Thursday, May 26, 2011

And They're Off!

Tonight is the official opening night of the U.S. premiere of Suburban Redux and I just hope that everyone breaks legs and has a thoroughly good time. As my very clever and talented friends at Gadfly Theatre Productions so eloquently put it, "Get Ready for Throwbacks to Wildean Humor, Confused Mid-Twenty Somethings, and Mrs. Pennington South."

And most of all, I hope the audience has a fantastic time. After all, that's who all of us involved are doing it for.

Break a leg, everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coming Soon...

Well, soon-ish. The end is finally in sight for the completion of my short story The One-Eyed Guru. To be honest, it's been a lot more work than I imagined when I began it, but I think it will have all paid off in the end. Talking of ends, I'm now just tweaking and toying with the ending. As always, endings are so critical. Someone can read something you've written and thoroughly enjoy it all the way to the last few pages, but if you blow the denouement then they walk away less than satisfied.

On a separate and entirely unrelated note, I was horrified to learn yesterday of Denmark's plan to ban Marmite - apparently because it's fortified with added vitamins! Who doesn't love added vitamins? I can't get enough of them to help prop up my generally poor intake of all that's good for me. And if you're not familiar with Marmite, it's a yeast extract spread that people tend to either love or hate, but if you love it, having some spread on hot buttered toast with a nice cup of tea is next to nirvana. I'm not quite sure how the rest of the world should respond to this, though I expect tactical airstrikes are out of the question. But if there's anyone in Denmark reading this and having Marmite withdrawal symptoms, I'll be happy to airlift you an emergency supply.

I just realized I've spent more time talking about Marmite than my upcoming ebook. You see its power?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Suburban Redux

Gadfly Theatre Productions in Minneapolis-St. Paul, is presenting the U.S. premiere of my comedy of mores and manners, Suburban Redux, beginning May 26th at the Lowry Lab Theater in St. Paul. Gadfly Theatre Productions is a professional, non-profit theatre and arts organization promoting socioeconomic justice, individuality, and equality for all. Suburban Redux will complete the young company's inaugural season. The play will run until June 5th and details can be found here.

Gadfly are a terrific group of people and you can check out production photos, outtakes and more (along with their very witty introductions to all of the play’s characters) on their Facebook page here.

Please note: If indeed the world does come to an end on Saturday, as many have predicted, the play’s U.S. premiere will be delayed until further notice.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Treachery of Images

I am very happy to report back that the reading of "The Treachery of Images" in New York went better than I could have hoped for. The actors, Randy Noojin and Amanda Ladd, under the sensitive direction of Marisa Viola, gave brave, fearless performances in a play that asks much of them emotionally. Their willingness to give such raw, emotionally honest performances was quite humbling and I am so grateful to them. The audience seemed very absorbed and moved by the play, and their comments in the Q&A after the reading were all very positive and insightful. Though the play is quite harsh and emotionally raw, the word I heard used most frequently afterwards was "cathartic" - just as I'd hoped.

My other concern for this play was its length. On paper it comes in at just over 50 pages, which concerned me, as it doesn't seem like a full evening of theatre by that count. But the nature of the play necessitates quite a number of silences and pauses, and I was hoping that these would translate to a more appropriate running time. Thankfully they did, and it came in at around 75 minutes. In fact, I heard several people mention that the play ended at just the right time, and I agree. The intensity level of the play would be hard for an audience to bear for much longer than its current running time.

It's a play about, grief, loss, coping and forgiveness, and of the very different ways we process pain. Above all, it's an examination of the basic instinct to survive, and that despite surface appearances, not everything is always as it seems.

I'm so grateful to Heiress Productions for giving me the opportunity to see this play come to life. All of the people involved in the company were so very kind and welcoming and they gave me one of the nicest experiences I've ever had as a playwright.

My heartfelt thanks to all of them.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Comma Gain?

I posted this a while back, but it just came back to my attention again, and I love it so much, so I thought it was worth re-posting in this increasingly comma-less world:

Unresolved ambiguity

The Times once published an unintentionally humorous description of a Peter Ustinov documentary, noting that "highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector".

Hope that brightened your day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Meanwhile, Back in Theatreland...

All of the work I've been putting into publishing and marketing The End of the World these last few weeks has taken my focus off of my plays, which have been quite active of late. This week my one-act Carbon-Based Life Form Seeks Similar opened in New York as part of the Curan Repertory Company's Notes From The Underground festival. I received a lovely email from the director this week, telling my what a fantastic experience it's been for her and the actors to work on the play, which was very gratifying to hear. I wanted to get up there and see it myself, but at such short notice (the run ends today) it just hasn't been feasible, which is a great shame.

I will be in New York this coming Thursday, however, for the reading of my full-length play The Treachery of Images. It's being given a reading by Heiress Productions, a great company that donates money from all of their productions to various cancer charities. The play was selected by Heiress as a winner in their 2010 Playwriting Competition. From everything the director has been telling me, I've a feeling this is going to be a very intense and memorable evening. The play is very raw and emotionally honest, and if done right has the potential to be a very affecting piece of drama. In it, a husband and wife are dealing with the loss of their daughter, who was brutally raped and murdered. While the wife has withdrawn into a deadened world of anger and bitterness, her husband has taken the unusual step of forgiving his child's killer. This is their night of reckoning.

I'll report back on how it goes. Am I nervous? You bet.