The 3-Play Project Press Kit

recording studio

“What the hell is a finance guy doing writing plays?”

Four years ago, I heard something on the radio that sparked an idea for a story. Three years and three scripts later, I was eager to hear how all that sounded in action. As a first-time playwright/screenwriter, though, I was pretty sure that finding a willing production company would be, well, tough. So, I decided to produce these works on my own.

As audio dramas.

Soon after, I had the good fortune to meet a dynamic fourth-year drama student at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School for the performing arts. An initially skeptical colleague (whose quoted reaction sits atop this note) was kind enough to introduce us. Through that student, I met another, and another. Before long, my payroll swelled to include seven actors and two musicians (one of which with a talent for sound engineering) from Hartt, and three fourth-year illustration majors, thanks to the recommendation of another colleague at the Hartford Art School.

The collection of audio dramas that follows was made possible by these remarkably versatile young artists. Their efforts are fully attributed, and their contact information is linked.

Thursdays @ 8 cover art

Behind the Scenes

Thursdays @ 8

Every couple of weeks, I get together with one of my closest friends—a guy I met when we were paired for a tennis round robin some 30 years ago. Our first game was great, so we decided to book a court for the following week. And the week after that. We ended up playing singles nearly every Thursday night for the next 15 years and came to know all there is to know about each other—more than most others know about either of us.

This friendship—and the story idea it inspired—came to mind after hearing someone comment about the difficulty that men in their thirties and older have in forging close relationships with other men. As I thought about that, it occurred to me that the friendships we make in our formative years are the ones that we value the most and work hardest to maintain. By contrast, the relationships that we develop at work or through people close to us are often not as intimate because we worry about disagreements and indiscretions.

Thursdays @ 8 is a tale about four men who are serendipitously paired for doubles tennis one Saturday morning. They have little in common. In fact, one might argue that theirs is the unlikeliest of combinations, given their strong personalities. Yet, despite a rocky start, they agree to another game. And another one after that. Over the next couple of years, the protective walls crumble as the four come to realize the extraordinary bond they share.

The action takes place on Court #5, in the men’s locker room, at a local diner and at various flashback locations.

Attributions

Reid Williams
Reid WilliamsJoe Newman / Kevin Wells
Co-Production Manager
Matt Werner
Matt WernerBrian Hager
Co-Production Manager
Peter Mann
Peter MannEd Wells
Chris Bailey
Chris BaileyTed Jeffers / Young Ted Jeffers / James Hager
Mark Lawrence
Mark LawrencePete / Coach Murphy / Seth Newman / Elliott Patterson
Holly Hill
Holly HillSarah Chambers / Carol / Restaurant Hostess
Rachel Rival
Rachel RivalSarah Newman / Elizabeth Hager / Gloria Sanderson / Karen / Bar Waitress
Cole Walker
Cole WalkerAudio Production
Dan Rice
Dan RiceComposer - Theme
Karlee Clark
Karlee ClarkIllustration

Written, Produced and Directed by Mitchell D. Weiss

First Week in August cover art

Behind the Scenes

First Week in August

The theme of this piece is rooted in an activity that I’ve long enjoyed: biking into town on a warm summer day, picking up a paper and a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and parking myself on a bench to watch the world go by. And, yes, eavesdropping is always bonus.

On one of those trips, I overheard a woman complaining to her friend about her husband. There was nothing subtle about the conversation. She was pissed. Really pissed. Not only was I grateful not to be married to her, but her rant got me thinking. About the little hurts that all add up. The big ones that are never forgotten. Not really. And how all that squares with my personal view on committed relationships—how you’re either in or you’re out.

So, as I sat on my bench, I began to sketch out a play about best friends who for ten years, along with their families, rent a beach house every first week in August. Men who, despite that friendship, are each burdened with a secret. For one of them, it’s at the core of his deeply troubled marriage. For the other, it’s a betrayal yet to be revealed.

All the action takes place on a park bench in a quaint New England beachside town. The first three scenes are set during the first week in August. The last scene takes place on the same bench, two years later.

Attributions

Peter Mann
Peter MannHenry Gardner
Reid Williams
Reid WilliamsWill Nolan
Holly Hill
Holly HillConnie Williams
Matt Werner
Matt WernerScript Editing Consultant
Production Manager
Gabriel Herman
Gabriel HermanAudio Production
Cole Walker
Cole WalkerAudio Post-Production
Dan Rice
Dan RiceComposer - Theme
Carl Straw
Carl StrawIllustration

Written, Produced and Directed by Mitchell D. Weiss

Woodstock cover art

Behind the Scenes

Woodstock

When you were a kid, did you ever fantasize about running away from home? Perhaps you believed your parents were uncaring or unfair. Maybe you had a sibling who made your life miserable.

I thought a lot about disappearing when I was in my teens. You know, pack it all up and split. Head to Woodstock, even, except that I was a year shy of legal at that point. Still, the temptation was almost irresistible. In the end, though, I knew that I didn’t have a good enough reason to act on it.

But what if you really did have a good enough reason? One that spurred you to travel halfway across the country, change your name and fabricate a backstory that no one—not your spouse, your kids, your friends—would ever think was anything but the truth?

Secrets come at a cost. Sometimes, more than we’re prepared to pay.

The action takes place at the Weston apartment in downtown Chicago, the Williamson house in Queens, New York, and at a nearby park.

Attributions

Holly Hill
Holly HillAlison Weston
Matt Werner
Matt WernerMichael Weston/Matthew Williamson lll
Script Editor
Rachel Rival
Rachel RivalSusan Williamson
Reid Williams
Reid WilliamsProduction Manager
Gabriel Herman
Gabriel HermanAudio Production
Cole Walker
Cole WalkerAudio Post-Production
Dan Rice
Dan RiceComposer - Theme
Julia Maher
Julia MaherIllustration

Written, Produced and Directed by Mitchell D. Weiss

Mitchell D. Weiss

About Mitchell D. Weiss

Mitchell D. Weiss is an experienced financial services industry executive and entrepreneur. He’s owned and run commercial finance companies and has served as an executive officer at several banks. Since 2008, he’s led a management consulting practice, advising banks, private equity firms, small businesses and professional practices.

Mitch is an Executive in Residence at the University of Hartford, co-founder of the university’s Center for Personal Financial Responsibility and a former member of the Board of Visitors for the university’s Barney School of Business. He is also affiliated with Rutgers University where he is adjunct faculty at its Mason Gross School of the Arts.

His books include Life Happens: A Practical Course on Personal Finance from College to Career and Business Happens: A Practical Guide to Entrepreneurial Finance for Small Businesses and Professional Practices, and his most recent book, Practical Finance – A Straightforward Guide to Personal and Entrepreneurial Finance, which is the designated text for the online course he developed and teaches via Rutgers University’s Arts Online program and at the Hartt School, a performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford.

Contact Mitchell D. Weiss