2013 was a year of abundance: 5 theatre conferences (in Philly, New Orleans, Dallas, Hawaii and New York);5 weddings (including two sister weddings!); a move into home ownership; 2 full productions of my plays (Riding the Bull and Honey Fist); 1 workshop production of Encryption; a ton of development opportunities, including joining the Mission to (dit)Mars Propulsion Lab and Lark Playwrights Workshop; beginning a devised production of Faust with Adaptive Arts; acting in Somewhere Safer; and producing 27 event with Flux Theatre Ensemble while helping to advance many projects with TCG (most proudly, the Diversity & Inclusion Initiative) and diving into my first year as a board member for the Network of Ensemble Theaters. I finished writing the TV Pilot Upgrade; the full length plays Stepping, Salvage and Lightning Walks; a few short plays; and lots of rewrites on all my different plays in development. I directed my first film! I also tried to be a good husband, family member and friend, and to be more active politically; all of this to varying degrees of success and failure. This was a year of compromise, of being forced to accept I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do as well as I wanted to do it; of saying Yes more often than I probably should.
2013 was a year of intense doubts and uncertain discoveries, and I still don’t have a handle on everything that happened, everything I learned, in this crazy busy year. I was exhausted a lot of the time, and at times, pushed pretty near my limits, particularly in the first six months of the year.
I expect 2014 will be even busier, and that means I’ll have to get even better at using my time wisely. I took great strides on that this past year–really increasing my awareness and discipline–but I’ll need to go even further; or I’ll need to start saying No; or hey, I’ll just break down. But I want to keep saying Yes, you know? For as long as life keeps asking, I want to keep saying Yes.
If you’re curious about more details, here are some of the highlights of my mad-abundant 2013; and if you were a part of it, thank you. And for those I hurt or wronged, please know it was probably my velocity, and not my intention; and yes, I know velocity is a kind of intention, and I’ll try to do better in 2014.
January 2013: While the following was going on, I was also supporting TCG’s Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convening.
-Early January: I write A Body Is for Elizabeth Seldin and Pussyfest
-1/4/13: Reading of Upgrade at Dramatists Guild
-1/6/13: Hosted Flux Sunday and shared Stepping
-1/8/13: Served as a panelist for the Mass State Arts Council Grants program
-1/12/13: Shot the trailer for Old Maid
-1/13/13: Hosted Flux Sunday and a Friend of Flux SpeakEasy, shared Girlz
-1/16/13: Internal Flux reading of Honey Fist
-1/17-1/21/13: Heather and I represented Flux at the Network of Ensemble Theaters MicroFest in New Orleans. This was a completely transformative event for us, and I hope to one day find time to write about it. This was also my first board meeting as a new board member of NET.
-1/26-1/27: Auditions and callbacks for Flux’s rep of Honey Fist and Sans Merci, rehearsals begin for Flux’s Food:Soul of Goldsboro, which I direct.
-1/28-1/30: Rehearsals continue for Goldsboro, and I end up stepping in for a sick actor on the 30th performance. I play someone who is basically a dead body for 90% of the play, which was convenient, because I was completely exhausted and sick.
February 2013: The big focus was on TCG’s Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convening, though there were plenty of wonderful distractions this month.
-2/5/13: Rehearsals began for the Brick’s workshop of Jane the Plain
-2/6/13: Trip down to Bethlehem PA to observe Touchstone Theatre’s process for Flux’s NET/Ten grant.
-2/7/13: The 1st production meeting for Flux’s rep
-2/9/13: A Body Is is performed by Elizabeth Seldin for CAPS LOCK’s Pussyfest Redux
-2/10/13: I host Flux Sunday and share a revised scene from Dark Matter
-2/11/13: Workshop performance of Jane the Plain for the Brick’s Oven Series
-2/12/13: Rehearsal and reading of Dark Matter for EST/Sloan commission
-2/18/13: Old Maid production meeting
-2/19/13-2/22/13: TCG’s Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convening in Philadelphia!
-2/23/13: Old Maid location scouting
-2/24/13: I hosted Flux Sunday and brought scenes from He Unshe.
March 2013: With the AudRev Convening over, I switched to preparing for the TCG National Conference and moving to our new home, both of which were conveniently scheduled for June. As that was happening, Old Maid was swinging into principal photography, as…
-3/3/13: I hosted a Flux Sunday and brought pages from The Tunnels of Insa
-3/9/13: Shooting begins in earnest for Old Maid
-3/10/13: Riding the Bull opens in Richmond, where it will be extended to wonderful reviews. It is one of my major regrets this year that I missed what sounds like an amazing production.
-3/10/13: My dear friends Jake and Julia are married!
-3/15/13: I helped lead Flux’s 9th Have Another series
-3/16/13: Principal photography continues for Old Maid
-3/18/13: I make a second visit to Touchstone Theatre to observe their process for Flux’s NET/Ten grant
-3/20/13: I hosted a Flux Sunday
-3/23/13: Rehearsals begin for Flux’s Sans Merci, and I am able to attend a decent number of rehearsals and most significant runs.
-3/25/13: Scenes from Encryption are featured as part of Oracle Theatre’s “Truth be Told” Series, directed by the wonderful Marielle Duke
-3/29/13: Rehearsals for the Lark Playwrights Studio workshop of Stepping begin, directed by Lisa Roethe
3/30/13: Rehearsals begin for Honey Fist, and I attend numerous rehearsals, though nowhere near as many as I’d like. This is another major regret for me from the past year.
April: At this point, everything is pretty much the Conference and rehearsals for the Rep, except for…
-4/1/13: Viewing of a rough cut of Old Maid
-4/3 and 4/4: Stepping at The Lark Play Development Center–what a great experience this workshop was!
-4/13/13: Head down to Touchstone Theatre to see The Odyssey Project as part of the NET/TEN grant
-4/14/13: A read-through of Goethe’s Faust is held by Adaptive Arts, launching our devised process in which I’ll be acting as the playwright. This will be a big part of my 2014!
-4/15/13: My first session as part of the Mission to (dit)Mars’ Propulsion Lab, and I share pages from Salvage, a play I’ll go on to complete this year (and which I am very happy with).
4/16/13: Viewing of the second cut of Old Maid
-4/19/13: Jane the Plain is read for Stella Adler Studios’s First Breath series
-4/20-4/26: I dive all the way into build and tech for Sans Merci, which begins previews on the 26th, and then I immediately…
-4/27-4/30: …dive into tech for Honey Fist, which begins previews on April 30th.
May 2013: Conference. Rep run. Move prep. Madness, and no sleep ever.
-5/1-5/19: The run of the Rep.
-5/19-6/1: 10-14 hour days at TCG (and weekends, too) trying to get ready for the Conference.
June 2013: Two Conferences, and a move.
-6/2-6/9/13: As Heather moves us out, I fly to Dallas for the TCG Conference. It goes well (the highest rated since 2005), but I hate not being there to help us move, and I am by this point running on the fumes of fumes.
-6/13-6/19: Almost as soon as I return from Dallas for the TCG Conference, I leave for Hawaii for the NET MicroFest and National Summit. While it may seem off to complain about a trip to Hawaii, at this point I’m so exhausted I pass out and miss the closing festivities entirely. However, I have so many extraordinary memories from this journey, I wouldn’t trade a day of it for a month of sleeping in.
-6/24: The Propulsion Lab’s public showing features a scene from my play Salvage.
-6/27-7/7: Heather and I celebrate the wedding of her sister Cathy Cohn to John Marburger, prompting a vacation filled with too much family and travel to be overly restful, but it is nonetheless the first real break of the year, and not a moment too soon.
July 2013: Things are a little bit slower after we return from our trip, but I can’t say July was a slow month…
-7/11/13: Work resumes on the edit of Old Maid.
-7/14/13: Hosted a Flux Sunday
-7/20-7/21: Heather and I have a brief but glorious weekend vacation upstate–the real kind of vacation, where you sit by the water and read. I finally begin to properly recover from the first six months of the year.
-7/22/13: IT Award Nomination party for Flux
-7/23/13: I performed in a public creative response to the Trayvon Martin verdict with the Willing Participants in Times Square.
-7/26/13: I am bitten by a spider at a Pilobus performance, of all places. The bite becomes pretty radioactive, swelling up until it’s difficult for me to walk, and the rest of the month is pretty much shot in recovery.
August 2013: And it’s right around then I decide, sure, I can take on being cast in a last minute production!
-8/6/13: I began frantically learning lines to step last minute into the role of HAL for Lauren Ferebee’s Somewhere Safer. Although I definitely didn’t really have the time for the role, I couldn’t say no to such a wonderful play, nor to Lauren and producer Jen Kipley. So, the next week was a frenzy of line-learning and rehearsing. We opened August 11th and ran through the 23rd, and it was one of the best surprises of the year for me.
-8/10/13: My dear new brother-in-law Zack’s bachelor party!
-8/11/13: I helped facilitate a Flux Sunday (and had my opening of Somewhere Safer)
-8/17-/8/18: In between performances, I traveled to Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield for NET’s next board meeting. I can’t wait to get back to Double Edge!
-8/25-9/1/13: Flux’s Annual Retreat! Always one of the best weeks of the year, this was one of the best Retreats that I remember. From my plays, we worked on Stepping, Encryption and Salvage.
September 2013: This month began a surge of renewed activity from Flux, and a focus at TCG on the Fall Forum.
-9/12-9/16: My sister Marnie marries Zack!
-9/16/13: My first meeting as a Lark Playwrights Workshop Fellow! I still can’t quite believe my good fortune in getting to sit in a room with such talented and accomplished playwrights. We continue to meet throughout the year, every other Monday or so.
-9/19/13: I helped lead Flux’s second Have Another of the year, which featured the announcement of our new CPs.
-9/22/13: I hosted a Flux Sunday.
–9/24/13: Rehearsals began for the Lark Playwrights’ Week staged reading of Perse, directed by my dearest Heather and officially beginning my Lark binge (which I’d happily continue forever).
-9/28/13: The night of the Perse reading!
-9/29/13: I hosted a Flux Sunday.
October 2013: Around this time, my focus shifts entirely to the TCG Fall Forum and various rehearsals for Flux’s Understand Our Ground.
10/7/13: The Propulsion Lab resumes! I’m not able to make any other meetings this year because of the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop and rehearsals for Adaptive’s Faust, but I’m hoping to be around much more in 2014–they’re great people.
10/9/19: More Old Maid editing–we’re getting closer to picture lock!
10/12/13: Heather and I attend the moving, elegant wedding of Keith Powell and Jill Knox
10/13/13: I host a Flux Sunday
10/18-10/19/13: Auditions and callbacks for the workshop production of Encryption at the Secret Theatre
10/20/13: I host a Flux Sunday and help facilitate a SpeakEasy
10/22/13: I serve on a panel for the Dramatists Guild about self-producing
10/27/13: Hosting both Flux Sundays and Understand Our Ground rehearsals during these weeks
10/29/13: The Fields of Blue and Glow is read as part of Mission to (dit)Mars Launch Pad series–Heather does a great job with short time in directing the marvelous Jordan Mahome and David Shih–this one spoils me!
November 2013: After an insane week that somehow includes both Flux’s Understand Our Ground and TCG’s Fall Forum, I begin to downshift slightly, as my focus shifts to Encryption, Faust, the Lark and Flux’s remaining events.
-11/2: Encryption rehearsals begin
-11/3: I host Flux Sunday and two Understand Our Ground rehearsals
-11/6/13: Understand Our Ground–still working through what all of this work means to m, and how Flux can do more of it
-11/8-11/10: The TCG Fall Forum on Governance: Investing in Vitality went well…and charged right into…
-11/11-11/12/13: the TCG Board meeting, and more rehearsals for Faust and Encryption.
-11/17-11/18/13: Flux Sunday, Encryption rehearsals, lark Playwrights Workshop, and getting ready for…
-11/21/13: The Flux Family Feud Benefit!
-11/23-11/24: NET Board meeting–exciting visions brewing for this beautiful organization…
-11/25-11/26: Splitting time at Faust and Encryption rehearsals.
December: After the workshop production of Encryption, I finally begin to have time to think about this crazy year, and everything I learned, though I still don’t have a grasp on it yet.
-12/2-12/7/13: Tech and our brief run of Encryption at the Secret
-12/8/13: I host a Flux Sunday
-12/9/13: After the Lark Playwrights Workshop, I fall sick again, which knocks me out of commission for a few days
-12/13/13: I see A Poem for Sandy Hook staged as part of the Stop Gun Violence Now Theatre Festival, and Sol and I meet with our composer to score Old Maid, which is now picture locked.
-12/15/13: I host four sets of Have Another rehearsals and a Flux Sunday
-12/16/13: Flux’s 3rd Have Another of the year!
-12/20/13: Heather and I head down to Virginia to begin our holiday. While I’m still focused on helping Flux finish out our donation drive, I at last have time to take a long look at this past year, and get ready for 2014, which I except will be even busier…
But for now, a breath. And another breath. And another.
And thanks to everyone who was a part of this crazy year of abundance.