By Jessica Abrams
Last Saturday I had one of the most amazing experiences a playwright could ask for. No, it didn’t involve megastars or a cash prize that could allow me to pay rent for the next two months without worry AND take a vacation. I had coffee with Kate Bergstrom, the director of the Santa Barbara “arm” of the 2014 Female Playwrights Onstage Project (of which my short play, “Happy Returns” is a part) and Emma Fassler, the actress reading the lead part in my play.
The enterprise — as it should be called — is the brainchild of our own Tiffany Antone, whose energy and passion I really wish they could bottle and sell. The project involves readings of short plays all over the country, plays chosen by a unique peer review process. Tiffany can describe it better than I can:
Little Black Dress INK invites you to Santa Barbara this weekend for an evening of new plays, yummy wine, and creative introductions! Experience our ONSTAGE Project at Left Coast Books this Saturday, April 12th at 7:00 p.m. Directed by superstar Kate Bergstrom, this event features seven new, short plays by Katherine James, Anne V. Grob, Christina Pages, Jessica Abrams, Inbal Kashtan, Sharon Goldner, and Katherine Bergstrom. This is the first of four semi-finalists festival readings occurring across the states this month, with a reading of our finalists going up in LA in May. Over 60 artists are coming together in 5 cities to bring 28 new plays to life – we SO hope you’ll be join us this weekend in Santa Barbara as we kick off the festival in style!
So there you have it. 60 female playwrights in five cities all over the country. Which means in Waco and Ithaca and Santa Barbara plays by women will be read, enjoyed and discussed.
I entered my play because I absolutely love the idea of the peer review process. I love reading the work of other women and having them read mine. We learn so much about each other — about who we are and what we’re writing about and, above all, why we’re writing from the process. I am honored to have been chosen.
So, as the fabulous Kate and the amazing Emma and I sat discussing my play and plays in general and work and life under the Los Angeles sun, I had to pinch myself. This is perfect, I thought. This is why we do it.