I am incredibly happy to announce that my play, The Last Day, will be performed in Raleigh at Owl Tree Theater for the People in October of 2015. It's been a long journey for this play to reach its first production. I wrote it five years ago, roughly, and workshopped it with the DC Playwrights Forum. The Last Day went on to win an Honorable Mention in the Ohio State University at Newark New Play Contest and it was the play that got me into the 2010 Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive, a wonderful experience. Several theaters considered producing the play, but no production was ever forthcoming.
This is not uncommon for me. I've written three full length plays and several one acts and ten minute plays. My plays have been considered at The Public Theater and Steppenwolf among others. I was a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. I've been a bridesmaid several times, but never a bride. So, how did I finally land my first production? It's kind of a funny story, to me at least.
|All the world's a stage, until you want a play produced, then only proper theaters are a stage. Image by Viscious-Speed|
Let me reiterate, I spent YEARS submitting my plays, writing queries, occasionally filling out forms or writing essays on why I thought my play would fit in well at a certain theater (please don't get me started on that experience). I cannot tell you how many submissions I've done. I've garnered many staged readings from that process, but no productions.
Then I switched to fiction for a while and left theater behind for a bit. Transitioning to fiction took all my attention as the style is so incredibly different from theater. Then we moved to Raleigh and in an attempt to meet people, I took up improv. I quickly moved from taking classes to performing. Nothing big, nothing fancy, but I like improv and it turns out I'm pretty okay at it. The artistic director for Owl Tree saw me perform at Comedyworx, my home club, and asked if I would like to do a monologue at a showcase they were having as a fundraiser. Of course I would! I'll skip the weeks where I was so nervous that I utterly regretted my decision and move on to how much fun the actual monologue shows were; so much fun in fact that I've since enlisted in acting classes. I loved the experience. I started to feel more confident as the run progressed. After the third or fourth performance, once I'd loosened up a bit from a walking bundle of nerves, I asked the artistic director if he would mind reading a play I had written. He said sure. So I sent it to him. A few weeks later, he emailed to ask if they could produce it. So, after years of grinding out submissions, queries, and practically begging for an opportunity, I got my first production by casually mentioning I was a playwright. That is how the world works, and it is a funny funny place.