ON A WHIM, I picked up my Dramatist's Guild sourcebook (or whatever it's called) to look at submission opportunities - the first time in, oh, maybe a year and a half. I am now in a bad mood. I went to one theatre's website and nine out of ten of their previous winners for a playwriting competition were men. I'm also mad at Vogue; they keep highlighting male playwrights.
I'm also crabby towards epigraphs in scripts. Come on. Just... come on.
But I am warmed (not literally; it's a cold spring) by the Cleveland theatre scene. When I first moved here, the vibe was weird; my friend Daniel called it "dude energy", and I was worried I had moved into a man's club. I don't really get that vibe anymore. My thoughts on the Cleveland vibe is that it just kind of does what it does, with some austerity at times. (I feel like this about Ohio in general. There's the kind of east-coast old-world strain going through a lot of it, and it's a hard-working place, but absent is the tenacity and larger-than-life quality of Illinois and Chicago. I'm not saying Ohio needs to be anything except what it is. I just am using comparisons and contrasts as a rhetorical method of understanding. Because I'm a nerd.)
But this quality makes it prime soil for artistry without pretension. And for community.
(Cleveland Public Theatre's storefront theatre window; Station Hope poster. Man, do I love the person who does the CPT promo art.)
I get flak for being a feminist. Can you believe it? From people who find their percieved concept of cultural equanimity threatened by my unhappiness with the lack of gender parity in areas of culture and society.
So I'm WARMED BY THE CLEVELAND THEATRE SCENE. Especially my company, Ohio City Theatre Project, and CPT, which won the ICWP Applause Award in 2011/12 for having at least 50% of shows by female playwrights. I think they could very well be eligible for the same award, this last season.
I have a hard time not feeling oppressed when I get flak. Why? Because the non-mindful knee-jerk reaction cuts off all civilized discussion about a reality that is important to humanism, and if any words do get exchanged, it's usually fraught debate or argument. Ye olde being concerned with the master's concerns, as Audre Lorde so impactfully put it. I have to argue for the sake of having a chance to argue. Screw it. I'll just go write plays (and stuff) amongst the enlightened.
This is another reason why I've broken with fundamentalist faith traditions. I don't even want to put myself in an environment I have to fight with in order to be seen as a valuable human being. I'll go to places where it's a given. I went to Trinity Cathedral, an Episcopal church, for Easter; I felt like I should go to church on Easter, because as I wrote in a previous post, I've missed being a part of faith and a faith community. I am SO GLAD I went, because it was consummately magnificent, and I felt relieved, not on red alert. The reverend is a woman, and a huge chunk of the clergy are, as well (it is also an inclusive faith community). I shouldn't have to defend why I find this comforting and relieving. I'm not anti-male. As my lovely and fierce friend and colleague Pandora said (and I paraphrase), I want to see my own experience. I'm not saying that a woman in any given situation equals my experience, but it is closer than not, in that at least there's the opportunity.
I really should get on the ball and revise the crap out of my most recent draft of my horror-thriller screenplay. Third draft's a charm? At least revising is actually easier than writing the original. I was/am aided by watching a couple of older horror gems (and deep and abiding thanks to my dear friend Larry for his excellent and incisive feedback about the 2nd draft, as well as one of the movie tip-offs): The Legend of Hell House and Burnt Offerings. I'm always digging around for new-old horror movies that I haven't seen (that aren't ultra-gory or about torture), so it was awesome to find not one but TWO.
And in teaching news, am wrapping up a stellar semester. I've had the opportunity to teach incredible students at a variety of places, and the challenges have all been positive. I would go to school for the rest of my life, if I could. With teaching, I get to. I learn a ton as I go. And this summer should be fun, as I get to teach a humanities/history course. WHAAAAAAT.
And there is other awesome professional news on the horizon, but I'll save that for later. :)