Sunday, June 28, 2009

Slouching toward summertime

I hope you're happy, all you sun worshippers. Summer has come to Oregon -- yes, even here -- and now it will be hothothot all the live-long day. Nice for some, but we creatures of the night wither when the UV rays come out.

One good thing about July, though: JAW takes over the Armory, and original playwriting -- highly original playwriting, mind you -- comes at you from every cranny.

More about the full slate later, but as a teaser, let me tantalize you with the Made in Oregon reading pictured here. MIO, by the by, is a series of readings that focuses on the burgeoning playwriting scene happening in Portland and elsewhere in Cascadia. These readings are rehearsed but not workshopped as fully as the plays presented in the JAW Weekend, so they have a rough-and-ready feel to them that suits the reading format muy bien, thank you so much.

Andrea Stolowitz' new play Bad Family, which debuts on Thursday, July 16 at 6:00pm, is the last of the four plays in the 2009 edition of Made in Oregon, but Andrea since is the first writer to send me a postcard, I share it with you first.

And can I just say: look at that cast. These actors could animate The Faerie Queene, but fortunately they have much livelier material to work with here. Andrea's play gives us a fabulously fury of a teenager named Alexandra who is prone to using her neighbor's lawn to cast spells that she hopes will dissolve the marriage of her and stepfather. When she hijacks the car and the neighbor for a road trip into the desert, well....let's just say the road to revelation is paved with bad intentions.

Over the next couple of weeks I'll try to profile each of the 2009 JAW playwrights to find out what their big trips are.

Meanwhile, I'll comfort myself with the knowledge that ever since the summer solstice, the days are getting imperceptibly shorter and shorter....


Steve Patterson said...

And I'm happy to point out that Ms. Stolowitz is, with yours truly, the Dramatists Guild of America co-representative for Oregon.

Also, completely off-topic, but the following is a Mead must-read:



Mead said...

An awesome book indeed -- it is now wishlisted, but I'll probably have to spring for it long before my birthday. (On October 10. Just FYI. James.) The table of contents alone is fascinating. There are whole categories of artists I've never heard of (oh joy), but I did pretty well, predictably enough, with the sections "American pathways," "Forgotten Folk" and "art school."

Have you shared this with your comrade-in-vinyl Mighty Toy Cannon? He will totally freak out on acid. Man.

Steve Patterson said...

I will. I've already tracked down "An Electric Storm" by White Noise, and, oh my God, it makes most of "Lost Wavelengths" sound like Barry Manilow. If you want to hear Dante's lost souls screaming as they're being sucked forever into eternity, it's the album for you.

MightyToyCannon said...

I want that book! I see that Mr. Mead's faves, Incredible String Band, appear on page 144. I'm in the midst of collecting material for a post on Harry Nilsson, who also appears in the book. Thanks for the heads up.

Chris 'Frog Queen' Davis said...

Looking forward to JAW! Thanks for the update.


MattyZ said...

It's also very exciting to have Gemma Whelan working with Andrea on her JAW offering. Gemma is most certainly a new works advocate - and an exciting new addition to the Portland theatre landscape!

Andrea said...

Thanks Mead! I am thrilled to be in this year's lineup and am so graced and wowed by my great cast, director, and stage manager!