Hudson Guild Theatre to Present MY STAGE DADDY
New Plays and Musicals can sometimes take years to nurture before making it to a professional stage with paying customers. One such play opening at the 2017 NY Summerfest July 31 at Hudson Guild Theatre has had a 15-year journey; Jack Dyville's "My Stage Daddy".
Told deep in the heart of Texas in the 1950-60s, this is a semi-autobiographical comedy filled with plenty of heart & soul. Dyville began writing his story as a student at Playwrights Horizons Invitational Forum in 2002, when given the assignment to write about what he knew. And, he knew a lot about growing-up in Fort Worth with a love for the theatre and having a Daddy who was obsessive, a perfectionist and over protective. "As an only child, he gave me all his attention in my pursuit of a theatrical career," Dyville says, "but he knew nothing about show biz, was learning alongside me, yet still became overzealous earning the behind-his-back-name; My Stage Daddy."
At Playwrights Horizons, Dyville came up with a 30 minute one-act that garnered enough attention to land a spot in the Month of Sundays Series produced in 2003 at The Duplex in the West Village. From there, he reviewed the piece, teamed up with producer Eric Schussel and continued adding details he experienced as a child; like how Daddy was relentless in letting go, while providing his son with dance, acting, ice skating, vocal and saxophone lessons. "Being an athlete himself, Daddy knew, everything worthwhile took work and so he pushed and pushed, " Dyville says "I didn't mind, except that I could never please him." This re-incarnation of the play now ran an hour and was entitled, "Daddy Was the Biggest Stage Mother in Texas!". It landed a spot in the 2004 NY International Fringe Festival with the late-Ron Palillo (Horshak of TVs "Welcome Back Kotter") playing the role of Daddy. "It was successful and earned two extra performances, yet I knew something was missing," Dyville commented.
Like most playwrights, Dyville laid this project aside and went on to others; "A Mermaids' Tale" and "Eeek, a Mousical" where he supplied book & lyrics for composer John Stutte and these productions have received numerous performances including a combined 9 month run at Art/New York, Brooklyn, The Secret Theatre in Queens and The Triad-Stage 72 in Manhattan.
In 2014, Dyville, a published playwright decided to go back to work giving "My Stage Daddy" the proper conclusion he had simply not written in the past. A reading and talk-back was given by FACT Theatre Company, NYC. He now wrote from the heart following his path to NYC and the faithful words Daddy always uttered; "You know Daddy won't always be around to take care of you." "Adding this to the story," Dyville points out "along with the first confrontation of homosexuality gives my play the power and the ending it needed."
Yet, another couple of years went past and the project again was on hold as Dyville and composer-lyricist Lawrence Wankle were commissioned to write a musical for the 100 Year start of WWI in commeration of the Old Armory of Williston North Dakota, "Sgt. Stubby, The Great American War Dog". It played the Old Armory and this past year had a critically acclaimed three-month off-Broadway production at New York's St. Luke's Theatre on West 46th Street
Finally, "My Stage Daddy" now a full-length 90-minute show, in association with NY Summerfest and FACT Theatre Co. will present three performances; Monday July 31 and Wednesday Aug 2 @ 9pm andSaturday Aug 5 at 6pm at Hudson Guild Theatre,441 West 26th Street. Tix available www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2944745 or at the door.
Telling the story from the young man's point of view is Caleb Miller White, making his FACT Theatre debut who was selected from on-line submissions and then an extensive call-back. Surprisingly once cast, it was discoverEd White, himself grew up in the Fort-Worth/Dallas area where the play is set.
Daddy is performed by Gus Ferrari, a FACT regular with Mary Sprague seen as The Mom and Lynn Manuell, who also serves on the FACT Board as Aunt Faye. Supporting roles include Board member Vicki Oceguera, playing several other women through-out the years, who starred in both "A Mermaids' Tale" and "Eeek!"and Scott Silvestro as the Other Men. Dyville directs with DaeMynn Steven serving as Stage Manager/Lighting Design and Julia Genoveva as Costumer.