Notes from a Wandering Laptop
Week of May 24, 2020
Yet Again More of My Playwriting Online
One of my COVID monologes was featured the other night on Connecticut Public Television! Artistic Director of New Haven, CT's Vintage Soul Productions Sharece Sellem was interviewed for an episode of Connecticut Conversations discussing the arts adapting during the pandemic. The monologue she submitted as an example was the one I wrote for Jacque Simone - the "after COVID-19" monologue, in that hopeful future when we can start doing theater again, "First Day Jitters." You can see the segment on CPTV's YouTube channel. Sharece's interview is up first, and the clip from the monologue is at the 5:45 mark. My other contributions to Vintage Soul's ongoing Quick Quarantined Play Festival are also posted online - David Hannah with the "before COVID-19" monologue set in February 2020, "Be Careful What You Wish For" - and Aaron Schwartz with the "during COVID-19" monologue, set, well, now, I guess, "Out of Alignment" - check out Vintage Soul's facebook page for links to all the new work going on from writers and actors sequestered at home. You can also see the work I did online for Theatre Is The Cure from Logan Squared Productions in San Diego, CA. The recording of the live Zoom call variety pack of monologues - and each individual monologue as a mini-video - is in the feed on their event page. My offering is entitled "The First of Many Nights" and director Justin Lang and actor Carl Weintraub really did a great job with it. The Sheltered Shorts series from Black Ice Theatre in South Lake Tahoe, CA has concluded their daily run of readings, but before they were done they did readings of the other three things I'd sent them: "Extra Cheese," "Lonesome, Wild and Blue, or How To Date A Werewolf," and "Love Bot" joined the previous readings of "The Bronze Bitch Flies At Noon" and "This Isn't A Horror Story" on the roster.
Help Save the Minnesota Fringe Festival
Fringe veteran Phillip Andrew Bennett Low of Maximum Verbosity did a two night retrospective of his work in the Minnesota Fringe Festival from 2004 to the present as a fundraiser for the Fringe, adding his own personal testimony on how the Fringe helped him grow not just as an artist but as a person - and how future generations of theater artists need this launching pad as well. I wrote some coverage on it between nights 1 and 2. A few weeks back, I wrote a testimonial as part of the Fringe's emergency fundraising campaign. For the first time in 27 years, there will be no Fringe this summer. If we want to be sure there's still a Fringe around to help support artists creating new theater in 2021, they need help now. They're halfway to their goal, let's get them the rest of the way. Buy a Fringe button, or just straight up make a donation (I've done both). I continue perusing Mom's old Fringe scrapbooks for memories to post to keep the Fringe in people's minds through social media.
Life On Lockdown
Time to do my homework on filing for unemployment in relation to my Guthrie Theater layoff for the next six months while there are no shows going on. If the Guthrie does indeed start up again in March 2021, they'll need some kind of box office, so I'm hopeful I'll be recalled in the new year. Current layoff is through January 4th. Meanwhile, I can keep using nights and weekends to organize all the boxes of stuff I've inherited, and writing, and guitar. The stay-at-home order for Minnesota has been lifted but the job with the Minnesota Private College Fund is in no hurry to drag us all back into the office. Remote work continues from home.
Grief Stuff - Missing Mom and Dad, year 1
Grief therapy continues online, as does the unpacking and assimilation of the contents of many boxes inherited from Mom and Dad and old home storage. As it has been for ten months now, the Caring Bridge page to follow Mom's illness and treatment has become a grief journal, now for both parents - at some point, I need to revisit and reread and catalog the early months. Another project.
Reviewed feedback from writer friends on "Spellbound" so now it's time to get down to work. Also, the new two-person version of "TV Boyfriend" waits patiently on its own rewrites and restructuring. Created some new personal deadlines and countdowns to get things moving. Plenty to keep me busy while we want for the grant application response.
Live theater is still in a holding pattern, awaiting safety in numbers again. 2020's roster, before it was interrupted, included - a fascinating and funny 5-star meditation on the nature of love, marriage and independence in A Doll's House Part 2 at the Jungle Theater; a charming 4.5 star musical, also on the ups and downs of love and marriage from Bucket Brigade Theater, their annual Valentine's season event 'Til Death, A Marriage Musical; the return of Open Window Theater with the uneven 4 star modern epic The World Over; a weirdly un-romantic 4-star comedy about a gay third wheel in Minnesota Jewish Theatre's Significant Other; Fearless Comedy Productions' great 5-star new play showcase Fearless Five: Dreams; a truly spectacular 5-star play-in-a-planetarium, Silent Sky from Theatre Pro Rata; the 4.5-star Pangea World Theater production of Jose Rivera's trippy Sueno (adapted from the classic Life Is A Dream); and an unexpectedly beautiful and inspiring 5-star production in a church chapel of Shaw's Saint Joan from The Orchard Theater Collective that kind of renewed my faith in the art form - and had its run cut short when the virus shut down all public gatherings. Who knows when my next theater review will be?
Here, if you're curious
Here, if you're curious