Last night, the B. Iden Payne Awards announced their 2018–2019 Nominees for excellence in Austin theatre. UT Austin's production of my play Matawan racked up a whopping five!
Jiajing Qi for Lighting Design
Stephanie Fisher for Costume Design
Sam Lipman for Sound Design
Kristin Perkins for Dramaturgy
The Entire Dang Shark Ensemble for Stage Movement
I know awards and nominations aren't everything, and I really try not to view them as a form of validation. But it does feel good to have people positively recognize your work. More importantly, I loved this production and all the folks who worked on it. So to see the above names get some recognition is a cherry on top of what was already a show that's near and dear to me heart.
Big congrats to the whole team. I'm hoping we haven't seen the last of Matawan just yet. Read about ALL the incredible nominees and Austin shows here! And of course, we've gotta end with a fave shark image.
From August 19th through the 25th, I'll be a Resident Artist at Tofte Lake Center in Ely, Minnesota, where I'll workshop my play Sow and Suckling. Headed by UT professor and dramaturg extraordinaire Liz Engelman, Tofte has taken on an almost mythical quality here around campus; rumored to be a wilderness utopia populated by bears, loons, pine martens(!), and—from time to time—playwrights. I'm so excited to be up there with my grad-school cohort, collectively whipping our scripts into shape for their productions in the spring. Read more about the wonders of Tofte here! And here's a picture of a pine marten.
After seeing Godzilla: King of the Monsters and talking to a friend who's obsessed with the franchise, I decided to watch all 35(!) Godzilla films this summer. I've always been a casual fan of the series, plus I'm a firm believer in embracing the spirit of relaxation during the off-season.
But what started out as an exercise in leisure quickly became a journey of inspiration. Sure, a good deal of the movies venture into camp territory, particularly in the 1970s. But there's a general air of respecting (fearing?) Godzilla as a true force of nature that exists beyond the control of humans, especially when they (we?) try to control him. This theme pops up in my own work a lot, and I found the Godzilla films to be just the dramaturgical food I needed to work on two brand-new scripts.
There's The Amphibians, which examines two high-schoolers' anxiety about climate change as filtered through a giant creature they find in the woods. Then there's Kaiju, which features two Godzilla-esque beings as the central characters. I'll hopefully have more updates on both plays sooner rather than later. But for now, I just wanted to put forth a quick moment of praise for the mightiest monster in film history. All hail Godzilla: King of the Dramaturgs!