Monday, April 20, 2015


Where are we now?
Where are we now?
The moment you know
You know you know.
- David Bowie, Where Are We Now
The year 2014 was a highly productive one for me. In my previous assessment, almost a year and a half ago, I reported my intent to do two very important things; read before sleep, and to write upon waking. And this I did, every single day. And there were dividends.

I wrote a play. I wrote another play. I wrote a few more things which may or may become things we might call plays. This became a ritual, and a very healthy one. My wife brought me coffee and I wrote for a half-hour, every morning. At the least.

Then, just after Thanksgiving I injured my back. To alleviate the pain, I was prescribed stretches. These took a half-hour every night, and again every morning. I lost my time. I spent far too much time online, and none writing. None, or rarely any.

But I was also directing my own play, and I had another in production. The Great Globe Itself was a success, a performance which received many positive comments:
I brought my 14 yr old daughter and she loved it. This is exactly the best kind of
outreach to bring theater/Shakespeare to the young.

- Audience member at Cleveland Heights-University Heights Main Library

Cool beans! Kudos to the writer! this play must have taken lots of research and
time. It was grand
- Audience member at Lakewood Public Library

As someone who only partially enjoys Shakespeare, I found this play to be a delight.
- Audience member at University of Akron
Also, this.
However, directing the work was very stressful for me. I do not enjoy directing my own work, you will notice I do not attempt that very often. Directing is a skill I admire in others. Especially when that person is Alison Garrigan, who directed Rosalynde & The Falcon at Talespinner, which closed yesterday.

Rosalynde & Rusty
Sitting in the audience for this one was such a joy, listening to children and their parents and grandparents all laughing at different things, and also at the same things. I have been blessed to have had many wonderful productions of my writing, but I don't think I have seen a show from one of my scripts that so successfully incorporated a unity of movement and music, costumes and masks, and the set painting and structures, with a company working so hard and fluidly for such an extended period. It was just everything, and I could not make note of a single weak note.

Last week was crowned by a special announcement, that I have had a second play published. YouthPLAYS is an online distributor of play scripts intended either to be performed by young performers, or by adult actors for young audiences. I am delighted to announce that they will be managing the rights for Double Heart (The Courtship of Beatrice and Benedick).

Beatrice & Benedick
This makes me happy for a number of reasons. All the plays are special, but this one is more special than others. The response we received was very emotional, it goes places I have rarely gone in my work. The idea of a high school Thespian troupe performing this work is thrilling to me.

 Also, in spite of its being inspired by a preexisting work (and one by Shakespeare, at that) it is original, it tells a unique story, I wrote it in verse, it is mine. The also-published Agatha Christie piece is also certainly mine, but I have to admit I feel validated for having something truly original in my name in print, and available for production.

And suddenly, without really noticing it happened, my back is noticeably free of pain. I stopped doing the exercises about a week ago, a little over a week ago, and just forgot to do them. Because nothing was reminding me to do so. At the same time, I had renewed my resolve to read and to write, every day. Next week I have a reading of something at unit. Can't really say what it is yet. Awful folk tales. And by horrible, I mean terrible.

But there it is. Writing. Something I still do.

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