Archive for the ‘News’ Category

“db” reviews

In News, Plays, Schedule on January 24, 2017 at 1:47 PM


“A fast-paced roller coaster ride … a fun, action-packed, thoughtful play about what motivates us to do what we do. Who was DB Cooper? We’ll probably never know, but at db, you’ll have a great time speculating.” – Broadway World

Full-throttle thrills … [Smith] delivers a D.B. Cooper tale with the momentum of a highjacking … Buckle in for a gut-level deconstruction that’s riveting, unexpectedly funny and as ambitious as Cooper’s 10,000-foot high-dive from flight 305.” – Oregonian

“A complex yet compelling piece of theater. This heist story [is] deft and diligent – the payoff is great … Do you sometimes wish your theater seat would rumble and quake while the lights flash, briefly transforming the play you’re seeing into an amusement park ride? Then db may be just the play for you.” – Oregon ArtsWatch

An exciting journey … powerful and compelling … it’s something you’ll talk about long after it’s over.” – All Things Performing Arts

Read my introduction to the play from the production.

Playing through Feb. 4 at Coho Theater (Portland), Thu-Sat @ 7:30p, Sun @ 2:00p.

Get tickets here.





FIREMEN wins five LADCC awards

In News, Plays on March 19, 2015 at 4:27 PM

FIREMEN won five Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, including Best Writing, Best Production, Lead Performance (Ian Bamberg), and Featured Performance (Rebecca Grey).

Read all about it here.

FUGUE press

In News, Plays on March 1, 2015 at 10:39 PM


[A] striking innovation … Parallel elements of the three stories are underscored by impressively choreographed simultaneous delivery of words, phrases and, on occasion, orgasms … Playwright Tommy Smith’s drama is elegantly geometric in its construction and viscerally potent in its staging.”

The Los Angeles Times


Fascinating … A fugue, in music, is a melody repeated in complex patterns; in psychiatry, it’s a dissociative state of mind  – playwright Tommy Smith infuses both meanings into his ambitious new play … the movement, the timing and the brilliant staging of sex, suicide and slaughter make [FUGUE] extraordinary.”

LA Weekly


“Smith leavens his dark, brooding meditation on the mystery of creativity with large doses of wit and humor … at times the same lines are spoken simultaneously in all three of the separate stories, then amplified in counterpoint, with one voice following another, as in a fugue. The result is a play about music which becomes a piece of music itself.”

Total Theater


“The beauty of this play is that these Echo actors and director have all agreed to come together and explore not only the words, but the subtle idea that creative individuals, in some cases, have elements of craziness that influence their flights of genius … an excellent production.”



“[A] formally virtuosic new play about three visionary composers from the Western classical music tradition … By overlapping and interlacing three historical narratives in which emotional trauma is resolved in a defining work of radical artistic transformation, Smith draws an uncomfortably fine line between our darkest, most sociopathic compulsions and the violent discontinuities that shape artistic discourse.”

Stage Raw


“[A] mesmerizing meditation on music and madness … one of the most provocative evenings of theater you’re likely to experience for some time to come.”



Harrowing … [FUGUE] may haunt you well after the lights go up … A couple of audience members sharing my row were audibly offended and left at intermission.”



Renaissance Italy, Tsarist Russia and early-20th-century Austria provide the settings for Fugue [but] geography is the least of the complexities on tap in Tommy Smith’s new play … the tripartite narratives move at once, much like the interlocking themes evoked by the play’s title.”

– interview in American Theatre


FUGUE is 94% Sweet on Bitter Lemons.



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GHOST LIGHT plays Bank Street Theatre, March 7 @ 10:30 PM

In News, Plays, Schedule on February 28, 2015 at 3:22 PM


Saturday, March 7 @ 10:30 PM

155 Bank Street (NYC)

no reservations taken – admission is first-come

After the performance of an unrelated play, a lone woman materializes on the set and starts speaking, illuminated only by the ghost light.

Directed by Paul Budraitis

Performed by Hannah Victoria Franklin

Produced by Michael Place & One Coast Collaboration

Special thanks for support from Labyrinth Theater CompanyThe Playwrights of New York


Paul Budraitis (director) is a Seattle-based director, actor, writer, and solo performer, as well as a teacher of acting, stage movement, and interdisciplinary art. He directed the premiere of Elizabeth Heffron’s Bo-Nita at Seattle Repertory Theatre, and his solo performance (IN)STABILITY was commissioned and produced by On the Boards. His production of David Mamet’s Edmond received a Seattle Times “Footlight Award” as one of the best productions of 2010, and with his new company Splinter Group, he created The Salesman is Dead and Gone, a non-verbal imagining of the afterlife of Willy Loman from Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Paul was the recipient of a State Department Fulbright grant to study theatre directing at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy (LMTA) in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he earned his master’s degree under the mentorship of visionary theatre director Jonas Vaitkus. In Lithuania, Paul worked with the National Drama Theatre of Lithuania, the State Youth Theatre of Lithuania, the Kaunas State Drama Theatre, and Oskaras Koršunovas/Vilnius City Theatre (OKT). He assisted directors Jonas Vaitkus and Oskaras Koršunovas, and as an actor, he collaborated with acclaimed Finnish director Kristian Smeds on a contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, which was performed as part of the New Drama Action in Vilnius, as well as in Vienna as part of the Vienna Festival. Most recently, Paul created a new adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, which he directed at Cornish College of the Arts in October 2014.

Hannah Victoria Franklin (actor) is a Seattle based actress with an MFA from the University of Washington and a BA from the University of Colorado.  She is a member of the Seagull Project which recently performed Chekhov’s Seagull at ACT Theatre in Seattle and at the Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  She played Natasha in the 3 Sisters at ACT in 2015.  Hannah is the former Managing Director and Co-Artistic Director of the Washington Ensemble Theatre where she performed in six productions including the world premiere of Tommy Smith’s Sextet as Donna Maria, the world premiere of Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys and co-wrote the script and music for Bed Snake, an original rap opera.  Hannah was a company member of Intiman Theatre’s 2012 Summer Festival launch where she was seen in Romeo and Juliet, Hedda Gabler and Annie Sullivan in Miracle!, Dan Savage’s irreverent adaptation of the Miracle Worker.  She has performed domestically across the United States in Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, California, Illinois and at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.  Internationally, she has performed in Canada, Russia, Uzbekistan and Japan.  She has taught acting at the University of Washington and Bishop Blanchet High School as well as directed a dozen plays for Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre where she is currently serving in her fifth year as a board member. Hannah played Sis in Tommy Smith’s WHITE HOT which earned her a Seattle Theatre Writers nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2012.  She was named Best Actor in Seattle Weekly’s yearly Best of Seattle issue in 2013.

One Coast Collaboration is a culturally driven new play festival that builds bridges between national playwrights and Seattle based theatre artists and companies. OCC takes place over a week at the end of the Seattle summer under flood and torch light, its a break from theatre seats, a festival in which people socialize on blankets instead of a lobby. The festival strives for the work to feel like the beginning of the juiciest secret rather than a final pronouncement. Since 2010, OCC has led to the full production of several new projects including reWilding and Woman at the Well by Martyna Majok, Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys by Caroline McGraw, Moscow, Cheryomuski by Meg Miroshnik, among others.

Labyrinth Theater Company was founded in 1992 by a small group of actors who wanted to push their artistic limits and tell new, more inclusive stories that expanded the boundaries of mainstream theater. In doing so, they created a tightly knit, uninhibited and impassioned ensemble that created incendiary and vital new works for the stage that redefined the landscape of New York City theater. Today, based at the Bank Street Theater in New York’s West Village, Labyrinth is home for diverse theater artists and the daring and visceral work they create. Driven by a diverse group of over 120 actors, directors, playwrights and designers, Labyrinth produces new works for the stage, giving voice to new perspectives that are powerful, groundbreaking and that have changed the face of America’s theatrical landscape. Time Warner Foundation is the lead sponsor for Play Development at Labyrinth. We are also grateful for our newest play development partner, Playwrights of New York (PoNY). Our 2014/15 season includes new plays by Labyrinth Company Members Craig ‘muMs’ Grant, Lucy Thurber, and Melissa Ross and our annual free play reading series, the Barn Series.

Now in its eighth year, the Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellowship was founded by playwright Sandi Goff Farkas and LARK Play Development Center, and was created to provide promising emerging playwrights with the financial freedom to create new plays. The first of its kind, the PoNY fellowship addresses the many challenges of living as a playwright in New York City, providing practical support (housing, living expenses and health insurance) as well as more profound considerations such as artistic development and connection to a supportive community. Furthermore, the PoNY Fellowship ensures the continued vibrancy of New York City by keeping some of our most promising artists here, while promoting the type of creative new work that will ultimately enrich the American theatrical canon. The PONY fellows are Eric Dufault, Samuel D. Hunter, Katori Hall, Kimber Lee, Dominique Morisseau, A. Rey Pamatmat & Tommy Smith

FIREMEN nominated for six LADCC awards

In News, Plays on January 26, 2015 at 12:24 PM


Just found out that my play FIREMEN has been nominated for six (6) Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awards, including Best Writing.

Read about it here.




FIREMEN named one of year’s best stage shows by Los Angeles Times

In News, Plays on December 20, 2014 at 5:54 PM


“Provocatively creepy, Tommy Smith’s drama, about an intimate relationship between a school secretary and a 14-year-old student, daringly focused on the psychology rather than the morality of this tinderbox situation, dexterously handled by the leads, Rebecca Gray and Ian Bamberg.” – Charles McNulty

Click here for article.

FIREMEN nominated for Ovation

In News, Plays on September 23, 2014 at 4:20 AM


So I guess my play FIREMEN has been nominated as Best Original Play for an Ovation Award.

(Michael McColl & Amanda Saunders.)

“db” at Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival, July 25

In News, Plays, Schedule on June 13, 2014 at 4:12 PM


by Tommy Smith | Created by Teddy Bergman & Tommy Smith

Thanksgiving weekend 1971. A man calling himself D.B. Cooper boards a plane in Portland, hijacks it for $200,000 at the SeaTac Airport, then parachutes into a snowstorm over Mount Rainier, never to be seen again. “db” brings to life this electric story, showing how the enduring myth of Cooper has created a canvas for regular Americans to act out fantasies of heroism, celebrity, revenge, retribution, and rage.

Directed by Teddy Bergman, “db” will be developed via the PCS JAW Festival over the course of two weeks with other work by Adam Bock, Penny Penniston & Mat Smart.

Friday, July 25 at 8pm

Portland Center Stage (128 NW 11th Ave.)


Read the OREGONIAN article about JAW Playwrights Festival.

Read the HIGH TIMES article on D.B. Cooper.

WHITE HOT premieres in Canada, May 8-17

In News, Plays on April 23, 2014 at 2:49 PM


 **** Incendiary … [Tommy Smith’s] dialogue has brass on its knuckles … WHITE HOT brands Smith forcefully as a talent to watch and to stomach.” — Adam Feldman, TIME OUT NEW YORK

“A beautifully written study in nihilism … revealing why so many marriages, based on such blind attempts at controlling another person and some understandably devious responses to it, lead to duplicitous affairs.” – Steven Leigh Morris, LA WEEKLY

“A fever blister of a play. It’s not nice. It’s not pretty. It’s raw and tough and meaty, grown up theater for adults who crave intellectual and artistic drama.” – Michael Strangeways, SEATTLE GAY SCENE

A powerful play … Mamet, Pinter, Beckett: We see all these influences in Smith’s writing. But he adds something of his own which deviates from the Absurdists, and which makes his technique an actor’s play.” – Ed Farolan, REVIEW VANCOUVER

Plays May 8-17 at Shop Theatre in Vancounver.

Buy yourself some tickets.

STRIP plays in F*it Club’s Spring Fling, May 1-11

In News, Plays on April 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM


“Strip” by Tommy Smith
Directed by Kevin Laibson
Featuring Lucy Devito*, Daniel Hartley, and Scott Sowers*
A father unexpectedly reunites with his estranged daughter in the worst possible way.

May 1-11, 2014
Wed-Sat @ 8pm*, Sun @ 2pm**
Access Theater
380 Broadway, 4th Fl (btw Walker & White)
also playing on the bill…
“Elizabeth and Shooley Sit on a Park Bench and Worry About Their Lives” 
by Halley Feiffer
Directed by Hal Brooks
Assistant Directed by Sash Bischoff
Featuring Mara Kassin* and Ryan Spahn*

“First Love” by Kate Gersten
Directed by Laura Savia
Featuring Emma Galvin*, Allyson Morgan*, and Ebonée Noel

“Black Saucer II” by Jason Grote
Directed by Victor Maog
Assistant Directed by Neal Kowalsky
Featuring Ethan Hova* + a cast of a thousand yippies

“PWNED” by Mark Sitko
Directed by Nick Leavens
Featuring Keith Foster*, Jacquelyn Landgraf*, Topher Mikels,
and Amanda Sayle

“The Morning After” by Lauren Yee
Directed by Geordie Broadwater
Featuring Dawn McGee,* Allyson Morgan*, Brian Quijada*, and David Shih*

*denotes AEA member
Actors Equity approved Showcase
(May 7 is pay-what-you-can)
(Free mimosas with your matinee ticket)