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.
I love this silly stupid awesome play and I’m so excited to see this done.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last night I got to meet Callie Kimball, whom I’ve known through Twitter for maybe almost three years now, and as with most of my online friends it just felt so natural and easy to talk to her in person. I also got to go for the reading of her play ‘Swallowed Fire’ done by the Absolute LA Theatre company in NoHo. This is the second reading in a row I really enjoyed myself at. So funny, so charming, so sweet, so melancholy. A woman goes down in a submarine and is forced to confront her worst fear in that underwater, claustrophobic space- her mother (in a box). The love triangle in the submarine was so delicious, so much fun, I want to write something like that too. Soon. It’s a work-in-progress, so I emailed her my thoughts later, and the structure of her piece made me think of the structure of A Nice Indian Boy- the importance of the launch, the inner life of the protagonist, and how far you can push them.
The reading was produced by Callie’s Twitter friends too. The Internet is such a wonderful thing.
The curator of the awesome site Dark, Lovely and South Asian shared this quote on Facebook today, and it kind of blew me away. I’ve been struggling with artistic statements for grant applications for the past couple of weeks, and this quote comes along and just… says it.
“You guys know about vampires? You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, ‘Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist?’ And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might seem themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.”
– Junot Diaz, Speaking to students at Bergen Community College