It's certainly been a minute since I dusted off this website and updated the world with my goings-on. Allow me to cut to the heart of the matter and offer a run-down of upcoming projects!
- On February 25th, my new ten-minute play, AWOL, will receive a workshop reading at Chicago Dramatists, along with six short plays by fellow MFA candidates.
- Girls Can Tell will receive a new workshop reading later this spring here at Northwestern University with special help from Lipstick Theatre. In November, the play will have its first full production at the Rochester Institute of Technology under the direction of David Munnell.
- I am the proud owner of the film rights to historian Rachel Hope Cleves' 2014 book, Charity & Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America, an intimate account of the relationship between two Vermont women in the early 19th Century whose love was recognized as a marriage by family and townsfolk alike. The screenplay for the film will serve as my graduate thesis, and we'll see what happens from there!
- In Real Life will officially premiere May 14th, 2017 at the Chicago Cultural Center. Friends are welcome to attend the screening of all five episodes, followed by a talk-back with me and the creative team. After that, the series will be available for streaming!
That's all the excitement for the present moment. Stay tuned for updates!
Thrilled to report on the wonderful success of Mammoth at MuCCC last weekend. The cast gave some truly heartfelt and heartbreaking performances, and I could not be prouder of what they were able to accomplish as far as audience response. My father has always told me that the best moments are when there is absolute silence in the theatre, and they found those moments in each and every performance. For more on that, be sure to check out my newly updated "Press" page to read reviews!
But alas, time and art wait for no woman. Before I had even a day to ruminate in the post-Mammoth daze, I had to be off to the races in preparing my upcoming piece, Girls Can Tell. I am thrilled to be working on this project alongside my invaluable dramaturg, Claudia Nolan. With this play, we are seeking to honestly and frankly discuss the complexities and discrepancies in the manner in which we address campus sexual assault. The play follows two students and their friends as they try to make sense of a sexual encounter that may or may not have been an assault, searching through the murky territory of defining consent with the added nuances of sex and dating on a college campus. This play will premiere on April 18th, 2:00 in the afternoon, on the SUNY Geneseo campus. I am eager to see what kind of response the performance gets, and for the panel discussion that will follow featuring perspectives from students and experts alike.
In other other news, I have been accepted to Northwestern University's MFA program in Writing for the Screen and Stage. Of the graduate programs I applied to, this one felt hands-down the most tailor-made to my interests as a writer (in its focus on both playwriting and screenwriting) and my brief interactions with the faculty there have helped solidify that this is the next exciting chapter in my growth as an artist. That said, I can't wait to make the most of these remaining four months in Rochester!
Thanks for checking in!
Spring is almost here!
Winter is fully underway at the start of 2015 here in Rochester, but big projects are on the horizon! March 5-7th, MuCCC will house the first full production of my long-workshopped play Mammoth, a comedic drama centering on two brothers welcoming home their estranged sister to assist them in the sale of their childhood house. As I have described it more officially, "A play about distance, family, and whether or not love can and should ever truly be unconditional."
As we get underway with rehearsals, the creative team and I will be making a concerted effort to keep the audience informed and updated on our process and script development, as one of the joys of directing my own work is the ability to function in both capacities toward making the show as good as it possibly can be. So keep your eyes on this space for updates! I can say wholeheartedly that I anticipate this process will be one of the most challenging and therefore rewarding projects I've worked on, and with a cast and creative team as good as this, I am eager to give the audience a memorable evening of theatre come March 5th.
So Gumdrop made its debut at the Fringe this past Tuesday night, and I really can't express how pleased I am with how the show came together as well as how many folks came out to see it. A very very successful and humbling evening for this playwright. The response has been fantastic, such that all of us involved on the project are eager to see where else we can take it, so I can say quite confidently that Rochester has not seen the last of Gumdrop Smith.
Outside of that, the momentum from this show is sure to carry me along in my upcoming projects, which thus far include a new play tentatively titled "Higher Education," a humor-tinged drama addressing the issues of on-campus sexual assault in the United States (and when I say humor-tinged, no, that does not mean there are rape jokes). I will also be remounting a lecture I gave in college analyzing Shakespearean women through the lens of Adrienne Rich's theories on lesbianism and Compulsory Heterosexuality, as well as putting up a fully staged production of my play "Mammoth" some time in early March.
More updates to come as they present themselves! Thanks for stopping in and enjoy the beginnings of fall!
Very excited to bring you all the info you need about my upcoming show, The Nameless Days of Gumdrop Smith, coming to you this September as part of the 2014 Rochester Fringe Festival! We have one performance only on Tuesday, September 23rd at 8:30 pm at MuCCC. Tickets are $10 at www.rochesterfringe.com .
This is a play that has been in development for a little over one year. Much of it was written for various exercises given in my Geneseo playwriting class, taught by playwright Elizabeth Wong. While very very different from my usual kitchen-sink-realism, I am very excited by the risks I am taking as a writer and conceptual theatre artist with Gumdrop. And even more excited to have a cast that, even after just one read-through of the script, already has a very clear understanding of our vision for the piece. This is going to be one of the most unique shows you will find at the Fringe, and certainly not one you'll want to miss. Stay tuned for more updates on the process!
Enjoy what's left of our summer!
So. Summer is trucking along in Rochester, as are several projects! 'Mammoth' and MuCCC-fest went off without a hitch, and when the timing is right I look forward to the next round of edits and rewrites on that piece (one day I'll be satisfied with it, one day). But for now, time to keep looking ahead to upcoming ventures! Currently I am finishing up a working script for 'The Nameless Days of Gumdrop Smith' for the Rochester Fringe Festival, more news to come with that later this month.
Beyond that, the big creative news is that later this summer I will begin collaborating with my very multi-talented friend Mr. Alec Powell in composing an original musical based on my play 'The Weekends' which saw a reading this past February. It will be a tongue-in-cheek, modern, and above all, honest representation about what it means to be a millennial. After February's reading, I knew the play needed something, but couldn't figure out what it was until Alec approached me about writing a musical with him. Suddenly it all clicked! I'm no stranger to writing lyrics (though a bit rusty, as I haven't written new music in over five years) but I cannot wait to get underway and keep you all updated with that project.
Happy summer! Stay tuned!
All the best,
PS. You should all go see the film 'Obvious Child.' I saw it last night and I want to watch it every day forever.
It's been a bit quiet around these parts, but I am happy to say I am back with some very exciting updates on upcoming projects! This coming summer and early fall, I will be setting up camp once again with my dear friends at The MuCCC over on Atlantic Avenue to bring to life two of my original works. The first venture will be in June, where I will be doing a workshop reading of my play 'Mammoth' which has been in on-and-off development for about two years now, having received its first round of workshopping almost exactly a year ago. I am very excited to bring the latest draft to a new audience as part of MuCCC-Fest, showcasing the work of MuCCC's frequent artists and collaborators.
After that it will be time to get fully underway with the third annual Rochester Fringe Festival happening this September across the city. Also taking place at MuCCC, I will be staging a full production of my new play, 'The Nameless Days of Gumdrop Smith' as part of the festival! The play is a romantic comedy that seeks to look at the ways in which we construct identity and sexuality in the modern age. Our story centers on a man called Diesel, who encounters and falls in love with a genderless, mysterious figure called Gumdrop. The secret to Gumdrop is that every year, he/she is given a completely new name by his/her parents, which in turn allows Gumdrop to don many ever-changing identities.
These will both be one-night-only affairs, so keep an eye out for dates! Thanks again for stopping by!
My first post! Hooray!
Thank you for visiting! Here at the blog, I'll be posting updates on current and upcoming projects. As of right now, things are in a bit of a lull since the back-to-back shows of February (The Weekends and Love in the Style of Will) but it looks like it's already time to start planning ahead to next year! Currently I am putting together my submission to next year's Rochester Fringe Festival. I will be submitting an original play (currently in development) called The Nameless Days of Gumdrop Smith. The play offers a light-hearted metaphorical glimpse at the way we rather arbitrarily construct identity in the modern age. Beyond that, my partner in life, crime, and art, Melyssa Hall, and myself are hoping to squeeze into MuCCC's 14-15 season next spring with a production of Lilian Hellman's The Children's Hour in which we would act as co-directors while also playing the two lead roles. A daunting but inevitably richly rewarding challenge.
Thanks again for stopping by! Check back for updates!