(L-R) Anna Deavere Smith, Lisa Kron, Sarah Jones, Mike Daisey, 2 January 2012 at Playwrights Horizons, Dramatists Guild Academy Solo Actor/Writer Roundtable. Image by Martha Wade Steketee.
  • “Theatre is a vocation. It chooses you.” (Lisa Kron)
  • “A journey to absorb America through its sounds.” (Anna Deavere Smith)
  • “Getting audiences to the spot where they don’t know what the fuck is going to happen.” (Mike Daisey)
  • “In an organic, urgent kind of way … cathartic and inevitable.” (Sarah Jones)

The Dramatist Guild holds readings, panels, and other events for its members in many areas of the United States. As a member and now a resident of New York City, I frequently take advantage of these benefits of membership. When I received notice of the planned Smith-Kron-Jones-Daisy discussion about developing and performing solo work, I immediately reserved a seat. All of these performers have entranced me on stage or on film on represented by scripts they have written for others, so my fandom was invoked. In addition, the topic of the one person play (multiple character or not) with its special challenges of crafting dramatic situation and arc and drive has long fascinated me personally and professionally. A 2010 blog post reflecting some of these ruminations during (still ongoing) collaborative work on a one woman show about makeup artist Dorothy Ponedel provides some of professional connection that merges with personal interest.

So this evening, I settle into the comfortable 2nd floor main performance space at Playwrights Horizons surrounded by DG members and their guests, am welcomed by Gary Garrison of the Guild (who provides short questions to mark chapters in our journey), and these brilliant invested theatre artists take us on a ride.  I’ll provide some themes and rich quotations.

Read more: click here

© Martha Wade Steketee (January 4, 2012)

Original posting on Steketee’s blog Urban Excavations at urbanexcavations.com.

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