Tag Archives: Samuel French Bookstore

Women, Writing, and Mimosas – LAFPI #FringeFemmes Gathering

by Guest Blogger Samantha Emily Evans

In the backroom of the Samuel French Bookstore on Sunset Boulevard surrounded by brilliant manuscripts, a group of forty or so women came together to support each other in their Hollywood Fringe endeavors. It was inspiring. The place was buzzing with pre-Fringe excitement, as postcards and smiles were exchanged.

Jennie Webb introduced the meat of the meeting, the Micro-Reads, where the writers and actors are able to promote their work and receive encouragement and feedback. At the front of the room was a box where writers had dropped a page to be read. The writer, when picked, would introduce the piece and select actors to perform it. This was my first Micro-Reads, my first LA FPI meeting, and my first time in the Samuel French Bookstore. I was astounded and warmed by the respect and enthusiasm of the audience and the writers. People eagerly volunteered to act and the responses were energetic and encouraging.

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Micro-Reads in Samuel French Green Room

The pieces read were eclectic and promising, most were excerpts from the plays going up at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, a taster to get us to the theatre. From a mother addicted to smoothies and in love with her blender (Snack) to a woman in love with an elevator (a short story excerpt) to a woman falling from an elevator (Susan Tierney) – each preview was so very different, and yet I wanted to see them all. And, I could. I could see them all at the Hollywood Fringe!

Each performer was asked to introduce herself, what she was working on, what she needed, and what she could give. The concept of stating what one could give was beautiful and electrifying, concreting the firm support system of LA FPI – we need to work together in order to succeed. Most writers just wanted their play to be seen, their message to be heard; they wanted to support other women’s plays, and in return be supported. They offered comp swaps and PWYC. They offered to help run the box office and Front of House. Constance Strickland has even created a facebook group where women can ask for and offer support. I had a fantastic time at the LA FPI meeting, and was truly inspired.

TY  Tara Donavan for the pic! #50ShadesofShrew

I left in a fuzzy, happy cloud of dreams, amazed at the encouragement, support, and commitment of the LA FPI, and wanting to get involved. The excitement for the upcoming month of June was palpable. The Hollywood Fringe is just around the corner with previews starting Thursday June 4th, and performances all throughout the month (and even into July and August for whoever wins the Fringe Awards!). I am excited to see what presents the #fringefemmes have prepared for Fringe 2015!

It’s Christmas time in Hollywood, the Fringe is finally here!


Samantha Emily Evans is the editor-in-chief of thetribeonline.com. Check out her writing and reviews at literarypixie.com.

SWAN Day Action Fest – this Saturday, 29 March!!

The SWAN Day Action Fest is a FREE day of play readings and connections open to all, featuring the work of women playwrights and directors in celebration of Support Women Artists Day. Presented by LA FPI and Little Black Dress INK with the support of Samuel French Bookshop. Special thanks to The Vagrancy.
Join us this Saturday, March 29, 2014 from  10:30 a.m – 4:30 p.m. at Samuel French Theatre & Film Bookshop,7623 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles , CA 90046  (at Stanley, east of Fairfax in Hollywood).
There is street parking for the event; there is also limited parking in back of the bookstore (off of Stanley).
  • 10:30 a.m: Refreshments + Connections / Deadline to Submit Micro-Reads Pages
  • 11:00 a.m.: Playreadings
Civilization by Velina Hasu Houston, Directed by Laura Steinroeder
Douds, Iowa by Debbie Bolsky, Directed by Katherine Murphy
The Stiff by Kathryn Graf, Directed by McKerrin Kelly
  • 12:00 p.m.: Micro-Reads Directed by Lynne Moses
  • 1:00 p.m.: Refreshments + Connections / Deadline to Submit Micro-Reads Pages
  • 1:30 p.m.: Playreadings
Over Ripe by Becca Anderson, Directed by Gloria Iseli
Awesome Big Somebody by Sarah Tuft, Directed by Holly L. Derr
  • 3:00 p.m.: Micro-Reads – Directed by Laurel Wetzork
For more information, visit lafpi.com/events
Follow us on Twitter @theLAFPI


Celebrate Women…


What are you doing to celebrate Women this month…?


Join us at the LAFPI SWAN Day Action Fest to be held at Samuel French Bookstore in Hollywood.


Bookstores and the Books that Live There…

 by Robin Byrd

Bookstores are becoming sparse; books are becoming electronic.  I wonder how to reconcile my love of browsing with the lack of things to browse.  If it’s not there, they will order it for you, they say with a smile ever so clueless to the fact that it’s the walking through the aisles searching the shelves for treasure that brings joy.  I can order it myself and not have to give up the getting mail part in the process – what can I say, I like getting mail…

I rarely come out of a bookstore without a book — this past weekend, I did — too much open space, too much of a lack of that library appeal without the constraints of utter and complete silence.  The space caught me off guard; it was bright from the lack of shelves and heavy from the lack of books.  I felt grieved in my spirit and had to leave the store.  Time is running out and I know one day I will have to go to a library if I want to browse.  My favorite spot is going…going…almost gone…  Better renew my library card.  Bookstores could possibly become plug-in shops to download e-books and my relaxation tool will be obsolete. My days of browsing for hours in my favorite store are numbered but I’m not going out without a fight and a few more books.  You never know what you’ll find in a bookstore.

Lucky for me I have more than one bookstore on my radar.  I found a book in Samuel French (my other favorite spot) called “Hoosiers in Hollywood” by David L. Smith.  This book is filled with over 600 pages of information on Indiana artists dating back to the silent era – a nice bit of history, fun, and encouragement.  When I found the book, I was in the middle of a thought about the Midwest and how it is underrepresented in the arts.  Guess I was wrong.

The really nice thing about books is being able to hold on to them and catching them on sale – a benefit of browsing.  The best part about books is they always inspire the writer in me to write…

“The Bitch Pack & LAFPI Hollywood New Year Event: To Bring Focus to Women Writers”

by Laura Shamas

What happens when two groups who promote female entertainment writers in Los Angeles get together to start the New Year? On Saturday, January 12, 2013, 2 – 5 p.m. at Samuel French Bookshop in Hollywood, the Bitch Pack and the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative are co-sponsoring a networking mixer for women writers who work in film, television and stage. The event is free and open to all.

The Bitch Pack is a group of active female and male entertainment writers who have joined forces in order to foster more work that passes the Bechdel Test, and to ensure that diverse women’s voices are represented in television and film. Their goal: “Changing Women’s Representation on Screen, Starting with the Written Page.” They look for screenplays that pass the Bechdel Test, and feature these on “The Bitch List,” which stands for “Brilliant, Intriguing, Creative, Tenacious Heroines.”  One of their ongoing projects includes an Award they give at Shriekfest for a horror screenplay that passes the Bechdel Test.  Their mentors include: Carole Dean, Bob Engels, Ari Posner, Dan Vining, Terry George and Susan Cartsonis. They are also affiliated with Pop Change.

The Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative is comprised of female and male theatre writers working toward fair representation of women playwrights on stage. LA FPI projects include a 2011 study of women playwrights produced in the SoCal area, which concluded that only about 20% of plays produced locally are female-authored and “Tactical Reads,” a partnership with The Vagrancy to present readings of female-authored plays, directed by female directors. The next Tactical Reads presentation is January 27, 2013.

Screenwriter Thuc Nguyen, founder of The Bitch Pack, says that the newest 2013 “Bitch List” will be ready for distribution by January 12, so there will be a lot to discuss at the Samuel French/Hollywood event. “We need this event to bring to light the fact that this town/our industries still don’t pay enough attention to women’s dialogue and women’s representation on stage or film. Our afternoon will have writers mingling together and hopefully new connections to bring our goals and missions to fruition!”

Lynne Moses, a founding partner of Appleseed Entertainment who writes, directs and produces for the screen and stage, feels the event is a vital one. Moses, the Communication Director for LA FPI, explains: “Women’s historic exclusion from theatre deprived the world of female voices for centuries.  Now that women are free to write for the stage and screen, there’s a lot of catching up to do!  The January 12th Hollywood event is a great opportunity to highlight the extraordinary work of women on L.A.’s stages and screens.”

Playwright Jennie Webb, a co-Founder of LA FPI, and Editor of the group’s website, feels the synergy between the two groups is a natural fit. “One of the things that we told ourselves when we started LA FPI is  ‘Let’s not say no.’ We wanted to focus on the positive and the possibilities while staying true to our goals: helping put women’s voices onstage.  So when we heard a cry in the wilderness from the Bitch Pack, of course we jumped at the chance to help one another by joining forces whenever possible. Playwrights work in film and TV, and vice versa: screenwriters want to play in theaters. Hopefully, by corralling our energies, there’ll be more women working in both fields, and more collective energy feeding us all as we move forward. Here’s a big ‘YES’ to connecting like-minded women in the new year.”

A future collaboration between the Bitch Pack and LA FPI may include a 2013 livestreamed reading event to feature L.A. women writers who work on stage and screen. Other possibilities: Finding new collaborators, exploring new creative ventures…and finding innovative ways to change the representation of women on stage and screen, by encouraging more women’s voices in the mix.

Bitch Pack & LA FPI Hollywood Event: Saturday, January 12, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., Samuel French Bookshop, 7623 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Free. Open to all. For more details about the event: [email protected]