Saturday, September 24, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Amazing new play!- American Cheerleader Magazine
I trudged out into the rainy night to go see the opening of a new off-off-Broadway play in NYC yesterday evening. And even though it was blistery outside, inside the studio where The Timing of a Day was showing, things were heating up. Now, being that most of my boyfriends’ friends are actors and the circle he runs in all seem to come back to entertainment, I’ve been dragged to a LOT of off-Broadway productions. I’m not going to say any of them were horrible, but none of them really caught my attention—until last night.
The Timing of a Day is a play written by Owen Panettieri and directed by Joey Brenneman. The cast is a small one, comprised of one girl and three guys, all playing mid-20s young people living in NYC. In the show, the audience follows the lives of three roommates, Doug (played by Nik Kourtis), Paige (played by R. Elizabeth Woodard) and Josh (played by Miguel Govea) who are all sharing a tiny apartment in Harlem. After a tragic series of events, two of the characters are left to question their own relationships with each other as well as that with their former roommate. As the actors take us back in time to show us how their lives became so entangled, we start to realize where and how they each fell in love, got off track and began to ignore the things that were right in front of them.
Though it sounds a bit serious, and at times it does deal with serious situations, the play itself was very enjoyable and entertaining. The writing was clever and real, and the situations the playwright put the characters in were totally believable. Nik Kourits‘ portrayal of a flamboyantly gay guy who’s just beginning to admit to everyone around him just exactly who he is, was genius, endearing and a joy to watch. From his mannerisms to the inflection in his voice and wicked dance moves, you can’t help but fall in love with him.
R. Elizabeth Woodard showcases a compelling yet realistic character, often saying and acting the way I could see myself reacting if put in the same situations. Though tiny in stature, Elizabeth’s presence is huge and she has no problem letting her emotions rip through the venue. Miguel Govea did a good job playing a guy just wanting to find love; everyone can identify with being in love with someone who has no clue how they feel. And watching him work through certain scenes was just heartbreaking (in a good way). And though Matty (played by Justin Anselmi) weaves in and out of the main characters’ lives briefly, Justin manages to leave a lasting impression when he’s through.
I really loved the way they used the stage and created a space where the audience can see the whole apartment. Also, the way the actors moved around the room, picking stuff up and moving furniture to give the viewer a sense that we were changing time, too was very effective. It was done in a seamless way that wasn’t distracting and actually added to the feeling of the show.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with The Timing of a Day and would wholeheartedly suggest you go see it if you’re in NYC the next few weeks. Tickets are only $18 which is a total steal for the performance that you get. Lots of thanks to assistant director David “Cougar” Williams for putting this show on my radar—I can’t think of a better way to spend a night out!
The Timing of a Day by Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue)
“The Timing of a Day” is a slice of 20’s life (that’s age, not era) in the big city. The rent is due - which pressure cooks two post-adolescent male roommates - gay Doug (Nik Kourtis) and straight Josh (Miguel Govea) - into inviting Paige (R. Elizabeth Woodard), a fresh-faced, fresh-mouthed female to share their pad, while extracting a promise of that nothing “weird” (aka sexual) is going to happen. Hormones, loneliness, and love in its myriad complexities, including Paige’s semi-boyfriend Matty (Justin Anselmi), complicate matters and provide a fast-paced, entertaining, touching comedy of modern manners. Playwright Owen Panitierri has an ear for snappy dialogue and engaging characters; actors deliver the lines and react with a improvisational flair and emotional honesty, and director Joey Brenneman keeps the emotions raw, the performers on their toes, and the audience alert to swift scene and time changes. Producer Ariana Paganetti (Mind The Art Entertainment) joins forces with Intimation Productions for a show that lives up to its title as “Outstanding New Play for the 2010 Summer Festival Season” at the NY Fringe Festival.
- Susan Horowitz, Ph.D. (aka Dr. Sue) Theatre Critic
For four in their twenties, it’s all in the timing
Playwright Panettieri on Obama and other bitter pills
BY JERRY TALLMER
The apartment in which “The Timing of a Day” takes place is in Harlem, near Morningside Park — and the three twentysomething roommates who are its occupants are ill-tempered Josh (Miguel Govea), temperate Doug (Nik Kourtis), and spunky, spiky, uptight Paige (R. Elizabeth Woodard).
Also on the scene is Matty (Justin Anselmi), Paige’s occasional visiting bedmate and fulltime bore, who in the play’s most mortifying moment bursts out into the living room to scrounge a couple of condoms from the Josh who is, so to speak, Paige’s official lover. As for Doug, who also loves Paige (and vice versa), it has taken him 20 years to work up the gumption to reveal his homosexuality to his suburbanite parents.
If all the above is beginning to sound like a Hemingway short story, well, so much more to the credit of the young writer who won several top awards for this same play in last year’s installment of FringeNYC.
Almost before you’re settled in your seat and have gotten to know those three roommates, one of them, Doug (who has shaken off a bang on the head from a fall on the ice in Morningside Park), collapses and dies across the all-purpose dining table just after Josh and Paige have gone off to work that morning.
There is a wise-guy adolescent’s game called 52 Pickup, in which ordinary playing cards are dropped one by one at random upon the floor. “The Timing of a Day” would seem to have been written that way — except of course it wasn’t. Its eight scenes come to us in non-chronological fashion, jumping back and forth before and after Doug’s death on January 13, 2009. Two weeks later comes the passage, and the line, that made me realize we had a real talent here with something to say and a way to say it:
Josh and Paige are, so to speak (thank you, Horton Foote) dividing the estate. Doug’s parents have already come and gone, taking almost everything of their late son’s with them.
“They took the table?” Paige asks.
“Um, no,” says Josh. “I just kinda left it out on the street. It was gone in 15 minutes….I didn’t wanna keep it. I mean, there wasn’t really anything wrong with it.”
Paige: “Except our friend died on it.”
It is lines like that, and emotions like that — undertones and overtones — that zing all the way through “The Timing of a Day.” And though it’s set in Harlem, color has nothing to do with it.
Well, that’s not true either. Though all four of these people are what is called “white,” at least three of them — I don’t know about Matty — had had a deep emotional stake in the advancement of Barack Obama to the presidency. This morning-after scene late in the play — the day after Election Day 2008, a bare two months before Doug’s collapse and blackout at that table — has its fine haze of exhausted exhilaration shot through with disillusion over Proposition 8, the sidebar California vote against gay marriages.
I went to high school — the Lincoln School of Teachers’ College — on the northern edge of Morningside Park, 425 West 123rd Street. Even back then, somewhat before Owen Panettieri was born, we kids knew better than to go into that park by daylight much less dark.
Not so, Owen Panettieri.
“When I was living up there,” he says, “just a couple of blocks away, I’d wandered through the park at night, by myself.”
“I wouldn’t recommend it, though.”
It was at that same Lincoln School, incidentally, that the senior class two or three years ahead of us put on a play — Sutton Vane’s 1923 “Outward Bound” — that, for its fatality and kismet and linkages (a ship at sea, a barking dog) would affect the whole rest of my imaginative and theatergoing life, up to and including the work under consideration right here. And would do so, be it said, under a somewhat less wooly, more precisioned (and no less poetic) title.
In “The Timing of a Day” the girl named Paige, an aspiring actress, has a day job — as did aspiring playwright Owen — with the NiteStar Health Education Program that goes out into the five boroughs from its base at St. Luke’s Hospital, 114th Street and Amsterdam.
“A friend I worked with,” says Panettieri, “was a woman whose roommate — a man — was hit by a police car and killed, just like that, right in the neighborhood near Morningside.
“This was in the winter of 2005. It was really traumatizing for her. I didn’t know him at all, but I couldn’t get it out of my head, just the idea of being cut down by a freak accident in the prime of your life — or just having your whole life shift,” says the Owen Panettieri who’d been in the prime of his own mid-20s five years ago.
Panettieri was also deeply affected by the delayed-action brain damage death of actress Natasha Richardson from a hit on the head in a 2009 skiing spill up in the Laurentian Mountains.
Is Doug (the sensitive one) really you, the playwright is asked.
“They’re all me,” Panettieri answers, thus preserving his Every Playwright’s Cliché License. “And after the death of my friend’s roommate, the next big thing that put the story into context for me was the election of 2008.”
In the play, gleeful post-election Paige says: “What do you think his [Obama’s] first big change is gonna be?”
“I don’t know. Gitmo, I guess,” says Doug — shorthand for Obama’s promised closing of the Guantanamo detention camp.
“Probably,” Paige says. “And then Don’t Ask Don’t Tell….”
With a sorry smile, Panettieri says: “We don’t get to hear about Gitmo any longer. When I wrote that line it wasn’t meant to be ironic, just a fact. For me, the play is about the errors of timing in our lives, the differences between expectation and actuality. The things we thought were just a dream that we’d never see happen” — e.g., a black American president — “do come true, do happen, while other, smaller things that we just assume will happen in our own lives often do not happen. When you’re approaching 30…” says Wesleyan University graduate Owen Panettieri, whose own father’s life as an air-traffic controller was blown away by Ronald Reagan.
“Well, I wrote that line, and here we are, two years later and it’s just the reverse” — with Don’t Ask wiped out but Gitmo still in place.
And you know what? The “bitter pill” of Proposition 8 may also be reversed — or coughed up — one of these days. It’s all a matter of timing.
Friday, April 1, 2011
By Matthew Blank
01 Apr 2011
Mind The Art Entertainment in association with Intimation Productions presents a limited engagement of The Timing of a Day, the award-winning 2010 Fringe Festival production written by Owen Panettieri and directed by Joey Brenneman. Lin-Manuel Miranda was on hand March 30 to moderate a talkback.
The Timing of a Day, according to press notes, "follows three New York City roommates who share a loving (if cramped) Harlem apartment and a similarly loving (if cramped) triangular friendship. As the play opens, the three find themselves navigating the regular ups and downs of city life, and the unpleasant question of where their adult lives are taking them, when an unforeseeable tragedy rips them from the ordinary and changes the course of their lives and friendships forever. What follows is the reshuffled story of their time living together viewed over the course of a single day. Slices of their future, present, and past weave together in new ways, illustrating what it is that really draws these three people together, as well as what pulls them apart. While examining life, love, and loss from one sunrise to the next, each individual is forced to question if there really is such a thing as 'perfect timing' or if all timing is just perfectly flawed."
Tickets are priced $18 in advance, $20 at the door, $13 students. Visit www.MindTheArtEntertainment.com.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Celebrating the creative forces behind short plays, films, & musicals
April 18th – May 8th @ Center Stage, NY (
Winner of Best Short Film will receive:
$250 Cash Prize & A Festival Distribution Package!
Winner of Best Short Play or Musical will receive:
$250 Cash Prize & A Production Development Package!
How do I apply?
For Film, the online deadline is April 8th at 11:59pm. First, pay your submission fee of $20 at www.mindtheartentertainment.com/Festivals.html. Then email a link to your movie to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact info and the billing name you used to pay your submission fee. Do not include trailers, cover letters, resumes, long bios, production stills, etc. Only include the link to your film, your contact info, and the name used for billing so we can verify payment. Anything else will not be considered. We are looking at the artistry of the submitted film and that film alone.
For Theater (Play or Musical), the online deadline is April 8th at 11:59pm. First, pay your submission fee of $20 at www.mindtheartentertainment.com/Festivals.html. Then email a script (for musicals please also include at least one song) to email@example.com with your contact info and the billing name you used to pay your submission fee. Do not include posters, cover letters, resumes, long bios, production stills, etc. Only include the script (and at least one song, recorded or sheet music, for musicals), your contact info, and the name used for billing so we can verify payment. Anything else will not be considered.
If you do not have a link to your film online or your script or music isn’t available online, please pay your submission fee online and then mail a DVD of your film or for theater a hard copy of your script (and a CD or sheet music of at least one song for musicals), along with your contact info and the billing name used to pay your submission fee, postmarked no later than April 6th, to: Christian De Gré / Mind The Art, 346 Gates Avenue #C2,
That's it! We will email you a confirmation of your submission, and the participants of the festival will be announced on our website and Facebook page on April 11th.
Once accepted into the festival, 5 finalists will be selected in each category (Film & Theater). These will be chosen based on an audience ballot. The grand prize winner in each category will be chosen by the Board of Mind The Art Entertainment and a panel of industry professionals. Be a part of this festival and enter for the chance to have your work showcased! Get your work out there for people to see!
Win this festival and you will not only join our ranks as a Resident Artist, but will also have your work developed, marketed, produced, and supported by an award-winning production company!
For more info or to Apply please go to:
For an example of our work come see Mind The Art’s acclaimed production of The Timing of a Day, playing April 1st-17th at Center Stage, NY. Tickets at www.mindtheartentertainment.com
Monday, March 21, 2011
She takes the covers
So gently during the night
I hardly feel cold.
The remaining finalists in random order:
Honorable Mention #1- Shawn Barnes
This is a haiku
It's written by me for you
...and I'm moving out.
Honorable Mention #2- Hillary Browne
I know your back bends
I know your sigh translations
Every hair, breath, bone
Honorable Mention #3- Harry Barandes
she's talking to me
i barely pay attention
in bed our toes touch
Honorable Mention #4- Caley Vickerman
bright cereal bowls,
left-open-drawers, fresh earth scent
phantom trail of you.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
How to enter:
Write a haiku about living with someone. A haiku is composed of three lines: the first consisting of five syllables, the second consisting of seven syllables, and the third consisting of five syllables.
Email submissions to: Keelie.A.Sheridan@gmail.com by 11:59pm EST on Friday, March 11th. Our panel of judges will select the Top Twenty Semi-Finalists, which will be posted on Monday, March 14th on Mind The Art Entertainment’s Facebook page. Public voting will take place through 11:59pm on Friday, March 18th. The five haikus with the most “likes” on our Facebook page will advance to the finals, and the winner will be selected by our judges and announced on Monday, March 21st.
It's that simple! Write a haiku to win free tickets to a Mind The Art Entertainment production!
And don't forget to come see The Timing of a Day...
Written by Owen Panettieri
Directed By Joey Brenneman
Starring Justin Anselmi, Miguel Govea, Nik Kourtis, and R. Elizabeth Woodard
Performances April 1-17, 2011 at Center Stage, NY (48 W. 21st St, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10010)
Wednesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm
Purchase tickets at www.MindTheArtEntertainment.com/Tickets.html
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Mind The Art Entertainment announces that they will be extending their acclaimed La MaMa E.T.C. production of Story Time With Mr. Buttermen, a part of this year’s La MaMa E.TC. Presents: A Mind The Art Anthology, at Center Stage, NY, Feb 18th-20th.
A multi arts performance of original fables for adults from Mind The Art’s poetry book by the same title, it features cast members, David Williams, Ashley C. Williams, Joe Kurtz, Justin Anselmi, Ariana Paganetti, Joseph Reese Anderson, Christian De Gré, Manny Simone and Aaron Butler and includes some of the original writers. The show is a fusion of art forms and includes work by Mind The Art’s Poetry, Acting, Playwriting, Visual Arts, Music, Musical Theater and Production divisions and has been directed by Christian De Gré, Artistic Director of Mind The Art Entertainment.
Story Time with Mr. Buttermen
(the disturbed man that lives in your park)
Fables for Adults Living in a Modern World
Conceived & Directed by Christian De Gré
Written by Mind The Art Entertainment's Poetry Division
@ Center Stage NY
48 West 21st Street
February 18th & 19th @ 8pm
February 20th @ 5pm
Join the class of the beloved Mr. Buttermen (a wonderfully disturbed man that lives in the park) as he leads us on a journey of learning. His Fables teach us the importance of being a moral adult in the modern world with classic stories such as Petey the Impotent Rabbit, The Girl Who Cried Rape and The Tortoise and the Gin. Don’t miss the opportunity to once again giggle as a school child. (Note: Peeing your pants in the auditorium is frowned upon)
Tickets include FREE BEER and are $18 general admission/$13 for students/Seniors and are available at www.MindTheArtEntertainment.com.