Still catching my breath after a wonderful trip to Actor’s Express in Atlanta for the NNPN National Showcase of New Plays (followed almost immediately by a trip to Buffalo with family for some much needed family holiday time!)
The NNPN Showcase was terrific. (NNPN is National New Play Network, in case I haven’t mentioned it in a while.) We saw 6 readings, some of which I absolutely loved, and I had a ton of good conversations and chats with theatre makers from all over the country. I love the readings, but sometimes just being immersed in that energy is the perfect thing to recharge my batteries. It’s energizing to get that reminder that everyone deals with the same challenges and struggles, the highs and lows of this industry – all on a variety of wildly different points on the scale, of course – from companies with a $50,000 annual budget up to ones with many millions of dollars to spend, and raise, every year. But the wonderful part is the belief and faith in the power of storytelling, and of having an impact on your community, and the pursuit of excellence in the craft – AND allowing for a whole variety of opinions on HOW to make all that happen. It’s really good stuff.
And then our trip to Buffalo was fabulous. We continued our decades long family Christmas tradition of holding a big dinner at one of the relatives houses, and that person (or family) cooks a giant dinner for everyone that consists of food from some other country, or culture, from anywhere in the world. No one knows what it’s going to be until we get there, and it’s a big fun reveal and feast, with lots of lovely family time and board games and presents and laughter. This year my brother and sister-in-law made an amazing Jamaican dinner that was delicious! The kids played games, built an igloo in the snow, and generally had a good time. It was fun to see all the cousins together, the six of them don’t get to visit as often as they used to. The age range goes from middle-school up to college now, and it was terrific to see them having such a good time just enjoying each other’s company.
Now I’m neck deep in prep for 900 Miles to International Falls, by Annie Martin, the show I’m directing next. We start rehearsals at the end of this month, and I can’t wait. It’s a big thoughtful, meaningful piece about mothers and sons and war, but it’s also about trust, and compassion. We get to do a lot of “world building” because it’s set in 2054, when the planet is at war with an alien race who have landed seeking a new home! I have an amazing production team to work with, and I’m so excited to launch into rehearsals for this world premiere in a couple weeks. Learn more about the show here!
Until then, though, our production of A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show is going wonderfully! It’s essentially completely sold out this weekend, except for the occasional person calling in to cancel one or two from a group, but then those are scooped up by someone calling wanting to see it before it closes. Aral Gribble is wonderful in it, and the whole production team did some really fantastic work. Check out more info here!
Now I’m looking forward to the next couple days, when both kids will be back home with Jeanne and I for a couple weeks, and we can all enjoy some holidays relaxing at home with the Christmas tree, the dogs, and some friends and family.
Happy Holidays, everyone!