Go West, Young Playwright!
The house was nearly full, very impressive for a Saturday afternoon matinee on a nice day in NYC (about 50 degrees and partly sunny). Brandon and Cinda, the producers and founders of Two Spoons, could not have been nicer or more supportive (I emailed them today to thank them). They told me beforehand that they thought I'd find the play moving, and I did, surprisingly, since I hadn't actually meant to write it that way. All of the plays they chose were strong which was wonderful. There wasn't one bad play, and that's not typical of a 10-minute play festival (it's usually somewhat uneven). I was so impressed with the production of my piece (first time it had been staged). The actors actually brought things to it that *I* hadn't even thought of (maybe that's why I wrote it but didn't direct or act in it). I was nearly crying by the end of the play, and my friend Karen Z was as well (and I really had written it as a light piece! Go figure.). The director and lead actress asked to see me afterwards, and raved (especially the director, which was both gratifying and shocking, and she said she wanted to keep in touch, which she might have said just to be nice, but I don't care, she said it). So I felt wonderful, and what a nice feeling to see a play performed so well (I felt very proud). It really makes a difference if a theatre cares about your piece and can do it justice, and that was the case. I hope I get more plays produced in New York, b/c it was a terrific experience (and, of course, b/c it was in NYC, and who wouldn't want a play performed in NYC?).
I also got to meet Rachel from ICWP (the International Centre for Women Playwrights), which I recently joined. She invited me to join their Board, which I immediately agreed to, of course. All was well except for one small problem; being directionally challenged, I had no idea how to get around NYC, grid system or not, thus the title of the entry. Everyone kept telling me "Go west, go west," and I honestly had no clue how to do that! How does one tell west from east, north, or south, and don't say to look at the direction of the sun! I was on the cell phone to Karen M, one of my compatriots from Boston, for about 15 minutes, b/c I couldn't get from the hotel to the pub where the ICWP'ers were meeting; I just kept walking around and around, to the amusement of a man and his young son. They tried to help me, and that didn't work out too well (I got lost in Paris '03, I got lost in NYC in '07, and sometimes I can't get home from Logan Airport, which is about five miles away). But most of the time I spent with Angela, her sister who lives in the city, and the Karens, so I was not left alone to my own devices (or I would have spent the entire time in our hotel room, which was nice but not *that* nice).
After our five hour bus ride from Boston to the Port Authority (comfortable enough on Greyhound, but still, five hours!) on Friday, Angela and I found the hotel, a nice room that had room for three of us, and settled in briefly. Angela's sister met up with us and we had a tasty Mexican meal. Note to those who don't live in NYC: $15 is a very good price for dinner, cheap, even. Sticker shock. Then we walked around Manhattan for a while, and went to Strand Books (a famous bookstore I was not familiar with), where they got books and I, who has far too many of them I have not yet read, did not, but instead got a t-shirt for the gym. It was a warmish night, and my toe is nearly healed, so the walking was very nice. That night, Karen Z joined us. For some reason, I couldn't sleep, and the Nano didn't help, but I survived. The next morning, Angela got a bagel, Karen Z met up with her friend Sue, no relation, and headed to Chelsea Market, which makes the best cupcakes in the world, Karen M arrived, and I got to O'Lunney's Pub after many phone calls. :-) We had lunch (they did; I had a piece of toast, b/c I am poor and wasn't hungry), and then headed to the theatre.
After the show, I had people take pictures of me on the set, both with and without my friends, and that was cool (I hope to get one of them on my myspace website soon). I met the director and actor--the described some of the rehearsal process, while I happy danced inside--and then we headed over to a diner (diners in New York are actually affordable) for a Belgian waffle and strawberries (well, that's what I had; the others had, well other things), and then we proceeded back to the Port Authority for our trip home. It snowed most of the way back, so the ride was long (though quiet, unlike the ride there), and we barely made the subway (unlike in NYC, Boston's stop before 1:00am, sad but true). I collapsed into bed, exhausted but happy after a short but rewarding trip. I hope there are many more like it. Today, I ushered for a great play at the Huntington Theatre called WELL, a one-woman show straight from Broadway with five other cast members (it's a bit confusing to explain without going into detail, but suffice it to say that it's well worth seeing), and then came home to answer emails, per the usual Sunday afternoon routine, and watch Sixty Minutes, etc. Next weekend, I actually get to write again, instead of just submit to a lot of theatres, and I plan to revise the hair play, REMEMBERING (which I sent to a few theatres prematurely, for some inexplicable reason), and start on a new play about dreams for the Lakeside Theatre. But I get to spend the week basking in the happiness that is a strong production of a play. I write to write but I also write to get produced. It's not so I can put it on my bio (though that's cool) and boast (it is totally not about boasting for me), but so I can share in the experience of live theatre. I write and I see theatre nearly every weekend, and it's nice when I can see *my* work and not just the work of others. When the next rejection comes, and it will, I can think about this weekend and smile and hope there are other such weekends to come in the near future.