E-Merging Writers and “Fearless Moral Inventory” featured in Broadway World

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Broadway World features "Fearless Moral Inventory"

Fearless Moral Inventory: 12-step Walk Up by E-Merging Writers founder Frank Blocker will officially re-open … it’s 17th performance will be its Opening Night, but there are still two previews left: Nov 6 at 5:00 pm and Nov 13 at 5:00 pm.

Here we are in BroadwayWorld.com.

Visit Stage Left Studio to get your tickets!


New Solo Show to Open at Stage Left Studio



AT STAGE LEFT STUDIO, 214 W. 30th Street, 6th Floor

Written and performed by FRANK BLOCKER


Fearless Moral Inventory

Fearless Moral InventoryFEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY, starring Drama Desk Award-nominee and celebrated monologist Frank Blocker, begins performances November 6 for (at least) a month of Sundays at Stage Left Studio (214 W 30th St., 6th Floor), 5:00 pm curtain.  The play ran for 15 performances earlier this year while still in the final phases of development where New York Press declared that “Anyone who hasn’t seen one of Blocker’s multi-character solo shows should buy tickets now.”  The Examiner went as far as to say that Blocker is an “actor/writer extraordinaire” and that the play “should be nominated for a Pulitzer for the unique way it views life.”

The play features 23 characters centering on a 5-floor walk-up apartment building in New York City, ruled by a vindictive landlord.  Next door to a church (“for Christ’s sake”) where 12-step programs are a regular occurrence, each character must face change in a changing world.  Blocker formulated the show from actual conversations and overheard diatribes from around New York City—from the Biblically-challenged Baptist preacher screaming from the radio of a babbling Jewish cab driver with a Russian accent, to the septuagenarian sex addict in recovery and her murderous landlord on a crusade.  “Sometimes I think my job as a playwright is to be a recorder.  Whether I agree with them or not, I should report what was said.  When in doubt, stay closest to the truth.”  Blocker says the intention of the play was to introduce the likeable along with the most irritating of City characters so that audiences might return home from the theatre with more empathy for their fellow man, having walked in their shoes and listened to their agendas.

“What it became is an in-depth look at issues we face in a world that’s constantly in flux.  But as much fun as character-driven stand-up comedy.”  Says director Kathy Kelly Christos.

“I used characters I knew and met to create the cast, but the plotline is based on my own nightmare with a typical City landlord.  When I found out just how un-unique this is here, I realized, ‘I have something universal!’”

Producer Cheryl King snatched up the property for a run in her edgy, up-and-coming theatre, “Frank did more than 30 performances of his last show, Southern Gothic Novel.  I never missed a show.”  King directed Blocker and hopes to bring Novel back for special performances.  “I would like to see Fearless sprout legs, and I hope to keep Frank on my stage as much as possible.  He’s one of New York’s best kept secrets.”  King’s Stage Left Studio, one block south of Penn Station, has been garnering substantial critical praise as well.  The New York Theatre Experience stated, “On view at Stage Left is the very best New York theater has to offer.”

Blocker first came to New York in 2001 with an off-Broadway show he co-wrote— crowd-pleaser and a critical darling Eula Mae’s Beauty, Bait & Tackle—and has been working with playwrights and creating new work ever since.  Helming the E-Merging Writers collective, the group created three volumes of work by new playwrights called Stage THIS!  As an actor, he won a 2009 Drama Desk Award nomination for his Solo Performance in Southern Gothic Novel: The Aberdeen-Mississippi Sex-Slave Incident, which he also penned.  More recently, he appeared off-Broadway in last year’s Deep Throat Sex Scandal, lauded for his dynamic portrayals of multiple characters and his monologue skills.

“And now I have four women ruling over me in a one-man show.”  Blocker eludes to the coincidence of being produced, directed, and coached by four different women for his solo show.  In addition to King as producer and Christos in the directing chair, FEARLESS has the assistance of acting coach Amy Jones for help with vocal stress and characterization, and director and dramaturge Helena Gleissner worked through the initial development process.  “I turn down no help.  Especially quality like these ladies bring.  Besides, no one does a solo show alone.”

Set design is by Edward Morris, costume design by Murray Scott Changar, and sound design by Elizabeth Barudin.

FEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY is produced by Cheryl King Productions in association with E-Merging Writers.  Press previews begin Nov 6, and OPENING NIGHT is Nov 20.  SUNDAYS at 5:00 pm.

SHOWS:  Nov 6@5 pm   –   Nov 13@5pm   –   Nov 20@5pm is Opening Night

Good Jew to Receive Private Sponsored Reading

GOOD JEWNew solo play Good Jew: The Personal History of Henryk Altman as Told by Him will receive a private reading October 22, 2011, for an invited audience of theatre professionals. Producers, backers, and industry peers will gather to hear for the first time the stories of “good Jew” Henryk’s survival, written by award winning solo performer Frank Blocker and Murray Scott Changer.

Mr. Changar’s plays include The Gates of Helen, The Noble Sons of Popeye, White Picket Fence, The Old Actor and the Whore, and science fiction novel The Slaves of Votarus. Son of a Holocaust survivor, Changar began this project in 2007, teaming with solo performer and playwright Frank Blocker after working together on the Stage THIS! volumes of short plays and monologues.

The play will be produced in the very near future. Discussions are currently underway to present all three of Blocker’s solo plays as a repertory production. Southern Gothic Novel won a Drama Desk Award-nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance in 2009, and Fearless Moral Inventory is in rehearsals, having workshopped to critical acclaim earlier this year. “Should be nominated for a Pulitzer” – The Examiner

A private reception was held earlier this year at AG Contemporary Art to celebrate the play Good Jew.  E-Merging Writers is forever grateful to Alexandre Gertsman for his kindness.  Those providing development assistance for Good Jew include Peculiar Works Project, Jim Dale, University Settlement, and Pfister International.

Southern Gothic Novel Returns for Command Performances

Southern Gothic Novel photos

Production stills by Carol Rosegg


NEW YORK — The 2009 Drama Desk Award nominated Southern Gothic Novel: The Aberdeen, Mississippi Sex-Slave Incident, written and performed by Frank Blocker, returns to Stage Left Studio for two command performances on October 25 and November 8. The play was directed by Cheryl King, with development assistance from Gabriel Shanks and Murray Scott Changar.

The play was very popular in its first run in 2009, and audiences found Frank Blocker’s mastery of fast character changes and hilarious dialogue to be a thrilling departure from normal one-man shows.

“I still watch the show every chance I get,” says King, who also directed the show and is co-producer. “It ran for a year and a half and I’m thrilled to have it back. I’m still excited about what’s coming next, even though I’ve seen it brilliantly performed a few dozen times.”

The story concerns young Viola Haygood, who is so involved with the futile chase of a dark, handsome man that she is oblivious to an unfolding mystery involving white slavery in their small town. Not exactly standard comedy material, but when you throw in 15 additional characters – each with his or her own melodrama and plotline – the result is a rollicking adventure in the vein of many a classic movie. In fact, the play mimics a gothic novel and has been oft-referred by critics as “cinematic.”

Frank Blocker plays all 17 parts (including a June bug), delivering dialogue in rapid fire and myriad regional accents. He also uses skilled pantomime to create every conceivable piece of scenery and action, even a knock-down-drag-out fight between four characters and a hostage.

“I love to hear audience members tell me they forget it is one person and a box, especially when they come back to see it again,” Blocker said. “I’m told they envision the entire town of Aberdeen, Mississippi—the buildings, the streets, people, the river—and they came back to see what they’d missed while they were laughing.”

Southern plays often resonate with New York audiences, and this play has been no different. It was a critically acclaimed darling in 2009 and also garnered a nomination for Audience Favorite Award. Anita Gates of The New York Times called it “flawlessly executed” and continued in her review, “Apparently, Mr. Blocker can act in any position.” The Philadelphia Bulletin called it, “Unique and utterly brilliant.”

The play was also well-received around the country in its limited national tour: The New York International Fringe Festival, Baltimore’s The Sky Room, Atlanta’s Whole World Theatre, and the Columbus National Theatre Festival (where it won Outstanding Performance in a Solo Play and Outstanding Playwright awards). And, more than 30 people from Aberdeen, Mississippi, personally traveled to see the play – thanks in part to Facebook and the power of social media.

“It’s very exciting to bring the show back, especially in Cheryl’s incredible new space.” Novel will be one of the newest shows in the space, King having just re-opened after the move. Now just a block south of Penn Station, the show is easily accessible to New York and area audiences. The intimate space, designed specifically for solo performers, seats only 40. But from the 6th floor of a Manhattan building, they can travel to and become part of this Southern Gothic Novel.

Southern Gothic Novel: The Aberdeen, Mississippi Sex-Slave Incident performs October 25, and November 8, at Stage Left Studio, 214 W. 30th Street, 6th Floor, Mondays at 8:00 pm. TICKETS are $20 and available through Brown Paper Tickets. http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com

For some theatergoers, Frank Blocker may seem familiar as he was part of David Bertolino’s now infamous The Deep Throat Sex Scandal which was forced to close due to the financial collapse of the theatre space, 45 Bleecker. His performance was called “showstopping,” “hilarious,” and “a triumph” by New York Magazine, CurtainUp, and the New York Press.

Fearless Moral Inventory Press Release

from The Jacksina Company:

Fearless Moral Inventory by Frank BlockerFearless Moral Inventory introduces the general public to 64 characters all of whom are channeled through Mr. Blocker; the single man on stage ruining his health to deliver this comedy about a group of people, the citizenry of the play, who have been forced to take complete honest stock of their lives and the lives of those around them.
What is called for here is complete HONESTY. What is also called for here is complete COURAGE. As these people grapple with the truth about themselves try not to judge them too harshly; but rather fairly and with love. The laughter is free. Those on stage being challenged to tell the truth come from many and varied walks of life:

  • The Very Right Reverend Doctor Raymond B. Smythe who loathes pervs.
  • Anna Mae, the reluctant widow.
  • Jon-Paul R. Georges, the ingrate son.
  • The much too involved Mother on a mission to ruin a honeymoon.
  • Joe Tennent, the murderous landlord.
  • Sister Aloysius and Sister Theresa.
  • Iona Winchester, the mad hatter.
  • Franklin Ian Brown, a performer of sorts.
  • Jackie Oh.
  • Henrik, Jr., the clairvoyant cab driver.
  • Carl Joe, the honorary Blood.
  • Lois, Lottie’s best friend.
  • And Sue-Sue Daniels, the addicted Everywoman from the deep South.

To name but a few

Helena Gleissner – Director
Kathy Kelly Christos – Fight Choreographer
Kenneth Allen – Technical Director/Sound Designer
Edward Morris – Set Designer
Mary Catherine Moore – Lighting Designer
Murray Scott Changar – Costume Designer
Copperhead Production – Sound Editing
Cheryl King Productions and E-MergingWriters.com, Producers

Blocker received a Drama Desk nomination for his solo performance in Southern Gothic Novel. The piece was recently published by CreateSpace, with a spoken word CD of it to be released on February 15. Blocker’s plays also include Eula Mae’s Beauty, Bait & Tackle, Patient Number, Kiss and Fade, and The Wisconsinners.

From Stage Left Studio: Box Office opens at 7 PM. Stage Left Studio is located at 438 W 37th Street 5A, NYC, just east of 37 Arts. Stage Left Studio is tucked away on the FIFTH FLOOR of this beautiful old industrial building. Please note that we DO NOT HAVE A MARQUEE. But you’ll recognize us by the white glass globe light fixtures. Simply buzz the button for Stage Left, listed in the building directory, and come up the elevator to the fifth floor and walk down the hall. Conveniently located between 9th and 10th Avenues, near the Port Authority and Penn Stations A, C or E line. Box office opens at 7 pm.

Three Things: Monologue Show, Good Jew, and Stage THIS! Book Review

The Monologue Show, November 6 & 7

E-MergingWriters.com had a successful first preview of The Monologue Show on October 17, 2009, and are now sharing a few more preview performances this Saturday and Sunday, November 6 and 7.  SmartTix.com will be glad to help you purchase your tickets.

The Monologue Show is currently at Stage Left Studio, 438 W. 37th Street, Suite 5A.  Audience feedback so far:

  • “Wow!  That was so funny.”
  • “The characters are so real.”
  • “I know these people.  I ride the train everyday with these people.”
  • “Amazing!”
  • “If you do more shows, I want to come back.”
  • “Were there really 50 characters?”

Actually, the grand total is 62, but we don’t want to make any promises of more than 50…because (1) if the actor forgets something, we’ve falsely advertised and (2) who would believe 60 characters from one actor?  Fifty is much more believable.

First Reading of Good Jew

In addition to these performances, we are looking for a space in December to hold the first public reading of new play Good Jew.

Our 5th published book Stage THIS! Volume 3 Gets a Great Review

And, Stage THIS! Volume 3: Monologues, Short Solo Plays and 10-Minute Plays, just received a wonderful review from BookPleasures.com.

“This book is very appropriate for anyone that understands and enjoys theater, but also for those that have lost that joy. This collection should be included in all community theater libraries. It also gives everyone another reason to watch a play and to do so soon.”

Yes, this is some GREAT NEWS!!  And not just for community theatre libraries, but for college theatre libraries, student actors, scene study–both monologues AND scenes, and anyone interested in quality 10-minute plays.  But we especially liked THIS compliment:

“The individual pieces combined into an oddly cohesive whole. There is depth of emotion, passionate expression and sound resolve throughout. All forcing the reader to look in the mirror of their own reality to measure how easy the transitions from reality to fantasy might feel.”

Hats off to guest editor Dana Todd and Volume 2 and 3 partner, Sydney Stone of Fn Productions.  We appreciate and cherish your collaborative efforts.


Checking in Before Fall Takes Over

After the successful book release, E-MergingWriters.com didn’t take much time off, it just might seem that way.

First, two solo shows will be going into pre-production/development in the next few months.  These Monologues What I Wrote:DRAFT, written and performed by Frank Blocker and directed by Helena Gleissner will be given its first test drive on October 4, 8:00 pm, Sunday, at Stage Left Studio, 438 W. 37th Street, 5A, New York.   Get your tickets NOW.  The production is a sketchbook collection of monologues from plays, works-for-hire, and from just plain fun and is geared toward E-MergingWriters audiences who have told us time and time again how much they enjoy collections of work.

We have not given up on story, on full-length linear plays, or on longer attention spans.  There are many works still going on within our confines!

The next solo play, Good Jew: The Personal History of Henrik Altman as Told by Him, written by Blocker with Murray Scott Changar, will go up at Stage Left Studio as well, November 6 & 7. And HUGE thanks to Live Arts Collaboration and The Performance Project @ University Settlement for accepting the piece into the Salon Series on October 5, Monday, 7pm.  Without development opportunities like this, artists struggle far more than they should!!  Come see the Salon and enjoy five other brilliant artists including choreographer Adam McKinney, composer Darcy James Argue, writer Jonothon Lyons and his production designer Daniel Brodie, musician/composer Nathan Koci, and performance and multi-media artist Esther Neff.

Blurb from GOOD JEW:

Teenager Henrik Altman escaped from a concentration camp for the Warsaw ghetto and familiar faces.  He found it burned and his people gone.  What happens next is unthinkable: He purposely got himself caught so he would not be alone.  “You couldn’t be a good Jew and survive a thing like that,” he says.  In 1985, from his Midwestern American den, he’s far enough away to tell his story—or so he thought.