Newsletter: April 2015

25.2 April 2015

FORUM 2. Forum 2 members must register with the application form on this page to continue or re-activate for the next 4-month session. The fee is now $130. Do try to include full or half payment as indicated. Bi-weekly meetings are at 6:30 p.m., Wednesdays, at St. Mary’s Armenian Church, D.C.
FORUM 1. The Summer Session is to be downsized to two groups, and the one-to-one e-mail option. To insure your place in the upcoming Forum 1 session, please fill out and mail the application form on this page. Current members please notify us by May 8th . Do try to include full or half payment as indicated. If you have any problem with that pre-payment, don’t hesitate to call Ernie at 301-816-0569. The fee is $130. Forum 1 will include two groups of 8-10 members, in 6 bi-weekly meetings. Our faculty includes, for the Summer, Ernie Joselovitz and Allison Pruitt.

Tuesdays. Lawton Community Recreation Center. 6:30-9 p.m. May 19th to July 28th . Joselovitz.
Wednesdays. St. Mary’s Armenian Church. 7:00-9:30 p.m. May 27th to August 5th . Pruitt.
One-on-One E-Mail Option. Joselovitz.

How to Register: we will confirm your place in one of our groups. For any enquiries, please call Ernie at 301-816-0569 or Allison at 703-448-0209, or e-mail . 1. Current members who wish to continue are given priority. Please register by May 8th. 2. Members who discontinued at the last session will be offered the first chance to fill vacancies. 3. Associate members and then all others will be welcomed into the Forum’s remaining openings.____________________________________________________

Please register _______________________________________for the upcoming session of ___ Forum 1 ___ Forum 2
___ I was last a member of Spring 2015 Session.____ I am an Associate Member
My preference is for the group at ___________________ on _______-day.
I prefer the one-on-one email option _____.
I’ve enclosed a pre-payment of _____$130 _____ $65
Tel Number ______________________e-mail_______________________________
Street Address (if new member) _______________________________________
Send check and hard-copy of form to: PF, P O Box 5322, Rockville, MD 20848

Sixth Edition
The Learning Environment. Your guide to getting the most from the full range of Playwrights Forum activities.
The Craft. The PF methodology, along with expert advice and handy tips from “How do I start?” to third-draft woes.
The Market. The “how-to” from letters of inquiry to surfing the up-to-the-minute guides to today’s playmarketing.

_______YES! I want my copy of PLAYWRIGHTS FORUM HANDBOOK 6.
I’ve enclosed _____ $7.50 for the e-mailed copy
Send it to:
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E-mail Address ______________________________________________________________________
*Make check to Playwrights Forum. Mail to: Playwrights Forum, PO Box 5322, Rockville, MD 20848

Jennie Berman Eng (Forum 2) enjoyed a staged reading at the DC Jewish Community Center of her play, Spectacular Women (in their natural habitat) as part of Theater J’s “Locally Grown” Festival. Marta Vogel’s musical, Willa Wants to (Gulp) Walk was performed by the Prince George’s Children’s Theater, in the Summer Playgrounds and Camps operated by M-NCPPC in Prince George’s County, MD. John Marogiella’s Play Date had its world premiere at Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington, Vermont. The script was given a public reading at Abingdon Theatre Company in Manhattan. His Civilizing Lusby was selected for a MainStage Reading at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. The script was published in the Fall. John’s two ten minutes, Prologue and Fashion Specifics, were part of the DC Capital Fringe Festival. Tim Treanor’s play, Dracula. A Love Story, was also part of the DC Capital Fringe Festival. Also in the Fringe Festival: Joan Cushing’s Breast In Show (with Forum 2’s Marty de Silva’s book) Marty and Joan also had a new musical, 101 Dalmatians, commissioned by Imagination Stage, with a double opening, September at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and December at Imagination Stage. Joan also won a commission from Children’s Theatre of Charlotte to adapt a book called Ella’s Big Chance: A Jazz Age Cinderella. Also commissioned by Circa ’21 Dinner Theatre in Rock Island, IL to adapt Lucy Rose: Busy Like You Can’t Believe, a popular children’s book, as a musical. Her musical Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood is scheduled to open off-Broadway in February, 2017 at the New Victory Theatre. The DC Fringe Festival also included: Sanctuary Theatre and The Performing Knowledge Project presenting Michael Oliver in a one-man performance of Song of Myself: The WHITMAN Project. Forum 2’s Elizabeth Bruce and Forum 2’s Michael Oliver facilitated an ACTING FOR WRITERS Workshop at the 2014 Split This Rock Festival in Washington, DC. Elizabeth is continuing her residency at BloomBars in Columbia Heights with her STEM-Themed Theatrical Journey Project for Young Children, ages 3-5. Capital Fringe 2014 also included other Forum participants: Bethesda by Jennie Berman Eng, Sage of Blackwell by Arthur Luby, and Size Doesn’t Matter, included short works by friend Renee Calarco and Associate member John Morogiello. Associate Member Catherine O’Connor had several short plays given public readings by Playwrights Collaborative. Sylvia Toone (Forum 2) completed her seventh year as the visiting performance director and adjunct professor of theater and English at the University of Salerno, Italy. The 2014 performance, “Who Do You Think I Am? Or, What You Will”, was loosely based on Twelfth Night. Kristy Simmons (Forum 1) had a staged reading of her 10-minute play Tree Danglings at The National Museum for Women in the Arts as part of DC-SWAN Day, and a world premiere of her 10-minute play The Dog Therapist in BOOM! Theatre’s 2014 Brave New Works Festival. Alexis Clements saw a public reading of her play, Unknown, produced at WOW Café Theater in New York City, in May. End Papers, developed with us by Forum’s Barry Weinberg, opened a four-day run July 24-27 at the Little Theater of Mechanicsburg (PA), because it won the American Association of Community Theatre inaugural NewPlayFest. His It’s Your Funeral won honorable mention in the 14th Annual New Voice Play Festival at the Old Opera House, Charles Town, West Virginia, and It’s Your Funeral won 2nd prize in the Frostburg One-Act Play Competition, the latter of which came with $250 and a staged reading September 26 and 27 at the Place Theater, Frostburg, Maryland. The Forum’s Raymond Melton saw his play, The Human Behind the Image, given a public reading as part of the Renegade Festival, associated with Michigan State University. Theater Project Beltsville presented “Cold Shoulders”, an evening of one-acts, including Forum 2’s Nicky Burton’s Starman, Wish Me Luck. Past Forum 2 member Ellen Byerrum, having turned to writing novels, has just completed her 10th “Crime of Fashion” mystery, Lethal Black Dress, available on Embarking on a new genre, she’s written a book for youngsters, The Children Didn’t See Anything, available in paperback. Past Forum 1’s Elaine Hutchinson saw her latest play, developed with us, The View From The Tunnel, produced locally. Past Forum 2’s Karen Zacarias, along with friend John Strand, were two of the many writers of Arena Stage’s National Civil War Project Theatrical Event, Our War.

April 20 The Telltale Harp by Lorelei Kornell. Directed by Scott Sedar. 7 p.m. Monday. St. John’s Episcopal Church/Chevy Chase.

April 27 The Seventh Most Popular by Jonathan Tycko. Directed by Andy Wassenich. 7 p.m. Monday. Iona Senior Services Center/Tenleytown DC.

May 11 And Lick My Hand by Ted Groll. Directed by Catherine Aselford. 7 p.m. Monday. St. John’s Episcopal Church, Chevy Chase.

May 18 Underperforming Agency by Paul Handy. Directed by Brian Mac Ian. 7 p.m. Monday. Lawton Community Recreation Center/Chevy Chase.

June 1 Individ. Psych. by Jack Mayo. Directed by Mary Suib. 7 p.m. Monday. Lawton Community Recreation Center, Chevy Chase.Individ.

June 8 The Audit by Maria Trunk. Directed by Laura Giannarelli. 7 p.m. Monday. St. Mary’s Armenian Church, DC.

Frequent addresses for meetings and readings…
St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church, 4125 Fessenden St NW, Washington, DC 20016.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 6701 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.
Iona Senior Services Center, 4125 Albemarle Street NW, Washington, DC 20016.
Round House Theatre’s Education Center. 925 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Twinbrook Recreation Center. 12920 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville, MD 20851.
MetroStage. 1201 North Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
Centro Nia. 1420 Columbia Rd., NW, Washington DC 20009
Lawton Community Recreation Center. 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.
DC Arts Center. 2438 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009


April 15 Round Table discussions
April 29 Round Table discussions
May 13 Round Table discussions
May 27 Round Table discussions
June 10 Round Table discussions

All Forum 2 meetings begin at 6:30 p.m., Wednesdays, at St. Mary’s Armenian Church.


A REVIEW by Thomas Mason, Jr. (Forum 1):
(Funded by the Barbara Gross Memorial Fund)

Ms. Paula Stone (Forum 2) introduced the panelists Shirley Serotsky (Producer) is the Acting Artistic Director at Theatre J, Dorothy Neumann (Director), Rosemary Pardee (Costume Designer), Rick Foucheux (Actor).

Ms. Serotsky answered the question of “How I Read Your Script” by saying that at Theatre J she is interested in scripts that would appeal to an urban Jewish community. Does a script feel like it fits our theatre, have a cast of no more than nine actors, and creates a new world-picture of reality on stage? It also has to have individual voices. Each character should sound different, and the play story must be compelling.
Ms. Neumann stated that she read scripts for their complexity of relationships and potential for hills and valleys. She is interested in suspenseful scripts that she can’t wait to turn the page to find what is happening next. The play should speak to the human condition, and deal with universal political and human concerns. The characters should be developed in a way that audiences can care and relate to them. She likes scenes that can be developed further. Ms. Neumann is not that interested in seeing narration in a script. The playwright needs to show action—what is happening. In addition, “less is more” in her opinion in good writing for the stage.
Ms. Pardee stated that cinematic writing makes costume designer nuts. A script that allows her to do her best work appeals to her. She also likes the Director and actors to provide input. The script is the map.
Mr. Foucheux stated that the playwright is the architect. He is interested in how a play affects him. If it is told in a way he hasn’t heard before. The play must be theatrical. He should feel he is having a literary experience.
Notes along the way:
1. Have interesting relationships, conflict, suspense, practicality, and appreciation for all artists involved.
2. A play must be flexible—be able to grow.
3. Create a new world. The playwright must give thought to the story’s environment.
4. The playwright needs to relax control, and be open to different ideas. Give the Director flexibility. At the same time, though: the Director must remind the playwright it’s your script—must be able to trust your script. Pitfalls include inflexibility, dictatorial mindset. Not given opportunity for full collaboration.
5. Must be able to get into heads of the characters.
6. Find the right director for your play.
7. A scene must have a purpose.
8. Festivals are becoming pipelines (e.g. Playpen in Philadelphia—Source Festival and Capital Fringe in Washington D.C.)
9. Find a mentor.
10. Develop a relationship with a theatre. Playwright should know theatre’s taste.

Pronounced exactly as it’s spelled. Yiddish: to gush, to swell. Here is where you will find tidbits about Forum members and Associate members. Good things that have happened to our colleagues inside and outside the Playwrights Forum neighborhood. Send all kvelling direct to the Playwrights Forum at .

Nicky Burton’s (Forum 2) full-length play, Swimming Up the Sun, was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2015 Source Theater Festival.

Bennington College has selected Sidra Rausch’s (Forum 2) play, How I Became a Bennington Girl to present for their reunion 2016.

James Beller’s (Forum 1) play Tying the Knot received a reading at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival’s Play Development Workshops in March.

Graziella Jackson’s (Forum 1) 10-minute play, Palm, was accepted into the 2015 Source Festival.

Past Forum 2 member Allyson Currin’s play, a commission from Musica Aperta, will tour nationally this spring (Boston, DC, Chicago, San Antonio) – The Interior Castle.

The world premiere of Richard Espey’s play The Revelation of Bobby Pritchard was presented by Iron Crow Theatre at Baltimore Theatre Project.

Girl with Two Belly Buttons by Forum 1’s Jeryl Parade, has been accepted for production at the 10th Annual Capital Fringe Festival.

Forum 1’s Bill Costanza had his newest play, Logan Square, selected by the Baltimore Playwrights Festival for a public reading in March.

Ex-Forum member Elizabeth Milam is producing and directing her new musical Catch A Dream at the Kaufman Theatre in Alexandria in September.

Zelda at the Oasis, by former Forum 2 member Pat Lin, has been published by Samuel French.

Occasional Forum 1 member Robin Cuddy has been accepted into the MFA Film-making program at Maryland Institute College of Art.

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