Newsletter: August 2015


25.4    August 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 Fall Session is to return to three 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 September 14th .   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 three groups of 8-10 members, in 6 bi-weekly meetings.  Our faculty includes, for the Fall, Ernie Joselovitz and Allison Pruitt.

    Tuesdays, Cleveland Park Library, DC.  6:30-9 p.m. September 29th to December 8th .  Joselovitz.
  *Wednesdays.  St. Mary’s Armenian Church.  7:00-9:30 p.m. September 30th to December 16th .  Pruitt.
    Thursdays.  Lawton Community Recreation Center.  6:30-9 p.m. September 24th to December 3rd . Joselovitz.
    One-on-One E-Mail Option.  Joselovitz.
*skipping day-before-Thanksgiving

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 September 14th.   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 Summer 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:
Name _________________________________________________
E-mail Address ______________________________________________________________________
*Make check to Playwrights Forum.  Mail to: Playwrights Forum, PO Box 5322, Rockville, MD 20848

Playwrights Forum


Panel & Discussion
Karen Zacarias, whose play Destiny of Desire  premiers this Fall at Arena Stage
Caleen Sinette Jennings, whose play Queens Girl in the World premiers this Fall at Theatre J
Lloyd Rose, whose adaptation of Alice in Wonderland premiers this Fall at Synetic Theatre
Nick Olcott, award-winning actor, director and playwright
Moderated by Paula Stone

Is there some method to the madness?  Four of your colleagues – with experience and success – discuss their journeys from first draft to opening night.  How do you start? – when do you know your script is finished?  How do you know what to cut and what to add, what to hold onto and what to change, what works and what doesn’t? 

Followed by a Q & A, and an opportunity to meet one-on-one
Refreshments will be served

7:30 – 9:30 p.m.  Monday.  October 5, 2015.
St. John’s Episcopal Church/Parish Hall
(6701 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase 20815)
(Rear entrance)
Funded by the Barbara Gross Memorial Fund


James Beller Jr’s play, Tying the Knot, developed at Playwrights Forum, is to be produced as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival.  Fells Point Corner Theatre.  August 14-23.  Further info: .

Public Readings as part of Women’s Voices Theatre Festival:

Hkeelee (Talk to Me). Written and performed by Leila Buck
Monday, October 5 at 8:00 P.M.
A probing portrait of a cosmopolitan Lebanese matriarch as remembered by her Lebanese-American granddaughter who attempts to piece together her beloved Teta’s story

Run Home. Written by Jennifer L. Nelson
Commissioned by Ford’s Theatre
Monday, October 12 at 7:30 P.M.
The year is 1862 and Obadiah and Lilah are like siblings—Lilah as the daughter of a farmer, and Obediah as his slave. But the two are thrown a curveball when they learn the secrets of their family histories.

The Place We Built. Written by Sarah Gancher. Directed by Eleanor Holdridge
Monday, October 19 at 7:30 P.M.
In a deserted neighborhood in post-communist Budapest, young bohemians squat in an abandoned building and build a bar.

FREE.  Presented by Mosaic Theatre at
The National Museum of Women in the Arts
Tix and info:


August 5    Round table discussion
August 19    Round table discussion
September 2    Round table discussion
September 16    Round table discussion
September 30    Round table discussion
October 14    Round table discussion
October 28    Round table discussion
*All Forum 2 meetings are scheduled for 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Armenian Church.

September 21    Belva Lockwood by Mary Lee McIntyre.  Directed by Mary Suib.  7 p.m.  Monday.  Lawton Community Recreation Center.

October 19    Bertram and Helen by Elizabeth Jordan.  Directed by Catherine O’Connor.  7 p.m.  Monday.  St. Mary’s Armenian Church.

October 26    Arrowfield by Jane Ross.  Directed by Brian Mac Ian.  7 p.m.  Monday.  Lawton Community Recreation Center.

August 31    Paris By Way Of Lebanon by Lucia Seyranyan.  Directed by Brian Mac Ian.  7 p.m.  Monday.  St. John’s Episcopal Church

September 28    The Chadwick Story by Barry Weinberg.  Directed by Scott Sedar.  7 p.m.  Monday.  Iona Senior Services Center.

November 9    Lucas, Are You Dead? By Trish Rudder.  Directed by Sheilah Crossley-Cox.  7 p.m.  Monday.  St. Mary’s Armenian Church.

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   


From Graziella Jackson

The One Minute Play Festival (1MPF) came to D.C. for the first time last summer (July 2014). Picture it: Roughly one hundred plays, ten directors, and ninety actors from all walks of life filling the stairwells, halls, and stages of Round House Theatre in Bethesda. It was a theatrical experience filled with inventiveness and energy—with a focus on confronting questions of identity, relationships, meaning, and activism. The festival runs on jet fuel and collaboration. It is swift, rich, fun, and masterfully led by 1MPF artistic director Dominic D’Andrea, a Maryland native who now lives in New York. D’Andrea travels year-round presenting the festival in cities across the United States—this year as far as Honolulu and Anchorage. I met him last year as a 1MPF actor and have been an advocate for the festival and his work. When he invited me to participate as a playwright this year, I accepted immediately. My one-minute play, Placement, was included in the festival, which returned to Round House, and I also performed again this year. If perhaps you are wondering, “What is a one-minute play?” I’ll offer this from D’Andrea: A one-minute play is a highly theatrical singular moment, which lasts one minute or less. The 1MPF is a celebration of roughly 100 such minutes, each of which is like a star—unique, luminous, and exciting. It’s been one of my favorite creative experiences thus far.

From Marilyn Millstone….

Like several other Playwrights Forum members, I was fortunate to have a play (in my case, two plays) selected for the second annual D.C. One Minute Play Festival, generously hosted by Bethesda’s Round House Theatre.  Founded by Dominic D’Andrea, the One Minute Play Festival is a nationwide program. (see ). Individual festivals are held in various cities throughout the year; each one uses Dominic’s playwriting model –which is that invited playwrights submit two different one-minute plays on issues relevant to the community. Dominic then chooses which plays are to be produced and groups the plays according to theme. These thematic groups – -called “clumps” – -are then assigned to different directors, who create from these disparate plays a cohesive unit that is ultimately presented onstage as a single set.

My two plays appeared in two different sets – -one directed by Natalia Nagy, the other by Joshua Morgan. Both directors did an astounding job of melding ten disparate plays into one stylish set. I attended a rehearsal of Natalia’s set and was struck by the dedication and mutual respect that filled the room. I was warmly welcomed by the group and felt deeply heard when asked to give notes.  We had a packed house for opening night on July 28.  It was a high-octane evening of comedic and dramatic theater, featuring an extremely diverse cast in terms of age, experience and ethnicity, and it made me realize yet again how lucky we are to be playwrights.

From Martha King DeSilva

I have always been a writer who enjoys a challenge.  Writing a one-minute play for DC’s Second Annual One Minute Play Festival was just such a challenge. 
The rules were simple, but very clear:  Write a play that takes no longer 60 seconds to perform.  The only “set” pieces available to us would be four chairs.  We would not have light or sound cues.   And we were encouraged to mine the local political and social landscape for inspiration. 

If you ever want an exercise in writing economically, try writing a scene that takes a minute.  The festival organizer (Dominic D’Andrea) was adamant about that restriction.  If your work took 61 seconds, it was TOO LONG.   I ran the stopwatch on my iPhone as I read my scenes aloud.  I ruthlessly began excising unnecessary words (and there were a lot of them!)  In the end, I had about five scenes to choose from and picked my two favorites to send.

This festival is not like anything I’ve participated in before – it’s a lot like the ten minute play festival from the old Source festival days, but better.  There’s no competition involved, no throwing down of props when a play exceeds its limit.  Actors and directors (all unpaid) generously give their time, energy, talent, and hearts to ensure that your work is fully realized.  On opening night, I sat myself down and read the long list of plays that I would be enjoying and the huge number of familiar and not-so-familiar playwrights.  The plays were impressive – funny, moving, quirky, and important.  The themes ranged anywhere from Metro-frustration, to social media, to race and gender.  When I emerged from the theatre, I was pleased that I had two plays in the night’s lineup; I was also humbled by the smart and observant writing of many of my peers.

I hope I am asked back for next summer!

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 .

Karin Ringheim’s musical, developed in Forum 1, Welcome to the Hard Luck Café has been selected for the Thespis Theatre Festival in New York City and will be produced Sept 15, 19 and 20th.

Maurice Martin (formerly Forum 1) will see his play R.U.X. get a reading at The Road Theater in North Hollywood, September 28.

Chagrin Valley Little Theater’s 10 10 Festival has announced that Marilyn Millstone’s (Forum 2) short play Compos Mentis, was one of the ten chosen to be produced.  The performance dates are July 24 thru August 15.

This year’s One-Minute Play Festival, its second annual in D.C., included playlets by Forum members Joan Bellsey, Kristy Simmons, Jennie Eng, Robin Cuddy, Graziella Jackson, Marty deSilva, Paula Stone, Marilyn Millstone and Tom Stephens, along with ex-Forum members and Forum friends Catherine O’Connor, Catherine Akerley, Bob Bartlett, Bari Biern, Renee Calarco, Rich Espey, D. W. Gregory, Nicole Jost, Allyson Currin, and Alexandra Petri.

Associate member John Morogiello saw his play The Consul, the Tramp and America’s Sweetheart win the Janet & Maxwell Salter Playwright Award.  His playEngaging Shaw was produced by the Stratford Players (CA), Civilizing Lusby by the Columbia Festival of the Arts (MD), and his Comedy of Venice by the Single Carrot Theatre in Baltimore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *