And still I write...endings are tough...and I got interviewed by a newspaper reporter!
I attended fellow playwright Patrick Gabridge's staged reading of new works in Cambridge last night, and he suggested that you can't really find the ending until the play is produced. That made me feel better, so I've chosen any ending that won't insult or baffle anyone (whether it's a tad lame I don't know), and I'm sending the play off to a couple of festivals tomorrow. The second play is called "Control," and was written specifically for a "hair"-themed festival in NYC. I started Monday night, finished it Friday morning (I took a half-day from work), and sent it off Friday afternoon (that's a new record!). I can't say whether or not I like it, b/c I'm far too close to it right now. Happily, I had two theatre people, one on the production end, the other a playwright, read it Friday night, before I ushered for the Sugan Theatre, and BOTH liked it (and I asked them to be honest, so they hopefully were). That made me feel better. I'm not sure how much general appeal this particular play has--it concerns a confrontation between a hair stylist and his client, loosely based on my (former) stylist and me--but I certainly think it works for the theme, and hope the NYC theatre producers think so as well. If not, at least I feel good about writing a play in such a short period of time (by which I mean, I met a tight deadline) and will revisit it in the near future to see if there are other festivals for which it might be appropriate.
The last piece of writing I am engaged with is my one-woman show, "workin' progress," which I am (gulp) planning to send out to Boston Theatre Works Unbound in the next week (b/c the deadline is mid-February). It has a $15 submission fee (double gulp) and is an extremely competitive festival, but this is would be a dream come true: seeing my first real theatrical piece, monologues and sketches excluded, performed and workshopped by professional actors in a professional setting. The theme has to do with love, and that's what my play is about, so let's get it out there and see what they think. It's supposed to be an unfinished piece, and it is, in that I think it still needs a great deal of work and could/should be expanded, so I think in that sense it's a good fit. Whether or not it's strong enough for BTW I won't know til I get the acceptance or rejection letter. Every rejection continues to pierce my soul (even those I haven't received yet ;-)), and this one is pretty slim (just like the Boston Playwrights Festival), but you can't win if you don't play, right?
In the meantime, I continue to write, submit, and wait in great anticipation for my 10-minute play "Peanut Butter Sandwiches" to be performed at Theatre One's "Slice of Life" Festival in Middleboro, MA in two (count 'em, two) weeks! I am sorry I'll be missing the three-minute play, "My Six-Thirty," but I can't drive an hour each way for a three-minute play, especially on a Friday night, so I'll just wait to get the audience feedback, as I wait to see if Poco Loco Players (well, students of the director) decide to take MST on for their spring project (pleaseohpleaseohplease). And the coolest news of the weekend is that I was interviewed by a real-live reporter from The Standard Times in Southern Mass for an article on the Slice of Life Festival! She sent me a list of six interesting questions, and I returned to her a Thesis on the meaning of life. ;-) Seriously, I did write quite a bit, but she thanked me for being so responsive AND "prolific," and said too much is better than too little (that's always my motto). I had the chance to really think about how I view the writing process, and that was interesting. I'll post the link to the article once it's published (I feel so famous, ha ha). Let's hope there are many more interviews in the future!
I also continue to see as many plays as I can, including the interesting one-man show at the Sugan Theatre, a very intense play called "Frozen" (mostly written as monologues and about a child molestation/murder case in the UK) at the New Rep Theatre, and "Five by Tenn," five short and rarely-performed plays by Tennessee Williams, presented by the Speakeasy Company. I'm not the biggest TW fan, but I did like the plays and particularly was taken by the acting, which was superlative. Williams is NOT an easy playwright to get a grip on and these were somewhat obscure plays. So these, along with Queer Soup's "Home," about a transsexual minister, and Patrick and Hortense Giraldo's reading last night, have kept me very busy with seeing and thinking about plays. D. and I are helping Centastage with their auditions for playwright George Sauer's full-length in June, and this is an organization I'd like to get more involved with. The more playwrights, actors, and directors I get to know, the more excited I feel, and I just have to believe this is what I'm meant to be doing right now. Now, if none of my plays get chosen in the future, I'll clearly have to reconsider, but I hope that is not the case. I would like to write a monologue for a festival about the holiday season, and hope I have time to do it when I get back from visiting my sister and her family in Florida this weekend (hurrah, warm(er) weather!), since it's not due til March 1st. In the meantime, I am happy that work is busy but not frenetic, and that I grow ever more flexible in yoga (I was almost, almost able to touch my head to the ground during a wide-angle stretch today, which felt fantastic). So, that's it for now, and if I get any good news in the next week, I will be certain to pass it along.