Best Scene STAGE PLAY Reading of VENGEANCE OF THE SHREW, by Bree Katz

Genre: History, Comedy

Tired of sixteenth-century gender relations, Kate from The Taming of the Shrew recruits Lady Macbeth, the Wife of Bath, Frankenstein’s Monster, and other canonical characters to drive literature into the 21st century.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Kate: Carina Cojeen
Petruchio: Peter Nelson
Shylock: Kris Hagen
Dr. Frankenstein: Mike Ruderman
Wife of Bath: Val Cole

Get to know the writer:

What is your play about?

The Vengeance of the Shrew is about classic literary characters – including The Taming of the Shrew’s Kate, The Merchant of Venice’s Shylock, Lady Macbeth, the Wife of Bath, and Frankenstein’s Monster – who are tired of their canonical lot and decide to shake up the established order.

What genres does your play fall under?

Vengeance is a farcical comedy.

Why should this play be made into a show?

In addition to being thigh-slappingly hilarious (in my admittedly biased opinion!), my play tackles the question of how to fit beloved literary figures and the settings they inhabit and make them relevant to the 21st century – and it’s told through their perspective.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Modern Shakespeare!

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

I watched the original Star Wars trilogy so many times, my mother had to re-record them due to fears of me wearing out the VHS tapes they were on.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I started working on this play ten years ago.

How many stories have you written?

I have lost track of how many stories I’ve typed out – I’ve written first drafts of several novels, screenplays, and television pilots, and I’ve polished the ones I kept coming back to re-read (after all, if I want to read it again, someone else will want to read it the first time!).

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

Bruce Springsteen’s “Backstreets.” Born to Run was the first album I remember listening to in full as a child, and that song as well as “Jungleland” amaze me with their composition and the raw power of their lyrics every time.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I was in school for most of the time I was writing it, and I have a very limited ability to multitask. I completed it in fits and starts.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am an avid skier in the winter and a climber of 14,000-foot mountains in the summer. I have summitted 22 fourteeners: 21 in Colorado plus California’s Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the U.S. south of Alaska.

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

I’d gotten a notification that my play’s logline had been selected to receive special attention for the submission. The feedback I received was thoughtful and informative.

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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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Winning THRILLER Feature Screenplay: WORD GAMES, by Joel Stern

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Drama

A commercial airliner flying to Paris explodes off the U.S. East Coast killing sixteen members of a high school French Club and a young pianist destined for greatness; a pair of deranged teens go on a terrifying high school shooting spree ending the life of a young girl devoted to serving God and mankind. If there is a master plan, how could these horrific events be allowed to happen?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Sal: Kris Hagen
Dave: Peter Nelson
Monica: Shania Belton
Julie: Katelyn Varadi
Tanya/Shannon: Carina Cojeen
Lassen: Mike Ruderman
Bill: Nick Wicht

 Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

“Word Games” is about two strangers in a nursing home who are isolated because of the “Blizzard of the Millennium” . One man – Sal Genesinni – is the janitor. The other is Dave Phillips, an old man, wheelchair bound, who was found abandoned in the storm. While Phillips’ true identity remains a mystery, he and Genesinni play “Scrabble” to kill time. As they spell certain words it takes us back in time to real life events. As they recall these events they actually change what happened. This affects the destiny of the promising young people they speak of. As the story unfolds, we realize their “game” is a battle of wits between good and evil – one they engage in as different people throughout time.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense/Horror

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“Word Games” would provide moviegoers with a suspenseful, alternative view of destiny and attempt to explain why bad things happen to good people.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Story in two words: Inescapable destiny.

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

The movie I’ve seen the most: “Pineapple Express”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote the short story two years ago (now on Amazon). I began writing the screenplay in January, 2016.

How many stories have you written?

I’m currently writing my third screenplay. I began my first, “Trickle Down”, a dramatic comedy based on the 2007 mortgage meltdown, in 2012.

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

Favorite song – Rod Stewart’s “Have I Told You Lately…”

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Obstacles to writing screenplay: Trying to think as God

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Other passions: Sports, politics, travel, history

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

Film Freeway: Easy to work with

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

I entered the festival to gage interest in my work and to get it produced. “Word Games” also won a Finalist Award at the Cannes Film Festival Screenwriting contest in April of this year.

I was thrilled with the feedback I received. I made a few clarifications when asked to.

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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

Best Scene STAGE PLAY Reading of LOOKING FOR REDFEATHER, by Linda Collison

Genre: Coming of Stage, Drama

Three troubled runaways meet up by chance on the road — but it ain’t Jack Kerouac’s road trip!

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Ramie: Nick Wicht
Chas: Mike Ruderman

Get to know the writer:

What is your play about? 

Looking for Redfeather is about coming of age on the road in America in the 21st century.  A boy on a father quest meets up by chance with two other runaway teens on the road to Denver. He has two weeks to find his father, an Apache named Redfeather.

What genres does your play fall under?

Drama/coming-of-age/humor/musical

Why should this play be made into a show? 

 

Looking for Redfeather is about growing up in America in the 21st century. It encompasses contemporary issues such as functionally dysfunctional families, friendship, American myths and legends, substance use and abuse, learning disabilities, the fictionalized past and present of Native Americans – specifically Apaches.

How would you describe this script in two words?  

Vibrant, adaptable

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

 

Tombstone (Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer)

How long have you been working on this screenplay?  

About three years. Adapted from the novel, written in 2007, and published in 2013.

How many stories have you written? 

Impossible to say! I’ve been writing stories all my life.  I have seven published novels and numerous published stories, articles and essays.  I have only written a few plays, though I love theater.

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

The one I’m singing along with at the moment. Seriously, it’s impossible to name one.  Music is the most powerful art form there is, and a universal language. OK, I’ll pick one that leaps to mind: As a writer, I admire Mark Knopfler’s Sailing to Philadelphia, as much for the lyrics as for his fine guitar playing.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay? 

I found it challenging to adapt my own novel to the stage.  The dialogue is strong and the heart of the story is there but I knew the plot was episodic, rambling, and in need of condensing. But I felt the story is malleable enough to be interpreted and re-interpreted by directors and young actors, following characters’ lead. This story is character driven, yet open to interpretation.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 

Music, travel, art, adventure, road trips, environmental theater, reading, learning… Writing is how I connect with myself and with others; it’s how I make sense of life.

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

I have always been positively challenged by writing contests; I’ve entered many and won a few. I’ve learned from them all.  Contests give me a deadline – and a purpose – to finish the project in a timely manner. A contest compels me to do my best work, and quickly. It keeps me from over-editing because a story is never perfect, it’s never finished to my satisfaction. Each time I rewrite it, it’s a slightly different story. It has grown and changed, a living thing.

That being said, my work requires many rounds of editing! I wanted professional feedback on this script to discover its strengths and weaknesses, its possibilities for production. I was very pleased with the detailed initial feedback I received and am incorporating some of the suggestions on the next iteration.  Thank you for the critique and the suggestions – and for the impetus to finish the script and send it in!  

 

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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