Dear Mr. Shakespeare. . . Can I call you Bill?

Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

I'm working on a writing project. . . a collaboration of sorts with you. I'm filling in some of the story for "A Winter's Tale" that you neglected to include. Hope you don't mind. Just want to see what you think of this so far. . .feel free to "like" it if you think I'm on the right track. Yes, some of the lines are yours, but more and more of them will be mine, as we follow Hermione around for the 20 years or so that she was off stage. 

Anyway, I hope you like it. Suggestions are welcome. I'll keep working in the meantime. 

Like a Moth — True Stories Told Live

When it was announced last year that The Moth would be coming to Madison I was ecstatic. I’ve been a longtime fan of The Moth Story Hour on public radio, and a few years ago I got to attend a Moth Story Slam in person, in New York City. (There are also books, and a podcast, which are worth checking out.)

Basically The Moth is a storytelling extravaganza — the set up is that normal, everyday people are invited to come up to the mic to tell stories that are true, less than five minutes long, and performed without notes. You can sign up to tell a story around a specific theme, or you can hope to be pulled out of the audience to give it your best shot. It’s not stand-up. It’s not acting. It’s something that happened to you, that only you can talk about.

Finishing the Hat

No, friends, I have not become a Sondheim convert overnight, though I couldn’t resist borrowing the title of his best-selling book about the world behind his musicals.

I am actually, literally, finishing a hat for one of my actors in an upcoming production that I wrote and directed called "Talking Spirits," a program sponsored by the Wisconsin Veteran's Museum at Forest Hills Cemetery. Part research project, part historical drama, the play is actually a series of four monologues based on the lives of 19th century Wisconsin residents with a strong connection to the Civil War.

Br!nk New Play Festival has Women Playwrights Take the Lead



Playwright Gwendolyn Rice and Renaissance Theaterwork's Suzan Fete speak with Lake Effect's Bonnie North.

Renaissance Theaterworks began a quarter of a century ago as a way to both produce good work and also promote women in theatre, both onstage and behind the scenes. In those 25 years, the company has mounted 66 full productions and 40 staged-readings. Nine of those productions were original works by Wisconsin playwrights and seven were World Premieres.

This weekend’s Br!nk New Play Festival expands on Renaissance’s commitment to nurturing and promoting work by women. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, the company will present staged readings of several new plays by Midwestern women.

Madison-based playwright Gwendolyn Rice is part of this year's festival, which will feature her new, 10-minute play, I Hear Everything. Suzan Fete is one of the founding members of Renaissance Theaterworks and will direct Rice’s play.

Rice says her plays have taken her around the country, but, in particular, 10-minute play festivals like this one are special for her.

"You don't get to go to the rehearsal. You don't know the director. You don't know the actor ahead of time," she says. "You just kind of show up, and see what your words have turned into."


Meet me in Milwaukee!

Great news! Starting this month I'll be writing about theater a bit east of the state capitol, in addition to my gigs in Madison. I'm reviewing productions in Milwaukee for, and contributing some previews of interesting performing arts events as well. 

So if you work in Milwaukee, pitch me! And if you're a frequent audience member, say hello. Looking forward to commenting on the work of companies I've admired for years -- and getting to know some new theaters as well. 



What's New

I'm Going Back to the Br!NK!

I just found out that my short play "I Hear Everything" will be part of the new Br!NK Briefs evening of ten minute plays, produced by Renaissance Theaterworks this fall. Couldn't be more excited about going back to Milwaukee to play with these amazing women!

Come check it out at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee, September 7 - 12!!nk-festival.html