Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Play the New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Trivia Tuesday and You Could Win

Do you think you know about our New Jersey Professional Theatres? Test you knowledge by participating in our Theatre Trivia Tuesday!  

Every Tuesday (starting December 9th) throughout the month of December, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance we will post a series of questions on their Facebook page about member theatres.

The person with the most correct answers at the end of the day, will receive a $25 Visa gift card and be crowned our "NJTA Theatre Geek of the Week."

Winners will be announced the following day (Wednesdays) on their Facebook page.

*Winners of prior weeks are not eligible to be entered in the remaining 2014 Theatre Trivia Tuesday contest. 

Here's the first question of the day (hint: if you know about us, then you know the answer).

Theatre Trivia Tuesday Question 1: This actor (seated at the table) has been in three co-productions: "The Good German," "Two Jews Walked into a War," and "100 Years," and is the Artistic Director for number 17 on our map above. Name the actor and his theatre! #njtheatre
Visit the New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Facebook page to play https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyTheatreAlliance

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Join Therése Halscheid For Her Book Launch on November 30, 2014


A reading from "Frozen Latitudes" by Therése Halscheid

Sunday, November 30th @ 1:00 pm

Barnes & Noble
Town Place Garden State Park 
911 Haddonfield Rd. / Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Contact store: 856-486-1492

Click here for more information 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Writerly Advice from Fengar Gael

We are continuing our Writerly Advice series with playwright, Fengar Gael. We asked her what advice she would give to playwrights just starting out? Here's what she had to say...

Read poetry, taste everything, cultivate all your aesthetic senses and sensibilities; enrich your life with fascinating friends, haunt museums and galleries, attend concerts of every kind; try to avoid social networks or the compulsion to flip to the Internet while writing, and thereby wasting hours of your precious life and causing the muse to flee; try to find sacred, solitary time for just writing as often as possible, and to quote Emily Dickinson, "Be a fire that lights itself." 

Don't wait for commissions or even kind words of encouragement; be your own inspiration, and it helps to join or create a group that reads and critiques plays-in-process. If playwriting is your literary form, and you possess a quixotic belief in the transforming power of language, remember that words live on the page as well as the stage, so try to make the script a pleasure to read as well as to perform (because it may takes years to find a producer). I should add that theatre can be a humbling profession and you’ll be subject to the hill-valley syndrome of great news (your play is being produced) followed by devastating news (the theatre lost its funding), so try to have other outlets and hobbies and take up a sport, like running. 

Also and most importantly, never police your own imagination: Just because you’re not African, Asian, Jewish, Catholic, or Muslim, or old, young, male or female, or lived through wars, experienced poverty, imprisonment, hideous cancers, and other assorted miseries, doesn’t mean you can’t imagine anything you wish. 

The great evolutionary triumph of the species is imagination, so to define yourself in terms of your creatureliness, your gender, age, race or ethnicity is to be forever stranded on a smaller planet, so have fun, dabble in everything at every level. 

I should add that it’s important to keep revising and recrafting your plays, for as the French poet, Paul Valery wrote: "A poem is never finished; it is only abandoned." The same is true of a play so as you evolve, your plays evolve, and you can reenter and refine and restructure their worlds. Although Aristotle wrote (and I tend to agree) that “the essence of drama is story,” I think that the theatre is still evolving, so be inventive, dare to break the rules and know that so much more is still possible. 

The great advantage of writing for the theatre is that unlike actors, directors, designers and virtually everyone else in the profession, you’re not at the mercy of opportunity. Playwrights can write plays miles away from an actual theatre. 

Also avoid people who say there’s no future in writing for the theatre. I think people will come to the theatre more than ever before, if only to heal their damaged attention spans, to finally focus on the perpetual wide screen of the stage where no bullying cameras are telling us precisely where to look, no soundtrack assaulting our ears, where we’re no longer isolated but in the company of other human beings, and where our presence actually matters, so keep writing plays. 

A good rehearsal with an inspired company is right up there with the great pleasures of life! 

To learn more about Fengar, visit her website

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Writerly Advice from Bob Clyman

Hello Young Playwrights! We're continuing our series of advice/thoughts/words of wisdom with playwright, Bob Clyman.

Writerly advice from Bob...
'Always give your enemy the best lines.'  That's one of my favorite quotes, and for years I've been attributing it to George Bernard Shaw.  I was sure he wrote it, and it certainly sounds like him, but when I tried to look it up recently to make sure I wasn't paraphrasing it, I couldn't find any quotes remotely like that attributed to him or, for that matter, to anyone else.  

So did I invent it?  Is it mine?  

What if I wrote it years ago in some early draft I can't remember, just like I couldn't remember where Shaw wrote it, if and when he did.  If somebody remembered reading that draft and for some odd reason had kept it all these years, and then he heard me today, saying those exact same words but in a different context, could I rightfully be accused of plagiarism for failing to attribute it to myself?  

Bob Clyman’s plays have been produced Off-Broadway and at regional theatres, such as the Alley Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, San Jose Repertory Theatre, George Street Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Colony Studio Theatre in Los Angeles, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, and L.A. Theatre Works, in addition to touring Scotland.  His play SECRET ORDER was initially commissioned and produced by The Ensemble Studio Theatre under the auspices of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  It was subsequently produced at 59E59 Theatre in New York, where it was nominated for an Outer Circle Critics Award for the best script in 2008.  It has since been produced at many regional theatres. To learn more about Bob, visit his website

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tune In This Wednesday

Be sure to check out Playwrights Theatre's own, Jim Ligon, on this week's THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA. He's in episode 5, "The Mystery of the Terminal Tenant" on NBC, Wednesday
October 15 at 8:00pm.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

SELMA '65 by Catherine Filloux will be presented at La MaMa

Playwrights Theatre is very excited for our friend, Catheine Filloux, and her upcoming production of SELMA '65 which will be presented at La MaMa from September 26-October 12, 2014.

In remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the Selma Voting March, award-winning playwright Catherine Filloux brings to life the interconnected stories of Viola Liuzzo, white civil rights activist, and Tommy Rowe, FBI informant, undercover with the Ku Klux Klan. Marietta Hedges plays both roles.  

Catherine was interviewed on NBC New York. Click here to watch.

For tikets, visit La MaMa's website.

To learn more about Catherine, visit her website.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Writerly Advice from Lia Romeo

As we get ready to kick off the 32nd Annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest & Festival, we reached out to our adult, professional playwrights to give us tidbits of information, insight, stories and ideas that we could share with our young playwrights who are currently working on a play or writing a play for the first time.

We're kicking off our series with a blog post from playwright, novelist and comic writer, Lia Romeo. To learn more about Lia, visit her website 

Writerly advice from Lia...

A couple of years ago, I was commissioned by HotCity Theatre (in St. Louis, MO) to write a play that had to do with social media in some way.  I ended up writing a play called Connected, which consists of several interrelated vignettes that focus on various types of social media: Facebook, YouTube, online dating sites, and role-playing games.  The play was developed at Playwrights Theatre in the Forum Reading Series in 2012, and ended up in HotCity’s 2013 season. 

Because of the social media theme, they came up with a marketing campaign which uses social media to expand the world of the play and (hopefully) get the audience interested before opening.  The director, Chuck Harper, and I worked together to choose five characters from the play, and then the actors who play those characters created Facebook profiles for them and began posting and interacting with one another as their characters.  The theatre sent out some marketing blasts explaining the project and telling audience members to friend the characters, and I acted as a sort of “show runner” for the project, sending out emails each week telling the characters the major events that would be “happening” in their lives that week.

The Facebook project existed independently of the world of the play, and wasn’t necessary in order to understand anything in it … some of the characters that were created on Facebook were fairly minor in the world of the play (one was actually an off-stage character who got mentioned but never appeared), while others were more significant.  One reporter who wrote a story about the project pointed out that it was a great acting exercise for the actors … they had to come up with a backstory, likes and dislikes, sometimes even last names for their characters, and it seemed like they had a lot of fun with it. 

For me, it was totally surreal the first morning I signed on to Facebook and, in between the usual baby pictures and reports of what my friends had eaten for breakfast, I saw a status update from a character I’d invented.  It really literalized the whole idea of having your characters “talk to you” – and it was  fun seeing the ways that the actors “fleshed out” (in a virtual sense) the characters I created. It reminded me of what I love most about theater, which is the collaborative aspect – the fact that we’re all working together to bring something to life. 

It also made me wonder whether this is a style of marketing that’s going to become more popular.  It’s already standard for theaters to have a social media presence, and for authors and playwrights to have blogs, websites, and so on.  It seems like it could be a natural extension for fictional characters to begin appearing on social media – and maybe it’s already happening more than I realize (just did a search for Katniss Everdeen on Facebook and she’s totally on there, three times).  As a writer, I’m naturally intrigued by the blurring of the lines between fantasy and reality, and I think those lines already get blurred by the ways that all of us present ourselves on the internet.  So it’s interesting to think about how far that blurring of lines might ultimately go.