Archives for posts with tag: Theater

door diamond window

Waiting for Chekov
by MK Sturdevant

 *TRIGORIN: Anyone could walk in here. (helps her up).

It isn’t closed exactly, if through the diamond window the light can shoot through most afternoons. What to do. There is nothing to do. Standing up might be something. Looking through the diamond not at it, something more. The prairies are coming back in some places. I could tell my mom, my sister, but no one can come. I seem content here, in the light, playing off the wall in this tiny foyer. I seem content in it, in life, housed in a life, we seem. Doors seem. They say, come in! This is where you come in! But if they can’t prevent you, if they can’t lock you out, they’re broken. A door says come it says stop. I say nothing, illuminated finally not by an answer but an impasse. I’m in a camera with a diamond pinhole. I am the subject. I am not open, exactly. This girl, glowing, in here, me, herself, is not as tall as the door, not as closed, but I too give you all merely a window. You see the trunk of a man, maybe you think I want you. You smell the milk of me, you recoil. I was once given a man made of flesh and keys. I stayed shut. Is there a view of the lake? It’s too hot. None of you make any sense! I know it’s snowing! A vodka—and hurry.

*TREPLEV: No one’s going to come in.

I know that, child. What year is this? It’s not surrealism. This is just nothing coming nothing going. Words float. If there is no one here to hear them assembled, is there any order at all? Air! Give me air. I am not some desperate object. Air!

*Anton Chekov, The Seagull. Trns. Curt Columbus. Ivan R. Dee, Publisher. Chicago: 2005.

NOTE FROM  THE AUTHOR: The feeling of time passing so slowly while stuck inside with family members and waiting for news, just has a Russian-play feel to it. It also is increasingly unclear to me (during quarantine) whether things people say are comedy or tragedy. In this way, a door, being open and shut, an invitation and denial, and the same thing every day yet full of possibility, seemed like a perfect way to tap into some Chekov, and see if I could find some company.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MK Sturdevant’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Orion, Flyway, Newfound, Kestrel, Alluvian, the Lily Poetry Review, Tiny Seed Journal, and elsewhere. She was a finalist for the 2019 Montana Prize in Fiction, and is a reader for The Maine Review. She teaches philosophy in the Chicago area. Follow her on twitter @mksturdevant.

henry
THOUGH A LITTLE OUT OF FASHION
by Deborah Herman

Though a little out of fashion,
There is much care and valor in the morning

I think we have no great cause to desire
the approach of day.

We see the beginning of the day, but I think we shall
never see the end of it.

A friend
Under you

A good and kind gentleman.
I pray, think of our estate
as men wracked upon a sand,
that look to be washed off the next tide.

I speak to you, but a man,
as I am.

The violet smells; the element shows;
all his senses have human conditions.

Laid by, in his nakedness he appears but a man;
his affections are higher mounted,
when they stoop, they stoop with the wing.

Therefore, his fears relish in reason.

He, by showing it, should dishearten.

He may show outward courage;
but I believe, as cold a night as he could wish.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:. I have chosen for my Half New Year Poetry submission page 72 [for July 2nd, Half New Year] of Henry V. I have taken the dialogue between men out of context — they are speaking of rumours they have heard about what kind of man the king may be, without knowing he is present. I have instead turned the prose into a love poem, rather than a dialogue that takes place on the eve of war. The play as a whole is about sexual conquest — Henry must “woo” Catherine of France before forcefully taking over the country to make his leadership (and his offspring) legitimate. The play is also rife with “homosocial” male companionship: the “band of brothers” speech, and even the Harfleur speech, when Henry threatens that his army will kill all the babies and rape all of the girls of the city. So I have taken liberties with page 72 of the play and have tried to make it into something beautiful (and sexually ambiguous).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Herman is an emerging poet with previous publications in Existere, Rhythm, Transverse, and Vallum. Her poem, “Endurance,” will be published in the upcoming water-themed issue of the Motif Anthology (Vol. 4).

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Peter and Alice, a 2013 play by John Logan, is based on the meeting of 80-year-old Alice Liddell Hargreaves and Peter Llewelyn Davies, then in his thirties, in a London bookshop in 1932, at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition. The London production, directed by Michael Grandage, starred Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw. The play is based on an encounter between the original Alice in Wonderland and the original Peter Pan. Find Peter and Alice by John Logan at Barnes & Noble. Watch a trailer for play at youtube.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Logan is a playwright, screenwriter, and film producer. His first play, Never the Sinner, tells the story of the infamous Leopold and Loeb case. His play Red, about artist Mark Rothko, was produced on Broadway in 2010, where it received six Tony Awards. Logan received an Academy Award nomination for co-writing Gladiator, the Best Picture-winner in 2000, and earned another nomination for writing The Aviator (2004). Other notable films include Star Trek: Nemesis, The Time Machine, The Last Samurai, and the Tim Burton-directed musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, for which he received a Golden Globe Award. Logan’s recent feature films include Rango, the film adaptation of Shakespeare‘s Coriolanus, the film adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and Skyfall. In 2014, his original series Penny Dreadful premiered on Showtime.

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SUBWAY TO THE FUTURE (Excerpt)

by Jesús Salvador Treviño

I held the copper subway token up close and examined it. The outer part of the circular slug had a complex crisscross pattern imprinted on it and in its center there was an aluminum plug…The token read Good for One Fare on one side, and on the other side, New York City Transit Authority. As I held the token, I realized just how much it meant to me. When I had first pulled it out of Mrs. Romero’s sinkhole on that Saturday morning so long ago, along with the autographed picture of Carmen Miranda and a pair of sunglasses, it had, in an instant, crystallized my decision to leave Arroyo Grande. I had dreamed of New York and an acting career for years, but always felt it was a hopeless goal, a silly dream. But the moment I picked the token out of the sinkhole, my life changed. Suddenly, New York didn’t seem so far away. It was as if the token was urging me on, saying, “Yes, Julia, you can become that actress. Just go to New York! Look, here’s your first subway ride!” 
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“Subway to the Future” appears in Jesús Salvador Treviño’s short story collection The Skyscraper that Flew and Other Stories, available at Amazon.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jesús Salvador Treviño  is an American television director of Mexican descent. He has directed episodes of the television series Resurrection Blvd., Babylon 5, Crusade, Bones, Star Trek: Voyager, seaQuest DSV, Crossing Jordan, Third WatchStar Trek: Deep Space Nine, Criminal Minds, Prison Break, The O.C., ER, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Dawson’s Creek, Chicago Hope, and NYPD Blue. He is the recipient of the prestigious Directors Guild Award and two Alma Awards for Outstanding Director of a Prime Time Television. As a writer, his work includes the short story collections The Fabulous Sinkhole and Other Stories and The Skyscraper That Flew. In a recent interview, he said, “I have devoted my life to opening up opportunities for Latinos in media so we can create positive, realistic portrayals of who we are.”

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BUKOWSICAL!


Book and Lyrics by Spencer Gren and Gary Stockdale 


Music by Gary Stockdale

A completely irreverent, wacko, hilarious, tuneful, and, above all, raunchy musical. 

BUKOWSICAL started life as a 50-minute one-act in Los Angeles, was revised and expanded, and went on to the New York Fringe Festival, where it won the award for Outstanding Musical, and was later produced by New Line in St. Louis. The musical traces Bukowski‘s life from obscurity to international fame.

LA Weekly called Bukowsical! “riotously funny.” The Los Angeles Times called it “an uproarious romp.” Backstage said, “The production skims along, each number wrapping appalling bad taste in a perky, upbeat melody that makes dipsomania a lighthearted romp. . . It’s terrific fun and so wrong in all the right ways.”

Original cast recording of Bukowsical! available for $17.98 at kritzerland.com.

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Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

ANTON CHEKHOV

Photo: Mrdorkesq, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Congratulations to Eddie Woods — a poet and contributing editor for several Silver Birch Press anthologies — on the publication of his memoir Tennessee Williams in Bangkok.

BOOK DESCRIPTION FROM AMAZON: A playwright, a journalist, and a stunningly beautiful drag-queen prostitute. In this fascinating memoir, Eddie Woods brings all three together. And along the way graces us with countless insights into the heart and mind of one of America’s greatest dramatists. Even while paying homage to his beloved Kim, the most unique of his many lovers. As well as regaling us with numerous other tales of his more than two years in the City of Angels. Wherever he is, Tennessee Williams is smiling at this book. Now you can smile with him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eddie Woods (born 1940 in New York City) is a well-traveled poet and prose writer who variously worked as a short-order cook, computer programmer, encyclopedia salesman, restaurant manager, and journalist. In the early 1960s he did a four-year stint in the US Air Force, and since 1978 has mainly resided in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where together with Jane Harvey he launched Ins & Outs magazine and founded Ins & Outs Press. Of all the many writers and artists he has known, Tennessee Williams remains the most memorable.

Find Tennessee Williams in Bangkok at Amazon.com.

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According to Oscar Wilde

 “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Otherwise they’ll kill you.”

Wilde kept his Victorian contemporaries laughing with his delightful play The Importance of Being Earnest. But in the midst of the hilarity, Wilde slipped in social commentary about everything from theft and domestic service to alcohol consumption and marriage.

Some of my favorite lines revolve around the era’s most popular form of entertainment — the three-volume novel. Here is some of the play’s comical and cutting dialogue:

CECELY: I believe that memory is responsible for nearly all the three-volume novels…

MISS PRISM: Do not speak slightingly of the three-volume novel, Cecily. I wrote one myself in earlier days.

CECILY: Did you really, Miss Prism? How wonderfully clever you are! I hope it did not end happily. I don’t like novels that end happily. They depress me so much.

MISS PRISM: The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde debuted in London on February 14, 1895. The play is available free at Project Gutenberg.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Act One (Excerpt)
by Oscar Wilde

JACK [Nervously]:  Miss Fairfax, ever since I met you I have admired you more than any girl . . . I have ever met since . . . I met you.

GWENDOLEN:  Yes, I am quite well aware of the fact.  And I often wish that in public, at any rate, you had been more demonstrative.  For me you have always had an irresistible fascination.  Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you.  [Jack looks at her in amazement.]  We live, as I hope you know, Mr. Worthing, in an age of ideals.  The fact is constantly mentioned in the more expensive monthly magazines, and has reached the provincial pulpits, I am told; and my ideal has always been to love some one of the name of Ernest.  There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence.  The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you.

JACK:  You really love me, Gwendolen?

GWENDOLEN:  Passionately!

JACK:  Darling!  You don’t know how happy you’ve made me.

GWENDOLEN:  My own Ernest!

JACK: But you don’t really mean to say that you couldn’t love me if my name wasn’t Ernest?

GWENDOLEN:  But your name is Ernest.

JACK:  Yes, I know it is.  But supposing it was something else?  Do you mean to say you couldn’t love me then?

GWENDOLEN  [Glibly]:  Ah! that is clearly a metaphysical speculation, and like most metaphysical speculations has very little reference at all to the actual facts of real life, as we know them.

JACK: Personally, darling, to speak quite candidly, I don’t much care about the name of Ernest . . . I don’t think the name suits me at all.

GWENDOLEN:  It suits you perfectly.  It is a divine name.  It has a music of its own.  It produces vibrations.

JACK:  Well, really, Gwendolen, I must say that I think there are lots of other much nicer names.  I think Jack, for instance, a charming name.

GWENDOLEN: Jack? . . . No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed.  It does not thrill.  It produces absolutely no vibrations . . . I have known several Jacks, and they all, without exception, were more than usually plain.  Besides, Jack is a notorious domesticity for John!  And I pity any woman who is married to a man called John.  She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment’s solitude.  The only really safe name is Ernest.

JACK:  Gwendolen, I must get christened at once—I mean we must get married at once.  There is no time to be lost.

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Read this hilarious classic in its entirety at Project Gutenberg.