Meet our Minneapolis Playwrights!

Holy cow, holy cow – we are SO excited about next week’s ONSTAGE reading in Minneapolis that we can hardly stand it!  Anne Bertram with Theatre Unbound is absolutely rocking our world with her dedication to this event.  Huzzah!

So, without further ado, allow us to introduce you to the awesome female playwrights whose work is getting read this Tuesday, March 10th at 7:30 at The People’s Center Theatre (425 20th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55454).  If you’re in the neighborhood, we hope you’ll join Theatre Unbound for a lovely evening of awesome new work by these FABULOUS female playwrights!

Jaclyn Grogan HeadshotJaclyn Grogan (AFTER THE CHICKEN DANCE) is a playwright, a nomad, and an extroverted introvert. Her dark comedies, dream plays, and farcical shorts explore the absurdist themes by which she lives, including the ultimate struggle for control in an illogical universe in which no control is to be had. Ever. Jaclyn’s plays have been performed in cities across the country, including workshops at academic conferences, staged readings, and productions at regional theatres. In May 2015, Jaclyn will receive her MFA in Playwriting from Southern Illinois University. She also received her undergraduate degree in English and Theatre Studies from Wellesley College. Prior to writing plays, Jaclyn served as a college counselor for high school students within the Texas public school system. In her unstructured spare time, Jaclyn lives vicariously through documentary-style crime television. Jaclyn will never drive a vehicle with a personalized license plate should she ever need to run from the law.

Playwright Nayna Agrawal

 

Nayna Agrawal (SLUT) is an MFA in stage and screen writing student at Northwestern University.  Her plays have appeared in Chicago, Ithaca, New Bedford, Seattle and Evanston.  She was a writing intern with HBO last summer and the winner of an Emmy Foundation scholarship.
**This is Nayna’s second time as an ONSTAGE Semi-finalist.  Her play, Purple Eggs, was a 2014 ONSTAGE semi-finalist in our Planting the Seed Festival.

 

Anne Hamilton at GPTC 2012Anne Hamilton (THE SHOEBOX) is a NYC-based freelance dramaturg and the Founder of Hamilton Dramaturgy, an international consultancy. She holds an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts, and has worked with Andrei Serban, Michael Mayer, Lynn Nottage, NYMF, Niegel Smith, and Classic Stage Company. She created Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow!, and her specialties include new play development, production dramaturgy, new musicals, career advising, advocacy, and oral histories. She was a Bogliasco Foundation Fellow. www.hamiltonlit.com

**This is Anne’s second time as an ONSTAGE Finalist.  Her play, OFEM was a 2014 Finalist in our Planting the Seed Festival.

EliEffinger-WeintraubEli Effinger-Weintraub (AT THE GATES OF THE HOUSE OF THE MOTHER OF WATERS) is a playwright and prosaist celebrating the magical in the mundane​. Gadfly Theatre Productions premiered her play Girl Gumshoe & Detective Dad in October 2014; she is a many-time writer for Theatre Unbound’s 24:00:00 Xtreme Theatre Smackdown; and her short plays have appeared in festivals around the country. Her prose publications, both fiction and nonfiction, run the gamut from Steampunk Tales and Electric Velocipede to Alyson Books, Seal Press, and Llewellyn Worldwide. Eli is honored to be part of the writing team for Theatre Unbound’s collaborative Title IX project about women in sports, which begins touring in September 2015. Eli lives in Minneapolis with her wife and frequent inspiration, visual and fiber artist Leora Effinger-Weintraub.

Kirsten_Van_Ritzen (2)Kirsten Van Ritzen (SOLO JOURNEYS) is a professional actor and comedienne who has received acclaim across Canada for her performances in theatre, comedy, TV, film and radio; she has also performed in Orlando, Chicago and L.A. Kirsten has written and performed several solo plays including ALL MY DAY JOBS published in the anthology ONE FOR THE ROAD: NEW PLAYS FOR ONE ACTOR (Signature Editions). She is the author of THE COMEDY DIVA DIARIES (iUniverse) a humour novel about a female comic trying to make it in Hollywood. A member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, Kirsten has two full-length plays in development THE TRIPLEX and MAD LADY PEEL.  Wishing success and inspiration to my colleagues on all your creative journeys!  www.kirstenvanritzen.com www.comedydivadiaries.com @mscomedydiva

Rachael Brogan Flanery Color HeadshotRachael Brogan Flanery (WORKING LATE) is an actress and writer in the Twin Cities. She has her MFA in playwriting from UCLA and BA in theater from the University of Iowa. Her plays have been produced in Aspen, CO., Iowa City, IA., Los Angeles, CA., Minneapolis, MN., Prescott, AZ., and New York, NY. She is currently performing her one woman show “Shades of Ginger” as part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 Girl Shorts. She is co-founder of Twin Cities’ theater company: Table Salt Productions and has performed in many of their shows since 2009. She is thrilled to be involved in LBDI Female Playwrights Onstage for the second time. In her spare time she is a wife, mother, and teacher.

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ONSTAGE at Theatre Unbound!

2014logoI met Anne Bertram at the 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference.  Her play, The Good Fight, was so AWESOME, I knew I had to get to know this playwright!  My hope at the time was that maybe she would want to write something for our 2015 ONSTAGE Festival, but lo and behold, she decided to come on board as a Partner Producer instead – she is just that awesome!

Anne is the Executive Director at Theatre Unbound, a Minneapolis based theatre company devoted to delivering thought-provoking live theatre conceived and created by women, and providing audiences with engaging, rarely-seen perspectives on issues that are relevant and universal.

We absolutely can’t wait to work with Theatre Unbound this month – they’re going to be reading our first group of Semi-Finalist plays on March 10th at The People’s Center Theatre (425 20th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55454)

While Theatre Unbound gets busy casting an rehearsing and doing all the wonderful things they do, we thought it would be fun to share a few interview Q & A’s with you!

LBDI:  What motivated you to become a part of the ONSTAGE Project?

ANNE: We want to get to know more playwrights!

(YAY!  We love that answer!)

LBDI:  Why do you love female playwrights?

ANNE: Well, let’s see, here’s the mission statement: “Theatre Unbound delivers thought-provoking live theatre conceived and created by women, providing audiences with engaging, rarely-seen perspectives on issues that are relevant and universal.” We exist to champion women theatre artists.

LBDI: Which theatre-makers inspire you and why?

ANNE: Anne Bogart, because she has evolved a beautiful and useful framework for developing theatre.  Katherine Hepburn, because when she wasn’t getting parts offered to her, she backed the stage production of and acquired the film rights to “The Philadelphia Story” – she made her own opportunities. Izumo no Okuni, because she invented kabuki.

LBDI: What is your spirit-animal?

ANNE: It’s either the snowy owl or Homo sapiens (the company vote was divided)

LBDI: Paper or Plastic?

ANNE: BYOB! Canvas shopping bag.

We can’t wait for our playwrights to be heard in Minneapolis!  We’ll be posting a little more information about them this week, so check back soon to read their bios and find out a little more about each playwright’s piece.

Until then…

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Our 2015 ONSTAGE Semi-Finalists

Outside the Lines poster_webIt’s been an awesome couple of weeks over here at Little Black Dress INK— full of fantastic new plays and incredible peer-reviews—and we are feeling oh-so grateful to everyone who shared their work, time, and talents with us!

That said, our 2015 ONSTAGE Project is underway with the Outside the Lines new play festival, and we are absolutely THRILLED to announce this year’s ONSTAGE Semi-Finalists:

A Thousand and One by Mary S. Parisoe
After the Chicken Dance by Jaclyn Grogan
An Announcement by Nancy Cooper Frank
At the Gates of the House of the Mother of Waters by Eli Effinger-Weintraub
Blue Light by Molly Pease
Bottom Line by Melanie Sapecky
Chicken Shoot by Jennie Webb
Down There by Sharon Goldner
Edna and Furber by Patricia Mew
Ephemera by Beth Kander
For Anyone Who Cares by Hannah Baker
Green Dog by Delia Whitehead
If I Were a Man by Mercedes Segesvary
Muse Me by Katherine James
Non-synchronous Reflection by Susan Goodell
Pythagorian Triplets by Bridgette Dutta Portman
My Heart and I by Jaisey Bates
Nothing in Particular by Rhea MacCallum
Running Lines by Jen Huszcza
Secondhand Gifts by C.J. Ehrlich
Senor Adria by Anne Dimock
Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eugenie Carabatsos
Slut by Nayna Agrawal
Solo Journeys by Kirsten Van Ritzen
Striae by Denise St. Pierre
Survival Strategy by Donna Hoke
The Exchange by Katherine Koller
The Feast by Celine Song
The Shoebox by Anne Hamilton
Three Lessons In Living by Amy Schleunes
This by Jen Huszcza
Time Slot by Kay Poiro
Tweak by Diane Sampson
Winter Light by Christine Foster
With my Eyes Shut by Kira Rockwell
Working Late by Rachael Brogan Flannery

Each of our playwrights will receive at least one reading with one of our partner producers in either Santa Barbara, CA; Sedona, AZ; Auburn, AL; Ames, IA, Minneapolis, MN, or Waco, TX before moving on to our live-stream reading in LA, and final production in Prescott, AZ.

Welcome to the party, ladies!  #FemalePlaywrightsROCK!

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A Few Tips for Submitting to 10-minute Play Festivals

Lightbulb bright ideaWho watches The Voice?  I can’t get enough of it.  It might be my inner karaoke fanatic, but there’s something about watching these performers sing their hearts out in the hopes of grabbing hold of their dreams that gives me all the feels.

It’s also a really great demonstration in just how many nearly-intangible things go into “making it” in as an artist, because—as we can all see—it’s not just about how talented a person is.  Charisma, sincerity, energy, passion, control, experience, timing, and choice of material are all factors in whether or not a Voice contestant gets selected by one of the celebrity judges.

It oftentime feels like, as a writer, there’s just no way to tell what’s going to grab a reader, and what isn’t – and this is partially true.  But, after working as a literary manager and now as the producer of our ONSTAGE Project, I’ve read a LOT of plays and I’ve overseen a lot of LBDI peer-reviews, and I think I can offer up a few tips for playwrights interested in submitting to play fests.

  • Show off Your Unique Voice:  Remember that readers are looking at piles and piles of plays and it’s the unique, the unusual, the “Wow, I’ve never read a play like this/about this subject/with characters like these before” plays that immediately stand out.  Sometimes these plays aren’t even the “best” written, but their rough-around-the-edges feel still feel more exciting because the voice of the writer (as evidenced in the action, the dialogue, the characters, the concept) is fresh.
  • Complete story:  Look, 10-minute plays are actually tough to write.  You have to come up with a compelling story with a beginning, middle, and end in 10 pages or less?!  That’s ridiculous, right?  Which is probably why a lot of writers skip that very important last part when the truth is, they’d do a lot better skipping the beginning instead.  You only have 10 minutes – so jump into the play at the middle and deliver a kick-ass end to leave us breathless.  There are always several plays submitted to our ONSTAGE Project that start out with so much promise, have really interesting characters/great dialogue, but then drop off without any feeling of completion, or they try to tie things up with a very rushed, improbable and unbelievable final bit of dialogue or action because they spent too much time setting up the world and didn’t think the story all the way through to the close.  Audiences hate a tease… so put a killer button on the end of your play and leave us satisfied!
  • Reasonable production needs: I am a sucker for spectacle.  I love to include fantastical “You can’t see THIS on your television screen!” elements into my plays, and I love to see these kinds of plays on stage.  BUT, most ten-minute play festivals rely on easy-to-produce pieces because those hefty set-up times between plays bore audiences and eat up valuable production time.  Additionally, 10-minute fests are usually working on a low budget… so although a balls-to-the-wall spaghetti diner food-fight between flying Godzillas sounds AMAZING, it’s probably not produce-able on most festival budgets.
  • Choice of Material: Sometimes you send in the wrong play for the right fest, and there’s just nothing you can do about that except learn, get to better know what kind of work the theater or company is drawn to, and try to choose better next time. Last year’s theme, Planting the Seed, lent itself to two very common interpretations: Gardening and Pregnancy.  We received SO many plays on both of those subjects that we could have produced a whole evening of plays on either topic.  With that many plays coming in on the same subject, it becomes harder for your play to stand out, whereas someone who writes a piece that stands out on its own -genre/style/subject matter-wise, etc— has less competition.
  • That said, you never know when someone is going to read your spaghetti-throwing Godzilla piece without an ending, and decide that they just HAVE to produce it!  Different things jump out to different people.  The best thing you can do as a writer is to write the story you want to see on stage… to put your voice into it, to put your love of storytelling into it, and to make sure that—no matter the result—you’re creating work you believe in.  Because odds are good that there is someone out there who is just dying to produce your weird and wonderful thought-baby, they just don’t know it yet because you haven’t gotten it into their hot little hands.

Personally, I’ve been quite impressed with the quality and variety of work submitted to this year’s ONSTAGE Fest.  As a rule, I strive to create the most diverse and engaging festival line up I can – but I can tell that boiling our semi-finalist list down to a final 2015 line up is going to be a major challenge this year… and that makes me super happy!

Seriously, #FemalePlaywrightsROCK!

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We’re Getting Published!

We’re pretty excited over here because the 2014 ONSTAGE Finalists whose works made up our Planting the Seed fest are GETTING PUBLISHED with Indie Theater Now!

That’s right—it’s party time!

We couldn’t be happier for our playwrights, and for this exciting new phase for our ONSTAGE Festivals.  Not only will other theater companies and independent producers be able to read our winning plays, but they’ll be able to look at producing the whole Planting the Seed line-up, which is really exciting considering ten-minute plays can be a tough sell outside the festival circuit.

So let us send out a super heart-felt THANK YOU to Indie Theater Now for supporting Little Black Dress INK and our fantastic female playwrights, along with a super heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to our 2014 playwrights:

Denise St. Pierre – THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GARDENING
Brigitte Viellieu-Davis – FLY GIRL FLY
Anne Hamilton – OFEM
Katherine James – THE OLD SALT
Jessica Abrams – HAPPY RETURNS
Sharon Goldner – LITTLE SWIMMERS
Jennie Webb – REBECCA ON THE BUS
Marla Dean – THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS
Tiffany Antone – FANCY TOMATOES
Kay Poiro – SEEDS OF REBELLION
Jen Huszcza – FLOWERS

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Up to our Eyeballs!

Sheep-silly-eyeWhat an absolutely outstanding start to the new year!   We are up to our eyeballs in ONSTAGE submissions and peer evaluations over here, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

I’ve got to admit, wrapping up our 2014 festival the same weekend as our 2015 submission deadline was a bit ambitious – I was fielding emails about show tickets at the same time I was replying to playwrights eager to make our deadline.  While the collision of the two did lend a “full circle” feel to the first week of January, it was also a bit dizzying and I’ve only now begun to feel like I’m catching up on both!

We had 116 plays/monologues submitted this year, with playwrights sending in work from across the country.  We also had playwrights submit work from Canada, Australia, and Germany as well!  How exciting!

We’ve got some new and exciting updates about the ONSTAGE Project to share with you… but not yet.  Suffice to say this month has yielded a WONDERFUL surprise that has us hopping up and down with excitement, but we want to announce it properly – not in a catch-up post like this one, so keep your eyes peeled for an announcement soon.

In the meantime, we’d like to give a nice big shout out to all of our 2015 playwrights.  We’ve received some truly incredible work, and we love how much time and energy they are putting into our peer review process!  We can’t wait to compile everyone’s evaluations and start announcing our semi-finalists.

#FemalePlaywrightsROCK!

 

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Our Final Planting the Seed Poster!

I’m so excited to share our final poster for the Planting the Seed fest going up in Prescott, AZ Jan 2nd and 3rd!  YAY!

Planting the Seed Fest Poster
Directors in Prescott include Linda Miller, Don Langford, Frank Malle, Karen Murphy, Jon Meyer, Cason Murphy, Mary Timpany, and Tiffany Antone.

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2015 Submission Guidelines are HERE!

Female Playwrights ONSTAGE cropIt’s official!  This year’s festival theme will be Outside the Lines. 

Every year I try to come up with a theme that is not only visually evocative, but which is also relative to the female playwright’s journey… it’s a pretty tall order, if I’m honest, and I can get a bit obsessed with trying to find something that works.

I mulled a lot of possible themes this year, but I kept coming back to the idea that, as female playwrights, we oftentimes find ourselves at the theatrical perimeter production-wise.  I’ve also been thinking a lot about how important it is to flex our creative muscles, to look beyond the pat, the expected, the “easy”, to push through whatever obstacles keep us away from the keys and to just fucking write!

And I also love the image of us as beautifully complex theatricians doing our best to break boundaries.

Outside the Lines as a theme encapsulated all of these thoughts, and hopefully it will inspire an exciting mix of original work for this year’s peer review!

So, without further ado, here are this year’s submission guidelines.  Please read through them completely—especially if you’re new to the ONSTAGE Project—to ensure that your play receives our fullest consideration.

Little Black Dress INK is creating production opportunities for female playwrights through its Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Project; a short-play festival dedicated to producing peer-selected works by women. In addition to contributing to the selection of plays, participating playwrights are able to review and revise their work via online-streaming of play readings, and are encouraged to blog about the process along the way.

Submissions are now being accepted from awesome female playwrights for consideration in this year’s festival! This festival utilizes a peer-review process for evaluating submissions, so please make sure to read over the following guidelines carefully before submitting.

  • This year’s festival theme is Outside the Lines. Playwrights are invited to submit short plays and/or monologues written on this theme. In the past we’ve had great success with short scenelets as well (10-minute plays comprised of a couple of scenes, which we can sprinkle throughout the show)
  • LBDI strongly suggests you do not submit plays or monologues longer than ten minutes. Keep in mind that in all instances, shorter truly is better. Plays running longer than ten minutes stand very little chance of making it into the festival, as we strive to produce as many playwrights as possible.
  • Little Black Dress INK utilizes a peer review process for evaluating plays. By submitting to this fest, you agree to participate in this unique opportunity to help select plays for production.
    • Once our submission window is closed, you will receive a selection of plays to read and score using the LBDI online eval form. You MUST read and submit your evaluations by the required date in order for your play to remain in consideration.
    • Submitted works will be read by other participating playwrights and LBDI artistic personnel. By submitting to the festival, you agree to share your work for review in this process.
  • Submission materials must be emailed to LBDI by January 1, 2015 and should include:
    • The following information in the body of your email:
      • Your name
      • The title of your play
      • Your contact information *It is very important that you use a reliable email address as all correspondence will be done via email!
    • A blind PDF of your script – do NOT include your name anywhere on the script!
    • Email materials to submissions@LittleBlackDressINK.org

LBDI will be producing readings of the top scoring plays at eight locations nation-wide. The top eight to ten scoring plays will also move on to full production in Prescott, AZ.

Happy writing!   We can’t wait to read your work!

~Tiffany

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Meet our new 2015 Partner Producers!

Holy COW – what a summer!  First I got married (yay!), then my husband and I taught a devised ensemble workshop, and then I had my thyroid removed

Suffice to say, it took me a little while to catch up.

But, now that things are simmering down (just in time for them to work their way back to a boil) and we’re in rehearsal for our Prescott, AZ production of the 2014 Planting the Seed Festival, I can start sharing some exciting news about our 2015 fest!

Are you ready?

We have three new Partner Producers signed on for the 2015 fest!  Which means we will have a total of at least eight semi-finalist/finalist readings this year!  (I say “at least” because I’m still in negotiations with a few more potential producers – yay!)

It’s super, super, super exciting and I want to share a little information about each of our new Partner Producers:

Theatre Unbound – Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Theatre_UnboundTheatre Unbound delivers thought-provoking live theatre conceived and created by women, providing audiences with engaging, rarely-seen perspectives on issues that are relevant and universal.

I became familiar with Theatre Unbound through executive director and playwright Anne Bertram, who I had the distinct pleasure of meeting at the Great Plains Theatre Conference this past May.  Anne is awesome!  Her play, THE GOOD FIGHT, was the first play I saw at the conference and it made a huge impression on me!  The play tells the true story of Grace Roe, an early-twentieth-century English women’s suffrage activist, who organized a bodyguard of women trained in martial arts in order to protect the leaders of the militant suffrage movement.  Awesome!

Anne and I found ourselves gravitating towards several of the same readings, and after some delightful meals (which included the amazing Jennie Webb of LAFPI fame) I asked Anne if her company might be interested in working with us on our ONSTAGE Project.  I could barely contain my excitement when she said “Yes!”

Since it’s founding in 1999, Theatre Unbound has given production opportunities to 137 female directors, 435 female actors, 109 male actors, and 126 female playwrights from the 10th century to the 21st!  You can check out their website here–>Theatre Unbound <–

Amber Ryhne Hanel – Auburn, AL

Amber was one of the first people I met after we relocated to Waco last year. She was immediately welcoming, funny, and refreshingly cheery as she helped me navigate this strange new place called Texas.  So imagine my disappointment when I found out she was moving to Alabama this summer!  My loss was Little Black Dress INK’s gain, however, because Amber is totally excited to bring the festival to Auburn, AL!

Amber works throughout the Southeast region as a producer and director. She began working in the industry in Perth, Australia while completing her degree at the Western Australia Academy for Performing Arts. She co-founded Sculpted Entertainment. Since 2007, She and her business partner, Stephanie Icke have focused on bringing more theatre opportunities to local artists and communities. They have worked hard to ‘sculpt’ lives one production at a time. From 24 Hour Playwriting Festivals to educational tours dealing with bullying, Amber has enjoyed finding funding for projects that will positively affect audiences. She also enjoys producing murder mystery dinner theatre, packing houses every weekend as they run shows for public and private events! Sculpted Entertainment has recently moved their home office to Asheville, NC where they are excited to begin producing work in the region.

In 2008, Amber began working with youth theatre programs in North Louisiana, and then with the Waco Children’s Theatre in 2012. Teaching, directing, and marketing for the LSU Summer programs and Waco Children’s Theatre prepared her for the current work she is doing with the Rising Starz Performing Arts Academy in Auburn, Al.

Amber is thrilled to be involved with Little Black Dress INK’s Female Playwrights ONSTAGE  Project!

Charissa Menefee- Ames, Iowa

I first met Charissa four years ago when I attended a Tomorrow’ Theatre Tonight reading in Prescott, AZ.  Charissa is a playwright and professor who was then head of the theatre department at Prescott College.  She has since moved on to a fantastic faculty position at Iowa State, where she’s writing, teaching, directing, and just generally being her usual awesome and creative self.

Charissa has worked with Little Black Dress INK before as both a playwright and director, so it’s wonderful news to know that she’ll be helming a reading in Ames, Iowa.  We are SO excited to have Charissa on board as a Partner Producer this year :-)

(*I’ll be updating this post with a more formal bio for Charissa soon!)

Theatre Unbound, Amber, and Charissa join our awesome and super talented returning partners, Kate Hawkes and Red Earth Theatre (Sedona, AZ), Kate Bergstrom (Santa Barbara, CA), Darcy Martin Rose (Ithaca, NY), and Mary Jo DuPrey (Los Angeles, CA).  I will be producing a semi-finalist reading in Waco, TX again this year as well.

And with that, it’s almost time to release this year’s submission guidelines!  Stay tuned, because we’ll be posting the guidelines sooooon!

~Tiffany

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Pulling Minutes Out of Thin Air or How I Made It to the Los Angeles Reading

By Jen Huszcza

I know I am not the first woman on the planet to complain about being overbooked and having a lack of time. Back when we all lived in caves, I’m sure the women were busy keeping the fires going in a time before lighter fluid or even matches.

Still, in the last few months, my life has become a caffeinated schedule. I try not to be too booked, but there are jobs to do and boats to sail (someone has to do it).

On the Sunday that the Planting the Seed LA reading was happening in downtown LA, I had to go into a job in Marina del Rey that morning.

The week before the reading, I was emailing Tiffany.

Where is my play in the order? I asked.

Fourth. She emailed back; then I promised to do my darndest to get there. The reading was scheduled to start at noon.

But theatre never starts on time in LA. 12:10. Three ten minute plays would take thirty minutes. 12:40. Please theatre gods, let one of those plays not be a two minute monologue. 12:32.

On the Sunday of the reading, I pulled out of the parking lot in Marina del Rey at 11:44. There was no traffic on Lincoln.

I might actually make it.

These thoughts whispered in my head as I settled in behind a Range Rover doing 65 on the 10 as we cruised toward downtown. It was a miracle. There was no traffic on the 10 on a sunny Los Angeles afternoon. I might actually see my short play read by actors.

There was no traffic on the 10, no traffic on the 110, no traffic on surface streets, nothing was happening at the Staples Center. I parked in a park-n-lock lot on 6th.

Then I realized.

I didn’t know where I was going.

I knew the reading was happening at LA Theatre Center on Spring. Do I walk right or left on Spring? My car’s clock said 12:10 as I turned off the car. If I go the wrong way, I’m done.

I asked the parking lot guy for directions to LA Theatre Center. He took a full minute to tell me he didn’t know. Oh LA Theatre Center, you elitist conclave you.

I was about to start running when the parking lot guy called over to a local lady who was pulling groceries out of her parked car. She didn’t know, but she asked Siri on her phone. LA Theatre Center (an extremely common phrase) baffled Siri, but the local lady and I had a nice chat about what a beautiful day it was.

As we walked down the sidewalk, I looked up and noticed a sign with LA Theatre Center and an arrow. I thanked the nice lady, cut right, and sprinted down the block. Realizing that I need more cardio in my gym workout, I huffed as I ran across the lobby and got on an elevator with two guys asking me if I believed in the Lord. I told them I was a female playwright. They said they’ve been seeing a lot of them that morning.

Off the elevator, I was no longer puffing. As I walked the last few steps, I felt myself grow taller and transform into a tall super heroic female playwright. I went into the room and immediately saw one of my favorite actresses, June Carryl, reading up onstage. Then I saw Tiffany and some other writers I knew. I was where I needed to be. I had walked in during the second play, but I had made it. I was as on time as I could hope to be.

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