Saturday, March 29, 2008

Peek at boom for you non-new yorkers

Wilson Chin, the phenomenal set designer of boom has posted some pictures of the set and production on his website.

Here's one of em

Check out Wilson's site to see more!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hey Bay Area, I'm teaching a class!

Yes, people, I'm teachin a class on "funny" theater. Hmmm. But, yeah, right? A chance to focus on comedy playwriting for six weeks and I think it's going to be as much an exploration for me as it will be for the class. And hopefully awesome.

Find out more and/or register for the course here

Class Description:
Somebody famous once said that while drama is "easy", comedy is "hard." This is a terrible lie. They're both kind of hard. But, in this potentially fun and invigorating workshop, we'll take a particular look at the use of "comedy" (in as broad a sense of the word as possible) in our playwriting. Comedy has the potential to engage and disarm an audience with it's ability to simultaneously infiltrate the intellect and the gut. With the often full-body attention that comedy requires from an audience, ears become extra-sensitive, thoughts can be subtly provoked, and attitudes can be challenged. In discussions, readings, exercises and assignments we will explore humor and develop work that is funny, provoking, subversive and maybe, god forbid, highly entertaining.

Course Components:
➢ An exploration of one's personal sense of humor. Are you a laugh at others or laugh at yourself type of person?
➢ Experimenting in different genres, from "sketch" to "satire" to "physical" to "absurd" to "dark."
➢ In class writing and weekly "challenge" assignments. Sharing our work with the group.
➢ Reading and Discussion of contemporary scripts

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Boom PullQuote Fever!

Yes, this is blog is all shameless marketing and NEW YORK, MY PLAY IS ON FIRE! And for non new yorkers, I'll get some pics up here soon.

You still have three weekend choices to see the show and bring all your friends! There is a bar in the back of the theater for a cheap strongly poured cocktail, great atmosphere, close to fine dining (??), and bars gay and straight!

Here's what some people have been uttering about the show:

"****" –Time Out New York

We're ready for whatever strange places BOOM wants to take us!"

"Mr. Nachtrieb has a gift for darkly funny dialogue and an appealing way of approaching big themes sideways. ...BOOM winds up speaking, quietly and piquantly, to our enduring fascination with and need for myths about the beginning of life as well as its end."
-Ben Brantley, The New York Times

"A fantastically wild ride! Nachtrieb has crafted an imaginative piece of social satire...a clever play that's both experimental and entertaining."

" [A] combination of comic bickering and Twilight Zone mystery keeps the audience guessing what will come next."
–Time Out New York


"I would definitely recommend grabbing your ticket to BOOM!"

Get your tickets here!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

hasta mañana manzana

Well, poop, it's my last post in New York City. Well, technically, I'm in the JetBlue terminal so its an intermediate between here and home. I just ate a Papaya King hot dog as a final tribute to the plethora of junk food (in this case couple with creamy exotic fruit juice) available in the big city. Mark and I both commented on the sheer amount of french fries consumed in the last month/week. Lots of fries. I'm excited for some snappy produce and fresh ingredients and a fucking good burrito.

I leave pretty exhausted, and tremendously happy with the work achieved and the fabulous people I got to spend some time with.

and doh i am boarding

Friday, March 21, 2008

oh and

tomorrow night's the last night I get to see the darn thing before I fly back next week to slightly warmer shores. Booo. But if you happen to be in New York City tomorrow night you should totally go see the play 'cause I'll be there too.


opening was rockin last night! So proud of the show and all the amazing people involved.

This was pretty neat:

read it if you want (I made sure it was prescreened before I read it)

better yet, go see the show and enjoy yourself!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New York - entering the final week

I am in the home stretch of my New York stay. Opening night of boom is tomorrow! I just bought a nice coat for the event and am now having concerns about it being too short. Would my mom approve? Probably not. I can definitely lengthen the sleeves and maybe get it tailored more when I get home. I hope. It was a little bit of a pricey purchase.

MTABF has just arrived is napping off some of the effects of the red-eye. Yay! BroGeo is en route as we speak. And I am prepping my opening night gifts.

As is inevitable with every trip to New York for theatrical purposes, I have engaged in numerous "when are you moving to New York" conversations. The short answer is not anytime soon.

I love love love this city and I particularly love being here under these delightful "belle of the ball" conditions. The definite pro to being a playwright and living in New York is the opportunity to see people socially and professionally on a regular basis. That is a big pro. People like to work with people they know, especially when you're going to be stuck in a room with them for a few months.

Also there is so so so much theater here, so much to see, to be inspired by, so many talented actors performers designers producers and everything elsers. It's a great jacuzzi to be sitting in and oh how I have been soaking in it. And if the folks at Ars Nova feel like subletting their penthouse at a reasonable artist rate I might consider it, though their whole security for entering and leaving the building always gets me ansty.

But the con to living in New York is that I wouldn't be living in San Francisco. It is a city that is beautiful, cultural, and feels like my home. I wouldn't be on Valencia St in my comfy (rent controlled) apartment with my super MTABF. If I moved to New York, I would have to find other ways to make money that wasn't from playwriting, whereas in SF I seem to have found a certain amount of supportive cash (in murder mystery acting, trade shows, voice work, light prostitution, kidding) where I am also able to write with full energy and gusto. There is also a, albeit smaller, strong support network of theatre artists in SF that are quite talented and extraordinary. And we look out for each other as best we can. I also think where I write affects how and what I write about. Thus my plays are hilly and have good food in them.

If I lived in New York would I write less? That is my big big fear!! The point I'm at in my career is one where I need to be writing a shitload of work. I'm in my "building the cannon" phase of emergement. It's nice to be living in a place that inspires me and doesn't crush me.

So my current thinking is I'd rather come here a few times a year and be able to come with more work in my hands rather than being here and struggling to find the time to get it all done. Does that make any sense? A conundrum. Sort of. And maybe not so much when you take a national perspective of theater in this country. New York theatre definitely seems to take notice mostly of itself, occasionally forgetting the vast world of work that's going on just past these islands. But maybe that's because you don't have to here. There's so much right out the door.

I'm rambling. Workin some shit out. Speaking of whch I got to hit the bathroom pretty soon too. And I promised Mark I'd have a slice of pizza waiting for when he wakes up.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


The show is frozen! Or as they call it in the biz, it's showzen.

I don't think anyone calls it showzen, but all it means is that no changes can be made any more. The fact hit me today as I asked about possibly implementing one tweak (an effort to get the phrase "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" back into the text after the page it used to live on was tragically cut after our second preview) and was politely told to save it for the next production.

So now I just get to sit and enjoy myself at each show. I can take little notes if I want, but things are out of my hands. I guess I've been handless for a while but now it's official. But the hands they are in are nice hands. I like everyone's hands so much.

The fish in the tank are finally making themselves known during the performance. They still hide for the brunt of the show but have been doing some darting about at opportune moments, often picking particularly poetic times to appear.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

meet my boom director

Variety has written up a nice little article about my "helmer" here in New York. Go Alex!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chad has left the building

Chad Jones, prominent and great member of the Bay Area Theatre Critic world has left the Oakland Tribune, as part of the Tribune's effort to become as bland, non-regional and obsolete as it possibly can.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Chad will live on at his new website where he will continue to write about and review local theater. Support him there!

I think we're very lucky in the Bay Area to have such a vibrant core of theater reviewers from the the dailies, weeklies and, much more so now, blogs. There seems to be a unique interaction between theatre artists and critics in this area. Some of them even throw parties together (still trying to make one). Not that the critics are pulling any punches in their reviews, but there seems to be a level of respect for the most part. Don't stop believin, people

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Week 2 del Preview

I am entering my third week in New York and our second week of previews begin tonight. Wooohew! Last week was an extremely intense week of work, starting with our final few ten hour tech days, a scary actor injury during the scariest part of the show (she's doing great now! Go trooper Megan!), and then our first four previews with rehearsals during the day. I have felt joy, anxiety, surprise, giddy delight, self doubt, self confidence, optimism, cautious optimism all within about 15 minutes of each other. I think we all left the theater on Sunday feeling good about how far we'd gone in the week, how much was accomplished and what wonderful work everyone has put into this production.

Monday was a nice day to breathe and I sat mostly immobile (and possibly a little hung over) in my sublet trying to figure out my taxes for last year and then some drinks with friends.

Yesterday I went to the New York Public Library to work which is certainly the most beautiful library I have ever clacked away in. good lord that thing is pretty. And the most high security library too, especially curious since I really didn't see any books while I was there.

And here we are today. The final week of "work" and then I can just sit and enjoy the result of lots and lots of work by good people. I feel very very thrilled and excited to be here.
In general New York energizes me. I feel very motivated and productive here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

thoughts on client nine

New York is in a shitfit tizzy about their sexin for cash governor. As a non-invested outsider, this is about the most boring scandal ever. He hired a hooker! BFD! In San Francisco, that would only be controversial if the hooker was non-union.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Click on the link in post below or watch it here

The password is "boom"!

A Lesson in Playwrighting from Sara Schaefer on Vimeo.


OK we are under way out here!

We secured preview number one under our belt last night in front a very very wonderful audience. It's great to be at this point and I'm excited for some more show honing and enjoying.

Check Out This Interview with Alex Timbers and Myself about the Playwriting!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

live tech blogging

ok so i'm sitting here in the back of the theater while tech is getting under way. I have some chunks of script to look at, and occassional random thoughts to pipe in. But I've got some time to, you know, do other things.

I will attempt to blog some interesting tidbits from the back of the room here.

At this point we're still working the first cue of the show. The first cue in tech, usually takes several hours to complete.

1:17 PM
considering taking first tech poop. (see earlier post re: BioActiva)

1:26 PM
Dunkin donuts munchkins seem to be today's tech snack of choice today.

1:53 PM
first ten minute break
Hershey's nuggets variety bag is also available for snacking
  • The red curtain is looking sweet
  • There is some great lever sounds happening
  • There is amazing timpani lighting

2:39 PM
6" Subway turkey sub. Ruffles. Diet Coke. Alex (director) has apple cinnamon chips. He seems to be really into fruit flavored chips.

4:35 PM

5:30 PM

I have no idea what the 4:35 updates is about. Dinner break! We're through almost the first third of the play. Woohew! Looking sweet as a sweet pie so far.

7:30 PM

We're working the first post boom cues, working in barbara's speeches. debate about Jules' flashlight, whether it's too dark, will we have lounge music in certain parts...

On the food front, I had a burrito from Chipotle. Good pork, but papalote it ain't

10:45 PM
Oh shit I totally forgot I was doing this. My mind has begun to numb into an unthinking muck. We've come a long way today, almost to the end of the show and it's looking awesome. It's time for beer and then we return tomorrow at noon to finish the show and begin to run things again. yeeha!!

nyc day 3

Good morning!

I am lying in bed on the cusp of tech for boom. We got a few 10outta12s (as they call them in the 'biz) over the next few days. The play is whippin up into shape and we get an audience in there starting next Wednesday. Yow! Very exciting times.

I am subletting a nice apartment in Hell's Kitchen near 9th ave. There do seem to be a lot of kitchens in the area, but I think they've lowered the hellishness in recent years. But there is definitely some good food about.

I've managed to see two shows already, both of which were quite enjoyable. Adding Machine: A Musical was a fascinating, bleak, gripping and great 90 minute musical which really took me surprise. It's a musical adaptation of a 1920s play about an accountant who gets laid off after twenty five years, and things go downhill from there, and never stop going. Strangely it was funny and touching and dark all at the same time.

Last night I saw Gina Gionfriddo's U.S> Drag. Much less dark, still darkish, and very funny and enjoyable with the added bonus that I (along with my friend Cara who I saw the show with) was in the first staged reading of the play 10 years ago back at Brown University (directed by Peter Dubois). The play had changed a lot in the years but there were still these chunks that were fresh in my memory, including a monologue that I used to do for auditions back in the days when I did those types of auditions that require monologues. Ahh good memories. Being an Undergrad at Brown and watching/performing in Grad student playwrights' shows was definitely one of the big highlights of my collegiate experience.

My lips are chap due to the dryness of radiator heat. I'm adjusting to the hissing noise of the steam pipe heating the room and last night finally got a solid night's sleep.

Oo I just bought some Bio Activa yogurt. I can feel it working!