Friday, November 28, 2008

Ms. M's 2nd Grade Class Is Going to the Theater

Someone donated the entire remaining amount this morning and I'm happy to say that Ms. M and her class will be going to see Harry the Dirty Dog. I don't know. Was it the puppy picture? Or one of my appeal emails or did it have nothing to do with me at all? Did someone just surf across all the proposals under the Fewest Days Left category at Donors Choose and pull up Ms. M's page? Whatever the circumstances, I'm grateful for that person's generosity and willingness to make this event a reality for the children. I've been stressing about it for the past few weeks and it's a huge relief to know that it's resolved now. Thank you again to everyone who donated.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

No Theater for You

Sad to say, but it looks like Ms. M's 2nd grade class is not going to get to see their first live theater performance. With 13 days to go, they've raised $110 - far short of their goal of $666 (an unfortunate number if you ask me, but there you are) to take everyone in class to see Harry the Dirty Dog.

I haven't completely given up hope yet, but am running out of ideas of ways to generate more interest. Now I'm resorting to puppy pictures and pleading. Check out the proposal here at Donors Choose and if you can think of a way to help out, I'd appreciate it. And so would these kids! Can you imagine? Seeing your first theater show?

Let's break it down. Ms. M's 2nd grade class can go to the theater if:
556 people give $1 or 278 people give $2 or 185 people give $3 and 1 person gives $1 or 139 people give $4 or 111 people give $5 or 92 people give $6 or 79 people give $7 or 69.5 people give $8 or 62 people give $9 or 55 people give $10. And so on. The math breaks down in many, many ways.

Thank you!

And thank you to those who have given so far!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oldish Charlie Rose Interview with Chuck Close and A Glimpse Into My Geeky Past

I was on the Debate team in high school. In fact, I lettered in Debate. Lettered in Debate! And I was proud of it. Proud of my National Forensic League Pen with the double ruby that I still have in a box in a cabinet in my bedroom along with the ashes of my cat! Feeling confessional today. And want to share this amazing documentary - it was broadcast on HBO back in June or July and I've been watching it in installments on my DVR. Looking at it, I think I've discovered where a piece of my playwrighting style originates.

(FYI: Actual movie doesn't start until 1:40)

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. Ack: parts 6 through 9 are not on youtube.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Like This Little Viddie & My Head is Slammed

I've had a blistering headache for the past four days. If only it would split like this there might be relief:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Show Traveling Jewish Theatre Some Love: It's Their 30th Anniversary

Seems the San Francisco Chronicle is so understaffed these days that it can't send its one and only critic, the excellent Robert Hurwitt, to TJT's revival of The Last Yiddish Poet - which opens their 30th anniversary season. Hurwitt tried to get his editor to reverse the decision, but no dice.

As a result, TJT is hurting at the box office and has had to cancel this week's Friday night show and Sunday matinee. There are two performances still available for this week. You can get half price tickets for those performances and next weekend's by calling 415.292.1233 or clicking here and using this promo code: TJT50.

30 Years! That's most of my life. What an accomplishment. Very rare in this country for a theater company to last that long.

Here's to 30 more!

Help! Help! Help!

Only 29 days left and Ms. M's second grade class is still short money to go see their first live theater performance - Harry the Dirty Dog!

You remember Harry don't you? He's the little black and white dog who doesn't like to take baths. This pooch on the left is not Harry. But he doesn't like to take baths either.

I know times are tight, but if you could kick in any amount it would be a huge help!

You can read the class proposal here at Donors Choose.

If you can't donate, would you please consider writing a blog post in support of the effort?

Please please let's make this happen you oh so lovely people!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tree 4: source material

Push it. Examine all things intensely and relentlessly. Probe and search each object in a piece of art. Do not leave it, do not course over it, as if it were understood, but instead follow it down until you see it in the mystery of its own specificity and strength. Giacometti’s drawings and paintings show his bewilderment and persistence. If he had not acknowledged his bewilderment, he would now have persisted. A twentieth- century master of drawing, Rico Lebrun, taught that “the draftsman must aggress; only by persistent assault will the live image capitulate and give up its secret to an unrelenting line.” Who but an artist fierce to know — not fierce to seem to know — would suppose that a live image possessed a secret? The artist is willing to give all his or her strength and life to probing with blunt instruments those same secrets no one can describe in any way but with those instruments’ faint tracks.

Admire the world for never ending on you — as you would admire an opponent, without taking your eyes from him, or walking away.

One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.

After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper
on which he had written a note to his apprentice, in the handwriting of his old age: “Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and do not waste time.”


Get to work. Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair.
At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then-and only then-it is handed to you.
Write about winter in the summer. Describe Norway as Ibsen did, from a desk in Italy; describe Dublin as James Joyce did, from a desk in Paris. Willa Cather wrote her prairie novels in New York City; Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn in Hartford, Connecticut. Recently, scholars learned that Walt Whitman rarely left his room.
The writer must solve two problems: Can it be done? And, can I do it? - Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tree 3: Source Material

Things are said that might seem to be nothing at all very much, but that we know without analyzing are the light or serious outpouring from intense or profound or daily and humble sources - a preference for a flower, say, is not just that but also a comment on some quality in life, some soft sweetness or cold or graceful formality, or some old romantic memory or happy or sad association. It might be some shading in the voice, some color of the tone, or the very order itself of the words or phrases, or even what is left out, not spoken at all, that expresses the thing really being said. - Stark Young

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tree 2: Source Material

Verbo by Pablo Neruda
Voy a arrugar esta palabra
voy a torcerla
es demasiado lisa
es como si un gran perro o un gran río
le hubiera repasado lengua o agua
durante muchos años.

Quiero que en la palabra
se vea la aspereza
la sal ferruginosa
la fuerza destentada
de la tierra ,
la sangre
de los que hablaron y de los que no hablaron

Quiero ver la sed
adentro de las sílabas:
quiero tocare el fuego
en el sonido:
quiero sentir la oscuridad
del grito. Quiero
palabras ásperas
como piedras vírgenes.

Verb by Pablo Neruda
I'm going to crumple this word,
I'm going to twist it,
it's too smooth,
it's as though a big dog or
a big river
had been licking it over and
over with tongue or water
for many years.
I want the word
to reveal the roughness,
the ferruginous salt,
the toothless strength
of the earth,
the blood
of those who walked and of those
who did not talk.
I want to see the thirst
inside the syllables,
I want to touch the fire
in the sound:
I want to feel the darkness
of the scream. I want
rough words,
like virgin rocks.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tree 1: source material

So my plan for NaPlWrimo is to post source material that serves as inspiration for each particular day. Here's today's photo with accompanying quotes, etc. The play I'm writing is about a woman who turns into a tree.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life, unique in the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. - Hermann Hesse, On Trees

I am looking at trees
they may be one of the things that I will miss
most from the earth
though many of the ones I have seen
already I cannot remember
and though I seldom embrace the ones I see
and have never been able to speak
with one
I listen to them tenderly
their names have never touched them
they have stood round my sleep
and when it was forbidden to climb them
they have carried me in their branches
W.S. Merwin, Trees
Round as a sun is the golden tree.
Its honey sun sifts down among the light
to cover me and my hot blood
and my heart hiding like a sad bird
among its birds and shadows.
Lock your branches around me, tree;
let the harsh wooden scales of bark enclose me.
Take me into your life and smother me with bloom
till my feet are cool in the earth
and my hair is long in the wind;
till I am a golden tree spinning the sunlight.
Strong as the sun is the golden tree
that gives and says nothing,
that takes and knows nothing;
but I am stronger than the sun; I am a child.
The tree I am lying beneath is the tree of my heart,
and my heart moves like a dark bird
among its birds and shadows. - Judith Wright, Child and the Wattle-Tree