Tag Archives: the cyborg head of stan lee

Good News, True Believers!

I’ve got two new exciting bits to share with you about your favorite nerdy theatre experience. First, The Hive Theatre in New York will be presenting a staged reading of True Believers on Monday, March 18 at 7pm at the Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute on East 15th Street near Union Square. The reading is being presented under an Equity showcase contract, which technically means that they’re all professional actors who probably aren’t being paid, but that’s okay, because hey, cool, professional NY actors! I’ve met with the company once so far, and they’re incredibly excited and supportive about the show. I by no means feel that the script is perfect, but when I asked them about a few of the concerns I had about it, they all pretty much answered, “Nope, it’s great, don’t worry about it,” so, ya know, that’s nice. If you’re in New York, or have any friends in New York, please tell them to come (especially if they’re important agents/editors/producers/superheroes/billionaire philanthropists/the real-life inspiration for Avenger because oh God I want to see his face).

The other great news I received this same weekend (which also pertains to True Believers) is that I’ve been invited to participate in the Last Frontier Theatre Conference at Prince Williams Sound Community College in Valdez, Alaska, which is apparently a 6 hour drive from Anchorage. It’s a week long conference full of panels and workshops all focusing on new works for American theatre, and another staged reading of True Believers will be presented under my adept direction. But mostly, it’ll be cool to go to Alaska in May when it’s not a frozen tundra and there’s only like 3 hours of darkness and then suddenly I’m Al Pacino and I’m going crazy trying to catch a killer and hey that could be plot of my next play (he says, already working on 2 more simultaneously instead of focusing on finishing one UGH).

So in conclusion: The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee was right.

True Believers Closing and More Reviews

Before I run away to Florida and sleep for 2 weeks straight because I need it, here’s a final roundup of more reviews for the world premiere of True Believers:

“Dunn’s script is smart and sharply written. He creates memorable and believable characters set in this world who many of us can either relate to, or just be familiar with.  The comedic moments are great and chock full of fantastic one liners. He also is able to create strong and powerful dramatic moments that help balance the comedy.  It doesn’t become a parody, but a snap shot of what this world could very well be like. What else can be said about this show except only more praise?”  – MuffinEatsDragon.com

“I was impressed with this show for many reasons, but the foremost was the interesting, thoughtful story that they told extremely well. The second is that it spoke authentically to the nerd fringe community. I know, ‘nerd culture’ is the hip thing right now with comic book movies dominating the box office, but I agree with the sentiment that this newfound cash cow does not represent the community in a real way. Though it does help to normalizesome nerd culture. True Believers by Thom Dunn feels like a play that intimately knows what conventions are like. Their lights are clever, their sound is full of hilarious nerdy references, the script is clever, the characters are interesting, and the actors are brilliant. I could not recommend this show more.”  – My Entertainment World

And to top it off, we were the Pick Of The Week in RadioBoston! All in all, I’d say that’s not so bad for a nerdy little play about a comic book convention.

Now without any further ado, I’m going to retreat and recuperate for a few years. You’ll hear from me eventually…

True Believers Production Photos

Here’s a little peek at True Believers, for those of still waiting / unable to see it (or for those of you who want to relive the experience). All photos by Paul Cantillon / LIDEC Photo.

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True Believers Updates, Part I

Okay. Breathe. We just made it through opening weekend of True Believers, which saw mostly packed houses and very responsive audiences (and only a few technical malfunctions that hopefully no one noticed but me). All in all, I’d say it’s going well so far! We’ll just have to wait and see what the critics have to say about it.

In the meantime, here’s a little interview I did with Jacqui Bryant, a local Boston entertainment blogger, about the show. Full disclosure: I thought she was writing an article, not posting the full interview transcription, so some of my answers, uh, well, they go on for quite a while (I wanted to give her a lot of information to pull from!)

We also got a nice shout out in the print & online version of DigBoston / The Weekly Dig:

Now, you might assume this unconventionally comedic play (penned by local playwright and Emerson College alum Thom Dunn, go Lions etc.) chronicling the interactions between conventional comic convention-types—aspiring artists, single-minded fanboys, haute couturecosplayers and so on—would be a tad nerdy. You would be right. Some World’s Greatest Detective stuff, that is. But just how nerdy are we talking? Try “Cyborg Head of Stan Lee” nerdy. Yes, that’s a kind of nerdy. The “most” kind.

Ha. Thanks, guys (I think…)

Opus Affair, a social group for young professional interested and involved in the arts in around the Boston area, also highlighted the show in their “On the Town” weekly roundup, praising it with favorable comparisons to both Closer and Magic Mike (both of which I assume were intended as compliments though I’m not entirely sure…)

Anyway, stay tuned, True Believers, for more updates, including production photos and…The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee!

Excelsior! Stay Tuned, True Believers!

I’m excited to announce that the lovely people at Vagabond Theatre Group like me so much that they’ve decided to present a my new full-length play True Believers as the next staged reading/public workshop in their There Will Be Words reading series. I’ve met with the production team once so far, but they seem incredibly enthusiastic about my work (and impressed me with their own comic book/sci-fi/nerdery knowledge, which is of course very important, especially in a piece like this), so I’m looking forward to presenting the latest draft for a smart Boston audience.

The reading will take place Thursday, February 9 at Trident Booksellers & Cafe at 338 Newbury Street in Boston. Admission is free, but for a suggested $2 donation (plus Trident serves delicious food and a great selection of craft beers).

And yes, the Cyborg Head of Stan Lee will be in attendance. Hope to see you there!

Behold: The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee!

Clearly I’ve been pretty busy with this playwriting fellowship, writing and re-writing and writing some more. (I’m pretty sure I killed about 7 trees in the last 2 weeks. WHOOPS) And of course, as soon as I’m back to Boston, I’m immediately thrown back into the grind.

As such, this week’s post on Five By Five Hundred isn’t a new piece of writing, per se; instead, it’s a monologue from my play that unfortunately had to be cut (by no fault of its own, of course). Amongst the (many) other bizarre, larger-than-life characters featured in True Believers, there is one that stands above the rest.

Or, rather, rests on a wooden base with plastic wires and tubing, presumably for life support. Meet: The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee. Which is kind of like the Head of the John Baptist, or Pope Sylvester II‘s brazen head, except with more clever catch phrases like, “Stay tuned, True Believers!” and “Excelsior!”

“The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee” on FiveByFiveHundred.com

(And let’s be honest: now you’re REALLY intrigued by this new play I’m working on, right? Thought so.)

True Believers Staged Reading

The first public staged reading of my new play, True Believers, took place today at the Berkshire Fringe Festival, following two weeks of intense workshopping. The cast was as follows:

  • Chad Mailer……….Ryan Marchione
  • Billy Horowitz……….Joshua Ramos
  • Ted Thompson……….Bill Shein
  • Chloe Long……….Bethany Geiger
  • Kt Watts……….Kristen Sparhawk
  • Box/Ensemble……….Timothy Ryan Olson
  • Calvin……….Hector Rivera
  • Ensemble……….Clelia Sweeney
  • The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee……….Himself

Special thanks to my director, Keith Bulla, and dramaturg/playwright mentor Laura Maria Censabella. Overall, the script seemed to be well received, and I made a lot of progress on it over the past 2 weeks, tightening the story and sharpening the edges. There’ll be another draft coming up, so stay tuned to see where your favorite Comic-Con play goes next!