Last week was busy, to say the least. Allow me to explain:
Project 1: The Unlikely Ascent of Sybil Stevens
This was a reading I directed for Packawallop Productions. My friend and fellow playwright Kari Bentley-Quinn wrote it. She’d been developing it for about a year, and this was the first time she got to hear it in front of an audience.
Project 2: The Imaginary Association of Flight Attendants
This is a piece I started a few years ago. It’s a collection of monologues and short scenes about…you guessed it. Flight Attendants. Because it was my first time writing an “experience” piece, I didn’t really know it was an “experience” piece, so I brought it to my friend and director Sherri, who immediately loved it. So we started chatting off and on about it for over a year and just recently brought on our friend and actress Charise, who also loved it and (I know this is a run on sentence) so we decided we wanted to hear it out loud with a cast. Of course since we’re all busy with other projects, the only day we could do it was the following Tuesday, a day after Kari’s reading of Sybil (which ironically is about a flight attendant!). So we rallied and cast the piece (about nine women) and wow, we totally ended up with a dynamite cast. Charise played host to the reading in her lovely Brooklyn apartment. We had wine and cheese and strawberries. Mid way through the reading I thought to myself “wow, this piece could really work.” And that may be the greatest feeling EVER for a playwright.
Project 3: The Commencement of William Tan
I got a commission from 2G at the beginning of June. It’s called the Jumpstart Commission, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. The whole purpose is to jumpstart the playwright into starting a new play. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I was already mulling over the idea of writing about my high school experiences at Lincoln High, in Lincoln Nebraska. I’m the kind of person that never likes to look back at anything, and high school was definitely something I never thought I’d revisit. But hearing lately of past high school friends dying, like a lot of them, I’ve become strangely nostalgic for those days. Perhaps not to revisit the past, but to re-examine it. Upon reflecting on my senior year in high school, I suddenly remembered a very hellish week where football players were getting into fights with an Asian gang and I found myself caught in the middle of it.
So, this commission was perfect. It kicked me into gear and forced me to spit out a first act. I had a really great cast and director. We got a luxurious six hours of rehearsal as well as two presentations! Which is kinda awesome for a playwright.