Thursday, January 27, 2011

What happens in Pittsburgh

Now it's Golamco's turn to blog about the CMU Dramatic Writing program: I spent last weekend in Pittsburgh. Until last Friday, everything I knew about Pittsburgh came from the movie Wonder Boys and from the Fallout 3 DLC titled The Pitt. So in my mind, Pittsburgh was full of super mutants and guys named Vernon Hardapple. Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

on one of two direct connections between a playwright and the Beastie Boys

The Scott and Gary Show (1983–1989). Left: Scott. Right: Gary.
Gary Winter: playwright, founding member of 13P, menace to society, and public access legend who allowed the Butthole Surfers and their ilk into the homes of New Yorkers with cable. Revisit this dark period in American history at the Museum of the Moving Image next month in their series "TV Party: A Panorama of Public Access Television in New York City."

Monday, January 24, 2011


Adam Szymkowicz has posted 300 interviews with playwrights, but this may be the best one yet: Anna Moench. Her advice: 

Get a news site to email you all the articles about some random country every day for a year. Become an armchair expert on something. It will probably start to show in your writing. Or even better, you may end up at some horrible party where some insufferable person is talking out of their ass about North Korea or whatever and you can be like "SHAZAM! I know everything there is to know about North Korea, fool!" That has never happened to me, but I haven't given up hope.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lesbian space alien craziness at Sundance

It was a delight to see the headline The 8 Craziest Sundance Films We Haven't Seen Yet pop up on Twitter, because #1 is Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, a documentary about playwright-turned-filmmaker Madeleine Olnek. Oh, wait, maybe it's not a documentary. Anyway, Madeleine and I used to be a writing group. It began as a proper group, but dwindled, as these things do, to a group of two. For a year or so we met every week to do automatic writing. Madeleine would set a timer and we would write for an hour. She had very strict rules: you had to bring a fast-moving pen and you were not allowed to stop writing or lift your pen from the paper until the alarm went off — even if all you could think of was "I have nothing to write. I hate writing. I am hungry." I wrote Aphrodisiaca play in which the characters tend to speak in very long monologues — during those sessions.

P.S. Bonus interview with Madeleine (nice clip too) including this exchange:
Do you only make comedies? Do you only make films with lesbian-related content?
I only make comedies, and will only ever make comedies. I think it’s almost immoral to make a drama if you can do otherwise.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First of all, let me say I’m just in awe of your use of language.

Talkback: a play about talkbacks by Liz Duffy Adams, "In Which the Great Majority of the Talkback Dialogue Has Been Collected Verbatim Over the Years, about Various Plays by Various People."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Combine these sounds (A) with these images (B).

Hotel Savant have a new play running in New York. I was converted by their previous work, The Archery Contest. You can listen to the text and sound score of that play here, but I'm not sure I can describe what it looked like in person. Imagine a cube, maybe eight and a half feet high, placed in the middle of a room. Have the audience sit close to it on all four sides. Now take each of the four vertical walls of the cube and divide them into three horizontal panels. Remove the center panel, so the actors inside the cube are visible from about the waist to the top of the head. That was what act one looked like. For the subsequent acts, have one of the remaining panels raise to the ceiling or collapse to the floor. Also, use any existing surface as a projection screen. If you've read this far, I hope you're booking a ticket to see the new show, Men Go Down Part 3: Black Recollections.