Hanging with the Cool Kids

After almost twenty years of directing adults to perform for children, I have leapt into the world of directing the kiddos themselves, and it’s a delight.

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Playtime Poppy, a 65 year-old educational theatre company in Cedar Rapids, IA, invited me to direct their Summer Theatre Adventure, a week-long camp where 22 children, ages 7 – 13 are learning about the Harlem Renaissance and performing an original script by Alicia Hendrix, titled “110th Street Hullabaloo.”

Maybe we’ll see you at 10 am on Saturday, June 24 at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The venue is gorgeous, and the kids are the cutest!

Best of 2016

Pictures of Marilyn is still receiving positive notices as the New Orleans critics present their end-of-year superlatives.

Ted Mahne of the Time-Picayune named us one of the ten best musicals of 2016.

We also got high praise from Alan Smason on WYES’ Steppin’ Out. 

Here’s to hoping the project finds more productions in the future!

International Screening

Our short video Here Comes Santa Claus, co-written and directed by my good friend, Danny Caporaletti, made its international debut on Christmas day, a very nice present for our naughty little film.

The film showed in Berlin at Kino Moviemento, the oldest cinema in Germany. It was part of the first Weihnachtsfilmfestival, which translates to “Christmasfilmfestival.”

I heard once that the reason German people get the bum wrap of having terrible senses of humor, is actually just because as a culture they don’t give courtesy laughs. Judging by the name of the fest, they don’t give out courtesy spaces either. WELCOMETOGERMANY!!!

If you haven’t checked out the film yet, I’ve linked it below. Whether you are German or not, courteous or not, laughs are encouraged.

Collaboration with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

For one day only, I’ll be performing slapstick sketches with my dear old friend Sammich the Tramp at New Orleans’ historic Orpheum Theatre. This beautiful hall was built for vaudeville in 1923 and played host to Harry Houdini and countless other great stars of yesteryear.

We’re putting on a series of vignettes and narration, written by me, to accompany a performance by the full Philharmonic Orchestra — and I can guarantee, performing with a 40 piece symphonic band is not a bore.

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A huge thanks to LPO Education Director Amanda Wuerstlin for bringing me on board this fascinating educational project, called “Band Together.”

Amnesia – the human experience

So, I’m directing these young actors in one of my grad school classes, and I’m exhausted, and it’s the end of the semester, and it’s festival season, and life, and blah blah blah, but every time I leave a rehearsal I’m energized.

And there’s something about directing young people that reminds me of the theatrical concepts in which I believe. Maybe sometimes I’m reminded just of things in life I believe.

I need to be reminded because I forget.

Sometimes I forget after a few months.

Sometimes I forget as soon as I leave the room.

Forgetting is easy. And I don’t remember if it’s Plato or Aristotle, but one of those very smart Greek guys seemed to think that the process of learning is actually the process of remembering all the information you acquired in your past lives and through the collective consciousness, which sounds kind of complicated and crazy, but it’s good to remember that remembering is just as easy as forgetting.

Doing, acting, making, it all comes back. A rush. A brilliant rush.

“Pictures of Marilyn”

This fall I will be returning to BB’s Stage Door Canteen at the National WWII Museum to direct “Pictures of Marilyn,” a new musical for which I also wrote the book.

All audition info is listed below.

PICTURES OF MARILYN
Written and Directed by Cavan Hallman
Rehearsals begin: September 12, 2016
Show Runs: Friday and Saturday nights, Sunday Matinee – October 7, 2016 – November 27, 2016
Description: This captivating musical tracks Hollywood’s most iconic beauty from her days as a WWII factory worker up to the triumphant establishment of Marilyn Monroe Productions. She overcomes the influences of lovers Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, the controlling grip of the studios, and her own anxieties to achieve her dream of true independence.

Seeking:
5 MALE ENSEMBLE ROLES
2 FEMALE ENSEMBLE ROLES
All characters are based on historical figures.
All actors (except Marilyn) will be expected to play other small ensemble roles, people at parties, etc…
NORMA JEANE / MARILYN – (21 to 30)
Cast
AMY GREENE / HELEN – (20s to early 30’s)
Amy Greene is assured and composed, a former fashion magazine editor, and a Cuban immigrant without traces of an accent. Only three years older than Marilyn, she is a positive maternal figure for the star, and married to photographer Milton Greene. Helen is a fictional friend of Norma Jean’s, also a young wife, quick-witted and a little bawdy. Must sing.
NATASHA LYTESS – (40 to 45)
Stern acting coach who begins as Columbia’s head coach and then proceeds to work as Marilyn’s private drama teacher. Born in Berlin, Natasha tries to avoid anti-German sentiment by masking her German accent into something vaguely European. There is a deep love between Marilyn and Natasha, however Natasha manipulates the actress’ insecurities into codependence. Must sing.
JOE DIMAGGIO – (late 30s)
Tall and still in excellent shape two years after retiring from the New York Yankees. Despite his strength and success, he often appears shy and uncomfortable. He is quick with a big goofy smile. His relationship with Marilyn was a passionate one, and unfortunately that passion often manifested in jealousy and volatility. Must sing.
RAY ANTHONY / “WATCH THE BIRDIE” DANCER- (early 30s)
Slick-talking and easygoing band leader. Looks great in a white tuxedo. Can charm almost anyone into anything. Loves Marilyn unconditionally and serves as her confidante. Must sing. Must play the trumpet. Excellent dancer.
ARTHUR MILLER – (late 30s to early 40s)
Very tall and skinny, intellectual, brooding with deliberate speech. He is ruled by the same moral and ethical dilemmas of his classic plays. He is attracted to Marilyn’s sensuality, but they also share dark inner lives. Must sing.
MILTON GREENE – (early 30s)
A short and confident photographer who specializes in glamorous shots of female celebrities. He and his wife Amy, to whom he is incredibly devoted, let Marilyn stay at their house for three years. He is an ambitious businessman who helps her form Marilyn Monroe productions. Must sing.
BOB HOPE / DARYL ZANUCK / REPORTER (40s to 50s)
Character actor adept at large persona shifts. Characters range from the charismatic Hollywood actor and host Bob Hope, to a tyrannical studio mogul. Must sing.

Date of Audition: Saturday, April 16, 2016 – 11:00AM to 3:00PM by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Call Jessica Leach at 504-528-1944 ext. 287 for more details or to schedule an audition.
Where: BB’s Stage Door Canteen at The National WW2 Museum-945 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA.
Prepare 16 bars of an up tempo and 16 bars of a ballad. Accompanist provided.