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The Nines

November 2017

   This project marked departure for Block St as we took a break from producing new play world premieres and instead tackled a true classic of the modern theatre in this one-act by Samuel Beckett. Under the direction of Jason Shipman, Bill Rogers took on the iconic role of Krapp, a failed author who lives alone, shut away from the outside world. What does a human life add up to?--Beckett seems to be asking--as we watch Krapp replaying crucial moments from his misspent life in the form of reel-to-reel tapes he's painstakingly recorded every year on his birthday.  Is it possible to identify the true turning points in one's life while they're happening, or is only with the benefit of hindsight--once it's too late (certainly in Krapp's case)--that we can see the full picture in all its unrelieved existential bleakness?


U of Arkansas Studio 404

July 2015

Ron Johnson is a loyal but conflicted agent of the National Security Agency. Denise LeMay is a down-on-her-luck adjunct professor turned Hollywood striver. In this new black comedy from Todd Taylor, these very different characters become tangled in the same web of intrigue by an amazing historical discovery. Five bottles of wine are unearthed in a forgotten Paris cellar--bottles that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson himself! Denise finds herself drawn into the shadowy world of enigmatic Russian wine dealer Rudy Karpov and his scheme to sell the bottles at a huge profit to billionaire energy magnate Arthur Drake. Urged by his monomaniacal bureau chief Connor Bix to investigate the impending sale for national security reasons, Johnson becomes more and more uneasy with the NSA’s methods of dragnet data surveillance. Equal parts political satire, espionage thriller, and raucous black comedy, The Jefferson Bottles will have you laughing while pondering the delicate balance between individual privacy and national security.


Fayetteville Underground

November 2015

The mining town of Butte, MT, has produced billions of pounds of copper and more than its share of stories. Todd Taylor's new historical drama takes two of them--set 100 years apart and unfolding on parallel tracks: The first chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of F. Augustus Heinze, an actual historical figure and charismatic copper baron. The second, that of Jess, a down-on-her-luck electrician's apprentice offered the chance to make the score of a lifetime in a stolen copper heist. Heinze built a fortune by simply taking what he wanted; will Jess unleash her inner Heinze?

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