An opening. A reading. And the future.

On Sunday, March 12, THE GRAVEDIGGER'S LULLABY will open off-Broadway at Theatre Row in NYC, produced by TACT and directed by Jenn Thompson.  To say that it has been an amazing experience would be an understatement.  At the very, very least we have put together something of which we are all very proud, and that represents what we hoped the play would be.  If you can join us, please do.  You can see some pictures of the show HERE.

KK Moggie and Ted Koch.

KK Moggie and Ted Koch.

In late February and early March, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and Colt Coeur joined forces to present a workshop of THREE RULES FOR THE DRAGON that culminated in a public reading on March 6.  It featured Zachary Quinto, Marin Ireland, Babak Tafti and Madeleine Rogers and was directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt.  It was a great chance to work on the play, and inch forward to a produced version of this play of which I am very proud.

And what's next? I am working on a commission of a brand-new play for Montclair University in New Jersey.  That will arrive in a production at Montclair in March of 2018.  But before that, Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City will be producing the world-premiere production of my play i in January/February of 2018.  I'm very excited about this (where excited=terrified), and more news on this will emerge as the production develops.  But it's part of an exciting season at Pioneer, and I'm pretty proud to be a part of it.

A reading. Then rehearsal. Then a play.

I'm slow with the news, even when there's plenty of it.  This is a fact.  But the next couple of months are busy and exciting, so here's a little of the news.  I head to Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City for a January 27-28 reading of my newest play i, traveling from NYC with Wes Grantom, friend and constant directing cohort, and handsome and extremely talented Todd Gearhart and joining three actors in Utah (Susannah Florence, Colleen Baum and Alexandra Harbold) for the fun.  It's a play I'm proud of, and am honored to get a chance to give it a look-see with the fantastic folks at Pioneer.

Then (and by then, I mean immediately upon returning, like, the next day), rehearsals start in NYC at TACT for the world premiere of The Gravedigger's Lullaby.  Directed by my other friend and constant directing cohort Jenn Thompson, we have one of those dreamy casts that makes you aware that occasionally you just have to sit back and appreciate your luck.  I'm putting their pictures here, because they are good looking and I like having their pictures here.  The show runs February 28 - April 1, and I honestly, truly hope you join us.  I'm ridiculously excited.

Ted Koch

Ted Koch

KK Moggie

KK Moggie

Todd Lawson

Todd Lawson

Jeremy Beck

Jeremy Beck

I won't lie - there are a couple of other things going on; but I can't share them yet.  And I know, that's the worst.  So, I'm the worst.  Deal with it.  But please come see our play - I'll say hi to you after.  I'm easy to find.  I'm the quiet guy in the back.

A kind-of music video.

We made a thing!  We actually made a couple of things.  My writing partner, Will Van Dyke, and I wrote a song.  And then we made a music video of it.  You can find it on YouTube or on my videos page on here.  We had a lot of help from some of our very talented friends - musicians and sound engineers and video editors who are all remarkable and added their own unique talents and magic to the thing.  And we are pretty proud of it.  It's called . . .

Off-Broadway. This winter. For real.

It's official and making its way out in the world now, so here's the skinny:  my play THE GRAVEDIGGER'S LULLABY will receive its world premiere this winter off-Broadway in NYC.  It is being produced by TACT at Theatre Row on 42nd Street (I'm a proud member of the company) and will be directed by the utterly fantastic Jenn Thompson.  It runs February 28th, 2017 - April 1, 2017.  That's the whole news item as of now...  Cast, designers, other stuff will arrive this fall, and I'll post more then, but at least it's out now.  I couldn't be happier.  But I'm sure once we get there, I'll find a way to be.

June. When some things happen apparently.

Full details now on THREE RULES FOR THE DRAGON.  It happens June 17-19 at Premiere Stages in New Jersey.  It's totally free, and don't let NJ Transit scare you - it's actually shockingly easy and fast to get to.  And beside the always-awesome Wes Grantom directing it has a kick-ass group of actors doing it - Dashiell Eaves, Christa Scott-Reed, Julian Cihi and Tyrah Skye Odoms.  They are killers, each and every one.  Join us if you can.

3RulesDragonFlyer.jpg

Then, the following week, my play HOW TO BUILD A CITY will have the exact same type of treatment at TACT in NYC as part of their annual newTACTics New Works Festival - a workshop/reading, culminating in two free performances Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  Again, a fantastic cast is on-board to make me look good - Will Rogers, Anthony Newfield, Chad Goodridge, Richard Theiriot and Amelia McClain - and evidently Wes Grantom is not completely sick of me, because he's doing these two things back-to-back.  So, lucky me.  It will be a crazy whiplash experience if you see both, because two more different plays there never has been.

There's actually more news coming - but until it's actual news, you'll just have to wait.  Because I just have to wait.  Because waiting, evidently, is what being a person is all about.

Some news about a dragon.

I was a tease.  I completely admit it.  But I was waiting for all the news to be clear.  My play THREE RULES FOR THE DRAGON, which had a reading at Premiere Stages in New Jersey in March, has been selected for a workshop in June.  We will have the luxury of some rehearsal to work on the play, and then there are three FREE public readings of the play.  It's pretty easy to get to - NJ Transit goes basically right to the door.  And it's free.  I'm excited about it; I am proud of the play, and excited to work on it.  Wes Grantom is directing, and we will know more about who's doing it soon.

The play was also a finalist for this year's O'Neill Playwrights Conference, and while it's a bit of a bummer it didn't make the final cut (I have been in the close-but-no-cigar club there before), it's an honor to get close again in that prestigious festival, and a sign of encouragement for the play and its future.  It's a tough play that I am very hopeful about.

And, still a tease:  more news soon.  On a different topic.  I know!  What a jerk.

Watch this space... (news and a tease...)

I am terrible at self-promotion.  It's a fact.  So the whole have-a-website-with-a-news-section thing is hilarious to me.  But it's been a busy couple of months, and there's some news to report (and some news to come), so I'll do some gentle filling in here.

As for the news to come, you'll just have to wait.  But as for the news to report - well:

In January, a new theatre company called Crowded Outlet launched a developmental reading series with my play ELLIOT.  It was directed by Artistic Director (and my friend and partner in crime) Wes Grantom, and featured a truly stellar kick-ass cast (Stephen Kunken, Frankie Alvarez, Jennifer Ikeda, Christopher Gerson, Christa Scott-Reed and Dillon Heape).  It was a super fun evening with that messed-up play, and we had a blast.

In February, Will Van Dyke and I spent a week at Goodspeed in Connecticut as guests of their Johnny Mercer Writers Colony.  We had the best time writing, and getting to know some other amazing writers working on some pretty awe-inspiring musicals.  And, best of all, we finished a draft of our new musical WINTERSONG while we were there.  We're very excited about this show, and can't wait to share more soon.

Also in February, I spent a couple of days in Chicago.  Route 66 Theatre did a public reading of my play HOW TO BUILD A CITY, and it was a fun, terrific night.  It was directed by Henry Godinez, and had five rock star actors bringing it to life (Steven Strafford, Justin Brill, Jennifer Coombs, Craig Spidle and Eric Lynch).  And then I had a day-long workshop at the spectacular Chicago Shakespeare Theater working on a new play.  It was a truly exciting day, and I pinched myself several times while it was going on.

And then, in March, a couple of fun things:

1)  Kate Baldwin did an evening of Will's music (that featured a fair amount of our work) at an amazing new venue - the Sheen Center.  With special guests Matt Doyle and Jessica Vosk, it was a stellar evening, and we had the best time.  If you don't know about the Sheen Center, you definitely, 100% should.  And

2) My play THREE RULES FOR THE DRAGON was a finalist/participant in New Jersey's Premiere Stages Spring Reading Series of New Plays.  That play is a crazy, tense ride, and it was a thrilling day - again directed by Wes Grantom with a fearless cast (Nathan Darrow, Julian Cihi, Melissa Miller and Brooklyn Shuck) putting the pedal to the medal and really killing it.  It was awesome.

That's all.  Yes, there's some news coming, but you'll just have to check back.  I told you right at the top I'm a tease.  Basically, you'll just have to deal with it.  I may not be great at self-promotion, but I'm a sadist when it comes to information evidently.

 

Two exciting days in September - an EP and a concert!

September 15th and September 21st.  A Tuesday and a Monday.  And something fun is happening on both days!  Let's start with the 15th.

For the past six months, my writing partner, Will Van Dyke, and I have been hard at work on a collection of standalone songs - first writing, then gathering a stellar collection of singers and musicians and going into the studio to record an EP of our songs.  And on September 15th, the EP will be released.  It's called A View of the River and it features Billy Porter, Kate Baldwin, Jonathan Groff, Matt Doyle, Abby Mueller, Preston Sadleir and Tamika Sonja Lawrence, who are all simply outstanding singing these songs.  I'm immensely proud of how it turned out, and can't wait for people to hear it.  It will be available on iTunes, Amazon and wherever digital music can be found.  And then . . .

 

And then . . .

On September 21st, we will celebrate the release of the EP with a star-studded concert at 54 Below.  Some of the singers from the EP will be on hand, as well as a list of truly great people to sing not only the songs from the EP, but some songs from our musical Imagine Harry.  Kate Baldwin, Annaleigh Ashford, Julia Murney, Matt Doyle, Preston Sadleir, Tamika Sonja Lawrence, Taylor Trensch, Jake Odmark, Jessica Vosk, Marcus Neville and Josh Lamon will join Will and  a kick-ass band to tear the place up.  Join us if you can - it is going to be a fun night!  If you go to 54 Below's website, they'll be happy to help you get tickets.

For a more in-depth look at both the EP and the concert, check out this terrific story on bykennethjones.com.

IMAGINE HARRY to appear at NAMT Festival, October 2015.

For the past couple years, I've been writing a musical called Imagine Harry with the amazing Will Van Dyke.  I am immensely proud of what we've written, and we are really excited that the musical was chosen to be a part of this year's National Alliance of Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals.  From a field of over 220, our show was one of 8 chosen to present a 45-minute cutting of the show to an industry crowd.  You can learn more about the  festival by visiting NAMT's website.

We describe the show like this:  When Tucker was 8, Harry was his imaginary friend.  Now Tucker's grown up, and Harry has left the biz -- two lost guys trying to figure out the little things.  Like Life.  Can they help each other before it's too late?  Imagine Harry is a musical for grown-ups about the very tricky business of growing up.

For a full story on not only our show, but all 8 shows in the festival, this great piece from bykennethjones.com gives more complete information.

There's more info on my site about the show - you can hear a couple of the songs HERE . . .

The festival is October 15-16 in NYC.  We're just starting the process of adding a director and actors - so more to come, I'm sure.  Stay tuned!

NAMT's logo for our show.