Wednesday, December 05, 2007

RADIO GHOSTS Needs One Dollar

Dear Friends,

I am working on a HUGELY exciting project.

And I come to you for help.

In the past, I have done weird things to myself to raise money for creative projects:

1. Bowled for my first commission

2. Run as fast and as far as I could for sixty minutes (to buy a plane ticket)

3. Shaved my beard to raise money for an off-off Broadway production (you can watch me get face-naked here).

And now I'm raising money in a way that is less weird, but just as challenging.

I am asking everyone I know to give me ONE DOLLAR to support my current project, RADIO GHOSTS.

If everyone gives just one dollar, the project will be taken care of.

To describe what I’m working on...

On February 1, 2008, a collaborative group of artists will present the next step in the creation of a work called "Radio Ghosts".

Radio Ghosts tells three overlapping, interwoven, and haunted narratives:

An expert on holographic theory (named William Tell) gives a university lecture on how everything in the universe is one giant hologram while his son, comatized by a gunshot to the face, sends him holographic phone calls through a portable radio and his wife speaks to him through the waves of the Pacific Ocean.

A ghost carrying a wool blanket shatters the world of a physical scientist when he sees her cross over to save a child’s life. The scientist tries to re-organize the world while hiding in an abandoned greasy-spoon diner whose only inhabitants are the specters who serve him coffee.

A physician falls in love with a patient who dreams of falling into fires and whose body slowly and continuously falls apart from a car-wreck that hasn’t happened yet.


Using Electronic Voice Phenomenon and The Holographic Universe as inspiration, "Radio Ghosts" is a multi-layered collaborative work that combines live performance and recorded sound, creating a real-time (bending), performative conversation between what is live, what is electronically composed, and what is beyond our imagination.

An "in-progress" version of the first 35 minutes of material was commissioned by Austin Script Works and workshopped as part of FronteraFest 2007.

Our next "in progress" production will be part of Friday Night Footlights at The Dramatists Guild of America in New York City. (Hot!)

We have completed the first act of the work and will be presenting roughly one hour's worth of material.

The presentation will take place in the Frederick Loewe rehearsal studio across the hall from the DGA offices, which means our audience will include some of the country's hardest-working playwrights. We are also expecting potential producers and industry professionals to be in attendance.

In addition to the showing at the Dramatists Guild, we are working hard at procuring a second New York showing during the same week, as well as an additional showing in Philadelphia leading up to the NYC events. We will confirm those details at a later date.

Soooooooo....here's where your dollar comes in:

We have managed to keep production costs low, however, producing a show (even in a workshop setting) and taking it to New York City is clearly a financial challenge.

In order to meet this challenge I am asking you to donate ONE DOLLAR.

(Of course, you are more than welcome to donate as much as you want, but I am only asking for $1 donations.)

And because I love and believe in people so much, here's what your collective one dollars will do:

A: Pay for electronic music composer Mike Vernusky's plane ticket. Mike is traveling from Austin, Texas, to work on this event (and we need him!).

B: Pay for actor Jeff Swearingen's plane ticket. Jeff is traveling all the way from Dallas, Texas, to perform in this project because he believes in it so much. In fact, he has ALREADY bought a plane ticket because he wants it so badly. Help us pay Jeff back for his awesome commitment.

C: Pay for travel to and from New York City. We will be making numerous trips from Philly to New York and are also hosting at least one additional actor from The Apple (if you're looking to be generous, 20 bucks is enough to travel one person round-trip from Philly/NYC on a Greyhound).

D: Pay for any additional production expenses. Because this is a collaborative creation between an electronic music composer and me, we will have to transport and/or rent sound equipment for the project.

My creative team feels like we can get everything done for about $ 1500 - 1700. Perhaps less if we can make some deals. But we are targeting $ 1700 as a goal. Between all of my collaborators and me, we are asking 1700 different people for a dollar.

How crazy is that?!

So please! Show your support for what is, for all of us, one of the coolest projects we've ever worked on.

And here’s how!

For your generous donations/gifts, please do the following:

Send me a check or a give me a dollar bill, either in person or via snail mail to the following address:

Greg Romero
214 Beck St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Also--

Because they are awesome people, Philadelphia Dramatists Center (a 501(c)(3) organization) has graciously agreed to act as a non-profit sponsor. If you wish to make your donations tax-deductible, you can send me a check payable to Philadelphia Dramatists Center, with "Radio Ghosts" in the subject line to:

Greg Romero
214 Beck St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

(To learn more about PDC, and to view their IRS documents/certifications, visit their website at http://www.pdc1.org/)

I hope hope hope you will make the effort to support this very exciting project. The artists working on this project are all challenging themselves in ways they never have before, and the work we are putting into this project is full of passion, creativity, determination and heart.

All we need now is ONE DOLLAR!

rock on,


ROMERO

Friday, November 16, 2007

THREE CARD WEASEL in a 4' x 4' box

As part of Philadelphia Dramatists' Center's project, "Primary Stages", my short play Three Card Weasel will be performed, script-in-hand, inside of a 4 foot by 4 foot stage. This will be a fun challenge (which is why the play was chosen) because there is alot of physical action, including a character attacking another character with a donut.

I've learned alot from this experience already (I did a huge rewrite on this piece) and thank director Wally Zialcita for asking me to send him some plays and for captaining the ship. I also thank Todd Holtsberry for producing this thing and for, unbeknownst to me, acting in two other plays of mine (the world gets smaller). I look forward to continuing to meet some of the cool people doing interesting theatre in Philadelphia.

The show details (people details soon to follow):

"Primary Stages : 4 x 4"
Produced by Philadelphia Dramatists Center
The Shubin Theatre
407 Bainbridge St
Philadelphia PA

Tuesday, November 20th, 8:00 pm

The evening will also feature plays by Philly-area scribes Matt Casarino, Alex Dremann, Robin Rodriguez, and Tawn Stokes.

(and I'm told there might be Vienna Sausages)

rock on,


ROMERO

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Work on RADIO GHOSTS Continues

The collaborative team for Radio Ghosts is gearing up for another round of work.

We continue to build this project-- asking questions, exploring form, and opening our hearts as we continue work on what is, for all of us, one of the most exciting projects we've ever entered into.

We are now assembling the rest of our creative team for at least one presentation in early 2008. As part of The Dramatists Guild's on-going efforts to develop new works, we will be presenting Radio Ghosts as part of their "Friday Night Footlights" series in New York.

We will be presenting this work-in-progress on:

Friday, February 1st, 2008 at
The Dramatists Guild of America
1501 Broadway, Ste 701 (the F. Loewe Room is 710)
New York, NY

The creative team assembled so far is STELLAR and I love them all to pieces:

Script
by Greg Romero (Philadelphia)
Music
by Mike Vernusky (Austin)
Direction
by Andrew J. Merkel (Philadelphia)
Dramaturgy
by Genevieve Saenz (NYC)
Design
by Stephen Hungerford (Philadelphia)

We are also in communication with a number of performers right now who are all very talented, passionate, wonderful artists and people.

So far, this is what the project is all about:

An expert in Holographic Theory (named William Tell) tries to speak to his comatized son through radio waves. A ghost carrying a wool blanket appears and shatters the world. A physician tests his imagination with a patient who continually falls into fires.

Using Electronic Voice Phenomenon and
The Holographic Universe as inspiration, Radio Ghosts is a multi-layered collaborative work that combines live performance and recorded sound, creating a real-time (bending), performative conversation between what is live, what is electronically composed, and what is beyond our imagination.


Exciting!



--ROMERO

Monday, October 08, 2007

SHARPEN MY DICK To Open in Delaware

My ten-minute play, Sharpen My Dick, begins its second voyage into production-- this time with Wilmington, Delaware's City Theater Company.

Having opened originally off-off Broadway in Working Man's Clothes' production of FuckPlays, the Wilmington production of Sharpen My Dick sounds like a blast, and really hot with fun:

From CTC:

..............................................................

Sex sells at City Theater Company!

City Theater Company, Delaware's Off-Broadway, invites patrons to get in bed with them as they present THE SEX PLAYS: CTC's 2007 BENEFIT SHOW & CARNIVALE. This one-night-only special event takes place on Saturday, October 13th at the troupe's new home at OperaDelaware Studios, located at 4 S. Poplar Street on the Wilmington waterfront.

CTC takes the "fun" part of "fundraiser" seriously by promising patrons good food, choice beverages, potential nudity, free stuff, and lots of laughs. The special event showcases City Theater Company's signature style with an evening of original and outrageous 10-minute plays, all celebrating America's favorite pastime. From a `60s-inspired rock musical to a satire of online porn, the six plays represent some of the area's funniest and most promising playwrights: Matt Casarino's Johnny Infamous; Josh McIlvain's Backyard; Kevin Regan's Date Agents; Howard Rice's Erections/Direction's; Greg Romero's Sharpen My Dick; and Steve Schutzman's No Talking On The First Date.

The accompanying party showcases events like Karaoke Love Duets, Personalized Mating Dances, and Bad Couples Therapy; plus appearances by CTC's most popular people. A silent auction is also featured.

The good times roll beginning at 7pm at OperaDelaware Studios. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door.

Visit www.city-theater. org for tickets, directions, and more information.


.........................................

Rock on,


ROMERO

Friday, September 21, 2007

LULLABY Opens in Louisville

On September 21st, 2007, The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard begins its second journey into full production-- this time with Louisville-based theater company, Specific Gravity Ensemble.



["The Man" (Christopher Shiner), "The Narrator" (Julia Leist), and "The Woman" (Jennifer Poliskie). Design by Todd Pickett (lights), Rand Harmon (set) and Paul T. Carney (set). Photo by Patrick Pfister.]


I have been in residence briefly during this process-- at the very beginning, and now, during final rehearsals and opening weekend.

I am VERY happy with what we have. The work that Specific Gravity is doing is focused, intense, big-hearted, thoughtful, and very very powerful. They are finding the thing inside of this play that shifts the room in a big way.

Through this process I have continued to learn about this play-- what makes it move, where the knives are, how much it hurts, and how beautiful a volcano can be.

The performances by Julia Leist, Jennifer Poliskie, and Christopher Shiner are brave, powerful, vulnerable, sincere, precise, and heart-breaking.

And the production looks incredible. Set inside of a gallery space in 21 c Museum, the design work by Rand Harmon, Todd Pickett, and Paul T. Carney is simply breath-taking.

Big thanks yous to Specific Gravity (Artistic Director, Rand Harmon) for their courage and their willingness to dig deep and bring the awesomeness to the surface.


..........................................................................

SPECIFIC GRAVITY ENSEMBLE OPENS 2007-08 SEASON

AT 21C MUSEUM HOTEL WITH INTRIGUING LULLABY


Louisville’s experimental/environmental theater company, Specific Gravity Ensemble, will present Greg Romero’s The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard September 21-October 1 at 21C MuseumHotel.

A Man and a Woman breathe in the possibility of a blank piece of paper. The paper becomes a sailboat, their breath becomes a journey that busts the world open, spilling out a truth so big that it could only fit inside of a human heart in love with another equally and beautifully broken person.

Building a reputation for producing challenging works in ‘found spaces,’ Specific Gravity sets Lullaby in a gallery space--the ultimate metaphorical setting for this highy-stylized and innovative new work. For the audience at this show, the mind becomes like the walls of a gallery, filled with the ‘art’ of one’s own imagination.

Currently based in Philadelphia, playwright Romero penned one of the 24 Elevator Plays in Specific Gravity Ensemble’s January 2007 debut. The Most Beautiful Lullaby You’ve Ever Heard was a semi-finalist for the 2007 Princess Grace Award.

Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 21/22, 28/29 at 8 pm , Thursday Sept. 27 at 8 pm, Saturday, Sept. 29 at 4 pm, Sundays Sept. 23 and 30 at 5 pm , Monday Oct. 1 at 8 pm.

Location: 21C MuseumHotel, 700 W. Main Street in Louisville

Tickets: $15 general / $12 students / $10 groups of 10 or more. For reservations call 502.384.2SGE (2743) or visit www.specificgravityensemble.com.



==========================



ROMERO


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The First Journey of THE MILKY WAY CABARET

The Cardboard Box's production of The Milky Way Cabaret has just closed, completing the first leg of a highly rewarding, highly instructive, highly incredible journey.

My first commissioned play, Milky Way taught me alot about collaboration, about writing for specific actors (which I love), about the pressures of creating a piece, from scratch, specifically for production.


The process taught me that I have a lot to learn and that there's a lot of work ahead of me to reach many of my goals. But I love learning, so that's fine with me.

I had the pleasure of working with some truly wonderful people who will have my respect forever. Lindsay Krieg, mindy beers, and Andrew Beal of the Cardboard Box continued to show their vision and undying passion for creating theatre from the ground-up that will stand forever.


[photo of: Amazing Arnie (Daniel Higbee), Little Alice (Brenna Schiman), and Travlin' Alice (Cherie A. Roberts). Design by Stephen Hungerford (set and lights), Andrew J. Merkel (lights) and Jamie Grace-Duff (costumes)].

I also continue to enjoy my on-going collaboration with director Andrew J. Merkel. I feel lucky to have found such a strong director who believes in my work, and who shares the same theatrical brain. It is just a matter of time before he and I take over the world.

The production itself was its own journey that started slowly, but had me feeling very proud by the end of it.

We opened to a very small opening-night house (seven people) and struggled through a performance dogged by some technical difficulties (blown dimmers, failed gunshots) and performative set-backs (opening night jitters, trouble with lines). However-- we closed to a sold-out audience and gave them one of my favorite performances EVER of one of my plays. The amount of distance we covered during these eight performances was immense-- almost as impressive a distance as the one in which Travlin' Alice traverses during the actual play (she travels 21 years, backwards, by portaling through four black holes).

Closing night made me believe in this play and its ability to move an audience in a very theatrical and strange way. Huge thank yous again to the creative team for making this happen. Awesome awesome work all around.

It is my hope that this play will continue its life beyond this experience. I think there is magic inside of this work that I hope to continue to share. And I know there is still a lot of work for me to do on this play to make it into the masterpiece that I want it to be.


[Photo of Buzz (Steven Wright) and Charlotte (Katy O'Leary)]

In the meantime, I feel highly satisfied with and incredibly grateful for this experience. This experience alternately flattened, encouraged, flattened, taught, encouraged, flattened, and encouraged me. And I feel very much like I'm a much better artist and person because of my journey through the Milky Way with these people and this process.

Thank you all.


ROMERO

Thursday, September 06, 2007

THE MILKY WAY CABARET is Open for Business!

The full-length commission I've been working on, The Milky Way Cabaret, opens tonight, Thursday, September 6th, 2007.

This has been a highly instructive and rewarding process-- the play is inspired by my time in Philadelphia and my time with the people who live here and who are working on this show with me.

There is some really wonderful work inside of this production-- breath-taking, risk-taking, heartbreaking work.

And really-- when else can you see a show about an alcoholic magican, clown-costumed assassins, a daughter traveling through time, space and black holes, a hula-hooping Homecoming Queen, and a dildo-wielding Cabaret owner?

I would guess you've never seen a play like this one before.

Please come out and join us:





As part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, this production will be performing on the third floor of Plays and Players Theater (1714 Delancey Street) at the following days and times:

September 6th, 10:00 pm
September 7th, 10:00 pm
September 8th, 10:00 pm
September 11th, 9:00 pm
September 12th, 9:00 pm
September 13th, 9:00 pm
September 14th, 8:00 pm
September 15th, 8:00 pm


I will be in attendance for most of the performances (because I love this show). Please come to the show and say hi.

To get your tickets, click HERE.


rock on,

ROMERO

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Production Dates Announced for LULLABY

Specific Gravity Ensemble has announced the production dates for my play, The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Heard.

This scrappy, big-hearted Louisville theatre ensemble is doing great work on the play, and will be presenting the work in a really wonderful venue in downtown Louisville. As part of their mission to present work in creative/found spaces, Specific Gravity is producing the play in one of the gallery spaces of 21 c, a hot, contemporary art museum/hotel in the happenin' part of town.

21 c describes themselves as North America's first museum dedicated solely to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art of the 21st century.

Hot.

Big thanks again to Rand Harmon of Specific Gravity, and William Morrow, Director of 21 c Museum.

I think it will be legendary.

The show goes up:

September 21 at 8:00
September 22 at 8:00
September 23 at 5:00

September 27 at 8:00
September 28 at 8:00
September 29 at 4:00
September 29 at 8:00
September 30 at 5:00
October 1 at 8:00


If anyone is in Louisville and wants to meet up, I'll be there during the show's tech week and opening weekend.


rock on,

ROMERO

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

SHARPEN MY DICK Lives On

Written for Working Man's Clothes' spring production, FuckPlays, my ten-minute play, Sharpen My Dick, has found another life in another fucktastic production.

For the past 14 years, a scrappy theatre in Wilmington, Delaware has lived by these rules:

"City Theater Company is committed to ridding the planet of complacency, redundancy, indifference, and fear-- thereby clearing the way for fun, electricty, cool art and some major chutzpah. We seek out what makes us most afraid and then attack it with an odd, supernatural fury. We breathe in and out in time with our audience, and the resulting electrical charge produces theatrical shock waves that deman attention.

The folks here believe theatre should be filled with big energy, big ideas, big fun, and other big stuff we haven't even thought of yet. Meanwhile, we burn bridges and bite bullets. We pound the pavement, shoot the moon, damn the torpedos, and laugh 'til it hurts.

We do stuff that rocks, and we have one hell of a time."

Now THAT is a mission statement that I can stand behind and I'm happy as hell to be rockin' with them.

Our project together, Sex Plays, goes up (one night only!) on October 13th, 2007.


rock on,

ROMERO

Monday, August 20, 2007

Creative Team Announced for THE MILKY WAY CABARET

The rest of the creative team for The Milky Way Cabaret has been confirmed and lots of wonderful work is taking place. This has turned into a "big" show in terms of people-power (which I love), and that was evident in last night's rehearsal in which almost everyone was called.

The rehearsal room was full of talented, fun, energetic people and the buzz was buzzin'. I feel very lucky to have so many awesome people putting in such a great effort.

Under the leadership of mindy a. beers (Artistic Director) and Lindsay Krieg (Producing Director) of The Cardboard Box Collaborative, our full creative team now includes:

Director......................Andrew J. Merkel
Dramaturg...................Andrew H. Beal
Stage Manager..............Matthew Dell'Olio
ASM..........................Jen Weeks
Set Design...................Stephen Hungerford/Andrew J. Merkel
Lighting Design.............Stephen Hungerford/Andrew J. Merkel
Sound Design................Stephen Hungerford/Andrew J. Merkel
Costume Design.............Jamie Grace-Duff
Musical Composition........Kevin D. Chun and Adlai A. Waksman
Master Electrician...........Brian Smith


For the production's cast announcement, click HERE.

And for more details on the show, click HERE.


rock on,


ROMERO

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cast Announced for THE MILKY WAY CABARET

We are into our second week of rehearsals for The Milky Way Cabaret, and the actors are doing some really wonderful work. I am always encouraged when actors make brave choices and aren't afraid to show themselves, to be vulnerable, and to totally live in the moment (and to be precise about these things).

So far, this group has been pretty good at digging deep and trusting themselves, and each rehearsal has taken us a little bit deeper into the lives of these strange and heart-breaking characters.

I've given these actors the challenge of playing:

A woman who travels through black holes
An alcoholic with magic powers
Two assassins in clown clothes-- one of them just out of prison, the other without a heart
A former Homecoming Queen
A sadistic night-club owner
A seven year-old with magic powers

We see these guys travel through time and space while eating fruit, fail at magic tricks and drink elephant piss, put out cigarettes on each others' faces, hula-hoop like a dream, beat each other with dildos, and make necklaces appear out of thin air.

It's been a wild ride and it will only get better.

And for that, I love these guys:

TRAVLIN' ALICE...............Cherie A. Roberts

ARNIE...........................Daniel Higbee

BUZZ............................Steven Wright

CHARLOTTE....................Katy O'Leary

LORRAINE......................Brittany Brazill

MR. BOSS.......................Tom Wang

LITTLE ALICE..................Brenna the Magnificent



The rest of the awesome creative team will be announced soon.

In the meantime, you can go HERE for more information about the show (including tickets!)



Rock on,

ROMERO

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Brother is a Rock Star

My brother, Hunter Briley, is the lead vocalist for a Nashville-based rock band, NOVEMBER, that is poised for a big rockin' break out.

They've been playing NYC alot lately and the buzz around them is vibrating loud.

I think they have a great sound, and these guys are good dudes. I wish them nothing but the best, and I encourage people to check them out.

They've just completed a video for one of my favorite songs of theirs, "The Grind" (you can check it out below).

To learn more about them, feel free to check out their MySpace page.

The Grind



Thursday, August 09, 2007

Call Me Teacher

This bit of good news shows up in the recent newsletter sent out by the University of the Arts in Philadelphia:

Greg Romero will be teaching Survey of Theatre, having recently located from Austin Texas. Greg has an MFA in Theatre (Playwriting); University of Texas-Austin. His play "The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard" recently closed Off-Off Broadway.

How 'bout that?

Later this month, I'll begin teaching at University of the Arts, landing a teaching gig with my very FIRST application (awesome!). I feel lucky and thrilled to be part of the program at University of the Arts. I've met a couple of their alumni (both are working actors in Philadelphia-- one of which is working with me on The Milky Way Cabaret) and have been impressed with their talent, professionalism and big hearts. From all accounts, U/Arts seems to be doing alot of things right, and I look forward to engaging with this institution as a participant of something I can believe in.

I'm very much looking forward to this teaching experience-- it will be a wonderful opportunity to continue to explore my own dynamics and questions as a teacher. It will be an opportunity to bring my energy to the academy while continuing to work as much as I can as a professional.

It is my hope that I will continue to find ways to engage with my students as much as possible-- to continue to find ways to make learning as enjoyable and as rewarding an experience as possible for those who take on my class.

In short-- it is my hope to continue to bring my passions into the classroom and to listen and learn from the passions of my students.

And lastly-- big big thank yous to Gene Terruso, Director of the School of Theatre Arts, for taking a risk hiring me.

Good times.


Rock on,

ROMERO

Thursday, August 02, 2007

THE MILKY WAY CABARET Production Dates Announced

The full-length commission I've been working on, The Milky Way Cabaret, just announced its production dates.

As part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, this production will be performing on the third floor of Plays and Players Theater (1714 Delancey Street) at the following days and times:

September 6th, 10:00 pm
September 7th, 10:00 pm
September 8th, 10:00 pm
September 11th, 9:00 pm
September 12th, 9:00 pm
September 13th, 9:00 pm
September 14th, 8:00 pm
September 15th, 8:00 pm

I am REALLY excited about this show.




If the poster isn't enough motivation, this is what the play is about...

With an alocholic magician, clown-costumed assassins, and daughters who travel through black holes, we ask: Is humanity bigger than the Universe? Is a heart bigger than a planet? Set in a South Philly nightclub, The Milky Way Cabaret is a theatrical love letter to the city of Philadelphia.

It's gonna be awesome!

rock on,

ROMERO

Sunday, July 29, 2007

LULLABY Lives on in Louisville

The journey for The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard continues, thanks to a wonderful and daring small theatre company in Louisville, Kentucky. Creator of the project, "Elevator Plays" (in which they staged 24 plays inside of elevators in downtown Louisville), Specific Gravity Ensemble, has taken on Lullaby and the work we've begun has been very encouraging and fun.

Directed by fellow former Longhorn (and artistic director of Specific Gravity), Rand Harmon, we've just cast the show and had our first rehearsal. This group is asking good questions and Rand brings alot of experience and alot of love for this play to the production. This group has me asking new questions about the play, which is very exicting and rewarding.

The rest of the creative team includes:

The Narrator: Julia Leist
The Man: Christopher Shiner
The Woman: Jennifer Poliskie

I've been in residence with these guys for almost a week, and I like them all very much. As a fan of the "big small theatre", the folks at Specific Gravity give me another reason to love the scrappy theatre companies that keep the blood of the American theatre flowing. Groups like Specific Gravity, The Cardboard Box Collaborative (Philly), and City Attic Theatre (NYC) will have my heart forever for doing work in such a passionate, fun, and professional way.

Rock on,


ROMERO

Monday, July 16, 2007

Lullaby Closes (Again) But Not For Long (Again)

One of the biggest reasons I create theatre is to create opportunity for humans to come together. Saturday, July 14th, was about as awesome an example as I could imagine.

The wonderful people of City Attic Theatre and The Cardboard Box Collaborative joined forces to present a one-night performance of The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard, and I was moved, once again, by the spirit and depth of the human heart.

In a couple of days, some incredible people came together, worked together, transformed space, dug deep, took care of each other, and put up a really wonderful show for a full and fully-engaged audience.

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

The event was successful, if bittersweet (as most closings are).

I will miss the wonderful people who made all of this happen, but I know that we will all see each other and work together again soon. Because that's what awesome people do.

In the meantime, the projects continue...and another production of Lullaby (to be announced soon) will come to life in the very near future.

rock on,


ROMERO

Saturday, July 07, 2007

In Philly and LULLABY Lives On

THANK YOU to all of the awesome friends who visited with me during my last month in Austin. You guys rock. I will miss you (I already do), but I know we will all stay in touch. Because friends do that.

My road trip across the country was outstanding. THANK YOU to the good folks who hosted me and hung out with me in Baton Rouge, Nashville, Louisville, Ann Arbor, and Pittsburgh. It was a wonderful journey with you.

And now-- I have landed safely in Philadelphia and am stoked about the awesome things on the horizon.

Coming up immediately-- I am really happy to announce that LULLABY lives on.

Come and check it out-- it will be a great time.

..........................................

FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY…
NYC's City Attic Theatre presents

Greg Romero's
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LULLABY YOU'VE EVER HEARD
Hosted in Philadelphia by The Cardboard Box Collaborative

City Attic Theatre, an emerging off-off-Broadway theater company, will present its World Premiere production of Greg Romero's The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard on Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 8:00pm at Plays and Players Theater, Philadelphia PA.

This exclusive showing is being hosted in Philadelphia by The Cardboard Box Collaborative.

The presentation is in honor of several exciting events. The evening will celebrate City Attic's second season, as well as playwright Greg Romero's move to the Philadelphia area from Austin, Texas. The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard also marks Romero's ongoing collaboration with noted Philly director Andrew J. Merkel - their collaboration with The Cardboard Box Collaborative on the upcoming project The Milky Way Cabaret will be presented this fall in the 2007 Philly Fringe Festival.




THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LULLABY YOU'VE EVER HEARD

By Greg Romero

City Attic Theatre
hosted by The Cardboard Box Collaborative

Plays and Players Theater, 1714 Delancey St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Saturday, July 14th at 8:00 pm|60 minutes |Reception to follow

Reservations are required and admission is free |Donations will be accepted

Reserve tickets at tickets@thecardboardbox.org

Inside of The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard, a Man and a Woman breathe in the possibility of a blank piece of paper. The paper becomes a sailboat, their breath becomes a journey that busts the world open, spilling out a truth so big that it could only fit inside of a human heart in love with another equally and beautifully broken person.

The play was selected from nearly two hundred scripts as the winner of CAT Tales, a playwriting competition hosted by City Attic Theatre last May. The script has been previously developed in Texas and in New York with the Boomerang Theatre Company, New Dramatists and Kitchen Dog Theater. The show is directed by Andrew J. Merkel, with costumes by Amanda Embry, set and lights by Joshua Rose, and features John Conor Brooke, Dianna Marino, and Lucy Walters.

.....................................

AWESOME!

Will see you guys there.

Big hugs,


ROMERO

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Reviews for Lullaby

Now that City Attic Theatre's off-off Broadway production of The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard has closed, I've decided to post the reviews we received. I have a love/hate relationship with reviews, and not just depending on how favorable they are to me personally.

Which is why I haven't revealed the reviews until now, as encouraging as they are (particularly the one in BroadwayWorld).

You can read how the play landed on a couple of reviewers (big thank yous to Duncan Pflaster and Larry Kunofsky for coming out and sharing their thoughts) at BroadwayWorld and NYTheatre.

Rock on,


ROMERO

Monday, June 04, 2007

Lullaby Closes

The words will come to me soon. And they will be good words.

For now, this is all I got:




(photo by Amanda Embry)


Thank you City Attic Theatre for making this such an incredible experience. The entire process has been wonderful-- artistic, generous, lovely, big-hearted, sharp, fun, gut-checking, sweaty, glorious, heart-breaking, exhausting, and very very satisfying.

Thank you: Andy, Lucy, Dianna, Conor, Mandy, Josh Bob, Brian Greer, M-Gal, Genevieve, Jeff, Johnathon, Palazzalo, Brian Marino, Kevin, Lorraine, and all of the other amazing people who made this thing happen (including all of the people whose couches I slept on).


ROMERO

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard

Oh man, this show is going to be awesome....


=========================




CITY ATTIC THEATRE PRESENTS

The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard
By Greg Romero
May 24 - 26, 28 & May 31 - June 1 @ 8 p.m.
May 27 @ 3 p.m.; June 2 @ 7 p.m.

NEW YORK
-- City Attic Theatre, an emerging off-off-Broadway company, proudly continues their second season with the World Premiere production of Greg Romero's The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard.

Inside of The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard, a Man and a Woman breathe in the possibility of a blank piece of paper. The paper becomes a sailboat, their breath becomes a journey that busts the world open, spilling out a truth so big that it could only fit inside of a human heart in love with another equally and beautifully broken person.

The play was selected from nearly two hundred scripts as the winner of CAT Tales, a playwriting competition hosted by City Attic Theatre last May. The script has been previously developed in Texas and in New York with the Boomerang Theatre Company, New Dramatists and Kitchen Dog Theater.

The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard runs May 24-26, May 28, and May 31-June 1 at 8:00 p.m., May 27 at 3 p.m., and June 2 at 7 p.m. in the Under St. Marks Theatre, located at 94 St. Marks Place. Tickets are $15 and are available at the door (cash only). For reservations, please call 212-330-7045 or e-mail cityattic@gmail.com.

The show is directed by Andrew Merkel, designed by Amanda Embry and Joshua Rose, and features John Conor Brooke, Dianna Marino, and Lucy Walters.

City Attic Theatre provides a home for theatrical artists, creating new opportunities to nurture their craft in a collaborative setting while developing powerful theatrical masterpieces. The goal is to remove the boundaries that dictate the traditional roles of artists, to release and unify the collaborative imagination. For more information, please visit www.myspace.com/cityattic. This production was made possible through the support of The Field.

===========================


rock on,


ROMERO

Thursday, May 17, 2007

THANK YOU Richard Nelson!

This ranks up there with Todd London's "The Shape of Plays to Come".

Sound the trumpets:


The Laura Pels Foundation Keynote Address by Richard Nelson, April 9, 2007

First I want to thank Laura Pels - a truly generous woman. Generous in both
the obvious sense, and also always with her time, her energy, her enthusiasm,
her humor. She and I have had a few meals together over the years, both here
and in Paris, and I've enjoyed every minute of them and always left inspired
and encouraged. And I wish to thank A.R.T./New York for inviting me here
tonight. I have to say I was surprised to be asked, but also very honored.

I am also very honored to be speaking to each and every one of you; I know I
am in a room of people who care about theater, who love theater, many of you
have and are devoting your lives to theater. And any lover of theater - must
also be a lover of plays. And any lover of plays will, I am sure, recognize the
unique place of the playwright in the making of theater. And it is this place
that I wish to speak about.

By the way, I think this will be the first 'speech' I have ever given; fifty-six
years old, and I've managed to escape giving a speech until now. I suppose I
never thought it was my 'thing,' I love hearing what I write spoken by others,
not myself. But things change, we change.

I remember when I became a father for the first time. And suddenly I found
within me an ability to fight for my child in ways that I could never have fought
for myself.

A year and a half ago I began teaching young emerging talented playwrights at
the Yale School of Drama. Tonight I want to talk about issues that are important
to them - and to me, and I believe to all American playwrights.

But mostly to them. And I suppose it is because of them, and because of the
hundreds of playwrights whose work I now read each year, that I feel the need,
the passion, but more importantly the responsibility to discuss the state of
our profession with you tonight.

So much has happened to the profession of playwriting since I had my first
professional production at the Mark Taper Forum Lab in 1975. And so much of
what has happened has not been good for playwrights.

The profession of playwright, the role of the playwright in today's American
theater, I believe, is under serious attack. Some who attack are simply greedy,
some ignorant, some can't understand why theater isn't TV or film. But perhaps
the greatest threat to the playwright in today's theater comes from not those
greedy and ignorant, but rather from those who want 'to help.'

'Help.' 'Playwrights are in need of help.' This is now almost a maxim in our
theater today. Unquestioned. A given. But where does this mindset - for that is
what it is - a mindset, come from? Of course playwrights need things - money,
productions, support, encouragement. So do actors, directors, designers,
artistic directors. But THIS mindset is different, because what is meant here
is: 'Playwrights are in need of help -- to write their plays.' 'They are in need
of help - to do their work.' 'They can't do their work themselves. '

How strange. What other profession is viewed in this way? What other person
in the theater is viewed this way? Imagine hiring say a director with the
assumption that he couldn't do his work himself. Now I am not saying by this
that a director shouldn't listen to others, receive notes, be open to
discussions, and so forth. Quite the opposite, for THIS is all part of what a
director does. AND I am NOTsaying a playwright shouldn't listen to notes, be
open to discussions, and so forth - because THIS is what a playwright does.
What I am saying is that the given mindset should not be that the playwright
cannot be trusted to lead this process. Cannot betrusted to know how to work
within the collaboration of theater.

Nor am I talking about mentoring - or educating young playwrights here. I'm
not talking about a classroom situation. I'm talking about how our professional
theater looks at playwrights and the playwright's play. About assumptions made
and about the various specific solutions theaters THEN make based upon these
false assumptions.

What is really being said to the playwright by all the help? From the
playwright's perspective it is this: that the given now in the American theater
is that what a playwright writes, no matter how much he or she works on it,
rewrites it at his or her desk, the play will ALWAYS not be right. Will ALWAYS
need 'help.' In other words, writing a play is too big of a job for just the
playwright to achieve. This, I believe, is now a prevalent attitude in the
American theater. And this mindset is devastating.

Emily Mann told me the other day that in her 17 years running the McCarter
Theater the greatest change has been - that now more and more plays are
submitted that are obviously unfinished. That writers today recognize that if
they wish to participate in a process that perhaps will lead to the production
of their work, then this will require rewriting and revision guided and cajoled
by others. So why finish anything?

I sit with young writers and hear how they now leave chunks of their plays
purposely badly written - hoping that the 'help' they receive will concentrate
on these areas and not on others that they care about. Tricks, games that many
a screenwriter has learned over time, but now finding their way into the
writing of plays.

Now no doubt many of you are thinking - but the plays aren't finished, they
need help, and they do get better.

Again, I am not saying that a playwright should avoid and ignore comments and
reactions to his work, quite the opposite. But I am saying that our mindset
toward playwrights should be this: 1) the playwright knows what he is doing,
2) perhaps the plays presented is as it should be. So that the onus for
change is not on the playwright but on others, on the theater.

And the theater is there with a full array of tools to support the playwright
as he or she attempts to improve upon his or her play. How to improve a play
should be the domain of the writer, with the theater supplying potential tools,
a reading say, or a workshop with clearly delineated goals. These are tools
that should evolve out of a need, as opposed to being a given.

Now a culture of 'help' breeds a culture of dependence and this is what, I
believe, we now have in the American theater: the culture of readings and
workshops, one unimaginable when I was a young playwright thirty years ago.
A culture of 'development.' And this culture, more than being an activity,
a process - is a mindset. Having spent a great deal of time in classical
theater, I have watched actors and directors approach classical plays that
have massive contradictions and address those plays not as works to be fixed,
but rather to be solved. So I am arguing for a theater where the mindset is
not to fix new plays, but to solve them.

Now if it is assumed that all plays need to be helped along, then no playwright
actually has it in his or her power to complete his or her play. Therefore, can
it really be called his or her play? Ah - now we come to other trickier sides
of this equation, where the 'help' given writers also has strings. In the time
I've been given, I'd like to look at just a few - there are many - examples of
how this mindset has infiltrated our theater and what it is doing to my
profession. So let's get specific.

And let's look at the actors, directors, even audiences who have been
taught/re-educated by this culture to feel a responsibility to 'help' the
playwright write his or her play. Producers, literary managers, dramaturges
who 'help' with rules about what makes a good play, who 'help' by mandating
readings because they must be 'helpful'. Let's look at managers who 'helpfully'
organize commissions so that the theater can encourage OR is the word 'enforce'
changes that are 'helpful' to the play.

There are contracts that demand remuneration for this 'help.' There are
foundations that allow their monies to be used in a developmental hell that
breeds the loss of confidence and control that every playwright needs, must
have, to succeed.

SO. Readings. Mandatory reading of plays for judgment or to 'give help.' Be
careful. This is dangerous, and has already caused great harm. A play with
two people at a table having a conversation - this works in a reading, we get
a good sense of what the writer is after. But what about 7 people in a room,
moving about, talking to two, then three, unheard by a forth, and so on. This
makes no sense in a reading. And so playwrights, practical people that we are,
slowly - like a bad evolution - we stop writing in forms that don't work in
readings. And again, slowly, our plays begin to look alike, dramaturgically
similar. Of course a playwright can benefit from a reading, but one needs to
be so very careful about why the play is being read, what hopefully is being
gained. And, what is being lost. All those reading series out there - careful,
careful, in the long run are they doing much more harm than good?

Workshops. What are they? What IS the role of an actor or a director in a
workshop? To direct or act in a play requires, I believe, a strong element of
confidence in the play; a belief that the answer to one's questions or confusions
can be found - in the play. This is what a director or an actor does, this is
their talent and how they explore. But if the playwright is encouraged to - no
CELEBRATED -for rewriting during this process, then where does that put the
actor, the director - not acting, not directing - but there - 'to help.' Isn't
this the wrong mindset for a director or actor to have? Is this the way they
should be looking at a play? Couldn't their talents be put to better service
trying to solve what the writer has written - as opposed to trying to help him
fix it?

Audiences. By involving them in readings and discussions and god forbid
workshops, we are apparently asking for their 'help' with the play. But doesn't
this confuse even warp the role of the audience? And in terms of new work
doesn't this put an audience's focus overwhelmingly on 'does it work?' as
opposed to 'what is it about?' or 'why was it written?' or 'does it matter?'
Aren't these the questions we want discussed? Aren't these the questions that
help generate the sort of substantive discussions we in the theater wish to have
with an audience?

Rules for writing plays. My god. One hears young playwrights being told what a
play 'must do,' or 'how a play works.' One hears writers being told that a
character's 'journey' isn't clear enough, or that the writer needs to determine
a character's 'motivation.' One hears how a play has to 'build' in a certain
way, or how 'the conflict' isn't strong enough. These are terms that seem to
suggest a deep understanding of what a play is and how it is put together, but
in fact they tell us very little. Perhaps a particular play might be helped by
one of these suggestions, but they (and other 'rules') are too generally
prescribed. To see how silly this prescription is, one has only to ask: what is
the clear motivation of Lear? The playwright doesn't write out of 'motivations'
but rather out of truth and reality, out of people and story and worlds he or
she wishes or needs to create for us. These terms are perhaps useful to the
critic, or the dramaturg in finding a way in for themselves to these plays; but
such considerations are not how plays, good plays, great plays are made.

The word 'text.' I may be crazy, but I think I just woke up one day and suddenly
somehow people starting talking about the 'text' instead of 'the play.' How did
this come about? Since when does a playwright only write 'words.' Isn't that the
hidden meaning of this? To make the playwright the 'word guy' and leave the
theater making to others? As if the writer was only a source from which words
flowed that others made into plays.

As I tell my students endlessly - theater is the only artistic form that uses
the entire live human being as its expression. Playwrights write people, not
words. We write words to convey the people. To push us aside, to make us the
'text guy' and not the 'play guy' is a subtle but dangerous change in thinking
and betrays a new mindset about the place of the playwright in the making of
theater.

Step commissions. These are commissions - and this is pretty prevalent I
believe - where the playwright is paid in say three stages. First when he
agrees to the commission and signs the contract, 2nd payment when he submits
the play, and 3rd payment when he submits the rewrite.

Now what is wrong with this picture? What is the underlying assumption here?
That the play the playwright submits will need to be rewritten and that the
playwright will only do this rewrite only if he or she is paid for it.

Now as we all know the playwright still is the owner of the play, he or she
owns the copyright. So - say you build a house and you own this house. And
someone comes along and suggests that you add a window. Now if you agree
and think this would improve your house a great deal you are going to add
this window. However, suppose a guy comes along and says - he thinks you
should add a window and he will pay you to do so. To your own house! How
bizarre. This guy must be thinking maybe you don't want to add a window
and you need to be paid to do it. Well, that is very much what these step
deals suggest - and once again insidiously we have the role of the playwright,
or at least his judgment and understanding of his own play and what it needs
doubted, questioned. In his mind he's thinking he is being paid to do what
he doesn't necessarily want to do.

Here's one that will upset some of you. And the one that will take the longest
to explain and discuss. The idea of 'participation.' You should see my first
year students' faces when I explain what 'participation' is. You mean, they
say, thatI give up a percentage of my play forever? Why? Because, I say, the
theater has done your play. Why? They ask again. Because -- and I tell them
the theaters will give you two reasons: they have enhanced the play's value by
producing it in a important 'market' and two, because the theaters have HELPED
the writer with the writing of the play. Ah this HELP again, which may have
been unwanted, now we have to pay for! How did this happen?

A little background that most of you know, I'm sure. Participation has been
around a long time in the commercial theater, but it is a fairly recent
development, certainly as a pervasive practice, in the non-profit theater.
And it just sort of happened. No real debate that I know of. Now who is to
blame for this? Of course playwrights themselves need to accept a good bit of
that blame, for not fighting this harder when it began to occur in non-profit
contracts. But - and I would guess that those who now run the Dramatist Guild
might even agree until very recently our Guild was pretty myopic, and saw
theater only through the lens of Broadway where participation was a given. So
there was no understanding of why it should be stopped in the non-profit
theater. And so there was little if any serious debate or opposition. Only
when Gregory Mosher and Bernie Gersten took over Lincoln Center and they
refused to take any participation from new work was there even the glimmer of
discussion. And certainly nothing like the praise that those two gentlemen
deserved.

So it happened because no one fought it. The playwrights were too weak and
disorganized to fight back and understand what was being done to them. So -
I suppose it's our fault. However, as we all know, that's not how the theater
works, the serious theater works.

I remember an executive committee meeting many years ago at the Guthrie where
I was working, when we were going over salary increases for the next season.
When it came to the proposed raise for actors one new board member said, 'but
I understand that there are always lots of actors who want to play each part.
So why are we now going to pay actors more? We should pay them less and save
that money.' A few minutes later a couple of more experienced members of the
board took this gentleman aside and explained. And what they explained is
obvious to all of us in this room: we in the theater have a responsibility
not just to our immediate bottom line, but to the future of our art and
profession. You apply principles of hardnosed business to every element of
the theater and you will destroy the theater. So yes, we playwrights did not
protect or fight for ourselves. Yes, we should have. But that failure does
not make us -- fair game.

We write our play, we own our play and we should continue to own our play -
all of it, at least as long as we stay in the non-profit theater, which is
a theater that raises its money often on claims of producing new writing.

Now only one argument about this has ever made sense to me: if a playwright
has a huge hit, shouldn't some of that money come back to the theater and
support other writers and other productions? And I have signed many contracts
in England stating just this, that should I make a very large amount of money
from the playduring a given year, then a percentage is owed to the theater.
That makes sense. That is responsible.

But I have never seen an American theater contract with anything like that
language. If theaters won't take it upon themselves to rectify this situation,
if playwrights prove as a group too weak and unfocused, then I say let's turn
to the funders themselves, the foundations and donors, and ask does this make
sense to you, that healthy percentages of future incomes from plays presented
in smallish theaters with small royalties, requiring months and months of work
and involvement by the playwright - should these theaters now have a right to
this? Should they now own part of the plays? And what signal does this send
to the writer, especially the young ones.

These are a few - there are many more - specific examples of how this mindset
toward the playwright has found its way into all reaches of the theater and
therefore how difficult it will be to change.

Finally to conclude, as I'm running out off time: EMPOWERMENT, that I
suppose is what all this is about - allowing the playwright to feel that he
or she owns the play, IN ALL MEANINGS OF THAT WORD. AND TO HAVE
PRIDE IN THAT OWNERSHIP. Prescribing 'rules' - this does the opposite. A
culture with a mind set of 'help,' does the same. The loss of a percentage
of one's play - the same again. And so it is my hope and I believe my
profession's best hope -- to change this mindset and the culture based upon it.

When I was asked to give this speech, I was told to speak about anything I
wanted. I knew right away that this is what I wished to talk about with all
of you. Because, it is my great belief and hope, that it will be from
gatherings like these, gatherings of caring, dedicated theater professionals,
lovers of theater, that we can change how we think, change the broken ways,
and reinvigorate, even re-imagine our theater.

Thank you.

Richard Nelson

.................

Richard Nelson's plays include Conversations in Tusculum, Frank's Home,
How Shakespeare Won the West, Rodney's Wife, Franny's Way, Madame
Melville, Goodnight Children Everywhere (Olivier Award, Best Play),
The General from America, New England, Left, Misha's Party (with
Alexander Gelman), Columbus and the Discovery of Japan, Two
Shakespearean Actors (Tony Nomination, Best Play), Some Americans Abroad
(Olivier Nomination, Best Comedy), Principia Scriptoriae. His musicals
include James Joyce's The Dead (with Shaun Davey, Tony Award for Best Book
of a Musical), My Life with Albertine (with Ricky Ian Gordon), Paradise
Lost (with Hal Prince and Ellen Fitzhugh). He has adapted and/or translated
numerous classical and contemporary plays, including Chekhov's The Seagull,
The Wood Demon, Three Sisters, Strindberg's Miss Julie, The Father,
Goldoni's Il Campiello, Beaumarchais' The Marriage of Figaro, Pirandello's
Enrico IV, Moliere's Don Juan, Erdman's The Suicide, Fo's Accidental Death
of an Anarchist, and Jean-Claude Carriere's The Controversy of Valladolid.
His work for film and television includes Ethan Frome (Miramax Films),
Sensibility and Sense and The End of a Sentence (both American Playhouse).
He has written numerous radio plays for the BBC. Mr. Nelson is an Honorary
Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a Professor (Adjunct)
and Chair of the Department of Playwriting at The Yale School of Drama.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Hottest Party You've Ever Attended


As we continue to ramp up to my production of The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard, we also continue to throw bitch awesome parties.

Here's the latest one that YOU should be at!





THE HOTTEST PARTY YOU'VE EVER ATTENDED

Host: Amanda Embry/City Attic Theatre

Madame X
94 W. Houston St.
New York, NY

Friday, May 11, 9:00pm

718-956-3946

Welcome to the Anti-Lullaby, a welcome party for City Attic Theatre's upcoming prodution of "The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard".

There will be burlesque dancing, "Hands on a Hard Body" game, a sexy silent auction featuring your own personal photographer for an erotic photoshoot, and some serious spanking from a dominatrix.

There is no cover charge to enter the party. Donations are always accepted, as all of the money received at the party will go towards "Lullaby".

The party starts at 9pm and keeps on going. When you get to Madame X, mention City Attic Theatre and you get in FREE at the door (hot!).

Come, bring friends, drink and GET SPANKED!

Check out Madame X online at:
www.madamexnyc.com

Or for more info, contact cityattic@gmail.com or
myspace.com/cityattic


rock on,


ROMERO

Friday, May 04, 2007

We Got it on Video

A few of you were there for this (and you rock)-- for those of you who couldn't make it, theatre artist Jeff Scot Carey put together a really great video of the experience of shaving my beard (thanks Jeff!).

You can check it out on You Tube.

The video does a wonderful job of capturing how much fun the whole night was. I just wish I hadn't drank quite so much that night.

:)

In any case-- thanks again to everyone for making this such an incredible event in every way (and come and check out the show!!!).

Rock on,


ROMERO

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

73 Passions

I just put together my application for the P73 Playwriting Fellowship-- a highly generous award sponsored by Page 73 Productions in NYC.

I wanted to post part of my response to the application, because I know that it's already motivated a couple of close friends in a really cool way. And plus, I think it's a really cool window into what I do and how I do it.

This was their question:

Describe your professional goals and artistic challenges. How do you think the P73 Playwriting Fellowship could help you attain those goals and meet those challenges?


Like with everything I do-- I try to answer in a way that was fun and unique to me. So I offered them this:

.............................................

It's a commitment to myself to find a new way to express my professional and artistic goals every time someone asks me about them (because it keeps me honest and it keeps me thinking about my work).

With that in mind, I offer you a list that I hope to continue to add onto until a new person asks me about my goals again. I call this list, "73P". It is my expectation that the P73 Fellowship will help me attain every single one of the 73 Passions listed below.

1. To have as many people as possible see the plays I write.

2. To make these people go home and have a dream about my play that changes their life.

3. To always stay hungry no matter what.

4. To make a living by writing plays by the time I reach 35 years old.

5. To not get a regular job until I absolutely have to.

6. To always be asking questions.

7. To always be the best listener in the room.

8. To write plays so freaking amazing that people feel like they HAVE to work on them or else they'll die.

9. To write characters so compelling and honest that actors would beat each other to play them.

10. To run as fast as I can straight at my fears.

11. To meet, work with, and learn from the most profound people imaginable.

12. To never be scared of falling in love because love is the place where my best work comes from.

13. To have people recognize my name and immediately know that when they see it attached to a project, they can expect to be challenged, captivated, and confronted by a high-quality, imaginative, purposeful, and theatrical live event.

14. To always have fun while working.

15. To always push against the edge of expectation until it topples over and something new and incredible busts out of the broken pieces.

16. Snacks.

17. To always be able to buy a round of beers after a good night's work.

18. To actively seek out and embrace the I Don't Know.

19. To be proud of every production that I work on.

20. To model ways in which a playwright can successfully collaborate with others.

21. To shift the expectation of how a playwright interacts with their text.

22. To believe in everyone I work with as fully as possible.

23. To blow the lid off the roof constantly.

24. To tirelessly create and evaluate new goals.

25. To recognize the poison of sentimentality in my work and apply the leeches as fast as I can.

26. To be part of a theatre culture that eloquently and urgently expresses the need to develop and produce new plays.

27. To not be scared of what my family might think of my work but honest enough with myself to know that I really want them to be proud of me.

28. To always be learning.

29. To continually ask, "how can that be more theatrical?"

30. To write plays that people feel deep down in their bones.

31. To destroy sarcasm.

32. To create plays that feel a little bit like wild animals.

33. To stay in awe of how the world works.

34. To stay in awe of how amazing humans are.

35. To breathe more deeply.

36. To never compromise my work EVER.

37. To stay off-balance as much as possible.

38. To write every day no matter what.

39. To never be scared of failing, but in fact risk everything all of the time.

40. To travel around the world with my work.

41. To have people know that when they work with me, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of their life.

42. To not be scared of the dark places, but in fact to fall in love with them a little bit.

43. To not be afraid of cutting myself and bleeding to death.

44. To stay humble.

45. To see the big picture and the small details out of each eye.

46. To have an elephant in every play that I write.

47. To have each play that I write be better than the last one I wrote.

48. To stretch every day.

49. To make people walk out of my plays thinking a lot about their life and what it means to be a flawed and beautiful human.

50. To find new ways to put words on a page.

51. To never have to worry about money.

52. To be as honest as possible, especially when vibrating inside the truth seems like the worst idea of all time.

53. To surround myself with people who will kick my ass.

55. To know that sometimes thinking too much is my enemy.

56. To pay close attention to my dreams.

57. To explode the idea of what a play is or can be.

58. To write a play that gets someone pregnant.

59. To be constantly flattened by other people's work.

60. To take the best care I can with the people I work with

61. To make my plays feel like a jook joint.

62. To have my collaborators not have to worry about a low balance on their metro cards.

63. To always be able to identify and obtain the best materials and resources possible.

64. To be capable of both long-term planning and of being intensely in the moment.

65. To write plays that win the kinds of awards that I believe in.

66. To make my characters do things that are amazing and scary and unforgettable.

67. To invite as many people to the party and as often as possible.

68. To give every community in the world an opportunity to experience my work.

69. To give myself an opportunity to experience every community in the world.

70. To make people fall in love with their imaginations.

71. To write plays that taste like a Keg Stand.

72. To always remember that I'm writing for at least three-dimensions.

73. To write plays that live hundreds of years longer than me.

...........................

I hope they dig it. If not, it was really helpful for me to think through all 73 of those things. I actually had a few more than I needed-- I ended up writing about 85-90 Passions. But I had to cut it down, and passions such as "to have lots of mind-blowing sex" and "to take a bullet for a friend" unfortunately didn't quite make the final cut.

rock on,



ROMERO

Monday, April 30, 2007

FuckPlays Closes

On Friday night, April 27th, and after five performances at the Ohio Theatre in Soho and four shows at Galapagos Art Space in Williamsburg, the curtain came down on FuckPlays, produced by Working Man's Clothes.

It was a successful show-- lots of good press, lots of sold-out houses, lots of good times. It was a fun project and I'm grateful that it gave me the opportunity to meet and work with some new people that I genuinely like. The people of Working Man's Clothes' are good folks and I thank them for the opportunity and hope to see them again.

As for my play, Sharpen My Dick, I look forward to it having a life beyond this production (I wrote it specifically for this project, hoping they'd select it blindly), though predicting the life of a ten-minute play is dicey at best. I did learn alot by seeing it in three-dimensions (and in full production), which unfortunately I didn't get to experience until opening night. I regret not being present for the working process, and I admit I felt a little bit helpless watching the show knowing that I could have improved the script, but also knowing it was too late to do anything about it.

I thank director Cole Wimpee and actors Robert Funaro, Will Neuman, and Lucy Walters for the work they put into the show-- their genuine affection for the project was clear to me and that was a really nice reward.

I also thank all the friends who came out to see the show-- your support continues to keep me moving forward.


Rock on,


ROMERO

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My Face is Naked

Dear Friends,

Without any delay...the results from last night's event:


This is me, just outside of The Beauty Bar, just before I took it down.




The transformation in progress:




And my naked face:





The response to this event has been overwhelming. I had no idea so many people were interested in lifting my veil. I am moved and inspired by everyone's support and generosity.

THANK YOU.



ROMERO