I almost missed my chance to join the rest of the Internet in a round-up of the Year That Was. But now, in between a lovely dinner and the requisite Dick-Clark-Observance, I can take a moment to recognize just how fantastically eventful 2011 really was on this end of things. It’s been a very good year, and I’m grateful to have to break out the reminiscences not chronologically, but by category. And so, in order of excitement:
The erstwhile little Play About Maps found its wings this year, courtesy of the National New Play Network and the Kennedy Center: I spent a week in July workshopping the piece and came out of it with a new, more clearly defined draft and a lot of excitement about staging it in the future. None of which would have been possible without the immense and unspeakably great contributions of such Mame Hunt, Lisa Adler and the rest of my workshop staff, as well as Sandy Shinner and Mark Bly, who were kind enough to sit in on hours and hours of rehearsals during the week and, in Mark’s case, not only understand but actually laugh at a pun about the Mercator Projection. For next steps, I’ll be getting back to Chicago in January to workshop the piece with the home team: Sideshow Theatre Company.
Paper City Phoenix
The Play About the Internet had a big year, as well, mostly thanks to the folks at Orfeo Group and a chance encounter with the wonderful Liz Hayes at an ice cream shop. A staged reading in January, a week-long workshop over the summer (during which a whole new shape for the piece was found), and the potential for a production in the New Year all have gotten me jazzed up about this crazy, explodey-type play like never before.
Priscilla Dreams the Answer
The little comedic Play About Way Too Many Things to Mention But Among Them Game Shows And Also Aliens had two productions, and each one was an absolute dream. Nu Sass Productions kicked things off over the summer, with a fantastically-rendered world premiere that not only got critics to say some very nice things, but also took home the Audience Award for Best Comedy. And as if that weren’t enough, the newly-formed Fresh Ink Theatre here in Boston picked up the script and kicked further butt with it, garnering even more very nice things and demonstrating that this company means business, and will be contributing to the new play scene in Boston for a long time to come.
We’re back to easy(ish) descriptions: the Play About Spies was given a Dream-Team production courtesy of Boston Playwrights Theatre, with David Gammons leading a ludicrously game cast and design team who breathed life into like I never could’ve imagined. When asked to talk a little bit about the production process for this play recently, the only thing I could really come up with was to say that it was “perfect,” and I still stand by that absolutely. If I never get as seamless and enjoyable of a rehearsal/revision process again, I’ll still be able to count myself lucky. (And, oh yes, some further very nice things were said about this one).
The Most Important of All
Okay, so that’s not the title of a play, but it’s absolutely true, as a glance up at the banner image of this post can attest. On November 5, I took part in what I can objectively and without hyperbole state was the Best Day of My Life to date, by marrying a truly fantastic woman (and a great writer, as well). Everything about the day was magnificent, and in a year of Really Great Things, this one overshadowed it all, and will continue to do so for a very long time to come.
Three productions, two workshops, an uncountable number of new drafts, a new website and twitter feed and a wedding to boot. 2011 was, all in all, pretty okay. The momentum will continue, however, and there are plenty of plans afoot to make sure that 2012 can not only match, but surpass it. With any luck, I’ll be back in this space, recapping some more good things, at the end of next year as well. Though hopefully a little earlier in the day. Fingers crossed!
Pingback: Rise up! | Walt McGough