My short play Quack is continuing is initial foray into the world, after having gotten its tart in Boston in December. It’s now running through April 4th at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson, NY (on Long Island), in their Festival of One-Act Plays. I’ve been submitting to this festival since 2008, so it was very gratifying to finally have one of my plays selected. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll check it out.
On Thursday, March 19, at 7pm, Theatre on Fire will present a reading of my play Constant State of Panic at the Charlestown Working Theatre, 442 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown. (Here are directions to the space.) This darkly comic love story follows two people trying to stay together, despite the insanity of the world around them–the story of a man afraid of everything, and a woman afraid of nothing other than losing her husband. Lines between reality and fantasy become blurred as we journey through the looking glass of our modern NSA-era Wonderland.
Anna Trachtman is directing a terrifically talented cast of Bob Mussett, Kris Sidberry, Paul Melendy, and Amanda Ruggiero. Bob played Tyndale in the production of my play, Fire on Earth from Fresh Ink a few years ago. Kris and Amanda both just finished giving lovely performances in Intimate Apparel at the Lyric Stage Company. Paul Melendy is currently appearing in That Hopey, Changey Thing at Stoneham Theatre.
It’ll be a fun night for the audience, but also especially useful to me as a writer–this play is in rehearsal for a production that opens in Waukegan, IL at the Clockwise Theatre , in April, and this is a chance for me to hear the latest changes I’ve been making, in front of an audience. (The audience is SO important in developing a play.)
I hope you’ll come check it the reading this Thursday. (It’s free!)
My short play, How Does It Feel to be a Problem?, will be read by One Night Stand Theater in Aurora, Colorado, on Sunday, April 12, 7pm, at the Vintage Theatre (1468 Dayton Street). One Night Stand does a monthly reading of short plays, around a theme. This month, the series is entitled, Voices for Change–Tales of Social Strife and Injustice.
My piece is about a conversation between a white adoptive father and his teenage black son about the rules they need to have now that the son has more independence to wander around town. And the rules don’t seem fair at all. This play is drawn directly from my own life and from conversations I’ve had with both my kids.
One Night Stand does an excellent job with these readings–they’ve done a bunch of my plays, including Quack, Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, The Sky is Falling, and The Invisible Husband. I’m glad to be included again.
The folks at the Bostonian Society have put together this cool graphic for our Blood on the Snow play. This is one that they commissioned from me and that we’re hoping to produce this fall.
This Saturday, as part of the annual commemoration of the Boston Massacre, we’ll be reading a scene from the play at 11am and 2pm, at the Old State House in downtown Boston.
We’ve also got a web page for the play. Check out www.bloodonthesnow.com. We need to raise another $60,000 by August in order to put it on, so there’s a pitch there for funds, but also info about the play and the history.
The Clockwise Theatre is making fast progress on the production of my play, Constant State of Panic, which will open on April 17th, in Waukegan, Illinois. Rehearsals start this weekend, the set is already being built. Here’s the poster!
I got some good news from the Massachusetts Cultural Council earlier this month. I’m one of five finalists for the MCC Dramatic Writing Fellowships. We each get $1,000! (The winners got $10,000 each.) This is my 8th time applying for the fellowship, so clearly persistence does pay off. I’m very grateful to the MCC for their continued support of individual artists. Over the past few decades, grants for artists have largely dried up, but the MCC has stuck around, and this year marks an increase in the amounts they’re giving out. (My timing is perfect.)
Here’s the list of winners and finalists. A very talented bunch.
If you’re in the Boston area, I hope you’ll come see the reading of my full-length play, Lab Rats, at the Munroe Center for the Arts in Lexington, 7:30pm, on February 21. Rebecca Bradshaw (who directed my play, Fire on Earth) is directing a stellar cast of Omar Robinson and Brenna Fitzgerald.
In Lab Rats, Mika and Jake live on the margins of society, earning a slim living as test subjects in medical and psychological experiments. With Mika’s fiery outbursts and Jake’s extreme shyness, they seem like an unlikely pair, but as they get to know each other in medical waiting rooms they develop a friendship and romance that starts to ease their painful isolation. Lab Rats brings a fun theatricality to the lives of two people desperate to find a hand to hold on to through the twisting maze of life.
I was fortunate to be able to work with Rebecca and Omar and Brenna on Lab Rats for a reading in November from Argos Productions, and am super grateful to continue with them for this new reading.
My short play, Quack, which just received a lovely production in the Firehouse Center for the Arts New Works Festival in Newburyport, MA, will be part of One Night Stand Theater’s next set of readings, Weird Love, Dark Kisses. The readings will take place on Sunday, February 8, at 7pm, at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora. I just wish I could be there to see it and to visit with my Colorado friends and family.
Quack is having a strong introduction to the world, after having won SlamBoston, and will soon appear in festivals in New York and Virginia.
Tonight, the 4th annual Boston One-Minute Play Festival opens at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and runs through January 6. I’ve got two very, very, very short plays in Series A, Holding Halloween and And One For You, which runs January 3rd and 4th. Each evening will feature a smorgasbord of tiny blips of plays from scores of New England playwrights. It’s always a great way to start the year, with a tremendous outpouring of creative energy and a glimpse of the collective psyche of an entire city.
As we approach Thanksgiving Day and start to gather to visit with family and eat feasts, I want to give thanks for some theatrical bounty that’s heading my way. Next week, the first week of December, I will have five productions on the board, all at the same time!
Here’s what’s happening next week:
- Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, A Very Phoenix Christmas, Phoenix Theatre, Indianapolis, IN.
- Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Suburban Holidays New Plays Festival, Quannapowitt Players, Reading, MA .
- Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Hard Candy Christmas Short Play Festival, Charles Stewart Howard Playhouse, Woodland Hills, CA.
- Quack, SLAM Boston by Open Theatre Project, December 3, at Boston Playwrights Theatre.
- Distant Neighbors will be produced by Fresh Ink at Boston Playwrights Theatre, opening December 5th.
It feels kind of crazy to think of my work reaching audiences in so many cities at the same time. In Boston, it’s actually even crazier, because on December 3, Quack will be in SLAM Boston in the front theatre space at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, and I’ll be in tech for Distant Neighbors right down the hall, in the back theatre. So when it’s time, I’m hoping to duck out of rehearsal and stick my head in to catch Quack and then run back to see how the tech and alien spaceships are coming along.
Kind of a wild week, but very much the good kind.