Okay. Point 1. When I decided that blogging the process of workshopping 'Canopic Jars' was a good idea, I was wrong. Not cause it's NOT a good idea, it is, but I truly suck at it. Enough on that. 

Point 2. The Canopic Jar of My Sins is getting it's first Minneapolis public reading at Veggie Stock THIS SUMMER! Remember when I said it was going to be 2017...I guess I lied. Whoops. That just means you get a new Justin Maxwell play sooner. Yeah for you!

Justin has been writing like a crazy man, which he very well may be. A few weeks ago Justin sent us a new draft of Canopic Jars....a hefty 117 pages! Snap Dragon thats long!

I don't know if its the longest play of Justin's, but I have heard him say... 

"...this may be the best things I've ever written."

Having read a lot of his plays (I have his book) that's saying something! - SPEAKING OF HIS BOOK! Justin put together a collection of his plays and published it! Its called: A BLIND HORSE DREAMS OF HIPPOCAMPI. GET YOURS HERE -> JUSTIN'S BOOK!

But in all seriousness, which I know you completely expect out of this crap shoot of a blog, The Canopic Jars of My Sins, is maybe one of the most complex, interesting, smart, absurd, grounded, and thoughtful scripts I've read in a long time and because of Meg DiSciorio, I read a lot of scripts. 

I urge you, if you are in Minneapolis and have nothing to do the evening of Aug 26th or 27th at 6:30pm, I highly suggest coming out to Veggie Stock and hearing this play. You'll get a change to speak with and to Justin about it....HE'S GOING TO BE THERE!!! and help us craft what may be his best work yet. We have put together a killer cast: Our VERY own Meg DiSciorio, Addie Phelps, Marika Proctor and yours truly...me, Bryan Grosso....did you know know I wrote this...SURPRISE! 

Having had the honor of being in Outopia in 2013, I know how incredible and challenging working on Justin's scripts can be, and I cant believe I get to a) help workshop this new one and b) READ it in public. OKAY this is a lot of me gushing, I'm done, I just have so many feelings....


The Kid(s)-Simply took over...

Oh hey there. Remember me?

Feb 28th was a long time ago... that is the last time this semi-regular(when needed) blog was last updated, and when we turned the script of Canopic Jars back to Justin to do some epic re-working. 3 months! - BUT do not think we have been sitting on our butts tasting whiskey and eating cheese. No. (that we have once or twice) The last 3 months has been filled with growing babies, growing shows, and growing scripts and a dream.  

Growing #1 - Meg(and Damon) had a kid (again). That happened in January, but kids are a lot of work turns out. I don't know how those two raise two beautifully amazing girls AND run Swandive and everything else they do. Superhero's? Maybe. Totally awesome humans. Defiantly.  

Kid-Simple artwork by Kate Ahern Loverick

Kid-Simple artwork by Kate Ahern Loverick

Growing #2 - SHOW! Kid-Simple: a radio play in the flesh by Jordan Harrison - This is a beast show, yo. Fo Real. We collected an incredible cast of 6 Twin Cities actors, 4 of which are new to Swandive; Kip Dooley, Nathan Gebhard, Sarah Broude & Boo Segersin -returning to Swandive; Kevin McLaughlin & Debra Berger. Along with the incredibly talented, creator of sound, musician extraordinaire, Derek Trost as our onstage foley artist (The Third Ear) 

We also thought was a great idea to collect a new crew of designers. We have been working with the came collection of designers for years, but due to scheduling issues we were unable to get them all on the project so we thought...NEW CREW - we found - Anne Henley, Jessie Cogswell, Lucas Skjaret, Ian Knodel, Derek & Nathan (both in the cast) - Im not going to say anything other than, dear lord they are awesome. This show has been a labor to get up on it feet and flying through the air, but it happened and we close this weekend (May 22nd). Im crazy bummed. Im going to miss these new yahoos we have in our lives. If you didn't see it, you missed out, but check out the (soon to be coming) History Page and check out Dan Normans show photos.

Growing #3 - Re-working a script - Now, I don't know how often Justin was actually working on this rewrite but it must have been a lot cause dear lord. Act 1 (the sole focus) nearly doubled in length. thickened up. Fleshed out. All those great r-worked words and phrases happened and Act 1 of Canopic Jars is pretty damn weirdly awesome.

Now I was planning on putting together another reading this June, but Justin emailed about 3 weeks ago and said: 

'I have a draft and Im coming to town, lets do a reading!' 

He just happened to be coming to town over closing weekend of Kid-Simple. No biggie. We weren't too busy. GUH. Honestly though, it was easy. A few emails later and we had, Kip Dooley, Rachel Weber, Marika Proctor & Heather Meyer in the conference room at The Southern (its nice that Damon runs that place) reading through the re-worked Act 1 of Canopic Jars WITH JUSTIN IN THE ROOM! That was pretty special. 

The reading happened. A great conversation happened. Justin left with notes and notes and notes and lots to think about and more ideas to put on a page. I shan't say too much about the script because....ANNOUNCEMENT we have decided to put The Canopic Jar of my Sins in Veggie Stock Theatre THIS SUMMER(!) cause we simply can not wait another year...or something like that. YAY!

SO thats that you people. Meg had a baby. We put up (and closed) a show. Justin was rewriting... (Bryan was understudying a one-man show about Barbra Streisand--the dream)...So yes, Kid(s) took over. Literally. Titularly (is that a word?). Script-babily(made that up)...and Dream Rolly. 

Stay tuned for all things Canopic Jar reading, Veggie Stock, and of course all thing Swandive!


Places, Technology, People & Poppers(?)....

Well it happened....last week, but it happened. Life has pretty busy these days which makes POPing out a blog on a Semi-regular (when needed) basis, kind of challenging. But fret not, oh loyal reader(s) of the CanopicBlog, I have returned. 

We had a wonderful reading last week at the beautiful A-Mill Artitst lofts, thanks the wonderfully gracious Debra Berger. AND thanks the wonders of the internet, and my new found skill at Skype, Justin was there...on a screen, but there! 

The Justin Maxwell & Skype

The Justin Maxwell & Skype

A-Mill & Fall (Autumn)

A-Mill & Fall (Autumn)

Our cast was amazing. They took to these characters with such gusto and excitement. They were so much better then I was in my apartment alone, trying to make sense of these characters, while I'm sure weirding out my neighbors. Neal Beckman as Ralph Wiley, Debra Berger as The Angel of the Canopic Jars, Sarah Broude as The Roger Waters / Robert Oppenheimer and Kelesy Cramer as The Gooney Revenant / The Last Easter Islander.

The play is funny, and weird, incredibly insightful and rough. AND what made me most happy at the end of the reading, was not the amazing job these actors did, or the willingness to share their thoughts, but instead it was what Justin said...and I paraphrase...This reading showed me I fixed the problems I was trying to fix, and that there are new problems that need attention...

We sent Justin away with new ideas thoughts, and problems to fix - I, personally am very excited for the day we have a public reading and Oppenheimer gets to actually use his Party Poppers...POP! -- You'll have to stay tuned to know what thats about. :)

yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, sure, yes, yes, yes........cry.

Apparently I say 'Yes' a lot.

The past month and a half has been the play-out of all the things I said yes to months ago, thinking I'd have the time and mental capacity to actually do them all, and now realizing, I don't. But I cant complain as all the things I have said yes to are things I am very lucky to have the opportunity to get to do. One of those yeses is this Daedalus Project reading of 'The Canopic Jar of my Sin'.

"Yes of course, I would love to take the reigns on this new endeavor and set up readings and meetings, Meg and Damon. YES!...think about the time frame....oh, no? we're not going to think about the time frame?... we're just going to do it?... Great."

It's not that emailing and talking to people about being involved is hard or all together time consuming. Unless they all say no, but it's the finding the time between all the other yeses to actually sit down and think about it. Who should I have read? Where can I hold the reading?....My apartment...? Lord no, who has time to clean that!...What time should the reading be? There are parents with babies to think about who are kinda your bosses, the parents not the babies (although those babies do rule my life). Should I have food? Is there reliable internet to Skype in the playwright? Damn Skype again....

Luckily, I know some awesomely amazing, talented people who are down to do whatever, whenever. I don't know if it's a desire just to read and do as much work as they can, or a respect and wanting to work with Swandive & Justin OR because I'm such a fantastically adorable, nice person that people just can't say no to me....including myself. My guess is that it has nothing to do with the latter BUT, regardless of why, I am collecting a dynamite group of actors to read this weirdly complicated, intellectually stirring new script from Justin Maxwell and I can not wait for Sunday Feb 21st when all the yeses become a reality and we get to hear this script out loud for the first time.

Yes to the yeses! and as the ravishing Tina Fey said "Say yes and you'll figure it out afterwards"


Skype Virgin No More

Yesterday (Sunday) was a pretty awesome day. Our dear friends and leaders brought their second daughter into the world & Justin and I had our first Skype meeting about The Canopic Jar! 

This was my first Skype adventure -am I really behind the times?? and even though it started off rocky - I first called his cell phone and not Skype account, but from my Skype account. Then I couldn't figure out why only one of us could see the other. (hint: I could see him). It was very professional. But after all the awkward first time jitters I got the hang of it and it ended up being great! I was super excited to finally talk to Justing about the show and where & what we are both thinking about this partnership and process! 

I can tell you there are going to be fascinating world to live in and help mold. I cant wait to gather people around a table and hear it out loud for the first time...and that may be happening sooner then you think!!

Keep and eagle out for more!



Congratulations and welcome to the #CanopicWrkshp BLOG, you made it! 

We have only recently started this adventure so not much is happening other than scheduling meetings so the 4 of us can discuss the script and plan out the future of The Canopic Jars. 

Good Question who are the 4 of us...

Justin Maxwell: Playwright / Master Mixer of the worlds crazy / Genius

Bryan Grosso: Workshop Director / Wizard / Leader

Meaghan DiSciorio: Artistic Director of Swandive Theatre / Eagle Eyes & Ears / Unmatchable Guru of Sass 

Damon Runnals: Producing Director of Swandive Theatre / Eagle Eyes & Ears set 2 / Monumental Mastermind of Awesome


The #CanopicWrkshp BLOG will be the place to get all the information, Images, dates of readings, and goings on in the development of The Canopic Jars. 

Get ready for a absurd ride!