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The Modern Stage
23Feb/140

“Starters” at StrangeDog Beer Battered Play Festival

The short romantic comedy Starters by Tom Sime has been chosen for StrangeDog Theatre Company's First Third Annual Beer Battered Play Festival, to be presented at Tierney's Tavern in lovely Montclair, NJ on March 21 & 22, 2014 (the full lineup of plays is presented starting at 8 pm each night).

In Starters, directed by Adrian Wattenmaker, Tad (Arthur Kriklivy) and Evy (Ana Bell), a young couple on their third date, realize they've fallen in love, and strive with tenderness and giddy candor to express their feelings to each other.

Also included in the fest are Dinks by Ben Diserens, San Diego by Lee Ann Hoover, Scrimmage by Phoebe Farber and Drinks, Dinner, and DNA by Seth Freeman. StrangeDog promises "more live music, more drunken judges awards, and more fun at Tierney's Tavern Upstairs than should be legal."

Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets here http://bbpf2k14.brownpapertickets.com

More info here http://www.strangedogtheatre.com

and here https://www.facebook.com/events/408023735987296/

Ana Bell

Arthur Kriklivy

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21Jan/140

New play FIGMENT has first reading in New York

Tom Sime's newest play is Figment, a comedy set in London and New York. The first public reading of the play, directed by Eric Michael Gillett and presented at EMG Studios/Singers Forum in Manhattan on November 10, 2013, was received with extremely encouraging gales of laughter. Tom has since made further refinements and improvements, and Figment will be presented again soon in a more fully staged reading, also directed by Mr. Gillett.

Synopsis: Figment follows the adventures of a fashionable London couple in their 30s, David and Judy, who find themselves haunted by a ghost only one of them can see: Simon, a young American who tells David how attractive he is and announces he’ll be haunting him. David, a contemporary art dealer, begins to encounter Simon everywhere he goes, and Judy is increasingly puzzled by David’s behavior as he tries to conceal his predicament. Despite his loathing of Americans, David lets Judy persuade him to relocate to the U.S. with her for a fresh start and, he secretly hopes, escape from the ghost. But Simon follows and settles in with them in New York, where David is not at all won over by the culture, but is reassured he’s not insane by the fact that Gordon, a randomly encountered homeless street preacher, is also able to see Simon. Only then does David confess to Judy what he’s been going through, prompting her to seek the help of a psychic, Felicia. Though Felicia is also unable to see or hear Simon, who ridicules her as a fraud, she proves her mettle in a climactic comic revelation of Simon’s true nature and motives, leading to a surprising and moving conclusion.

5 characters. Approximately 95 minutes.

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9Mar/110

BLOODLETTERS readings at New Jersey Rep, Stage West

Bloodletters by Tom Sime will have two readings in March, as the show moves closer to opening Off-Broadway during the 2011-2012 season.
Stage West in Fort Worth hosts a reading of the play on Sunday, March 27 at 7 pm. The reading will be directed by co-producer Joe Black and features Cindee Mayfield and Rebekah Kennedy, who both performed in the play's first workshop production in Dallas in 2008, along with Dana Schultes, Trey Walpole and Bryan Pitts, with Shane Strawbridge as narrator.
Stage West is located at 821 West Vickery Boulevard in Fort Worth, Texas. Admission is free. RSVP to LoneStarStudios@yahoo.com for reserved seats, or take your chances at the door. A talk back will take place after the show.
New Jersey Repertory Company will present a reading of Bloodletters on Monday, March 28 at 7 pm. Joel Stone directs a cast featuring Gina Boland, Marc Geller, Dan Domingues, Deborah Baum and Kate Kenney, with Alice Connerton as narrator. The reading is free and first-come, first-served; no reservations are accepted. The performance will be followed by a talk-back with the company and playwright.
NJ Rep is located at 179 Broadway, Long Branch, New Jersey. For more information call 732-229-3166 or visit www.njrep.org.

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25Oct/100

BLOODLETTERS reading in Dallas, October 26

The Modern Stage and Broadway producers Sandi and Joe Black present a reading of Bloodletters, a comedy-thriller by Tom Sime, for potential investors and other theatre lovers. The reading is Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 7:15 p.m. at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane, #119, in Dallas. Admission is free; R.S.V.P. to LoneStarStudios@yahoo.com for reserved seats or take your chances at the door, which opens at 6:15 p.m. for dinner and light refreshments.

Elizabeth Van Winkle and Cindee Mayfield in Bloodletters, Dallas, 2008. Photo by George Wada.

Carnage and comedy meet in Bloodletters when friction leaps out a writer’s computer. Grace, a successful author of scary stories, uses her family as unwilling models for characters in her sexy, new work. Hubby's sexual frustration, daughter's neurosis and granddaughter's fascination with horror become amplified to deathly proportions, taking audiences on a roller-coaster of laughter, shock and suspense, as these worlds careen on parallel courses.

A stellar Dallas-Fort Worth cast features Cindee Mayfield Dobbs, Dennis Millegan, Elizabeth Van Winkle, Trista Wyly, Andrew Dillon and Shane Strawbridge. Cindee and Elizabeth reprise their roles from the wild, 2008 workshop. The actors each play two characters, in Grace's quiet suburban world, and in her story about a vampire playboy and his gay henchman. Mr. Black directs.

Bloodletters was developed for more than three years, including readings and workshop productions in Dallas and Theatres @ 45 Bleecker in New York City. It had a tune-up reading with Tony and Drama Desk Award-winner Karen Ziemba this June. The producers plan an Off Broadway run in beginning March, 2011.

Sime says, “The character of Grace was inspired by Joyce Carol Oates,” the bestselling novelist noted for disturbing violence in her fiction. The playwright idolized Oates and interviewed her while an arts writer at The Dallas Morning News. “I always wondered how such a meek-seeming, delicate person could imagine such mayhem. Did she tap into some alternate universe of Grand Guignol, or was the violence she dreamt up a grotesque metaphor for her own suppressed rage?” It was this question, rather than the life or works of Oates, that gave rise to the play.

Bloodletters was first presented by WingSpan Theatre Company in a staged reading directed by Robin Armstrong in 2007. Response from audiences and critics was intense and enthusiastic. Ms. Armstrong then directed the first workshop at Teatro Dallas, whipping the play into producible form.

Glenn Arbery of People Newspapers called the play "…A domestic comedy routed through Anne Rice and Stephen King…. Audiences might be surprised at what lurks in Tom Sime’s imagination. Let’s just say it could make Quentin Tarantino wince.”

Alexandra Bonifield wrote on Lakewood-Now.net, “Two threads of action, full of striking twists and turns and peopled with intriguing characters unfold in a riveting and sexually-charged plot that finally ties all loose ends together in a totally chilling, satisfying and unexpected manner. Hold on to your seats—it’s a breathless ride from the moment the lights come up.”

This play contains scandalous, irreverent language and is gory, with gay undertones, perfect for Off Broadway. No one under 18 will be admitted. Running time with intermission is about two hours. If you would like to view a Bloodletters prospectus, please contact the producers.

For more information: Sandi and Joe Black (972) 407-1437 cell (707) 758-8883,
Tom Sime (214) 883-8621 (212) 260-8250;
Taylor-Made Press, Lisa Taylor (214) 943-1099

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8Jul/100

next BLOODLETTERS reading July 26

Joe & Sandi Black & The Modern Stage offer BLOODLETTERS, a very wicked comedy by Tom Sime, for producers, angels and other theatre lovers. Proposed for Off Broadway, the script was workshopped in Dallas in 2008 and showcased in NY in ’09. The performance is Monday evening, July 26, 2010, 7:30 P.M. in the Green Room, downstairs at Theatres at 45 Bleecker, 45 Bleecker St. at Lafayette in the East Village/NoHo area. Admission is free. Email BloodlettersNY@gmail.com for reservations. Subway: take the 6 train to Bleecker, or the B, D, F or M to Broadway/Lafayette.

Bloodletters is clever comedy for adults and mature teens. It reveals a nifty grandma writing a vampire script with characters based on her family, and her story, roiling with lust. The actors transfer seamlessly into different roles in both worlds. Grandpa resents his lowly portrayal, trying to determine what his wife really thinks of him. A precocious grandchild reads the forbidden thriller and figures out who's who; and her protective mom’s unusual conflict interweaves with the bloody saga, laced with humor.

The reading will be directed by the playwright. Sime, a critic who migrated to the creative side, says Bloodletters is homage to Joyce Carol Oates. Tom's Modern Stage develops plays (including the recent Miracle Day) at 45 Bleecker, where Joe is a partner and Tom is Wriiter in Residence. The Blacks produced Bonnie Parker Off Broadway and elsewhere, videos that help kids read, and are creating musicals. They suggest Bloodletters will also make a popular film and Broadway tuner.

The cast for July 26 includes Renée Petrofes, David Millstone, Nicole Taylor, Daniel Braver and Jenny Nissel. Adam Smith will read stage directions and the cameo role of Sweetie Pie.

Review:
"When is horror a delight? When it appears in a stage play called Bloodletters.... Two threads of action, full of striking twists and turns, peopled with intriguing characters, unfold in a riveting and sexually-charged plot that finally ties all loose ends together in a totally chilling, satisfying and unexpected manner. Hold on to your seats-- it's a breathless ride from the moment the lights come up." Critic Alexandra Bonifield, Dallas

Please call Joe with questions or requests: TX (972) 407-1437; CA (707) 758-8883. See www.TheModernStage.com for other information. [Capitalization for Bloodletters LLC is $500,000: Offering is made only by the Prospectus.]

Renée Petrofes, David Millstone, Nicole Taylor, Daniel Braver, Jenny Nissel, Adam Smith

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8Jun/101

Miracle Day extended through June 21

The run of Miracle Day has been extended through June 21. The production will have its final performance on Monday, June 21 at 8:15 p.m. at Theatres at 45 Bleecker. The play has been a success, extending its initial 3-week run to 7 weeks.

Adam Smith, Kristina Olson

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31May/100

Miracle Day adds Saturday show

A schedule shift at Theatres at 45 Bleecker makes it possible for The Modern Stage production MIRACLE DAY to add a special Saturday night performance on June 5 at 8:15 pm. Tickets are $21.50 and are on sale online at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212 239 6200, or in person at the box office, located at 45 Bleecker Street (just east of Lafayette) in New York's East Village.

Since we're playing on a "date night," Modern Stage is offering a two-for-one special for the June 5 performance only. Go to BroadwayOffers.com and enter the code MDATE to get two tickets for the price of one.

The house will open at 7:45 for a pre-show Happy Hour, with the bar inside the theater serving beer and wine. The bar is also open at intermission. Run time of Miracle Day is 115 minutes, including intermission.

Regular performances of Miracle Day are Mondays and Tuesdays at 8:15 pm through June 15. The run has already been extended once, and a further extension is pending.

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21May/100

Miracle Day reaches Kickstarter goal

Miracle Day has met its goal of $1200 on Kickstarter.com. These funds, from 13 different donors from across the country, will help us cover the costs of our extended run. Thanks to all who contributed.
We can continue to raise money at Kickstarter now that we've reached our benchmark. To help, go to Kickstarter.com and search under Miracle Day, or just click here.

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2May/100

Miracle Day extended

Strong advance interest has prompted Theatres at 45 Bleecker to extend the run of the Modern Stage production MIRACLE DAY. Originally scheduled for 3 weeks, MIRACLE DAY will now play for 6 weeks, through June 15, with an option to extend further.

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12Mar/100

Damian Maffei at MonsterMania

DAMIAN MAFFEI, who plays Ted in Miracle Day, is not only a great stage actor, but a cult horror film favorite. He'll be appearing this weekend at the
MonsterMania convention in Cherry Hill, NJ, promoting his upcoming movies Mister Weed-Eater and Closed for the Season. Look for him on the "creeping" banner of undead live celebrities at
http://www.monstermania.net/
MIracle Day 30 small

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