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The Lark Playwrights Workshop Reading of And Right Now

16 May

There will be a reading of my new play at The Lark tomorrow!

And Right Now

by A. Rey Pamatmat

directed by Pat Diamond

Bookstore owner Linda and her new employee Daniel develop a strong bond after they discover the calamitous significance bullying has played in both their pasts. But commiseration that should bring them together soon threatens to tear them apart when they confront the pernicious feelings and actions they thought they had so carefully secreted away.

with Mia Katigbak and Samuel Lilja

At The Lark Play Development Center, 311 West 43rd Street, 5th Floor, Bare Bones Studio

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

And Right Now was commissioned by South Coast Repertory Theatre and was developed at The Lark Play Development Center, New York City

This play is a new adventure for me. On top of being my first full-length two-hander, it also happens to be my most realistically set play (there are four scenes all in a bookstore), and it’s my attempt to make sense of a very complex subject: bullying, particularly the bullying of LGBT teens.

Like so many people the recent rash of attacks on queer youth and the rallying cry of the It Gets Better Project emotionally bounced me back and forth from a state of abject despair to a state of inspired hope. The hate crimes, the suicides, the parents’ confusion, and the efforts of adult queers were overwhelming in their complexity.

One thing I noticed when keeping up with the events, though, was how little the news articles and prevention efforts said about bullies themselves and bullies in general. The focus was always on the victim, which relayed the misleading sense that the problem in the larger scheme of bullying is that the victims aren’t strong enough. While I understand the need to address the needs of those in trouble first, the theater gives us a chance to explore the other side of things. And so, with And Right Now, that’s what I’ve tried to do.

Also, I’ve further indulged my obsession with Frank O’Hara in this one. How many plays can I write featuring O’Hara poems? Only time will tell. Especially significant to this play is his relationship with his roommate Joe LeSueur, pictured here all the way on the right (Frank O’Hara is all the way on the left). John Button and James Schuyler are the other two figures in the photo.

The reading is already filled up in terms of reservations, but The Lark always has tickets available at the door. Come get on the waiting list, and I’m sure that you’ll get in!

NYFA, Princess, PONY, and now…

15 Mar

I am ecstatic to say that I have been chosen as one of the 2012-13 Hodder Fellows by the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. The official announcement was made this afternoon. So once the PONY Fellowship is through I will have another year beginning at the top of Princeton’s fall term of being a playwright and only a playwright.

All my thanks to the Lewis Center, some folks who helped me figure out how to word my application (you know who you are!), and to all of you for your continued support. Hopefully, I’ll keep on making you proud.

December Update

10 Dec

Happy holidays, everyone!

I’ve been in full on writing mode. As part of my PONY Fellowship, I’m a participant in The Lark‘s Playwriting Workshop, which keeps me on task generating new pages every week. Consequently, I’ve been a writing machine, and it’s taken a lot of my attention lately. But there’s news to report, and so report I will!

Image Design: QuickBrownFox Studio

Most importantly, the first licensed production of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them opened at Manbites Dog in Durham, NC (e.g. this showing is not part of the NNPN Rolling Premiere, and — except for a few e-mails with director Jeff Storer — they did it all on their own!). Edith is officially all grown up and starting on some adventures without me. They’ve gotten great reviews and have one more week in their run, so please be sure to check them out. You can check out some production shots on The Upstager, and here are some links to those reviews:

Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them at Manbites Dog (Indy Week, December 7, 2011)

A. Rey Pamatmat’s “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” Teaches Important Lessons in Tolerance (Triangle Arts & Entertainment, December 8, 2011)

Next, I had a closed door reading of my latest play The Shotgun Message at The Lark at the end of November. I’m doing a little tinkering at the moment, but there will be a public reading of the play by Ma-Yi Theatre Company sometime in early 2012. I will keep you posted. The play is my take on a murder mystery and involves a journalist investigating an under-aged Internet prostitute who disappeared shortly after deciding to turn in all of his pedophile clients to the FBI. It’s a dark, gritty theatre noir more in line with my plays DEVIANT and Thunder Above, Deeps Below than with something like Edith, and it’s been great fun writing in those moral shades of gray once again.

Also, there were a few more reviews celebrating Actor’s Express‘s awesome run of Edith. Links to those are below, and I’ll update the press page soon.

Theatre Review: ‘Edith Can Shoot Things…” at Actor’s Express (Atlanta INtown, November 6, 2011)

Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, an Atlanta Theater Fans Review (Atlanta Theater Fans, November 8, 2011)

Finally, here’s a little bit of a tease. The following picture is from a bit of fun Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, Cory Michael Smith, and I had a few weeks ago. It’s not great quality (I took it on my phone, through a thick layer of glass, with 80 light sources and no polarizing filter), so I apologize for that, but I’m sure you can make out the gist. It’ll be some months before you see the fruits of our “labors” (labors being in quotes, because we had such a great time that it didn’t seem like work at all), and I’ll definitely keep you in the loop about that.

Recent Press and a Chicago Jaunt

21 Jul

Photo by John F. Russell

Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, Out of Joint, and the PONY — I’ve been a little all over the place lately. Here’s a bit of a press round-up on all of my recent projects.

First, I was interviewed by KadmusArts about receiving the PONY Fellowship and being an emerging playwright. The Awards and Fellowships Press page has also been updated with other PONY press.

Out of Joint had a good run at Perry-Mansfield, and Steamboat Today ran a piece on it and The Moon by Otis Sallid, Aaron Jones, and Ronobir Lahiri, including a photo gallery with many beautiful pictures of the show.

And here’s an interview with Freddie Ashley, the artistic director of Actor’s Express, that includes a discussion of Edith…, which is part of their upcoming season. There’s also a review of the 2011 Humana Festival in this month’s issue of American Theatre Magazine, which includes some kind words about the play. The article isn’t available online, but you can see a preview of the issue here (including a photograph of Jon Norman Schneider and Cory Michael Smith from the show).

American Theater CompanyAnd, last but not least, I will be in Chicago this weekend for a workshop of my play Beautiful Day with the American Theater Company. I’m very excited to have the chance to develop this piece and to work with such an excellent company for the first time. At the moment the presentation is by invitation only, but hopefully this won’t be the last you’ve heard of this play.

2011 Playwright of New York Fellowship

10 Jun

As announced today on the New York Times ArtsBeat Blog, I’ve been awarded the Lark Play Development Center’s 2011 Playwright of New York (PONY) Fellowship!

Thanks to everyone for their well-wishes and continued support. I hope to keep making you proud!

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