Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Reading 2013

Fair enough, it's a little late for a summer reading list. On the other hand, it's never too late to read. Here is a quick list of ten reads (plays and non-plays) that will expand the garden of your mind. Read all ten and it will be like installing a skylight in your living room--impressive and illuminating.  

1. THE PARIS REVIEW INTERVIEWS - These are absolute gems and you can begin reading them immediately at no cost whatsoever. Interviews with Dorothy Parker, William Faulkner, Robert Frost, Lillian Hellman, and hundreds more. Highly informative and totally fascinating to hear these mythic figures simply chatting this and that. 

2. THIS FROM CLOUDLAND by Kristen Kosmas. You're welcome.

3. A PUBLIC READING OF AN UNPRODUCED SCREENPLAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY by Lucas Hnath. Obviously the Soho Rep production was excellent, but the script will make for an interesting reading experience on its own. Know where you can get this play? Right here. Also available at McNally Jackson, along with some other excellent Soho Rep plays.

4. THIS AND OTHER PLAYS by Melissa James Gibson. Go read some MJG published by TCG. Her writing leaps out at you with grace and delicacy like the white swan and then sneaks up on you like the black swan. BTW, not the first time we've blogged about MJG.

5. WAAFRIKA by Nick Mwaluko. Leah Nanako Winkler calls this playwright "the real thing" and I'm inclined to believe her. Dude is legit. Find him. Read him. See him. 

6. K2 by Patrick Meyers. This was on the list last year....I didn't read it, but I've always wanted to. I've never even heard of a production of this being done, though I've been dazzled by the setting since high school: two climbers stranded at 27,000 feet. 

7. MODERN DATING: A Field Guide by Chiara Atik. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Shameless, you say. But seriously, it can be easy to forget the complexities of the dating world. So often in plays dating themes can become a general wash of dinner scenes and awkward couch kissing. Read this and spice it up. A great book not only for those in need of dating advice, but also those with characters in need of dating advice.

8. THE GREATER JOURNEY: Americans in Paris by David McCullough. Prepare for an avalanche of writing inspiration. You'll be buried in ideas. They'll need to send search dogs for you. 

9. MOOSE MURDERS by Arthur Bicknell. Say you're feeling down about yourself. Rejection letters pilling up, actors dropping out of your reading...well, cancel your plans for an evening, order Chinese and read this play. You'll realize things could be worse. 

10. A MODEST PROPOSAL by Tony Kushner. Read this last, as you've probably read it or seen people cite it in various posts. Typically folks reference it when discussing theatre education. Regardless of what you majored in, MFA or no MFA, the takeaway is probably the same: we all have more reading to do.