Boston One-Minute Play Festival Starts Tonight


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.

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Giving Thanks for a Very Busy Week

fresh Ink graphic hard candy christmas graphic





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:

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.


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Quack will be at Firehouse in January

Just got some good news from the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, MA. My short play, Quack, will be part of their 2015 New Works Festival in late January. Firehouse is a terrific organization–they produced my plays Second Look and Curse the Darkness a few years ago, and I was delighted with the quality of the productions and the enthusiastic audiences.  Quack will be appearing Boston at the SLAM Boston on December 3rd, and now it will have a chance to keep plugging along.  (And it’ll have a production in Virginia in March, too.)

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Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, coast to coast

hard candy christmas graphicMy newest short holiday play, Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, is hitting the boards with a bang this Christmas season.  It’s being produced by the Quannapowitt Players in Reading, MA, by the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis (who did my play Reading the Mind of God, 17 years ago!), and in the Hard Candy Christmas Festival in Woodland Hills, CA, and will have a reading from One Night Stand in Denver on December 14th.

This has been a fun year for productions of my short plays, with Beatrix Potter Must Die! having a very good summer, but I think this is the most any of my plays has ever appeared all at once.

If you get a chance to see any of these shows, I hope you’ll drop me a line and tell me how it went.  (I’m in rehearsal for Distant Neighbors right now, so I don’t think I get to see any of them.)

Here’s the summary of the Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore:

Mom and Dad have never gotten around to telling Jeffrey that there’s no Santa. He’s 30, and he still believes. This Christmas the truth comes out about Santa, as well as a few other family secrets.

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Distant Neighbors is almost here!

fresh Ink graphicDistant Neighbors opens in just a few weeks, and I’m super excited. We’re deep in rehearsal now, with a very talented cast and director. I think everyone involved with the show is eagerly anticipating the moment when we finally get to see the chunk of alien spaceship that will be a big part of the set.

Just to recap, the show, produced by Fresh Ink,  runs December 5 – 13, at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.  You can get tickets here.  It’s a short run, in a pretty small space, so if you’re planning to attend, don’t wait until the last minute to get your tickets.

And here’s a reminder of what it’s all about:

A group of suburban neighbors are strangers to each other until an alien space ship crashes into their back yards. After its arrival, they get to know each other a lot better, and faster, than they ever expected (or wanted). Distant Neighbors is a space-age love story about loneliness and longing, and the barriers we set up between us. It looks at the possibility for wonder, not just at the skies and the universe, but also at the person living right next door.

If you’re in Boston, I hope we’ll see you at the show.

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Lab Rats reading November 9th, at the Democracy Center in Cambridge

lab rats imageCome check out a reading of my newest play, Lab Rats, Sunday, November 9th, at the Democracy Center, 45 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, at 2:00 pm.  I’m super excited to have this reading from Argos Productions. Rebecca Bradshaw (who directed the production of my play Fire on Earth) will be directing the cast of Omar Robinson (also from Fire on Earth) and Brenna Fitzgerald (who was in my play Organic Seed and was amazing in Company One’s The Flick).

Lab Rats is a story of two Boston twenty-somethings, Jake and Mika, looking to achieve their dreams…however, until that happens, they’ll be test subjects in medical and psychological research experiments wherever and whenever they can, meeting in waiting room after waiting room both hoping for that one big-money gig to come their way. Oh, did we mention it’s a love story? Lab Rats is both a sweet and salty look at the difficulties of finding your path through life all whilst learning how to trust others as well as yourself.

The reading is free.  If you’re in the area, I hope you come by and watch the reading and say Hi.

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Beatrix Potter Must Die! here, there, everywhere

beatrix potter graphic w textMy short play, Beatrix Potter Must Die!, is having a very busy debut.  It opened at the Silver Spring Stage in Maryland in August as part of their new play festival, and tonight it opens in the Short + Sweet Festival in Aukland, New Zealand (my first New Zealand production!).  Then it’s on to the Dewey Decimal Festival in Chappaqua, New York on October 18, at the same time it will be on stage in San Diego at the Northpark Festival produced by the North Park Vaudeville and Candy Shoppe theatre.

I’m delighted to see this goofy comedy about a farmer going back in time to kill Beatrix Potter is finding its way in front of audiences.  This is a play that was inspired by my own experiences farming and dealing with rabbits (they’re maddening!).  I often felt like Mr. MacGregor from the Peter Rabbit tales and had plenty of time on my hands while weeding the kale to think of how this might all end up on stage.  And now it has.

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Mad Dash report (it really happened)

We ended up having a blast at Mad Dash last month.  (July was crazy busy with theatre stuff.)  I was paired up with Amy Merrill, whom I’ve known for a long time, but I’d never had a chance to work with her.  After the initial meeting at Doyle’s pub, we headed out for IHOP, just like I did last year.  It’s the perfect spot for Mad Dash writing–lots of sugar, coffee, and they’re open all night.  Plus it’s never too crowded.   Chocolate chip pancakes did the trick for me.  Amy was much more sophisticated, going for the crepes.

We kept plugging away at a script, and by 1:30 am, we had a ten-minute play called Sanctuary, about a landscaper and her customer–who is not pleased that he can still see and hear his neighbors, despite the urban sanctuary he was promised. Since the World Cup was in full swing, there were plenty of soccer references, too (the landscaper made an unfortunate bet on one of the games).

After a little sleep, we were paired up with our director, Derek Fraser, and our cast, Chris Larson and Jordan Clark. They were an immensely talented trio, and Amy and I sat half-awake though rehearsal, as they turned our midnight ramblings into an actual play. I love how the 24-hour play festivals highlight the essential elements of the rehearsal process–there is initial blind fumbling and excitement, then questions, attempts at answers, and then plunging ahead in 3-dimensions, and learning lines, all as curtain time looms.

They labored away all day, and by 8pm, they were ready.  And so were all the teams–8 new plays were birthed in a frenzy of activity at the Cambridge YMCA theatre, and played to a sold-out, appreciative crowd.  It was a night with the magic of theatre on full display, thanks to the dedication of dozens of artists and the organizational skills of Fresh Ink and Interim Writers.

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Mad Dash, year two!

maddash-idea-99-15-editedI’m taking part in the Fresh Ink/Interim Writers 24-hour hour play festival and fundraiser, The Mad Dash, for the second year in a row.  Tonight, 16 playwrights will meet up at Doyle’s Pub in Jamaica Plain and be paired into 8 writing teams.  We will go find someplace to write and magically churn out a brand new ten-minute play (based on prompts we’ll receive tonight) by 7 a.m. tomorrow morning.  We’ll meet with directors, start rehearsing with the casts, and plays will be fully staged by 8 p.m. tomorrow night, at the Central Square YMCA in Cambridge.

Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.  This fundraiser is all the more important this year, because we just found out the the Factory Theatre, where Fresh Ink normally performs (and where my play, Distant Neighbors was scheduled to open in November) will close on October 31 (see the story in WBUR’s ARTery site).  So they’re going to need all the resources they can get to find a new space.

I already took two naps today, trying to get ready for tonight. It’s always a little nervewracking, knowing that you must come up with a new play by morning.  Last year, we had a blast and turned out some pretty fun work. (I’m hoping my partner will want to write at IHOP again–I could go for a serious sugar rush.)

I can’t wait to see what we come up with this year.

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Super Good News: Distant Neighbors will be produced by Fresh Ink in November

Yep, that’s right, my full-length play, Distant Neighbors, will get a full production from the Fresh Ink Theatre here in Boston, at the Factory Theatre, November 14-22.  And if you want to get little taste of the play, as it starts it’s growth through workshop and rehearsal, you can check out a reading of the play at the Factory Theatre on Tuesday, May 27th, at 7:30pm, 791 Tremont Street, Boston (the reading is free).

I’m super excited to have a chance to work with Fresh Ink again.  They produced my play, Fire on Earth, last February, and did a fabulous job.  The two plays couldn’t seem to be more different, which is part of what makes Fresh Ink so cool–they’re just looking for plays that get them excited, whether they’re about 16th century Biblical translators and smugglers, or alien space ships. Getting the chance to build a long-term relationship with a theatre is so important for playwrights, and I feel very lucky.

In Distant Neighbors, a group of suburban neighbors are strangers to each other until an alien space ship crashes into their back yards. After its arrival, they get to know each other a lot better, and faster, than they ever expected (or wanted).  Distant Neighbors is a space-age love story about loneliness and longing, and the barriers we set up between us.  It looks at the possibility for wonder, not just at the skies and the universe and the thought of unknown life forms, but also at the person living right next door.

We’re going to have great time with it, in both the reading and the production, and I hope you’ll come check it out!


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