• Monday, June 9, 2014
  • A great theatre week

    This was a week where multiple wonderful projects either began, opened, or culminated.

    On Monday, rehearsals began for my play ‘The Frog Girlfriend’ at Fullerton College directed by Peter Kuo. The play will get a workshop production on June 25 as part of their Directors’ Festival, and already within the first week the script has improved considerably.

    Peter directs the cast Peter directs the cast

    I love this silly stupid awesome play and I’m so excited to see this done.

    yeaaah yeaaah

    On Tuesday, we had tech for Much Ado About Something at the Hollywood Fringe, which ended – as all self-respecting self-productions should – with a bunch of us trying to figure out how to clean silly string off the floor at 12.30am.

    spit and socks #theatreproblems

    On Thursday, we had our preview show- our first show with an audience- and ohmygod the play worked so well. It was so much fun being on stage and I am SO proud of my soultwin Megan Kelly who directed and the brilliant Kate Grabau who produced and Beatriced. What an accomplishment.

    MK & KG MK & KG, post-show glow

    Then I had to miss our opening show on Saturday (which luckily went well too) because this weekend was the culmination of the 2013/14 CTG Writer’s Workshop. We started in October, and it’s been one of the greatest experiences I’ve had, and I’ve had so many great experiences over the past year. Once-a-month meetings with 6 amazing playwrights who were full of kindness and generosity, led by the CTG literary team Pier Carlo Talenti and Joy Meads, who set the tone for the whole thing.

    A month ago I realized the play I was working on just wasn’t the right play- I was going down the wrong path and so I had to chuck my draft and start all over again with a new premise and new characters. I managed to get 2/3rds of the play done, and I heard it read on Saturday morning with one of the best cold readings I’ve ever experienced of my work, thanks to the amazing casting of Anjali Bhimani in the lead role, who got my character so thoroughly it was unnerving!

    And the play is working… I felt it in the room and the feedback was so generous. I can’t wait to go forward with this. I’m so happy with where it is and just this reading is going to give me the fuel to finish it.

    It was wonderful hearing the other 6 new plays this weekend, with such a fantastic ensemble cast rotating through the scripts and joining in with the discussions.

    ctggroup kind of a messy picture, for now

    I fucking love theatre so much.

    And today I got an email that may have great news for A Nice Indian Boy. So eff yeah. This week. It was good.

    oh and i got this in my fortune cookie today and it has to be significant right oh and i got this in my fortune cookie today and it has to be significant right
  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014
  • Coming up Next: June

    June 5 – June 21: Los Angeles

    Join me and my friends at the Hollywood Fringe Festival for Much Ado About Something, the directorial debut of my brilliant soultwin Megan Kelly (USC MFA ‘13, yo.) It’s going to be so silly. So much fun.

    RSVP on Facebook now to get reminders and such!

    cast1 copy My arm gets blown off by ALIENS #shakespeare

    June 6-8: Los Angeles

    My current work-in-progress – ‘Queen’, a full-length play about graduate science research and honeybees- will have a reading as part of the Center Theatre Group Writers Workshop’s end-of-year retreat. The reading is invite-only.

    June 25: Fullerton, CA

    Peter directs the cast Peter directs the cast

    My children’s play in rhyming verse – ‘The Frog Girlfriend’ will have a workshop production at Fullerton College’s Directors Fest, directed by the wonderful Peter Kuo. More info TBA.

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • I met Madhur Jaffrey, and other things

    I need to figure out a system where I’m updating this blog as and when exciting things are happening. But exciting things do, by their very nature, leave very little time for documenting them.

    I used to be so much cooler on the internet.

    Never mind though. Here are a run down of the super cool awesome things that have happened to me over the past few weeks.

    The week of May 11th, I got to be in New York for the scene presentations of A Nice Indian Boy along with plays by the Kendeda Finalists, all at Playwrights’ Horizons.

    20140529-004700.jpg

    Playwrights Horizons!!

    Even thought In Love and Warcraft was the winning Kendeda play, Celise let me present A Nice Indian Boy instead, which turned out to be just wonderful.

    Directed by Lucie Tiberghien, the cast included Bhavesh Patel, Christopher J. Hanke, Sheetal Sheth, Rajesh Bose, and Madhur Jaffrey.

    20140529-004642.jpg My iPhone autocorrects her name to all caps each time

    MADHUR JAFFREY!

    She’s name-checked IN the play! When I met her, she extended her dainty hand, and I gurgled, “I’m a huge fan,” and she said, oh so elegantly, “Yes, I see I’m in the play.”

    MADHUR JAFFREY!!

    She offered to correct my atrocious Hindi in the play, and I have to get back to her on that.

    We had a table read on Tuesday and the scene presentation on Wednesday and it was so lovely getting to know these actors and Lucie. I’d be so lucky to work with them again.

    The rest of the week involved a lot of angsting about my writing of my CTG play (and some decent writing too, thankfully), but also fun things. Such as checking out the NYU MFA design exhibition with Lucie, reconnecting with Celise one-of-my-favorite-people-in-the-world Kalke, reuniting with Lily Balsen (my perfect Evie in the Alliance Theatre’s In Love and Warcraft), meeting the beautiful Mahira Kakkar, a bike tour of Brooklyn with the lovely Christina Quintana and friends, staying in Queens with grown-up friends with stable loving lives (which seems so foreign to me), and then a weekend in the Upper East Side with fellow awesome USC playwright Stephanie Swirsky, capped by 5 hours of Mysteries at the Flea.

    Honestly taking Stephanie to the Adayar Ananda Bhavan on the UES might have been the real highlight of the trip. Honestly taking Stephanie to the Adayar Ananda Bhavan on the UES might have been the real highlight of the trip.

    Back in LA, it was straight back into working with my soultwin Megan Kelly on her directorial debut, the hilariously wonderful Much Ado About Something, premiering next week at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

    20140529-004740.jpg The Something is Aliens

    And of course, working as best as I can on finishing up a skeleton draft of my new play, which will have a reading at the CTG Writer’s Workshop retreat next weekend. Hopefully a real blog post about that coming soon.

    And now, sleep.

    Or, to quote from Much Ado About Something…

    To Die, to sleep, to sleep, perchance to Dream.To Dream, in dreams what sleep may comeOut, out, brief candle

    It makes sense (i.e. none)  in context. Come see it.