2013 Black and Latino Playwrights Festival

I just got back from San Marcos, TX where I workshopped my play EUGENE at Texas State University. I was invited to come by Eugene Lee, a visonary who invited me, my director-friend Jeremy Bloom, my actor-friend Christopher Livingston and several new friend-colleagues – Adam Esquenazi Douglas, Kinan Valdez, Joe Luis Cedillo, Marisa Varela, Nadine Mozon, Teresa Stankiewicz, Shannon Richey, Jennifer Lum.

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I got to interact with enthusiastic and lovely college students as well as living legends Luis and Lupe Valdez…it was a grand old time. And I have a much better play because of it.

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The Minstrel Show, Sept 5-8 at The 13th Street Theater

The Minstrel Show, my wacky examination of minstrelsy and blackface, will be playing this weekend at CSC, or the 13th Street Theater. It is one of the plays in the 8th Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood Festival, curated by Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney and produced by Kate Benson, William Burke and Jessica Almasy.Directed by Benjamin Haber Kamine and Christopher Burris.

Suggested donation: $18 / $15 (student).

My play accompanies two other plays:

Are You Not Entertained? by Dennis Allen II

Miss Authenticity by Kim Davies

DATES / TIMES: Thurs, Sept 5 – Sat, Sept 7 @ 8 pm
                           Sun, Sept 8 @ 3 pm

LOCATION: EAST 13th Street Theatre, 136 East 13th Street (btwn 3rd and 4th Ave –

 4,5,6,N,R,Q, L train to 14th St, Union Square

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Black Swan Lab at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Since Saturday I have been in Ashland, Oregon, soaking up the gift of artistic support. Lue Douthit brought me to Ashland to participate in the Black Swan Lab, a series that supports emerging and contemporary playwrights by bringing them to Ashland to hear their work read out loud by acting company members and allowing them to engage in a deep conversation about the play. It’s just what I needed. The play I presented – EUGENE – is a play that I haven’t worked on in over a year and this process has put my head back into the world of the play; I feel like I can move around and shift things now in a way that I didn’t before. I’m tinkering away at EUGENE and it feels wonderful.

In addition to hearing my play read, I’m getting to see several shows – I saw a beautiful production of CYMBELINE the other night and am anxious to see A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, THE LIQUID PLAIN and THE TENTH MUSE before I leave.

This gift of artistic support feels particularly significant because in many ways my playwriting self was BORN in Ashland at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. For three seasons I worked as a Resident Teaching Artist in the Education Department and my whole life was wrapped up in OSF. I was fed a steady diet of theater and storytelling and critical thinking about work. I met visiting artists regularly and was able to witness the daily artistry that goes into making beautiful sets, costumes, sound, and lighting. I grew to know OSF like family until it actually became my family in a way that I didn’t realize until I moved away to continue my path as a playwright. And now I’m back, visiting what was – and still is – my home. I have many people to hug still while I’m here, even though I know that I’ll be back at some point. A person always returns home.

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