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Thom Dunn is a Boston-based writer, musician, homebrewer, and new media artist. He enjoys Oxford commas, metaphysics, and romantic clichés (especially when they involve whiskey), and he firmly believes that Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is the single greatest atrocity committed against mankind. He is a graduate of Clarion Writer's Workshop at UCSD ('13) & Emerson College ('08).

STREETS LIKE THIS: A New World Premiere Play!

For the last couple of months, I've been working with AC Sidle on the Civic Ensemble's Re-Entry Theatre Program to create a new play about prison and addiction, inspired by the real-life stories of people who've lived the struggle. The play started with scenes, written by the program participants—most of whom are or were transitioning out of prison and/or rehab—which I then took and transformed into a full-length, fictional dramatic work.

It started out with their stories, but I gotta say: I'm pretty happy with the final product, and I hope we can continue giving it life across the country, because these conversations aren't going away.

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Ithacans, Civic Ensemble invites you to sit with Deon and Dennis, two local men getting up there in age. Deon is black, Dennis is white; both are worn out from past convictions, dysfunctional institutions, and the preventable deaths of loved ones. From their stoop, watch Crystal, Abby, and Brian struggle with their diverse obstacles and mistakes while stuck in the United States’ broken criminal justice system. Deon and Dennis narrate the stories of these three and other characters navigating the perils of real life and their own demons while dealing with the consequences of probation, incarceration, parole, and court-ordered rehabilitation. Streets Like This, based on true stories, travels from the Meadow Street Mobil to Social Services offices and the curb outside Day Reporting to their own workplaces and homes. The play offers no single solution but rather brings you into their worlds. As Deon says, “But maybe next time, you’ll do more than turn your heads away as you toss some spare change in their cups.”

Saturday May 5 at 7:30pm, followed by opening night party
Sunday May 6 at 4:00 pm & 7:30pm
at Kitchen Theatre Company, 417 MLK Jr St, Ithaca

Monday May 7 at 7:30pm
at GIAC Gymnasium, 301 W Court St, Ithaca

The Vindow Viper Is Coming

Busy week here at Thom Dunn industries (when is it now?) so I've shared an older piece for this week's Five By Five Hundred post. This one's inspired by a really terrible episode of the 80s GI JOE cartoon, and a homeless guy named Joe who lives in New Haven. Joe walks around New Haven with a bucket and a mop, and he offers to clean the windows on your building or your car in exchange for food or money. He firmly believes in working for his pay, and refuses to beg for money or take handouts from strangers -- because, if his story is to be believed, Joe used to be a drug dealer and a rapist and was thrown off the top of the New Haven Coliseum in a turf war and somehow survived through the graciousness of some mysterious benefactor who paid his medical bills and now he feels that he has to spend the rest of his life making up for his past mistakes. Or at least that's what he says. So I wrote this little piece about him; obviously it's a comedy.

"Viper" on FiveByFiveHundred.com


Review: Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski

Fun & Games, the newest novel from crime fictioneer/Marvel Comics scribe Duane Swierczynski, is the first installment in a trilogy of books about protagonist Charlie Hardie, an ex-cop(-ish) with a blood past from Philadelphia (where else?). It's a frantic loveletter to LA noir, with blistering energy and labyrinthine conspiracies revealing how Hollywood really runs the world. So it's kind of like Mulholland Drive, except it actually makes sense (no offense, David Lynch). Read my full review of Fun & Games over at DailyGenoshan.com!

Time Travel! Murder! Philadelphia! OH EM GEE!

Most people who know me can vouch for the fact that I love just about anything involving (a) time travel, or (b) noir tropes. Fortunately, Expiration Date, the latest novel from Philadelphia genre master Duane Swierczynski, features both (along with some great beer and records. Even better!), and you can read my full review over at DailyGenoshan.com. Here's the blurb from the back of the book:

Recently unemployed journalist Mickey Wade lucked into a rent-free apartment — his sick grandfather's place. The only problem: it's in a lousy neighborhood — the one where Mickey grew up, in fact. The one he was so desperate to escape.

But now he's back. Dead broke. And just when he thinks he's reacher rock bottom, Mickey wakes up in the past. Literally.

At first he thinks it's a dream. All of the stores he remembered from his childhood, the cars, the rumbles of the elevated train. But as he digs deeper into the past, searching for answers about the grandfather he hardly knows, Mickey meets the twelve-year-old kid who lives in the apartment below.

The kid who will grow up to someday murder Mickey's father.

Book Review: “Expiration Date” by Duane Swierczynski on DailyGenoshan.com