Power in a Union

wga-card.jpg

Happy to receive my Writers Guild of America welcome pack this week and call myself a proud associate member of the WGA.

I feel the sense of legitimacy and keen kind of power that comes with being part of a union. While I’m currently not a voting member, I’m excited to see the WGA flexing its muscles and demanding more from the agencies that represent writers in negotiations about a new code of conduct. I’m totally into what this guy says about the whole situation.

Excited to go to more WGA events and participate in a community of writers.

Sheepish Year-End Awards Close Call Round Up

Had some close calls with my screenplay Sheepish. Happy to hear my little script about a scientist who studies gay sheep has had some traction here and there. Here’s the run down of what’s up:

It’s encouraging to get this kind of feedback. I won’t throw this script away.

The Sisyphi Table Read with Trap Street

trap-street-reading.jpg

My play The Sisyphi, a play of absurdist vignettes about meaningless, futility, and pushing a gigantic boulder up a hill (it’s fun, I swear!), had a partial table reading with Trap Street Theater. The response in the backroom of the bar The Pikey was fantastic and gave me a lot of material to work with as I keep working on this project. The reading included the acting talent of Katie Pelensky, Chad Eschman, Faith D'Amato, Anne Berkowitz, Thi Nguyen, Kimberly Alexander, and Toni Maddocks. It was featured in a night of other work with the playwrights Tony Werner, Katie Markovich, Siobhan Gilbert, and Tracy Potter.


New Member of Playground LA Writers Pool

playground-program.jpg

This fall, I was selected to join Playground LA Writers Pool. Every month, the Writers Pool gets a prompt and has three days to produce a ten-minute play. Six are selected for a staged reading and then another six will get a full production as part of a best of night. It’s been fun to ditch preciousness and just produce some stuff.

This month the prompt was “Fall Down, Get Up” and my short play “A Small Breach in Protocol at Big Rick’s Rockin’ Skydive Academy” was selected for a staged reading. It’s a play about what one thinks about when plummeting from the sky. The reading was great. Directed by Paris McCarthy, the reading featured the acting talent of Krystal Mosley, Tobin Mitnick, Carolyn Deskin, and Nick Barnes.

ID, Please Premieres as part of CMU's CoOpera Festival with press coverage

ID, Please, the opera for which I wrote the libretto, opens this week as part of CoOpera, a festival of new opera, which is a collaboration between the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Music and Heinz School of Management, as well as Pittsburgh Opera.

Written with composer Soosan Lolavar, ID, Please is an opera about immigration and border security. Which has been a topical theme of late... and a personal one. Earlier this year, President Trump's "muslim ban" meant that for a few days it looked like Soosan wouldn't be able to return because she is a dual citizen in the UK and Iran. It's been a crazy couple of weeks.

Given the international and timely nature of the story behind our opera, Soosan and our opera were featured last month in the Times of London, The Hollywood ReporterThe BBC, and the Associated Press (see below). Most recently, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette covered the opening of CoOpera and interviewed Soosan upon her triumphant return to the US to see the premiere of our opera:

Parts of her libretto poignantly express her own anxiety in traveling. “I clutch my passport so hard my hand hurts / I’m never going back to where I’m from / I do not like the way you look at me like that.”
— Pittsburgh Post Gazette