This time, I have good news to share! :)
The Renaissance Guild is a non-profit organization dedicated to the examination, preservation, and celebration of the Black experience through theatre; providing educational outreach programs to the San Antonio community and surrounding areas, and providing opportunities for artistic expression to people of color.
I think this is so cool that they chose WEDNESDAYS, b/c it was presented in NYC in March and will now get viewed by a different kind of audience in San Antonio. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Renaissance Guild's ActOneSeries, Volume X, and hope that the audience and all involved enjoy the play, the way I did when I saw it staged in March. It was part of a staged reading last night in Florida, where the results were mixed. That's the subjectivity of playwrighting and in all of art. (You know, I cannot call myself an artist, and still feel like a fraud when I refer to myself as a playwright. David Mamet is a playwright. Suzan-Lori Parks, whom I graduated Mount Holyoke with, is a playwright. I write plays. But that's just me.) I also got into Lida McGirr's festival in Framingham, MA, "The Seven Deadly Sins" festival (not to be confused with Impact Theatre or Theatre Brut), at the Amazing Things Art Center (www.amazingthings.org). It was at the TCAN last year, but I'm not sure what Lida's theatre is called (is it called anything?), so I'll just call it the Seven Deadly Sins Festival.
I am still in the process of finding a director (harder than I thought; come on, people, direct my plays! :-)), but they took THE SATCHEL, so it has found another home (it will also be presented by Lakeshore Players in June, as I've noted previously). I know that you just have to be patient, and if your play has any merit (hopefully, it has *some*), it will be accepted by some festival somewhere. Keep the faith (or rewrite or tweak it or put it away for a while, as I've had to do with my hair play). This is a play that was rejected by a local theatre company, but you just have to keep plugging. BTW, the festival is Friday-Saturday, June 22-23, so if you are in the Boston area, come see it!!!
I have had a lucky run, and man, I hate to say it, in the event that I totally jinx myself. I am awaiting some decisions within the next week or so, and I fully expect at least one, if not more, rejection (probably more than one). Every one still stings. It's not that I *expect* to get into every festival (though I'd like to ;-)). It's more that I feel hurt when I'm not. It stings. I don't know if I will ever get over that feeling (someday? maybe? please?). But I am basking in the happiness of three upcoming festivals, and the hope (dream? prayer?) that I get into one of three festivals I've submitted to in Chicago (I love Chicago, and want an excuse to go there again, and this time in the spring or summer, NOT the winter, which is unpleasant, to say the least). I think I'm up to nine states that have or will produce my work, and that's a good start (almost 1/5 of the way to conquering the USA! j/k, of course). It's interesting, b/c I'd like to tell Mount Holyoke about my work. But I think about Parks, and how she's a Pulitzer Prize winner and is the throes of her 365/plays a day year, and how she's co-writing a screenplay with someone, and I go, Hm, not so impressive. And then I go, Okay, this is so totally not a competition. And then I decide I will send MHC an alumna update, b/c we do what we can do.
On the collegiate front, as the semester winds down (and the stress level of the students rises), I am in the process of enrolling in a graduate level playwrighting class at Emerson College for the fall. I received my MFA in Creative Writing from there in '05. I just had my birthday on the 17th, and I know I'm old, at least compared to college-aged kids, but I don't *feel* old and so I refuse to BE old), Anyway, my MFA was in short fiction (which I sucked at), not in theatre or playwrighting. (I think that's b/c playwrighting was part of the theatre department, not the Writing/Literature/Publishing Dept, and so was not open to me.) I learned that there is still only one playwrighting course for graduate level students in the WLP Dept (why, I do not know), but this workshop is taught by Andrew Clarke, who has received high marks, and was approved by Dan Tobin, Department Chair. If I can get the ProArts Consortium to pay for it (and they should, right? I work for a ProArts college, and this is at another ProArts college), I will enroll, and am excited about it. I think it will help me focus on writing my first full-length play, and while I can obstensibly do that on my own, I haven't and probably won't (though I can start a very preliminary draft during a week off in June if I feel motivated to do so). This class will give me the chance to work on it every week (b/c there will be assignments every week, I assume), with guidance and feedback. I really hope it works out. I love my 10-minute plays (though I often don't have confidence in them; okay, rarely), but it's time to write a longer play (the only one-act is UNCHARTED TERRITORY, aka the black blocks play from last summer's production), and I want to do this but I need structure. Fingers crossed.
Finally, I am having difficulty sleeping (I mean, major difficulty, like a sleep disorder), so I'm trying to work with a doctor on that issue. My family also received bad news on the health recently, but I don't want to get into it, b/c that would violate their privacy. I just pray things will be okay. I am able to work out again for the most part (someday the baby toe will heal completely--I hope--but I can take walks again, and the weather has finally started to improve, which should be the norm, given the time of year), and am excited about the Red Sox's efforts thus far (we took three from the Yankees last week at home, and are beating them tonight in the Bronx). I want to start writing a new play this weekend, which will also keep my mind off the results that are looming. I also have movies to watch (NOTES ON A SCANDAL, THE HISTORY BOYS, and the third part of season three of ENTOURAGE, one of the best shows ever) and too many magazines to read (good thing it's going to rain most of the weekend, though I am ushering for [sic] on Sunday afternoon).
So...that's it for now. I will write again soon when I have more news. Go, Sox, and check out Curt Schilling's blog, 38 pitches (http://38pitches.com/) if you are a Red Sox (or even if you aren't, though I promise Yankees fans won't enjoy it). Happy weekend. And a shout out to Claudia in MN, who always makes me smile or think. :)
P.S. I'm sure many of you have heard about this by now, but monologist Mike Daisy's performance at the American Reperatory Theatre was cut short last week by a group of high school students and their irresponsible adult supervisor, who had the audacity to throw water on Daisy's notes (he uses them for the show, which is not scripted). It was a reprehensible act, and the incident can be viewed here on YouTube:
Of course, if you produce controversial art, you'll have controversial results, but the school *knew* the performance was not G-rated, if you will, still chose to come, and then not only walked out in the middle of the show, disrupting it for the actor and the audience, but violated the actor's personal/acting space. They have been suitably dissed by a great many people from all sectors, and add me to the list.