Back in October and November, I did a residency at the William Inge Theatre Festival (Peter Ellenstein, Artistic Director) in Independence, Kansas. I shared Inge's birthplace with Adam Szymkowicz, who was working on a new musical about pan-sexual female pirates. Adam was an excellent housemate!
Peter took the beautiful photograph of the combined casts and creators of "My Dark and Scurvy Heart" (Matt Sherwin, lyricist, is sitting next to me; and Adam Szymkowicz is behind Forrest Attaway's head) and my play, "The Benders," which is set in southeastern Kansas. Our shared actors were the wonderful Joe Gomez (the man with the mustache) as Johnny; Hannah Joyce-Hoven (next to Joe) was Actress #1 (who was so good I wrote more for her); Forrest Attaway (next to Hannah) was Actor #1; the lady in green was our beloved director Tamara Fisch; I'm in between her and Matt Sherwin; Sean McDermott (so funny, and so much menace, played Pa); Cady Huffman (yea!) played Ma, and Nellie McKay played Kate.
There is a zoo in Independence which I did not get to on my previous trip. But Tamara and I made an effort to visit it this time. It is, as Cady Huffman describes it, "a zoo with a door." It is free. There are monkeys on an island. There are burros who tried to follow me. And there were some pretty fine looking swans (this is my artistic photograph of the swan and its reflection