Official Website of Michael Fletcher Tester

The Drama Police Blog

The first law of the Drama Police is - there are no Drama Police

Art cannot and should not be policed. It could be argued that here is no “good or bad” art-only art that works for you on some level or does not. And that has as much to do with the patron as the artist.

In our cyber age which gives new meaning to the phrase “everyone’s a critic,” let the Drama Police serve and protect you from the random drama that comes with being an artist by not only enforcing a smile, but summoning support in the form of tips, to-do lists, affirmations, and other resource tools.

So go ahead: Draw outside the line, act the fool, dance in-between the beat, sing a grace note, and follow your muse.

You Have the Right to Remain Creative; Anything you make can and should be used against all odds to make the world a finer place.

  • Cold Case Files

    MISSING: Is there any play, musical or other such theatre related stage project, script, company or artist you cannot locate?  Let us know and hopefully all you Junior Drama G Men and out there can post some leads! For example, does anyone know what became of the Keith Haring musical “Radiant Baby?”

    Share a tip, or post a question for our detectives below!

    “You have the right to remain creative”… Michael Fletcher Tester

  • Safety Tip

    To protect your intellectual property:


    U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress,
    Washington, D.C., 20559, 202-707-9100



    Have safety tips of your own? Share yours below!

    “You have the right to remain creative”… Michael Fletcher Tester

  • There Oughtta Be A Law

    Crime: “Gratuitous Standing Ovations”

    Once the barometer of a hit show, audiences now tend to stand up for virtually every single performance-whether they enjoyed it or not. Like it is an obligation that comes with your ticket price along with the theatre restoration fee; perhaps producers have rigged an electric shock under the red under your red velvet seats to zap you into military attention.

    Do not get me wrong, I am all for the grand tradition of honoring excellence by jumping to my feet in applause. That stated, when I am not compelled to stand, I feel as if the patrons around me (not to mention some of the actors in front of me) are staring at me, like I am some sort of cultural pariah-despite the fact that I may have loved the show.

    Please: by all means stand for the performance that moves you and, for the love of Liza do not leave the theatre during curtain calls because you do not want to wait on line at the garage.  But if you stand for no other reason than T.P.P. (Theatrical Peer Pressure), I suggest the punishment fit the crime:

    Fine:  one must watch the performance from the standing room only section and then sit down during the curtain call.

    What do you think about the crime of the Gratuitus Standing Ovation? Share your thoughts below!

    “You have the right to remain creative”… Michael Fletcher Tester

  • Surprise Witness!

    Our brief Interrogation, I mean Interview, with an unusual suspect!

    DP: Please state your name for the record.

    WITNESS: “Noah Weisberg”

    DP: Current occupation?

    WITNESS:  “Actor/writer”

    DP: Share with us something of interest you witnessed on, off, or backstage.

    WITNESS: “One of my favorite on stage moments has to be during Legally Blonde on Broadway. I lost focus for a second and forgot the lyrics to my solo. The other actors on stage were staring at me, willing me with their eyes to continue. The orchestra did continue playing. The best that I could do was improv some spoken lines that tried to capture the essence of the lyrics that for the life of me I couldn't remember. It was not my best moment on stage but the look on my fellow actors faces made it one that I'll never forget.”

    DP: If you could create any law, what would it be?

    WITNESS: “Danny Burstein should be cast in every Broadway show. They just seem to turn out better when he's in them.”

    DP: Is there anything else you would like to confess?

    WITNESS: “There is nothing better than a great night at the theatre, either on stage or off.”

    Noah Weisberg’s credits include the Original Broadway Casts of Elf, Enron, South Pacific and Legally Blonde. Other NY: Shakespeare in the Park (Two Gentlemen of Verona), A Strange & Separate People, F#@king Up Everything, Awesome 80’s Prom (co-writer). Regional: George Street Playhouse, Paper Mill, Actors Theatre of Louisville. Tours: Big, Grease. Film: The Lost Coast Tapes (in select theaters this October), Lucky Stiff, and Say Then Go.

    Creator, Writer, Director, Editor, Executive Producer & star of the award winning short film What’s Life Got To Do With It?, The Lost Coast Tapes, Across the Universe, And Then Came Love. TV: Recurring on Law & Order. Guest on The Good Wife, Cashmere Mafia, Law & Order CI, Love Monkey, Team Umizoomi, JoJo's Circus (2 Seasons), Kenny The Shark and iCarly. Over 175 commercials and voice overs.  Graduate of NYU (CAP21).

    Official website: www.CastNoah.com

    Production Company: Shermerville.com

    “You have the right to remain creative”… Michael Fletcher Tester

  • Disorderly Conduct - Peter Pan

    A typical production of Peter Pan juggles such stage variables as child actors, production numbers, dancers in animal costumes, sword play, elaborate set changes, lasers, pyrotechnics, three types of smoke (dry ice, hazers and chemical fog) and, ideally flying (I qualified the later because some older road houses cannot support the ZFX or FOY rigging but I am getting ahead of myself). When all this stage craft works harmoniously the show delivers on its promise to be a place where dreams are born. When they do not, such is the magic of live theater that the audience is usually in on the joke and, so long as it is only pride that gets hurt, everyone exits the main or stage door smiling.

    To wit: my experience as an actor in a tour of Peter Pan included such unscripted moments as Captain Hook’s hook unscrewing and flying across the stage- forcing his fellow pirates to call him “Captain Stump;”,  the child actor playing Michael falling asleep onstage forcing Wendy to scream in his ear: “Wake up!!!!” - prompting the kid to jump to his feet like he just saw Elaine Stritch under his bed, before being latched to his flying rig, and yanked into the air-where he woke up somewhere over the mezzanine.  And of course the eluded to former vaudeville road house with such limited fly space only Peter Pan could sing, “I’m Flying,” while the little Darlings pondered how they were going to hitch a ride to Neverland.

    Do you have a similar story? Share it below!

    “You have the right to remain creative”… Michael Fletcher Tester

  • Wanted: Actors!


    Do you have any casting links you love? Share them below!

    “You have the right to remain creative”… Michael Fletcher Tester

  • The Lineup

    There was a recent press release announcing the licensing of 30 minute version of ANNIE.  This inspired the Drama Police to offer tips on how to make your show shorter:

    • Direct Jean Valjean to pay for the bread
    • Your Twelve Angry Men agree on the first ballot
    • Change the Guys line to “The Biltmore Garage is in!”
    • Have the apothecary prescribe Hamlet some Prozac
    • Make Danny & Sandy gay (like in the movie)
    • Direct the Darling family to lock their windows at night
    • Cut all the curse words from your Mamet play

    Have any tips to make a show shorter? Leave a comment below.

    “You have the right to remain creative”… Michael Fletcher Tester

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