Thursday, July 26, 2012

Almost a Fantasy- More

My student Mike Aquirre's play, Almost a Fantasy, is in this summer's Fringe Festival.  They finally have the particulars. 

Performances are Tuesday, 8/14/12 @ 9:45pm; Thursday, 8/16/12 @ 3:00pm; Sunday, 8/19/12 @ 2:00pm; Tuesday, 8/21/12 @ 8:15pm; Wednesday, 8/22/12 @ 4:00pm; Thursday, 8/23/12 @ 3:00pm.  All performances are at the Robert Moss Theater at 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette Street, 3rd floor (pretty much across the street from the Public; the nearest cross street is Astor Place).   Go to for tickets.

The Sealed Letter

I have read about Emma Donoghue, and Room (which my friend Irene told me is the best novel she's read in years).  But this week, I read The Sealed Letter, an earlier novel about a famous 19th century divorce case in London.   It was fantastic.  She is so good about the dynamics of friendship, how far friends can push each other and impose on each other (or not), and why.  I assume that the fact that she's a playwright keeps the forward motion of the story going, and tells us exactly as much as we need to know about the characters.

A Visit from the Goon Squad

I have been a fan of Jennifer Egan's fiction since The Electric Circus, which I think is one of the best novels ever written about the 1960s, set here and in Germany.  There was a producer trying to cut a deal with her to let me adapt the San Francisco section of the book.  Never happened, unfortunately.

My brother reminded me a few weeks ago that it is summer, and I should take advantage of that fact (if I fail to, I get very cranky by Labor Day).  So I've been on quite a novel-reading binge.  I'm also about to go into rehearsal, which means my brain is going to shift into rewrite overload, whether I actually rewrite that much or not.

So I finally got around to reading A Visit from the Goon Squad last week, and was pretty disappointed.  I'd read the excerpts in the New Yorker, I'd read interviews with Egan about how the novel was nonlinear (doesn't bother me) and had a chunk written in Powerpoint (which I'm still convinced is a gimmick).  I would say wait for her next novel.  

Paula's Visitor

My Chelsea Rep Lab student Keith Filangieri has a play in this summer's Strawberry One-Act Festival.  Some years ago I too had a one-act (Strike Two) in the Festival, in the old space, before it burned down.

Paula's Visitor came out of my Beginning Playwriting class last fall.  Keith claims that in his teenage years, he "wanted to be Stephen King."  There's certainly an eerie quality to the play.  Two married couples are on safari in South Africa, but things do not turn out quite the way any of them had expected.  The play will be performed at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th Street in Manhattan, on August 3rd at 8PM.  For $22 tickets,  At the box office, tickets are $25.

More Info on "Jeanine"

Jeanine Waits for the Train will be performed at  Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Co.’s MUSEUM OF DYSFUNCTION V (original shorts by writers from various places) during the second week of the run,  Thursday August 16, Friday August 17 and Saturday August 18, 2012.  It will be directed by Leighza Walker and performed by Jackie Pender Lovell.  Performances are at Studio 101, 1824 Spring Street, Houston, TX 77007.
All shows at 8pm. Pay as you like.
Tickets: or 832-463-0409

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jeanine Waits for the Train

Back when I was at La Mama Umbria, Naomi Iizuka gave us an exercise:  to write a scene that was somehow offensive, and somehow to incorporate a story that the person sitting next to us had told us.  I was sitting next to MT Cozzola, and she told me a story about using soapy water as post-coital birth control (that kind of story sticks with you).  

So I came up with a character, Jeanine, who is sure to offend pretty much everyone in some way.  She speaks in appallingly fake British accent, though she's from Rhode Island.  She smokes cigarettes, mocks physically disabled people, developmentally disabled people, physically unattractive people, and threatens to set her pet cat on fire.  

After I got home to New York, I tweaked the monologue a bit.  But it was so harsh, I didn't think of sending it out until a year ago.  This afternoon, I found out it's been selected for Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company's short play festival (Museum of Dysfunction V).   It runs August 9-18 at their space, Studio 101 (1824 Spring Street, Houston, Texas).  From looking at the website, they produce a lot of writers I like:  Mac Wellman, Chris Durang, Will Eno (fellow Albee Fellow), Len Jenkin, Naomi Wallace (fellow Hampshire College grad).  I'm excited!