is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Welcome To The Jungle

Unlike his character in Run For Your Wife, Singleton can manage wearing more than one hat a time...

Bob Singleton is at it again.  The popular actor/director/producer is juggling a dozen balls in the air, and there is no doubt in my mind that they will all land perfectly at the end of his busy routine. 
Singleton and his bride, Allie Darden in Run For Your Wife. He took over the role just weeks before the show opened, stepped in and delivered a superb comedic performance.

One of the projects opens soon, and another will take place in the Fall, when Singleton and Jim Betts put on the Second Annual Midway International Festival of Plays (shows will go up in late October and run for two weekends).  Singleton explains, "This is Jim's brainchild, and we had a successful first year and are expanding and growing it this year. The ultimate goal is to grow the festival in stature and reach, and toward that end, we've secured a number of well-known, respected, talented locals for judges, directors, design and crew.  The next step is to whittle down the 150+ submissions from playwrights from the U.S. and beyond, down to the 7 plays that will be produced."  

Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol

Allie Darden in rehearsal for Brian Hampton's Checking In
Apart from coordinating all of those artistic efforts, Bob is also directing Studio Players' production of Brian Hampton's The Jungle Fun Room, which has been cast "and the production/design crew is gearing up for a fun project that I get more excited about every day!" says Singleton.

Singleton hopes that the Midway festival someday might rival the scope and prestige of Humana Fest, "that is our model for where we want to go with this....the goal is to become a renowned and well-known annual festival, to build on and improve each year."

Mastermind of Midway International Festival of Plays, Jim Betts was Singleton's Assistant Director for Wait Until Dark
"Jim put out word for submissions from playwrights, from all over. The plays are to be 10 minutes in length.  He has secured some people to be the judges, who will read the plays and whittle it down to about 20-25. Then we'll work together to rank those plays, ending up with a total of 7 that will be produced during the festival.  In addition to the quality of the scripts themselves, Jim and I will also take into consideration the production demands of each play, to make sure the seven we choose are doable in the space we have. They will be performed at the Thoroughbred Theatre in Midway, October 22-24 (with a VIP night October 21) and October 29-31."
Brian Hampton's The Jungle Fun Room was the winner of the Audience Favorite Award at the Penobscot Theatre’s Northern Writes New Play Festival and had its world premiere in last summer’s New York International Fringe Festival at the Actors’ Playhouse.
Playwright Brian Hampton
So welcome to the jungle of activity in which Singleton seems to thrive.  He appears to be at ease in both roles, that of play festival organizer as well as his place at the helm of the new-to-Lexington comedy by Hampton (who also wrote Checking In, which premiered at Actors Guild a few years ago and featured Singleton's wife, the one and only Allie Darden).   "And The Jungle Fun Room, yes, we will talk more about that -- can't believe I'm doing both of these at one time, but then again, I guess if anything, I keep my plate overflowing ... ."

That, my friends, is pretty much the Bob Singleton way of life - he's totally capable of keeping all this activity going and providing diligent guidance for opening night after opening night -- and the result is always extraordinary.  

Singleton in Studio Players' Run For Your Wife

Stay tuned to KimmyVille for more on these exciting projects and more!

Zach Dearing, Bob Singleton and me at Tommy: The Encore

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