Frank’s Cocktail Lounge, 660 Fulton St. in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, has been host to some of New York City’s best theatre artists and writers with the “Write Night” series since June 2009. The brainchild of collaborators Cindy Hanson and Stephanie Bok, this highly entertaining evening of original short monologues, stories, scenes, songs and rhymes has been making people laugh, identify and think on many Thursday nights for over two years. Each evening is centered on a theme, a jumping-off point from which the participants create new work that they perform themselves. On Sept. 27 at 7:30p.m., the 14th Write Night will explore the theme: “Going Places.” Life is a series of journeys and there are plenty of lessons learned, adventures, triumphs and mishaps to be shared.
Frank’s Cocktail Lounge is a family-owned and operated bar that has been in business in Fort Greene for over 50 years. Conveniently located at 660 Fulton St., near all trains, it is a neighborhood icon and the perfect setting for the Write Night series. It has a comfortable and friendly atmosphere and audiences are encouraged to come and go as they please, get drinks during the show and feel like active participants. Manager Tyrone Perkins has warmly welcomed the Write Night crew and there has never been a cover charge for one of these events.
The line-up of writer/performers for this show includes Stephanie Bok, Paul Boocock, Charles Edward Drew Jr., Cindy Hanson, Hollie Harper, Maura Kelley, Janice Lowe, Wesley Middleton and Sue Scarlett Montgomery. This diverse multi-talented group boasts an impressive list of credits among them and many have been with the project from the beginning.
Selected performer bios:
Stephanie Bok is the producer of Write Nights @ Frank’s. She has been performing and working in theatre for over 20 years in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. Stephanie is a staff writer for the American Candy sketch comedy group and her writing has been produced by Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company, American Theatre of Harlem, Inneract Productions, JustAsk Productions, ActNow Foundation, White Bird Productions and the DUMBO Arts Festival.
Paul Boocock has performed his solo work at HERE, The Flea Theater, EST and Soho Think Tank and was nominated for 2 New York Innovative Theatre Awards – including Best Performer. Paul has been the voice of Dr. Jonas Venture and many others on the Cartoon Network’s Venture Bros and was a member of Elevator Repair Service and PREMIUM BOB. He appears in Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black’s 2010 release and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He worked with Hal Hartley, Jim Simpson, Gary Schwartz, Kristin Marting, John Collins and Steve Bodo, David Herskovits, Steven Schardt, Todd Alcott, Jay Tarses, Kevin O’Roarke, Bob Lyons and Mary Kate Burke. Paul created segments for American Public Radio & WBAI and he has been a baseball pundit to The New York Times.
Cindy Hanson is a member of the Chicago-based writing and performing group, the Sweat Girls. She is the co-writer of Cooking with Lard and co-adaptor of Hen Lake. She has written and performed Evelyn Dances in Chicago, Louisville and San Francisco where she was nominated for a Bay Area Critics Award. Cindy has also written the play Henry & Helen and the performance piece Me And My Chakras.
Charles Edward Drew Jr. got his professional theater start at LaMama ETC. As artistic director of Absolute Theater Company he produced over one hundred plays in New York City and Los Angeles. Charles collaborated on five musicals with composer Janice Lowe. He was commissioned by the New York City Parks to write Central, presented at Summer Stage. He has produced numerous readings at April Barton’s Suite #303 in the Chelsea Hotel. Currently his play Nightmare 1965- The Lynching of Emmett Till is touring at local colleges. He wrote the pilot for The Kelly Bowers Show and was a producer and screenwriter for the films G and Moon Kake Casino. Charles is developing a television series about the private lives of the paparazzi and teaches performance workshops.
Hollie Harper is a hard driven, writer/producer/director/actress from Cape May, New Jersey. The sketch comedy group AMERICAN CANDY, created by Hollie and co-produced with Patranila Jefferson, recently hit its three-year mark with its 24th show. AMERICAN CANDY comedic songs are now being released on Itunes and Amazon.com. Her web series, Jack & Jill caught the attention of the WGA and she was one of the first writer/directors of original for-online content to join the WGA.
Maura Kelley is a director, actor, playwright, artist, and face painter. Dog Park, a play she wrote and directed, completed a successful run at the Drilling Company Theatre in Manhattan. She wrote and directed On My Way to You, a solo cabaret show at the Metropolitan Room. She is currently writing her memoirs which will be adapted for the stage.
Janice Lowe is a composer and poet whose music-text collaborations include Youssif’s Greatest Hits, a coming of age story and Barbie-cide with the Jones Twins, a personal riff on the Barbie doll and identity. She has composed several musicals including Lil Budda, libretto by Stephanie L. Jones, Sit-In at the Five & Dime, libretto by Marjorie Duffield and This Esther, text by Charles Drew.
Wesley Middleton is playwright whose children’s plays Tomato Plant Girl and Degas’ Little Dancer have been performed all over the US. Also a journalist, her article Welcome to the Free Zone, about Brooklyn’s UrbanGlass was published in the journal Trachodon and she writes on arts and culture for the NY Times Fort Greene Local blog. She’s currently working on The Gender Project, a theatre piece for K-5th graders with Metro Theater Co. (St. Louis, MO) and writing a memoir called Other People’s Bodies.
Sue Scarlett Montgomery has worked as an actor and writer in film, television, and especially in a number of downtown theaters from the mid-’80’s to the mid-’90’s. Her writing for the theater culminated in a year-long stint at the Public Theater, performing her and others’ original works, and then making the award-winning short film, Life of a Plate. Since the late ’90’s,.
For more information on this series contact Stephanie Bok at 917-703-0505. For more information on Frank’s Cocktail Lounge, contact Tyrone Perkins at 718-625-9339.