Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tour the Armory

No doubt you've heard that Portland Center Stage moved into its glam new home last September, an historic reconstruction of the city's original armory. Recently the building received a Platinum LEED rating (Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design) for constructing the theater in accordance with green standards.

Now you don't have to be in Portland to tour the new facilities, thanks to the wizardy of Josh Oakhurst, our lovely and talented videographer.

While you're at it, check out all of Josh's YouTube videos. They're as quick-witted and quirky and startling as Josh himself.

Lit Up!

As part of an ongoing effort to make this blog useful to somebody (yep, my work ethic's as 19th century as the next guy's), I'm going to post referrals and opportunities for writers from time to time here.

Today's Useful Tip: the web site of the fabulous Playwrights' Center, of Mpls MN. Click on the link in the column to the right, under SPECIAL FOR YOU, and you'll be transported.

And -- lest I sound selfless -- once at the The PC site, check on the internal link to LIT UP, an ongoing column to which I am a contributor. Designed as a "forum for playwrights navigating the dark corners of the new play development world," LU offers practical tips, the occasional whiff of controversy, and glimpses into the fevered minds of certain notable literary managers, including, of course, MOI-MEME.

Currently posted: a few words on the never-ending controversy over play festivals and competitions that charge submission fees.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More from Mike

Today Mike Daisey has posted an addendum -- an epilogue, hopefully -- to the shocking story that broke last week. Actually managing to have a conversation with the man who vandalized his work, Mike got closure of a sort -- perhaps not a term he would use, but nevertheless the outcome is simultaneously moving and discouraging, sad yet somehow reaffirming. You can check it out on Mike's "secret fortress on the web" at

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Daisey disrupted by party-pooping dunderheads

As you've probably heard by now, Mike Daisey was recently harrassed in the middle of a performance, evidently by a bunch of bonehead religious zealots. Mike reports:

"Thursday night's performance of INVINCIBLE SUMMER at American Repertory Theatre was disrupted when eighty seven members of a Christian group walked out of the show en masse, and chose to physically attack my work by pouring water on and destroying the original of the show outline.

"You can read about the incident, the aftermath and its consequences, as well as view YouTube footage of the whole thing going down, here:

"'s a sobering reminder that speech is never free unless it is defended ardently, and that even simple civility isn't simple when intolerant extremism is involved."

Indeed it is, Mike.

Attn playwrights: Vertigo launches fun festival

Mead's note: Vertigo is one of Portland's best and wildest theater companies, producing the likes of Len Jenkin, George Walker, Chuck Me, Don DeLillo and other bad boys.


Theatre Vertigo's One Page Play Festival

Words, words, words. Normally, theatres ask you for money when talking about fundraising but Theatre Vertigo is asking for your words. We are rapidly ending our 9th Season as "Portland's Premier Acting Ensemble" and would like you to contribute to our next fundraiser. We are holding "The One Page Play Festival" in Portland, OR Summer 2007 (Date and Location TBA) and need you to write a play. Think it might be hard?

Well, you only have to write A SINGLE PAGE.

That's right. One page. The theme is Dirty Laundry: America's Best Unkept Secrets. Let your imagination take you from there. We are looking for just about any genre so the sky's is the limit. Originally conceived by Robert Caisely, Associate Professor at the University of Idaho, the One Page Play Festival allows every playwright to contribute to this exciting event.

Don't think you're a writer? You have one page to find out. Please read the submission guidelines below and then write your play. We encourage all skills, ideas and scripts! If you think anyone else would be interested in contributing to this cause, please tell your friends about this by forwarding this e-mail. We are trying to get as many submissions as we can from a variety of writers.

If you would like to submit a play to Theatre Vertigo's One Page Play Festival please submit your plays to and please follow these guidelines:

1. Plays must be no longer than one-page in length (9-12 pt font).

2. Plays must not have been previously produced or published in any form.

3. Maximum of 4 characters per script.

4. Maximum of 4 entries per writer.

5. Plays must address, directly or indirectly, the festival theme of Dirty
Laundry: America's Best "Unkept" Secrets.

6. Plays can either be comic or dramatic, in any style or genre.

7. Plays must have extremely limited production/staging demands, as the play
will be produced "without d├ęcor."

8. Entries must be submitted via email as an attachment in MS Word format or
PDF (and should include the author's name, address, phone number, a brief
bio, and one-sentence description of the play in the body of the email. The
subject of the email should read as follows:
RE: "OnePagePlays/author's full name" (OnePagePlays/Jessica Rabbit)"

9. All entries must include a cover-page (in the same file as the script
itself) which includes the title, the author's name, address, phone number,
and email address.

10. We will notify you when we have received your script and in the
following weeks, we notify you if your script has been selected.

11. Deadline is May 1st.

Again, please tell everyone who you think would like to contribute to this
event. Please check Theatre Vertigo's website to find
out the location and date of this event. We will be updating our website

Thank you,
Theatre Vertigo


Theatre Vertigo plays at the landmark Theater! Theatre! building
3430 SE Belmont, Portland OR • (503) 306-0870 •

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hey There

You can blame Chris Reilly from Weiden+Kennedy; he's the one who convinced me that there's nothing inherently megalomaniacal about having a blog. It's just a digital diary, right? A virtual presence on the astral plane.

Still. I'm unconvinced, especially since these comments would seem to bear out the truism that all first diary entries are BORING.

List #1: Fears about blogging

1. This first post will turn out to be the last one I ever make.

2. Now everyone will know I'm as banal as they always assumed.

3. I'll turn into a brand name, like Betty Crocker or the Keebler Elves or George Bush.

4. Chris Reilly will sneer at my primitive graphic sense and expunge me from his friends list.

5. Now that I've exposed myself to public view, some practical joker will sign me up for Twitter.

6. Now that I've exposed myself to public view, no one will take any interest.

Go ahead, lurkers! Dare to be dull! Leave me a message and well, um -- we'll go from there.