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Showing posts from February, 2017

Giving Up: Shondaland

Confession:  I gave up on Shondaland a long time ago.
I’m not even sure why that’s a confession since it’s not something I feel particularly guilty about.
The last hold-out for me was Scandal, and after awhile it, it just seemed pointless to watch a bunch of people who hate each other doing things to hurt each other.  There are ways to make that interesting, but Shonda Rhimes clearly doesn’t know how to pull something like that off.
In fact, I’ve developed a theory that she probably hates all her characters.
Look at what she puts them through on Grey’s Anatomy—and I’m making assumptions here, based on my Newsfeed and the 9,000 Buzzfeed articles complaining about how many of her characters she’s killed off and all the awful ways she’s done it.  I know Game of Thrones has a high body count too, but you expect those characters to die.  They’re living in a world of dragons and swordplay.  How the hell does Shonda Rhimes justify killing off half a hospital staff in a little over a decade?

Consider the Outside Source

So, I never complain about critics, because I think it's hypocritical to call a critic an idiot when they don't like your work and then use their positive reviews to try and sell your show a month later.
On top of that, if I was going to publicly disagree with a critic, I never thought I would do it over a touring show at PPAC, but hey, it's 2017, so why not? I'll try and be as respectful as possible.
I'm not going to go into all the details of why I have an issue with the Providence Journal's review of "Curious Incident," but what I will say is this--
If you are a local critic--any local critic--part of your job should be to read up on previous productions of the show, or, at the bare minimum, the response the show got when it originally opened in New York.
That doesn't mean shows can't get better or worse, or that a touring production can't fail to live up to the Broadway production or elevate it, but regardless, it should be part of your r…

When Playwrights Attack

About a week ago, a theater got in touch with me asking if they could produce one of my plays.  The catch was, they’re going through some difficult financial times, and they can’t afford the rights.  I won’t go into too much detail, but basically, they thought if they could produce what I’d written at a low cost, they could start to rebuild their company.
I looked into it, found out they were telling the truth, and told them they could do the play for free.  They only asked me to do it at a discounted rate, but I knew charging them nothing was a better idea.  They could bank way more money that way.  All I asked in return was that in the future they’d consider doing more of my work.
And I thought that was the end of the story.
I was wrong.
Apparently, this is what happened next.
Someone from this theater told a playwright from the same area about what I’d done.  I guess they had asked her about doing one of her works at a discounted rate before they asked me, and she refused to lower…

Where the Wild Rights Are: A Story of Audacity and Hope...and Then Disappointment

Okay, so I’ve been producing theater For twelve years now And this is the weirdest thing That has ever happened to me In terms of getting the rights To something
And weird stuff happens When trying to get rights All the time
Here’s what went down:

Every so often There’s a book or movie That I like And I think to myself—
I wonder if there’s a play of that
And if you produce theater Particularly theaters That put on full seasons I strongly suggest Thinking this way Instead of just looking through lists of plays Because what you find out pretty quickly is—
There are play versions of nearly everything
That’s not to say all of them are good adaptations But usually They exist
Just Google titles you like And usually
You’ll find what you’re looking for
So I was looking for a play to do this summer And there’s this book This older, sort of classic Book That I thought would work really well For a summer season
Okay, I’ll guess I’ll just say it—
It was Where the Wild Things Are
Awesome, right?

A Farm for Lazy People

I want to have a farm But, for like, lazy people
I mean, I love animals
And I love feeding them
And petting them And not killing them
Granted, that last one Might be a problem
But are there, like Farms where you don’t kill the animals?
There must be
I mean, you can still get milk and eggs And wool You shouldn’t need to kill them On top of getting all that from them
Anyway, I digress—
Can I have a farm Where the animals are, like Trained to eat their morning meal At, let’s say, two pm?

And, like, stay up until midnight?
Is that a thing?
Is that a thing You can train animals to do?

I feel like it’s possible
Literally, the only thing Deterring me From owning a farm Is the whole Rising bright and early When the rooster crows aspect
We had a rooster once And I’m pretty sure my mom killed it And told us it ran away
I mean, she definitely killed it But I don’t remember exactly If she bothered to explain to us Why it disappeared
She might not have cared that much To be totally honest with yo…