Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Then there was a Hurricane

It's very cute to look at how excited and naive I was several days ago. Because pretty much immediately after I posted that, Hurricane Irene was upgraded from "eh, whatever" to "a big giant deal." All Fringe events over the weekend were cancelled. All events over the weekend were cancelled. Many flights were cancelled, including my flight and back-up flight.

So, I rolled into town Tuesday afternoon, instead of Friday night, giving me 2 and a half days instead of a glorious weekend.

But, I got here in time for this!

The First Annual Truffle Hunt New Play Festival!

That I opened!

With my play!

That I wrote!

About Mastodons!

And I had some lovely friends come out of the woodwork, both Lynbrook and Carleton people, and had a lovely time with them.

And I get to see it again tonight.

So, take that hurricane! You can't ruin everything.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Truffles and Mermaids

This is going to be an awesome week.

Not only do I get to see The Average-Sized Mermaid and several other cool shows in the New York Fringe Festival ...

(awesome mermaid photo by Joe Wehry, by the way)

.... but I ALSO get to see one of MY OWN shows at the first annual Truffle Hunt New Play Festival. I am tremendously excited. I've had some great emails with the director, the other playwrights look awesome, and the readings are taking place at a super-delicious looking gastro-pubby place called 61 Local. Microbrews, new plays, and fun young artists who call themselves "Piglets" - I am so in.

They've been doing a series of blog posts profiling playwrights in the festival, and I've finally made it on!

A Few Highlights:

What are you most proud of in terms of your work as an author?

I'm most proud of the fact that I'm still working. I've written at least a play a year since I was 15. Not all of them are super awesome, but I learn something new with every story I take on. I think there are a lot of people who have wonderful, beautiful ideas, but they don't always follow through with them. I do not want to be one of those people, so I try to keep something on the back burner of my brain all the time. I think a little part is terrified that if I stop working, I won't be able to start again, so I try and keep that little part busy so it doesn't scare itself. And because of this fear-driven, shark-like impulse for motion, I've written politically charged sex farces, violent short plays, semi-autobiographical storytelling pieces, children's plays, romantic comedies, post apocalyptic speculative fiction, and this delightful piece about a misfit mastodon. I can't wait to see what I get to do next and the great people I'm going to work with.

If you could've written any play (instead of the shmoe who did write it) what play would it be (i.e. Glengarry GlenRoss)?

I would love to take on some Chekov, because nothing is as beautifully absurd as Russian misery.

If you couldn't write, what would you most like to do?

I would like to knit a working tank from steel wool and marshal amazing parades around the world. It would probably shoot bubbles.

Yeah. I like to think I walk that fine line between pretentious and crazy. Maybe?

Check out the whole thing here. And if you're in Brooklyn next week, like a wonderfully unexpectedly large number of my friends, come and see the Truffle Hunt at the 61 Local! AND the Average Sized Mermaid, which closes tomorrow!

More pictures forthcoming, I assure you!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Baby Beluga

This completely made my night.

Apparently beluga whales like mariachi, or at least this one has a particular weakness for Yellow Bird, but then again, who doesn't?

Monday, August 01, 2011

"A Watery Delight"

We're a little more than halfway through the run of The Ugly Duckling and the responses have been amazing. As amazing as this photograph of the dancers in the swan pas de troi(taken by Mark Winter)

Wendell Brock at Arts Critic ATL gave us a positively stunning review:
laywright Rachel Teagle infuses her telling with lots of funny business, contemporary references and a streamlined trajectory of the journey of the Ugly Duckling (Andrew Crigler). Ugly encounters a gaggle of wild geese led by a showman named Captain Hooks, who claims to be the “loosest goose this side of the ’Hootch” (Will Shuler). Among Hooks’ entourage is a funny-talking Canadian named Alberta (Emma Jackson). Instead of spending time in the home of an old peasant woman with a hen and pussycat, Ugly is adopted by a snarky Cat (Ben Isabel) and Chicken (Jessica Miesel), loosely based on celebutantes Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Riffing on Hollywood’s penchant for odd baby names, the fashion terrors christen the duckling “Bookcase.” Naturally, they read him the riot act.

Clowdus has said he was moved to do this piece by the national conversation around bullying. Indeed, there is much talk here about Ugly “going through a phase,” something he’ll “grow out of.” Such are the code phrases that society uses to dismiss budding homosexual behavior. In the opening sequence, the narrator instructs us that nature is a mirror of life; when the water grows still, we can see our shapes in it. This story, then, is a reflection of the evanescence of life, a forever-shifting kaleidoscope of vanity, narcissism, shadows, light, trickery, transformation.

And the new Atlanta Theater Fans website loved it too, and even gave me a little nod, namely "Those slightly older (but still young at heart) will enjoy playwright Rachel Teagle’s witty banter and sharp cultural references."

Even the Danish American Consulate gave us a shout-out. The Danes do love their Hans Christian Anderson, as do we.

Speaking of Hans Christian Anderson, Jessica Fleitman's The Average Sized Mermaid" is gearing up for the New York Fringe. If you can't make it to the show, there's a way to support the production with a donation online or by purchasing their MER-chandise. Get it? I've seen a lot of our high school friends step up and support her, which is really wonderful. Go Jess Go!

This week also marks the beginning of the Minnesota Fringe Festival. I'm sure I'll be wistfully paging through the website a lot for the next week. Anyone planning on going? Let me know when you see something wonderful.

And speaking of wonderful things - in September, I'm heading up to New York to see the Truffle Theatre Company's Truffle Hunt New Play Festival featuring my play "The Impracticalities of Modern Day Mastodons." They've got a neat Production Blog so expect some forthcoming cross posting.

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