Alexandra .

Playwright

UNIV.OF SO. CAL

M.F.A.-Theatre - Playwriting Emphasis MagnaCum

only Female Playwright in Class

UNIV. OF PITTSBURGH

BA-Creative Writing - Speech/Communication

 

(While at USC, Readings/Performances of:  “Chambers” starring (to-be.

Chicago Bear’s ‘Keith VanHorne.’ Also “Running Parallel.” Also a play about first female President “Guess Who’s Minding the White House,” whose Press Secretary is played by Stephanie Miller. My Graduate Project, “Bedside Manners,” was performed in the newly-designed “GreenRoom” theatre space.

 

Guild Memberships/Member Organizations:

Dramatist Guild since 1986; Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (18 yrs)

(Vice Chair 4 yrs); participated “In Our Own Voice” Bookstore readings most

years, including readings of many of my shorter plays, including “Ode to the

Rus Belt”; “Age of Aquarius….”,“These Walls,” “Princely Ego,”

“Quandary”…. Participated in several ALAP monologue slams, some co-written

monologues, some written spontaneously together by members of the group;

others individually under time . My monologue, “Elevator Dreamin,” was done

via the monologue slam. A Playpen reading of  my favorite script (written in

in various lengths, was “Devaluing the Dolllar.”

 

I was also a member of Women-In-Theatre for 25 yrs; also 3 years Chaire WIT’s

monthly Playreading Series, where I was often complimented for my even-hand

ed, kind handling of audience criticism, comments.

 

Among my most often produced plays:“Confessions of a G-Man,” “Princely

Ego,” “So They Say.” With my all-time favorite as stated as “Devaluing the

Dollar.” “Confessions of a G-Man” runs a close-second, due to its Holiday nature, and irritstable G-Man. It played most recently at No/Ho’s Rose Theatre.

 

My one “big win” in the competition circuit was being chosen as the First

Recipient ever of  the “LILLIAN HELLMAN PLAWRIGHTING AWARD,” grant

ed the year after Hellman’s death. (The award was originally

chosen by Women-In-Theatre the first 5 years. Going on to become “The Lilly

Award” now given annually by the DGA.

 

I’m also currently a member of LAFPI, a Women’s Theatre Group/offspring of

WIT (which lasted nearly 25 years as the first group promoting Women Play

wrights and Actresses of Stage.

 

WIth LAFPI, I participate monthly LAFPI’s Micro-Reads at the legendary

Samuel French Bookstore - Hollywood (with readings of my plays: “To Mom,”

“Intro to 2017 SWAN Awards.” Also had Readings of“My Christmas

Stalking,” “King Be He Not,” “Deep Dive. As mentioned above, LAFPI also

sponsors International “Swan Day,”…honoring Women’s Theatre Achievements.

 

I was also initially offered ‘free’ the two weekend of NMI’s Core Curriculum. (orig

inally scheduled s the only strictly Bookwrier in class. Unfortunately Drama-

palooza conflicted with NMI’s Curriculum, so I honored my original ALAP obliga

tions.

 

I also wrote a novella, “Chickenshit (A Moral Issue)” a timeless dark comedy

about meat shop owner, Syd…who sold ‘paper’ chickens ironically labeled “Suc

culent Clucks.” A brand name that had customers. inexplicably not noticing the

true paper nature of the Clucks for nearly 20 years…until the book begins, when

Syd faces a mid-life crises facing Truth in many aspects of his life.

 

(With the paper-chicken dilemma starting as what was meant to be a joke…when

The REAL shipment of “Succulents” failed to arrive on time. Forcing

Syd and his 9-year old cohort, Timmy Scubbs, to jokingly substitute hand-drawn

paper chickens, with the paper bran name, “Succulent Clucks” on each. The

book opens, 20 years later, with Syd in mid-life crisis, as

customers STILL clamor, begging for the infamous ‘paper’ birds. (I planned to

self-publish, but have simply been my year+ back in LA. Though hopefully soon.

 

In addition to about TWENTY - 10-page short-to-medium plays, I’ve written two

full-length scripts, as well as 3 Comedy Spec scripts for TV (when I was rep’d by

Irv Schechter Co. in the 90’s, though sadly nothing significant developed from my

rep. by them.

 

I also have a collection of approx. 125 poems called, “Impressions of a Lifetime.”

 

STUDIO/FILM WORK:

Twentieth  Century-Fox Film Corp. – Worked as staff Production Floater for

Fox TV/Film productions. Assisted/learned first-hand from many long-time

Hollywood legend “family-named” execs, producers such as Alan Ladd,Jr.;

and “hot” off “China Syndrome” fame, and “9 to5” movie/tv series producer,

Jane Fonda. I also personally took playwrighting tips from top-of-his-game,’ Neil

Simon…who often dropped by the trailer with Mel Brooks to exchange Hollywood

vignettes, that showed even established playwrights/producers had to

cautiously maneuver the Entertainment world. Also witnessed filming of

incomparable “MASH” series first-hand. And ate lunch in the still Classic Fox

commissary (with still the same Backdrop of the cruise ship cafeteria filmed in,

“Love Affair to Remember” with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.

 

M.G.M. Film Corp:

Production Assistant to various top-name producers, directors, writers in

development, production of various film/TV projects produced and filmed at

MGM before their merger with Turner Entertainment in the 90’s. During which, I

had the honor of working on projects, and in infamous, timelss Thalberg hall with

such “named” Hollywood Producers/Executives as, John Goldwyn (heir to

Samuel Goldwyn), David Niven, Jr. (indie producer, son on famed David

Niven, Sr.)…whose family friend, Gene Kelly, often dropped by to chat. I was also

greeted by such MGM legends as Cary Grant, who came by for monthly Board

Meetings.

 

And met Kathryn Hepburn filming her last documentary about career/personal

life with legendary Spencer Tracy. Also witnessed filming of latest-made MGM

Roaring Lion (intro to many MGM films).

 

As with my earlier experience at ABC, and other studios, I found myself

Naturally gravitating toward “top” Development Departments, Executives…

with no ‘master plan’ in mind.

 

Turner Entertainment:

When Turner bought the prior MGM film Library, I was anointed the official Syn

opsizer of the Film Catalogue. Eventually joining Turner Entertainment, I contain

ued to read, synopsize, and compile the official Film Catalogue of all prior MGM

scripts…now officially the Turner Collection.

 

Free Lance Script Reading:

As mentioned, I Free-Lance Script Read at various major studios, as well

as for indie producers. My credits include such employers as RKO (in its last

days), 20th Century Fox, MGM Studios,Turner Entertainment (later to become

TNT). Then went on to read for indie producers, such as Heritage Films (who

won an Emmy for their WWII documentary). As Heritage Executive approached

retirement age, his company merged with then small, “Landmark Entertainment,”

who surprisingly grew to its currently humongous worldwide Landmark Theatres’

status. (Of all my experiences in the Industry, not a day passes, I regret leaving

Landmark so soon. Which goes to prove…you never know in Hollywood!

 

I also did indie reading for numerous high-level indie producers/development

execs who needed last-minute RUSH weekend coverage of key scripts. I also,

while read scripts for the short-lived Ahmanson family-funded Cable Channel in

the mid-80’s, as well as Interned in Mark Taper Forum in its Literary Department

(as part of my USC Graduate indie project). There I read and critiqued scripts

under the amazing tutelage of theTaper’s Dramaturg, Russ Vandenbroucke,

who generously shared his time and knowledge as a nationally ‘known and re

spected ’ Dramaturg.

 

As an aside, I took a much-needed break from Los Angeles and the Enter-

tainment Industry a few years back, and moved to Oregon, where I rented a

lovely restful home in a safe neighborhood. In retrospect, the most magical,

peaceful years of my life in quiet, clean Oregon with my adopted Mini-Daschund,

Nikki. (Nikki unfortunately became ill about the time my landlords there raised the

rent several hundred a month.

 

Perhaps not entirely thought out, I headed back to Los Angeles with just Retire

ment Funds, to do small theatre in Los Angeles. (Not exactly the best-laid

plans…)

 

But, back in LA, I now belong to several local theatre groups (many I was a

member of PRIOR to moving to Oregon). So in that respect, it was nice ‘coming

home.’ Though the ‘landing’ hasn’t always been easy. And must admit I haven’t

entirely settled yet. Though hopefully that will come inline soon…as gradually my

prior “contacts,” as well as new theatre contacts/groups constantly form.

 

MY CURRENT PROJECT:

(3rd Part of Lillian Hellman “Little Foxes” Trilogy”)

For over a year, I’ve extensively contemplated, researched, and planned. As of

writing this, I’m attempting to obtain the ‘official' Rights from the Hellman Estate

to write the Third Part of the Hellman “Foxes” Trilogy. (I will using the same title

under which I won the Award for the first “Lilly” award the year after

Lillian's death in the mid-80’s. The name of my part of the trilogy is “Northern

Folk”…a name which I feel befits the projecting of the first generation of Hubbard

women who finalize the Hubbard dream of moving to the ‘big city,” Chicago. As at

the end of the second (“Foxes”) part of the trilogy, I pick up and  carry forward

Alexandra’s infamous quote which fittingly launches “Northern Folk.” That quote:

”There are those who eat the dirt; and those who stand and watch. I will be

neither.” (Which becomes in a sense becomes Alexandra’s life-long mantra in

“Northern Folk.”)

 

In leaving behind Lionett for big-city Chicago Alexandra and Birdie (as Zann’s

guardian) launch the several generational dream of Hubbard women…to move to

stylish big-city Chicago, and become worldly ‘Northern Folk.’  A dream that

Alexandra and Birdie live out…with its ups and downs.

 

(As a footnote: While awaiting the judges decision in this contest, I went back to

read “Unfinished Woman,” in which Lillian implicitly states she "always planned to

write the third part of theTrilogy, but “just run out of time.” The moment I read that

quote, I still remember the goosebumps…that stick with me even yet. So that

when the phone rang moments later…those many years ago, I knew before I

answered, I’d won the award.

Why did I wait until now to finally do ‘Northern Folk?’ The time never felt quite

right…’til now. For today, more than ever before, more “ARE eating the dirt.” So

that every time I even question persisting, the answer instinctively

always is a resounding, gut-felt “YES.”

 

Recent Classwork: I graduated last year from Aaron Sorkin’s Screenwriting

Masterclass, which included many video lessons, workbook projects, various

written assignments, on-line group discussions of prior Sorkin work, as well as

that of other noted writers. Also several “Hub” discussions which focused on

critques of Masterclass classmates’ projects-in-the-work…as well as Writing in

general. Discussions also included current and past notable series and movies

…andwhy they didn’t quite ‘work.’  There was also discussion of HOW to re-boot

“West Wing” as a series…not just among Workshop members, but also prior

cast members who expressed almost a unanimous interest in seeing the series

reborn in some manner. In my final Video Pitch assignment, I suggested “West

Wing-The Musical” …particularly considering Sorkin’s Degree in Musical

Threatre. Though it was the NON-musical version which prior cast members, as

well as prior producers of West Wing 9and Sorkin himself), expressed interest in

exploring at least ONE final episode…as closure of unresolved issues in the

storyline at the time of Sorkin’s exit at the end of Season 4.  (Though the present

future of any West Wing reunion remains oddly ‘quiet.’)