Thursday, September 27, 2007
That is more than twice what New Dramatists got last year (306). Wow. And, I believe that their publicity was strictly web/blog based. Not sure about that though. I guess their standards are a little lighter than New Dramatists (they only require you send one full length play, not two). But, I was still stunned to read that number!
The revised timeline for selections:
Finalist Interviews: Mid-December, 2007
Notification: Week of December 17, 2007
Program Start Date: Week of January 15, 2008
Program End Date: Week of December 15, 2008
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
List 5 things that certain people (who are not deserving of being your friend anyway) may consider you to be "totally lame," but you are, despite the possible stigma, totally proud of. Own it. Tag 5 others:1. Prince’s UNDER THE CHERRY MOON was my favorite movie in middle school. I had whole scenes memorized and was very good at reproducing Kristen Scott Thomas’ British dialect. I wrote a 45 page screenplay for 7th grade English that was thematically quite similar called UNDER THE CLOUDS (winning a class award for Best Screenplay from the other 20 honors English class attendees, ahem). When Becky Johnston, the writer, later was nominated for an Oscar for PRINCE OF TIDES I felt completely vindicated.
2. I watched every episode of CBS’ Big Brother this season. Catching ones I missed on the Internet, religiously. I also read blog recaps of episodes on Modern Fabulousity three times a week.
3. I read all 25 books in John Norman’s Gor series in middle school.
4. Took first place at the Texas State High School Latin Convention (circa 1990) on a test on Roman History, shocking myself and my Latin teacher deeply. I acted really casual about it when I was picking up the medallion. Also unexpectedly took regional first place in a poetry interpretation contest reading “The Pied Piper of Hamlin.” Still shaking my head over that one.
5. Was in a production of a musical called MONSTERS when I was 17 or so (with the now defunct TEXAS REAL CHILDREN’S THEATER), for which Willie Nelson wrote a song called “We’re All a Blur Under the Fur.” Lyrics the ensemble sang:
We’re all a blur under the furNot a big hit for Willie afterward. He never came and saw the show (which explains why I was never discovered and taken off to Nashville to be a big county star—that and the fact that I can’t really sing.)
People dogs and monsters, too
Far as I can tell
Underneath our shell
There’s no difference between me and you!
I have to meme other people now. I’ll pick different peeps from last time: Eric Eberwein, Kyle, Patrick Gabridge, Erika Tai, Jami McCoy.
Wow! I really think it was mis-named as a workshop. The acting performances from Christina Shipp and Gus were phenomenal! The passion and commitment pouring off of them was astonishing. Christina skillfully navigated a performance that encompassed about 4000 different characters (and inanimate objects like alarm clocks) with a faculty that was deeply impressive. Add to that the fact that we were told there were radical changes to the second act between the two performances the play had. You would not have known it. The acting was flawless, off book, rehearsed to perfection, and it looked like they'd been running it for months.
There are some extrordinary pockets of language and the whole scope of the play is intriguing and challenging. It is essentially a play about transformation-- and the tone, structure, and rules of watching the play transform in surprising ways as the action unfolds. So, I really dug the way the content and form were both working together. The play teaches you how to watch it in an evolving way-- and the experience changes, and deepens as the night progresses.
From the talkback, is sounds like there are some more changes ahead for the script, but what's there now suggests that a glorious future is on the horizon. I don't want to quote lines from a script in development-- but there were several in this that struck home and acted on my consciousness like a force of nature. Moments where I would hear a line and say "Oh! I didn't know the universe worked that way, but this is obviously truth." And a monologue in the second act that I thought was flat out genius. Looking forward to seeing it evolve!
Gus, Adam Szymkowicz, and I are also discussing writing on Adam's blog in the comments to a recent post if you are interested.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
The print version is on the stands in OC right now!
Best OC Playwright No Longer Living in OC
Multiple winner of various OC Weekly awards and accolades, Adams has turned her back on California for the greener artistic pastures of the Big Apple. If her blogs are any indication, she has hit the Disneyfied Times Square concrete running: She attends numerous readings and plays; got a cool rejection letter from South Coast Repertory; has gone through the process of applying to New Dramatists; and has taken classes with playwrights as diverse as SCR-produced Christopher Shinn, Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel and avant-gardist Mac Wellman. She has also just started a new trilogy of plays. You can read about the process of an artist in development by making her your MySpace friend.
I love it that Joel Beers, the writer (unless it was Dave Barton?), thinks my applying to New Dramatists is newsworthy. When I stumbled into the New Dramatist offices with a rumpled paperbag holding my application materials (on the last day of the deadline) and mumbled "uh, yeah, turning in my application stuff," little did I or the staff there realize that there would later be press coverage in California!
And media coverage of my rejection letter status at SCR? You guys are awesome! Brangelina doesn't even have that.
This issue also has an excellent write up on Eric Eberwein, who is the legit best OC Playwright of the millenium and the amazing work he does promoting new work in the county. And a super write up on Brian Kojac from STAGEStheatre (where I cut my milk teeth) who produced my first play. And Breath of Fire Theatre Company, the best new company in the county. And Jay Frayley, actor extraoridinaire. I got misty all through reading this. I am getting so sentimental with old age.
OC ROCKS! Miss you guys.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
WORK by Terri Wagener
12 Dogs by Jeanne Drennan
All Things Being Equal by Faye Sholiton
American Icons by Harry Michael Bagdasian
EROICA by David Alex
FRONTIER by Robin Rice Lichtig
Going Home by Ann Snead
Opaline by Mary Fengar Gail
Sans Merci by Johnna Adams
THE REPLACEMENT by Jacob M. Appel
Thieves by Doug Bedwell
Tying the Knot by David Rush
Uncovering Eve by Kevin Isom
Violet Sharp by William Cameron
Also got a very nice email from the contest people telling me they enjoyed the play and I should consider resubmitting it next year. That was nice, and I had no idea that you could re-submit the same play, so I am glad they told me.
Mary Fengar Gail is the only playwright on the list I know. She is awesome. Haven't read OPALINE, but I have read or seen two or three of her other plays. I love her.
This is a good little pick me up. I was feeling a bit pessimistic about the whole play submission process. Am hoping to do a day of play submissions this weekend.
Went to Reverie Productions Writers meeting last night and we read the first 24 pages of Rattlers. It is coming along. Needs trimming.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
"So, here's the challenge: make a list of five strengths that you possess as a writer/artist. It's not really bragging, it's an honest assessment (forced upon you by this darn meme). Please resist the urge to enumerate your weaknesses, or even mention them in contrast to each strong point you list. Tag four other writers or artists whom you'd like to see share their strengths."
1. I don't worry about what people will think about what I am writing while I write it.
2. I follow Gary Garrison's advice to "Go to your writing as if you were a child being set loose on the sandbox during recess."
3. I keep writing.
4. I have a good sense of humor about my writing.
5. I give myself permission to write badly when I want to.
I tag deadponies, Dave Barton, Dan Ward, Chris the Playwright and Stylist!
Monday, September 17, 2007
There had better be a campsite in the afterlife where we all get a chance to sit with Robert, eat smores, and spend a few months of eternity listening to him tell us how the damned books were going to end in graphic detail! I think I have read about 143,000 pages of his work-- and it will now have to be brought home and all prophesies fulfilled by someone other than the great wheel turner. Arghhhhhhh! I wail, I weep, I tear my hair and eat ashes. Eleven 1,300+ page books into the series we lose the prophet! Unendurable!Obviously, God is a big fantasy fan and ran out of patience waiting to see how it would all end. The bastard.
I am going to start sending George R.R. Martin emails nagging him to get regular check ups and offering to pick up some preventative healthcare costs. If Song of Ice and Fire goes uncompleted I am going to have a complete nervous breakdown.
On Saturday, it was the Dohner Mennonite Church choir from Anville, PA. I stopped and watched them sing a couple hymns and took some literature to be a good sport. I loved watching all the bemused New Yorkers, who, like me, watched in astonishment and happily took cellphone pictures. Mennonites are so adorable!
I was rushing from the New Dramatists building to the Public Theater on playwriting missions. Despite my lovely post on the New Dramatists' admission discussion a few weeks back, where I cautioned playwrights not to wait until Setpember 15th and hand deliver their submissions, I, ahem, did exactly that on Saturday.
And then I had to run over to the public and drop off another copy of my application for consideration in their emerging writer program because I didn't follow directions and only sent in one copy when they asked for two copies. If I make it to the interview round in November I guess I will have to come up with a response for "If you are so interested in being in our writers group, why can't you follow the application directions?" Sigh.
"I no longer drink, but I love songs about boozing, and these are beauts. The Hank III album is called Straight to Hell, and I imagine the Nashville establishment wishes young Mr. Williams would go there, posthaste. Me, I hope he sticks around. This is the real country: hollow of eye, pale of face, and bursting with the rhythm of the damned."-Stephen King, novelist,
screenwriter, columnistI am so here on November 13th at 8pm:
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I got to hear three of my plays read aloud over the course of the first three days. We table read THE SACRED GEOMETRY OF S&M PORN the first night (hell of an ice breaker) with the whole company. The group marriage scene and the pentagram kisses went over very well. Then we did a lightly staged reading of COCKFIGHTERS the following night. This seemed to be the favorite of my three plays-- it is the play most commented on later by the company. I found that I remembered the play (which was last produced in 2003) better than I thought I had and it held up better than I expected. A few of the actors really seemed to like it, and we had an outstanding cast for the reading. It is sort of strange to see a lightly staged reading of a script you have seen produced twice. And there are really some wince-worthy typos in the script I need to email the publisher about (my fault, I did the proofing).
Then on the following day we read the first draft of my latest play, ANGEL EATERS. It is hard for a first draft to stand up to back-to-back readings of more mature older siblings, which have had multiple drafts and productions. And I thought I made a hugely wrong decision about how to end this script. And there really needs to be a lot of cutting in the first half. But there are glimmers of goodness that can be built upon. I expect the second draft of the play to be quite different from this first draft, though.
I spent the rest of the retreat reading one of the male leads/would be suitors in THE THREE SISTERS (Chekov). They were out of guy actors. And working on the second play in the ANGEL EATERS trilogy, which I am now calling RATTLERS. It is going to have the feel of COCKFIGHTERS and features a characters that raises and captures rattlesnakes for a living (I have a second cousin who does this in Mangum, OK). It is a thriller/whodenit with a supernatural twist. I am about 10 pages in. Hoping to have 20 pages written by tomorrow to take into the Reverie Productions writers group.
Got to see TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA by Four O'Clock Productions; Ken Urban's latest play at The Commission, THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ESKIMOS; and Chad Beckim's Fringe Extention of LIGHTS RISE ON GRACE this weekend. Will report back on those later!