ghost_light: (Hooray)
Seriously, best ever.

Friday we went to meet Mommie and Eddie for dinner. They were late, so we had a cocktail and waited until the came - followed by lonelydumptruck sister Lori-O who said "Surprise!!"

lonelydumptruck's play could not have gone better. It was the last of 4 so everyone left talking about it. He got major compliments, especially during the cruise afterward.

This was also the best cruise year ever. We were on the drinking boat instead of the singing boat, which ruled. Our boat also had a hose so the crew was able to threaten to soak the other boat. We saw a shit-ton of otters out near the glacier. The best part was (drum roll please) we saw a whale. It came really close to the boat, we could see the blowhole, and it show us its tail several times. lonelydumptruck got video which will make him the toast of Facebook.

Saturday we slept in and did some gift shopping. About 1 Rodney called to tell us an old friend was working for a charter fishing place, the friend who directed The Haunting of Hill House and the first production of Christmas Story. He took us out on the Sound in a little 4-person speed boat. we pretty much followed the same route the cruise ships had the night before and we saw even more otters and at least one seal. People kept asking us if we were disappointed we didn't see the whale again. I was MORE than fine with not seeing the whale while we were in a 4-person speed boat!

The Gala was beautiful. It was so great to see Ron honored in that way. The President of PWSCC was there and went around after the gala to tell everyone to meet in the Lounge of the hotel which hosted the Fringe. You have to love a school where the president organizes the pub crawl. He rang the bell twice too.

We hung at the bar for a while, until a Ghost of Anchorage Theatre Past, in all of his crazy-strange glory, thought the last glass of beer in our pitcher was his leftover pitcher and poured out Alaska White into his Hefewiesen. After that we went over to hang out with our old friend at the fish shop and drink wine. When he headed to bed, we went over to one of the other bars in town to do more celebrating with friends.

The drive home was great. The roads were not being constructed or very busy. We got home in time to take Dad to the ballgame. One of the players was named Caleb Bushyhead and Jay immediately became so enamored of it I have been teasing him that Bushyhead is his new nickname. Feel free to use it when you see him.

After the game we tried 2 different places for dinner (3 if you count the fact we went to a different Greek restaurant than they did) and finally ended up at Cattle Company. It was really great to hang out with family.

That's about what I have for right now.
ghost_light: (Hooray)
Seriously, best ever.

Friday we went to meet Mommie and Eddie for dinner. They were late, so we had a cocktail and waited until the came - followed by lonelydumptruck sister Lori-O who said "Surprise!!"

lonelydumptruck's play could not have gone better. It was the last of 4 so everyone left talking about it. He got major compliments, especially during the cruise afterward.

This was also the best cruise year ever. We were on the drinking boat instead of the singing boat, which ruled. Our boat also had a hose so the crew was able to threaten to soak the other boat. We saw a shit-ton of otters out near the glacier. The best part was (drum roll please) we saw a whale. It came really close to the boat, we could see the blowhole, and it show us its tail several times. lonelydumptruck got video which will make him the toast of Facebook.

Saturday we slept in and did some gift shopping. About 1 Rodney called to tell us an old friend was working for a charter fishing place, the friend who directed The Haunting of Hill House and the first production of Christmas Story. He took us out on the Sound in a little 4-person speed boat. we pretty much followed the same route the cruise ships had the night before and we saw even more otters and at least one seal. People kept asking us if we were disappointed we didn't see the whale again. I was MORE than fine with not seeing the whale while we were in a 4-person speed boat!

The Gala was beautiful. It was so great to see Ron honored in that way. The President of PWSCC was there and went around after the gala to tell everyone to meet in the Lounge of the hotel which hosted the Fringe. You have to love a school where the president organizes the pub crawl. He rang the bell twice too.

We hung at the bar for a while, until a Ghost of Anchorage Theatre Past, in all of his crazy-strange glory, thought the last glass of beer in our pitcher was his leftover pitcher and poured out Alaska White into his Hefewiesen. After that we went over to hang out with our old friend at the fish shop and drink wine. When he headed to bed, we went over to one of the other bars in town to do more celebrating with friends.

The drive home was great. The roads were not being constructed or very busy. We got home in time to take Dad to the ballgame. One of the players was named Caleb Bushyhead and Jay immediately became so enamored of it I have been teasing him that Bushyhead is his new nickname. Feel free to use it when you see him.

After the game we tried 2 different places for dinner (3 if you count the fact we went to a different Greek restaurant than they did) and finally ended up at Cattle Company. It was really great to hang out with family.

That's about what I have for right now.

Valdez!

Jun. 19th, 2009 01:44 pm
ghost_light: (Star Fuckers)
We made it to Valdez just fine. It was a pretty nice drive overall.

We pulled in just in time to get our room (a studio dorm room with a mattress on the floor and a TV tray for furniture), eat at the Thai place and get to see Man in the Attic on the mainstage.

lonelydumptruck had seen in when it was Out North but I hadn't. I liked the show, but I felt like there was still a shoe waiting to drop when the final blackout came. The Fringe was in a hotel instead of above the Mexican restaurant. It was the final night, so the scripts were all Overnighters with a universal theme of death. I really liked some of them, but it was too much sitting after the drive and the mainstage.

We formally checked in for the Conference this morning and watched one of the full-length plays. It was a No Exit kind of piece where people were trapped in a room with no idea why they were really there. The blurb made it sound like it was going to be a propaganda play but it was a lot better than that. The playwright who wrote some of my favorite childrens plays is here again and there are at least 8 of her plays here I don't have yet. I smell a splurge in my future. She walked by while I was sending emails earlier and we said hi. :)

Mommie and Eddie came down to see lonelydumptruck's play tonight so we had lunch with them at the Thai place. Now the big question is whether to stay for the last full-length play readings of the Conference or go take a nap.

Valdez!

Jun. 19th, 2009 01:44 pm
ghost_light: (Star Fuckers)
We made it to Valdez just fine. It was a pretty nice drive overall.

We pulled in just in time to get our room (a studio dorm room with a mattress on the floor and a TV tray for furniture), eat at the Thai place and get to see Man in the Attic on the mainstage.

lonelydumptruck had seen in when it was Out North but I hadn't. I liked the show, but I felt like there was still a shoe waiting to drop when the final blackout came. The Fringe was in a hotel instead of above the Mexican restaurant. It was the final night, so the scripts were all Overnighters with a universal theme of death. I really liked some of them, but it was too much sitting after the drive and the mainstage.

We formally checked in for the Conference this morning and watched one of the full-length plays. It was a No Exit kind of piece where people were trapped in a room with no idea why they were really there. The blurb made it sound like it was going to be a propaganda play but it was a lot better than that. The playwright who wrote some of my favorite childrens plays is here again and there are at least 8 of her plays here I don't have yet. I smell a splurge in my future. She walked by while I was sending emails earlier and we said hi. :)

Mommie and Eddie came down to see lonelydumptruck's play tonight so we had lunch with them at the Thai place. Now the big question is whether to stay for the last full-length play readings of the Conference or go take a nap.

Phew!

Jun. 16th, 2009 12:01 am
ghost_light: (Le Tired)
The 2009 3 Barons Faire has ended! It was a really great weekend, not as sunny or hot as last weekend, but I still added to my quota of sunburn for the summer. There was a bit of drama, of course. One of our guitarists thought he'd sprained his ankle during tech week, it turned out his foot was broken and he didn't think he'd be able to perform. The show-saving duo of Rodney and lonelydumptruck swooped into action and got our usual lead guitarist, who couldn't do the Faire this year, to agree to cover the weekend. Once things were settled, out guitarist announced he was clear to play. Doesn't it always happen that once you set up a back-up plan the original crisis is magically diverted?

lonelydumptruck and Rodney also got the idea that we should do an after-Faire show on Saturday as part of the cast part so people who never get to see our show because of fight or court shows could come over and see it. I think that was our best show of the entire weekend! There is nothing like playing to a friendly house.

Strike went very quickly. We were done by about 12:30, but ended up staying later to talk business and run an errand so we did get to bed until late. lonelydumptruck had today off to help finish things up and make sure things were stored away safely. I called in le tired this morning and didn't go in until noon.

I was supposed to watch the Rogues and Wenches show and give feedback on their staging but they couldn't get the theatre tonight. Instead I watched True Blood with lonelydumptruck and played some Sims. I have so many Sims at college right now I am going to need to chart to keep them all straight. Tomorrow we have family BBQ, one of Ila's sons is in town, then we are going to a joint 'We're not going to Valdez/Going Away party for userinfokahteeyah'.

Thursday we are going to Valdez (although the folks throwing the party are not.) lonelydumptruck's play Bear Variations is being performed on Friday night as part of the Alaska Playwrights evening!! I am so excited for him I can barely stand it. He's even getting paid royalties!

That's about it, but keep your fingers crossed for a sekret project I'm hoping will come through? :)

Phew!

Jun. 16th, 2009 12:01 am
ghost_light: (Le Tired)
The 2009 3 Barons Faire has ended! It was a really great weekend, not as sunny or hot as last weekend, but I still added to my quota of sunburn for the summer. There was a bit of drama, of course. One of our guitarists thought he'd sprained his ankle during tech week, it turned out his foot was broken and he didn't think he'd be able to perform. The show-saving duo of Rodney and lonelydumptruck swooped into action and got our usual lead guitarist, who couldn't do the Faire this year, to agree to cover the weekend. Once things were settled, out guitarist announced he was clear to play. Doesn't it always happen that once you set up a back-up plan the original crisis is magically diverted?

lonelydumptruck and Rodney also got the idea that we should do an after-Faire show on Saturday as part of the cast part so people who never get to see our show because of fight or court shows could come over and see it. I think that was our best show of the entire weekend! There is nothing like playing to a friendly house.

Strike went very quickly. We were done by about 12:30, but ended up staying later to talk business and run an errand so we did get to bed until late. lonelydumptruck had today off to help finish things up and make sure things were stored away safely. I called in le tired this morning and didn't go in until noon.

I was supposed to watch the Rogues and Wenches show and give feedback on their staging but they couldn't get the theatre tonight. Instead I watched True Blood with lonelydumptruck and played some Sims. I have so many Sims at college right now I am going to need to chart to keep them all straight. Tomorrow we have family BBQ, one of Ila's sons is in town, then we are going to a joint 'We're not going to Valdez/Going Away party for userinfokahteeyah'.

Thursday we are going to Valdez (although the folks throwing the party are not.) lonelydumptruck's play Bear Variations is being performed on Friday night as part of the Alaska Playwrights evening!! I am so excited for him I can barely stand it. He's even getting paid royalties!

That's about it, but keep your fingers crossed for a sekret project I'm hoping will come through? :)
ghost_light: (Star Fuckers)
Friday night we saw the final evening performance for the 2008 Conference, Cyrano. We'd seen it at Cyrano's last year and it was a good production but on Friday they really brought their A-Game. I think some of it was also that the production had to be re-blocked for the proscenium stage, which meant that some of the costume changes/business happened far upstage rather than right next to you. As an audience member, I was able to be caught by surprise in a few places, which was nice.

Friday night was also the Glacier Cruise, during which I successfully star fucked one of my favorite playwrights. She is here as a panelist and with her husband (a director) rather than having anything read. I got to tell her how much I like her work and she asked how I'd found her plays. It was a little odd, she is one of those people who frowns while she talks which I find intimidating. Some of it also could have been that it was really hard to hear on the boat. She also asked if I was more interested in adult or children's plays because she has a couple of new works and she offered to email them to me! After the cruise we met up with Sandy, who had been sitting at the same table, and she said I had just made that playwright's night.

We hit the Pipeline after the cruise, and the Landshark after the Pipeline. There we stay up until 3:30 or so talking about August Wilson with a gentleman who is making a film about him.

Saturday was pretty laid back. We skipped the 10-minute play slam to sleep in and then went to see Patricia Neal talk about her life in theatre. I'd managed to miss it every year until now. It was actually sunny and WARM so we went up to Mineral Creek and hiked for a while before the Gala.

It started raining at some point during the night so everything is damp and just being in here at the computers is very cozy. There is a final brunch in a hour or so and then we will be hitting the road back home.

All in all, a very, very good Conference. I think this is only the second where I didn't stage manage a thing.
ghost_light: (Star Fuckers)
Friday night we saw the final evening performance for the 2008 Conference, Cyrano. We'd seen it at Cyrano's last year and it was a good production but on Friday they really brought their A-Game. I think some of it was also that the production had to be re-blocked for the proscenium stage, which meant that some of the costume changes/business happened far upstage rather than right next to you. As an audience member, I was able to be caught by surprise in a few places, which was nice.

Friday night was also the Glacier Cruise, during which I successfully star fucked one of my favorite playwrights. She is here as a panelist and with her husband (a director) rather than having anything read. I got to tell her how much I like her work and she asked how I'd found her plays. It was a little odd, she is one of those people who frowns while she talks which I find intimidating. Some of it also could have been that it was really hard to hear on the boat. She also asked if I was more interested in adult or children's plays because she has a couple of new works and she offered to email them to me! After the cruise we met up with Sandy, who had been sitting at the same table, and she said I had just made that playwright's night.

We hit the Pipeline after the cruise, and the Landshark after the Pipeline. There we stay up until 3:30 or so talking about August Wilson with a gentleman who is making a film about him.

Saturday was pretty laid back. We skipped the 10-minute play slam to sleep in and then went to see Patricia Neal talk about her life in theatre. I'd managed to miss it every year until now. It was actually sunny and WARM so we went up to Mineral Creek and hiked for a while before the Gala.

It started raining at some point during the night so everything is damp and just being in here at the computers is very cozy. There is a final brunch in a hour or so and then we will be hitting the road back home.

All in all, a very, very good Conference. I think this is only the second where I didn't stage manage a thing.
ghost_light: (Monkey Hamlet)
lonelydumptruck (the entity formerly known as Mr. Ghost_Light) and I took a playwrighting class yesterday. One of the assignments she gave at then end was to sit in a public place and write down conversations you hear around you as overheard dialog. I'd heard her give this advice to a playwright earlier in the week because all of the lines were in complete sentances and came across as very literary.

Last night I was in the ladies room at the same time as an old friend and we started talking about how much we loved the class and how great the instructor had been. A voice chimed in from one of the stalls "Yeah, that was a great class. And, so you know, I'm writting this down!"
ghost_light: (Monkey Hamlet)
lonelydumptruck (the entity formerly known as Mr. Ghost_Light) and I took a playwrighting class yesterday. One of the assignments she gave at then end was to sit in a public place and write down conversations you hear around you as overheard dialog. I'd heard her give this advice to a playwright earlier in the week because all of the lines were in complete sentances and came across as very literary.

Last night I was in the ladies room at the same time as an old friend and we started talking about how much we loved the class and how great the instructor had been. A voice chimed in from one of the stalls "Yeah, that was a great class. And, so you know, I'm writting this down!"
ghost_light: (Le Tired)
I was so le tired yesterday I kept almost dozing off during the full-length reading. The Fringe decided to do a 24-hour play thing for tonight, so when we came into the lounge/our room for an early night there were people on the computers. Then a large group walked in to make cookies and french fries and hang out. We ended up setting up our tent at Midnight but it was fairly comfortable. I feel much better so far.

Hubby's reading went VERY well! He got a lot of good feedback about the show and things he might want to consider changing. Several people have told him 'don't you dare consider cutting this variation!' about a couple of them. I took 4 pages of notes for him.

I saw 4 readings, including Bear Variations, and I enjoyed all of them. Several brought up the dreaded 'is it a play or is it a skit?' question. (And, as everyone here at the Conference knows, a skit is just a play you don't think very much of. Thanks, Edward.)

Oh, and a special review of last night's Fringe: *squick!!!*
ghost_light: (Le Tired)
I was so le tired yesterday I kept almost dozing off during the full-length reading. The Fringe decided to do a 24-hour play thing for tonight, so when we came into the lounge/our room for an early night there were people on the computers. Then a large group walked in to make cookies and french fries and hang out. We ended up setting up our tent at Midnight but it was fairly comfortable. I feel much better so far.

Hubby's reading went VERY well! He got a lot of good feedback about the show and things he might want to consider changing. Several people have told him 'don't you dare consider cutting this variation!' about a couple of them. I took 4 pages of notes for him.

I saw 4 readings, including Bear Variations, and I enjoyed all of them. Several brought up the dreaded 'is it a play or is it a skit?' question. (And, as everyone here at the Conference knows, a skit is just a play you don't think very much of. Thanks, Edward.)

Oh, and a special review of last night's Fringe: *squick!!!*
ghost_light: (Default)
Another cloudy day in Valdez! Hubby's play is being read this afternoon! I can't wait to hear what the panel has to say about it. He's doing a reading today too.

Yesterday was....interesting. I went to 3 readings, 2 of them were "one-person" shows. Both of them had a second character who came in at the end or who did alternate voices. I really didn't care for the Mark Twain-based one much, but the first has some promise. The same actress is supposed to play the patient and the therapist. At first it is alternating monologues out of time (one in the session, then the therapist venting about the session to Zod-only-knows-who later on) but then it moved into the two responding to each other in real time, still in monologue. That was troubling. Also - nothing really happened. Which was the same problem I had with the Twain play. Nothing happened!! People critiqued the third play I saw pretty harshly, but I loved it! There was dialog! One person got tied to the train tracks and the train actually CAME! Hallelujah!! It was like getting to see a Mamet play after a steady diet of Beckett.

Pain levels have been okay, considering I'm sleeping on an air mattress. I've been sleeping like a baby. That could have something to do with rolling in about 2am after the bonfire at Mineral Creek every night, though.

One of my friends here also has a TENS unit, so we were comparing units. She says hers is at least 5 times stronger than mine. Mine is still not working great, but I realized I've grabbed some pads for this one and some for the old unit. That might have a bit to do with it. I'm still having the same issues with the current not staying at the set level when I move around. I'd hoped new wires would fix that, but I may have to ask for a whole new unit.

Last night the UAF Drama group did the evening performance, Split. I really enjoyed it. The playwright's notes talked about how he felt there is kind of a social adolescence at 23-24, when you are just out of college and trying to figure out what the hell is going on. It was a really young feeling play, and I liked that. Some older audience members walked out. The show didn't just drop the F-bomb, it dropped cluster F-bombs. Sort of:

F
U
C
K
!
!
Fuck............Fuck.............Fuck
........Fuck.............Fuck
..............Fuck...........Fuck
Fuck

(and thank the Hubby for that visual)

ETA: which LiveJournal won't take the spaces for! I'll try to work it out later. Right now there is Thai food to beg for and readings to hear! Ta!
ghost_light: (Default)
Another cloudy day in Valdez! Hubby's play is being read this afternoon! I can't wait to hear what the panel has to say about it. He's doing a reading today too.

Yesterday was....interesting. I went to 3 readings, 2 of them were "one-person" shows. Both of them had a second character who came in at the end or who did alternate voices. I really didn't care for the Mark Twain-based one much, but the first has some promise. The same actress is supposed to play the patient and the therapist. At first it is alternating monologues out of time (one in the session, then the therapist venting about the session to Zod-only-knows-who later on) but then it moved into the two responding to each other in real time, still in monologue. That was troubling. Also - nothing really happened. Which was the same problem I had with the Twain play. Nothing happened!! People critiqued the third play I saw pretty harshly, but I loved it! There was dialog! One person got tied to the train tracks and the train actually CAME! Hallelujah!! It was like getting to see a Mamet play after a steady diet of Beckett.

Pain levels have been okay, considering I'm sleeping on an air mattress. I've been sleeping like a baby. That could have something to do with rolling in about 2am after the bonfire at Mineral Creek every night, though.

One of my friends here also has a TENS unit, so we were comparing units. She says hers is at least 5 times stronger than mine. Mine is still not working great, but I realized I've grabbed some pads for this one and some for the old unit. That might have a bit to do with it. I'm still having the same issues with the current not staying at the set level when I move around. I'd hoped new wires would fix that, but I may have to ask for a whole new unit.

Last night the UAF Drama group did the evening performance, Split. I really enjoyed it. The playwright's notes talked about how he felt there is kind of a social adolescence at 23-24, when you are just out of college and trying to figure out what the hell is going on. It was a really young feeling play, and I liked that. Some older audience members walked out. The show didn't just drop the F-bomb, it dropped cluster F-bombs. Sort of:

F
U
C
K
!
!
Fuck............Fuck.............Fuck
........Fuck.............Fuck
..............Fuck...........Fuck
Fuck

(and thank the Hubby for that visual)

ETA: which LiveJournal won't take the spaces for! I'll try to work it out later. Right now there is Thai food to beg for and readings to hear! Ta!

Valdez!

Jun. 17th, 2008 07:02 pm
ghost_light: (Boat)
We got the Fair taken apart on Sunday. The weather remained crappy for the entire Fair, though the sun came out every night at 8:35 sharp, but the crowds on Sunday were HUGE! I don't think we could have fit any more people into the Toad at the first show. We ran out of beer about 6:00, which lead to the bartender, Slyfe, coming to sit on the stage during Quit Slacking so he could yell "Sorry!" or "You can't!" when we got to the lines "You Barmen, get pouring like pumping the bilge. Quit slacking, you bastards, let's DRINK!"

We left for Valdez Monday morning/early afternoon. The drive was great! It was so sunny and hot over the pass that I was freaking out about forgetting to pack shorts and a tanktop, but it socked in and got chilly as soon as we hit the canyon and has stayed that way. I got to drive for about an hour and a half. I thought I was doing pretty well, but apparently I was tailgating and that got on Hubby's last nerve pretty damn quick.

They changed the housing arrangements this year. We pulled in expecting to set up a tent in the gym and instead we are sleeping in the lounge of one of the dorms with TWO computers in the room. The downside is that the door can't be shut and locked because this is where the folks camping can come in to spend time and use the bathroom.

We got into town just in time to see Sway Me Moon as the evening staged event. Hubby saw it at Out North, but I missed it then. It was wonderful! One of the best shows I've seen this year. Luckily we were sitting near a friend who saw the director and playwright in the back with Kleenex and he stole enough to share.

The Fringe last night was also really fun. It was in the Mexican place instead of at the Totem in as usual. They read 6 plays. The standout for me was one where a cellphone kept ringing during the final scene of King Lear and it turned out to be Cordelia's.

I made it to 3 readings today, which I will talk about later. Need to zoom to get to the evening event, the Fringe and the bonfire tonight!

Valdez!

Jun. 17th, 2008 07:02 pm
ghost_light: (Boat)
We got the Fair taken apart on Sunday. The weather remained crappy for the entire Fair, though the sun came out every night at 8:35 sharp, but the crowds on Sunday were HUGE! I don't think we could have fit any more people into the Toad at the first show. We ran out of beer about 6:00, which lead to the bartender, Slyfe, coming to sit on the stage during Quit Slacking so he could yell "Sorry!" or "You can't!" when we got to the lines "You Barmen, get pouring like pumping the bilge. Quit slacking, you bastards, let's DRINK!"

We left for Valdez Monday morning/early afternoon. The drive was great! It was so sunny and hot over the pass that I was freaking out about forgetting to pack shorts and a tanktop, but it socked in and got chilly as soon as we hit the canyon and has stayed that way. I got to drive for about an hour and a half. I thought I was doing pretty well, but apparently I was tailgating and that got on Hubby's last nerve pretty damn quick.

They changed the housing arrangements this year. We pulled in expecting to set up a tent in the gym and instead we are sleeping in the lounge of one of the dorms with TWO computers in the room. The downside is that the door can't be shut and locked because this is where the folks camping can come in to spend time and use the bathroom.

We got into town just in time to see Sway Me Moon as the evening staged event. Hubby saw it at Out North, but I missed it then. It was wonderful! One of the best shows I've seen this year. Luckily we were sitting near a friend who saw the director and playwright in the back with Kleenex and he stole enough to share.

The Fringe last night was also really fun. It was in the Mexican place instead of at the Totem in as usual. They read 6 plays. The standout for me was one where a cellphone kept ringing during the final scene of King Lear and it turned out to be Cordelia's.

I made it to 3 readings today, which I will talk about later. Need to zoom to get to the evening event, the Fringe and the bonfire tonight!
ghost_light: (Me)
Made it back from Valdez last night, partly sad, partly relieved. I hit the ground running with ATY this morning, but there WILL be a giant update in your near future chronicling such feats as actually speaking to Courtney B. Vance.

In the meantime - here is the article I wrote on the 2002 preview for Art Matters:


"Places like this remind us of the 3 basic human drives - food, sex and
the desire to rewrite someone else's script" Joseph Robinette, author
of "Good Fences"

From the first moment my husband and I arrived in Valdez we
were joking it was like being back at summer camp. Lugging our
sleeping bags around, looking for our cabin and 10 days of nothing but
carefully structured fun ahead. Last year we were only able to attend
to a weekend, so the prospect of being part of The Theatre Conference
from start to finish was intoxicating.
The 10th annual Prince William Sound Community College Last
Frontier Theatre Conference scheduled up to 30 play readings each day
plus fully staged evening events, luncheon lectures and after-play
receptions. Every Day. For 9 straight days. With 2 panels of 10
minute plays running simultaneously there was some good natured
ballyhooing by the readers/actors to "help" the audience decide which
play to hear. The commitment to the readings was astounding. There was
a power outage during the first few minutes of a reading on the second
day. Hardly missing a beat, the readers and audience packed up their
chairs and trooped outside to re-start the play outside on the lawn. I
spent an average of 10 hours a day in the Valdez Civic Center listening
to readings, rehearsing for retrospectives of honored playwrights such
as John Guare and Jack Gelber, and enjoying evening events. One night
was a tour of what musicals are currently playing on Broadway by singer
Connie Barron accompanied by Dennis Buck. The few people who missed it
don't believe they covered EVERYTHING, including "Urinetown", "The Full
Monty" and "The Producers". At one point they invited the audience to
sing along with "Springtime for Hitler" from "The Producers". Connie
had trouble keeping her false Hitler mustache on and the audience
enjoyed singing a chorus all by themselves.
2002 also saw the Return of the Fringe, after-hours gatherings
to share some of the creativity the conference's atmosphere inspires.
The 10-minute play portion of the conference started as the Fringe in
1998 and was co-opted into an official event in 2001. Some say that
was because the readers were staying up too late and sleeping through
early-morning presentations.

"So, I was at the urinal talking with Edward Albee...." - Any
male attendee, any conference, any year

Perhaps more important that the plays and the readings to some
are the after-play receptions and after-hours parties - the chance to
chat with playwrights, actors, critics and directors and make
connections with folks you might never meet otherwise. This year
featured the chance to rub elbows with the likes of Edward Albee, of
course, plus other playwrights August Wilson and Jason Sherman, critic
Mel Gussow and famous former Alaskans like Bostin Christopher.
Luminaries and luminaries-to-be were everywhere and no one wanted to
miss their chance to say "Omigod! I just love all your plays" in a
relaxed, casual setting. Geof Ritchie entertained me for a good 10
minutes pretending
to practice holding his Anchorage Community Theatre binder in the
perfect, casual position which happened to show off his name the best.
Director Tracy Campbell came to the Conference with the intent of
talking with former Perseverance Artistic Director Molly Smith about
what she would need to do to get an internship at the Arena Theatre in
Washington D.C. And does making
these acquaintances with other theatre professionals over cheese and a
no-host bar ever pay off? Two words: Hell yes! "I've had 3 of my
short plays produced in New York as a direct result of people I met at
the Conference," says playwright and former Alaskan Dawson Moore, now
co-Artistic Director of Three Wise Monkeys in San Francisco. "Plus I
know I've always
got a place to stay when I go there." Connections can help closer to
home as well. A large number of plays which were heard as part of last
year's Conference have been staged in Anchorage during the past season
and one local actor lamented "My wife was in 2 full-length play
readings last year and everybody knows who she is. I had my picture in
the paper twice this year and there are still people who have no idea
who I am."
As the Conference progressed sleep deprivation, that sense of
summer camp time-dilation and, occasionally, "bottle-fatigue" began to
take its toll on the participants. By Day 4 I woke up realizing I
could no longer reliably keep track of what day of the week it was,
but I had the times of all the readings I wanted to hear that day
memorized. I'm already looking forward to next year.
ghost_light: (Me)
Made it back from Valdez last night, partly sad, partly relieved. I hit the ground running with ATY this morning, but there WILL be a giant update in your near future chronicling such feats as actually speaking to Courtney B. Vance.

In the meantime - here is the article I wrote on the 2002 preview for Art Matters:


"Places like this remind us of the 3 basic human drives - food, sex and
the desire to rewrite someone else's script" Joseph Robinette, author
of "Good Fences"

From the first moment my husband and I arrived in Valdez we
were joking it was like being back at summer camp. Lugging our
sleeping bags around, looking for our cabin and 10 days of nothing but
carefully structured fun ahead. Last year we were only able to attend
to a weekend, so the prospect of being part of The Theatre Conference
from start to finish was intoxicating.
The 10th annual Prince William Sound Community College Last
Frontier Theatre Conference scheduled up to 30 play readings each day
plus fully staged evening events, luncheon lectures and after-play
receptions. Every Day. For 9 straight days. With 2 panels of 10
minute plays running simultaneously there was some good natured
ballyhooing by the readers/actors to "help" the audience decide which
play to hear. The commitment to the readings was astounding. There was
a power outage during the first few minutes of a reading on the second
day. Hardly missing a beat, the readers and audience packed up their
chairs and trooped outside to re-start the play outside on the lawn. I
spent an average of 10 hours a day in the Valdez Civic Center listening
to readings, rehearsing for retrospectives of honored playwrights such
as John Guare and Jack Gelber, and enjoying evening events. One night
was a tour of what musicals are currently playing on Broadway by singer
Connie Barron accompanied by Dennis Buck. The few people who missed it
don't believe they covered EVERYTHING, including "Urinetown", "The Full
Monty" and "The Producers". At one point they invited the audience to
sing along with "Springtime for Hitler" from "The Producers". Connie
had trouble keeping her false Hitler mustache on and the audience
enjoyed singing a chorus all by themselves.
2002 also saw the Return of the Fringe, after-hours gatherings
to share some of the creativity the conference's atmosphere inspires.
The 10-minute play portion of the conference started as the Fringe in
1998 and was co-opted into an official event in 2001. Some say that
was because the readers were staying up too late and sleeping through
early-morning presentations.

"So, I was at the urinal talking with Edward Albee...." - Any
male attendee, any conference, any year

Perhaps more important that the plays and the readings to some
are the after-play receptions and after-hours parties - the chance to
chat with playwrights, actors, critics and directors and make
connections with folks you might never meet otherwise. This year
featured the chance to rub elbows with the likes of Edward Albee, of
course, plus other playwrights August Wilson and Jason Sherman, critic
Mel Gussow and famous former Alaskans like Bostin Christopher.
Luminaries and luminaries-to-be were everywhere and no one wanted to
miss their chance to say "Omigod! I just love all your plays" in a
relaxed, casual setting. Geof Ritchie entertained me for a good 10
minutes pretending
to practice holding his Anchorage Community Theatre binder in the
perfect, casual position which happened to show off his name the best.
Director Tracy Campbell came to the Conference with the intent of
talking with former Perseverance Artistic Director Molly Smith about
what she would need to do to get an internship at the Arena Theatre in
Washington D.C. And does making
these acquaintances with other theatre professionals over cheese and a
no-host bar ever pay off? Two words: Hell yes! "I've had 3 of my
short plays produced in New York as a direct result of people I met at
the Conference," says playwright and former Alaskan Dawson Moore, now
co-Artistic Director of Three Wise Monkeys in San Francisco. "Plus I
know I've always
got a place to stay when I go there." Connections can help closer to
home as well. A large number of plays which were heard as part of last
year's Conference have been staged in Anchorage during the past season
and one local actor lamented "My wife was in 2 full-length play
readings last year and everybody knows who she is. I had my picture in
the paper twice this year and there are still people who have no idea
who I am."
As the Conference progressed sleep deprivation, that sense of
summer camp time-dilation and, occasionally, "bottle-fatigue" began to
take its toll on the participants. By Day 4 I woke up realizing I
could no longer reliably keep track of what day of the week it was,
but I had the times of all the readings I wanted to hear that day
memorized. I'm already looking forward to next year.
ghost_light: (Post-Fair)
I survived the fair!! Barely, it feels sometimes. I'm still tired and we leave for Valdez as soon as I squeeze in another meeting or so. It was a crazy-fun couple of weekends. The weather was really good, just one rainstorm. It fell during our show, but I was able to stand under the awning and sing among the patrons for most of it. Nigel tied with perennial favorite Vincent Valentino as runner-up in Manliest Man, the Toad Show won best line ("Belay that, Dick!"), all THREE Toadshows won for Best Show and, in spite of a couple good natured fights with friends about how Best Bodice at the Fair means Best Boobs, not Prettiest Bodice I am pleased to announce I won Best Bodice!!! *happy dance!* Pictures will come, promise.

Valdez should be fun this year. Kokopelli is presenting Monday night and I am the SM for that. She picked some really interesting scenes and monologues. I'm looking forward to going, but I don't think anything will top the experience of 2 years agp.

Picture if you will: ETC presenting the Albee retrospective with Edward himself in the front row. One of the actors brought up from Seattle is giving The Speech from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" He takes a beat. The beat becomes a pause. The pause turns into a moment. The audience realizes he has no fucking clue what the next line is. A voice comes from the front row. "We drank free that night." It was, of course, Edward giving the prompt.
ghost_light: (Post-Fair)
I survived the fair!! Barely, it feels sometimes. I'm still tired and we leave for Valdez as soon as I squeeze in another meeting or so. It was a crazy-fun couple of weekends. The weather was really good, just one rainstorm. It fell during our show, but I was able to stand under the awning and sing among the patrons for most of it. Nigel tied with perennial favorite Vincent Valentino as runner-up in Manliest Man, the Toad Show won best line ("Belay that, Dick!"), all THREE Toadshows won for Best Show and, in spite of a couple good natured fights with friends about how Best Bodice at the Fair means Best Boobs, not Prettiest Bodice I am pleased to announce I won Best Bodice!!! *happy dance!* Pictures will come, promise.

Valdez should be fun this year. Kokopelli is presenting Monday night and I am the SM for that. She picked some really interesting scenes and monologues. I'm looking forward to going, but I don't think anything will top the experience of 2 years agp.

Picture if you will: ETC presenting the Albee retrospective with Edward himself in the front row. One of the actors brought up from Seattle is giving The Speech from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" He takes a beat. The beat becomes a pause. The pause turns into a moment. The audience realizes he has no fucking clue what the next line is. A voice comes from the front row. "We drank free that night." It was, of course, Edward giving the prompt.

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