I apologize for the long lapse in news since July 2022. During this time an attempt was made to produce an audio version of The Metamorphosis — A Play. Unfortunately, it was not possible to find the right casting to make it work. However, as a result of working on the play again, the author could see how the play could be adapted as a libretto for an opera. It required cutting lines and scenes in order to have space for the music. There were two other plays that had a similar potential and they were also adapted. A book, Librettos for Opera, was finally published 07/22/2023. It challenges the current operatic repertoire but so far, no composer has been willing to try to work with the text. Great opera, like great theater, is not about how contemporary the story or dialogue is, but how deeply it looks into the human soul.
After the events of 9/11 (2001), E. Thomalen wrote a work to try to express and contain what had happened that morning, the terror, the grief, and the rage. Prose alone could not contain it. Only some form of music, dance and poetry could begin to process the shock, the loss, as well as the human courage and selflessness. An initial draft was written with the title the Invisible Towers, but it focused on rage and revenge toward those responsible giving them more space than they deserved. It was rewritten as a tribute to the decency and resilience of the victims. The work was rewritten and published on 09/20/2023 as The Vanished Towers: An Elegy.
On July 23, 2022 Amazon Kindle published The Voice of the Crane. E Thomalen copyrighted this play in 1996 under a different title: Phaeton's Chariot. Phaeton, for those unfamiliar with Greek mythology, was the mythological son of Helios. Helios was the god that drove his chariot, the sun, across the sky. Helios had an affair with a mortal woman who gave birth to Phaeton. Phaeton, his paternity perhaps questioned by peers, begged his father to let him drive his father's chariot to demonstrate his lineage. At his conception, his mother had extracted from Helios a promise, that Helios would grant her son one wish. But when Phaeton asked Helios to drive the sun chariot across the sky, Helios was horrified. Still, having made the promise, he felt he must agree. Helios, knowing how difficult it was to control the horses that pulled the chariot, tried to discourage Phaeton from this wish. Because Phaeton was only used to earthly horses, he did not listen. When he took the reins of his father's chariot, the horses realized he was not their master, and ran away from his control, scorching the earth. That, according to myth, is the origin of the great Saharan desert. I initially chose Phaeton's Chariot for the title, because the metaphor captured how unprepared the US President, and the US military, really were for what they let loose in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I chose to retitle the work when I published it, because the Japanese Emperor, at the risk of his own safety, was the critical voice in the decision to end the destruction and begin the healing. The crane is the mystical bird associated with the Japanese Emperor.
On May 23, 2022, E. Thomalen published a collection of plays for children that is entitled: World Stories in Plays for Children. This was an effort to bring together several of his plays that might be of interest to schools and theater groups performing plays for young audiences. All the stories have been around and have survived the test of time. They are here presented in an accessible format for young audiences.
On March 12, 2022 Amazon Kindle published E. Thomalen's collection of one-act plays titled: From the House of the Deaf Man, Homage to Francisco Goya. These plays were written after visiting the Prado and appreciating the work of that great artist and his portrayal of the human condition in Los Caprichos and his Black Paintings.
From February though March 2022 the fine audio performance of Shakespeare in the Time of Plague was available to listeners who were able to access Scenesaver.co.uk
In February 2022 Audiofile magazine reviewed E. Thomalen's audio play The Quarrel in Arles and wrote this: "Narrator Timothy Portnoy's restrained performance underscores the serious emotional relationships among artist Vincent Van Gogh; his brother, Theo; and the artist Paul Gauguin. This production poignantly dramatizes the events leading up to Vincent's infamous incident of self-mutilation. Set during six months of 1888, when Vincent and Paul lived and painted together in the yellow house in Arles, the story is told through the reading of actual letters to Theo combined with fictionalized dialogue. Portnoy shifts smoothly between the stage director, and the dialogue and private thoughts of Vincent, Paul, and Theo. Periodically, the intensity of mood lifts with piano interludes of Beethovan's MOONLIGHT SONATA, followed by the musings of Johanna Bonger, delightfully delivered by Amelia Gotham, as she considers whether or not to marry Theo."
It was also given an AudioFile Earphones award "given by AudioFile to truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text."
In February 2022 Audiofile also reviewed Thomalen’s Shakespeare in the Time of Plague.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE TIME OF PLAGUE A Play
E. Thomalen, William Shakespeare, Read by Amy O'Keeffe • Audio Program • FEBRUARY 2022
Alice W LLC • Digital Download
Amy O’Keefe employs a range of British accents and attentive pacing to good effect in this unusual audio play, which will especially appeal to fans of medieval history and Shakespeare. The playwright lived for extended periods in London during its repeated episodes of bubonic plague. This production examines the contagion’s effect on his writing by blending short scenes of his life-walking past "dead carts" or conversing with his acting friend James Burbage - with long excerpts from his plays, including HAMLET, believed to have been inspired by his son, Hamnet, who died of the plague. The many brief scenes and spoken stage directions interrupt the flow, but the underlying premise is interesting, and O’Keefe’s use of regional accents brings the Bard and his world colloquially to life. A.C.S. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine
On December 4, 2021 Scenesaver.co.uk added the video of the original performance of Clara's Christmas Dreams produced in New York City that played over the Christmas holidays some years ago. Clara's Christmas Dreams is based upon the Dumas (pere) version of the Nutcracker also used by Tchaikovsky for his ballet. It relates the story of a young girls journey from childhood to emotional wisdom condensed into a series of dreams brought on by a high fever during a single meaningful evening. She learns some valuable lessons from the beautiful and frightening figures that she encounters and from whom she is saved by the Nutcracker/Prince.
The Audioplay, The Quarrel in Arles (streaming on Scenesaver.co.uk since November 24, 2021) depicts the heroic struggle and tragic fate of Vincent Van Gogh, and of those around him, through a selection of letters from the period, brilliantly read by an actor who captures the sensibility and despair that the artist struggled with. Let your imagination recreate the images of Van Gogh as you listen to his words. Scenesaver.co.uk streams both recorded Audioplays and videos of staged plays. It presents work not often found in the West End theaters. It was said in Shakespeare's time that patrons went to theater to "hear" plays rather than just see them, for the truth hides in the words, and no set can truly recreate ancient Rome or Egypt, nor Denmark, Verona, Athens, etc..
To listen to the full performance go to Scenesaver.co.uk
On October 29, 2021, ACX released Shakespeare in the Time of Plague. It is available on Audible.com, Apple.com and Amazon.com. The Audioplay relates the effect on London and its population (including its theater artists and audiences) of a plague that continued for over six years. It shut down all public venues, including theaters. Yet during this time Shakespeare crafted Hamlet and wrote Macbeth and Lear. And to add to the turmoil of that time, there was an attempted bloody insurrection not long after the installation of a new head of state. It was brutally crushed. In ways, it is a time much like our own in America. The play is brought to the listener through the supple voice of Amy O'Keeffe who wonderfully captures the voices of the many important characters engaged in telling this story, from Kings to commoners.
Comments made by theater professionals about the streaming of The Pearl Diver:
Really enjoyed the ritualistic story telling.... Reminded me of my time in Japan with the American Dance Machine and the traditional performances I saw there and years later when I choreographed King and I... I love the use of fabrics and fans, drums and bamboo and all of those poetic ingredients....
Cate Caplin, director/choreographer
Well done! a most enjoyable piece, and a lot of great talent on that stage.
All the best, Elowyn Castle, director
Beautiful choreography...love the work with the fabrics and movements evoking the sea.
Victoria Guthrie, actor & entrepreneur
Wonderful! I loved it... Such a beautiful story, amazing cast, and wonderful direction and choreography! Congratulations!
Alice Lustig, actor
Congratulations on the show - and the success of the campaign! I really enjoyed the production - the choreography, live music and staging were so beautiful! The fantastical elements were so well done. I also know a couple people from your cast - Edgar and Kristi! Your cast was wonderful!
Kristine Reyes, playwright
I enjoyed it very much.
The glowing pearl a lovely touch.
The production, to the letter,
Could hardly be better
The directing exciting
The choreography inviting
The acting brilliant
And quite resilient
Michael Mooney, writer, composer
... it was so beautiful visually that one cannot help but be drawn into the story. I also loved the original music composed and played by the violinist. Your two leads, in particular, were very strong performers.
Brava to you!
Susan Morgenstern, Producing Director, The Braid
This summer The Pearl Diver will be streamed as a fundraiser for Asian Americans Advancing Justice. This is an important event to support and is an opportunity for those who did not see the live performance to experience the beauty of that production. I would urge those reading this blog to go to the following sites to learn more about the production and upcoming event.
Streaming of The Pearl Diver can be viewed here
February 9, 2021
Amazon Kindle published E. Thomalen’s Shakespeare in the Time of Plague. This play brings to the stage the period of Shakespeare’s life from 1603 — 1607 when London was repeatedly afflicted by the Bubonic plague that shuttered the Globe theater, and other London theaters. Yet it brought a flowering of Shakespeare’s greatest tragic writing and gave the world Hamlet, Macbeth and Lear. What was London like at that time, how did it effect Shakespeare, what might he have been witness to?
January 27, 2021
ACX published an audio version of QUARANTINE: An Adaptation of Camus: The Plague read by Robert Rensin. In the story, first published by Camus in 1947, a town in Algeria, Oran, becomes mysteriously afflicted by the plague and is forced to go into quarantine. The story captures the initial denials of officials, the angst, the boredom, the grief, the heroism, the spiritual questioning, the selfishness, the selflessness, the courage, and the longing evoked by the plague and quarantine. His characters, try to make sense of the human condition and the catastrophe that has befallen them, the terrible loss and surprising kindness, that so well captures the present moment with COVID-19. It is always the same thing over and over.
July 8, 2020
ACX published the audio version of the play The Quarrel in Arles, drawn from the letters of Vincent Van Gogh, Theo Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. The play is read by Timothy Portnoy, Amelia Gotham with music by Yumiko Gardner. The Quarrel in Arles dramatizes the relationships between Vincent Van Gogh, his brother Theo Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Johanna Bonger during the period between May 1, 1888 and December 24, 1888, a time of great personal turmoil but artistic achievement for Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin and the fulfillment of romantic desires for Theo Van Gogh and Johanna Bonger. It is about love and its vicissitudes: the love of a man for the world, and for art; a brother's love for a brother; a husband's love for his wife; a wife's love for her husband; a man' love for his friend; and a man's love for himself.
April 26, 2020
E. Thomalen's Adaptation for the theater of Camus' The Plague under the title of QUARANTINE was published April 26, 2020. This is an adaptation of one of the great works of world literature. First published in 1947, the novel was written by Albert Camus. In the story, a town in Algeria, Oran, becomes mysteriously afflicted by the plague and is forced to go into quarantine. The story captures the initial official denials, the angst, the boredom, the grief, the heroism, the spiritual questioning, the selfishness, the selflessness, the courage, and the longing evoked by the plague and quarantine. His characters, try to make sense of the human condition and the catastrophe that has befallen them the terrible loss and surprising kindness that so well captures our present moment with COVID-19.
Feb. 27, 2020
At the end of February Amazon published "Seed for the Planting". The title is taken from Goethe "seed for the planting must not be ground up." Kaethe Kollwitz was a German graphic artist who supported German workers and the poor and under privileged. She opposed German militarism and lost a son in WW I and a grandson in WW II. She opposed the rise of Nazism and when Hitler came to power her art was removed from museums, she was removed from all her teaching positions, and her work was banned from all exhibitions. She was silenced and probably only her international reputation saved her from worse.
February 4, 2020
Silent Wolves and Howling Moon was published by Amazon. This play tells the story, with commentary from two inmates in the gulag, of the rise and unexpected fall of Beria who was, at one time, the 2nd most feared man (after Stalin) in the former Soviet Union. He was the Soviet Minister of State Security and master of the gulag system. He also Chaired the Soviet Special Committee on the Atomic Bomb.
As mentioned before, an Audio Book featuring The Dances of Life — and Death was published July 18, 2019 with a wonderful reading by John Paton and Sarah Ford and music by Loren O'Dair. The text is in verse and it tells the story of a mythical principality experiencing an unexplained illness. It is available on ACX or Amazon.com. Past readers have "expressed great admiration for Dances of Life and Death" and a stage version was performed in 2015.
August 12, 2019
Since the last update in February 2019 Amazon Kindle published The Quarrel in Arles May 8, 2019, Hecuba, Queen of Troy May 22, 2019 and Absalom June 12, 2019. A Kindle eBook of "When Summer Suns were Glowing"; Inventing Alice and Wonderland was published May 14, 2019. In addition, an Audio play, based on the Alice book, done by Punch Audio, was published April 5, 2019. AudioFile reviewer wrote: "This full-cast performance of Thomalen's dramatic adaptation re-creates a day that Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, spent with the three Liddell sisters, who inspired his books.... The interchange between Dodgson and the Liddells realistically conveys their imagined conversation and makes the listener feel a part of the boating party."
An Audio play, of Dances of Life — and Death with John Paton was completed July 15, 2019 and a Kindle eBook became available July 18, 2019. Excerpts of both audio plays can be found on the Works page of the website. The performances were extremely good. They can be purchased from Amazon.com or ACX.
February 15, 2018
Over the past year. Amazon Kindle has published six of E. Thomalen's plays including: "When Summer Suns Were Glowing" - Inventing Alice and Wonderland; Dances of Life - and Death; The Night Watchman; A Shaker Story; The Pearl Diver; Lake of Sorrows. An audio play version of "When Summer Suns Were Glowing" Inventing Alice and Wonderland is in the works and will likely be out in the Spring. Other plays may also appear in audio versions in the future. Stay tuned.
August 26, 2017
"Lake of Sorrows by E Thomalen, fuses classical music, ballet and rhyming text, which adds a different element to the NY Summerfest.
Edward W. Hardy who has composed the original music, is on violin. As strains blend to harmony, we are led in and out of Tchaikovsky's melodic score.
Based on the ballet Swan Lake, we learn the beginning of the tale as Rothbart (Joseph Rose), sells his soul to the devil and loses his reflection (Derek Nicoletto). Now with power he longs for beauty and love. His grounds are coveted and he has created swans by cursing innocent young woman."
Suzanna Bowling, Co-Owner/Publisher Times Square Chronicles
August 26, 2017
Go to: http://www.lakeofsorrow.com
August 1, 2017
Press Release: New adaptation "The Lake of Sorrows" expands on Swan Lake's dark essence
From two-dimensional melodrama to in-depth character study
NEW YORK, August 1, 2017 - The beautiful princess is cursed to live her life as a swan, while another in disguise steals her prince. Swan Lake paints this tragic heroine into the canvas of our culture. But what of Rothbart, the "evil" sorcerer who has delivered this fowl fate? Our conceptions of good and bad are often changed with the introduction of a compelling backstory.
A collaborative trio - playwright E. Thomalen, director and choreographer Andrea Andresakis, and composer Edward W. Hardy - will present "The Lake of Sorrows" an adaptation of the timeless ballet, "Swan Lake" as part of the annual Summerfest New York Theater Festival. The performances will be at 9pm on August 22, 2017; 6:15pm on August 23, 2017; and 3:30pm on August 26, 2017 at the Hudson Guild Theater. Tickets can be purchased online at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2954900 for $23.
This stirring adaptation also elaborates on the villain Rothbart, trying to better understand his motivations in cursing a seemingly innocent young woman.
Tchaikovsky's music will be present in the new work. "We are again lucky to have Edward W. Hardy whose violin solo performance was memorable in the production of "Pearl Diver," notes author E. Thomalen.
Mr. Hardy will be performing selections of themes from Tchaikovsky's ballet suite along with his original composition. "Edward W. Hardy plays the violin superbly" comments The New York Times.
The first performance of the ballet at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow in February, 1877 did not go well. Despite this initial setback, "Swan Lake" has become essential canon. The story of the ballet was cobbled together by Tchaikovsky from many different Russian and German folk tales. One might wonder if it the folk tales themselves drew on still older and universal themes about coming of age, love and desire.
E. Thomalen, adaptive author, is intimately familiar with the famed Russian composer's work. Thomalen adapted Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker as: Clara's Christmas Dreams, which was performed Off-Off-Broadway in 2004 and received a favorable review in the NY Times. In addition, his work "The Pearl Diver" was seen at last year's Summerfest. "The Lake of Sorrows" re-tells, in music, dance, and spoken word, the story of "Swan Lake", the ballet made famous by composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It is a cautionary tale about love.
Having performed several productions of "Swan Lake", including the Royal Ballet, with Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, Ms. Andresakis has enjoyed finding a new way into this classic story.
Edward W. Hardy is a critically acclaimed violinist, violist and composer who has performed throughout the United States and abroad. Notable works include Off-Broadway's "The Woodsman" and last year's "The Pearl Diver".
Andrea Andresakis, director/choreographer, has dozens of credits including Broadway, Lincoln Center, Radio Center, City Center, Off-Broadway, Regional, National and International tours. She is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
"Loved it. So well directed and choreographed! Congratulations."
Pam Laudenslager, Broadway Producer, Hemisphere Two Productions
* * *
Lorca Peress, MultiStages Artistic Director
* * *
"I'm not a big fan of the ballet, but 'Sorrows of the Swan' grabbed my attention within the first few minutes. Beautifully choreographed and directed and brought to life by a stunning cast, the hour-long performance went by way too fast. Even for a non-ballet goer, I followed the story with ease - they brought me on a very unexpected and delightful journey."
Wayne Gasser, The Gasser Group
* * *
"I enjoyed the show. It made me want to see the ballet Swan Lake which I've never seen"
Shannon Harris, AEA
* * *
"...congratulations on your success at Hudson Guild."
Lisa Reilly, Director of Dance Programming, The Flea Theater
April 6, 2017
Copyright protection registration claim submitted for a new play The Quarrel. Look for further information about this play in the Fall.
March 17 - 26, 2017
East Los Angeles College Theatre Arts performs The Metamorphosis - A Play. From the Director:
"...it was sold out almost every night...very well received:)
Thank you so much for reaching out to see how our production of your beautiful play went, the cast was so excited that you did. Our show was in our smaller theatre space and it was completely student designed...lights, sound, make-up, set and costumes and they all did a great job. We did a very stylized version with inspiration from Robert Wilson and Anne Bogart. I am the movement and voice professor here at ELAC, so I do a lot of ensemble and group work when directing and the students really responded to it."
March 25, 2017
The Lake of Sorrows completed in 2017 was officially accepted into The New York Theater Summer Festival. The Lake of Sorrows re-tells the story in music, dance and spoken word of Swan Lake, the ballet made famous by Tchaikovsky's music. It is a cautionary tale about love and will be performed at the Hudson Guild Theater in NYC Tues. Aug. 22 @ 9 PM; Wed. Aug. 23 @ 6:15 PM; and Sat. Aug 26 @ 3:30 PM.
August 29, 30, September 3, 2016
The Pearl Diver was performed as part of the New York Theater Festival (Thespis).
Japanese Legend Makes a Splash at Annual Theatre Festival
by BWW News Desk
"The Pearl Diver" is a magical tale about a young girl and a sea dragon. It was first known as the subject of a Noh, a medieval musical. In the spring of 2012 the story could be seen on illustrated scrolls at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. This production incorporates poetry, song, dance and live music.
Kabuki began in the 1600s. All-female troupes performed both male and female roles in comic scenes about everyday life. Noh, began in the 1300s. It often features masked characters, and requires strict training by the actors and musicians. Both are still performed today as a celebration of tradition.
This contemporary production will draw on those rich traditions, but also employ updated theatre practices. The artists hope this blending of both old and new will make it exciting for American audiences.
Whether it is Japan or the United States, we experience similar things. The artists hope to bring legends from around the world to young audiences through song, dance, and spoken word. They chose to put on the play this summer to encourage cultural exchange.
Book By: E. Thomalen
Music By: Edward W. Hardy
Director/Choreographer: Andrea Andresakis
Associate Director/Choreographer: Liz Piccoli
Cast: Sy Chounchaisit, Donald Chang, Daniel Genalo, Edgar Eguia, Kristi Ng, Paolo Solis, Vivake Khamsingsavath, Abrielle Kuo, Zoe Lau, Lester Kim, Tan Taofa Music Director/Violinist: Edward W. Hardy
Set Design: Mary Hamrick
Costume Design: Laura Kung
Lighting Design: Patrick Bakalli
Stage Manager: Cheyanne Christopher
The performances will be:
9pm on August 29, 2016; 6:15pm on August 30, 2016; and 3:30pm on September 3, 2016 at the Hudson Guild Theater, 441 W. 26th St, NYC, NY
"Unexpected pleasures are always the best. Last night I saw The Pearl Diver, a Japanese tale in dance, violin and acting. So exquisitely done, like a moving tapestry. The Pearl Diver channels the essence of the Japanese soul. I found the production enchanting. The staging was artistically and exquisitely crafted with fluidity and simplicity. This is a not to be missed gem."
Pat Addis, Producer (Eclipsed, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, A Christmas Story, the musical, others)
"You created a pearl of a production! What a wonderful use of the space, your talent, and I can't say enough about your "orchestra". He was brilliant and added so much! Very clever! Bravo."
Kate Weiman (Blue Hill Troupe)
"Thanks SO MUCH! I thoroughly enjoyed the show. It was magical from the moment I walked into the theatre. Loved the script, the music was amazing, perfect, and so beautifully performed... the st-ory was captivating throughout. The Pearl Diver was such a breath of fresh air! We see and hear so much that is slick and loud. Love-ly to experience a show that felt real and sensitive. Your work was fantastic!! I could see you all over the place. Con-gratulations and please do keep me on your mailing list!"
Joan Melton (NY Classical Theatre Associate Artist)
"It was a joy to see your work, The Pearl Diver. Bravo."
Joan Melton (NY Classical Theatre Associate Artist)
"The show was stunning! Excellent direction: Beautiful movement, acting writing, design. Loved the composition and playing by Edward W. Hardy. Congrats to the whole team!"
Joan Kane (Artistic Director Ego Actus Theatre Co.)
"Thank you very much to introduce the Japanese culture. We want to have interests in other cultures as you?ve done."
Posted on Facebook by Masanobu Shioya of Japan after seeing photos of the performance of The Pearl Diver
August 22, 2016
The WILDsound Festival posted a reading from the opening scene of Death Surprises the Executioner online and on YouTube. They can be found at:
The Pearl Diver will be performed as part of the Thespis Festival in NYC. Performances will be at the Hudson Guild Theater in Manhattan August 29, 30 and September 3. For times consult the Thespis website. It is a magical tale told in spoken word and dance about a young Japanese woman who dives for pearls, and a fearful Sea Dragon. It dramatizes a Japanese legend told in Japanese Kabuki dance, in a medieval Noh play and is visually rendered in Japanese illustrated scrolls.
E. Thomalen finished a new play called "Lake of Sorrows". It is a verse drama. an adaptation of the story of Swan Lake. Information about it will be posted on the website soon.
National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
"While your work did not advance to the next round, we wanted to let you know that our readers expressed great admiration for Dances of Life – and Death. Thank you for sharing such quality work with us."
Wendy Goldberg Anne Morgan
Artistic Director Literary Manager/Dramaturg
Clara's Christmas Dreams was performed in Florida in a church the weekend before Christmas 2015.
"I directed this show for the Shining Starz studio this past December. It was a wonderfully festive show that literally everyone in our audience loved. It was a refreshing take on a famous ballet! People were happy to hear the dialogue and songs to make clear the synopsis of the show. Thank you so much."
The Metamorphosis - A Play was performed in Tokyo Japan in connection with Hitotsubashi University. This was the first time the play has been performed outside the U.S.
El Tigre/Juan Darien was performed by the Crete High School for a Nebraska state one act play competition:
"We ended up going to the state competition in Class A, which is the hardest class. Only four schools in the whole state go in this class, and it was the first time our team has gone in 32 years. We were very pleased. The judges all thought it was a very smart piece of theater and really enjoyed our take on it. I'll send you some pictures from the show. The kids had a blast, thank you again for letting us use your script."
Crete High School
Dances of Life and Death was staged at the Hudson Guild Theatre in the 2015 Thespis Theater Festival. The play received the Best Original Play Award of the 2015 Festival.
El Tigre/Juan Darien was performed by the Miami Beach Senior High School in the Florida State Thespian One Act Play Competition.
Revised El Tigre/Juan Darien has been published by Samuel French with the eye-catching cover designed by Thomalen. Errors in older copies have been eliminated. E. Thomalen's published plays are now available in the U.S., Canada, throughout Europe, Australia, and India.
Lead sheets are now available for 4 Songs from Clara's Christmas Dreams: "Snowbound", "Christmas Farewell", "Christmas Sweets" and "Christmas Bells".
WILDsound "This play (Absalom the King) tackles the fascinating story of the Biblical Absalom, son of King David, in a smart, clear way with beautifully written dialogue that is consistent and doesn't falter into contemporary language. The curtain rises right in the middle of the action, diving right into the story with a horrible rape and murder. This brings the audience right into the action immediately and is well done... love the way Joab instills the right thing to do in David, then allows him the space to make that decision feel like his own, advising but not undermining his king... You've done wonders with this draft. One of the strongest changes has been the pairing of Absalom and Ahisthophel against the mirror of David and Joab — the royal men and their advisors make a powerful linchpin to hold the whole story together... The play also follows the original story events nicely, showing the events that led up to Absalom's death. The final scenes are entirely masterful — Tamar's deep and abiding sorrow, David's regrets and Joab's sage advice.
Overall, this is an intelligent play that showcases attention to detail, beautifully written language and the exploration of a well-known story."
Podcast interview with E. Thomalen about the videotaped reading of his Play The Night Watchman is up at: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/e_thomalen_interview.html
The videotaped reading of The Night Watchman has been posted on line at: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_night_watchman.html also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkPR_PzfSBA
The Night Watchman wins the Hawai'i Prize Award given by Kumu Kahua/Univeristy of Hawai'i at Manoa
The Night Watchman wins the WILDsound Spring Full Play Contest for 2013.
"The 'Night Watchman' is the story of George Pollard Jr., Captain of the Essex and the Two Brothers, ships both of which were wrecked and for which he must provide explanation. The story is compelling, and you add depth in both the characters provided and the eventual description of the horror these men went through. The dialogue is also swift and vivid... There are many strong choices throughout the crafting of this play. The first is obviously the selection of Pollard himself... a worthwhile person in his own right... The character spread also works nicely, with the presence of Pollard's cousin ... laced into the narrative to give two levels of personal conflict on top of the professional work that he must perform as captain. The text makes strong use of the stage, a good knowledge of the malleability of theatre — scenes eventually jumping back and forth in the narrative in a way that suits performed and multi-role pieces... The language throughout is also effective, especially descriptions of the nature of hunger and starvation — and the increasingly dire situation as the men turn to allotted sacrifice and cannibalism... Overall, though, 'The Night Watchman' takes a compelling event and explores it in a measured but engaging manner, turning a historical catastrophe into a personal tragedy."
WILDsound Writing Festival
Funding for a production of Inventing Alice and Wonderland on the crowd funding site Kickstarter failed to raise enough money to proceed with a production. Rights to the play were withdrawn at this time.
A crowd funding project to raise money for a production of E. Thomalen's play Inventing Alice and Wonderland launched on Kickstarter.com. Information about Lewis Carroll and the story of the real Alice can be found on the site and some photos of the river where they navigated can be found at: www.inventingaliceandwonderland.com
E. Thomalen completes The Pearl Diver, based on a Japanese legend about a young woman who dives for pearls in Japan and eventually must encounter a Sea Dragon. This story appears in Japanese Kabuki dance, in a medieval Noh play, and in Japanese scroll art among other places. It is a beautiful story that E. Thomalen has retold in verse in English.
E. Thomalen completes a Pied Piper of Hamelin in verse form that retells the classic tale for children.
Some clips of the 2004 production of Clara's Christmas Dreams are posted on YouTube.
E. Thomalen completes Inventing Alice and Wonderland. This play draws on biographical information penned by the principals about the original telling of many of the episodes in Lewis Carroll's famous book. On a warm summer's day Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and his friend Robinson Duckworth took the three Liddell sisters (one of whom was Alice) on a leisurely excursion on the Thames River near Oxford. They rowed upstream, had a picnic lunch, and then drifted back to their point of departure. The play follows that journey and dramatizes some of the stories Lewis Carroll told. It charmed the girls and before they parted that evening, Alice begged Dodgson to write them down for her sometime.
"Dear E. Thomalen,
"We performed Clara's Christmas Dreams at the Center Church in Windham on December 6 and 7th. I worked with a choreographer who has been doing the Nutcracker Ballet for several seasons. In this collaboration we thought we would try something different and Clara's Christmas Dreams really seemed to fit the bill. This presentation was performed by young people with teens playing the adult parts. We added choreography for the Mouse, Snow Queen and Christmas Treats sections. It was the perfect holiday show and very well received.
"We are considering doing another version next year with adults and children."
Director/Producer - December, 2008 Production in the Catskills
Cast from the December, 2008 production in Calhoun, GA
(click on image to enlarge)
Clara's Christmas Dreams - Windham Mountain Clara's Christmas Dreams. December 06 & 07, 2008. This play sponsored by the Community of Windham Foundation is directed by Barbara Sturman with choreography by Sabine Starr.
Ball in the House, Catskills Dance Theater and Greene Room Players Show Choir
Date: Saturday, December 13, 2008, 2PM
Location: Doctorow Center for the Arts, Rte. 23A, Village of Hunter, N.Y. 12442
The Doctorow Center is celebrating the Holiday Season with a special show featuring Ball in the House, ("The voice behind the Cool Whip commercials!"), Catskills Dance Theatre and Greene Room Players Show Choir. Following in the path of classic harmony groups like Boyz II Men, the Temptations and Take 6 but with a modern, urban, post-millennial twist, the five member vocal band Ball in the House brilliantly blends a wide range of influences, from classic R&B to pop, hip-hop and gospel. "We had to turn people away at the door...our audiences are ages 6-90. There aren't many groups out there that can rock the house and keep such a diverse group of people happy and on their feet more." Mary Ruth Lynn, Director of Programming, Garrison Player Arts Center. During part of their performance, Greene Room Players Show Choir will join Ball in the House on some of the tunes. The Show Choir, under the direction of Linda Nicholls will also perform separately a group of popular and Holiday favorites. Catskills Dance Theatre will perform excerpts from Clara's Christmas Dreams by E. Thomalen. Directed by Barbara Sturman (Schoharie Creek Players) and Choreographed by Sabine Starr (Catskills Dance Theater).
Clara's Christmas Dreams Kicks off the Holiday Season
Join Calhoun Little Theater as they kick off festivities this holiday season with 5 performances of Clara's Christmas Dreams at the Harris Arts Center's Ratner Theater in Downtown Calhoun. CLT will be premiering (that means FIRST TIME EVER!) the musical selection for Clara's Christmas Dreams. The play is based on Clara's three dreams in The Nutcracker and feature the Mouse King, the Snow Queen, and the Sugarplum Fairies. The Nutcracker Prince appears in all three dreams. The cast of over 40 young people consists of talented Calhoun and Gordon County children that will delight audiences of all ages. Dale Seger and Tami Duda are the show's directors and Autumn Lester is the choreographer. Some of the stars of the show include Tiffany Nesbitt as Clara, Allie Gowens as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Kailey Duda as the The Snow Queen, Zach Waters as the Prince, Jubal Freeman as the Mouse King and Colt Chambers as Dr. Drosselmeyer.
Upcoming holiday performances of Clara's Christmas Dreams at the Calhoun Little Theatre in Calhoun, GA announced:
Friday December 5th at 7pm
Saturday December 6th at 2:30pm
Friday December 12th at 7pm
Saturday December 13th at 2:30pm
Sunday December 14th at 2:30pm
View photos of scenes from the 2004 production of Clara's Christmas Dreams
A Shaker Story added to website.
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