Friday, April 29, 2011


You may or may not know that Youngblood has been having kick ass dance parties after our shows for a couple of years now. Well, tonight we invite you to sing and dance and be merry. AND YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO WATCH A PLAY FIRST. *

We're having a party tonight! Better brush up on your moves!

*Let it be known: we really like plays.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why I can't wait for Bloodworks

Many people wonder why Bloodworks isn't at EST and the reason is that over the summer EST is so chock-a-block with theater (mainly the Marathon of One-Act Plays) that Youngblood needs to find a home away from home to do our barrage of readings of mostly-written and quickly-written plays.

Two years ago to this day we started settling in to the South Street Seaport - the very venue where Bloodworks will take place this year - and were delighted to discover that on a quiet walkway of the Seaport right across from the theater there was a brand new street cart vendor who was selling steamed corn.

The vendor informed us he was brand new to the business - just starting out - and that his corn kernels were bigger than normal kernels (thank you for noticing) because his kernels came from Indonesia.

For $6, he would lavish upon you a soup cup BRIMMING with plump kernels of Indonesian steamed corn, which you could opt to flavor with a shaker of parmesan cheese or of pepper free of charge.

And that's why I can't wait for Bloodworks this year. In a word, "steamed corn."

Oh, hold on.

I've just been informed that the steamed corn vendor closed shop one year and ten months ago to this day. Turns out the middle American turistas and Wall Street drunks that wander the Seaport don't see the value in walking down a minimally-trafficked side street to buy frozen corn at a super-retail price.

Well shit.

Do see the plays though.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is This Thing On?

I read this post about the statistics of women in film and thought of the Emily Glassberg Sands hub bub from a while back. I wondered how these film statistics compared to the theater. I imagine some of them, like how many women are scantily clad on stage as compared to men, are immeasurable unless you narrow the pool to, say, Broadway or something.

There was also this post on Jezebel yesterday about how high the stakes are for movies like Bridesmaids and What's Your Number? to actually be funny, because the truth is that studios are kind of taking a chance on them. Or so they think. if they don't perform well the execs are much less likely to green light more women centered comedies. On television we have 30 Rock but the truth is, that show, though critically acclaimed, isn't really a hit ratings-wise.

There's still a pervasive notion that women aren't funny for some reason. As a fan of lady comedians and as somebody who loves women centered comedy, I don't know how that could possibly be.

What's the deal?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

O Reason Not the Need!

Don't get me wrong, King Lear is a great play. Yet at the risk of sounding like a thankless child, I can no longer be the pattern of patience and say nothing.

King Lear, we know thee well enough. We don't need to see a new production of you every year.

Sure, McKellen was great. I have no doubt Jacobi will be every inch a king as well. Sam Waterson? ...fine. Fair enough. But then we're done.

But as I look to see who might be on deck to take on Lear next, there's no end in sight. This is all speculation, but it's hard to imagine that Patrick Stewart isn't going to be Lear sometime soon. Al Pacino could probably do Lear right now, this very hour, if he felt like it. Philip Seymour Hoffman is going to be hungry for more after he finishes off Willie Loman. Sam Shepard still has an itch, so (hot or not) don't count out old Slim. And now that Helen Mirren is done with "Prospera," I can only imagine that she's waiting for her time in the pool as well.

James Earl Jones already did Lear back in 1974, but he could do it again tomorrow without missing a beat.

There will always be actors that want to be Lear. But that dragon is going to lose his wrath if we see him every frickin' winter.

I love me some King Lear, but let's take it easy. Lear needs to be like a comet, or a perfect game, or a Peter Lugar steak. Because if it's not rare, it's not right.

Little Lord Blog

The Little Lords, one of my favorite crazy downtown theater companies (and sort of sister company to The Management) have started a blog.

You go, Little Lords!

Read it every day, forever.

Photo from their most recent show, Jew Queen.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Fog

In recent weeks I've seen both Jerusalem and Black Watch, both of which I enjoyed very much. Both of the discussed class in a way I wish we did in America, but more importantly- both of them employed lots and lots of fog.

I love fog. I want a fog machine in my house. This, I think, would create a lot of atmosphere and I'm "into" atmosphere. You know what I'm not into though? Fake ass coughing. Seriously, it gets annoying. Sure, I understand that sometimes people are getting over a little bug or something but that's not what I'm talking about.

One time I was eating at a restaurant with my partner and we were seated in the garden. At a table near us a young couple started smoking cigarettes. I'm not a smoker. In fact, I really, really hate smoking. I thought, "Well, this is a little annoying but I'm satisfied that I'm at a proper distance to avoid getting lung cancer. " Then another table, further from the smokers I might add, started in on their fake ass coughs. I think they're the bigger assholes.

Back to fog machines. I'm willing to believe that these people are experiencing something psychosomatic and that they're not simply passive aggressive jerks, but I'm trying to watch a play here, folks. Fog machines don't make you cough (I just googled it) and you're acting like somebody just blew a bong hit into your face.

So. What do your fellow audience members do to annoy you?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Youngblood Loves Pets!

Ever wonder what happens in a Youngblood meeting?
I guess that's fair. Why would you really? I mean it's probably just playwrights reading plays and talking about plays and arguing about plays and debating which playwrights are hot and which playwrights are not. Right?
Well. Yes. Usually.
Sometimes Youngblood meetings are more than that.
Sometimes we have special guests!
In the form of adorable pets.

I'm not saying it happens often. But I am saying it's awesome when it does. And I think you, dear reader, deserve to know what it looks like.

And so, I give you....

Youngblood Loves Pets!:

First up we have Patrick and Stella:

Followed by a very special moment between Graeme and Toby:

You're welcome.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Plugging Myself.

Zack Calhoon interviews yours truly about theater, Youngblood, the new Crystal Skillman play I'm producing and blogging over at Visible Soul.

Check it out!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blogging Bloodworks: Dufault Edition

Get ready for an onslaught of theatre, everyone. Bloodworks is banging on your door. Nineteen Youngblood full-lengths read by terrifyingly talented actors in a beautiful seaport vista. Prepare yourself for a series of blog-worthy wonderings, ramblings, and other shit related to each reading. I’m up for Day One.

Wow, right?

Let’s be honest: I’m fairly certain cockfighting has a larger fan-base than theatre. So it makes sense to learn what we can from it. In fact, I think the qualities that make people enjoy cockfighting are the same as those that interest people in theatre: spectacle, drama, escape, a community to be involved in, and an efficient way to waste all of your money. Yeah, at the end of the day, both a good cockfight and a good play are the same thing: a good story.

“Year of the Rooster” is all about cockfighting. I first became interested in cockfighting when I read the book:

Good title, right? It’s in Chapter Four, maybe, where the author (Hal Herzog) argues, amongst other things, that the life of a battlecock is substantially better than the life of a chicken slotted to be turned into a mcnugget. In other words, it’s more moral to support cockfighting than to support Mickey D’s.

But don’t worry! This play isn’t a preachy treatise against McDonald’s! Even though it does prominently feature McDonald’s!

In fact, in a perfect world, this play would be sponsored by the McDonald’s Corporation, and they’d run a promotion where Happy Meals would include plastic toys of famous battlecocks throughout history. Speaking of famous battlecocks throughout history...

This play is about a sad sack McDonald’s employee with a near invincible sociopath of a battlecock. Sometimes I think of it as Greek Tragedy set in the world of cockfighting. For a while I was even thinking of adding a Greek chorus made of hens or something, before I realized that I actually wanted people to enjoy the play. In many ways, it’s a classic underdog sports story, except with a talking rooster.

I grew up surrounded by animals, and I think they’re equal parts hilarious and incredibly strange. Our relationship with them is especially complicated. In fact, that’s the subject of “Some We Love...”, and maybe “Year of the Rooster.”

The idea of “pets” is very odd, huh? Sometimes I think the love a person can have for a pet is the purest sort of love there is. It’s like the love a child has for their stuffed animal.

When I was young, a few houses down from me lived a lady who kept a couple dozen chickens, and one fierce goddamn rooster, as pets. In the summer the rooster would have to do battle against the baby snapping turtles that would migrate up from the pond. A whole horde of little dead snappers would litter her lawn. One thing that’s especially true of roosters, I think, that’s not true of other birds, is that they never seem to notice the human beings living next to them. Very self-absorbed.

Other animals don’t love in the same way adult humans do, though we like to convince ourselves otherwise. I think most animals love the way that infants do. Maybe that’s worth more or less? But I have trouble believing my neighbor’s asshole of a rooster could love at all.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about cockfighting (mostly from reading too many cockfighting message boards) it’s that cockers love their birds. Say what you will about how they express this love, but they love them.

The play isn’t a treatise for or against cockfighting, though it’s certainly a brutal, age-old sport, illegal in all fifty states, with its share of very vocal fans and foes.

I was reading up on Christopher Guest on IMDB when I read a quote of his that I really liked, that I think applies to these groups.

“I am interested in the notion that people can become so obsessed by their world that they lose sense and awareness of how they appear to other people. They're so earnest about it. But that's true of so many things.”

But forget all that shit. Ultimately, I hope this is nothing more than an entertaining story that makes you care about the people involved. In other words: a good cockfight. Fingers crossed.

Please For The Love of God Come See “Year of the Rooster” on: Monday, May 2nd, at 8:30 PM at the Algonquin Seaport Theatre, on Pier 17 – South Street Seaport.

Admission: free as the fucking wind.

The Inquisition of Mac Wellman

God, I love Mac Wellman. Seeing my college's production of Cleveland is one of my most cherished theatrical memories. If the idea of graduate school didn't sound like being set on fire to me, his program would be the first I'd apply to. He's celebrating his tenth year at Brooklyn College and some of his former students interviewed him for the Brooklyn Rail.

Check it out.

My favorite bit? "There are far more wonderful playwrights now than ever before. And far fewer theaters of any interest at all."


Friday, April 15, 2011

Save the Date...

... for the Bloodworks Kickoff Party!
April 29th. 9:00 PM. Ensemble Studio Theater: 549 W 52nd St., 2nd Floor

John Boehner, You Wear Some Silly Ass Ties, Bro

Hey, John Boehner. What's up. You just negotiated your first big budget deal as Speaker of the House. How's it feel?

Not so good, huh? All the Republy's are mad at you for not cutting spending enough. Democrats, well they never liked you to begin with. You're between a rock and a hard place, whatever that means.

But don't worry. At least you have all those really colorful, fruity, dumb ties.

What's up with those, anyway? Dude, you got like, all the neon colors of the rainbow. One for every day of the week. It's hard to do a Google Image search of you and find you wearing a normal, solid colored tie. In fact, I don't think you own one.

I don't know where your skin ends, and tie begins.

But I admire that. Most men, especially politicians, don't have the inner courage to show their true colors. But you, you oddly tanned Ohio Elephant, you got fuckin', bright ass orange, and teal, and purple, and shit dude, even pink. PINK. Most men shy away from that color, and you would think especially being the face of conservative values you would too, but nuh uh. You're all like, Hey, we passed the biggest budget cuts in history and we tried super hard to defund Planned Parenthood and the EPA and I'm motherfuckin' BAZOOKA JOE.


Even when you were sworn in as Speaker, you wore that silver blue shiny space tie.


That's cool. I'm into it. What most people don't know about you, is you're a real party guy. You chain smoke mad cigs. On the golf course, all day, Puff the Magic Speaker of the House over here. Tobacco deregulation like whoa. You also throw extravagant, DC parties where everyone gets together and sips champagne and flirts with executives of major corporations. Maybe that's when everyone wears their dumb ties. Ps. Thanks for inviting me, dick. JK LOL. Luv u. NOT.

Anyway, you grew up in business, famously sweeping the floor of your father's bar. What I suspect though, is this wasn't your average Ohio blue collar bar. It was the kind where disco of another era never died. Where a boy can be a boy. A man can sit and have a conversation with another man. Where you can wear a really dumb fucking tie.

You're gonna have big battles ahead. Gonna have to try and get those Tea Partiers to try and raise the debt ceiling so the country doesn't default on our debt for the first time in history. Good luck with that LOL. That sucks. I wish you luck. I really do. You're a hell of a lot more fun then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. That bro is like a shitty turtle Muppet. Got left over from the Labyrinth set or somethin'.

People talk a lot about you crying. You're an emotional dude. "Emo" some would say. Maybe you look at the sunset and write in your journal about how unfair it would be if the Bush tax cuts expired and the richest people in the country got taxed more. I KNOW THAT MAKES NO SENSE AND IS SO STUPID!!!

But whatev. Maybe you need to relieve some stress though. Maybe Barney Frank could help.

I'm sure you'll figure it out though, bro. You'll wear a really fucking stupid tie.

If you enjoyed this, you can find other political musings at Tick Tock with Chris Sullivan and follow my ass on twitter @ticktockwcs

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Youngblood's BLOODWORKS 2011 - Back at the Seaport Again!

Exciting news about the venue for our annual BLOODWORKS reading series - we're back at the South Street Seaport!

Youngblood stalwarts will remember our heretofore-favorite venue, @Seaport (waggishly nicknamed "The Liz Claiborne Playhouse" since it was basically an enormous, empty flagship store of practical ladies fashion).  Last year we were hosted by Pace University, which was a couple blocks inland but still in the same neighborhood.  The Schaeberle Theater there was a great venue, but we did miss the extra something that a disused ex-retail facility brings to a reading.

Enter the brand new Algonquin Seaport Theater.  The good folks at the Algonquin were extraordinarily welcoming, even in the face of NINETEEN FULL LENGTH READINGS in just eight weeks.  And this time we're all the way out in the East River - the Theater is all the way Brooklyn-ward on the 2nd floor of the Pier 17 mall, with a ridiculous view of the Brooklyn Bridge through the wraparound picture windows.

For those of you having trouble picturing exactly where that is:

We are extremely excited to be down by the water for another year.  Come check out the readings, drink with us afterward overlooking the river, and dream about the inevitable day when Youngblood completes our seaward evolution and finally gets our own SHIP...

Details on BLOODWORKS 2011 here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Cult of Personality

I'm so grateful to Alex Borinsky for introducing me to Hennessy Youngman and his series, Art Thoughtz. This installment is about Personal Mythology.

What do we think about the artist as a celebrity? Is the Andy Warhol cult-of-personality phenomena applicable to playwrights? Are there any contemporary playwrights that are just as famous for their personalities as for their work? It's certainly existed in other eras: Oscar Wilde, Moliere, etc. You could probably make a case for Sam Shepard. Do these playwrights exist now? (Neil Labute, maybe?) If they do, is it a good thing? If not, should they? Is it easier to find success of you have a big or outlandish persona? WHO SHOULD WE BE?

I have some ideas....

Patrick Link should become an alcoholic womanizer, but a lovable one. Like Arthur. But Dudley Moore as Arthur. Not Russell Brand. Has anybody else noticed that Russell Brand looks weird lately?

I'd love to see Angela Hanks cut her hair short like Angela Davis and become a militant feminist. She could wear jumpsuits and berets and talk about the revolution like Patty Hearst in her whole Symbionese Army phase. Because revolutions are glamorous. So are jumpsuits.

Meghan Deans as this millennium's Dorothy Parker, lounging about in expensive hotels smoking cigarettes and saying hilarious, vicious things? Meghan already says vicious and hilarious things, so all she has to do is bob her hair and start smoking.

I'm onto something. If you want a personality, just ask. Let's do this, people!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Down On Skid Row: Or How the High School Musical Saved Me

Lately I've been obsessed with watching high school musical productions on YouTube. I don't know why. Or maybe it's because I like things that are awkward. Maybe it's because the kids are so enthusiastic and having such a great time. I don't know which. Little Shop of Horrors is an especially fun one, because there's a necessary design element that never really works out. And, sure, there's a bit of racial awkwardness in these mostly all-Caucasion productions. Not to mention there's always, like, eight doo wop girls. Still, the kids! They're having such a great time. They believe in the cause.

Sometimes it surprises people to learn that I grew up in musical theater, but I did. What's more, I love musicals. If it weren't for musicals, I never would have found the theater and I'm sure that must be the case with a lot of theater artists.

I started as the dog catcher in Annie- great role for me, as he got to wear a crisp white uniform, say something mean, and then go. I was ten and bright eyed and innocent. God, I must've been such a little shit bag. Anyway. When I as about thirteen I started discovering underground rock music, cigarettes, and sub culture but this did not do anything to lessen my love of the musical. Not right away, anyway. Hell, I had The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which I watched every single day after school for years. Years.

I kind of became a mix between a juvenile delinquent and an old show queen. I would go to the Kitsap Mall after school and shoplift grunge CDs and Broadway soundtracks in equal amounts by sticking them in my pants and walking out of the store with my shirt covering them. The Into the Woods CD was especially difficult to gank- it was a double CD. Same with Talking Heads' Sand in the Vaseline. It was the 90's and my kleptomania was in luck, as baggy pants and shirts were in.

This phase was very brief. Maybe two years? I came to view my love of rock and my love of musicals as separate. Rocky Horror was the exception and not the rule. I'm not sure why I felt like I had to be one specific thing, like "punk", or why I felt I couldn't like other kinds of music, but I did feel that way. I ended up quitting the theater for a few years so I could smoke and go to riot grrl shows in Seattle and carouse around the neighborhood with my no good-nick friends. It was a lot of fun.

Then, by 10th grade (yes, all of that badness was before) all of my friends had already dropped out of high school. Lots of them were having babies or wrestling with addictions or heavy things like that. I decided to clean up my act and part of that was auditioning for the school play, The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard. I played Moon, the pseudo intellectual theater critic. A natural fit, of course. And then I was in Fiddler on the Roof. And then I couldn't remember why I ever left the theater. And the rest is, as they say, history. I ended up staying in school and graduating and going to college etc. Why did I ever think I couldn't like both Cole Porter and Sonic Youth? I don't know. But I do know I was on one path and being in plays after school got me off of it.

I think there's a part of me that feels sad that theater is so far out of our pop culture. And I don't mean this to say "play should be more poppy" or anything like that. I like a wide range of plays, from the very sophisticated to the not-so-much. I mean "pop" like popular, not like soda. Anyway. All of this was to say, please... no matter what happens... no matter what budgets we cut... let's keep the high school musical. Just... maybe don't do The Wiz if your school is short on racial diversity.

Calling all Actors!

Q: What are playwrights without actors?

A: Crazy people who hear voices and drink too much coffee.

This summer I've got a show going up with an awesome young company. Before that, however, we're going to do a mini-workshop so that we can test out some staging and narrative challenges (and so I can do a few rewrites...word to the wise, never write a scene that takes place in airport security. You WILL have to rewrite every time some asshole tries to blow up his shoes or his underwear or his latte and the TSA totally changes their procedures). It'll be a fun way to answer a few of our production questions before the actual production is breathing down our necks.

Auditions start this Sunday, April 17!

If you are a smart actor, please take a look. If you know some smart actors, please pass it on. If you are a busy smart actor, get in touch with us anyway, because we'll probably have another audition date later in the month.

Need Space?

While YB finally found a home for Bloodworks 2011 (more on that later), our search for possible reading venues nearly went national. Check out these 75 Abandoned Theaters From Around the God, I could look at these all day. Above is my favorite one from Hudson Valley, New York.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fine, I'm Up

I've been putting in some long hours in front of the ol' scriptwriting box, and most of those long hours have been sitting, with horrible posture, either crunched in an IKEA chair (padding long gone) or slouched on my bed (laptop balanced on my cat). But then. THEN! I read Anna's post about how not to ruin my health with my art, and I got inspired to make myself a temporary standing desk.

Yeah that's right! I own a lot of cookbooks!

Here are some lessons I have learned from my standing desk experiment.
  • This actually works. I hate standing so much that I super-focus on the writing, knowing that as soon as I hit my daily goals, I can go slouch somewhere. But not before.
  • Speaking of daily goals, I wasn't really setting them BSD (Before Standing Desk). But now I am. Also sometimes if I'm really distractible, I do interval training: I set my cell phone timer (that's right, I also have a cell phone) to ten minutes. Then I write without stopping for ten minutes. When the timer goes off, I do something else for two minutes. I know I didn't invent this, but you know how when something works it totally feels like you invented it? Like blenders, or flying?
  • My desk is really wobbly. I should probably get a new one. I think I inherited this from a roommate who moved out six years ago.
  • Not only am I writing quicker at Standing Desk, I'm also getting more sleep. 'Cause of how I'm focusing, and also, 'cause of how I am giving myself hard stopping points. It turns out that walking away from something and returning to it fresh the next day is way better than binge-writing for 48 hours. Not that anyone here has ever done that.
IS THAT ENOUGH BRAGGING FOR YOU? Okay, good. I would recommend Standing Desk to anyone. Not sure that I'm ready to throw out my chair entirely, but it is no longer the boss of me.

Also I should clearly clean up my workstation. Ugh.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Blatantly copied and pasted from an email I just sent to my friends.

Hello, friends!

I don't know how it happened, but all of a sudden I'm doing a bunch of shows next week. "Next week??" you splutter, coffee streaming down your laptop screen and pooling in your crotch. "Next week," I aver, all business, wearing a tuxedo and drinking scotch from a spill-proof sippy cup.

On Monday the 11th, 3Graces Theater Co. is producing a reading of Great Eastern in the downstairs room at The Gin Mill, 442 Amsterdam (bt. 81st/82nd). $12 gets you a play and two drinks. And you can order food and eat and drink during the show. That's why I'm going. You should come too.

On Thurs the 14 through Sat the 16th, Horse Trade is presenting a bunch of short plays by members of The Public's Emerging Writers Group at The Kraine (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery). My play, directed by David Chapman, is called HALO/TITANIC and it's making its American premiere after one shining performance at the Old Vic Theatre in London. They're allowed to spell theater with an "re" over there without it being pretentious.

More info on both events is below. See you next week!


The Ghostlights






UNDER CONSIDERATION is a 90-minute event featuring new one-act plays by members of The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group including 2008 playwrights Chris Cragin and Pia Wilson, 2009 playwright Bridget Kelso, and 2011 playwrights Sevan Greene, Sukari Jones, Aaron Levy, Anna Moench, Jerome Parker, and Stella Fawn Ragsdale.

The Emerging Writers Group seeks to target playwrights at the earliest stages in their careers. In so doing, The Public hopes to create an artistic home for a diverse and exceptionally talented group of up-and-coming playwrights.


Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Science Brunch!

Today's Science brunch "A Brunch History of Time" proved that some young playwrights do in fact care about science research grants and associations relating to father and son relationships, dinosaurs, memorization and sex, stay-at-home dads and their experience with breastfeeding, and the danger/excellence of technology.

Here are some photos from the brunch and the McCoy's celebration after (in reverse order.)

Stay tuned for May's brunch, "Bless Me Father, For I Have Brunched," The Youngblood Confessions.

Thanks to everyone who brunched with us!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Relational Aesthetics

There's been heated conversation in the hallowed halls where Youngblood meets about audience, about the death (or life) of theater, about what success means and who has access to it, and about the changing price of whiskey.

There have been passionate claims about which theater spaces we love, and why, and about who comes to see stuff there, and why. (Since, after all, not every audience has the energy -- and size -- of the crowd at a Youngblood brunch.)

The question of who comes to see stuff -- and why -- is important because it can mean the difference between continuing to wait tables and getting to make theater for a living. But it's also important because, hey: Um, why are we doing this stuff again?

There's a part of me that's a big supporter of the Home Theater Festival manifesto. Grants and residencies and big organizations are problematic for some of the reasons stated on this blog. But they're also tricky because they tend to reproduce existing models for presenting theater: rent a space with seats and a grid, advertise, sell tickets for $20, make postcards, go. I've written plays that probably wouldn't work outside of that model -- presented for the elderly, positioned on pogo sticks, on a windy south Brooklyn beach, say. And, frankly, I've got enough on my hands with writing the play and paying rent that I don't really have the time or energy to find a site-specific spot, recruit Basque-speaking non-actors to perform it, and try to drag some (probably perfectly nice but kind of confused) underprivileged young people into the picture so I can say I'm doing "outreach." (Hats off to Chris Sullivan for bringing bands and plays together. And let's hear it for Conkel and Dickens' coatless youths.)

Mostly, it just makes me sad that there are some people who see theater, and other people -- most people -- who just don't. Which isn't true of music. Or movies. Or even books. Most people listen to music. Or watch movies. Or read books. Because they like doing it. And, on a certain level, they think doing it is worthwhile.

I care less about the size of audiences -- though size certainly has a lot to to with the economic feasibility of the project, or at least with the appeal of the project to potential grant-givers (and I'm a fan of the Home Theater Festival for saying f-you to grant-givers on that front) -- than with the fact that people are excited to come to something, and that they come because they think there's a meaningful exchange that might happen.

How do we make that happen? Make theater that people are seriously excited to be a part of, and create opportunities for people to be a part of it?

The answer might be something edgy and pretentious like this bouncing, geriatric Brighton-Beach-in-Basque project that I've got my heart set on (stay tuned...), or it might be as simple as writing plays that are fun, serving beer, having couches, and not charging much money.

Which brings me to Relational Aesthetics. And this video, which I think has all the answers.

Friday, April 01, 2011

"Douglas Carter Beane" is David Lindsay-Abaire

In a shock to the theatre world, playwright "Douglas Carter Beane" has been revealed as a pseudonym used by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire.

In a statement released today, Mr. Lindsay-Abaire writes, "Yeah, it was me all along. I didn't want people to think I was getting too many opportunities, so I split the ones I got between me and this other three-name playwright that I totally made up. Oddly enough, nobody seemed to notice."

Mr. Lindsay-Abaire, the author of Good People, Rabbit-Hole, and Shrek, can now officially add Xanadu, The Little Dog Laughed, and the film To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar to his impressive body of work.

According to Lindsay-Abaire, the release of this information was not planned. The actor who has played "Douglas Carter Beane" at galas and openings for the last twenty years reached the end of his contract last week. Rather than re-signing, Mr. Lindsay-Abaire decided to go public with his little experiment.

"It's time people know the truth. There is no Douglas Carter Beane. There is only David Lindsay-Abaire."

Dorothy Fortenberry and Real Simple

Youngblood alum Dorothy Fortenberry (still known in these parts as "DoFo") wrote this beautiful article for Real Simple Magazine. The essay was published because it won a nationwide contest with thousands of entrants. It's about the loss of her father and learning to ride a bicycle and it's a pretty wonderful read. You should check it out.

Also, a late congratulations to Dorothy and husband Colin on their first baby, the gorgeous Lee. Welcome to the world, Lee!