The Suffragist Project

A group of friends at Odyssey Theater has been working on short plays about the woman suffrage movement, to be presented in the form of podcasts beginning March 1st. Being a lover of paradox, I wrote about the anti-suffrage Ida Tarbell, famous muckraking journalist, who in my piece visits her aging pro-suffrage mother prior to […]

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Art & emergency

After the 2016 election I kept asking myself how artists should respond in time of political crisis.  I sat down with singer-songwriter-satirist Roy Zimmerman the next summer to kick it around—he sure had known what to do, but then he had been doing it all along.  Popping a demagogue’s balloon was nothing new for Roy. […]

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The Writerly Life

It means waking at 2 AM because you’re trembling with a thought you dreamed. Taping three-foot long sheets of newsprint over the walls of your study (even across the door) so you can keep track of a narrative. Scouting a cafe with superior air conditioning for those 100-degree plus summer mornings (mornings!) when you just […]

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note the eyepatch

Ten-minute plays

At this summer’s 13th annual 10×10 Festival of New Short Plays at the Carrboro Arts Center, I was struck by two things: how good acting and directing can rescue a mediocre script; and how lots of contemporary plays try to be postmodern by being self-referential. Oh look, there’s a playwright onstage trying to crank out […]

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Josh Laymon's photo of an adult pileated.

Understanding gun culture

I heard a sad story today about a teen who bagged a pileated woodpecker with his varmint rifle. No one knew what it was — “Ain’t seen one before, ain’t seen one since” — but his family praised his marksmanship, and the lad cut off the feet to carry as a trophy or talisman. The […]

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Beginning rehearsals of my short play Rainbow Round the Moon has led me to doff Playwright’s Mind for Director’s Mind. I like having to slow down, explicitly consider the beats, and articulate subtext. Whether or not it will affect how I write in future, the process stimulates me to deeper thought in the present: for […]

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Paul tests some fangs for his upcoming play

Making a play for a vampire

All those of you who, like me, are working on vampire plays may appreciate a short list of the books I’ve found useful among many that were not: Despite its garish cover, Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s Encyclopaedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters (Visionary Living, 2005) has a beautiful six-page bibliography and is written in matter-of-fact […]

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