Oy vey, my friends. OY VEY. 2021 has been a year. To me it's felt like a particularly cruel game of red light green light, in which the green lights are few and far between and much too short; I have no time to slow down and stop, so I keep having to go back to the starting line over and over again. But, in the grand scheme of things, I know that I have been fortunate; I have been able to keep writing theatrical pieces, and I've often been paid for this writing. SO! Without further ado, here are my nine playwriting highlights from 2021:
Top left corner: PlayGround‘s Zoom reading of Funny, Like An Abortion. Not only did I have a dream cast; Elissa Beth Stebbins (Monroe), Rebecca Pingree (Jade), and Stacey Winn (stage directions), but I'd been absolutely dying to work with director Giovanna Sardelli for years. We had a blast working together AND PlayGround selected Funny, Like An Abortion to stage as a developmental production in 2022! Fingers crossed in-person theater is safe by or before May, 2022.
Top middle: The Road Theater Company‘s Zoom reading of Burst in their Summer Playwrights Festival. Again, I am a very lucky playwright and was delighted to work with Christina Carlisi (director), Allison Blaize (Sarah), Samantha Tan (Alexis), and Paris Perrault (Weaver). Such a talented bunch of artists who gave their all for this reading!
Top right: The Night Witches production at School of the Arts. Since publication with Dramatic Publishing The Night Witches has received close to a dozen productions across the country. Can we double that in 2022? Yes, please!
Middle left: I published more plays in 2021 than I ever have before! Including Of Serpents & Sea Spray with Stage Partners! Of Serpents & Sea Spray had its world premiere with Custom Made Theatre in San Francisco, cover art from the original poster by Cody Rishell.
Middle middle: I was a special guest on a podcast! Hosts Cass Maher and Natalie Younger had be on Shared History to talk about all around bad-ass Nancy Wake, and the play I wrote about her; Codename: White Mouse. It was a blast, and for any other podcast hosts out there looking for guests, I AM AVAILABLE! Listen to the episode Don't Call Me Mouse by clicking right here!
Middle right: New plays! Biz Town an hour long noir comedy for middle and high school performers is brand new, and might already be one of my very favorite plays I've ever written for young performers. It's a hoot, find it on the New Play Exchange!
Bottom left: More new plays! Adding to my list of new material AND new publications; Holly, Jolly, & Extra Folly, a collection of eclectic holiday plays published with Stage Partners! For this collection, I wrote four new ten-minute plays (Reindeer Games, Santa's Old Friend, Warm The Bones, and Who's Got Christmas Spirit?!?!?!) to join three of my preexisting holiday shorts (Mom's Ham, How Gretchen Stole Christmas, and Oy, Oy, Oy, Merry Christmas). The Egyptian YouTheatre put up a few of these just this past month for their holiday program!
Bottom middle: Stage Partners commissioned a brand new play from me, The Book Women, which will be available on their website so so so soon! It's a full-length history play about some amazing women who delivered books on horse back during the Great Depression who were known as ‘Book Women’! When they pitched the subject to me, I said, “You had me at Book Women.”
Bottom right: And finishing out this year's collage with another play for young audiences that was published at the top of 2021: *Operation Chicken Takeover, available through Playscripts! A very silly and fun play written for Zoom performance!
So maybe, just maybe, 2021 wasn't 100% bad. I wrote a two new full-length plays; The Book Women and a prom murder mystery, Blood & Sequins! My very first radio play, Ursa Major & the Last Bear on Earth! I was able to do an exciting rewrite of The Summer I Howled, and will be workshopping it with the Egyptian YouTheatre in 2022. Oh yeah! And I became the playwright in residence with the Egyptian YouTheatre!
I'm glad I took the time to look back and count up all I've accomplished. 2021 is the first year my playwright income hasn't increased from the year prior, which, to be honest, doesn't feel amazing, but I was able to work, and I love the work I made.
I hope you are healthy and sane in these continuously stressful times! My 2022 wish is that we figure out this f*cking pandemic so we can safely make theater in-person again in 2022!
Happy New Year!