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NEWS ARCHIVE

RJF and "Utopia" honored with Cloris Awards

At the annual Cloris Awards presentation in August which honored the best of Central Iowa theatre for the 2017-18 season, RJF was presented with a special Cloris Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and the cast of "Utopia" - Mary Bricker, Brandon Lee, Katelyn McBurney, Craig Petersen, and Megan Schettler Schug - was recognized for Outstanding Ensemble.

(Posted August 30, 2018)

Epic Stage Productions announces dissolvement

Citing his desire to devote more attention to writing rather than producing in the next few years, RJF has announced that he will be dissolving his theatre production company Epic Stage Productions at the end of 2018 after 11 years of operation in Des Moines.  In that time, ESP presented 14 productions that were seen by more than 17,000 people, contracted more than 100 Iowa theatre artists, and paid out more than $100,000 in artists fees.  ESP will also vacate its permanent performance space at Mainframe Studios on August 31.

(Posted August 5, 2018)

"Six-On-Six" receives major project grant

The Iowa Arts Council has awarded RJF a major project grant in support of the Urbandale Community Theatre's production of "Six-On-Six: The Musical."  The grant will be used to pay artists fees for the Epic Stage Productions and Urbandale Community Theatre co-production of the show in the summer of 2018.

(Posted July 1, 2018) 

Guthrie Center Theater to present "Six-On-Six" 
As part of its all-school reunion, the Guthrie Center High School & Theatre will present three performances of "Six-On-Six: The Musical" on July 5, 6, and 8, 2018 in the Guthrie Center High School auditorium.
(Posted April 30, 2018)
Urbandale Community Theater to present "Six-On-Six" 
Urbandale Community Theatre, in partnership with Epic Stage Productions, will present a new production of "Six-On-Six: The Musical."  Directed and choreographed by Alison Shafer, seven performances will be presented at the Staplin Performing Arts Center at Valley High School in West Des Moines in August 2018  Tickets available through Midwestix.
(Posted April 15, 2018)
Iowa tour of "Utopia" scheduled
A touring production of "Utopia - The Iowa Musical Revue, The Greatest Hits Edition" will begin in March 2018 with stops currently scheduled for Webster City, Fort Dodge, Pocahontas, and Newton.  The cast features Mary Bricker, Shane Donegan, Katelyn McBurney, Craig Petersen, and Megan Schettler Schug.
(Posted March 1, 2018)
"Utopia - Version 5.0" to premiere in January
An open-ended run of "Utopia - The Iowa Musical Revue, Version 5.0" will begin performances on January 12, 2018, with performances at Mainframe Studios through the end of February currently on sale at Midwestix.  Directed by Alison Shafer, the cast features Mary Bricker, Brandon Lee, Katelyn McBurney, Craig Petersen, and Megan Schettler Schug.
(Posted January 1, 2018) 
News prior to 2018

EPIC STAGE PRODUCTIONS MOVES INTO ITS NEW DOWNTOWN HOME

Epic Stage Productions has developed a permanent performance and rehearsal venue in the new Mainframe Studios, the largest not-for-profit artist studio building in the country. The first production will be UTOPIA - THE IOWA MUSICAL REVUE, VERSION 5.0 to be performed in January and February 2018.

Posted December 1, 2017

 

AUDITIONS TO BE HELD FOR NEW PRODUCTIONS OF UTOPIA

Epic Stage Productions is seeking actors/singers for both the 2018 Des Moines and touring productions of UTOPIA - THE IOWA MUSICAL REVIEW.  Auditions will be held on Monday, October 23rd and Tuesday, October 24th.

Posted October 1, 2017

 

UTOPIA TOUR RECEIVES MAJOR PROJECT GRANT

The Iowa Arts Council has awarded RJF and Epic Stage Productions a major project grant in support of a statewide tour of UTOPIA - THE IOWA MUSICAL REVUE in 2018.

Posted August 1, 2017   

CABARET PERFORMANCE OF NEW RJF SONGS SCHEDULED FOR 2017

Special guest musicians and vocalists will present an intimate cabaret performance of 14 new and never publicly-performed songs by RJF on Saturday, March 11, 2017, 10:30pm at Noce Nightclub in Des Moines.  Open to the public, no cover charge.

Posted December 4, 2016 

"WHAT I WANT" NOW AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING AND PURCHASE

Originally featured in the 2008 production of CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL, the song "What I Want" has been repurposed as an anthem for the 2016 election.  A new recording is available for streaming and download and purchase.  Click HERE for more info.

Posted September 23, 2016

CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL NOMINATED FOR TWO CLORIS AWARDS

The 2016 Des Moines production of CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL has been nominated for two Cloris Awards - Best Play and Best Scenic Design (Tim Wisgerhof) - honoring excellence in theatre in Greater Des Moines for the 2015-16 season.  

Posted August 16, 2016

RJF ACCEPTED INTO THE PRESTIGIOUS BMI LIBRETTISTS WORKSHOP

RJF is one of four playwrights to be accepted into the 2016 class of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Librettists Workshop.  The Workshop brings together playwrights to discuss the challenges of writing the book for a musical.  

Posted August 11, 2016

 

IN MEMORIAM - SUSAN GROZIER

Susan Grozier, who appeared in all three Des Moines productions of CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL as well as numerous other productions in Des Moines, passed away peacefully on July 15 after a brave battle with cancer.  Click HERE for a tribute.

Posted July 16, 2016

CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL TO BE PRESENTED BY NEWTON COMMUNITY THEATRE

Newton Community Theatre in Newton, Iowa will present a new production of CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL as part of its 2016 season.  Six performances - five evenings and one matinee - will be performed October 14-22, 2016.  

Posted July 1, 2016

DVD OF UTOPIA 2015 PRODUCTION NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

A DVD of the 2015 production of UTOPIA - THE IOWA MUSICAL REVUE is now available for purchase.  Featuring cast members Mary Bricker, Douglas Cochrane, Craig Petersen, Maxwell Schaeffer, and Megan Schettler Schug. 

Posted March 1, 2016

DVD of CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL 2016 PRODUCTION NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

A DVD of the 2016 highly-acclaimed production of CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL is now available for purchase.  Makes the perfect gift for political junkies and Iowans near and far!  PURCHASE

Posted March 1, 2016

CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL 2016 RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL MEDIA ATTENTION

More than three dozen international media outlets - including ABC News, BBC Newshour, Reuters, Australian Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio, and The Washington Post - have featured CAUCUS! 2016 in their election coverage.  Click HERE to review.

Posted February 1, 2016

CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL 2016 RECEIVES RAVE REVIEWS

Two rave review from The Des Moines Register and CityView.  Click HERE to read. 

Posted January 26, 2016

AUDITION DATE ANNOUNCED FOR CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL

Auditions for the 2016 Des Moines production of CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL have been set for Sunday, October 25, 2015, 6:30pm at The Des Moines Playhouse.  More information will be provided in September 2015.  

Posted August 9, 2015 

 

CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL RETURNS IN 2016

A new production of CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL - featuring new characters, new songs, new laughs, and special guest appearances - will be presented January 23 through February 6, 2016 at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines' Stoner Theatre. Nine performances only!  Tickets on sale October 1, 2015.  

Posted August 1, 2015 

 

UTOPIA PERFORMANCES BEGIN DEC. 2015

UTOPIA - THE IOWA MUSICAL REVUE - featuring all-new comedy sketches and songs - returns to Des Moines December 11, 2015 through January 2, 2016 at Grand View University's Viking Theatre in Des Moines.   

Posted August 1, 2015 

 

EPIC STAGE PRODUCTIONS

Right Brain Productions has changed its name to Epic Stage Productions, committed to presenting theatre productions with larger casts, with more production elements, in bigger and non-traditional venues, in a broader geographic region, and, well...shows that are truly "epic."  

Posted August 1, 2015 

 

CUSTOM SONGS & SCRIPTS

RJF has established a new company - Custom Songs & Scripts - that creates customized songs and plays for individuals, organizations, businesses, and special events.  Whether you want to give a birthday gift of a personalized song or you need a musical presentation to roll out your newest marketing campaign, CS&S has the talent and experience to get the job done.

Posted August 1, 2015 

 

RJF SELECTED FOR BMI ADVANCED WORKSHOP

RJF has been selected as one of 23 composers and lyricists to join the Advanced Class of the prestigious BMI Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City, beginning September 2014.

Posted July 5, 2014 

 

RJF NAMED 2014-15 IOWA ARTS COUNCIL ARTIST FELLOW

RJF has been selected as one of five Iowa artists to receive a 2014-15 Artist Fellowship, an inaugural program of the Iowa Arts Council / Iowa Dept. of Cultural Affairs.

Posted July 5, 2014 

 

RJF FEATURED IN "SUBMISSIONS ONLY" WEB SERIES

RJF appears in Season 3, Episode 7 of the hilarious theatre-themed web series "Submissions Only" now available on line.  Look for RJF beginning at the 5:55 mark. 

Posted July 5, 2014 

 

SELECTIONS FROM "WND" TO BE PRESENTED

A 20-minute excerpt of WAKING NED DEVINE, a new full-length musical developed with composer Adam Sakiyama in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, will be presented to the BMI Steering Committee and representatives of the theatre industry on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.  This event is not open to the public.  

Posted May 23, 2014 

 

RJF SONG TO PREMIERE AT CARNEGIE HALL

"Look Into Your Heart," a new song with music by David Shenton and lyrics by Robert John Ford, premiered as part of O Sole Trio's debut concert at Carnegie Hall on Friday, June 6, 2014 at 8:00pm.  The concert featured a 16-piece orchestra and O Sole Trio's vocalists Erin Shields, Giuseppe Spolentini, and David Shenton. The performance was sold out and the song received a standing ovation.  

Updated May 23, 2014  

 

"SLEEPING DOGS" WINS VITTUM AWARD

Robert John Ford's drama SLEEPING DOGS has been selected as the winner of the 5th Annual Vittum Award - Full-Length Play Cateorgy for playwriting.  SLEEPING DOGS has now won two national and two regional new play competitions.

Updated April 1, 2014 

 

READING OF "MY DINNER WITH ANDREW" AT DRAMATISTS GUILD

A reading of Robert John Ford's drama MY DINNER WITH ANDREW will be presented as part of the Dramatists Guild's "Friday Night Footlights" playreading series at 8:00pm on Friday, February 21, 2014 in the DG's Frederick Loewe Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York.  The reading is free and open to the public but space is very limited.  RSVPs are recommended.  

Posted January 26, 2014 

 

"SLEEPING DOGS" WINS ASHLAND NEW PLAY FESTIVAL

Robert John Ford's drama SLEEPING DOGS has been selected as one of four winning plays (out of almost 300 submitted from playwrights throughout the country) in the 2013 Ashland New Play Festival.  Two public readings of the play will be presented in Ashland, Oregon on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 1:30pm and Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 1:30pm.  Numerous other events with the winning playwrights will be presented throughout the week of October 21-27, 2013.  Tickets may be purchased here.  More information may be found at ANPF or view the most recent newsletter. 

Updated September 4, 2013 

 

"SLEEPING DOGS" SELECTED FOR CYGNET THEATRE FESTIVAL

Robert John Ford's drama SLEEPING DOGS has been selected for further development in Cygnet Theatre's Playwrights In Process New Play Festival.   A public staged reading and discussion of the play will be presented in San Diego, California on Friday, November 1, 2013 at 8:00pm.  Tickets may be purchased here.  More information may be found at Cygnet Theatre.​  

Updated September 4, 2013  

 

RJF SELECTED FOR OFF-BROADWAY ALLIANCE MENTORSHIP

The Off-Broadway Alliance announced this week that RJF has been selected to participate in its inaugural mentorship program beginning in September 2013.  RJF has been paired with Hugh Hysell – producer of the 2013 Tony Award-winning Best Play VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE – with a project goal of an Off-Broadway production of SLEEPING DOGS.  Please visit the Off-Broadway Alliance for more information. 

Posted September 4, 2013 

 

READING OF MDWA TO BE PRESENTED AT DG CONFERENCE

A reading of Robert John Ford's drama MY DINNER WITH ANDREW will be presented in conjunction with the Dramatists Guild 2013 National Conference at 8:00pm on Saturday, August 24, 2013 in room PDR3 at the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.  The reading is free and open to the public but space is very limited.  RSVPs are recommended.  

Posted August 1, 2013 

 

RJF & SAKIYAMA SONG TO BE PRESENTED IN CHICAGO CABARET

"When Everything Was Big," a song composed by Adam Sakiyama with lyrics by Robert John Ford, will be presented at the Having Our Song Cabaret in conjunction with the Dramatists Guild 2013 National Conference at 10:30pm on Saturday, August 24, 2013 in the Joliet Room of the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.  The cabaret is open to the public; cover charge is $15 plus a two-drink minimum.  Event is expected to sell out, so ticket purchases in advance are strongly encouraged. 

Posted August 1, 2013 

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