Production is underway on a documentary film about the mounting of Slap&Tickle's summer 2010 run at the Provincetown Theater. Filming and editing the feature documentary is Nathan Butera, who followed the progress of David Parr's play from the castmembers' arrival at the wharf in P'town, through their first full cast read-through in the presence of playwright David Parr, the conception and execution of the set design and build, blocking and tech rehearsals by the director, David Drake, his stage manager, set designer, and lighting designer, the events of the full six weeks of performances and events in P'town intended to build the audience, and finally the sold-out closing night performance and striking the set within minutes of the final toasts and farewells at the closing night party.
Throughout the production, the filmmaker interviewed audience members after they had witnessed the play. Interviewees included leading literary and theatrical persons from Provincetown, New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC, a nationally prominent blogger, the former head of a leading gay rights advocacy group, an award winning flm director who had himself directed Slap&Tickle's director David Drake, and others. The documentary looks closely at David Drake and David Parr in particular, their collaboration, and the alchemy of Drake's accomplishments as actor and director on stage and screen and David Parr's relatively new voice in the American Theater world.
The perspectives of the actors themselves, the director and playwright and the eminent commenters also interviewed shed light on Slap&Tickle as a piece of art, literature, and sharply observed commentary on modern gay sensibilities. "What Are You Doing Here?|Slap&Tickle in Provincetown" will illuminate just what it takes artistically to mount a critically acclaimed, provocatve summer stock production in Provincetown, the birthplace of Modern American Theater, and the documentary promises to be in itself a landmark work upon its expected completion for planned screenings at film festivals in 2011.
Nathan Butera is a New York-based filmmaker. He received his MFA in Film from NYU and has written and directed numerous short films. His short "Paws" was purchased by Canal+ for broadcast on French television and has screened at film festivals around the world. His film "Brother" was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards and was screened at numerous festivals, premiering at the Provincetown International Film Festival. Butera has written a feature-length script based on his short film "Brother" and is currently writing his second feature. His script "Topaz-55" was a finalist for the Sloan Foundation Grant. Butera has worked for New York-based filmmakers John Sayles for the film "Sunshine State" and Spike Lee for the film "The 25th Hour."
Filmmaker Nathan Butera.