Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Very few of us get two chances in life.

But you're about to get them.  Mop Top Festival closes this weekend, and tickets are truly going fast.  We're about at half-capacity already in ticket sales, and it's only Wednesday.  That means these two closing shows will likely be HOT.  Plenty of bits. And who doesn't love a good bit? I personally could watch great bits for hours upon end -- as long as they're funny.  The bits here are quite great.  

My new favorite scene is the flea market, when Lydia overwhelms the snarky record vendor with her sense of smell in order to get Tommy his coveted "The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles".  Fantastic.  A close second is when Shuey fires the audience member who answered "None of them" when asked to name his favorite Beatle.   And, of course, the "Sexy Sadie" song scene remains a staple, as does the line, "Speaking of the Beatles,I need to drink more liquor."

I'll be sad when this show closes, but as always we have another great one to take its place.  Come on out -- an impromptu jam session will follow closing night!  (And of course, we have strike the following day at 11 a.m.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lennon - victorious

The second Factory poll closed yesterday, with John Lennon capturing the Favorite Beatle title rather easily.  George Harrison closed with a late rush to grab second place (must have been the Hollywood Walk Of Fame star that did it).  Poor Ringo, as usual, finished last.

We have a new poll opening today in honor of George -- and also the closing weekend of the great Mop Top Festival.  If you haven't yet seen it, you have two more chances to catch this terrific show.  Closing night is Saturday, April 25.  If you have seen it -- well, there are about 63 new bits the cast has added so I promise you will be thoroughly entertained.  Myself, I could watch Shannon O'Neill as the Joey Ramone look-alike record vendor for hours, and I would pay handsomely to do so.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Catching Up With.....Sean Abley

Sean Abley basically founded the Factory Theater in 1992, and although he had help, there was only one unquestioned Factory Boss in the beginning, and that was Sean.  Literally, the fledgling Factory was the perfect situation for a guy who lists his interests on Facebook as "telling people what to do, (and) people doing what I tell them to do."  

He wrote the shows, he directed the shows, he was the funniest person in the shows, he worked box office for the shows -- I mean, he pretty much did it all.  And it's not like the shows he wrote kinda scraped by (when a Reader critic is breathlessly comparing you to Sam Shepard, you're obviously doing something right).  Every production he touched turned to gold, and in time each new Sean Abley show became An Event.  

He was a singular voice within the Factory, and his shows set the bar for the rest of the ensemble to try and match.  I personally learned a ton from Sean, as did most ensemble members.  He wrote wickedly hilarious shows, and what's more he made it seem effortless and easy.  

I can remember him rushing back to his Addison St. apartment after making a ton of copies of his latest script at a nearby Kinko's, called Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.   The copies were for the cast, who had assembled at Sean's place for the cast's very first read-through.  The paper itself was still warm from going through the copy machine, and he scrawled the title page with a Magic Marker because he had basically finished the script thirty minutes before the read-thru was scheduled to begin.  And of course, that show went on to place #2 in New City's Top 5 Shows Of 1993.  Amazing.

He left for Los Angeles at the height of his powers (after writing the brilliant Nuclear Family), and worked to start Factory West in L.A.  Now a successful writer, director and producer in Hollywood, Sean graciously agreed to devote some of his time to answering this blog's hard-hitting questions:

Sean Abley


So what are you working on these days?
The most recent film I produced, PORNOGRAPHY, is starting the film fest circuit. In the meantime, I’ve been writing like a crazy madman, with the sequel to my first feature, SOCKET, called SOCKET: BRAIN CELL and SWITCHCRAFT, a supernatural gay sex comedy. We’ll be shooting those this year. I also decided I wanted to get back into theater, so I’ve been writing a play a month and am going to start sending those out and about. Oh, and I write the GAY OF THE DEAD blog for

You started the Factory Theater with a group of like-minded Second City "refugees".  What led you to undertake such a monumental project?

It’s funny – it didn’t seem so monumental at the time. In fact, everybody in town was doing the same thing. I’d produced a couple of my own plays, including REEFER MADNESS, which Jeff Rogers directed. He and I had known each other for years, gone thru Players Workshop and Second City Training Center together, tried to put a show or two together. So after REEFER, we decided it was time to form a company. He brought in Mike Meredith and Tom Purcell, and I brought in Amy Seeley. Very soon after that Bo Blackburn came on board. We all put in the grand sum of TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS apiece to pay the first month’s rent and mount the first show. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I did it because I really wanted to be a playwright as well as an actor, and I was tired of waiting for other people to let me do those things.

How did you discover 1257 W. Loyola Ave. (the Factory's very first home), and what are your memories of that space today?

Jeff and I sort of knew a few people from a company called Cardiff Giant (which, incidentally, the creators of URINETOWN were part of), and word got to us just as we were thinking about forming a company that they were looking to get out of their space in Rogers Park, but couldn’t break their lease. So they needed someone to take it over. We met with them, and they asked for thousands of dollars in payment for all the lights, props, stage, etc. They also let it slip that they needed $600 for past due rent. So we offered them $600 total for the whole thing, and they sort of had to take our offer. I have so many memories of that space, but the saddest one is of the autograph wall, started by many companies before us, and now gone forever. Every show had a space on that wall where the cast and crew signed on opening night. 

Over the years, I have heard talk about certain Factory ensemble members that goes like this:  "He/she is so dedicated to the Factory -- he/she practically lives at the space."  But you actually DID live at the 1257 W. Loyola space for a time when you were first getting the theater off the ground.  Give the readers a sense of what that was like.

Well, my “apartment” was actually a walled off space in the downstairs dressing room. Literally flats nailed together with a flimsy door to form a “room”. It was big enough for a bed, dresser, and a TV and not much else. I cooked on a hot plate in the box office, and took showers in the shower backstage. I lived there because A.) the Factory needed an additional source of rent money and B.) because I had a huge falling out with my roommate at the time and had no place to live and very little money. The problem was, our landlords were next door – we literally shared a stairway between the two spaces leading to the adjoining basements. They did NOT want someone living there, so for the 18 months I was down there, I lived in fear of them discovering me showering backstage at 8 a.m.

It was actually really cool for awhile. I loved being in the theater, and living there made it easy to be at rehearsal. But after awhile it became a real drag. There was rehearsal literally every night we didn’t have a show, and on show nights I had 50+ people in my “house”. So I never had any privacy. But I’m glad I did it. And I also did IT onstage once.

You are now in charge of Facebook.  What changes do you make (if any)?

That’s a tough one, because I usually just get used to whatever changes happen. I guess I’d make it easier to stop being notified every time someone comments on something I’ve commented on.

What's the very best part of planning a wedding?

If you mean my upcoming gay wedding, I'd say - Having planned a wedding. During the actual planning, not much is “fun”. Although I do like getting the RSVP postcards back in the mail. I’m sort of fascinated by the mail, and love sending actual letters.

My own memory is that the Factory literally became an overnight sensation with the public, even if critics such as Jack Helbig were loving the Factory pretty much from the beginning.  Is that your recollection as well?

Hmmmm, sort of? As I remember it, our first couple shows – the remount of REEFER MADNESS, a sketch comedy show called SNAFU, and a truly horrible play, SPIN DOCTORS – were all doing really poorly for the first six months or so. Then we did my show, ATTACK OF THE KILLER B’S, and suddenly we were selling out. And from then on, at least during the five years I was there, we had hits with about 90% of all the shows we mounted.

"Bitches" will forever be the show known as the Factory's first gigantic hit, and in many ways it still has never been surpassed.  Were you consciously writing with that idea in mind (i.e. "I'm going to write a huge smash hit show that people will stand in line to see") --  or were you just trying to write a funny show to make your friends laugh?

I’ll quibble with that assessment, because I really feel like KILLER B’S was the first big hit, but BITCHES did amazingly well, and had a life beyond the Factory, so it seems like it was the first biggie. And much like KILLER B’S, I wrote BITCHES out of desperation – we needed a new show. KILLER B’S I wrote in four days, BITCHES was written in about a week, with two key scenes added after we started rehearsals. I created some parts for specific people, and then just cast around for the rest of the guys.

The initial idea behind "Bitches" (13 men playing 13 women) was brilliant, but I always thought the differences in the characters' costumes really set it apart.  Some actors really took dressing up in drag seriously, while other actors were basically going out there in a wig and a visible five o'clock shadow.  In your opinion, what was the key to that show's success?

Hands down, that amazing original cast. Once the gimmick of 13 men in drag wears off, what are you left with? In the case of BITCHES, it was a bunch of guys who were all really great actors playing the truth of the characters, playing women, rather than playing “at” playing women and going for the easy jokes. I’ve never had a production of any of my plays that equaled the perfect casting of BITCHES’s opening night, and that was 15 years ago.

Is there any restaurant in LA equal to Chicago Oven Grinders?

Well, Eat A Pita is pretty great, if only for the fried cheddar cubes and Malibu Chicken Crisper.

I try to never miss a single episode of:

Currently, 30 ROCK, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL, RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE, LOST (because my husband forces me to watch it), INTERVENTION, and DAMAGES.

I've heard you talk about your Second City training experiences -- and of course, you skewered the entire process in the Factory's "Second City Didn't Want Us (Or, Is There A Spot In The Touring Company For My Girlfriend)".  What was it like to perform that show in front of Kelly Leonard and other Second City "royalty"?

On opening night, Kelly Leonard’s dad, Roy Leonard, the incredibly popular film and theater critic, sat in our theater and watched me play his son in a very unflattering way. I have to say, I’ve never been more gut-wrenchingly nervous before an opening night, or elated immediately after. I could have closed that show after opening night, because it went over 100 times better than we expected, and we got what we wanted – a ton of press for daring to poke fun at The Man, and the validation that Second City had fucked up by not hiring us because we were all too f-ing talented. I know, that sounds INCREDIBLY pretentious, but fuck it. Various Second City folks saw the show, many of whom we either played or mentioned by name, and I had many of them tell me they loved it. SPOILER: Apparently it wasn’t so much fun working at Second City.

Funny or not funny?

1. Dick jokes – frequently funny.

2. Mad Magazine – Funny. Especially up until the mid-80’s. But still funny.

3. Tina Fey – Funny. But apparently not funny enough to be cast in a Factory show. Truth. We had a general audition during one of the early years of the theater, and we asked for a “non-traditional comic monologue.” Toward the end of a VERY long day, this very mousy girl with a scar on her face came in and did “Jackie Collins’s ‘Letters from Nam’”. It was hilarious, but she was so quiet and had no “umph” when we talked to her, so we never called her in for anything. She seemed more like a writer than an actor. I wonder how she’s doing now….

4. Fart jokes – Hmmm. Fart SOUNDS? Funny. Fart jokes? Eh.

5. A kick in the crotch – Always funny, unless it’s my crotch.

6. Pee Wee Herman – Funny, and my hero.

7. An anvil dropped on the foot – Eh. Depends on whose foot. A one-legged amputee? Funny.

8. Mel Brooks – Used to be funny, but sadly, not funny now.

"Nuclear Family" was your swan song at the Factory Theater, and many still consider the show to be the finest play ever produced at the Factory.  It was pretty much a 180-degree turn from your earlier efforts -- what led to the writing of that show?  Was it just a matter of trying to do something different, or had something else happened to trigger the play's creation?

If by “many” you mean the critic Justin Hayford, I’ll agree with that. NUCLEAR FAMILY was a great note to go out on, because the show really did well. I wrote it for Amy Seeley, Nick Digilio, Marssie Mencotti, Molly Brennan and myself, and ended up with three other really great people in it as well – Wendy Tregay, Hal Kilgore and David Babbit. And of course, the late Joey Meyer, my best friend, directed it. After doing all the movie-inspired stuff, I just wanted to see if I could write a “straight” black comedy, with real people and no breaking the fourth wall, etc. It was incredibly hard to write, mainly because I couldn’t rely on schtick, and it was largely autobiographical in that I poured a ton of my personal life into each of the characters. I had no idea it would be as popular as it was, and even now I think the second act needs a complete overhaul. And strangely, I’ve never ventured into that territory again as a playwright. I guess I got it out of my system…or I’m too afraid to go back…

Best horror film no one has ever seen: 
That’s tough, because I watch so many horror flicks, and I have no perspective on what normal people have seen. But I’d say either DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT, a really nasty exploitation film from 1973 set in an insane asylum, or HORROR, this trippy, “Is this a dream?” film by Dante Tomaselli. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The votes are in......

Revolver was named as the Beatles' best album in The Poll That Took Way Too Long To Complete.  Thanks to a late push, it narrowly beat the second-place White Album by a vote of 12-9.  Abbey Road came in a close third place with eight votes, followed by Beatles For Sale with seven suspect votes.  Personally, I was surprised by the relative lack of Factory Blog love for A Hard Day's Night and/or Let It Be.  But I personally voted for Revolver, so in the end I can't quibble too much with the poll results. 

I find it interesting how time has treated the Beatles' albums.  I do think Revolver is their best album, though it beats out Rubber Soul by a nose.  And had the White Album been condensed into a single album, it may have gotten my vote as well.  Finally, I think Side 2 of Abbey Road is pure brilliance, but Side 1 has too much pedestrian Beatles for me to vote that record their all-time best.  Discuss!

We'll do Beatles-themed polls until Mop Top Festival closes (and you have two more weeks to catch this outstanding show).  Until then, vote in the new poll and stay tuned for more bloggin'!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Creative Differences

NOTE:  This post is one jagoff's opinion, and does not represent the view of the Factory Theater.  OK, carry on.

The recent brouhaha at ATC got me thinking about the power of personalities within a theater company.  Now, I strongly believe that differing sensibilities within the Factory have actually led to some of this company's very best work.  I can cite a bunch of shows off the top of my head where that was the case.  A show often has two or even three strong personalities and voices, all working their collective asses off to put together a great show.  They're not going to gel 100% of the time.  It's never pleasant, and sometimes the ends don't even justify the means.  I won't go into specifics because then I'd have to name names and dates and shows, which would only get me into trouble.

But I've never had a problem with that kind of conflict, because it means that people care.  Sometimes conflict then leads to change where a key person or two leaves the company.  Then it remains to be seen whether that change is a good thing overall.  The Factory has experienced plenty of turnover in its 16+ years, with tons of ups and downs.  I personally think we're on a great roll right now.  We continue to nurture new writing, actors come back time and again to work with us, and our product quality still remains high.  

(To those few who disparage our product, I say only this:  YOU write something, pal.  Otherwise, shut it.)

I obviously don't know jack about what's going on at ATC other than the one Time Out Chicago piece I read yesterday.  But from what I can gather, ATC hired an artistic director to clean up their mess.  It seems he was doing exactly that -- only they didn't like the way he was doing it.  Personally, I think there is an inclusive way to go about change that gives ensemble members a stake in what's happening, as opposed to just firing them.  But that obviously isn't P.J. Paparelli's style, and you have to give him credit for being himself (even if it caused pretty much the entire ensemble to RESIGN).  

Is there anything new about conflict within a theater company?  No.  Is there anything new about an entire ensemble telling its artistic director where to stick it?  I guess (I would love to see some of the back-and-forth e-mails flying around within ATC).  Sometimes, conflict against a single ensemble member can unite a company.  Once that uniting factor goes away, other disagreements can bubble to the surface which may even be worse for the company overall.  What are these 23 former ATC ensemble members going to do, now that they don't have P.J. Paparelli to kick around anymore?  Hopefully they won't turn on each other.

I can remember several ensemble meetings at the Factory that were absolutely charged with tension.  Huge arguments.  Big buildup to said meeting (which usually took place inside a bar the night before).  I would drive to the space for ensemble meetings, just positively filled with dread.  I would envision the fireworks that were sure to go off, and rehearse my responses.  

But here's the thing:  I found that everyone usually felt better after such an "explosive" meeting 99 percent of the time.  Once an issue or disagreement was brought out in the open, face to face, it was like a weight was lifted and the company was better able to move forward.  I saw this time and again at the Factory.  A while back, we had a much-maligned ensemble member resign under pressure to all our faces.  That was one of the gutsier things I ever witnessed in my life.  Then we went out as a company and put together a couple of shows that rank among our very best.   In my opinion.

So a pressure cooker isn't always a bad thing, as long as the quality of shows remains high.  As for Chris Piatt's point about a democratically-run ensemble being unable to operate as a successful business -- well, I respectfully disagree.  I believe successful theater leadership consists of communicating with an ensemble, finding out what they want, and then working to make sure it all happens.  That's been happening here at the Factory more or less since the beginning.  People want to be led, and we've been lucky to have great leadership over the years.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Catching up with......Scott OKen

Scott OKen is an American original.  There literally ain't no one else like him.  I sat next to OKen at last night's Actor's Night for Mop Top Festival (3 more short weeks!), an experience almost as entertaining as the show itself.  This is a guy who gives it everything he possibly has -- even when he's just sitting there watching a show.  Granted, it was a show he himself wrote and directed, but still.  

When White Trash Wedding And A Funeral was in its first few weeks, the Chicago Tribune decided to grace our ramshackle theater company for the very first time with its exalted presence.  Until then, we usually had great luck with the Reader and had done fairly well through word of mouth.  We were putting butts in the seats, but the major Chicago media continued to ignore us -- until that fateful night in late '95.  

So Larry Bommer sat uncomfortably in our dilapidated seats at 1257 W. Loyola Ave., while we the cast tried our very best not to freak out too much backstage.

Anyway, White Trash began with the opening notes of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird", and at the very top the lights went down one by one with each drum fill -- as opposed to a traditional slow fade.  It really gave the show a rock n' roll feel (I swear, this whole aside has to do with OKen.  I tend to ramble).  As the first organ notes began to play that night, with our destiny before us and the liquor-fueled crowd of about 45 starting to whoop it up, OKen suddenly and violently took me aside.

"The Tribune is here,"  he said to me with fire in his eyes.  "We're gonna be fucking famous."

I obviously never forgot that moment, and 14 years later he still gets excited about the theater and about the Factory in particular.  In many ways, right now he is the Factory.  So we put the following tough questions to him!  

Scott OKen
Member of the Factory Since: 
You wrote and directed Mop Top Festival, the Factory's latest hit show.  Now that it is up and running, what's your take on the finished product? 
I have never been so proud of a cast and crew. They brought my exact vision on to the stage. I am 100% Artistically satisfied.
Movie you are looking forward to the most this summer:
Xmen Origins: Wolverine!

Explain the genius of Bill Bixby.
I grew up on Bill Bixby...he was in a lot of tv series ingrained on my early tv watching brain...My Favorite Martian, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Magician, and of course, The Incredible Hulk..(you wouldn't like me when I'm angry...).  Truly a I just like saying "Bixby".
You have now written several shows for the Factory, beginning with Surface Dwellers.  Do you have a favorite show out of all them?
I like different shows for different reasons. Surface Dwellers holds a place in my heart because that is mine and Ernie's first script. Toast of the Town may be the most perfect play that Ern and I have written. Top Shelf was my first solo effort and first lead role..GI's in Europe, I got to play Elvis essentially...Bustin' out of the Hell, was a subject matter that I really had a good time exploring, and Mop Top Festival may be the most personal and satisfying.
The "delivery room" scene near the end of Toast of The Town belongs in the Pantheon of All-Time Great Factory Scenes.  How did you come up with the idea and was it easy to write?
It was a slightly heightened version of what really happened with the birth of my first son. Ernie and I added some bits in, and Nick Digilio, the director, really took it to new heights. Yes, it was very easy to write!
What's your prediction for the Cubs this year?
Do you have a favorite role out of all the Factory shows you have ever done?  If so, what is it?
Tie between, Chet in GI's in Europe, Satan in Bustin' Out Of The Hell, or the Detective in Preying Manthis
What makes Thin Lizzy one of the all-time great rock outfits? 
Outfit.....ha!...Phil Lynott is a vastly underrated songwriter and singer. I love the dual guitar attack of Scott Gorham/Brian Robertson(and a few others) Every song on every LP is good...and they jam so hard!!!!!
Toast Of The Town is heavily influenced by the Marx Brothers.  Is that how it started out when you first began writing it?
Exactly. Ernie Deak (the co-writer) and I are major Marx Brothers fans...this was the perfect formula for us to use.
Will Jay Cutler be the finest Bears QB since Sid Luckman? 
3 Superbowls...just to start out....
The "Sexy Sadie" scene is my current favorite in Mop Top Festival.  What led you to choose that particular song?  Was it for the reasons that Christine Jennings' character describes in the show? That's part of it. I didn't want to use an "easy" crowd pleaser, like Imagine, or Hey Jude, or something like that. It was always one of my favourite Beatle tunes, and I think it lends it self to the rest of the character participation and buildup perfectly.
As the artistic director of the Factory, what is the accomplishment you are most proud of?
Getting more people to write and submit plays.
What are your goals for the company going forward?
I want the Factory to be on the MAP! I want everyone to know that THIS is the place to be...where creative expression is NOT dead!!!! In a perfect world I would love for us to be in a financial postion to do 6 plays a year.
You are trapped inside an elevator with the members of Genesis.  What do you say to them?
Why did you try to ruin music? It almost worked! Stop now! Go now and destroy all the master tapes now! Please! I see why you picked the name Genesis....the beginning...of the END OF MUSIC!!!!
Hardest song to play on the guitar:
Any song by Genesis, Wilco, or R.E.M.  because the guitar instantly rejects the bile that those songs locks up...I have to talk to it and promise to play some Hendrix...
Secretly the most difficult chord progression is the bridge from "Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung....took me forever to figure it out!!!!

Your five desert island discs as of this week:
1. Thunder and Lightning-Thin Lizzy
2. Let it Be- The Beatles
3. Montrose- Montrose
4. Captain Beyond-Captain Beyond
5. Black Sabbath-Black Sabbath

Monday, April 6, 2009

Actor's Night TONIGHT

Actor's Night is always an awesome time, and tonight promises to be especially outstanding in light of the new hilarity that is simply CRACKLING throughout Mop Top Festival.  I saw it last night and chuckled mightily at about eight or ten new lines in the show.  

So....purchase a six-pack of Schlitz and get yer butt up to the Prop tonight!  8 pm sharp for the low low low price of $5!  We're going back to 1992 Factory admission prices!  What, you're going to watch the stupid NCAA National Championship instead?  Who cares?  Tyler Hansbrough's a dick (and I hope that last sentence goes straight to the top of Hansbrough's Google page)!

COMING THIS WEEK:  More ensemble updates, a Q&A with a living Factory legend, and much, much more.  

See you TONIGHT at the Prop!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Factory In The Field

We have a lot of Factory folk doing outside projects and generally having a life outside the Factory. So for today's feature, we thought we would highlight who's doing what in Chicago. I think I have all the info, but if I have it wrong, please correct me. And then I'll get to it whenever I feel like it.

On to the ensemble people and their doings:

Sara Sevigny is in her final weekend of Solid Gold Cadillac at the Athenaeum. A huge Factory group is going on Thursday for industry night, so you know that'll be a rockin' crowd. Yay Sevigny! Join her PhP board too, so you can do a bunch of online things that I don't yet understand.

Chas Vrba will be in Hizzoner, starting this weekend at the Theater Building -- I believe. I can't think of one actor who belongs in that play more.

Christine Jennings is in Mop Top Festival and is anxiously awaiting the start of baseball season. Colin Milroy is also looking forward to baseball season -- but also to the impending birth of his second child. Hey Colin (and Paul Metreyeon) -- two kids are twice as fun as one! Really! They really are!

Laura McKenzie will be showing it in That's Weird, Grandma for six Sunday matinees at the Neo-Futurarium, starting April 12. Showtimes are 2 p.m. We need a Factory kids field trip for that one!

A true slacker in every sense of the word, Corri Feuerstein (pronounced FOY-er-stine) is following up a successful understudy turn in Mop Top Festival by directing "American Notes" by Len Jenkin for Will Act For Food. It goes up May 8 at the Prop Thtr. Everyone's favorite scholar C.W. VanBaale appears in the show, and America's Funny Man Tucker Curtis will understudy C.W.'s role on Memorial Day weekend. Evil Twins fan Nick Booth is doing the sound, and sex kitten Cat Dughi has volunteered her services for the company's foodraising benefit, Cans For Cash (May 18). All photographs by (who else?) the great Paul Metreyeon.

Matt Engle is back from the road and is apartment hunting. He wants to be near the el and pay less than $1200 a month. He still thinks The Proposition is a shitty movie. Learn!

Heather Tyler will be shooting a SAG short film, "Broken," over the weekend with Open Flame Films. She plays heroin Mom. Not to be confused with heroine Mom. Heather has "a big kitchen scene making cookies as the one-year-sober Mom, a death scene as the return-to-the-juice Mom, and a few random scenes as ho-mom who's gotta make a buck." Heather apparently also did something bad in a past life, because she will also be working with an ADD eight-year-old. Apparently, his real mom says to give him a Mountain Dew if he gets tired on set. FUN!!!!

Carrie J. Sullivan is in charge of these here parts, and you better kowtow or she'll have your ass in a Sybaris sling. She is knocking everyone's socks off on stage in Mop Top Festival in a terrific performance. Come see her -- particularly on Actor's Night, which takes place this coming Monday, April 6, at 8 p.m. at the Prop Thtr. Come see us! It's good! I'm working box that night! We can spoon!

Allison Cain is also in her final weekend of Mariette In Ecstasy at the Lifeline Theatre. Do those guys ever do a bad show?

Eric Roach can be seen in the upcoming Strawdog Theatre production Red Noses, which opens April 18. There are a ton of Factory friends in that one! It's gonna be a good'un! Strawdog!!

Congrats to Angie Martinez, who is ADing the next Factory smash hit Dead Wrong, for casting the show over the weekend! Previews are June 19.