Wayne Harrel may truly be described as a "one-man show." Actor, director, filmmaker, playwright -- he performs all of these roles with gusto. Image is proud that it published an excerpt from Wayne's outstanding play, Song of the Bow, which took on the difficult and painful subjects of Christianity, homosexuality, and AIDS -- and did so in a searing, honest fashion.
"The big project of the moment is Gospel Blues, a concert musical about a struggling gospel artist who learns to sing the blues. My composer partner is Janice Scroggins, a musician so renowned here in Portland that, unless I really mess up the book and lyrics, a full production should happen soon. (In fact, we recently presented some of the songs in concert and were promptly invited to present the show as a live radio play on the local jazz and blues station.) Meanwhile, Atlanta's Art Within Theatre has invited me to come workshop Song of the Bow with them this spring. Then there's Says Me!, a one-act about resisting peer pressure, written for my son's class, which needs to be polished and submitted to publishers. Looking ahead, I've been researching Portland's shady history for a new musical currently titled Stumptown Shanghai (crimps, sailors, loggers, hookers, preachers, revenge). I've also been developing a beatnik character and poems for coffee house readings -- and something beyond, but I'm not sure what. And finally, I'm gathering and blending ideas for a Godspell-like ensemble play structured around whatever it was Jesus told those two disciples while on the road to Emmaus."
Wayne Harrel's play Song of the Bow was a finalist in both the 1996 Christians in Theatre Arts (CITA) Playwriting competition and the 1997 Oregon Literary Arts Awards. Readings of Song of the Bow have been presented in Chicago, Seattle, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Houston. Mr. Harrel's musical play Look at Us Now (music by Craig Bidondo) was nominated Best Original Play by the Portland Drama Critics Circle, won the 1997 CITA Playwriting Award and was featured in their1998 North American Conference in Seattle. Other works by Mr. Harrel include Making Choices, published by The Dramatic Publishing Company and winner of New York's TADA! Theatre New Play Award; Bright and Wild, winner of the Ensemble Theatre Playwriting Contest; and The Strayaways, a family musical composed by Chris Hansen. Mr. Harrel is a member of the Dramatists Guild and an alumnus of the Nautilus Music-Theater Studio. By day, he creates award-winning programs for film, video, multi-media and corporate theatre from his home in Portland, Oregon. By night – and most days – he enjoys his wife and two fine sons. And they him.