From playwright Drew Larimore, who I collaborated on with Smithtown (Michael Urie, Ann Harada, Colby Lewis, Constance Shulman), I will direct a staged reading of his new play, Upstate in the Helmerich Theater at The Studios of Key West on Fri. Feb 2nd & Sat. Feb. 3rd. The two-hander dives deep into the lives of married couple, Nathaniel and Myles, two men who, after moving to a farmhouse in upstate New York & opening an antiques store, are desperate to create the “perfect” family by adopting an infant girl. Things don’t go so perfectly.

The play is imbued with Drew’s remarkable facility to create flawed characters, crackerjack dialogue, and a unique ability to juxtapose pathos with humor. This reading will be the first time out of the gate to see where it is & where it might go. It will be performed as a reading, with minimal staging, by the NYC-based TV & stage actor Miles G. Jackson, and Key West actor, Brian Robinson. Upstate is one of a number of new works that are being presented in a “First Look” for The Studios new staged reading series.

Miles G. Jackson
Brian Robinson

Swimming in the Dark

Martin Hennessy & I will present excerpts from our newest opera collaboration, Swimming in the Dark, adapted from the extraordinary bestseller by Tomasz Jedrowski who awarded us the exclusive music adaptation rights. The book was named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR and Oprah Magazine’s list of LGBTQ fiction that will change the literary landscape. Named a best book of the year by The Guardian, it was also a finalist for the Polari First Book Prize.

The concert reading will be presented on Saturday, October 28th by the Jacobs School of Music, Ballet & Opera Theater at Indiana University, Bloomington. The school is one of the premiere opera training programs in the U.S. It is an industry presentation for an invited audience of opera presenters. The reading is under the direction of Michael Shell, Resident Stage Director, who runs the Opera program at the Jacobs School. Martin & I are thrilled to be collaborating with Michael and his team of singers and instrumentalists.

Swimming in the Dark

This one-act opera, my first collaboration with Martin Hennessy, was selected as one of three Finalists for the 2023/24 National Opera Association’s Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition. It premiered as the first of three one-act operas presented as Single Occupancies at The Studios of Key West.