Last year, I read 12 books! This year I read 11, but the drop is due to only reading 1 A Series of Unfortunate Events book with my babysitting charge this year instead of 2. I’ve still read 10 books on my own, like last year. I’m glad I’ve kept up my reading pace.
Last year I saw 89 productions, which was a significant jump from the previous year’s 73. This year I saw… 69, the lowest it has ever been (yes, I’m aware I still see way more than the average person). I was hoping the number would be a little higher, but it’s understandable given how busy I was in other areas this year, especially during the fall when so much theater is opening. I’m also trying to balance life even more than in previous years to get my output to be equal to or to surpass my input. In other words, I think I’m at the point at which I should be producing more than I’m consuming, so while in previous years it was normal to have the number be in the 80s and 90s, I should accept that a lower number in the 60s and 70s (and maybe even lower) is going to be more typical.
Tonight, New York Theatre Barn presents a reading of our musical:
DAYS OF RAGE
Book + Music by Hyeyoung Kim
Book + Lyrics by Shoshana Greenberg
Directed by Joe Barros (Gigi, Cagney)
Musical Direction by Christopher D. Littlefield
Associate Director Emily Briggs
Stage Manager Savannah Kurtz
With Adam Theodore Barry, Ben Bogen, Michael Enright, Luke Forbes, Jeremy Gaston (Sister Act), Michelle Beth Herman, Bruce Jones, Charlie Levy, Kelly McIntrye (A Night With Janis Joplin), Zurin Villanueva (Shuffle Along), Noah Zachary, and EJ Zimmerman (Les Miserables)
How far would you go for something you believe is right? Who is responsible for violence and how do you break the cycle? Inspired by the activities of The Weathermen/Weather Underground Organization and The Black Panther Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Days of Rage captures the passion and conviction of that turbulent era and questions how far one should go in defense of what they believe is right. Days of Rage was featured in Theatre Barn’s New Works Series earlier this month
11.28.16 | 7pm @ The Cell | 338 W 23rd St., NYC
Photo by Michael Bonasio.
My musical Days of Rage with composer and co-bookwriter Hyeyoung Kim will be part of the November 7th New York Theatre Barn New Works Series! I’m thrilled to showcase songs from this politically-charged show the night before the election.
Monday, November 7th, 7:30pm
The Cell: 23rd street between 8th and 9th Avenues
Days of Rage
Book and Music by Hyeyoung Kim
Book and Lyrics by Shoshana Greenberg
Directed by Joe Barros
Musical Direction by Christopher D. Littlefield
How far would you go for something you believe is right? Who is responsible for violence and how do you break the cycle? Inspired by the activities of The Weathermen/Weather Underground Organization and The Black Panther Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Days of Rage captures the passion and conviction of that turbulent era and questions how far one should go in defense of what they believe is right.
Casting was just announced today! The cast includes Drew Arisco, Adam Theodore Barry, Ben Bogen, Michael Enright, Luke Forbes, Jeremy Gaston, Michelle Beth Herman, Jonathan Hooks, Kelly McIntrye (A Night With Janis Joplin), Alexis Tidwell, and EJ Zimmerman (Les Miserables).
Purchase $20 tickets (or $15 student tickets).
I want to say a few words about the author Natalie Babbitt, who passed away on Monday at age 84, because Tuck Everlasting was my favorite childhood book and remains one of my favorite books to this day. When people talk about the power of childhood books and their influence over how we see the world, that was Tuck Everlasting for me. We read it in my second grade class, and I remember everything.
I remember learning vocabulary words like “melancholy” and when I reread the book and I get to that word I still see it on my vocab list and am taken back to the exact moment of learning it.
I remember Winnie’s line: “I’m not exactly sure what I’d do, you know, but something interesting– something that’s all mine. Something that would make some kind of difference in the world.” And thinking, yes, that’s me, this book and this character is me.
We’ve made it to fall! Soon leaves will turn brown, we’ll dust off our boots, and life will get crazy (because that’s what always seems to happen in the fall). But for now, let’s look back at what I did this summer.
Rehearsing Lightning Man
Most of my summer writing activity happened in June when my collaborators and I had a reading of our show Lightning Man at Turtle Bay Music School. We had a wonderful cast and band, and we learned a lot about our show, which is what readings are really all about. Stay tuned for more updates about Lightning Man as it moves forward.
Lightning Man Reading Collaborators
Last night I watched the original Ghostbusters in anticipation of the reboot that opens this weekend. I have a discordant reaction to this film in that I always laugh through it but I also get so angry that one of the few female characters, Dana Barrett, is so awesome (she’s smart, she’s an accomplished cellist, she’s too busy to call her mom but still talks to her mom when she calls to check in) and yet Dana does absolutely nothing but get abducted and then possessed halfway through the film–but it’s FUN! because she’s acting so SEXUAL! (ugh). The sequel may be bad, but at least Dana has something to do when she goes after her abducted baby. At least she isn’t the one being abducted this time.
But now the genders are switched, and the Ghostbusters are female. Now the women are the active characters. Women will get to watch a film in which one of two supporting female characters isn’t getting abducted, possessed, and then rescued only to kiss someone she barely knows as the credits roll. All stories should have active women, but having active women in this new Ghostbusters film is especially important because the film is taking something that did not have active women and changing that.
This photo from the premiere has been making the rounds on social media (it was first shared on Twitter by Anna Spiess, a 16-year-old fan, according to the Facebook page “A Mighty Girl“). The young girls are dressed in Ghostbuster gear. They are smiling, and one has reached out her hand to connect with one of the film’s stars, Kristen Wiig. This image moved me to tears because it’s the manifestation of the contact young girls make with women on screen with whom they can identify, women who are active, who drive the story, the ones who bust the ghosts.
Whatever you think about the Ghostbusters franchise–whether you love it, don’t care, or think the new film ruins your childhood–please know that this new Ghostbusters is important, at least to me, a woman who does things who wants to see women on film doing things as well.
The musical Lightning Man, my collaboration with composer Jeffrey Dennis Smith and bookwriter Maggie-Kate Coleman, will have a public reading at the Turtle Bay Music School this Monday as part of Jeffrey Dennis Smith’s residency there. We are excited to present a new draft of the show with never-heard-before songs.
Logo by Elisa Schneider
Monday, June 27, 2016 7:00 pm
Turtle Bay Music School
244 E 52nd St New York, NY, 10022
Inspired by actual experiences, the musical LIGHTNING MAN tells the story of National Park Ranger and seven-time lightning strike survivor Roy Sullivan. Roy is relentlessly pursued, seduced, toyed with, adored, tortured and repeatedly struck by Lightning, appearing to him in the form of four very different but equally dangerous women, who may or may not also be his wives and ex-wives. As Roy struggles to regain control of his life in the aftermath of the strikes, he attempts to strike back against a force of nature.
Book by Maggie-Kate Coleman
Lyrics by Shoshana Greenberg
Music by Jeffrey Dennis Smith
Director: Jessica Beck
Music Director: Julianne Merrill
For the past three months, I have been participating in a class at my former graduate program (the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU). In the class we wrote mini-operas about Fort Greene Park, a park with a fascinating history that has a crypt containing the bones of Revolutionary War soldiers. The class is a mix of both alums and current students and is a collaboration with American Opera Projects. My opera, “Margaret,” with composer Paulo Tirol will be presented this Saturday, May 7th at 2pm at the GMTWP black box.
In “Margaret,” Mark and Hattie, a young couple, stumble home drunk through Fort Greene Park in the early morning. Mark is frustrated because Hattie won’t take an important step in their relationship and he accuses her of not taking risks. When she insists she does take risks, he dares her to prove it by breaking into the park’s crypt where she finds the ghost of a mad woman whose husband died on the Revolutionary War prison ships. The opera features the singers Blake Friedman (tenor), Sarah Heltzel (mezzo-soprano), and Amelia Watkins (soprano).
The other six mini-operas will be done the following day, Sunday, May 8th at 4pm. These performances are actually in the park. Here is more info about the event:
My final chorus concert this spring is the New York Pops 33rd Birthday Gala: Do You Hear the People Sing on Monday, May 2nd at Carnegie Hall. We get to celebrate the collaborations of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, the songwriting team behind Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, and more.
To say that singing in this concert is a childhood dream come true is an understatement. When I was 9 years old, I was obsessed with Miss Saigon, and my mom took me to see the show on April 1, 1992. I knew every single word, every single note. It remains one of the most thrilling theater-going experiences of my life. I returned in January of 2001 to see the show in its last two weeks when Lea Salonga played Kim one last time (I had missed her the first time) and now I get to sing on the same stage as Lea Salonga when she performs in the gala.