Showing posts from December, 2010

[Insert Hackneyed End-of-Year Phrase Here]

Well, here it is – my last post of 2010. It’s been my first full year of blogging and I must say I’ve quite enjoyed it. I’ve tried to blog reasonably regularly (roughly once a week or so), but also tried to avoid blogging just for the sake of it (i.e. when I really didn’t have anything of interest to report). Thanks to all of you that swing by regularly or infrequently to check in on my rambling, especially to my two wonderful followers below. I promise next year to make a bigger effort in networking on the blogosphere.

I read today that Harriet Walter has just been made a dame, which is fantastic. It’s rare for an actress who hasn’t had significant exposure in film or television to receive this honour, so this is also a win for theatre, in my opinion. I had the pleasure of meeting Harriet last year. We’d just seen her in the Broadway production of Mary Stuart (along with Janet McTeer) and were roaming the streets of New York looking for a place to eat late, when suddenly there she was…

Prepare for Takeoff

It’s that time of the year again, isn’t it? No, I don’t mean Christmas (or whatever it may be that you celebrate), which I love and look forward to with childlike anticipation every year. No. I’m referring to that end-of-the-year feeling, when you look back at the last twelve months through the artificial prism of the calendar year. Whether you want to or not, it’s almost impossible not to reflect upon the year that is just now approaching its end, and contemplate all of the highs and lows, achievements and disappointments that it contained. You recall how you felt back on that first day of January, with that odd mixture of hope and trepidation as you looked out ahead at those 52 weeks of yet-to-be-told stories.

For me, on balance, it’s been something of a difficult year. This, of course, is all relative, as had I been born in the Swat Valley or Mogadishu my perspective would entirely different. But in the context of my own little space on the planet, this year wasn’t “one for the book…

Battling Back!

There’s a very interesting article in the New York Times today about a play that essentially flopped when it was produced Off-Broadway in 2006 (losing all of its $800,000 capitalization) but has since gone on to be one of the most produced plays in U.S. high schools this year, knocking Will Shakespeare off the top spot, as well as receiving a slew of productions around the world.

It’s an interesting story and you can read it here. There’s a lot of lessons in what works (or doesn’t) in certain markets, and proves that a play can have a very successful life of its own even after it’s been hammered by the critics. Of course, there’s nothing new in stating that what works in New York isn’t necessarily going to fly regionally and vice versa, but this particular example of a phoenix rising from the ashes is quite unique.

It also did not escape my attention that one of the reasons for its appeal regionally and in amateur and school/college markets is that it can be performed by a cast of as ma…

The Craft

I was very pleased to learn that my short play ‘The Craft’ has been selected as one of three finalists for the 14th annual National One-Act Play Competition at FirstStage, in Los Angeles. The finalists will be presented in staged readings at The Missing Piece Theatre next Monday.

This is a sort of homecoming for me, as FirstStage was indeed my first stage as a playwright. The very first time I ever saw actors on a stage performing something I’d written in front of actual living, breathing human beings was at FirstStage, almost 10 years ago now. A lot has changed since then, of course, not least of which is the fact that I now longer live in LA. But you always remember your first time, right? And oh, good grief, the fear, panic, nausea, and sheer frustration with myself for thinking that I could write something that people would actually find interesting or entertaining. I thought I’d be laughed out of the building. But they didn’t laugh. Well, they did…but in the right places.