Saturday, January 06, 2018

Old Pueblo Playwrights open meeting 7:00 p.m., Monday, January 8th

Old Pueblo Playwrights open meeting 7:00 p.m., Monday, January 8th

Rehearsal Hall (courtesy of Arizona Theatre Company) at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott, Downtown Tucson


Happy 2018, OPP Members and Friends!

Our first meeting of the new year will take place at 7:00 p.m., Monday, January 8th. In addition to catching up after the holidays, we will read and discuss John Cafiero’s "The Mountains of Jupiter." This will be a third reading, so I’m excited to hear where John has taken the script as the result of the feedback he’s received from the first two readings.

I’m really looking forward to another eventful and stimulating year for Old Pueblo Playwrights. Last year we experienced an influx of interest in our organization and an increase in membership, and I believe that trend will continue in 2018. People are finding the courage and inspiration to tell stories that need to be told, and the art of theatre is proving to be as relevant as ever for telling stories that touch hearts and minds. Consequently, OPP has an important role to fulfill in providing a forum for playwrights—from novice to professional—to develop their skill sets, receive constructive and actionable feedback, and enjoy the fellowship of other artists.

Our flagship event this year will be the 27th Annual New Play Festival, which will take place at the Cabaret Theater from Thursday, April 12th through Sunday, April 15th. Auditions are scheduled for Monday night, February 12th, in the Rehearsal Hall at the Temple of Music and Art (in our regular meeting space). Festival Coordinator Gretchen Wirges is already putting things in motion as the NPF draws near, so keep an eye peeled for updates from her. (This year’s NPF is supported in large part by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, so a tip o’ the hat to them!)

Sydney Flynn returns this year as Secretary of our Executive Board, which means she will continue to maintain our calendar of events. In addition to the regular Monday night readings that are our bread and butter, I’m looking forward to scheduling several events, including
• Guest speakers (successful playwrights, academics, subject experts in areas of interest to local playwrights: several names have been suggested—stay tuned!);
• A panel (or workshop) on Dramaturgy, and it’s important role in play development;
• A workshop on improv and writing (led by Gretchen!);
• A workshop on developing effective expositions and expository writing (John V. and Gavin?);
• A group writing workshop (John Cafiero’s idea—stay tuned!);
• Our popular 10 X 4 Mondays; and more!

The above list represents some of the ideas that were brought up for consideration at recent meetings, and I think we’ll find time to schedule most, if not all of them in the coming year. Though we have a busy list, we’re always open to ideas for new workshops and events of interest to our membership, and even the theatre community at large. We don’t need to have a substantial budget to learn about new skills and ideas: we just need people willing to share!

One thing I’d like to do this year is work with our board to develop an additional forum for presenting our works-in-progress before an audience. This forum would not be intended to replace or compete with our annual New Play Festival, but as a supplemental opportunity, perhaps for later in the year. I’m not sure what that would look like yet, but it would be interesting to see if we could find a partner for this endeavor. Just something to think about: if you have an idea you’d like to share, I’d like to hear it!

Finally, just a reminder that we always welcome guests, and there is a never a charge for visitors who want to come down and check us out. Membership (and membership renewals) is still only $36 per year, payable in January. For those who don’t know, we meet just about every Monday in the Rehearsal Hall (courtesy of Arizona Theatre Company) at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott, Downtown Tucson. The rehearsal room is upstairs, off the hallway behind the Cabaret Theater.

Once again: happy 2018, and most of all, happy writing, everybody! See you Monday!



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