New Year, New Goals, New Shows

2016 has come to a close and 2017 has begun. In the past I’ve talked about how I’ve wanted to spend the new year blogging more, writing more, producing more content. I think I write a variation of this blog every year. this year, the goals are the same; blog more, write more, create more content.

Lets look at what I’ve written in the past year though. I adapted my play  #JohnDoe from podcast format to stage format and had it performed by my local theater, Hays Community Theater, in late April/early May. You can watch these (not very well recorded but still) performances on my YouTube page.

In late May/early June I worked on three new short plays; The Suicide Club (based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson), A Knack For Living (a play set in the old west), and Moonlight (based on The Moonlight Road by Ambrose Bierce). At least two of these will be performed in the upcoming season of Sherri’s Playhouse, heard on the podcast Chatting With Sherri (the same podcast where Murder At Home and #JohnDoe premiered). In addition, I wrote some new 10-minute plays including Thoughts And Prayers in response to the Orlando shooting in June, which was performed in Kalamazoo, MI.

In December, I started work directing a new play for Sherri’s Playhouse as well, Sherlock Holmes and the Terror By Night Train. I came up with the story, my writing partner wrote the script, and I added in additional material. I’m really proud of this cast and can’t wait to share this story with you. It’s coming January 29th.

What does 2017 hold for me? I’m hoping to get Warning Shots, my monologue for young female actor, into the hands of some students for forensic competitions this year. I’d also like to get Superstar, a 10-minute two-hander, into some students hands as well. Both of these are available here on my website, along with some other free scripts. I’m working on an adaptation of the medieval poem The Owl And The Nightingale,  that I think would make for an interesting contemporary political themed piece.

Other goals include getting #JohnDoe into other theaters, seeing more productions of Tom Sawyer and Allie in Wonderland, getting a production of my adaptation of A Christmas Carol and continue writing about the arts and arts advocacy as needed.

So here is to more blogging, more writing, more content creation in 2017 (it probably won’t happen by the way 😉 )

The Monday WIP: Mini Westerns

My main focus as a writer is as a playwright, primarly a children’s playwright. However I do have a love for the American classic: the Western. I hate “tooting my own horn” but if you read my biography, you’ll see that not only do I enjoy writing westerns I’ve won awards for my western writing. In 2012 I placed First in the Kansas Writer’s Association Novel (First Chapter) competition and I placed Second in the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Western Novel competition. Both awards were for my work The Last Hand.

So Thursday night, while taking a break from studying for a test in my English Lit class, I read over at brettcogburn.com that he was holding a contest for what he termed a “mini western”. The rules were simple, the story had to tell a complete story, that is a beginning middle and end, in 4 sentences or less and must be a western.

I took to the contest like a man on fire and since Thursday night, I’ve written 4 of these mini westerns. I’ve shared the idea with an English teacher friend of mine and he incorprated it into his classroom teaching on Friday and with a writer friend of mine, who has written 2 of her own.

It’s a fun contest, but it’s also a challenge. How do you convey a full idea in 4 sentences? How do you get the reader engaged and care about the characters in 4 sentences? How do you tell a beginning, a middle, and an end in 4 sentences? Like I said, it’s an interesting challenge but a fun one as well.

If you want to read my story, head over to my Facebook page and Like me while you are there, if you haven’t already.

The Monday WIP: Happy Labor Day and Brave

It’s Labor Day here. Most people take the day off work or from school. I know I did. However, I didn’t completely ignore my writing this weekend. Inspired by seeing Disney/Pixar’s Brave this weekend at a Drive-In, theater, I’ve been reinvigorated in my work on The Three Challenges of Puss In Boots. And while my play couldn’t be more different from Brave, the fairy tale quality and the beauty captured in that film  have sparked my imagination and have inspired me to start work on Puss In Boots again after putting it on the back burner for awhile.

Also, one of my goals this month is to write at least one new 10-minute play. ESPN’s 30 for 30 film series has sparked some ideas in me. Maybe a 10-minute play about a washed up athlete or one who didn’t live up to his potential. What do you think/