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Sunday, September 02, 2018





The New York New Works Theatre Festival jump starts the fall theater season with a carefully curated collection of short plays (and teasers for full length productions), presented to and for the public and a collection of producers and theater professionals from Broadway and around the country. A Panel of Tony and Emmy winners, Broadway producers, and other experts selects the plays, provides guidance, mentors the productions and helps eminent writers and producers develop their plays.

The Festival was started several years ago by Gene Fisch Jr and some of his colleagues to help boost the short play festival process of boosting plays, playwrights, and producers to the next level of success.

Interview with Gene Fisch Jr:

(Note: this interview was filmed in 3D 360 Virtual Reality, using the Vuze VR Camera. It can be watched as a normal video on any device that gets YouTube: including computers, smart-phones, even TV's with a YouTube app.  In addition, it can be seen in 3D 360 VR with any VR headset [Cardboard, Oculus Go, Daydream, etc] with software that can access YouTube VR videos.)

Among the many interesting presentations is a reading of Moby Pomerance's play about the family that helped develop the Oxford English Dictionary,  a work that was in progress for about 75 years (roughly 1857-1933.), vastly improving the pioneering dictionaries of Samuel Johnson (1755) and earlier works since the 1500's and possibly even earlier. 

The reading is directed by Emily Penick, a director and choreagracter, from Seattle, who is also one of the Panelists.

Interview with Emily Penick

(Note: this interview was filmed in 3D 360 Virtual Reality, using the Vuze VR Camera. It can be watched as a normal video on any device that gets YouTube: including computers, smart-phones, even TV's with a YouTube app.  In addition, it can be seen in 3D 360 VR with any VR headset [Cardboard, Oculus Go, Daydream, etc] with software that can access YouTube VR videos.)

The Festival provides two presentations of the short plays. Then, on the final day, Sat Sep 22, there will be an evening of the Panel's selection of their favorite plays. There are also two special staged reading events. 

Here is the 2018 Festival Schedule: 

Individual plays may run from about 10 to 25 minutes; total performance time probably at least 90 minutesDisclaimer: Please be aware that shows after 8:30 PM may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 7 PM

Queen Kong En Chaine - Dana Block
Patti Did Us In - Patricia Lawler Kenet
Angels at Work - Jerel Armstrong, Makie Armstrong,  Paul Johnson
Having A Ball With God - David Garrett Shaw

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 7 PM

Siren's Den - Rori Nogee
A Fatima - Emily Claire Schmitt
Happy If Happy When - Kimerer L. LaMothe
Oh Happy Dagger - Claire Tyers
Escape from Paradise - Valdaniel Martin
Look For Me - Liz Schiller
The Inconvenient Miracle - Ria T. DiLullo

Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 7 PM

Life or Not - Cayla Berejikian
Law of the Jungle - Sam Downey
The Kitty Bomb - Kevin Daly
A Forbidden Love - Bital Islam
A Pitch From Satchel Paige - Loren & Jim Keller
Common Ground - Granville Burgess

Friday, September 7, 2018 - 7 PM

Glitched - Melissa Manney
Jilted to Perfection - Debra Cook
Flower of Iowa - Lance Ringel
How Alfo Learned to Love - Vincent Amelio
The Words As Your Offering - Mara Lee Gilbert
Jewish, The Musical - Walter J. Kin

Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 2 PM Matinee

Quantum Janis - Richard Isen
Lost Home Win Home - Shelby Edwards
Pooch - Scott Eyerly
The Mouse on Flight #121 - Daniel Curzon
Fat Ladies Aint All In The Circus - Geneva Chapman

Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 7 PM

Oh Happy Dagger - Claire Tyers
Selah - Andy Post & Michael Murney
The Secret - Marshaline Letcher
Furniture - Natalie Lifton
Inamorata - Frederick Mark Kramer
Voyage - Ludovic Coutaud

Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 2 PM Matinee

Past Perfect - Philip Holt
Three On A Dime - Eileen Benson
Voyage - Ludovic Coutaud
Bacon Clickbait - David Don Miller
Fat Ladies Aint All In The Circus - Geneva Chapman

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 7 PM

The Secret - Marshaline Letcher
Why Not Black - Auslin Williams
Selah - Andy Post & Michael Murney
HEDY! The Life & Inventions of Hedy LamarrHeather Massie
Life Or Not - Cayla Berejikian
Look For Me - Liz Schiller

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 2 PM Matinee

Moby Pomerance reading (FREE)
(a play about the "new" Dictionary)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 7 PM

Happy If Happy When - Kimerer L. LaMothe
The Inconvenient Miracle - Ria T. DiLullo
The Pink Hulk - Valerie David
Why Not Black - Auslin Williams
Patti Did Us In - Patricia Lawler Kenet
Jewish, the Musical - Walter J. Kin

Thursday, September 13, 2018 - PM

Law of the Jungle - Sam Downey
Dietrich - Cindy Marinangel
Escape from Paradise - Valdaniel Martin
Past Perfect - Philip Holt
Common Ground - Granville Brugess

Friday, September 14, 2018 - 7 PM

The Mouse on Flight #121 - Daniel Curzon
Quantum Janis - Richard Isen
Lost Home Win Home - Shelby Edwards
Pooch - Scott Eyerly
Bacon Clickbait - David Don Miller
Having A Ball With God - David Garrett Shaw

Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 2 PM Matinee

The Kitty Bomb - Kevin Daly
A Pitch From Satchel Paige - Loren & Jim Keller
Glitched - Melissa Manney
A Fatima - Emily Claire Schmitt
Jilted to Perfection - Debra Cook
Three On A Dime - Eileen Benson

Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 7 PM

Flower of Iowa - Lance Ringel
HEDY! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr -Heather Massie
Angels at Work - Jerel Armstrong, Makie Armstrong,  Paul Johnson
A Forbidden Love - Bital Islam
How Alfo Learned to Love - Vincent Amelio

Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 2 PM Matinee

Dietrich - Cindy Marinangel
The Pink Hulk - Valerie David
Inamorata - Frederick Mark Kramer
Queen Kong En Chaine - Dana Block

Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 7 PM

Panelist Lauren Class Schneider presents:

12 Angry Men:
A Staged Reading
Presented by

12 Impassioned Women

*rights pending

Closing event:
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Selected Plays: Program to be announced!

For tickets, and more information...

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Saturday, August 25, 2018





AUGUST 25, 2018

Leonard Bernstein was a path-breaking conductor, composer, pianist, recording artist, and public spokesman for great music.

There have been countless celebrations of his birthday this year. Here's one notable discussion of Bernstein's "Serenade for Violin and Orchestra (after Plato's Symposium)", by Sharon Roffman, who performed this remarkable piece with Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony earlier this year.

"Serenade for Violin and Orchestra (after Plato's Symposium)"

More links:



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Friday, July 06, 2018




TRU is holding another of its periodically scheduled WRITER-PRODUCER SPEED-DATE events next Sunday, July 15.  Although the original deadline for applications has expired, they have a small number of open slots, and will continue to accept applications.

The speed date is an opportunity for anyone with a script or a show to present a short pitch to each of approximately 12 different producers -- and see what they are looking for, and how your project is perceived by this diverse group of professionals. It is also a chance to get personal coaching to design your pitch and to practice it.  The fee is not a likely chance to get your show funded; it is an opportunity to advance and sharpen your project.


TRU has over the years become an increasingly capable and useful resource for people with musical and dramatic theater projects.

In addition to this series of events, anyone interested in theater should check out the monthly panel discussions at TRU, and their other offerings.

The producers, directors and others involved in the "speed-date" and panel discussions and other events have significant experience and knowledge. I've personally attended a number of these events over several years and found them valuable and enjoyable!






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Monday, June 11, 2018






Neverworld Wake is a great read! It is also a model for the kind of novel that is perfect material for adaptation as a feature-length VR (3D 360) video!!!

-- update: 6/16/2018 --


Marisha Pessl is on a book tour. ( .  On Thursday (6/14) she spoke at BUILD.  (Build is a new TV studio, apparently run by AOL, that broadcasts on the web, live and on demand ( They have fine interviewers, interesting guests, new programs in development, and tickets to watch live in the studio are free.) Marisha was fresh, even tho' just back from a whirlwind trip to Florida and Texas. She was friendly, eloquent and interesting.  Here's a video of her interview. (Note: that's me, asking the second question about her characters.  I just started reading her first novel "Special Topics in Calamity Physics"; I've finished Part I. The book's about 600 pages long, funny, interesting, and a tour-de-force of style, craft, and content!)

I enjoyed prize-winning novelist Marisha Pessl’s  two most recent novels, NIGHT FILM and NEVERWORLD WAKE. She seems to be a writer who excels – through meticulous planning, preparation, and skillful plotting -- at creating a supernatural mood, while providing the possibility of a rational and natural logic.  She shows great style in using words and creating sentences, and employs a plethora of similes and metaphors. Marisha also displays a keen sense of humor, with sharp observations that made me laugh.

NEVERWORLD WAKE is her new, fine novel about five friends, one year after High School, who try to understand each other, while probing the mystery of a sixth friend's death and competing to stay alive.

Marisha has a penchant for “meta-fiction,” and using famous tropes: for example, the characters comment on features of the story’s architecture that recall other works. (Of a repetitive experience, one character calls for tweets from the public with the hashtag “Groundhog Day is real”. Another character muses on Peter Pan’s “Neverland,” implicitly suggesting a relation to the “Neverworld” of the title. And a dark and stormy night plays an important role.

* * *

I try to say very little about the plot in this article,
but the remainder may contain spoilers, nevertheless.

I suggest that you read the book first before continuing to read the rest of this article.

Note: Marisha Pessl will be at B&N in New York
signing books on Wed 6/14
 if you’d like a personal copy!

Here’s a schedule for the whole book tour:

* * *

NIGHT FILM, Marisha's second novel, is for adults, and has transmedia elements: (Note: Transmedia is the extension of a story from a single media type to many. It is as old as humans: Religion is the earliest example, telling stories, myths, using music, art, costuming … And live ceremonies -- services, rites of passage like marriages and burials, and more -- all to tell a collection of related stories.) Marisha seems to have investigated the lives and world of her characters so thoroughly she could (and sometimes does) create all types of ancillary media around their stories.

NEVERWORLD WAKE, her latest novel, also evokes the feeling of being fully imagined, but has a different audience than NIGHT FILM. NEVERWORLD directly targets teens, basically females. The main character is female. The primary secondary characters are female. Males mostly play smaller roles. All these characters are a year out of being the “cool” “beautiful” kids at a rich-people’s boarding high school. The story opens with an invitation to a reunion at the seaside estate where they used to gather. And evolves into a mystery about Jim who, though central to the story, is a mystery we get to know almost entirely through the other characters.

It seems to me that the environment and story of NEVERWORLD WAKE, and more generally, Marisha Pessl’s writing technique, lend themselves especially well to the requirements of VR video. (Beyond VR, her use of real-world locations also allows for AR and MR extensions of the story, with the possibility of viewers interacting with aspects of the story at the locations where they happen.) 

I am particularly interested in the narrative structure of Virtual Reality (VR) dramatic fiction (as well as all eXtended Reality video).  Recall that eXtended Reality (XR) is the collection of all the new technologies being enabled by the continuing exponential explosion of digital processing power. 

XR includes the visual technologies of Virtual Reality, where a headset (often called a Head Mounted Display, or HMD) immerses the viewer in a completely enveloping world of sight and sound that excludes whatever is happening outside. VR videos are both 3D and panoramic – they include the full 360x180 sphere around the camera position.  To the viewer, the position of the camera becomes their own position in the scene. 

Augmented and Mixed Reality (AR and MR) use a smart-phone or headset to show a view of the real world to the viewer, mixing it with computer generated images and information.

The essential new feature of VR dramatic videos that makes them so special is the fact that, in addition to effects that can be achieved with ordinary 2D film, VR can seem real.  It is as if you, the viewer, is there in the middle of the action.  It feels like you are in the presence of the characters, that you are immersed in their environment. 

There are several reasons why Marisha Pessl's work and her story NEVERWORLD WAKE are so well adaptable to VR:
As a vehicle for VR video narrative structure, I think NEVERWORLD WAKE is a perfect example. It has many attributes that make it an exceptional prospect for adaptation as a VR feature. 

It’s also (especially) a really good book! I hope many people read and enjoy it!

I hope it becomes a great VR feature length video!









Finally, here’s a Q & A with Marisha about 

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Sunday, March 04, 2018



NYXR – The New York eXtended Reality Meetup


The Future
(near term: next few years)


and what that means for you!

I would like to invite you to join us in celebrating Pi-Day, at the NYXR Meetup, for our CELEBRATION OF  π DAY, in recognition of this important day!

Pi-DAY, 3/14, March 14 is a day to celebrate Truth, Mathematics, Education, Science, Imagination, and Culture -- important things that help civilizations improve, in support of Life, Liberty, Equality, Truth, and the Pursuit of Happiness!

If you can't join us in NY
we invite you to join institutions around the world
or create your own celebration!


For Pi-Day we will present an overview of how eXtended Reality will develop and evolve over the next few years.

eXtended Reality is our perception of the world we live in, currently being transformed, explosively! by the exponentially increasing power of digital technology. Some features of XR are described below.

As we finalize our program at the NYXR Meetup I would greatly appreciate your help, support, advice, and suggestions, for speakers, volunteers, and venue sponsors.

This is a call for speakers for this and future NYXR events: Ideally, speakers will give an overview of some aspect of eXtended Reality, and how it is evolving, and include links to pointers for developers who wish to move into that arena. A talk can be 15 min to an hour. There may just one or up to 4 speakers, with a total presentation time of approximately 1 hour followed by a Q&A.

Pi-DAY is March 14. The event is free. The event will be recorded in Virtual Reality.

Here is the tentative topic agenda:

The Future
(near term: next few years)


and what that means for you!

We welcome all suggestions for speakers, topics, and venue sponsors for this and future NYXR events. (Possible topics include anything suggested by the discussion below, as well as any related topics not mentioned here that the speaker knows should have been mentioned!)

Here are some of the most relevant rapidly evolving XR technologies and issues:

Major companies: Apple, Alphabet & Google; Amazon & AWS; Facebook, Microsoft, and Samsung are developing a portfolio of these technologies; Disney, Sony, Vive, and several Chinese companies also have major efforts underway; innovative companies like Magic Leap, and international companies like Netflix are developing with a more narrow focus but are significant players.  Some portfolio examples:

We invite everyone to join NYXR and come to our CELEBRATION OF PI-DAY.

This is a call for speakers, volunteers, and venue sponsors
for this and future NYXR events.

We welcome all suggestions!
Please contact:

For the final program and exact location please see:

NYXR - The New York eXtended Reality Meetup


NYXR - The New York eXtended Reality Meetup


WIKIPEDIA: ON PI (π = 3.14159265358979323846264...)

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"Call Me by Your Name"
"Darkest Hour"
"Get Out"
"Lady Bird"
"Phantom Thread"
"The Post"
"The Shape of Water"
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Animated Feature:

"The Boss Baby," Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
"The Breadwinner," Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
"Coco," Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
"Ferdinand," Carlos Saldanha
"Loving Vincent," Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Animated Short:

"Dear Basketball," Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
"Garden Party," Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
"Lou," Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
"Negative Space," Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
"Revolting Rhymes," Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Documentary Feature:

"Abacus: Small Enough to Jail," Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
"Faces Places," JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
"Icarus," Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
"Last Men in Aleppo," Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
"Strong Island," Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Documentary Short Subject:

"Edith+Eddie," Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
"Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405," Frank Stiefel
"Heroin(e)," Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
"Knife Skills," Thomas Lennon
"Traffic Stop," Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Live Action Short Film:

"DeKalb Elementary," Reed Van Dyk
"The Eleven O’Clock," Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
"My Nephew Emmett," Kevin Wilson, Jr.
"The Silent Child," Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
"Watu Wote/All of Us," Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Foreign Language Film:

"A Fantastic Woman" (Chile)
"The Insult" (Lebanon)
"Loveless" (Russia)
"On Body and Soul (Hungary)
"The Square" (Sweden)



"Dunkirk," Christopher Nolan
"Get Out," Jordan Peele
"Lady Bird," Greta Gerwig
"Phantom Thread," Paul Thomas Anderson
"The Shape of Water," Guillermo del Toro

Adapted Screenplay:

"Call Me by Your Name," James Ivory
"The Disaster Artist," Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
"Logan," Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
"Molly’s Game," Aaron Sorkin
"Mudbound," Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay:

"The Big Sick," Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
"Get Out," Jordan Peele
"Lady Bird," Greta Gerwig
"The Shape of Water," Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," Martin McDonagh


"Blade Runner 2049," Roger Deakins
"Darkest Hour," Bruno Delbonnel
"Dunkirk," Hoyte van Hoytema
"Mudbound," Rachel Morrison
"The Shape of Water," Dan Laustsen


Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, "Call Me by Your Name"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Phantom Thread"
Daniel Kaluuya, "Get Out"
Gary Oldman, "Darkest Hour"
Denzel Washington, "Roman J. Israel, Esq."

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, "The Shape of Water"
Frances McDormand, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Margot Robbie, "I, Tonya"
Saoirse Ronan, "Lady Bird"
Meryl Streep, "The Post"

Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe, "The Florida Project"
Woody Harrelson, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Richard Jenkins, "The Shape of Water"
Christopher Plummer, "All the Money in the World"
>>Sam Rockwell, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, "Mudbound"
Allison Janney, "I, Tonya"
Lesley Manville, "Phantom Thread"
Laurie Metcalf, "Lady Bird"
Octavia Spencer, "The Shape of Water"


Film Editing:

"Baby Driver," Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
"Dunkirk," Lee Smith
"I, Tonya," Tatiana S. Riegel
"The Shape of Water," Sidney Wolinsky
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," Jon Gregory

Sound Editing:

"Baby Driver," Julian Slater
"Blade Runner 2049," Mark Mangini, Theo Green
"Dunkirk," Alex Gibson, Richard King
"The Shape of Water," Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Sound Mixing:

"Baby Driver," Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
"Blade Runner 2049," Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
"Dunkirk," Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
"The Shape of Water," Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Production Design:

"Beauty and the Beast," Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
"Blade Runner 2049," Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
"Darkest Hour," Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
"Dunkirk," Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
"The Shape of Water," Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Original Score:

"Dunkirk," Hans Zimmer
"Phantom Thread," Jonny Greenwood
"The Shape of Water," Alexandre Desplat
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi," John Williams
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," Carter Burwell

Original Song:

"Mighty River" from "Mudbound," Mary J. Blige
"Mystery of Love" from "Call Me by Your Name," Sufjan Stevens
"Remember Me" from "Coco," Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
"Stand Up for Something" from "Marshall," Diane Warren, Common
"This Is Me" from "The Greatest Showman," Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair:

"Darkest Hour," Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick

"Victoria and Abdul," Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
"Wonder," Arjen Tuiten

Costume Design:

"Beauty and the Beast," Jacqueline Durran
"Darkest Hour," Jacqueline Durran
"Phantom Thread," Mark Bridges
"The Shape of Water," Luis Sequeira
"Victoria and Abdul," Consolata Boyle

Visual Effects:

"Blade Runner 2049," John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
"Kong: Skull Island," Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi,"  Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
"War for the Planet of the Apes," Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

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    Quick PREVIEWS Of Random Interesting Things

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