Friday, June 10, 2011

Playwrights in Mind Kicks off

Playwrights hard at work in the "Haiku" workshop this morning
It's about 10:30 am and I'm about to head over to the Mason Inn Conference Center for Day 2 of the first ever national Dramatists Guild conference.

Last night kicked off with some workshops and panels in the afternoon--I went to one about getting a Fulbright--and then a "Conversation with Christopher Durang", followed by the first keynote speaker, Molly Smith, Artistic Director of The Arena Stage.

To say that she was inspiring and eloquent in her praise for writers is an understatement.  She seems to be the ideal artistic director--committed to theater as a social practice, as something the community needs and something that needs the community in return.  Her ideas are somewhat revolutionary and require a shift in thinking across the country. She also made a call to us playwrights to be revolutionary in our thinking as well.  We should not shy away from blossoming our own ideas and alternatives to deal with the economic issues of developing and producing new works.  We should make our own partnerships and connections.  In short, we should hustle.

Today is Todd London's keynote, author of Outrageous Fortune.  Then more panels, workshops and later a conversation with Edward Albee and Emily Mann.

The only problem I see with this conference right now is that there's too much going on--not enough time to hang out with all these fabulous playwrights!

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