Tom Minter's Off The Stoop Blog

a playwright's journey, creating, connecting, and conversing.

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…countdown to Blues For A Royal Flush, on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage tonight..!

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..more to come about this, but just at the moment, hurtling into Tech, cue to cue, Dress -and performance of this work.

The artists are seasoned, and I am grateful; this cast are reprising their roles, and have been with the show since its premiere in 2014.

Greg Watkins, as Billy Strayhorn

Scott Patterson, as Duke Ellington

Laree Simon, as Ethel Waters

Bina Malhotra, as Lena Horne

And for this iteration, it is a pleasure to be joined by Duke Ellington School for the Arts senior, Nia Webb, as Reporter.

The performance is open and free to the public. And it will be simulcast from the Kennedy Center.

This is the You Tube link – and the performance will be archived here as well; please come, if you’re in town -otherwise, sit back at your leisure, with a tub of popcorn, and enjoy!




Written by tomminteroffthestoop

February 20, 2017 at 10:08 AM

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Creating DCPL original programming content/”Inspiring The Me I Want To Be: Marian Anderson!”

with one comment is a privilege at any time to be asked to create original program content – but especially exciting when it is programming that not only has opportunity to be utilized for education enrichment, but to reach to new audiences.

This past November Carmen Boston, Children’s Programs and Partnerships Coordinator, MLK Memorial Library, DC Public Library reached out to wonder if I would be available to create an enrichment program, of original content, that had the elasticity to be utilized during Black History Month, as well as Women’s History month – and in this case, be resonant with a book DCPL were highlighting, entitled When Marian Sang, by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Brian Selznick.

I was excited to do so, and determined that the opportunity was present to identify Marian Anderson as the individual to create a narrative around who would facilitate the full parameter of the DCPL request.

Youth Collections Coordinator Wendy Lukehart was also at an initial meeting, to further identify the reading materials, and exhibition opportunities for branch librarians’ use.

For my part in creating this original program content, I wanted to be certain it could also establish a ‘portal entry’ that might remain available to link in with further enrichment programming, and so identified a ‘platform’ for DCPL use that became identified as: Inspiring The Me I Want To Be: Marian Anderson!

The many experiences of this consummate recitalist, and extraordinary African American opera singer, are ones that speak not only to the endeavor to reach a dream, but also how to address challenges of culture and racism through education, while maintaining an impregnable dignity with fortitude, and a deep commitment to the journey.

Sculpting this was a rich opportunity to weave a narrative through styles of music – from spirituals –

Marian Anderson sings “Roll, Jord’n Roll” German lieder, and opera -as well as detail the many key moments of Ms Anderson’s career, while being aware that this presentation had to be accessible for a wide range of ages, and school grades.

During February the presentation was given at the Benning Road branch of DCPL, to an audience of 95 school children, grades 2 – 4; while at the Rosedale branch, it was presented to an audience of young adults.

Portion of exhibition reading material displayed at Benning Road branch presentation/DCPL, FEB. 2015

Carmen Boston at Benning Road branch presentation/DCPL, FEB. 2015

In March, the final presentation was given in the main hall of the MLK Memorial Library, and was attended by families and adults.

But for this presentation I was able to enhance the experience, working with one of my colleagues, Anamer Castrello, who is not only a wonderful Teaching Artist but also an opera singer of warmth and exciting musicianship.

For this program Anamer and I identified a roster of song to include lieder, spirituals, and presentation of “Re dell’abisso, affrettati..”, an aria from Verdi’s opera un ballo in maschera, that the character Ulrica sings, which was the role identified for Marian Anderson’s debut at the Metropolitan Opera, in 1955.


With the MLK event Anamer was also able to have her mother in the audience; never underestimate how precious it is to be able to share your talent to an audience, knowing that your family is present, and beaming with pride!

The event was a very special opportunity, and was enjoyed by all who were able to attend.

I will hope that DCPL will continue with programming engagement, through this portal of Inspiring The Me I Want To Be! theatre godmother Billie Allen-Henderson, speaks of Marian Anderson ..and context..

Written by tomminteroffthestoop

April 5, 2015 at 10:24 AM

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mini operas

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…as far as ‘Minterisms’ go (‘serendipity’; ‘synchronicity’; and the like).. this one wasn’t one of my best; I came upon the announcement while randomly reading opera reviews..

..For some reason I was trying to get some ‘editorial’ judgment on a particular version of Strauss’ Die Liebe Der Danaë, and came upon such a review in an earlier online posting of Opera Today.

I read the review (which said to grab the CD, whenever it was possible) –but was distracted out of the last sentence, by an article in a side column, which announced that ENO (English National Opera) was in process of accepting global submissions to it’s Mini Opera opportunity..

I went to the site –very excited to read its contents –only to go slack jawed when I noticed that the open call had already been in place for more than 7 months!

It seemed I was reading the announcement –5 days before the deadline..

-but became so engaged by the scope of the company’s vision, and the selections of stories (out of which librettos were being solicited) that I suddenly found myself.. well, starting to write a libretto!

The full process of submission is through my own blog site..

I’ve finished the full, first draft of my piece; I’m letting it.. breathe- a day or so (I’ve 3 left!), and will then post it here, not only for those judges vetting submissions, but for all who would be interested in reading the dabbling of a fervid hope!

I have chosen to write a libretto (5-7 minutes) on Neil Gaiman’s story, The Sweeper Of Dreams..

My piece is called, Below Above.

..more soon.

Well.. 3 days, to be exact!

Written by tomminteroffthestoop

May 17, 2012 at 4:03 PM

An incredible Opening

with 2 comments was an incredible opening event, in DC, at Gallery Plan b last night; Rod Glover has struck out in a wonderful new direction, utilizing textures and char, leading an observer into an artist’s envelopment of Nature; a dance that weaves associatively, between forest and fables; it is in perfect resonance with Paula Amt’s new paintings, of structures and figures, in which are powerful character details; and, to my dark mind, enticements to an undiscovered story from the Brothers Grimm, in shades of entrapment and dusk!

Hurry, if you’re in the area, go see the exhibit; many pieces are already red tagged, designated “sold”, and justly heading for places in personal collections!


Written by tomminteroffthestoop

January 16, 2011 at 10:14 AM

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