As I sit here in the absence of an aftermath from not attending the Push to Publish Conference last weekend, I’m hit with a reminder email from the good people at Theatre Philadelphia that the 2017 Barrymore Awards are in two weeks. And, while I don’t plan to attend this year, it does remind me that I’ve failed to offer congratulations to a few friends.
Obviously, the only award I’m really interested in is the “Outstanding New Play or Musical” (or, as I prefer to think of it, “Best Playwright”). I know two of this year’s nominees: James Christy and Emma Goidel. I had a number of pleasant martinis with Jim at the PlayPenn cotillion a couple of years ago, and of course, I know Emma from Orbiter 3 and that thing with the pies. To be honest, I didn’t see Jim’s play, A Great War, because the theater was a bit inconvenient, and anyway, it was about WWI and sounded difficult and I can be a shallow bastard when I put my mind to it. I did see Emma’s A Knee That Can Bend, which was excellent despite an inexplicable title. Anyway, I hope I’m buying one of them a drink in the near future.
Tangentially, Emma is also nominated for the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist, which is always a big deal when a playwright gets nominated. I was very proud when I was nominated in 2009 but then failed to properly emerge. Mis-emerge? There must be some word for that. Anyway, congrats, Emma!
And in other belated congratulations, my friend and colleague John DiFelice published a novel over the summer: American Zeroes. I hung out with him back in the Brick Playhouse days, and it’s nice to see another of that set of playwrights try his hand at novel-writing. And you should be excited, too. Buy his book!
And in related news, I finally got around to reading Rocketship Anderson’s Bull and Other Stories, and I was truly blown away. Seriously, if you’re a fan of short fiction, this is the book for you. I always knew she was a solid playwright, but I think she’s an exceptional short-story writer. My only regret is that it took me so long to get to it, but like the rest of us, I needed to work through my stack of reading material. Even now, I can’t get to John’s book because I’m hip deep in an H.P. Lovecraft anthology (thanks again, Tony), which is appropriately Halloweeny.
But I digress. Buy Kathy’s book, too. Because artists need your money, damn it.
In case you’re interested, here’s my post where I attended her reading.