Time to spend riding

In addition to the time spent writing at local area libraries I hope to also find time to ride (or as my Spyder cohorts prefer – ryding).  I have a Can-Am Spyder that I love to ride and a Piaggio MP3 to get me around town and out to where I store the Spyder.  To the west of where I live in Northern Manhattan is terrific riding, especially around the upper Delaware Water Gap.  To the north is fine roads around Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain.  Farther north the Catskills.  Farther yet the Adirondacks.  All roads I have greatly enjoyed.

It has been about two years since I took my last significant vacation traveling through the Midwest to see two of my plays performed and visit family in Cincinnati.  Don’t know yet if I will take quite that long a trip (4,500 miles) but I will certainly spend more time riding close by.  I can hardly wait.  More information if anything exciting happens on one of those trips.  Most likely just lovely having my knees in the breeze.

dreamstimefree_293004 open road - riding

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

Time to spend writing

One advantage of having a little time off is the chance to do more writing.  As some of you know I have written about two dozen plays that have received more than 100 productions, readings or awards in twenty four states.  I am not earning a living from writing, far from it, it actually costs me more than I earn, so it is very much a hobby at this point.  While I would love to make money doing it, I enjoy it so much that I keep at it anyway.

The last several years have been very stressful at work and consumed a tremendous amount of energy and time.  Even when I took a vacation I spent several days during the trip working remotely as there was no one else to do certain tasks.  I did some writing but far less than I wanted.

For at least the next several weeks you will find me often at libraries, parks and other places around New York writing as much as I can.  Indeed, one of the reasons I rebooted this blog is to require me to write a little each day to grease the wheels.  This blog is intended to jump start my play writing.  Wish me luck.

dreamstimefree_10625688 abstract keyboard

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

Looking for a job…

Today, Tuesday, August 15 is my last day working for Crozier Fine Arts.  A bit more than 18 months ago an international company, Iron Mountain Information Systems, purchased the company from founder Bob Crozier.  I joined Crozier Fine Arts doing Operations but when Bob lost his Director of Security and later fired his Human Resources Director he assigned me to those departments instead.  For nearly a decade I covered both of those departments for him singlehanded.

When Iron Mountain purchased us I knew that both of those rolls were handled from their corporate offices in Boston.  I could read the writing on the wall and knew that eventually this would all change.  Today is that day.  I have worked with Iron Mountain to perform an orderly and professional transition, moving my responsibilities to various other entities in the company and corporate structure.  Neither of my roles will be handled by a single individual on the local level.

So I am open to new challenges and new opportunities.  I have extensive management experience in both the performing and fine arts fields.  I would prefer to stay in the New York area but would consider moving for the right job.  Currently I am taking a little down time and working on other projects, to be addressed in the coming blog entries…

dreamstime_xxl_70300430 job hunting

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

A Whole New Blog

Lots of things in flux, many things changing.  To mix things up, I am embarking on a whole new Blog project.  I plan to write at least five new Blog posts each week.  No specific days of the week promised but not overly long.  For goodness sakes, I cannot even Tweet every day and that is only 140 characters long.  I promise here though, only a few paragraphs long for each post so that I do not waste too much of your time.

I will still review and comment on shows I see here in New York.  I will continue to trumpet any productions of my plays.  I will always comment on food and my road trips. All the same stuff but regularly occurring.  If this bugs you, then you may opt out.  If it interests you, which I know is unlikely, climb aboard and subscribe.

So welcome aboard, more to come in the coming days.  Let’s see if I can really carry this through.  Not all positive but all real.  Enjoy.

dreamstime_xxl_87319685 blog image

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com or on Twitter @walterthinnes

Busy Times catch up – Show coming

Sorry, busy time getting ready for a show this weekend.  I host with magic tricks, do the marketing, take the reservations, coordinate the tech, do the sound cues, and have two shows in the event (though my quite able director Pamela Wilson takes care of most of those).  Lots else is happening but this is what is directly in front of me so dealing with it now.  Will catch up with other stuff soon.  Really.  Come see the show, but make a reservation. Call me or email me!

P&P8 Poster v7

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

Audience Choice Award for ALWAYS WITH ME

Yesterday I received the following:

Congratulations to Walter Thinnes whose play “Always With Me” is the week one winner of the 7thannual Players Theatre Short Play and Musical Festival – NYC 2017!  This wonderful production was directed by Pamela Wilson with assistant director Chelsea Robinson.  The talented cast included: Max Hanau as John, Kasey Moorhouse as Ellen and Sophie Larin as Susan.

In the recently completed festival the audience receives a ballot with their program and chooses two shows from the slate they see that night.  Many audience members are there because they know a writer or cast member and they can be counted on voting for that show.  In theory the second vote balances that factor.  We had very few people we knew at the program which means we had a great preponderance of those second votes.  And no wonder.  Pamela and Chelsea did an amazing job and these actors are supremely talented.  I am very proud of this production.

Soon I will catch up with very late commentary on the recent Tony Awards.  Good thing I am only a blogger and not a journalist with a deadline!

Audience Choice Award

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @WalterThinnes

Thrilled with ALWAYS WITH ME

My short play ALWAYS WITH ME opened last night for a weekend run at the Short Play and Musical Festival at the Players Theatre in Greenwich Village. Tickets are on sale at http://www.shortplaynyc.com/ for $30.  If you use the discount code CAST you save $10 each.  Reservations are recommended.  We are the first weekend of a three week festival.  There are three other plays in our weekend and the audience casts ballots each night on best play with the winner for each weekend receiving a $100 prize.

The Players Theatre puts on three self-produced festivals each year and the theme of this one is “Only In New York.”  ALWAYS WITH ME is my “9/11” play and this is the first full production of it.  It has had several developmental workshops and readings.  I must say that I am absolutely thrilled with this production.  All credit goes to:

Max Hanau as John
Kasey Moorhouse as Ellen
Sophie Larin as Susan
Directed by Pamela Wilson
Assistant Director Chelsea Robinson

These good people, working together, have mined new insights in the work and provided it with thrilling vitality.  As a team works over a play, we know the ending.  We know things the audience cannot ever know.  It is very easy to toss off or overplay a playwright’s adumbration (yeah, cool word I recently learned – look it up, it is worth knowing and I realized this is very much the job of a playwright) An easy homework assignment really as most systems allow you to capture and look up the word just as you read it.  The subtlety is reflected in the “umbra” at the base of the word.  Cool.

Anyway, we had some friends who attend lots of theater at the show last night.  We did not explain anything before so they saw it cold.  They experienced it exactly as I wanted. There is a bit of confusion and uneasiness at first and when the “reveal” happens they immediately spooled back and catalogued the oddities they observed, fitting perfectly into their new understanding.  It is all I can ask of a short play and this cast and the directors did a brilliant job.  Can’t wait for the rest of the run.

Players Theatre cast curtain call

Sophie, Kasey and Max taking their well deserved bows….

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @WalterThinnes

Happy Birthday to my Tomato Plant

A little over a year ago I bought a Miracle-Gro AeroGarden for my small New York apartment.  It is a simple hydroponic device with a grow light.  Pretty cool.  I started several plants for fun and there is a monitoring device to check for water level, remind you to add food and track how many days have passed since you planted.  That little timer tells me that the tomato plant you see in the picture is 365 days old!  All the other plants went to that great garden in the sky but this beauty is still cranking out cherry tomatoes as you can see.

This is not an economical method for sure.  Between power for the grow light and circulating pump and the refills of distilled water (yeah, they told me it would help and that tomato plant is darn thirsty!) I spend much more money on this little project than I would if I just bought cherry tomatoes from the local market.  But it is lots of fun and I sure know exactly where this produce comes from.

That companion plant beside it is basil.  It came later and not pictured is a small companion planter with three more.  Of course it is a delightful addition for a Caprese salad (haven’t yet sprung for a water buffalo to supply the milk for fresh mozzarella, maybe next year).  Especially good is a weekly dose of fresh pesto I make when I trim the plants back for the freshest concoction you can imagine.  Pardon me, need to go out and plow the south forty before dinner.

Tomato plant after one year

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

Showing Mom Around

Sorry I haven’t been blogging lately.  Or you may be quite relieved!

My mother (nearly 80 now) just visited my home in New York and boy did we have a great time.  She stops by every year or so and has no interest in tourist sites or even our roster of great restaurants.  She wants food shopping.  We hit all the great spots and she takes home lots of goodies back in Florida where she has three freezers.  She cooks a lot (must be where I got it from) and loves to put things up for later and for neighbors.

So we went to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx (the real live Little Italy in New York) where she stocked up on great stuff, Murrays Cheese Shop and Chelsea Market (one of her favorite spots), Union Square Green Market, and Sables for fresh whitefish salad, bialys and other good stuff.

Finally I took her to a lovely gourmet store called Agata and Valentina.  She has specified that it will be the first stop on her next trip (to pick up fresh products for me to cook up for her visit) and her last stop (for her to stock up on things for her to bring home).  Yep, a good trip.

Always exhausting looking after her and always exhilarating watching her love the food discoveries.  I’m a pretty lucky son.


As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

MEETING WITHOUT END gets a spin at Mary Baldwin University

This weekend I visited Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, VA.  There I had the chance to see a performance of the theater department’s spring plays titled “The Play’s the Thing.”  They presented a number of short works directed, performed and generally written by students.  My niece Julianna (Toni) Thinnes chose one of my short plays MEETING WITHOUT END as her directing class project.  I’ve seen a number of different productions of this work and Julianna’s version differed significantly from previous versions.

That is one reason I enjoy seeing my scripts performed and why I give directors wide latitude in how they choose to shape them.  As far as I am concerned there is no “right way” to stage one of my works.  Sometimes I learn something unexpected along the way.  This particular script is a rendering of a corporate meeting full of trite phrases and business catch words that get progressively mangled along the way.  Most directors have played it straight but Julianna turned it into the circus underlying the concept.  Interesting.

Staunton itself is a lovely little town but I must admit that it was hard to find a place for a drink when we wanted it and crossing the GW Bridge back home was a nice relief.  Glad to visit, happy to live in Manhattan!

Walter and Julianna

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes