December 31, 2015

acknowledging (some aspects of) 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, I hereby acknowledge some of the playwriterly/theater-y experiences of the last twelve months that come to mind, and for which I am grateful*:

January – June: Meeting of the Minds at the Lark, where I was able to get to know awesome writer-humans Migdalia Cruz, Laura Marks, Callie Kimball, Charlie Sohne, and Charles Wiekel, and awesome facilitators (and also awesome writer-humans) Andrea Hiebler, Matthew Paul Olmos, and James Kennedy. YAY LARK.

February: the Sundance/Ucross Playwrights and Composers Retreat in northeast Wyoming (and where I witnessed a stunning string of sunrises), with the outstanding Pia Wilson, Fernanda Coppel, Julianne Wicke Davis, Mallery Avidon, Ayad Akhtar, and Nikos Tsakalakos. (The trip was cut a bit short due to a bedbug scare, but hey: sometimes parasitic insects, and Fear, happen.)

March: the Claque’s 2015 Quick and Dirties (QuaDs) opening weekend retreat at SPACE at Ryder Farm, along with playwrights Anna Moench and Seth Moore, and directors Kareem Fahmy, Nick Leavens, Matt Dickson, and Danya Taymore. Play readings and looking at very cute sheep in the snow; these things made me happy.

April:
– Lydia’s Funeral Video published by Kaya Press, after many years working with the amazing (and amazingly patient and tenacious) folks at Kaya Press and Spoon+Fork;
– Kaya Press’ Voices and Visions Self/Split performance at USC, with the brilliant D’Lo, Chiwan Choi, Nicholas Wong, and Prince Gomolvilas (and first hardcopy appearance of Lydia’s Funeral Video);
– Kaya Press at the AWP conference in Minneapolis; reading again with (the still brilliant) Chiwan Choi and Nicholas Wong, and tabling and hanging out with some awesome peoples, including Kaya’s Zoe Ruiz, Neelanjana Banerjee, Sunyoung Lee, Jean Ho, Ed Lin, and Pireeni Sundaralingam.

May:
– Ma-Yi Labfest reading of DELIVERY with director Cat Miller, with incredible cast Farah Bala, Vandit Bhatt, Kimberly Chatterjee, Meethu Chilana, Layla Khoshnoudi, Sunita Mukhi, Kelley O’Donnell, Lori Parquet, and Tiffany Villarin
– QuaDs workshop presentation of FRUITING BODIES at the Sheen Center, directed by the wondrous Kareem Fahmy, and performed by the luminous cast that was Francis Jue, Amy Kim Waschke, Natalie Kim, Jon Norman Schneider, and Dan Hoyle.

May – June: a magical MacDowell residency, where I met many, many incredible artists. Also: climbing a mountain, eating out of picnic baskets, losing my mind in the best ways.

June:
– Me, Myself, and Kaya fundraiser for Spoon+Fork and Kaya at Orbital, with performances from the unparalled Robert Lee, Cindy Cheung, and Bob Kelly.
– the Yale Institute for Music Theatre with composer-collaborator friend Bob Kelly, and having the chance to work with director Lee Sunday Evans, music director Matt Castle, dramaturg Catherine Sheehy, and the glorious cast of Cindy Cheung, Christina Sajous, Aubie Merrylees, Wade McCollum, Jesse Manocherian, Addi McDaniel, Ramiz Monsef, Erika Anclade, Julian Decker, and percussionist Allen Branch.
– FRUITING BODIES recognized on the 2015 Kilroys List; thank you again, Kilroys.

August:
– workshop production of gilgamesh & the mosquito with NYU’s Collaboration and Development Production Series, with director and CDP co-director Rob Heller, dramaturg, CDP co-director Brandon Anderson, choreographer Mia Sommese, and a fantastic cast of Adee David, Colin Parrinello, Gabriella Concepcion, Sommer Carbuccia, Kaitlyn Reda, Moira Hammel, Corynne Peters, Jake Brasch, and Zac Fadler.
– joined the 2015-2016 Civilians R&D group with a very cool group of writers, directors, and theater practitioners
– becoming a new auntie, thanks to my sister and her partner bringing a beautiful new human into the world (okay, that’s not really playwriterly/theater-y, but eh).

September:
– joining the Playwrights Realm as a 2015-2016 writing fellow, and getting to know fellow fellows Lauren Feldman, Jonathan Payne, David Zax, and their beautiful work;
– New York launch event at WORD in Brooklyn, with Kaya Press and Ed Lin!

September/October:
– Sharing two readings with Chiwan Choi at the Fall for the Book Festival.

October: with composer-collaborator friend Bob Kelly, writing a new short musical, everything the moon could be, performed by the always remarkable & radiant Cindy Cheung, directed by the marvelous Dev Bondarin, as part of Prospect Theater Company’s 2015 Musical Theater Lab Stage Fright

October: New York Theater Barn’s New Work Series

December: creating a new piece for IMMIGRANT, Leviathan Lab’s first installment of its new Living Room Series, and working with the stellar Mei Ann Teo as director and Donatella Galella as dramaturg, and equally stellar cast Diana Oh, Jordan Barbour, and Kenneth Lee.

MONTHLESS, FOR IT IS ALWAYS & FOREVER: Another year with Ma-Yi Lab–learning from the largest group of Asian American playwrights ever assembled in the course of human history, getting to know and experience their work, being inspired and encouraged and challenged. And enjoying snacking together, of course. And the online thread. And occasional road trip.

other things I acknowledge:

semifinalism & finalism! finalist of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, semifinalist of the P73 playwriting fellowship, and semifinalist of the Clubbed Thumb Biennial. I acknowledge.

receiving an EST/Sloan commission to write a play about neuroscience, memory, and trauma. I haven’t finished writing it yet, so this is going in the “other things I acknowledge” category, but I’ve started, and I’ve been able to meet and speak with some very cool, very impressive (and maybe a little intimidating), humans as part of the research, for which I’m grateful. I acknowledge.

receiving my first ever bantercut tee from bandmate Jim Espinas. bantercut 4-evah.

of course, seeing and experiencing the work of incredible writers, including but not limited to Lloyd Suh, Kimber Lee, Jiehae Park, Rehana Lew Mirza, Taylor Mac, Dipika Guha, Julia May Jonas, Caroline Prugh, Thomas Connors, Branden Jacob-Jenkins, Don Nguyen, Octavio Solis

Bob and I making demos of Lobsters Live Forever with the amazing Cindy Cheung and Ashley Park (I guess this coulda gone in a month, but I don’t remember which month).

joining Ars Nova’s Play Group (this perhaps could have gone in December, but it still feels so new. perhaps I will relocate it to december later.)

failing to win at the Hamilton lottery countless times

Ongoing: being an auntie of my over-six-year-old nephew

* will return to this post at some point in 2016 [now less than 3 hours away] to edit/revise/maybe make less frighteningly haphazard.