All right, all right, I know it's almost the end of April, and I know that I haven't blogged since the start of the year. My excuse? A now one-year-old named Jasper who's adorable and hilarious, and who wouldn't choose this over blogging?
But extreme cuteness or no, I decided it's time for at least an update on what's happening in the wide world of playwrighting (or at least my immediate corner of it). I started off the year by revising Why Penguins Can't Fly, and Other Tales of Antarctica and then sending it off to a few contests. Sadly those so far have been misses, though I did have some nice comments from one of them. Next step: Start sending it to children's theaters. My 2011 submissions have already started to bear fruit, as I had my first ever piece done in New York City! And my 10-minute play Circus of Fate was done as part of F.A.C.T.'s Words and Wine reading series in March. They describe themselves as an Off-Off-Broadway company, which is only two Offs from the famous lights themselves.
I've also decided to spend some time this year doing some non-playwrighting writing and have been working on a children's book called The Mighty Carrot! about a rabbit who finds a red handkerchief, puts it on, and decides to become a superhero. It's an expansion of a short story I wrote years ago and I decided it was time to take it and finally do something with it. I completed a rough draft earlier this year and am now working on draft two while also trying to better educate myself about this part of the publishing world. After so many years writing plays it's strange to jump into a whole new genre. While I'm not a new writer, I am (relatively) new to writing books and especially to how that particular business works. But one thing at a time. Until I have a final, polished book to send out I have time to worry about the ins and outs of book publishers.
Meanwhile, I've also been typing up the rough draft of my new mystery play (title still TBD, perhaps Murder's a Habit?) featuring my crime-fighting nun Sister Agatha Steele. This was one of my five rough drafts of 2010, along with Penguins, and I'd like to at least get it on the computer (only having handwritten drafts of a piece always makes me nervous).
On the non-writing front, as part of Lakeshore's 10-minute play festival committee I help narrow over 200 entries down to the final 10 to be performed in June. I may be baised, but I think we've picked one of the best slates of plays the festival has seen for several years. My favorites include some by fellow Bingers Mark Harvey Levine and Patrick Gabridge. Sadly I couldn't audition for the festival this year (too bad, so many fun plays!), but it was for a good reason: Lakeshore is remounting Hansel and Gretel (which I was in several years ago) as a touring show and I've agreed to reprise my role. We've had a reading so far and really get underway with rehearsals on Monday. I also have seen a few shows here and there (Yellow Tree Theatre's Our Town, for instance) as time permits.
So that in a nutshell is 2011 so far. I'm hoping to keep chipping away at the mystery play on the side while working on my children's book, but I think that will be my focus for much of the year. More to come, and hopefully sooner rather than later this time!
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