Category Archives: Gina Femia

Weekly Round-Up – Annie and the Fat Man

Gina FemiaIt’s the return of the weekly round-up and what a fabulous return it shall be.   Tuesday, October 6, Gina Femia brought us Annie and the Fat Man, a charming and engaging new play featuring a fabulous array of wonderful, layered characters.  Gina also packed in a amazing group of actors last night, Maki Borden, Stacey Raymond, Kyle Carter, and Erin Chung , keep your eyes peeled for anything remotely connected to these fabulous actors as there will be no regrets.

Things to know from Tuesday!

  1. We welcomed back a few LRR playwrights who had been inactive in previous cycles, Tim Errickson and Mila Golubov we missed your voices in the room, so glad to have you back! Reunited and it feels soo good. 
  2.  As a collective we feel that Kyle Carter would triumph in a one-man show where he portrays all three sisters in Chekhov‘s Three Sisters. (This will be news to Kyle)
  3. When our playwright powers combine it only takes us about two tries to notice a room has been redecorated.
  4. Gina Femia can write some killer stage directions, poetic even.
  5. No matter how small a balcony is, it’s still a balcony, and presumably outside, so we’ll take it okay, we’ll take it, even if it the only view is of the building right next door.

That’s about it, we came, we drank, we heard a great play, met some new actor types, and went off into the night dreaming of next Tuesday when Isaac Rathbone brings in a new play for us to digest.

The Monthly Wash VII

Summer was, no surprise, VERY busy and September is already off to Florida for the winter.  There has been a lot of adventuring and lot of writing since our last Wash!  Here’s a little recap of our annual summer retreat and the first entry from a new series, Playwright on the Run, featuring reports from our playwrights as they go off into the world spreading their seeds of creativity.  Our first report comes from LRR playwright and co-founder Natalie Wilson.  We, of course, as always start our wash with some fabu LRR playwright events and projects you should be checking out!


FROM LATHER RINSE REPEAT | CREATIVE SOCIAL MEDIA

What’s a hashtag? Do you need one? Can you reach out to theaters and gatekeepers via social media? Should you?

These questions and many more–ranging from the most basic to the more high level–will be discussed in depth at this fun workshop on social media and the creative artist. We’ll also focus on best practices and examples of playwrights who have built new relationships online and raised the visibility of their work.

Full line-up to be announced so check our website for event and ticket details.

October 22 , 7:30pm to 9:30pm | THE SHOP at CAP21 | $20 (includes light refreshments)


FROM JEN BROWNE | SEARCHING FOR SEBALD w/ DECONSTRUCTIVE THEATRE PROJECT

Some of you may recall that when not chillin’ with LRR Jen Browne is off working as an ensemble member with Deconstructive Theatre Project.  Their most recent venture Searching for Sebald is in process ahead of an in process showing at Gowanus Art +  Production.  More below.

Inspired by the writings of “memory’s Einstein” W.G. Sebald and the developmental theories of neuroscientist Semir Zeki, Searching for Sebald is at once a live performance, a documentary film, a road movie, and a ghost story that meanders from the thinly populated countrysides of the English North Sea coast to the densely overlapping landscapes of the human mind. The production is the second in The Deconstructive Theatre Project’s series of live cinema projects exploring relationships between live performance, neuroscience, and interactive technology.

Gowanus Art + Production presents two preview performances of Searching for Sebald

October 21 & 22, 2015. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

More about SEARCHING FOR SEBALD


SPECIAL ANNOUNCMENTS

HeadshotJen BrowneMatt BarbotGina Femia

We already know our playwrights are industrious little writing bees but here’s just a little more proof!
LRR member Amanda Keating has just been accepted into EST’s Youngblood family and joins fellow LRR member Mariah MacCarthy.

Gina Femia, Matt Barbot, and Jen Browne are all following in Jeremy Wine’s footsteps as they join Pipeline Theatre’s PlayLab Class of 2016.  Their joined by a slew of amazing playwrights and we can’t wait to see what the year brings.


PLAYWRIGHTS PICK-NIC:  A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF OUR ANNUAL SUMMER RETREAT

This summer’s retreat was a stay-cation but we still spent plenty of time out doors.  Day one we opted to leave our computers at home and with notebooks and pens in hand headed to Central Park for a literal picnic and a bunch of fun writing prompts and activities, all centered around picking.

Highlights of the weekend include: writing prompt scavenger hunt, group story telling with a frisbee, and getting a whole lot or writing done.


PLAWRIGHT ON THE RUN: IN TRANSIT | REPORT WRITTEN NATALIE WILSON

I was IN TRANSIT to work on my play IN TRANSIT!

My short play, IN TRANSIT, was chosen for the New Play Development Workshop in Montreal this August. IN TRANSIT was a play I originally wrote for the Lather Rinse Repeat short works program in May 2014: NOW BOARDING J/K! #FML #DELAYED. It’s wonderful that this little piece born out of a LRR collaboration is having a life beyond!

This New Play Development Workshop was the first time I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Montreal, or of getting to travel somewhere to work on one of my plays. I wove it in to a grand vacation, riding my motorcycle up to Montreal through Vermont (route 100 is the perfect motorcycle road), then continuing on from Montreal — my husband having joined me at the end of the festival — to travel west through Ontario, down through Michigan, and back east across Ohio, Pennsylvania, and home. 2,800 miles all told! It was incredible.

But back to the play… The workshop was hosted by ATHE, the Association for Theater in Higher Education. Who knew such an amazing organization existed? An association for the college professors who shape, encourage, and inspire upcoming young theater artists. I met so many lovely, passionate people there, who are in it not for the glory but for the love of the art and passing that on. I love that the association places such a huge priority on the development of new works as part of their annual conference — not only do they do the new play workshop, they also have an award for a full length play, which receives a prize and a rehearsed reading at the conference as well.

For the workshop, I was teamed up with a director, dramaturg, scenographer, and two wonderful actresses to work on my piece. The organizer of the workshop, Judith Royer, handpicked the teams months in advance, doing her best to match personalities and working styles. She nailed it for me. I received great input on the script from the director and dramaturg a couple of months in advance, allowing me time to do rewrites before arriving in Montreal. Then once in Montreal, adding the input of the actors and seeing how things worked, I was able to further shape the piece over the 4 days before the final performance. It is a rare opportunity, I think, to get to have that kind of input and time to work on a short play. While a short play will never make a playwright famous, there are a lot of great opportunities to participate in festivals and get your name out there, so having a well-crafted short play will be (I hope!) a great asset.

The final performance of the workshop included feedback from Gary Garrison (Executive Director of Creative Affairs at the Dramatists Guild) and David Crespy (playwright and professor of playwriting at the University of Missouri). Their feedback on IN TRANSIT was very positive and constructive, so I now have a few more tweaks to put in the play before I start sending it out hither and yon to more festivals. I hope this little play will get to travel to even more cities than New York and Montreal.

 

 

Monthly Wash Issue V

BEHOLD! It’s Issue V of the Monthly Wash.  It’s been awhile we know but it certainly has been worth the wait! We’ve got some super #newplays on the horizon many of which will be presented in dark air conditioned theaters so get your tickets and get your chill on with some icy cool theatre.

FROM GINA FEMIA | THE VIOLET SISTERS and SUPER, OR, HOW CLARK GRAVES LEARNED TO FLY

Image credit: Freddy Padilla

Image credit: Freddy Padilla

Watch as Gina Femia doubles down on this month’s wash.  She’s got two plays on the starting block all just within a few days of each other!

Part of New York Madness’ Inaugural MadLab, first up, The Violet Sisters.  Following Pam who comes home to attend her father’s funeral in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, only to be greeted by an angry sister, a dilapidated house and a past she can’t escape.

If you missed this awesome play at LRR’s full length festival Soap Gets in Your Eyes, here’s your chance for redemption.  The MadLab production is directed by Michele Travis and stars Romy Nordlinger and Stacey Raymond.

Rolling out next is March Forth Productions presentation of Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly.  The play examines the shrinking of the middle class as seen through the eyes of a typical American Family –The Graves. Intercut with scenes from Clark’s comic book world, this play explores the increasing hunger crisis as it spreads across America, asking the questions How do we learn to Fly?  And what does it really mean to be Super?the increasing hunger crisis as it spreads across America, asking the questions How do we learn to Fly? and What does it really mean to be Super?Dot cannot stop picking her skin, Father Samuel has gotten mean and Clark –well, Clark is trying to be everyone’s hero, including his new girlfriend, Laney.

Both of these events are FREE! FREE! FREE! Details for both are below!

The Violet Sisters | Thursday, July 2 at 8:00 pm | IRT Theater (154 Christopher Street) | RESERVE HERE

Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly | July 6th at 7:30 pm | Under St. Mark’s (94 St. Mark’s Place) |No reservation needed just show up!


FROM NATALIE WILSON | IN TRANSIT

Montréal Skyline

Happy Canada Day! From July 29th – August 2nd Natalie Wilson’s short play IN TRANSIT — originally developed for LRR’s short forms series “Now Boarding J/K! #fml #delayed” — will be featured in the New Play Development Showcase of New Plays in Montreal, Canada this summer! The workshop is part of the annual ATHE (Association for Theater In Higher Education) conference. Natalie will be working with an esteemed international team of collaborators, including director Andrea Grapko, dramaturg Julia Listengarten, scenographer Tali Ariav, and actors Leah Roy and Cindy Gendrich.

You can’t get tickets to this one folks but you can wish Natalie luck on her journey north of the border!


OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

There’s only a few more days left for f*ckfest at The Brick curated by our own Mariah MacCarthy | Tim Erickson has two shows running The Firebird at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and Cymbeline | Satelite member Lauren Ferebee is doing some Scrappy Shakespeare down in Spartanburg, SC | Matt Barbot’s play BOLDLY GO is part of The Navigators Theater Company’s Lift-Off Series

That’s it for now, more to come in August, there’s always more to come!

lather rinse repeat_logo_timd

#Selfie 4.1 Meet Our New Members! Gina Femia (w/ Questions from Amanda Keating)

It’s the return of the #Selfie!  We are so excited to bring you three new #selfie interviews featuring our three new members!  First up we’ve got Amanda Keating interviewing Gina Femia.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for when Gina turns the tables on Amanda and an interview with Matt Barbot by the illustrious Lauren Ferebee.

Aaanndd here we go!

Amanda Keating: What’s your favorite place to write?

Gina Femia: I’m partial to writing anywhere I can be curled up, my laptop or notebook balanced on my knees.  Preferably wearing sweats with an oversized sweater that covers a graphic tee.  This usually means writing on my couch or on my bed, but I like writing on the subway, too.

AK: Do you write on a computer? Pen to paper? On a typewriter? In the air?

GF: On my laptop, work computer or pen to paper – anything that gets the words out!  I’ve never tried typewriters, they look frustrating.  In the air sounds awesome but I think I’d have a hard time sharing it with actors.

Writing on my laptop is usually the best.  I close my eyes and just write.  It feels like a different kind of instrument, or like an extension of my hands.  I feel the most Me when I’m doing that.

AK: What time of day do you like to write? Why?

GF: I used to only like writing at night but now I prefer writing when there’s light outside.  I think I’m part plant and the sun energizes my brain, lights it on fire like kindle.  There’s more possibility in the beginning of the day, or even at the beginning of the afternoon.  I’m freer, I can practically smell the words in the air, practically see them darting around like butterflies that I can’t wait to capture in my hands.

But I’ll write whenever I can.

AK: Do you share your work with anyone while you’re writing it? Or do you prefer to wait til it’s done? If the former, who do you show it to?

GF: It depends on the piece.  Usually I want to get a draft out as soon as possible and will force myself to write it fast and then I’ll want to hear it just as fast, if not faster.  I’ll show it to whoever will listen, whoever will read it out loud with me.  My boyfriend is especially supportive and has read many-a-play out loud with me, from multiple characters to 2 sisters in a kitchen.  He says he’s not an actor but he does a great job impersonating one!

AK: What’s the first story (not necessarily in play form) you ever wrote?

GF: I wrote an instant classic when I was in Kindergarten called “The Very Blind Whale”.  I still have the original manuscript, it begins “One day a whale looked up at the sun. ‘Ahh, I am now blinded!’ screamed the whale.”  The rest you can buy at your local indie bookshop, I’m sure.

AK: What are some things that inform/inspire your writing? Music? Images? Other writing? The universe?

GF: Brooklyn and magic inspire and inform my writing the most.  I can’t escape Brooklyn – it’s where I grew up and where I continue to live.  All of my stories started here and they continue to bloom here.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written plays that don’t take place in Brooklyn, but the characters are still very much from Brooklyn in some way.  Not literally but still, in some way.

Somebody once challenged me to define magic, saying that when they thought of it, they thought of magic as tricks.  And I think that’s what people tend to think of when they hear the word magic, they think of clowns at kid’s birthday parties, folding balloons into shapes and pulling cards out their asses, a reason for everything, a sly hand movement here and a distraction there.  But my definition of magic is simply this: When something that shouldn’t happen, happens.  Which sounds a lot like the definition of a miracle.  But I never really saw a difference between the two.

AK: Fill in the blank: On Saturday mornings, you can find me _______ .

GF: Making breakfast, making lists, making plans!  And drinking coffee.  Copious amounts of coffee, always.

gina Thank you Gina and Amanda!!