the week of june 27 - july 1, 2022
chekhov in space
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After the 2016 election, when I felt like my rage and despair were going to spin me off this planet, the best advice I received was to pick one cause to support with my money and time instead of burning out trying to fix everything. Donating to an abortion fund was the best way to redirect my outrage then and now.
Abortion funds have been strategizing for years in anticipation of last week’s Supreme Court decision. They’ve built the necessary infrastructure to support pregnant people who now have to cross state lines for abortion care. (I completed case manager training a few years with the DC Abortion Fund and the efficiency, care, and meticulously detailed operations of that organization are so impressive; it’s the best non-profit I’ve ever worked with and it’s mostly volunteer-run.)
The Cut has an excellent state-by-state guide if you want to support an abortion fund in your community. The National Network for Abortion Funds has also set up a bundled donation site that will split your contribution between 80+ funds across the country. This is a miserable, demoralizing time but the best thing we can all do right now is to invest in the work that already exists.
PlayPenn starts its 2022 season on July 5th. The Philadelphia new play conference kicks off with readings of Kevin Esmond’s Vintage Illustrations of the Devil and Carl(os) Roa’s Pase Lo Que Pase (I Will Always Find You).
Mallory Jane Weiss’ Big Black Sunhats runs July 1-2 at The O’Neill. The drama about three wives welcoming their husbands home after a 40-year absence “explores time — how we pass it, the stories that live outside of it, and what we do when it’s handed to us in new ways.”
The US premiere of Simon Stephens’ Light Falls at Steep Theatre in Chicago starts previews on July 2nd. Robin Wit directs the “haunting tale of resilience, hope, and the impossibly strong bonds of family.”
Anna Ouyang Moench’s Man of God runs July 5 - 22 at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Maggie Burrows directs the “funny feminist thriller” about a Korean Christian girls’ youth group on a mission trip who discover their pastor’s hidden camera in their hotel bathroom, letting their “communal rage and disillusionment fuel increasingly violent revenge fantasies amidst the no-holds-barred neon bubblegum sex-tourism mecca of Bangkok.”
The world premiere of LM Feldman’s Thrive, Or What You Will starts performances July 7th at American Shakespeare Center. The “epic tale about the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, in which gender-nonconforming 18th-century herb woman Jeanne Baret sets out on an 11-year voyage across lands and seas” is directed by Larissa Lury.
Anna Ziegler’s The Janeiad will have a stage reading July 7-9 at the Cape Cod Theatre Project. Lisa Peterson directs the spin on Greek mythology “about longing and hope as well as the myths we tell ourselves in order to get through the day.”
The 2022 LIFT Festival digital programme is available to stream until July 10th. Available works include Denise Bolduc’s Zaagidiwin, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas’ The Teaching of the Hands, Rosana Cade and Ivor MacAskill’s The Making of Pinocchio, and Nest Collective’s The Feminine and The Foreign.
Benjamin Benne’s In His Hands is now available to stream on demand from DC’s Mosaic Theater Company. The queer rom-com about two men navigating faith, desire, and past trauma is directed by José Carrasquillo.
2022-23 season updates
The Ojai Playwrights Conference announced its 2022 line-up. The selected plays are Vivian Barnes’ The Sensational Sea Mink-Ettes, Bill Cain’s God's Spies, Jahna Ferron-Smith’s Running While Black, Peter Kim George’s To Red Tendons, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Dog Day Afternoon, Matthew Paul Olmos’ a home what howls (or the house what was ravine), Michael Shayan’s Avaaz, Zakiya Young’s Suburban Black Girl, and Anna Ziegler’s The Janeiad. The festival will also host writers-in-residence Zora Howard and Lyndsey Bourne.
Utah’s Pioneer Theatre Company announced its 2022-23 season. The line-up includes two world premieres: Kareem Fahmy’s A Distinct Society and Shane McAnally, Brandy Clark, and Robert Horn’s musical Shucked! (directed by Jack O’Brien); Stephen Wrentmore’s adaptation of Scapin; Stephen Sondheim’s Putting It Together; and the musicals A Christmas Story and The Prom.
Lookingglass Theatre Company announced its 35th season. The Chicago theatre will present the Congo Square Theatre production of Aleshea Harris’ What to Send Up When It Goes Down (directed by Ericka Ratcliff and Daniel Bryant), Mary Zimmerman’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier, the short film series 50 Wards: A Civic Mosaic, the annual outdoor community ritual Sunset 1919 (curated & coordinated by Kareem Bandealy and J. Nicole Brooks), and two world premieres: Sara Gmitter’s Villette (directed by Tracy Walsh) and Matthew C. Yee’s Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon (directed by by Amanda Dehnert).
Vinay Patel’s world premiere adaptation of The Cherry Orchard is coming to The Yard in September. James Macdonald will direct the reimagination of Chekhov’s last play, centering on a starship crew’s discovery of a new habitable planet.
the regional theatre game of thrones
Idris Goodwin is the new artistic director of Seattle Children’s Theatre. The playwright, poet, and director was most recently the Executive Director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. SCT will open its upcoming season with the world premiere of Goodwin’s new play with music The Boy Who Kissed The Sky, inspired by the boyhood of Seattle music icon Jimi Hendrix.
Theater Mu announced the inaugural members of the Mu Emerging Playwrights’ Circle. The Minneapolis theatre created the program to support local, early career Asian-American playwrights. The first cohort includes Philip de Sa e Silva, Emma Y. Lai, Katie Rein, and Sunny Thao.
The Playwrights’ Center announced its 2023 Core Writers. The new cohort includes Steph Del Rosso, Rachel Jendrzejewski, Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko, AriDy Nox, Matthew Paul Olmos, and SEVAN.
that’s not a living wage
Here are this week’s featured underpaid job listings, paired with the living wage for a 40-hour work week for one adult with no children in that area and the most recently available 990 data. (You can read more about the methodology here.)
Wardrobe Supervisor/Costume Associate, Olney Theatre Center: $42,000
Many theatres are re-evaluating their apprenticeship/fellowship programs right now — increasing weekly pay, reducing hours to allow for outside employment, or eliminating the programs entirely. Some theatres aren’t!
Artistic Fellow, Northlight Theatre: $5,000 (annual stipend)
Thank you to the Canadian reader who submitted the following position, but sadly the first thought that crossed my diseased American brain was, “Oh my God, nine months of maternity leave? The luxury!”
Producer (9-Month Maternity Leave Cover), The Theatre Centre: $27-29K USD (“based on pro-rated annual salary of $47K to $50K CAD”)
I will never forget the way my last boss had to cobble together a 10-week maternity leave from vacation, sick days, short-term disability, and coming into the office on snow days. That kid just celebrated his 8th birthday and I’m still salty about it!
I’ll tell you right now: It’s a lot less than you think! I can’t express how much I miss being in a rehearsal room, but man, dramaturgy is not a sustainable profession.
FYI: bills, bills, bills
The next installment of Bills, Bills, Bills will hit your inbox next Wednesday at 10 AM ET. (It’s a special tech week double feature.) If you missed the first one, here’s the money diary of a costume shop worker in the Midwest navigating the first week of their annual summer layoff.