Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Very Good Weekend

On Thursday, I flew to Kentucky to attend the Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theater of Louisville.

I saw a bunch of plays, including:
  • Ameriville by UNIVERSES
  • Absolom by Zoe Kazan
  • Slasher by Allison Moore
  • Wild Blessings: A Celebration of Wendell Berry which was adapted for the stage by Marc Masterson and Adrien-Alice Hansel from the writing of Wendell Berry
  • The Hard Weather Boating Party by Naomi Wallace
  • Brink! co-written by six people for the 21 Actors Theater interns to perform
  • and the three winning 10-minute plays in the annual 10-minute play festival.
I met a bunch of nice theater people -- playwrights, actors, artistic directors, critics, dramaturgs, literary managers -- all there to meet up, have conversations and see some plays. It was particularly great to meet playwrights Elaine Romero and Peter Sinn-Nachtrieb. Elaine is a very accomplished playwright and teacher (and a member of the International Center for Women Playwrights). And I'd met Peter briefly a couple months ago at a talk-back after his play Hunters Gatherers (a 2007 winner of the Steinberg/ATCA Award) when it was produced by Furious Theater Company in Pasadena. I was surprised and pleased to see actor Michael Cullen again. He was in a reading of Heads that Laura Savia directed a couple years ago at NYU's hotINK Festival, and was at Humana starring in The Hard Weather Boating Party (quite wonderfully).

The main reason I was at the Humana Festival was to receive an award for my play Song of Extinction from the nice folks at the American Theater Critics Association -- the Steinberg/ATCA Award. (These are the same folks who presented me with the Primus Prize last year -- I'm very fond of them...) The award was presented on Saturday night -- a plaque and a check -- by Pittsburgh theater critic Chris Rawson and theater supporter and Steinberg Foundation representative Jim Steinberg. It is an amazing gift of both money and affirmation. I'm going to try to use it well. I think I'm going to be spending the next month or two trying to figure out what "well" is...

A very good weekend.

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