National Reports

Portland by Francesca Piantadosi

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Portland by Francesca Piantadosi

Portland has been bustling with Dramatists Guild events. Before the holidays we held a successful meet and greet while still finalizing plans for a very special event coming in the Spring.

Portland playwrights are honored that Artists Repertory Theatre will be hosting the Dramatists Guild Institute on March 30 and 31, 2019. This is the DGI’s first visit to the area and we hope you’ll make plans to be here.

Whether you’re looking for a writing class on learning how to write audial and visual detail by the illustrious Gary Garrison or want to learn how to pitch your plays from award-winning playwright Chisa Hutchinson, classes will be offered to both hone your skills and boost your career.

It will also be your opportunity to speak to the Manager of Business Affairs, Amy VonMacek, and Joey Stocks, Editor of The Dramatist. Both will be making the trip from New York.

And in case you think we forgot to schedule time to socialize, Friday night, March 29 we’ll be gathering for drinks and what else… theatre! Playwrights will be attending a local performance with plenty of time to schmooze before and after.

Last but not least, don’t forget to attend The Dramatist LIVE on Saturday night. Mr. Stocks will be hosting a live roundtable discussion with all our talented faculty. And if you can’t be with us in Portland, don’t worry!

We sincerely hope you’ll join us as we roll out the welcome mat for both master playwrights and the hardworking staff of the Dramatists Guild.

Not only will the DGI be coming to the Pacific Northwest but last December, the Guild’s Vice-President made time for local members. Yes, you guessed it…Lisa Kron was gracious enough to offer an opportunity to meet with her and pick her fabulous brain.

Profile Theatre was producing her play, In The Wake, and arranged discounted tickets for all Dramatists Guild members.

Lisa’s play takes place at Thanksgiving of 2000. The presidential election still has not been decided. Ellen insists that her friends and family don’t understand how bad the situation really is. But no one; not her loving partner, Danny, nor the passionate Amy, nor the brutally pragmatic and world-weary Judy, can make Ellen see the blind spot at the center of her own politics and emotional life. It’s a play that illuminates assumptions that lie at the heart of the American character and the blind spots that mask us from ourselves.

During the meet and greet, topics ranged from working on Fun Home (her advice to all musical book writers is to simply “work with Jeanine Tesori”) to how she began in the theatre (developing solo works in tiny spaces in New York).

One topic that came up several times was how she always seemed poised right behind a door as it began to swing open, while other writers and performers who started only years before her, weren’t so lucky. Those predecessors, borne of a different political climate, may have possessed monumental talent, but it seemed when their door swung open, society wasn’t willing to usher them in.

As Ms. Kron has said “All art is political.” If that’s true, then perhaps it’s time for us as playwrights to arrange our words on paper so that they will not only open doors for previously unheard voices but will bring those voices through that threshold for all the world to see. Portland benefitted greatly from an evening with Ms. Kron both that evening and in the continuing discussion that’s been generated.