Abra Goes

on theatre, running, writing, and looking up

Archive for the ‘theatre’ Category

Abra 2.0

leave a comment »

After a long week and an embarrassing clash with Karaoke, I’m sitting on the subway tonight when it hits me that everything is actually coming together. Not in the way I planned six months ago. More in the way I planned years ago when I first came to New York City with the plan to not only write, but to work in theatre.

My freelance writing is going in the direction I want it to. That is to say publication.

And while I haven’t stopped writing plays, I stopped trying to find paying work in theatre long long ago because instead of pursuing my ‘dreams’ it felt more like grinding my face against a brick wall in order to see the other side.

Fast forward to tonight. Tonight I’m picking out my clothes for my first day tomorrow working with a new performance venue. I’ll have more time for writing queries and plays (minus) having to do any business writing. At some point I’m going to wrestle this ‘why’: Why is it so hard to find work that involves a paycheck at a theatre space. Why did it take me years?

Written by abragoes

June 6, 2008 at 3:27 am

Posted in NYC, theatre

Tagged with

Theatre or another NYU dorm?

leave a comment »

It’s a really hard choice.

Do I go to the village to see Theatre? Yes

Will I go to see NYU dorm and more law classrooms for NYU…NO

Will the village continue to be a place of culture amidst NYU’s increasing shadow?

More often than not I’m embarrassed to say I’m an alum of NYU. Because by attending university I contributed to the monster. Not to be too dramatic, but that’s how it feels. Particularly now, as their expansion plans for the next 20+ years are announced and the village looks like it will completely disappear beneath dorms and classrooms.

On the list of buildings to be gobbled up in the name of NYUs manifest destiny: The Provincetown Playhouse. I had my first reading here. Perhaps more of note, Eugene O’Neil staged his first plays here.

This blog by Leonard Jacobs articulates the situation better than I.

UPDATE:

Here’s part of what I wrote to President of NYU John Sexton, with this letter:

I graduated Tisch Dramatic Writing in 2003. I dug myself into a deep hole of debt to study playwrighting and theatre at NYU, and thanks in part to you, the spaces that existed just a few years ago for me to stage my work are Gone. History implies that the University will do as it pleases, continuing its expansion … I am disappointed in and ashamed of my alma mater. … the theatre community gives more to the city than NYU’s dorms and extra classrooms. It gives more to the city than it will ever get in return. Theatre is not about ROI. This community shines in your shadow, and you will not be able to replace what you will lose by tearing down the Provincetown Playhouse.

Written by abragoes

May 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Posted in NYC, theatre

Tagged with

Theatre guilt

with 2 comments

I haven’t posted because a plague is upon me. It’s called ‘I am a very bad person’ plague, and it haunts you if you commit to seeing a show and don’t.

After all my jabber (see post below), I didn’t make a show on Friday. I stared at Cai Guo-Qiang’s gunpowder paintings (are they considered paintings?) and sculptures too long. We didn’t leave the Guggenheim until near closing Friday.

I’m going to go see When is a Clock this week. Not because playwright Matthew Freeman posted a comment on my blog – though for that he is awesome. I am going to see the show because after reading about the production and story a few weeks ago, I haven’t forgotten. I’m intrigued and the possibility of seeing a good show, when I haven’t seen one in so long, is irresistible.

Why do we choose the shows we do? It’s easier to pin point the negative. Deal breakers – reasons why I will not go to a show – include:

  • Gimmicks – After I was kidnapped and forced to watch Heddatron at HERE, I will never be suckered into a theatre gimmick again, no matter how many robots are rolling across the stage. Can you tell I’m still bitter about the time wasted that fateful evening?
  • Personal Connotations – a graduate of Tisch Dramatic writing and part of the NYC theatre community since 99, I pre-judge quite a bit based on who’s involved (but don’t we all regardless of industry?) But this is just as often the only reason I go to shows so that can’t be a negative.

So what makes a show irresistible? What would make you leave an exhibit early or even better – buy tickets in advance? Do good reviews seal the deal for you?

What if you had a show in two hours and your potential audience is uptown blankly staring a big paintings and suspended cars?

Written by abragoes

April 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Posted in NYC, theatre

Tagged with

What to see: NYC Theatre

with one comment

After catching Cai Guo-Qiang’s ‘I Want to Believe’ exhibit at the Guggenheim tonight, I am finally going to satisfy my itch to see a show- which I haven’t done in a very long time.

The three shows I am interested in seeing are $15-$18. And I’m taking a friend so that’s $30-36 just for the tickets. Were we to grab dinner and get a drink or two, as we often do, the total cost would likely be the same.

The cost of theatre is a problem deserving of its own post.

Here’s what I’m choosing between:

Wanderlust – a one man show at the Barrow Theatre. Great reviews, but one-person shows rarely hold my attention

When is a Clock – at the Access Theare. The last show I saw there was awful, but I’ve heard good things about this one and the story is interesting. But $18 is a lot for those oh-so-uncomfortable seats…then again playwright Matthew Freeman keeps an excellent blog on theatre and politics

Babylon, Babylon – at the Brick in Williamsburg (BK). I have a soft spot for ambitious shows, and with a cast of 30 I am tempted. This space, however excellent, is quite small for a full out production. Though I love catching shows in Brooklyn, I’ll probably pass on this one.

I have to stop before I talk myself out of seeing anything. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I choose shows based on the theatre’s proximity to good cheap food. So if whatever show I see is no good, at least I’ll have a tasty tip to share.

Written by abragoes

April 25, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Posted in NYC, theatre

Tagged with