Mixing it Up with CockTales

Sidling up to the Stage for CockTales…

The NextStage bi-weekly play-reading series has generated some interesting moments and conversations over the course of the last few months.  Some hilarious, some tragic and some down-right weird but all have been brand-new, never seen before, and very ripe.  We read work ranging from full-length plays to rough unfinished scripts in a casual, open session.  When one of these little gems sparkles in our eyes, we’ll take it to the next step and “play” around with it.  Such is the case with a delightfully funny and fun script called “CockTales” by the fairy sorceress, Lavinia Roberts.

After reading Lavinia’s play in lab we decided we had to muddle, stir, shake and taste-test it.  We brought in director Irene Kapustina to mix this refreshing look at 4 NewYorkers in a swanky cocktail den, each looking for comfort in their own skin and in this city full of sin.  We decided we would present a staged reading with basic props and set at The Big Studio in Long Island City.

NextStage Core Artists Dana Jesberger and myself teamed up with 2 talented newcomers, Michelangelo Milano and Alison Skye Bennet, to round out a strong and diverse cast.  Irene’s process was very fluid from the table to the stage and came from a very natural place.  She brought an excited, motivated creativity to the room and we all followed her lead.  We met just twice to rehearse but something clicked right from the start, these characters jumped off the page and onto our stage and the 5 of us really explored some fun moments.

What culminated was a fun and energetic night at The Big Studio with friends, family, fellow collaborators and some fresh faces in the crowd.  Bringing this script to life was a joy and hopefully very productive for the playwright, as is our mission.

A big thanks the Magic Sorceress Lavinia Roberts, Irene Kapustina, my fellow actors and of course the always fearless, never cheerless Bob and Anastasia.

– Adam Perabo

5/28 The metaphor is a metaphor for the metaphor

The sixth iteration of our revamped lab series series was met with cries of joy and and cheers across the New York Theatre community… Okay, well maybe just happiness and enthusiasm from 3 playwrights, 8 actors and 1 managing director!

Our very own Rachel Halper was this week’s master of ceremonies. She lead us through a series of imaginative new plays – each with rules totally unique to the world of the play.

Bob Jude Ferrante brought back the first act of a play we’ve seen in lab before – Dash Combs bringing to life the motherly and feminine Mariam, in a surprise gender bending casting in “The Three.” Bob has only ever shared the first act of this play with us, I’m waiting eagerly to see if the next section answers the questions about this world that I’ve developed watching the first act.

Tom Block introduced us to “Danny and the Therapist.” The audience never went
3 minutes without laughing, as the actors were as surprised as the characters whenwe were asked to accept constantly shifting rules. Patrick Bolger, as Danny, managed to pull us along on this delightfully chaotic roller coaster.

Greg asked us to look at the potential of actions we didn’t take in “Interim.” The distraught Albert, portrayed by Will Young, is forced to look as the other side of the coin as two otherworldly being turned Insurance Salesmen arrive to save is life.

We’ve had a very fulfilling and fun week. I certainly hope to see all of our guest actors and playwrights again. Core Artists Adam Perabo and Dana Jesberger were away this week working on other projects, but will be back soon to once again grace our studio with their warmth and energy!