Showtime!

24 Creative Writers

12 Plays

120 minutes of pure entertainment

1 night only

“Work Hard Play Harder

Friday April 12, 2013

7:30 Showtime

$10 for Students, $15 for Adults

The Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Creative Writing Department is pleased to present “Work Hard Play Harder” our tenth annual play writing showcase event. The twelve plays are not only written, but performed by Creative Writing students: who says writers should be cloistered, chained to their keyboards? Misfits, mutants, monsters, and a wide range of other characters will populate the stage of the Dan Kryston Memorial Theatre.  Join us at 6:30 for a reception with special guest San Francisco playwright Christopher Chen, best known for THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT.

We know you work hard. Come play harder with us.

Creative Writing Show!

24 Creative Writers

12 Plays

120 minutes of pure entertainment

1 night only

“Work Hard Play Harder

Friday April 12, 2013

7:30 Showtime

$10 for Students, $15 for Adults

The Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Creative Writing Department is pleased to present “Work Hard Play Harder” our tenth annual play writing showcase event. The twelve plays are not only written, but performed by Creative Writing students: who says writers should be cloistered, chained to their keyboards? Misfits, mutants, monsters, and a wide range of other characters will populate the stage of the Dan Kryston Memorial Theatre.  Join us at 6:30 for a reception with special guest San Francisco playwright Christopher Chen. We know you work hard. Come play harder with us.

The Nature of CW

 

Dear Department:

I was so proud of you all last night!

Our emphasis on community clearly makes us comfortable and confident working with each other. This reading performance was our most collaborative to date and sets a precedent for our fall shows. There was a real exchange of ideas as we all worked together and the results were much richer for it.

Our department has always had particular traits that characterized who we are and I have discovered that a collective sense of humor is one of them. For one thing, we all work smart. Our skits were funny because they were witty–language is always at the center.

I was struck by how your individual pieces revealed distinct voices that spoke to those things that really matter to you. This reading performance had a strong feminist current and there was such power in it! Many people told me how impressed they were with the intelligence, humor, and strength of the show. A particularly lovely, rather elegant older woman told me that she had long wanted to shave her head and that Hosanna had inspired her to finally do so.

The successful incorporation of other arts and the effort put into the  staging and pacing created the most professional show to date. We owe this professionalism to Tony, Carol, and Rachel, whose own varied arts backgrounds were an enormous contribution–as were Isaiah’s poster, flier, and program design. Many people made a point of telling me it was their favorite CW show to date–including our principal, who was sitting behind me. I will add that this was the first rehearsal week where no one asked to leave early: everyone was completely engaged with the reading as a whole, rather than his or her specific part in it.

I had planned for us to begin our fiction unit Monday, but I have decided we deserve a down day to talk about the show and enjoy our success. I also want for us to begin talking about our upcoming performances. We did a number of things right this time and have learned where we can do even do.

“The Nature of Offense” made the most money we have ever made on a CW performance. As many of you know, the theater holds 350 seats. After we filled them, Kwapy and the techies quickly retrieved forty more chairs to accommodate the over-sale. Tech, by the way, was AWESOME and we are going to go upstairs on Monday and thank them in person. We also are in debt to photographer Heidi Alletzhauser for her professional support. We should be seeing her photos up on our blogsite soon! (Photos from the show can be found here.)

Our Creative Writing Department also includes our parents. We are all completely invested in our community and it shows. Karen Saux and Julie Glantz worked nonstop on our show. Susan Williams and others posted fliers in their neighborhoods. Esther Honda, Jeanette Given, and Sue Weaver provided meals and snacks. Kevin Mogg was our trusty pizza guy and Gary Mankin once again supplied his sound expertise. Nancy Allegria printed the programs. Many wonderful parents supplied the front-of-house support without which we could not have a performance (unless the show was titled “The Nature of Anarchy”).

In the past four-and-a-half weeks CW has won Field Day, had a terrific Kirby Cove trip, and has just completed its highest-grossing and possibly best show to date. And the Giants are in the League Championships! All this and it’s only mid-October!

Keep on trucking! (I can’t believe I just wrote that.)

Love,
Heather

Creative Writing: The Nature of Offense

Two weeks ago, the Creative Writers gathered to decide on a theme for our first show of the year. A lot of our ideas had in common—from the Pussy Riot in Russia to the ban on ethnic studies classes in Arizona—the occurrences of censorship happening around the world. Of course this would be the case. As artists, there’s nothing more important than self-expression. What happens when that freedom is taken away from us?

Thus, The Nature of Offense. Thematically, we talked of Banned Books, Censored People, Evolving Terminology of “offensive” objects to mitigate the offense; to bring it closer to home, we also thought about Censoring Poetry, a bit of Audience Participation during the show to open up the circle of discussion towards the ultimate question: What Offends Us?

We are going all out for this show, with three spectacular Artists in Residence, Tony, Carol, and Rachel each taking a separate element of performance: Tony at the helm of our collective ship, Carol working with our body movements, and Rachel incorporating multi-media aspects to further enhance each CDub’s reading. On Friday, each CDub auditioned the pieces he or she would like to read, and like always, we have a spectacular range– from poetry to prose, long to short, serious to light-hearted, and those are only the more exterior aspects. Special shout-out goes to Jules Cunningham, who has yet to fail in delivering a performance piece utterly different from the “norm.” He won’t fall short this time, either, and we are eager to welcome Dorian Cunningham as a special guest star in Jules’s piece.

Join us this week for a Behind-the-Scenes look at our rehearsal process, all leading up to Friday, October 12th at 7:30, for Creative Writing’s undoubtedly sensational show, The Nature of Offense.

And We’re Back

After a busy busy week of playwriting and writing plays, we are finally back, ladies and gentlemen, quickly checking in.

You may know this man as a wind-up bunny, a lazy tiger, or perhaps a swarm of bees (all of the bees). Our resident playwright and furry-by-coercion, Isaiah was an invaluable presence in our weeks of blood and tears in writing and practicing our plays, so kudos to him for dealing with our bunch of endearingly deranged Cdubs. This was also the only picture I have on my camera, alongside all the videos, so. Videos! More to come on our Playwriting unit! Check in later for exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of never-before-seen secrets and surprises, oh my! Or something like that. It’s mostly me throwing fake money at the camera. Secret to our success, guys. All of the legitimacy.

STAR testing this week! What does this mean for Creative Writing, you ask? Nothing much, actually. And you probably didn’t ask, but whatever. We are once more at the freelancing stage of our department’s heart and soul, scouring the mountains and deserts for Artists-in-Residence and soaking up their masterful artistry like the heinously dry sponges we are. Creative Writing gives “hanging us out to dry” a completely new meaning. How’s that for imagery?

Speaking of imagery, here’s an excerpt from Heather’s email of Thanks (capital T, you know that’s right). Unfortunately, formatting disallows me to portray the message in its original, exuberant series of bright neon highlights, but here is my best:

Thank-you to Carol LeMaitre for her fabulous work on the plays and to Carol and Joe for spontaneously hosting our first-ever post-performance party–it was GREAT!

Thank you A.S. Cobb for all your valuable coaching rehearsal week. You made an enormous difference, Officer Plank!

Thank you, Isaiah, for your dedication, patience, and animal magnetism. It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be on the Discovery Channel.

Finally and mostly, tsunami love for our Production Goddess, Keira, whose knowledge and understanding of theater, tech, and human nature is apparently inexhaustible (as is her absolutely wicked sense of humor). Four four years she has worked tirelessly to transform writers into actors, with results that are nothing less than magic.

Thanks to Keira, the students have developed better listening skills, deepened their ability to work together, learned basic stagecraft, and become more aware of the relationship between page and stage. But most of all, Keira has helped the students discover resources they did not know they possessed. They move forward with greater confidence in their own abilities–and for this we owe her an enormous debt of gratitude.

Love,
Heather