Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Merciless Plug for Youngblooders debut feature at the Brooklyn Film Festival

Hey All!

My debut feature Five Days Gone is premiering at the Brooklyn Film Festival then moving on to the Nantucket Film Festival later in June.

There will be two screenings at Brooklyn Heights Cinema: the first on Saturday, June 4th at 7:30 pm and the second on Wednesday, June 8th at 9pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.

Check out the trailer below!


Five Days Gone Trailer from Anna Kerrigan on Vimeo.

Monday, May 30, 2011

You ever notice

You ever notice when Magneto razes a city...
...Joe Biden is conspicuously absent?

Add Image

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Bloodworks Reading! Yay!

by Mira Gibson
directed by Abigail Zealey Bess
Featuring: Steve Boyer, Thomas Lyons, Richard Kent Green, William Jackson Harper, Jenny Gomez, and Allyson Morgan on stage directions.

Tuesday, June 7th at 8:30PM
Ensemble Studio Theatre, 2nd floor
549 W. 52nd Street

CROXLEY just got off the bus from prison, and is going to make the most his month at the prison halfway house: get a job, save money, set up his life for when he is released. But when his roommate tempts him to burglarize a house for a big score, CROXLEY goes for it, and they end up stealing a very unlikely valuable: the teenaged girl who lives there.

A DIAMOND IN THE HOUSE OF THIEVES is a wickedly dark comedy about a group of thieves who are figuring out whether their step into freedom will be down the right path, or the wrong one.

It is delightful.

It is so delightful when the NY Times gives Manohla Dargis a male-dominated dick flick to tear apart from the feminist perspective.

It's like, you KNOW she's going to tear it the fuck apart.

After a while, you start to CRAVE it. HOW will she tear this movie apart?

I don't know why they keep giving Manohla Dargis these shitty dude movies, or whether she specifically requests 'em.

But God love her for keeping Hollywood honest.

Except for when she gave a considered opinion to Unstoppable, which was and is objectively dogshit.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recommended Reading

Robert Weinert-Kendt wrote this piece that summarizes the many reasons why David Mamet is kind of a douche bag. Check it out.

Playwright Kathleen Warnock remembers Off Off Broadway pioneer and LGBT activist Doric Wilson, whose loss a lot of us are still feeling. The post includes a few great stories, like does Doric have a kid? Also, the time Doric slapped Lucille Lortel in the face. Ha! Check it out.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hey Everyone on Facebook, I'm So Sorry I Can't Make it!

Tonight I am very excited to attend both Lydia Brunner and Michael Walek's play readings at The Algonquin Seaport Theatre at 6:30pm and 8:30pm respectively. I was so excited, I even said I was "Attending" on Lydia's facebook event and I wrote on the Event Wall. I was honored to be invited.

But here's the thing I've observed about facebook event walls overall - they seem to be gutters for all of your friends to say super nice things about how they can't make it. Once in a while you'll get a "Yeah!" - Darcy Fowler, but mostly it's "Awww, still sick." "Wish I still lived in NY!" "Good luck baby, I'm in hawaii :( "

It's so generous of everyone to tell us and all of our friends what they will be doing instead of coming to our event, but in the end I think the heartfelt "I-can't-make-it" posts should be done away with.

My preference would be a personal email, text, phone call, fax, or singing telegram saying that you are sorry you're missing it, you swear on your life to make the next one, and you owe me dinner and a drink.

And if you can make it, let the wall know. Pictures, exclamations, links, and general excitement much appreciated. Make our event look tight, and we'll make your event look doubly tight.

Thanks and hope to see you at the seaport tonight for two excellent events.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Former Youngblooder Matt Schatz Critiques Street Art

Current Youngblooder Mike Lew:
Hey former Youngblooder Matt Schatz, look at this article about hipsters like Jessie Hemmons who cover public statues with knitting.
Former Youngblooder Matt Schatz:
I don't like it.
It looks kind of cool on the bull, but I don't like it. That Rocky statue used to be in front of the Spectrum. That's really where it belongs. But the Spectrum is gone. It's not all we've lost.
Someone should knit Jessie Hemmons' wrists together.
I don't like it. I'm sorry. I just don't.

Nakadate, nudity, and Lydia's reading this Monday

I recently happened upon Laurel Nakadate’s show at P.S.1, ‘Only the Lonely’. Nakadate’s most interesting work are home videos of herself with lonely old men doing pseudo sexual and intimate activities. In some she asks them to act out murder scenes, or sing her happy birthday. In another a triptych of video screens shows her doing the choreography for ‘Oops I Did It Again’ with three different men. Each has his own way of following her, and trying to copy the movements in a way that is abjectly pathetic. It’s work that you can’t stop yourself from watching, but you feel exploitative by proxy.

Did these men know she was an artist? Will they ever find out that they’re sad attempt to seduce this girl is amusing the artistic elite of NYC? Nakadate emphasizes this by performing in skimpy outfits, and though in interviews she claims not to exploit her subjects, she has built her career on these videos. At the P.S.1 show, you knew that what you were watching must have had some value, by its presence at such a museum. Indeed, reviews of Nakadate’s work are generally very positive.

But recently another Nakadate video has been hung in the lobby of the Standard Hotel in L.A. which caused one commentator to question if to the drunk patrons of the hotel, her videos were noticeable different than the pop culture videos she’s allegedly critiquing. It’s an interesting question. How does a video of a girl in a string bikini dancing change when its hung on the walls of a prestigious art museum, versus hanging in the lobby of a hotel?

My play, which has a reading on Monday, May 23rd at 6:30 as part of BLOODWORKS touches on questions like these. You should probably come see it. Did we mention there are $2 beers?

Monday, May 23rd at 6:30 PM
by Lydia Brunner
Directed by Lila Neugebauer
at the Algonquin Seaport Theater,
on the 2nd floor of Pier 17 Mall at South Street Seaport.

Gavi is stuck at home in the ‘burbs for winter break. She has six weeks to finish her art for her senior showcase and she’s drawing a blank until her lame cousin Omar agrees to an unlikely proposition. Meanwhile, her dad hires a Craigslist mistress, and her mom searches for the perfect rug. A darkly comic look at the secrets we keep.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cribs - Playwright Edition

My dream of Playwright Cribs has almost come true...

LinkThinks - Directors

This time of year most Youngblood playwrights have some version of this conversation.

Playwright: So...do you want to direct my bloodworks reading?
Director: Eh....
Playwright: I mean, you don't have to.
Director: No, no. I want to. I'm just...
Playwright: No, I know you are.
Director: There's a lot going on right now.
Playwright: Sure.
Director: The marathon, the...ya know, other writing groups...
Playwright: Yeah. No. Sure.

(the playwright turns her head and begins to weep)

Director: Augh. God. Don't do that. Just...what's it about?
Playwright: Okay. Well, I had this dream...
Director: Nevermind. Just um. Email it to me and I'll read it.
Playwright: Well...the funny thing is--
Director: It's not finished.
Playwright: Not even close.
Director: So...what do you want me to do?
Playwright: Keep me company?
Director: Ugh. Fine.

...or maybe that's just me. I hate asking people to direct readings. I'd rather ask somebody to help me move or watch my cat for a weekend. And I wouldn't ask if I didn't really, really need it. But boy, do I ever....and I have a feeling it's not just me, but writers around the world.

From Youngblood to directors everywhere: Thank you.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Look At That Hanks Posted Something About Her Bloodworks Reading Happening Tonight!

A Reading of a New Play
by Angela Hanks
directed by Colette Robert
Featuring William Jackson Harper, Tai Verley, Lindsay Brill, Mamaoudaou Athie, Sheldon Best, and Frank Harts

In a dark patch of wood in Central Texas, the lives of six strangers are forever changed when one of them commits a gruesome crime.

Plus: Genitals

Sunday, May 15, 2011

How to Find the Algonquin Seaport Theater

To get to the Algonquin Seaport Theater, you first have to get to the South Street Seaport.  Luckily, a whole bunch of trains go to Fulton Street.

  • Take the A, C, 2, 3, 4, 5, J or Z to Fulton Street (may say "Broadway/Nassau" on some lines)
  • Find your way to Fulton Street and head East (against one way traffic)
  • Cross Water Street and enter the Seaport pedestrian mall - walk through (cobblestones!)
  • Cross Front Street, under the FDR, to Pier 17
  • Walk past Uno's, Haagen-Dazs, etc. to the entrance to the Pier 17 mall
  • Go to the 2nd floor of the mall and head riverward
  • The last storefront on the 2nd floor on the left before you hit the river is the Algonquin Seaport Theater.  
Which looks, in bird's eye view, like this:

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Youngest Blood of All

Youngblood is proud to announce that we have gone forth and multiplied! On May 10th, at 3:48pm, our very own Sharyn Rothstein gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Please join us in welcoming MR. LUCIEN PARKER LESH to the world!

(Baby Lucien is 7 lbs 4 oz, and, reportedly, has already written his first brunch play. Watch your back, people, that's all I'm saying.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

TONIGHT! The Extraordinary New Bible

The Extraordinary New Bible
by Emily Chadick Weiss
Presented through Aracaworks
7:30 tonight, 5/12/11
at Ars Nova (511 54th St btw. 10th and 11th)

In present day Arizona, Father is turning sixty and demands extraordinary gifts from his grown daughters. Since he raised them on the dramatic stories, not the Jewish traditions of The Old Testament, Alison and Marissa both decide to write the best new bible for their father – one that is about the epic tale of their family. But when they learn they are competing for not only their father’s love, but the love of the rabbinic student Father found wandering in the desert, Alison and Marissa must decide if they will remain within the confines of their primitive upbringing, or venture out into secular America.

Cast: Tracee Chimo, Diane Davis, Stephen Ellis, Richmond Hoxie, Jason Liebman, Mary Jo Mecca, Janet Zarish

(nb. That Emily did not pick or endorse this clip art. There are no surfers in the play. I think. DO NOT GET MAD IF I'M WRONG. xoMD)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blogging Bloodworks: Bonds Edition

First, the details:

a reading of
by Rachel Bonds
directed by Linsay Firman

After the sudden death of their parents, Anne and Ada are left to live alone and at odds with one another in their childhood home. As Anne folds in on herself, longing for the safety of childhood, Ada bristles under her new duties as caretaker. They each forge a relationship with the mysterious and sometimes malevolent figure, The Visitor, who allows the sisters to explore the far and dark reaches of their separate desires, memories and grief.

Monday, May 16th at 8:30PM

Walk down Fulton Street to the Seaport
The theater is on the second floor of the Pier 17 Mall

with Julie Fitzpatrick, Kevin Collins, Megan Tusing, Matt Steiner, Stephanie Wright Thompson and Joby Earle

I've been working on this play for some time now. Linsay served as a mentor for me during the play's earliest stages, and then we collaborated on a developmental workshop of the script at New Georges. I've completely revised the play since that workshop, but haven't had the chance to work with actors on this very new draft. I'm very excited. Linsay is very excited. The reading is the same night as the OBIES, unfortunately---so if you find yourself without a ticket to those, know that you will always have a ticket to the seaport, and to Bloodworks, and to my heart.

I write a lot about grief. This play is no exception. I got interested in exploring what happens to siblings after the death of a parent (or in this case, both parents), particularly after the shock has worn off---after the funeral and the planning and the ability to bury oneself in those "things that need to get done." I'm interested in that time a year or two years or three years after you lose someone, when the rest of the world seems to be running speedily by, as though nothing has happened. And you can't seem to get yourself back into the pace of things. Somehow you feel you can't catch up. This play explores that isolation experienced by two sisters, Anne and Ada---examining the way that grief has pulled them apart and put them at odds with one another. The Visitor*** character---a charismatic but eerie figure, a shape-shifter of sorts, embodies this conflict, emerging from the depths of their childhood home, the house that has come to represent for Anne their old life, happiness, the "way things used to be," and for Ada, all the things that make her feel old and far away from the life she wanted for herself.

The play is strangely relevant to me lately, as my grandmother passed away recently, and my sister, aunts, cousins and I are trying to figure out what to do with her house. It's in terrible disrepair---and I'm going down to Richmond in two weeks to start sorting through her belongings, photos, paintings, furniture, etc, as we decide whether to sell the house where my father and his sisters grew up, where I have so many memories, or to fix it up, maintain it, and keep it within the family. (The picture posted above is my grandmother's house.)

So---skip the OBIES and come to the reading. The cast is fantastic and expertly directed by Linsay Firman. I would love to have you there.

Also----here's a This American Life podcast that really gets at the tone and feeling I'm exploring in the play. My friend Dylan Dawson (of Forks! Forks! Forks! fame and a fantastic playwright) passed this on to me after reading an earlier draft of A&A.

***Footnote (because I love footnotes): I was taking a writing workshop in Prague (which I found to be a dark, beautiful, but very haunted city) when the seed of this play took shape. Robin Hemley, who led my workshop, said, (and this is not a direct quote...but it is how I remember it) "There are two kinds of stories. The Visitation and The Journey. Know which one you are writing." And so I got obsessed with that idea of "The Visitation," which is where the character of "The Visitor" originally came from.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Graeme and RJ and the NEA

Graeme and RJ explain Youngblood to the NEA


It's that time of year again - applications to Youngblood for the 2011-2012 season are now officially open.

For guidelines, click here.  You'll need a letter of interest ("Why Youngblood?" - please include your age), a resumé, and a 50 page writing sample.

Deadline is Friday, July 15.

Rest in Peace, Doric Wilson.

TOSOS had a reading of my new play, I Wanna Destroy You on Saturday night. The reading was going really, really well but I could tell something was up. Doric Wilson, the Artistic Director of TOSOS, was a no show- which is totally unlike him. Then, at a certain point in the reading, some company members were coming in and out of the room, checking their phones etc.

Doric Wilson, it seems, passed away during the night and people were finding out one by one all around me.

I'd only known Doric for a little under a year. He came to see MilkMilkLemonade and asked me to join TOSOS, New York's oldest professional LGBT theater company. I was proud to. During this time Doric had become a kind of mentor to me. His accomplishments were many, of course. He was one of the pioneers of downtown, DIY theater. One of the infamous Cafe Chino writers. He was at Stonewall. He amazed me. We wrote to each other via email about music and politics and the way New York used to be- something I've been obsessed with, having moved here post 9/11.

Doric might hate me saying this, because one of the things we had a long, friendly email debate over was his distaste for rock and roll music, but to me- Doric was punk as hell. The image of what a gay New Yorker should be. He did everything on his own terms, did it himself, and didn't sell out or compromise his values.

He was a visionary and a true original. His legacy will be carried on through his work, his fans and all of us who remember him.

Bye, Doric. I miss you already.

American Centaur presents

I like Shakespeare. But sometimes people like me get a little too reverent.

The company I've been making work with for the last year or two, American Centaur, is putting on two Shakespeare plays this weekend. But they're not your usual Shakespeare. We've gotten rid of a bunch of the Shakespeare, and added some text from other places. We've tossed in some Mario Brothers and The Mighty Ducks for good measure.

Come! New stories hacked out of old plays, like sculptures out of blocks of marble. Or cheese sculptures, out of cheese.

Dirt cheap, wildly entertaining, often interesting, in the West Village.

American Centaur presents:

When Richard Ordered the Sun to Set / K5

All shows at IRT
154 Christopher St., #3B (3rd floor)
New York, NY

Friday, May 13
7:00 – Richard
8:30 – K5
10:00 – Richard

Saturday, May 14
7:00 – Richard
8:30 – K5
10:00 – Richard

Sunday, May 15
8:00 – Richard

$5 per show, any two for $7


Friday, May 06, 2011

Hot Playwrights XI: Young Jean Lee

We begin every Youngblood meeting with "What have you seen?" This is a chance for the members to discuss the plays they've seen since the last meeting, what they liked or didn't like about them, and so forth. This often leads to big philosophical discussions about theater. Other times it doesn't.

Young Jean Lee's Lear was one of those other times. We talked about the play for five seconds and then somebody mentioned that Young Jean has the perfect hair. We then discussed the wonders of Young Jean's hair for about fifteen minutes. Because we're a sophisticated lot.

Her hair is pretty great:

I was lucky to attend the closing night of We're Gonna Die, Young Jean's offering to 13P, and I drunkenly recalled the conversation to the playwright herself. She wasn't surprised. I guess she gets that a lot?

Young Jean's got swagger.

By the way, if you missed the show, the whole thing is streaming for free. Yay, internet!

Quick and Dirties!

As you know, spring is here, and all sorts of plants and insects are awakening from a long, dormant winter. But did you know that 17-year cicadas chill out underground for seventeen years before they crawl out and fly around screaming for one glorious summer before they reproduce and die? Then their babies dig their way into the ground and wait for another seventeen years before crawling out themselves. Then it happens again. And again. Fact. It's so crazy I wrote a play about it. It's going up as a staged workshop in the QuaDs - the Quick and Dirties series produced by a hot new company called the claque.

GREAT EASTERN by Anna Moench
A staged workshop produced by the claque at the Tank (354 W. 45th St).
Directed by Jeremy Bloom.
Starring Tim Altmeyer, Ari Brand, Sarah Elmaleh, and Kristin Griffith.
Original music and sound by Chris Kiehne.
Two nights only!
Monday 5/9 and Wednesday 5/11, at 7:30pm.

For tickets, click here.
For info on the other awesome plays in the QuaDs series, or more about the claque, click here.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Crystall Skillman and Me.

I'm producing Youngblood alum and EST member Crystal Skillman's new play, Cut, with my theater company, The Managment. We're incredibly lucky, because Crystal developed the play especially for our actors: Nicole Beerman, Megan Hill and Joe Varca.

I interviewed her for The Brooklyn Rail and- surprise, surprise- Youngblood came up.

Check it out!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Youngblood Credited with Death of Osama Bin Laden

Late Sunday night President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden, leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist network and the most wanted man in the world, by American Special Forces and the Youngblood group for Emerging Writers.

"If it weren't for the brave work done by the military and young playwrights, the face of global terror and extremism would still exist today." The president said last night as crowds gathered outside the White House, Times Square, Ground Zero, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre to celebrate.

The historic day started late last summer, when an intelligence report surfaced that the terrorist leader may be hiding in a compound in Pakistan, while Graeme Gillis and RJ Tolan sifted through applications for new membership to Youngblood. Over the past few months, the president held several meetings with his National Security Council while Youngblood held several high level, successful brunches, a retreat, and it's "Asking For Trouble" series in what was a coordinated effort to take down the head of the organization which killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11th, 2001 as well as thousands of others around the world the past two decades, and spurred two American wars in the Middle East.

The operation is widely credited to Youngblood's Bloowdworks fundraiser party this past Friday, a huge success in which none of the guests reportedly knew that the hosts of the party were actually in the midst of one of the largest Special Forces operations of our time. "I was just dancing, getting crazy drunk, grinding up on Eric Dufault," said one member of the party, who wanted to remain anonymous for walk of shame reasons, "I thought maybe when I was getting raffle tickets for that dream date dude something weird might be up...but not like that!"

Many playwrights had suspiciously left the party early before clean up, presumably to coordinate operations with CIA Director Leon Panetta, though some analysts assume they were just too drunk and had rehearsal in the morning. The weekend continued culminating in the second to last brunch of the year, the Confessional Brunch. Shortly before Lydia Brunner's play went on stage, which featured sexual acts by puppets, she was on the phone with the State Department making sure a coordinated communications response was in place for the next day.

As the world celebrates and discusses the world post Osama Bin Laden, the United States military operations continue against Al Queda and Youngblood continues to write and produce new American Theater. This continues the next two months at the South Street Sea Port Monday nights for the Bloodworks reading series.

Rumors have surfaced following the death of Bin Laden, Youngblood member Patrick Link may be looking at a 2012 run for president.