Fortune’s Favored – There Will Be Words Recap from Literary Manager Zach Winston

I came across Fortune’s Favored a little over a month ago, back when VTG opened submissions for its summer production. Like any other play we’ve selected, it initially needed some work. It took a bit of convincing to get the play chosen but, with such passion, such an educated voice, and highly inspired elements, it simply could not be ignored.

When it comes to selecting plays for There Will Be Words, I like to think of more than just choosing a “good play.” The playwright should benefit just as much as VTG from both the reading and the talkback. The question I’ve always asked is, “is this play developed as much as it can be without being heard in front of an audience?”

Such was the case with Fortune’s Favored.

In acting school, we’re taught to make our characters lead from one of three places: the head (character’s choices made from intellect), the heart (character’s choices made from the soul), and the stomach (character’s choices made from impulse). This is also the case with a play, and Fortune’s Favored is one which leads from the heart.

I was amazed with exactly how much heart and soul was ingrained into the script. So much so that it overflowed from the pages into playwright Lesley Anne Moreau’s process which led to three new, honed drafts before TWBW.

A small but mighty assembly of new theatre enthusiasts gathered together at Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Thursday, May 15th to hear the words of Fortune’s Favored. We gave them words as promised and, in return, we got words. Lesley heard the words spoken by our audience and, without hesitation, worked around the clock on a new draft before going into rehearsals. In fact, first thing I’m going to do after publishing this blog post is look over the revisions Lesley just sent after a successful first week of rehearsals.

I’ve been describing the play as an inspired mash-up uniting the characters of Tennessee Williams, the tone/setting of Sam Shepard, and the themes/motifs of Anton Chekov. It takes place in a run-down arcade in Big Ugly, West Virginia where Eudora Redden (Annie Hochheiser), daughter of the arcade’s negligent owner, runs day-to-day operations. When Davis Milford (Conor Walsh), a mysterious stranger from Beverly Hills, offers a very large sum for a rare fortune-telling machine, she finds a way out. However, when her beauty-pageant-washout cousin Luann (Lauren Robinson) interferes, sparks fly and the gloves come off in a riveting family drama.

Fortune’s Favored opens at The Factory Theatre (791 Tremont street, Boston MA) on July 11th, and runs through the 26th. Tickets can be purchased at on Brown Paper Tickets. We will also be hosting pay-what-you-can night ($5 min.) on July 16. Hope to see you there!

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Meet the Cast of August and Autumn

BUY TICKETS BUTTONMeet the cast of August and Autumn! These lovely faces are coming soon to a theatre near you – the show runs from November 30 to December 7, so buy your tickets now!

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StudioHeadshots Models , ActorsEmma GoodmanTim Hoover

Tim Hoover (August)
Tim Hoover is somewhat of a professional memorizer, working extensively in educational and historical theater, keeping 14 different scripts and 6 different tours in his head for several different companies he works with regularly, but he can’t remember what he was supposed to pick up at the store. You may remember him from Vagabond’s Burning Up the Dictionary (nominated for 2013 IRNE Award Best New Play). He loves working with local companies and helping to develop new plays, and he is the president of the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston.

Melissa Walker Headshot 2013

Melissa Walker (Autumn)
Melissa Walker is thrilled to be making her debut with Vagabond Theatre Group! Most recently, Melissa has been involved with Turner Street Productions producing and acting in Allston Xmas, an anthology web series about the trials and tribulations of moving day in Boston.  Previous credits include Shelby in Steel Magnolias (The NextDoor Theatre), Maria in Twefth Night (Summer Festival Theatre), and Pearl in The Scarlett Letter (New Rep on Tour). Thanks to Markus.

Alyssa PurnhagenAlyssa Purnhagen (Elizabeth)
Alyssa is excited to be working with Vagabond for the second time! Graduated from Salem State University with her BA in Theater. Some of her past roles included Leslie in Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension, Chrissy in In the Boom Boom Room, Mimi in A New Brain, Maria in Twelfth Night, Professor Don in All in the Timing: The Universal Language, Louise in The Underpants, Camille in Red Noses, Seta in Beast on the Moon and was a member of the University’s improvisational troupe, Grandma’s Third Leg.

photoJim Remmes (Fig)
Jim is thrilled to once again be working with Vagabond Theatre Group! Jim recently appeared as Questry in Science Fiction Theatre’s The Aurora Project, Josef Gross in Flat Earth Theatre’s The MemorandumBox in Vagabond Theatre Group’s True Believers and in Acting Out Theatre Company’s productions of The Foreigner, Almost, Maine, & Leading Ladies. Jim has a degree in Theatre from the College of the Holy Cross and a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University. He is now an attorney.

DSC_1454Katelyn Beaudoin (Marissa)
Katelyn is a graduate from Salem State University with a BFA in performance. Recently she has been seen in various staged readings for new works of theatre all along the North Shore. Favorite past credits include: Rent (Mimi Marquez), Great Expectations (Biddy/Mrs. Joe/Wemmick), Kat(i)e & J(aw)hn (Katie), Escape from Happiness (Dianne Black). This is Katelyn’s debut with Vagabond Theatre group and she extends a heartfelt thank you and congratulations to the cast and crew for being so dedicated to creating new works of theatre.  She’d also like to thank her outstanding parents who have always been a source of unwavering encouragement, love, and support. And last but not least, a big ‘thank you’ her friends who’ve lit a fire under her butt and helped her to keep on keeping on.

Zach WinstonZach Winston (Thomas)
Recent Boston and New England performance credits include Hair (Counter-Productions Theatre Co.), A Bright New Boise, Tigers Be Still (Norton nomination- Outstanding Fringe Theatre Production, Zeitgeist Stage Co.), A Skull in ConnemaraTrue Believers (Vagabond Theatre Group), Such Times: A Sexfest of New Work (Heart & Dagger Productions), and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Very Bad Day (Boston Children’s Theater), How May I Connect You? (Project: Project). Zach serves as Literary Manager for Vagabond Theatre Group, and has filled many other roles in the company including Stage Manager for Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension, writer of The Unfortunate Cutthroats, and Assistant Director for Burning the Barn and Burning Up the Dictionary, both of which received IRNE award nominations for Best New Play.

Auditions for August and Autumn!

Hi there!

Coming in fresh off of a great There Will Be Words reading of John Minigan’s Concordance, we here at VTG are very excited to announce that we have added a day of open auditions for our next production–August and Autumn, by Brian Tuttle!

Mark your calendars, because this day of open auditions will be held this coming Tuesday, October 8th! If you want to audition but are not available on October 8, please email info@vagabondtheatregroup.com to discuss possible alternatives.

Auditions are by appointment, so please claim your slot here on our Sign Up Genius page!

Here’s a short blurb about this show:

August, a prickly and sarcastic know-it-all, is plagued with having the second best memory in the world.  Autumn is a fun and beautiful kleptomaniac, who cannot form short term memories. When the two cross paths in a hotel lobby, the troubled and cynical August is beyond smitten. From that point on, he is tasked with making an impression so big that even the Girl Without A Memory will remember him, no matter who — an overwhelmed sister, a frustrated ex-wife, or figments of his own imagination– stands in his way.

This show is cool, folks. And we want you to be a part of it! We’re looking for six actors (three male, three female) who are available October-November for evening and weekend rehearsals and performances from November 30th – December 7th.  All characters are in their 20’s/30’s. Here’s a breakdown!

  • August: male, synesthete, sarcastic know-it-all
  • Autumn: female, cannot form short-term memories, fun and whimsical
  • Fig: Male, rowdy figment of August’s imagination
  • Elizabeth: female, former psychologist, August’s ex-wife
  • Marissa: female, Autumn’s sister, protective, uptight
  • Thomas: male, graduate education student,

Auditions will take place at the Huntington Theatre Company offices at 281 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Please arrive 15 minutes before your audition slot to sign in.

Sides will be provided at the auditions. Short monologues of about 1-2 minutes are optional (encouraged, but by no means required). Please bring a resume and headshot with you.

Hope to see you there!

New Play Submissions for our Spring Production!

I’m going to cut to the chase. We here at Vagabond Theatre Group are looking for a new show. And we’re opening submissions starting NOW!

This submission period will mark the first time that we here at VTG have opened submissions with a direct target toward production. While we generally have an open door policy for scripts, and (of course) our regular TWBW submissions, we’ve always come upon our productions in a very organic way. This time, we’re sounding the call loud and clear: We have a theatre space at our disposal in March 2014, and we want to work with you!

Submissions will close roughly one month from today (on Tuesday, October 29), so if you feel like you need some time for a quick polish, go ahead. If you’re ready and rearin’, shoot your PDFs, synopses, and bios to submissions@vagabondtheatregroup.com.

The our upcoming production of Brian Tuttle’s August and Autumn will be the seventh show we’ve staged (and sixth new play!), and all of them have been an amazing adventure. They’ve been a grab bag of sizes, genres, and challenges, and we want to keep on keepin’ on. Surprise us with your stories! Confound us with your content! Send us your plays!

We’re unbelievably excited to get our hands messy with your work and all the playing, thinking, tweaking, writing, chancing, what-if-ing, and discovering that goes along with it.

We know there’s a lot of talent and a lot of captivating stories out there. Let’s bring them to life.

AUDITIONS for Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension!

We will be holding auditions for the world premiere of Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension by Heather Houston on Monday March 25, Tuesday March 26 and Wednesday March 27!

Auditions are by appointment, so please claim your slot here!

We’re looking for five actors (three male, two female) who are available May-July for evening and weekend rehearsals and performances from July 11 – 20. All characters are in their 20s-30s. See below for a character breakdown.

Auditions will take place at the Zero Point Theatre offices at 265 Franklin Street, Suite 1702, Boston. Please arrive 15 minutes before your audition slot to sign in.

Sides will be provided at the auditions. Short monologues of about 1-2 minutes are optional (encouraged, but by no means required). Please bring a resume and headshot with you.

Hope to see you there!

About the Play:
Told primarily through the point of view of Tom, a theoretical physicist, the play explores the relationships of four close friends–Leslie, Dan, Fred, and Tom–the year after the tragic death of their friend Carmen strains their relationship to the point of fracture. Memories of Carmen haunt the group, and the laws of physics are bent as they work through their suspicions, grief, anger, and sadness together. As the truth comes to light, everyone must reconcile what happened with their own version of reality.

Character breakdown:
Tom – (M – late twenties/early thirties)
Theoretical Physicist. Timid, intellectual, absent minded. Loses himself in his work constantly. Slightly out-of-touch with reality.

Carmen – (F – late twenties/early thirties)
Poet. Fred’s sister. Deceased. Young, wild, beautiful, and free. Sexy and ambitious. Seizes life and takes it at every turn, even if it’s for the worse.

Leslie – (F – late twenties/early thirties)
Novelist. Carmen’s best friend. Reserved, defensive, proud.

Dan – (M – late twenties/early thirties)
Editor. Alpha male. Brash, arrogant, opinionated, and deeply, deeply hurt.

Fred – (M – late twenties/early thirties)
Wildean Scholar. Carmen’s brother, Tom’s boyfriend. Level headed, heartfelt, caring, torn.

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This is a great opportunity to get involved! While these auditions are specifically for roles in Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension, we never forget a friendly face and often pull from the pool of actors who have auditioned for our productions while casting readings and special events! However, if you are not available for this show, do not fear – we will hold auditions for all future productions!

James C Ferguson’s King Arthur in Contemporary Connecticut

Please join us for…

There Will Be Words
featuring
King Arthur in Contemporary Connecticut
by James C Ferguson

Thursday, March 14, 7:00 PM
Trident Booksellers & Cafe
338 Newbury Street, Boston

TWBW6PosterIn the middle of a battle with the evil Mordrid, King Arthur is suddenly and magically transported to the twentieth century, where he’s faced with continuing his quest for the Holy Grail. In this comedy/satire inspired by Mark Twain’s famous work A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, the Has-been King Arthur meets up with the wizard Merlin (who of course–being a wizard–is immortal ) and the ghosts of friends long past to settle scores and forge a new future.Please join VTG for a reading of local playwright James C Ferguson’s KING ARTHUR IN CONTEMPORARY CONNECTICUT!

As with all TWBW readings, admission is FREE, though we do suggest a donation of $2 to help us continue to hold events like this and bring fresh, new voices to Boston audiences.

So, arrive early, grab a drink and a bite to eat in Trident’s cafe, and support small theatre!

RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends!

Announcing VTG’s Summer Production! Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension

“String theory: 10 dimensions. 9 spatial. 1 of time. Which is the fourth dimension. Supergravity: 11 dimensions. 10 spatial. 1 of time. Again the fourth dimension. One whole dimension. Some people think it’s arbitrary but…Time and Space.”

So begins Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension, a new play by Boston-based playwright Heather Houston. We here at VTG fell in love with the piece when it came across our desk during an open call for submissions, and our theatrical imaginations have been dancing with the possibilities ever since. Supergravity stuck right in there, holding on, making itself known, daring us to see it on stage. And now, after all that relentless pushing,  I am extraordinarily excited to announce to all of you that Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension will be Vagabond Theatre Group’s next full production, coming your way this July!

Supergravity is an extraordinary piece of work. Told primarily through the point of view of Tom, a theoretical physicist, the play explores the relationships of four close friends — Leslie, Dan, Fred, and Tom– the year after the tragic death of their friend Carmen strains their relationship to the point of fracture. Memories of Carmen haunt the group, and the laws of physics are bent as they work through their suspicions, grief, anger, and sadness together. As the truth comes to light, everyone must reconcile what happened with their own version of reality.

“Her journey will be quick, but you’ll never see her disappear in your lifetime.”

The physical, metaphysical, scientific, and emotional elements at play in Supergravity explode on stage as we run through the lives of these young people and around their universe. It’s exciting stuff, and we here at VTG can’t wait to get our hands dirty. This show–about space, time, love, hate, death, and life–will go up as our fifth original production(!), and we are ready-and-set to hit it headlong. Watch our blog, eblast, twitter, and facebook feeds for information about how you can get involved.

Theatre is awesome, guys. Let’s make some more.

-james.