Last Workshop of my Jerome Fellowship

EC602122-8550-46F9-9291-8E76EE2829B2“The way forward is the Great River’s mouth…”

Once, the town of Thebes on the banks of the Mississippi River was the jewel of southern Illinois, but that was before the rains stopped falling and the crops didn’t come in and the babies started dying. Seeking an answer from the gods, suspicion falls on Mellie, a young woman, seriously disabled since birth, long suspected as being unfavored by them who dwell on the Mountaintops. Mellie has her own suspicions though and sets out to prove them before the hammer can fall on her.

This is On every link a heart does dangle; or, Owed, my second play exploring three generations of debts and deceptions in a mythological version of Thebes, Illinois. It’s receiving its first full read in a workshop at the Playwrights Center today, the first step on what should be an exciting, yearlong journey.

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New short plays in 2018

Current-MoodArt.jpgHi friends, 2018 is off to an exciting start with 2 new short plays in production.

First up, “This Land Is MY Land” premieres at the 52nd St. Street Project as part of Current Mood: The Relatable Plays. This is one of the Project’s 2-on-2 shows where 2 kids act in a play written for them by an adult and directed by an adult. My play features two of my favorite kids at the Project, one of whom is Emmanuel, my Smart Partner. It’s a political satire set in 2049 at a moment when the country’s public lands are about to be privatized and two regular joes are fighting to make sure they get their constitutionally-guaranteed acre—but maybe they can overcome their differences by overthrowing the corrupt government instead?

And then—a grand start to life here in Minneapolis—my first collaboration with a local company here. The first play of Pillsbury House + Theater’s 2018 season is The Great Divide II: Plays on the Politics of Truth. The show consists of 5 plays by 5 playwrights local to Minneapolis and they’re 5 of my favorite people that I’ve met since moving here: Christina Ham, Jessica Huang, Stacey Rose, and Andrew Rosendorf. The show will be directed by Noël Raymond and features a cast of the Twin Cities’ best: Tracey Maloney, Audrey Park,  Mikell Sapp, & Ricardo Vazquez.

In NYC Working at the Lark

As part of my Apothetae-Lark Fellowship, I’m working on 2 plays at the Lark in NYC this week.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017:
We’ll read through the new, existing draft of Fault & Fold. Nicole A. Watson, directing.

After her tour of duty was ended by an act of violence, Sarah finds herself back home trying to figure out how to put her life back together. Back in Afghanistan, Khalid, the brother of the woman Sarah killed, is trying to do the same. Together they look for the ways to bridge the distances between one another, a journey that will cross continents and cultures and delve deep into the earth.

Monday, December 4, 2017:
I’ll be revisiting an older play, G-Men! with director Avery Wigglesworth, who helmed the production of Peloponnesus with her company The Cutout Theater.

Dateline: 1956, The Big City! Spcl. Asst. Deputy Director Norman and his crackerjack agents are on the trail of a mad, dress-wearing bomber who’s blowing up ladies’ clothing stores. Led by no less than J. Edgar himself, our heroes brave a world full of liberals and commies and foreigners-Oh my! They banter, they quip, they defy time & space and rewrite history. They are…G-Men!

“Assuming there are seagulls, assuming I’m near the sea…”

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Next up in 2016, aka the “Year of Tim J. Lord:”

“Uprooted,” a brand new 10-minute play written for the 52nd St. Project’s Teen Ensemble. Two performances only!

The other plays were written by Dylan Dawson, Christina Quintana, Erica Saleh, & Melisa Tien. Directed by Ka-ling Cheung, Rachel Dart, Austin Regan, Max Rosenak, & Lynne Rosenberg.

Tickets are free! Make your reservations here!

THIS IS HOW WE ROLL

The Teen Ensemble One-Act Festival

2 Performances
Friday, June 3 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 2 @ 3:00 p.m.

The 52nd Street Project’s
Five Angels Theater
789 Tenth Avenue, 2nd Fl.
Between 52nd & 53rd Streets

ThisIsHowWeRollWeb

“…fussing and flapping in priestly black like a murder of crows”

crows-fin-smOn a cold November night back in 1994, I was walking through Standish Park in Galesburg, Illinois. It’s an old park with tall trees, and the sound that came spilling down from the treetops was unlike anything I’d ever heard. An enormous flock of crows had alighted there and for the first time ever I understood why a large group like this was called a “murder.” They stayed there for much of the winter, their myriad voices crying out as I walked below them. And then one day they were just gone.

10 years later I was walking through the woods in Rhode Island, and another murder found me. This time they were moving en masse through the trees and I walked among them for a time, following them to a bluff looking out over Olney Pond. This time I could pick out individual voices from among the greater din, and when they flew on without me, I was left knowing how to create the play that I’d been turning over in my head.

Peloponnesus was born shortly thereafter. It’s a Greek tragedy set in contemporary Southern Illinois, and the play incorporates a chorus. A chorus that resembles a murder of crows.

Three years ago, Peloponnesus had a reading at Knox College and it introduced me to director and co-founder of the Cutout Theatre Company, Avery Wigglesworth. She told me she was a big fan of the play and could she contact me when she moved to New York. One year ago she declared her interest in producing Peloponnesus, and 2 days ago she and her company started rehearsals on its world premiere.

This play has been with me a long time. It’s had a number of readings through the years. It’s gotten me onto a number of professional radars. But no one has had the audacity to actually take it on and give it life. Until this upstart of a theater company said, “Let’s do this.”

I am so excited about the work we’re doing.

You can join us in April for 5 performances. And you can get your tickets here.

Hope to see you in Brooklyn next month.

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