Yearly Annual Playwriting Year-in-Review Wrap-Up Rundown

Posted on Jan 12, 2018 in Ostensibly Funny, Playwriting, Shoe Substitutes

At this point in the calendar a lot of my playwriting colleagues crunch numbers from the past year, quantifying their labor and accomplishments as writers.  I always look forward to these annual posts as a welcome opportunity for self-loathing. But this year it occurred to me that I should try it myself. Because 60% of ...

Woody’s Nightmare

While condemning Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen said, “You also don’t want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.”  Hackers have obtained and leaked one of Woody Allen’s actual nightmares to ...

How a Season Falls Apart

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 in Ostensibly Funny, Playwriting, Shoe Substitutes

At Howlround, David Dower posted a compelling insight into a theater’s season planning called How a Season Comes Together.  Of course, not every theater has the same priorities.  Accordingly, my colleagues at the Rust Belt Repertory Theater have similarly shared a glimpse into their season planning process.   CULTURE FEAR FACTOR LOGISTICS STRATEGY PROGRAM? Play ...

“I Gave Myself the Best Part”

Recently my new play Some Other Kind of Person closed at the InterAct Theater Company in Philadelphia, which had also commissioned and developed the script.  It was a terrific production and a great experience, and along the way the theater published on its blog an interview between me and the multitalented future superhero Kittson O’Neill, ...

Sympathy for the Actor

Posted on May 16, 2013 in Playwriting, Shoe Substitutes, Writing

I recently found myself in the uncommon position of acting (which, given my rudimentary thespian skills, I rarely do, out of respect for the craft and for humanity); even more unusual was the fact that I was acting in a project that I’d written.  I was playing a character I’d created on the page, uttering ...

S*M*A*S*H-up

Posted on Mar 24, 2013 in Ostensibly Funny, Playwriting, Shoe Substitutes, TV

(FADE IN on the grungy 4077th S*M*A*S*H camp, a ratty assemblage of olive-drab tents and battered jeeps set in a dusty, scrubby valley.  A crooked post in the compound has nailed-up arrows indicating the direction and mileage to various destinations:  Chicago, Grover’s Corners, Osage County, Avenue Q.  The P.A. crackles to life.) P.A.: Attention all ...

Traumaturgy

Posted on Jan 20, 2013 in Playwriting, Shoe Substitutes, Writing

Let me note for the record that I love dramaturgs.  I think they’re little-understood and underappreciated, not unlike leeks.  My first exposure to the frank and open practice of dramaturgy occurred when I was an intern in a literary office, where the hectic stress of daily life — arguably endemic not so much to literary ...

Playwriting Tips and Handy Hints

* Writing stage directions that can’t be staged is sooo five minutes ago.  What are all the cool kids doing now?  Stage directions that can’t even be written.  Go! * Parenthetical adverbs attached to your dialogue is a bad idea because it tells actors there’s only one acceptable way to say the line.  Leave them ...

Why I’m a Playwright

When ACCIDENTAL RAPTURE was produced by the 16th Street Theater they asked me to write something. I tried to explain to them: I’d already written something! What was I, a machine? But anyway, this is what I wrote: People often ask me why I’m a playwright. That’s not true. People often ask me to move ...