To envision where you want and hope to be in the arts is truly a tricky thing. You see in your mind's eye this great scheme of various artistic endeavors, inspiring others and living the dream; but it's never really quite that easy. At first you start out idealist and optimistic as all hell and hell bent on just making it happen—no matter what! That's where you start, visions of grandeur, you and your art in all your glory, wanting to change the world and to dance among the stars, then reality sets in and that is; it's a damn hard path and it ain't for the faint of heart.

A friend told me once that you have to be insane to want to be an artist, because it's not for the faint of heart and you just have to be plain mad in the brain to do it cause you'll never quite fit it. Why? Because we as artists look at the world from outside in and inside out. We notice those little nagging thoughts that most of us just chose to ignore and think little of and we as artists bring it their attention, an unwanted thorn in the nest; that is if we are doing our jobs right.

So the idea of BLACK TENT PRODUCTIONS is to create theatre art that invokes, challenges and questions society individually and collectively has long been in the works with me and others trying to make it just happen. The problem often was lost to my own sense of grandeur, to have everything perfect; the way I had envisioned it in my brain which is a scary place to be if you ever happen to wander into my maze ever riddled with many a ponderment of thought and their enigmatic condition. Just look at my art, or even read a few pieces and you will find out soon enough.

But I wanted to do it full production with no hold bars and everything I imagined it could be, but time, space and money put things into perspective real quick. There is only so many hours in the days of the week and only so much that you can do and in so much time, so you just have to work with what you got, and if you got nothing more than an idea of what you want to do, you have to start small, and build up from there.

Now you have the idea, the production that you want to put on, now you need to get the people willing to put forth the effort forward to help you make it happen and give them a reason why they want to do it, especially if there is no pay involved. Right now you're just trying to get the ball rolling, and getting people involved, so it has to be about the art. It has to be fresh and strike that artistic cord of interest and then you have to keep strumming it like a spiderweb to keep the artistic beast interested. Artists are easily distracted and can loose interest very quickly if they don't see any progress or something that entertains their own curiosities.

So these are just a few lessons that I learned over the years, trying to get that collective effort off the ground so I now I am starting with the Diorama Display for BLACK TENT PRODUCTIONS to create awareness of the theatre company and promote future plays as well attract artists of different calibers and talents.

The first of the dioramas that I originally did was “CIGARETTE BURN” and is the center piece is a play where a Man with no name engages the audience and their human story as the Server tends to his coffee addiction. The driving thought behind the play was simply, “What if the Players were stuck in their own human hells and heavens who are ever subjected to the Human Condition could voice their own personal sense of displeasure, knowing that the end will always be the same?” In the play only two speak, Man and the Server, the rest of the actors are silent and act out the scenes in pantomime theatre.

“HAUNTS & MINDSCAPES” and it's diorama was one my first plays that I drafted and designed and built to ½ scale and as well as concept sketches. 'HAUNTS & MINDSCAPES” is the most fully developed and it even has an original score written by Kenny Johnson. “HAUNTS & MINDSCAPES” is a play of curiosity poised in a simple question of introspection, of my brain “What if we didn't have Human Reality to reflect upon the stage and the consciousness of the World-stage could exist, what would it.. what could it be?' that revolves around a table and chair their states of reality that SHIFTER ONE & TWO engage only at an arm's length manner as they ponder worlds of realities and their own existence. I have been trying to get this play off the ground for years, but something always seems to happen or I am trying to create the perfect production, but lesson learned. This March BLACK TENT PRODUCTIONS will be bring to it the Stage Light at the Salem Library. I was hoping to do it in conjunction with the diorama display at the local library but it didn't work out that way. Another lesson learned, what you hoped to and what you can do are not always the same, but you make the best out of it what you can.

The Diorama display at the Salem Library presents to the spectators three dioramas that BLACK TENT PRODUCTIONS hopes to be three of its first production. “STRANGERS”, “CIGARETTE BURN” and “HAUNTS & MINDSCAPES” along with floor plans and concept sketches to create awareness of BTP and an inkling of curiosity

Hopefully with this and a short one act play “THE PROBLEM WITH GOD” that I wrote I hope to engage a thoughtful audience that seek out plays that would put to question our humanity and all the potential that are capable of, for better or worse. “THE PROBLEM WITH GOD” is a minimalist set with three players, Man, the Devil and God talking about 'the problem with God'. What is it? Well you'll have to come and see the play and find out for yourself. The answer might surprise you, but not really.

BLACK TENT PRODUCTIONS also is looking to do improv theatre and live readings of plays to get audience feedback for playwrights and their work and again to create awareness of BTP.

These are the things in the works and if you're interested you can pop by and see the display at Salem Rum Library in Fredericksburg Va. it will be up until the end of January.



"Where the arts are driven with purpose and intellectual what end!?"


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