Friday, June 17, 2016

Notes on Last Frontier: Day Six

Mark & Glyka in "Nothing But Flowers"
Never make fun of Bernie Sanders in front of an audience of Alaskan theater people.

Brief notes on another amazing and very full day. No nap.

Yoga this morning, outdoors, let by the amazing Meg. I missed the last outdoor session, which was reportedly troubled by mosquitoes. This time, Meg brought the Deep Woods OFF and we were all extremely grateful.

Attended a reading of Warm Milk Mamas, a brief play by Lisa on the subject of (modern) breastfeeding, followed by Sean’s Faculty Portrait, a troubling and sincere look at the effects of a shooting at an independent high school.

Following that I had my one-on-one with Kevin. I truly admire him, and his artistic sensibility. There were some comments about clarity regarding Sean’s piece, which moves back and forth in time, featuring scenes that take place the day of the shooting and one year later. Kevin was unconcerned about the possibility of being a little confused, and going with a story until it becomes clear. This is also something I approve of.

We had lunch at the Best Western where, in a relatively brief time had the opportunity to really look at each scene with greater detail, and hash out what I intended, what I need, and where to move next. Following that I stepped into a monologue workshop in the Mariner’s Room where Laura Gardner led a young woman in that monologue I wrote about a messenger from Macbeth. Laura totally got where the humor is in my piece though we did need to choose a shorter excerpt from it for the sake of time. There may be a follow-up rehearsal tomorrow, I still need to find out when that is.

That afternoon I saw two more readings before heading with Valerie and Scott, and meeting up with Ivan, at The Roadside Potatohead on the waterfront where I enjoyed a poutine-esque concoction, basically a basket of fries covered in sausage gravy. Fuck yes.

Also, the Cavs won. Game seven, you can suck on that.

Following the evening performance of Perseverance Theatre’s production of Annapurna, we headed back to the Mariner’s Room for the final Fringe of the week, which included my apocalyptic comedy Nothing But Flowers. Too much sun is mutating the laborers around Valdez, making them lazy and unproductive, and what I had one of the characters say was, “They’ll start demanding higher wages for doing absolutely nothing! It will be worse than what happened during the Sanders Administration!”

After a beat, the audience let out the longest, lowest “boo” I had yet heard at the conference this week. It was a thing of beauty.

Then we all went into the bar and drank. This is the latest I have yet stayed up in Valdez, and I have yet to hit the Boardroom for karaoke.

One of the most satisfying and inspiring element of this conference are the large number of strong and interesting roles for women, in the Play Lab and on the main stage. I would like to take what I have learned from my Play Lab to make sure that my play could be counted as one of them.

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