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I dig jazz and single-malt scotch.  I write plays; I direct them too. I love STAR WARS more than is healthy. I walk my dogs every day, unless it's raining or terribly cold.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

ACA Diary: da wrap

Home. Finally. A day late.

My plane, leaving from Daytona on Delta, broke down on the runway. There was a problem with the throttle just moments before take-off. We taxied (with difficulty) back to the gate. We sat on a plane without air conditioning (lots of problems with tis aircraft). Finally they had us deplane and wait.

Connections were missed. The maintenance crew coming in from Orlando was not responding. After several hours (most of which I spent standing in line) I had a new reservation for the next morning out of Orlando (instead of my current location in Daytona) and arriving in Hartford (instead of my desired destination, Providence).

eventually, it worked out, and i arrived home a day late.

that's the travel story.

then there's the final night at the ACA...

A lot of people (a hundred or so), showed up to view the work we were showing. Composers, playwrights and visual artists. There was a lot of cool work being shown and heard. the evening began in the theater, and an hour or so later people wandered in and out of the other buildings to take in the various installations.

After the public was gone, the artists gathered in the music room, played tunes, danced, and hung out. Gradually we said our goodbyes. Some were leaving as early as 3:00 am and were scrambling to pack. Others, like myself, would be heading out in late morning.

On the first day one of the other playwrights - Dominic - remarked that three weeks was not the right length for a residency. Either two weeks or more than four. He said that it takes about three weeks to start feeling like you actually live there. He was right. It started feeling like I lived there, and that was the time we packed it all up and left. Weird. But true.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

ACA Diary: fin


Today is the final day of our stay here at ACA. Tonight we're holding a public showing of work -- officially called the "InReach or OutReack or InOut Reach" or something like that. We associate artists are calling it The Talent Show.

One of the short pieces I put together during the residency will be performed as a concert reading. Several people from the class as well as two of the staff members from ACA will read the roles. It is a 5 page play called "The Work" about a proposal in paint.

EArlier today the playwrights met for one last time. We talked about the boot camp and the ACA.

Last night we held a late-night poker game. We used paper clips as chips - $0.10 per clip. You had to buy into the game with $5. I went home with $8.50 in pocket, so that weren't too bad at all...

My bags are packed up, and I've been sorting thru which papers I really need to bring home -- I have to keep the weight under 50 lbs -- and it was 45 lbs on the way here -- now I've got some Kennedy Space Center stuff, a Sponge Bob Square Pants that i won at Universal Studios, and a bunch of plays stuffed into my bag. I'm leaving things like shampoo and sun block here -- anything that I can in order to get the essentials -- like plays, research and new t-shirts home.

Friday, September 23, 2005

ACA Diary: Next to last day


This morning we got together at 9:30 am to read our mini-bake-off pieces. All of the other associate and master artists were invited to attend, and about half of them did.

It was pretty difficult for me to create a piece without having a full day and a good sleep to really process the task and think about it, but I came up with something and so did just about everybody else. The works were so varied and raw. It was pretty amazing.

The other artists have been talking about it with me most of the day ever since. The works seem to have had a great effect on them. That's cool. One of the pieces was presented as an intstallation posted on the walls and mirrors of the dance studio (across from our writers' studio). It was such an interesting piece with a lot of emotional resonence. We wakked from scrap to srap and read assigned pieces to create the whole. The most moving part for me was a passage written on a map of Florida. It was about searching and loss. It will stay with for as long time. I tried to talk the playwright into letting me have the map, but she's going to keep, so maybe I'll be able to get a color copy made before we go. I'd like to keep a copy of it in my office at home where i work. I believe it would inspire me.

One of the visual artists let me take a painting she had made of some oyster shells. She used it as source material for her digital imagry, but was not going to keep the original. I think it's beautiful, so she signed it and now it's in a tube ready to take on to the plane with me on Sunday.

The reat of the day has been -- well -- rest. I'm tired, and my allergies have kicked in -- there's a lot mold because of all of the rain.

Tomorrow there will be a public presentation of some of the work. I'll have a piece in called "The Work" and several of the associate artists and a couple of the ACA staff will be performing in the reading of it.

This afternoon i have spent most of the day in the library. It's a very inviting space, and I enjoy working in here. I made some notes about other artist residencies and colonies to research later. i also read some Lorca.

The sun has come out -- finally. Still steamy. At least there was no hurricane making landfall here. I hope the folks in the path of Hurricane Rita have taken to high ground and that they will get thru it all right.

I am looking forward to getting home on Sunday.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

ACA Diary - 3rd Bake-off (the mini)


Today we begin the mini-Bake-off -- a 24 hour project. Tomorrow morning at 9:30 am we will read the plays, with any composers and visual artists who are interested in listening and possibly collaborating on a piece, invited to attend.

The rules for this mini-B-O:

3 letters or postcards--
one from the writer who is away
one from the person who receives the letter from the person away
one message from a person who has passed

(yesterday we took a field trip to Cassadaga -- a Spiritualist Community - the oldest in the south -- here in florida. A few of us had readings done while we there. It was quite fantastic, and this is the "from beyond" element in this week's work inspiration.)

There has to be a big bug -- maybe a smashed bug
Seasons must be present in the text or plasticity
A picture of an aura or aura image or aura camera

10 pages or less.

I am trying to have the text of a letter that my mother wrote to me before I was born about the assination of JFK. If I can get the text I will organize my play around it. If not, I may make up the language of the letter, or just go an entirely different way.

On the field trip to Cassadaga I had a reading done by a medium named Victor. Victor and I totally clicked. His reading was amazing and deeply revealing for me. I hope to include some of that experience in my peice as well. Amazing, amazing.

Monday, September 19, 2005

ACA Diary - a day away


Soooooooooooooooooo--- I finished my play early (because I started early); so today I had the whole day free. I rented a car and took off down the coast with one of the other associate artists and we checked out Kennedy Space Center. What a fantastic day.

After having spent a few days at Universal Studios earlier this month, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the KSC did not have a floom ride.

We started off our visit by checking out the 3-D IMAX feature about the international space station and astronauts working in space. It was the right move. The 3-D was great, and seeing those folks work in space was so cool. Those people LOVE their work, that's for sure.

After that we toured the museum -- saw things like a Gemini capsual, a Mercury capsual, the differnt space suits, including an Apollo suit.

We took a bus across the grounds and viewed the vehicle assembly building, a little piece of the space shuttle landing strip, could look across Bananna River and see two launching pads, and ran around the Saturn Center. On the ceiling was a real Saturn rocket -- split apart in stages with boosters and couplings and you name it. It was so huge.

We walked around the Rocket Garden, and crawled inside some of the displays that show how small the moduals really were. Because we went on a Monday and it's September, there were no lines and we could just roam around and really enjoy the place.

I bought a hat wrapped up with a shirt. What a bargain... and some post cards that i must fill out tonight and get in the mail to my nephews.

Tomorrow we will be reading our plays in a marathon session.

One of the playwrights might be leaving early. We'll know more tomorrow.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

ACA Diary -- 2nd Bake-off

So -- this is our second weekend here, therefore it is our second Bake-Off. That's the 48 hour play, for those who weren't paying attention.

This week's rules:

Had to be about a flood.
We had to see a street before the flood
the same street during the flood
and that street after the waters have gone.

Wait, wait, there's more...

Somewhere in the play there had to be
a dog
a cop committing suicide
a dead man sitting
and the line "ice in my whiskey"

and---

the protagonist had to have a shopping cart.

Whew.

I finished my play a few hours ago -- then I took a nap.

The Atlantic Center for the Arts @ New Smyrna Beach has been sunny skies and warm all week -- with a few spectacular days and a few down-right HOT AND HUMID days mixed in.

This week with Paula Vogel -- who is too freakin cool -- btw -- we worked on concepts of plasticity (probably I spelled it wrong -- oh well) -- that being all of the elements of the play that are not spoken. This includes how the playwright uses the text on the page to convey mood and meaning.

so that's it for now -- later this week we'll be viviting a psychic commuity about 30 minutes west from here.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

ACA Diary -- 1st Bake-Off

So -- here at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. At last the sun is out. Seems Ophelia has moved to the Northeast a bit. We got slogged with rain the past week. I'm sure there will be masses of mosquitos in the dys to come to dodge and spray against.

It's Saturday. Yesterday we decided on the perameters of the 48-hour-bake-off -- where we write a play (however long it gets) in 48 hours. We'll reconvene on Tuesday after lunch and read them outloud to each other.

The subject: The Minotaur/Icarus/Labyrinth myth.

Some of the rules:
There must be a preminission
A brief flight
A day of rain
A day of sun
A scene in an enclosed, small space

and 48 hours to write. If you're midsentence at hour 48, you stop. You do not rewrite. Once it is down, it stays. The moment you start writing -- even notes -- is the moment the clock starts.

I'm noodling around the idea this morning -- and will start by this evening. First I think I'll take a little time in the sun...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Atlantic Arts Center Diary


I'm at the Atlantic Arts Center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. I've been here since Monday. There are about 16 or 17 other associate artists and 3 master artists in residence here. There is also a staff of 5 or 6 folks making meals and keeping the lights on for us. We represent three disciplines -- playwriting, visual arts, and music.

I'm here as a playwright.

The playwrights are working with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel. Tonight I have to write a 3 to 5 page play where the world ends -- so I'll have to go soon.

Also -- Tropical Depression (soon to be storm) Ophelia is spinning off the coast here. We're feeling the effects. Winds and sudden torrential downpours have been common since Monday night.

So there you go.

Unless the power goes out we've got lots o' air condition.

More updates later ---