Wednesday, February 27, 2013

TMPW Session #67: L. B. Londagin's "First Rodeo"

Lori Londagin's "" is an insight into teenage girls, high school wrestling and the inner thoughts of girls as they come of age. And, it is a hoot to read!

Read by John Byrne and C. J. Ehrlich, Lori and myself, the script gave us lots to chew on and absorb during the workshop. I loved the ebb and flow of the script, and how Londagin captures the dialogue of teenagers. Wrestling is as foreign to me as most other countries, but by the end of the script I felt like I could at least lurk at a wrestling match without looking foolish.

John and C. J. and I spent most of the workshop working through what we wanted more of, and Londagin took it all in. This is a dynamic script!

My thanks to Lori for sharing her script and to John and C. J. for workshopping it with me.

You can  of the session, or catch it within the next day or so in the  on iTunes.

TMPW Session #66: Sam Graber's "College"

Session #66 was the first time an author asked for a "Go, No Go" on a script. Sam Graber asked for this as we workshopped a play he had "dusted off from the attic" and wanted to know if we (and he) heard enough meat in the script for him to work it some more.

"" was a fun read, and we spent the workshop weighing the merits and the way it felt like two plots, almost, or two parts of a story that could become a longer piece.

In the end, however, after listening to us weigh the pros and cons of his script, Graber himself declared it a "no go." Fascinating. It took us 66 sessions to get here, but here we are: the ultimate litmus test for an author who knows his writing well enough to be able to identify when the script isn't one he wants to continue developing. I love it!

My thanks to Sam for, once again, being an amazing, ground-breaking author in a TMPW session (you can read/hear another of Graber's scripts, "Driving Herd," in ). Note: "Driving Herd" is being produced by Between Us Productions in NYC in the , March 19-24, 2013.

And, my thanks to Christopher Adams, Larry Rinkel and Samantha Oty for workshopping the piece with me!

You can of the session, or catch it within the next day or so in the  on iTunes.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

TMPW Session #65: Stephen Baily's "Confessions of a Chat Room Romeo"

Stephen Baily's script, "," rides the rails of humor and sex and confessionals and the confluence of these three in - and about - online chat room sessions.

The reading I got to do with Arthur Holden was the most fun I've ever had reading a script on TMPW. Holden is a Canadian voice actor and author and reading Baily's script with him was a blast!

And the script itself was a poignant telling - and asking - of the questions the internet introduced into our lives and what we are to do with them. When I first read a script by Baily last fall ("A Dozen Roses" in ), I knew I liked his work, and tonight's session made me feel that way again!

My thanks to Stephen for sharing his wonderful script with us, and to Merv Kaufman and Arthur Holden for reading and workshopping the script with me.

You can of the session.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

TMPW Session #64: Libba Beaucham's "An Idle Fancy"

Satire, Victorian dialogue and an exposé on love fill Libba Beaucham's script, "."

Beaucham's script is a hoot to read, and the reading that Catherine Weingarten and Elena Tabachnick did was fantastic! John Gamel and I joined Elena and Catherine for the workshop session, and the discussion focused on the tempo of the plot progression, stage direction of action and if there could/should be one more twist at the end. Take a to the script and decide for yourself!

My thanks to Libba for her script, and to Elena, Catherine and John for workshopping it with me!

You can of the session.

TMPW Session #63: John Gamel's "Trust"

John Gamel's script, "," brought on one of the liveliest workshops we've ever done! First, the reading was such fun, and Arthur Holden, Cate Vincent and Christian Vincent did a wonderful job with John's characters.

John's introduction of his script opened the workshop to the kind of response that is so much fun to be a part of: a mature, engaged author seeking solid responses, even if, as Gamel reveals in his opening lines of introduction, his wife thought the two female characters wouldn't interact the way his script portrays them. So, with that opening, we, too, got to test our notions of character-believability and plot progression.

It was such a fun workshop, and the script is somewhat controversial, but I've learned that John is an author who is willing to push the edges, and enjoys the openness of TMPW as the mature author that he is. I love workshopping John's scripts; he is always ready for the analysis and critique that makes workshopping such fun! (You can experience more of John's work in and .)

My thanks to John for sharing another one of his pieces, and to Arthur, Cate and Christian for workshopping the piece with me!

You can of the session.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

TMPW Session #62: Tommy Jamerson's "Christmas Cookies"

Well, it's happened! TMPW has gone absurdist! And, I can thank Tommy Jamerson for proffering up the first absurdist script for workshopping! "" is as much about... well... it's absurdist, so what it's really about is in the eye of the beholder!

If I were you, though, I'd take twenty minutes and have a and a ; this one is a hoot! I was laughing so much I nearly missed several cues for my stage direction reading!

My thank to Tommy for sharing his script with us and to Larry Rinkel and Aaron Sampson (Session #53 features a script by Aaron) for joining in on the workshopping - what a session, gentlemen!

You can of the session.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Interested in an Online Workshopping Group for Your Full-Length Play?

TMPW is such fun that I can only imagine what having a group of folks to workshop full-length plays would be like! John Gamel approached me about using the TMPW model of online workshopping to workshop a full-length play and, as we got to talking, I thought, "Why not?!" But, this will be a little different. We're thinking that we'd get a small group of playwrights (five or six folks, max) together who are all currently working on a play and meet online once/week for ten weeks (day and time to be determined by the group) to workshop through each person's work. Readings, workshopping, recordings -- the whole bit!

If you're currently working on a full-length (one-act or multi-act) play and would like to be a member of a workshopping group that uses the GoToMeeting software to meet once/week online, drop me a note at

We can record the readings and the workshops, just like the ten-minute play sessions, but this would be a dedicated group of folks who workshop together once/week for ten weeks. Interested? Let me know.

Jen Whiting

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

TMPW Session #61: Catherine Weingarten's "Recycling Sexy"

First, I hope Catherine changes the title of her piece... because I want that title!

"" is a fun, satirical script about unrequited love. We had a full-house workshopping Weingarten's script and the audio recording of it is a hoot! Aaron Sampson, Libba Beachaum and John Gamel joined in the fun of this workshop.

My thanks to Catherine for sharing her script (and I'm serious about your title - that is hot!), and to Libba, John and Aaron for workshopping the script with me.

You can of the session.

TMPW Session #60: Jeremy Carey's "Arete"

Jeremy Carey's script, "," is full of life, conflict and, after the cold read of his script during this session, we all wanted more of it!

Libba Beacham, John Gamel and Merv Kaufman joined in the session as we had a blast talking about the difference between making the conflict more focused and remaining a ten-minute play or allowing the multiple threads of conflict to unravel on themselves a bit more (and drawing us deeper into their web) if the script was expanded into a one-act or full-length script.

Either way, I loved the dialogue and interactions between the characters in Carey's script and thank Jeremy for sharing his script with us. My thanks also go to Libba, John and Merv for such a poignant workshop session!

You can of the session.

Monday, February 11, 2013

TMPW Session #59: John Byrne's "At The End of The World"

John Byrne is at it again!! His latest TMPW script is "" and we had a blast workshopping it! I have loved workshopping John's writing (see another of his scripts in ), and this script was no exception!

This workshop focused on the character development that John has in his script, and we had a strong discussion of the level of conflict between the characters and how to think about solving conflict with... more conflict!

Workshopping this script with  me were Lori Londagin, Greg Abbott (see his script in TMPW Workshop #58), and Dara Silverman.

You can of the session.

Friday, February 8, 2013

TMPW Session 58: Greg Abbott's "Safety First"

I should probably start by posting a false address and identity. Greg Abbott's script, "," will either get us all tracked down by some agency or the web site shut down for some unknown reason!

This script is provocative, political and what it leaves behind after all the words have been spoken is heavy-duty. I know that's a fragment, but I need it to be. I am still feeling the impact of the script, so yes, it's heavy-duty.

The workshop was done by John Gamel and me, with Greg reading the stage direction. My facilitator skills were put to the test to keep the workshop about the script and not the politics of the piece; we'll know whether or not I succeeded if indeed the TMPW website stays up for more sessions!

This script was originally written for a radio broadcast, and Greg was looking for input about transitioning it to the stage. I recommend reading along with the audio recording, as John and I hadn't rehearsed the timing of the lines, so you'll get the meaning more succinctly if you read the script, too.

My thanks to Greg for sharing his amazing script and to John for becoming a true comrade-in-arms and TMPW'ing with me every week!

You can .

TMPW Session #57: Samantha Oty's "Please Don't Go"

Samantha Oty's "" kept me on the edge of my seat during the whole workshop!

The script is tight and quick, and brought each one of us a different sense of "creepy." Samantha has hit the tension mark well, and the workshop was a blast! I can't write anymore or I'll give away her wonderful ending!

My thanks to John Gamel (he's becoming a TMPW regular!), Elena Tabachnick and Jeremy Carey for their wonderful workshopping and to Samantha for her great script!

You can .

Sunday, February 3, 2013

TMPW Session #56: Tommy Jamerson's "Cell Talk or The 60 Year Old Malaysian Man"

Tommy Jamerson's "" was such a fun script to workshop, I didn't want tonight's session to end! Tommy was a regular during the first semester of TMPW (see another of Jamerson's scripts in ) and I was excited when he submitted another script.

Jamerson's script is a great read, putting the notion of internet dating, and the true meaning of the word desire, onto center stage.

Workshopping with me tonight was TMPW'er John Byrne (read one of John's scripts in ), Greg Abbott and Dara Silverman.

My thanks to Tommy, John, Dara and Greg for a great session!

You can of the session.