Wednesday, December 31, 2008
1. The play must be impossible to exist in any other form.
2. The play must make us all experience pain in some kind of satisfying, delightful, intense and memorable way.
3. It should have an elephant in it.
4. People who see it should revisit the play in their dreams.
5. If it creates anything less than a riot (internally or externally) the play is a failure.
6. Every play should risk everything.
7. It should be written free of embarrassment, but instead, a proclaiming of everything the writer is ashamed of loving deeply.
8. It is not a play if there is no death or birth.
9. The form of the play follows the content, which obeys the characters-- a chambered nautilus, ever expansive, working itself from the inside out.
Monday, December 29, 2008
I have already told my current students the news, which was a difficult moment. By and large, the University of the Arts students are bright, creative, talented, hard-working, sincere, and highly fun young people. Affectionately called "The Space Cadets", I have loved my students dearly and will miss them like crazy. It is because of them more than anything that I almost talked myself out of this decision numerous times.
I've also continually been impressed with the level of talent among the faculty, and sincerely believe in the school's president, Sean Buffington. The University of the Arts is a quality institution and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to teach there. I regret that there wasn't more opportunity for me within the university.
Thank you to Gene Terruso for hiring me, and thank you to Charlie Gilbert for keeping me aboard once he took over as Director of the School of Theater. I appreciate the risk each took on such a young teacher.
My experience as UArts has undoubtedly made me a better teacher and a better artist. I appreciate the opportunity and space that UArts gave me to explore teaching as a creative activity, and to apply my own ideas of art and live performance into the classroom. On a good day, the classroom felt more like a playground, which continued to be a fun discovery.
I thank all of my students for making the experience fun, for answering the challenges we gave each other, for continuing to surprise me with their creativity, for their energy, for the willingness to learn, for their trust, and for a number of truly purposeful moments that I will always remember. It was a privilege to work with them and learn from them.
It is my hope to continue friendships with the people I've met through The University of the Arts because UArts is a place full of talented, engaging people. I feel fortunate to have participated and contributed to such a vital, energetic, educational atmosphere.
Monday, December 15, 2008
In the spring of 2008, I was raising money to travel to Dallas, Texas for the production of my play, The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard (produced by Audacity Theater Lab). I approached a number of friends and told them if they donated money, I would re-pay their gift by writing a play just for them.
31 generous friends responded, giving me the task of writing 31 custom-made plays.
And because I wanted to honor the theme of traveling, I figured out a process by which these plays themselves could travel through the country. I did the math, figuring out how much money I needed to get to Dallas, and then calculated how many miles a dollar could earn (one dollar equaled five miles). Then I mapped out gifts chronologically by receipt date, and figured out which cities these gifts landed on. I determined I would write a play for that particular donor about the particular place their gift traveled me to.
For example, the first gifts I got were two single dollar bills in an envelope, a dollar each from Philadelphia theater artists Sarah Bowden and Christiana Molldrem. Mapping out the first five miles from my house got me to the Walt Whitman Bridge, which became the setting for Sarah's play. Five miles beyond that, Christiana's gift traveled me to The George C. Platt Memorial Bridge.
And so on.
At the time of this blog, I've written 16 of the 31 plays, and have had an extraordinarily fun time with them. It has my pleasure to create these theatrical gifts for friends, and I am thrilled that they will be presented to the public (which is another gift-exchange).
It is my hope that we have a full audience, and I hope the audience is full of as many of the 31 folks for whom this project is inspired by.
I am collaborating with two organizations on this project-- The Kelly Writers House, and Philadelphia Dramatists Center, who will act as co-producers.
The plays, as a collection, have become a really fun journey through place and time and American history.
The project will be as much of an exploration as it will be a presentation (we have no idea what form some of these plays will take), and is being directed by Wally Zialcita.
Wally and I are currently putting together an ensemble of brave actors to play roles such as Walt Whitman, An Oriole, A Faceless Man, Robert E. Lee, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ulysses Grant, Ted DiBiase, Willlie Nelson, Martha Washington, Hercules, Jimmie Rodgers, Howlin' Wolf, Alexander Pope, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Bjork, and a Giant Elephant.
We are performing at the following time and place:
Thursday, January 22nd. 7:30 pm
The Kelly Writers House
3805 Locust Walk
The event is FREE and there will be snacks!!
Big thank yous again to all of the gift-givers:
Sarah Bowden Megan Breen, Ilana Brownstein, Kristy Chouiniere, Stephen Collela, Joy Cutler, Ruth Engel, Tim Errickson, Tim Fawkes, Shelby, Jessica and J.P. Goggin, Jamie and Brian Grace-Duff, Richard Kotulski, Kristin Leahey, Tim Long, Larry McGonigal, Jess McMichael, Andy Merkel, Christiana Molldrem, Nancy Mouton, Gigi Naglak, Lee Pucklis, Marshall "Spaz" Richard, Cherie A. Roberts, Robin Rodriguez, Genevieve Saenz, Jason Tremblay, Eve Tulbert, Timothy Verret, Leah Walton, and Wally Zialcita.
And thank you to The Kelly Writers House for their continued support of my work.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I have no idea if this is a high figure or not, but the 104 copies have be sold beginning August 12th when the anthology, Great Short Comedies: Volume 3, went on the market.
If you buy a copy, you'll be giving at least ELEVEN holiday gifts all at once (you, me, and the other nine writers of the anthology).
So do it!
And Happy Holidays!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
SHOVEL will be part of a production called "The Top Secret Play Project: Something for Odile" as it was originally written as part of a series of commissioned works specifically for performer Odile Del Giudice as a birthday present.
The piece is being produced by Del Giudice and Briana McKeague of Cisne Negro Productions, based in Austin, Texas, as part of the New Orleans Fringe Festival. I am thrilled that this piece will continue its life, especially through the performance of the actress it was originally created for.
I'm also thrilled that this is one of the few times my work has gone up in my home state of Louisiana (and the first time my work will be seen in New Orleans!), which means some of my family might be able to see my work in production, and that makes me happy.
The show will perform three times at the Hi-Ho Lounge, a live music venue on St. Claude Ave:
Thursday, November 13 @ 8:30 pm
Saturday, November 15 @ 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 16 @ 5:00 pm
You can check out more information about the project, by clicking on the New Orleans Fringe Festival, the Top Secret Play Project, or the complete show listings in the festival.
Big thank yous to Odile and Briana for their work!
Friday, October 24, 2008
My class is called, "Creative Writing: Space, Place, and Character in Playwriting and Fiction" and has the following course description:
This course will take a close look at the relationships of space, place and character in the effort to illuminate, appreciate, and explore the differences and similarities in Playwriting and Fiction. Weekly writing exercises will allow you to look as three-dimensionally and as actively as possible at various physical spaces, using them as a ground to form your short plays and short fiction. Through writing assignments, we’ll ask what is a "theater" space? How do different uses of space change the writing, and vice versa? What kinds of writing/language do specific spaces inspire? What kinds of character?
Coursework will also involve readings of plays, short fiction, and articles/manifestos/dialogues about writing and space. Through in-class and out-of-class assignments, students will generate a large volume of work, turning in a 20-25-page portfolio of their own short plays and fiction at the end of the semester.
If anyone reading this (or has a friend who) is a student at UPenn, you should totally take this class. You can go to the departmental page here.
Thank you to Jessica Lowenthal, Director of Kelly Writers House; and Greg Djankian, Director of the Creative Writing Program, for making me part of the team. I am totally looking forward to it.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
This year's board has an exciting task-- to develop and create the organization's new strategic plan. This new plan will reflect the organization's goals to expand and offer increased and varied services for the playwrights in Philadelphia and the surrounding area.
As for my part, it is my goal to contribute by organizing a least one new forum (in addition to the ones already in place) for playwrights to develop and explore their plays (a Writer's Laboratory, modeled in part on the "Monday Night Lab" I helped organize at The University of Texas); to help create and manage a National Advisory Board; to foster relationships between PDC and local producing companies and organizations (such as The Kelly Writers House), and to continue to identify and recruit new, talented member writers and theater artists to the organization.
I am thrilled to be part of this work, and look forward to continuing to help the organization grow and to continue to help Philadelphia find its legs as a "new play" culture.
Big thank yous to Richard Kotulski for asking me to submit my name for consideration, and to the organization's members for voting me in.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
On October 1st, I will be moving.
I will leave my familiar digs of South Philly/Beck Street, to head to West Philadelphia. I am moving because I was recently selected as the FIRST-ever Resident Writer for a project called ArtsEdge, a new program created by the and the University of Pennsylvania.
The program is designed with a couple major aims in mind: to nurture cross-disciplinary art collaborations and to build bridges between UPenn and the artistic community of Philadelphia at-large. To do this, they're partially-subsidizing an apartment in West Philly, which will house myself and a visual artist, encouraging her and I to create at least one on-going project together that can be shared with the community.
The visual artist (her name is Adrienne Gale and her work is really impressive) and I will also receive dedicated studio space (for free) with several other artists as part of the 40th Street Artists project. The residency lasts until the end of August, 2009.
In conjunction with this, starting in the spring, I will be teaching a class in the Creative Writing department of The University of Pennsylvania. Which means, I'll be teaching at an IVY LEAGUE school. Holy cow!!!
All of this is very exciting to me and this opportunity should continue to push me towards becoming a better artist and a better human. Additionally, West Philly is my favorite part of the city (because its creativity, activity, and beauty makes it feel like Austin to me) and I will be much happier living there.
Big thank yous to the awesome people at Kelly Writers House (Jessica Lowenthal and Erin Gautsche), The Rotunda (Gina Renzi) and the Creative Writing Program at UPenn (Greg Djanikian) for making this possible. Huge thank yous as well to Philadelphia artist Rebecca Ennen for sending me ArtsEdge's original call for artists.
My new address (home also of my new writing studio), come and visit me there!!!
4007 Chestnut St
Philadelphia PA 19104
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
You can view the documentary by clicking here.
Thank you to Brad McEntire and company for their continued good work on that production.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The production opened on Sunday, September 7th and runs through Saturday, September 13th.
I attended the production Sunday evening and enjoyed traveling through the multiple environments of Plays and Players and seeing the numerous creative uses of theatrical space. I appreciate this production's innovation, and I thank collaborators Andrew J. Merkel (director) and Cherie A. Roberts (performing the role of "Elida") for their hard work.
For additional information about the show, you can visit HERE.
For a direct link to tickets and information via the Philly Fringe Festival website, click HERE.
Friday, September 05, 2008
I've had a good time working with The Burn Ward Theater Company as they've proven to be a talented, resourceful, creative, lovely group of young theater artists. I am happy to be getting to know them and their work.
I've also enjoyed my continued collaboration with director Andrew J. Merkel and thank actress Molly Casey for her brave work in the role of the suicidal, rollerskating, pizza-making, hula-hooping character, "Opal".
I always welcome a new process, as each time I work on my plays I discover something new about them and find ways to make them stronger and braver. This process has been no different, and I thank Andy, Molly, (production designer) Cherie A. Roberts, and The Burn Ward, for continuing to teach me about the play, for helping me find the play's guts, and for making clear where the stronger choices were inside of the work.
I look forward to the performances and hope to continue a friendship with everyone involved.
Details about the production below:
Mittens Descending and Other Tales
Friday, September 5th, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm
Saturday, September 6th, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm
Plays and Players Theater
1714 Delancey St
Mittens Descending by Eamon R. McIvor
A tale of bipolar rocker Lenny. Lenny has just been dumped by his goth chic girlfriend, Rebecca. He's hell-bent on getting her back, so he enlists the help of his childhood imaginary friend, a militaristic cat named Mittens. It's "Harvey" meets "Hot Topic" in this demented tale about the redeeming power of creepy love.
Big Red Button by Eamon R. McIvor
A short play about what really happens if you press the infamous big red button.
Valentine’s Day by Greg Romero
Opal decides every Valentine's Day if she's going to kill herself. This year, she makes lists, she makes pizzas, she rollerskates, and she's afraid of hula-hoops.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I'm one of only three faculty members (the others are an Associate Professor and a Technical Director) on the Theater Arts department, and look forward to helping this program grow into an even more active, more rigorous place of learning.
I am also happy that my teaching opportunities continue to grow, and that they continue to provide me with my own opportunities for learning and growth.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I am grateful to be re-hired, and look forward to meeting this year's class and to keeping in touch with last year's group. I also look forward to continuing to learn how to grow as a teacher, how best to engage with my students, and how all of these things can continue to feed my art and my life.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
They notified me of upcoming publication in December (2007) and the process of publication is now complete.
Two Bubbles is anthologized with nine other plays in Great Short Comedies: Volume 3.
You can see all the details (as well as buy copies and license the play for production!) here:
Huge thank yous to all the awesome people who helped make this thing. As with all works, it took a village to create and stage this play.
From the Acknowledgements (pg 115):
Thank you Audacity Productions and Rover Dramawerks for making me stay up all night to write this play.
Thank you to Brendan Ahearn who directed the original production of this play on very little sleep. And to the six actors who first brought Mark and Sheila to life: Brad McEntire, Laurie Farris, Jeff Hernandez, Shannon Marie, Brendan Ahearn, and Tiffany Feng.
In addition to the published acknowledgements-- thank you Andrew H. Beal, Ishaq Clayton, Erin Delperdang, Matthew Dell'Olio, Jonathan Kim, Felicia Leicht, Adrienne Mackey, Kate May, Andrew J. Merkel, Sara Pauley, Cherie A. Roberts, Sarah P. Robinson, Tommy Schoffler, Jeff Swearingen, Nicole Whiteside, Olivia Whitmer, Cliff Diver Productions, rm 120 theatre, and City Theatre Company for your work on this play.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
The piece is a solo-performance (12 - 15 minutes) that explores script and Butoh-inspired movement. We performed a work-in-progress version of it in June and have further developed it for production during the upcoming Philly Fringe Festival.
The work is very dark and dreamy and kind of its own form. I am thrilled to see how things continue to develop and, as always, am enjoying the collaboration with Andy and Cherie as we tackle another project that exposes all of us and has no real easy answers.
SHOVEL will be part of "4 x 4" at Plays and Players Theater-- specific production details to be announced soon.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
It's been a pretty good year.
I've worked on a number of my plays in production, written some new pieces, landed a number of additional production opportunities, began several challenging teaching gigs, traveled around the country, made a lot of wonderful new friends, and learned A LOT about myself.
If I can create another similarly productive year (and accrue less debt doing it), I will be a happy human.
As a highlight reel:
Moved to Philadelphia, driving cross country (beginning in Austin, stopping in Baton Rouge, Nashville, Louisville, Ann Arbor, and Pittsburgh)
City Attic Theatre toured the off-off Broadway production of my play, The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard, to Philadelphia for a one-night only performance (July 14th), hosted by The Cardboard Box Collaborative at Plays and Players Theater.
Began teaching at The University of the Arts, my first University teaching job.
Opened production of The Milky Way Cabaret, originally commissioned and produced by the Cardboard Box Collaborative, as part of the Philly Fringe Festival. The production runs for eight performances (Sep 6 - 15) at Plays and Players Theater.
Traveled to Louisville for tech rehearsals and the opening of the second production of The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard, produced by Specific Gravity Ensemble. The production runs for ten performances (Sep 21 - Oct 4) at 21 c Museum/Hotel. This production becomes the first time a full-length play of mine gets a second run, and the first time I've opened two full-length plays in the same month.
My ten-minute play, Sharpen My Dick, is produced as part of "The Sex Plays" staged by City Theatre Company in Wilmington, Delaware. This is the play's second production (originally produced off-off Broadway by Working Man's Clothes in the spring of 2007).
My one-act play, Three Card Weasel, is presented as a staged reading by Philadelphia Dramatists Center as part of "4 x 4", a forum which stages new plays in a 4 foot by 4 foot space. One of the actors walked at the 11th hour, forcing me to perform for the first time in a couple of years. I was rewarded with donuts and cupcakes slammed and smeared into my face and beard (as per the script).
Notified by Playscripts, Inc. that my ten-minute play, Two Bubbles, will be published as part of an anthology of the year's best short plays.
Completed first draft of first act of Radio Ghosts, a collaboration between myself, electronic music composer Mike Vernusky, and director Andrew Merkel.
Began my second semester teaching at The University of the Arts.
My play, Under My Coat is the Truth, opens as part of "Elevator Plays", a site-specific project produced by Specific Gravity Ensemble and performed in the elevators of the Starks Building in downtown Louisville. The production runs for 16 performances from January 25 - February 10.
My collaborative project, Radio Ghosts, is presented as a works-in-progress production at the Community Education Center in West Philadelphia on January 31st.
Radio Ghosts is performed at The Dramatists Guild of America in New York City (on Broadway!) as part of "Friday Night Footlights" on February 1. Standing room (and sitting on laps room) only.
My site-specific project, Marco Polo, is performed in the bathrooms of the Actor's Theatre of Louisville during The Humana Festival of New Plays as part of "The Late Seating".
Completed first draft of full-length play, Belize's Place, co-written by Jason Tremblay.
Completed one-act play, LARPing, co-written by Brian Grace-Duff.
Began teaching "Playwriting Fundamentals" at The Wilma Theater, a ten-week course as part of the Wilma Studio.
Audacity Theatre Lab announces "3P/3Y" a unique commitment to produce three of my plays over the next three years.
The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard opens in Dallas, Texas. Produced by Audacity Theatre Lab, the show runs for ten performances from May 7 - 17, marking the play's third full production (another first for one of my plays).
Present ten-minute piece, Shovel, as part of Philadelphia Dramatists' Center on-going project, "4 x 4" on June 3rd.
I turn 32 years old (June 12).
Complete new ten-minute play, Ice Holes, (written in serial with two plays by Melissa Gawlowski) which is presented as a staged reading as part of City Attic Theatre's CAT Tales in New York City on June 14th.
Begin as the Playwriting Faculty for the National Theater Institute's "TheaterMakers" program at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center-- an incredible experience.
Begin teaching a ten-week Playwriting course with Philadelphia Dramatists Center.
Not bad a year of work. And, as much as I love Austin, this year's body of work confirms that Philadelphia is a better place for me to be at this time in my life.
With the first year of work and learning under my belt, I look forward to my second year in Philadelphia. There is still an incredible amount of learning to do about this city, its people, and the art that is being done here. I look forward to the work ahead and to continuing to be part of the city's creative heart-beat.
Monday, July 14, 2008
After a wonderful weekend "retreat", in which the playwrights, dramaturgs, directors, and interns of the PlayPenn New Play Development Conference got to know each other, each other's work, and learn each other's drinking habits, we began rehearsals today (July 14th), officially launching the two-week new play development process for six new works.
This is a really strong group of artists, and wonderful people to boot. I continue to feel very fortunate about the opportunities I have been given and will continue to do my best to enjoy them as much as possible.
Specifically, I am the dramaturg assigned to Jennifer Haley's play, Breadcrumbs, which is a beautiful new play about a writer struggling with Alzheimer's, the young woman who tries to care for her, the fluidity of memory and our journey, as humans, to find our purpose in a very confusing and strange world. Plus, these stories are told through a fractured framework of fairy tales and gingerbread houses.
I like our creative team very much (Jennifer Haley, playwright; Katie Pearl, director) and am beyond impressed with the collection of talent gathered at this conference. I am encouraged by the continued impact that the PlayPenn Conference will have in the city of Philadelphia and on the theater community at-large.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Beginning Monday, June 15, for two weeks I will be teaching Playwriting at The O'Neill TheaterMakers Summer Program. For two weeks I will be working with three bright college students within a collaborative, project-based process. And we will be working in the same soil through which some of the greatest American playwrights came to blossom.
I don't know how I got so lucky, but I plan to make the most of it.
I look forward to meeting my students, my fellow teachers (Michael Cadman, Acting; and Yuriy Kordonskiy, Directing), and the rest of the good people at The O'Neill. It will be an education as well for me, and the assignment will require my best listening skills, my sharpest collaborative acumen, and the tippy-top of my imagination.
In creating as challenging, dynamic, and as fun as process as possible for my students, I look forward to sharing my generosity with the rest of the talented, creative folks in Waterford, and will do my best to stay humble, thankful, and gracious for one of the most exciting opportunities in my life.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Melissa sent me a wonderfully fun play, full of world explorers, an Inuit, and the North Pole. My response was to write a follow-up piece (largely about Erik the Red, game show contestants, and an Inuit who continually fishes into the ice) Ice Holes, which will then be followed by another Melissa Gawlowski play to end the serial.
It should be great fun!
The three short plays will be performed during the festival (one play each night), and followed by a staged reading of the finalists' plays for this year's festival.
City Attic Theatre are the lovely folks who first produced The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard off-off Broadway (May - June 2007) and they are lovely, talented, highly outstanding people.
All of the fun details below:
On the momentous weekend of Fathers Day, Flag Day, and Friday the 13th, City Attic Theatre presents…
our second biennial Playwriting Festival!
From over 200 entries, three scripts were selected for our reading series. In addition, the Festival will open with a reading of company member Jeff Scot Carey’s new play Paint.
In a new twist to this year's Festival, CAT Tales 2006 Winner Greg Romero and CAT resident playwright Melissa Gawlowski have collaborated to create a series of three short pieces, which will be performed as staged readings at the beginning of each evening.
Friday, June 13th at 7 p.m.: Paint by Jeff Scot Carey
Can you forgive and love the brother that you'll never understand? How much can you learn and change while still staying true to yourself? And how much can you give without giving up?
Saturday, June 14th at 3 p.m.: Touch by Drew Larimore
A young man living in the forest and dwelling on a painful secret befriends a park ranger and her eccentric aunt, who are fighting to save their home in the woods from an encroaching coal company. Over time, the three learn to make peace with their pasts and forge a new beginning.
Saturday, June 14th at 7 p.m.: Parens. by Alexander Danner
For years, Eloquence and Bill have been ferrying recorded messages between their grammar-obsessed parents, who never speak face-to-face. But after a decade of silent cohabitation the family is at a breaking point, and the parents must face their misguided rituals of communication or divide their family forever.
Sunday, June 15th at 7 p.m.: Lost Nation by Tira Palmquist
Evan Drake returns from Iraq as his rural hometown wrangles with the construction of a new "big box" store, which promises new jobs at the expense of farmland in which their history is literally buried. As Evan comes to grips with what haunts him from the war, he finds himself pulled into the battle for this town, for its people, for the land itself.
CAT Tales will be held at the Stella Adler Studios, located at 31 West 27th Street (between 6th Ave. and Broadway), 2nd Floor.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Valentine's Day is about a woman, Opal, who decides every Valentine's Day if she's going to kill herself. This year, she makes lists, she makes pizzas, she rollerskates, and she's afraid of hula-hoops.
The Burn Ward is a theatrical group/outgrowth from a handful of talented, enthusiastic students/alums/dragons from Drexel University. I look forward to working with and getting to know these folks.
In addition to Valentine's Day, we will be producing two works from local Philly writer Eamon R. McIvor-- Mittens Descending, and Big Red Button.
The good times will be in view of the public on September 5th and 6th at 7pm and 10pm each night-- more production details forthcoming.
In the meantime, I look forward to getting back to work on a short piece I have alot of affection for and to continuing to get to know and work with more Philly artists.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Kudos again to all.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
The work I'm developing, Shovel, is a 10-15 minute solo performance-piece about a woman who tries to dig up pieces of her memories in between moments of blacking-out. Her story is told through script and Butoh-based movement, all confined to 16 square feet.
The rehearsals have been fruitful and challenging, and director Andrew Merkel and performer Cherie A. Roberts are really doing brave work. After Saturday night's rehearsal, I am very eager to see how this project lands on an audience.
The work will be presented at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, June 3rd, in the Meeting House Theater at the Community Education Center (CEC) in West Philadelphia (3500 Lancaster Ave).
You can find more information about the event at PDC.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
On Saturday May 17th, 2008, the curtain came down on another production of The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Heard. It's third production, I thank the good folks of Audacity Theatre Lab for continuing the life of a play I love very much and hope to continue sharing with the world.
Thank you Brad, Ruth, Jeff, Paula, Tyson, Jeff Hernandez, Cassidy, and the rest of the awesome people that made this show happen.
For additional information about the show, visit Audacity Theatre Lab.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Director Brad McEntire and performers Jeff Swearingen, Paula Wood, and Tyson Rinehart have done good work, finding the clarity of this play, staying truthful to the script, and delivering a very strong show.
Big thank yous to all of them for their hard work and dedication.
I attended the opening weekend's productions and was moved, particularly by Friday night's show. The production made me re-enthusiastic about this play and hopeful for its continued life through continued brave productions.
The Dallas production runs through May 17th, nightly at 8:15 pm and an additional performance on Saturday at 5:15.
It is my hope that more people go out and see the good work these guys are doing:
The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard
by Greg Romero
Produced by Audacity Theatre Lab
Directed by Brad McEntire
Performed by Jeff Swearingen, Paula Wood, and Tyson Rinehart
at Risk Theatre Initiative
3605 Ross Ave
Tickets $ 10 - 15
Friday, April 25, 2008
First of all-- THANK YOU!
When I recently asked your help for my project Radio Ghosts, your response was HUGE. My collaborators and I received enough gifts to cover almost all of our costs-- a serious accomplishment considering the project ended up needing $ 2,000 to complete.
With your help we were able to pay for travel expenses, acquire necessary materials, rent rehearsal and performance venues in Philadelphia AND New York City and present a highly successful presentation in TWO cities!
Additionally, it was really nice to re-connect with many of you and re-establish a correspondance (how are you doing?). Plus, all of the wonderful notes and cards and messages were outstanding. I still have all of them and plan to do something highly creative with them.
In short-- You Rule.
So....I come for your help again, this time for a journey that will last the next THREE years.
The press release below explains in more detail, but the short version is that Dallas-based company, Audacity Theatre Lab, has agreed to produce THREE of my plays over the next THREE years.
You heard that right.
Three plays. Three years.
We're calling this project 3P/3Y and it launches in May 2008 with a production of The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard.
This is a HUGE undertaking and we need your help to make it happen.
So how can you help, you might ask?
Audacity Theatre Lab has flown me in once to help with the production process for Lullaby. To help out, I have volunteered to raise enough money to fly me back to Dallas for opening weekend (May 7-10!).
Thus, my immediate goal is to raise $ 300.
However-- because I am feeling ambitious, Audacity Theatre Lab and I have agreed that any additional funds raised during this ask will go directly to additional 3P/3Y needs.
With that in mind, I am setting the goal to raise $ 2,000.
And because I'm asking something from you, I want to EARN your gifts.
So, to symbolize the incredible journey ahead (and because I love road trips), here's what I want to do.....
Philadelphia and Dallas are roughly 1,500 miles apart. I need you to donate enough miles to get me from Philadelphia to Dallas.
Using the immediate goal of $ 300, you can donate miles for 20 cents a piece! For a dollar, you will send me five miles! For a hundred dollars, you will send me 500 miles!
And here's the fun part:
I will map your donated miles, beginning from my house in Philadelphia towards my destination in Dallas. And whichever city I land in (whichever city you send me to!), I will write you a play inspired by that city and send it to you in the mail.
How about that?!
I will write a play for YOU and mail it to you.
How long of a play? (you might ask).
It depends on how many states you send me through. I will write you a page for every state that your gift makes me pass through.
When you donate 50 dollars-- at 20 cents a mile-- you've just sent me 250 miles! Which means...you've sent me to Mount Jackson, Virginia!
Imagine a play written just for you about Mount Jackson! This would be a 4-page epic being that your gift sends me through Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.
And if that's not good enough, for just over 100 bucks, I will write you a 5-page play about Blountville, Tennessee!
Or-- if you prefer, you can pick your own destination. Say-- you want me to write you a play about Washington DC. DC is 150 miles away! For $ 30, I would write you an awesome play about Washington DC! And the play would be 3 pages because I'd have to pass through Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland!
How fun is that?!
And all the while (let us not forget), you will be contributing to the production of THREE PLAYS over the next THREE YEARS!!
Everyone Wins!! Could there be anything better?!!
So what do I do to hop aboard this train? (you might ask)
Here's how we make it happen:
1. Send donations (and fun notes) directly to me (by May 1st):
214 Beck St
Philadelphia PA 19147
2. When I receive your gift, I will email you, confirm receipt, and let you know which city I'll write your play about (and how long the play will be).
3. I will mail you your completed play by the end of June, 2008.
It's that simple!
A play just for you! And THREE PLAYS over the next THREE YEARS for me!
Thank you in advance for making this happen!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Below is a recent press release sent out by Audacity Theatre Lab in Dallas, Texas. It is CLEARLY really good news.
Life is good.
DALLAS – Audacity Theatre Lab is proud to announce a special commitment to Philadelphia-based playwright Greg Romero. Called 3P/3Y, Audacity has pledged to develop and produce three of Mr. Romero’s plays over the next three years.
3P/3Y kicks off this May with ATL’s production of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LULLABY YOU’VE EVER HEARD. First produced off-off Broadway by City Attic Theatre in May 2007, the play received a second production with Specific Gravity Ensemble in Louisville, Kentucky, in September. This will be the play’s Regional Premiere in Dallas. A semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award, LULLABY is a non-linear exploration of a young couple’s relationship as they journey through their broken pasts, broken futures, broken skin, and across worlds to find the beautiful place together inside of the knives.
"LULLABY comes to Audacity Theatre Lab at a perfect time in the play’s life. Having been through two productions with it, it’s time now to discover how well the play stands up on its own without too much of my parenting. I feel fortunate to be able to hand the play off to the folks of Audacity Theatre Lab, who I completely trust to carry the play through this particular rite of passage with a daring and brave production," comments Romero.
In 2009, Mr. Romero and ATL will develop and produce his play THE MILKY WAY CABARET, a work originally commissioned and produced by The Cardboard Box Collaborative in Philadelphia, of which Mr. Romero is currently a Resident Artist. THE MILKY WAY CABARET is a wonderfully careening piece with assassin clowns, an alcoholic magician, an ex-hula hooping homecoming queen, a dildo-wielding club owner and a daughter who travels back in time, through black holes, to try to save her father’s life.
Romero says," I highly anticipate the work ahead on MILKY WAY. ATL’s production of this play will be MILKY WAY’s second time before an audience and, through collaboration with ATL, I look forward to using what I learned from the play’s original production to create an improved draft of the play. Brad and I have already begun talking about ideas for further development of the script, how to build workshop time into the production process, and for the best ways to tackle the play’s second journey. A larger, more sprawling play than LULLABY, MILKY WAY will be an opportunity to work with more of an ensemble and to involve myself more within the collaboration. THE MILKY WAY CABARET is the ideal play for a second production with Audacity Theatre Lab.
The third installment in the three-year plan is an as-yet-unnamed project commissioned especially for and in collaboration with Audacity Theatre Lab.
"Of the three plays with Audacity, I might be most excited about the third one. This third production will be an opportunity to create something from scratch, inspired by the artists I am currently working with. It will be an opportunity to write something for the specific strengths (and fears) of the company, an opportunity for a deeper collaboration with the talented artists of Audacity, and a way for me to continue to stretch myself by writing a little bit inside of the performer’s voice," says Romero.
ATL Artistic Director Brad McEntire says, "I believe important, dynamic art often grows out of fruitful, mutually beneficial artistic relationships. That’s what we want with Greg."
"I am highly excited about 3P/3Y." says Romero. " As a working playwright for the past eight years, I have learned the importance of creating artistic friendships that are built on trust, truth, and continued inspiration. Brad and I (and actor Jeff Swearingen) share a similar commitment to our work, our work ethic, and our vision for the theater. We are embarking on a brave commitment to continue an intense artistic conversation together over the course of three years and through the production of three plays. It is my hope and expectation that this engagement will stretch and challenge all of us in ways that will help us all become braver, sharper artists."
"It is admittedly a bold step for a new company, but we believe in Greg. He has a wonderfully unique and very theatrical way of writing and isn’t afraid to tackle big themes. That’s the kind of theatre we want to explore here at Audacity. It’s a good fit," adds McEntire.
"I wish this kind of agreement between playwrights and producers was more commonplace and not that out-of-the-ordinary. Then again, we don’t mind being trail-blazers…," McEntire slyly winks. Romero adds, "It is also my hope that our commitment to 3P/3Y will serve as a successful and dynamic model for other companies and playwrights to engage with each other in the development and production of new work."
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LULLABY YOU’VE EVER HEARD plays Wednesdays thru Saturdays, May 7th to 17th at the Risk Theatre Initiative Space , 3605 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204. Tickets are $10 - $15. Student and Senior discounts available. Call (214) 621-9683 for more information or to make ticket reservations. Additional information about ATL can be found at www.myspace.com/audacitytheatrelab.
Audacity Theatre Lab is dedicated to the development and production of dynamic new works for the stage. Whether bold new interpretations of existing works or the incubation and exploration of original works by emerging playwrights, Audacity seeks to present relevant, engaging stories that challenge and enrich our cultural community.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I am excited about the play entering its third production process and look forward to continuing to learn the play through the brave artists who take it on. Knowing some of the Audacity artists already, I expect they will be rigorous and creative, will ask good questions, and will have a sense of humor and fun with the work. I regret being too far away to join them (because it would be fun), but the distance comes at a good time as I continue my own process of letting this play live on its own without me.
As the journey continues, these are the good folks who will set sail together:
The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard
by Greg Romero
Directed by Brad McEntire
Co-produced by Ruth Engel
The Narrator................Tyson Rinehart
The Man.....................Jeff Swearingen
The Woman.................Paula Wood
Thank you to Brad, Ruth, Tyson, Jeff, and Paula for breathing life into the play once more, and bon voyage!!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I am very excited about continuing to share this play with the world, and am happy to bring it back to Dallas where it was previously workshopped as part of Kitchen Dog Theater's 2006 New Works Festival.
I am thrilled to be working with ATL's artistic director, Brad McEntire, and jazzed that close friend (and wonderful actor) Jeff Swearingen gets a crack at the role of "The Man".
More details will follow soon (including information about how this project is part of a larger commitment between myself and Audacity Theatre Lab). For now, here are the dates and place for the 2-week, 10-performance run-- if you are in the area, start making plans now! (I will be at opening weekend).
Audacity Theatre Lab presents:
The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard
by Greg Romero
Directed by Brad McEntire
May 7-10, 14-17
At Risk Theatre Initiative
3605 Ross Ave
Dallas TX 75204
Tickets $ 10 - 15
Call 214-621-9683 for info/reservations
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Actor's Theatre of Louisville dubs their on-going series, "The Late Seating", as an electric mixture of new work by local artists in performance, music, art, and video. This particular Late Seating is additionally electric as it is part of the 32nd annual Humana Festival of New American Plays and is, in fact, billed as "Louisville's Humana Festival Party".
It is my hope that there are always parties attached to my work.
In addition to my play there will be a live DJ, videos, and complimentary appetizers and drinks. Awesome.
In order to catch the performance of Marco Polo...well, we can only ask you show up at the party and do your best to be alert.
True to Specific Gravity's mission, Marco Polo will be performed in an environmental space SOMEWHERE in the building. But we are not revealing where. You will either happen upon it, or you won't. We hope that you will. But you might not.
What we can reveal is that the good times happen on March 1st, 2008, beginning around 10:30 pm. And that it will be totally fun, no matter what.
My accomplices in this mission are director Rand Harmon and performers Lucas W. Adams, Sarah Feldman, Julia Leist, Corey Long, Randy D. Pease, and Jennifer Poliskie.
We hope you join us.
You can get all of the rockin' specifics at The Late Seating.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
We will be showing this work-in-progress on:
Thursday, January 31st at the Community Education Center in Philadelphia
Friday, February 1st at The Dramatists Guild of America in New York City
THANK YOU to everyone who has sent their support and encouragement and expressed their interest in the work we are doing. We remain excited about our project, and grow more so each day. There are some really wonderfully talented people working on this piece and it’s been an incredible process.
We’ve all learned a lot, are taking some good risks, and are very much looking forward to sharing our work with the public. It is my hope that you will attend.
As a reminder, this is what we’re taking on:
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. 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 wedding band, crosses through dimensions to save a child’s life, shattering the world of the physical scientist who witnesses her. The scientist tries to re-organize the universe as more ghosts serve him coffee in an abandoned greasy-spoon diner.
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 happens in the future.
Using Electronic Voice Phenomenon and The Holographic Universe as inspiration, Radio Ghosts is a multi-layered 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.
Admission is Pay-What-You-Can, with proceeds going towards our showing at The Dramatists Guild of America (NYC) on February 1st.
In NEW YORK CITY:
1501 Broadway, 7th Floor
(b/w 43rd and 44th-- in Times Square)
New York NY
This presentation is FREE!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
To learn more about the course, the instructor, and the Wilma Studio:
Join us at the WILMA Studio School's Winter OPEN HOUSE.
WHEN: Monday, January 21 from 5:30 - 7:00 pm
WHERE: The Wilma Theater Studio
WHY: You might not meet the new Mayor of and we aren't promising Tastykakes...
Here's what we can promise though:
- an opportunity to meet the studio school faculty and learn about their classes
- a chance to win a FREE CLASS in the raffle
- maybe even a much coveted free mini-session with Alexander Technique
Guru, Mary McCann.
For a full schedule of spring classes at the Wilma visit: www.wilmatheater.org
TO REGISTER call
Anne K. Holmes, Education Director
The Wilma Theater
Phone:  893-9456 ext.101
Fax:  893-0895
Monday, January 07, 2008
Originally written overnight (from midnight until 6 am) as part of Audacity Productions and Rover Dramawerks 24-Hour play project, One (More) Day Only, I am thrilled that this play is headed for publication.
The good people of Playscripts tell me it will likely be published in an anthology of "outstanding short plays"-- something kind of like this.
Big thank yous to Audacity Productions and Rover Dramawerks for giving me a reason to write this play, to Jenae Yerger for giving me a place to sleep when I was done writing, and to all of the folks who made that first production happen in a really fun way. Additional thanks to rm 120 theatre, Cliff Diver Productions, and the awesome people who worked on the FronteraFest production of this play, City Theater Company (Wilmington DE) for producing the play a year later, and to Actor's Theatre of Louisville for selecting the play as a finalist for the 2003 Heideman Award.
And lastly, thanks to the wonderful people (Andrew H. Beal, Matt Dell'Olio, Felicia Leicht, Adrienne Mackey, Andrew Merkel, Sara Pauley, Cherie A. Roberts, Sarah P. Robinson, and Jeff Swearingen) in Philadelphia who came over to my publication party, helping me put the last touches on the final version of the script.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
For four weeks in January and February, this production takes over the historic Starks Building in downtown Louisville, staging 24 plays inside of the building's elevators.
Having worked on the original Elevator Plays: Ascent-Descent/Assent-Dissent project last year (they did a wonderful job with my piece, New Orleans: December 26, 2005) and in the fall on a truly moving production of The Most Beautiful Lullaby You've Ever Heard, I'm thrilled to be working again with Specific Gravity Ensemble on such a fun and innovative project.