April Newsletter and Meeting Notice

Our next meeting will be Monday, April 8th, at 7 PM at the LowellCenter, 610 Langdon Street, Madison. Check kiosk for room.

Parking: Lowell parking is for guests of the hotel and staff only. Nearest parking is the Lake Street Ramp, one block south (you can also enter from Frances Street). Street parking is free after 6 P.M. Try east on Langdon up around the curve or the foot of Gilman Street around the corner from Porta Bella our tavern of choice for apres-reading beer. Porta Bella is on Frances between State and University.

City of Madison Parking Website:  www.cityofmadison.com/transportation/parking.cfm

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Starting around 7:10 we will read :

Touched by the Gods ………………………………………  by Nick Schweitzer :30

Mountain Views ………………………………………………  by Jack Guzman :30

Better Safe than Sorry  …………………………………….  by Brendon Smith :02

Any actors who have a night off and want to read are always appreciated.

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Elections [from Bob Curry]: Playwrights Ink will elect a new president this month. I am stepping down. Nick Schweitzer has said he would be happy to be the president, but it is an open office and others of you might want to throw your hat in. (I might have an acting job in Marshfield on Monday, so there is a good chance I won’t be back in time for the meeting.)

I am happy to continue as secretary, but if someone has a yearning to take that over, too, I don’t own it. I have a system figured out, at this point, which I am happy to hand off, so if you want to do it, we’ll elect that office, too. I’m assuming George will continue as our treasurer.

The April meeting of Playwrights Ink is the 21st anniversary of our initial get together held at Ray and Star Olderman’s house. Amy Azen called me and told me her plan to start an original play reading group and asked if I had anything we could hear.  Sam White and Celia Klehr read my 30 minute play Georgica Beach. It’s kind of fun that PI is still around.

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A big shout out to Phil Heckman for writing two grants this winter to help fund our Coming of Age Show this summer. Yeoman’s work … Thanks, Phil.

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In March we read:

Gardening with Yoda …………………..    by Deb Meyer

Gertie Gets a Rose ……………………..   by Deb Meyer

Gertie & All Knowing Al ………………..    by Deb Meyer

Arborvitae …………………….………….    by Bob Curry

Readers were: Betsy Wood, Deb Meyer, Jane Leahy, Sandra Reynolds, Jason Compton, Coleman, Brendon Smith, Colin Cameron, Christian Neuhaus. (Sorry if I forgot anyone.)

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Playwrights Ink is on  Facebook     Friend Us 

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“If you want to change something by Tuesday, theater is no good. Journalism is what does that.
But, if you want to just alter the chemistry of the moral matrix, then theater has a longer half-life.”
― Tom Stoppard

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ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Lavinia, by Betty Diamond, will be read in the State Capitol on Friday, April 12th. The reading itself will start at 7 p.m in Supreme Court Hearing Room, 231 East.   Since it’s after hours, the Capitol will be locked, so audience members need to enter via the Martin Luther King entrance which is the one nearest Starbucks.  There will be someone to let you in starting at 6:30, and she’ll be there until 7:30.  Tell her you’re there to see the play.  (And then give the secret handshake.) She will give you directions to the Supreme Court Hearing Room.

If you do plan on coming, please let Betty know so we have a sense of how large an audience to expect.

The project: In 2012, the Director of State Courts Office and the Office of the Chief Justice won a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council to develop an original play based upon the life of Lavinia Goodell, Wisconsin’s first woman lawyer.   Lavinia’s portrait has hung in the Wisconsin Supreme Court chambers for many years, not far from the marble bust of her nemesis, Chief Justice Edward Ryan.  Both of these complicated individuals have stories that open a fascinating window on the social issues that Wisconsin grappled with in the late 1800s.

Lavinia’s role will be played by Sarah Day, the celebrated American Players Theatre actress and daughter of former Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Roland B. Day.  The master of ceremonies for both events will be Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson.  A talk-back and critique session will follow.

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The Madison College Writer’s Life Series:   Social Media Writing

Thursday, May 2nd,  7pm  Host: Larry Hansen       at MATC Downtown Room 240

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Playwriting Workshop

On June 1, 2013, Kathleen Allison Johnson and Gail Sterkel will be offering a workshop titled “Enter Laughing (Or Crying):  Write theater plays that will entrance audiences” at All Writers’ Workplace and Workshop in Waukesha, Wisconsin, as part of the Celebrity Saturdays line-up.  Kathy and Gail’s full-length sci fi play, Ten Thousand Moons from Here will be performed at the Bartell Theatre beginning June 13, 2013, produced by KRASS (Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre), in cooperation with the Madison Theatre Guild.

The All Writers’ workshop will focus on crafting 10-minute plays, learning the rules, and then learning how to break the rules. The workshop will run from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  The cost is $85.  Gail Sterkel has recently joined the distinguished faculty at All Writers.
For more information regarding All Writers and the one-day workshop in Waukesha: http://www.allwriters.org/seminars.aspx

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MEMBER NEWS :

Coleman’s novel  Kidnapping Henry Kissinger is available at Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/ Kidnapping-Henry-Kissinger- ebook/dp/B0078PWPDA/ref=sr_1_ 1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331048524&sr=8- 1

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OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Submission Calendar:

http://www.submissioncalendar.com/

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Written and Edited by Lindsay Price

Marketing Your Play

https://www.theatrefolk.com/spotlights/marketing-your-play

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The Call for Entries for the 2013 VSA Playwright Discovery Program will open in November, 2012. To request these documents in an alternate format, please contact us at  (202) 416-8898 (voice) or  vsainfo@kennedy-center.org.

VSA has an innovative and  Free  Resource Guide for Teachers to help guide teachers and students  through the playwriting process.

The VSA Playwright Discovery Program invites middle and high school students to take a closer look at the world around them, examine how disability affects their lives and the lives of others, and express their views through the art of playwriting. Playwrights may write from their own experience or about an experience in the life of another person or a fictional character. Scripts can be comedies, dramas, or even musicals–be creative! Young playwrights with and without disabilities are encouraged to submit a script. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group of up to five students.

A distinguished jury of theater professionals selects up to five scripts as recipients of the 28th Annual VSA Playwright Discovery Award. The selected playwrights receive a $1,000 cash award and a trip to Washington, D.C. over Labor Day weekend to participate in workshops and view a reading of their work on stage at the JohnF.KennedyCenter for the Performing Arts.

http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/vsa/programs/playwright_discovery.cfm

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Articles and Reviews: 

Currently at Forward Theater in Madison:

Familiar Folks Make Up A Play’s ‘Good People’

by ELIZABETH BLAIR

March 18, 2013

How we end up in life has a lot to do with where we came from. That theory gets a good workout in the play Good People, from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire. When the show was on Broadway two years ago, the trade magazine Variety proclaimed that “If Good People isn’t a hit, there is no justice in the land.”

As it turns out, justice has been served: Good People is the most produced play in America this theatrical season. By the end of this summer, it will have been on stage in 17 different cities. To continue reading or listen to the podcast:

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/18/174308962/familiar-folks-make-up-a-plays-good-people

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Some Dessert, After That Meal With Wally

‘André Gregory: Before and After Dinner,’ by Cindy Kleine

“It’s the art of being, not the act of performing,” the experimental-theater director André Gregory muses in“André Gregory: Before and After Dinner,” an indelible, gripping documentary portrait by his wife, Cindy Kleine. “Even emotion can be a mask.” To continue reading:

http://movies.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/movies/andre-gregory-before-and-after-dinner-by-cindy-kleine.html

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THEATER REVIEW

‘Kinky Boots,’ the Harvey Fierstein-Cyndi Lauper Musical

By BEN BRANTLEY

Published: April 4, 2013

Cyndi Lauper knows how to work a crowd. Making her Broadway debut as a composer with“Kinky Boots,” the new musical that opened on Thursday night at the Al Hirschfeld Theater, this storied singer has created a love- and heat-seeking score that performs like a pop star on Ecstasy. Try to resist if you must. But for at least the first act of this tale of lost souls in the shoe business, you might as well just give it up to the audience-hugging charisma of her songs. To keep reading:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/theater/reviews/kinky-boots-the-harvey-fierstein-cyndi-lauper-musical.html?ref=theater

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Remember all those great Merchant/Ivory films from the 80s?

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Screenwriter, Dies at 85

By ANITA GATES

Published: April 3, 2013

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the German-born screenwriter and novelist who, as the writing member of the Merchant Ivory filmmaking team, won two Academy Awards for adaptations of genteel, class-conscious E. M. Forster novels, died on Wednesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 85.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/movies/ruth-prawer-jhabvala-writer-dies-at-85.html?hp&_r=1&

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Staging a Sisterhood

By PATRICK HEALY

Published: January 31, 2013

The old boys’ club of New York theater, for decades defined by the chummy relationships of producers and directors, is changing with the rise of female directors who are in demand by veteran playwrights as well as hot young writers. … to continue reading:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/theater/female-directors-more-prominent-in-new-york.html?hpw&_r=0

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Play by a recent grad of Juilliard’s playwriting program:

Just One Sale Away From Redemption

‘Bethany,’ With America Ferrera, at CityCenter

By CHARLES ISHERWOOD

Published: January 20, 2013

A bright, encouraging smile almost never leaves the face of Crystal, the embattled heroine of the fine new drama “Bethany,” by Laura Marks, which opened on Sunday night at CityCenter. Portrayed by America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”) with a warm poise that smoothly masks profound anxiety, Crystal cannot really afford to let doubt or vulnerability cloud her features. She’s a saleswoman, after all, and the key to selling is keeping up a shiny veneer of confidence, even when there’s a silent screech of desperation threatening to leap into your throat.

http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/theater/reviews/bethany-with-america-ferrera-at-city-center.html

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First Winners of Kennedy Playwriting Prize Announced

By PATRICK HEALY

Two plays, Dan O’Brien’s “Body of an American” and Robert Schenkkan’s “All the Way,” are the inaugural winners of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, Columbia University and one of the late senator’s sisters, Jean Kennedy Smith, will announce on Friday. The two writers will each receive $50,000 and collaborate with Columbia librarians to create Web sites featuring scholarly articles and discussion relating to the content of the plays. To continue reading:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/first-winners-of-kennedy-playwriting-prize-announced/

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Universities Join Artists to Conjure the Civil War

By FELICIA R. LEE

Published: February 27, 2013

The National Civil War Project is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the war (1861-65) by developing 12 new theatrical works about, or inspired by, the conflict, as well as scholarly and public presentations and student projects. To continue reading:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/theater/national-civil-war-project-to-yield-commemorative-work.html

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An Extended Family, Sharing Extended Pain

‘Water by the Spoonful,’ at the Second Stage Theater

By CHARLES ISHERWOOD

Published: January 8, 2013

Trouble comes in surging waves for the men and women in “Water by the Spoonful,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Quiara Alegría Hudes that is making its New York premiere at the Second Stage Theater. Almost all the characters in this moving collage of lives in crisis have a grim history — and maybe a grimmer future — of substance abuse. Often their addictions have cost them dearly, leading to poverty, isolation and unbridgeable chasms between once-loving parents and children. To continue Reading:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/theater/reviews/water-by-the-spoonful-at-the-second-stage-theater.html?ref=theater

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New Funds Help Revive a Theater in St. Paul

By FELICIA R. LEE

Published: January 7, 2013

The Penumbra Theater Company in St. Paul, a leading African-American theatrical organization whose financial woes forced the cancellation of shows and the trimming of staff last year, has raised enough money to resume programming on a limited basis, Penumbra officials announced Monday.To continue Reading:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/theater/penumbra-theater-to-resume-programs-after-fund-raising.html?ref=theater

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Behind a Flop, a Play(wright) Within a Play

By PATRICK HEALY

Published: December 5, 2012

A stroll down West 45th Street in the theater district is all it takes to understand the contradictory fortunes facing David Mamet,for years the heavyweight of bare-knuckled American playwrights, as well as the producers who believe that loyalty to the writer makes good business sense. To continue Reading:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/theater/david-mamet-has-flop-and-hit-on-one-broadway-block.html?ref=arts

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December 5, 2012

Ben Brantley Answers Readers’ Questions

Interview with NYTimes Theater Critic

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/05/ben-brantley-answers-readers-questions/

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/ben-brantley-answers-readers-questions-part-2/?ref=arts

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How to Find Opening Lines That Electrify

Published: October 25, 2012

CALL me Ishmael. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Throw in Tolstoy’s uniquely unhappy families, Orwell’s 13-striking clocks and Nabokov’s loin-firing Lolita, and literature is packed with gangbuster first lines. To read on:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/theater/how-to-craft-an-opening-line-to-electrify-a-theater-audience.html?smid=fb-share

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Specializing in Secrets and Their Dear Cost

By  PATRICK HEALY

Published: October 4, 2012, NY Times

THE Off Broadway play “Harper Regan,” a 2008 British drama about a woman swamped by family problems, was first going to be called “Seth Regan,” after Harper’s troubled husband. The title change was hardly superficial for the playwright, Simon Stephens. Like Tennessee Williams, who wrote several versions of (and titles for) “A Streetcar Named Desire” before realizing that his real subject was Blanche DuBois, Mr. Stephens goes down as many rabbit holes as necessary to discover the ideal wonderland in which to set his stories and characters.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/theater/specializing-in-secrets-and-their-dear-cost.html?ref=theater

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THEATER; Neil Simon’s Pinball Rules for Playwriting

By NEIL SIMON;

Published: March 22, 1992

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—  “How long did it take you to write the play?” the young college student queried. I was stumped. I didn’t know. I had no recollection.

Does it start from the moment you put pen to paper? (I don’t type. I write in long, narrow-ruled notebooks that I seem to find only in England, and even there they appear to be fast disappearing. I like to see as much as I can in one glance at a sheet of paper to get a sense of the rhythm and tempo of the words.)

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/22/theater/theater-neil-simon-s-pinball-rules-for-playwriting.html

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Shock Value 

Critics’ Forum: The Shocking Power of Great Art

Four critics for The New York Times — Roberta Smith, Ben Brantley, A.O. Scott and Alastair Macaulay — are chatting about the role of shock in art: how it works, how it has changed and why it’s still necessary. Jennifer Schuessler moderates. Does art retain the power to shock? Must artists contrive to provoke? Join the discussion with critics, artists and readers.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/arts/art-shock.html#/critics6#critics6

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THEATER REVIEW from the NY Times,

Broadway Royals, Out at the Summer Palace

‘Ten Chimneys,’ About Lunts, at Theater at St. Clement’s

By  CHARLES ISHERWOOD

Published: October 4, 2012

Hard though it may be to fathom, one of America’s most glamorous locales during the middle decades of the last century was a small town in Wisconsin with the homey name of Genesee Depot. There Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the first couple of the Broadway stage, spent their summers, gathering around them luminaries like Noël Coward, Alexander Woollcott and Edna Ferber, who would descend on rural Wisconsin like so many brightly colored, exotic birds settling on a cornfield. To read more:

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/theater/reviews/ten-chimneys-about-lunts-at-theater-at-st-clements.html?ref=arts

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October 4, 2012

Theater Talkback: Hold the Applause

By  BEN BRANTLEY

Ah, the sweet, sweet sound of applause – music to any actor’s ears. But is it always? I’m referring specifically to entrance applause, that instant and seemingly spontaneous ovation that greets the arrival of a celebrated actor onstage.

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THEATER REVIEW

‘Tender Napalm’   by Philip Ridley  at 59E59 Theaters

Fighting to Have the Last Word

September 3, 2012

Who’s telling this story anyway? You’ve heard that question, uttered impatiently or perhaps even furiously, by one half of a couple to the other in midanecdote. We all mythologize our lives, and most of us fight to ensure our version stands as the official one, even — no, make that especially — when the alternative view comes from the person who’s closest to us.

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/theater/reviews/tender-napalm-by-philip-ridley-at-59e59-theaters.html?ref=theater

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David Lindsay-Abaire and Naomi Wallace Receive Horton Foote Prize

By  ERIK PIEPENBURG

The playwrights David Lindsay-Abaire and Naomi Wallace have been named the 2012 recipients of the Horton Foote Prize, a biennial award named for the playwright and screenwriter  who died in 2009 at 92. Mr. Lindsay-Abaire’s “Good People” was chosen as the outstanding new American play, and “The Liquid Plain” by Ms. Wallace received the award for promising new American play. Each winner will receive $15,000 and a photograph of Mr. Foote.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/03/david-lindsay-abaire-and-naomi-wallace-receive-horton-foote-prize/?ref=theater

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Adaptation of Jonathan Franzen Essay Heads to Stage

By  JOHN WILLIAMS

August 30, 2012

Daniel Fish adapted the essay and will direct the show. Mr. Fish’s last production,  “A (radically condensed and expanded) SUPPOSEDLY FUN THING I’LL NEVER DO AGAIN (after David Foster Wallace),” featured performers listening to Wallace’s voice through headphones and reciting what they

heard. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/adaptation-of-jonathan-franzen-essay-heads-to-stage/

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A good piece about the ingredients of your characters’ inner lives.

Things to Fear and Loathe By  PATRICIA PEARSON

A friend recently told me about a new app for the treatment of phobias. You stare at pictures of dental drills, snakes or airplane interiors, depending on your affliction, and these totems of menace  — interspersed with reassuring images of teddy bears  — gradually cease to provoke you.

Does it work? We can’t know. My friend has a phobia of stuffed animals. It’s something, he says, about the soulless glass eyes.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/03/things-to-fear-and-loathe/?scp=1&sq=Patricia+Pearson&st=cse

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Lost and Found:

Treasure Trove of Playwright Interviews

“Mostly what you’re listening to is a give-and-take from what constituted the playwriting community in New York and, by extension, in the United States,” Mr. Weidman said.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/in-a-dusty-drawer-a-trove-of-theatrical-voices/?hp

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The National New Play Network   is an alliance of leading nonprofit theaters that champion the development,  production and continued life of new plays. NNPN strives to pioneer, implement and disseminate ideas and programs that  revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights.

http://www.nnpn.org/ about_mission.php

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