Mark H. Albert (Creative Me). This initiative for this webpage is my venture into the creating performance art through playwriting. I have written poetry and enhanced greeting cards. I have dabbled in creative writing and tapped out some blogs on the keyboard. I have set my feet and fate upon the theatre stage for more than two decades in a variety roles and characters.
All this to arrive here!
This is the newest Mark My Words-Ink work to be produced and presented for the 2021 Digital Toronto Fringe Festival – AVAILABLE to View from July 21st, 2021. The play will be a pre-recorded staged production .
The story: Hannahbelle and Joseph meet by accident during a pandemic – but when the masks come off….
We are proud to present a song – Find the light – with lyrics and music written, produced and performed specifically for this play.
I literally lost sight of this site – but now I am found – and it’s timely.
It was not the best of times but was it the worst of times – 2020? Life changed for everyone, but when doesn’t change happen and isn’t it always a transition of growth. Heck, even our dead remains can nurture nature.
Last year was another year and opportunity for me to enter the Toronto Fringe Festival 2020. Then all bets were off, including the Fringe season event. The pandemic had taken its toll and live theatre was all but swept away in viral waves that were like a tsunami to social gatherings.
The play that I had written; something organically sprouted from a previous work; was struggling for the voice in which it could be told. It was dark and dismal and weighted with sadness and heavy messaging, in far too many monologues. With the Fringe cancellation, it too went dark and dormant.
With time and opportunity to think and write at The Lakehouse – a family summer home located on a version of the beaches of Lake Ontario – I set to writing something new; inspired by what we now see and don’t see, behind the masks we must wear.
The question – does a virus have to infect sickness – or can it affect love?
I chose to look at the latter. This is a piece about light and love. Two positive forces that we can give and get.
…and so I’m back to present – the thing – and – the play’s the thing (so says Shakespeare)
A reclusive horror writer, trapped in her tiny apartment by intense agoraphobia, struggles to finish the final novel in her feverishly popular series “The Cult of Dalkhilu”. The pressure increases as her dangerous and demented fan base discover her real identity and begin visiting her with violent and gruesome offerings. The line between fact and fiction is blurred when she learns that the demonic cult from her novels has become a reality and they are worshiping her as their prophet. Weary and weathered, a lone Detective must face the demons of his own haunted past in order to uncover the source of the madness before it consumes them all.
Coming soon to the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue, Toronto ON)
Only steps to the walking path to Bathurst where you can travel the City by transit or shop just up the street at the Promenade Mall or some of fine shops kosher and otherwise along the way; find some good schools elementary, secondary, catholic or french immersion or a places to worship.
You’ll love the Gourmet Kitchen with maple wood cupboards, granite counters and stainless steel appliances including a new gas stove and 2 dishwashers. Home for the Holidays? Entertain using the second full kitchen, including 2 dishwashers, downstairs and set up a Dining Area to accommodate all of your family and friends.
Hardwood floors in the Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room and in the FOUR Bedrooms.
This lovely Family Home in a Family neighbourhood naturally includes a well placed Family room, with a cozy gas fireplace, beside the kitchen with sliding glass doors opening to the back deck and yard.
The oversized garage is conveniently and directly accessed from the foyer.
All this under one NEW 2017 roof.
One time OPEN HOUSE:
SUNDAY, MARCH 4th, 2018
from 2:00p.m. to 4:00pm.
Please note: previous offer fell through on Financing…Lucky for YOU
I’m singin’ the blues. That is.. in praise of the Labe Kagan’s Blues Bawls. Labe has written an audacious and irreverent, melodious narrative following the exploits of those who narrow culture to cult. Stylized with jazzical, bluesy music and lyrics, collaboratively composed by the partnering of Allan Soberman and Labe Kagan, this romp into the unknown, unpredictable and unmentionable parts of human being, departs from the road most traveled. Really it does… The story begins when four celibate, different shade of blues brothers are stranded at a broken down, off the path Mexican motel run by liberated Libby( Erin Roche), having been diverted from their promised rendezvous with their messianic leader. The only other guests are four sexually liberated ladies looking for…well, you can figure it out. Hence the fix is in and the plot thins. The characters find their voices in suggestive songs and colourful language providing some toe tapping, hum/sing along tunes and a fairly consistent audience laugh track.
Kagan adeptly chose a site specific intimate venue to share the performance of this, well directed by Jacqui Burk, well cast work. Certainly there are some stand-out performances delivered by Martin Buote (the definitive “Blueser” the protagonist), Erin Roche (Libby), Jessica Callaghan(Christine- the ingenue), Lisa Ferreira(Kusbi – a very engaging siren) and Tom O’Neal (Daddyo -the Rebleader of the pack). The music is magically, deftly arranged and delivered on keyboard by Sandy Thorburn.
This production enjoyed four sold out days at Jingles; and here’s the good part…return performances are expected.
I delayed in writing about this but I’m giving you advance notice to look for the return.
100 minutes of “THIS”. Last night I went to see a new play by playwright Melissa James Gibson. “This” was incisive, insightful and incitefull. Almost shamefully engaging, as we eavesdrop on the lives, thoughts and struggles of 5 middle aged individuals trying to define who they are and whom they are in relationship to –
This was a play that I had been invited to audition for and did so. Obviously, as my part was audience member last night, I did not successfully win the role. I could quickly see why. Of the two male parts I auditioned for “Tom” and “Alan”. Tom(played by Andrew Batten) was easily the best physical (both individual and ensemble) match for the role of the unhappy male carpenter in a challenging marriage to a beautiful singer and mother. Andrew certainly brought his “A” game to the role finding the vulnerability and complexity of the character. As for “Alan” (played by Michael Harvey). He was a force to be reckoned with. I had watched and marveled at (as one could only do) Michael in the auditions. Both eclectic and electric in the sharped witted and comedic timing of his characterization of the gay, sometimes Jewish (in-play joke) friend.
Amanda Jane Smith, cast as Jane, the main character in this ensemble presented a finely balanced and on-point portrayal.
Audra Yulanda Gray (playing Tom’s wife Marrell) intrinsically meshed the challenges of her multi-coloured roles of new mother, unsatisfied wife and emerging singing artist…and the bonus was a splendid singing performance.
Even in his small role as the foreigner, the one outside this clutch of friends, Christian Martel, found all the sweet spots.
I’ll not go into the plot but to say, it was real and rich with well written and wonderfully articulated dialogue on the human condition. I will say that 100 minutes without intermission was masterfully timed and directed by Rebecca Ballarin. The perception of a good director could be seen – because it couldn’t be seen.
Though the audience may have been small in numbers, they were high charged and well entertained by this work.
I have not been on stage of late and I am happy to return to my creative side in the up-coming- THE CEMETERY CLUB by Ivan Menchell.
I have come of age, well almost. In joining the cast of this staged reading, directed by my good friend and experienced Director, Merle Garbe, I was told to age myself up. That is for the first time in my thespian throng of collective characters, I was told that I could be perceived as too young for the role. Sign me up, I said. I’m in. Mind you, that is after I auditioned and was told that got the part.
This play speaks to the greying demographic, who recognize and respect their relationships of the past; but when those relationships die (literally) then what?
Interestingly my first play with Merle’s recently resigned, Encore Entertainment was as Sam the Pickle man in “Crossing Delancey” where I played the 30-something love interest. Now just shy of pickled, I play the butcher Sam.
It’s fun and frivolous and a good substitute for “Jane the Virgin” on a Monday night.
Come and bring your friends.
You can attend our one and only performance on Monday, June 6 at 7:30, at Temple Sinai, located at 210 Wilson Avenue, on the north side, between Bathurst and Avenue. It’s cash $15. at the door.