A post-crypt to Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead will be happening on Sunday 11/6/11 when in my first official act as a PDC @Plays & Players Playwright-in-Residence I will use my 1917 original Fuld Ouija Board to try and contact one of the ghosts believed to be haunting the historic, century-old Plays & Players Theatre on 17th Street and Delancey Place in Philadelphia, PA.
I am told that many of the bar staff who work on the 3rd floor in the private Quig’s Pub have spotted the ghost of deceased longtime bartender Leon passing through the room on occasion. Many actors over the years have often encountered the ghost of a little boy standing on the main stage, and others insist that the ghost of famed Broadway actress and Plays & Players’ first president Maud Skinner haunts one of the dressing rooms. We shall see…
The shenanigans start on November 6 at 6:30pm at Plays & Players’ 3rd floor Skinner Studio & Quig’s Pub (RSVP required, see below) as they welcome playwrights Jeremy Gable, Brian Grace-Duff and myself as the three 2011-12 resident playwrights and bid goodbye to the three 2010-11 residents Joy Cutler, Greg Romero and Quinn Eli. There will be a meet-and-greet happy hour from 6:30pm-7pm with a toast to the outgoing residents, brief presentations from the new playwrights (this is where the Ouija board comes in) from 7-7:30pm, and a pizza party celebration from 7:30pm-8pm.
The competitive residency at Plays & Players aims to provide artistic development for Philadelphia’s professional playwrights. The playwrights utilize the Plays & Players Theater to undertake personal explorations of their work, ranging from traditional table reads to finding a quiet space to write and draw to listening to the dreams of visitors. All activities are playwright driven. So…
Who knows what this year will bring? Find out with us. RSVP REQUIRED. Please email Plays & Players Artistic Director Daniel Student at email@example.com.
Fresh on the heels of a highly successful Philly Fringe show I am delighted, surprised, and thrilled to have been named one of Philadelphia’s three 2011-12 PDC@Plays & Players Playwrights-in-Residence.
The Philadelphia Dramatists Center (PDC) is a membership community of playwrights, collaborating artists and audience members dedicated to creating and nurturing new work. PDC develops resources, stimulates creative partnerships and participates in the ongoing national dialogue about how and why theater is created.
The historic Plays & Players Theatre turns 100 this year. It began in 1911 as a private social club, similar to the Players Club in Manhattan, devoted to expanding and developing new theater experiences for and by its wealthy membership. The first President, actress Maud Skinner, was the wife of the famed American actor Otis Skinner. The Plays & Players Theatre building on 17th and Delancey, then called the “Little Theatre of Philadelphia,” first opened its shows to the public in 1913 with a mission to produce “American plays of ideas.” And they meant it. Plays & Players sought out and produced cutting edge work by America’s newest playwrights including Philadelphia premieres in 1916 and 1919 of some of the earliest plays by Eugene O’Neill (Before Breakfast) and Susan Glaspell (Suppressed Desires and Trifles), the world premiere in 1949 of Bevan & Trzcinski’s acclaimed Stalag 17 before it moved to Broadway, and an early performance by actor Kevin Bacon in 1974. Once an exclusive club, Plays & Players has grown over the years into a professional quality theatre devoted to supporting established and emerging Philadelphia artists in practicing and performing their crafts.
I know what you’re wondering: is it haunted? Finding out will be my first order of business. I am told that many of the bar staff who work on the 3rd floor in the members-only Quig’s Pub have spotted the ghost of deceased longtime bartender Leon passing through the room on occasion, then there’s the oft-spotted ghost of a little boy standing on the mainstage, and others insist the ghost of Maud Skinner haunts one of the dressing rooms. We shall see…
Here too is a terrific video tour of Plays & Players made by mysterious stranger Lance Davis last month.
WHAT: Material v. Memory, A Walk Through 11 Perishable Events
WHEN: Tuesday 9/28/10 at 6:34pm sharp (early start due to loss of sunlight; this is an outdoor event)
WHERE: UPenn’s Kelly Writers House in the Arts Cafe; 3805 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA
COST: This event is free and open to the public; no reservations required
You will be taken on a short and lovely evening walk across UPenn’s beautiful campus, stopping along the way to see site-specific performances 3-5 minutes long. I have written and will be performing “Dream Me Up a Bartender” in an old trolley car, a darkly comic monologue about fear, fathers, drinking and the meaning of nightmares. In keeping with the event’s theme all pieces will be performed one time and one time only, then they’re gone forever with the sinking sun.
Co-produced by the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House and the Philadelphia Dramatists Center, and curated by playwright and former ArtsEdge Resident Greg Romero, Material v. Memory is a guided walk through eleven perishable writing events, all designed to be experienced by a traveling audience for three to five minutes, and then to disappear forever. Projects explore questions of space, place, loss, and our infinite/intimate relationship with memory. Also featuring MIKE AGRESTA, BRIGHT LIGHT THEATRE COMPANY, PAULA DIEHL, NICOLE GARMAN, BRIAN GRACE-DUFF and WALLY ZIALCITA, CLIFFORD HALL, SHANE HANSON and ALICIA RODRIGUEZ, GREG ROMERO, and MICHELLE TARANSKY.