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Entries in Boston Theater Marathon (5)


NaNoWriMo Chronicles: Post mortem

I topped out at 5250 words.

Multiplied by 10, that's a victory! But no one, including and especially me, multiplied it by anything.

5250 it remains—another failed experiment in extreme output.

But the month wasn't a complete waste. See above re: 5250 words... that's a decent start!

And even more exciting is that, while it wasn't such a great month for the nonfiction book project, it was a goddamn stellar month for playwrighting:

Because I couldn't let a Boston Theater Marathon deadline slip by without submitting something, I expanded, revised, and submitted two plays from this August's 31 Plays in 31 Days effort: GOING VIRAL and THE FORMATIVE YEARS.

Now I had two more complete ten-minute plays, so for kicks I also submitted them to the Long Island City One Act Festival.

And then I learned about an opportunity that would be a perfect home for another of my plays, THE GAME, so I expanded, revised, and submitted that, too.

And, lastly, I joined a playwrighting workshop group called Write On! that meets once a month in downtown Boston. I met some supportive like-minded folks, workshopped THE FORMATIVE YEARS with them, and got terrific feedback.

(All the while, mind you, beating myself up because I was "failing" NaNoWriMo.)

So then! There's an announcement here about how one of those submissions turned out. And just last night I discovered an oblique mention of my play, THE INTERVIEW, in a review for Bridge Rep of Boston's newest play, NOT JENNY:

Bridge Repertory Theater was founded by a consortium of some of Boston’s most talented young actors and directors. Olivia D’Ambrosio, the Producing Artistic Director, directed what I thought was one of the most successful, and hilarious, productions in the Boston Theater Marathon earlier this year.

"Successful"? "Hilarious"? Well. WELL. Olivia, as I've mentioned before, did an incredible job with the material, as did the actors, Deborah Martin and Adam Lauver. The play, of course, started here on this blog as Week Seven and it keeps coming up now and again.

But better, even, than this praise (which I just now co-opted from a review of a play that I did not write) is the sense of momentum my playwrighting seems to have at the moment. It comes more naturally to me than other forms of writing do, and people are really starting to respond to my work. It's an exciting time.

So anyway, sucks to you, NaNoWriMo!

...And see you again next year.


World premiere of The Interview at the Boston Theater Marathon

I've been using this blog as a workspace and my new home site to announce achievement things, but since this particular achievement came out of this blog, I thought it fitting to post this here.

Yesterday, I (and my mother and sister, and my girlfriend, and her parents, and several of our close friends... so I like the attention, what of it?) watched the world premiere of THE INTERVIEW, which is the play that came out of Week Seven's exercise.

I'm not sure I have words to express this, except that it was an incredible experience. The performance was a perfect collaboration between everyone involvedthe director, Bridge Rep of Boston's Olivia D'Ambrosio, and the actors, Deborah Martin and Adam Lauver. (Also I helped a little, but they did the heavy lifting required to make a script into a play.) We got some huge laughs, and I think the poignant moment at the end really hit with the audience. And then it was over, and everyone congratulated me, and I was officially a playwright.

The stated purpose of this blog was to get me writing again, and though my output has often been... let us say "sporadic"... I finally do think of myself as a writer now. A large part of that is you alleveryone who has read, "Liked," and commented on my words.

I'm excited to start work on the next piece, whatever that might be.

Perhaps Week Fifteen...?



So it turns out that serving on a jury takes a lot out of you!

I was impaneled (I think that's the verb I want) on a two-week criminal trial recently, and in the mornings my writing was not so much. It was an intense experiencemuch more emotional than I would have guessed. Meaningful, though. It's difficult to describe the feeling that what you are doing at this moment is vitally important to many people. 

I mean, the entire courtroom had to stand when we walked in the room. And when we left the room. 

(More italics = increased likelihood that you will understand that this was an experience.)

Anyway, that trial was very nearly my sole focus for the past several weeks (also there was a bombing and a lockdown/manhunt), but I'm back now. 

This week, rehearsals also start for Bridge Rep of Boston's staging of THE INTERVIEW for the Boston Theater Marathon. Going to be a very exciting, very busy week! 


Week Seven will not quit

So, I mentioned before that I was going to submit revised versions of Weeks One and Seven to this year's Boston Theater Marathon. 

Then, unbeknownst to you, I submitted those same plays to the Hovey Summer Shorts Festival and to one other festival I haven't heard from yet. 

Well, Week Seven's play made it into Hovey aaaaand...

That same play, The Interview, will also be appearing in the fifteenth annual Boston Theater Marathon

I really cannot overstate what an accomplishment this is for me. Since I first learned about the BTM in an intro to playwrighting class at Emerson College (...eleven years ago...), it has been a major goal of mine to get something I had written included in the lineup. And to that end, I wrote a decently okay play and slavishly tweaked, submitted, retweaked, and resubmitted that same play several times, each time receiving the flattering rejection note. (I assume there is a version of that letter that is less effusive. Maybe they're all flattering...)

The truth is, I don't really know what that play was about. It was called Dating Athenasmarmy business guy has several bad dates with the Greek goddess. It had an ambiguous ending I thought to be "theatrical" but did not mean anything to me. I just wanted to see my work on stage. Any work. 

The Interview does mean something to me... and in fact, I was worried that it was in some ways too literal, too earnest. But that's my style, and if the work feels disingenuous to me it'll show to others. Thanks in large part to this blog, I'm trying to be less precious and more direct with my writing these days, and I think that's why this particular play is responding with people: I've stopped trying to be clever and started trying to be me.

I can't wait to see what the director and actors bring to it.


Boston Theater Marathon

Every year, the Boston Playwrights' Theatre puts on the Boston Theater Marathon—50 ten-minute plays staged all in one day.

And every year, I have had exactly one short play to submit. I wrote it in my senior year at Emerson, and have submitted and resubmitted (with minor cosmetic edits) that sucker several times over the past <shudder> decade, each time getting the nice rejection and sometimes even a handwritten note.

This is just a quick post to say that, this year, I will be submitting two new plays—slightly revised versions of Weeks One and Seven's completed challenges. Though it's seemed, at times, that I'm not living up to the challenge I've set for myself here on this blog, the ultimate goal was to get me writing again, and that it has done. So thank you for reading and commenting, and fingers crossed that one of these guys will get staged next May!

[And by the way, if any of you New England–area playwrights have anything to submit to the BTM, the deadline is this Thursday, November 15th.]