FORWARD: Staged Reading at Phoenix Theatre

I got to be a part of the staged reading of Angelica Howland’s play FORWARD this week at the Phoenix Theatre Hormel Festival of New Plays and Musicals.

Angelica Howland has been working in the theatre for two decades as an actor and recently decided to take the plunge as a playwright.  Her first work, FORWARD, was picked up by the Hormel Festival for development under the direction of Bill Partlan.

I was asked to play the role of Christopher, a son who has lost both his parents.  It is a touching piece that explores what it is to human and what it might mean to be spirit.

Our cast was Kale Pascual, Maren Maclean Mascarelli, David Vining and Kim Richards along with Kirt Shiniman and Johnnie Madina as our dramaturges and Kari Litteer as our  stage manager.  I felt so at home with this cast and the level of artistry that they were able to bring to the read was truly inspiring to me.

The play itself made great strides and tightened though the week dropping about 20 minutes from its run time.  Angelica seemed satisfied by the week of work, and we all hope it gets a future life for more development.

However it’s pretty good already.  As one audience member put it, “it was so good I didn’t realize it was trying to be a play.”


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