POETRY IN CONCERT – (Since 2000) Author / Director / Producer of theatrical concert programs merging original lyrical narratives, spoken word and performance poetry with classical symphonic repertoire, performed with orchestras across the US and Canada. The Haunted Symphony, Cowboy Jamboree, Song of the Earth, What is Mucus?, West Side WordJazz, Happy Birthday Wolfgang, Buffalo Bill – Let My Show Go On.
MUSIC HALL PRODUCTIONS – Book, Music and Lyrics for seven original musicals for the Heritage Square Music Hall, a 300 seat, year-round commercial dinner theater in Golden, CO: Blackbeard (1988, 99, 07), Gumshoe (1988), Secret Agent Guy (1991), The Pecos Pest (1992), The Fatal Glass (1995), Easy Money (2005) and The Winter Rose (Denver Drama Critics Best New Play 1996).
WALDEN FAMILY PLAYHOUSE – (2003) Director and script doctor for world premiere musical version of Heidi, produced in Denver by Walden Media (Los Angeles). The commissioned author failed to deliver a completed script. Responsible for staging, development, rewrites, additional lyrics, vocal arrangements and studio production of final orchestrations.
POOR YORICK - (Since 1990) Producer / Director for independent commercial production of self-originated works: Gumshoe at the Avenue Theatre, Denver (1991) and Punch at the Palace Theatre at Avalon, Aurora (1990). Publishing and stage direction of prior works to other theater companies including: Horsebarn Dinner Theater (WY), Preservation Playhouse (OK), Martin City Theater (MO), Loveland Theater (CO).
GASLIGHT ENTERPRISES - (1978-87) Artistic Director for two year-round dinner theatres creating original musical comedy adaptations of 19th Century melodramas: G. William Oakley's Opera House in Golden, CO and The Goldenrod Showboat in St. Louis, MO. Developed and directed two dozen signature style broad comedy productions, up to five shows per year at each location. Also created and directed 1-hour Vaudeville reviews to accompany each production, writing sketch comedy material and original comic songs.
"THE CYBER CITY DINER" - (1997-1999) Television Series Head Writer, 12 episodes. Directed 3 episodes. Internationally syndicated children's education & humor series, puppet characters explore and explain the (early) internet. Produced by KnowledgeTV and Mind Extension University. Two ‘Telly’ awards. ‘Flame’ award for children’s programming.
CORPORATE INDUSTRIALS - (Since 1981) Contract Production, Stage Direction, scripts, lyrics, and music on custom shows created for clients including: AT&T, Toshiba, 3M, General Mills, Chandris Cruise Lines, Wyoming Prison Park and New Orleans Superdome.
PUPPET SOUP - (1977-87) Created & directed puppet productions for touring marionette theater and stand-alone large scale effects for live theatre, film and video. Professional theater productions included: Bluebeard, Ubu Roi, A Christmas Carol, Carnival and The Magic Flute. Advertising & corporate clients: AT&T, White Rock and syndicated auto retailers.
ODEN THEATRICAL - (1979-1983) Family business. Scenic / Costume Design and rental. Clients included the Denver Center Theatre Company, Opera Colorado, Country Dinner Playhouse, film & video companies, community theatres and Denver area schools.
Also: HYPNOSMOKE (Since 2005) Private Therapy Practice. National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Tobacco Treatment Provider and Certified Hypnotherapist. Over 20,000 clinical hours working with thousands of individual smokers, conducting hundreds of live and virtual health-behavior change seminars for groups of all sizes.
Member: Dramatist’s Guild, Actor’s Equity, ASCAP
Top 5 Clifton Strengths: Maximizer, Ideation, Strategic, Learner, Individualization
Top 5 VIA Character Strengths: Creativity, Appreciation, Curiosity, Gratitude, Optimism
Book, Music and Lyrics by Frank Oden
THE WINTER ROSE (full-length musical comedy)
Winner – Best New Play of 1996 – Denver Drama Critics Circle
Heritage Square Music Hall, Golden, CO (Nov 1996 – Jan 1997) (65 Performances)
Despite treacherous relatives, manipulative men, raging hormones and poor romantic judgment, a 19-year old orphan, Destiny Waits, comes of age in the highly sensational manner of bodice-ripper Regency romance fiction. 6M – 3F
EASY MONEY (full-length musical comedy adaptation)
Heritage Square Music Hall, Golden, CO (Nov 2000 – Feb 2001) (85 Performances)
Based on “The Poor of New York” by Dion Boucicault (1857). Ruined Wall Street banker, Gideon Bloodgood, commits an opportunistic fraud to protect his fortune and is forced into a series of escalating crimes to cover his tracks. 6M-2F or 5M-3F
THE FATAL GLASS (full-length musical comedy adaptation)
Heritage Square Music Hall, Golden, CO (Nov 1995 – January 1996) (60 performances)
Based on the 1872 temperance drama by James McCloskey. When Ambrose Verney falters in his vow to shun the demon drink, the Spirit of Temperance visits a tragic fantasy upon him, previewing the drunkard’s inevitable demise. 5M – 3F
GUMSHOE (full-length comedy play) With Reno Goodale.
Heritage Square Music Hall, Golden CO (Sept – Oct 1988)
The Avenue Theater, Denver, CO (Aug – Nov 1990)
Martin City Melodrama, Kansas City, MO (May-July 1991)
Loveland Theater Company, Loveland, CO (July 1993)
Preservation Playhouse, Midwest City, OK (Oct-Nov 1998)
In living black and white. Hard-boiled detective Nick Slade is framed for a murder he can’t be sure he didn’t commit. Set in 1940, his ‘investigation’ is fraught with femme fatales and riddled with blazing bullets in film-noir cinematic style. 4M – 3F
BLACKBEARD (full-length musical comedy) Book With Reno Goodale
Heritage Square Music Hall, Golden, CO (Jun - Aug 1988) (May - Aug 1992) (Feb - May 2007)
Martin City Melodrama . Kansas City, MO (Jan – Mar 1991)
Preservation Playhouse, Midwest City, OK (Sep-Nov 1997)
A plucky young girl finds danger and romance on the high seas when she disguises herself as a pirate lad to rescue her kidnapped mother and avenge her father’s murder. 4M – 3F
THE PECOS PEST (full-length musical comedy) Book With Reno Goodale
Heritage Square Music Hall, Golden, CO (Feb – May 1992) (60 Performances)
Preservation Playhouse, Midwest City, OK (Jul – Aug 1998)
Horsebarn Dinner Theater, Laramie, WY (Jun – Aug 1999)
Wild West cliches are turned upside-down when not-so notorious cattle rustler and small-time grifter, Singlejack Royce, charms the heroine and prospers while the hero is convicted in his stead. 5M – 3F
SECRET AGENT GUY (full-length musical comedy) Book with Reno Goodale
Heritage Square Music Hall (Apr – Jun 1991)
Ineffectual agency pen-pusher, Charles Guy, is thrust into field service to thwart an insane megalomaniac and his overbearing mother in their bizarre plan for world domination. Heritage Square Music Hall (1991) Martin City Players (1992)
PUNCH (full-length musical commedia del arte) With Reno Goodale
The Palace Theater at Avalon, Aurora, CO (Aug-Sep 1989)
Punch comes to life, takes wife, loses baby, kills dog, joins navy, gets arrested, faces trial, tricks hangman, cheats death, annoys St. Peter, goes to hell, loses money, closes quickly.
Lyrical Narratives for Symphony Orchestra
THE HOUSE OF HALLOWEEN (Family concert program) Original performance poetry provides a lyrical narrative context and theatrical production values for classically spooky dramatic repertoire. Our comical (g)host, Ezekiel McCobb, is awakened on Halloween night by trick-or-treaters (the audience) pounding on his front door. He eagerly joins them on their rounds and leads the group “beyond the tracks, behind the mill, through tall dead grass and up the hill” to the haunted home of Old Count Mildew. The Count appears and welcomes his visitors on a tour that includes “The Thing in the Attic” and “Bats in My Basement.” Our host returns to guide us back home again, but not without a final detour through the graveyard at the chiming of midnight, just in time for the “Zombie Jamboree.”
Colorado Symphony Orchestra, CO (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002); Littleton Symphony Orchestra, CO (2002); Dallas Symphony Orchestra, TX (2004); Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, PA (2006, 2013); Detroit Symphony Orchestra. MI (2007, 2008, 2011, 2014); Utah Symphony Orchestra, UT (2010); Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, CAN (2010); Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, FL (2013)
COWBOY JAMBOREE (Family, educational and mainstage concert program.) Original cowboy poetry provides a lyrical narrative context and theatrical values for repertoire evoking the American West. Humorous and educational depictions of life in the archetypal “Old West.” Set in Texas prior to the Civil War, a restless young man gives up farming in Tennessee and moves out west to work in the saddle. Multiple characters are portrayed through lyrical monologues, including the Pioneer Traveler, String Bean the Camp Cook, Dusty the Trail Rider, the Yellow Kid, and the Old Cowpoke.
Colorado Symphony Orchestra, CO (2002, 2004); Denver Young Artists Orchestra, CO (2004); Dallas Symphony Orchestra, TX (2006); Vail Valley Music Festival, CO (2006); Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, TX (2006); Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, PA (2008); Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, AR (2008); Utah Symphony Orchestra, UT (2009); Idaho Falls Symphony, ID (2009); Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, AL (2013); Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, FL (2013); Detroit Symphony Orchestra (2016).
SONG OF THE EARTH (Family, educational and mainstage concert program.) Merges lyrical humor and verbal acrobatics with stunning visual images and evocative orchestral music to explore the grandeur and frailties of our little blue planet and the need for effective stewardship. Hosted by a whimsical "Earthropologist," embark on an entertaining and educational tour of earth's essential systems and wonders, including a literally breathtaking recitation of the entire animal kingdom in under three minutes. Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, PA (2008) Broomfield Civic Orchestra, CO (2010)
WHAT IS MUCUS? – or - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Podium (Mainstage concert program). An absent-minded cellular biology professor and mucus expert turns out to be the wrong person to host an educational concert about music, but the mixup isn't discovered until the show is underway. Refusing to accept defeat (or leave the stage) he takes command of the orchestra and recruits the antagonized conductor as reluctant assistant in a ridiculous yet perfectly apt explanation of all things musical. Colorado Symphony Orchestra (2000, 2003, 2005, 2011)
LOVE YOU TO DEATH / WEST SIDE WORDJAZZ (Mainstage concert features) The course of true love never did run smooth… if it ever had, the world’s poets and composers would have gone out of business. A tragi-comic celebration of the human heart and art’s oldest inspirations -- unrequited love, unbridled passion, unwise choices and unbelievably bad timing! Slam/Beat performance poetry commissioned by Marin Alsop for her tribute to Leonard Bernstein to accompany Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, plus comic narration to Dan Kellogg’s Pyramus and Thisbe. Colorado Symphony Orchestra, CO (2002); Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, CO (2011); Orchestra Iowa (tour), IA (2013), Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra (2016)
BUFFALO BILL – “Let My Show Go On” (Mainstage concert features) Lyrical narration created for brass choir festival work, commissioned by composer Eric MacIntyre. First person lyrical narrative conveying the visceral experience and cultural significance of a child attending Willam Cody’s Wild West Show. University of Colorado Horn Ensemble (2014)