Playing catch up…
Two weeks ago I flew out to James Madison University in Virginia to work on what’s now titled Basement Demons and Trailer Saints. I’d written the play for my high school students as Bones of Saints, and I’d felt that the play was itching for more mature material. I wanted to revise it with adults, and JMU’s inaugural new play development lab accepted it for workshop. It fit.
The first few nights brought me very little sleep as I chiseled away at the script with the new actor’s voices and feedback. Pages were printed, reprinted, reprinted. I hit it with an axe, a hacksaw, a machete, a scalpel. I’ve done new play development before, but nothing that remotely approached what felt like this overhaul. Something broke through. The play is where I want it to be.
I had six fabulous actors, a good team, and a director who seemed like she was psychic. I loved this team. The play broke open…
Who could ask for anything more?
Oh, and look – more…
Small Steps is part of B Street Theatre’s New Comedies Festival!
And I’ve been lucky enough that The Davis Enterprise has picked up the story.
Working with B Street has been on my bucket list.
It’s the perfect time. B Street upped their game in NNPN, and this Festival will help the new play ecosystem in Sacramento. What makes a ‘Theatre City’ – Chicago, New York, Austin, SF, Philly, LA, etc – is that each place has new work coming out of it, and a culture of support for new work. There’s something of an identity or aesthetic that emerges. There is, after all, a “Chicago play” (gritty realism / ensemble / Steppenwolf / Mamet) and an “Austin play” (Rude Mechs / devised / weird) and a “New York play” (two to four people in a single set, usually an apartment); this doesn’t necessarily mean that plays outside of the aesthetic can’t launch from those cities, as Lookingglass in Chicago with Mary Zimmerman proves, but it does demonstrate that a critical mass creates a sensibility towards an aesthetic. I wonder if this will help propel a Sacramento aesthetic? Regardless, I’m excited about the growing new play ecosystem. Onward, Sacramento!