News And Features


April 4, 2006:
Playwright and poet Glyn Maxwell

Resident playwright premieres his verse-play Wolfpit running April 7th through May 4th at Theatre 3.

"Most new poetry is unmemorable not because it's obscure, or self-absorbed, or trivial…”, says the English playwright and poet Glyn Maxwell. Indeed, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble's new playwright in residence believes that the problem is simpler and more primal “… most young poets have lost their sense of human sound. …All the wit and learning in the world can't compensate for an inability to render persuasively the distinct voice of an actual breathing person. To me, the beauty of [pentameter] is that its regularity is so much a metaphor for the way we exist in the world, for the limitations of mortality and the oxygen we breathe, it’s a metaphor for time."

Elise Stone, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble's script curator and founding member, first became aware of Maxwell's work after his play, The Lifeblood, was performed as part of the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Intrigued by a web site's description, she says she "went searching for Glyn." To which she adds, with a laugh, "He must have thought I was stalking him,..." ...REST OF THE STORY

Written for United Stages by Marlon Hurt

March 15, 2006:
Composer/Lyricist John Wallowitch

On the eve of TOSOS II’S premiere of the new musical review New York Minutes, contributing columnist Marlon Hurt spoke with the composer/lyricist about inspiration.

Marlon Hurt: How did you first get involved with TOSOS?
John Wallowitch: I cursorily knew Doric Wilson in the old days, but I had nothing to do with any of that cause I thought, oh, I was out of Julliard, and I was making my way. I was making my concert debut in New York and I was in Europe for the State Department, and I just thought, “all that gay stuff, I don’t want to have anything to do with that.” Because I’m really basically very square. So several years ago I performed down at the Duplex. I forget if this was before [my partner] Bertram [Ross] passed, and Doric showed up with a whole bunch of people. And we got to talking, and I went to see his Street Theater. And it was a slippery, slushy, ice-coated night. And I thought, “Why am I going to this? What could it be? Off-Off-Broadway? Gay? Please, my nerves.” I got there finally and Doric was very effusive, and I was completely blown away. And I went to see the other one, A Perfect Relationship, and another one, and suddenly I found myself ...”


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February 5, 2006: New York Artists Unlimited caused a few raised eyebrows and even more belly laughs in last season's Bad Plays Festival (See Leonard Jacob's Seeing Stars article below). This February they're straining for the high notes in what they claim to be the worlds first ever bad musical festival. The winner promises to be gloriously bad! - United Stages

THE BAD PLAYS FESTIVAL - a reprised SEEING STARS written by Leonard Jacobs, associate editor at Back Stage.

Having founded NY Artists Unlimited in 1982, it’s fair to say that Melba LaRose has read her share of terrible plays. So it's with a wink and no small dollop of irony that the company is presenting “the world’s first Bad Plays Festival” for three weeks in August. What makes a good “bad” play? “It has to keep us laughing all the time,” LaRose says. “Some of the plays we read were funny here and there, but eventually they lost steam; they couldn’t sustain being bad.” Indeed, of 50 plays submitted for the festival, only 10 got in. “One writer wrote with all swear words—all the words that would be taken out of a commercial script. Another wrote bad puns, bad jokes, and was definitely not politically correct. Another had overwritten exposition, terrible redundancies—all the things you’d see glaringly in a bad play. It’s really hard to do.”

United Stages publishes play programs, as well as original scripts sold exclusively by the Drama Book Shop. For more information send us an email at or call us at 718-360-2958.