News

Dan Bancroft new plays

April 7th, 2014 by

Some good news. The one-act we read at PP in the fall was accepted to the 2014 Arundel Festival in sunny England! It was also accepted to the Last Frontier
theater Conference in Valdez  Alaska, but I’m not able to attend. See you Sunday. 

Dan Bancroft

Hortenese Directs Proof

April 7th, 2014 by

Greetings, Fellow Survivors of Winter 2014,

I trust this finds you well and looking forward to warmer days, as surely am I.
I’ve been working with four talented student actors in a production of PROOF by David Auburn.
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play
Here’s a description of the play in case you’re not familiar with it:
On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician.  Following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions, the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire, and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind.  The discovery of a mysterious notebook raises the question:  how much of her father’s genius – or madness – did she inherit?
WHERE: Yamawaki Auditorium
WHEN:
Thursday April 10 and Friday April 11 at 7 PM
and
Sat April 12 at 2 PM and 7 PM
Featuring:
Tim Doucette, Dan Fox, Micaela Haggerty, and Jamie Trevino
Directed by yours truly.
Free and open to the public.
On Friday night, there will be a reception at 6 PM with wine and snackage to view the set/art installation.
On Thursday and Saturday nights of the run at 6:30 PM, the doors will be open to the public to view the installation work, and to play with the cool augmented reality effects that are part of the project.
Hope you can make it!
In any event, do let me know how you’re doing.
Love to catch up with you soon.
Warm regards,
Hortense

A Playwright’s Guide to Audience Feedback

February 4th, 2014 by

Three keys to gracefully getting what you need (without getting depressed)

Whenever I am in the middle of a new project, I can’t help the flights of fancy. I daydream about opening nights, rave reviews, and the answers I’ll give about my inspiration and creative process when I sit for interviews. With that as the typical backdrop, I invariably find a first reading a coming-to-earth experience.  Just hearing a piece out loud is usually enough to break the spell, to show me the finish line is further then I thought, and to remind me how much work, and re-work playwriting is. Then comes the feedback. And though, in my daydream reveries, I imagine the only thing audiences will be able to say is, “Wow!” in fact, they say a lot more.

It can be an ego bruising experience.

So, I am happy to share, what have emerged from my experiences sharing work and getting feedback at Playwrights’ Platform, my three keys to getting what I need without getting depressed:

  1. Ask for the feedback you want: Be specific about the kind of feedback you need (and are ready for). If it’s new and raw and you just want encouragement to keep at it, don’t be bashful about saying so. Ask what they like about it, what they think is working, and what they’d like more of. In my experience, the best moderators always open audience feedback by asking the playwright about their reaction to hearing a piece, and, “What questions do you have? How can we help you?” Even if they don’t, remember this is your time. Frame the conversation in the way that will be most useful to you. Don’t just ever say, “Tell me what you think.” You’ll get that without asking. But you can also steer the conversation where you want, and need it to go.
  2. Stick to the script: Whether they like it or loathe it, whether they are well behaved and restrict their comments to their reactions (or wade into suggestions about how to rewrite your play), in my experience, the best strategy is to avoid getting lured into defending, debating, or discussing your choices (or possible new directions). This is air time for other’s reactions and feedback. It isn’t pretty to argue with others about their experiences and impressions. Nod your head to show you are listening. And stick to this script (disclaimer – acting sometimes required)“Thank you.” “I hear what you are saying.” “I understand your point.”
  3. Take some. Leave the rest: At the end of the day, it is your play, and your call about what feedback to heed and what to ignore. Some will hit home, and you won’t be able to shake it until you deal with it. The rest comes and goes and, in time, it’s like it never happened at all.

We have a Twitter account

January 30th, 2014 by

We already know members can pack a punch in the 10-minute form.
How about 140 characters?
I am pleased to introduce the Platform’s new Twitter profile. For updates about the Platform, member news, and writing opportunities, check it out and follow at: www.twitter.com/PlaywrightsPFM.
We are excited to try this out as a profile raiser and network builder for the Platform and its members. Tweet to @PlaywrightsPFM and let me know you’re a member, and I’ll add you to the member’s list.
Stefan Lanfer (@stefanlanfer)

Welcome to our new Website

January 29th, 2014 by

We are delighted to have our new website up and running.  Playwrights may have a problem seeing their profiles for the next week or so as we are working out a bug in the system.  Our thanks to Kenyon King who designed the new site to make it easier for everyone to access it and to post new items and change information on the site.  Enjoy

George Smart

Hortense Directs Spring Awakening

November 27th, 2013 by

Dear Friends,

I trust you had a lovely Thanksgiving break, as did I.

For those of you who have noticed that I have been conspicuously absent on the social scene, this project is one reason why. It’s been great working with such a talented cast and crew. Come check it out!

We open this Thursday, November 29 and Friday, November 30 at 7 PM, again on Saturday, December 1 at 2 PM and 7 PM.
Yamawaki Auditorium
Lasell College
Free and open to the public

Musical direction by Harvey Finstein
Vocal direction by Lori L’Italien
Choreography by Jamie Brege
Directed by yours truly.

As the attached flyer states, due to mature subject matter, parental discretion is advised.

Pam Newton’s Dreamscape Project

September 19th, 2013 by

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The Dreamscape Project, under my artistic direction, is presenting a staged reading of “Songs From the Moon” on September 19, 2013. This is a collaborative performance piece I have created with composer Chris Renna and with performers Elizabeth Addison, Chien-Hwe Carol Hong, Laura Kessenich, and Wendy Lawson. Aryn Pryor and Taleen Shrikian are also part of the cast. It will take place on Thursday evening at 7PM in the Bonn Studio Theater of the Robsham Theater Arts Center at Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467. After the reading, which lasts about on hour, there will be a Talkback with the performers and the audience. The performance is free and open to the public and is within easy walking distance from the Green Line (D).

“Songs From the Moon’ introduces six women of different backgrounds who meet in the South End of Boston. They explore their lives and relationships with each other and the mysteriously absent Wanda through dance, movement, music, and poetry. Richly evocative, this performance piece uses descriptions of the city, nature, food, color, history, and space to give depth to the women’s emotions and struggles. As their connections grow, they create new forms and possibilities through an innovative compilation of word and action.

I hope you are able to come and share your thoughts. For further information, call 617-469-4462.

Meet & Greet for the Dramatists Guild

September 16th, 2013 by

Dear Friends,

Hope you’re all well and still enjoying summer as am I.
Just a heads-up that I’ll be hosting a Meet & Greet for the Dramatists Guild
at 5:30 PM on Monday, September 16 at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.
(see announcement and details below.)
Sorry if you’re already a member of the DG and this is a repeat announcement.
If you’re a member of the DG and you have NOT received this announcement, you might want
to check in with the DG Director of Membership person, Roland Tec:  rtec@dramatistsguild.com
Our special guest is playwright, Kirsten Greenidge, who recently won the 2013 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Playwright in Midcareer.

This is open to everyone, you do NOT need to be a member of the Dramatists Guild to attend.
Please help get the word out and meet your fellow Boston-area playwrights.
Hope to see you there.
And in any event, let me know how you’re doing.
Warm regards,
Hortense