This is a terrific piece by Alexa Vazquez on WBUR (Boston's NPR outlet) about the production of "Alligator Road" and Don Fulton, the generous donor who is making new plays possible at Greater Boston Stage Company (formerly Stoneham Theatre).
The play opens October 12 and runs for three weekends! Tickets are here.
Thrilled that I can finally announce that I'm now an Affiliate Artist at Portland Stage!
And my first project there is...
So I've been working on this two-woman play for like 85 years. No, okay more like 2 years. Shelley Butler Hyler and Megan Smith McGuane are two directors who have helped me grow Things That Are Round through various workshops at places like the Lark and Echo Theatre, and now Todd Brian Backus at Portland Stage has taken this play under his wing and is directing a public reading of it Monday, September 18 at 7:30pm as part of their Studio Series. It's a suggested donation at the door, but if you want to make sure you have a seat, you can reserve a ticket here.
Here's the blurb:
Tetherly, a dentist specializing in existential terror, and Nina, an opera singer who just might be the worst babysitter ever, square off in a strange ballet of truth or dare. But is this a game anyone can even win? "Thelma and Louise" meets "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" On steroids. 90 minutes.
Come see it and stay for the talkback!
Okay so even though I've written some creepy af characters, this is the first time I've ever written a play in the horror genre. Dustin Tucker asked me to write a short play for "The Haunting Hour," a collection of short scary plays that will be done at Portland Stage starting October 25 through November 4.
You can check out more info and buy tickets
Here's the blurb:
Tales of Madness and the Macabre. A fright-filled evening of storytelling from some of Maine’s most celebrated authors and playwrights. Join us for an evening of raw, edgy, and dangerous short stories brought to life onstage for the first time ever. Authors include: John Cariani, Tess Gerritsen, Chris Holm, Ike Hamill, Callie Kimball and an additional treat you’ll have to see to believe. This production is not suitable for the faint of heart or children, so leave the little pumpkins at home.
Proud to share the news that my Yukon Gold Rush play "RUSH" will be a part of Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre's "Her Story Is Our Story" Fall Festival. I couldn't be more thrilled to have this play finally presented in Chicago (which happens to be the city in which the characters' journey starts)!
I describe this play as Deadwood meets Memento. With women.
It’s 1899. Frank and Belinda stand at the threshold of a new life in the Yukon Gold Rush. But are they really brother and sister? And what horror did they leave behind? Even if the law catches up with them, will it matter in this wild frontier? Told in a dark, poetic, and fractured way, RUSH asks whether escaping your past only makes it haunt you all the more.
Here's a page on my site that has more info about the play and its production history. It's been wonderful working with AD Julia Proudfoot to make this happen.
So proud to announce that I'm the new Playwright in Residence at Theater at Monmouth! We're kicking off my residency next week with a reading of my verse play "Lucrece and the Two Janes," an adaptation of Shakespeare's poem "The Rape of Lucrece.
Proud to announce that "HYENA" will be presented at Martha's Vineyard Playhouse next month, as part of an evening of plays called "Between Worlds: Refugee and Immigrant Voices."
This will be the third presentation of this play this year, including a full production in New York this past February. It's my favorite play that I've ever written, even though it's only ten minutes long.
Thrilled to announce that "Alligator Road" will be produced at Stoneham Theatre in Boston this October, directed by Artistic Director Weylin Symes. An earlier version of the play was done at Mad Horse Theatre in 2015.
Big thanks to Cait Robinson for introducing me to Weylin and advocating for this play over a year ago!
The wonderful Caridad Svich asked if I would contribute an essay to the Lark Play Development Center's ongoing salon series "Stages of Resistance," which addresses how we make plays in our current political climate.
My essay is called "Our Lives Have Changed, Our Jobs Have Not."
Ever wanted to learn how to write a play? Or do you have a half-finished draft gathering dust in a drawer? Come to my two-week class at Acorn starting in April!
Tuesdays, April 25 and May 2, 6:30-9:30pm. Only $65!
A play can entertain, puzzle, frustrate, provoke, or confirm or challenge a worldview. This workshop will supplement the basic elements of playwriting such as character, setting, and plot, with discussions and exercises around image and spectacle, form and structure, space, language, rhythm, and the importance of questions. This workshop will give you tools to build the engine of your play while nurturing the igniting spark. Suitable for beginners and experienced playwrights alike, the workshop will be a mix of lecture, discussion, in-class writing exercises, and hearing your work read aloud.
Scroll down on this page to register.
This Saturday, March 25, at 6:30pm, the amazing J.Stephen Brantley and Chloe Dirksen will perform in a reading of my play "MAY 39th" at Malia Mills pop-up gallery, 55 Main Street. Directed by Nick Gregory.
I wrote this play 11 years ago, and it remains my most-produced piece, with six productions and several readings. It's set 1,000 years in the future, the morning after a first date.
A jacked-up homage to Terrence McNally's "Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune."
So proud that my play HYENA will be a part of The Future Is Female Festival through Andie Arthur's Lost Girls Theatre, alongside plays by Mariah MacCarthy and Marisela Treviño Orta.
This is the same theatre company that did a reading of my play DREAMS OF THE PENNY GODS recently.
Monday, March 20, 7pm at Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.
Free and open to the public!
On the afternoon of Saturday, February 11, at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Everyman Theatre will read my play SOFONISBA.
The reading is part of a series of play readings that will be done by Everyman in residence at the Farnsworth, and my play will coincide with an exhibit about women artists.
Late this year, I joined Patreon, a site modeled on the old ways of arts patronage for individual artists.
For all of my progress in playwriting this year (and it's been a great year--check out the update) like every other artist I know, I'm still searching for a way to make being a playwright sustainable. In the meantime, I've been cranking on my plays to help push my career to the next level. And getting an agent over the summer was a big step toward my goals.
So much happened this year that I wasn't always on top of updating this blog. The Patreon end-of-year post is a nice way to look back and see the highlights.
Thanks to all who support my plays in all manner of ways. May 2017 bring us brighter days.
December 1559. Night. The sound of waves against a ship. The play begins with SOFONISBA, 27, on a ship that is taking her from Cremona, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain.
SOFONISBA: O Mamma the fish the fish they shine in the sea like stars that blind the moon, and they are so big, and if I tried to paint them for you I would surely lose them and if you were here Mamma, if you were here I…
Thank you to everyone who made this workshop production possible, and to all the wonderful audience members who have seen it. We were sold out last night with a waiting list, so tonight is your last chance to see it at 7:30pm.
I'm filled with gratitude toward everyone at Dramatic Repertory Company, and all of the designers, crew, and actors: Heidi Kendrick, Michaela Wirth, Meg Anderson, Mnemosyne Heileman, Abigail Killeen, Marjolaine Whittlesey, Sean Ramey, and especially Keith Powell Beyland, Vanessa WInfield Beyland, and Sally Wood.
It's been such a gift to finally see this play that I've worked on for 8 years on its feet. (I'm learning that 4 to 8 years is my norm on a play, with a lot of that time being seasoning.) I've learned so much about how the play operates from this workshop, and I've discovered new questions to explore in the script, which is always exciting. There's a sly feminism that I'm still curious about, that comes from how Sofonisba both covered and revealed herself and her portrait subjects, and our modern assumptions we bring to the play. I'm determined to grow this play into its fullest expression and then send it wholeheartedly out into the world, where I hope it finds a wide audience. We've had so many art and history scholars in the audiences, and I've loved all of the post-show conversations and emails full of energy and heart for this story.
The woman who inspired this play, Sofonisba Anguissola, was born nearly 500 years ago. When I first encountered her portraits in college, they stirred me in that unnameable way when art resonates with you in a deep thrill. Her story is one of strength, talent, steadiness, and success. She had a long, illustrious career unmarked by scandal. For all my years of research and curiosity, she remains elusive.
I wonder what she would think about people hundreds of years later responding to her story with standing ovations.