Art in Manhattan: postponed to March 1.

ShieldsDue to dicey weather, this trip has been rescheduled for March 1. I don’t believe we have a bus available, though. Too bad. We had a full load and now I’m not sure what we’re going to do.

Watch the skies for info.

Previous post: I’m pleased to announce that I will be performing with the Reading Theater Project at Ceres Gallery in Manhattan on February 15th. (No, that is not me doing my act there in the picture.)

This is a really cool project that’s coming together nicely. Five of us actor/writers have put together a group of sketches that relate to Pamela Roule Shields’ highly provocative installation entitled “One Body.”  Here is part of Shields’ statement about her work:

“It is time for women to define their own sexuality – to take back their bodies, their lives. The body – the physical body – is at the core of women’s struggle for independence and freedom. What better and more basic way to declare independence than with your own body. Frank depiction of a woman’s sexuality is still taboo. Taboos are enforced through the use of shame. Nothing could be more deep-rooted and controlling than instilling internally a shame of your own body and your own natural, normal sexuality.”

Shields works in Charcoal and what I’ve seen so far is gorgeous. The subject matter might be unsettling but the rendering is amazing. Look at the knuckles on that hand. Beautiful stuff.

We’ll be at Ceres Gallery (547 West 27th Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001) on Saturday, February 15th. There’s no cover charge, but do call to make a reservation so they know how many seats to rent: 212-947-6100. The gallery opens at noon, we’ll be performing at 3pm. I believe I’m going on first, so get there early if you’re going.

If you’re from the Reading area, consider taking the Bieber bus with us. They’ve reduced the fare for this trip to $30, which is quite a savings. Normally it’s close to $60 for a round trip. We’ll be leaving at 8am at the Tea Factory (lots of parking there). The website says the deadline to sign up is Jan. 10th, but I happen to know there are still a few seats left, so don’t hesitate. Information is at the RTP website: http://readingtheaterproject.com/productions/

See you there!

Sue Lange

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Playwriting as Religious Experience

l to r: MFA, intern, teacher, intern, intern

l to r: MFA, intern, teacher, intern, intern

Maybe it was just the time away from the computer but I feel cleansed and whole again. Like I’d been down to the river or something.

There was no rolling on the floor, lifting up of eyes, or frothing at the mouth, but in the end I can say the Kenyon playwrights conference was nothing short of a religious experience. I came away refreshed of spirit and with my faith in the muse renewed. Coming home I dedicated my life to the higher power of a nicely written conflict. I’m telling you, man, I am totally saved.

Maybe it was just the joy I experienced roiling in all that Midwestern optimism. Your sardonic sense of things retreats to the background as you bask in the innocence of a small, well-kept college town like Gambier, Ohio. Or, rather, bumphrak, Ohio as I lovingly call it. Considering I live in bumphrak, PA, I wouldn’t have thought farm air and a generally neat countryside would have provided much change, but it is different there. Imagine Berks County without the hills. In addition Gambier has the primness you usually find around places like Devon and Winterthur where even the weeds are manicured to perfection. You get the picture. It was lovely there and it went on and on and on, all the way to the horizon.

And what was I doing there? I mean besides drinking, carousing, and annoying the neighbors, which is expected of anyone attending a conference of any kind be it plumbing, Democrating, or vampiring. The type of thing that always happens whenever you get a group of people with a common interest together and send them off without their spouses. We held our own and proudly kept the reputation of writers being alcoholics intact. We carried on the Great Tradition with aplomb. And that surprised me. I think of playwrights as being intellectual and superior and staid and with families. They have names like August and William and Lillian. They’re not poets for chrissake. They write dialog, the very height of connection between people. They don’t need their Jones, because theater is a collaborative art, and so its creators are in touch, not isolated. They don’t hang about in garrets or clouds. They’re on porches and railroad platforms. There’s no reason for the mood altering chemicals. And yet, and yet, there is Eugene, Tennessee, Arthur. So the tradition exists and we held our own at the bar. Pretty much every night.

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