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Eliza Dushku

Eliza Dushku - "Dog Sees God" Play - Celebrity Gossip : Bert V. Royal

Friday 30 December 2005, by Webmaster

About the author:

Bert V. Royal is the playwright of the off-Broadway show, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, and is he ready to confess all! Well, sort of. After figuring out that getting his frustrations out on paper through a cartoon muse was the best way to get him back on his feet, Royal found that a well-known cast of young actors were interested in performing his play. The show was already a proven winner. It first hit the stage in 2004 at the New York Fringe Festival and went on to win several awards, including the 2004 New York Fringe Festival Overall Excellence Award and the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding off-off Broadway Production. Royal is no stranger to the stage or famous faces. He was an associate and assistant casting director for many years and has helped to cast such shows as the recent Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the off-Broadway revival of Miss Evers’ Boys. So what’s the playwright’s dish on the cast (which includes of Eddie Kaye Thomas, Eliza Dushku, America Ferrara, Kelli Garner, Ari Graynor, Logan Marshall-Green, Keith Nobbs and Ian Somerhalder)? You’re going to have to read on to find out the scoop yourself!

I was asked to do this piece and got really excited because I have wanted to spill the beans about this cast since the first read through. Give it to you uncensored and unauthorized. The real celebrity gossip. But first, a little background on the play...

When I began writing Dog Sees God in January 2004, I had just been dumped by my boyfriend, lost my job and was feeling like the most miserable guy in the world. So, who better to be the vessel for my frustrations than the blockhead who’s followed around by a raincloud and is constantly getting the football yanked from him?

I never expected the writing of this play to change my life. I never even thought I’d show it to anyone, but luckily for me, I did. Over coffee in Chelsea, I told the person who would later become my best friend and business partner, Sorrel Tomlinson, all about it. She said she wanted to produce it. "Yeah, whatever," I thought. "Have at it." I gave her the script and she actually did it.

Two years later, I still can’t believe it.

Between the encouragement of Sorrel and my other dear friend, Karen DiConcetto (who played CB’s Sister in the Fringe production and covers the female roles in the current production), I had something that I’d never had before and Charlie Brown never did—cheerleaders. Then a countless number of other people became supporters of me as well.

(I promise, I’m getting to the gossip.)

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The New York International Fringe Festival—while the most rewarding experience I think that anybody in theater can possibly have—is no easy work. Budget constraints, artistic constraints and getting your production in and out of your appointed theater in half the time of a sitcom is something that is so difficult it can make your head spin. But we’re living proof of the amazing possibilities that come with being blessed by the opportunity.

And now - the celebrity gossip you’ve been waiting for...

The idea of movie stars wanting to do this play was a little baffling to me. I kept saying, "Why would ____________ (insert any one of our cast members’ names) want to do this play?"

I played along, all the while prepared to say, "I told you so.’" But miracle of miracles, they started to accept and pretty soon, we found ourselves with what is, in my humble opinion, the hottest cast ever assembled on a New York stage. But surely they’re all a bunch of spoiled, pampered stars who aren’t used to the work involved in putting on a production in New York City! Their "work" consists of sitting in their lavish trailers doing pilates while watching their enormous flat-screen TVs. And lest we forget the agony of all that media attention!

So here it goes—the whole truth about these (blecch!) celebrities.

I’ve never worked with a more considerate and kind, hardworking, fun, talented and enthusiastic gang in my entire life. They will always be my Peanuts. I wish that I could sit here and tell you scandalous stories (and anybody that knows me knows I would), but the reality is that all of them have become my heroes. And the greatest friends and co-workers I could ever ask for.

I urge theatergoers to open your minds and hearts to the idea of the "dreaded" celebrities coming down from their ivory towers in the hills of Hollywood to live in shoeboxes in New York City and have MANY zeroes subtracted from their normal paychecks just to give you their all eight days a week.

Especially these guys. I feel like they’re my classmates in a course entitled "How To Put On A Show," and I’m cheating off their papers. I’ve learned more from them than I could possibly relay.

Well, maybe one day, in a not-so-scandalous tell-all.