Tom Minter's Off The Stoop Blog

a playwright's journey, creating, connecting, and conversing.

making time

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..the one thing there never seems to be enough of –time.

The last two weeks have been very full of presentations; ones at schools, and then, this past week, two days of ‘Showcase’ day presentations, where all 17 schools, that were involved in the WNO DCPS program, came together, at the opera company’s studios in Takoma Park, to show one another the results of their work.

The two days of the Showcase were spectacular and engaging to all the schools and students involved. One class’ reinterpretation of Falstaff included an ‘updating’ of their costumes, resulting in a ‘Falstaff Fashion Show’, complete with runway depictions of how Falstaff and the Merry Wives would look in 20th century costume.

Many school classes decided that Falstaff had received a bum rap, at the hands of Meg and Alice, and created presentations which afforded Falstaff a moment of revenge, or, better yet, justice.

In all the cases though, the creativity was incredible, and all the students were delighted to view what other classes had come up with.

Fun as it may have been, keeping the attention of a room full of 4th & 5th graders is no easy thing –but, by and large, the two days of presentations were captivating to the students, and we had consistently appreciative audiences.

Many of the students had their parents also attending the Showcase, and were performing for proud and beaming relatives.

Those presentations concluded, it was time to turn my attention to an upcoming presentation of my own..

Many weeks back I had a call from Joe Cacaci, one of the Artistic Directors of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, asking me if I had a short play at hand that BPL could use in their Gala season opening.

At the time he asked, I didn’t have such a thing; to be honest, I’d never written a short [ten minute] work before. But after saying ‘no’, and going to bed that evening, I found myself sitting upright in bed the next morning with the remnant of a conversation in my head which I believed I could make into a 10 minute skit. So hurtling out of bed that morning, I proceeded to write out the play, and was able to turn it over to Joe –and have it accepted into the Gala’s proceedings.

This is the opening of the third season of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, and the guest artists involved are a heady batch for any writer to be playing with. In my case, Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) and Jay Thomas (Murphy Brown) are in my piece called, Groundwork.

Writers, actors and BPL’s artistic team all come together tomorrow, up in Great Barrington, to begin rehearsing for Friday night’s event. The show is being held at The Mahaiwe Theatre.

It promises to be an incredible evening, a very full week -with loads of photos to follow!

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