Thursday, December 29, 2011

My First Time

A blog. Never before have I written a blog or on a blog or for a blog or whatever you say when you are talking about blogging….I have never blogged? Does that work? Okay, I have never blogged. This is my first blog. Today is the day I blog for the first time. I feel different, I must admit. I think I am radiating blogger vibes and it feels sexy…and sad. Sound familiar? Yeah, not to me either but I am sure someone out there has had an experience where those emotions co-exist (j.k., sexy/sad is my home address).

When I think of writing I immediately conjure up images of Hemingway at a typewriter in Key West with an open window, a ceiling fan rippling his already beaten up slips of paper. Or of Woolf, sequestered in her study, having trays of food brought to her door because she could not bear to break with words. A tea set is present, as is a wild bird in a cage hanging from the ceiling. And of course I think of Williams typing furiously, half-drunk in golden light with a lover sleeping in the bed next to his desk. Writers toiling, struggling privately; cocooned inside of their own imaginations for months and years until the completed (?) draft was ready to share. It took time. It took tears. It took drinks. It was where they lived. In short: I romanticize the act of writing like a motherfucker.

I don’t fashion my life to look like the inside of a precious snow globe, but I do like a bit of silk to be thrown over the lampshade: I don’t take the content of my writing or myself too seriously but there is something too quick, too easy, about a blog. It makes me uncomfortable.

But maybe it doesn’t. I’m sort of having a blast writing this (from my desk that is in a basement of a Tribeca bar. No wild bird. No ceiling fan. No lover. But I do have Diet Dr. Pepper, Swedish Fish, and Pandora is playing a solid playlist from my En Vogue station). Yeah, this is nice. When I think of people reading this and all of the inevitable grammatical errors, I’m sure I will get hot all over and my butt cheeks will clinch together really tightly. But that pretty much happens any time I share my work; whether it is a close friend reading a script for the first time, a fully rehearsed production in front of an audience on closing night, or during my rendition of Fancy by Reba McIntyre during Karaoke. So, it is no different, really. Sharing is sharing.

Okay, thanks everybody. I like blogging. I think I will do it again. Romanticizing things might work for a minute, but ultimately it is just another way to keep yourself right where you are. And baby: it’s time to move.

- Boo Killebrew

Monday, December 26, 2011

Man At Work

Take this with a grain of salt, if you'd like, because I am officially writing this post on my phone while working a busy pre-holiday shift at my East Village bar. So, raise a glass to multi-tasking and put a holly's worth of hope on my spell-checker and let's rattle off a few, quick holiday writing observations...

1.) People still go to the theater. Shocking, I know. But I just talked to a law student tonight who had seen BY FAR more theater than me in the last year. He saw everything I should have seen (but, in many ways, couldn't because I WORK NIGHTS). And he was raving about "Jerusalem." I want to be raving about "Jerusalem," but here we are...

2.) December is my official LEAST favorite time to get writing done. With gift buying, travel and a busier service industry (that behooves me to work as much as possible) I've relegated month 12 to a time to get things done that can be done in 45 minute increments (because that's all I seem to have...).

(Oh, I'm sorry. I just had to address the "Are all men assholes?" question while her oblivious friends - none, I think, the assholes in question - sang the "Gummy Bears" cartoon theme - loudly and with great relish. These are the days of our dreams, my people!)

3.) But it is a good time to keep conversations going. While it's been difficult to get substantive work done, I have had a good time the last six weeks talking to a potential writing partner about a potential project. We've been talking in fits and starts- which is exactly what my schedule allows now. So, keep the lines open...

4.) I get to talk to tourists. For better or worse, I get the pulse of the theater-going nation. They generally like what you'd expect them to like.

5.) The depressing reality of fundraising this time of year. Everyone's got their end-of-year pitches. Do any of them work?

6.) Don't write every day. It's great if you can, but follow your life.

- Robert Attenweiler

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Young Loves

I've been looking back at early influences. Things I encountered in those years when the synapses are on overload, when sleep is un-necessary, when a trip to the Fas-Mart is an adventure (that might be another post)

Anyways. This has led me to re-read Orpheus Descending and re-view Twin Peaks. These are two works of art that I love. and still love, but what I didn't know is how much I steal from them. In so many permutations. An image here, a name here, a moment of tension there, a turn of phrase - and how there are things from these works that I turn over and over in my unconscious, maybe these things were turning over before I saw them, and then, like an unstable molecule they attached and grew and grew until they became structures and works on their own.

Do you have these early loves? What are they? How do they sneak into your work? What are the things you cannot forget?

- Kristen Palmer

Monday, December 19, 2011

In Praise of Francis Ford Coppola

The ways in which this country is fucked up are too manifold to go in to in this humble little blog. But I would like to take up, for a moment, the issue of this country’s relationship to art and artists.

“Uh oh,” you’re thinking. “Another plaintive whine from an artist who feels he’s unappreciated. THIS is gonna be fun to read!” Fear not. Though a life in the arts is difficult, it is also a choice. No one put a gun to my head to make me a playwright. When I decided to do this, I more or less (well, actually less – but that’s another story) knew what I was in for. I don’t want to talk not about myself here. I want to talk about Francis Ford Coppola.

My level of accomplishment is open to debate. Francis Ford Coppola’s is not. The Godfather is, to my mind, the greatest American film. It is one of those select few works of art that has permeated our entire culture. Our understanding of ourselves as Americans, of our history, is profoundly influenced by that film. The Godfather also performs that rarest of feats – great art that is also greatly popular. For several years, in fact, The Godfather was not just our greatest film. It was also our most popular. This is a staggering accomplishment.

If Coppola did nothing else in his entire career, he would worthy of the highest possible praise. Instead, he was just getting started.  In the six years following The Godfather, Coppola wrote and directed The Godfather Part II (thought by many to be even better than the original), The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now. All 4 of those films were on the American Film Institute top 100 films. And he did it in a single decade, the 1970s.

 (A fun parlor game – name an artist in any art, at any time, who had a greater decade than Coppola in the 1970s. Dickens in the 1850s? Picasso in the 1920s? Shakespeare in 1600-1610?)

 Recently I heard Coppola interviewed. In this interview he was asked the same embarrassing questions he always is - about how he lost his money, how his studio went bankrupt, how many less-than-great films he’s made. People seem to put this air of unfulfilled promise on him, like he’s some sort of enfant terrible who never quite panned out.

If Coppola is a failure, God help the rest of us.

Why do people continue to harp on every unseemly detail of Coppola’s career? He is a giant. The world is full of people who lost their money, or who have made bad films. Only one person has made Apocalypse Now. Which of these facts is more salient, more relevant, more interesting?

Francis Ford Coppola is one of the greatest artists this country has ever produced. He could make shitty movies for the rest of his life and it would not change that fact. He could foolishly squander his money a thousand times and it would not affect change that fact. A culture that believed in art, that was grateful for all the beauty that great art can bring into our lives, would understand that.

Some cultures revere artists. There was a national day of mourning when Victor Hugo died. Tolstoy was considered the second most powerful person in Russia after the Czar.

There should be statues of Coppola in public squares. There never will be.

It is our loss.

- John Yearley

Friday, December 16, 2011

Regarding the Impossible or It's All in the Specifics

My first play, The Goatwoman of Corvis County, was produced in 2008. I was a complete basketcase weirdo during the whole thing. It was excruciating for me, and probably pretty challenging for everybody else. As we neared opening, I was no longer sleeping, reduced to choking down food, and above all, I had lost all perspective. Here was this thing that had only existed for me, that was now up and walking around, with lots of other people involved. Amazing people! And they were all working really hard. On the very first play I had ever written.

Don’t get me wrong. It was also thrilling. But I couldn’t quite tell where my voice as a playwright fit in the rehearsal process. This was a large source of anxiety for me. The director and I had worked out the basic boundaries but, what things did I let go of and what things did I fight for? So I began to learn, albeit very ungracefully, how to get a grip amidst all the other voices present during production, and fight for how the story gets told on the stage.

There are many ingredients for great theater, how it all comes together, the stars aligning, etc.  But I think the most important aspect of making great theater is the specificity of the storytelling. Bad theater is vague theater. I’m not referring to purposeful ambiguities or questions posed by a play that go left unanswered. I mean muddy intention and action – a lack of specificity on how the story moves from point A to point B. Since my job in rehearsal is the script, it’s the specifics I fight to draw out, which are laid into the play very carefully. If there ends up being a hole in the writing, which there always is (you know, but only very tiny holes...), I fix it.

So, in regards to the question posed by Kyle on fighting for the impossible… If a theater doesn't think my play is a good fit for their season, there’s nothing I can do about that. No fight there. But if I’m fortunate enough to have a theater produce my play as a world premiere or as a "still new" play, I fight for the specifics.

 ***A note about the word “fight”. This makes everything sound very antagonistic! Like it's come to blows or something! While there have certainly been tense moments, my production experiences as a playwright have been amazing and collaborative.  Most of the time, the fight is only between my ears.

- Christine Whitley

Monday, December 12, 2011

John Yearley's CLEAR HISTORY -- First Read

On the evening of Sunday, December 4th, The Dramatists Guild graciously hosted John Yearley and Blue Coyote Theater Group for an early reading of his Coyote Commission Project play, CLEAR HISTORY.
Frank Anderson, P.J. Sosko, Sarah Kate Jackson,
Carter Jackson, Liz Pepe, and Mark Boyett
We read more than fifty pages of polished scenes and intriguing experiments. John is exploring a delicate space between genial social comedy (verging on farce, as he explained) and stark visions of loneliness and despair.
John Yearley, the playwright
(in the pose of a playwright)
The reading was a giant success and all in attendance were well pleased.  Also, there were snacks.

Veggie Bootie, Kettle Corn, and Tostitos Hint of Lime
Progress!  Sincerest gratitude to our readers: Frank Anderson, P.J. Sosko, Sarah Kate Jackson, Carter Jackson, Liz Pepe, and Mark Boyett.  Stay tuned!

- Kyle Ancowitz

Friday, December 9, 2011

"We Have Suggestions..."

Been a few weeks since I posted – shameful – as my life for the past 2 months went into a YANK!-related vortex. (YANK! is a musical I wrote with my brother that has, after its 2010 off-Broadway run, gone on a pre-Broadway Development Odyssey. Exhausting but really, there’s no downside.)

So… hi!

First off, for them’s who care, the workshop went great. Now as machinations happen far from my sphere of influence, I go back to the computer, to the legal pad, to write new work, to write this work for Blue Coyote.

Onto the question asked:

Won’t you please tell us about a time when your "challenging" and "unconventional" experiment never made it to the stage because some director or producer shut you down?

Most theatre people worship at the altar of free expression and innovation, so ripping down an offensive mural with a jackhammer (see: “Cradle Will Rock”) is not, in my experience, how it rolls.

That is, things don’t usually get as far as where you’re in a situation where you get shut down. You just… don’t get picked. You get a long absence of “yes” and apologetic emails saying “get back to you soon!”. And it’s understandable, but almost definitionally crazy making: you don’t know whether people are genuinely busy, whether what is wrong is your writing, or your talent has evaporated, or someone reading it was having a bad day.

…Or if the structure or tone or content is simply outside the blinders that many well-meaning people wear.
You go down a wormhole of wondering.

Sometimes (you think) these good, overworked people who run theatres and theatre companies don’t realize their biases. So you press. In my own case, I am confident some scenes that have read as “too dirty” when between men would have been seen as “refreshingly intimate” had they been between a man or a woman. I am confident that politics about American poverty or racism or homophobia (marketed by theatres a “dangerous” but really, who in the audience disagrees on these issues?) are given a pass whereas politics about, say, Israel freak people the fuck out.

Who’s right? Who’s to say. No one knows anything for sure (see: crazy making). I will say that good theatre can push buttons, even if the work is not intended to anger, merely be truthful as the writer sees it. I have had individuals walk out of my musical during a gay kiss (never gay sex; gay romance is the problem).

But my role is to be on the side of truth as I see it. How much honesty can I get into a play? How much scary fun delicious writing? There will always be a creative tension between the two sides - theatres which are businesses and creators who are not. But when in doubt, I would encourage theatres to push more, push harder. That said, running a theatre in this culture, in this economy, is hard. Artistic Directors aren’t the enemy.

Lastly, on a related note:
No one sets out to write a boring play. And no good writer accepts terrible notes. The great challenge as I see it is smart people listening to too many good notes. If you make dozens of minor shavings, all the weird nubbliness of the original work is gone. But this way lies Mitt Romney, no? In theatre I have yet to se the perfect play. Hamlet? Midsummer? Streetcar? Death of Salesman? Masterpieces. But the producing world would “have suggestions”.

I treasure development. But there is a sweet spot of time and feedback that we should aim for, which varies play to play, musical to musical.

- David Zellnik

Friday, December 2, 2011


As writers we are trained (or convinced or cajoled – and with reason) to be creative (ummm… obviously). We’re pushed by nearly everyone with any say in the formation of our craft to think of things that have never been seen (or heard – or read – or read aloud – or, maybe, thought) before. The need to be innovative can be that voice inside our heads when we sit down with our projects: What makes this story different? What am I giving the audience that they haven’t seen before? How will I be amazing today?

And that’s great. That’s what, often, we look to art and artists to give us: a vision of the world that is in some way new or unfamiliar to us. That’s what we want.

Except when it’s not.

I met with Kyle Ancowitz a couple weeks ago to discuss the draft of my commission play, “I Heart Rock N Roll.” Kyle was great to talk to (cue Kyle blush…) as I was definitely at a point where, while I could rattle off a list of 10 or 20 things I knew I still needed to get back in and work on, what I really needed was to get some of these ideas out of my own head and into someone else's for a while. Kyle and I were pretty much in agreement about many of the things I felt were primary concerns when approaching revision including the main one: the boy-meets-girl relationship that is, if not the center of the play then, at least, a very large cog in it just wasn’t working. It wasn’t only not working it was pretty blatantly not working. As we talked through it, an idea was raised: there was plenty about the play that was unexpected and playful and ambitious (you’ll forgive me the superlatives … they are less necessarily true than they will help illustrate a point), maybe the relationship between Jerry Lane and Heather “Hell’s” Belles (I’ll refer you back to the play’s title now…) needed to be more conventional, more what we expect, if it’s going to ultimately be more effective.

Now, writers of screenplays and television know this (and, if pressed, playwrights will nod along as well): audience expectation is one of a writer’s greatest assets. We like to use it in terms of surprising an audience – of playing off their expectation. But it’s equally important to play to what an audience wants and expects at certain points of a story – it can be just as powerful to do what is expected as to do what has never been thought of before and it’s the balance between these two things that makes for really powerful writing. Sometimes the answer may be to do what everyone thinks is coming. Maybe…

Maybe that’s not the solution to Jerry and Hell’s (again, remember the title of the play…). Maybe everyone will call their part of the story “expected” or “lacking imagination.” But maybe not. Maybe their part is conventional, as every romantic comedy is, essentially, conventional and that what joy their relationship brings to an audience (“See, there, he promised us joy!”) is by allowing to happen what we all know will happen and let other parts of the story do the surprising (did I mention that another of the play’s storylines follows Charon, ferryman of the River Styx, and a character based on Bret Michaels of Poison and VH1’s “Rock of Love”?).

It’s possible.

- Robert Attenweiler

Monday, November 28, 2011

Geeking out on Play Development -- 17th Century France

Some paraphrasing from a text by Samuel Chappuzeau, writing around 1673 about 'Reading and Casting a New Play.'

Some of his advice for an unknown playwright:
  • Find an actor who you think is smart to read it and let them decide whether to put it forward to a company. Since actors know best whether a play will work or not, "...better than all the authors and critics together."
  • If the actor says it's no good - give up.
  • If the actor says its good then name a time and a place to assemble and then, "the playwright, without introductory remarks (which the players do not like), reads their play with all the emphasis they are capable of giving."
  • During act breaks the actors listening will discuss where it's boring, too long, lacking zest, crude, too broad - whatever.
  • After the whole play has been read by the playwright, then the actors discuss if the plot has been developed well, and particularly if the denouement works. (Chappuzeau points out that this is the part where most playwrights falter - same in 1673 as it is today.)
  • Then if they decide to do it, they cast it. The play should be cast well - since, "A play well cast succeeds better, and it is in the common interest of the playwright and the company, and even of the spectator, that each player act the part which fits him best."
So, back in 17th century France, when the actors ran the theaters (and the court provided the patronage), this is how it would be decided if your play made it to the stage or not.

Pretty straightforward. All the development lies in the hands of the actors who will ultimately be the ones casting, rehearsing, performing and profiting (or not) from the play.

It's interesting to think about how financial and artistic interests are linked here - and how financial and artistic concerns are linked in new play development today.

How are the institutions and individuals who drive new play development directly impacted? Should they be? Or is the remove better for the playwright? Is it better for the play? Is it better for the American Theatre?

- Kristen Palmer

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Three Kinds Of Impossible

When Gary and I were flying back from Janis and Dustin's wedding in Texas, I was reading through my copy of Outrageous Fortune for blog inspiration.  This book, which investigates the prevailing "dysfunctional" relationship between theaters and playwrights, has lately been a topic of discussion behind the scenes at the blog.  That’s how John Yearley beat me to a post about it last week

Gary and I were stuck in the plane aisle when a woman leaned over her seat and poked at the book in my hand. "I hope you’re not an artistic director," she said.  "That's not gonna cheer you up."  Of course she was right – she turned out to be an artistic director herself.  No one has much of anything nice to say about the status quo in the world of new plays, and almost everyone interviewed takes the opportunity to gripe about it in this detailed study.  But since no one likes listening to me complain, I ultimately chose this passage describing the problem from a writer’s point of view:

"The state of playwriting is healthy, most writers agree, but there's a failure of the imagination on the part of theatres, an inability to make sense of emerging voices and new work.  Theatres, this common critique goes, lack the vision to realize those voices in production, and woefully underestimate their audiences' ability to appreciate challenging material.  At the same time, they fail to educate these audiences about unconventional dramatic forms.  Through the eyes of the playwright, the obstacle of unconventionality is symptomatic of a widespread failure of imagination."

As a producer, I'll admit that I often read plays with a wary eye towards impossible ideas.  By impossible, I mean ideas that are either simply unstageable with our budget or that contribute needlessly to downtown theater’s reputation for being pretentious and/or incomprehensible. Come to think of it, let’s say there are three categories of impossible:
  • BORING AND IMPOSSIBLE: Car chases. Climactic gunfights. Enormous country-style breakfasts.
  • INTRIGUING BUT IMPOSSIBLE: Thermonuclear explosions.  Singing alien plants.  Journeys to the Heaviside Layer.
  • TOTALLY BANANAS AND IMPOSSIBLE: Characters vomiting mythological creatures. Giant thumbs that bleed abstraction. Talking Jewish lobsters.
Does my resistance to unconventional ideas such as these represent a failure of imagination?  Or am I just doing my job?  I want to explore this idea with our commission playwrights:  Won’t you please tell us about a time when your "challenging" and "unconventional" experiment never made it to the stage because some director or producer shut you down?  What happened next?  And who was right?

- Kyle Ancowitz 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Never Tell Me the Odds

“Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is 3,720 to 1!”
“Never tell me the odds.” – C3PO and Han Solo, Star Wars

I’ve never read Todd London’s Outrageous Fortune. This is not because I think it is without value. In fact, I have it on good authority that it’s excellent. I’ve also met Mr. London several times and found him to be a lovely person. He speaks with great passion about playwriting. He has devoted his professional life to helping and nurturing people like me.

And I will never read his book.

I’m usually a big “The truth will set you free” kinda guy. I’ve always felt I can handle anything if I just know what it is. In a tough situation my mind has usually conjures up something far worse than the truth, so even bad news usually comes with a measure of relief.

Except here.

I don’t want to know the exact figures on how bad the state of the American theatre is. I know it anecdotally. I know it experientially. I know a friend of mine who was paid only $5000 to have his play produced at one of the country’s top regionals. I know several people in their 20s who have never even seen a play. I know how bad it is.

I don’t even want to know the glimmers of hope, whatever bright lights London sees on the horizon. Such news will only make me feel worse, like a girl who tells you how great you are just before she dumps you.
I don’t want to know these things because I need to preserve the safety of my little desk in the basement. At my little desk in the basement, I conjure. I invent people and scenes through my imagination and through words. It is arduous but incredibly rewarding work.

I work to please myself, and I am rarely satisfied. To get the pages to be anywhere near as good as it sounds in my head is hard enough. If I had to imagine my work’s fate out there in an increasingly disinterested world, I would simply cease to function.

I don’t recommend the way I handle this to anyone. I recommend all playwrights, indeed all people who are passionate about the future of the American theatre, to read Outrageous Fortune.

I never will.
- John Yearley

Monday, November 21, 2011

When the Well Runs Dry

Lord have mercy.  I’ve got no idea what to write about for this blog post.  I've been racking my brain for a few days now, trying to pick something, anything to write about.  I want it to be good.  Lots and lots of ideas, all of which have gone nowhere.  Oh, the pain.

When I get like this with a play I’m writing, I put it down.  Sometimes for months.  Go into research mode or something.  Because if I chase it too hard, there’s nothing.

So the solution here I think is to not try to hard to come up with something.  Even if it means I come up with nothing at all.

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody.

- Christine Whitley

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Currently, I have my two most recently completed (drafts of) plays in some form of developmental system. My play, “Our Time Has Come,” is being worked as part of The Actor’s Studio Playwright/Director Workshop and “I Heart Rock N Roll” (both titles, of course, subject to change at some point on their winding path…) is part of the CCP. This is, we’ll say, a bit of a strange feeling. Not unpleasant. Just strange. For me. Personally.

In school, I was told two closely related things: 1.) I would not be ready (not me personally, just the me who, like the others in my class, was about to get an MFA in playwriting) would not be ready to be produced professionally for a looooooong time (I was, after all, a student … a learner, not a doer … a, they should have been reminded, forker over of large sums of money for the privilege) and that 2.) readings were the way to go. Everyone loves readings. And readings will, no doubt, lead to productions once I am, if ever, ready. Become a gear in the developmental machine, they inferred, sit back and wait to feel the teeth…

(I’m actually a bit amused to see how bitter I still come off when I write about this.)

It became too much to be living and working in New York, blindly sending my plays around (which, for the record, were not the finest things ever put to playscript format. But that’s not the point … I’ll explain how that’s not the point … Maybe…) and getting invitations for readings of my friends’ thesis plays, now with their fourth different theater company, I thought (both rightly and wrongly, it turns out) that it was best to go it alone.

And so I didn’t worry about waiting until a script was ready (or even, sometimes, ready-ish) and getting feedback and rewriting and getting feedback and rewriting. I’d just put them up. I would rent the theater before I had begun writing the play. I would cast actors before I’d even written their parts. I would start rehearsal with a half-finished script (again: rightly and wrongly) and it would be the process of figuring out how to get the play to a place where we would be proud (or, at least, proud-ish) to get an audience to come see it was, for me, more instructive on how to write a play than any talkback after a reading had ever been. It was more instructive because I had to make the piece work for – and be exciting to – the artists who were creating the experience and, generally, if you can do that, you’ve got something that you can show people – and it’s a something that has the freshness that comes with not being overworked by the urge to please every opinion in the room.

Was everything brilliant? Probably just brilliant-ish. Or not. But that’s not the point. The point is not to be brilliant. The point is to do your work. To get in your reps. And to figure out how to do it all better.

So, why was my thought – that play development programs, in fact, do the exact opposite – both right and wrong?

It’s right because, yes, production, if one can be critical and honest with one’s self, is arguably (but nearly not so) the most useful process a playwright can take part in. It just is. And, yes, there is not enough money available to produce all the plays that get written- not even enough for all the plays that warrant production on some level, no matter how small. And, yes, readings and development too often seem like a lackluster way to fill up space on the calendar page.

But my thought is also wrong. It’s wrong mainly, out of the fact that I do not, it turns out, know all there is to know about all things. It turns out, that what benefits me is not always to everyone else’s benefit. It turns out, it turns out, that it is not all about me at all. Plus, barring the money to produce everything they want, theater companies still want to foster relationships with writers telling stories that excite them. And, mainly, it turns out that all I was doing by circling the wagons, so to speak, was finding the community who could most help my work to *ahem* develop to the point where I could tell stories that excited these people and that I might even be able to seek out, identify, or be identified by other communities who are, again, so to speak, in my wheelhouse.

To repeat: strange, not unpleasant, just strange, for me, personally. Not about me. And repeat...

- Robert Attenweiler

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I hate reading plays.

There’s no excuse for it. I’m a playwright. I have to read plays. But I hate it. A friend of mine, Paul Meshejian, is the artistic director of PlayPenn. He is taking the 100 semi-finalists for the 2012 conference with him on his winter sojourn to Puerto Rico. He’s going to read them all down there. I told him it sounds like torture.

There are good reasons for a difficulty in reading plays. Most plays are bad (though that’s also true of most fiction, non-fiction, etc.). More importantly, plays aren’t meant to be read. They’re meant to be performed and seen. These are the good reasons for not liking to read plays. They are not, however, my reasons. I get confused. I can’t remember who’s who. God forbid there are more than twoo people talking at any one time. Then I’m totally lost.

Still, sometimes I read plays. Sometimes I even buy plays, as I did recently when I bought a collection by Sarah Ruhl, The Clean House and Other Plays. I bought this collection for two reasons:
  1. I saw Ruhl’s play Eurydice a few years ago and really liked it.
  2. I never get to see anything because of commitments to job and small child. She is the most acclaimed playwright of the day, so I wanted to see what she’s been up to.
When people gush about art that they love in print, my eyes tend to glaze over. It is usually an avalanche of laudatory adjectives (“brilliant”, “searing”) that lose all meaning being by bunched up and lumped together. So I will just say about The Clean House that there is in it some combination of gentleness and tragedy, a mix of effortless comedy and life-or-death stakes, that absolutely blew me open.

There is a moment near the end of the play that was particularly resonant to me. One of the characters is dying of cancer. Her lover, a doctor, flies off to the Alaskan forest because he believes the sap from one of the trees there can save her life. While he’s gone, the woman suffering from cancer says, “He wants to be a hero, but what I need is a nurse.” Later, her lover the doctor misses the moment of her death trying to get the tree he has brought back from Alaska through her front door.

I’m not sure how much of the impact that moment had on me has to do with my own personal psychology. I feel like many times in my life I have performed a grand, futile gesture rather than attend to the simple, practical task at hand. I suspect that I am not alone in this, that it is an impulse common to men, which can be baffling and frustrating to women. But that may just be my projection.

Whatever the reason, the comedy and tragedy of watching that man trying to get that tree through the door as his wife dies felt like the distilled essence of the play. It is also something else. It is incredibly theatrical. Part of the power of reading that moment was in how easy it was to visualize - the huge tree, the little door, the desperate man struggling. It must be a special moment onstage. I look forward to seeing it someday. 

Why, you may ask, have I spent my whole Blue Coyote Commission blog post talking about somebody else’s play rather than my own? I think one of the points of this project is for the writer’s to open up about what inspires us. Sarah Ruhl, and The Clean House, inspires the hell out of me. And not just to be a writer, either. To be a writer of plays.

In my hectic little life, I spend every spare moment I can find reading books. Given that, and my aforementioned distaste for reading plays, I occasionally wonder why I have turned my talents (such as they are) to playwriting. The Clean House reminded me why.

- John Yearley

Monday, November 7, 2011


The other week, I got to see Radiohead play NYC’s Roseland Ballroom. It was my third time seeing the band with Rebecca Benhayon (who was on Radiohead concert no. 6) and, regardless of your feelings on how this band may or may not suck relative to how much some other musical jewel in your eye “rules,” I think it’s fair to say that it’s always a cool thing to see one of the bigger rock bands of the last decade-plus play a comparatively small venue.

So, standing room it was and I was shoulder to shoulder with the throng about 40 feet back from the stage and, generally, the 5 inches I have on Rebecca make for a pretty clear view of the stage. Until, that is, the band actually goes on. Then, my view – and I have to assume most everyone else’s – gets blocked as people find every available free space to hold up their phones to take pictures and videos of the show.

I get it, okay? It’s important to note that I get it. This was a hot ticket, a much anticipated show. People wanted to document and maybe get a personal bootleg video of a song … or seven. Hell, I would have even probably tried to snap a shot if I wasn’t busy already working myself up about everyone’s screen blocking my view (and enjoying the show … also important to note … still enjoyed the show mucho). But, the crowd was arguably more subdued (or maybe just more subdued than I would have liked … let’s keep in mind, this is a guy who’s been in a Pantera pit or two in his day) because … well … they had to hold still to get a good video.

While I don’t want to sound too much like a crag and talk about the destruction of the live moment, I would say that the whole “digital documenting and sharing” compulsion bummed me out a little bit. It bummed me out because, I suspect, our culture is moving further away from valuing what cannot be captured. Why else watch Radiohead perform their set through the crappy screen on your phone rather than the much higher res (depending on your eyeglass prescription, I suppose) version in front of you? Is it better to be able to watch them play the version of “Karma Police” from the show you saw over and over again – or to pay attention to the experience as it’s happening? If an experience can’t be captured, it reasons, it cannot be shared. If it cannot be shared, it is of limited social use.

This is particularly troubling when thinking about theater, of course, because the main thing that was always said about live theater is that it offers an experience that can only be viewed once. But what if that argument is holding less and less water – or that the water is less and less a thirst quencher? All this while theater makers (myself included) are trying to find the way(s) that our now-everyday technology and networking can work to increase awareness and excitement about all the amazing stuff we do. The Radiohead show reminded me of when Neil LaBute’s “reasons to be pretty” was on Broadway recently and encouraged people to text during the show. Totally see what would make them want to try that out. Totally see how terrible it would be to be in a Broadway show (or, for that matter, a Broadway audience) where people are being encouraged to not completely engage with the show. But “reasons” will not be the last show to think this is a good idea.

I’ve never been particularly interested in “Is Theater Dead?” conversations – and I’m not bringing this up with the intention of having one now. I don’t think, however, that it’s an incredible stretch to say that people’s relationship with the live moment is an ever-evolving thing in our culture and that, as peddlers of live moments, it’s something to be aware of.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some YouTube bootlegs of Radiohead’s Roseland show to watch…

- Robert Attenweiler

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The First Room

[for the full experience, listen to this while you read...]

I used to write out everything long-hand. When I started. Everything was just piles of words in a notebook with no rhyme or reason. I'd fill up a notebook and then put it in a drawer. Then, sometime when the mood would strike me I would go searching in the notebooks for something. If that 'something' struck me, I would fold the corner of the page.

Then put the notebook away.

Then, much later, I was around a bunch of people who wrote things and read them aloud together and I wanted to play too. I wanted to join in. Then I remembered. I have these notebooks. These notebooks are full of words, and some of them are on dog-eared pages. I will type up those dog-eared pages.

So, I typed them up. But not just typed because there were people in mind. There were people I would read this to, so I fiddled this word, arranged this thought, made this image stand out, threw in this memory or that, something I would want them to know. These became poems and stories and random prose - eventually I found a notebook that was all dog-eared that seemed like it had voices in it, that became a play. My first play. The one I don't talk about or show, but I love it. Because the three voices became three characters and the three characters demanded a stage, a stage with microphones and over-sized furniture and papers falling from the sky. And they had all these words and stories that they wanted to say in front of people and they had all these things they wanted to do in front of people and I put it down into a script and we did it. Me and those people who were reading things together, just put it up in front of people.

And I'm so grateful for those people in a room reading things they wrote to one another.

And I'm so grateful that in my life there has continued to be so many rooms where people read things they wrote to each other.

But the first one. That's the one that was necessary.

- Kristen Palmer

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cruel to be Kind and a Bald Soprano

“It’s all been done. It’s what you put in your particular stew.” – Nick Lowe
“The poet cannot invent new words every time, of course. He uses the words of the tribe. But the handling of the word, the accent, a new articulation, renew them.” - Eugene Ionesco
I love these quotes. Not sure what point to make about them, because it seems self-explanatory. Two quotes saying “there’s nothing new, it’s how you say it” in two totally different ways. And from two totally different artists, both pivotal and important in their respective genres. I’m not a geek about Nick Lowe or Ionesco, meaning, I’d be a bit out of my depth to go on about them. But the subjects of rock 'n' roll (or more specifically, rock 'n' roll theatre) and Absurdism are obsessive interests for me.  Plus, they tie into what I'm working on for the Coyote Commission Project.

This is from Wikipedia:
In philosophy, "The Absurd" refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any. In this context absurd does not mean "logically impossible," but rather "humanly impossible." The universe and the human mind do not each separately cause the Absurd, but rather, the Absurd arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously.
More Wikipedia (sorry), from the entry on Albert Camus’ philosophical essay on Absurdism, The Myth of Sisyphus:
“Thus, Camus arrives at three consequences from the full acknowledging of the absurd: revolt, freedom and passion.”
And this is a video from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (need to view the whole clip for full effect): WATCH THIS

Just ingredients... for a particular stew... Ha!  How corny is THAT?  Couldn't resist, though.  But I do love that image, the act of culling ingredients/influences etc., and making something that's yours out of it. 

I have a great deal of excitement and fear around writing this play.  A director I worked with once said, and this was during a particularly tense part of the rehearsal process, that his motto was to breathe and remain flexible.  Not my forté.  And I feel particularly clamped down around this lately, stuck in the writing of it.  So perhaps I need to adopt his motto, let go and trust the process.

Right?  Right.

- Christine Whitley

Thursday, October 27, 2011

“Nothing gold can stay”

“Nothing gold can stay”
-Robert Frost
…or as my brother says: except gold, that is. Bury it for 5000 years, dump it in salt water… it stays gorgeous. No rust, no grime, no decay. Whatever else you can say about gold, that stuff lasts.
Ok so lately I’ve been distracted by some bright shiny things, and rather than get back to work, I‘ve been thinking about why the world over, most people seem distracted by bright shiny things.
Literally bright and shiny: like gold, like diamonds. Like iPhone screens. Like fire.
I’m wondering (as I avoid work) if it’s some misdirected evolutionary response – like we are born to be attracted to the glint of water, or the juice of a ripe fruit, or eyes or lips. So that it is really: Jewelry as Permanent Glint, as Permanent Ripe Glistening Fruit.
I’m thinking of this also because in my commissioned play, HUNTERS AND THIEVES, the golden fleece makes an entrance.
In the play, the fleece is a worn-out prop from the collection of an old actress who is an exile from her homeland in Central Russia. She once played Medea, who as legend famously has it, butchered her own brother and tossed the body parts into the water so that while Jason and the Argonauts could speed away with her and the fleece in tow, Medea’s father would be forced to pick up the pieces for a proper burial. (On a related note, whatever else we can say about what Medea did, we should at least be able to say: Jason should not have been surprised.)
The golden fleece still shimmers in my mind, all the more so for its weirdness – the skin of a flying golden ram? Kinda awesome, kinda ewwww. It’s hard even to actually picture it. And what would you do with it? Wear it? Sit on it? Have sex on it? Surely never melt it down. It seems perfectly useless; its power must simply be to captivate the mind.
So I sit here distracted and not working; but if I am to be distracted by a shiny bright thing, let it at least be something weird and beautiful, with a lineage.

- David Zellnik

Monday, October 24, 2011


Greetings and welcome to my introductory blog post! First and foremost, thank you to Blue Coyote Theater Group for the opportunity and honor to be one of the playwrights chosen for the inaugural Coyote Commission Project. I’m in excellent company. Also, I’d like to add that this is my very first blog post ever, of any kind, so there’s that too.

Now, a quote.
“I want to be ripped apart by music. I want it to be something that feeds and replenishes, or that totally sucks the life out of you. I want to be dashed against the rocks.” - Jeff Buckley
I was talking to my Mom about Jeff Buckley a couple of weeks ago. She is in her late sixties. And while she enjoys music, she's never really been crazy over it. She wasn't one to rush out and buy a new album when she was young or go to a lot of concerts (at least this is what I remember her telling me, maybe I have it all wrong...). She does like to sing though, and does so to all music - but only in a very high soprano.

I sent her a couple of favorite Jeff Buckley songs, or rather, YouTube videos, because I really like to subject my Mother to things she probably won't like and then bug her endlessly about it. But she called the next day to say that she had been incredibly moved by watching the video of Hallelujah, but in a way that had unnerved her, which was surprising to both of us. She was excited and emotional in telling me about it, trying to "figure out" the beauty of the thing - what exactly it was about the video, the song, the singer himself that moved her so. We talked for a while and concluded that maybe she just got dashed against the rocks a little by Jeff Buckley.

The quote above has stuck with me ever since reading it several years ago. It's something I agree with, strongly. And while it's said about music, it resonates with me as something for theatre as well. In discussions about playwriting, storytelling and the theatrical experience, I eventually truck out this quote to sum up exactly how I feel.

So there it is.

Looking forward to all the blogging...

- Christine Whitley

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What I Have In Common With 6'7" New York Knicks Forward, Landry Fields

I’m sorry, New York, but I’m really sick of watching baseball this year. I’m done. Tapped. If it were up to me, I’d just concede the Yankees the World Series title (even though, with Bartolo Colon pushing upwards of 548 pounds this year, I’ll hold out a glimmer that it will all come crashing down for the Yankees at some point … I do like to hold out that glimmer … always) just so I don’t have to watch any more baseball. Part of this is that my Cleveland Indians took a lot out of me this season, their strong start making me care when I still thought I had a couple more baseball seasons before I had to start paying close attention again. I’d banked on those couple more baseball seasons to get an awful lot of things done. Now those seasons are gone and I’ll never get them back.

But it’s more than that. Seeing baseball going into its post-season reminds me what would normally be absorbing all of my attention this time of year: basketball. Basketball, basketball, basketball. And as you may or may not know (or, quite possibly, may not care, as you’ve come here to read thoughts on theater and writing and … I’ll get to all of that … well, some of that … I promise I will say a good sentence or two on that matter) the National Basketball Association – or, more accurately, the owners of the teams that make up the National Basketball Association – have locked out their players until a new labor agreement between the owners and the players’ union is reached – and the prognosis is not good.

And who cares? Well, not as many people as care about baseball and that’s why I’m over baseball for the foreseeable future (which is to say: until I’m not).

We learned from the writer’s strike of 2007-08, that writers – and artists in general – have a spotty history thinking of ourselves as labor and that’s done little to collectively raise the general perception of what we do. The result for the writers in ’08 was them taking a deal that many consider worse for them than the one that was in place before the strike (the perception that the writers were easily replaceable parts in a machine was disproven, in as much as the parts already in the machine proved overly eager to ensure that there was not the opportunity for them to be replaced … lest it prove easily done). The results for the rest of us plays out more in terms of the arts general failure to quantify their value to, if not our immediate communities, then certainly our state and national one(s).

Professional basketball players are going to be fine (even if, as the owners hope, they will start to feel the financial pressures once games begin to get canceled and then take the money that’s there over the no money that isn’t) … well, most of them will be anyway. But there’s just something about the labor dispute of a sports league that does not have the cumulative public will that, say, professional football does, that makes me think a little more about what many of us working artists are up against when we actually think of ourselves as working … as labor. Cue the Woody Guthrie…

- Robert Attenweiler

Monday, October 17, 2011

Killing Characters

I have this play, THE MELTING POINT. And when it started it had like 9 characters. Then I wrote and re-wrote and cut and revised and then there were 6. Two were dead. They were named Joanie and Mike. I liked them though, they were kindof sad late-20 somethings in dead-end jobs, dancing around getting together for a date, by the end they did. But, their short story didn't get kept as the play's story came into the fore.

Then there was Imogene. A 50 something friend of two other 50 something ladies. The school social worker, coincidentally. Lonely for her sons who moved away and never called. She was a master at making nice. As the structure of the play took over, she receded further out of the picture, she became extraneous. In the beginning she was the third witch, this chorus of mothers raging against their abandonment in the suburbs - but, really, the play's about one family's estrangement - not three, so she - well - she left in the last draft. Theater is a brutal form.

And now there are Five. And they all have to be there. Even the one who you could argue with me about cause he's not in the family and really, does he change? Nope. But he's not going anywhere. Cause he's part of scaffolding that got permanently attached to the building. The others? They got dismantled once the play was built.


Now I'm writing this play, part of the Commissioning project. Thank you so much Blue Coyote, the kick in the ass is helpful, always.

And I did a draft...and there're some characters who I don't know what to do with...I don't know if they belong. In fact one of them gets shot in the middle of the play. In a play that is not about shooting people. I'll tell more about what it's about as this blog goes on - but it is NOT about shooting people. So, maybe I had him get shot - suicide by cop actually - because I knew he had to go... or maybe in the next draft I'm going to need to find the way to get him to stay. I think I want him to stay. His name's Mike too, a much more screwed up guy than the first Mike, and he brings things out from my head... I know I won't get there without him, but I don't know if he'll be discarded scaffolding, or if he'll move in as a cross beam. It's early in the writing, the best time, I don't need to decide.

- Kristen Palmer

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting Lost

It’s a little scary. At the very least it’s disorienting. You don’t know what time it is. You don’t know where you are.
It passes quickly, of course. The last time it happened to me, I found myself on NJ Transit. I was somewhere between Secaucus and Newark. It was around 5:30. I was on my way home.

Though it happens fairly frequently, it always catches me by surprise. That day, I had just settled into my seat on the train at the end of the day. I was pulling my book from my bag when I saw a copy of the play I am working on for Blue Coyote. An idea for the scene I was currently writing had been
kicking around in my head all day. Impulsively, I grabbed the script and set to work.

That’s the last thing I remember.

What does it mean to “lose yourself”? Why is it considered desirable? It is the stated goal of every ecstatic experience, from revivalism to raves. But why do we want it?

My guess is it’s not a matter of losing your self so much as it is losing your self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is like the booby prize of sentience. Without self-consciousness, you’re just an animal. With it, however, you are dogged forever by a self that hovers just outside of you; it is often a judging self, a critical self.

The only time I lose self-consciousness is when I write. There’s nothing ecstatic about it. My eyes don’t roll back in my head. I see no visions. I just become completely and totally involved in the thing I’m doing, namely writing.

It doesn’t last long. For me, it rarely goes longer than a half hour at any one time. And it doesn’t feel like much. To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t feel like anything. When I write the part of me that is usually records experience for future memories is writing, too. So there is no trace. The process of writing is forgotten the
second it happens.

Why then does this experience, which couldn’t be more ephemeral, lately feel like the single most important part of the life’s work that I’ve chosen?

Immersion is what’s about, I suppose. It is that totality of immersion that makes you lose your self-consciousness. There are many things to lose yourself in (just pick an addiction), but the pleasures tend to be short lived and have nasty side effects. The difficulty is in finding something worthy, or even capable, of such a deep immersion.

Most jobs do not provide this. My job certainly doesn't. My job does not want my whole self. It wants a self from me that accomplishes certain tasks while acting a certain way. It is an easy self for me to put on. I wear it like clothes. My job wants that part of me and that part of me only.

I don't mind that my job wants only a fraction of me. I don’t need every moment of my life to be spent in the pursuit of deep personal fulfillment. But I am able to not care about this parceling out of myself because I have this other thing, this writing.

Sometimes I see people in my office, good and smart people, and I feel like I can see them looking for something.  They have a desire to do something more, to pour their passion for life into something that can hold it. Their failure to find this thing for themselves can leave them looking distracted. Sometimes, they look scared.

Most days, being a writer feels like a very poor career choice. Most days, it all feels impossible. It is impossible that the scene will come out the way you want it to, or that it will work into your idea for the play, or that the play will come together, or that anyone will want to read your play if it even does, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. In most writing careers, indeed in most careers in the arts, five disappointing things happen for every encouragement. It can, and often does, feel like a ridiculous way to spend your life.

Yet lately I'm feeling very lucky for my chosen profession.

Once or twice a week, I get to get lost. Like falling asleep, I can never pinpoint the moment it happens. I only know it’s happened when I wake up, be it on NJ Transit, my writing space in my basement, or at some coffee shop around town. When the fear dissipates, and I am grounded again in the here and
now, I feel another emotion very strongly.


- John Yearley

It Used to Be Easy...

It used to be easy.

Well, that’s not true. It was never easy. But it was simple.
I used to write plays sequentially, in order. Start at the beginning, end at the end. Discover the play in the writing. Refine it in rewrites. End of story.

Then my son was born.

To be able to write a play in the way that I used to requires a lot of brain space. It’s not that I kept the whole play in my head (I could never do that), but I did keep the totality of the world I was creating and the characters I was inhabiting simmering all the time. I didn’t know it then, having never lived any other way, but writing like that requires a lot of free space in the brain.

Children eat that brain space. And then they come back for more.

I needed another way.

Like most opportunities, it first appeared as a problem.

I was writing my newest play, Another Girl. It’s a story of a woman, Aidan, coming back home after 20 years to see her sister, Hannah, and her dying mother. The problem was this – I had created the character of Aidan, and several other subsidiary characters, but I didn’t yet have Hannah. It was very clear that the first scene of the play had to be between Hannah and Aidan. But since I didn’t yet know who Hannah was, how could I write that scene?

And I had all this other stuff in the play I wanted to write! Scenes, monologues, stories. I was stuck. I couldn’t start.

So I cheated.

As ridiculous as it sounds, I actually felt that way at first. As if writing out of sequence was a sin. I wrote the bits that were popping out of my head (they had been trapped so long they BURST out). It was a blast. And I’ve been doing this long enough to know that if writing is fun, you’re probably doing something right.

Soon enough, with the space to let her grow organically, Hannah came to life. Scenes I wrote bled into other scenes. Soon enough there were whole sequences. There were some ugly stretches tying it all together- character, plot, theme. But there are always ugly stretches in writing. In the end, I had not only what is perhaps my best play, but a new way of writing.

I am using that new way of writing for the play I have been commissioned by Blue Coyote to write, currently titled Clear History. It’s a story of the way in which the decision to have children saves and ruins your life, and of the time and place – now, New York – in which that decision is being made. Allowing myself to write in this way has made writing this play a joy. I often sit down at the desk with an anticipation that borders on giddiness.

I could not be more grateful for Blue Coyote asking me to write this for them. I hope it lives up to every expectation they have for it.

- John Yearley

Monday, October 10, 2011

Introducing Me. Hi.

Thanks for reading. And thank you Blue Coyote Theatre Company for picking to be one of your commissioned writers :)
Just to be clear: I am doing this for the money.
...But if I weren’t doing this for the money, I’d be doing it cause I’m a fan of BCTC, the work they do, what they stand for, the talent they have assembled on and off stage.
My association with Blue Coyote came about because 15 years ago (!) I met Stephen Speights while we were both marathon dancing in Anne Bogart’s MARATHON DANCING. We were… glorified stagehands? Extras? Except at the end we all danced, so we were performers too. We were fast friends. I possibly had a mini crush on Stephen, as one does, but I might be making this up. He was and is crushworthy so I think this reflects well on me either way.
Years have gone by and I’ve seen a lot of BCTC shows and have always been impressed by the integrity, the passion, the humor, the naughty language. Some of my favorite theatrical experiences of the past 10 years have been at the Access: the plays of David Foley, David Johnston; the work of Vince Gatton and Gary Shrader...
Stephen and Gary have always been supportive of my work, which has meant a great deal, and so let me introduce myself:
I tend to write plays about scared people who discover their strength, people awake to history but who try and navigate their own small lives within in, to find happy endings (heartbroken happy endings?) in a world that often has no use for them.
Also I hope to be funny. And joyous. That’s the goal at least, in works as disparate as the musical I wrote with my brother about 2 soldiers in love during WW2 (YANK!) and in the plays I write alone like my angry heartbroken meditation on 120 years of Zionism (ARIEL SHARON STANDS AT THE TEMPLE MOUNT AND DREAMS OF THEODOR HERZL).
Here is the play Blue Coyote commissioned:
HUNTERS AND THIEVES takes place in a ramshackle Queens apartment owned by Mrs. Huff. She is an old woman from a (real) small autonomous region in Russia called Udmurtia. She is mysterious, an actress, an exile. She rents the main room in her apartment to Nate, a scared 18 year old who goes to NYU and may or may not be a thief in order to earn money to live. When he and his friend Clem suspect she has a treasure in her apartment, they plan to rob her. But when she wakes and discovers the plot, they become prey to her wrath…
The play is barely begun. But I aim to fill it with as much integrity, passion, humor, and naughty language as an audience at Blue Coyote has the right to expect.
- David Zellnik

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Welcome to the Coyote Commission Project Blog!

Hello fans! 
Blue Coyote's Commission Playwrights

Earlier this year, Blue Coyote Theater Group invited a group of our favorite playwrights to be a part of our first-ever playwrighting commission.  In order to invite you, our audience and our community, to learn more about to the process, this week we're launching the Coyote Commission Project Blog. 

We will post semi-weekly updates from our commission playwrights in order to share more about their progress with the project, the adventure of playwriting, and anything else they all think is interesting to write or read about.   We hope you learn more lots about our playwrights, their work, and their commissions as they develop. 

We want your attention and your feedback!  Please have your say by leaving comments and asking questions!

With affection,
Kyle Ancowitz
Producing Director