Month: July 2013

  • To Do List

    • Finish rewrites on that grant application. Finish all the materials I’m responsible for.
    • Work on and complete my New Dramatist application.
    • Rewrites.
    • Work out.
    • Clean house.
    • Buy a plane ticket for October.
    • Pay bills.
    • Finally figure out if I indeed have to take the GRE.
    • Start studying for the GRE.
    • Start shopping for Christmas. Yes, I start way early. It helps prevent me from spending a lot of money in December.
    • Overhaul my garden.
    • Donate to Goodwill.
  • “This Play Was Written For YOU!”

    That’s what friend and fellow playwright Prince Gomolvilas said to me when we spotted one another across the aisle yesterday at the final reading of his new play The Brothers Paranormal at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

    After the show he reiterated that statement, adding, “You love scary movies, you love to cry. You’re the perfect audience for this play.”

    And he’s right. I love scary movies (you should see my Netflix queue) and I love theatre that reaches into my chest, grabs hold of my heart and squeezes.

    Prince knows this about me because we’ve been friends since 2005 when we both were in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival (that was his second appearance at BAPF and my first). Since then, even though he’s based in Los Angeles, we keep up with each other’s work–I attend Jukebox Stories every time it comes to the Bay Area and he’s kept up with my work, even teaching one of my plays.

    Prince (left) and musician Brandon Patton (right) performing Jukebox Stories.

    So I was more than happy to trek from my foggy neighborhood in the Inner Richmond to sunny Potrero Hill where Thick House is located (the theatre space that BAPF uses for its festival). I left my little home around 2:30 pm and got home around 10pm. Yes, almost 8 hours later–I love when theatre turns into a party.

    The Brother Paranormal is full of humor, scares and emotional explorations of both death and the psychological toll of leaving a life behind when immigrating to a new country. It was funny, scary, poignant, riffed on the horror genre in expected (and fun) ways, but still managed to surprise and delight with the unexpected turns the narrative took.

    After the reading I headed over to a dinner party held in Prince’s honor at a near by sushi restaurant where I caught up a bit with another theatre friend, met some fans of Prince’s work who attend all of his Bay Area shows, met an actor from the reading whom I hadn’t met before and of course chatted with Prince a bit as he floated from table to table.

    It was the perfect way to end the night and I hopped on the 22 bus to begin my trek back to my place very happy. Very happy, indeed.


  • An End To Radio Silence

    Wow. The last time I blogged was at the beginning of this month. I think that’s the longest quiet spell I’ve had on this blog since I started it in 2005.

    So I’m back.

    Where was I?

    In Texas. 

    For 10 great days I was visiting my family, getting rained on, baking, lounging around, playing with my sobrinos and just relaxing.

    It was awesome.

    But that was just ten days. What else have I been up to this month?

    Well, at the beginning of the month I spend 4th of July in Dolores Park. I was there almost all day in order to get a good seat to watch the San Francisco Mime Troupe‘s first performance of their new play. This is a July 4th tradition for the Mime Troupe, you see. And a tradition for many, many San Franciscans.

    We ate, we drank lots of fluids, we got a little tan. Don’t laugh when I say it was hot. It was. This Tejana has been living in mostly fog for 11 years now and she’s acclimated to the temperature range (50 to maybe 70s) so anything hotter than normal is kind of a shock to her system. And by hers I mean mine.


    SF Mime Troupe offers free performances in parks. Go check them out!

    Top: Velina Brown, Lisa Hori-Gracia, Bottom: Hugo Carbajal, Rotimi Agbabiaka

    The second weekend of the month I attended a retreat for AlterTheater. I brought in a second draft of Wolf at the Door and got lots of good feedback and ideas to propel me into rewrites. Which I need to start doing soon.

    The rest of the retreat was awesome as it gave me a chance to hear what my fellow AlterLab playwrights (Larissa, Denmo and Ann) are working on, plus connect with Jeanette at AlterTheater. And, of course I love heading over to Ann’s house. One of these days I will snap a picture of it and post it here on the blog.

    Then I went on vacation. Which was great. I needed it. Seriously. And aside from family time, getting rained on and seeing animatronic dinosaurs at the Witte Museum, I got the chance to see Travis Bedard who is neither animatronic nor a dinosaur.

    Travis is a theatre friend who I met online (he commented on a blog post, I think). While I wasn’t able to see him perform in a current production of The Pillowman, I did get to have dinner with him to talk theatre and catch up. Which we did.

    I flew back on a Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day recovering from having to get up so early.

    And this past Monday rehearsals started up in Chicago for my developmental production of Heart Shaped Nebula, which meant that I also had a nice long chat with my director to go over the script. I’m super excited about the production and cannot wait to head up to Chicago for it.

    Lastly, I went to a potluck dinner with a few Latino theatre artists to have a conversation about what they want and need. We had a great time and a few really cool ideas came out of that evening. The first is that we want to connect more with other Latino theatre artists–know who’s here, what they’re doing. So we started a Facebook group for Bay Area Latino Theatre Artists. So, if you’re reading this and you’re here in the Bay Area and a Latino theatre artist, we invite you to join.

    That’s pretty much a recap of my July. A theatre retreat, a vacation, a potluck, a phone call, rewrites…oh and I played Scrabble (almost broke 300) and finally got to see my dramaturg after many, many months.

    And this weekend I’m going to see a reading of a new play by a friend. More on that tomorrow.


  • Heart Shaped Nebula News: Chicago Bound!

    I have great news. Heart Shaped Nebula is going to be part of Halcyon Theatre’s 2013 Alcyone Festival.

    I am super excited to return to Chicago this fall to see Nebula up on its feet. A big thank you to Tony and Jenn Adams for making Nebula one of the plays in the festival this year.

    And in preparation for the festival I squeezed in an edit/minor rewrite. A page really. A page of new dialogue that hopefully ties up one lingering loose end that I’ve been wanting to tie up for a while now.

    Juan CastaƱeda, my director, is almost done with casting. So knock on wood everyone. Rehearsals start later this month and I’ll be when the festival opens in early September. So if you’re in the Windy City, put the Alcyone Festival on your calendar, it’s September 6-28th.