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Roses and Thorns



James O'Leary


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February 14: Thanks to everyone who contributed to our superlative “Roses and Thorns” performance on Sunday night! It was a great success and I thank all the actors, directors, writers, producers, etc. and our wonderful audience. 

Up next is our April 9 show: “Trains and Planes: Voyages by Air and Rail.” The show’s theme is travel: airplanes, railroads, airports, railway stations, sentimental journeys of the heart and soul, and dark trips of danger and terror. If you are a writer/playwright and want to submit a travel-related story, play, or poem for the show, send your work to by February 27.

February 10: We have finished rehearsals for “Roses and Thorns” and the cast is ready to present our One Night Stand Valentine on Sunday night at the Vintage Theater. From an enchanted encounter at a city bus stop and a morning-after grammar lesson to lust in an elevator, we hope you will join us for our evening featuring the ups and downs of love and romance. 

Here are three more quotes from the plays we’ll be presenting: 

“Yes, go ahead. Despite your – vulgarity, I think your intentions are good. Plus, I am a little freaky.” – Up and Down by Jeffrey Wolf 

“The living room is now the DMZ, a place to pass through... without really looking at the couch where I used to rub her feet.” – The Ghosts of Us by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill 

“I’m not going to jail. This was a crime of passion.” – Beige by Dan Weatherer

February 5: Love was in the air during our first week of rehearsals for “Roses and Thorns.” Thank you to the directors and actors for doing such a great job this week! Here are more quotes from our upcoming plays and poems: 

“Gather we rosebuds while the red-hot sparks fall where they may…” –Flaming Passion by Linda Berry 

“Most relationships are. Complicated. I guess that’s why I like grammar so much. Things are

so much easier when there are very clear guidelines…and rules.” – Dangling Participles by Jeffrey Neuman 

“Nobody who volunteers at sloth rescues is all bad.” – Love You Bad by Emma Reinhart

January 23: We are happy, pleased, enamored, enraptured, excited and a little aroused to announce the cast of our “Roses and Thorns” evening: One Night Stand regulars Matt Davis, Erik Thurston, Doug Tisdale, Adrian Hart and Scott Hasbrouck are joined by Linda Swanson Brown (returning to the ONS stage after two years) and newcomers Kate Poling, Holly Westwood, Emily Gomes, and Katie Walker. Rehearsals begin soon with directors Katie Mangett, Cindy Hall, Brenda Hoskins, Lorraine Scott and myself. Here are some choice lines from two of the plays we’ll be presenting at February 12evening of romance: 

“When you think about our first date last week, it’s kind of funny. Together, we survived a restaurant fire, a seven car traffic accident, a flash flood, and a mugging. Darling, with a night like that in our past, we should be able to make it through anything.” – Trixie’s Last Date with the Boogeyman by David-Matthew Barnes 

“Look at her face, look at her eyes, mouth, lips, and tell me, dear friends if you, yourself, have not fallen for this most compelling, delicious, beautiful young woman…” – Mim and Max by Ken Crost

January 14: Announcing our plays for the Feb. 12 “Roses and Thorns” show! Congratulations to our writers (and thank you to everyone who submitted work); we’re looking forward to telling their stories at the Vintage Theater, two nights before Valentine’s Day. “Roses and Thorns” is all about the joys and heartbreak of love and romance:

· Love at first sight meets undecipherable gibberish at a city bus stop in “Mim and Max” by Ken Crost.

· A Southern belle must survive a date from Hell in a desperate attempt to no longer be single in “Trixie’s Last Date with the Boogeyman” by David-Matthew Barnes.

· Max and Elle share an awkward and rather telling “morning after” conversation about grammar in “Dangling Participles” by Jeffrey Neuman.

·  Black Cat and Silver Lightning battle over good and evil and their troubled relationship in “Love You Bad” by Emma Reinhart.

· A man takes an awkward journey in an elevator with a beautiful woman in “Up and Down" by Jeffrey Wolf.

· Mr. and Mrs. Woore learn that even murder can’t stop them from fighting in “Beige” by Dan Weatherer.

We’ll also feature a selection from Rebecca Gorman O’Neill’s full-length play “The Ghosts of Us” and the poems “Flaming Passion” and “I’d Want It to Be You” by Linda Berry.

December 11: Thanks to everyone who made our “In the Works” evening so successful! Thank you to actors Kathi, Mauro, Hilarie, Juliana, Matt, Brad, Erik, Pam, Karin, and Maria; directors Brenda and Tami; production staff Beth, Gail, and Kelly Jo; and playwrights Cruz, David-Matthew, Leodis, Chris, Miles and Emma. From the dark comedy of “Welcome to Death Co.” to the somber goodbye of “I’ll Keep Coming” and everything in between, well done, writers and performers! 

We wish all of you the happiest of winter holidays, and on February 12 we’ll be back at the Vintage Theater with a holiday package of a different sort: a Valentine’s Day show, two days early! It’s called “Roses and Thorns,” and it celebrates both the glory and the tragedy of love: the good, the bad, the ugly, the passionate, and the pathetic…romance in its many shapes and forms. Playwrights and writers, the deadline for submitting short plays, stories and poems is Jan. 2 (send 

Following the “Roses and Thorns” show, we will be featuring “Trains and Planes” in April, history in June with “Tales of America,” an evening featuring playwright Dave Brandl in June, “Mystery Radio Theater” in October, and “In the Works III” in December.

December 8: Saturday night is our second annual “In the Works” show at Red Rocks Community College. We’re presenting six short plays by RRCC playwrighting students and faculty. We’ve wrapped up rehearsals and are putting the finishing touches on the production. 

Here are two “final quotes” from our plays: 

“Look at you. So thin and fit. You’ve got a great figure. And your hair – well, if we didn’t know any better, sugar, we would truly believe that icy blonde was a real color.” – The Bray of the Belles by David-Matthew Barnes 

“I remember the heat behind my back when the fire started. I don't remember anyone screaming. I don't remember any noise. Only the heat. Only the fire.” - I’ll Keep Coming by Cruz Frankie Garcia

December 3: We had a great first week of rehearsal for “In the Works”! It was fun to work with Pamela, Matt, Kathi, Erik, Maria, Brad, Mauro and Brenda, along with some of our playwrights stopping by to share their insights.  Here are some choice quotes from the upcoming plays: 

“We also have a death coaster with so many loopdy-loops that you'll hemorrhage in pure adrenaline fueled ecstasy.” - Welcome to Death Co. by Miles McLean 

“Now that I know you’re not seducing my girl, I feel I can rather warm up to you.” - Two’s Company by Emma Reinhart

November 27:Welcome our cast for “In the Works”: One Night Standers Kathi Baerns, Matt Davis, Hilarie Nelson, Maria Ortiz, Mauro Segura, Erik Thurston and Brad Wagner, and newcomers Juliana Attebury, Karin Carr and Pamela Chrisman. Rehearsals start next week with directors Brenda Hoskins, Tami Canaday and myself. Here are quotes from two of the plays we’ll be presenting on December 10: 

“It’s not lying. I’m a lie genie. I specialize in lies. I’m just making your lies all truths.” - If the Truth Be Told by Leodis Smith 

“Daddy always said, ‘Roadkill’s just more meat for the freezer.’” - Honor Thy Father by Chris Hildebrandt

November 12: Congratulations to the playwrights whose work was selected for our Dec. 10 production. “In the Works” features the talents of Red Rocks Community College playwrighting students, alumni, and faculty. This year’s plays deal with many challenging social issues (but with some fun diversions as well). The show is Dec. 10 (a Saturday, instead of our usual Sunday shows) at 7:30 p.m. at the RRCC Theatre in Lakewood, Colorado:

· A despondent widow receives a visit from her estranged black sister-in-law on Christmas Eve 1965 in “A Rum Cake for Rita” by RRCC playwrighting instructor David-Matthew Barnes.

·  A young man recruits an unreliable genie to help him confess an affair to his girlfriend in “If the Truth Be Told” by Leodis Smith.

· A salesman for a euthanasia business struggles to find new customers in “Welcome to Death Co.” by Miles McClean.

· A reluctant fiancée meets an unconventional woman at a 1920s garden party in “Two’s Company” by Emma Reinhart.

· A tragic suicide leads a distraught gay man to seek solace and understanding from an old flame in “I’ll Keep Coming” by Cruz Frankie Garcia.

· A family gathers for dinner and the unsettling mystery of their deceased father in “Honor Thy Father” by Chris Hildebrandt.