Saturday, June 08, 2013

Great Plains Theatre Conference 2013

What was it like in Omaha?

I made a ton of new friends. Really wonderful, funny, smart, sassy, irreverent people. My brain went into high gear thinking up was to make them laugh and keeping up with some brilliant conversation.
There were bees, whales and invisible rabbits. The magic bus. Superman and Lois Lane, King Tot and Robert Oppenheimer. Unrepentant Nazi's. Heroes and villains. Universes expanding and collapsing.  Aliens and Zombies and Shiva. Adoption. The forgotten elderly. A barbershop. Afterschool specials and middle school teachers. Kitchen sink dramas that REALLY had kitchen sinks. Vegetarianism. Food, food, FOOD and more food. Lots of booze, including an almost fatal dose of moonshine on my first night.

There was a brilliant portrayal of Walt Whitman. Spur of the moment, and beautifully voiced. Oklahoma and San Francisco. There was a profane old lady. An Oscar ceremony There was horror at McDonalds. And torture and military secrets. Greek tragedy. And the birth of modern gynecology. And an ode to a stolen wine opener. There was SO MUCH I DIDN'T SEE which makes me want to kick myself because what I did see was so effing good. There were young loud lovable actors from New York. There were actors from Omaha, serving the new plays so beautifully.

The quality of the plays was high, so high, so very high. The fact that Silueta was included in this bunch must mean that it was very good indeed.

It was summer camp for smart people. I loved every damn minute.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Well.... it's all happening so fast! I'm going to start updating this blog, and stop cluttering up my friend's Facebook feed!

Since last we met.....

"We are going to Nebraska for the Great Plains Theatre Conference! Our play was chosen out of 550 submissions to be a part of the GPTC Playlab. What is different about OUR piece?
We are taking a whole production! Most of the other plays are going to be read by local actors, but we get to perform our own material.
We are also finalists for The Ashland New Play Festival 2013"

Silueta, imagined from a true story.

In 1985 Ana Mendieta, Cuban performance artist, 36 years old, plunged 34 stories to her death from a SoHo apartment tower. Her husband Carl Andre, the famous Minimalist sculptor, was tried and acquitted of her murder, a verdict that polarized the New York art world: The establishment rallied to Carl's defense while Ana became a cause celebre for feminists, convinced of Carl's guilt.

"Silueta" imagines Carl Andre, 35 years later, riddled by frustration at the loss of his artistic potency and a gnawing suspicion about his complete innocence. The ghost of Ana, meanwhile, haunts him relentlessly at the scene of her death, the apartment they shared and where he still lives today. They are both obsessed with the same question, what really happened that fatal night?

 Silueta is a collaboration by Tom Shelton, Chris Shelton and Diana Burbano.

Tom is a writer/composer as well as an actor. He is one of the writers of Caddie Woodlawn, published by Samuel French, as well as other musicals, an opera and a string of successful murder mysteries for “The Gourmet Detective”. He has worked as a professional actor for 30 years.

Chris is a Directing Fellow at the Sundance Institute and has directed, produced and written many television programs and series for PBS, Discovery, National Geographic, TLC, Animal Planet, Home and Garden and Travel Channel.

Diana has been a working actress since the age of 12.  She was born in Colombia and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Professional Actors Conservatory and the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain.  She has been in or directed many theatre productions, and has been on TV, most recently on "Betas".  She acts in both English and Spanish.