I’m Writing a Play! Fall 2020

Application Essay for Playwrights Theatre Centre’s Block A Workshop  (I was selected.)    

I am writing a play. (Gasp.)

I am writing my first play.

I am a writer writing my first play. 

I am a playwright. (Yeah, right!)

For many years, I thought I was writing a memoir of the lesbian-feminist nineteen seventies. (Memoir of an Undutiful Daughter.)

This play, An UnDutiful Daughter, is in large part drawn from journal entries I recorded in my twenties and thirties.

My singular focus, at this time, is towards bringing this play into existence. (I am determined.)

I am a Jewish lesbian feminist teacher, writer, activist. I turned sixty-eight this year. (Wow.)

After immigrating to Canada in 2006, I gratefully live on the Tsawout First Nations’ unceded and unsurrendered territories (Salt Spring Island). Living and working and playing and loving on this island is, indeed, a gift.

I have created sacred circles of women and queers writing together. After years and years of teaching others, and my commitment to empowering people to write their lives, I am thrilled to be writing mine in the form of a play. (I do most of my writing in my study, that I call my “playroom.”)

I am passionate about storytelling and performance: the alchemy, the interplay and collaboration between writers, performers, directors and audience. I am especially enraptured by the ways in which every single element of a production is interdependent. Collaboration with an ensemble of actors creates a richness and depth beyond what I have experienced in other collaborative projects.

Inspirations for writing this play:

Being selected as a participant in the 2017 Lambda Literary Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Writers. The non-fiction workshop was a rich tapestry of perspectives, identities and styles. I brought my entire workshop onto the stage when giving a reading of my essay, “Radical Lesbian Feminism in Practice.”

A two-day playwriting workshop two summers ago, registering at the last minute. After the first 3-hour session, I wrote the beginnings of “An Interrogation Story.” My intention was to create a deeper understanding of my (difficult and disappointing) relationship with my brother (who is deceased) by putting him on trial (he was an attorney).

Continuing to write more scenes. 

Three staged readings (so far):

SaltFest: Mini Festival of Performing Arts (SSI July, 2019).

Pride Opening Night: (SSI September, 2019).

Scene and Heard Play Reading (Victoria, February 2020).

Scenes: (Revisions and re-writes) (Epilogue still to come.)

Scene 1: “A Reckoning” (previously called “An Interrogation.”)

(A BROTHER is interrogated about his relationship with his SISTER.)

Scene 2: “Bedroom Confrontation”

(A DAUGHTER is confronted by her parents about her lesbianism during a visit home.) 

Scene 3: “Let’s Hop This Train” 

(A DAUGHTER, her MOTHER and FATHER interact as old wounds, hostile attacks and tender moments coincide within the confines of her father’s hospital room.)

Scene 4: “She’s My Baby” (Scene submitted for this application)

(This is my most recent in which a MOTHER and MOTHER’S FRIEND discuss events after the MOTHER’S husband’s funeral.)

I have no doubt that BLOCK A will give me foundations and fundamentals of writing for performance. The intimate size and guidance of a mentor will support me to bring this play to fruition. Although my preference is always “in person” engagement, I am grateful that these sessions will be offered on-line. (During these crazy “mishugena” times.)