This is happening.
On March 7th I will be orchestrating a one-night-only “Going…Going…Gone” for the benefit of the Gateway Playhouse in Somers Point, NJ. Then, on March 8th, I’ll be staging a reading of my play “Lightning and Jellyfish,” also with proceeds going to the Playhouse.
During my high school years, the Gateway Playhouse used to be a place I’d drive off to to catch a movie I’d have no chance of seeing in other theaters. I distinctly remember going to see “Ticket to Heaven” there (I have no idea why I couldn’t find a date to go with me to see a drama about cult deprogramming). I also saw the Jimmy Cliff reggae classic “The Harder They Come.”
I didn’t know it as a place for live performances but over the past few years was thrilled to learn that some of my high school friends were involved in efforts to restore the building and bring live theater back to this South Jersey landmark.
Through the magic of Facebook, one of these friends, Karen Buckingham, and I started talking. She was as intrigued by some of my theater projects as I was impressed by the good work she was doing on behalf of the Playhouse. And, well, we started scheming.
Now that scheme is becoming a reality. I’ll be there heading to New Jersey for about a week, rehearsing and workshopping with actors, visiting local schools to talk theater and journalism, and, finally, putting two shows in front of the public–including lots of Wildwood friends.
The first, “Going…Going…Gone” is a long-form improv piece in which the audience participates in a one-of-a-kind live auction, actually bidding on and keeping objects using play money. It’s a show in its third year here in Indianapolis and I’m very excited about bringing it into a new environment. If you want to know more about the show itself, check out http://www.liveauctioncomedy.com
The second event is a script-in-hand reading of my play “Lightning and Jellyfish,” which recently had a run at Theatre on the Square in Indianapolis. It’s a homecoming for the play, since it’s set just a few miles away from the Gateway Playhouse in Wildwood, NJ. (albeit 30 years ago). Playing to such a hometown crowd is going to be fascinating. I suspect the audience won’t just recognize the characters but will recognize the characters in themselves. I expect a lively discussion afterwards.
I cannot express how thankful I am to Karen and company for making this all possible. And I’m looking forward to the day when I can bring shows inside the actual Gateway Playhouse. If you are in the neighborhood, I hope you can stop by and help make that day come sooner.
Here’s info on both events, which will be held at the Avalon Golf Club (the theater, alas, isn’t ready yet, hence the need for benefit events such as this):