Tuesday, August 23, 2011

May the Farce be With Me

After my reading at http://restonplayers.org/ in Reston, VA, I had a lot of good things to think about for A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. I am working on learning more about farce and how to recraft this play as a farce.

For someone with a theatre degree, I know very little about theatre. I only within the first year of beginning my degree actually started reading plays and information about theatre every day--and that was in 2002. Life has certainly gotten away from me, so that steady stream of theatre and plays kind of slowed down. And I have to often start over again.

I used to feel embarrassed about this--but in some ways, it's good to start at the beginning every time you have to start working on a play or a piece of art. I mean, think about it this way--every time you start writing, you don't have ANYTHING to go on. You are starting from scratch. You are beginning again. Sure, a background helps to give you confidence--confidence can help, especially if you are facing a blank page that doesn't seem to want to give way to your thoughts. But really, you are starting over again--learning to write THIS work.

So starting the research from scratch is not a bad thing. It's a refresher and a new introduction to work you already knew.

So that's where I am right now with A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. I am waiting to hear back if the play will be brought back to Reston for a second round of readings next year. I sure hope it is--I would love to see where the farce takes it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The summer of insanity is over. I have been to Alaska and back, I have been to a river and been married, I have been to D.C. and back. We moved to Iowa and I have a new job with hours that are more humane, and now I am working toward getting involved in theatre locally, but my writing has stalled out.

It's always a mystery when things like this happen. I mean, I have some ideas of why my writing is not going, but they are personal and it's not needed to go into them on the blog (I am still married, and things are fine, so no worries on that front!).

So, let's talk about local theatre.

http://www.osterregent.org/ is the home of Cedar Falls Community Theatre. I am hoping I am going to be doing costuming work with them. They do pretty traditional theatre fare (currently they are about to post their casting for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE). The group seems very nice so far, so we will see how things pan out. It will be really nice to be working in a theatre again--I've really missed it.

http://www.uni.edu/theatre/swt/ is the home of University of Northern Iowa's theatre department's productions. From the 'about' page:
Currently, Strayer-Wood Theatre is thrilled to announce “Renewal: Emerging Beyond Struggles.”  In our next two seasons, we’re committed to producing theatre that addresses political issues. Beyond hatred and war, beyond government control, beyond tyranny… we’ll explore the human connections that allow us to discover the strength of individuals, relationships, and communities.   How can the arts inspire conversation on our community’s most pressing political issues?  Connect with us. See live theatre. Let’s find out.
Sounds good to me! They are doing MAD CITY by Caryl Churchill, which thrills me to no end, and in the spring, they are going to be doing BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL, which makes me incredibly happy. All the shows look really great and I am very excited to see all of them. Again, I am hoping to work in costumes and perhaps ushering--whatever is going to get me back into the theatre.

I have some starts in mind about doing a playwriting group at UNI--something that I might look more into next year--I don't know what they have going on there, so I want to hang around a bit before I jump straight in.

Actually, a big part of why I am having trouble writing could be because I am having trouble finding a place to write. Usually, Panera is my go to place. I would go there in the morning, having their version of a bagel, drink tons of coffee and write for like 3 hours. Sometimes I would go after work if I could as well. There is a Panera here, and really, there's nothing wrong with it, but it's not the place I should be writing. It doesn't have the right vibe--Cedar Falls doesn't have a ton of food options and I think Panera is the go to place. And it's small--very small--and the staff feels overwhelmed. I have given it several tries--but i give. I am going to give some other local places some love--Cup of Joe and The Lampost are on my list for next week, and a trip to the public library is on the list as well. I just need a writing home away from home--I think that might make the difference.