A Warm Thank You to the Contest Judges...
On behalf of the playwriting forum, and the AW community at large, I would like to extend a warm thank you to the two AW Play Contest judges! Without their expertise and generosity, the contest would not have run so smoothly. A community like AW works best when its members step up to the plate. Thank you for coming forward and volunteering your time to the cause. You've been inspirations!
Mscelina: I studied playwriting with Howard Stein, formerly of the Yale School of Drama and the Chairman of the Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre Studies and Supervisor of the Playwriting Program at Columbia University, when he held the artist in residence chair of the Tennessee Center of Excellence in Creative Arts in 1992. Under his guidance, I wrote my first play, a one-act entitled Puppets, which was first produced in 1993 by the Center. After a boot in the butt and a couple of helpful phone calls from Dr. Stein, I took a summer stock gig at the Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina, and that led to a fifteen year stint in professional theatre as an actor, director, scenic artist, technical director and set designer. I've worked with many notable new play festivals and competitions, including the Key West Theatre Festival and the Dayton Playhouse Theatre Festival, but the majority of my acting life (I refuse to call it a 'career') was spent going from Shakespeare show to Shakespeare show, with a healthy dose of Tennessee Williams and Voltaire thrown into the mix. And, quite unsurprisingly, the role I have played the most is Katharina in Taming of the Shrew. When I started writing again, something had to go. Since I was rather fond of the husband and the kids, theatre hit the pavement and now I am nothing more than an occasional consultant for productions in the area.
Paul has reviewed theatre on the page for various publications and off the page (dramaturgy) for others. Still his first love, he has since moved on from theatre to a series of often torrid affairs with other media. Someday, he hopes to renew his relationship with the sacred space, if she can ever forgive his departure...
Thanks too to the Playwriting forum mods, and to Mac...for allowing yet another community event to spring up out of the blue at AW.
Thanks to both judges. Your efforts are much appreciated.
practical experience, FTW
I want to add my appreciation of the work of the judges. I particularly want to thank them for the great critique of my play. You have given me wonderful ideas to make my play far better and more interesting and exciting.
I stopped writing a while back after a couple of brutal critique sessions with our local playwrights group on a full length play I wrote. I was afraid to write. Afraid to go through another "blood bath" as I tried to fix the play. "Cutter" was the last play I wrote. I realize now that it was about the despair I felt over 15 months of writing that was soundly rejected.
Now I feel reinvigorated and ready to tackle writing again.
And thank you guys for letting me reimmerse myself into my first love for a time. I really enjoyed reading these plays and I was surprised at how well-written and engaging they were. You all did a great job, so pat yourselves on the back and keep writing! The world needs more plays, more opportunities to escape to the theater for a night of fantasy and drama and emotional enticement. And while the actors are the ones who create that empathic bond with the audience, the playwright is the most important part of that chain--the one that pierces the fourth wall, seizes the audience and sucks them into the play. The playwright is the anchor, the base that holds it all together.
We need more of them. Keep writing those plays.