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 a screenplays or two; technical writer and magazine editor; and an actor/director with numerous credits. Scroll down. Feel free to roam.  

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Links to sample scenes on YouTube
Performance Dates and Places of All Current Shows, Plus New Shows in the Works
Literary Entertainments Photo Gallery

Available March 15 to May 15, 2016

LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME


David Houston and Diana Heinlein or Gail Merzer Behrens (alternating) perform an hour-long reading in the style of radio drama from Jodi Picoult's novel, Leaving Time, the 2016 Nassau and Suffolk County libraries' selection for Long Island Reads in April. "Readers can usually count on blockbuster novelist Jodi Picoult for two things. First is a smart, accessible yarn with a suspenseful puzzle at its core that will keep readers enthusiastically turning the page. Second is impressive insight into any number of topical issues."Boston Globe. "Picoult is a master in dissecting and describing the tangle of family relationships and the counterbalance of love."Tampa Tribune.

Opening at Planting Fields Arboretum April 3, 17 and May 15, 2016

THE LAP OF LUXURY
The Cruise Ship Industry: the Drama, Comedy, and Grandeur of Today and Days Gone By


David Houston and Diana Heinlein perform an hour-long reading in the style of radio drama with anecdotes from history, a missionary's tale of survival, reflections by Mark Twain, and scenes and songs from Broadway. Background music from the work of Erich Korngold.

For Halloween, Poetry Month, significant dates in Poe's life
Murder and Madness and Poe
Rick Heuthe plays Edgar Allan Poe. It's 1848 and Edgar, desperate for income, auditions for a reading tour. He stresses his fame and reliability and attempts to impress his potential benefactors by quoting "Annabel Lee" and other poems and reading "The Black Cat" and "The Raven." While this eerie play with eerie music is often booked for Halloween, there are other appropriate tie-ins: birth January 19, 1809; death October 7 1849; and Poetry Month in April.

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 the world-famous "The Gift of the Magi." In the style of radio drama, with jaunty music backgrounds from O. Henry's contemporary, Scott Joplin 

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 a story from Archie and Mehitabel, anecdotes from James Thurber, poems from Eliot's 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 other 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.

Perfect 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 (Ray Gobes, Jr.) discuss “Getting Away with Murder,” drawn from various Agatha Christie sources. David provides narration and voices.

 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." 

Especially appropriate for World War II studies, Jewish celebrations, 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 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.

This event (approximately 80 minutes) is a brilliant celebration of an 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 Emily Dickinson speaks to houseguests about her life, loves and artistry while sharing  passages from her immortal poetry.  (Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French)

Gatsby had a bumpy start according to this fact-based imagined account

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' private lives as they add people and events they know.  In this hour, 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 and Steve Corbellini.

Especially right for election time, President's Day, celebrations of American history

Abe Lincoln in the 21st Century

David Houston as Honest Abe in a surprisingly humorous 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.

Still under attack, this brilliant work is an alarmingly apt fit for Banned Books Week, and Black History, of course

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 the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of a crime he 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 has been 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 this science-fiction masterpiece on reading lists. 

A perennial favorite for seniors, families and students of American arts

Mark Twain: Telling Tales

David Houston as Mark Twain—in a "lecture" on the fine art of comedy, taken from Twain's essays including "How to Tell a Humorous Story," "Encounter With an Interviewer," "The Turning Point of My Career," including 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 Holmes 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. On Stage 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 linked to information about each show.

THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Long Island Reads 2015) 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 (Italian Movie from the book by Ayn Rand, 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 © 2016, David Houston