I spent Friday and Saturday of this weekend at the New Works Festival. On Friday night I saw an 8pm show and then an extra special 10:30pm cabaret-style show. I got home around 1am. Yesterday I saw three shows: one at 12pm, one at 4pm, and one at 8pm. The 8pm one was over 3 hours long. I got home around midnight.
While I’m definitely feeling the effects of the long weekend, and I’m grateful I had the foresight to not plan to be there all today as well, it was such a cool experience. This is one of my favorite things about theatre – brand new plays, trying new things, up-and-coming writers taking chances. And Festival Weekend is especially awesome: between all these new plays, you’re mingling with other audience members and supporters, trying out the food truck, stealing M&Ms from the donor lounge. I love this time of year. Other theatre companies are dark in the summers, but I’m so glad we’re crazy enough to cram a bunch of stuff into July and August. =)
The very special show on Friday night was called One Woman Show, by Shakina Nayfack. It’s an autobiographical piece about her gender transition, and most of the story takes place in the 1990s. It’s a combination of storytelling, and songs written by great contemporary NYC songwriters for Shakina’s show. I don’t want to sell it short by trying to explain the story in detail. But it was inspirational and at times heart-breaking but ultimately totally uplifting.
It also made me think about what I would possibly talk about if I had to write a 90-minute autobiographical show. I think I could fill 15 minutes, but 90? I haven’t done anything crazy or scandalous or perhaps even that interesting in my lifetime. Which I suppose I should be happy about. Because that also means that nothing traumatizing or shocking has happened to me. Which is good.
The New Works Festival is an inspiration to get writing. If I can’t write a cabaret-style show, maybe I can work on something less autobiographical. That might be more appealing to the masses.