The PlayPenn gala was on Monday night, celebrating their tenth anniversary of developing new plays every summer in the City of Brotherly Such-and-such. Wow. A decade. I know that, in situations like this, people like to say, “Time goes by so fast,” so I won’t, in favor of coining a new idiom: “Time is a never-ending series of dumpling carts at the local dim sum joint.” I’ll let you figure out the metaphor.
Anyway, I’m posting a bunch of photos from the affair. You’ll notice I’m drinking a martini in most of them, and if you choose to believe I was drinking the same martini for four hours, I suppose I can’t stop you. Let me assure all my gentle readers, though, that I took the train home, in accordance with my finely-honed sense of self-preservation.
For whatever reason, I was invited to the VIP room. That’s a lie; the reason is that I was a PlayPenn playwright in 2010, but it makes me chuckle to think that anyone would treat a playwright like a VIP. But, paradoxically, as a playwright, my opinion is not valued enough to provide a compelling argument. So, I drank their vodka. And ate their cheesesteak/eggroll hybrids.
I ran into a lot of playwrights. Some were old friends, others new friends. I took pictures with some of them and played pick-up games of lawn darts in the lobby with others. Seriously, have you ever been to the World Cafe in Philly? Fantastic venue, despite the dearth of lawn darts.
I want to do a special shout-out to Jim Christy, because he was one of my fellow playwrights from 2010. And I’d like to do generic, unfussy shout-outs to a bunch of other guys, in no particular order: Melanye Finister, Margie Price, Debbie Lau, Jackie Goldfinger, Davey Strattan White, Karyn Lyman, David O’Connor, Michael Hollinger, Tom Gibbons, Doug Williams, Emma Goidel, Kittson O’Neill, Robert Kaplowitz, Kevin Bergen, Arden Kass, Michele Volansky, and Maura Krause. Also, Paul Meshejian for coming up with this thing in the first place and for getting punched by Bruce Willis in Twelve Monkeys, for which, we will all eternally love him. I’m sure I’m forgetting somebody (or several somebody’s), so I beg forgiveness in advance. It was a very pleasant evening.
I know I’ve said this numerous times in numerous ways, but I love the hell out of PlayPenn. And not because they developed my play, Hum, and not because they spend insanely copious amounts of time and money promoting theater development in an increasingly profit-driven artistic landscape. I love them because I get to see great plays for free. That’s right. It’s about me. Great plays. For Free. I completely understand if you don’t like great plays for free, and I would never hold that against anyone. For example, I would not like tractor-pulls for free. Nothing against tractor-pulls; they’re just not my cup of root beer. However, if you do like great plays for free, you’d be doing yourself a great disservice by not checking these guys out. They do their thing every August.