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World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:49 am
by Taste of Death
My play What in the World? will be performed at the University of California-Santa Cruz Theater Arts Second Stage November 8-17. Thu/Fri/Sat 7:30 p.m. and Sun 3:00 p.m.

https://theater.ucsc.edu/season/2019-11-08-200000-2019-11-17-200000/what-world

A group of people experiencing homelessness during the Christmas holidays in Sacramento find comfort in each other and conflict with outsiders in the ever-changing and uncertain times that they live in.

Two policemen from different backgrounds struggle to find commonality in their relationships with the people who populate the streets they patrol and with each other. A cancer patient and his nurse share tall tales and beat the drum of time to drown out the song of cancer. A young man struggling with demons seeks redemption in the arms of forgiveness. And all before Santa's sleigh touches down on its first roof. Merry Christmas!

https://ucsctickets.universitytickets.com/w/default.aspx?cid=171

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:57 am
by BruceP
That's pretty cool!

Here's hoping everyone breaks a leg

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:10 pm
by Taste of Death
BruceP wrote:That's pretty cool!

Here's hoping everyone breaks a leg


I am a big fan of Samuel Beckett and Thomas Bernhard so I not only broke all their legs but I stuffed them into garbage cans, too.

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:42 am
by Taste of Death
Student protestors shut down opening night of my play. It was awesome.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0NC1pnNj_w&t=10s

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:48 am
by jimmy
I know it’s proprietary and all, but I’d love to read (excerpts of?) the script.

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:49 pm
by Taste of Death
jimmy wrote:I know it’s proprietary and all, but I’d love to read (excerpts of?) the script.


I sent you a pm

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:59 pm
by grzegorz
Taste of Death wrote:Student protestors shut down opening night of my play. It was awesome.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0NC1pnNj_w&t=10s


Damn!

I never understand why protestors go for the low hanging fruit.

Protests police and little happens (although more should happen) so instead people shut down a play?

Sorry to hear that. I remember Sac back in the day and it seems like that activism was always in the air but I don't see how a play would deserve to be shut down.

I remember Mexican Americans complaining how they are always portrayed as gangsters and thugs in film but then again it isn't really a Hollywood director's job to change people's minds about Mexican Americans and eventually that did happen.

Very unfortunate. Did your play ever get off the ground?

I don't know what the issues were but I have a relative who shut down the showing of A Dog's Life because he's an animal rights activists/vegan. I asked him if he knew that the movie was written by an an animal rights activist/vegans who wrote the movie to show the beauty of "our" animals and he did not.

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:20 pm
by Taste of Death
grzegorz wrote:
Taste of Death wrote:Student protestors shut down opening night of my play. It was awesome.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0NC1pnNj_w&t=10s


Damn!

I never understand why protestors go for the low hanging fruit.

Protests police and little happens (although more should happen) so instead people shut down a play?

Sorry to hear that. I remember Sac back in the day and it seems like that activism was always in the air but I don't see how a play would deserve to be shut down.

I remember Mexican Americans complaining how they are always portrayed as gangsters and thugs in film but then again it isn't really a Hollywood director's job to change people's minds about Mexican Americans and eventually that did happen.

Very unfortunate. Did your play ever get off the ground?

I don't know what the issues were but it a relative shut down the showing of A Dog's Life because he's an animal rights activists/vegan. I asked him if he knew that the movie was written by an an animal rights activist/vegans who wrote the movie to show the beauty of "our" animals and he did not.


The Black Student Union members at the University of California, Santa Cruz were objecting to people of color being portrayed in a negative light. But they weren't. The play is about homelessness and the only two characters who are morally challenged are white. They did not see any of the performance. A crew member told them it was about black people and drugs. The only drug user in the play is white, though. I am meeting with the protestors tomorrow.

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:09 pm
by grzegorz
Yeah reminds me of my cousin's protest of a Dog's Journey or Dog's Life. He was upset because they had a video of the dog being pushed into running water and the dog whimpering. The odd thing is he had and has dogs and he isn't much of an owner. I am not surprised that they don't the complete picture. Hope everything works out.

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:51 am
by LaoDan
Taste of Death wrote:Student protestors shut down opening night of my play. It was awesome.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0NC1pnNj_w&t=10s

Congratulations, your girlfriend was much more reasonable and articulate than the protesters were!

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:48 am
by Tom
LaoDan wrote:
Taste of Death wrote:Student protestors shut down opening night of my play. It was awesome.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0NC1pnNj_w&t=10s

Congratulations, your girlfriend was much more reasonable and articulate than the protesters were!


Agreed.

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:41 pm
by Ian C. Kuzushi
First, congratulations.

Second, that sucks and I'm really sorry that your opening night got shut down. I hope the meeting goes well and you can go on with the show.

Keep us posted.

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:33 am
by Taste of Death

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:01 am
by Taste of Death
I met with the representatives of the BSU and the girl who called in the protestors. We talked for two hours and we are in agreement on pretty much everything. The theater department has undermined this production from the beginning. I found out today that they were going to cancel it without a single performance but decided to go ahead with opening night. The stage manager (with direction from the head of the department) told the cast and crew to not communicate with me and she is the one in charge of grades (P/F) so most of them avoided me throughout the rehearsal period. Now when it's time to support the play and get back on stage they are missing in action.

Two of the crew members are in my playwriting class and they directed their anger at me for writing a play that didn't give them the warm fuzzies. And to remind you, I am 52. They are 20ish. But they know what's art and what's not. The professor shared a scene from the play that was all stage directions to use as an example of how to have a scene without dialogue. But the room exploded with anger after that. "Why would you put a scene like that in the play? It could be triggering for someone." I told them that the professor, who is the play's advisor, asked me to put that scene in there. He tried to explain to them the history of natural realism in the theatre, etc. but they weren't interested. A girl actually said, "I get triggered if I see someone shot in the head. If there is a scene in a movie like that I ask my friends to warn me when it's coming up and I'll close my eyes and put my fingers in my ears. Did you have a trigger warning? Did you? It's a simple question. Yes or no? It's a yes or no question. Did you?" I know what you're thinking but I left my piece at home.

I love that some people hate the play but I thought it would be someone like my mother. Who wants to see this depressing shit? But college students? It blows my mind. Art is not supposed to make you happy. It's supposed to make you think.

Re: World Premiere of New Play by RSF Member

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:15 pm
by LaoDan
So, I’m sure that there is more to it, but your play was basically shut down because the subject was dark and did not portray blacks in an uplifting light?

I do not know how dark your work on homelessness was, but the darkest, most brilliant, deepest and most honest piece of art that I am familiar with is the song “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday (also covered brilliantly in recordings by Nina Simone, Diana Ross and others, and covered live by artists like Josh White). I am thankful that this song was not suppressed and is available to listen to, although Billie’s carrier was harmed as a result of her having recorded and performed this song. It is also my understanding that there is still backlash, from this song being played (or read) in schools, by parents who complain about a song about lynching.

I hope that you get another chance to show your work, regardless of how dark the subject may be.
Trigger warning for anyone wanting to listen to or read the lyrics to “Strange Fruit”...