Joe Fish Ties The Knot
Last Gillnet on Grangers Wharf
an historic fiction of tragic romance
by Jamie Jobb
The characters, stories, incidents, names and
fish portrayed in this play are fictional.
No identification with real events,
locations, products, poems or actual living
beings – swimming or dead – should be inferred
as none was intended by the author.
Dramatist Guild of America
Footlight Series staged reading
Phoenix Theatre - Sixth Floor
414 Mason Street - San Francisco, Ca
1 September 2018
(c) 2018 by Jamie Jobb
Publicity photo of Joe DiMaggio “fishing” in San Francisco Bay.
Life in a fishing village offered few chances for a son to make a living playing games. If your father was a fisherman – particularly a Sicilian immigrant – there was little doubt you would become a fisherman too. That certainly seemed to be the case for toddler Joe DiMaggio as he grew up Sicilian-American on Grangers Wharf in Martinez, California early in the 20th Century.
However, one day Joe’s sister Frances ventured too close to railroad tracks near their home and a hot charcoal from a passing locomotive damaged her eye so severely that the local doctor could not treat it. The family eventually was forced to move to San Francisco for better health care. There – in North Beach – the three younger sons learned to play baseball well enough to earn their living on ballfields instead of papa’s boat.
This play presumes a parallel story where Joe’s sister wasn’t so badly injured and the “Pescatori” family didn’t need to leave The Shoreline …
Randall Nott (Joe Fish) is widely recognized in East Bay community theater circles as an actor, director, photographer, videographer, writer, lighting engineer, sound designer and all-round stage-tech guru – the guy in the booth the actors salute after they take their bows. A Theater Arts alumnus of UC Santa Cruz, Nott honed his improvisational theater and comedy writing skills at the Groundlings School in Los Angeles during the mid-1980s. He also studied film acting with the renowned Film Industry Workshops at CBS Studio City. An original member of Onstage Repertory Theatre, Randy still serves on the company’s board of directors as well as its technical director. His recent acting credits include “Funny Little Thing Called Love”, “Catfish Moon”, “Book of Liz” and “Random Exits” – a one-man show he developed at the 2016 Fringe Festival in San Francisco. Nott’s stage directing credits include “Shipwrecked”, “Anton Chekhov's Cherry Orchard of the Living Dead”, and “Reefer Madness”.
Ryan Terry (Mike Fish) – As a twelve-year-old Ryan won a Shellie Award – our local “Tony” – for Best Supporting Actor in a Play as Patrick, the orphaned nephew in “Auntie Mame” at Moraga Playhouse in 1990. He later joined Onstage Repertory Theatre where he’s worked for over two decades as an actor, stagehand and set builder with a keen eye for stagecraft. Most recently he designed and built the expressionistic setting of “The Outgoing Tide” for Storytellers Initiative Theatre at The Campbell in Martinez. Ryan’s acting credits include “Weekend Comedy”, “The Book of Liz”, “Cherry Orchard of the Living Dead”, “A Familiar Visage” “Christmas Belles” and “You Can’t Take It With You”. He met his wife Mya when they were cast as leads in “The Philadelphia Story”.
Courtney Shaffer (Norma Jean) has quickly established herself as a hilariously brave and gifted actor who’s blossomed in many recent Bay Area stage productions. Courtney’s favorite past credits include: Berkeley Playhouse (“Beauty and the Beast”), Pittsburg Community Theater (“Barefoot in the Park”), Onstage Rep (“My Three Angels”), Benicia Old Town Theatre (“Having a Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Her”). Ms. Shaffer most recently commanded the title role in Plotline Theatre Company’s two-hander, “The Housekeeper”. She studied acting at Berkeley Rep, has extensive experience in film and internet video production, and may be contacted through her website: https://www.courtneyshaffer.com
Iumi Richard Crow (Nonni) is a multi-talented Austin Texas-based artist who founded a fabled San Francisco trunk show in the 1970s known as “Roll Over Alice”. Headquartered in an abandoned warehouse on a skid-row roundabout named South Park, the show caught the attention of Steve Silver who wanted to incorporate it into a musical review he envisioned called “Beach Blanket Babylon”. The Alice cast voted not to join Silver’s effort. Iumi has employed herself as a mime/clown and has performed as a dancer, actor, singer and poet.Recently she has begun to develop her interests in abstract street photography and playwriting.
Randy Änger (Waldo “Ring” Walker) – The San Francisco Chronicle calls Änger ”the Meryl Streep of community theater”. An unabashed performer from age three, Randy has thrilled Bay Area audience for four decades as an actor, vocalist, singer, songwriter and now as a stage director. As an actor, Randy is adept at comedy (“Sunshine Boys”, “Barefoot in the Park”, “Scrooge – the Musical”, “The Apple Tree”) as well as drama (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, “The Iceman Cometh”, “Conversations with My Father”). Two of those performances (“Conversations” and “Scrooge“) earned him Shellie Awards for Best Supporting Actor. Recently Randy has turned to directing (“My Three Angels”, “Fourteen”, “The Housekeeper”). Contra Costa Coffeehouse music fans also fondly recall his days with local legendary bands “Celtic Elvis” and “The Dogmatics”.
Wayne Roadie (Woz Bok) – is a talented theater veteran who employs himself as an actor, stage manager and critic. His stage acting credits include a diversity of roles, from “The Importance of Being Earnest” to “A Christmas Carol”, “Fidelio” to “Pounding”. His film acting credits include “Young Folks”, “Dead Space”, “Expectations” and “A Lover’s Requiem”. His contact information, video clips and theater reviews may be found on his website: http://www.wayneroadie.com
Harlan Bailey (Huck Simms) is a commercial salmon fisherman and performing fisher poet well known on the West Coast. I could not have written this play without Harlan’s dedicated friendship, editorial help and his tolerance for my dogged questions about Grangers Wharf and the Sicilian salmon fishermen of the Contra Costa Shoreline. Harlan’s local readings can be raucous affairs – not unlike some of the bar-room events described in “Joe Fish”. Local audiences have yet to hear Harlan’s most recent works: an untitled piece about Alaskan chihuahuas of Bristol Bay and “Schrödinger’s Fish”. He appears locally at the Martinez Library, Campbell Theater, as well as private venues.
Kimberly Perette (Felucca Lateen) joins us on stage after three decades as an architectural historian and graphic designer with degrees from California College of Arts and a term of study at L’Ecole d’Architecure de La Villette in Paris. Since 2005 her architectural efforts have focused on affordable housing, health care and women in architecture – She helped spearhead a posthumous gold medal award for Julia Morgan through the American Institute of Architects. Her recent post-graduate studies at Mills College, where she edited a literary journal, have led her to more dramatic endeavors. Anyone who’s ever attended a performance in Berkeley’s Julian Morgan Theater can understand Kimberly’s career logic. Aside from her professional activism, she also has worked as a professional bartender, sings with the San Francisco Sinfonietta and recently began work on her first play. Her writings may be found on her website: https://kimpstudio.com/
Jamie Jobb is a Martinez California based author who’s worked as a sportswriter, reporter, photojournalist and editor in Florida and Colorado. After moving to California in 1970, he contributed to a variety of educational publications and multi-media projects before writing three non-fiction books published by Little Brown, William Morrow and Scribners. The author is also an independent videographer who works with Onstage Repertory Theatre, Women of Words, Plotline Productions and other community theater companies/performers for live and screened performances at Martinez Campbell Theater. Jobb’s videos may be found on You Tube and The Internet Archive. Jobb also has performed alone on stage as Henri Freud at Monday Night Marsh in San Francisco. He writes about performance on his blog: Jamie Jobb’s Backstage Pass. Although he studied theater in college, Jobb had never attempted to write a play until he turned 70. In three years, he completed seven one acts and one full play. Jobb is honored to have such a dramatically diverse cast for this first fully staged reading of "Joe Fish Ties The Knot" at The Phoenix.
Thanks for guidance, inspiration and perspective:
Harlan Bailey, Julian Frazer, Bob Cellini, Marty Ochoa, Harriett Burt, Andrea Blachman, Richard Patchin, Priscilla Couden, Maxine Brown, Tom Greerty, Marylee Taylor, Igor Skaredoff, Sal DiMaggio, Robert Perry, Scott Baba, Gerry Wiener, Julienne George, Cathy Riggs, B. Jaxon, Arash Pakzad, Ames Chow, Pat Ertola, Betty and Clayton Bailey, Kathy and Jim Ocean, Sue and Clint Phalen, Lucie and Jim Hupp, Kate and Elmer Olson, Mark Westwind, Roy Jeans, Lynette Toney, Shelly Tolliver, Michael Arnold, Keith Gehrke, Brett Benzer, Tony A. Angelo, Ellie and Tony Dudley, Carole and John Kleber, Jane Samuels, Dena Zachariah, J.J. and Ralph Senn, Jill Walker, Steve Barbata, Carol Rafesnyder, Diane Sargent, Kay Cox, Paul Craig, Hamilton Fish, Dean McLeod, Richard Sparacino, Pedal and Everett Turner, Bob Rezak, Mario Menesini, George Miller Jr., Paul Mariano, Suzanne Chapot, Nancy Wainwright, Michael Chandler, Lara Delaney, Noralea Gipner, Debbie McKillop, Rob Schroeder, Randall Nott, Ryan Terry, Kimberly Perette, Wayne Roadie, Courtney Shaffer, Randy Änger, Iumi Richard Crow, Cynthia Bettini, Sheilah Morrison, Anne Baker, Thomas Churchill III, Mark Hinds, Helen Means, C.C. Cardin, John Lytle, Diane McRice, Sal Russo, Linda Gregg, Gretchen Givens, Darrell Mortensen, Kern Hildebrand, Brad Rovanpera, Ron and Marnie White, Tracey Walker, Amy Walker, Meera Chaturvedi, Ved Prakash Vatuk, Linda Hanson, Carolyn and James Robertson, Gloria and Bill Broder, Mona Ram, Terry Porter, Bill Hester, Nik Martin, Richard Gebhardt, Jerry Pfeiffer, Deanne and John Lindstrom, Bob Shipman, Mille DePallo, Mary and Art Crummer, Emil Lindquist, Robert Kourik, Jana and Steven Russon, Ruth Ann Maury, Kathi McCord, Marilyn and Don March, Patt and Scott Coddington, Dan Calabrese, Gretchen Green, Dianne Hayashi-Browning, JoAnn Valenti, Jonathan Demme, Phil Frank, Marion Cunningham, Leah Garchik, Bruce Jenkins, Carl Nolte, Otis Taylor Jr., Leah Chase, Margaret Keenan, Martha McDonough, Thelma Altshuler, Richard Paul Janaro, Sadie and Marvin Reed, Barbara Garfunkle, Mable Meadows Staatz, Martha Trantham, LaNora Rakestraw, Arif Khatib, Coach Don Johnson, Coach Sam Short, Coach Pappy Holt, Coach Demie Mainieri, Coach Jimmy Evert, Chris Evert, Arthur Ashe, Chet Tannehill, Pat Putnam, Ken Small, Edwin Pope, Bill Braucher, Dick Evans, Luther Evans, Malcolm Margolin, Richard Schwartz, Jim Rosenau, Charlie Varon, David Ford, Dan Hoyle, Don Reed, Stephanie Weisman, Mike Duvall, Fred Wickham, Conrad Cimarra, Cameron Galloway, Malachy Walsh, Bebo White, Peder Jones, John Fisher, George R. Kernodle, Preston Sturges, Jules Feiffer, Herb Gardner, David Mamet, Sam Shepard, the Poet Azeem and Jonas Mekas.
Also thanks to these institutions:
Dramatist Guild of America, Phoenix Theatre, ARTU4iA, Armanado’s, Toot’s Tavern, Martinez Campbell Theater, Martinez Historical Society, Martinez Museum, Contra Costa County History Center, Shell Alumni Museum, Bailey Art Museum, Crockett History Museum, Mare Island Museum, San Francisco Maritime Museum, San Francisco Bay Model, Main Street Martinez, Eagle Marine, States Coffee and Mercantile, Barrel Aged/Barrelista, Taco Daddy’s, Troy Greek, Saucy’s Cafe, I’ve Been Framed, LC Galleries, GLT Sign Solutions, Martinez Arts Association, Artcelerator, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, City of Martinez, Alhambra High School, DiMaggio’s Barber Shop, The Martinez News-Gazette, The Martinez Clippers, Kruk&Kuip and WWOZ Radio – “Guardians of the Groove”.
Frances and Rosalie DiMaggio, Ernest Hemingway,
Tennessee Williams, Clifford Odets, Toot’s Tavern
and the poet known as Marilyn Monroe.
Dedicated to Joseph Torchia,
The Kryptonite Kid