For quite some time I’ve been anticipating the arrival of a particular month and a specific event. June 2016. The Playwrights Festival at Evolution Theatre Company. They’re almost here.
I was commissioned more than a year ago to write a short play for the Festival. I sat down, set to work, and what resulted was a farce that I titled “A Point of Diminishing Returns.”
Take an oblivious Ohio politician, put him in front of an unsympathetic group of constituents, and then have him depart from the remarks that his campaign manager has so carefully prepared for him. His stump speech has nowhere to go but down.
I turned in that script a long time ago. A few months later, I wrote another script, “Sticks & Stones.” In “Sticks & Stones” an art critic savages the work of a transgender artist. The artist uses her blog to out the critic as a closeted lesbian. The critic threatens to sue for defamation. As they talk with their attorneys, with ghosts from their pasts, and, eventually, with each other, the critic and the artist struggle to understand one another and their very different lives and identities.
I submitted the script to be considered for the 2014 Catco/Greater Columbus Arts Council Playwrights Fellowship. In the spring of 2015 I was informed that my script had won the Fellowship. What followed was a whirlwind of auditions and rehearsals all leading to a staged reading of the script in June 2015. More than one hundred people attended and the response from the audience was positive and affirming.
And after the reading, Evolution Theatre Company reached out to me and offered to produce “Sticks & Stones” during the second week of the Playwrights Festival. Which means that I have two plays being produced in Columbus this year.
“A Point of Diminishing Returns” will be one of the four short plays offered the first week of the Festival. “Sticks & Stones” will run the second week of the Festival.
Auditions were held two weeks ago. All of the actors for “A Point of Diminishing Returns” have been cast. All but one role is cast for “Sticks & Stones.” Rehearsals begin in a few weeks and I will be kept busy nearly every evening and several afternoons for the rest of May. A couple of nights I may be running from one rehearsal to the next. What a terrible problem to have, right?
I’ll be posting rehearsal photos and videos to this blog, to my Facebook page, and anywhere else that I can think of. What a dandy way to spend May 2016 – rehearsing and collaborating with actors and directors, shooting photos and videos and posting to social media – and all of it culminating in live performances of two of my plays in June.
June 1 - 5
WORLD PREMIERE - Sticks & Stones
Click the image above to read the article on the Dramatist Guild's blog and learn more about Evolution Theatre Company, the Playwrights Festival, and the plays being presented!