The Firebugs, in stereo

The Firebugs 

In Stereo

by Max Frisch
Adapted from a translation by Mordecai Gorelick

Directed and Edited by Ken Nintzel


Chuck Blasius as Gottlieb Biedermann

Susan Tierney as Babette Biedermann

Kourtney Rutherford as Anna, the maidservant

Jay Smith as Joseph “Sepp” Schmitz, a wrestler

DJ Mendel as Willi Maria Eisenring, a waiter

Eddie Lopez as The Policeman

Richard Foreman as The Ph.D

Croft Vaughn, Eddie Lopez, 
Jonathan Murdock 
as the
Chorus of Firemen

Jonathan Lester as the Leader of the Chorus

Scene: The living room and attic of Biedermann's house 
Time: Now

running time: 1:07 

click on the title above to link to the recording via Sound Cloud
Headphones or Stereo system are recommended for listening

In January of this past year I sent out the following letter…

Dear Friends

Within the past few months I have been reaching out to you and calling your attention to the play The Firebugs by Max Frisch. I’ve been sending out copies to read and briefly describing what I had in mind to do. Since your responses are starting to come in I wanted to take the opportunity to describe this project further and the shape its taking.

I first came across The Firebugs in 1989 when I was looking for a short work to do for Tiny Mythic’s (HERE) The American Living Room Series at the old Ohio Theater. Although it was too long for the series, it had made an unsettling impression on me. I had forgotten about it, until a few months ago
Throughout the fall and into the winter I had been constantly reminded of The Firebugs, so I decided to reread it. It was even better than I had remembered…the dialogue quick, the stakes high, on the absurdist side, and so relevant for our current sociopolitical times.  I thought ‘I’ve got to do this!’ 
What? Not only had I not directed theater in over ten years, let alone a straight play, but I had since moved on and towards other modes of expression. But while reading  

The Firebugs again so many of those feelings, those original feelings we all felt when we first became attracted to plays and theater and performance, came up. This coupled with  feelings of timeliness and urgency led me to decide that this is what I had to do, work towards getting The Firebugs heard.

There’s no money to produce or to be made from this. I’m hoping to tap into your love of the play and your own need to take some form of action in these increasingly troubling times. Each of you came to mind as I read and reread the play as a performer or artist who could really bring these characters and play to life. You are also people who I have worked with, in some capacity, in the past and artists who’s talents I respect greatly. I have been so encouraged by all of your responses.

I’m aiming to have informal readings within the next couple of months based on getting a sense of everyone’s interest, scheduling and availability. 

The response I got was overwhelming and I was able to gather a group of people who gave three precious things: their time, talent and their commitment to the power of provocative theater. Meeting once or twice a week in my and Bil’s apartment, from February through the end of April, we read and discussed the play in a radio play format, ultimately to be spoken aloud with the idea that sound effects would be added.

With conflicts looming, that would end our gatherings, I decided to record the results of our efforts as I felt the work was definitely ready to be heard by more people.

Over the summer and through 300 takes I edited the piece and added some sound effects. I am pleased to now make this work available to you.

I welcome your reactions. Please feel free to leave comments here on this blog. If you are especially enthusiastic about this project consider hosting a Listening Party, a gathering for a number of friends where you listen to the play. The running time is one hour seven minutes and would be a unique opportunity for a get together and some timely discussion. If you'd like to host a listening party please contact me directly at for further details.


Pride Flag of Flowers

Over 400 three dimensional paper flowers
in the colors of the LGBTQ Pride Flag
displayed in the Capital One pavilion
at 299 Park Ave and 49th St
June 6th - 26th, 2016

Poppies for Judy

Tiger Lilies


Carnations for Oscar Wilde


Flowers mounted on cards

Displayed on shelves

Within the Pavilion at Capital One

Through the window on 49th St

Art at the airport, the whims of Ken Nintzel

As translated by Span!shD!ct
I have also included the spanish version for additional interpretation and context 

Arte en el aeropuerto, los caprichos de Ken Nintzel
En la Terminal J del Aeropuerto Internacional de Miami (MIA) puede verse una pieza del artista estadounidense Ken Nintzel
La obra refleja el interés del artista por el misterio del cosmos
Nintzel ha logrado la metamorfosis estelar y su consiguiente apariencia figurativa

Read more here:

Art at the airport, the whims of Ken Nintzel In Terminal J of Miami International Airport (MIA) can be seen in a part of the American artist Ken Nintzel
The work reflects the artist's interest by the mystery of the cosmos
Nintzel achieved stellar metamorphosis and their consequent figurative appearance

Read more here:

Cassiopeia the Vain Queen

Cassiopeia the Vain Queen
You Are Here

"Cassiopeia was the wife of Cepheus, king of Ethiopia (see previous post) and mother of Andromeda. She was a queen of matchless beauty, and seemed to be sensible of it, for she even boasted herself fairer that Juno, the sister of Jupiter, or the Nereides, a given name to the sea nymphs.

This so provoked the ladies of the sea that they complained to Neptune of the insult, who sent a frightful monster (the constellation Cetus, the sea monster) to ravage the coast as a punishment for her insolence. In addition, Neptune demanded the a sacrifice of Cassiopeia's daughter Andromeda.

 Because of the circumpolar motion of the stars, the Queen often suffers the humiliating position of standing on her head.

She was placed, as legend runs, in this cruel position in the heavens by her enemies the sea nymphs.

Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Pegasus and Andromeda
the so-called "Royal Family" of Starland."

from Star Lore by William Tyler Olcott

Follow the link below to view images of the making of Cassiopeia 

Click on the Cassiopeia icon in the side menu

Cepheus the King

Cepheus the King
You Are Here

"Cepheus is generally conceded to have been King of Ethiopia, the Euphratean "Cush," the husband of Cassiopeia, and the father of Andromeda.

Cepheus also figures as one of the Argonauts, the valiant band of heroes that sailed in the ship Argo in quest of the golden fleece, and was changed into a constellation at his death.

Cepheus and the constellations of the group with which he is generally associated are known as 
"the Royal Family." They also comprise the so-called circumpolar constellations, and in these latitudes never set.

 They are especially noteworthy as illustrating the ancient legend of Perseus and Andromeda, one of the best known of all the classic myths and one that has survived all ages.

It shows clearly that there was an effort made on the part of the inventor of these constellations to depict here on the imperishable scroll of heaven a drama that should survive all time. 
It is as if each constellation was but an installment of a serial story."

from Star Lore by William Tyler Olcott

Leo Major

Leo Major
the Greater Lion
You Are Here

" The figure of Leo, very much as we now have it, appears in all the Indian and Egyptian zodiacs, and of all the zodiac constellations it is probably most famous. As many authorities claim, its prominence is beyond question due to the fact that the place of the sun at the summer solstice was in this constellation at the time that the star groups were designed. There was thus a visible connection between the constellation Leo and the return of the sun to place of power and glory at the apex of the heavenly arch.

The connection between the sun, king of the heavenly hosts, and the lion, king of beasts, is obvious. Macrobius says:"This beast seems to derive his own nature from the luminary [the sun], being in force and heat as superior to all other animals, as the sun is to the stars." The Lion is always seen with his eyes wide open, and full of fire.   

According to Greek fable, this Lion represents the formidable animal which infested the forest of Nemaea. It was slain by Hercules, his first labour, and placed by Jupiter among the stars in commemoration of the dreadful conflict. 

Hercules (see blog entry December 10, 2015) is generally represented as wearing the lion's skin, and he is said to have reclined as he awatied his doom on the funeral pyre. Some aver that Hercules strangled the lion with his hands, but according to another legend he seized the lion by its jaws, and drove his heavy club down the creature's throat.

Maunder points out a curious relationship between four of the zodiacal constellations, one of which is Leo. He says: "The four most important signs of the zodiac are those in which the sun is located on the longest and shortest days, and on the two days when the days and nights are of equal length. These four signs in the days of Noah were the Bull, the Lion, the Scorpion and the Water-Pourer."

from Star Lore by William Tyler Olcott 

Follow this link to see images of the making of Leo the Lion 
(like below)

Click on the Leo icon in the side menu


the Strongman
You Are Here

"The origin of this constellation is shrouded in mystery. It was not known to the Greek astronomers by the name "Hercules" but as "Engonasi" or "Engonasin" meaning the "KneelingOne".

The Twelve labors of Hercules are supposed to have an astronomical significance, and refer to the sun's passage through the zodiacal sign. "Beginning with the summer solstice a series of coincidences will be noted which makes impressive this ancient belief. For example the first sign through which the sun passes is Leo, and Hercules' first labour was the slaying of the Nemean lion.

There is certainly a significance in the location of this figure of a giant trampling on a serpent, for he is placed head to head with the giant Ophiuchus, (not pictured) who is represented as holding a writhing serpent in his grasp. Hercules has been thought to represent the first Adam, beguiled by the serpent, and condemned to a life of toil, while Ophiuchus is supposed to be the second Adam, triumphant over the serpent.

Even in his infancy, Hercules displayed great courage and strength, for it is related that he rose in his cradle and strangled the serpents sent by Juno to distroy him.

Bayer represents Hercules as holding in addition to his club an apple branch, possibly to indicate his connection with the myth of the Golden Apples of the Garden of Hesperides. For his eleventh labor he was ordered to procure them."

from Star Lore by William Tyler Olcott

Follow the link below to see images of Hercules in progress

Click on the Hercules icon in the side menu