March 1, 2014
One Year Until. . .


At last, we’re fully committed to our new production, King Lear, intended to open in March 2015. Yes, we’ve made noises about it before, but it takes a while before I manage to make sure that I’ve trapped myself into actually doing a project. That process involves talking about it a lot so I’ll feel embarrassed if I renege; getting Elizabeth into solving some impossible technical problem; and making some hard-copy commitment that I sign my name to — in this case, sending in a grant application for support.

This week Elizabeth finished the basic frame for the set: a cage-like structure of square aluminum tubing, 6 ft. wide, 4 ft. deep, 7 ft. high, sloping backward on a forced perspective, designed to unbolt easily for touring. It’ll support all our miniature spotlights, with a bunch of puppets dangling from it, and ourselves enclosed in the tiny space playing the vast, panoramic play. It’s always the same starting point with her in solving a technical problem: utter panic. And the eventual result is always the same: it works.

Myra’s Channel. . .

As mentioned before, we’ve been writing a great deal of fiction in the past two years and, as expected, experiencing what most newcomers to an art form do: regular, multiple rejection. Three novels circulating out there like stray cats, a fourth in progress, and a number of short stories. So we were pleased that last week, our first-ever acceptance for a short story. It’s a small on-line publication, Crack the Spine, and “Myra’s Channel” is happily ensconced in Issue 103. You can read it free on-line. If you read it, we’d love to hear your reaction.

It’s a futuristic glimpse of a moment that starts a woman’s day, tuning into a personalized romance channel, considering suicide, rushing off to work. Kinda mean and depressing, but we hope there’s some grim laughter in it. A short story can capture only a tiny fragment of what life is about, and for all I know, next time Myra appears in our fiction, she may turn out to be a real fireball on the dance floor.

Blogging on. . .

Our personal blog is now in its ninth weekly edition: It’s free, so visit and subscribe. It includes the challenges of daily life, small triumphs, responses to the news, reflections on writing, and commentary by the great-great-grandson of King Lear’s Fool, who has his own way of looking at things.

Committing to a weekly schedule — it’s posted on Sundays — is a challenge. We managed it for a number of years with our radio series, and it finally became like a weekly visit from the vampire. A friendly, loveable vampire, but he still sucks your blood. This one is easier, though, and it’s a great spur to go outside our blindered focus on the immediate next project.

Hope you’ll visit.

Nixville. . .

This was our fourth showing at the Forbidden Cabaret Puppet Slam in Vallejo. Always a juicy, packed audience, and this was sweet. Normally we’ve tended to be the “serious” piece in the show, but this time we dug out a very old sketch and recast it with puppets from our bins. Victor Frankenstein was a bit reluctant to be recast as a stuffy college prof with a secret volcanic passion, but he warmed to the role. We probably weren’t the silliest piece in the show, but we were very much in the running. Next month we’ll bring “Nixville” to Arcata.

And Gifts. . .

The shows continue. Saturday was a true love feast. Our hosts laid on generous drink and snacks beforehand, then about 25 souls packed themselves cheek by jowl into a small living room. It was an audience like a fine violin — it accepted every touch, responded as if in a wordless dialogue. Truly magical.