Friday, March 09, 2007

ICWP Monologues by Women at the BPT

Last night at Boston Playwrights Theatre was great! Everyone was so proud and pleased. However, "everyone" wasn't as many as we'd hoped-- nearly full but no need to put out extra chairs. We had a record cold temperature, near zero, and cars and public transit were less than reliable. Our family's excellent old car-- it has 170,000 miles on it-- refused to start for the 1st time ever, and I arrived at the theatre just 1 hour before the performance, rather than the 2 hours early for set up that I'd promised. Everyone else was was late too, but all helpful and efficient and the shows ran like clockwork. We'd had to hire a young pro from Boston University to stage manage and run sound and lights, but she knew the theatre's equipment very well and worked magic, dimming and blacking out and picking up actors in a spot without any tech rehearsal! All the actors and playwrights made it in spite of the weather-- some just barely in time-- but I know that some of the audience stayed home due to the arctic conditions. My email is full of regrets. Amy Merrill's playwright husband, Robert Johnson, took pictures. He's going to send them to me and I'll add identifying captions and send them to the International Centre for Women Playwrights for the web page. I think everyone will be delighted to see the range of characters represented by these monologues-- the youngest was about 9 years, and the oldest-- well, old. The contrast in voices was just as vivid: rural, urban, New England, Southern... four included singing... and there were even a few Good Men! The actors were among Boston's best-- some of whom, like Richard McElvain, are among the best in the world, IMHO. Robert Bonotto did a heart-wrenching performance of the monologue from my play "Elegy", and Joan Faber sang a touching caberet version from the Dancing Princess song from "Lullaby": my lyrics, Bonotto's music. And some people came up to me-the-actress afterwards and told me I was brilliant in Rosanna Alfaro's "Martha" and "I didn't even recognize you!"-- which of course makes any little frustrations vanish. What is more satisfying than to feel that you are in good company and worthy of being there?

I am worried about Sat at Cambridge, though. This event was somehow cut out of the listings that have appeared-- maybe because it features a writing workshop as well as readings and had an open invitation to newcomers??? And people in the audience at the BPT did NOT pick up many of the flyers for the remaining events or-- except for a few-- take advantage of the Virtual Participants packets. So much for that brilliant idea! I will try to "sell" the monologue packets at the remaining events and bring leftovers with me to NYC for the ICWP Celebration at the Drama Book Shop on the 23rd. Anyway, I'm asking people who have friends in this area to please call them and urge them to show up in Cambridge this Saturday for the writing Workshop at 10 am and/or the shows at 11:45. We have good pieces, and good actors, and should have a Real Good Time if enough people show up to constitute a Workshop and an Audience. My feeling is you need at least a dozen for a good class and 3 dozen for a responsive audience, especially for comedy. Nobody wants to laugh alone.

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