Sunday, April 1, 2012

Queer Soup enters a new realm of existence. There are moments I feel frozen by it. There are moments I feel ready to leap into the next iteration. We could say we are international now, with Jess in Copenhagen for the next few years, Kim to soon join her in the fall. But what the next year brings will be if nothing else, full. Full of change. And with that comes opportunities, challenges, deer in headlight moments, a-ha moments and new collaborations. This past month we have sorted through basement full of "the stuff" collected from ten years of producing shows. My way of moving through this change and coming up on the other side ready to explore the next phase of Queer Soup is to sort through this stuff, purge what is no longer needed and organize what we are keeping. It's this physical activity that helps me to feel less overwhelmed, less stuck and inspired to move ahead. I look forward to all the conversations and collaborations that are ahead, and to creating and developing stories for the stage that need to be told. Queer Soup is changing, but some things are staying the same, our commitment to collaboration and creating provocative queer theater. Stay tuned...

Monday, November 14, 2011

How goes blogging?

Hey, does it seem like a clue when it's hard enough to think of a subject for a blog that some among us might be having a hard time writing a play?

Anyway, I'm on the clocking; it's ticking down. I have about 15 minutes to say something intriguing before I head out to the cell phone lot at Logan and negotiate my way to Terminal B.

If there's a clock ticking, then there must be some dramatic tension...


The best I can come up with is near misses. Today, a guy driving an oversized pick-up in Harvard Square almost clocked me in the head with his sideview mirror. I guess there wasn't enough road for my bike and his truck. Last week, a driver in a white suburban (I didn't check the plates for a state) almost drove into me head-on as he led out of his side street into me. I was directly in front of him, foolishly waving my hand out at his hood as though upon impact, I would just make a leap to his windshield wiper and beg for no concussions.

I'm not an adrenalin-junkie per se, but this whole daylight savings time is really running havoc with my bike commute. If possible, I think drivers are even less attentive - even when it is reasonably well-lit outside. I know I'm well-lit: got the flourescent jacket, the flashing high-beam, the battering red tail light.

I get home and my hands hurt for about an hour after gripping onto my handlebars so tightly. But the problem is, I won't give up on the bike commute so easily.

If I could put this energy to work on my script, I'd be cool.

Instead I find myself writing narrative fiction. Closing shop on my writers' group. Buying magazines about running and wondering what a fartlek is. Oh, and praising Nutella.

It's a tangled web when attempting to escape creativity.

I'll take the car to the airport. It's just ridiculous to think I could carry Kim's bike on my back the entire way!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


In about six hours we'll be heading out for the airport. I should probably be sleeping right now. But the problem with early morning flights are early morning departures and the night before said early departures.

I wonder if I've got all my ducks in a row. My tix. My ID. Everything packed that I actually need? Will the cat be OK? (He looks at his feeder with great comfort.) Did I remember to pack my toothbrush?

Now Kim's checking the levels of cat food and waiting to use her computer (mine has decided to die this weekend, a weird rampant event that seems to be traveling about in our circles... if you are reading this post, save your work now!).

"Yellow" floats around in the ether about me. I carry yellow legal pads to keep me inspired and urge me to write, and when I go to put the words down, they stutter stump and stall their way out. Pulling teeth. Pulled together phrases. Pulled together glimpses of scenes waiting to happen.

Scenes about town seem to call to me. I was biking home one evening, and a young man buzzed by on his bike - yellow tires. It is now just a matter of making the time. How hard could that be? Turn the oven to 350. Let it pre-heat. Beat two eggs with white flour, a dash of salt and let something rise, and in thirty minutes, create an afternoon?

When I was fourteen, I wanted one thing for Christmas. It was a desperate wish: a typewriter. I didn't care if it was old or new or what-have-you, just to have that reassuring ability to create formal words on paper. When Christmas morning came and went, and there was no typewriter for me, it was the worst Christmas ever. I'm pretty sure my disappointment was palpable. It was like being told I would no longer be allowed to dream. My parents took me to Houston that weekend to the mega-office-supply store - Office Max - which was a new-fangled invention of consumerism at that time. We left with a typewriter, and I immediately got to work. My parents breathed a sigh of relief.

Now, my computer is lifeless. Literally. It doesn't light or bell or whistle. It doesn't hum or crank or even bother to spin pointlessly in a holding pattern. And for some reason, this has become my excuse to hesitate.

Oh that and time. But I'm working on a recipe for that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Mind's humming

After some mulling, some wringing of the fingers, I pushed my chair in and reread the scenes that were part of our reading event Queer Soup Quick Pick. My contribution was a piece called Street. It followed a family of homeless lgbt youth.
This piece is close to my heart as I work with lgbt youth, and I know some have experienced homelessness. And I believe sincerely that we adults need to work with youth to come up with a solution.
As I reread my scenes, and even managed to bang on the keys working on a new scene, I know this piece carries great responsibility to do it right. So I by no means will be sitting at the keys alone under dim light creating this story. I will need to collaborate. That is at the center of queer soup age, and this piece all the more so.
More to come.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Week 1? Success or fail? Another entry by Jess

All right, so it's pouring out. I've been watching episode after episode of "Lie to Me" via Instant Watch, the candicopia of Netflix, and it's been a week since last we Soupers met.

An eventful week, I'll have you know, but not one chock-full of writing, and we're two weeks away from the deadline for the first draft.

Hm. I've written half of a ten minute play which is completely off-topic. Mal and I went off and ran the Tufts 10K on Monday in the steaming heat. I had a very nice lunch with fellow playwright Ginger, to talk about her queer take on Cyrano, and somebody keeps making noise that one day I might move to Copenhagen. Oh, that would be me.

But I shouldn't be writing about that. I should be writing about "Yellow." Instead, I'm entertaining my ten minute entry for the Boston Theater Marathon... due, oh, four weeks from about now.

When I stopped by Mal's place before the 10K, I was impressed to learn that she keeps a word count to keep her on task for each time she sits down to write. I wonder if I could impose such a rule on myself. 500 words? 1000? 612?


The challenge continues, and I should be off, reminding my fellow Soupers that they too committed to a post-a-week on our lil' blog here. 250 words? :-)

As I spent my morning hour, running a bit up the bike path, I found that while I run now, my mind tends to wander. This morning, it wandered so far off the path that when I came back to myself, I had to get my bearings. I was on the same bike path that I always run, but where on it? I suddenly envied those barefoot runners. When talking to one of them, I asked him what risks he felt he took with stepping on something sharp like broken glass. He told me that when he runs barefoot he is exceptionally vigilant about his foot placement. "You watch where your feet go all the time," he said and added, "it's the squishy gross stuff you don't always see."

It occurred to me that if I were to start running barefoot that I might not "vacate the premises" so to speak. On the bright side, I realized that in less than a year I have come so far in my running that I now no longer spend the entire run thinking, "oh god, when is this going to end?"

Tomorrow, we're off to run the Harvest Run 5K in Wompatuck State Park. Good times! We'll dine with Mal's wonderful folks afterwards. Where - no doubt - they will forgive our sweatiness. They are just that way.

And I will run a 5K and probably wonder, "oh yeah, about 'yellow' - when am I going to write that?"

Some time before 10/28.

Someone's bound to have her way. And it's usually the character I put in the corner.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mellow Yellow - entry by Jess

So about two weeks ago, maybe a little more now, we presented three very different pieces to one very brilliant audience at the Boston Playwrights' Theatre. We called it the Queer Soup Quick Pick, and during the evening, we asked our audiences to score each play immediately after it was presented. It was a funky experiment, and at the end of the evening, the votes were tabulated, and the results were far from anticipated: a dead heat for all three at a common score of 23.

Some interesting notes I got on my piece "Yellow" from the audience that night:

"Very confusing, but I oddly want to know what happens."

"This is gonna give me nightmares, but in a good way. More! MORE!"

"Weird but very intriguing. Whatever is happening here I want to know more."

Ok, so fine, I'll give you more. Fine, you asked for it.

Tonight, Kim, Mal and I finally met to re-group and de-brief and give ourselves permission to do more. And that's exactly what we're going to do. Rather than write one play, we're going to write three. And the next challenge: I've got to finish Act 1 by October 28th.

Of this year.

So back to the Yellow Drawing Board. Let's see where Tabitha takes me. Probably somewhere exotic like... Saskatchewan.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We All Will Be Received -The Next Phase!

Whoa! Our premiere at the Boston Center for the Arts in March was a huge Dolly Parton wig of success and we were so proud and delighted to have so many folks attend. And because so many of you after seeing the performance told us that We All Will Be Received needs to be out in the world - we listened and are working on a schedule to tour it starting this fall, 2010! So more info is coming soon, but if you or you know a community group, or college or university, or high school group, who would be interested in having us come and perform, please let us know!! And thank you to all you came out and saw the show! Big big applause!