Sunday, March 30

Free perfs this week.

Stuff by me. Made for you. Free for all:

a variety entertainment
conceived by Lynn M. Thomson

featuring The Stage Struck Yankee [1840]
by Oliver Durivage
with Tangents and Interruptions
by the writers of America-in-Play [2008]

playwrights: Beth Blatt, Erin Browne, Lawrence Dukore, Stephanie Fleischmann, Adam Gwon, C.S. Hanson, David Johnston, Andrea Lepcio, Jenny Levison, Quincy Long, David Myers, Dominic Taylor, Susan Tenneriello, Gary Winter

March 31 AND April 7, 2008, 7:00 p.m.
Doors open at 6:45 for exhibits and music

Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2
199 Chambers Street


2008 ASCAP Foundation/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop

Tuesday, April 1 @ 7PM
Book, Music and Lyrics by Adam Gwon
When stressed-out grad student Deb loses her most precious possession — the notes to her thesis — she unwittingly starts a chain of events that turns the ordinary days of four New Yorkers into something extraordinary. Told through a series of intricately connected songs and vignettes, ORDINARY DAYS is an original musical about growing up and enjoying the view.

at ASCAP, One Lincoln Plaza (Bway btw 63rd & 64th), 5th Floor

Sunday, March 16

Shiver me timbers.

This weekend, I went to see the amazing Striking Viking Story Pirates!

They go to schools all across New York City, get kids to write stories, then turn the stories into plays, with puppets and music and hilarity, and perform them for the kids.

They also have an "adult night," which I went to, which is simply a performance of their greatest hits for an audience of grown-ups.

It's fucking hysterical.

One story was about an aspiring fashion designer stuck in a day job doing Computering, until, of course, she drops her Fashion Book and it winds up in the hands of a Fashion Producer who turns our heroine into a One Billionaire.

("This faashion book issss craaaazy! Everything in it issss good!")

There was also one about a boy who falls in love with a girl, but there are complications.

("How come the one girl I like has to be the Devil?")

They also made a couple short films out of the kids' stories, like this one:

The real genius thing is, is that all of this gets kids excited about writing. Fucking brilliant.

Go see their show, give them money, and buy a t-shirt!

(I did.)

Friday, March 7

Behold the cuteness.

A little while ago, I was commissioned to write a song for third-graders to sing about a New York City landmark. Since I'd never been, I chose the Empire State Building, and used the gig as an excuse to go up to the top for the first time.

The song ended up as something like:

Elevator, up, up, up!
Faster, faster, yup yup yup!
Higher, higher, dizzy, dizzy
To the top of New York City!

You get the idea.

Yesterday I got a big, fat envelope in the mail, stuffed with drawings the kids made for me to say thanks.

Behold the cuteness.

Wednesday, March 5

I s'pose it's official...

Contracts are signed, and subscription packages are available: Ordinary Days gets its regional premiere this summer!

There's a funny thing that happens as I find myself getting more and more professional gigs with my writing. The strangest thing, the thing that takes the most getting used to, is that, suddenly, other people do stuff to make your show happen.

This probably sounds really stupid, but... As I'm sure is the case for most people, a career as a theater writer begins as an extremely hands-on endeavor. When my first musical premiered, I wrote/produced/cast/music directed/company managed/represented/prop shopped/marketed/fundraised/you-name-it two back-to-back productions, with the help, of course, of about three of my dear friends.

Shortly after that experience, I vowed never to do that again.

But you get the picture: getting your work out there involves a job description with multiple slashes.

These days, having a show up creates an eerie calm. I email someone a script and a score. And soon, with perhaps an email from a marketing director, or a phone call from an orchestrator, voila! There's a theater selling tickets to your show; there's a brochure with your name in it; there's a casting director sending out breakdowns for your roles.

There are people you've never met creating charts like this:

So that other people you've never met can buy tickets to your show!

Don't get me wrong, it's super cool. But it still feels bizarre. It wasn't so long ago that self-producing was my only option for having my work done. (And, you know, I haven't reached a point yet where it's not a possibility, either!) And self-producing, in my experience, literally involves every ounce of your energy, every second of your day, every fiber of your will to make it happen.

So, while I'm a little weirded out that total strangers have now lifted that burden from my shoulders, I'm also a little relieved.

Another side effect of all this is that, because I do have this neurotic feeling that I should be doing more to make this whole thing happen, I'm able to channel that pent-up energy into other projects that still need my attention.

Let's just say that, instead of me worrying about why that actor's being a pain in the ass, or why there aren't enough postcards, or addressing the feeling of guilt for not being able to pay people enough for their time, Bernice Bobs Her Hair is getting A LOT of dance music for its reading in May!