Monthly Archives: May 2016

From Artomatic to the GRAMMYs: Meet the creative team behind A Roadkill Opera at Artomatic@Frederick on June 4 at 5 pm

Come have a conversation about how the creative team behind this very funny show workshopped at Artomatic ended up at the GRAMMYs. From a computer mock-up at Artomatic 2004 to recruiting producers at Artomatic 2009 and Artomatic@Frederick 2011, to the week of public workshops culminating in a workshop concert (see it on YouTube) at Artomatic 2012, Artomatic has been central to the development of A Roadkill Opera. The June 2012 Artomatic workshop concert led to a studio recording released commercially on July 4, 2013, with all the sheet music also released commercially and available through your local bookseller or luthier.

Though not nominated, the studio recording of A Roadkill Opera got us invited to the GRAMMYs, which we attended in February 2015. Which led to the January 2016 world premiere, fully staged performances (with sold-out houses) at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint in Washington DC. Hear how it happened from the creative team: music director, conductor, and director Jeffrey Dokken, together with Stephan Alexander Parker, who wrote the thing. The opera is new: the story is set in 1988 in the hour before the first professional gig for a comedy improv troupe in Jackson Hole—the Roadkill On A Stick Frozen Foods Theatre Company. The music is classical–from the 1804 Leonora by Ferdinando Paer, one of Beethoven’s direct competitors.

24 inch by 80 inch banner with photos of "Weird Al" Yankovich, Jane Seymour, and A Roadkill Opera's entourage at the February 2015 GRAMMYs
Weird Al” Yankovic won Best Comedy Album for “Mandatory Fun.” He and his wife sat just across the aisle from A Roadkill Opera‘s music director/conductor Jeffrey Dokken at the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards in February 2015. Then Jane Seymour sat down right in front of us with Glen Campbell‘s kids. They produced the Best Country Song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.” Dokken in the studio (top). A Roadkill Opera dropped July 4, 2013. While not nominated, our studio recording got us invited to the GRAMMYs. Librettist Stephan Alexander Parker, Dokken, and merchandising director DJ Choupin at the Premiere (above, left) and the Telecast (below, left). Video director Ben Ganz is checking on the after parties (below, center) while Parker is just glad he remembers where he parked the car.
24 inch by 80 inch banner traces the backstory of A Roadkill Opera from the sketch comedy in 1980's Wyoming through the Artomatic 2012 workshop concert to the world premiere performances at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint in January 2016
Stage manager Marvin (Christopher Dews) presents a frozen roadkill on a stick to Stephan (David Timpane) while Dave (Alex Miletich IV) looks on with amusement in A Roadkill Opera at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint in Washington, DC in January 2016. Strings play pizzicato as Holly (Laura Wehrmeyer) performs at the stand-and-sing workshop performance at Artomatic 2012 in Crystal City, Virginia in June 2012. The classic Cod Piece Dining Room comedy sketch – 1980s Wyoming. Free! Hilarious videos at the Roadkill Opera YouTube channel  and at