Saturday, June 11, 2011

people & nature

Well I sure made lots of connections here at the Dramatists Guild this weekend. I finally met my Facebook friend Gary Garrison; made a friend who does musicals; got two Dramatists Guild regional directors to agree to write testimonials for NYCPlaywrights - they each had good things to say both about the web site and my approach to developing plays; reconnected with a couple of old members of NYCPlaywrights; found an actor for my upcoming MISTRESS ILSA and bonded with a playwright from NYC who is a big fan of Schopenhauer - he studied philosophy - and included Wittgenstein in one of his plays. And last but not least, Ralph Sevush of the Guild said that he stopped by the Copyright Office in DC on Friday to discuss a variety of issues with them, including the final removal of the ill-gotten and invalid Edward Einhorn "blocking and choreography" script registration. Finally.

The highlight of the Guild's scheduled events was the speech given by Julia Jordan. It was about women playwrights not being produced - she discussed the content and even origins of Emily Glassberg Sand's Princeton thesis Study: Opening the Curtain on Playwright Gender: An Integrated Economic Analysis of Discrimination in American Theater [pdf] but also she masterfully put it in the context of her grandmother's life. She gave the credit to Marsha Norman for her speech's structure - Norman is something of a mentor to her - and Norman later took the stage for a discussion on the issues of female playwright parity. Jordan got a standing ovation for her speech.

I can't do the speech justice, but I heard the speech transcript would be made available and so I will link to it as soon as I find that.

Eventually I needed a break from all the issues and schmoozing. The George Mason University campus is lovely, so I took a walk around. It's semi-bucolic and I hardly ever travel anywhere so I wasn't about to miss out on exploring a little - the George Mason Conference Center is pretty much the same as any other hotel. My iPhone came in handy both for the GPS that helped me find my way around, as well as the camera. I have to say - I forgot how good nature smells.

Here is the bridge over Mason Pond; a big impressive status of Confucius; a sculpture called "Marionette Master"; and a tiny little house called Cross Cottage, which reminded me of the description of the Hermitage, which figured in the play ARCADIA. I can't find any explanation for why a one-room cottage was created other than this: "Constructed by Cross Builders and other Northern Virginia builders, Cross Cottage represents the local building industry’s contributions to the arts at Mason. It was donated to Mason as the main auction item for the 1988 Arts Gala." I peeked inside - it's empty. Just a tiny empty cottage by the pond.