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Showing posts with label Share Your Theater Story 2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Share Your Theater Story 2019. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Share Your Theater Story - Matthew Weaver

 Haley Forrester

Thanks to Matthew Weaver for sharing his theater story.

One 2019 opportunity that will stand out for me was getting the chance to see my one-act play THE GREAT FISH AND JONAH produced as part of the Spokane Civic Theatre's Playwrights Forum Festival. 
The play is a humorous retelling of the story of Jonah and the whale, ahem, great fish, from the Bible. 
I was on the way to hang out with my brother, driving along Hawthorne Road in north Spokane (I don't know why this detail, the road I was driving upon, seems pertinent, but it does, so that's why I include it) when the idea popped into my head: Jonah and the whale are best friends. 
It was too adorable to pass up. The opening lines of the play came almost immediately, fully formed.  
As I wrote it, I definitely was considering submitting it to the festival. And as I wrote it, I began to hear the voices of two performers I'd seen and come to admire in other plays in previous festivals, Tristen Canfield, herself an excellent playwright (drop everything and read her THE WINDOW) for Jonah ("Yeah. I know how their minds work. Watch ‘em turn me into a guy and stick me in the Old Testament.") and Dave Rideout - also an excellent playwright and now an NYC actor! - for the whale, ahem, great fish, Herman. (Because OF COURSE he's named Herman!) ("And along comes a hero ...") 
I was delighted, of course, when the play was selected for the festival. And also delighted when it received a parallel production in Burien, WA, during the Burien Actors Theatre's Playwrights festival, directed by Rachel Rene and starring Haley Forrester as Jonah and Rex Waters as Herman. 
The first evening of auditions went very well. The second evening, I took my director, Matthew Harget aside, and said we'd get wonderful actors no matter who was cast. But just for his information, when I wrote the play, I'd heard Tristen and Dave's voices in my head. 
In what seemed like the very next moment, both Tristen and Dave walked through the door to try out. 
Everyone did a fantastic job, but it worked out that Tristen and Dave were available and willing to bring life to the parts. 
The festival emphasizes the importance of giving playwrights the opportunity to fully experience the collaborative process, so I got to watch first hand as Matthew, Tristen and Dave gave their all to bringing my words to life. As I told a friend, sometimes it was very hard to remain calm during rehearsals, and not just sit there, gazing adoringly as two very good actors and a very good director treated something "little old me" wrote, like it was a real play or something. They'd deliver a line one way, and it would be 
WONDERFUL, and then Matt would make a suggestion and they'd make a change, and it would be just as WONDERFUL, in a completely different way. Writing can be such a solitary activity; it was fun just to be in the room! 
This was one of the first times for me, as a writer, to have actors actually take on the roles I'd written for them. I could get used to it ... It was just as much fun to attend the Burien show, after watching rehearsals, and to get to see it fully-staged, and to see the similarities and differences, where I'd been pretty hands-on, to available over e-mail but mostly hands-off. I was over-the-moon pleased by both productions. 
It was especially meaningful, gratifying and humbling for me when the play received the Spokane festival's Adjudicator's Choice Award. And to get to reveal to both Tristen and Dave during audience talkbacks that the parts had been written with them in mind.
The entire thing was a gift, from beginning to end. Nineteen is my lucky number, and this was a year when I was 38 (19+19) in 2019, and the whole entire GREAT FISH AND JONAH experience is one that stands out in a particularly meaningful year.
Pictures are of Dave, Tristen, me and Matthew Harget from Spokane, and Haley Forrester from the Burien production. (Please credit Burien Actors Theatre for this photo.) 
GREAT FISH & JONAH is on New Play Exchange, as is Tristen's THE WINDOW
The Spokane show is also available on YouTube (at about 1 hour 13 minutes in):

Share Your Theater Story 2019: Tom Misuraca

Author Tom Misuraca, Composer Ruth Judkowitz, director and choreographer Katie Hutch,
Musical Director Kent Jeong-Eun Kim, Josh Bartosch, Allen Berryman, Michael Cummings, 

David Scott Curtis Dan Kadish, Rina Maejima, Frankie Gallucci, Mikey Miller, 
Michaela Moore, Sarah Musicant and Kevin Rogers

Thanks to Tom Misuraca for sharing his theater story.

2019 was an amazing year. I had four full-length plays produced in three major cities. I won the Las Vegas Little Theatre New Works Award for the second time with my play, FIGMENTS. It was produced there in April. GEEKS! THE MUSICAL was produced Off-Broadway in May. MASTERS OF THE DARK REALM was produced by Force of Nature Productions in North Hollywood in June. And SUICIDAL BLONDE (starring Kimmy Robertson of TWIN PEAKS and Pam Trotter of DREAM GIRLS) was produced in Los Angeles in September. 
Besides that, I had 19 short plays produced, stage read or broadcast around the country: Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Boston and more. Even a few in London! As always, I doubt I'd have half of these productions if it weren't for NYCPlaywrights!  
Can't wait to see what 2020 brings! Here's wishing it's filled with good surprises for all of us! 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Share Your Theater Story 2019 - Benjamin Peel

 Leigh Anne West and Patrick Shane

Thanks to Benjamin Peel for sharing his theater story.
I am a UK playwright and in March 2019 my play The Interrogator was performed as part of The New Short Play Festival at the American Theatre of Actors, New York. It was subsequently recorded and broadcast on a UK community radio station later in the year. In December I was informed that a full length play of mine had reached the semifinal round in the Thomas Wolfe International Playwriting Competition organised by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which I came across on the NYC Playwrights Blog. In January my short play The Long Player is being recorded by Ragged Foils for their second podcast season. Thank you for the hard work you do in promoting all these wonderful opportunities and I look forward to entering as many as possible in 2020.

Share Your Theater Story 2019: Deb Victoroff

Matt Biagini and Laura King-Otazo directed by Emily Synder

Thanks to Deb Victoroff for sending her theater story.
I'm responding to your wonderful invitation to send you pix and info about past productions/accomplishments for the year! 
I am attaching 3 visuals from the production of my play "The Tragedy of the Election of the Citrus King" which appeared in the New York Winterfest of New Plays this March 2019.  
The visuals are the program poster and two shots from the production which starred Matt Biagini and Laura King-Otazo (directed by Emily Snyder).

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Share Your Theater Story: Elise Marenson

Colleen O'Connell, Dave Powers
Thanks to Elise Marenson for sharing her theater story.

In 2019, I had one-acts in two NYC festivals. Both were opportunities I found through NYC Playwrights. During the summer, my drama Critical Affairs was in the LIC One-Act Play Festival at the wonderful Secret Theatre in Long Island City. In October, my dark comedy Head Trauma was in the Boo! Festival at the Players Theater on Macdougal Street. Both plays were so well received that I hope to do them again in other venues. 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Share Your Theater Story 2019: Karen Cecilia

IVY WALLS with Johana Davila and Tahlia Chinault

Thanks to Karen Cecilia for sharing her theater story.

Karen Cecilia

My one act play Ivy Walls was a finalist in the Theatre Odyssey One Act Play fest, Sarasota FL and produced there. 
I found the listing for submission on NYC Playwrights. 
Here's press about it.

Thank you for sharing my success story

Friday, December 27, 2019

Share Your Theater Story: Sharon Baker

LOVE AND DEATH IN. EDEN AUSTRALIA  presented at South Florida’s Under the Sun Festival
Sharon Baker toasts her theatrical team in Aventura Florida

Thanks to Sharon Baker for sharing her theater story.

Sharon Baker is a new Associate member of The Dramatist’s Guild of America
And The Playwright’s Center, Minneapolis.
Google her travel essays, under Sharon Spence Lieb.
Contact: sharonspencelieb@gmail.com
I wrote a ten-minute play, “Love and Death in Eden, Australia.” A strange tale from a visit to Eden, Australia: about orca killer whales rounding up humpback whales, and delivering them to humans who harpoon them to death. The play is about murder, passion, and a woman’s discovery of her bizarre identity. 
On Monday July 28, my dream of becoming a first time Playwright came true. Sitting in the audience at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center in Aventura Florida, I was thrilled and terrified. My ten minute play was about to go from page to stage as part of “Stages of the Sun,” an evening of 8 new innovative short plays, presented by The South Florida Theatre League.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Share Your Theater Story 2019: Lorna Brown

Back row from left: Bethany Brown, Lorna Brown, Jazmine Cornielle, Yvette Willit 
Front row from left: Senela Lukovic, Brittany Brown

Thanks to Lorna Brown for sharing her theater story.

This summer I participated in The Summerfest @The Hudson Guild Theater.
The name of my production was WHEN THE BOTTOM FALLS OUT.
The production was about a woman who became homeless after losing her children in a custody battle with her ex. This had the audience in suspense as they try to figure out why she was homeless and the whereabouts of her children. The end was a shocker and an eye-opener to the plight of the homeless.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Share Your Theater Story 2019: Judith Pratt

Thanks to Judith Pratt for sharing her theater story.


My play MAIZE was chosen as one of three plays to be part of the Lousiana State University Baton Rouge SciArts Festival. It was a wonderful experience.
We were paid, *and* we were flown to Baton Rouge and put up in very large and comfortable dormitory suites. We were shown around the city, and even invited to a Mardi Gras Krewe party!  Thanks, Vince LiCata! Vince is a plant geneticist and a playwright.
Each play got a rehearsed reading. My director, Rachel Aker, not only got a fine cast, which she directed well, but took two of us (all three playwrights were women!) to Sephora because we lacked essential makeup. 
The other playwrights were Jacqueline Bircher, "Another Revolution" and Kristin Idaszak, "The Surest Poison." Both are on the New Play Exchange. Check them out. (I'm there, too!) 
Maize is about real people: Barbara McClintock, a Nobel-winning maize geneticist, her friend Marcus Rhodes, and her protege, Nina Federoff, as well as James Watson of DNA-structure fame. It also includes a young version of Barbara. 
I was especially lucky to get Thomas Eldon Anderson and Cristine Mcmurdo-Wallis as Marcus and Barbara. Cristine has acted at Portland Stage, Seattle Rep, and the Mark Taper Forum, to name a few. Tom went to Ithaca College--in the town where I live--and we know a lot of the same people! Glenn Underwood played Jim, and Victoria Myssik played Young Barbara. 
Kaitlin Kerr played Nina. She did it very well. She did it especially well, because the real Nina Federoff was in the audience. I was terrified, but Dr. Federoff was both genial and fascinating. Vince, Rachel and I met her for coffee on the morning of the performance, and we talked about plant genetics. After the show, Dr. Federoff immediately talked with and congratulated the cast.  
In the talk-back, I learned that I made only one huge error in the script--now fixed!
Dr. F. is a is Senior Science Advisor regarding the use of modern molecular methods for improving agricultural plants, animals and microorganisms. She advised the federal government on these things, while maintaining her lab at Penn State University. If she has time, she will check some of the other science in MAIZE. 
Dr. Federoff gave a talk about GMO isssues. If you are opposed to anything GMO, consider this:  
Genetically Modified Banana in Uganda 13 - YouTube
Or consider mosquitoes bearing the Zika virus. Spray for them, killing bees and possibly hurting humans, or release GMO created sterile male mosquitoes and reduce the mosquito population by as much as 90%.
Rant over!  I am hoping that the Louisiana State Theatre Department continues. Theatre can do a lot to make science interesting and accessible. 
p.s. hmmm, maybe a play about GMO issues?

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Share Your Theater Story 2019: Crystal Rhodes

The Diary of Annie Mae Franklin performers (left to right) :  
Jemier Jenkins, Shelby Ronae, T.R. Butler, Fanni Green (Director), 
India Davison, Tah-Janay Hayes, and Francis Phimphivong

Thanks to Crystal Rhodes for sharing her theater story.

Crystal Rhodes
For me, NYCPlaywrights.org has been the most important resource I have found regarding festival submissions.  I discovered this site a little more than a year ago and since that time I have been fortunate to have won two play festivals for my latest works.   
My Two Act play, The Diary of Annie Mae Franklin, which tells the story of an African American family that hides a Japanese American escapee from a WWII internment camp, won the 2019 American Stage Theatre 21st Century New Voices Play Festival. The play enjoyed a successful stage reading in St. Petersburg, Florida in January 2019.
Recently, I was notified that my One Act play, 1200 Miles from Jerome, was selected as one of the winners of the Annual Women Playwrights Initiative for 2020, sponsored by the Ivoryton Playhouse.  1200 Miles from Jerome is the story of two very different black women who take a treacherous drive from the south to the north in the 1940s.  The play will receive a staged reading in Ivoryton, Connecticut in February 2020.  
I really appreciate this site for its support for playwrights.  I doubt if my work would have received the attention it has if not for NYCPlaywrights.org.  

Friday, December 20, 2019

Share Your Theater Story 2019: Bara Swain

Olivia Wadsworth and Patrick Spadaccino
directed by Sharon W. Houk

Thanks to Bara Swain for sharing her theater story.
I've been visiting NYCPLAYWRIGHTS for ... well, it seems like, forever.  It has a wealth of submission opportunities, and all of my productions/awards have been the result of submitting blindly (i.e. I don't have an agent).   
In 2019, I had 15 productions, 2 publications, 4 readings, 5 honors, 1 radio play and 3 webisodes as a result of submitting to these opportunities.  If you're not in the game, you can't play!  I can positively identify at least three productions that resulted from the NYCPlaywrights submission calls: The Wonder of You (Warner International Playwrights Festival); Pandemonium (Open Fist Theatre Company), and Planned Obsolescence (Gallery Players).

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Share Your Theater Story 2019: Allie Costa

LOW LIGHT by Allie Costa, directed by Rose Jangmi Cooper,
featuring Muthu Jayatissa and Lekeathon Wilson,
produced by Ixion Theatre Ensemble
at The Robin Theatre in Michigan
Thanks to Allie Costa for sharing her theater story with NYCPlaywrights!
In 2019, I had the honor of having many of my plays produced and read at establishments all over the world.
Two Girls had staged readings in New York, Texas, and New Jersey, a production in New Hampshire, and was taught in a class at West Chester University in Pennsylvania which culminated in a performance. It was also published in an anthology.
  • Low Light had its world premiere production in Michigan.
  • Mindstream had its world premiere production in Hollywood.
  • Heartsong had its world premiere production in Texas.
  • California Here We Come had its world premiere in New York.
  • Drop in the Ocean had its West Coast premiere in Hollywood.
  • Boxes Are Magic was produced in New York, Michigan, and Utah, where it was also part of a new streaming web series. It also had a reading in Hollywood.
  • Faking Glory was produced in Wisconsin and nominated for the Bartell Theatre Awards for Best Script and Best Director.
  • A Taste of the Future was performed in Chicago and London.
  • Do I Know You? was produced in Ontario, Canada.
  • With This Ring had its world premiere in New York, as did my short pieces Heatwave, Someone, Not Just Anyone, and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.
  • In the Heist and Failure to Communicate were both performed in New Jersey.
  • Who She Could Have Been was produced in Minnesota.
  • Did You Floss? had its debut in the UK.
  • Music of the Mind was produced in New York.
  • Can You Keep a Secret? was presented in San Diego.
  • Phantom Pains was seen in Spokane.
  • Little Swan, a Pas de Deux and A Moment of Silence both had readings in New Haven.
  • Safe Distance had staged readings in Denver and Los Angeles.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper and Wolves Change Rivers had staged readings in Hollywood.
  • Still She Lies Dormant had a reading in Hollywood.
  • Tofurkey Day was performed live on the radio.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Share Your Theater Story 2019

At the end of last year, NYCPlaywrights asked for those who had found opportunities through NYCPlaywrights to share their theater stories.

This year we are doing it again, except this time it doesn't matter how you found your opportunity - 

- this is a celebration of theater work by anybody who visits this NYCPlaywrights web site and/or members of the weekly mailing list.


We will be posting them the last week or two of December as a celebration of NYCPlaywrights & friends theater accomplishments.
  • Where was your production? 
  • Tell us about your play. 
  • Do you have any pix of the cast or the set?
Send your story to story@nycplaywrights.org and with your permission we will share it on this web site.


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