Grandma Beth fell, so I’m back in California early and will be here the rest of the summer. Everything seems significant when you’re losing a family member. Buying her a bottle of dishsoap — “Will this be too much soap? This is optimism.”
Before I left, I finished up working as dramaturg for a new play at a Latin@ playwriting festival in town. The playwright wrote a lovely little article about the process. Take a look: http://blackgirllatinworld.com/2015/05/30/3-lessons-the-austin-latino-new-play-festival-process-taught-me/
(She focused on three lessons: Write Honestly, Feedback is Key, and A Playwrights Work if Never Done. Yes, yes, and yes.)
Acme Theatre Commission: Untitled TYA Piece
I’ll be penning a play based on fairy tales and food for the company, and I’ll even do what I can to post updates on the process. Yesterday, the company’s AD Emily and I met for burritos — dear God, why can’t Texans make burritos, why are Californians the only creatures who seem to have figured them out? — and conversation. Our conversation meandered into about diversity in the theatre.
Often conversations about how to achieve diversity in the theatre — and subsequently, the resources meant to ameliorate the lack thereof — are misdirected. They’re aimed at the so-called ‘top,’ at regional theatres (and sometimes graduate programs). I have a thousand thoughts, but essentially, this I believe: if you’re looking at the top, you’ve already screwed the pooch. You gotta focus on young people. Kids. This is a project that requires a five-year-plan and a ten-year-plan, and that’s where a youth theatre like Emily’s comes into play.
I’m trying to set up a workshop with my company, Barnyard Theatre, to develop Nameless in the Desert. It’s about 40 minutes right now, and has room to grow.
Finally, my friend Caleb Britton and I are in the early planning stages of a play combining EDM and ISIS. There’s something in the stories of young people, recruited via internet / social networking, running off to join ISIS. Heinous acts of violence routinely sprout up. What is the impulse to run away from home? Where does that come from? And what about the people left behind?