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Winter LabFest Flashback

13 Jan

[Hi! I’m cheating! After being swamped all winter, I’m retroactively adding some items of note to my website. This is one of them.]

Some of you are probably thinking, “Wait… isn’t this play old? You’re having a reading of it now?”

Here’s the thing: I’ve given this old chestnut a complete overhaul, and rather than being a standalone piece, Picture 24 is now the first part of a much larger project. I’m not quite ready to talk about it in full, but suffice to say that this is pretty much a reading of an all new play. Less in a Star Wars: Special Edition way, more like a Marvel Ultimate line kind of thing. If you don’t speak nerd, just ask your nerd friends what that means. If you don’t have any nerd friends, why do you like my plays?

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Image by Scum Bag Fag Mag

Picture 24

by A. Rey Pamatmat
directed by Kareem Fahmy

Joey meets Max, and it’s love at first sight… sort of. Joey meets Chuck, but love has nothing to do with it. While preparing an autobiographical photo series for a public showing, the romance and pornography in Joey’s private life start blurring together. Dot com parties, safe sex that’s hot sex, and dial-up Internet welcome you to a queer love story in the year 2000.

With Gideon Glick, Mark Junek, and Jon Norman Schneider

Ma-Yi Writers Lab’s Winter LabFest
Ma-Yi Studio, 260 West 35th Street, Room 203
Wednesday, January 13 @ 7:00 pm

Another Two Show Spring!

15 Sep

That’s right! It looks like Spring 2016 has decided to mimic Spring 2015 only in two separate cities.

Ma-YI LogoFirst, the world premiere news! In March 2016, my newest play House Rules will be produced by The Ma-Yi Theatre Company at HERE Arts Center, directed by Ma-Yi Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña. To say that I am bouncing off the walls that this play is being mounted by my primary artistic incubator would be an understatement. I’m in pain, y’all, IN PAIN from all this bouncing off walls, floor, ceiling, down stairs… OW!!! And for this season my show will come just after Washer/Dryer by Nandita Shenoy (a fellow member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab of which I’m currently co-director) and a remount of Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (who was co-director of the Lab for much of my membership and Artistic Director of 2g when they mounted the world premiere of Thunder Above, Deeps Below). This spring will truly be a family affair, pushing the boundaries of new Asian-American playwriting and (particularly with this season) comedy. WE GOT JOKES.

There’s an official announcement for Ma-Yi’s full season on Broadway World. Please ignore the blurb for my show, though. It got kind of cut up and weird somewhere down the line. If you need a blurb, check this out:

House Rules by A. Rey Pamatmat. Rod thinks the game is fixed. Momo’s still learning the rules. Twee doesn’t think winning is enough. JJ hates his hand. And why the hell is Henry still playing? Two families (and some guy named Henry) panic with hilarious and heart-breaking results when they realize their parents won’t be around forever. Can anybody prepare for the inevitable moment when they’re the ones left holding all the cards?

AFlogoAlso, you may have already heard since they announced in July (whoops, sorry), after all the terrible things I do will be seen next March in About Face Theatre’s 25th Anniversary Season, directed by AF Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff! I’m thrilled not just for the Chicago premiere (you know how much I love that city!!!), but because the other shows in the season are by artists for whom I have the deepest admiration. A new play by Philip Dawkins and a Bonnie Metzgar-directed production of The Five Lesbian Brothers’ The Secretaries is the very definition of being in esteemed company. I am so honored and grateful to be in the same sandbox as these folks, and if I were a Chicago resident, this is a season to which I would subscribe in a heartbeat (HINT HINT).

afterall-nodate1More news to come!

House Rules, Take Two

13 Feb

Remember when I had that reading of that play oh, so many years ago that just kind of appeared and then disappeared just as quickly? Probably not, because I didn’t invite too may people.

In case you haven’t figured it out: I really hated that play. It was an unfocused mess, lacking a strong raison d’être, and too scared to be about what it was really about.

So… I rewrote that play. Not like, revised. Like, I actually started over, wrote it again, and this time managed to shoot closer to the mark. This new draft of House Rules is very clearly about mortality and that feeling of panic when you realize the elders who guide you are eventually all going to be gone. The play also explores what this means when you’re the child of immigrants and your primary connection to your parents’ native country is about to be severed. Also, it’s funny.

Ma-Yi will be doing a reading of the newest draft next weekend as part of Winter LabFest, and I’ve been blessed with an amazing cast. It will be a very exploratory affair — the actors may even be sitting around a table reading with no staging. I would love for you to join us, though, for this first look (take two) as I test out what works and what doesn’t, what’s moving and what’s falling flat.

Details are below — see you next Sunday!

operationHouse Rules

Or, The Wrong Dude

by A. Rey Pamatmat

Rod knows the game is fixed. JJ hates his hand. Twee doesn’t think winning is enough. Momo’s learning the rules. And why the hell is Henry still playing? Two pairs of siblings (and some guy named Henry) panic when they realize their parents won’t always be around holding all the cards.

With Jojo Gonzalez, Mia Katigbak, Teresa Avia Lim, Evan Maltby, Jon Norman Schneider, Moses Villarama, and Tiffany Villarin

Ma-Yi Writers Lab’s Winter LabFest
Ma-Yi Studio, 260 West 35th Street, Room 203
Sunday, February 22 @ 3:00 pm

All LabFest readings are FREE. To make reservations, RSVP to info@ma-yitheatre.org.

Mga Kasabihan/Words of Wisdom — Let’s Buy Some Boats!

17 Feb

nvc-logoTonight is the night!

Join me and the rest of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab for our one-night only benefit to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Yolanda/Typhoon Haiyan. We’ve put together an emotional, thoughtful, and hilarious evening of short plays that will showcase new Asian-American acting talent and raise awareness about the still troubled people in the Philippines who lost their lives and livelihoods to the storm.

We had a soul-stirring run through last night, and I couldn’t be more proud of what the playwrights, directors, and actors have put together. I’m not used to leading any charges and all that jazz, so I am beyond proud that what is going to be such an amazing event will be the first event I got to support as newly-appointed Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab.

All proceeds for the evening go the The Negrense Volunteers for Change, who will use the funds to build new fishing boats so Filipinos can go back to work and start rebuilding their communities in the wake of the storm. The ticket link will be up until this afternoon here. Check out the details (including a wine reception, raffle prizes, and free yoga classes) on Facebook or the Ma-Yi website. Read about the benefit on Broadway World here. Or just walk up to Playwrights Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street, at 6:30pm tonight and buy a ticket or make a donation for the 7:00 pm show.

Haiyan Aid, Social Justice, and Some News

27 Jan

I realize it’s a bit belated, but happy New Year to you all! There are a lot of things coming up this late winter/early spring, so get out your calendars!

Fishing BoatsFirst some news: at the beginning of this year, I was appointed co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab. I have been a member of the Lab since it’s founding by Sung Rno, and I’m looking forward to advocating for a group of writers for whom I have an unmeasurable amount of admiration, respect, and love. To kick off 2014, Ma-Yi is holding a benefit for the victims and survivors of Hurricane Yolanda/Typhoon Haiyan. It will feature new short plays by Labbies and will be hosted by Playwrights Horizons on February 17, 2014. Save the date and find preliminary information here.

In terms of shows, the first of a few of my short works that will be produced in 2014 goes up next month. From February 5 – 10, The National Black Theater will be presenting Facing Our Truth: 10-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege. The evening includes my play Some Other Kid, which was commissioned by The New Black Fest following the George Zimmerman verdict last fall. I join the folks at the NBT for the opening night celebration on February 5th and for a panel discussion on February 10th. I’d love to see you there!

Photo by Paul Bestock

Photo by Paul Bestock

And, finally, I’m delighted for The Seattle Public Theater whose production of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them won two Gypsy Rose Lee Awards. They brought home the 2013 awards for Excellence in Overall Theatre Production (Small Company), and Jose Abaoaog received Lead Actor for his portrayal of Kenny. They have all my congratulations and  endless thanks for sharing Edith with Seattle!

There will be more to announce in the weeks to come. Watch this space!

A Power Play; Or, What’s-its-name in LabFest at the Ma-Yi Studio

8 Nov

It’s been a very busy couple of months, and I’ve been writing up a storm. While it’s all for things in developmental stages, there will be a lot to show from several projects in 2014 and ’15. I’ll be sure to keep you posted until then.

In the meantime, the end of November is going to be a time for readings, readings, readings. Two of which are open to the public (hey, that’s you!). With necessary apologies for the short notice, the first reading will be of a brand-spanking new play that I developed ideas for in a workshop with the A.R.T. Institute and that I wrote while I was at Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor this past summer.

RamA Power Play; Or, What’s-its-name

by A. Rey Pamatmat

Directed by Kara-Lynn Vaeni

After her district suffers a violent and heart-wrenching tragedy, State Assemblywoman Alex Hathaway goes to great lengths to capture a House seat in the next election. She even employs a strange, nameless thing to gain victory over her enemies through supernatural practices. But with all that determination and those ancient powers on her side, how did Alex end up with a community in shambles and a gun pointed at her head?

with Ethan DubinBobby FoleyMary Jane GibsonJennifer LimTeresa Avia LimErik OlsonChristina PumariegaJon Norman SchneiderCory Michael Smith, and Jennifer Tsay

2013 LabFest at the Ma-Yi Studio
260 West 35th Street, 2nd Floor
RSVP to info@ma-yitheatre.org

Come one, come all! You’ll get to see a play at the very beginning of it’s life and you’ll be providing me with some much needed insight into what is one of my more ambitious plays.

House Rules in Ma-Yi’s LabFest

19 Feb

There will be a new reading of my most recent play-in-progress as part of Ma-Yi‘s Winter LabFest this weekend. As with all LabFest readings, this is your chance to get in on a piece’s development as it’s being born. So come see my play about death (but in a funny way) at the very beginning of it’s life.

operationHouse Rules

Or, F*cking the Dude and Drinking Sh*t

by A. Rey Pamatmat

directed by Charlotte Braithwaite

Rod knows the game is fixed. JJ hates his hand. Twee doesn’t think winning is enough. Momo’s learning the rules. And why the hell is Henry still playing? Two pairs of siblings (and some guy named Henry) panic when they realize their parents won’t always be around holding all the cards.

With Alexis Camins, Alexandra Hellquist, Liz Malarkey, Michael Rosete, and Michael Vitaly Sazonov

Part of the Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab’s LabFest at the Theater at St. Clements, 423 West 46th St. (bet. 9th & 10th Aves.)

Saturday, February 23 @ 3:00 pm

All LabFest readings are FREE. To make reservations, RSVP to: mayilab@gmail.com.

The Shotgun Message at Ma-Yi’s LabFest

21 Feb

You’ve heard me talking about it for months, and now is your chance to get first look at the new play!

The Shotgun Message

by A. Rey Pamatmat

directed by Pat Diamond

Journalist Kent MacDonald is no saint and certainly no savior. At least he never meant to be until 17-year-old Jared — the primary source of his article on teenage camwhores — winds up missing after turning in his pedophile clients to the FBI. In a lurid world of online sex, naïve parents, and kids who know too much, it’s up to Kent to find Jared, bring him home, and save both their souls in the process.

with Alex Hernandez, Jennifer Lim, Teresa Avia Lim, James Lloyd Reynolds, and Tom E. Russell

Presented by Ma-Yi Theatre Company at The Beckett Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street, Saturday, February 25 @ 2:30 p.m.

For information on all the Winter LabFest readings, click here.

Shotgun is the play I was talking about when the New York Times announced that I received the PONY Fellowship. It is loosely based on the story of Justin Berry — a boy who got a webcam at the age of 13 and over the course of 4 years started out as a camwhore, then became a realtime prostitute, eventually began helping other teenagers follow the same path, and then started turning his clients in to the FBI. After marrying this story with my love of Ross MacDonald murder mysteries, The Shotgun Message was born.

It’s a definite return to a darker part of my consciousness. If you were introduced to me through Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them or Out of Joint, though, I hope you’ll still give this tale about another kind of lost, abandoned children a chance to work on your imagination. Besides, you’ll get to see several old friends play around with a new play, including Pat Diamond (who directed the world premiere of Thunder Above, Deeps Below), Jennifer Lim (who starred in DEVIANT and recently made a star turn in David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish on Broadway), and Teresa Lim (who first brought Edith to life at the 2011 Humana Festival).

See you Saturday!

February Readings Coast to Coast

7 Feb

I’ve got two reading coming up! Here are the deets…

The Magic Theatre’s Asian Explosion 2012 begins this Thursday and includes a reading of the full-length version of Out of Joint (which was originally presented as a one-act at Perry-Mansfield this past summer). The reading will be directed by Sean San Jose of Intersection for the Arts and will feature a full cast of 14 actors. Yeah. 14. What am I nuts?

Out of Joint

by A. Rey Pamatmat

directed by Sean San Jose

Dr. Kajish creates a time travel formula to save mankind by giving it endless second chances. But as people skip indiscriminately through time humiliating enemies, saving lives, and negotiating perfect vacations, the universe unravels in this romp through the recent future, the distant present, and a past still to come.

with Byron Abalos, Lauren Bloom, Catherine Castellanos, William Dao, Stephanie Dermott, Kat Evasco, Alex Hsu, Anna Ishida, Danielle Levin, Melissa Locsin, Stephen Muterspaugh, Brian Rivera, Liz Sklar, and Katie Tkel

At The Magic Theatre, Friday, February 10 @ 5:30 p.m. For more information please call the box office at (415) 441-8822

*   *   *   *   *

If you happen to be a resident of my home coast (east, that is) and can’t catch my time travel shenanigans in San Francisco, don’t fret! Ma-Yi Theatre Company is doing a reading of The Shotgun Message two weeks later as part of the winter spate of LabFest Readings. For this one, I’ll be reunited with my long-time collaborator Pat Diamond, so it’s a bit of a family affair. We aren’t fully cast for this one yet, but I’ll let you know when we are!

The Shotgun Message

by A. Rey Pamatmat

directed by Pat Diamond

Journalist Kent MacDonald is no saint and certainly no savior. At least he never meant to be until 17-year-old Jared — the primary source of his article on teenage camwhores — winds up missing after turning in his pedophile clients to the FBI. In a lurid world of online sex, naïve parents, and kids who know too much, it’s up to Kent to find Jared, bring him home, and save both their souls in the process.

Presented by Ma-Yi Theatre Company at The Beckett Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street, Saturday, February 25 @ 2:30 p.m.

Two very different plays on two very different coasts. I’d love to see you at either or both!

Hello 2012!

7 Jan

Happy new year, everyone!

To start things off right, here’s a press release from Mu Performing Arts regarding their upcoming production of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, the fourth and final production of the NNPN Rolling World Premier (but not the final production of Edith in 2012 — hooray!). There is a great passage about director Randy Reyes’s personal connection to the play that makes me believe we’re in good hands in Minnesota. If all goes as planned, I’ll be in Minneapolis for the opening night in March!

In other news, that previously mentioned first public reading of my murder mystery The Shotgun Message as part of Ma-Yi‘s LabFest series will be in mid-February. I also have a couple of visits to San Francisco in my near future; one in early February for a reading of Out of Joint at The Magic and a second in April for the Bindlestiff Studio’s West Coast premiere of Thunder Above, Deeps Below! I’ll post details for all of these opportunities to catch my work as they become available. Spring 2012 will then come to a close with B Street Theatre’s presentation of Edith in Sacramento, CA.

Finally, here’s a last little morsel from 2011: Manbites Dog’s production of Edith was honored in IndyWeek’s “Best  Triangle Theater of 2011” list for Best Direction, Best Ensemble, and Best Production! Congratulations to Jeff Storer and the cast for their amazing work.

I hope your 2012 is off to as excellent a start as mine!

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