The calm before the storm

Playwright Nicholas Wardigo, enjoying the fruits of his labor.

Playwright Nicholas Wardigo, enjoying the fruits of his labor.

Predictably, things have been relatively calm theater-wise this summer.  I, myself, have taken advantage of the artistic lull by starting work on a new play (my fifteenth full-length, if anyone is keeping track) and building an adirondack chair.  I’ve included a pic of my latter project, since a picture of me staring with frustration at a notebook in the middle of a coffee shop is far less compelling.  I don’t want anyone to think that I’ve got aspirations of being a master carpenter or anything; I just really like adirondack chairs, and I’m sick of the cheap plastic ones that have been uglifying our front porch.  Also, my Uncle Donny gave me his old miter saw, and I recently got a new pocket jig from my folks, so I was anxious to try them out.  There will, likely, be a second chair before the end of the week.  You’ll notice that I made the armrests extra wide to accommodate coffee cups, beers, bowl of peanuts, pitchers of martinis, and/or platters of caviar and crepes.

But the summer lull is ending, and I’m looking forward to the ensuing tsunami.  The Philadelphia Fringe Festival is already underway, and I’m attending one of the shows this very evening (It’s 901 Nowhere Street, if anyone is bored and wants to meet me there).  The script is written by local playwright Jeremy Gable, whom I know a little, most notably from a one-act piece he did a few years ago, in which he recounted the experience of intentionally locking himself in a back room of the Plays and Players Theatre for twelve hours.  Wacky.

901 Nowhere Street also features Emilie Krause, who is always a pleasure to watch, and takes place in the basement of a former chocolate factory on Bread Street.  It’s a spooky venue, and doesn’t get used often enough.  I remember seeing the haunting play Anodyne there a decade ago (performed by Pig Iron Theatre), as well as another infamous show in which Corinna Burns licked a wall.

Another Fringe show that I’m looking forward to is The Great War by Jim Christy.  Jim was one of my fellow playwrights during PlayPenn 2010, and you can see a photo of him drinking with me here.

In other impending news, the Push to Publish Conference is happening on October 10th, and, next week, the legendary figure B.J. Burton has a book coming out.  I’ll be writing more about it after it drops, but suffice to say, it’s an examination of the careers and opinions of Philadelphia playwrights, featuring interviews with fifteen of them, including one who spends his free time building adirondack chairs.

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