Saturday, December 30, 2006

Theatre Class Starts Wednesday

Valentino: a play in verse is going to be workshopped in the College of the Canyons theatre lab, Theatre 190, in preparation for the New Works Festival in March.

As one of the playwrights whose work was selected, I've signed up for the class and will participate in the rehearsals.

This should be fun.

I went to film school at UCLA, and probably should have signed up for some of their theatre courses, but never did. So this is a second chance to hit the boards.

Today I received an email from teacher-director David Stears, letting the class know when and where to meet, and a little of what to expect.

Looks like there's 18 people in the class.

Can't wait to meet everyone.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Reviewed Proof Copy of Valentino

I reviewed the proof copy of Valentino: a play in verse.

Found one very minor issue, which I think I'll let slide. I'm a perfectionist by nature, but I've been obsessing over this play for seven years now. Time to let it go.

I'll officially approve it after the new year, but this looks like the one.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Cover Art

Here is the front cover art for Valentino: a play in verse.

This is generally believed to be a portrait of Cesare Borgia (Duke Valentino), painted in the early 1500s.

The work has been attributed to various Italian Renaissance artists, including Altobello Melone, Gianfrancesco Bembo, and Giorgione (Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco).

Alexander Dumas (père), in his book Celebrated Crimes, claims that the popular Renaissance image of Jesus Christ was modeled after Cesare Borgia, who was widely considered to be the most handsome man of his day.

One can certainly see a resemblance to Jesus iconography in this portrait.

Leonardo da Vinci worked for Cesare Borgia as a military engineer, and other Italian Renaissance painters would have met Cesare or studied his portraits.

The irony, of course, is that Cesare Borgia was not exactly the most Christ-like figure. Yes, he was the son of a pope and for a short time served as a cardinal, but he was also notoriously ruthless, and became the role-model for Machiavelli's classic book on power politics,
The Prince.

In any case, I think the book's front cover turned out well.

Back Cover Copy for Valentino

Here's the back cover copy for the printed book version of Valentino: a play in verse:

Italy, 1502.

Duke Valentino must face the sins of his past in order to protect his family.

Brilliant and ambitious, Valentino wages a war to reclaim the Papal States for Rome, but he is haunted by the memory of murdering his brother.

His beloved sister, Lucrezia Borgia, may already be plotting his destruction. Now his mercenary captains have formed a conspiracy against him.

Valentino's only hope for survival lies with two Florentine men of genius: Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Proof Copy of Valentino Arrived Today

The latest proof copy of Valentino arrived in the mail today.

Looks great so far. You can see the cover on my website.

Of course, I need to read it over very carefully before approving it for publication. This is version five. Every time I think I'm done, I find something else to fix.

In version four I found a typo that had been sitting in the manuscript since 2003 (the year I completed the first draft). In Act Two, Scene 7 (page 76 of the book) Machiavelli said "do demonstrate" instead of "to demonstrate".

I must have read that line a hundred times in the last four years, and missed the typo every time. Yikes. Now I wonder what else I'm missing.

No doubt my readers will tell me once it's published.

Valentino Selected for New Works Festival

Valentino: a play in verse has been selected for the Fifth Annual College of the Canyons New Works Festival, to be held March 22-25, 2007.

The festival is designed for short plays, and Valentino is a full-length play, so I will need to select a scene for this event. I haven't chosen one yet, and I'm not sure what to expect from the festival, but I'm looking forward to it.

Rehearsals begin in January.