Paper Lanterns Getting Produced in NC

One of my new 10-minute plays, Paper Lanterns, is getting a production in late August! I submitted it to this festival at the Old Courthouse Theatre near Charlotte, NC. It's one of 6 plays getting produced. I'm excited to connect with another theatre and always super thrilled to see something that's been living in my head embodied on stage! 

The cool thing is it's a play that came from the writing prompts on this blog.

Weekend Writing Prompt -- June

A blog entry is forthcoming about my experience at Kenyon, but I need more time to let the ideas marinate. Almost as soon as I got back home, I dove into my current play and am up to my eyeballs in heavy revision. I'm so excited by the progress, but I just haven't been able to pull myself away to write about the experience. But I will!

Instead, I've decided to post a writing prompt. I've heard from some of you on Facebook, and it seems you're hungry for writing prompts. 

Redefining Success

I've always believed that a writer's success should be found in the act of writing rather than external validation. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with validation, but I have tried to find success in things that I have some control over: am I writing nearly every day and am I getting better in the craft from year to year? The first one requires some kind of writing discipline and process; the second one has to do with pushing myself to try new forms, new ideas, or new themes -- constantly challenging myself to exceed my grasp. 

I think for the most part this approach works for me. I practice it and I teach it to my students. But lately, I've been questioning this paradigm as the way in which I measure my success as a writer. What about those seasons in life when writing isn't possible? The time or the emotional energy just isn't there?

Weekend Writing Prompt - May

April was a crazy month -- the ending of a very busy semester, producing Fringe Fest, teaching 13 students in Practicum, etc.  So, I didn't get a writing prompt posted.  

But the monthly writing prompts have helped me devote one weekend a month to write something new, rather than spend all my time revising plays.  It's also had the unintended benefit of getting me to generate short plays.  My ideas are almost always for full-length plays, so it's been fun to explore the 10-minute variety.  

Reading at Writer's Festival '16

I had the opportunity to read from an excerpt of my play, On the 8’s, this week with some fabulous actors.  As a reading, some of the comic potential of staging wasn’t there.  But it was still fun to hear it and watch it become embodied by a new cast.  And these actors were such pros, finding so many great moments, even behind music stands.  

It reminds me again of why I do theatre – theatre people are so much fun and full of energy.  I think it was Madeline George who described a playwright as a poet who got lonely.  I agree!  Sometimes my motivation for writing plays boils down to creating an excuse to hang out with these people.  It's as valid a reason as any.    

Weekend Writing Prompt - March

This month's writing prompt is loosely based on something I read about Erik Ehn's silent writing retreats.  I read an account that in the midst of silence, he gave one playwright a poem to memorize.  I think this exercise was meant to counter the struggle with silence.  

Block out some time -- maybe two or three hours.  Try to do it one sitting.  The goal should be to write a new 10-minute play.  But who knows--it could grow into something longer.  You need to focus for this, so try doing this without music, internet, social media, or any other sound or distraction, except the poem on which this exercise is based.