Just Another Get-Art-Quick Scheme

So we’ve separated out our quest for making great art from our grubbing for money. Good for us.

We’re left with the pursuit of making theatre that adheres to the highest aesthetic standards of which we’re capable.

Great. How do we do that?

Well, we know, of course: we have to practice. We have to write, and produce, and reflect, and then write another thing, and produce it, and reflect again.

There was about ten minutes in the 1990s when I considered pursuing acting professionally. I had booked a couple small-time gigs and wondered what might happen if I threw myself in whole hog. (This is not a reference to my weight. Although my agent would’ve said different! Hey-oh!) Ultimately, I passed because I didn’t like the idea of having to wait for somebody to give me permission to do my work. Actors have to get cast; they have to find words to say; they have to fit into other people’s ideas of them.

The great thing about playwriting, I told myself then and now, is even if everybody hates my play, I can always just write another play.

Which is true. But it’s not enough.

Plays aren’t written; plays are made. The suffix -wright means in Some Language Or Other, “to make or to fashion.” A boatwright makes boats. A wheelwright makes wheels. A playwright makes plays.

A play is not a script. A script is a blueprint for an experience.

Writing a play is like planning a haunted house. When you plan a haunted house, there are all sorts of decisions you make reflexively: Where will we do the thing? Who’s my audience? How will my audience know when the thing’s started, or finished? What will surprise them? What will move them from one thing to the other? How do I want my audience to feel afterwards? And who can I convince to help me pull it off?

Now imagine coming up with a kick-ass haunted house idea, and writing all the notes down, and then sending them somewhere, and then somebody agrees to put it on, and then they send you pictures of the thing and stories from people who went through it, and whether they had a good time or not.

It’s nice. But it’s not exactly satisfying. And it doesn’t really teach you how to make a better haunted house next time.

It’s not enough for us to write another play. We must write a play, and then produce it. And if we can’t convince somebody to produce it for us (with us), we must produce it ourselves.

We know this, too. “Self-production!” say the sages breezily, since time immemorial.

But can we acknowledge something? Self-production is really stinkin’ hard.

Especially if you don’t have a built-in apparatus for producing, like a school or your own theatre company, self-production is a beast. The logistics alone – scheduling the venue, the actors, tech –  can drive a lesser organized person to collapse in front of their Google Calendars, weeping. It’s enough to make a writer wonder if their 20-actor historical drama that features a lot of nudity is really, y’know, worth it.

And let’s say we get off the mat and actually pull the thing off, what then? What if everybody hates it? Or worse: What if nobody comes? If a play goes up in Iowa, and nobody in New York notices, did it ever happen?

But we must, friends. We must produce. It is the only way to get better. We must, we must, we must. There is no escaping this. We must produce and produce until we’re good enough to attract collaborators, and then we must keep producing. And we must do it publicly, horrible failures and all.

How do we do it? How do we strike the balance between doable and useful? If we’re going to pour our energies into the ordeal of self-production, how do we make sure it pays off? And by “pays off,” I mean, grows our skills and/or attracts collaborators for future haunted houses.

Okay. Here’s my idea:

We launch a series of Get-Art-Quick schemes.

A Get-Art-Quick scheme (a GAQ, if you will), requires the following:

  • It’s got to cost little or no money to make. That means any collaborators are volunteers (I’ll get to them in a minute), any sets or props are handmade or found or donated, and any venue is donated or free. That moves us into site-specific territory, which is exciting: a play in a car. A play in a park. Up a tree. In the mall. In my front yard. Or, hey! In a theatre, if we can find one. Site-specific is great, though, because it solves the set-design dilemma. But anywhere you have the urge to do it is fine. Let’s get creative.
  • We don’t charge admission. Pass the hat if you must. But don’t lose site of our prime directive: we’re making art, not dollars.
  • Since we’re likely in a found space, the play should probably be short. Short-ish. Manageable. This is probably not the best approach for your four-hour opus, but don’t let me stop you if you want to attempt it. Ten minutes? Fifteen? What feels doable?
  • Start by choosing the venue and getting the performance date on the calendar, and then emailing all your friends about it. Then write the play. My favorite career adage is “Book the theatre, and the play will write itself.”
  • Choose a performance date that’s a month away, or less. This is the “quick” part of Get-Art-Quick.
  • Use the promise of limited rehearsal time to entice your collaborators, and pledge your own support for their future GAQs. If we think of our collaborators less as employees or independent contractors and more like independent artists we want to jam with, then we get into an “I’ll scratch your back and vice versa” situation. Ideally, we’ll create a loosely-affiliated community of GAQers who swap resources. (Is this a practical application of HowlRound’s Culture Coin? Sure.)
  • Build in an opportunity for feedback and reflection. Maybe this is breakfast the next day with your writing group and guests. Maybe it’s the bar right afterwards. Try not to have a talkback right in the red hot second after you perform, though. Let the experience mellow. Also, I suggest changing out of costume and if possible, changing venues for any kind of formal feedback discussion, for your own mental health. It’s vulnerable, producing your own work.
  • Document the whole thing online. This is key. Video it and put it on YouTube, or blog about it, or Tweet, or record it in some way. We are acting locally and promoting globally. Putting your GAQ online allows for other artists to participate in the discussion, it expands your reach beyond the food court at Coral Oaks Mall (or wherever you put on the thing), and at the very least, it makes the thing public. It makes it real. It’s no longer theoretical. You are standing by your work, out loud, to the world. If it’s embarrassing, let yourself be embarrassed forever. We’re all learning and growing. And you must – must! – go public with your work so that you can release it and move on to the next thing. It’s the only way forward.

GAQs can be a series of shorts read in somebody’s living room (better: a series of shorts performed in somebody’s living room). It can be a film/theatre hybrid. It can be a puppet show. It can be a stand-up set. It can be anything, really. But it must see itself to its end; it must be concluded. A reading of a new play in process, while helpful, is not in the spirit of the GAQ. We are producing here. We’re not developing. This is the whole banana. This is the thing, this GAQ. (Or the play. The play is the thing, is what I’m trying to say here. If only somebody had thought of that before!)

We do enough of these, and we start to get better. We won’t be able to help ourselves. Experience teaches. And those skills will start transferring into our larger works. Which is what we want.

Courage!

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Notes on The Great Release

IMG_0714Well! How was your weekend?

I’m stunned and tickled at the reaction I’ve gotten from my last blog post, The Great Release. (Sometimes I forget this whole Internet-thingy is really public, and not just me and my four friends.) Your responses have been overwhelmingly positive; it appears many of my fellow playwrights are experiencing similar frustrations.

It’s led to many good conversations, both in the comments section and privately via email, Facebook, etc. I’m hearing several repeating themes I’d like to address. Rather than tackle them one by one, I’m going to summarize the main arguments I’m hearing and respond in one fell swoop. Forgive me if my summaries are pithy and reductive; Pithy and Reductive, in addition to being the names of my future twin parakeets, are kind of where I live naturally.

By putting your work online for free on your website, are you just chucking all copyright law out the window? What if theatres make changes to your work without your permission?

No. All my works are copyrighted and registered with Big Brother. (There’s a movement afoot called Creative Commons that challenges the efficacy of current copyright law, as it often appears to protect major corporations more than lowly artists, but that’s not what I’m proposing. Yet.)

And no, I don’t want theatres to make changes to my work without my permission. But no ethical theatre would do such a thing, and any unethical theatre that would make changes without my permission wouldn’t be stopped if they got hold of my script in the conventional manner.

When I was 23, I was in a production of Steve Martin’s Wasp whose performance rights I would bet my eyeteeth were not, shall we say, secured appropriately. They had trouble finding an actor to play the teenage girl. Their solution to the problem was to cast a boy and radically rewrite the part. Now the character was a football player, etc. It was the playwright’s nightmare come to life. I was appalled, but I was also 23, and they paid me fifty whole dollars for three scenes. If Steve Martin is reading this and crying (Hi, Steve!), he should take solace in the knowledge that the production was poorly attended and everybody lost money. It was also, naturally, abysmal.

When we talk about these hypothetical thieving and illegally-revising producers, I think of those poor, schlubby, ignorant, well-meaning guys who are responsible for that miserable production of Wasp, and it’s hard for me to get too worked up about it.

 Why do you want to kill the publishers? (Variation: Yeah! Kill the publishers!)

I don’t want to kill the publishers. Publishing houses serve some useful functions. When those aforementioned unethical producers monkey with a writer’s work, publishers can send scary Cease-And-Desist letters that resolve the problem. (Corporations aren’t just people, they’re really litigious people!)

Publishing houses also serve as handy databases and matchmakers. If a theatre wants to find a play to produce, they’re probably not going to Google and typing in “good play.” But they might flip through an established publisher’s catalogue, find something that looks interesting, and then use the publisher’s royalty apparatus to secure the rights.

I’m not against getting my plays into Samuel French (Call me, Sammy! Have I got a moneymaker for you!). Putting my plays online is not about making an end run around the publishing middlemen. It’s about something else.

Do you honestly think you’re going to get more productions out of this approach?

There are only three ways I’ve ever gotten a production of one of my full-length plays:

  1. I produced it myself.
  2. My friends produced it.
  3. A theatre asked a mutual acquaintance for a recommendation, and they fed ’em one of my plays, and the theatre liked it and did it.

That’s it. In all my years of blind submissions, my only real headway has sprung directly from personal relationships and referrals. Open submissions have netted me a couple of small development opportunities from really targeted searches (“We’re looking to do readings of plays from thirty-something women from Iowa!”), and a giant stack of  rejection letters. Some of those rejection letters have been really lovely and personal; you can tell the lit manager actually read the play and responded, which is nice. But nice and fruitless is still fruitless.

So, no. I don’t think releasing my plays online for free will bag me more productions outside of my personal relationships.

Then what, pray tell, is the point?

The point is to reduce the barriers between my work and my audience. The point is to decouple the need to make money from the need to make art. The point is to put my work into the world by any means available. The point is to rethink everything.

Putting a play online for free probably won’t get me any real money or shiny new productions. But somebody – some stranger – might read it. If I get just one person to read one of my plays, that’s a 100% increase from the people reading my it when it lived on my hard drive.

Again: it’s not about the money. It’s not about gaming the system, or cutting out the middleman, or creating a lucrative new business model. I’m all for lucrative business models, but that’s not what this is.

This is about separating the quest for legitimacy from money-getting. This is about rethinking how I spend my finite time and energy as an artist in this world, and stop pursuing a path that is ineffective, demoralizing and distracting.

To put it another way, I’m experimenting with a new approach to my career, one where I make a list of all the things about the standard approach to playwriting that frustrate me, and then stop doing those things. And then I make a second list of all the things that bring me joy and do those things more.

I want to change my approach not because I don’t like writing cover letters, but because I don’t think the cover-letter approach is effective. I don’t think putting my script in the mail and then waiting for the phone to ring is effective. It’s not making me a better artist by any metric.

An artist’s job can be boiled down into two tasks: Make Work, and Put It Out Into the World. (Pithy! Reductive!) I’m trying to take a cold hard look at both halves of that equation and see how I can make it more satisfying and joyful, because I believe if the process is more joyful, the work will improve. Step One is to stop chasing the almighty dollar, to shrink its importance to a mere ingredient rather than the ultimate goal or a symbol of my legitimacy and success.

The Great Release is not just about releasing my plays into the wilderness. It’s about releasing myself from the strictures of conventional career-making that tie my theatre-making to some capitalist enterprise.

If your theatre-making is a capitalist enterprise and that’s working for you, then go with Zeus. I salute you and stand in awe. It does not work for me.

So I’m going to do things differently. This is just the beginning.

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The Great Release

 

There is a way of being a Professional Playwright (TM) that I have been taught. It goes like this: Write a play, submit it to various institutions (theatres, festivals, development labs, etc.), and wait for someone to read it and like it and say yes, and if you do that enough times, you can leverage those successes into a career. A “career” is defined here as a way of organizing your time and activities in such a way that results in your plays paying for your utility bill.

Other truisms that are attached to this approach: When You’re Ready, An Agent Will Find You. Register Your Plays with the Copyright People in Case of Grand Larceny. Live in New York, Or Have a Good Reason Why You Don’t. Always Be Networking. Etcetera.

We go about our days, writing cover letters and artistic statements and bios, collecting little bits of critical praise dished out by the guy who’s writing the theatre review column this week because the cooking column was discontinued, feathering our nest with phrases like “Not horrible!” and “An evening in the theatre!” like so many bits of string, thinking if we do that enough times we’ll create an illusion of momentum, and people who didn’t like our plays before will take a second glance because The Muncie Free Press has dubbed it “entertaining.”

And so we go on and on and on.

We do this – I do this – because we have been told that this way lies money. We all want money. We want money for our projects, and we want money for our self-esteem, and we want money for our utility bill. Most of us are humble about it; we don’t want a lot of money (Lie: of course we do), we just want enough to justify spending our time in this way. We have confused money with legitimacy.

We have bought into the notion that the money-makers are the “professionals” and the non-money-makers are the “amateurs.” I can think of no worse insult than to be called an amateur. How can I be an amateur? Have you seen my student loans?

But now, true confession: If my job is to wring money out of my art, then I am very bad at my job. I can’t seem to do it well. When I have managed the miraculous, it’s never for very long and it’s never for very much. No agent has magically appeared to me out of the mists – a couple have sniffed around, but nobody’s proposed marriage or even offered to read my plays. I have a couple of short pieces published; Dramatic Publishing currently owes me $11.43 and has for seven years. They won’t cut me a check until the amount reaches $25, so I expect to get paid never.

I see my colleagues working the machine, racking up the publications and schmoozing with the artistic directors and burrowing their way into various institutions, and it seems wondrous to me. Is it because they live in a more exciting town? Is it because they went to the Fancy School? Did they learn some secret, some alchemy that I never learned? Was I truant the day they taught Money-Getting?

For the past fifteen or so years, I have attempted to do all the things I was taught, hoofing for dollars on the margins, trying to break into the big room, and growing increasingly anxious at my failure to do so. Is the answer to make a different kind of theatre, one that is more populist, or weirder, or broader or narrower? Do I need to start my own version of the Setting Up Folding Chairs in the Church Basement Theatre Company? Do I gird my loins and “write for television” (as if that option is as easy as booking a plane ticket and hanging out a shingle)? I find myself spiraling down a rabbit hole, each dubious solution leading to a distorted outcome.

When I get lost in a play revision, it helps me to remember why I wanted to write the play in the first place. What was the initial impulse that motivated me? That impulse, be it an image or a gut feeling, becomes my North Star, and I can find my way out of the thicket of what-ifs and could-bes to get to my essential truth.

Why did I go into the theatre? I mean, I’m not dumb. I’ve got a brain and two hands and could make money doing any number of things. And there are lots of jobs out there that are not soul-sucking endeavors, but nourishing, useful work. If I wanted money, going into the theatre has proven, at best, deeply irrational.

So what was my initial impulse?

I believe a play is not a script but an event, that as a playwright my job is to plan a haunted house, and then get my friends together and put it on for the people to experience, and along the way if I can slip in some commentary on feminism or the plight of humanity, well and good. My mission statement is to Amuse and/or Tell the Truth. One or the other is fine; both is best.

I note here that nowhere in my pithy mission statement is any thought given to money. My mission is not to Amuse and/or Tell the Truth for Money; simply saying that aloud rings false. I must conclude (to my privileged chagrin) that I am not now, nor have I ever been, in it for the money. Yet I devote so many of my scant resources toward that very thing.

A radical thought: What if I stopped chasing the money? What if I separated my need to pay my utility bill with my need to amuse and/or tell the truth? What if I took all my urgent submitting and wheedling, and chalked it up as a bad job? A certain amount of money is necessary to make my work, but what if I treated it as an ingredient, rather than the hoped-for outcome? What happens then?

What happens is a complete rethinking of the conventional wisdom of career-making.

Now having a professional career does not mean using my art to pay my bills. Now “career” is redefined to mean the fulfillment of my mission statement by means of the most rigorous application of my skills and abilities, and “professional” means conforming to the highest possible aesthetic standards, in conversation and in collaboration with other like-minded peers. It speaks to a degree of artistic competence, rather than a given percentage of earned income.

To fulfill my mission, I must connect with my audience as often and as fruitfully as possible. If I focus my energy where it rightly belongs – making that connection for the much-needed amusing and/or truth-telling – then my first order of business becomes to reduce the barriers between my work and my audience. I should make it as easy as possible for people to see my work. The two most valuable things we can ask from strangers is their money and their attention. Their money would be nice, but their attention is integral. Eric Bentley defines theatre as A performs B for C. If there is no C, there is no theatre.

So how do I do that? Specifically, how do I do that with little or no money?

Well, for starters, I put all my scripts online for free.

I floated this idea on Facebook, and all my well-meaning and concerned friends freaked the fuck out. “You’re devaluing your art! You’re saying your art is worthless! Your plays are your property!”

I point to Charles Mee – he’s done this for years.

“Yeah, but Chuck Mee is different,” say my friends. “He’s doing an experimental post-modern thing, and anyway he’s old and he already has all the money. But you are young and fresh and nobody knows who the hell you are! ‘Tis madness!”

(I don’t know Chuck Mee personally, but I’m willing to wager he made more money from productions of Big Love last year than I’ve made in the last three years from all my plays combined. And that’s with the entirety of all his scripts released online for free. Our university did Big Love last year, and we paid him.)

But leaving Mee aside, let’s explore this idea that “giving away” my scripts devalues them. My plays are valueless, as long as they sit in a drawer. If a play is an event and the script is the blueprint, then what good is a bunch of blueprints taking up space on my hard drive? I didn’t write my plays to be hidden from the world by a team of hypothetical lawyers. Making my script a thing that is difficult to find and read, making the reading of my script a privileged experience, is an obstacle between my work and my audience. Currently, if I can’t convince a theatre to produce my haunted house, and for whatever reason I can’t produce the haunted house myself, then all that work that went into planning the haunted house is a waste of time.

“But someone can take your work and steal it!” Okay: First, nobody’s going to steal my work without me knowing it. If somebody plagiarizes me, I’ll find out. Remember the big stink when Glee allegedly ripped off Jonathan Coulton’s arrangement of Baby Got Back? Patrolling for plagiarism is a task ideally suited to crowdsourcing.

Secondly, nobody’s going to produce my play without me knowing about it. Remember that $11.43 Dramatic Publishing owes me? That’s for a ten-minute play I wrote called Rumple Schmumple. In theory, people are supposed to pay Dramatic a royalty to produce it.

But my Google Alert tells me that Rumple Schmumple gets done all the stinking time, and if Allenwood Middle School and its compatriots were actually paying the royalties they’re supposed to, I would have surpassed the twenty-five-dollar mark long ago. In theory, I could demand Allenwood Middle School coughs up the chump change they owe me, but I never do. Why? Because the reality is, if Allenwood had to pay to do the play, they probably wouldn’t do it. And with arts education being what it is, I’m thrilled that anybody’s doing any play at all. That particular play happens to have some pretty subversive feminist messages stitched into its seemingly-innocuous fractured-fairytale fabric, and it tickles me to smuggle those ideas into a bunch of seventh graders’ subconsciousness. Knowing that is happening is worth way more than the measly ten dollars or whatever that I would get from those schools, poor souls.

I teach, and sometimes my students feed me a story about their dead grandmother to get out of class. Even when I suspect they’re lying to me, I usually excuse them because I know if they’re the kind of student who has to lie about a death in the family to get out of class, they’re the kind of student who’s probably not going to get an A in the first place. They don’t need me to be hyper-vigilant about how many surviving grandmothers they actually have; that stuff takes care of itself. And if they do it enough times to warrant my attention – for example, their third grandmother in a semester kicks it – then I take appropriate disciplinary measures. But I don’t stress about it until that time.

If a theatre finds my work online and wants to produce it, and they’re a legitimate theatre full of right-thinking people, they will pay me. And if a company steals it from me and doesn’t pay me, then they’re probably not a very good company, and it’s a good bet they’re not going to profit in the end. And if they do profit, I’ll know about it. You can’t produce a play in secret. And if a no-good thievin’ company steals my work and profits from it enough to warrant my attention, then I’ll take all the appropriate disciplinary measures.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to live my life. Because what are we really talking about here? A bunch of – let’s face it – people who are probably not malicious and are fans of my work and are probably ignorant of the ways in which they’re ripping me off, or else justifying their theft out of a lack of intellectual rigor, putting on my play for their friends and their moms? That’s kind of amazing.

Listen: Of course I want to get paid. Of course I should get paid. But the fact is not only am I not getting paid now, but my work is languishing in the dark. Right now, people are paying me neither money nor attention. I’d like both, but I’d rather have the attention (an ingredient, let’s remember, that is absolutely essential to the making of my work) than nothing at all.

It is fear that keeps me clutching at my scripts, shielding them from prying eyes like I’m in math class, guarding against copiers. Enough. Be free, scripts! Find admirers!

Theatre, playwriting, joke telling, haiku: these are economic forms. Concision, precision, and truth are requirements. Let’s get elemental and essential. My favorite thing to do on this earth is to stand in front of an audience and participate with them in a shared experience of my own design. Anything I can do to encourage that, I embrace; anything that hinders that, I reject.

And if I do this, if I refocus my efforts toward the making of the work and rushing headlong into the arms of the audience rather than crabbing for dollars on the sidelines, then I imagine the work will get better. I will create from a place of empowered freedom, of delightful experimentation. Work made from an anxious place is tentative and small. Work made from an emancipated place is daring and joyous.

And – irony of ironies! – if the work is better, it will warrant people’s attention. And then the money will follow.

And if it doesn’t, well, so what? What have I lost? It bears repeating: the old system isn’t working for me. It’s like the car has broken down, so I suggest walking to our destination. “But then you’ll have to walk all that way!” scream my friends. “It’s better to drive!” Maybe it is. But that car is in a ditch. It’s moot. I don’t need a stinking agent to tell me that.

Patton Oswalt has said – and I’m paraphrasing here – that when aspiring comedians ask him how to get their foot in the door, he responds that there is no door. Just make your work, and the good will out.

What if we just made our work?

“That’s easy for you to say, Megan,” some friends might say. “You already have a glamorous and lucrative job as an adjunct professor in the theatrical hotbed known as the state of Iowa. But me, I’m struggling!”

Yes, I hear you: Rehearsal space is expensive. Good actors and designers are expensive. Folding chairs are expensive. Yes, yes, yes. You know what else is expensive? Not making our art. Playwriting is the art of problem solving. Solve these problems. Quit saying no. Institutions are crumbling. No: Institutions are illusory. Institutions do not exist. There is no institution that can grant us careers like fairies. Playwrights Horizons is not coming to rescue us.

Now is the time for revolution, friends. Now is the time for revelation. Let’s rethink everything.

And if you’d like to read a play, I have some available.

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Sad panda

So my play Bad Panda, after a crazy-long development, is finally getting its world premiere next month at Baltimore’s Iron Crow Theatre Company. I love my director, I love the company, I’m super-stoked to see the production. And when the real-life panda Mei Xiang had a surprise baby last week at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., we all celebrated and took it as a good omen.

And then the baby died. And I feel awful.

Intellectually, I understand that panda babies die in captivity all the time. I read somewhere that of the seven babies they’ve managed to breed in captivity at the National Zoo, only one has survived. But it still hits me in the gut, considering the timing. As of this writing, they don’t know what caused the death, but they found milk in the baby’s stomach, so they ruled out starvation. In my playwright’s imagination, that means the mama loved the baby and the whole thing is all the sadder.

Bad Panda is a play largely about families. The two pandas are the last two pandas on earth, and they’re trying to make a baby. And they’re having a really hard time succeeding. And the play is a comedy, and it ends happily, etc., but underpinning the whole play is this shadow of loss and death: they’re the last two pandas. On earth.

The director, the actor who plays the female panda, and I have all been grieving via Facebook. I have no doubt that if I were in Baltimore right now, we’d all go out for drinks and a good cry. I don’t think I realized how invested I was in this real-life panda and how I tied it to my pretend-pandas’ fortunes until now.

It will be interesting to see how this affects the Baltimore production; it will certainly color my own reception of it opening night.

So Joseph, Katie and company: Keep the faith. Let’s imagine the baby panda cavorting in baby panda heaven. And let’s all cross our fingers that this tragedy is not actually a show  omen.

 

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Animals simulating fornication for comic effect

Many of you might be tired of me flogging the eBook version of Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant (on sale now! $2.99! What a deal!).

So I will take a break from promoting that project and promote this one instead!

Bad Panda, after years of almost and maybe and we’re going to cancel this show and do Steel Magnolias instead (true story!) is finally – finally! – getting its world premiere this October in Baltimore, produced by Iron Crow Theatre Company.

You guys, I am so stoked. This postcard makes the play look both cute and creepy, which it kind of is.

To refresh your memory, this is the play about the last two pandas on earth, and the boy panda falls in love with a neighboring crocodile, who is also a boy, and then the girl panda spontaneously has a baby. Lots of sex in various configurations. And also jokes! And babies! What’s not to like?*

Hope to see you there!

 

* Answer: Gays. If you don’t like gays, you’re probably going to be a lil’ uncomfy at this play. But you should come anyway, because it’s about time you get over that “uncomfortable around gays” nonsense. Do you see how it’s starting to affect your social life? Now you can’t even go to cool plays anymore! Shake that off, girlfriend!

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I will read your play for money

I’m trying a new thing. Lately I’ve been getting approached by folks who want to study with playwriting with me independently. I can’t seem to make that kind of intense mentoring situation work with my regular life, but sometimes people ask me to read their play and give them feedback, and that seems like something I should be able to make happen, right? Especially if they give me money?

So on my website you’ll find a new section called Consult, which is where I offer to read your play for money. And I’ve gone ahead and set my prices so that we won’t have to have an embarrassing conversation about it later.

We’ll give this a try and see how it works.

And if it’s never occurred to you to give me money to read your play because you don’t have a play because you’re not actually a playwright but rather a person living their life to the fullest doing other things, then God be with you and keep on walking.

But if you’re a student of playwriting, and you want me to read your play, I will do it. For money.

Yay, money!

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Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant has a cover

 

 You remember my solo show, Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant? You know, the one about Hillary Clinton getting me pregnant?

Yeah. It’s being released as an eBook. So you can read it on your Kindle or your iPad or your Whackadoo 9000.

This is the cover. I think it conveys the important information. The second font for the words “got me” says Comedy! Or perhaps, Whimsy! And that tiny American flag? Patriotism! Ironic? It’s So Tiny!

And the blue-fading-into-white background suggests clear blue skies (read: Optimism!) and clean things (Uncomplicated, Yet Literary!).

And the red text? Vixen. Slutty, Degenerate Vixen.

The eBook’s not out yet; I’ll holler when it drops.

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