BRIGHT HALF LIFE, a new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Tanya Barfield, and directed by Leigh Silverman, and presented by Women’s Project Theater (Producing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty) is having a five-week limited engagement at New York City Center Stage II (131 W. 55th Street) from Tuesday, February 17 to March 22, 2015. Opening night is set for Wednesday, February 25.
Erica (Rebecca Henderson of Appropriate Behavior) and Vicky (Rachael Holmes of Ruined) romance and battle through a kaleidoscopic lifetime of their relationship. But here and there, the plot’s jumpiness, although breathtaking, caused the loss of some of the emotional breadth. Not only do the scenes jump, but the characters, too—on a bed in a department store, skydiving out of a plane. The rapid-fire shifts are brilliantly done and when they hold onto the bar of a Ferris wheel, we imagine the whole carriage around them. Minimalist props with maximum effect. Kudus to set designer Rachel Hauck (This Wide Night), Costume Designer Emily Rebholz (If/Then), Lighting Designer Jen Schriever (The Other Josh Cohen) and Sound Designer Bart Fasbender (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson).
BRIGHT HALF LIFE continues WP Theater’s mission as the nation’s oldest and largest company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of theater artists who identify as women.
It begins April 7th. Looking forward to working with you!
Countdown. One month to submit your poems, short stories, or nonfiction to Gulf Coast Annual Award prizes.
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Oh, is ONE DAY, THE MUSICAL ever worth the trip way off the beaten Broadway path! MICHAEL SOTTILE, the Music/Lyric/Book writer and co-director who collaborated on over twenty Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, gathered the material for ONE DAY from reading true teenage journal entries and poetry over two decades. He combined their writing into non-linear vignettes that introduce us to the journey of eight teenagers as they face the inner struggles and thrilling triumphs from drug abuse to sexual awakening while discovering that no matter how different we might seem, there is a core in each of us that can be healed through openness and connection with others. More
Just as she did in Seabiscuit, the story of a Depression era runt-sized racehorse that ended up a winner and lifted the spirits of the team and of the nation, Lynn Hillenbrand, suffering from two crippling auto-immune disorders, hitched her star to another unlikely winner, runt-sized, delinquent, erratic Louis Zamperini who managed to survive grueling horrors when his Army Air Force bomber crashed in the Pacific during WW ll and he ended up in one of the notoriously brutal, Isis-like Japanese POW camps. Hillenbrand found a tiny article with Zamperini’s story on the back of an article she was reading and pow, she knew she had to write his biography. Most of the interviews took place on the phone, but ninety year-old Zamperini did take a plane to visit Hillenbrand once since she was too ill to make the trip to see him.
The amount of detail remembered by Zamperini is astonishing. Who knew that soldiers drowned because other soldiers used the air filling life vests to carbonate their drinks? He was full of high jinx and had an eye for what to write in his diary, like the time he got into horseplay with a friend and they managed to tumble through three partitions that separated soldiers’ quarters. My aunt had sent me my uncle’s World War ll diary, which I thought would be about his battles in Iwo Jima. Instead my uncle had written what he ate everyday. The two interesting lines it it were, “The native girls go barefoot. Some of the guys claim they had sex with them, but I don’t know about that.”
“Zamperini must have had something to do with this,” the commanding officer mutters.
But how it’s told, the poetry of it, comes straight from Hillenbrand as in this image: “A brow of fog hung 200 feet over the ocean.”
I chose not to see Unbroken, the movie. Unbroken, the biography, was written so cinematically that I knew no movie could ever compete.
This year’s Pushcart Prize anthology is the best I’ve ever read. I was nominated for one, but no cigar. The fiction is glorious. Some of my favorites are: Madame Bovary’s Greyhound by Karen Russell (subject obvious) La Pulchra Nota by Molly McNett, a bizarre tale of a music teacher in a miserable marriage who falls in love with his young student in the year of our Lord, 1370. I guess I’m showing a penchant for historical fiction. Annie Radcliff‘s You Are Loved is about a college instructor whose life is ruined by a family tragedy house-sitting for folks who now own the house where the tragedy occurred, and to amp it up, a boy who is stalking the teenage girl who lives there is at large. As if it isn’t hard enough to tell as story at all, McNett interlocks the story with Kierkegaard’s philosophy. Blue by Russell Banks, is the heartbreaking story of a black woman who has saved up to buy a used car and manages to get trapped in the dealership’s lot after hours under the watch of a pit bull. This year’s collection is so strong that I’m going to keep it around to reread! Probably soon.
Submit to The Journal’s Non/Fiction Collection Prize!