Over ten years ago I began writing a full-length play called
THE ART OF DISAPPEARING.

I wrote a fast draft in a graduate class taught by David Scott Milton.

I painstakingly revised it in a Saturday workshop led by Lee Wochner and filled with wonderfully smart playwrights including EM Lewis, Terence Anthony, Ross Tedford Kendall and Michael David (among others.)

I had readings at Moving Arts, The Black Box Theatre (with ALAP,) The Blank Theatre and Chicago Dramatists.

I sent it out to countless theaters and received countless rejections.

It was a finalist for the Princess Grace Award and a semi-finalist for the O’Neill.

It’s been rewritten and reworked and finally after all of this, it found a champion.

That champion is Ann Filmer who directed the Chicago Dramatists’ reading.

She saw something in my work and committed to giving it a world premiere at her 16th Street Theater in Berwyn, IL.

And it’s finally happening.

We have a production team.

We have a cast.

We have an opening date– January 29, 2015.

It’s starting to feel real.

My life looks unbelievably different than when I wrote the first draft of this play. I’m a mom to two young boys now. I write in the brief moments when both boys are asleep and I’m awake. Sometimes I write standing up in the kitchen in between cooking breakfast and packing lunch.

 

Mostly, I write in my head in those quiet moments when I’m nursing my ten-month-old. Or when I’m driving home from school pick-up and my four-year-old is too tired to ask me the million questions he has about why we’re in a drought or why that person on the billboard has no teeth. Or whether or not I can smell his fart.

I never expected it to take this long to give a full life to my play.
They say it takes a long time. If ever.
And I am just so grateful that it’s really happening.
I’m grateful for every step along the way.
I’m grateful to all the people involved in the development of this play and mostly my husband for believing in me. Bob, you never once said it wouldn’t happen. Thank you.

Now it’s about the work. And the collaboration. I love my collaborators and am so excited to be working on the actual production. Rehearsals begin in December. I get to start my new year in a rehearsal room in Berwyn, IL with some of the most talented artists I’ve ever known.

I’ll be posting more details here as we get closer to the production.

If you’re in Chicago, I hope you’ll come see my play.

 
TAGS: / / / /
 

AmericanHome_ConcordiaPoster
 
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

 

 
TAGS: / / / / / /
 

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

 
TAGS: / /
 

see-saw_1

 

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.

 

 
TAGS: / / / / / / / /
 

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. 375 times! 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

 
TAGS: / / / / / /
 

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta
 
TAGS: / / / / /
 

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.

America Young & Nathan Frizzell in the Moving Arts production of "The Big Ride" in Los Angeles directed by Cece Tio

Lauren Blumenfeld & Ashley Springer in the New York 15-Minute Play Festival production of "The Big Ride" directed by Mark Karafin

Enhanced by Zemanta
 
TAGS: / / / / / / / /
 

On Monday, July 18th two of my ten-minute plays will receive staged readings as part of American Blues Theater Company’s RIPPED: The Living Newspaper Project.

I am so happy to be a part of this exciting project.

A description of the event from ABT’s site:

RIPPED is based on the 1930’s WPA era program that brought Orson Welles, Arthur Miller and Clifford Odets into public attention. We incorporate scripts from the original 1930s LIVING NEWSPAPER juxtaposed with new material ripped from today’s headlines. Like the original productions, the artists incorporate vaudeville, traditional scenes, music, dance, visual arts, and with the addition of electronic media as well. This reading series cultivates new material and allows audiences to discuss topical issues together. We are developing material for a production series in September 2011.

My plays selected for the sixth edition of RIPPED are An Average Man directed by Heather Meyers and MELT directed by Kate Buddeke.

And full details for anyone who wants to attend:

American Blues Theater Company presents

RIPPED: The Living Newspaper Project

SIXTH EDITION

on Monday, July 18

at the Joffrey Ballet Tower–10 E. Randolph St., Studio B, 7pm

Suggested $10 donation.

In addition, we’re collecting school supplies, office supplies, and computer equipment for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). 

Bring some new notebooks and pencils.  Thank you for making a difference!

 
TAGS: / / / /
 

Yes, another post about The Car Plays! They begin TODAY. I just wanted to post the complete line-up to give a sense of just how many people and cars it takes to produce The Car Plays.

SERIES A

Wednesday/Friday
June 15 & 17, 2011
6:00 / 7:30 / 9:00

Producers: Paul Stein, Steve Lozier, Kim Glann, Cece Tio
Assistant Producer: Lem Thornton
Stage Managers: Cirby Hatano, Bradley McCoy, Dylan Gardner
Carhops: Terence Anthony, Kiff Scholl
Walking Tour Guide: Rebecca Davis
Runner: Tara Thomas
Dressing Room: Donna Peacher-Hall

Row: STREET

Disneyland by Paul Stein
Director:   Dana Schwartz
Starring:   Madelynn Fattibene

Flooding by Jami Brandli
Director:   Kiff Scholl
Starring:   Peter James Smith & John Copeland

Cruising Con La Virgen by Joe Luis Cedillio
Director:   Dino Dinco
Starring:   Edward E Cohen & Abel Soto

Am I Losin’ by Ron Klier
Director:   Ross Kramer
Starring:   Derrick LeMont*  & Andrew Miller

The Love of Make-Believe by JJ Strong
Director:   Kiff Scholl
Starring:   Laura Buckles^  & Donald Rizzo

Row: AVENUE

Drop-Off Day by  EM Lewis^
Director:   Michael Shutt^
Starring:    VyVy Nguyen &  Porter Kelly

Sunday in the Hood by Terence Anthony^
Director:   Jason Duplissea^
Starring:   Larry Powell*, Jenny Gillett^  & Jason Duplissea^

Prom: Time Out by Meghan Gambling
Director:   Jenifer Yeuroukis*
Starring:   Sarah Greyson &  Katie Malia

The Audience by Kiff Scholl
Director:   Matt Bretz
Starring:   Kim Ward  & Casey Nelson

Abraham & Isaac by Allain Rochel
Director:   Nataki Garrett
Starring:   Alex Morris & Edward Rowley

Row: ROAD

We Wait by Steve Lozier^
Director:   Armina LaManna*
Starring:   Corey Klemow* & Herb Hall*

Hipsters by Jason Duplissea^
Director:   Miles Feld
Starring:   Terrence Colby Clemons &  Melanie Minichino

Dragon Compact by Cindy Marie Jenkins
Director:   Kelly Lohman
Starring:   Amanda Troop* & Richard Miraan

Tommy Got His Gun by Sara Israel
Director:   Reena Dutt
Starring:   Wilson Bethel  &  Grace Eboigbe

Hollywood Hills by Stephanie Alison Walker
Director:   Zeke Rettman
Starring:   Jenn Swirtz &  T. Lynn Mikeska

SERIES B

Thursday / Saturday
June 16 & 18, 2011
6:00 / 7:30 / 9:00

Producers: Paul Stein, Steve Lozier, Kim Glann, Cece Tio
Assistant Producer: Lem Thornton
Stage Managers: Cirby Hatano, Bradley McCoy, Vesna Hocevar
Carhops: Michael David, Kiff Scholl, JJ Strong, Sandra Vahtel
Volunteers: Jackie Moses
Walking Tour Guide: Rebecca Davis
Check-In: Julie Briggs

Row: BLVD

Before We Go Home by Richard Martin Hirsch
Director:   Darin Anthony
Starring:   Michael Shutt^ & D.J. Harner*

Todd’s Hollywood Tours by Trey Nichols^
Director:   Julie Briggs
Starring:   Brent Popolizio & Mary Beth Pape*

Choke Chain by Jennifer Maisel
Director:   Sara Wagner^
Assistant Director:   Terence Anthony^
Starring:   Lauri Hendler  &  Tammy Klein

Chasm by Lee Wochner^
Director:   Patrick Varon
Starring:   Nick Cernoch*  & Jennie Kwan*

Two Fellas, One Fella by  Paul Stein
Director:   Michael David
Starring:   Jon Amirkhan^  & Dan Wingard*

Row: ROUTE

Custody by  Morgan Krantz^
Director:   Steve Lozier^
Starring:   Tony DeCarlo  & Sean Eaton

Shampooed by  Fielding Edlow
Director:   Ron Klier
Starring:   Jennifer Christopher*  &  Kieren van den Blink

Bunker Hill by Michael David
Director:   Paul Stein
Assistant Dir:   Jonathan Josephson
Starring:   Jack Sundmacher*, Rick Kent, Tania Getty

The Audience by Kiff Scholl
Director:   Matt Bretz
Starring:   David Youse* &   Ron Morehouse

Warriors by Will Hackner
Director:   Vesna Hocevar^
Starring:   Morgan Krantz^  &   Darren Capozzi

Row: LANE

Disneyland by Paul Stein
Director:   Dana Schwartz
Starring:   Trey Nichols^

The P.T.A. by Dana Schwartz
Director:   Julie Briggs
Starring:   Evie Hammer^ & Krista Conti

What Happened to Us  by Bryan Davidson
Director:   Aaron Henne
Starring:   Paul Vroom &  Maya Parish

Waiting for the Tow by Herman Poppe*
Director:   Kimberley Browning
Starring:   Lauren Letherer &  David Lee Garver*

The Love of Make-Believe by JJ Strong
Director:   Kiff Scholl
Starring:   McCready Baker* &  David Bertolami

 
TAGS: / / / /
 

My full-length play about the foreclosure crisis, AMERICAN HOME, was named the winner of American Blues Theater’s first annual Blue Ink Competition.

I’m thrilled! This is a wonderful company and it’s such a warm welcome back to Chicago.

Part of the prize is a staged reading by American Blues Theater. Details to come.

Enhanced by Zemanta
 
TAGS: / / /