Entries Tagged as 'Messenger No. 4'


I’m proud to announce that our production of Messenger No. 4 has been nominated for 2 Austin Critics’ Table awards.

The first is for Production of a Comedy… which is amusing if you’ve traveled this road with us… we’ve tended to make things that weren’t terribly funny unless you happen to find dead Greeks hilarious.

The second nomination was for the David Mark Cohen award for New Play for Will and it couldn’t be more deserved.

So a song for your day:



I have a lot of ideas.
A lot. A lot a lot. Friends and loved ones learn to listen, or sort of surf the never-ending flow, for things I truly invest in… or spend a second thought on. In return I use them to see if any of the ideas bust through the eye glaze and fire a neuron in a brain not mine….

This is a pretty good system for a flawed brain. As long as the idea broadcaster and vetters are in the same communication plane… or awake.

Because sometimes? Sometimes you have an idea in the middle of the night and share it with the broader world before you vet those ideas with the folks you trust. In other news – I mentioned that I agreed to tattoo someone’s name on my leg right?

While doing a final adjustment of the Kickstarter rewards for Cambiare ProductionsMessenger No. 4 I was adding the personal touch items that I feel are key to small scale crowdsourcing… a headshot package from Will… cupcakes from Amanda and… well I don’t have a skill…. so HEY LOL I’LL SELL MY BODY. If it had been earlier in the day my wife my have had me think better of it…

It takes two to tango and my old friends the Vaillancourts stepped up… and tonight I made good.


Wait we’re doing what?



Erik Gilbert operating.
Me demonstrating that I am a leaf on the wind.



All the outlining done…
and NOW I ask how long he’s been doing this…


Erik colours in the sketch heart…
and the newest permanent addition to my skin.

Thank you so much to Mark and Trish Vaillancourt for your generosity and your years of support.


No good evening out is complete without a quality beverage and the rep productions of Messenger No. 4 and the 21 Would-Be Lives of Phineas Hamm featured a partnership with Austin’s own Deep Eddy Vodka to ensure we wouldn’t be lacking.

Those who braved a full night at the Blue Theatre (for both shows) received a complimentary cocktail (or soft drink) and you could also purchase them at the bar.

We had drinks concocted for us (one per show) by long time friends of Cambiare Productions Simon Ogden (The Next Stage, and Veneto in Victoria, BC) and Tony Adams (AD of Halcyon Theatre in Chicago).

Simon Ogden designed what we called the Juicy Apollo for Messenger No. 4:

The Juicy Apollo
2 oz Deep Eddy vodka
2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 oz Lillet
(white is preferred but red is also tasty and striking in the glass)
2 oz Crème de Cacao (white)
1 oz pasteurized egg white

Throw it all in a shaker with a lot of ice and shake like hell. There is almost nothing to cut the alcohol in this. YOU NEED TO SHAKE IT WITH ICE. I spent three weeks with this drink. Trust me on this. It is tart and a little dry but the Crème de Cacao rounds it off on the tongue and with the frothed egg white really does resemble Simon’s promised lemon meringue.


Tony designed the drink for the 21 Would-Be Lives of Phineas Hamm with director and playwrights dubbed “Phin’s Cup”.

Phin’s Cup
2 Oz Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka
2 Oz Peach Nectar (Kerns or Jumex)
2 Oz Lemonade (we used Simply Lemonade)
Soda Water

This drink is dangerous. I say this with my show closed and no further relationship with Deep Eddy – the Sweet Tea vodka is smooth and tastes almost nothing like alcohol.

Build this in a tumbler, fill it with ice and then add the nectar, lemonade and vodka, fill the glass with soda water (and then drizzle a float of grenadine. Give it a little baby stir and keep reminding yourself that there’s alcohol in the drink or not reminding your wife that there’s alcohol (Hi Megan!)

Also, as you can see, I mixed pitchers of the drink to keep lines moving. A can of peach nectar is just under 12 ounces, so a can of nectar, 12 ounces of lemonade, and 12 ounces of vodka is one half pitcher. Then add the soda and grenadine on a per glass basis. DO NOT DRINK IT STRAIGHT. F’reals. These are sipping drinks not shots.

Thank you so much to our partners in this lil concession adventure. People enjoyed having a delicious adult beverage available to them, and in most cases something they wouldn’t have tried anywhere but at our event. Thank you to Simon, Tony and especially to James at Deep Eddy Vodka for making this perk possible.

After the Curtain


So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Forgive a proper New Hampshire boy for default to Robert Frost?

Messenger No. 4 (v 1.0) has been stripped out of the Blue Theatre, rolling chairs have been dispersed, it’s all over but the accounting and I am… surprisingly emotional.

I mentioned to Andy Rodgers just after opening that this show was as unfulfilling as any I’d ever done because I was so divorced from the process. I worked with Will on the script until Draft 3, which he took into rehearsal and then… left.

I wanted this show to be his. I wanted the writer to have his way with a text and not have the constant pressure of outside notes to cloud that. I felt it would be hypocritical to support Will as a writer except for when we were producing his first full length show…

So as we entered the hard production zone I hadn’t seen a run of any kind. I was making props for a show that I didn’t really know (biblically) and a cast I only knew piecemeal, not as an entity. We had a shortened tech period in the space because of the binary nature of this particular presentation and the final dress was a fascinating experiment in transdimensional physics. {please note even with ten actors they cannot be every where at once instantly…}

The downside of relying on open casting calls is that there is little or no continuity in an acting company. There isn’t a core of performers that know that they can trust us, that we will deliver, and that we’re more likely to not sleep for a month at a time rather than ever let them look bad. The upside is that it’s on us to earn that every time out.

The downside is that you never know how a group of people who have largely never worked with one another are going to approach adversity, real adversity, like say a transdimesional physics experiment run amok, until they are actually faced with it.

The upside is that when they grab a beast of a show like Messenger No. 4 and truly make it their own and iron out minor multiplicity and time paradox issues with velcro and spit it’s transcendent. This cast never stopped working to improve the show, to figure out new bits, or to make each other laugh.


Spending three weeks open with a show you enjoy is a great way to get to know a group of people and I have to say I’m gonna miss these goofy bastards. 

Messenger No. 4 – Dramatis Personae – Philip Olson

Name: Philip Olson

Where are you from originally?
I was born in Pasadena California, just down the street from the famous Hollywood Graveyard (where Michael Jackson lives). I spent much of my youth living in the deserts of Albuquerque, NM

How long have you been in Austin?
15 years, I moved here before all the cedars turned into strip malls.

Who are some of the the folks you’re playing in Messenger No. 4?
I play Messenger No. 15, best friend to Messenger No. 4. I work in tech support, and don’t really enjoy my cubicle life. I make it a personal mission to keep No. 4 out of trouble, no matter the cost.

I also get to play a love-struck Demetrius from Midsummer, Apollo god of the Sun, and Menalaeus king of Sparta !

What was the very first show you did ever in your entire life?
My very first play was Crazy for You by Ira Gershwin. I was seventeen, and it was my junior year of high school. I was actually to scared to audition for a large part, but I ended up reading for one anyway by sort of a fluke. After going from a shy, introverted artist to being in the spotlight, I was hooked. Most of my peers had been acting their whole lives, so it took some time for me to catch up.

What is the single most fun thing you’ve ever gotten to do on stage?
Ok, this is going to sound really weird but…

I was in a play in college called Slaughter City. It’s about workers in a pork processing plant. Very gritty, dark, and rough. My character was unable to connect to people in a real way, and he had a vivid imagination. He has a crush on a woman twice his age, so he re-enacts a seduction scene… with a pig carcass. There was this big rock-musical number when it came down from the ceiling on a hydraulic hook, and that number/scene was the craziest/coolest moment I’ve ever experienced on a stage.

What moment on stage do you wish you could go back and erase from history?
A musical I was in two years ago based on the Odyssey by Homer. It was such an  embarrassing mess, and everybody that came and saw me was too embarrassed to even talk to me about it. It was boring, corny, too long, and with unending rock ballad after rock ballad. I played the son of Odysseyus, and I spent the whole play trying to kick these drunk suitors out of the house. I ultimately have a power ballad, and kill them all. ‘Nuff said.

What about Messenger No. 4 are you most excited to be sharing with an audience?
The amazing ensemble work, and how dynamic every single actor is. It’s great to have the set and the props have a life of their own, and I love watching that. Chorus work can be drudgery… or the best part of the show. I hope that Messenger No. 4 will really surprise and excite audience members with its group work.

Messenger No. 4 – Dramatis Personae – Karina Domiguez

Name: Karina Dominguez

Where are you from originally?
El Paso by way of southern Arizona by way of northern Mexico.

How long have you been in Austin?
Since 1997, with a 1 1/2 year stint on the west coast after college.

Who are some of the the folks you’re playing in Messenger No. 4?
Receptionist, Klytemnaistra, Medea, Lady M.

What was the very first show you did ever in your entire life?
I was in the Christmas Pageant for my Kindergarten.
I got to play a sugar plum fairy. I remember being so excited to wear a tutu and makeup. I didn’t have ballet slippers, but my mom bought me a beautiful pair of plum colored flats to wear on the day of the show. We didn’t really rehearse the dance sequence prior to the show and then my nerves took over and so when I supposed to move right, I moved left instead and stepped on my scene partners foot.

What is the single most fun thing you’ve ever gotten to do on stage?
I played the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele in a musical at the Vortex a few years ago. I got a dance solo while surrounded by some really good looking merpeople.

What moment on stage do you wish you could go back and erase from history?
Messing up a scene in a Greek tragedy that nearly derailed the play.

What about Messenger No. 4 are you most excited to be sharing with an audience?
Tan tan taaaaaaaaan!

Messenger No. 4 – Dramatis Personae – Jessica Allen

Name: Jessica Allen

Where are you from originally?
Devine, TX
It’s a town consisting of 4,000 people south of San Antonio, and yes, the name says it all.

How long have you been in Austin?
I actually live in San Marcos, and have been there for almost 10 years.

Who are some of the the folks you’re playing in Messenger No. 4?
Helena from Midsummer, Dionysus, and if course sexy security guard.

What was the very first show you did ever in your entire life?
I was 13 and it was a play called ‘This is a Test’. I was on stage maybe two minutes, and still got All Star Cast!

What is the single most fun thing you’ve ever gotten to do on stage?
Wear a giant red wig, and take my bloomers off.

What moment on stage do you wish you could go back and erase from history?
Well, I know that we learn from everything, and even the so called “bad” things are inherently good in the long run, but my senior year of high school we were disqualified in OAP at the district competition for going over time.

It was pretty devastating to my teenage heart, and I felt like it was my fault, because I was the last one on stage. But, hey I am stronger now because of it, and once in college I realized that it wasn’t really that big of a deal.
(Ed note: No. It is a big deal… I’m still not over my DQ in 93…)

What about Messenger No. 4 are you most excited to be sharing with an audience?
I love the characters we have all created. The script offered so much room to play, and it has been such a fun and hilarious process.

I am excited for other people to get in on the joke 🙂

Messenger No. 4 – Dramatis Personae – Rachel Wiese

Name: Rachel Wiese

Where are you from originally?
I’m from Arkansas. For the first 10 years of my life, I lived at the Heifer Project International learning and livestock center where volunteers from around the world came from weeks to years to help raise animals that were then shipped to third world countries as gifts that keep on giving (if you feed and water them). Then I moved from the commune to Petit Jean Mountain where my nearest neighbors were miles down the road and the nearest town was 22 miles away. SO, I went to the big city of Memphis for school- theatre and religious studies- and then it was off to New York to act and eat 3 for $1 fruit from street stands for three years. I moved to Austin for a guy.

How long have you been in Austin?
3 ½ years, I’m still with the guy.

Who are some of the folks you’re playing in Messenger No. 4?
“An unimportant Chorus Member”
(per Messenger #4, Will Hollis Snider)
(ED NOTE: She’s also Movement Choreographer, Messenger 23, Iphigenia, Shakespeare.)

What was the very first show you did ever in your entire life?
The role of baby Jesus in a Christmas Pageant, but for real my first play was called “Myths and Men” and although I really wanted to play Persephone because she had a pretty costume, I was cast as the Narrator because of my uncanny ability at a very young age to memorize lots of words regardless of comprehending them. My first line in the play was “This is where the sky gods live, they rule earth from here”. My voice was really high pitched and I was nicknamed Betty Boop from my fifth grade stage debut through graduation. The skill has served me well when I apply it- I once got out of a New Testament final in college by memorizing and publicly reciting 1st and 2nd Timothy.

What is the single most fun thing you’ve ever gotten to do on stage?

What moment on stage do you wish you could go back and erase from history?
Well, it was sort of off-stage. I had a big fight with another actor in a high school production of “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying”, and I put ABC gum in the sandwich he had to eat on stage. It was my ABC gum… I’m not really proud of that, I guess he could of choked or something.

What about Messenger No. 4 are you most excited to be sharing with an audience?
The story is really clever and a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to telling it with this amazing ensemble.

You and you and nothing but you.

Well I hope you’ve been reading along as we’ve been introducing the cast of our upcoming Messenger No. 4 (Or…. How to Survive a Greek Tragedy). If you haven’t been following along you really should check it out, they’re delightful.

I’ve been asking them about their favorite and least favorite moments on stage because at its heart Messenger No. 4 is about the lengths we go to to create the former and erase the latter (both on stage and in life). Whether those erasable forgettable moments happen because it’s truly bad play or because of cosmic confluence – they never quite leave us… nor do those good moments… whether transcendent performance moments or crises managed with casts you adore.

I want to hear your war stories.

What was your favorite moment on stage?
What moment do you wish you could simply erase forever?

Drop them in the comments here or write a post of your own and link it in the comments below.

and here, a portrait of the artist as a young man as an old man.

Messenger No. 4 – Dramatis Personae –Joey Melcher

Name: Joey Melcher

victoria joey-3

Where are you from originally?
Houston, TX

How long have you been in Austin? 1 year

Who are some of the the folks you’re playing in Messenger No. 4?
Rogue Messenger, Orestes, Past Messenger No.4

What was the very first show you did ever in your entire life?
The Castaways. I played a homeless, singing child.

What is the single most fun thing you’ve ever gotten to do on stage?
While doing a children’s show in Houston, I accidentally picked a scab on my face. Classy, right? Well, the combo of sweat and blood streaming down my face and staining my clothes was pretty fun… What? Not the answer you’re looking for?

What moment on stage do you wish you could go back and erase from history?
While playing Cyrano in college, a crew member spilled spirit gum on my hands while reapplying to my prosthetic nose in between Acts. This made it extremely difficult to give Christian the letter Cyrano wrote to Roxanne.

What about Messenger No. 4 are you most excited to be sharing with an audience?
A dude who would never play Romeo playing Romeo.