Accidental Tragedy

Lower image is Scene from A Midsummer Nights' Dream 'Titania and Bottom' by Edwin Landseer. Top is an edited "darker" version.

Lower image is Scene from A Midsummer Nights’ Dream ‘Titania and Bottom’ by Edwin Landseer. Top is an edited “darker” version.

Timing is everything and the craziness of this week in America has definitely played a key role in the multiple mistakes of the present. While I cannot change the one glaring mistake that has brought a doom atmospheric cloud to many people I care about, I can channel it into the direction of my once 100% comedy. But in the script’s case it is not bad, just unexpectedly different. While I wish current events did not shape the direction, perhaps its new form can still aid audiences in how they are feeling.

Wed. Nov. 9 was like a blur. It was as if I was having hangovers without having consumed alcohol the night before. Many people I spoke to described it that same way and for those who did partake in libations, it was more literal. Except once the physical pain was gone, the pain of reality remained. I strangely also had the beginning of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” playing on repeat in my head.

Many people were expressing their opinions online, but I refrained until now, because  for myself, I wanted to create something out of my feelings beyond some posts. But I 110% think it is important that people access ways to express their feelings as they need and as they see fit without belittling the feelings of others.

Then I read an article by theater advocate Howard Sherman titled, “A Post-Election Plea, To The Theatre And Its Artists.” The article called for artists to keep creating and empowering people through expression and the telling of stories. This is especially important for peoples whose stories are not heard and are or will be oppressed. Maybe it was the fog of the shock, but I could not think of how to write a play about this tragedy. And I love it when activism and theater unite. I had theater-activism writer’s block. Yesterday, inspiration finally came. I picked up a draft of an incomplete comedy and accidentally and cathartically turned it into a darker tragedy. But while sad in nature, it does leave a window for hope because of the power of theater, literally because it is a play as well as from the dialogue commenting on this aspect.

Last year I started writing a parody to Shakespeare’s awesome play A MidSummer Night’s Dream, which alone is an absolutely hilarious show. It was initially for a Shakespeare play festival, but I sadly did not finish it in time. But I liked where it was going and kept adding to it over the past year. I picked up the script again yesterday, looked at random notes and let my frustration fly. It is now complete enough to perform logistics willing. I may lengthen it, but I am content that I was able to get my feelings of injustice out into a script. Small steps and more will be coming. 


Bracing for a New Challenge 

It’s almost November, crazy right!? 

This year I’m going to tackle National Novel Writing Month aka NanoWriMo hat happens in November. It’s like the 31 days playwrighting challenge but for novels. This challenge has writers attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. 

Hoping to bring some playwright flare into this first time ever novel writing experience. Also looking for award to how this will evolve future scripts and depth of writing skills. I shared the synopsis with one of my playwright friends and she instantly said, “make it into a play.” Tis definitely a possibility but gotta tackle through the 50,000 word count with a can do spirit! Also working in some web series/short film scripts simultaneously. 

Power of Silence

The anagram of “listen” and “silence’ is very interesting.


Saw on the Pinterest of Emily Vincent

The words play into each other so well, in life, in friendship, and certainly in theater and playwriting specifically.

One struggle for Americans is the ability to appreciate silence. There’s a need to use the phrase, “well, this is awkward,” or some variation of it. There’s an inclination to fill the empty space with something anything due to the discomfort of our own thoughts or the worry of another’s. (This is not representative of every American, but certainly many from personal experience and observation.) It’s something I took personally at first when one of my friends from Europe pointed it out to me about the way I spoke and the amount of words I used. But I learned to appreciate the feedback as a gift.

But there is something beautiful and powerful about silence, whether it is a mutual silence or one’s own while listening to someone or something else. There is a special uniqueness that only subtext/reading between the lines can bring. So much can be learned by both what isn’t said and the body language that can accompany it.

While there can be a tug and pull between a Director and the playwright’s stage directions, many times there are intentional pauses and beats inserted with the hope of creating these special silent driven moments like intenseness and suspense – which can be applied to pure comedy, romance/sexual tension, reflection, secrets, growing anger, a lingering pain, the ability to almost hear when someone is looking in your direction, etc… Silence is a way of drawing the audience into the characters, emotions, and thus the world they are embracing in the dark of the theater. It’s a technique I hope to better learn, fine tune, and integrate going forwards.

I saw the spectacular use of this last week in the Woolly Mammoth Theater’s Production of Kiss. They exercised this technique in multiple ways, both for comedy and to provoke a deeper meaning in the political message and empathy I feel they were trying to relay and have everyone rally around. This play shook me in ways I’d like to delve into in a different post. But at the end, there was a serene sadness and understanding. One wasn’t quite sure when they play would end until the actors, still in character storm off rather than taking the time to acknowledge the end and bowing or receiving applause. This may seem odd, but if you are there, caught in the moment, especially in that intimate theater, it will make more sense.

If you are intrigued about the gift, the power of silence, here is a great article from the Guardian about a perspective on silence.

Update – Strategy to Make #52PlaysByWomen Accessible

Stoked to share that we have collected 52 recordings of plays by women, consisting of video and audio of radio plays/podcast plays here

We hope this will help people make their pledge to this movement possible!#52playsbywomen #femaleplaywrights #playwriting #theater #writing

We will keep collecting recordings that are made available to the public.

Ending the Lull

Maybe it was the rain? But then again rain can have an inspiring effect. 

Recent inspiration catalysts.

More likely it’s the influx of recent creative joys me spark from the anticipation of upcoming writing jam sessions and the bliss from seeing a great play and the thrall of embracing a stellar book series. Meat of one of the latest projects is cooking well as the marination and spice make it succulent.

Writing/Art Lulls

So…you’ve just had a whirlwind of theater…via plays you’ve written, acting, directing, some combo of the aforementioned, etc… And now production activity has come to a temporary standstill.

On the one hand your art (whatever it may be) thrills and is full of awesome fun. On the other hand, there are no official deadlines except those of your own making or until an opportunity arrives (festivals, friends doing showcases, etc…). So what to do? To write/create or not to write/create – that is the question. Then there is also your mood and the weather and how the weather affects your mood.

To end on a more positive note – when this procrastination air begins to stick like a gross unwanted feeling or cabin fever, take small steps…a small doodle, journal/blog entry…find the inner joy. One especially great thing is find fellow artists and have a jam/writing/acting session, meetup, whatever you’d like to call it. Guess I’m in need for one of those soon. There are works swirling around in the ‘ol noggin, time to get them more on the paper or at least into some bullets.

Side Splitting, Pearl Clutching Performances – THIS Weekend!

Join Rabble Crew Productions at DCAC for a hilarious weekend of light theater! Shows both nights are from 8:00 pm – 9:15 pm.

Night 1: Sketchy comedy (think SNL) written
and performed by local women.

  • Friday night is Star Johnson, Cristen Stephansky, Yvonne Paretzky, Kristina Brooks, and Madeline Farrington performing ten brand new bawdy, pearl-clutching, off-color sketches. There might be a sock puppet involved.

Night 2: Riotous (Stage) Readings that’ll have you LOL-ing all night!
Tickets are $10, cash at the door or online at

Getting pumped for night 1 of hilarity!

  • Here’s a sneak peak for night 2’s stage readings!

“Extra Virgin” by Jen Williams

– Cherry poppin’ good!

Featuring: Christina Wilharm, Jenna St. John, James Cullen, Peter Orvetti, and Eileen Haley

“Shut-in” by Matt Spangler

– Who knew that Godzilla was such a cry baby?

Featuring: Merancia Noelsaint, Banks Cancún, Brian Lewandowski, Sarah Hensley, Tony Green, and James Cullen

“Pacing” by Jessica Bylander 

– Who needs couples therapy when you have a marathon?

Featuring: James Cullen, Jenna St. John, and Sarah Hensley.

“GOT” by Matt Spangler

– Hidden deep underground, there is a group of gullible humans who think they are the back-up government for the universe.

Featuring: Eileen Haley, Brittany Sankofa, Banks Cancún, and Tony Green.

“Friends Against Humanity” by Ayan and Dara Gold

– A party game for backstabbers, threesomes, and sperm donors.

Featuring: Eileen Haley, Sarah Hensley, Tony Green, Merancia Noelsaint, Christina Wilharm, and Brian Lewandowski

Stage Directions read by Peter Orvetti

Readings directed by Dara Gold.