

I received word that my number had been picked off of the waiting list for the Tampa Fringe Festival, where I would return with “Breakneck Julius Caesar” as a follow-up to last year’s “Hamlet” performance. About a month later, I got word that they had decided to use my visuals for a Fringe billboard campaign (pictured at top)!

Tim and the Old Man
I proceeded north to Detroit for a slightly belated birthday dinner with Isaac, who seems to have turned the impossible age of 24, followed by a week or two “down time” in Chicago.

At home, I made some headway on the spring “email campaign,” as well as some serious writing on both the Shakespeare Authorship play and “Man Cave.” I began the long process of memorizing this play, re-writing a lot as I memorize. As I worked, each individual page was now processing through their fourth, fifth, sixth drafts.
Kingsville Criteria Crew
Back to Texas! This time I headed for Texas A&M-Kingsville, which had brought me in on perhaps three previous occasions. While the French department hosted me for another “Moliere than Thou” performance, my good friend, Michael Verderber (along with his wife, Katy), teach English in Kingsville, and I offered to share my one-man comic sci-fi thriller, “Criteria,” as a warm-up to a performance I was anticipating at the Southeast Theatre Conference (SETC) the following week. They were delighted to set me up with a room and a handful of friends for the event. (I only get to perform “Criteria” about once every couple of years, so the chance to remind myself of how it plays is a real benefit.)

The next day featured an afternoon workshop as well as an evening performance of “Moliere than Thou” for a small audience. Katy Verderber (below) volunteered for the Elmire scene, which was loads of fun.


The following day, I received this audience inquiry, forwarded from one of the event’s hosts:

“I wanted to thank you again for telling me about “Moliere than Thou”! Tim Mooney was terrific! One thing puzzles me, however. After watching Mooney, you might think that Moliere wrote in English, which is obviously not the case. I should think that whoever did the translations should receive nearly equal billing. All those rhymes! What is the story on that?”

(Of course, I was the one who had written “all those rhymes,” but given that the school had put together their own program for the event, I hadn’t noticed that the “translator” was not given any billing…!)


Following a two-day race through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, I was back at SETC, this time in Mobile, Alabama, where I immediately caught dinner with my old “Alabama Shakespeare Festival Friend,” Jay Cotton. (I hadn’t seen Jay since maybe 1981, so we had a LOT of catching up to do!) ((I’m embarrassed to say that we got so caught up in conversation, that I don’t seem to have caught a photo!))

It was another flurry of a conference, with April helping to run the booth, while sharing marketing support with Bremner Duthie and David Gaines, two favorite performers who were also presenting as part of the “Fringe Festival.”

Texas Sunset
This time around, I was also a featured workshop-presenter, which meant my photo was in the program, and I got a special introduction. The workshop went very well, and contacts in the exhibit hall were encouraging, though “Criteria” was only lightly attended.

I was crazily re-crossing my tracks (passing through Texas) to bring “Lot o’ Shakespeare” to the University of Science and Art of Oklahoma. This was their third time hosting me, and they also wanted to put together a special event, bringing some 400 fourth graders to the school for something appropriate to their level.

Actual billboard in Texas
I took a good look at all of my pieces and strung together a list of my dozen most accessible monologues from “Lot o’ Shakespeare” which I re-named, “A Little Bit o’ Shakespeare.” It turned out to be a very fun session, ending with: “What do you think? Can fourth graders understand Shakespeare???” “YEAAAAHHHH!”

The full performance also went very well that night, and it was nice to be reminded of how fun “LoS” is after so many performances of my “long form” breakneck shows.

Driving in New Mexico
Crisscrossing once more, I was racing back down to Laredo, Texas, which is only about 90 minutes from Kingsville, although quirks in the Spring break calendar prevented me from scheduling the two schools back to back.

ENMU Banner
This time I was back with another acting workshop for local high school actors, as well as an evening performance of “Breakneck Julius Caesar.” I’m not sure what scheduling quirk drove attendance down to an extremely small number (in an otherwise huge hall), but I consoled myself with the assurance that my fee was netting me over $150 per ticket.

Branson Ferris Wheel
I pushed on to Portales, New Mexico, for another workshop and a presentation of “Moliere than Thou,” before heading back through Oklahoma, dropping in on my old high school buddy, Dave Hirsch (and his charming wife, Helga), and swinging through Branson, MO, on my way north once again.

For the second time, ever, another actor was taking on the huge challenge of one of my shows, and I raced up to Maryville, Missouri to meet up with Shawn Murphy of Northwest Missouri State University. Shawn was a senior theatre major, working on his final performance project, and had fallen in love with “Criteria.”

Tim and alter-ego, Shawn Murphy
Shawn has seen me perform a couple of my one-man shows, but had never actually seen me do “Criteria.” And so, he had a lot of questions!

Having just performed the show some two weeks prior, the lines were fairly fresh in my head, so I was able to demonstrate some of the multiple characterizations I’d developed, as well as the convention of running-in-place to simulate the character’s travel that I’d developed in coordination with the lead character’s narration. Sean was still a couple of weeks from performance, but rave reviews eventually got passed my way as his professors cheered him (and me) on:
 
“So Shawn knocked it out of the park tonight… now I see why you said this show was so exhausting! What an excellent and thought-provoking piece.”

 “I thought to myself about halfway through, ‘man this is really well written!’”

Back in Chicago, we managed a small family reunion in a local restaurant (which actually swelled into a significant gathering before all was said and done).

Following a brief 2-week Chicago stay (more memorization / more marketing), I headed east, with a workshop in Indianapolis, a performance of “Moliere” in Lexington, KY, and two performances at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA.

Mooneys & McGees
Geneva College was hosting me for two entirely different shows, as I did a full performance of “Breakneck Hamlet” one evening, followed by “The Greatest Speech of All Time” the following morning. “Hamlet,” itself, went very smoothly, but “Greatest Speech,” performed in a study area of the student center, with students coming and going throughout, led me to glitch a bit on Roosevelt’s “Fear Itself.” The hosts, however, seemed very happy, and both, in their thank-you notes, referenced interest in a return event.

John Blakely
Sadly, I learned of the passing of my cousin (and godfather) Johnny Blakely while on this leg of the trip. He’d been struggling for a couple of weeks following a collapse while exercising, and died shortly after my event in Lexington. In spite of being the little pipsqueak of the family, Johnny was always gracious and kind, with a warm smile for me. Unfortunately, I was performing in Geneva, PA on both the night of the wake and the morning of the funeral, and found myself sending thoughts and prayers his way as the performances proceeded.

Another bit of news had caught up with me in Pennsylvania:

Given that I was now added to the Tampa Fringe line-up, I’d written the head of the Orlando Fringe to let him know I’d be in the area, should another last-minute drop out from the festival arise. One, of course, did, and I took advantage of the work I’d been putting into “Man Cave” (largely, with an eye to this possibility) to submit it for its world premiere, now just one month away! (Orlando has already seen all my other shows.) Suddenly, my efforts on this project had a new surge of focus and urgency! (I always say that an artist’s best friend is a deadline.)

I took a swing through St. Michael’s, Maryland, dropping in on my sister, Maureen, and her husband, Tim, and did a test reading/performance of the new show for them, encouraged by their enthusiastic laughs.

The same afternoon I got the Orlando Fringe news, I also found I’d been selected for a festival in Los Angeles: The Son of Semele “Solo Creation Festival,” where I would also be presenting “Man Cave”! (more focus! more urgency!)

Tim, Tim, Yorick & Yorick
I had a booking of “Breakneck Hamlet” at Stetson College in DeLand, Florida, arranged by one of the most go-getting students I’ve encountered over the years. Katie Pulling had seen me perform at SETC on a couple of past occasions, and, determined to get me down to her school, had pushed her way through the student activities funding bureaucracy to make it happen! She’d also arranged for a conversation with a class studying entrepreneurship, along with an acting workshop, making the trip more than worthwhile.

I had about 2 days back in Chicago before running off to Northwestern College (in Iowa) to do “Breakneck Julius Caesar.” Again, I dropped in on a class to discuss entrepreneurship as well as presenting another session on acting, before doing the show for a relatively small audience. (Apparently the students had long before planned an excursion to catch the latest “Avengers” movie to celebrate their last week of classes.)

It had been about fifteen years since my old friends, the Barkers (at Northwestern) had hosted me to perform “Moliere than Thou,” and had also given me the opportunity to do a test performance of (what was then) my brand new show, “Criteria” for a small group of students. In that spirit, I offered them a free reading/performance of “Man Cave,” and about 10 people stuck around to catch the new show.

My biggest concern with any new show is that some reaction or non-reaction will throw me off of my game, leading me to lose my place entirely, so I didn’t want my first time in public, with a critical review in the offing, to be the first time that I got a sense of how it “played.” I was also trying to get the performance down to under 45 minutes, which would be the maximum allowed in the upcoming Los Angeles event. (The Iowa performance clocked in somewhere around 50 minutes.)

Tim & cast of "Are You Loving It?" from Japan
And once again, in the ongoing farce of retracing steps, from Iowa, I headed back to Tampa Florida, where I had just been about one week prior! (In my previous pass, I made a point of swinging through Tampa, just to get a live photo of the billboard!) I was now running my “Man Cave” lines about four times a day, and working with a timer to get each page down to a consistent speed. When the timing of each page’s performance starts to hit a consistent rate of, say, 4 minutes, 45 seconds, I know that the work is essentially memorized. At last, the play on-the-whole was finally under the 45 minute limit. 

"This goodly frame, the earth,
seems to me a sterile promontory"
The Tampa Fringe had been a small festival in its inaugural 2017 year, and was still small now, though they had extended its run to two weekends. The audience size was stretching thinly over more performances, so I didn't expect much money to come of this one, although there is always the fun of hanging out with other artists, and getting to do the show for whomever shows up. More often than not, I was performing to audiences in the single digits; most were fellow artists... but the billboard and the response from my colleagues was very encouraging. 
 
I was staying with a family in Clearwater, relentlessly running lines for both “Hamlet” and “Man Cave.” Every morning, I’d walk a mile to the Starbucks for coffee, and walk back, running my Hamlet lines. One day, I had taken over the “Jobsite Theatre” Instagram feed, and took several photos as I walked.


"Man Cave" in the park
I gathered a few friends for yet another casual performance of “Man Cave” in a Tampa park, while sharing it on Facebook Live. With the several distractions in the park I did need to stop two or three times to check lines but I was particularly glad to share the show with Dan Kinsch, whose own show “Planet Hospice” performed at last year’s Tampa Fringe had been my inspiration to create this piece.

Tim & Lauren
My stage manager for “Breakneck Hamlet” was Lauren Arneson, whom I‘d originally met way back in 2003 when she came to see my “Moliere Than Thou” performance at the New York Fringe (she had been the “volunteer” in the Tartuffe/Elmire scene). We’ve continued to bump into each other over the years, but this was our first chance to actually work together!

The Fringe ended with “Beach Day,” as many of us stuck around for one final day in Tampa, to enjoy the quickly disappearing sun!

The next day, I was off to Orlando, where I finally caught up with my postcards and posters for “Man Cave.” With no actual “art” quite ready for the show, I’d slapped together postcards and posters with the sepia version of my headshot.

I don’t know why I keep thinking that “sepia” is going to be artsy and intriguing. It generally looks good on a computer screen, but plastered on walls and boards next to the hundred other shows using splashy primary colors, it disappears. I couldn’t quite invest in a whole new set of postcards, but did put together a last-minute poster borrowing a painting of “dogs playing poker” which would at least draw some attention.
I did two minutes of the show for the out-of-town artists “teaser” night and my tech-rehearsal/press preview was the following day. The tech on this particular show is really simple, and we had time to squeeze in a quick race-through of the show before the press and Fringe volunteers showed up. (I'm recognizing more and more of the audience her in Orlando, given that this is my 11th performance at the festival!)

The Orlando Sentinel covered that performance, with a review that showed up that night. While the response was clearly positive, I’m pretty sure that the reviewer hadn’t put in a lot of review-time over the years, given that the third sentence of his review revealed a critical spoiler, and he spent a full paragraph on how much he liked the William-H-Macy-ness of it all. But here’s a couple of good quotes:

"Imagine the documentary film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ with Al Gore replaced by William H. Macy. The resulting product is “Man Cave, a One-Man Sci-fi Climate-Change Tragicomedy,” a one-man show with a lot more swagger and humor than the former vice president could ever manage… It’s this desperation, delivered with a charismatic rage by Mooney, that makes this show work… Mooney’s performance is unapologetically political and… goes even further than any Green Party agenda you’ll find.”

I’ve had three more performances since the press preview (and four final shows this weekend), but no sign of any further press since then. The show continues to take a more definite, secure shape, but depending on what mood the audience is in, it can feel very comic or very tragic. And quite often, within a single crowd there are very mixed feelings. I’ll close with just a few of the audience responses:

“Risk taking, challenging and honestly terrifying. This is the spirit of the fringe!” (Thom Mesrobian)

“Everyone should see it… not just at Fringe but everyone in the world. Great message. A. Gore on steroids, but without the viewgraphs.” (Jack Dixon)

“I cried for about two hours after your show…!” (“Dan”)

Hanging with new & old friends at the Orlando beer tent
"I'm an Environmental Sciences teacher, and would love to bring my students to see your show on a field trip!"

FINALLY: We are going to be diving into some more fundraising very soon. We'll be raising money to kick off the "Man Cave" tour, reaching out to "Environmental Science" teachers, conferences, driving the show out to Los Angeles, researching opportunities, developing the full promotional package of art, photos, videos, t-shirts, mugs, pushing the publicity in L.A. and beyond. 

If you're on Facebook you can make a quick and easy donation if you click on this link . Or, over the next few days I'll be developing a new funding campaign on Indiegogo, and will post more on that when it's ready to go... So, you'll probably be hearing from me again, very soon...!

Discoveries: “I really do love my job.” * “Gaps” in the schedule will ultimately arise. I get to choose between whether these are failings or opportunities. * The artist’s best friend is a deadline. * When the timing of a given play or page starts to clock in at a consistent rate, the material is largely memorized. * However good it might look on a computer screen, SEPIA promotional materials largely disappear in the sea of bright primary colors that scream for attention.
Miles on the CX-5: 108,000
Next Events: PortFringe, Portland, Maine (BJC), Son of Semele Solo Creation Festival, Los Angeles, CA (MC), The Moorings, Arlington Heights, IL (GSAT), Indy Fringe Festival (BJC).

Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre Tour Schedule


(Already-booked dates in GREEN; Tentative bookings in RED)
Passing Dallas
MTT = “Moliere than Thou”; LoS = “Lot o’ Shakespeare;” GSAT = “Greatest Speech of All Time;” SH = “Shakespeare’s Histories” BH = “Breakneck Hamlet;” BJC = “Breakneck Julius Caesar”  MC = “Man Cave”
           
SUMMER, 2018

Jun 16-23     Port Fringe (BJC)
July 9-15       Son of Semele Solo Creation Festival  (MC)
July 27           The Moorings, Arlington Heights (GSAT)
Aug 2-5:        AATE MINNEAPOLIS
Aug 2-12       Minnesota Fringe Festival (waiting list)
Aug 16-26    Indy Fringe Festival (BJC)
Aug 30-Sep 3  Chicago Fringe Festival (waiting list)

FALL, 2018

Aug 29-31     Gulfport High School, Gulfport, MS (LoS)
Sep 4-7          ILLINOIS, INDIANA, MICHIGAN, WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA
Sep 5-8          Arts Midwest Conference, Indianapolis, IN
Sep 10-11     Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts
Sep 12            NEBRASKA
Sep 13-16     EdTA National Conference, Denver, CO (Booth, Workshop)
Sep 17            NEBRASKA, SOUTH/NORTH DAKOTA, WYOMING
Sep 18            MONTANA, IDAHO           ,           
Sep 19-20      IDAHO, UTAH, COLORADO
Sep 21           Broomfield Auditorium, Denver, CO
Sep 22-23      COLORADO
Sep 24-25      COLORADO, UTAH, NEVADA, CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON, OREGON
Sep 25            CALIFORNIA
Sep 26            ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO
Sep 26-29      TETA THEATREFEST Dallas, TX                                                   
Sep 27-28      TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, KANSAS
Heading into Missouri
Sep 29-30      KANSAS, NEBRASKA MISSOURI
Oct 1              MISSOURI, IOWA
Oct 2              IOWA, ILLINOIS
Oct 3              ILLINOIS, INDIANA
Oct 4              INDIANA, MICHIGAN
Oct 5-7          ILLINOIS, INDIANA
Oct 8              INDIANA, MICHIGAN, OHIO      
Oct 9              OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA
Oct 10            PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK
Oct 11            NEW YORK, NEW ENGLAND
Oct 12-14      NEW ENGLAND
Oct 15            NEW ENGLAND, NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA
Oct 16            NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY
Oct 17            NEW JERSEY, DELAWARE, MARYLAND, D.C.
Oct 17-18      U-Delaware, Newark, DE
Oct 18            DELAWARE, MARYLAND, D.C., VIRGINIA
Oct 19            D.C., VIRGINIA, MARYLAND
Oct 20-21      MARYLAND
Oct 22            VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA
Oct 23            NORTH/SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct 24-28      Virginia Theatre Association, Norfolk, VA?
Oct 24            SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA
Oct 25            GEORGIA, FLORIDA
Oct 26-28      FLORIDA
Oct 29            FLORIDA, GEORGIA
Oct 30            GEORGIA, TENNESSEE
Oct 31            TENNESSEE, KENTUCKY
Nov 1             KENTUCKY, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA
Nov 2             Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, KY (GSAT)
Nov 2             VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA
Nov 3-4          WEST VIRGINIA
Nov 5             OHIO, KENTUCKY
Nov 6             OHIO, KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE
Driving through history in Alabama
Nov 7             TENNESSEE, KENTUCKY, ALABAMA
Nov 8             ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI, ARKANSAS
Nov 9             MISSISSIPPI, ARKANSAS
Nov 7-11       InFringe Festival
Nov 10-11     LOUISIANA
Nov 12           LOUISIANA, TEXAS
Nov 13           TEXAS, OKLAHOMA
Nov 14-15     TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, KANSAS
Nov 15-16    Shakespeare on the Rocks, El Paso, TX
Nov 15-18    Texas Thespians, Gaylord, Texas
Nov 16           TEXAS, NEW MEXICO
Nov 17           NEW MEXICO
Nov 18           NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA
Nov 19           ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA
Nov 20           CALIFORNIA                         
Nov 21-27     CALIFORNIA, HAWAII, OREGON, WASHINGTON, NEVADA
Obligatory Powell's Books pilgrimage, Portland, Oregon
Nov 27          Mount Hood Community College, Gresham, WA
Nov 27          Troutdale, OR/Vancouver, WA (MTT)
Nov 28           NEVADA, UTAH
Nov 29           UTAH, COLORADO
Nov 30           COLORADO, NEBRASKA
Dec 1             NEBRASKA, IOWA
Dec 2-4          IOWA, ILLINOIS

WINTER/SPRING, 2019

Jan 3-6           MLA Chicago
Jan 7-Feb 16            Available for Residency
Feb 17-18      ILLINOIS
Feb 19            MICHIGAN
Feb 20           North Park College, Naperville, IL (MTT) 
Feb 21            INDIANA, OHIO, WEST VIRGINIA
Feb 22            WEST VIRGINIA, OHIO, KENTUCKY
Feb 23-24      KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI
Feb 25            MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA
Feb 26            ALABAMA, GEORGIA
Feb 27-Mar 2 SETC Conference, Knoxville, TN
Mar 3-4         GEORGIA, FLORIDA
Mar 5-6         FLORIDA
Mar 7             GEORGIA, SOUTH CAROLINA
Mar 8             SOUTH CAROLINA, NORTH CAROLINA
Mar 9             NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA
Mar 10          VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND
Mar 11          VIRGINIA, DC, MARYLAND
Mar 12          D.C., MARYLAND, DELAWARE
Mar 13          DELAWARE, NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA
Mar 14          PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY, NEW ENGLAND
Mar 15-16    Boston, MA (BJC)
Mar 15          NEW ENGLAND
Mar 16-18    NEW YORK, NEW ENGLAND
Mar 19          NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA
Mar 20          PENNSYLVANIA, OHIO
Mar 21          OHIO, MICHIGAN, INDIANA
Mar 22-25    Three Brothers Theatre, Waukegan, IL
Mar 25          ILLINOIS, IOWA
Mar 26          IOWA, MISSOURI
Mar 27          MISSOURI, KANSAS, ARKANSAS
Mar 28          KANSAS, ARKANSAS, OKLAHOMA, LOUISIANA
Mar 29          LOUISIANA, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS
Mar 30-Apr 1 TEXAS
Apr 2              TEXAS, NEW MEXICO
Apr 3              NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA
Apr 4-5          CALIFORNIA, NEVADA
Apr 6-8          CALIFORNIA, NEVADA
Apr 9-10        UTAH, COLORADO
Apr 11            COLORADO, NEBRASKA
Apr 12            NEBRASKA, MISSOURI, IOWA
Apr 13-19      ILLINOIS, WISCONSIN, INDIANA, MINNESOTA
Apr 22-23      WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA
Apr 24            NORTH DAKOTA, SOUTH DAKOTA
April 25-28    Oregon Fringe Festival (estimated dates)
Apr 25            NORTH DAKOTA, SOUTH DAKOTA, WYOMING, MONTANA
Apr 26            WYOMING, MONTANA, IDAHO
Powell's Books Booty
Apr 27-29      IDAHO, WASHINGTON, OREGON
Apr 30            WASHINGTON, OREGON
May 1             OREGON
May 6             OREGON, CALIFORNIA
May 7             CALIFORNIA
May 8             CALIFORNIA, NEVADA
May 9             UTAH, COLORADO
May 10          COLORADO
May 11          KANSAS
May 12          MISSOURI
May 13          TENNESSEE
May 14          GEORGIA, FLORIDA

SUMMER, 2019

April 25-28    Oregon Fringe Festival (estimated dates)
May 15-26    Orlando Fringe Festival, Orlando, FL
May 29-Jun 9  London Fringe (est. dates)
Jun 6-10         Dallas Solo Fest (2018 dates)
Jul 11-15:      Regina Fringe
Jul 24-29 (2017): Providence Fringe Festival

FALL, 2019

Sep 11-14      Educational Theatre Association Conference
Sep 16            ILLINOIS, INDIANA, MICHIGAN
Sep 17            INDIANA, MICHIGAN, OHIO
Sep 18            OHIO, KENTUCKY, WEST VIRGINIA
Sep 19            PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK
Sep 20            PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK, NEW ENGLAND
Sep 21-23      NEW ENGLAND
Sep 24            NEW ENGLAND, NEW YORK
Sep 25            NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY
Sep 26            PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY, D.C., MARYLAND, DELAWARE
Sep 27            D.C. MARYLAND, DELAWARE
Sep 28-29      MARYLAND
Sep 30            MARYLAND, D.C., VIRGINIA
Oct 1              VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA
Oct 2              NORTH/SOUTH CAROLINA
They have everything in Texas...!
Oct 3              SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA
Oct 4              GEORGIA, FLORIDA
Oct 5-6          FLORIDA
Oct 7              FLORIDA, GEORGIA
Oct 8              GEORGIA, TENNESSEE
Oct 9              TENNESSEE, ALABAMA
Oct 10            ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI
Oct 11            MISSISSIPPI, ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA
Oct 12-13      LOUISIANA, TEXAS
Oct 14            OKLAHOMA, ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA, TEXAS
Oct 15            TEXAS, OKLAHOMA
Oct 16            TEXAS, NEW MEXICO
Oct 17            NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA
Oct 18            ARIZONA, NEVADA, CALIFORNIA
Oct 19-21      CALIFORNIA
Oct 22            CALIFORNIA, NEVADA, OREGON
Oct 23            OREGON, WASHINGTON, UTAH
French students awaiting "Moliere than Thou" in Portland
Oct 24            OREGON, WASHINGTON, IDAHO, UTAH
Oct 25            IDAHO, MONTANA, WYOMING, COLORADO
Oct 26-27      MONTANA, COLORADO
Oct 28            SOUTH/NORTH DAKOTA, WYOMING, COLORADO
Oct 29            NEBRASKA, KANSAS
Oct 30            NEBRASKA, KANSAS, MISSOURI
Oct 31            MISSOURI, IOWA
Nov 1             IOWA, MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN
Nov 2-3          MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN
Nov 4-5          WISCONSIN, ILLINOIS
Nov 6             ILLINOIS, IOWA, MISSOURI
Nov 7             MISSOURI, ARKANSAS, OKLAHOMA
Nov 8             OKLAHOMA, TEXAS
Nov 9             TEXAS, LOUISIANA
Nov 10           LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI
Nov 11           MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, TENNESSEE
Arriving for the Maine event
Nov 12           TENNESSEE, GEORGIA
Nov 13           GEORGIA, FLORIDA
Nov 14           FLORIDA
Nov 15-17     FLORIDA, SOUTH CAROLINA
Nov 18           SOUTH CAROLINA, NORTH CAROLINA
Nov 19           NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA
Nov 20           VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, D.C.
Nov 21           DELAWARE, NEW JERSEY
Nov 22           NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NEW ENGLAND
Nov 23-24     NEW ENGLAND, NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA
Nov 25           PENNSYLVANIA, OHIO, KENTUCKY
Nov 26           OHIO, MICHIGAN, INDIANA