The monthly braggadocio roundup: November 2014

These titles are misleading, as November has only just started, and so how could I possibly be giving a roundup of it...? But now I'm stuck calling things this way. I am trapped in my own lie. 

First up, Theatre KAPOW's 24-Hour Play Festival was awesome. I had so much fun. It was that rare writerly experience of knowing what you have to do, having a bunch of people actively cheering you on as you do it, and then feeling very proud of the result. 

I should have taken more pictures, but I think everyone was too busy doing the thing to document the thing. I did take one: that harrowing moment when the director and actors are reading the play for the first time. As you, the playwright, sit there and watch them read it.

 They're a few pages in and no one's laughing oh god oh god. (Left to right: Jamileh Jemison, Jackie Marcoux, and Ben Bagley. Kelly Litt is sitting to Ben's left. He is not in this picture.)

They're a few pages in and no one's laughing oh god oh god. (Left to right: Jamileh Jemison, Jackie Marcoux, and Ben Bagley. Kelly Litt is sitting to Ben's left. He is not in this picture.)

Before this (actually only five hours before this), I had finished the play and written a blog post for Theatre KAPOW's website documenting (sort of) the writing process of the thing. You can read it here! An excerpt:

I started writing around 9:30pm and finished the first draft around 1:18 am. It clocked in at eleven pages. As I wrote to a friend on Facebook (because there was much Facebooking throughout this process): The only muse I've ever known is a gun pointed at my head. (Or a ticking clock. Whichever.)

True story. For the next couple hours I picked at the words, trying to artfully arrange them in a way that would make sense to people who are not me. I submitted the play at 3:13am, and was, evidently, the first of the five playwrights to turn in their play. Victory! (I think the second was like ten minutes later, but whatever, man. Primacy is mine.)

Then I slept for four hours, woke up very confused and desirous of strong coffee, and remained awake the rest of the day, working with the director, Jamileh Jemison, and the actors to make the funny funnier and the poignant poignanter. I had intended to slink off and nap at some point during the day, but I was having way too much fun sitting in on the rehearsal process and laughing at all of their jokes. 

 Tech rehearsal! Left to right: Kelly Litt, Jackie Marcoux, and Ben Bagley. 

Tech rehearsal! Left to right: Kelly Litt, Jackie Marcoux, and Ben Bagley. 

This Dating Thing was the last play of the night, and I was so proud of it and everyone involved. The actors (Ben Bagley, Jackie Marcoux, and Kelly Litt) absolutely nailed it. And then it was all over. I helped with cleanup and then a bunch of us went out for dinner and drinks. And then I drove half an hour to my girlfriend's parents' house and slept the sleep of the wide awake yet sleep deprived.

Wax Idiotical Films put together a time-lapse video of the entire 24 hours. Behold!

It seems that I scratch my neck a lot.

The one thing it omits is the writing process, for which I have thoughtfully put together my own time-lapse video:

So! That was that. I'd happily do it again every weekend. Every. Single. Weekend.

In other news, I learned right before heading up to Derry that my ten-minute play The Formative Years will appear as part of the Firehouse Center for the Arts New Works Festival in Newburyport, MA, this January. And! Some days after that, I also learned that Going Viral will appear as part of Short+Sweet Sydney 2015 in January/February, which will be Going Viral's third Australian production. The other two made it to the Finals in each of their festivals, so here's hoping...!

Aaaaaaand lastly, if you're not sick of reading about me yet, I've just put the finishing touches on a themed evening of short comedy that includes many of my previously produced plays as well as some that are new to the stage. The title is tentative so I won't share it with you yet, but I've sent it out to interested parties both near and far, and we shall see what becomes of it!

Now for your random funny: Here is irrevocable proof that cats are deceitful and very likely planning the demise of all life on Earth