David Houston, His Site

Welcome!  
Here you'll find details of current Literary Entertainments written and produced for theaters, libraries and schools. Or, by perusing resumes, review David's past projects and credentials (author of 14 published books, fiction and non, several plays and screenplays; technical writer and magazine editor; and an actor/director with numerous credits). 
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synopses, bios, photos, reviews, performance dates, technical requirements, fees, contact information, study guides, etc.

Links to sample scenes on YouTube
Performance Dates and Places of All Current Shows, Plus New Shows in the Works
Literary Entertainments Photo Gallery
For Halloween, Poetry Month and significant dates in Poe's life; available from October 15, 2014
Murder and Madness and Poe
Off the list for five years, our popular 65-minute play is again available, this time featuring Michael Bertolini as Edgar Allan Poe. While this eerie play with eerie music is often booked for Halloween, there are other appropriate tie-in dates: birth January 19 1809; death October 7 1849; April Poetry Month; and publication dates of works featured in the play“Annabel Lee” January 1, 1850; “The Black Cat” August 19, 1843; “The Raven” January 29, 1845; “The Bells” October 20, 1849; “Murders in the Rue Morgue” April 1841.
A new one-hour play for 2014
Lily and Dash
Two great writers of the 20th Century, Lillian Hellman (The Little Foxes and The Children's Hour) and Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man) were lovers for more than 30 years though they never married. Some of their works were unknown collaborations—leading to comedy and predicament in our play as Lily attempts to write Dash's biography and he works on the screenplay for her Watch on the Rhine. With some tunes of the day and Max Steiner's film music from the 30s and 40s.

For any occasion, for teens and adults, for anyone with a pet and a funny bone
Like Cats and Dogs!
A humorous "Reading in the Style of Radio Drama" with David Houston and either Debbie Starker or Diana Heinlein (alternating); with stories from Archie and Mehitabel, anecdotes from James Thurber, poems from Old Possum, and tid-bits from such recent publications as "Cat-Echisms," "How to Raise a Jewish Dog," and "'I Could Pee on This' And Other Poems by Cats." Background melodies: "The Waltzing Cat" and pop-classics by Leroy Anderson.

Musical comedy entertainment for the nostalgic at heart, great for holidays 

A RODGERS AND HART AUDITION

It's 1940, and the world-famous song-writing team prepares a benefit for our besieged friends across the Atlantic. Fifteen unlikely celebrities audition and sing such Rodgers and Hart classics as "I Could Write a Bookl," "Johnny One-Note," "Manhattan," "Isn't It Romantic," "Where Or When" and lots more.  David Houston is Richard Rodgers, Rick Heuthe is Lorenz Hart, and Melanie Lipton, Steve Corbellini, and Diana Heinlein take turns in costume as famous personalities of the day.

 Celebrate one of the greatest writers of the English-speaking world

The Dickens!

David Houston as Charles Dickens on his American Tour of 1867.  Three different hour-long programs: (1) The Chimes (a ghost story about New Year's Eve); (2) the classic A Christmas Carol with Scrooge, the Ghosts, Cratchit and all the rest, in Dickens' own words; or (3) Three Short Pieces: "Sikes and Nancy" (the chilling murder from Oliver Twist),  a charming winter short story "Boots at the Holly Tree Inn," and the humorous and sentimental novelette "Doctor Marigold." 

Available through 2013, especially right for Holocaust Remembrance Week
The Lost Wife
Gail Merzer Behrens and David Houston in an acclaimed performance reading in the style of radio drama (with music and sound effects) from Long Islander Alyson Richman's gripping new novel of love and war and human resilience, spanning the time and distance from World War II Prague and the Holocaust  to 21st Century New York.

Great for Halloween, Women's History, mystery clubs, etc.

ON THE CASE: CHRISTIE MYSTERIES

In a 65-minute show, three actors perform David Houston’s radio play (with music accompaniment and sound effects) from classic short stories by the all-time mistress of suspense and surprise—including a fanciful scene in which Miss Marple (played by Diana Heinlein, left) and Hercule Poirot (Rick Heuthe) discuss “Getting Away with Murder,” drawn from various Agatha Christie sources.

 

This event (approximately 80 minutes) is a brilliant celebration of American poetic genius 

The Belle of Amherst

Melanie Lipton as Emily Dickinson in the most celebrated of all one-actor Broadway plays; by William Luce, in a touring production for libraries and schools.  The surprisingly witty and candid Miss Dickinson speaks to her houseguests about her life, loves and artistry while sharing  passages from her immortal poetry.  (Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.)

Always timely, but especially with the recent movie, the original Gatsby had a bumpy start

Great Scott, and Zelda

A moody Scott explains that his editor finds "High-Bouncing Lover" boring (it's soon to be re-titled The Great Gatsby). "So fix it!” Zelda demands, "before we leave Long Island.As they open the manuscript for surgery, art imitates the Fitzgeralds as they add people and events from their own lives.  In this hour with the Fitzgeralds, set in the spring of 1924, the histories and characters they confront are factual, with dialog suggested by their love letters and literary correspondence. With Melanie Lipton as Zelda and Steve Corbellini as Scott.

Appropriate year-round, especially right for an election year
Abe Lincoln in the 21st Century

David Houston as Honest Abe presents a surprising portrait of our most literary president—taken from Lincoln's writings, letters, poetry and speeches. This is a witty and wise pre-Presidential statesman who speaks as if he lives today and understands our pressing, confusing and amusing concerns. Underscored with music of American composers, including Gottschalk's "The Union," which premiered at the White House.

Two collections of humorous and touching short stories from the American master

O. Henry's Christmas Gift and O. Henry's Hundred Years

O. Henry's final stories were published in the year of his death, 1910. David Houston and Diana Heinlein perform dramatized readings of his influential stories in (1) a year-round collection of "The Caballero's Way," "A Retrieved Reformation," and "The Last Leaf"; and (2) a show for Christmas with "The Cop and the Anthem," "Christmas by Injunction," and his sentimental world-famous "The Gift of the Magi." The shows are in the style of radio drama, with sound effects and a jaunty music accompaniment from O. Henry's contemporary, Scott Joplin 

Still under attack, this brilliant work is an alarming fit for Banned Books Week, and Black History

To Kill a Mockingbird
David Houston and Diana Heinlein present an hour-long performance reading from Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel - in the style of radio drama with background music from Elmer Bernstein's haunting film score. The program features events surrounding the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of a crime he clearly did not commit, seen through the eyes of Atticus Finch, his defense attorney, and Finch's daughter Scout. A meaningful look at the misguided American South of the 1930s, sometimes violent, sometimes gentle and wise. In a Library Journal poll in 1999, To Kill a Mockingbird was voted "the best novel of the 20th Century."  

A chilling classic of futurist literature, ideal for Banned Books week

Fahrenheit 451

A three-actor performance reading in the style of Radio Drama, with music and sound effects, of Ray Bradbury's enduring story of censorship and apathy and war.  Especially appropriate for Banned Book Week in September, for any focus on government oppression, and for schools and organizations  that include the science-fiction masterpiece on reading lists. 

A perennial favorite for seniors, families and high-schoolers

Mark Twain: Telling Tales

David Houston as Mark Twain—in a "lecture" on the fine art of comedy, from Twain's essays including "How to Tell a Humorous Story," "Encounter With an Interviewer," "The Turning Point of My Career," and with full dramatic readings of "The Golden Arm," "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and the famous white-washing scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

A spell-binder for Halloween, mystery clubs and Sherlock devotees

Study in Scarlet

David Houston in a one-man dramatized reading of the delightful, frightening, controversial and surprising story that introduced Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in 1887, took the English-speaking world by storm, and became the “gold standard” for modern detective fiction.  Accompanying music  is from Sherlock Holmes movies and TV shows.

Links to Resumes, Photo Gallery, Previous Plays and Readings 

Theatrical Resume acting, writing, directing, commercials, voice-overs, training, projects in the works. Photo Gallery
Communications Services Resume
technical writing and editing, business language repair, ad copy 

 

Some of these previous shows can still be made available. 
Titles below are links to information about each show.

THE MANOR (Long Island Reads 2014)GOLF IN THE YEAR 2000SUTTONA BEN FRANKLIN FOR ALL SEASONSFRED AND ADELE ASTAIRE: THE LAST DANCEJOY COMES IN THE MORNINGTHE GHOST OF DOROTHY PARKERALOFTLILLIE ALONEJAZZ BABY JOANTHREE SHORT STORIES OF ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGERHOW THE GARCIA GIRLS LOST THEIR ACCENTSSNOW IN AUGUSTTRAVELS WITH CHARLIEAMAGANSETTST. VALENTINE'S DAYSWALT WHITMAN, TO BEGIN WITHWE THE LIVING (Movie with commentary)THE COLOR OF WATERWAIT TILL NEXT YEARCOMING TOGETHER COMING APART THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND THE RIVER OF DOUBTSAG HARBORLET'S DO IT!

 

Send an E-Mail to DH@davidhouston.net

     

Copyright (C) 2010, David Houston