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TICKETS ARE ON SALE FOR AMERICAN HOME

I am so happy to announce that tickets are officially on sale for the workshop production of my play AMERICAN HOME!

Florence Rainwater is a ninety-year-old widow in Ann Arbor, Michigan who just wants to be in her home with her memories until her last day. 

Mike and Dana Washington are a thirty-something couple who thought they would be in their dream home in the hills of Los Angeles forever, or at least until they could trade-up. 

Prosperity Preacher Paula never imagined in her wildest dreams that her Florida mega-church would ever be threatened by foreclosure. And Robbie West, Michigan cop, just wants to help people and does not enjoy kicking them out of their homes. 

American Home is about Americans forced to renegotiate the American Dream, the extremes people go to when faced with losing everything and the resilience of the American spirit. 

Details:
AMERICAN HOME
by Stephanie Alison Walker
Directed by Meghan Beals McCarthy
Produced by Concordia University
Oct. 3-5, 10-12 @ 7:30
Oct. 6 & 13 @ 2 PM
MADISON STREET THEATRE
Oak Park, IL
click here for tickets

AMERICAN HOME AT CHICAGO DRAMATISTS ON AUGUST 26

My award-winning play about the housing crisis will be staged in a reading directed by Meghan Beals McCarthy at Chicago Dramatists in preparation for the workshop production at Concordia University this October.

I’ve been working on another draft of the play and am excited to hear it in front of an audience before diving into rehearsals. The reading is open to the public, so come on by!

When: Monday, August 26 at 8PM
Where: Chicago Dramatists
1105 W. Chicago Avenue

HEADING TO THE SOURCE FESTIVAL IN D.C.

My ten-minute play Edward Cullen Ruined My Mother’s Love Life will be premiering at The Source Festival in Washington D.C. starting this Sunday, June 9th.

EDWARD CULLEN RUINED MY MOTHER’S LOVE LIFE
By Stephanie Walker
Directed by Megan Behm
The only thing scarier to 16 year old Lily than her mother’s obsession with a fictional teenage vampire is getting her drivers license.

For tickets and info: click here
My play is part of the “Afterward” grouping of plays and appears alongside five other fantastic ten-minute plays.
Here is the complete “Afterward” line-up:

AFTERWARD
Directing Mentor: Eleanor Holdridge
A FRONTIER, AS TOLD BY THE FRONTIER, the full-length play that inspired this grouping, follows a group of children living in an abandoned amusement park, after their world has been dismantled. Each of these 10-Minute Plays looks back on what came before.

EDWARD CULLEN RUINED MY MOTHER’S LOVE LIFE
By Stephanie Walker
Directed by Megan Behm
The only thing scarier to 16 year old Lily than her mother’s obsession with a fictional teenage vampire is getting her drivers license.

THE MAN IN THE POWDER-BLUE SUIT
By Stephen Spotswood*
Directed by Renana Fox
A young woman remembers the moment her fractured family ran headlong into a man hoping to save them from the end of the world.

50 GUNS
by Alex Broun
Directed by Ali Miller
50 lives. 50 stories. And one red gun.

MINUS YOU
By Jennifer Barclay
Directed by Megan Behm
Lennox can’t find his wife Gracie in the neighboring burial plot, so he tries to reach her through the crossed wires of the afterlife.

LOST IN THOUGHT
By Christopher Lockheardt
Directed by Ali Miller
A man imagines the past, present and future of a former lover.

RIOT GRRRL REUNION
By Darin J. Dunston
Directed by Renana Fox
When a team of unruly roller derby girls arrive for the First Annual Riot Grrrl Rally, they discover a boys basketball game in progress;and an unexpected opponent.

WRITE: A DOE BAY WRITER’S WORKSHOP

Writer Logo

In 2009, following the loss of our house, we landed (thanks to the kindness of two amazing strangers) on a small and beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest– San Juan Island. We lived there as caretakers. Our son was conceived and born there. We recharged our souls there. Our lives today would not be the same without our short, but incredible time in the San Juan Islands.
We have been longing for a trip back up there to visit friends and show our son where he was born.
This is why I am so incredibly excited to be a part of a new writer’s workshop taking place in the San Juan Islands…
The weekend will be facilitated by my friend and the fabulous writer, Jennifer Beck Furber (Baby by the Sea) who will also be leading a poetry workshop.
I’m so honored to be a part of this and cannot wait for an entire weekend of writing, storytelling and soaking in Doe Bay’s natural hot springs.
It’s going to be an intimate group (limited at 25.) Tickets go on sale here on January 25.
More information:
write: a doe bay writer’s workshop
matthew logelin
daniel blue
jesse michener
doe bay resort

AN AVERAGE MAN IN LOUISVILLE

The Tens

My ten-minute play An Average Man is a finalist for the Heideman (happy dance) and will be performed at Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of their Apprentice/Interns production THE TENS – January 15 – 18, 2013.

Here is some information about the plays and playwrights:

An Average Man
by Stephanie Alison Walker
directed by Michael Whatley
On a Starbucks run for his co-workers, an average man is presented with the opportunity to be a hero. Will he leave the task to someone else as always, or confront his fear and save the day? It all happens in a moment—and this moment is his.
Stephanie Alison Walker is a published playwright and author. Her latest full-length play, American Home, was the winner of the 2011 American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink competition. Her memoir, Love in the Time of Foreclosure, based on her blog of the same name, is published as an eBook by Outpost19 and is available at major online booksellers.

Boy Talk
by Erik Gernand
directed by Michael Legg
The day before heading off to college, two best friends spend a day at the beach. One wants to joke around, but the other has serious questions about his future.
Erik Gernand’s short films have been screened at more than 100 film festivals around the world, including SXSW, Cinequest and Outfest, and have been broadcast on IFC, PBS and MTV Networks. His full-length play The Beautiful Darkhas been developed at theatres including The Barrow Group (New York) and Chicago Dramatists. Gernand’s is a lecturer in Film Production at Northwestern University.

Estate Planning
by Emily Feldman
directed by Kate Eminger
A young couple find themselves stalled at the intersection of love and realty. Their broker warns them—and their new neighbor helps to confirm—that the pursuit of happiness might lead them down a winding road.
Emily Feldman is a playwright living in New York. She has been a Core Apprentice at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, an associate artist at The Atlantic Center for the Arts and a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference. Her plays have been developed and produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, in the Playwrights Horizons Resident Workshop and by PTP/NYC. Feldman is a graduate of Middlebury College.

Exburb
by Jason Gray Platt
directed by Abigail Bailey Maupin
In The-Middle-Of-Nowhere that used to be Somewhere, Ben is throwing a house party. But when he discovers an uninvited guest in the kitchen, the night quickly becomes less about the party and more about the house.
Jason Gray Platt’s work has been produced and developed around the country by American Repertory Theater, Round House Theater, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, P73, Red Bull Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Clubbed Thumb and the Source Festival, among others. He was the runner-up for the 2007 Princess Grace Award in playwriting and a finalist for the 2011 O’Neill Conference. He holds a B.A. from Vassar and an M.F.A. from Columbia.

Halfway
by Emily Schwend
directed by Rachel Karp
When her sister visits her at a halfway house in East Texas, Kat is desperate to impress and win Melissa’s forgiveness and love. Eager to reclaim her place in the family, Kat soon discovers that redemption might be more difficult and complicated than she thought.
Emily Schwend was born in Texas and raised all over the world. Plays include South of Settling (Steppenwolf’s 2012 Next Up Rep), Carthage (2009 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference), Splinters (2011 ATCA/Steinberg prize finalist) and Route One Off. Her plays are frequently produced in Christine Jones’ Theatre for One booth. She is an alumna of the playwriting programs at Juilliard and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Lucid
by Naomi Shafer
directed by Jeffrey S. Rodgers
Tessa and Ben check into a motel room with filled with too many appliances. The relentless electrical hum nearly drowns out their attempts to take care of each other, as they wait for difficult news.
Naomi Shafer is a dramaturgy/literary management intern at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Her plays have been developed at as part of the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival and by PTP/NYC. Shafer is a recent graduate of Middlebury College.

One in Two
by Carmen M. Herlihy
directed by Michael Legg
Cancer sucks. But a fundraising party to fight cancer shouldn’t.
Carmen M. Herlihy is primarily an actor living in New York, and One in Two is her second ten-minute play. The first,Coffee Break, was a finalist for the Heideman Award, and was produced by the City Theatre Summer Shorts Festival (Miami, Fla.). She hopes to start a full-length play one day.

Unpleasantries
by Sarah Grace Welbourn and Annabeth Bondor-Stone
directed by Amy Attaway
Unpleasantries is a play about small talk’s soul-numbing effect on the human spirit. It takes place in an elevator. As you might imagine.
Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Sarah Grace Welbourn met at Northwestern University. Between them, they have written and performed at Chicago Dramatists, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The Magnet, The PIT and other venues in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Every play Bondor-Stone and Welbourn have written together has received a professional production. Unpleasantries is their only play.
For more information about the production (including cast and production team) click here.

THE ART OF DISAPPEARING – A READING OF A NEW PLAY IN CHICAGO

I’m one happy playwright. Tomorrow is the Chicago Dramatists reading of my full-length play, THE ART OF DISAPPEARING.

I began writing this play just over 9 years ago. 9 years! And tomorrow it is getting a wonderful reading by an extraordinary cast of actors at the place where I took my first playwriting class taught by Lisa Dillman.

This play has had readings and was a finalist for the 2008 Princess Grace Award for Playwriting. But I have never felt as confident about it as I do today. I’ve put so much into it and had so many supportive voices along the way.

From my playwriting class with David Scott Milton in grad school at USC (where I began writing it) to Lee Wochner’s Workshop in Silver Lake where I began to rewrite it, and the wonderful organizations (Moving Arts, The Blank, Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights) actors and directors who have given their time to it along the way.

Tomorrow’s reading is being directed by Ann Filmer. I’m loving working with her on the play. We are having such fun… which is saying something considering the heavy subject matter.

This cast is so good that in rehearsal the other night, one of the actors exclaimed, “When do we mount this?!”

I responded, “That’s what I want to know.”

I truly believe that this play is ready for a production. And I’d be one happy and lucky playwright if it were with this director and this cast.

I’m so grateful to Chicago Dramatists – specifically David Barr and Russ Tutterow – for inviting me into this process. It’s restored my faith in this work. And I needed that. Because let’s face it, after nine years of writing and rewriting and sending it out and getting rejected… well, that faith can be shaken.

But today, I’m 100% behind this play. For better or worse. And I’m visualizing its opening night. Hopefully here in Chicago. Because this is where the play is set.

Tomorrow is the reading. Where I get to hear what works, what doesn’t, where it drags, where it soars, where it confuses, where it intrigues, where it alienates and where it lands.

It’s always a nerve wrecking experience. But this time I have NINE years of work behind me. I’m ready. And I’m supported by a brilliant director and cast.

Me = Happy playwright

If you’re interested in attending the reading… here is the info:

“The Art of Disappearing”

by Stephanie Alison Walker

directed by Ann Filmer.

Cast includes:
Joan Kohn
Meghan Reardon
Thomas Edson McElroy
Zach Kenney
Weston Blakesley

Synopsis:

When Melissa receives a mysterious invitation to brunch from her mother after a two-year estrangement, she returns to a home where nothing is as it seems. The devastating truth she discovers in her parents’ house threatens to tear all of them apart for good.

Come on out, have a listen, stay for the talk back and talk back.

$5 donation.

Saturday, March 24

2PM

Chicago Dramatists (at Chicago and Ogden)

A CAR PLAYS PLAYUH

Michael Shutt (left) and Sara Wagner in Trey Nichols' PCH, directed by Kim Glann (The Car Plays at Segerstrom Center for the Arts). Credit: Doug Gifford.

Moving Arts’ production of The Car Plays: San Diego at the La Jolla Playhouse closed on Sunday after a sold-out run and extension. This production may be over, but the promise of a future Car Plays production lives on. Right? At least in my mind it does. Anywho…

Because I love this production and just can’t stop spreading the word about it, I have yet another story to share with you. This piece is a particularly exciting and insightful article written by Actor/Director/Writer/Producer Michael Shutt for Bitter Lemons about the experience from an actor’s perspective and everything that he has learned in having to repeat a performance over and over and over again. The man has performed 375 times as part of this unique production. 375times! He kind of knows what he’s talking about.

If you want the real inside view of The Car Plays, then you should read this article. Go on. Read it. Now! Here it is:

DRIVER’S EDUCATION by Michael Shutt – via Bitter Lemons

Did you read it? Now you want to see The Car Plays, don’t you? I don’t blame you.

Well, you may not be able to see it right now. But, you can read more about it. And then send Moving Arts lots of money so that they can bring it to your favorite parking lot. Why not?

A round-up of reviews from The Car Plays: San Diego

The Cars Have Left the Lot – San Diego Reader

La Jolla Playhouse Parks the Plays in San Diego – Broadway World

The Car’s the Thing in “The Car Plays” – KPBS.ORG

‘Car Plays’ A Voyeuristic Thrill Ride at Playhouse – North County Times

Theater at the Speed of ‘Wheee!’ – UT San Diego *

“The Car Plays: San Diego” is Theater Up Close and Personal – San Diego Gay and Lesbian News

An Intimate Stage – San Diego Reader

*Winner of my favorite review headline

THE CAR PLAYS ROLL INTO SAN DIEGO

Car Plays San Diego Flyer

The Car Plays are back again!

This time in San Diego at the La Jolla Playhouse… in the parking lot, of course. The production is a co-production between Moving Arts and the La Jolla Playhouse and is part of the WOW Series at the playhouse. I’m psyched that my play “It’s Not About the Car” is a part of this production and even more psyched that I get to see it on Friday. It runs from February 23 – March 4.

The Car Plays: San Diego opens tomorrow!

Here’s the line-up:

BOULEVARD

Before We Go Home by Richard Martin Hirsch | Directed by Darin Anthony
A couple (Michael Shutt & D.J. Harner) finds the prospect of a short drive home unexpectedly daunting after circumstances lead them to make a painful decision.

Selkies by Lila Rose Kaplan | Directed by Casey Stangl
A secret is revealed when two old friends (Wendy Elizabeth Abraham and Rebecca Davis) visit the seals off the coast of California.

The Audience by Kiff Scholl | Directed by Matt Bretz
What is supposed to be a compelling night of site-specific theater, comically devolves, as the play never starts and the audience is forced to fend for themselves. With: David Youse and Ron Morehouse.

Alright by Alex Lewin | Directed by Robert Castro
After a family spat, a sullen teenager (Matthew Bohrer) decides to spend the night in his car. But his father (Eddie Yaroch) won’t let him simply stomp away anymore.

One for the Road by Michael Shutt | Directed by Matt Thompson
One last drink, one last kiss, one last choice: One For The Road. With: Thomas Hall and Kevane La’Marr Coleman

ROUTE

Reveille by EM Lewis | Directed by Sam Woodhouse
Leonard’s only son has signed up for the military. He leaves for boot camp this morning. With Will Tulin and Michael Zlotnik.

The Duo by Jessica Smith | Directed by Jason Duplissea
On the fateful day of the Comic Con costume contest, two friends (Peter James Smith and Tony DeCarlo) confront the future of their dynamic duo.

Dead Battery by Lee Wochner | Directed by Paul Stein
A bereft mother (Sara Wagner) searches for clues to her son’s death as she cleans out his car and struggles to cope with her loss.

It’s Not About the Car by Stephanie Alison Walker | Directed by Claudio Raygoza
Vic (John Polak) surprises Marla (Rhianna Basore) with a car for her birthday, but all she really wants is a divorce.

The Carpool by Jennifer Barclay| Directed by Delicia Turner-Sonnenberg
Mr. Blackwell (Charles Maze) has been doing lots of naughty, naughty downsizing around the office. The members of the carpool (Samantha Ginn and Reed Willard) are out to set him straight.

LANE

Disneyland by Paul Stein | Directed by Dana Schwartz
On their freeway-congested drive to Disneyland, Dad (Trey Nichols) pulls the car over to scold his two misbehaving kids. No Matterhorn ride and the long trip home might be the resulting possibility.

Outside, Looking In by Michael David | Directed by Sara Wagner
A lonely, middle-aged woman of privilege finds unexpected compassion on the streets of San Diego. With: Lisa Goodman and Sean Tweedale.

Skipped by David Myers | Directed by Seema Sueko
A drunken teenager (Zachary Martens) tries to dodge the cab fare.  But this cabbie (Albert Park) is onto him. And he’s not taking it anymore.

We Wait by Steve Lozier | Directed by Lisa Berger
Two loyal dogs wait in a hot car for their owners, wondering if they will ever come back… With: Wendy Waddell and Judy Bauerlein

The Love of Make-Believe by JJ Strong | Directed by Kiff Scholl
A maid-of-honor and a best man (Laura Buckles and Donald Rizzo) indulge in a post-reception tryst that leaves them both hopelessly caught between their pasts and futures.

For tickets and more information, click here.

Related articles

PUBLISHED TEN MINUTE PLAYS ONLINE

My ten-minute play "The Chocolate Affair" was produced by the Department of Drama at the University of Calgary in the virtual world of Second Life. This is what it looked like.

When my ten-minute play, The Chocolate Affair, was published online by Walter Wykes at 10-Minute-Plays.com, I had no idea I would get as many requests as I do from college and high school students around the world. Something about this play really appeals to high school and college students looking for a ten-minute play to direct for student showcases, workshops, one-act festivals and even Forensic competitions.

Side note: Before publishing The Chocolate Affair, I was not aware that the term ‘Forensic’ relates to Speech & Debate. When I received my first request for use of my play at a Forensic tournament, images of Catherine Willows from CSI flooded my brain. I was more than confused. Then I Googled it (like a good little playwright) and discovered the NFL. No, not that NFL. The National Forensic League. Duh.

Anyway…

As I was saying, The Chocolate Affair has been around the world a bit. From South Africa to Singapore to India to Australia as well as here in the United States and even in the virtual world of Second Life. Not bad. I wish I were that well traveled. But so far none of these schools has been willing to foot an international flight for the playwright. One day, right?

Well, I did get to see the production in Second Life. I had to create an avatar just to see it. And when I finally figured out how to get my avatar into the theater, I couldn’t get her to sit down. She just kept standing on theater seats. Up on the seat, down on the floor. Turn around. Do it again. It was really hysterical. What made it even more funny was my husband (who is a computer consultant) watching me attempt to control my virtual self. Though he was no help, thank you very much.

And I wasn’t the only one having problems. Though most of the other avatars were sitting down like good theater patrons some seemed to have the same problem I was having. One avatar had his back to the stage through all of the plays. And another just kept walking up and down the aisle. Forget about cell phones ringing, you had to worry about your avatar jumping up in the middle of a play. It was just moments before the plays began that I finally got my stubborn avatar to sit properly. It was a relief.

No one wants to be that avatar. Am I right? I’m right. Just ask Felicia Day. Which reminds me. Do You Want to Date My Avatar was not only brilliant and hilarious, it sticks. It’s now in my head. And will probably be there the rest of the day.

What was I talking about?

Oh right. Online publication of ten-minute plays.

Now to the point of this post…

I’m happy to report that my two-person ten-minute romantic dramedy The Big Ride is joining The Chocolate Affair on Ten-Minute-Plays.com. And it has a competitive spirit. It’s already talking smack. Claiming it will get more productions in 2012 and go to far more countries. So far The Chocolate Affair (TCA) isn’t letting The Big Ride (TBR) ruffle her feathers. She’s quite secure in her popularity. In fact she applauds TBR for his ambition and even wishes him well… which only further irritates motivates him. Still, TCA’S feathers remain unruffled.

Is this a healthy sense of self? Or is it an inflated ego? Time will only tell as these two ten-minute plays battle it out in 2012. May the best short play win.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF FORECLOSURE… THE BOOK!

LOVE IN THE TIME OF FORECLOSURE Book Cover

t’s here! My first book. Love in the Time of Foreclosure.

What’s it about? It’s about how my husband and I created our dream life in the face of losing our dream home. It’s the story of how we saved our marriage while losing everything else. It’s about how love conquers all… even foreclosure.

In 2008, my husband lost his job soon after we had completed a major renovation on our Silver Lake home. Our only back-up plan was to sell the house. We listed the house, found new jobs (at a combined 60% less than my husband’s previous salary alone) and quickly found ourselves fighting foreclosure at the beginning of the housing crisis.

We made a pledge to each other to rise above our financial crisis. We were committed to learning everything we could from the experience and actually creating the life of our dreams. Love in the Time of Foreclosure tells the story of how we did that. The ups, the downs, the maddening struggle for a loan modification, the re-calibrating of our priorities and perception of the world, the selling of everything and everything else in between.

Who would buy it? According to author Janelle Brown, “anyone who owns, has owned or fantasizes about owning a home.” It’s also the perfect fit for anyone who is in foreclosure, worried about foreclosure, unemployed and/or struggling with something major in their life or relationship.

PRAISE FOR LOVE IN THE TIME OF FORECLOSURE

Stephanie Walker has the wit to transform the shame and anxiety of foreclosure into a genuine human adventure. Its a rare story-teller who can endure the soul-shaking loss of a home, and the concurrent stress on relationships, and see through that – one’s higher priorities in life. Stephanie does this with the kind of humor and personal insight that challenges the fierce attachment that we have to bricks and boards, and she leads us to a new understanding of what’s really important as  “home”.

Dick Gordon, “Host of “The Story”, heard on public radio stations, nationwide.”

Stephanie Walker writes about tough experiences with honesty, humor and a good dose of optimism. Her story is a window on a downturn that affected millions of Americans—for worse, but also sometimes better. There are life lessons in here for all of us.

– Sara Clemence, co-founder of Recessionwire

“Love in the Time of Foreclosure” is essential reading for anyone who owns, has owned, or fantasizes about owning a home. Stephanie Walker’s personal real estate horror story is wrenching and emotionally honest, as she explores the impact of home ownership on relationships, dreams, and self-identity.

– Janelle Brown, author of “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” and “This Is Where We Live”

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

Love in the Time of Foreclosure is available for the Kindle on Amazonand for the Nook on Barnes & Noble.

WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BOOK?

From my publisher– Outpost19.

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