STAGE PLAY Best Scene of IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, by Christopher Hemmens

 

Genre: Comedy

“In The Middle Of Nowhere is a farcical family comedy about Kate; a 30-something, newly-cosmopolitan university lecturer who travels home to see her parents, Penny and Bill, in their new house on the weekend of her father’s 60th birthday. It isn’t long before she’s butting heads with her fiercely right-wing father while her mother tries to keep the peace. Things take a turn for the surreal, however, when a strange man called Fish, who claims to have been exiled from a cult in the woods, barges in on their breakfast and refuses to leave.”

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Jane Hailes
Kate: Kelci Stephenson
Penny: Penelope Park
Fish: Nick Wicht
Bill: Charles Gordon
Sidlebrand: Todd Thomas Dark

Get to know the writer:

What is your stage play about?

The play is about a daughter coming home for the first time in a long time for her Dad’s 60th birthday. Unfortunately, her politics and her father’s come to loggerheads almost immediately and her mother is left to mediate. The arrival of Fish, a stranger who claims to have grown up in a cult in the nearby woods and who believes he will die if spends too long outside, forces the family members to find out how similar and how different they really are.

What genres does your play fall under?

It’s an eccentric comedy.

Why should this play be produced?

The play’s central themes deal with what it means to accept something is true – something that has become increasingly relevant in recent years. The first part was written before recent political events so the second part will be written with those events in mind.

How would you describe this play in two words?

Surreal, Surprising

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Adaptation (2002) or The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)

How long have you been working on this play?

I worked on this play for about 4 years while I also worked on my PhD. Soon I will begin drafting a second part to this play to make it full-length.

How many stories have you written?

Ten. Six of them are just short pieces.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of George Ezra so probably Blame It All On Me.

What obstacles did you face to finish this play?

This was my first try at writing a piece of this length so I made a lot of mistakes. I ended up writing the whole thing all the way through three times! Submitting the play for feedback taught me a lot about writing drama, character, but especially about how language is used in drama. Figuring out how to make the story make sense while also including all the beats I wanted to include was an enjoyable puzzle to solve but it didn’t come without a lot of headaches! It’s still not perfect but I’m very happy with where the final piece is at.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m very passionate about performing. I’ve been doing amateur theatre for 8 years and been chairman for 2. Doing this helped me understand what plays looked like and inspired me to write my own. It also gave me a platform to present my own work and an audience who helped me develop my work. I’m also passionate about philosophy and I find that writing plays is a great way to write about philosophical ideas like truth and reality in a fun and entertaining way that I find extremely satisfying.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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WILDsound Performer: KELCI STEPHENSON

ACTOR KELCI STEPHENSON

Height: 5’10

Hair: Blond

Eyes: Blue

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – ROAD TO TEXAS
February 2016 Reading
Written by Emanuel Ruggeri
ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – THE SHOT
February 2016 Reading
Written by Michael DeMattia
ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay – MINDWALKER
February 2016 Reading
Written by Thorsten Loos
ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – THE BIG BANG THEORY
February 2016 Reading
Written by David Minaskanian
ACTORShort Screenplay – COMPLICIT
February 2016 Reading
Written by Andrew L. Schwartz

 

ACTORShort Screenplay – ANIMAL SKINS
February 2016 Reading
Written by Bryan Ott
ACTORFeature Screenplay – THE BOO
May 2016 Reading
Written by Scott McEntire
ACTORShort Screenplay – SCENARIO 957
May 2016 Reading
Written by Amy E. Jones

 

ACTORShort Screenplay – FIFTY FIVE SECONDS
May 2016 Reading
Written by Kwasi Mensah
ACTORShort Screenplay – CUTTING REMARKS
May 2016 Reading
Written by Erin Richardson
ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – PUPPETS
May 2016 Reading
Written by James Griffiths

 

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – RORSCHACH
May 2016 Reading
Written by Federico Franchi, Filippo Pierangelini
ACTORFAN FICTION Screenplay – SPACE 2099 (based on Space 1999)
June 2016 Reading
Written by Kevin D Story
ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – STARBOUND
June 2016 Reading
Written by Alex A. Kecskes

 

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – EXISTENTIAL QUANDARY
June 2016 Reading
Written by Brandon Maline
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – IX
May 2016 Reading
Written by Eric Irizarry
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – LONG IN THE TOOTH
May 2016 Reading
Written by Mark Wasserman

 

ACTORShort Screenplay – LESS THAN HOMELESS
June 2016 Reading
Written by Allan B. Hill

WILDsound Announces its May 2016 Short Screenplay Winners (Watch Readings)

Deadline to Submit your Short Screenplay to the Festival: http://www.wildsound.ca/shortscriptcontest.html

Watch the 3 Winning Short Screenplay Readings for May 2016:

SCENARIO 957
Written by Amy E. Jones
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action

Synopsis: Fighting against time and terrorists on an earth struggling to survive after a devastating energy crisis, young scientific genius James Kale must figure out how to launch the rocket destined to save mankind before it’s too late.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Kelci Stephenson
JAMES – Sean Kaufmann
DR. KALE/HENRY: – Moui Nene
GREG – Zack Amzallag
COMPUTER – Jennifer Ferris

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FIFTY FIVE SECONDS
Written by Kwasi Mensah
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Mystery, Drama, Film Noir

A grizzled veteran hitman tries to impart wisdom to his younger colleague but then they’re forced to question their loyalty to each other.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
FRANK – Moui Nene
LISA: – Jennifer Ferris

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CUTTING REMARKS
Written by Erin Richardson
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Upper-class housewife Nancy visits her hairdresser Amelia to change her look for her new beau, but she doesn’t know him quite as well as Amelia does.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
NANCY – Kelci Stephenson
AMELIA – Jennifer Ferris

 

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

 

Short Screenplay Reading: CUTTING REMARKS by Erin Richardson

May 2016 Wining Short Screenplay.

Watch CUTTING REMARKS by Erin Richardson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Upper-class housewife Nancy visits her hairdresser Amelia to change her look for her new beau, but she doesn’t know him quite as well as Amelia does.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
NANCY – Kelci Stephenson
AMELIA – Jennifer Ferris

Get to know writer Erin Richardson:

1. What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay is about a rather comical exchange between two extremely vain women with similar priorities and differing morals.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I believe Cutting Remarks should be made into a movie because it makes a rather provocative statement about the materialistic nature of society (especially the middle-class) with a lighthearted and semi-realistic approach.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Comical, cute.

4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but I’d have to say Tina Fey’s Mean Girls.

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I spent four hours working on this screenplay. It all came to me very quickly and clearly.

6. How many stories have you written?

So many…I’ve been coming up with stories ever since I was a kid, most of my original stuff was usually executed through poorly written/drawn comics. When I was younger, I used to tell my parents stories during car rides, except most of the time they were just disjointed retellings of the animated film Shark Tale. As I got older I began to create my own stories that didn’t involve Will Smith as a fish. In high school I dove into screenwriting by creating specs for Pushing Daisies. After that, I started coming up with more specs for other television shows (I.e. Family Guy, American Dad, New Girl) and wrote a couple feature length films. Now that I’m in film school, I’ve started writing more short films, such as Cutting Remarks.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Cutting Remarks was brought into this world after I was assigned a brainstorming project for my Introduction to Screenwriting class. My mind was drawing a blank whilst trying to come up with ideas for short films, and at the time I was due for a haircut. I headed to the salon and when I was there, I couldn’t help but notice the type of women that were sitting in the styling chairs next to me. Many of them in their forties, with dyed blonde hair, the occasional bad spray tan, wearing same black/grey semi-casual cotton blend dress. I knew then and there that I just had to make a character based on them.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I knew that I wanted to write a film that took place in a hair salon and I had my characters ready, but I wasn’t entirely sure how to end my film in an interesting way. Despite my disdain towards pitting women against each other for male attention (since almost every movie ever does that), I felt as if the ending I chose was the most fitting for the situation. I think it’s the irony that is most appealing to me; the gossip who thinks she knows everything doesn’t even know her hairdresser is shacking up with her boyfriend. It’s rather comical, in my opinion.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Although I am in film school and I intend to make a career out of being a screenwriter, I’m really quite passionate about the theatre. I enjoy singing, dancing, and acting, and the overall atmosphere of the theatre is a huge draw for me. I think what gets me most in both film and theatre is the sense of community. Both worlds involve an immense amount of collaboration, and I think it’s really beautiful when a group of people can come together and create something big (or small). I’m also quite passionate about travelling. I absolutely adore being exposed to different cultures and I sincerely believe that travelling is very healthy for the mind. It makes one wiser and more knowledgable about the world around them, and with that comes understanding (which can very easily be applied to one’s writings).

10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I entered the festival on account of the fact that I would like to build my resume as a screenwriter and get some exposure before I’m out of film school. I’m the kind of person that really likes to plan ahead, so I figured if I enter a few festivals here and there in my first year and do the same in the next three years, my name should acquire a wee slice of recognition within the industry.

I did, however, receive feedback on another screenplay I’d submitted entitled The Great Suburban Showdown. Generally I’m rather appreciative of feedback, and I often will make changes based upon it.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Always be aware of the world around you. Some of the best work is based upon observation. Take Seinfeld for example. It wasn’t really a show about nothing–it was a show about everything. Everything that happened in Seinfeld was based upon things that happen in real life, some of which actually happened to the show’s creator, Larry David. With this sense of observation, you should always be thinking to yourself, “What would make a great film/play/sketch?” See whimsy in the everyday, and let it inspire you. Another thing I think writers should know, which is difficult with the standards that this industry has set, is that they should not be afraid to voice their opinions on the faults of society through their work. But before you, the writer, decide to do so, make sure that your argument is clear, rational, and has enough people to support it that you’ll perhaps find success. As far as other tidbits of wisdom go, all I have to say is never give up, don’t let your past ruin your present/future, and be patient and open minded, especially with criticism. The entertainment industry is a tough field, but if you’re ready for it, I know it can be a wonderful place.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

SHORT SCRIPT Table Reading – COMPLICIT by Andrew L Schwartz

COMPLICIT was the February 2016 Winning Short Screenplay. 

Watch COMPLICIT by Andrew L  Schwartz:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
LT. HAMMELSTEIN – Sean Kaufmann
CLARITA/MARIE – Kelci Stephenson
SCHEINBERG – Chris Reid-Geisler
SGT. SACCO – Jarrid Terrell
PAP PAP – Sasha Rajamani

Get to know writer Andrew L  Schwartz:

1. What is your short screenplay about?

Complicit is about a former Nazi who goes on the run after he learns he may have to stand trial for his past transgressions.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This story focuses on a very real and relevant question that we as human beings need to face: has too much time passed for these men to be held accountable for their actions?

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Morally challenging.

4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

The Return of the King or The Departed.

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I have been working on Complicit for over half a year. It has gone though many rewrites, and I have explored many different ways to examine character arcs.

6. How many stories have you written?

Over the years, I have written many stories. Currently, I have written three complete screenplays in my canon.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I read an article about a 94-year-old former Nazi who was tried and convicted for war crimes during WWII. I decided to dive deeper into this phenomenon and write a story about it.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Writing the perfect ending.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about collecting and listening to vintage vinyl records, particularly from artists such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Band.

10. What influenced you to enter the festival?

What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received? I entered this festival because I believe the opportunity to have my script read by professionals is invaluable. It gives life to the words, and will help me fine tune the nuances of the story. When I received my initial feedback, I was nervous because the script was deemed good, but still needed one solid rewrite in order for it to be included. So, I hit the drawing board unsure of where the new rewrite was going to take me, but in the end it worked out.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Get as many people as you can to read your script. Encourage your peers to offer advice, and always listen to the council of those closest to you. When it comes time to write a new script, WRITE IT. Practice discipline when you write and finish your script before moving onto the next project.

 

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

SHORT SCRIPT Table Reading – ANIMAL SKINS by Bryan Ott

ANIMALS SKINS was the February 2016 Winning Short Screenplay. 

Watch ANIMAL SKINS by Bryan Ott:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
HUNTER – Sasha Rajamani
PIM – Kelci Stephenson
SCARBOY – Chris Reid-Geisler
WILD BOY – Jarrid Terrell

Get to know writer Bryan Ott:

1. What is your short screenplay about?

In writing Animal Skins, I didn’t consciously start with any specific theme in mind and attempt to explore that idea through the narrative and characters. I usually uncover the central idea as the story is evolving and the threads and connective areas surface and I begin to pull them out. The ideas and areas of human experience that I am interested in and most affected by myself in my own life are in the flaws and shortcomings on the central characters that I am developing through the natural progression of the world of the story and the structure. My stories tend to focus on ideas of separation and loss (most often of a family member) and the central characters inner struggle to reconnect with people they would rather not have in their lives. The idea of being comfortable when the key relationships in your life are broken and not seeing the need to fix them in any way. Animal Skins explores these ideas in a genre setting but, in this 20 page short script, doesn’t try to solve them. Pim, the central character, has a long road ahead of her.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

The story was written to be made into an animated film. Working with an Animator friend of mine, we began some early character design work and a general concept for the look and techniques we would use to tell this story. The landscapes and set pieces would all be practical, shot live in camera, with the characters animated in 3D. It is still possible this is how the film will end up. So when writing the short, I always had practical considerations in mind, like the number of sets we would need to build and how I could maximize locations by using them repeatedly in different scenes. This short would be very costly to make as a live-action film, but it was never intended to end up as one. But as I continue to develop these characters and the world of this film, I see it now more as a graphic novel, where I can expand on some of the fantastical elements of the narrative.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Understated Fantasy

4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

The Searchers – John Ford

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Off and on for about a year

6. How many stories have you written?

I have written 4 features and a handful of short films. In graduate school, I directed a feature I wrote and have written and directed a few short films since.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The idea for the film came from the title of a song I really like by Dry the River, a UK band that has recently broken up. The song lyrics have nothing to do with the finished script, but I found the title Animal Skins evocative. It generated images in my mind and a general tone that sent me to the keyboard.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

This script taught me the value of feedback and accepting criticism. It went through various incarnations. Even when I thought it was done and I was proud of it, I sent it out and it got chewed up and spit back at me. It forced me to keep attacking the story and keep rewriting.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I need to watch a film a day and have been doing that for many years. The day doesn’t feel complete otherwise. My two kids though are who I give most of my energy to.

10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I was very interested in the prospect of hearing the script read aloud. Feedback is invaluable. It is up to the writer to decipher what is constructive and useful and what is subjective and maybe not necessary to dwell to much on. But when you hear the same criticism from different people, it is probably a good idea to rethink things.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

There is this amazing buzz I feel after writing. After spending hours inside your own head, exploring the “what if’s” of story and character and when little things start to connect and ideas lead to more ideas, it’s hard to re-enter the real world again for a few moments. Everything is a bit off. Like the moment when you exit a movie theater and the sun hits your eyes or that dizzy, light headed feeling when you stand up to quickly and you need to hold onto something. My students always as me where do great ideas come from. I don’t know. But I feel, a great film story is a writers exploration of original ideas structured in layers of unexpected nuance and familiarity of form. Form is learnable. Great ideas are not.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

WILDsound Performer Feb. 7th Event: Kelci Stephenson

Actor will be performing at the February 7 2016 Writing Festival event.

See the winning screenplays that will be performed at the festival

kelci_stephenson.jpgHeight: 5’0

Hair: Blond

Eyes: Blue

This will be the first time the actor will be performing at the festival.