AWP is coming; or rather I’m going to AWP next week. The Association of Writers and Writing Programs is like every holiday copulated to create the ultimate event for writers. Miles of books will be presented to 10,000 book lovers, well over a 1,000 events and public readings will be held all over the city ofChicago. I don’t sleep at AWP and it usually takes me a month to recover from the volume of words that are shared and exchanged over this weekend conference. Even now as I write, I’m shaking with excitement.
AWP has become my annual marker—it is the date in which I strive to have met my annual goals as a reader and writer (I never fully meet these goals, but I do strive, strive, and strive to be closer to art and artists with each passing year.)
AWP is usually held in the coldest cities in the United States. I have to buy sleeves to go. I have to find a dog sitter. I have to pay all my bills in advance (to make sure I don’t spend my rent money on books). I have to run (and run faster) to meet my obligations at work and home to allow myself a weekend of pure language. It is truly my own Cinderella goes to the ball story.
One of the many “to dos” I had to accomplish before the trip was to make sex puppets—yes, sex puppets. I am privileged to be a part of AVT. AVT is a theatre company dedicated to the local theatre and artistic culture in Quartz Hill. I love the people who make AVT a “working” theatre group. The new show we are working on is Wittenberg:
APRIL 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28
by David Davalos
Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service,New York.
Martin Luther, Doctor Faustus, and Hamlet walk into a bar… no seriously. Set in 1517 at the University of Wittenberg and in the German town of it’s namesake, this highly irreverent comedy explores how these three men’s sagas overlap, intertwine, and irrevocably affect the course of each other’s lives.
“A cocktail of brainy allusions, absurdist plot twists, sly wordplay and disarming anachronisms, fortified with serious ideas, WITTENBERG should delight Tom Stoppard fans, recovering English majors, disillusioned academics and anyone who has ever wondered what Helen of Troy was like in the sack .” — Washington Post.
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 4pm. There is no performance Sunday April 29th.
Produced and Directed by Nalin A. Ratnayake
Karen Gruca, Production Stage Manager
Technical Design Team: Nicelle Davis, Pavlina Janssen , Jessica Katzman, Phillp E. McKaughan
$10 general / $8 students
For those of you in the area, please go seeWittenberg!!! The cast is fabulous, the costumes gorgeous, and I happen to KNOW there will be an on stage sex scene enacted with puppets!!!
Doctor Faustus is in the play and Faustus originally belonged to another playwright—Christopher Marlowe, so I brought copies of “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” to give to the cast and crew. This sexy poem goes like this:
THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE
by: Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)
OME live with me, and be my love;
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider’d all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
An if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The shepherd-swains shall dance and sing
For they delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.
“The Passionate Shepherd to his Love” is reprinted from Poetica Erotica. Ed. T.R. Smith.New York: Crown Publishers, 1921.
The AVT production of Wittenberg will be lush with acting talent, rich with literary allusions, and blessed to have costumer, Pavlina Janssen, to give the show texture and historical context. Pavi, as a visual artist, with an ability to turn the human body into a canvas. She is a truly a remarkable artist. She recently had a gallery showing of her multi-media works; To celebrate her L.A.art show, JJ and I brought her gifts of glitter and poetry.
Pavi’s work use fur, doilies, paint, and even vomit to create works that not only represent life, but enact the process of aging. Her painting, full of color and shine, will age and eventually die. To own one of her works is to watch time pass and face off with the anxieties of our own mortality. Again I say, Pavi is a remarkable artist.
Pavi has designed and created a “costume” for my AWP readings–something like a Siren–something like a jelly goes to the opera. I can’t wait to show people Pavi’s work.
For those of you going to AWP, if you are interested in seeing Pavi’s costume and hearing me read from Circe please come find us at the following readings:
Lowbrow Press Reading
Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 9:00pm until 11:00pm
Weeds Tavern: 1555 N Dayton St(between Clybourn Aveand North Ave). Nearest transit: North/Clybourn (Red line). 312-943-7815
Thursday, March 1st, 3:00pm until 6:00pm
Kasey’s Tavern 701 S Dearborn Street (betweenHarrison St.$Polk St.) 312-427-7992
Art opens and opens and opens to more art. I’m grateful to live in such a world of possibilities.
Great thanks to Nalin who created AVT and brought so many creative people together. I wish him well as he is leaving AVT to undertake a new great adventure–working for Teach for America. You are a gift Nalin.