James Elden's Playwright's Spotlight

James Elden

Playwright Spotlight features a new playwright every episode to discuss the tools of the trade and solutions to the obstacles we face as writers in hopes of making us all better and more successful playwrights. read less
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Episodes

Libraries, Confidence, the Process of Revision, and Saving Your Darlings - Playwright's Spotlight with Olivia Sawatzki
6d ago
Libraries, Confidence, the Process of Revision, and Saving Your Darlings - Playwright's Spotlight with Olivia Sawatzki
Send us a Text Message.Olivia Sawatzki came by Playwright's Spotlight after the West Coast Premiere of her play Being Alive (& other big jokes) at the Raven Playhouse in North Hollywood.We discuss seeing your work onstage, writing strategies, evolving as a playwright, being influenced and deconstructing playwrights' works, the process of revision, writing tricks and rituals as well as breaking habits. We also talk about confidence, finding motivation, character descriptions, detailed stage directions, and living an artists life. As an emerging playwright, Olivia has some wonderful information that any playwright at whatever stage in the career can benefit from. Enjoy! Olivia Sawatzki is a Los Angeles-based playwright. Originally from Columbus, Ohio. She is an alumna of Ohio State University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Theatre in 2020. She won the 2019 Gerald R. Black Prize for Recognition of Excellence in Playwriting. Her plays have been produced in Ohio and California and include Men of Might, LZRDGRL, Bleed Me Dry, and for sale, baby shoes. Most recently, her play Being Alive (& other big jokes) sold-out its West Coast Premiere run at in Los Angeles, CA, and she is a member of the Dramatists Guild. To watch the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/MEG5VRKejqQLinks to resources mentioned in this episode -Stuart Rogers & Theatre Tribe -https://stuartrogersstudios.com/la-theatre/New Play Exchange -https://newplayexchange.orgDramatists Guild -https://www.dramatistsguild.comPlaywrights' Center - https://new.pwcenter.orgNYCPlaywrights -https://www.nycplaywrights.orgWebsite and Socials for Olivia Sawatzki -IG - @olivsawaWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Technology, the Dangers of Missing Deadlines, and Making Musicals Look Simple - Playwright's Spotlight with Ian Kim
Jun 25 2024
Technology, the Dangers of Missing Deadlines, and Making Musicals Look Simple - Playwright's Spotlight with Ian Kim
Send us a Text Message.Recent Harvard-Westlake graduate Ian Kim swung by the studio to sit in the Playwright's Spotlight after the successful production of his second musical - Bakery of Love as part of HW's Playwright's Festival. We talk about making it look simple, the dangers of missing deadlines, musician collaboration and singer coordination as well as the meaning and benefits of safeties in a musical and writing for ranges. We also discuss transitioning from traditional playwriting to musicals and the process of the latter, commons songs types found in musicals, and terminology such as the bridge of a song. We wrap things up with trimming and cutting, cross-casting, changes during rehearsals, finding outside opportunities, and monetary prizes versus getting produced. Ian's a charming and talented musician with insight that will take him without doubt to a successful future. I hope you find inspiration from his interview. Enjoy! Ian Kim playwright, actor, and filmmaker as well as a recent graduate of the prestigious Harvard-Westlake in North Hollywood, California. His musicals Unauthorized Aid and Bakery of Love were both selected for the school’s annual Playwright’s Festival, and the former was produced at the California Young Playwrights Contest in San Diego, California. He begins attending Harvard next fall with an undeclared major. Click below to view the video format of this episode -https://youtu.be/20RJdGE8NosLinks to resources mentioned in this episode -MuseScore -https://musescore.org/enStephen Sondheim: Finishing the Hat -https://www.amazon.com/Finishing-Hat-Collected-1954-1981-Principles/dp/0679439072The Blank Theatre's Young Playwright's Festival -https://www.theblank.com/ypfCalifornia Young Playwrights Contest in San Diego -https://www.playwrightsproject.org/programs/contest/Unauthorized Aid Production Video -https://vimeo.com/832110714Socials for Ian Kim -IG - @ianbkimWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Set Up, Adaptation, Compensation, and Writing Good Suspense - Playwright's Spotlight with Barry M. Putt, Jr.
Jun 11 2024
Set Up, Adaptation, Compensation, and Writing Good Suspense - Playwright's Spotlight with Barry M. Putt, Jr.
Send us a Text Message.Barry M. Putt, Jr. beamed into the Playwright's Spotlight from New Jersey to discuss the medium of the audio drama, a throwback and homage to radio plays of the 30s and 40s. We breakdown the differences in elements of traditional playwriting vs the audio drama, i.e., setting up the scene, dialogue, sound effects, music, etc. We also talk about converting plays from stage to audio drama, the process of writing them as well as compensation and the opportunities in that market. We also touch on length, episodic vs feature, beats and silences in the medium, the hiring process for staff writers, popular genres, writing good suspense and character as well as establishing character flaws and adapting from other sources such as dime magazines. We wrap things up by touching on some of the traditional aspects of playwriting. Whether its audio dramas or traditional stage plays, Barry offers insight that I think you will find beneficial, and as always... Enjoy!  Barry M. Putt, Jr.'s plays have been performed in Canada, France, the UAE, and throughout the U.S and his comedy, “A Different Blend of Friendship” won the New Jersey Wordsmiths Award. Other plays include – Seafood Salad, The Grumbletonians, Inside Out, and Gutter Rat. He has also scripted more than 50 audio-drama productions for companies including Colonial Radio Theatre, Radio Theater Project, and Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre. His book on the craft of audio-drama writing entitled "Stories Told through Sound" is published by Applause Books. He is a member of the Witherspoon Circle, the Dramatists Guild, and the Authors Guild and has a degree in Dramatic Writing from NYU and in English Literature from Centenary University.The video format of this episode can be viewed at -https://youtu.be/y2hIkY8sbTsLinks to resources mentioned in this episode -Shoestring Radio Theatre -https://www.shoestring.orgNext Stage Press -https://www.nextstagepress.comVoices in the Wind -https://www.voicesinthewind.caRichard Wade, U.S. Marshal -https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/richard-wade-u-s-marshal/id1549613880Website and Socials for Barry M. Putt, Jr. -Website -https://www.barrymputtjr.comFB - https://www.facebook.com/barry.m.puttIG - @barrymputtjr         @puttbarryX - @bmputtWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Writing in Threads, Finding Momentum, and "Bad Pages Are No Pages" - Playwright's Spotlight with Boni B. Alvarez
May 29 2024
Writing in Threads, Finding Momentum, and "Bad Pages Are No Pages" - Playwright's Spotlight with Boni B. Alvarez
Send us a Text Message.Playwright Boni B. Alvarez stopped by Playwright's Spotlight during the run of his historic play Mix-Mix: The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy. In such, we discuss approaching historical figures and events and flashbacks on stage. We also discuss his approach to writing "in threads,"  being married to material, finding momentum, and addressing and giving feedback. We also explore Julliard, his start in playwriting, lessons in playwriting and having a style. We also touch on what is craft, finding an arc, and writing and finding a good antagonist. It's a fascinating episode that explore the evolvement of writing and revision, "taking every single note," making changes and change "requests," as well as content warnings.  As always, I hope you walk away with some beautiful insight into the craft of playwriting. Now, sit back and get to work.Boni B. Alvarez is a Los Angeles-based playwright-actor and faculty member at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. He has been a semifinalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and a Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project, and Clubbed Thumb’s Biennial Commission.  He is currently in the Geffen Playhouse’s Writer’s Room and a Resident Playwright with New Dramatists. His plays include America Adjacent, Bloodletting, Fixed, Nicky, Dallas Non-Stop, Driven, The Debut of Georgia, Emmylu, and Refuge for a Purple Heart. He holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, an MFA (Acting) from A.R.T./MXAT Institute at Harvard University, and an MFA (Dramatic Writing) from USC. His play Mix-Mix: The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy opens May 18 and runs through June 16 at The Los Angeles Theatre Center. For tickets to Mix-Mix: The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy  visit -https://dola.com/events/2024/6/6/mix-mix-ticketsTo watch the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/1UzeyRIgdtILinks to resources mentioned in this episode -https://americanrepertorytheater.orgWebsite and Socials for Boni B. Alvarez -https://dramaticarts.usc.edu/boni-b-alvarez/Websites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Developmental Struggles, Embracing Rejection, and "Overnight" Success - Playwright's Spotlight with David Johann Kim
May 14 2024
Developmental Struggles, Embracing Rejection, and "Overnight" Success - Playwright's Spotlight with David Johann Kim
Send us a Text Message.David Johann Kim stopped by Playwright's Spotlight to discuss his two new simultaneous running plays and the process in which they were developed, their similarities surrounding the same historical event, and the collaborative process working with two different troupes and directors and his "overnight" success. We also discuss the value of workshops, recording notes opposed to writing them, fighting with structure, the Joint-Stock Method, discoveries from table work, writing rituals, and embracing rejection letters. It's a fascinating conversation about a unique situation. I hope you enjoy the talk.David Johann Kim is an actor and playwright. His plays PANG SPA and TWO STOP were awarded the 2022 Los Angeles New Play Project Award and Grant. TWO STOP was recently workshopped at The Inkwell Theater and PANG SPA was a semifinalist for the 2018 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Ashland New Play Festival and Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the final round of Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation Playwrights Program. He holds an MFA from UC San Diego and is a member of The Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights Union, EST/LA’s Playwrights Unit, Chalk Rep’s Writers group, Playwrights ThinkTank and cofounder of EST/LA’s Ignite Project.To watch the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/N4oPK8ZBt5MFor tickets to both Two Stop (May 2 – June 9, 2024) and Pang Spa (May 16th - June 9th), visit - https://www.estlosangeles.org/two-stop-world-premiereLinks to resources mentioned in this episode -Los Angeles New Play Project -https://lanpp.orgEST/LA (Ensemble Studio Theatre) -https://www.estlosangeles.orgChalk Repertory Theatre -https://www.chalkrep.comThe Magic -https://magictheatre.org/Asian American Theatre Company -https://naatco.orgNew Works Now -https://downtownla.com/do/new-original-works-now-festivalLark Play Development -https://www.nyc-arts.org/organizations/lark-play-development-center/Inkwell Workshop -https://www.inkwellretreats.orgCircle X Writers -https://www.circlextheatre.org/new-page-2Evolving Playwrights -https://www.circlextheatre.org/evolving2023Ignite Project -https://www.estlosangeles.org/ignite-projectNew Play Exchange -https://newplayexchange.org/Website and Socials for David Johann Kim -IG - @d.yo_hankimFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/david.j.kim.982Websites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Writing Transitions, Cracking the Story, and "Wait! What?" Moments - Playwright's Spotlight with Michelle Kholos Brooks
Apr 30 2024
Writing Transitions, Cracking the Story, and "Wait! What?" Moments - Playwright's Spotlight with Michelle Kholos Brooks
Send us a Text Message.Michelle Kholos Brooks sat in the Playwright's Spotlight for a wonderful conversation about her approach to the craft. We talked about the rehearsal process with the return of her play Hitler's Tasters in which we touch on writing transitions, the effects of Covid on this particular piece and the different renditions prior to publication as well as working with different casts. We also discuss inspiration to write historical events, playing in different markets, her trajectory into playwriting from journalism, overcoming struggles, writing exposition well, using and implementing prompts, editing, motivation, and detailing or suggesting stage directions. As always, it was a very insightful interview that I hope you will enjoy. Cheers!Hitler's Tasters runs May 4th through June 3rd at Rogue Machine Theater. Tickets can be purchased at - https://roguemachine.ludus.com/index.php?show_id=200451592Michelle Kholos Brooks is an award-winning playwright with productions staged internationally. Awards and distinctions include the Susan Glaspell Award for H*TLER’S TASTERS and the Riva Shiner Comedy Award for KALAMAZOO, co-written with Kelly Younger. ROOM 1214 was a finalist for The Ashland New Plays Festival, and her play HOSTAGE was a finalist for the Woodward/Newman Drama Award, The Fratti-Newman Political Play Contest, and a Showcase finalist for the National New Play Network. Other plays include War Words, Chair, and Project Fear (and All the Feels). She earned her BA from Emerson College and an MFA is Fiction from Otis College of Art and Design and she is Playwright-in-Residence at New York Rep. For the video format of this episode, click -https://youtu.be/InlPEuB2b-0Links mentioned in this episode -Rogue Machine Theatre -https://www.roguemachinetheatre.orgNew Light Theater Project -https://www.newlighttheaterproject.comPacific Resident Theater -https://pacificresidenttheatre.orgDramatists Bill of Rights -https://www.dramatistsguild.com/rightsNew Play Exchange -https://newplayexchange.orgWebsites and socials for Michelle Kholos Brooks - https://www.michellekholosbrooks.comIG - @michellekholosbrooksX/Twiiter - @MKholosBrooksFB - https://www.facebook.com/michelle.k.brooks.7Websites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Opera, Wit, Interruptions, and Reframing Your Story - Playwright's Spotlight with Oliver Mayer
Apr 16 2024
Opera, Wit, Interruptions, and Reframing Your Story - Playwright's Spotlight with Oliver Mayer
Send us a Text Message.Playwright Oliver Mayer joined us before the premiere of his new play Ghost Waltz. Oliver shares his experience writing operas, the medium's influence on his playwriting and the musicality of English as well as the intimacy of theatre and creative control, the after affects of "crashing into the wall. We also explore writing rituals, interruptions, reframing your story, breaking bad habits and the dangers of wit, where to start a scene and "when the mask falls," and wrap things up with dialogue and stage directions, the rules of twos and threes, the use of music, translating works, and saving (L.A.) theatre and nontraditional venues. It was certainly another page in the lesson books for me. I hope you walk away with something insightful. Enjoy.Oliver Mayer is a playwright, poet, essayist and librettist, whose newest opera 3 Paderewskis, composed by Jenni Brandon, received its world premiere at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center in 2019. He is the author of more than 30 plays, from his ground-breaking Blade to the Heat to its long-awaited sequel - Members Only; he is currently at work on Ultimate Mix Tape, the third play in the Blade trilogy. Other produced plays include Blood Match and Yerma in the Desert (inspired by the plays of Federico Garcia Lorca), Fortune is a Woman, The Wallowa Project, Dias y Flores, Dark Matters, Young Valiant, Joy of the Desolate, The Sinner from Toledo, Laws of Sympathy and Ragged Time. He is developing new plays with The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and the Getty Villa. He is a tenured professor and Associate Dean of Faculty at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts. The world premiere of his play Ghost Waltz opens at the Los Angeles Theater Center on May 4th and runs through June 6th. For tickets to Ghost Waltz, visit -https://www.latinotheaterco.org/ghostwaltzTo view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/hDj406wgr6gLinks mentioned in this episode -Latino Theater Company -https://www.latinotheaterco.orgLive at the Met -https://www.metopera.org/season/radio/saturday-matinee-broadcasts/Website and Socials for Oliver Mayer -Website -www.olivermayer.comUSC - School of Dramatic Arts -https://dramaticarts.usc.edu/faculty-qa-oliver-mayer/Websites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Opening Up the Text, Playfulness in Language, and "Saving As." - Playwright's Spotlight with Tira Palmquist
Apr 2 2024
Opening Up the Text, Playfulness in Language, and "Saving As." - Playwright's Spotlight with Tira Palmquist
Send us a Text Message.Playwright Tira Palmquist sat in the Playwright's Spotlight while rehearsing her latest play The Body's Midnight. We had a wonderful conversation discussing the benefits of table work, entering the flow state and making discoveries later in the process, the role of the playwright in rehearsals, cutting characters, time between drafts, and the tool of "saving as." We also touch on the different development processes, rookie mistakes, teaching subtext and fixing your flaws, finding your voice, poetry in playwriting as well as her take on "pay to play" and finding opportunities. It was another interview full of insight that I hope can help take your playwriting to the next level. Enjoy!TIRA PALMQUIST is a dramaturg, director and playwright known for plays that merge the personal, the political and the poetic. Her play, The Way North was developed at the 2018 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and was a finalist for the 2018 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Other plays include: Two Degrees, Ten Mile Lake, Age of Bees, and This Floating World. She teaches creative writing at the Orange County School of the Arts, and has also taught at Wesleyan University and the University of California-Irvine. She’s back in town for a short spell for rehearsals of her play The Body’s Midnight which opens April 27th at the Boston Court Theater in Pasadena, CA.For tickets to The Body's Midnight through May 26th -https://bostoncourtpasadena.org/events/thebodysmidnight/To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/i4JBkve6CtALinks mentioned in this episode -Seven Devils New Play Foundry -https://www.sevendevils.orgBoston Court Pasadena -https://bostoncourtpasadena.orgPlaywrights' Center -https://pwcenter.orgNew Play Exchange -https://newplayexchange.orgOriginal Works Publishing -https://www.originalworksonline.comTRW Plays -https://trwplays.com/Websites and socials for Tira Palmquist -www.tirapalmquist.comIG - @tira.pFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/tira.palmquistWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Etiquette, Letting Go of Perfection, and Writing From a Slice of Life - Playwright's Spotlight with Becky Wahlstrom
Mar 19 2024
Etiquette, Letting Go of Perfection, and Writing From a Slice of Life - Playwright's Spotlight with Becky Wahlstrom
Send us a Text Message.Joan of Arcadia's Becky Wahlstrom stopped by Playwright's Spotlight while in town from Nashville to help wrap up the rehearsal process for the premiere of her new play A Froggy Becomes. Becky discusses how she started out writing plays after a successful stint in Hollywood. We touch a bit on censorship from theaters, the pros and cons of writing for small budgets, and having a network circle and how it can help, the experience of coming into rehearsals late in the process, feedback in Nashville vs Chicago as well as the Nashville market and the benefits of second and third tier markets. Finally, we talk about writing layers and character transformation, prejudging  the  audience,  evolving through experience and taking chances, and taking the time to write through each character's eyes. It's an energetic episode at its finest and Becky delivers. Enjoy.Becky Wahlstrom attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in England and has appeared on shows such as Star Trek: Enterprise, Grey’s Anatomy, Mad Men, NCIS, Judging Amy, and is best known for the supporting role of Grace Polk on the series Joan of Arcadia. She recently dipped her toe back into playwriting with the premiere of her play A Froggy Becomes at Open Fist Theatre in Los Angeles.For tickets to A Froggy Becomes through April 13th, visit -https://openfisttheatre.my.salesforce-sites.com/ticket#/To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/ZGo5JVYll1MLinks mentioned in this episode -Open Fist Theatre Company -https://openfist.orgNashville Repertory Theatre -https://nashvillerep.org/Moving Arts Theatre Company -https://movingarts.orgDramatists Guild -https://www.dramatistsguild.comWebsites and Socials for Becky Wahlstrom -http://www.beckywahlstrom.comFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/becky.wahlstromIG - @beckywahlstromNew Play Exchange -https://newplayexchange.orgWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Writing Natural Dialogue, Getting Back to Our Roots, and Why Theatre? - Playwright's Spotlight with Steve Fife
Mar 5 2024
Writing Natural Dialogue, Getting Back to Our Roots, and Why Theatre? - Playwright's Spotlight with Steve Fife
Send us a Text Message.This week playwright Steve Fife sat in-studio in the Playwright's Spotlight. It was a reflective conversation of his experience in New York and on Broadway in the seventies, his dislike of eighties, and the joyous return in the nineties. We discuss rewriting and updating past works, getting back to theatre's roots, directing your own work (of course) and The Greats, the current acceptance of dark subject matter, and audience feedback at staged readings. We also touch on theatre in L.A., cast conflicts and obligations, Playwrights vs Directors interpretation, lessons from workshop participation vs running workshops as well as lessons as a literary manager which led into stories of David Ives and fame in the bubble of theatre and being a big fish in a small pond. Our conversation ends in writing natural dialogue. It's a fascinating conversation through a window of where theatre was and where it is now and Steve's connection with personas we've all come to know throughout our time in this wondrous arena. I'm sure you'll find something to connect with. Enjoy!Steve Fife is an author, poet, and playwright and former reporter and literary manager. His plays SAVAGE WORLD, BREAK OF DAY and THIS IS NOT WHAT I ORDERED have been published by Samuel French/Concord Theatricals.  Other plays include In The Mood, Sizzle Sizzle, Blue Kiss, The Kitchen Girl, Fun With Freud, Scattered Blossoms, Vincent in the Asylum, Van Gogh’s Zombie Movie, The Transformation Center, Bring Your Own and The Blessing. His adaptation of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance was produced Off-Broadway and The American Wife had its World Premiere at the Park Theatre in London. He was 2019-20 writer-in-residence at the Ark Theatre in North Hollywood. He has also penned book & lyrics for four musicals. He is a graduate the National Theatre Institute, Sarah Lawrence College and received his MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/RZmBvAMPM3ELinks mentioned in this episode -Interact Theatre Company -https://www.interactla.org/"Hurricane" Carter -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_CarterMatrix Theatre -http://www.matrixtheatre.comNew Dramatists -https://newdramatists.orgConcord Theatricals -https://www.concordtheatricals.comWebsites and socials for Steve Fife -Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/steve.fife.94X - @twistedhipster8IG - @steve.fife.94Websites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Reflecting Life on Stage, The New York City Hustle, and Putting Away the Constraints - Playwright's Spotlight with Catya McMullen
Feb 21 2024
Reflecting Life on Stage, The New York City Hustle, and Putting Away the Constraints - Playwright's Spotlight with Catya McMullen
Send us a Text Message.Catya McMullen stopped by Playwright's Spotlight during the run of her new play Arrowhead which runs through March 4, 2024. In this episode, we talk about surviving lockdowns as an artist, what makes a good writer, reflecting life on stage, stage plays as love letters. We also discuss what comes after the initial idea, writing from a personal place and putting away the constraints, laughing your way into a deeper conversation and, a new term from me, the New York City Hustle and the benefits of becoming more generous in your theatre community. In addition, Catya shares her editing technique of Scene Tetris, deciphering notes from prescriptive fixes, accountability and keeping motivated, and whether or not you can find any of her rapping/hip hop performances online. Another fun episode I hope you'll enjoy. Catya McMullen is a playwright and comedian. Her short play, MISSED CONNECTION won the 37th Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. She is the author of the comedic hip hop musical LOCKED UP BITCHES and the plays GEORGIA MERTCHING IS DEAD, AGNES, EVERYTHING IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE OKAY, WE PRAY TO ELEPHANTS, ASSHOLES IN GAS STATIONS, RUBBER DUCKS AND SUNSETS, and THE COLLECTIVE. She is a proud alum of the Obie award winning EST/Youngblood and a company member of The Middle Voice Theater Company and was a finalist for the City Theater National Award for Short Playwriting and the Creator of the quarterly variety show WE ARE ANIMALS where she raps under her feminist hip hop alias “Chihuahua Fancy” and has received multiple commissions from the Sloan Foundation. She teaches sketch comedy and playwriting at The People’s Improv Theater. Her latest play Arrowhead opened February 9th and runs through March 4th, 2024 at Atwater Village Theater in Los Angeles.To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/qIrJvOJn_Z4Links mentioned in this episode -Tickets to Arrowhead (Closing March 4, 2024) and IAMA Theatre Company -https://www.iamatheatre.com/plays-events/arrowheadSloan Foundation -https://sloan.orgThe Flea Theatre -https://theflea.orgDramatists Play Service (DPS) -https://www.dramatists.comWebsites and socials for Catya McCullen -IG - @mccatyaWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -X - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - X - @punkmonkeyprods    - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -X - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Purging Emotions, Deus Ex Machina, and Making the Case to Study Playwriting in Academia - Playwright's Spotlight with Luke Yankee
Feb 6 2024
Purging Emotions, Deus Ex Machina, and Making the Case to Study Playwriting in Academia - Playwright's Spotlight with Luke Yankee
Send us a Text Message.Had the pleasure of chatting with playwright and son of actress Eileen Heckart (Bus Stop), Luke Yankee, about growing up in the world of Hollywood and his journey to be coming a playwright. It's a wonderful interview that touches on his relationships with not only the Hollywood greats but also the pioneers of the theatre (including Steven Schwartz, Beth Henley, David Lindsay-Abaire, and David Henry Hwang) and how they affected his growth as an artist and craft of playwriting. We touch on his delving into playwriting, winning The Stanley Award, his inspirations and writing style, receiving notes and getting bad feedback, knowing and breaking the rules of playwriting as well as the importance of script analysis and criticism. We also talk the benefits of making your work more personal, making characters sound different, learning from the Greeks and other classics, and what he views as the most important element of playwriting. Also, if you're a long time listener to the podcast, Luke may very well have ended the debate on whether or not it's worth studying playwriting in academia. Overall, Luke was is absolutely charming and delivers a plethora of knowledge about the craft. Enjoy!Luke Yankee is a writer, director, producer, actor, and teacher. His play, "The Last Lifeboat" (published by Dramatists Play Service) has had more than 50 productions in North America and has won over 60 regional awards. His play, "Marilyn, Mom & Me" was the recipient of the Southwest Theatre Productions Sponsor's Award, the Moondance Stageplay Award, and the Writer's Digest Award for Best Play. His play, “Confessions of a Star Maker” was recently a finalist for the Screencraft stageplay competition and was chosen for the Last Frontier Theatre Conference. Other plays include "A Place at Forest Lawn", "The Man Who Killed The Cure" and "The Jesus Hickey".To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/TCjWtRO1k9ILinks mentioned in this episode -The Stanley Award -https://wagner.edu/performing-arts/stanley-drama/International City Theatre -https://ictlongbeach.orgThe Art of Writing for the Theatre -https://www.amazon.com/Art-Writing-Theatre-Introduction-Introductions/dp/1350155578Play Submissions Helper -https://playsubmissionshelper.comWilliam Inge Theatre Festival -https://ingecenter.org/festival/The O'Neills -https://www.theoneill.orgUC Riverside MFA Program -https://palmdesertmfa.ucr.eduSocials and Website for Luke Yankee -www.lukeyankee.comFB - www.facebook.com/luke.yankeeIG - @lukebyankeeX/Twitter - @lukebyankee Websites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Putting in the Time, Owning Your Home Town, and a Path to Success - Playwright's Spotlight with Donna Hoke
Jan 23 2024
Putting in the Time, Owning Your Home Town, and a Path to Success - Playwright's Spotlight with Donna Hoke
Send us a Text Message.Donna Hoke sat in the Playwright's Spotlight to discuss her journey into playwriting. In this interview we touch on her involvement in the Official Playwrights of Facebook, her start as playwright from a journalism background and learning on the fly, working in a smaller market and "owning your home town" as well as building relationships and putting in the time. We also talk about being commissioned, finding that "flow," finding opportunities, playwriting struggles, the use of character backstories, using exercises as standalone pieces, the structure and trends of ten-minute plays, and what constitutes success. Again, Donna offers such great insight and resources, I think you'll find yourself with a plethora of information. Cheers.Donna Hoke’s work has been seen in 48 states and on five continents. She has been nominated for the Primus, Blackburn, and Laura Pels prizes, and is a three-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play for SEEDS, SONS & LOVERS, and ONCE IN MY LIFETIME. She has also twice received Individual Artist Awards from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop HEARTS OF STONE and CANALSIDE. She has been serving the Dramatists Guild in various capacities since 2012, is an ensemble playwright at Road Less Traveled Productions, and is former moderator of the 13,500+-member Official Playwrights of Facebook Other plays include - BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART, ELEVATOR GIRL, SAFE, and TEACH.To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/fnbkyVL4SecLinks mentioned in this episode -The Official Playwrights of Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/groups/2351514659New Play Exchange -https://newplayexchange.org/World Less Traveled Productions -https://www.roadlesstraveledproductions.orgPlaywrights' Center -https://pwcenter.orgPlay Submission Helper - https://playsubmissionshelper.comNational New Play Network - https://nnpn.orgThe Dramatic Writer's Companion -https://www.amazon.com/Dramatic-Writers-Companion-Characters-Publishing/dp/0226172546Dramatists Guild -https://www.dramatistsguild.comSeven Devils -https://www.sevendevils.orgTrade-A-Play Tuesday -https://blog.donnahoke.com/trade-a-play-tuesday/Playwright's Binge -https://groups.io/g/playwrightbingeYouthPLAYS -https://www.youthplays.com/Broadway Licensing - https://broadwaylicensing.comPlaywright's Spotlight with Steven Dietz -https://youtu.be/CnS8-gegiUcWebsites and socials for Donna Hoke -Website - www.donnahoke.comIG - @dhokeplaysTwitter/X - @donnahokeSnap - @hokeplaysWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through LACPF -Support the Show.
Segues, Dry Spells, & Branding, Confidence & Commitment, and What's Too Soon? - Playwright's Spotlight with Henry Phillips
Jan 9 2024
Segues, Dry Spells, & Branding, Confidence & Commitment, and What's Too Soon? - Playwright's Spotlight with Henry Phillips
Send us a Text Message.In this episode of Playwright's Spotlight, long time friend and standup Henry Phillips stopped by to discuss another aspect of writing for the stage - Standup Comedy. Henry shares his origins into the craft and business of standup, his approach to comedy and knowing when you've got the right joke, the use of Twitter as a testing ground, and how to segue into the next joke. We also talk about voice vs character, the ideal length of a joke, having jokes stolen, testing material and drawing from life, dry spells and branding as well as confidence and commitment in performance. In addition, we touch on building up to being a headliner, relationships and invitations, comedic potential and when's too soon to joke about a topic. It was a lot of fun to learn to hear Henry's pathway to his success. I hope you enjoy it. Henry Phillips is an actor, writer, musician and standup comic. He has played hundreds of cities across the country and around the world. He has recorded five comedy albums including On the Shoulders of Freaks, Number 2, Why Haven’t I Heard From You, L.A. Dreams, and Neither Here Nor There. He’s appeared in multiple episodes of Silicon Valley as well as Season Two, Episode 4 of Drunk History. He is the co-writer of both Punching the Clown and Punching Henry and stars in the hit web-series Henry’s Kitchen.To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/7UI9zTfzt2ULinks mentioned in this episode -Gengis Cohen -https://www.genghiscohen.comThe Improv -https://improv.com/hollywood/Dr. Demento -https://www.drdemento.comThe Second Degree -https://www.imdb.com/video/vi2560076569Websites and socials for Henry Phillips -https://henryphillips.comhenrys.kitchenTwitter/X - @henlipsIG - @henlipsTwitch - @henlips1YouTube - @henryphillipsWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Sweating the Joke, Surprising Your Audience, and Fighting For Your Convictions - Playwright's Spotlight with Paul Greenberg
Dec 26 2023
Sweating the Joke, Surprising Your Audience, and Fighting For Your Convictions - Playwright's Spotlight with Paul Greenberg
Send us a Text Message.This was an absolute treat and a dream come true. Paul Greenberg from the sketch comedy troop The Vacant Lot honored me with ninety minutes of his time to come and talk shop. We discuss his pathway to success while performing onstage and then being cancelled in Canada as well as auditioning for SNL. We touch on what makes a good idea, how something always has to go wrong, and how a sketch must have a good ending. We also talk about the structure of sketch, the Canadien Dream, the history of Second City, doing your time and learning from the greats and how L.A. gets it wrong in the world of improv and sketch. Paul is chock full of knowledge and insight and shares his wisdom on how to be successful in the world of sketch comedy. I hope you have as much fun listening as I did recording this episode.  Enjoy!To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/XSAXIIUHYs4Links mentioned in this episode -The Brill Building -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brill_BuildingRita MacNeil -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rita_MacNeilRyerson Polytechnic University -https://www.torontomu.caThe Groundlings -https://groundlings.comSecond City -https://www.secondcity.comNichols and May -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKL1tNv__kUThe Vacant Lot -https://www.youtube.com/@thevacantlot137Websites and socials for Paul Greenberg -Hanging with Doctor Z -www.hangingwithdoctorz.comIG - @paulgreenberg1         @thesensationalrustysteeleWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Translation, Culture, and Non-Traditional Theatre - An American Playwright in Norway - Playwright's Spotlight with Ren Powell
Dec 11 2023
Translation, Culture, and Non-Traditional Theatre - An American Playwright in Norway - Playwright's Spotlight with Ren Powell
Send us a Text Message.We're back after a brief hiatus due to a guest cancelling, the holidays, and me feeling a bit under the weather, but our third season is still off with a bang. If there was a fascinating episode to drop after being away, this is IT. International playwright Ren Powell visited remotely with an aspect of playwriting and theatre I couldn't have been prepared for. We discuss going international, cultural differences, and the task of tackling translating from a cultural perspective as well as playwriting and also as an approach to learning a language. We touch upon Norwegian playwriting on the page and stage and their appeal to deconstructing theatrical works. Ren also speaks of her use of "erasure" in her adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear and her advocacy of free speech against literary prosecution in the realm of human rights and human obligation. We also talk about new or obscure forms of theatre including pub theatre, pantos, and Norwegian variety/vaudeville style theatre (revits (sp?)) and Norwegian improv. I also chime in a bit (a lot) with my frustration of authority in academia. It truly is a fascinating conversation I hope you will enjoy. My guest today is a poet, playwright and teaching artist born in Anaheim, California and currently based in Oslo, Norway. She has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in England, a BA in Theater Arts from Texas A&M University, and teaches at Vågen Upper Secondary School for the Visual and Performing Arts. Her work often juxtaposes mindsets with landscapes, culture with nature and often reflects on the themes of identity, place/displacement, mental disorders, human rights and obligations. Her plays include - Ripeness is All (An erasure/adaptation of King Lear), Light as Her Bones, and The Ant Farm.To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/Tr_EPp7V7K8Links mentioned in this episode -dv8 theatre -https://dv8.co.ukForced Entertainment -https://www.forcedentertainment.comPEN International and America -https://www.pen-international.orghttps://pen.orgThe Muse - https://muse.jhu.eduWebsites and socials for Ren Powell -www.renpowell.comNew Play Exchange -https://newplayexchange.org/users/80012/ren-powellEmail -renpowell.writer@gmail.comIG - madorphanwriterWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Truth and Trust, Compromise in Collaboration, and the Healing Process of Playwriting - Playwright's Spotlight with Stan Mayer
Nov 14 2023
Truth and Trust, Compromise in Collaboration, and the Healing Process of Playwriting - Playwright's Spotlight with Stan Mayer
Send us a Text Message.Season 3, Episode 1. - If someone told me how powerful of a conversation I'd have been in store for prior to sitting down with Stan Mayer, I'm not sure I would've believed them, nor could I have prepared myself for the conversation we would have, and certainly not from a playwriting perspective. What proceeds is an in-depth and personal insight into war and how it translates to the stage where most would place it in a cinematic medium. However, Stan breaks it down beautifully and makes a strong case why war stories belong on the stage, and how not only the playwright, but the community can heal from wounds that can still be decades old. We speak about honoring truth and how trust is an important commodity when it comes to collaboration, and how letting go can lead to getting out of your own way when it comes to ego. We also touch on the flourishing of discovery when sussing out the story over a long period of time through workshop, rehearsal, and play as well as at the importance of not diluting your co-author's voice and trusting your work in someone else's hands. It's a truly lovely conversation, and I can't thank Stan enough for sharing such a personal story and process with the Playwright's Spotlight community. I hope you enjoy this first episode of the new season.Stan Mayer is an actor, playwright, and director. In a past life, he was a US Marine infantryman and Intelligence Officer in special operations, serving five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Plays include Odysseus at Temecula and the upcoming premiere Mama, Mama, Can’t You See with co-writer Cecelia Fairchild produced by Coin & Ghost Theatre Company at Studio/Stage in Los Angeles.To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/ECmQGdWRpl0For tickets to Mama, Mama, Can't You See if you're in the Los Angeles area, visit -https://www.showclix.com/event/mama-mama-2023Links to sites mentioned in this episode - Arts in the Armed Forces -https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org/bwfgrants/arts-in-the-armed-forces/Coin & Ghost Theatre Company -https://coinandghost.orgstudio/stage -https://www.thestagecrafts.com/studio-stage/Contact info and socials for Stan Mayer -IG - @stoshactuallyWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Writing From Experience, the Music of Language, and the Fate of Theatre - Playwright's Spotlight with Richard Vetere
Oct 31 2023
Writing From Experience, the Music of Language, and the Fate of Theatre - Playwright's Spotlight with Richard Vetere
Send us a Text Message.FINAL EPISODE OF SEASON 2! We made it another year. In this season ending episode, we spend time speaking with Richard Vetere. Richard reached out to me on Instagram and voiced interest in being on an episode of Playwright's Spotlight. After looking over his credentials, Richard certainly had insight to offer, and as always, I learned something new. In this episode, we discuss the evolution of grants, the current state and the fate of theatre, what makes a good director, what's necessary in stage directions, obtaining flow in playwriting, his personal process when it comes to the craft, structure, and finding inspiration and generating ideas. We also reflect upon the brilliance of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, whether Shakespeare was a real person, innovation as a young playwright, whether rewriting published work is possible, Equity as a union, maturing as a playwright, producing in smaller markets, and having creative control in playwriting. It was an absolute treat to talk with Richard, and I was enthralled to have him wrap up our second season of Playwright's Spotlight. See you in Season 3.Richard Vetere is a playwright, novelist, poet and film and TV writer, actor, director and producer.  He has over twenty plays published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus and Applause Book and include Caravaggio, Gangster Apparel, Machiavelli, One Shot, One Kill and Bird Brain with production of the plays Off-Broadway in NYC, Chicago, Melbourne, Cyprus, Rome, Paris and London. He has received numerous grants for writing including a Mary Roberts Rinehart Grant for Playwriting and a Cultural Council Foundation for poetry and playwriting. He was a guest of the Chicago Humanities Theater Festival for his play Caravaggio. He has a Masters in Comparative English Literature from Columbia University and lectured at NYU in the master's program in playwriting and film writing and continues to lecture at Queens College. To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/r5gxnIpnuuALinks to sites mentioned in this episode - Mary Robert Rinehart Grant -https://english.gmu.edu/awards/127Cultural Council Foundation - https://www.americansforthearts.orgDramatists Guild -https://www.dramatistsguild.comSimon and Schuster -https://www.simonandschuster.comPDW -https://www.actingstudio.com/acting-classes/playwrights/beginning-playwriting/Actors Equity -https://www.actorsequity.orgWebsites and socials for Richard Vetere -Website - https://www.richardvetereauthor.comFB - https://www.facebook.com/richard.vetereIG - @vetererichardTwitter - @RichardVetereWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losanSupport the Show.
Writing From Grief, Hearing the Truth, and the Need for Validation - Playwright's Spotlight with Brynn Thayer
Oct 12 2023
Writing From Grief, Hearing the Truth, and the Need for Validation - Playwright's Spotlight with Brynn Thayer
Send us a Text Message.We've dug into the vaults of Playwright's Spotlight for this episode. Originally recorded on February 8th, 2023, I interviewed playwright Brynn Thayer a few weeks before the world premiere of Let Me In. Unfortunately due to a software update, the audio was unusable and the pod-recorder used for backup was not started on time. Brynn and I tried to find a time to rerecord but were unable to due to schedule conflicts, so I've decided to release the episode without the first six minutes, which I'm glad I decided to do. I think Brynn has encouraging advice and experience that she shares in this episode. We discuss her beginnings as a soap actress and its development toward her playwriting, how she was able to learn character from soaps, her pathway from a one-woman show, to a two-person short film series, and later a full length three-person play. We also touch upon the need of validation, writing from grief, hearing the truth, conflict in questions, wearing all the hats in a production as well as the flaws of a character and writing behavior. We had a lot of fun recording it and wish I would have released it sooner. I would still love to have Brynn in to discuss Let Me In after having experienced it. I hope it makes the rounds, because it's a wonderful piece.Brynn Thayer has been working in the industry since the 1970s. She's been nominated for a Daytime Emmy and wrote and performed her one-woman show, The Eulogy, which the Los Angeles Times called "Sardonic, Funny and Accessible.” She directed, wrote and produced the Worst Day series of short films with her partner Shahaub Roudbari, which toured the festival circuit and won many awards. Her most recent play, Let Me In, played to sold out crowds at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood.To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/W4hG9Rc-kZELinks to sites mentioned in this episode - Beverly Hills Playhouse -https://www.bhplayhouse.com/Lenaea High School Theatre Festival -lenaea.orgHowie Deutsch -https://workspacehollywood.comTheatre 68 -https://www.theatre68.comNew Play Exchange -https://newplayexchange.orgWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivalwww.losangelescollegiateplaywrightsfestival.com/services.htmlSupport the Show.
Playwriting Mechanics, Playing with Timelines, and Obtaining Representation - Playwright's Spotlight with Anna Ouyang Moench
Oct 3 2023
Playwriting Mechanics, Playing with Timelines, and Obtaining Representation - Playwright's Spotlight with Anna Ouyang Moench
Send us a Text Message.Another episode touching on aspects not featured in past episodes. Today playwright Anna Ouyang Moench sits in the Playwright's Spotlight and, thankfully, after botching her name twice, she was nice enough to stick around. In this interview, we discuss the benefits of writers groups, the pursuit of playwriting, and developing a play during rehearsal through a nontraditional writing approach. We also discuss the techniques of structure, working under time constraints and the the practicality and theatricality of producing, transferring from larger markets to smaller markets as well as building your network as you grow. We also talk about how playwriting helps in the arena of film and television, how to take notes and receive feedback and being mindful when receiving it, how to juggle life's responsibilities and finding discipline while writing, the mechanisms of a play, playing with the structure of timeline as well as obtaining theatrical and literary representation and so much more. Certainly a learning experience on my end which I hope you enjoy. Anna Ouyang Moench is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been produced across the country and include Mothers, Birds of North America, and Sin Eaters. She has been supported by fellowships and residencies from The Playwrights Realm, New York Foundation of the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Van Lier Foundation, Yaddo, the Tofte Lake Center, the Sewanee Writers Conference, and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference. Her awards include the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center, the Gerbode Special Award in the Arts, Boulder Ensemble Theater Company’s Generations Award, and East West Players’ 2042: See Change Award. She is an alum of UCSD’s Playwriting M.F.A. program, the Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater, Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Jam at New Georges, and writers groups at East West Players and the Echo Theater Company.To view the video format of this episode, visit -https://youtu.be/HbNX6N4sPaAFor tickets to Birds of North America if you're in the Los Angeles area, visit -https://odysseytheatre.com/whats-on/birds-of-north-america/Links to sites mentioned in this episode - Playwright's Realm -https://playwrightsrealm.org/New York Foundation for the Arts -https://www.nyfa.orgJerome Foundation -https://www.jeromefdn.orgVan Lier Fellowship -https://www.aaartsalliance.org/programs/van-lier-fellowshipYaddo -https://yaddo.orgSawanee Writers Conference -https://www.sewaneewriters.orgLast Frontier -http://www.theatreconference.orgUCSD Theatre Dept. -https://theatre.ucsd.eduWebsites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -Punk Monkey Productions - www.punkmonkeyproductions.comPLAY Noir -www.playnoir.comPLAY Noir Anthology –www.punkmonkeyproductions.com/contact.htmlJames Elden -Twitter - @jameseldensauerIG - @alakardrakeFB - fb.com/jameseldensauerPunk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods                  - @playnoirla IG - @punkmonkeyprods       - @playnoir_la FB - fb.com/playnoir        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductionsPlaywright's Spotlight -Twitter - @wrightlightpod IG - @playwrights_spotlightPlaywriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights FestivalSupport the Show.